Sunday, January 12, 2003

Google Replies to SearchKing Lawsuit

Dave Winer links to an interesting LawMeme article:

The PageRank values assigned by Google are not susceptible to being proved true or false by objective evidence. How could SearchKing ever “prove” that its ranking should “truly” be a 4 or a 6 or a 8? Certainly, Search King is not suggesting that each one of the billions of web pages ranked by Google are subject to another “truer” evaluation? If it believes so, it is certainly free to develop its own search services using the criteria it deems most appropriate.


That said, the policy questions that SearchKing is raising are critically important. Google has bceome hugely important to the Internet, and many are starting to ask whether the public interest demands special treatment. Perhaps a search engine is important enough to be treated as a regulated utility, the same way that water, gas, and the cables over which search requests travel are. Google is good, most netizens seem to think, but what if it weren’t? What if it became an arbitrary dictator, raising up and throwing down web sites at will. That’s what SearchKing thinks Google has become already, or at least that’s one major question raised by this suit.

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In other words, Google, having captured the monster's share of the market, could become Microsoftian in its use of that market share. After all, everyone googles.

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