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This 155 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 155 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 > >     
"Suit over poor Google ranking may go forward"
Company sues google over drop in search rankings
markbaa




msg:745347
 11:46 pm on Jul 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

"A federal judge in California hinted that a parenting Web site that's suing Google over a poor ranking in the search giant's massive index would be able to proceed with its lawsuit."

[news.zdnet.com...]

This could open a can of worms :)

 

BigDave




msg:745377
 11:59 pm on Jul 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not even a description tag--which anyone who knows about ranking in google would know you need one.

Really? I guess my sites must all be in the crapper then. I wonder where all my traffic is coming from then?

NickCoons




msg:745378
 1:00 am on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

The thing is that they can't, even if they wanted to in order to promote MSN. They would be sued by GOOG in a heartbeat for violating anti-trust laws.

Of course they can't, but they should be able to.

Personally, I don't think Kinderstart has a chance of winning, but you can't dismiss their claim with "Google doesn't owe them anything;" it's a lot more complicated than that.

We'll have to disagree then.. I think it's pretty much that simple.

walkman




msg:745379
 1:30 am on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> We'll have to disagree then.. I think it's pretty much that simple.

I guess there is a misunderstanding: I was talking about how the law is now, not it should be. Oh well.

incrediBILL




msg:745380
 4:39 am on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

This lawsuit is baseless garbage ....

Nobody has the RIGHT to be in Google, or in the top 10, Period.

Anyone can check the SERPs and see lots of other directories and search sites in the top 10 or 20 so KinderStarts position is nonsense to start with so then it boils down to "why you pick'n on us?" whiner type of crybaby claims.

Can you even believe KinderStart, an AdSense user, would have the audacity to claim Google would devalue them as a competitor when in fact it would be in Google's best interest to have KinderStart do well and make them both money?

Think about it, if someone didn't click on an AdWords ad in Google, the next best line of defense for capturing that income is with an AdSense publisher in the top 10 to take a second shot at that click revenue.

If they aren't smart enough to figure that out for themselves, then they deserve to get raked over the coals by expensive lawyers.

IMO - the lawyer should be sanctioned for filing a frivilous suit, the Judge should be sanctioned for trying to get his 15 minutes of fame allowing this junk to move forward, and Google should ban KinderStarts AdSense account for violating the T&C's in "Section 5: Prohibited Uses ... engage in any action or practice that reflects poorly on Google or otherwise disparages or devalues Google’s reputation or goodwill"

aeiouy




msg:745381
 5:02 am on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I liken the serps to a critic or reviewer of sorts.

Would a restaurant sue the NY Times for a poor restaurant review? Surely they could.. but would they be succesful?

Imagine if the NY Times only ran reviews for restuarants its reviewers really liked and omitted those from bad restaurants. That is akin to what happens here with Google. Some people should be thankful that Google does not negatively point out and mark sites it finds less than useful.

I know some people are going with the consideration argument, but even if accurate, that consideration is just so you can be crawled and potentially guaranteed to be in the index. No way you can prove your consideration in potentially lessening your copyright in regards to google entitles you to top rankings... So you can't really argue that road to any kind of fruitful end.

Since means exist to prevent google from using your information, I don't think there is much of a case here.

The potentially unfortunate side-effect of these kinds of actions is google provides webmasters with less information rather than more which we might be expecting with their new focus back on serps and opening up the books.

If you built your entire business on a NY Time review, and then they reviewed you again and lamblasted you a year later and you had to close down, well it would suck to be you.

There is never going to be a generalized scientific way to determine relevancy as you can take two people and the same phrase or word will mean something vastly different. So all you have to go on is a best guess and a quality judgement b the serps.

walkman




msg:745382
 6:14 am on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> Would a restaurant sue the NY Times for a poor restaurant review? Surely they could.. but would they be succesful?

WRONG analogy.
How about, NYT owns a restaurant and its reviewers purposefully rank lower all other restaurants so NYT's own restaurant is favored. That is the claim. Essentially they are claiming that G is penalizing search engines because they don't want any search engines to get popular and compete with them.

We can argue over the merits, but let's get the claim right first.

Phil_Payne




msg:745383
 7:22 am on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

> And that restrictive statement of your means . . . nothing.

Wrong. It means I assert the rights that I have under law.

> You cannot claim any more rights than copyright law grants to you.

Don't need to, not trying to.

There are also rights that are granted to everyone, and your copyright does not give you the power to remove those rights. In the united States it is called Fair Use, in the UK and most commonwealth countries I believe it is call Fair Dealings.

Ultimately it's the Berne Convention. But making a copy of an entire work can never be Fair Use. And in English law it has already been held that maintaining a copy for others to access is republishing. (Godfrey vs Demon, Mr Justice Edie).

