Quick Update on the Bizarre Google Request

Hi again.

This is just a quick update for those of you who are interested in the bizarre emails I have been getting.

I still haven’t heard any more from him. I also have heard nothing from Google and nothing from his lawyer. With any luck he has seen this blog and realized how stupid his threats have been.

If you have any questions then you can continue to use the comments section at the bottom of this article or the “Contact” page in the top right corner of this page.

I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support on this. I have been trying not to take any of it too seriously, and your comments have really helped me.

I would also like to thank the blog owners who have mentioned me in their blogs. Hundreds of you have discussed this story on your web sites, blogs and forums and I try and read as many of them as possible. Here are some of the ones that have caught my attention:

Some People Just Don’t Get It (Amazing to hear that I am not the first person this has happened to)

Bizarre Google Request (The comments on this article are very interesting)

Cheeky Request (very blunt, but a very good read)

New approach to SEO

The story has also been discussed in at least 5 different languages thus far.

So thank you all once again for your support, and I am really glad that something so positive has come from this. If it prevents people like this threatening other webmasters then it has all been worth it.

Dean

RELATED ARTICLES: The Original Email & The Legal Threat

  • http://www.firstpagefitness.com/blog/2006/12/11/rotflmao-a-cincinnati-shoe-store-joke/ Everett

    I wrote a blog entry about this the day you posted (see link in my name) and now I’m ranking 1st page Google for the term I blogged about for fun. Let’s see if I get a Cease and Desist from Payless Shoes. ;)

    Well one thing you can say, this episode has gotten you a bucketload of links!

    Current score: 0
  • http://bogdanlebu.wordpress.com bogdanlebu

    i was hoping for more :)

    Current score: 0
  • Frank

    This chap obviously doesn’t understand how Google (and probably the internet) work. Perhaps just a polite reply outlining the basics of how Google ranks pages (or just point him to Google’s own very good pages on the subject).

    Oh, and you need to post the search terms ;)

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/ Matt Cutts

    Dean, I left you two comments on
    http://deanhunt.com/bizzare-google-request/
    and you replied to the first one.

    If you don’t want to send me any info, that’s fine, but don’t say you didn’t hear from Google. :)

    Current score: 0
  • Greg

    I read about this on slashdot.com and I just had to come here and give you some praise. I’m just starting out in internet marketing so I got a good laugh out of this article. Good luck with all the exposure you’ll get from this should drive traffic waaaaay up for you

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.prestonwily.com preston

    Dean, you got to post the search terms. I’m pretty sure that at this point if you were to do that he would never rank on his own term again :)

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.qsouth.org Steve Ryan

    Hmm.. I know a lawyer that probably could help you if you’d like his information. I’d encourage you to consult him. Great guy.. and he’s up on this internet stuff. He’s the lawyer that handled the Sex.com case too. :-)

    Current score: 0
  • http://weblog.timoregan.com vemrion

    Hey Deano! Stand strong! This moronic bully is no match for the power of bloggers united!

    Congrats on all the exposure. You’ve even ended up on slashdot:

    http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/06/12/13/160241.shtml

    and I just had to write a post about this on my blog as well:

    http://weblog.timoregan.com/2006/12/blogger-dean-hunt-threatened-for.html

    Here’s hoping he stays off your back…. but it would be entertaining to see him attempt further intimidation… since it will so obviously backfire!

    Current score: 0
  • http://clete2.com/ Clete R. Blackwell II

    You didn’t mention that you have been Slashdotted.

    I’m all for you, man. It would be very unfair for Google to change your ranking.

    Google’s policy, thus far, has been to just let its algorithms work and not to mess with its rankings.

    Good luck!
    Clete R. Blackwell II

    Current score: 0
  • http://weblog.timoregan.com vemrion

    A lot of people on slashdot are saying that this is all just a hoax. Quite frankly, it’s a very real possibility, especially since you’ve been hiding this guy’s (supposed) identity. That makes it very hard to get his side of the story. And nowhere in the emails (that I’ve seen) does he does he demand that you keep them private.

