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Google wins search ranking lawsuit

Antony Savvas

A California judge has dismissed a website's lawsuit against Google over its fall in the Google search index.

KinderStart, which is a directory and search engine for information related to children, had sued Google after it fell to a "zero" ranking in the Google search index.

The lawsuit claimed that by lowering KinderStart's site in the Google PageRank system, Google had engaged in "pervasive monopolistic practices".

This had allegedly led to the denial of the site's free speech rights, prevention and destruction of competition, and predatory pricing.

Following its drop in search ranking, traffic and monthly page views to KinderStart's website fell around 70%, and the company's revenue from advertisements through Google's AdSense syndication programme fell by more than 80%, stated the lawsuit.

The judge however dismissed all the claims, stating they were insufficient or failed to allege facts or conduct to support them, or that they were too vague.

The judge did however dismiss some of the claims against Google "with leave to amend," meaning that KinderStart can modify and re-file these complaints as part of a further legal action.

Google said it was pleased with the ruling, and KinderStart said it intended to table a new lawsuit with re-filed complaints.

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