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Old 05-11-2005   #21
massa
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With the SK case, the point that I failed miserably to get across, to my attorneys, to my PR people, to the courts and to the general public, was that I never questioned Google's right to index and display what they wanted, when they wanted and how they wanted. I also was not trying to sue for my right to sell page rank. I said over and over, from the very beginning, I was not selling page rank becuase I couldn't. Google controls page rank now and then. Period.

The point I was trying to make was the INTENT was wrong. My posiiton was, (and is now in regards to the topic at hand), that when a company has the intent of causing harm to another company by using it's power and influence as a weapon, that is not their right to run their own business. That is restraint of trade and that is illegal in the US. I believe that the lack of understanding the legal system has in regards to technology and the internet is being used as a cloak to cloud the real issue.

I also believe, that SK, WebpositonGold and several others in the past three years, were manually removed not to protect the Google assets by ensuring the quality of their core product, but to use them as examples in an attempt to influence and control the marketplace giving themselves an unfair advantage.
**************************
NOTE: it could be argued that by removing sites for any reason does the exact opposite of what they claimed they were doing in the SK case which is trying to protect the integrity of their search results. If that were true and integrity were the real issue, they would never make anything unfindeable in their index, IMO
**************************.

Maybe I'm the only one, but I see a pattern of sites that market themselves and generate a degree of interest to the point of giving others an opportunity to enter into a new market that may not have existed before, all of a sudden finding themselves to have run afoul of some public or private, self-serving guideline. The result is the perception of that opportunity is now diminished leaving Google in a better position to capitalize, or at least excercise some degree of influence or control, over that market. These are often high profile sites, (either before or after the penalty is applied), that can give the perception that entering into that market has risk that would not be present were it not for the single act of a Google penalty.

To create an algorithm that determines quality is well within the rights of anyone wanting to build a search service. To use that algorithm to include or exclude specific content is also within the rights of the search service. BUT, to target a site for an agenda is to use your name and influence as a weapon and that is illegal or at least should be.

Search engines and big tech companies now possess a power to alter not only perception, but even, (maybe more importantly), commerce. That power has never before existed and the legal community is far behind in learning the implications of abuse of that power. If this kind of conduct is allowed to go unchallenged, then every webmaster on the planet is at risk for breaking rules to a game that is being made up as the game is played. I sued because I believe every person in the world has the right to identify a market and legally service that market for profit without fear of retribution. Now that Google is public and we are all discussing more and more acts such as this one, do you think Google believes the same thing?
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Old 05-11-2005   #22
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nope. That is Google's house, and Google's free speech rights allow them to exclude anyone they want. However, Google is not right to remove them (morally), unless they violated Google's TOS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arius
Yeah but Google removing content from it's site is like censoring the free speech of others. I'm sure a good lawyer could argue that and win.

I guess the real problem is that people use WebPosition frequently to produce reports and these are a drain on Googles computing resources which they provide for free. I guess the shareholders are telling them to cut operating costs.
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Old 05-11-2005   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN
the smart move would be for google to ban all sites that have used WPG imo. they broke the rules
I guess google would know because the domain name (of WPG user) would show up in frequent queries from the same IP address with a repetitive set of keywords; which is the usage profile of WPG.

I also checked the 1st and 5th amendments and you guys are right about Free Speech. It can't be limited by the US Government. But the spirit of those laws seem to argue that any agency as powerful as the government should not be able to censor another on a public medium like the internet. People google "google" almost 1,000,000 times a day according to Overture. I bet even more people have google as their home page. Google is arguably the doorway to the internet for many. Deindexing a site's page seems similar to the antitrust anti-competition measures that M$oft was accused of in the past.

To avoid censoing meaning that they treat every "voice" the same they should just penalise the rankings. They could be at the end of the SERPs but wpg should still be in there IMHO
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Old 05-11-2005   #24
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Maybe I spoke too soon.
http://www.webpositiongold.net/

is in there.

