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Attention Googlers
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From the CEO of SearchKing - Robert Massa
The suit is not about loss of PR. It is about whether or not Google intentionally manipulated their algorithm, and used their influence to damage the reputation and restrict the fair trade of a competitor.

It is so important for all of us to accept that few link farmers would go to the trouble and expense of a federal lawsuit if it was just about getting caught doing something wrong. SearchKing's Portal Network is NOT a link farm. It is a network of small independent niche directories. What makes a network? Links maybe?

If a link farm is defined by exchanging reciprocal links, then that is NOT what SearchKing or the PR AD Network is. Anyone can prove that to themselves by simply taking a look beyond the first paragraph of the sites. Here is text from the site that has been posted from the first day online for the PR Ad Network:

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If anyone from our office or from our network of partners asks you for a link back to them for any reason, RUN! That is strictly against the rules of the network and is simply not tolerated.
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For anyone who even cares enough to look, that page is
http://www.pradnetwork.com/advertiser.htm 

It is true that at the heart of this issue is links. More precisely, who owns the value of those links? Links ARE the web. The web was built by webmasters linking to other sites, that is the very definition of the web. But today, that process and the rights of webmasters to link where ever and to whoever they want for any reason they want has been poisoned.

Go to any Internet marketing forum, and you will find a "new" way to link. . No longer is there the freedom that built the web for anyone to index in the first place even available.  Everywhere is advice on how to not link and how to cross-link without getting penalized and how to avoid a "bad neighborhood."

The dreaded PR zero has nothing to do with links. It is a penalty applied manually by Google, according to their own statements, and once applied, that site has virtually no chance of ever being offered to any one doing a search. Google applies that penalty without notice. Internet marketing pros know to go to Webmaster World and seek out the Google guy, but if you aren't one of those pros, too bad. Does that sound fair?

Any engine has the right to develop and use any program or system it can to provide a service to the public. That includes a program to count links. But for any engine to use that program or system to try to single out and cause harm to a competitor, or anyone else for that matter, that is wrong.

So who cares? Well if you are a web developer, you should care. Do you really enjoy being told who and how you can link or do you feel that it is your right to link wherever you choose without fear of retribution?

What if you aren't concerned with the commercial aspect of the web? We've all heard if you just build good content people will like your site and want to link to you, then Google will like you. How would you feel if that good content included links to a site that maybe months or even years later did something to fall out of grace with Google and because that site got a PR zero, now you can't find your own site under a search for your own domain name. That's how the bad neighborhood thing works. No judge, no jury, no chance to defend yourself.

Maybe that doesn't matter. Maybe the net needs to be told what and how to link and maybe the people that should do the telling is Google, but that isn't how the net was built and that isn't freedom. That isn't democracy and that isn't any big deal until it happens to you. What if by then it's too late?

Who owns the value of the links coming into your site? You for having the content to get the links in the first place, or someone else because they wrote a program to count those links really fast?

If someone gives you an evaluation of your site without your requesting it or giving permission for it, and then the company distributes that evaluation to the public for free, does that evaluation belong to you or to the company giving it? Do you have the right to consider the evaluation a value to you or only to the person giving it?

Those are just some of the implications of this case you should consider before you make your decision. 

Respectfully,

Bob Massa
CEO
SearchKing, Inc.

SearchKing is the foundation and traffic generating center of the world's largest network of independently owned portals.

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