Bizarre Google Request Update

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Good morning,

You are probably aware that over the weekend my “Bizzare google request” story was featured on many major news sites on the net. It has been discussed on thousands of sites and forums and the response was so high that my server crashed on two occasions. (Current total = 45,000+ readers)

I am honestly amazed by the response! I only posted the first e-mail on here because I thought it was amusing, and I was genuinly surprised to see the attention that it received.

Anyway, I have spoken to some friends and my plan was just to let this all calm down and for me to get back to normal. But I have received another e-mail from him this morning, and if you guys find it half as funny as I do then it is surely worth posting.

However, this time I have NOT replied to the e-mail. Quite frankly I am lost for words with this guy, and I am losing my patience.

So what I would like you to do is to use the comments box in this article and tell me what you think I should reply with.

Here is his e-mail:

Dean,

Firstly, I have to admit that I was not impressed with the sarcastic nature of your reply.

Secondly, I am writing to let you know that I have contacted Google and am awaiting their reply.

You have to understand Dean that an online business should be higher in Google than a blog.

Don’t forget that Google is a business as well, they obviously make more money from other businesses than they do from blogs, so it is in their interest that I am higher than you for certain searches.

I have also contacted my lawyer about this issue, so you should expect a letter in the post very soon.

I expect a reply soon.

I honestly don’t know whether to just block his e-mails or keep playing with this guy. At times his attitude makes me laugh, but at other times he really frustrates me that he thinks he can bully people like this.

Amazingly, I have had e-mails from other webmasters who have had similar threats to this. So it appears that the larger sites are used to using bullying tactics. But these tactics will NOT work on the internet and they will NOT work on me!

He may have a good lawyer, but I have got a blog and quite frankly I am used to playing the underdog, so I don’t scare easily.

I look forward to hearing your replies for this e-mail. I am currently looking down the side of the sofa to see if I can find a prize for the best reply.

Dean

UPDATE: I have been getting a LOT of e-mails from people asking if they can blog about this story. So if you want to write about this in your blog/site then feel free.

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  • Foo

    If businesses rank higher than blogs, you have no choice but to turn your site into a business selling whatever it is.

    That’s legitimate, right?

    Current score: 0
  • Andrew

    You should really send a note back to him saying that because of his humorous emails your site has attained many new hits (including me) and that the Google Ads on your site have likely gotten quite a few more views than usual, therefore netting Google more money than his site (which likely has no revenue traceback to Google). Just my 2 cents on the matter.

    Current score: 0
  • http://r-t-f-m.com Paul

    I must say this is an amusing thing. To think he can use those tactics online. I’m just sitting here laughing so hard I’m turning red. I have to agree with everyone else here that guy clearly doesn’t know how google works or how they do their thing. If anything he could use a good dose of rtfming on google and what they do. This is pure comedy though,lol love it. Keep it going!

    Current score: 0
  • http://completelygeeked.com reid

    Please please please publish this guy’s website. Pretty please.

    Current score: 0
  • Keldog

    If available, why not be a referer to that line of products on Amazon.com or a similar site. Just post the refering link on the page that Google links for that result. Easy cash and a sever slap in the face.

    Current score: 0
  • L33TUN1X

    This is hilarious – I wonder if this guy has enough IQ to be running an internet business to begin with.

    Current score: 0
  • Susan

    Wow. I wonder where people get their sense of entitlement. I’m guessing he was never taught the value of hard work and fair play.

    Current score: 0
  • Variable

    This is the funniest thing I have ever seen linked from /. Thank you so much for publishing his edited emails. I sure hope his lawyer sends you something in the “post” and if so PLEASE post it here (edited for the protection of the stupid)
    I hope your blog is ranked #1 by then end of this.
    Keep it up you are now bookmarked!

