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Court Rules Google Must Face Trial Over Site Removals From SERPs

     
4:08 pm on May 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Most of the time these lawsuits don't get past the first hurdle. In this instance, the court has ruled that google must face a trial over a plaintiff's site's that were removed for allegedly being identified as "pure spam."

Subsequently, the plaintiff created new sites, but these were also removed because of the association with the plaintiff.

This is a really interesting case, and if the plaintiff wins, this could be a landmark ruling. If it fails, as so many others have, it's a case of, carry on as normal.

Overall, the court sided with the plaintiff at virtually every juncture, even using some pretty jaw-droppingly dubious legal conclusions to do so, so this ruling hardly could have gone worse for Google. Still, there’s no certainty the plaintiff will win this case. Court Rules Google Must Face Trial Over Site Removals From SERPs [forbes.com]
If, for whatever reason, the plaintiff actually makes real substantive progress in this lawsuit, the implications for Google could be seismic. The plaintiff’s allegations go to the core of Google’s search indexing practices. If Google can’t freely decide to downgrade or de-index what it considers to be “pure spam,” then Google faces liability pretty much any time it automatically or manually rejiggers its index (which always creates some winners and some potentially-litigious losers).
5:17 pm on May 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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IF successful, this certainly would create a "new day" for search!
9:28 pm on May 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I don't think the question is whether or not Google has the right to drop a website it believes is spammy. If that right was taken away the SERPs would soon be full of junk and none of us wants that. The real issue is whether or not they can manually drop all the sites belonging to the plaintiff, on the grounds that that person has created spammy sites in the past. Since they place so much weight on trust I can understand their action, but is it legal and ethical? A difficult one. Either way I doubt if it will make much difference to the SERPs in the future. They can soon tweak the algo to adjust the effect of positive and negative trust factors and the guy's sites will be so far down the listings as to be never seen again anyway. If it's done automatically and not manually and applied to everyone I would think it would be covered by the First.