20 March 2004
No accounting for some people
Mark Maughan is an accountant in suburban L.A., and he does seem to think well of himself; no other explanation will do for his reaction upon typing his name into the Google search engine and getting this as the first pertinent result.
Mr Maughan is suing Google, Yahoo!, America Online and Time Warner, claiming that Google's PageRank technology produced results that were "alarming, false, misleading and injurious."
AOL (which is a Time Warner operation) uses Google technology under license in its search facility; Yahoo!, at the time of Mr Maughan's alleged injury, was using Google's search engine with a custom interface. Attorneys for Mr Maughan want Google to discontinue PageRank and pay some unspecified sum in damages.
Little does Mr Maughan know that the news reports of his lawsuit, and the bloggage linking thereto, will inevitably dominate search results for his name for years to come. It might even come up if someone searches for "clueless L.A. accountant".
(Suggested by Fark)