Suing Google over PageRank

March 19th, 20066 Comments

I guess this was bound to happen sooner or later. Google is being sued by a company that claims their website’s PageRank was lowered. I would just like to welcome them to the club, it has quite a few members.

Everyone knows that Google updates their PageRank formula and in the next update any site could go from a PR6 to a PR2, maybe even lower. Google’s PageRank isn’t something you should ever base a business model off of – if the majority of your income is coming from traffic sent by Google then you need to find a new source of traffic. What if Google discontinued their search engine or went bankrupt? You can’t sue a company for changing the way it indexes the web in an attempt to provide its customers with better search results and you can’t base your primary source of revenue on the success or failure of another company when you have no control over said company.

The complaint accuses Google, as the dominant provider of Web searches, of violating KinderStart’s constitutional right to free speech by blocking search engine results showing Web site content and other communications.

Google is not a owned by the government (at least not to our knowledge…kidding), they don’t have a responsibility to uphold the constitution – their search engine is their property, it’s not paid for by tax dollars. They can add websites, drop websites, increase PageRanks and decrease PageRanks at their own will. Would KinderStart complain if Google decided to remove all sites from their index that link to or include racist remarks within their content? No.

The lawsuit notes that rival search systems from Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) MSN and Yahoo Inc. (YHOO.O: Quote, Profile, Research) feature at the top of their rankings when the name “Kinderstart” is typed in.

Well, that’s nice. They’re using different algorithms to rank you. They’re including parts of your site Google doesn’t want to include. Google is not under any obligation to do what Microsoft or Yahoo are doing, in fact, I think Google takes pride in doing things diffrently than these two search engines.

The sense of entitlement that this company has is embarassing.

I don’t feel sorry forKinderStart, Google is not obligated to let anyone know about their PageRank. There are hundreds of millions of websites, each one with a PageRank between 0 and 10 – can we really expect Google to email each website owner with an update about their PageRank? No. All we can do is work to make our websites accessible and hope Google notices.

Maybe KinderStart needs to look for a new revenue stream rather than blame Google for their problems.

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Suing Google over PageRank

damon z | March 20, 2006

With so much happening in this country, I wonder how the courts find the time to go over such frivolous lawsuits.

Dan Bailey | March 20, 2006

How thick must they be to think Google owe them anything?

Deon Botha | March 21, 2006

I saw this news article and also has the same reaction of “REALLY?”. All this says is that Google is seriously BIG and the products offered is so desired people will sue if they dont get what they want. It must be nice that people want your products so badly that they sue you to supply it (albeit they sue to supply it different to what everyone else gets)

Jonathan | April 6, 2006

That’s actually not true. They are suing Google over a drop in their search results, not a drop in PageRank. Their current PageRank is still a PR7. While yes, they are suing over loss in search results, I don’t think they will stand a chance in court. Search engines provide a free service to everyone and there’s ‘sure’ way to get ranked or stay in it. If you’re depending purely on organic search results for all your traffic, then you have some serious issues with not marketing your site properly. I personally haven’t spent a cent on traffic and I get quite a bit, but I don’t depend on that traffic for survival of my business. A company should never depend on organic traffic.

tom | April 29, 2006

I just want to say I think this site is great!!

egon | July 6, 2006

It’s all about publicity. KinderStart knows google is under no obligation to hold their site at a certain page rank, they are under no obligation to do anything. Like you said, they can do anything they want. But look how many people visited the site due to this case. Great way to gets your visits up.

Share your thoughts!!!

Suing Google over PageRank was written by Ben Bleikamp on March 19th, 2006 at 9:21 pm and posted in College-Startup News

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