Not quite dead

Originally posted 2006-10-29 01:11:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Google / Kinderstart suit was dismissed, with leave given to amend, in August. What sounds like oral argument regarding the amended complaint is being reported by Reuters. It doesn’t sound too good for Kinderstart.

“I guess I am still not convinced … that a provably false statement has been alleged,” Fogel said during a court session on whether the suit should advance to the evidence discovery stage or be dismissed outright.

The judge asked whether Google has a free speech right to prioritize some sites over others in how it constructs computer formulas in its search system. “Assuming Google is saying that KinderStart’s Web site isn’t worth seeing. Why can’t they say that? That’s my question,” Fogel said.

Why, indeed? We argued earlier this year that Google is not a common carrier or a utility, echoing the judge’s question — “Why can’t they say that?” Wrong, dumb or even mean, there is no right to a Google rank. Is that a little scary if your business model depends on one? Perhaps. But we’re not there… not yet.
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Author:Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

One Response to “Not quite dead”

  1. October 29, 2006 at 1:38 am #

    My opinion — unsupported by anything but my general experience with the Internet, which may not apply — is that if Google tries to pick and choose sites, they’ll lose.

    If they pick and choose too broadly, they’ll reduce the value of their search engine, and people will go elsewhere.

    If they pick and choose too narrowly, they’ll leave holes that the site in question can leverage to sneak past the filters.

    And if they pick and choose too often or too blatantly, they’ll upset a lot of people and poison their brand, again driving users to go elsewhere.

    They have some leeway in cases like Kinderstart: it’s a little-known competitor, so they don’t need to make too broad of a filter. But the angry user effect is still something they should fear.

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