    …. so is he “post”ing it to a webpage or putting it in the “post”… maybe he knows more about the web then we thought…. lol

    Current score: 0
  • Timothy Boulan

    Posted by “Shidar” on Slashdot:

    I am totally serious. My blog was SUED BY MICRO$OFT because I made some software that was so much more awesome then theirs. I even have the letters they sent me to prove it!!11!!! Now, if the Slashdot editors will kindly accept my claim without any sort of validation and post me on a Slashdot front page…

    Seriously. Show an ounce of journalistic integrity and don’t give a podium to utterly baseless claims. He doesn’t even say what company is suing him so we can’t even bother to ask that company if this is real. Any idiot could have made this up for the singular purpose of driving up hits. I am not saying that the guy is liar (he very well could be telling the truth), just he shouldn’t get a free stage to advertise until there is at least the semblance of a claim that can be fact checked.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.simplemethods.net/freesoftware Fermin

    I don’t know, but this could be a brilliant marketing ploy by Dean. If it is Kudos, you generated a lot of free publicity.

    Fermin

    Current score: 0
  • R Lindley

    Dear ,

    As of the submission of your last email I realized that you are completely right. Businesses should be held to higher click ranking and your site, being a business, is in the right while I am in the wrong. Therefore as of the submission of this email I have become a business and my revenue stream is now completely driven by the advertisement clicks on my site. Please cease and desist the user of on your sit as it is now my main source of income.
    Again, I thank you for showing me the error of my ways. I hopefully will be contacted by you shortly with an apology and verification that your site no longer uses or has been taken offline. No hard feelings, this is just business.

    Thank you,

    Dean

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.BlogOrDie.com Kevin

    There are some real crazies out there on the Internet. Sometimes it’s best just to keep your head down. Smart move, not replying.

    Kevin

    Current score: 0
  • R Lindley

    Dang, well seems the blog edited out my use of the ‘_

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.daantje.nl daantje

    LOL! Yes it’s your fault that Google ranks your site higher! Please, put it to black, this post is to funny for this net!

    Current score: 0
  • Jorge

    Dear Mr. Hunt,

    It has recently come to my attention that your name is listed before mine in the telephone directory. I think it would be best all round if you would contact the telephone company and have your name removed for the listing, or visit you local courthouse and change your name.

    If you do not remove or change your name soon, I’m going to tell.

    A reply is expected soon.

    Sincerely,
    Deen Hunt

    P.S. If you choose to change your name, it has to be to something after “Dumbass Hunt”. I seem to be known by that name as well.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.gforcecustoms.com G Force Customs

    Maybe he should read the rest of your site to learn about SEO and search positioning.

    Is it even possible to remove your site from Google for certain terms???

    I, like the rest of the readers, would really love to know what the search term was.

    What a whack job!

    Current score: 0
  • Ryan

    You should google-bomb his site with search terms relating to your page, then send a very indignant message to him demanding that he take his site off Google.

    Heck, you could even suggest a step that might actually _do_ something, like setting robots.txt to exclude Googlebot :P

    Current score: 0
  • Larry Clapp

    If you post this guy’s name, search term, and website, then probably a lot of sites will link to him, his PageRank will rise, and he’ll leave you alone.

    Alternatively, most of the links will have text like “what a moron!”, and his PageRank will plummet, and he’ll go out of business, and he’ll leave you alone.

    Win/win, if you ask me.

    Current score: 0
  • yourmom

    The search term was “assvibrator,” wasn’t it?

    Current score: 0
  • http://rudd-o.com/ Rudd-O

    What’s the funniest about this idiot writing to Deano is that he’s got the oddest sense of entitlement.

    This is characteristic lack of empathy. Not only he doesn’t understand how Google works, he simply can’t see that quite likely, Google’s doing the right thing to avert traffic from his nethole into Deano’s page.

    So, to summarize:

    - He does not understand how Google works — “mommy, there’s a little person in the TV!”
    - He feels his site is morally superior to and more deserving than Deano’s site — truthiness, yay!
    - He attempts to bully Deano into submission — “give me the toy or I’ll hit you”

    Eerie elements of cargo cultism and similar retrogradisms.

    Anyway. people with stupid senses of entitlement must be shot in the neck. I deserve to do it myself!

