TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Companies Subvert Search Results to Squelch Criticism

Re: Companies Subvert Search Results to Squelch Criticism

jtaylor (
Wed, 15 Jun 2005 21:46:07 -0300

Steve Sobol <> wrote in message

> Barry Margolin wrote:

>>>> It's not illegal, but it's SEO gone bad. Companies such as Quixtar are
>>>> using Google-bombing, link farms and Web spam pages to place positive
>>>> sites in the top search results -- which pushes the negative ones
>>>> down.

>>> Yeah, and there may be no laws against it, but if it's done on a large
>>> enough basis you can bet they'll get sued.

>> On what grounds?

> Google has money and I'm sure they have hired competent, resourceful
> attorneys who could find something reasonable and make it
> stick. Something fraud-related,

I'd be interested in seeing you point to statute which would define the
actions described as fraud.

> possibly, or they might be able to
> point to violations of their Terms of Service.

And how, exactly, would actions such as those described, be in any way
connected with Google's "terms of service"; assuming that such exist?

> Oh, really? Creating fraudulent search engine results is not a valid
> reason for a lawsuit?

If it were, somehow, it would not be Quixtar but Google who would
create the search engine results.

If they don't like what Quixtar is doing, they should change their

ob googlewhack: billabong microstepping

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But Google's claim would be they
were fraudulently induced to create false results. It would be
something akin to postal fraud (but not with the same legal
ramifications): To commit 'postal fraud' one does not need to
physically put a fraudulent item in the mail; inducing someone
else to do so is likewise fraud _on your part_. So you induced
Google, in this instance, to draw up and present false or
fraudulent search results. Their scheme for doing so was always
working pretty well, but then you screwed it up. And to ask them
to change their software is a lot like saying when someone gets a
credit card through fraudulent circumstances, the credit card
company deposits the plastic and the monthly bills in the U.S.
Mail, so you say if they don't like the fraud, then let them
change the way they dispense cards.

Yeah, Google does periodically refine its software, just as the
credit card people periodically refine their techniques for
processing applications. But now and then, someone slips past
either of them. But the law is intended to protect the weakest
party, is it not? And in this instance, Google got defrauded,
just as the credit card people get defrauded sometimes. And who
gets punished? Not the credit card people nor Google, as long
as they were following their 'normal' procedures. PAT]

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