Yet Another Company Suing Google Because Its Ranking Sucks

from the waste-of-time dept

While Google may be happily taking on some lawsuits against incredibly weak claims in order to set better precedents for later, it still gets a bit tiresome when companies don't recognize the precedent and just keep suing. A few years back, a judge quickly dismissed a lawsuit from a website owner who was upset that Google didn't rank his website high enough. Earlier this year, another company dropped its suit after Google pointed out how unlikely it was to win a similar suit. However, that doesn't stop such complaints from still coming in. On Friday, a judge heard opening arguments from another website that isn't happy that Google lowered their Page Rank to 0, effectively demoting it in their index. There simply is no legal basis to demand that Google rank you higher. The company is raising "antitrust, free speech, unfair competition and defamation and libel" issues, though it's likely to have difficulty proving any of those things -- and it appears the judge recognizes that. He repeatedly said that he didn't see where there was defamation (the core of the argument made by the company), noting that "I am still not convinced ... that a provably false statement has been alleged." He also said: "Assuming Google is saying that KinderStart's Web site isn't worth seeing. Why can't they say that? That's my question." So, once again, it seems likely that such a case won't go very far, and hopefully others will begin to realize that if your ranking in Google sucks, you have no right to sue about it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Michael Long, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 12:56am

    KinderStart

    KinderStart looks like a link farm to me, with ads for Texas Hold'em, Texas Sex Offense Lawyers, and to the NASDAQ because, apparently, kids need to track their stock portfolios.

    And while they may be suing Google, that doesn't stop them from running a big set of Google ads across the top of most of their pages. I guess they're bent on getting money from Google, one way or another...

     

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  2.  
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    Dima, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 1:27am

    It's the news articles that matter

    KinderStart didn't have much going for it...

    A useless website with a collection of links and "rankings" (maybe someone can sue them now!)

    A zero score on google because... lets face it - the site is useless.

    A non-existent market of parents who'd rather use kinderstart than... say ... google...

    Now - they have press coverage and free advertising for suing google. What do you think is cheaper - a national press campaign or having your company lawyer go to court?

    I'm just guessing it was either this or using that company lawyer to file for kinderstart's bankruptcy

     

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  3.  
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    Tom Enders, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 3:02am

    Page Rank Internals

    Did it ever occur to anyone that these people do not want to win these cases? PageRank is such a powerful tool for SEO that people actually spend their entire professional careers attempting to reverse engineer it. My guess is that these link farms are set up by SEO people and suing google is just a misguided attempt to get the internals of PageRank released to the public.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    ogman, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 3:39am

    Countersue...

    KInderstart should be counter sued for fraud. Baby needs to track his portfolio and then go see Saw III? I wanna hang with THAT kid! The page is a joke and so in the lawsuit.

    It was wisely mentioned that maybe these companies don't care about winning. If that's true, then Google needs to counter sue them in to bankruptcy AND sue the owners out of their houses and cars.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    SimplyGimp, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 3:52am

    Sad...

    Google runs a free service. You can contact them if you wish to remain out of their index. Otherwise you have no right to complain. Without Google (and others), the small sites would never be found anyway.

    Besides, if the idiot wants his rank to go up, he should maybe think about the relevance of his site when compared to search phrases. I hope the suing party goes under and winds up homeless after all of this...

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Coopy, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 4:45am

    You guys just don't get it

    This is exactly how KinderStart plans on increasing its page ranking in Google. All this free press is driving people to KinderStart just to see what it's all about. Right now there are 5 commentors above me who already increased their traffic. Remember: click and eyeballs. They just made their company more profitable because this suit drove TONS of new eyeballs to its site. EXACTLY what it intended to do. Win or lose in court, the ploy will work. Come on people, learn to read between the lines.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Nobody Special, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 5:26am

    Free Speech??

    One thing KinderStart is correct about - the case has free speech implications. Quite simply the suit wants to stop Google's free speech.

    I do think people are correct in saying it is about marketing. The press they get from a failed suit exceeds what they spend in lawyer fees. And when has a lawyer ever publicly stated their client has a lousy case and they are simply doing the bidding of the client? Google should be able to recoup their fees. That would help stem the publicity suits. (And if the judge fines them for using the courts that way.)

