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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  • http://artfoodfun.com cliff

    OCD with psychotic overtones,huh? Well if he ever tries to attack you physically then all you’d have to do is throw rice at him and escape while he picks up and counts each grain, ;P

    Current score: 0
  • http://zdoggie.net G-

    I Wuz Here. This guy has got to be kidding you.

    Current score: 0
  • Cyball

    I wonder if it might have something to do with winning a 5 pound note? (Read the blog)

    Current score: 0
  • Dan

    Now that you have been slashdotted, you will surely gain more inbound links.. thus having even higher rank for [edited] .. sucks to be that guy.

    Current score: 0
  • Atomic1fire

    Dear, Edited

    Firstly, I am not impressed with your constant harassment over such a childish issue.

    Secondly, no one will take you seriously not even google

    You have to understand edited that it doesnt matter because had you wanted to advertise your site you should have payed for a sponsored listing instead of using the organic listing and throwing a hissy fit

    Yeah they do when the businesses pay for that listing
    and thats just in the sponsored

    I don’t expect any problems in court because frankly I see you as having no case

    whatever your reply Im still going to post it on the internet

    Dean

    that would make a great comeback

    Current score: 0
  • AnArmyOfNone

    I have to agree with one of the earlier posts – you should inform him that after realizing that there is a healthy market for [edited] (thanks to him), you have decided to throw your hat in the ring. You could even take it a step further and create a fake front page that is almost completely, but not quite, identical to his.

    -do you have stairs in your house?-

    Current score: 0
  • Enough is Enough

    Enough is enough already, let’s have this idiots website name please.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.bytesandbeans.com Gilbert Palau

    Dean;

    This is what happens when people dhave a shitty site and others with more ingenuity get more kudos than them.

    I think you should ignore this person, and let him draw first blood… If he threatens you with a letter of a lawyer, I am sure this is not going to get any farther than that. Google itself, I’m sure will step in and clarify the issue on your favor.

    Regardless he is really wasting his time, because this is nothing you have fault of. If his ranking went down and yours is higher than his, it means his site sucks and yours doesnt.

    To the guy writing the email, If you want to get better page rankings, there are many things you can improve on your own site to do this, some of the dideas I can give you are to do a redesign of your site, create and online marketing campaign of your product and feature components to draw more traffic thus increasing your status in the ranking pages. If you dont have money to do this, then I guess you should consider another line of business cheaper than harrasing honest people who write their thoughts on the Internet, just because they are far more interesting that the business you have.

    My .02 cents

    Gilbert

    Current score: 0
  • Kirit

    Please, dont stop. Send him a reply. This is providing the online community such entertainment.

    Also, please please PLEASE tell us what the term is!

    What a moron!

    Current score: 0
  • woody

    “He may have a good lawyer, but I have got a blog…”

    Game. Set. Match. LMAO!

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

    what a moran…he probably doesn’t even have a lawyer. He just thinks saying he does will scare you. Stand your ground.

    Like others, I also would love to know what the term is.

    Current score: 0
  • Jesse

    Tell him you weren’t being sarcastic and that perhaps he should buy some google text ads.

    Current score: 0
  • Archie Anderson

    Hello all

    Heres my take on a reply:

    Dear xxxxx

    I’m sorry you were not impressed with my last repsonse, Perhaps you will find this more impressive. To paraphrase the movie Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here is a failure to communicate!” Please bear in mind, that none of my actions (other than simply being on the net) have been the cause of your vexation. You will find that google came up with the rankings all on their own without my input. They are very careful to protect how they come up with these ratings. Being that I have taken NO ACTION to harm you or your ranking, The best you could reasonably ask of me (politely, mind you), is for my help in resolving your dilema. I am not under any obligation to do so. Certainly, You are not in a position to make demands. Nor, for that matter, are you entitled to any particular ranking. You are, however, dead wrong in one thing; that is how google makes money. They make it by selling advertising, or what amounts to advertising. Your greivence is not with me. It’s with google.