And ranks first for webpositiongold too.
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Old 05-11-2005   #25
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Yep, seems to be back

and #1 with a PR of only 2. But then that wouldn't surprise anybody anymore these days, would it?
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Old 05-11-2005   #26
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Love how www.webpositiongold.net and www.web-positiongold.com look almost the same except for some keywords and a news feed.

Both are ranking #1 for webposition and webpositiongold. Well at least WebPosition should be making some money through their own reseller.
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Old 05-11-2005   #27
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Maybe the big problem with wpg was the way they were advocating doorway pages. They had a wizard tool just to do that. Google hates that because it seems like blatant manipulation and adds no real content value.
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Old 05-11-2005   #28
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I see a few things in this from Google's point of view.

Technically they are providing free ad space to all the billions of web pages that are in their index. All "publishers" have the right to refuse ads that they do not wish to carry. Hence they can drop any of the "ads" in the index that they want. Sure it goes to the trust issue, but we do not know exactly why WP was dropped from the index and may never know.

Another thing say there is a successful suit against Google concerning this sort of issue and G has to put sites back into the index. They can just write the algorhythm to make those sites rank lower on their search terms. Their algo being a trade secret and not at issue in any sort of case of this type.

Obviously if they were removed completely from Gs index they did something that was against Gs TOS or something. ANY site that violates any of Gs rules should face the same penalty. Even if it is a well known or large site. If say eBay did something to violate Gs rules they should have the same penalties and momandpop.com breaking the same rules.
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Old 05-11-2005   #29
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Yes you have to supply your own Google api key and are limited to 1000 searches per day, but unless you are very busy 30,000 searches per month should be enough.
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Old 05-12-2005   #30
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Quote:
for what I remember didn't WPG and G sit down and discuss a cost to query Google, but wpg didn't like the figure ??
I heard various things, including that it wasn't a figure amount but that Google just didn't want to allow it period.

Quote:
Both are ranking #1 for webposition and webpositiongold. Well at least WebPosition should be making some money through their own reseller.
This highlights the absurdity. Ban WebPosition, and you've done nothing but downgrade relevancy for your own searchers. They'll still find the product -- heck, even though your own partner Amazon, which has one of the top listings. What they won't find is the official company web site. That's your job as a search engine, to help peopel navigate correctly.

Quote:
Sure it goes to the trust issue, but we do not know exactly why WP was dropped from the index and may never know.
In fact, we don't even know officially that they were dropped. Hence the request for disclosure. Going to drop something that would have been in the top results? Google discloses this in the case of DMCA complaints. Shouldn't it do the same any time a change it has deliberately made impacts the results that would have ordinarily appeared?

Quote:
Obviously if they were removed completely from Gs index they did something that was against Gs TOS or something. ANY site that violates any of Gs rules should face the same penalty.
The terms of service don't cover what will be banned. Google bans lots of sites for spamming them. The terms of service don't say you'll get banned for this. They say nothing about it. Instead, Google has completely separate webmaster guidelines covering what is and isn't acceptable.

In other words, the terms of service don't list things that will get you dropped from the index. In fact, they don't suggest that violating the terms will have any impact at all. My understanding is that they form a legal agreement that Google may use against you, if they feel you've done something wrong. So if WebPosition has violated those terms, where's the lawsuit?

Moreover, WebPosition has been owned for more than a year by WebTrends. Now if I search for WebTrends, I find that site comes up just fine. So what's the deal. The parent company doesn't get banned. Of course, doing that now would make Google's life very, very complicated -- give it now owns Urchin, which competes with WebTrends.

Google lists many, many things that the company doesn't agree with. It doesn't accept gun ads, but it lists gun information in its results. It doesn't really like links selling and buying, but it lists services in both its editorial and paid results. But banning WebPosition has long stood out in my book as one of the few cases of Google doing something that seems out of spite rather than trying to protect the index from spam.
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Old 05-12-2005   #31
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I agree with Danny, if its not a simple prejudice on the part of Google why target only WPG and not the other dozen or so programs who do exactly the same thing?
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Old 05-12-2005   #32
dyn4mik3
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Quote:
This highlights the absurdity. Ban WebPosition, and you've done nothing but downgrade relevancy for your own searchers. They'll still find the product -- heck, even though your own partner Amazon, which has one of the top listings. What they won't find is the official company web site. That's your job as a search engine, to help peopel navigate correctly.
Even worse, I'd say this encourages more spam - who wants to spend years to build up a site with great link popularity only to be de-indexed for unknown reasons. Might as well rank throw away sites. Spam your way to the top and then toss it when Google catches on.