One problem is that Google's 'cache' technically is no such thing - cache is derived from a French word meaning hidden and meant to describe a transparent process - Google's 'cache' is separately addressable from outside, so it's actually a local (and usually illegal) copy of copyrighted material.

kaled




msg:745384
 8:53 am on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google says
Google does not manually assign keywords to sites, nor do we manually "boost" the rankings of any site. The ranking process is completely automated and takes into account more than 100 factors to determine the relevance of each result.

This is not the whole truth. As we all know, sites can be penalised by manual review.

If a search result is removed as a result of a DMCA complaint, a message is displayed at the bottom of the page. There is no reason why Google could not do the same thing when a manual review has the same effect.

Phil_Payne, you should be congratulated for a cogent argument.

Kaled.

simonmc




msg:745385
 9:16 am on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google does not care if something is legal or not. Look at the fiasco that ensued when google started ripping off books left right and center.

If you think google cares about anything other than it's pay check you are mistaken.

Google is as bad if not worse than Microsoft. At least you know where you stand with Microsoft. Unlike the double speak you get from Google.

Do no evil. Sure!

stakaman




msg:745386
 12:28 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree with Phil_Payne but we are going back to the same argument, if you don't like cache use the nocache command, if you don't like Google use the robots.txt file.
If you think KFC is fat don't eat it...

I have a feeling that Google is going to suffer from competition laws in the future and this is the only way anything will ever change.

nzmatt




msg:745387
 1:30 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Any furtherance of this case would be based on a total ingnorance of the way the internet works and would lead to the inability of search engines, other websites, and the internet at large to reasonably function in the future.

It's complete rubbish!

rstein68




msg:745388
 2:05 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Very interesting in light of the BMW incident.

dangerman




msg:745389
 2:09 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Seems that some people are plainly missing the gist of this case.

No-one in this context is disputing that page rank and google's algorithm are subjective.

The judge in the case asked "What if, say, Google says it uses facts one through 10 to evaluate a site, but actually uses number 11 to decide its rank. Isn't that misleading?"

For most of the last 10 years, Google people have talked about how all of its rankings were exclusively machine generated, that there is no human interference. Above all, we all thought Google (and its algorithm) was consistent in its subjectivity. The inconsistency that the Google lawyers have now admitted to, is imo what this case is about.

Most Google users don’t understand just how subjective the results are. This in itself is not bad, the queston is whether there is enough transparency in Google’s stated methodology to escape accusations of deception.

Lawsuits like this should be welcomed; Google is so secretive now, courts are one of the few forums where there can be open arguments and debates about algorithms and search quality. Search has now become so important and influential in everyday business life (and death), an open forum is vital.

europeforvisitors




msg:745390
 2:16 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Most Google users don’t understand just how subjective the results are.

The results aren't subjective; the criteria used to calculate the results are subjective.

But the issue of what is or isn't subjective really doesn't matter, since one federal judge has already ruled that Google's "opinions" are protected by the First Amendment, and (as BigDave has pointed out) the Constitution trumps lesser laws when push comes to shove.

Side note: Those of you who'd like to see Google's search results regulated should give some thought to how you might be affected if, by some miracle, Kinderstart prevailed in this case. Would you like to have the government telling you what your linking criteria must be, or would you feel comfortable being vulnerable to a lawsuit by a competitor who wanted to be linked (not just once, but many times) from your site?

hdpt00




msg:745391
 2:24 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not even a description tag--which anyone who knows about ranking in google would know you need one.

WRONG!

dangerman




msg:745392
 2:30 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Would you like to have the government telling you what your linking criteria must be

Still missing the point. This is not what a win would mean (not that a win is what I am necessarily advocating). I repeat, no-one is suggesting subjective criteria is a 'bad thing'. It is about transparency and the avoidance of deception of users.

europeforvisitors




msg:745393
 2:42 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

dangerman, you're seizing on one question that the judge asked and ssuming that's the crux of the case.

kaled




msg:745394
 3:26 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

As I see it, a win in this case would mean that Google was required to publish reasons why a page/site was either promoted or demoted in the serps as a result of a manual review. At the very least, the fact that a page/site has been promoted or demoted should be published, even if no reason is given.

Kaled.

europeforvisitors




msg:745395
 3:37 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

As I see it, a win in this case would mean that Google was required to publish reasons why a page/site was either promoted or demoted in the serps as a result of a manual review. At the very least, the fact that a page/site has been promoted or demoted should be published, even if no reason is given

Lovely idea, but I don't imagine too many black-hat or grey-hat Webmasters and SEO clients would be thrilled to have their sins against search engines and users aired in public. :-)

dangerman




msg:745396
 3:47 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

imo whether this case wins or not, I shall judge it a success if it brings about more truth and less deception in Google's communication with its publics.

Google should publically and clearly let everyone know that there will not be consistency in the way it ranks web pages.

incrediBILL




msg:745397
 4:19 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

This discussion is getting almost as silly as the lawsuit.

