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theEweekly Wrap 21 August 2009

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Official figures have revealed that Gmail, the email service from Google, is the third largest mail client in the United States.

A study from online research group ComScore stated that Gmail had overtaken the AOL email service in terms of unique visitors. Gmail recorded 37 million visitors compared to the 36.3 million clocked by AOL in July. Over the past eight months, Gmail posted a 25 per cent growth in unique visitors.

Hotmail and Yahoo Mail remain the most popular email sites in the United States.

America’s Next Top Lawsuit

Blogger.com has been ordered to reveal the identity of a user who criticised a New York fashion model on the service. Joan Madden, a New York state Supreme Court judge, ruled model Liskula Cohen was entitled to sue an anonymous blogger for defamation after a series of accusations were posted online.

Model Liskula Cohen to sue blogger

Liskula Cohen to sue blogger

The ruling comes after the UK newspaper The Times won a landmark case to reveal the identity of the creator of the popular NightJack blog.

Enquiry set to Phorm an opinion

The legality of behavioural targeting firm Phorm is to be questioned in an enquiry by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The OFT is set to investigate the legitimacy of using personal data for online advertising.

A spokesman from the OFT said the study would focus on the use of behavioural advertising.

“We may look at behavioural advertising where information on a consumer’s online activity is used to target the internet advertising they see. We may also examine the practice of tailoring prices to individual consumers on the basis of their personal data.”

The share price of Phorm fell by more than 20 per cent after the enquiry was announced.

Cutts to the chase

Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, has responded to the criticism surrounding UK search results. The state of UK SERPs has been a contentious topic in the SEO community after websites from New Zealand, Australia and Germany began appearing in local searches.

Cutts offered a number of explanations for the anomaly and said that he would look into specific queries.

He commented:

“If people want to point out examples of off-topic .coms that I’ve missed, I’m happy to poke/prod the appropriate folks at Google though. Feel free to leave comments like “For the query [red widgets] on google.co.uk, redwidgets.com shouldn’t show up because they don’t really provide red widgets to the UK.” Then I’ll ask the appropriate team to check out the comments.”

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