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Lorne, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 5:53am

    No ranking? Sue for traffic

    I mean, what better way to get exposure and traffic. Simply file a lawsuit and watch everyone come check out your site.

    Pathetic me thinks...

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    mousepaw, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 5:56am

    Yet another company suing...

    I can see Kinderstart's point. Google is a powerful search engine that a great many people use. I myself am a little miffed that they won't even list my website, even though I have uploaded google's bot code. Should I list my url here?

    I don't agree with Kinderstart's web content if, as everyone says, they are a link monger to sites that shouldn't been viewed by kiddies. (I haven't gone to their site because I don't feel like giving them the "traffic.") Google, MSN, Ask, Yahoo, et al, can do anything they want and if Kinderstart doesn't like it they can start their own search engine.

    Otherwise, everyone is right about the ad-grabbing headlines Kinderstart has garnered with their suit.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Trouble maker, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 7:54am

    two cents worth

    Until now, has anyone heard of Kinderstart?

    I wonder how many web hits they have had since the lawsuit. Nice advertising campaign.

    I wourld request that ISP block Kinderstarts IPs.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 8:50am

    Stupid marketing tricks don't work for too long

    Stupid marketing tricks like this don't work for very long. A few companies will try this trick and soon people will see the pattern and tune out. May be their traffic will go up for, like, 2 days, and then drop back down to where it should be. May be lower, and their name ruined forever. No one will even buy the domain name from them. I don't think they can really reap this traffic.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Joe Snuffy, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 8:57am

    It took 7 months to get my website from a 2 to a 4. Maybe I should sue?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Valentin, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 10:06am

    SEO ain't hard

    Kinderstart seems to be all about quick money. It is not hard to build a site that has a decent page rank and is actually found in search engines. You just need content, a SE friendly page design and some people link to you (because of your content). Simple link collections just won't do it in the long term. If they would put a little work in their silly page I probably wouldn't even mind if I landed on their page and would happily follow one of their links.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Oliver Widder, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 2:27pm

    Does it matter if Kinderstart is good or bad?

    What matters is that Google has the monopoly to throw any site out business.
    Frankly I don't like monopolists. Good or evil ones.
    I made a small cartoon:
    http://geekandpoke.typepad.com/geekandpoke/2006/10/the_trial.html

    Bye,
    Oliver

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    satan, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 2:28pm

    they are a business

    they don't have to do anything to help you. But if you pay to advertise on their site then you may have a claim.

     

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  16.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Oct 30th, 2006 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Does it matter if Kinderstart is good or bad?

    What matters is that Google has the monopoly to throw any site out business.

    First off, how do you figure Google is a monopoly? There are a lot of other search engines out there, and the switching cost is virtually non-existent.

    Second, "throwing a site out of business" isn't the determination of a monopoly or not. It's the fault of the first business for relying solely on one business for all their traffic. It's their fault for not having a better plan. You should NEVER base your entire business on a single company you have no control over. If you do, it's your own damn fault if they change policies.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    |3331373|3|_||3, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 8:19pm

    Extra Traffic

    I wonder if /. has picked up on this yet? that should give enough traffic to satisfy the owners, and more besides, it being a well known trick to post a link on/. to a site you want to crash, but it only wworks on the first few posts, and on a site with a crappy connection/server (like I have heard may happen to my school after exams in about a month).

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    av ad, May 10th, 2007 @ 3:28pm

    same here

    yeah my website www.linkdumptube.com only has 4 backlinks in google,yet in msn it has over 1000 backlinks.

     

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  19.  

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  20.  
    identicon
    دليل دلع, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 1:17am

    Dir.Dll3.cc

    This is exactly how KinderStart plans on increasing its page ranking in Google. All this free press is driving people to KinderStart just to see what it's all about. Right now there are 5 commentors above me who already increased their traffic. Remember: click and eyeballs. They just made their company more profitable because this suit drove TONS of new eyeballs to its site. EXACTLY what it intended to do. Win or lose in court, the ploy will work. Come on people, learn to read between the lines. يوتيوب فيديو

     

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


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