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Online Store to Sue Blogger Over Google Ranking?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the all-this-effort-could-have-gone-to-fixing-his-site dept.

365

An anonymous reader writes "An online business owner is threatening to sue blog owner Dean Hunt (DeanHunt.com) because he is upset that the blog owner is doing better than his business in the Google search rankings. After an initial threat, Dean received a follow-up threatening to take legal action against him. So far Dean has elected not to name and shame this business owner."

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Ranking.... (3, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225092)

Yeah, well there are lots of blogs that do better than a number of businesses and organizations for whatever reasons Google assigns ranking. I get a number of amused emails from people that find Google ranks my blog [utah.edu] higher than their dedicated sites for a shocking number of items. They want to know how I've engineered it, and I have to say I honestly don't know. But if they want to pay Google to increase their ranking above mine, go for it.

I suspect part of the reason is my selective use of links in articles I post to supplement the content I post with targeted information, as well as my hosting it from my office in an educational institution. Occasionally getting linked from places like Slashdot, BoingBoing and Digg can't hurt either....

Re:Ranking.... (3, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225122)

google likes those who link and get linked. If your online store is poorly connected on the WWW then your ranking will be based on other factors that don't seem to be quite as important to google.

My resume is better ranked on google than some (minor) online stores.

Re:Ranking.... (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225794)

" If your online store is poorly connected on the WWW then your ranking will be based on other factors that don't seem to be quite as important to google."

What I find even more amusing...that so many people thing the internet was constructed primarily for commerce...when in fact, that is only a fairly recent by-product.

Re:Ranking.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225160)

Perhaps you linking to your blog everywhere has something to do with it :P

Re:Ranking.... (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225256)

They want to know how I've engineered it, and I have to say I honestly don't know. But if they want to pay Google to increase their ranking above mine, go for it.

I routinely outrank local businesses that I write about on my site. Generally these businesses are unknown to Google and if I don't link to their actual site (it may not exist prior to me posting about them and them subsequently finding out that I gave them an unfavorable review).

I have watched local businesses like Divinci's Pizza [lazylightning.org] go in and out of business while trying to gain top Google ranking. I have also had pissed off business owners post to my site trying to prove that they aren't as bad as I said they were.

Why am I ranked higher? Probably because of Slashdot and the various other blogs that link back to me (I'm somewhere around 270 links). Other than that, who the fuck knows.

Best Sex Scene of 1999 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225380)

My vote, with many great candidates, goes to the scene in Rodney Moores Cumm
Brothers # 22. Its the second and third scene in the movie.
    Scene # 2 This scene features living dolls Keki D'aire and Blondie
Anderson, two girls built the way I like them. Short and sexy.Living legend
Laurel Canyon joins in to make this a triple treat. The lucky guys are Byron
Long and Mandingo two black men with enormous dicks.
    The scene begins with Blondie ( a petite beautiful blonde who could pass for
14 years old ) wearing a strap on dildo, Laurel Canyon appears out of the blue
to chow down on it. Meanwhile cutie pie Keki ( a 5 foot tall sex pot with
little Orphan Annie curls ) jumps up and down on a Trampoline. This action
makes two large black men appear, Byron and Mandingo. They join Keki on the
Trampoline and she quickly has two large Tootsie rolls in her mouth.
        The scene shifts inside. Laurel begins sucky-suck on Mandingo ( who has one
of the largest dicks I have ever seen.) Blondie tries to suck on Byron's long
boy but she can hardly fit the dick in her mouth.
    Keki helps Laurel with Mandingo's giant erection. Keki then goes to help
Byron. Keki seems to favor Byron in this scene.
    Blondie spits a mouthful of drool onto Byrons dick, lots of good noisy, messy
blowjob going on here.
    Now all 3 girls are working on Mandingo's dick. I think its Mandingo's dick,
all you see is the hard black dick and three pretty faces. All those black
dicks look alike to me. The three girls are all on hands and knees between
Mandingo's legs. Blondie is in the middle and she kind of passes the joint
around. The angle is above the dick, so we see the dick and then the faces
under it. From this angle the dick looks like a black version of the lincoln
Tunnel.
      Laurel stays with Mandingo and Keki and Blondie go back to Byron. Mandingo
cums. His cum drips out, it doesn't spurt. Laurel sucks the cum out of his
dick. Keki comes over but doesn't do anything except look.
    Now all 3 girls are working on Byron, Byron stands and cums on the adoring
faces of the 3 blondes between his legs. Laurel gets most of it but Kike gets
some on lips and chin.

