Google Weblog

January 26, 2003: A Google Win in SearchKing Case

In SearchKing v. Google the judge has denied SearchKing's request for preliminary injuction. In other words, SearchKing asked for their old PageRank to be reinstated while the trial was being held, and the judge said no.

LawMeme has the full story, including several interesting quotes from the judge's dedcision. The author has an interesting thought in the comments:

Let's step over into Bizarro world, where Badgle, the leading search engine, is run by Dr. Evil. Badgle uses familiar algorithms to rank pages, except that whenever its engineers find a page they don't like, they manually drop it down a hundred pages in the search results. And, interestingly enough, the only pages Badgle doesn't like are those that praise Austin Powers.

Thus, when you run a Badgle search on "Austin Powers," you get back only pages making fun of his bad teeth. Whenever someone wonders why the leading Austin Powers fan page has a low ranking and asks Badgle what's going on. Badgle replies that the page's operator "was engaged in behavior that would lower the quality of Badgle's search results."

Would this scenario change your point of view? Maybe not, but I suspect that there are many people who support Google whole-heartedly in this lawsuit, but who wouldn't be so willing to support Badgle's actions.

So this decision could have much farther-reaching effects than whether search engines can demote the PageRank of "spam kings". Stay tuned.

Posted by Aaron Swartz on January 26, 2003 09:05 AM