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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 :)

 

nzmatt




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

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

nice

tobstar




msg:745408
 8:39 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

This may be a stupid question but can someone explain to me how the hell there site has a PR7 it only has 395 back links and looking at the top ten back links the sites that have linked to them are only PR2 Ė PR4. they also only have 13,200 pages.

I personally would say Google is being nice to them, if they did some work on the site I am sure they would do better?

ispy




msg:745409
 9:04 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Its only a matter on time until they can form a jury with at least one person who has not been slighted by Google.

soapystar




msg:745410
 9:24 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

top ten back links

where are you looking for the backlinks?

mona




msg:745411
 9:28 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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 Googleís reputation or goodwill"
I couldn't agree more, incrediBILL.

From KinderStart's add url page -
Note: Premium Listings get as much as 1000 times the traffic of a regular listing; they are placed in front on of all "free" Listings in the Index and have "priority" in all searches. The cost of Premium Listings is \$5.00 per month for the 1st Category, with additional categories only \$1.67 per month.
Funny, they understand the value of paid traffic when they make a profit. I wonder how that would look in court if they weren't willing to participate in AdWords?

fashezee




msg:745412
 11:09 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I should of been lawyer!

mboydnv




msg:745413
 12:20 am on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've seen something very similar in the Grand Canyon Tour market. The top 10 seem to be hand coded in. having checked backlinks etc etc , domain age etc... some do not make any sense on being there, only thing i can come up with is their monthly adwords expendetures, these are some big players who pay big $$$ every month to them for adwords.....

europeforvisitors




msg:745414
 1:33 am on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

The top 10 seem to be hand coded in. having checked backlinks etc etc , domain age etc... some do not make any sense on being there, only thing i can come up with is their monthly adwords expendetures, these are some big players who pay big $$$ every month to them for adwords.....

I rank in the top 10 (in some cases, the top 1) for some terms that are a lot more competitive than Grand Canyon tours, and I don't spend a nickel on AdWords. As far as I know, the other guys don't, either.

There may well be an explanation for why you aren't ranking where you'd like to be, but "Because I don't buy AdWords" isn't likely to be it.

hyperkik




msg:745415
 3:55 am on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Having read the complaint and transcript from the motion hearing, I found the judge to be focused on the legal issues, and the judge's questions to indicate that he wishes to correctly apply the law. This was not a trial - it was principally a FRCP 12(b)(6) summary disposition motion, where well-pled facts as stated by the plaintiff are accepted as true. It may well be that applying that standard the court allows some of KinderStart's claims to go forward. That doesn't mean that they will win at trial, or that they won't lose a subsequent motion to dismiss once discovery is complete and they remain unable to substantiate their claims.

What I found interesting in the complaint was that, while KinderStart is careful to describe what it did not do to get banned, so far neither it nor Google appear to have described what it did to get banned. Google presumably knows, and I'll bet KinderStart also knows. Check out that traffic spike in Alexa....

jomaxx




msg:745416
 5:15 am on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

mboydnv: Most of the conspiracy theories revolve around Google giving lousy rankings to its advertisers, not better ones -- the reasoning being that they have shown themselves to be deep-pocketed suckers that can be bled and bled. IMO there's no effect either way.

Re KinderStart: Any evidence they are really either banned or penalized at all? I can find them in some searches, although not high.

incrediBILL




msg:745417
 7:03 am on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

They aren't banned, they simply went lower.

I found them in a few places in Google, they just lost some major keyword or something.

It's crybaby syndrome pure and simple.

Sylver




msg:745418
 9:22 am on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

LOL. I didn't know there was anything "pure" about the crybaby syndrome. ;-)

This case has no merit or substance, as far as I am concerned.

If they don't like the way Google lists them, they have every right to request to be removed from Google index, and I am sure Google will oblige. ;-)

Phil_Payne




msg:745419
 2:15 pm on Jul 6, 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?

Regrettably not. We got pretty close to it in the libel case back in 1999 but it never made trial - Demon folded post-discovery when the judge knocked out one of the pillars of their defence.

hyperkik




msg:745420
 2:59 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

They aren't banned, they simply went lower.

I found them in a few places in Google, they just lost some major keyword or something.