    I think it would be best to reveal who this is, because now you’re getting a lot of suspicion cast on you from the jaded denizens of slashdot. Whether that suspicion is warranted we’ll have to wait and see. I have to say that a hoax would smack of desperation (not to mention deception) and would help get hits but not necessarily biz, so I’m unclear on how it would help you. But please reveal this mystery man so we can put to rest the question of your honesty. The internet demands transparency after all.

    Current score: 0
  • Dan

    Dean, this guy is definately not playing with a full deck. I did some messing around with some search terms, and I’m guessing that the business world to him looks as distorted as the caricatures he draws? …even close?

    Current score: 0
  • Cyball

    I believe if all y’all wanting to know the search term just read Deano’s blog, you’d find what you were looking for…I believe I did and will have a bottle of wine to celebrate. :-)

    Cyball

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.sdstudio.com.au Sam

    Funny, now you have been slashdotted the other guy has no hope in hell beating your ranks in Google. It would almost be safe to say that due to the emails and threats you have been sent by him has just worsened his situation.

    Get over it (online store dude), it’s a competitive market and your lagging!

    Current score: 0
  • Tarky7

    Great ! I love it. Talk about a disconnect from reality. Send him over to some basic SEO tutorial like seoguy. I am glad you have not posted his site, no sense in giving him the free publicity. I will post to my blog and maybe you can get another link ! Bravo !

    Tarky

    Current score: 0
  • nikelaus

    That guy’s a tool.

    I work in support for a portal-type site and we get mail like that all the time. There is a whole breed of jerks with small weenies who try to bully their way to the top in their Sears suits.

    I’ve basically learned from my contact with these types that there’s a whole breed of people who are stoooooooopid and threaten legal action at the drop of a hat when they haven’t a leg to stand on. I see an e-mail like this every day, practically, and they always bring a smile to my face. Bravo to you for posting it.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.palal.net Palal

    I agree with others — you should not release the search term as it will simply drive traffic to the person’s website.

    You should, however, keep the communication lines open :)

    Current score: 0
  • Matt Albiniak

    Have you submitted a RFP to him for SEO on xxxx.com? You should ;)

    Current score: 0
  • http://seowebmaster.com/ Search Engines WEB

    How well are you doing in Yahoo and MSN and Ask for this term?

    Current score: 0
  • http://mas-miftah.com/allessa Miftahx

    dean, you should run a contest. not seo contest but “guess the search term” contest.

    if anyone guessed your “Bizarre Google Request” terms is the winner….

    how about that :)

    gosh.. this story makes my day…..

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.noggaddicts.com sandwiches

    Good luck man and keep fighting the good fight for the little guy!

    Current score: 0
  • Gary Simmons

    First off, I think it is exceptionally nice of you to not publish the search term and the domain that is causing this raucous. Too nice in fact, because these guys deserve the ridicule.

    Secondly, there is no fight to be had here. This guy completely wrong in his stance, and no lawyer in his right mind is going to do anything about this.

    Current score: 0
  • http://olpc.com Pascal

    I was thinking is this was true or not. I am convinced it is true, nobody could invent such a story himself.

    Current score: 0
  • http://ww.debtfree4ever.net Prince of Thrift

    I just read and posted about this craziness last night.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.flexewebs.com Jason

    Hi Dean,

    I think this is nice to hear from people who are finally recognising that being somewhere near the top on Google (organic) rankings is one of the most important things they will do for their business.

    I think this is great that this man has basically asked you to optimise his web site for him (by accidentally removing your own site from Google).

    My suggestions:

    1. Offer him to SEO his site so it is above yours
    2. Pass him onto me and I will SEO his site so its above yours

    This is a serious comment.

    Thanks,

    Jason

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.kannedphotos.com Gavin

    The funny thing is, all this publicity has probably bolstered your website making things worse for this vendor. Talk about backfire :)

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.drdigipol.com DrDigiPol

    It seems to me that if your harasser were smart, he would be doing this in the hopes you would link to his site and thereby boost his Google rank.

    If I were feeling generous, I would suggest he was being smart. And you are being smarter by not linking to his site byu revealing his URL.

    But after rereading his emails a few times, I am hard pressed to be generous in this instance.

    The internet is not a safe place for ignorant bullies. There are far too many informed bullies online at the ready to pummel ignorant bullies.

    Current score: 0