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Man sues Google for better search rankings and learns a hard lesson

By   /  July 6, 2015  /  No Comments


If you’re going to try to sue Google to improve your search engine rankings, you’re going to have a bad time.

A few months ago, we did a round up of legal cases against Google that ended badly for the people and companies that were not Google, and we recently found another LOL-worthy attempt at strong-arming the search engine. The case in question was reported by Law360, and it is covering the appeal of a case that had already been decided in Google’s favor.

What is described sounds like it would be dismissed from being heard by Judge Judy for being too ridiculous. Following the ruling that Google was well within its First Amendment rights to sort links however they darn well please, the owner of CoastNews.com1 appealed the judge’s decision to strike the suit on anti-SLAPP2 grounds on the basis that:

  • Several of his affidavits were suppressed
  • The court system was showing favoritism towards Google
  • That judges ignored evidence that his computer was hacked by Google

That isn’t even the best part. Apparently, the man also signed up to display AdSense ads on his website, but Google stopped displaying ads on the site because the site displayed images from a nudist retreat. Google determined that the images were pornographic, which is possibly a bit of a stretch, but my cat can probably count the number of advertisers eager to have their banners display on a site with middle-aged naked people3 on her thumbs.

The owner of CoastNews.com stated that similar searches on Yahoo! and Bing provided results with much better rankings for his site than on Google, which said to him that Google was being unfair and to me that Yahoo! and Bing have no standards.

Google, rightly in my opinion, argued that:

In its anti­SLAPP motion, Google argued that in other cases — including several involving itself — courts have found that its search results rankings are protected under the First Amendment. In one case, a court ruled that a plaintiff’s demand for Google search results and ad placements be re­ordered so they would be more favorable to the plaintiff would be a violation of Google’s free­speech rights, according to the motion.

The man in question represented himself; take from that what you will.

[1] Since the guy seems lawsuit happy, I didn’t want to directly link the site. However, you should definitely visit; it’s one of the best worst websites I’ve ever seen.

[2]Strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) lawsuits are those that are basically considered frivolous and where the person bringing the suit does not expect to win. The goal is generally to bog someone down with legal expenses to cause problems. Basically, a suit can be struck, as it was in this case, if a judge thinks it’s ridiculous.

[1] I don’t know the age group for sure since I didn’t look. I’m just guessing.

Image Credit: Brian Turner

About the author

I'm an avid reader of stuff and devour information of all kind. For the past four years, I've been pursuing my passion for writing. When I'm not reading or writing, you'll find me knitting. Follow me on twitter: @MarilynMaupinTS

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