    I would ask you this question: Are you sure that you wish to make this a matter of public record by bringing suit? I have done you the favor of not releasing your name, or the search term. If you bring suit, this information will be part of the public record. Are you sure that you can withstand the damage to your reputation and your bandwidth that the inevitable slashdotting would bring? No one likes a bully. I would now ask you, have I been able to reach you or is it as the movie says: “You just can’t reach some men.”. Perhaps the old clint Eastwood line is more to the point “You feeling lucky, Punk?”

    Impresively yours

    Well, Thats my take. Hope you like it.
    Archie

    Current score: 0
  • Beve

    The sensible reply would be that this issue is between him and Google and nothing to do with you (though it would be interesting to know what law he thinks you have broken that would require a lawyer to be involved?).

    But please don’t be sensible, be funny. If you do need a lawyer, maybe you could borrow Something Awful’s, Leonard “J.” Crabs.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.illuminatingscience.org/ Joel

    It almost sounds too good to be true…

    Current score: 0
  • Josh

    Well, one thing is for sure…

    Since you are getting all this coverage and more websites are linking to you such as /. you are going to get a much higher ranking.

    As long as you don’t link to the “competitions” website, you are golden!

    -Josh

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.slashdot.org wojtalsd

    Oh lord, Now that your blog has been /.ed I can only see your hits skyrocketing… Which should just make this person more furious… HA! Thats funny. Hope to see more of his emails.

    Current score: 0
  • delusr

    Man this is so funny, send him a few links to some SEO related stuff. Then send him a bill for your services once he doesnt pay you threaten him with legal action.

    Keep the laughs coming.

    Current score: 0
  • http://counterblog.gostats.com Richard

    You must continue the email conversation. At some point in the future, you will reveal that you are now pregnant with this person’s child. Say it is their fault because they didn’t put a “link condom” (of rel=nofollow fame) on their emails.

    Only zany antics like this can be an equal and appriate response to this utter ignorance.
    disclaimer: use my advice cautiously.

    Current score: 0
  • http://myamigo.ca Juan

    *** GOLDEN RESPONSE ***
    *** GOLDEN RESPONSE ***
    *** GOLDEN RESPONSE ***

    Dear Sir,

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

    Please accept my apologies, my reply was not meant to come across as being sarcastic. This matter is being addressed with utmost of respect and professionalism.

    > 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.

    If you don’t mind, do forward Google’s correspondence on to me.

    > 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.

    You are right, Google is in the business of search engine rankings and you are in the business of selling [blank]. Google uses special algorythms in order to determine search engine rankings; I am not in control of these algorythms and frankly I do not even know how they work. None the less, I see that you are in the business of selling [blank] and therefore it is in your interest to ensure that your web site receives a higher ranking than mine. Perhaps you could considering taking out a Google ad; their ad-words will enable your web site to be shown as a “sponsored” ad. Also, Google ads help you keep track of your turn over which may help you understand your business and it’s online presence.

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

    [start - you may want to leave this out]
    It is too bad that you did not contact a lawyer before speaking to me; in your email you clearly stated that you could not find the search term [blank] any where on my website. Because of this I am powerless to do anything about this.
    [finish - you may want to leave this out]

    I can’t stop you from engaging me in litigation but surely would it not be more prudent for you to engage an online marketing company instead of an attorney?

    Regretfully yours,

    Signed

    *** GOLDEN RESPONSE ***
    *** GOLDEN RESPONSE ***
    *** GOLDEN RESPONSE ***

    Current score: 0
  • Some Nerd

    Don’t give his info, for all the reasons above.
    But could you tell me on the sly so I can make sure I never accidentally buy something from this idiot?

    Current score: 0
  • Chris

    Contrarian Minority Report.

    “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!”