Scene 3 The same three girls move onto Rodney and Red .Laurel begins with Red,
while Keki and Blondie work on Rodney. Keki begins to suck Rodney's dick while
Blondie literraly sits on Rodneys face. Red licks Laurels pussy. Keki and
Blondie trade places. After a bit, Keki sits on Rodneys dick ( i swear, Rodneys
dick looks like a roll of Baloney ) Keki big round ass is facing us as she goes
bumpity bump on Rodneys dick. Red begins to fuck Laurel doggy style. Rodney
spoons with Keki.Rodney does Keki , reverse cow-girl. Whgile Laurel does the
same with Red. Rodney is beginning to get to Keki who groans and moans. Red
does Laurel in Reverse Cow-girl. Rodney lays it to Keki in the missionary, then
doggy style. He hits it TT-Boy style.
    Poor Blondie doesn't have too much to do in this scene. I guess she is all
sucky-sucky no fucky fucky.
    Rodney really begins to hammer Keki . Scene shifts, Rodney is fucking Laurel
in Missionary while Red does Keki doggy style. Red picks up Keki and fucks her
with her up in the air. Rodney cums in Laurels mouth. Red cums in Laurels
mouth and Keki licks a little cum.

  Its the girls that do it for me I guess. I love girls who are short and sexy.
And you get plenty of it here.

Best Blow Job film of 1999: is hands sown Doctor Fellatio # 19 the best Blow
job movie of all time.

Re:Ranking.... (2, Informative)

kanani (882288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225318)

"suspect part of the reason is my selective use of links in articles I post to supplement the content I post with targeted information,"... Or maybe because you embed the link into every slashdot post?

Re:Ranking.... (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225654)

Or maybe because you embed the link into every slashdot post?

Absolutely as it is part of my sig. Why would I not do that as Slashdot ranking has its advantages.

Re:Ranking.... (1)

kanani (882288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225998)

Not saying you shouldn't do it as part of your sig, or part of the post, or both, as in the parent. Just supplementing your analysis with a bit of my own.

Ignore it (1)

15Bit (940730) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225584)

He should just ignore the guy. His site is more popular than the business one for a reason. So he should just register another domain, make it clear on his blog that he'll be transferring across in the event that he's sued, sit back, and do nothing. The business guy can go to all the trouble and effort of suing, pay the money and inherit the domain after wasting his time and effort. Within 2 months the blog will be back at the top of the google rankings and Stupid won't be able to go back to court to claim the new domain because he'll look like an idiot.

Re:Ranking.... (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225596)

The part I find bizarre is this:

Exactly how does the online business owner figure that the blog owner, Dean Hunt, bears any responsibility for how Google ranks his blog with respect to the online store? Only Google is responsible for how it ranks pages. I suppose the business owner can sue Google, but somehow I doubt he'd get very far, considering that Google doesn't owe the shop owner anything in terms of pageranking unless he entered into some sort of contract with Google, but that's all between him and Google, right?

I ought to sue too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225688)

I ought to sue Eric Raymond, because he's ranked higher than me. That gives all Raymonds a horrible reputation. It's libel, I tell you, libel! He's intentionally making me look bad! If this guy sues, then I can find another thing to charge this "Eric Raymond" (if that's even his real name, he's such a kook that I'm sure he can't really be named Raymond) with.

Unfortunately, at the moment it looks like the threats are entirely without substance, as he hasn't even named what the potential legal action would be. I hope he gets on with it soon, because he is holding back my efforts to improve my reputation through litigation as well. )=

THIS IS FAKE, HE MADE THIS UP! PLEASE READ. (5, Interesting)

Sir Homer (549339) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225792)

This man owns a search optimization business, with its only purpose to increase the PageRank of other sites. There is no threatening letters. Mr. Dean Hunt fabricated them himself. He even writes in his website:
Over the coming weeks I am going to be attempting my very first viral campaign. A viral campaign is something that has interested me for a long time, and if done properly it can be one of the most powerful tools any webmaster has.
There is NO evidence this guy is telling the truth, but there is ALOT of evidence this guy is lying his ass off. Don't believe this Slashdot readers!

Mod Parent Up (5, Informative)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225850)

This seems *very* suspicious. Parent quotes from this post [deanhunt.com] .

Here's my secret (4, Interesting)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225802)

And I'll share it for free:

A rich internal link structure.