    ;-)

    Current score: 0
  • glo

    Dean,

    What will they think of next?

    Here are my thoughts:

    First, IANAL. I am not a lawyer, so this is not legal advice.

    Second, since the other party has invoked the word “lawyer”, stop all communication with him until you have retained a lawyer. … OK, heavy handed, but were you to retain a lawyer, that is exactly what he’d tell you. Do not communicate with the other party. Do not communicate with the other party’s lawyer either.

    The question is how much is this gonna cost you? When do you retain the lawyer? My suggestion is to just wait until you are served with a civil suit. In the meantime, keep your mouth shut, your blog devoid of further commentary on the subject. A lawyer cannot take much action until you are served, unless you want to take a pre-emptive defensive strategy and sue him first.

    If you decide to wait until served with a law suit, then feel free to go shopping for a lawyer experienced in internet law in advance of need.

    From what I’ve read (IANAL), the guy’s beef is with Google. That said, there seems to be both statute and case law that says that he has no recourse to you. That might suggest waiting until served, but only you can make that decision.

    I look forward to hearing the ultimate outcome. Good luck.

    Glo

    Current score: 0
  • DaveF

    Here’s my suggestion for a reply.

    _________

    Kind “I expect a reply soon” Sir

    By the grace of God, I am hoping that this email is finding you well. I have been given your name by a mutual friend who is a lawyer in your city. He assures me that you are an honest man of good intentions.

    I am writing on behalf of Princess Sulwa Sarinahtan of Nigeria whose father, unfortunately, passed away in recent months leaving the sum of $25 million US dollars in a bank account in Lagos.

    I am proposing this venture that can be of mutual benefit…

    etc, etc…

    Current score: 0
  • Chris

    Don’t post the search term/site name. That will just boost his rankings, and reward bad behavior.

    If I were you, I’d suggest he purchase a google adwords listing. It’s designed to solve exactly this problem. If he’s not willing to buy the adword, then obviously he’s not a sufficiently serious business to justify his claims.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.johnahlschwede.com John

    If he thinks Google is making money off of his listing, it’s clear he doesn’t understand Google. You might inform him about Google’s advertising program. If he wants more traffic, and wants to give Google money, this is his best bet: http://www.google.com/intl/en/ads/

    Current score: 0
  • http://webinfractions.com Steve

    Wow… just… wow.

    This is just a completely lame attempt at bullying someone into getting out of their way. There is absolutely no legal case here at all. It’d be like me sueing Dean because he’s better looking than me! “Dean, please bash your face in so I can be more attractive than you. After all, my pretty face needs to make me money and yours is just for a blog.”

    Make sure you keep us updated!

    Current score: 0
  • Luca Diana

    You should ignore him, he’s just another looney on the net. Don’t waste your time with people like him who act as self-elect internet police.
    Thank god there are many good blogs with much higher rating than crappy store.
    I think you did the right thing but now showing his site, that would only cause traffic in his direction and maybe that’s exactly what he wants.

    Luca

    Current score: 0
  • gnari

    Please do not reveal who this nice person is, as it would just result in getting his URL into hundreds of blogs refering to this story.

    Admittedly, most of these might be somewhat negative, but still could easily improve his rankings.

    I am amazed that our friendly email author has not himself revealed it in one of these comments.

    Hey! is this a new get-rich formula?
    1) make a web site
    2) threaten to sue a blogger
    3) ???
    4) profit!

    Current score: 0
  • Rick

    DUDE!

    The answer is simple.

    Contact this guy’s primary rival company and offer them cheap (or free) advertising space on your blog.

    And don’t post the details of this guy, like Chris says it will just boost his rankings.

    Current score: 0
  • seerak

    Susan sez:

    “Wow. I wonder where people get their sense of entitlement. I’m guessing he was never taught the value of hard work and fair play.”

    Rudd-O sez:

    “What’s the funniest about this idiot writing to Deano is that he’s got the oddest sense of entitlement.”

