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Website Sues Google Over Rankings

     
3:22 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[wap.oa.yahoo.com...]

Google Inc.'s mysterious methods for ranking Web sites came under attack Friday in a lawsuit accusing the online search engine leader of ruining scores of Internet businesses that have been wrongfully banished from its index.

The civil complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose by KinderStart.com, seeks to be certified as a class action representing the owners of all Web sites blacklisted by Google's Internet-leading search engine since January 2001.

KinderStart, a Norwalk-based Web site devoted to information about children, says it was dropped from Google's index a year ago without warning.

KinderStart alleges Google has engaged in anticompetitive behavior and misled the public by positioning its search engine as an objective source for finding Internet content. The suit seeks unspecified financial damages and a court order that would require Google to change its ways.

3:29 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Brett,

That ran on Drudge yesterday and the suing party appears to have a little problem with their site setup.

One a lot of folks here have first hand experience with.

It will be interesting to watch this one.

3:34 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Filing fee for civil action lawsuit: $250.00

Having uncle Billy Bob draft the complaint: $750.00

Promotional web marketing value: Priceless

3:35 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is an extremely important issue, one that I personally hope will make Google more responsive to a critical need to webmasters -- clearly defined guidance as to why a site is "punished".

The discussion started yesterday at WebmasterWorld's forum "Google Finance and Business Operations"

[webmasterworld.com...]

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3:36 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hasn't this sort of thing been tried before?

"Where there's a hit, there's a writ" + the litigiousness the American legal system encourages + keep me in / keep me out of your listings.

Webwork is right, too. $1000 bucks and you can have masses of sites linking to yours. Just take a legal pop at a big internet company.

Don't know the law, but its Google's toy, surely, and they can set it up how they want.

Can't see this getting very far. Otherwise anyone who ranks any other site, on their site, is open to nuisance suits.

[edited by: tigertom at 3:50 pm (utc) on Mar. 18, 2006]

3:39 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Earlier thread about this.

Google sued for banning sites - possible class action [webmasterworld.com]

3:39 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Gonna be a tough road, there indexed and were cached on March 13th. So its really a beef about how they rank.

This is G o o g l e's cache of [kinderstart.com...] as retrieved on Mar 13, 2006 06:50:49 GMT.

Plus you can always pay your way in with adwords.

3:45 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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big deal..I'm sure they are constantly being sued.
3:49 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am wondering if this a good strategy for me too. I can copy the filing from someone else, just change the name and a few details, and.....wait for bloggers and sites to link me ;)

[edited by: walkman at 3:49 pm (utc) on Mar. 18, 2006]

3:49 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A couple of observations:

Is it me? Looks like Google's got 44,000 of their pages in its index.

They are running Adsense - they must really hate Google.

Not a good search engines for kids with ADD. It takes about 43 seconds to return a result for a common kids toy. Google returned their results in 0.07 seconds - roughly 600 times faster. KinderStart found 59 results while Google found nearly 17 million.

3:52 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Anyone know how much of a difference good coding makes for SEO?

I'm sure search engines do bend over backwards like certain browsers to compensate for bad coding practices. However last version of my site had only some bad practices (out of genuine ignorance) and I all but dropped from many keywords until I updated to a newer version.

The code on their site is sad.

John

3:52 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Kinderstart's own listing policy:

"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."

The publicity they will get is probably worth the cost of filing the suit.

3:53 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They basicly got caught in the "duplicate content situation" caused by an incorrect server setup.

They probably ranked quite high and some wonderful person inserted a link to the non www (there are other ones) form (could have been the other way around, and it is possible that they did it to themselves) then the site grew like topsy and hit spam detection code or historical rate of change code and the site went south.

Just do the site:www form -www and see for yourself.

Maybe it has some other problems as well but that on stands out.

Ask ModemMike about duplicate home pages, ask EFV about duplicate pages, ask tons of folks that have posted in the countless (so called noise filled) Jagger, Allegra, Bourbon, threads. Or all of the supplemental page threads. A good portion of those poster had or still have the same issues.

3:55 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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my bad... lets continue over here:
[webmasterworld.com...]