Yahoo!7, the Australian version of Yahoo! has de-indexed RipoffReport.com. This news came to me from Janice Duffy (thanks Janice).
This move was brought on in part by the efforts of http://ripoffreport-victims-unite.org/ who have organized complains of those who feel that Ripoff Report does not enable those accused of wrongdoing to properly and effectively address the issue thus causing permanent harm. Obviously this was effective, at least in Australia.
A Yahoo7 spokesperson discussing the issue with SearchEngineLand.com had the following to say:
“Yahoo7 has received significant complaints in regards to defamatory content in our search results which have been generated from links on the website ripoffreport.com. Under Australian law Yahoo7 has an obligation to remove defamatory content from our search results, when notified of it. Given the volume of complaints received in respect of the ripoffreport.com website, Yahoo7 has put in place measures to stop ripoffreport results appearing in Yahoo7 Search while we review our legal position.”
This is going to be a welcome precedent for in other locations that feel they are fighting a losing battle for their reputation after receiving a bad report. It is fairly common to hear of issues RipoffReport being used purely to damage the reputation of someone without actual cause either by competitors or disgruntled individuals.
If nothing else, this illustrates a problem unique to the Internet and coupled with the EU ruling on the Right To Be Forgotten, reflects the shift of a significant amount of power from the engines to the users.
SEO news blog post by Dave Davies, CEO @ 7:00 am on May 21, 2014