Blog software creates this by default, but you can do it manually. A recent website I was hired to optimize will illustrate this. The site is customSiliconeBracelets.com. When I was hired they were on the 30th page for their two desired phrases: Silicone Bracelets & Custom Silicone Bracelets. Now, they're number 1 in both of those.

To accomplish this, I did two main things:

1. Add a bunch of text. It's mostly nonsensical. It's not meant for human consumption. It's there for keyword density.

2. Add a shitload of intra-site links. Every keyword in that nonsensical text is linked to other pages in the site. If you tried to navigate the site by following such links (instead of using the sites navigation) you'd go in circles for hours. Which, when you look at the logs, is essentially what Googlebot does.

Of course, there was all the "standard" stuff like page titles, H tags, links with titles, alt text on images, etc. But those only get you so far. The real beef is in the link structures, friends.

Perhaps Its the Lawyer (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225106)

So far Dean has elected not to name and shame this business owner.
Maybe it's the Texan lawyer by the same name [findlaw.com] whose practice has been so far 100% litigation? The letter sure sounds like the author has found something in his books of law that give him just enough edge to use his firm in forcing this guy to settle out of court.

Who ever is doing this, I'll bet there's some stupid law they can leverage that says that Top Level Domains (TLDs) should only be used for what they stand for. Afterall, the .com TLD [wikipedia.org] is short for 'commercial' or 'commerce.' I know it claims to be 'open' but a blog isn't anything commercial so maybe these are just beginning petty threats that will lead to a domain squatting lawsuit? Either way, if the guy's so concerned, why hasn't he registered deanhunt.biz [deanhunt.biz] ? If you think I'm out of my mind, you've never encountered a lawyer before.

When I search for Dean Hunt, the blog beats any references to that lawyer's firm by a long shot but the links referring to the lawyer follow the blog immediately after it's #1 slot.

Anyone else find it hilarious that all these news articles are going to Google bomb the blog into a no-way-beatable #1 position for at least a few months? And what's this guy supposed to do? Check Google daily to ensure that he hasn't offended this ranking implication that the online store claims should be in place superseding Google's pagerank?

Even easier. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225274)

Put a little link at the top of his site saying "If you're looking for Texas lawyer .... click here (link)".

What's next? Students sued because they're more popular than the unpopular students? "Sally only won home coming queen because she's a cheerleader and promiscuous! It's UNFAIR!"

TV ad - Was your child devastated when she wasn't voted home coming queen? The law offices of Dewey Cheatum can help. We also provide Google ranking services.

Re:Even easier. (5, Funny)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225472)

Sally only won home coming queen because she's a cheerleader and promiscuous!

I'd like to meet this Sally.

Re:Even easier. (1)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225680)

..."Law offices of Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe."

Re:Perhaps Its the Lawyer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225400)

I doubt that guy is doing business online. His resume also implies that he isn't an idiot. Keep guessing.

Re:Perhaps Its the Lawyer (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225542)

Anyone who deals in designing or hosting web sites professionally as a service to other companies will tell you there are plenty of idiots doing business online.

Re:Perhaps Its the Lawyer (1)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225408)

Blogs are a form of news reporting, news is commerce and has been for years. Ergo, any kind of argument that a 'personal blog' has nothing to do with commerce is a horrible one.

I'm not going to say that the quality of an argument doesn't mean anything in Texas.

I'm not going to say that the quality of an argument doesn't mean anything in Texas.

D'oh. Here it comes.

'Reality Based Sources' show that the quality of arguments has no effect on their validity in Texas.

There. I just couldn't resist.

Re:Perhaps Its the Lawyer (2, Interesting)

torstenvl (769732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225454)

Do Texans tell you to "expect a letter in the post"? That doesn't sound like a Texan to me.

Re:Perhaps Its the Lawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225556)

Based on the poor quality of the email, I can virtually guarantee that it is not the lawyer you cited. Also, the email in no way indicates that the domain name is the problem.

Even the stupidest lawyers aren't stupid enough (5, Insightful)

Sir Homer (549339) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225608)

To send letters like that. I have a feeling Mr. Dean Hunt is fabricating this story, as his business is mainly google bombing and search engine optimization.

Re:Even the stupidest lawyers aren't stupid enough (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225860)

You are not the only one with that feeling. Pretending to protect the innocent could also be a guise for not having any proof. We'll see if he ever discloses his name and domain.

