Judge Dismisses Suit Against Google

from the some-good-legal-news? dept

With all the bizarre legal decisions coming down lately, here's a good one. A judge has thrown out the lawsuit against Google by a guy who claimed they had no right to change the way they ranked sites associated with him. He ran an "optimization" business, where he promised people higher ranks on Google. Google, as they tend to do, continued to make their search algorithm better, and knocked his sites down in the rankings - leading him to accuse them of unfair practices. The judge found that PageRank is an "opinion" protected as free speech. The guy responded to the loss by saying: "SearchKing never broke a law, yet was accused, judged and executed without so much as a notice of intent. This affected thousands of innocent people without just cause." I'm wondering what's going through this guy's head. All Google was doing was trying to make their search better. This guy has no right to try to force Google to rank his site any higher. Google also isn't the US government, and this was no "trial" of this guy's (or his customers') sites. In fact, I'd bet that the new rankings actually impacted millions of users in a positive way by making their search experience better and more relevant. Google didn't lower his PageRank because he broke the law (as he implies) - but because his sites weren't relevant. This guy made a business decision to bet his business on Google (a company he had no official relationship with) not improving their algorithms. That's his own mistake.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    DV Henkel-Wallace, May 30th, 2003 @ 9:04pm

    Our instructions are clear

    "This affected thousands of innocent people without just cause."
    Seems like our instructions are clear: we should each send this guys a bill for $5000. When he hasn't paid in 30 days, get an injunction against his spending any of his ill-gotten-gains until he first pays us what he owes us!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2003 @ 12:11am

    No Subject Given

    "Google didn't lower his PageRank because he broke the law (as he implies) - but because his sites weren't relevant."
    While Google does tweak its PageRank algorithm occasionally, it also has can "penalize" a site for arbitrary reasons, e.g. feels site is "spam"
    Thus, hard to draw a definitive conclusion on this one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jun 1st, 2003 @ 11:12am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Of course, no matter what their reason for lowering his page rank, I'd be interested to know how that could be breaking the law?

    Google keeps their traffic by having the most relevant search. They improve their algorithms to make the searches more relevant. Why else would they? If they think a site is "spam", then they think it's not relevant.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2003 @ 3:57pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Unfortunately, it's often competing webmasters who are reporting each other in an attempt to invoke Google's penalities. SPAM = Sites Positioned Above Mine

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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