Be aware of these legal precedents on search ranking

The Oklahoma City based Search King, a Web hosting and advertising company, filed a law suit on October 17, 2002, against Google (Search King, Inc. v. Google Technology, Inc.; United States District Court, Western District of Oklahoma), claiming that Google unfairly removed links to its Web site as well as its partners from the index, causing financial damage. Search King’s complain was centered on Google’s PageRank algorithm which bumped Search King and its ad network out of listings. They sought a preliminary injunction against Google, restore to previous PageRank and claimed an award of $75,000 damage. The court on May 27, 2003, dismissed the case on the grounds that Google’s PageRank constitute opinions protected by the First Amendment.

In KinderStart v. Google case, KinderStart sued Google in March, 2006 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California due to its unhappiness with Google search engine ranking. KinderStart’s amount of traffic dropped 70% and prior to the case Google dropped them from the index. Judge on March 16, 2007 dismissed the case and issued Rule 11 sanctions against KinderStart’s counsel ordering him to pay part of Google’s legal expenses.

Due to the laws you cannot actually sue Google for anything they return in their search results. It is called Communication Decency Act Section 230. You can read an article about it on the Reputation Stars website. If you have any negative posts online, Reputation Stars offers suppression and removal services.