Their complaint indicates that their pagerank was dropped to zero. (They made a defamation claim on the basis of that drop.)

bbd2000




msg:745421
 4:50 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

This site leaves a lot to be desired, at least in my opinion. Itís basically a directory in desperate need of ďa good cleaning.Ē Almost half of the links I clicked on are no longer valid. I canít imagine many users staying on the site very long because of this.

I just canít see the benefit to internet users.

Please help me see this web sites contributionÖ

incrediBILL




msg:745422
 5:22 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Their complaint indicates that their pagerank was dropped to zero. (They made a defamation claim on the basis of that drop.)

Sure looks like a PR7 to me so maybe they checked on one of those days Google's PR wasn't showing which has happened from time to time.

I think they should name their grocer in the suit as well because these are some seriously sour grapes.

kaled




msg:745423
 6:00 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Within the context of computers, a cache is a storage area that duplicates data held elsewhere for the purpose of invisibly accelerating access to that data.

The Google cache is a semi-permanent archive of mostly copyrighted material, it is not a cache.

If a webmaster could prove that a significant loss resulted from the existence of the Google cache, he/she would be in a strong position to sue Google. However, I am unable to imagine a scenario in which a significant loss could be proven.

Kaled.

hyperkik




msg:745424
 6:01 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's easy to find the pleadings if you search. The pleadings indicate that the site was penalized by Google for alleged misconduct, but that the alleged misconduct was not described in Google's Quality guidelines and thus shouldn't have been held against them. They claim that the drop to zero was defamatory, as it falsely suggested to Google users that the site had no value even though its value had not changed. Like many other sites which run into this type of problem, they appear to have corrected the problem which triggered the penalty, and thus had the penalty lifted. (But they're still suing.)

europeforvisitors




msg:745425
 7:14 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

The pleadings indicate that the site was penalized by Google for alleged misconduct, but that the alleged misconduct was not described in Google's Quality guidelines and thus shouldn't have been held against them.

Google's quality guidelines do say "design sites for users, not for search engines." That should have been warning enough. :-)

davelms




msg:745426
 7:28 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Check out that traffic spike in Alexa....

The origins of this particular story made front page on a few sites around March time.

I suspect the 'spike' had something to do with that. No doubt a similar spike may be shown this week too. The spike is in the middle of the month which corresponds to the original story being published / discussed.

See earlier stories in March 2006 ...

www.webmasterworld.com/forum30/33536.htm
www.webmasterworld.com/forum86/4469.htm

randle




msg:745427
 8:38 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)


It's crybaby syndrome pure and simple.

Thatís all youíre dealing with and the lawyers representing these guys should know better. Spend some time looking at this site and it probably ranks just about where it should. It may well be penalized but thatís another matter. I donít mean to be critical of someoneís site, but these guys asked for it with this law suit.

Run a site command on this thing and itís a mess.

Right off the bat the home page is indexed in both http and https, resulting in the exact same page indexed twice. They have all kinds of directory pages indexed, that have gone supplemental, they have hundreds of dead 404 pages lying around just to name a few of the problems.

I have had sites dropped for reasons that were beyond me and been a bit upset but you cannot honestly think you can go before the man with this site and prove it should rank well.

Who knows, maybe someday someone could make some sort of case about penalties and ranking but its not going to be this one. And if someone were to bring a suit about penalized sites Yahoo would provide much more fertile ground on this issue than Google. In Yahoo you get the death penalty, at least in Google they rank for some terms.

incrediBILL




msg:745428
 11:03 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

OK, well just for Giggles I went to Alexa to see what other parent/kid sites traffic dropped like a rock, according to Alexa set to MAX data graph, Yahooligans, Ask Jeeves for Kids (ajkids), and something at iVillage called Parent Soup all went POOF! last year and so did a few others.

So with this information, why does KinderStart think they're special?

Did Google drop all of these sites causing their demise?

You certainly won't hear Yahooligans or AJKids complaining that Google shot them down as they would have to admit defeat by admitting that Google was driving THEIR traffic.

Last but not least, maybe people just stopped using Alexa's toolbar ;)

Scurramunga




msg:745429
 4:57 am on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)


This lawsuit is baseless garbage ....

