Google has dodged a lawsuit filed by a California man who claimed his Web site rankings precipitously and unfairly dropped.
But Roberts backed down after Google's attorneys threatened to file a "SLAPP" motion against him. California has a strong SLAPP law, which is designed to discourage frivolous lawsuits and permits successful defendants to seek attorneys' fees.
Roberts had claimed that Google was negligent and breached its contract--making the unusual claim that the company's Web site-submission service constituted a binding contract.
Law professor Eric Goldman wrote that even though this lawsuit came to a premature end, the question of legal liability over search rankings remains an open one and more lawsuits could follow.