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Google Responds to SearchKing Complaint
djgreg

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 7:19 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi ,

I just noticed, that Searcjking has received an answer from Google and now there are selling password to see the documents for $20 each. Are they crazy?
What do you think about that?

 

Lots0



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 10:31 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Let me say to those of that are not aware of the facts in this case and those that have focused on the aspect of flaming Bob Massa and SearchKing.

SearchKing.com Inc. did not sell text links based on PR or anything else - SearchKing did not sell links at all - A completely different company called praddnetwork.com brokered links between two sites for a fee, that fee was based on the PR of the site where the advertising (text link) would be placed.

The only thing these two companies had in common was Bob Massa.

Google penalized SearchKing and all the thousands of sites hosted by SearchKing because of what praddnetwork did (a separate company).

Let me stress this SearchKing in no way shape or form broke Googleís ToS/ToU. And I dare GoogleGuy to show where they did.

So what Google did was in effect exact petty vengeance on Bob Massa. <added> For doing in the open what a lot of others had been doing behind closed doors.</added>

And now Google tries to say this attempting to destroy a lot of innocent business's was OK because it was their right to Free Speech. I say Bull....

Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 10:43 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think if you read Googles response there is pretty clear what happened and how they showed where it crossed the line. LawMem made a good point that Google is under no obligation to list any site. It doesn't and can't list them all. That's even true of sites it perceives as a threat to their technology.

>I am suprised google admitted to adjusting the PR.

They never said how they did it though. It may have just been a general algo tweak that caught everyone they may have classified as a link farm.

>deft_spyder

Apologies for not msg'ing on the splice. there were several threads in different forums going on about it and we moved them altoghether to keep it manageable and easy for members to read.

Lots0



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 10:53 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Brett,
Googleís response is just that a response - Google is responding in the way they want the case to be seen - Not necessarily what actually happened.

Also I donít buy the idea that just because Google says itís OK, that it is.

MJR

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 10:59 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Adding to the facts...
The $20.00 is a donation and it was stated in SK forums that anyone could gain access whether they donated or not, they just needed to ask. In addition, there is more in the private site than Google's response. As far as LawMeme goes, he is just expressing his (maybe biased) opinion Now looking at LawMeme's past with regards to Google, they have been Google's mouthpiece on the Net, Google uses them to get their message out without having to dirty their own little hands. Did you not notice that GoogleGuy was quick to point you in LawMeme's direction - think about it. :)

BigDave

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 10:59 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Corporate law only protects the owners of the companies against legal proceedings. It does not protect you from being associated with the company and having your other companies associated with that company.

Lets say that I own a company that advertises at Portland Trailblazers games. Now I am bothered by Microsoft policies, and since Paul Allen owns the Trailblazers, I decide to pull the advertising.

I am completely within my rights.

There were also other business links between pradnetwork and SK. If you are so convinced of this fact, why doesn't SK point this out in the suit? And SK does participate in what google might determine to be questionable linking practices.

hutcheson

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 10:59 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

>The interesting parts: Google does not deny, hand adjusting the PR. There used to be a lot of debate about that.

Google very carefully divulges their algorithms or procedures EXCEPT that it would cause them irreparable harm to divulg them. The complaint gives no details, and there's no point in responding to nothing.

Lots0



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:03 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

And SK does participate in what google might determine to be questionable linking practices.

Prove it. Give us some actual examples.

And while your at it try to prove this statement,
There were also other business links between pradnetwork and SK.

You can't.

Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:11 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

They don't have to prove anything thing - it's their system. They just have to prove the case is without merit, and by all accounts, they've done that.

Lots0



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:14 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well it aint over till the fat lady sings...

BigDave

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:14 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

I did not say what Lots0 does consider to be questionable linking practices. I said what *google* *might* consider to be questionable linking practices. You have made your position quite clear that you disagree with many of google's policies on linking.

But it is google's policies that count here, not mine, and not yours.

Just do link:searchking.com and look around and find the reasons that those sites might be linking to searchking. Some of them are obviously legit. Many of them are very questionable from *Google's* perspective.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:15 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Prove it. Give us some actual examples.

Unfortunately, this is not the place nor the time to provide examples of whatever tactics are being used that Google may not approve of.

Google is a privately owned company and is free to do as they wish with their results. The SK network were not the only sites to be affected that month in regards to PR. There were many others who also felt the ripple that went across the net when Google tweaked the algo and many of us saw PR drop a point or two.

Mr. King was informed well in advance that his actions may have had a negative impact on his network. In the beginning when Mr. King was solicting feedback about the venture, more than enough people forewarned him of the outcome. Sure enough, it backfired and in a bad way for his network.

