Internet Advertisement: Google’s Pagerank Software System And The Issue Of Liability

As to June 2006, United States advertisers had spent US$5.8 billion in Internet advertisement; 27 percent more than that spent in 2005. Some predict that the growth on Internet advertisement is so large that some day companies’ marketing budgets may shift to 100% internet advertisement. “This record spending was once again led by ads linked to Web search results," said the Interactive Advertising Bureau. No doubt, Internet advertisement is a growing industry and every day more companies are recurring to the Internet to offer and sell their products. But, how do those selling advertisement convince their clients of the effectiveness of their marketing plan and how do those selling over the Internet survive in cyberspace? What statistics are shown to convince a company to invest millions of dollars in Internet advertisement? PageRank is one of those systems used by advertisement agencies to sell and e-commerce companies to buy Internet advertisement. Google, as the company using PageRank software, has been sued for the use of this system under the theory of ‘tortuous interference with contractual relations.’

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What is a PageRank system and may advertisers buy preferential page ranks from search engine companies?
In a lawsuit against Google for the use of PageRanks based on the theory of tortuous interference with contractual relations, what specific questions of law have been considered?
How did the Oklahoma Court answer to the First Amendment protection of PageRanks?
How did the Court answer the question of Tortuous Interference with Contractual Relations?


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