This has to be one of the nuttiest things I’ve ever seen. Via Marketing Pilgrim, it appears that a firm called Ascentive is suing Google for not showing them in the organic results. They claim that “consumers expect to see the trademark owner in organic search results for the trademark and therefore consumers will be actionably confused if the trademark owner doesn’t appear there.” Apparently Ascentive claims that this is a violation of a legal statute called the Lanham Act.
Are they kidding?!? Since when does a search engine have a legal obligation to list your website in their free organic results? And since when does the absence of said listing lead to consumer confusion?
I agree there is plenty of consumer confusion when it comes to the SERPs. But that has nothing to do with obligation on Google’s part.
What about your obligation as a website owner to make sure your site is optimized? Hmm….
Additional coverage is at TechDirt, where I agree with the first commenter who says, “Google is not a RIGHT. They OFFER a service, they are not OBLIGATED to include you in it.” Indeed.