Re:Perhaps Its the Lawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225686)

One way to solve this problem.
There are quite a bit of website administrators here.
If at least a small % of them put the links to every one other than the lawyer in his page, then we can googlebomb the litigator out of first page, even.
That should teach him

Commerce (1)

Khammurabi (962376) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225876)

I know it claims to be 'open' but a blog isn't anything commercial so maybe these are just beginning petty threats that will lead to a domain squatting lawsuit?
Main Entry: commerce
Pronunciation: 'kä-(")m&rs
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French, from Latin commercium, from com- + merc-, merx merchandise
1 : social intercourse : interchange of ideas, opinions, or sentiments
2 : the exchange or buying and selling of commodities on a large scale involving transportation from place to place

I'm no lawyer, but I'm pretty sure blogging would neatly fit under definition #1.

Re:Perhaps Its the Lawyer (1)

MoeBot (762306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225936)

Doubt it. The email makes it clear that the complaint is about a search term that Dean's blog is really not about: Dean's blog is definitely about Dean Hunt. There's a reference in the follow up to contacting a lawyer as well, which takes away from the scenario of this coming from a lawyer (though it's possible, I suppose).

Also, the line from the follow up email: 'A letter in the post' seems out of synch with what a guy from Houston would write...

please counter-sue (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225108)

These kind of crazy lawsuits need to stop.

Re:please counter-sue (4, Funny)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225254)

The lawsuit isn't needed anymore. By posting the story to /. as an anonymous coward, the store owner just blasted the bloggers website off the net. Now google'ers will bypass the downed blog website, and go on to the store.

Brilliant!

Re:please counter-sue (-1, Troll)

pinkpanther05 (988726) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225476)

Lurkerxxx - You are spot on. I haev already linked to DeanHunt.com from my blog, and a Slashdot link will do no harm either ;) The guy from the online store is going to be begging Dean for a link soon. hahahaha.

Cry me a river... (4, Insightful)

Marton (24416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225124)

An undisclosed somebody is threatening to sue a poor little blogger over something. Come on. This is not news. Where are the facts?

Re:Cry me a river... (1)

epiphani (254981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225162)

News: Google changes search results for business over blog
Not News: Small business files weightless and doomed lawsuit over Google ranking.
Slashdot: Some blogger receives email from business complaining about Google ranking.

Re:Cry me a river... (2, Insightful)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225168)

Facts? Facts? We don't need no stinking facts!

Re:Cry me a river... (1)

Quebec (35169) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225172)

I agree with the comment: without the facts this is not a worthy story

Re:Cry me a river... (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225954)

But great marketing for this guy's little blog, and his own business too, no?

BWHAHAH (1)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225132)

Haha, you have to love morons on the internet thinking they own the world

Re:BWHAHAH (-1, Troll)

pinkpanther05 (988726) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225164)

Looks like Deans server is struggling to cope with this. ;) I saw the article this morning, and it is very amusing. Worth checking back once his server recovers.

Re:BWHAHAH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225308)

I find it amazing how often the masses of slashdotters cripple servers. "Oh no! I've been slashdotted!" Does "slashdotted" appear as a verb yet in Webster's?

Re:BWHAHAH (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225520)

No, "truthiness" was this year's winner. Unless "slashdotted" cripples the next presidential election by jamming all those voting machines, I don't expect to see that word in any dictionary.

WTF? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225134)

Peter Boyle is dead and you guys think this is news?

Get a life... really...

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225918)

Peter Boyle's death is appropriate news for an entertainment/celebrity news site. This is a technology site and it's not appropriate here as he has no connection to technology or technology-related issues.

This isn't news (1)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225192)

Dean Hunt needs to stop exploiting Google Ranking. Since when are blogs a good source of information? its all biased and geared towards biased views.

Re:This isn't news (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225518)

Not that I advocate taking them seriously, but conservative radio talk show hosts seem to pay a lot of attention to what various bloggers have to say. And lets be honest now, there isn't one unbiased news source out there anymore. If you're alive, then you have an opinion, and your opinion will color whatever it is you're trying to write about.

Re:This isn't news (1)

rmac217 (762209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225704)

Yeah, screw blogs. I mean I don't know anybody who reads the dumb things anyway. I especially don't know anyone who spends all day clicking reload on any blogs watching for new things to post and whiles away hours searching the internet for things that they can submit for "first post"... oh... crap... (cue crying game music)

Dump him to page 4 (2, Interesting)

totallygeek (263191) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225196)

It would be funny to duplicate the content and massively interlink sites to drop the business page ranking even worse. Does anyone know if this approach has been successfully attempted in the past?