    Dean, take the advice of SEFL (but not as it was ironically given), Don, and Larry Clapp. Use your Heart of Compassion. Advise this person to read the comments on your original blog entry and this followup to see what ridicule s/he has garnered. Then “kill” him with kindness: reveal the search term, the URL, and for a few weeks put a link at the top of your blog to the site.

    Current score: 0
  • Larron Armstead

    Offer to sell your blog site to him for 10 million and see what he says. Then offer SEO and copywriting!

    Current score: 0
  • Dan

    I think the smart thing to do would be to send a copy of the entire conversation to Google and ask their advice in dealing with the guy.

    Current score: 0
  • Brad

    This is hilarious! Don’t give in, this guy is a complete moron & is full of himself. I can’t believe he thinks he can make you change your site around. Has he read the constitution lately?

    Current score: 0
  • Mike

    Keep stringing him along, but start charging 25 cents to read his replies to everyone. Charge $20 to reveal his name. Then, you’re a business site making lots of money. What’s the paypal account to send my $20.25? Kudos to you for actually not displaying the address, though. I don’t know if I could be so kind :)

    Current score: 0
  • Brad

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

    Maybe his search ranking isn’t as high because no one wants to buy the crap he sells, or deal with such an idiot!

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.bawdo.com Bawdo2001

    Maybe this bloke is playing with you?

    The Internet does not exist for business. What could a lawyer do in this case? Have any laws been broken? Does this person have any legal standing that allows him to “order” you to change the way google has ranked your site.

    Again, this bloke is probably playing with you in the hope you will publish his URL so he can piggyback some hits from your site…

    Regards, Bawdo2001

    Current score: 0
  • http://enkerli.wordpress.com Alexandre

    Erm… Call me naïve (I’m used to it) but it seems to me that this guy, apart from being clueless, is a probably non-native speaker of English (Mandarin-speaker, maybe?). Not an excuse for his behaviour, of course. But it explains the tone of his emails, to a certain extent.
    Personally, I would try to take the whole situation with a grain of salt. You know this guy can’t do anything to you. He’s frustrated about something he perceives as being unfair and isn’t finding the right way to resolve the situation. Is he really the only person you know who does this?
    I agree with Nice Guy above: make his site known and he’ll be very happy. His clumsy approach sound more like a desperate attempt at getting hits than an intimidation tactic.
    Mercy trumps fear.

    Current score: 0
  • minime

    Depends what do you want to do. If it happened to me, i would try to give that guy the least opportunities to legally attack me. It’s obvious he’s nuts and will try anything. Continuing to have contact with him and try to enrage him, without a legal advice, may in the end make you give him something that he can use together with his lawyer to base a (or better: any) case on.

    Don’t reply. Find somebody in the community who can assist you. EFF, or whomever else.

    Current score: 0
  • http://shrug Greg

    Dude.. just got here from /. and read this dude’s emails. I laughed at first. Then it hit me: the guy sounds just like my boss :’(

    Current score: 0
  • http://elkosmas.gr Eleftherios

    Dear Sir,

    The nature of my collaboration with Google is not a matter of public debate, there is a high possibility of Google making a lot more money from a blog (like this one) that from many businesses (like yours).

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.ginside.com Jonathan Dingman

    To be honest, I find it kind of humorous that he thinks businsses should be higher in search rankings than blogs. Who’s to say that a blog isn’t a business? Look at Weblogs Inc. All they do is blog an make clear over a million dollars a year doing it.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.little-nerd.com oracle

    This is as good as baiting a nigerian scammer.

    Infact, you should set him up with a few, they would get along just great.

    Cant wait to hear more, but i think when google reply to him.. he will disappear into the back room of his online shop to cry.

    Current score: 0
  • DrK

    rather than tell the term set a quiz so we can try and guess the term and know if we are right. also i’m sure that having to deal with this guy has kept you away from your important research in some highly marketable piece of softaware so no doubt the time wasted is worth at least $50000 in compensation…..