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

I totally agree. In any case Google hasn't removed this site from it's database it has re-positioned it according to a it's algo's ranking criteria. Google does what all search engines do; that is to rank results in accordance with IT'S own ranking criteria. To suggest that all listed site owners bind Google into an implied contract because they have relaxed 'copyright' and thus provided 'consideration' to Google sounds like a very weak arguement indeed.

For one particular site owner to argue the above and then go further by claiming that the "consideration" it returns to Google obliges Google to retain it in #1-10 position sound like nonsense.

Scurramunga




msg:745430
 5:18 am on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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.

I disagree with the argument that webmasters provide legal 'consideration' to Google. Consideration is akin to the old phrase 'my end' or 'your end of the bargin' Just because we are allowing small snippits of info from our site to be listed on Google, it doesn't actually consitute payment (or consideration) for services rendered by Google. I would be more of the opinion that this probably be a totally unrealated issue regarding 'fair use'

In any case I am of the opinion that if it was deemed by a court that we do relax our our 'copyrights' to allow Google in, it is in the hope of being spidered and ranked, not as a condition that binds Google into a contract with us.

Even if you were to accept the contractual argument who gets to sue Google next? Firstly, is it a site owner like kinder.com who believes that their enjoyment of a top ranking position should be maintained for all eternity? Maybe, Google should be sued by the multitude website owners who rank badly but believe that they have been also entered into a contract and received the bad end of the deal because their sites actually deserve to be in #1 position.

nippi




msg:745431
 6:26 am on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

gawd, they have paid links, a dmoz suck of categories, dead links, home page not 301'd to root, duplicate content everywhere, affilaite links not rel-nofollowed.

Its just plain poor seo is all.

BigDave




msg:745432
 6:52 am on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thatís all youíre dealing with and the lawyers representing these guys should know better.

Well, that's sort of entertaining bit about KinderStart's Lawyer. Dig around a little on Gregory Yu, kinderstart's attorney. The firm he founded has "global" in the name so it must be huge! Hmm, not much else about his giant firm in any news, but he must know a lot about IP law, his sales blurb says so.

Then search on his firm's telephone number and address and you find that it is shared with his family's technology company or something like that. He also operates as a CPA.

I seem to recall spotting some sort of other relationship with kinderstart, but I can't recall what it was.

My guess is that kinderstart could not find any reputable IP lawyer to even look at the case so they had to call their friend's cousin's neighbor who was desperate for some work to help them out.

Scurramunga




msg:745433
 11:17 am on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I seem to recall spotting some sort of other relationship with kinderstart, but I can't recall what it was

Makes for very interesting reading. Please let us know if you find more.

gregbo




msg:745434
 10:19 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

Actually, there probably is - at least in English law. A contract exists - even if you don't know about it, much less sign anything - if one party performs a service for a consideration by another.

From the Google TOS:

Google disclaims any and all responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, reliability, or operability or availability of information or material displayed in the GOOGLE SERVICES results. Google disclaims any responsibility for the deletion, failure to store, misdelivery, or untimely delivery of any information or material. Google disclaims any responsibility for any harm resulting from downloading or accessing any information or material on the Internet through the GOOGLE SERVICES.

In other words, if their algorithms and/or implementations of same don't work correctly, they cannot be held (legally) responsible for damages. KinderStart has no case here.

whitenight




msg:745435
 10:35 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google's TOS is about as meaningful as the TOS on anyone's website. Which may or may not be legally valid.

Anyone can put in their own TOS that G has to rank them #1 on their SE for keyword1, keyword2, or keyword3 or be in violation of their website TOS and public domain law section X.XX.

See what I mean?

A good atty. with the right arguments could put a serious dent in G's inablities as an algo to properly rank websites (Freedom of speech or not)

Obviously this "neighbor's cousin's friend" was savvy enough to convince the judge to hear their amended complaints.

Those are the documents I'd like to read...

gregbo




msg:745436
 10:38 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

Actually, they already did (in their TOS). If anything, the public at large should take less stock in what Google reps say in public, and more stock in the realities of how software works.

whitenight




msg:745437
 10:41 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

A contract exists - even if you don't know about it, much less sign anything - if one party performs a service for a consideration by another

Ahhh...the "Estoppel" principle. Now that's a powerful argument to use because it's so open to the interpretation of the individual judges/courts.

I know a few attys. who with enough resources could give G's attys a run for their money using this principle.

This 155 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 155 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 > >
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