/.ed already (0)

fractalus (322043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225198)

Re:/.ed already (1)

fractalus (322043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225230)

...and of course somehow I managed to post the same link twice... ...oops...

Re:/.ed already (1)

emil10001 (985596) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225272)

Here's [mirrordot.org] the link to the initial correspondence (I think).

Simple (3, Interesting)

torstenvl (769732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225202)

FRCP 12(b)(6) the thing. Plaintiff has not stated a claim upon which relief can be granted. Then you're done.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225738)

Even simpler than that -- no one said anything about anyone suing anyone. Someone got their panties in a knot and sent an absurd e-mail, and for some reason the Slashdot community is upset at some theoretical lawyer.

Re:Simple (1)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225778)

I suppose he could make some sort of an argument for fraud if he was motivated.

The blogger's problem? (1)

Non-CleverNickName (1027234) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225234)

What's the point of suing the blogger? If Google is the one that creates the page rankings, and is the reason why that blog is ranked higher than his website, how is it the blogger's fault?

Maybe TFA explained it, but it's /. traffic killed it...

Re:The blogger's problem? (3, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225480)

What's the point of suing the blogger? If Google is the one that creates the page rankings, and is the reason why that blog is ranked higher than his website, how is it the blogger's fault?

I'm sorry, sir, but we won't be needing you and your fancy rational thinking on the jury. Have a nice day!

News in Brief: Slashdot assists in bogus claim! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225262)

Now that deanhunt has been slashdotted, the bogus claimant can rejoice, for deanhunt no longer exists (at least for a few hours).

Re:News in Brief: Slashdot assists in bogus claim! (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225976)

The bogus part is that there is no bogus claimant.

Slashdotted? (0)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225278)

Or have the bloodsucking lawyers already eaten the site?
Anyway, here's the first blog post:
Bizzare Google Request
December 9th, 2006
Here is a bizzare e-mail discussion I had with a guy who contacted me yesterday.
xxxUPDATExxx I have posted the second part of this, you can view it here: Second bizarre email
-Original Message-
From: xxxxx xxxxxxxxx
Date: 12/8/2006 xx:xx:xx PM
To: Dean Hunt
Subject: DeanHunt.com Google Removal Request
Hello Dean,
My name is [edited] and I run [edited].com
I have been running the site for over two years and we have been ranked very highly for the search term [edited].
On Thursday morning I checked our google positions and your site is now above us for this term. I haev checked your blog and it has nothing to do with [edited], so I think it would be best all round if you remove your blog from google for this search term.
Please understand that we make our living from this, and you are just writing a blog that has nothing to do with [edited].
If you do not remove yourself from google for this search, then I will call them myself and have you removed.
I expect a reply soon.
Thankyou.
[edited]
[edited].com

From: xxxxx xxxxxxxxx
Date: 12/8/2006 xx:xx:xx PM
To: [edited]
Subject: Re: DeanHunt.com Google Removal Request

[edited],
Dean here from DeanHunt.com
I just received your e-mail. My first question would have to be Are you serious?
I had to re-read your e-mail three times to make sure my eyes were not playing tricks on me!
Here is some more info that may help you understand my stance on this:
a) I have never attempted to rank for the search term [edited], I seem to rank fairly well for [edited], which I suppose is fairly similar. But if Google prefers my site to yours then perhaps you should be asking yourself why that is.
b) There is nothing I can do about removing myself for that search term, nor am I going to attempt to do anything. I have no information on my site related to [edited], so I am sure that the searchers will generally visit your site instead.
c) You can contact Google if you wish! I doubt you will get a serious reply though.
Perhaps instead of wasting your time with e-mails like this you could work on improving your web site instead?
Anyway, good luck with contacting google, if you do get a reply, I would love a copy of their e-mail. I have prepared a nice little place on my wall to hang it from.
Take care,
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.
And the second bizarre email:
Bizarre Google Request Update
December 11th, 2006
Good morning,
You are probably aware that over the weekend my âoeBizzare google requestâ 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.
Donâ(TM)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 donâ(TM)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 dont 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

Hah hah. I get it. (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225280)

So you link to this Dean Hunt guy on the front page of slashdot, further increasing his page rank.

A nice, swift kick-to-the-nuts to the business responsible for this frivolous lawsuit.

How is this even his problem? (1)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225300)

Google is the one ranking entries. The blogger has absolutely no control over what Google does. So why is this even his question?

Think about it. No matter how frustrating it may be, can Bob sue Jim because Mary said Jim was a better lover? Of course not.