Having a court force Google to show how and why sites go up and in their search engine is their "secret recipe" and if that's forced to be unveiled everyone will game the system and their competition will know what to do to meet them or beat them. Might as well force KFC to tell the world exactly what the Colonels secret herbs and spices are while you're at this.

Kinderstart pages look like keyword stuffed pages so perhaps the latest anti-spam filter zapped them IMO.

Besides, if they were so popular in the first place how did they lose 70% of their traffic by being lowered in Google?

I'll tell you why, because they didn't do a good job marketing their website and now they want to blame Google. They are a PR7 site with a ton of backlinks, but these must be poorly positioned backlinks (the ones I checked were) if their link network isn't providing a lot more traffic than it is without Google.

moftary




msg:745398
 4:22 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Suppose MSFT makes it so when you try to go to Google.com (using windows and or IE) an error message appears, or you have to click 4-5 different things to reach it? What would you say then?

A very different situation. With MS you are using a tool that is designed to allow you to a access websites.. You do not make any agreement with Google to deliver traffic.

I dont see any difference. The idea remains the same, MS can restrict access to Google using IE or Windows. Both are their software and they have the right to implement them the way they want, pretty much like Google has the right to implement its index the way they want.

Besides, there is no legal proof that Google's searching algorithms is fully automated and no manual intervention is involved.

BTW, how come kinderstart has not been booted from the adsense program yet?

BigDave




msg:745399
 4:34 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google's 'cache' is separately addressable from outside, so it's actually a local (and usually illegal) copy of copyrighted material.

Any caselaw to back that up?

There are at least two cases in the United States that have looked at the issue, and the judges didn't seem to agree with your "usually illegal" statement.

incrediBILL




msg:745400
 4:51 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

BTW, how come kinderstart has not been booted from the adsense program yet?

My guess is that Google is waiting until this LinkBait LawSuit(tm) driving all sorts of traffic to Kinderstart has been settled before sending them the fatal "invalid clicks" email.

Got to milk it for all it's worth to the bitter end.

nzmatt




msg:745401
 4:59 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WHAT NONSENSE!

Some Comments:

I can't believe kinderstart .com is getting revenue from DISPLAYING Google Adsense.

Kinderstart isnt showing google high in its OWN search engine results as far as I can see. Why should Google have to reciprocate?

I bet Kinderstart is enjoying the byproduct traffic from their pathetic law suit. I for one have never heard of them til now.

I hope the google lawyers see forums like WebmasterWorld to gain some support for their defence.

RWSteele




msg:745402
 5:09 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

There are so many quotes here I want to reply to directly, but it would take too long and I need to get back to work.

No-one is entitled to free traffic, there is no agreement between Google and a site owner.

Mr. Nail please meet Mr. hammer. :)

..there are people who've got into that position and losing traffic overnight is a tough thing to explain to a bank manager when you can't service a loan from one day to the next

It amazes me that so called “e-business” owners think that Google owes them something just because they use Adsense on 500 of their directory/portal/gateway sites which are usually full of useless content and banner ads.

Also, people who depend on Google and/or Adsense revenue to stay above water who don’t realize that in theory Google is just another website offering a free service and owes them nothing. They index sites for FREE so others can find it for FREE. What’s so hard to understand? If they pay to have their sites indexed and ranked then they have every right to complain and sue until blue in the face.

If you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen.

Either the search engines start self-regulation - like doctors and lawyers using "Codes of Practice".

Why should Google or any search engine for that matter, be obligated, regulated, or legislated especially if they don’t charge for it? And why should they be held accountable when they decide to alter their search algorithm that happens to upset Joe Webmaster’s precious “business model” based solely on adsense? This is called putting all your eggs in one basket.

theBear




msg:745403
 5:18 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am still seeing multiple copies of same pages for that site in the index. The good ole www/non-www "crud" and also it looks like a large number of the supplemental page causing "stuff"

The quoted words stuff and crud are highly technical terms, attempts at defining them are fruitless.

Essex_boy




msg:745404
 5:49 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Bet it gets dropped - pure publicity

kaled




msg:745405
 6:07 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google doesn't owe traffic to anyone - we all get that. HOWEVER, Google has a motto - do no evil, in my opinion it is not enough to do no evil with a motto like that, you must be seen to do no evil.

Doing no evil requires a level playing field for all who obey the rules. Beeing seen to do no evil requires openness when it comes to penalties, especially when penalties arise from manual interventions. That does not require any secrets to be given away, all that is required is a list of rules and a statement about which rules have been broken when a penalty is applied.

Kaled.

shortbus1662




msg:745406
 6:14 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

there are an infinite number of websites and a finite number of top search results.

It would be impossible for Google to satisfy every website, regardless of how perfectly suited for placement they are.

If this suit was a winner, it could be followed by tens of thousands of others.

And how exactly would Google be able to satisfy everyone?

Simply IMPOSSIBLE.

They should just satisfy me and worry about everyone else later.

nzmatt




msg:745407
 6:33 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

They should just satisfy me and worry about everyone else later.

nice

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