That little stunt cost a lot of people a lot of money, many who are not even connected to the SK network.

Lots0



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:25 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google is a privately owned company and is free to do as they wish with their results.
...As long as it does not cause malicious injury to someone else.
pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:30 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

As long as it does not cause malicious injury to someone else.

If you view it that way, wouldn't Mr. King's actions also be considered malicious injury to someone else? I mean, his actions may have caused malicious injury to the network. Wouldn't that mean that the members of the network could bring a Class Action Lawsuit against the network?

bird

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:33 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google lists more than 3 billion pages. With each update cycle, half of those pages gain in PageRank, and the other half loses. Some only by a small and almost unnoticeable amount, others in a more obvious way. It's in the nature of the system.

Now if every webmaster who sees that one of his pages has lost PageRank in an update would start a lawsuit about "malicious injury", do you think that would make sense?

Lots0



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:38 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

How did his actions hurt anyone - did he hand lower the PR for his network... No

Wouldn't that mean that the members of the network could bring a Class Action Lawsuit against the network?

I donít actually see how you can say that... He caused harm because someone (Google) did not like what he was doing? And you should ask the people in his network who they want to sue Bob Massa or Google...

Now if every webmaster who sees that one of his pages has lost PageRank in an update would start a lawsuit about "malicious injury", do you think that would make sense?
a change in the algo is NOT malicious - going after one person now that's different issue and is being malicious.

[edited by: Lots0 at 11:41 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2003]

MJR

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:40 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google lists more than 3 billion pages. With each update cycle, half of those pages gain in PageRank, and the other half loses. Some only by a small and almost unnoticeable amount, others in a more obvious way. It's in the nature of the system.
Now if every webmaster who sees that one of his pages has lost PageRank in an update would start a lawsuit about "malicious injury", do you think that would make sense?
Not every site has had their sites PR manually manipulted, something I might add that up until recently Google said would never happen. Adding to the quest for facts, it is not Mr.King it is Mr. Massa or Bob Massa. Bob King is a forums' nickname :)

[edited by: MJR at 11:42 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2003]

currybet

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:41 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

i just am astonished at the attitude of some people who think that having a business model that *relies* on google without being in *any sort of contractual relationship* with google, gives them the right to complain about google going about its business as it sees fit.

if your business model is based on piggy-backing their traffic and network, and they bust you, then you are busted. end of story.

MJR

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:43 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

i just am astonished at the attitude of some people who think that having a business model that *relies* on google without being in *any sort of contractual relationship* with google, gives them the right to complain about google going about its business as it sees fit.
if your business model is based on piggy-backing their traffic and network, and they bust you, then you are busted. end of story.

That's irrelevant to the lawsuit, however they do it everyday, they're called SEO's :)
Lots0



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:45 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

if your business model is based on piggy-backing their traffic and network, and they bust you, then you are busted. end of story.

Not relevant and not what has been going on.

<added>MJR your starting to scare me, you are sounding just like me ;)</added>

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:53 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

How did his actions hurt anyone - did he hand lower the PR for his network... No

He blatantly rubbed the selling of PR in Google's face, those were his actions. He was given plenty of feedback by many who said that it would not work, more so than those who thought it would work. He was directly responsible for the network falling prey to Google's monthly cycle.

If Mr. King (I know its Massa) would have just kept a low profile and sold his text based ads as most others have done in the past without trying to sell Google PageRank, then all of you in the network would probably be doing well right now.

Or, maybe not. Many things have changed with the algo since then and the network could be in the same position it is now without a manual PR adjustment.

[edited by: pageoneresults at 11:53 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2003]

rafalk

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 11:53 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well it aint over till the fat lady sings...

Perhaps if you took your hands off of your ears the you'd hear her. She's been belting one out since the day Bob posted his "bright idea."

As long as it does not cause malicious injury to someone else.

Could you please stop inventing legal theories on the fly? Even if Google *maliciously* went after SearchKing, the courts have ruled in the past that such behavior was perfectly legal. Did you bother reading the Moody's case referenced in Google's brief? A school district refused to buy consulting services from Moody's, so they turned around and intentionally lowered the school district's bond rating. Even then the courts refused to rule against Moody's.

Lots0



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 12:01 am on Jan 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

If Mr. King (I know its Massa) would have just kept a low profile and sold his text based ads as most others have done in the past without trying to sell Google PageRank...

So your saying if Bob Massa would have been sneaky and deceitful everything would have been alright?