Google can do whatever it wants with its listing - but I wish Google would be more open with disclosing its banning policies.
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Old 05-12-2005   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massa
To create an algorithm that determines quality is well within the rights of anyone wanting to build a search service. To use that algorithm to include or exclude specific content is also within the rights of the search service. BUT, to target a site for an agenda is to use your name and influence as a weapon and that is illegal or at least should be.
I think massa makes an important and subtle point, one that's worth considering.

With regard to webpositiongold.com, though, I'm wondering whether this is what's happened. I don't know the time sequence of the various webposition sites and when they were de-indexed... don't know their linking relationships... but off the top of my head, just looking at the content of webpositiongold.com vrs webposition-gold.com, I'm wondering whether this could be a question of substantially duplicated content on closely related sites.

WPG has been overly aggressive in its marketing in just about every area I've had anything to do with them, and these days, if you get overly aggressive on Google you get nuked, not for philosophical, but for algorithmic reasons.

Could this be the situation here? Again, I don't know the history and haven't checked out the sites enough to know.
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Old 05-12-2005   #34
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Could this be the situation here?

If so, why are they back in again, then?
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Old 05-12-2005   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fantomaster
If so, why are they back in again, then?
webposition.com and webpositiongold.com
are gone.

Maybe they'll all be gone soon.

Last edited by arius : 05-12-2005 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 05-12-2005   #36
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Yes, I would surely like guaranteed inclusion by law - it absolutely would reduce the risk dramatically on certain kinds of questionable tactics ... but, I have my doubts we will see it anytime soon ...
Google is a company in business to make money. The US is a free enterprise economy and Google has the right and should have the right to include whoever they wish.

Regarding Google in Europe and Asia. Who knows. The EU has very different regulations than the US in many cases.

In any case, IMO, the government should stay out. US Government's roles should be to protect people, not impose their will on business. EX. It is ok with me that their are restaurant inspections, licenses for doctors, etc because they serve purpose of protecting the public. Not including webposition has no effect on public well being.

As you can tell, I am a capitalist.

As far as the other arguments regarding relevancy and ethics of the ban, well that is certainly up for debate. Given the free market, if users think the results are getting worse, then they can always use another engine.

Last edited by krisval : 05-12-2005 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 05-12-2005   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fantomaster
If so, why are they back in again, then?
On Google.com, webpositiongold.com doesn't show up for its own name or for exact text strings it contains.

Additionally, a site: search on Google returns that webpositiongold.com (with www) "did not match any documents." (Can't seem to post the url with www on the forum here without creating a live link).

I think these are both on 66.102.7.104.
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Old 05-12-2005   #38
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Strange, I've been under the assumption that Google does not "manually" influence it's rankings in anyway.

I suppose I was naive to think that meant they would did not ban sites for non-seo related activities (i.e. Their site was manually de-listed had nothing really to do with their web site, how it was marketed or "spammed", etc. but because their software was ticking Google off)?

While I agree they should not tolerate automated queries over a certain threshold, if the reasons behind the ban are true, this does seem like they are going a bit beyond their self-defined boundaries. Not a good sign.
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Old 05-12-2005   #39
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Arrgh! Let's defer judgment

See message #24 - in, out, in again, out again: just another Google Dance thing, possibly.

So let's wait a while before coming to any long term conclusions ...
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Old 05-12-2005   #40
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how about #1 for life, via an act of Congress just for you? Let's let the laws dictate who is indexed (out of billions of pages) and what position. What do you think of that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikkel deMib Svendsen
Yes, I would surely like guaranteed inclusion by law
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