    Current score: 0
  • Prakash

    You should show the site traffic to your site to him , give a business proposition to him to buy your site (45k visitors in couple of days) and many many slashdot traffic coming now. tell him that he can buy it for a few hundred thousand $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ;) he may fall for it. just kidding

    or else keep playing with the guy and write a comedy. it may be even worth a movie if you play around for some more time. “idiot harasser in my mailbox” probably that would make more $$$

    hey tell the search term cant wait for it. esp seeing that moron’s reply mail

    Current score: 0
  • Derek

    The funniest thing about this is all the hits your site has got from being linked to SlashDot etc… will ensure your page remains probably the highest ranked now ;)

    Current score: 0
  • Willy

    Don’t post the searchterm – that’s what he is going to benefit most from.
    If you don’t post it, your site will get higher because of this mess – he might drop even lower…

    Or – sell to him the post on your blog ;)

    But curiosity still dwells: What’s the site he’s complainig about? [Don't tell also...]

    Have Fun!

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.petercooper.co.uk/ Peter Cooper

    He’s right.. Google IS a business, so they will happily suggest he uses Adwords to appear above you ;-)

    Current score: 0
  • http://davesboat.blogspot.com/ Rational Root

    It’s a problem for Google that blogs tend to interlink, so they often feature very highly in searchs.

    Since it’s a well known problem for google, and it’s hurting him, then maybe he will spend the kind of money that Google does on search algorithms and let them know what they are doing wrong.

    By the way, for your entertainment:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_Google_bombs

    Current score: 0
  • matt

    “marketing madrid”
    would be the search phraze

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.kimondo.co.uk Peter

    Love reading about this one – its a bit like Tony Blair complaining about being linked to the search term ‘poodle’ or George W Bush being linked to ‘failure’ – that’s the nature of google search!

    BTW it would be lovely if you could link this charity to the search term DFID purely because that’s one of the things they campaign on and I know at least 4 people who’d find it funny!!

    Current score: 0
  • Stigu

    This guy is the dumbest thing I read about since the latest George W. Bush interview.

    I’d suggest answering the following…

    Dear “enter his name here”,

    While I can understand that as a business owner the Google rankings are important to you, I’d recommend you learn about how they work before blaming me.

    The natural search results do not earn Google anything, hence they will not be impressed by your talk bout business being more important to them then blogs. For natural rankings only ONE THING matters to Google, the amount of visitors. My blog gets more visitors because more people find it interesting. If they weren’t looking for the information in my blog, they’d have kept going down the search result list and ended up on your page.
    If you want to get your rankings up, I suggest you do the same thing any company does, PAY GOOGLE to raise your ratings.

    You’re complaining to me, and threatening me are infantile, ludicrous and a sign that you don’t have the faintest clue of how Google rankings, or any search rankings, work.
    I’d advise you to cease immediately, less I lose my restraint and release your idiocy (including your name and company) to the internet. I have restrained from publishing your name and company so far as a matter of personal restraint. Your idiocy in search matters is getting on my nerves by your reiterated demands for doing something that is totally outside my control.

    Don’t take it personally, but get a clue of how the search process works, or when your name and company is published, about 1/2 of the internet will be laughing at you, and no company will survive that kind of media exposure.

    Just my 2 cents there. I’ve written many “business” communications, but as fr s ludicrous goes, this one really takes the cake.

    Current score: 0
  • Nadders

    Deano

    I run one of the UK’s leading retail sites. If you were higher than us on Google, my first angle of approach would be to have a very loud word in the ear of the web marketing team.

    If your correspondant cannot meta tag or search optimise his site correctly, its his own stupid fault.

    By the way can you publish his name so none of us make the mistake of employing him.

    Current score: 0
  • Shane

    Here is what you could respond with:

    —-

    To whom it may concern,

    To begin, I am replying to you via someone’s response on my blog because (1) I could not come up with some sort of response to satisfy your brazen attitude and (2) I find this situation entirely a waste of time, yet humorous on many levels.