For that matter, if a lawyer is involved hasn't this already gone far enough to bring in the state bar? Lawyers can push the envelope, but they can't threaten to sue somebody when they know they have absolutely no chance of prevailing.

Re:How is this even his problem? (1, Interesting)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225574)

can Bob sue Jim because Mary said Jim was a better lover? Of course not.

You would be wrong. Can they win? I sure hope not. Would it get thrown out really fast? I sure hope so. But can he sue? Yes.

Re:How is this even his problem? (1)

slew (2918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225830)

Seems to me like this is like "John Smith, J.D." complaining to "John Smith" that the phone book publisher accidentially listed "John Smith" first in the yellow pages under "sharks" and that "John Smith" should ask the phone book publisher to remove his name from the yellow pages because obviously he is not a professional shark, unlike "J.D." which is a professional shark and much more deserving of the first listing. Of course "John Smith" has nothing to do with the fact he was listed in the yellow pages under "sharks" and can't be bothered to complain to the phone book publisher when obviously "J.D." won't appreciate his efforts anyhow...

Reminds me of.... (5, Funny)

SuperStretchy (1018064) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225310)

A quite I heard:
Fighting on the internet is like the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you're still retarded.

While not necessarily the most tactful of quotes, it does ring true.

Some people just don't get it... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225332)

I made a website for a local business owner and helped him promote it, even getting several number 1 spots on relevant google searches. One month his PageRank went down a notch, so he immediately calls me to ask what he can do about it. I explained the basics of how it works and why there is nothing he can do about it aside from getting more links.

So he tries to phone google to ask them to change it back. I'm not kidding. You can guess where that went...

He tells me about this, upset, and I explain it to him again. All he can do is try and get more sites on the web to link to his page. Still desperate for a better rating, he makes a final proposition. My wife has a site with her resume and some articles on it, with a PR two steps higher than his. Could he put his site on that domain instead? (Not going to list the site, but the url is HER NAME, think www.janedoe.com .)

The point is, some people just don't get it.

Bernard Shiffman (1)

CyberLife (63954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225364)

The guy's name isn't Bernard Shiffman [slashdot.org] by any chance, is it? :P

Now even higher in ranking (1)

rjdegraaf (712353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225382)

Since this news provides links to the domain, it increase the popularity stats in google's algorithm, placing the domain even higher in ranking :)

Let's all make a link to deanhunt.com [deanhunt.com] .

I wonder if it could possibly be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225394)

Bernard Shiffman [wikipedia.org] trying new business models! ;-)

MY BLOG WAS SUED BY MICROSOFT (5, Interesting)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225396)

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.

Re:MY BLOG WAS SUED BY MICROSOFT (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225744)

I agree completely. And the fact that he's 'protecting' the company that wants to sue him? WTF? I'm calling his bluff. If someone was trying to sue me for something stupid, I would advertise it to the best of my abilities. If you're gonna sue me for something stupid, I'm going to let EVERYONE know just how stupid you are.

So, is "anonymous reader" the opposing site owner? (1)

AnswerIs42 (622520) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225404)

Considering the refered site in the post is now 500 error.. I think the submitter has accomplished what their threats did not.

I am not saying that "anonymous reader" IS the person sending the threats to Deanhunt.com ... but who knows in this day and age.

30 Comments and nobody asking about Mike? (3, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225434)

Wouldn't every body here want to see a blog by Mike Hunt?

Laugh. It's funny.

Okay, it isn't. It's tired and overused. And oddly enough, MikeHunt.com is safe for work. Whoddathunkit?

Never underestimate the subtle stuff. (3, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225448)

On a site I run, I've got articles I've written about other businesses (typically complimentary) that invariably rank higher than the businesses' own web sites, especially on slightly odd-ball searches, but often on something as simple as the business's name. And the only thing I'm doing is using better grammar, and generally carrying on in a more conservative way. Google seems to reward restraint. Breathless promotional material always seems to take a back seat to lucid, well-constructed information.

Sure, Google ranks plenty of blatant trash higher than it sometimes should, but it's not always that way. My own experience is that actual, real content remains king. Small businesses frequently don't take the time to actually write any real meat for their own web sites. Hell, a lot my older stuff still isn't even all that standards-compliant (I swear I'll get around that CSS stuff one of these days), but it usually exceeds the sites about which I'm writing. And, of course, it's a feedback loop. The more credible some of my pages appear, the higher the new ones rank, too. No witchcraft, no magic sauce: just careful writing and resisting the urge to run content from the slimier ad engines.

