Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




You Still Can't Sue Google If You Don't Like Your Rankings... Especially If You Can't Back Up Most Of The Charges

from the now-pay-up-the-legal-fees dept

Last year, we noted the latest in a long string of lawsuits from companies who were suing Google because they didn't like how Google ranked their sites in search results. The arguments were weak from the beginning and none of the cases have gone very far, so it's no surprise to see that in this latest case, filed by a company called KinderStart, the judge hasn't just tossed out the suit, but called it frivolous and demanded that KinderStart pay Google's legal fees. The judge then goes on to berate KinderStart's lawyer for the charges he filed. On one set of charges, the judge noted: "they are factually baseless and because (KinderStart attorney Gregory) Yu failed to perform an adequate investigation before filing them." On another: "Yu had a professional responsibility to refrain from filing such allegations if he did not have appropriate supporting evidence." It sounds like a case where the company (and its lawyer) just tossed up any charge they could think of hoping that either something would stick or Google would just fold and settle. However, the basic fact remains: Google is a private company and can rank your site however they feel is appropriate. If your ranking sucks (or if Google removes your site because it felt you were spamming) that may not be good for you, but it's certainly not illegal.

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  1. identicon
    The Only Adult in the House, 21 Mar 2007 @ 8:36am

    Silly Children

    Based on the linked report, it is impossible to judge the validity of the filed lawsuit.

    I can understand why KinderStart might allege anti-competitiveness. KinderStart is, afterall, a search portal for children. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Google would manipulate its ratings to downgrade a competitor.

    On the other hand, this lawsuit might have been baseless, but merely a publicity stunt by KinderStart.

    There are lots of possibilities here. The spin given on this blog is unsupported by the evidence. The blog entry should be thrown out and the blogger required to pay browsing fees.

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