    Where have you two been? Entitlement has been half of American politics ever since the New Deal (and nearly its entirety outside of it).

    Current score: 0
  • sp

    Dear Sir,

    I appreciate your cander in your reply, I can assure you that I was not being sarcastic in my first reply. I’m sorry to hear you perceived it that way.

    However, I can say that up until now I have been decent enough to leave off both the search term and the name of your website from my non-profit blogging of this incident.

    If you insist that we play hardball, as I have understood you are insisting that me must. I will not be as decent of a person and reveal both the search term you covet as well as your domain name to the hundreds of thousands of people that seem to be reading my blog and commenting on this situation.

    That will probably not work out too well for you, I would imagine that would probably affect your bottome line much more than being number 2 on the search term. That is just a guess on my part, perhaps you are one of those people that believe that any publicty is good publicity. If that’s the case I have no problem letting the world know. It’s up to you really, let me know whether you would rather just forget about this nonsense of trying to bully me around the Internet, or should we publicize the granular details of the disputation. Either way is fine with me, perhaps your lawyer can weigh in on that decision as well. Let me know what you two decide.

    Thanks,

    //Signed

    Current score: 0
  • Thomahawk

    I’d write back saying,

    “Dear whoever,
    I believe I have more of a right to [search term] than you. Please argue with this.”

    Keep him going! Socratic irony!

    Current score: 0
  • http://almostporn.net Pan_theFrog

    I am guessing that the term is “Madrid Life” as Dean is listed in the top 20 for it, plus with it being in his title, he has it on every page of the site.

    At the same time Martian Soil (http://www.martiansoil.com/) ranks in at number 25, so it can’t be that hard of a keyword to top out in.

    Current score: 0
  • Chuck

    I’m reminded of a sig line I saw that might be a perfect response to this guy :>

    “I’m trying to see things your way,
    but I can’t get my head up my butt.”

    Current score: 0
  • http://yohannon.livejournal.com Yohannon

    This would be funnier by far if I hadn’t dealt with just this sense of entitlement in various support positions over the last (mumble mumble) years. People who are accusing the blog owner of making this up are right to be skeptical — how many viral marketing scams have us long time ‘Net denizens been inadvertently sucked into over the years? However, this has that ring of truth (as opposed to truthiness) that only the truly clueless can muster.

    While I also am not a lawyer, the comments from many here stating that the first mention of legal threats is cause to completely cut off conversation is accurate. Most support groups have specific policies in place regarding how to deal with legal threats. For example, if you threaten to sue over some problem at an Apple Store’s Genius Bar, the proper response is to give them the address (NOT a phone number or name!) for Apple’s legal department and show the customer the door, politely but firmly — no exceptions.

    This may not be true everywhere, but many jurisdictions have laws that prohibit people from making casual legal threats — in other words, never say “I’ll sue you!!” unless you completely intend to call your lawyer and do just that. Otherwise, you may have opened yourself up for receiving a lawsuit instead, and the problem you were hoping to solve with vague legal threats will probably still be with you.

    I would LOVE to see the site that started this whole thing. However, it’s legally silly to name names — then he might be able to whip up a case for libel or defamation of character.

    If, by some wild chance, the author of these e-mails is reading these comments, a word of advice: After 25 years of computer supports on all possible levels (retail, college, large corporations to small startups) I can state unequivocally that acting like a pompous asshole does NOT get you better service. It might look like that to you in your narrow, inverted anal/cranial world view, but it isn’t. You’re going to get the bare minimum of service that is required to make you shut up, and not a lick more. Nice people we bend rules for, look the other way when we know repairs should be out of warranty, and generally cut serious slack.

    People who treat support (or any service staff) with the respect human beings deserve (at least until they prove they DON’T) will get farther over the long term. People who automatically assume that such people are slaves to serve your capricious whims can never be sure what’s in their food.

    ~Y~

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/- President Bush

    To Whom it may concern.
    My site is no longer #1 for the google search term “failure” and i seek immediate remedy for this, since i have it on good authority that you are the prevailing search term grabbing expert on the planet.