I also understand that the praddnetwork is doing better than ever.;)

Lots0



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 12:03 am on Jan 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

rafalk - the Judge has not "sung" yet and thats what counts - Sorry you diden't "get it" the first time.

hurlimann

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 12:08 am on Jan 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

You only need to see the posts here to realise many many people rely on manipulating/optimising for Google for a living.

Serps are free but the can kick you out or change the rules anytime they want.

Adwords is contractual and costs but Google can kick you out, or change the rules, anytime they want.

Frankly charging for things likely to give "serp enhancement" was bound to come and if you think of it SEO's who build and charge for link campagins do exactly the same.

Beachboy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 12:11 am on Jan 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

If the courts are still allowing freedom of speech and the right to express an opinion, then Google's argument is sound. Some may call it malicious, but if Google wishes to lower PR by whatever method, that's their privilege. If they want to boot SK out of the index entirely, that is their privilege. Getting expelled can easily be demonstrated to be an extremely negative "opinion." Deal with it.

MJR

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 12:18 am on Jan 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

He blatantly rubbed the selling of PR in Google's face...
Back to the facts..."He" never attempted to sell PageRank(PR). It's not his to sell, PRAd Network did however broker ads using PR as a rate card. It is a matter of supply and demand, people wanted their ads to be on websites with a PR of 5 or higher and were willing to pay a broker (PRAdNetwork) a fee, a fee based on the PR of the sites, to broker the advertising. Anyone here ever hear of the Nielson ratings? :)
Lots0



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 12:24 am on Jan 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

...if Google wishes to lower PR by whatever method, that's their privilege.

Well with a person rather than a algorithm deciding what is relevant, just how relevant are Google's results?

And is that not kind of deceitful, when Google has in the past made such a point about how their results are determined solely by their algo?

MJR

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 12:28 am on Jan 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

If the courts are still allowing freedom of speech and the right to express an opinion, then Google's argument is sound.
Hmmm Microsoft presented the same argument.

Some may call it malicious, but if Google wishes to lower PR by whatever method, that's their privilege.
Not if their intent is malicious or in an a attempt to restrain trade and certainly not with them now controlling virtually over 70% of the searches on the Net which puts them in a position to determine who survives and who doesn't.

If they want to boot SK out of the index entirely, that is their privilege.
You need to ask yourself, why they didn't.

redzone

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 12:45 am on Jan 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anyone that thinks that the PRAdNetwork suffered from Google's actions, is "so far" off course, they have driven over a cliff.. :)

Google took their aim at searchking.com, not PRAdNetwork.com. They are two, distinct business models, owned by a "common" company.

The inventory at PRAdNetwork (text links), remains anonymous to Google, and everyone else. Unless of course, one purchases placement.

I'm not siding with/or against Searchking, just merely stating the facts.

Most people are so "Googlized", that they can't see the forest, from the trees.

It is not in the best interest of the "web world", if Google monopolizes the search industry. If a user can't find what they are looking for at Google, (contrary to popular belief, it does happen), there should be alternative, quality, search indexes providing information.

I for one, want to see Inktomi/Yahoo, give Google a run for their money. Nobody wants their business model to rely on Google and Overture. And it will force Google to continue expending resources on "search quality"...

If Google goes commercial, then are they just another portal, with a nice search function? Are they big enough to stand on their own (Without AOL and Yahoo)?

</Soapbox>

Bob may have gotten burned by publicly advertising, "The sale of PR".. But to me, a Yahoo directory listing, is the same thing, whether Google condones it, or not. If a business spends money anywhere, to try and influence PR, then it's artificial PR enhancement. Bottom line, Bob got nailed at SearchKing, for what he did with PRAdNetwork, but I commend him for stepping up to the plate. I've known him for years, and I watched SearchKing evolve over that time. :)

Laisha

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 12:48 am on Jan 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

While I understand what they are saying about opinion, google has tried to impart a feeling of non human intervention to PR.

An opinion is an opinion, no matter how you acquire it.

Chris_R

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 8650 posted 1:04 am on Jan 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

An opinion is an opinion, no matter how you acquire it.

I disagree to some extent.

If you say a stock has a P/E of 8 - people assume you have taken the price - divided by the earnings of the stock - and have an objective measure of a stock. This is not an OPINION.

This is what I EXPECT to see from PR. Google has published papers on how PR is figured out - and no where does it say adjusting for companies they don't like.

That being said - I think google has the right to make adjustments to their index. If they want to adjust PR - they should be honest about it.

I expect a site that say PR5 to be a PR5, just as when I go to fool.com or whatever and see a P/E ratio of a stock listed as 43.

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