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Over 80K .EU Domains Suspended Due to Brexit Regulations

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Over 80,000 .EU domains owned by UK citizens are suspended due to new regulations imposed as a result of Brexit.

EURid, the registrar for .eu domains, is enforcing measures that came into effect on January 1 stating .eu domains must be owned by citizens or organizations located in the European Union.

EURid began notifying UK registrants about these new measures coming into effect back in October:

“On 1 October 2020, EURid has notified by email all UK registrants and their registrars that they will lose their eligibility as of 1 January 2021 unless they demonstrate their compliance with the .eu regulatory framework by updating their registration data before 31 December 2020.”

In 2018, long before EURid sent its first notice, the European Commission suggested that .eu domains owned by UK citizens could be cancelled at the end of the Brexit transition period. Three year later that day has come.

Domains suspended on January 1, 2021, can no longer be used for websites or email addresses. Registrants of suspended domains have until April to prove they’re eligible to hold the domain.

As per the new regulations, the following are eligible to hold .eu domain names:

  • A Union citizen, independently of their place of residence;
  • A natural person who is not a Union citizen and who is a resident of a Member State;
  • An undertaking that is established in the Union; or
  • An organisation that is established in the Union, without prejudice to the application of national law.

After April 1, UK registrants who cannot prove eligibility will have their domain moved to “withdrawn” status. A withdrawn domain cannot support any service.

On January 1 of next year, domain names in the “withdrawn” status will be revoked from ineligible UK registrants and become generally available.

Up until the time domains are withdrawn, registrants will have the opportunity to prove they’re eligible to keep them.

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That can be accomplished by updating contact information and declaring:

  • You’re a legally established entity in one of the eligible EU27 or EEA Member States; or
  • Your residence in one of the eligible EU27 or EEA Member States; or
  • Your citizenship of one of the EU27 Member States (information on how to updated your data based on citizenship)

Domain names will be reinstated as soon as affected registrants update their contact information. EURid says 81,000 domains from 50,000 users have been suspended.

It would appear UK registrants of .eu domains saw this day coming. The number of UK-based domains ending in .eu reportedly shrunk from over 300,000 in 2017 to 81,000 at the beginning of this year.

That number will soon be reduced to zero. However, it’s not all negative. There’s opportunity here as 81,000 new domains will soon be up for grabs by citizens and organizations located in the EU.

Sources: EURid.eu (1, 2, 3)

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NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

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