    Thanks for your attention to this matter…
    GWB, Pres.

    cc: Google

    Current score: 0
  • http://almostporn.net Pan_theFrog

    OK, my bad. Correction: Marketing Madrid maybe with Life thrown in. Dean is tops in both.
    That is sure to annoy others who think that things like providing anglo info is far more important.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.themilliondollarblogger.com Rob

    Hold on – doesn’t this mean YOU can sue google for ranking you highier without your permission ;-)

    While funny its just a big worry too that some people still use the old tools for protecting thier business – brute force.

    I would suggest you find out from a lawyer if you can publish the details – if you can then let the blogsphere decide who wins :-)

    Merry Xams and a Happy New Year.

    Current score: 0
  • Jediknight

    I am not a lawyer, but come on people. Naming his name cannot be libel or defamation of character, so long as Dean has been entirely truthful with us. Truth is a defense to both civil actions, particularly when all he is doing is reposting a communication he received word for word.

    My suggestion is that Dean should contact the EFF. He might be able to obtain legal help free of charge-this is the sort of thing that gets their dander.

    Current score: 0
  • esteban

    This was the best letter, by far:

    ———
    Rich…! Says:
    December 12th, 2006 at 7:34 am
    I’d go with:

    Dear —,

    You are absolutely right. I have considered your request and contacted google. You were of course correct, Google is far more interested in ecommerce businesses than blogs, so I guess I wouldn’t be winning that battle.

    Thus, in order to keep the wolves from the door, and of course to make use of my superior Google rankings for search term —, I have decided to turn my blog into an ecommerce site that also sells — (hey, a little competition is never a bad thing, just ask Coke and Pepsi).

    I’d like to thank you for being my inspiration in getting this (fingers crossed) lucrative venture off the ground, any advice you can give the “little people” for getting started would be appreciated.

    Regards,

    Dean Hunt
    ———

    The best bit was at the end, when Rich suggests that you ask for advice! Brilliant! :)

    Current score: 0
  • Amazed

    Ironically, he’s helped increase your ranking on Google due to more sites linking to your site.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.netnagel.com/ Eric

    Does this online business have an affiliate program? If so, you should join & try to take advantage of the fact that you rank higher than they do on a particular term.

    Current score: 0
  • GG

    Shame we didn’t know his site as we could bomb your site for his company name. I would love to see his email then.

    Current score: 0
  • Gravy Jones

    Tell him that with all the publicity that your site is getting that eventually it will rank more than one higher and thus the problem will be solved. Ask him to please be patient while your popularity increases.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.arty-dev.com Arty

    Is this for real DeanO? Or are you just such an SEO/traffic ninja that you fabricated this brilliant story in order to attract 45k readers? Either way it’s causing quite the buzz. If it is real, this guy is a complete moron.

    Current score: 0
  • Joe Bloe

    You should probably contact the EFF if you get a letter from his lawyer. Companies have been sued before (and lost) for this kind of behavior. If he sues you, depending on where you live, it could also be illegal (look up anti-SLAPP laws)

    Current score: 0
  • Dan

    Make him an offer!!! If he is dumb enough to pay a lawyer for a pointless lawsuit… You may not be bullied, but everyone has a price =)

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.tututu.net/blog Laurent

    This is so funny. I think this may be a joke.

    Anyway, he is right about the fact that Google is doing business. He can buy ad from Google, but he won’t be able to buy ranking.

    Current score: 0
  • dallas

    Is he taking internet surfing lessons from GW Bush? Maybe someone should show him how “the Google” works.

    Current score: 0
  • Lucas Jacobs

    I want more than this guy’s website, name and the search term. I want his home address and his evening hours so that I can personally bitch-slap him.

    Viva capitalism imo.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.mohawksoft.org Markw

    I would respond to the guy stating that unless he cease harrassing you, you will release the “term” and his URL. Tell him you have many thousands of readers who thing he is a jerk and it would probably hurt what ever business he has even further.

    Current score: 0