Re:Never underestimate the subtle stuff. (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225952)

Google seems to reward restraint.

Very well said. It seems that blogs in general are Google's favourite subject matter because they are composed of full sentences and typically contain hyperlinks to popular sites. Many businesses use decade-old tricks like spamming meta tags or individual words in text the same colour as the background, and Google has evolved much since then. In other cases, corporate sites use gratuitous Flash elements, complex dynamic content, or session IDs which cannot be considered by Google whatsoever.

The blog author is correct when he says the litigious party's time would be better spent optimizing its web presence.

Re:Never underestimate the subtle stuff. (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225962)

What I'd really like to know is why they didn't just offer to pay a huge amount for an ad on Dean's site rather than badgering him with threats of a frivolous lawsuit. Problem solved, since they'd be getting traffic via his rank.

If a person beats another person for coercive purposes, that's illegal. If a person makes a threat of physical violence in order to get someone to change their behavior, that's illegal. If a person files a frivolous lawsuit that can be illegal. When is it going to be illegal to threaten suits with absolutely no ground behind them? It's coercion. The suit would be frivolous. Using a threat of a frivolous or grounds-less lawsuit for coercion should be illegal, just as using threat of violence is illegal. Lawsuits are only tools for legitimate claims on legitimate grounds, and any sort of blackmail or attorney chest-beating should be punishable.

My response (4, Funny)

DebianDog (472284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225498)

Dear [edited]

Since your business [edited].com is doing rather well and top ranking is important to your business. Please transfer $[edited] in U.S. dollars to this [edited] account. When that happens I will gladly remove any and all references to [edited].com.

Thanks and bite me

Not convinced this guy is truthful (5, Interesting)

Sir Homer (549339) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225514)

I saw a link to this on his website: http://www.deanhunt.com/services/index.html [deanhunt.com]

It raises some suspicion as this guy's business seems to be googlebombing. Perhaps he fabricated this story in order to get his website up in PageRank by people linking to him.

Re:Not convinced this guy is truthful (-1, Troll)

pinkpanther05 (988726) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225586)

Sir Homer. I have been following this story for 4 days now. From what I have seen, Dean has done everything to try and make this story calm down. If it was fake then he would be milking it surely?

Re:Not convinced this guy is truthful (4, Interesting)

Sir Homer (549339) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225692)

Not true. From his his website he seems to really want people to blog about it. He thanks people for blogging about it and puts "easy to blog" links. He says on website before this "event" occurs that he will attempt a "viral campaign".
Over the coming weeks I am going to be attempting my very first viral campaign. A viral campaign is something that has interested me for a long time, and if done properly it can be one of the most powerful tools any webmaster has.

Re:Not convinced this guy is truthful (-1, Troll)

pinkpanther05 (988726) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225806)

good point, and not something that has not already been discussed elsewhere. However, Dean posted that in early October. He also said that the viral idea was for a NEW site, and he said that he would update people of his progress. Why tell your blog readers you are going to do a viral campaign and then deny it? makes no sense to me. My guess from looking at all the facts for 4 days = I am 95% sure this is true. But if it is not then I applaud him even more. Bloody brilliant either way.

Re:Not convinced this guy is truthful (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225880)

Says the user with a posting history of 5 posts, all in this story trying to "deny" this obvious fake story, a.k.a. Dean Hunt.

Asshole.

Re:Not convinced this guy is truthful (1)

infochuck (468115) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225950)

So you decide to link to him? Nice!

He has no control over google's ranking, ey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225534)

I suspect a fake story to help his search engine optimization business: http://www.deanhunt.com/services/index.html [deanhunt.com]

SEO slashvertisement - viral campaign (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225570)

Yes great. He posts a truly funny e-mail exchange on his site. And now he even gets slashdot exposure.

He even wrote: I will make a viral campaign!
http://deanhunt.com/category/seo/ [deanhunt.com]

This is it and you have fallen for it. Stupidos.

Argh (1)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225588)

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown
The world is filled with winners and whiners..
I'll settle for my blanket...with a warm cup of coco in the corner...
And hopefully THIS year what Goes around will COME around...

Doesn't this business owner have better things to do than blame
some guy who's GOOD at what what he does ?!
Like advertising ??!!

Blame the other guy and move along...nothing to see here...

Cheers

One Last Email (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225612)

What's frustrating here is that Dean has not thought to ask the question I'd really liked answered: why does this bozo believe that he has a legal claim to the top Google hit for a particular search term? Dean, how about it? At the very least it will probably shut the guy up.

