Google sued over rankings

A company is suing Google for ranking their web site lower over the last few months.

Hmm – I wonder if this will start a batch of lawsuits against Google… I mean how could these people really think they could win? Google could decide not to list them at all if they wanted, you should never base your traffic or revenue on what another firm does. If you do, its a sure sign of disaster down the road.

From the article:

A parental advice Internet site has sued Google Inc., charging it unfairly deprived the company of customers by downgrading its search-result ranking without reason or warning.

The civil lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, Friday by seeks financial damages along with information on how Google ranks Internet sites when users conduct a Web-based search.

Google could not immediately be reached for comment but the company aggressively defends the secrecy of its patented search ranking system and asserts its right to adapt it to give customers what it determines to be the best results.

KinderStart charges that Google without warning in March 2005 penalized the site in its search rankings, sparking a “cataclysmic” 70 percent fall in its audience — and a resulting 80 percent decline in revenue.

At its height, KinderStart counted 10 million page views per month, the lawsuit said. Web site page views are a basic way of measuring audience and are used to set advertising rates.

“Google does not generally inform Web sites that they have been penalized nor does it explain in detail why the Web site was penalized,” the lawsuit said.