MIchael Smith takes on Google

“I am nothing like the picture Google publishes!”

Michael Smith has taken on global internet giant Google in a case of misuse of market power. He wants the federal government to intervene.

Smith says his site was blocked by Google because it contained malware. But his site did not contain any malware and Smith objects to the way Google wielded its power to block his traffic. The malware notice went up after he installed a rival advertising product to Google Adsense.

While the block was in place, he says he lost 80% of his internet traffic. Smith also says he was defamed by being portrayed as a burglar by the picture on the Google message page.

Google has now lifted the block.

The former 2UE presenter, who now works as a filll in presenter at 2GB, explains what happened:

On Sunday evening 9 February, I had reports from Google Analytics and the Google Webmaster Tools services.   Google Inc told me that the online advertising company www.madadsmedia.com had posted an advertisement that included a link to an advertiser whose servers had been hacked and who might have been distributing suspect software.   I immediately removed all MadAds links from my website.   Not me distributing Malware, not MadAds distributing Malware, but another step removed with a site called www.deore-medias.org suspected of distributing Malware.

Late on Sunday night I requested Google urgently review the status of my website.  I was kept appraised of the process of that review via the Google Webmaster Tools program connected to www.michaelmsithnews.com

By early Monday morning, all the warnings for the presence of suspicous software on my website had been removed on the Google Webmaster Tools service and the status advice for my site was changed to "We have not detected any security issues on your site".

Let me be clear about this.  Malicious software was never distributed from my website.   Never.   Google and I agree on that point.

A www.deore-medias.org site that a MadAdsMedia advertising server linked to had been compromised and there was potential for a MadAds advertising link to direct readers to a malicious software website.   This is not the result of any targetted attempt to discredit my website as large numbers of other sites like mine have been affected.   But it is an example of Google's power and the damage that can be done by its misuse.   Who appointed Google as the great decider of what suspicious software should be acted on an what shouldn't?   Note that a competitor to Google, MadAds is in the frame here...

Smith is taking legal action against Google.

I instructed lawyers on Tuesday who served a Concerns Notice on Google Inc on Tuesday. After Google did not respond we wrote again.   Still no response and today Google is still publishing a false, misleading and deceptive web-page that Google puts up whenever a reader on a Chrome browser (as well as others) types in or clicks on a link to www.michaelsmithnews.com

So instead of seeing my site, you see a statement from Google that falsely but unequivocally makes terrible imputations about me and our site.   And you  didn't even ask for Google's opinion, you just can't avoid it. I am nothing like the picture Google publishes, at the first report of any potential risks to our readers I removed all advertising from our website... 

Read Smith’s full article here.


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