Re:One Last Email (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225884)

As best I can tell, he thinks that Dean's site is not about whatever-[edited]-is at all, so he deserves it more than Dean does. He's probably reasoning by analogy to domain names, where you can (sometimes) have a domain name taken from you if the name is your trademark and your site isn't using it for the purpose.

It's designed to prevent cybersquatting, but it doesn't do much good at that, and a lawsuit there is only intermittently successful. Either way it only applies to domain names, not Google search keys.

He also seems to believe that Google wants him to have it, on the theory that Google makes more money off of businesses than off blogs. At that he's completely misunderstanding where Google makes its money (not from the listed sites but from the advertisers).

The upshot: he's an idiot with no chance, but it would really suck if the guy had to spend money on a lawyer to defend himself. And if he finds himself in front of a technologically-ignorant judge, the judge may even order him to shut down the web site.

keep playing with this guy (1)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225630)

I honestly don't know whether to just block his e-mails or keep playing with this guy

keep playing with this guy!!! he's a bully and (although I am not a layer) he dost have a leg to stand on. The only way he can win is if you cave in, he will then make you feel even worse about it by saying "I told I was right, you should have listened to me and not been so silly"; or words to that effect. Use a lot of humour seeing as he got angry(jealous) that you ranked higher that will depress him if he thinks you are not affected. Lastly put his name on you blog, if you and the internet are laughing at him he will shut up. Dont get upset or angry.

Re:keep playing with this guy (2, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225752)

No, offer him advertising space on your website, and threaten to add more websites above him on Google if he doesn't! Dean should tell him that he intends to play hardball, and will have Google strike his entry entirely if necessary.

The numbers don't lie (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225632)

This reminds me of a similar occurrance last year when Dave Redl, owner of the "Familypants" brand, wrote a cease and desist letter to a website. This website had a discussion forum and one of the forum users named himself "Familypants". Message posts by that user appeared higher on Google than the Familypants website.

If anyone cares, I wrote a rather opinionated, juvenile, and scathing blog entry [demodulated.com] on this topic. The next day I felt bad about being such a meanie to Dave Redl so I wrote a follow-up article [demodulated.com] , but halfway through I realized that my wrath was justified.

Some consider Google too truthful for its own good, it seems.

Another example of abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17225652)

Another example of this kind of abuse happened recently to the owners of JC Guest House - Bed & Breakfast [jcguesthouse.com.ar] .

How does google ranking work again? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225658)

Does the link from several high traffic sites increase his ranking further, or will this only happen for certain keywords?

WIFM! (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225672)

Whats In it For Me!
A key marketing term. People only go to a web site when there is something in it for them.

If you just put advertising for your service or product, people will only go when they want your service or product -- if they make it through all your competitors. People generally do not send others to a sales pitch. If you put up information related to your product, but also to educate them and turn it into more of a destination then to buy, you get people going there before they want to buy so when they want to buy, they check you first.

Could it be? (1)

DaveJay (133437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225696)

Could it be? I mean, truly, really possibly, actually? That a web site talking about, and providing information about, something is considered more relevant than a site selling something? I know that when I search for a specific product, 99 times out of 100 I'm not looking for a place to buy it, but for a place to get information and reviews about it. Under those circumstances, I find the sales sites to be annoying noise. Perhaps Google is finally doing something about this.

this is great stuff. (1)

justkarl (775856) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225764)

Someone has got to find out what site this is...

Hoax or not it's damn funny. (0, Redundant)

sgt.greywar (1039430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225812)

I don't really care if the guy made the whole thing up or not. Just reading the whole shebang along with the comments makes me chuckle. Hell if it is a hoax it is actually *more* funny.

SEO Viral Campaign (5, Informative)

Zegnar (704768) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225908)

Is this not in fact the Viral Campaign [deanhunt.com] he talks about starting on his blog? Seems to be working, since he's on Slashdot already, plus all the links go to his site and none to the other (ostensibly undisclosed) address.

fake news, viral marketing (5, Informative)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225992)

Just to reiterate what someone else tracked down in hopes of getting this (wholly ambiguous and suspect to begin with) story checked out:

http://deanhunt.com/category/seo/ [deanhunt.com]

Basically this guy has a side job of helping companies up their pageranks, and made all this up as an "experiment in viral marketing". Nothing to see here...and sure explains why he's keeping the company name and search terms secret.
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