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Does Google Penalty Equate to Defamation?

The Kinderstart.com case has taken an interesting twist, as the judge decides whether receiving a 0/10 PageRank penalty from Google equate to the legal definition of defamation.

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.

Kinderstart is obviously grasping at straws here. If the judge rules that indeed a Google penalty equals defamation, that would set a dangerous precedent. It would take a brave judge to start interfering with what Google can and cannot do to search rankings.

  • http://www.propdata.co.za Robert

    Just crazy.

    After all… Google are quite within their rights to classify any website as worthless. It’s the end user, the searcher that gets the real say. Should they not agree with Google, then they don’t use Google. Simple as that!

    But why all the big hooha on the Google Page Rank? I still am at a loss as to why so many place so much importance on something that really is little more than a few green pixels (if you’re using the Google toolbar in IE).

    Makes you wonder if Yahoo! MSN or Ask will offer their own version of PR?

  • http://www.north-atlanta-real-estate.com/ Rob McCance

    The “big hooha” on PR has to do with businesses on the web.

    You’re right – it’s just a little green thing to many, but to a business it’s huge.

    It can make the difference between appearing on Page 1 for a KW or Page 10.

    This can be the difference between having a business and not having a business.

    That simple.

    Rob