Can You Sue For Something You Didn’t Pay For? Whiny KinderStart.com Thinks So.

by Jon Henshaw

I’ve run FamilyResource.com for several years. Throughout those years, much of my traffic has depended on referrals from search engines. I never had the budget to advertise, so I was (and am) dependent on search engine referrals for a good portion of my traffic.

Search engine traffic is free traffic. If you’re lucky enough to have good search engine results, then you can get a lot of traffic. If you don’t show up in the first couple of pages of search results (the top 20), then your traffic will be much lower. Over the years FamilyResource.com has experienced wild fluctuations in search engines—especially with Google. There have been times when for one reason or another, Google has decided to throw FamilyResource.com out of their index, or push it down their search engines results to a place where no one but the brave would find it.

Having poor search engines results, or being removed from Google’s index, is always frustrating (to say the least). However, as disheartening as it may seem, I really don’t have a right to complain. I never paid Google (or any other search engine) to refer people to my website, so when they take it away, I really don’t have any recourse. All I can do is contact Google and ask what I may have done wrong, and hope for the best.

Recently, a website called KinderStart.com decided that they had a right to sue Google for taking them out of their index. Google of course has every right to take any website out of their index for any reason they please. KinderStart.com claims that they lost 70% of their traffic when Google quit referring visitors to their website, and now they want to sue to get the traffic back.

KinderStart.com’s claims are completely absurd. Google sent them traffic for some period of time for free, and then took it away. Speculation would say that KinderStart.com was probably using some techniques that Google considers spammy, and therefore removed them from their index. The only way KinderStart.com might have a case is if they paid Google to send traffic to their website through their contextual advertising service Adwords. If Google claimed to send traffic that KinderStart.com paid for, then they would have something to sue for.

FamilyResource.com is doing fairly well in Google right now, but there’s no guarantee that we will in the future. New websites that challenge FamilyResource.com for the same keywords will continue to challenge us, and Google’s algorithm will continue to change—causing FamilyResource.com to either rise or lower in their search engines results. What will we do when and if FamilyResource.com quits getting a large percentage of traffic from Google? What we’ve always done, which is continuing to grow the website with new original content, and hope for the best in the future. What we won’t do is whine about our lost free traffic from search engines, and sue them for not giving us special treatment.

In life you can either pout and whine about how life isn’t fair, like KinderStart.com, or grow up, take the punches, and stop acting like you’re entitled to something you’re not.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 19th, 2006 at 4:58 pm and is filed under Lifestyles, Daily Living. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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