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Lawsuit over Poor Rankings May Be Moving Forward
PaulPA




msg:1238872
 11:23 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

This one [news.com.com] may be interetsing to watch.

 

The Contractor




msg:1238873
 11:43 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

yes, it will be..

what I don't understand is this:
"What would prevent Microsoft from coming to us, saying Google is not adequately promoting Microsoft?" Jacobson asked.

Since when is Google even close to being a competitor of Microsoft? Maybe they are competitors in Search, but that's about it...Google can make all the API's it wants and spend time on "Cool Tools" of the day, but the only thing they have captured the general public with is Search.....not that they haven't done that in a big way.

gregbo




msg:1238874
 11:51 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't understand the legal basis for KinderStart's argument. AFAIK, there is no contract between G and KinderStart to spider, index, or return their site in the serps. Furthermore, G's algorithms may not work correctly all the time, thus there is no guarantee that any site will be available in the serps at any given time, if ever.

BigDave




msg:1238875
 10:04 pm on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

As far as I can tell, it still looks pretty grim for kinderstart. The jusdge threw out the part that is a total joke and if giving them what is basically a manditory chance to smmend their complaint on the part that he can't simply throw out at this point. That is the way the court system works.

If they even have a possibility of a case, it pretty much has to go till at least the summary judgement stage.

Not to mention, Yu is basically representing himself, but he doesn't get the pro se advantages because he is an attorney. Getting told to try again by a judge on your complaint is not exactly a good sign.

walkman




msg:1238876
 5:00 pm on Jul 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> As far as I can tell, it still looks pretty grim for kinderstart.

Not really. All he has to do is add some new content and he will be #1 with those one way links he got from thousands of sites because of the lawsuit.
BigDave, can I sue you? We'll throw mud at each other for a while, and when we get enough backlinks, we'll "settle out of court." ;)

The argument is somewhat interesting though: they are a search engine, and Google has decided to penalize search engines /directories. If he can prove that Google is so powerful that such a ban can mean the death knell for sites, although he will not win, the case is not totally without merit.

gregbo




msg:1238877
 10:27 pm on Jul 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

The argument is somewhat interesting though: they are a search engine, and Google has decided to penalize search engines /directories.

I'm not aware of any policy they have publicly admitted to that penalizes SEs or directories (because they are SEs or directories).

If he can prove that Google is so powerful that such a ban can mean the death knell for sites, although he will not win, the case is not totally without merit.

On what grounds? If Google were actively preventing users from accessing KinderStart (e.g. by installing software on their systems that blocked connections to KinderStart's servers), you could make such an argument. At best, it's a bug in their software; at worst, someone has decided to deliberately derank KinderStart for some reason. The former will certainly not be fixed by lawyers. The latter is something that can probably be dealt with internally by Google management. If it cannot, just the mere publicity that Google is unable to discipline its staff properly is bad enough to cause people who are concerned about Google's domination to use other engines.

FWIW, KinderStart is in Google's index. If you do a site: command on the domain name, you will see some reasons why its rank may have dropped. This type of situation might be more easily resolved by having their technical staffs talk to one another, rather than involving lawyers. But even if Google refused to proactively resolve the problem, this doesn't mean they are acting anticompetitively; it means Google has priorities. You can't sue a company for not fixing bugs that hurt you when you have no contract with that company.

BigDave




msg:1238878
 11:03 pm on Jul 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

On what grounds?

On the grounds that it is enough for the case to go forward, though almost certainly not grounds to actually win.

To dismiss claims, as the judge did for the first amendment claim, it has to be fatally flawed as a matter of law. In this case, is not a guarantee that your speech will not be abridged by anyone, it only guarantees that the government will lond abridge your speech. Google is not the government.

That claim cannot be fixed no matter how it is rewritten.

The antitrust claim is possible, given the right evidence. Obviously the claim itself is flawed, but not fatally so, so the judge is giving Kinderstart a chance to rewrite it. That is how the courts work.

Once it is rewritten , if it is no longer a flawed complaint, then Kinderstart has to deal with coming up with facts that match their pleading. They have a legal right to get to that point, and I suspect that is what the judge meant.

They will run through some discovery, then Google will file for, and I expect they will win a Summary Judgement because I doubt the facts are there to support Kinderstart's case.

I find it interesting that their is no mention of the anti-SLAPP claim of Google's. If Google wins on that, there will be no more kinderstart after this is over.

walkman




msg:1238879
 11:26 pm on Jul 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> The antitrust claim is possible, given the right evidence. Obviously the claim itself is flawed, but not fatally so, so the judge is giving Kinderstart a chance to rewrite it. That is how the courts work.

that's what I meant Dave. If he can make an argument that a new search engine needs Google to gain market share given today's conditions and Google's marketshare, and that Google is doing this on purpose to keep competition out, at least there is a case and its merits can be judged.

The free speech issue was stupid to begin with: Google is not the government, and Google itself a free speech right to rank sites--provided they don't break any other laws in the process.

>> FWIW, KinderStart is in Google's index.

Being on page 254 or even page 20 is the same as not being in the index, let's be honest. This does not change anything. They are claiming that they were penalized /targeted either manually or algorithmically because they are a search engine. They want to be judged as other sites are, on the merits, without the "search engine" filter or penalty.

gregbo




msg:1238880
 2:26 am on Jul 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

If he can make an argument that a new search engine needs Google to gain market share given today's conditions and Google's marketshare, and that Google is doing this on purpose to keep competition out, at least there is a case and its merits can be judged.

Google is not keeping search engines out of the index or the serps. You can get a lot of search engines, even very small ones hardly anyone has ever heard of from the serps.

FWIW, KinderStart is in Google's index.

Being on page 254 or even page 20 is the same as not being in the index, let's be honest. This does not change anything. They are claiming that they were penalized /targeted either manually or algorithmically because they are a search engine. They want to be judged as other sites are, on the merits, without the "search engine" filter or penalty.

There are far more than 30 search engines, and most people don't view more than three results pages using the default of 10 results per page. A lot of engines won't be "visible"; that is not Google's fault. What criteria would be considered "fair" under these conditions?

Interestingly enough, I just googled for search+engine and got lots of Google's competitors.

One thing I would like to know is what its referring URLs were before and after KinderStart's loss of PR.

bloke in a box




msg:1238881
 3:55 pm on Jul 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do love the way that kinderstart uses Adsense, I find that nicely ironic. :)

walkman




msg:1238882
 4:05 pm on Jul 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

gregbo,
all these things will have to be decided in court where both sides preset their arguments and then the judge makes his decision. Kinderstart says one thing, Googe another and the judge will see what is "true" and whether any laws are broken.

System
redhat



msg:3007115
 7:26 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

The following message was cut out to new thread by engine. New thread at: goog/3007113.htm [webmasterworld.com]
2:17 pm on July 14, 2006 (utc +1)

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