    If you’ve continued to read, great! Here’s what I was trying to tell you in my previous e-mail.

    To quote some lines from Google’s own PageRanking page:

    “PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value.” (Google, pp. 3).

    Let’s look at the word, “democratic.” That means, in loosely defined terms of internet pageranking, a rank is not determined in order of importance from business to blog. It is, in fact, derived by the influence of the community.

    Also, pages are chosen by “an individual page’s value.” (Google, pp.3). You must ask yourself, “why is his website deemed more valuable (higher ranked) than mine?”

    Let me help you find some solutions to your quandry, based on some simple google searches for the string: “raising google pagerank.” Here are the results: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GFRC,GFRC:2006-50,GFRC:en&q=raising+google+pagerank

    Paragraph 5 of Google’s PageRank summary has this to say, “Google’s complex, automated methods make human tampering with our results extremely difficult. And though we do run relevant ads above and next to our results, Google does not sell placement within the results themselves (i.e., no one can buy a higher PageRank). A Google search is an easy, honest and objective way to find high-quality websites with information relevant to your search.”

    So, let me break it down for you a second time—I mean, third time:

    1. Google’s PageRank system is actually a mathematical algorithm, where the rank of a page is based a myriad of influenced, all dictated by the nature of the community. Though it is possible for an individual to fudge ranking, Google’s system is a “…complex, automated methods make human tampering with our results extremely difficult.” (Google, pp. 5).

    2. You can actually make your website more valuable in terms of search. Although I consider my website far more interesting and valuable than yours, it is by no means my fault that Google’s PageRanking system values my page before yours. Please, use Google to find methods to raise your PageRank, and stop harassing me or I might have to pretend I have a lawyer.

    Again, your rank is your own fault. Not mine!

    3. Lol, you contacted your lawyer.

    Lastly, thank you! You’ve drawn a lot of readers to my page with the situation you have created between us. Ironically, with the upsurge of readers to my blog, it may yet rank higher and rise in value.

    Sincerely yours,

    An internet blogger, full of heart.

    —-

    How’s that?

    Shane

    Current score: 0
  • http://blog.netgautam.com Nitesh Gautam

    Liked reading the conversation :)

    Current score: 0
  • http://my.opera.com/Mr20Green John Asbjørn

    I would take a look at http://thepiratebay.org/legal to get some inspiration for your reply.

    Current score: 0
  • Mike

    Dear Mr Aardvark

    I represent Aardvarks Limited. It has recently come to our attention that your name appears before the company’s in the phonebook.

    It is unconscionable that a private individual should be more easily found in the phonebook than my company. Afterall, this company is my livelihood, whereas you make no money from having the surname “Aardvark”.

    I therefore require you to either delist from the White Pages, or change your surname by deed poll to “Aardvarkt”.

    Let’s not forget the White Pages makes money from listing our names, and I am sure they will get more business from my company than from you.

    Current score: 0
  • http://www.xanga.com/wicked_azteca Luke

    I was just reading my slashdot headlines and saw this article. Good thing to see a private individual sticking it to the man. I work for the man, and I don’t like him very much. Good luck and godspeed.

    Luke

    Current score: 0
  • http://rvincoletto.multiply.com Renata Vincoletto

    Hi Deano!
    Definitelly, it has something wrong with these people.

    I’m on a mailing list about blogging and I send a message for the group talking about this case.

    They reject my message (Message not approved: Online Store to Sue Blogger Over Google Ranking):

    Renata, I’m going to reject this email from being published in the group since I am concerned about the group injecting itself into someone’s legal affairs. Your connection with the topic is not explained, which is also a possible problem.

    I am concerned that accepting it for publication to the group without a more thorough description of the situation might cause some problems down the road for us by appearing to take sides.

    If you think I am misreading this situation please let me know.

    OMG!!! It’s just news…

    Current score: 0