Google To Go To Court Over Pure Spam Manual Actions

May 20, 2016 • 7:39 am | comments (26) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Legal Issues in Search
 

Google issues a ton of manual actions, in fact, last year they issued ~500 per hour alone. But one publisher based in Florida is suing Google over being delisted over a set of pure spam manual actions that delisted 231 web sites from this publisher.

Eric Goldman covered it at Forbes and said that the publisher sued Google, Google tried to dismiss the case before going to court and a judge said no, Google you have to go to court.

This doesn't mean the publisher will win, I doubt they will. It just means Google has to go to court and fight the lawsuit.

Here are the allegations from the court summary from the publisher:

On September 19, 2014, Google removed 231 of its websites from being displayed on Google or Google-affiliated websites because they had been identified as “pure spam.” Over time, 365 such websites were removed. As a result of these removals, plaintiff’s websites could not be located by anyone using the Google.com search engine. Plaintiff attempted to cause new websites to be listed in Google’s search results, but these new websites were rejected by Google because of their affiliation with plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that the removal of its websites was inconsistent with statements published by Google in its “Removal Policies,” both in terms of what the Policy says and what it fails to say. Plaintiff alleges that Google’s public statements about its removal policy were false, deceptive, and misleading because they are inconsistent with what Google did to plaintiff, and identifies eight specific false statements. Plaintiff alleges that Google’s conduct towards it was motivated by anti-competitive reasons and to punish plaintiff for engaging in “pure spam” and not on the content of the websites.

Here is the full complaint.

Can you imagine if Google loses? Can you imagine the number of lawsuits that would follow?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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