Thursday, July 24, 2008

Search engine bigotry

Just how deluded can somebody be?

I am an admin for a Finnish TG discussion forum, and one thread is recommendations about good webshops for clothes shopping. The forum is strongly moderated family safe, no questionable content. I recently got this email:

Dear Webmaster

We have discovered that you are linking to our website,, on the following URLs: ...
(several links to the thread)

Please would you remove the links to our website. Will you please confirm by email that you have received this email and the links have been removed.

Kind regards,

First I thought just to ignore this nonsense, but I was too intrigued and replied:

Dear Jeremy,

I'd be utterly interested to hear an explanation for such a strange contact?

You've set up a web site and search for anybody linking there, and wish you are not mentioned or linked by anybody? I've been working with the web since the first web browser in 1993, and never met anybody (outside China) with your interest.

with regards and uttermost interest,

Now the thing is getting interesting:

Hi Valerie,
We're currently in the process of optimization (SEO) and as part of this are removing all links to our site that are damaging our ranking. Sadly yours were doing this, so I have to ask you to remove them.
Many thanks,


So excuse me? You have hired some hulabalooba SEO optimizer consultant / read a 5c book on the topic, and decided people discussing about your shop in some discussion forum (in a language totally foreign to you) is degrading you?
And, as a solution, you decide to send a polite email asking to remove the link, i.e. remove the discussion about you. Essentially, you want the discussion forum to censor any mentions about your website because it so unfortunately doesn't improve your search engine rankings? WTF?!?

How out of your mind can you be?

Did you already write to The Guardian and New York Times and asked them to remove several articles, also from already published papers? I recommend you shut your frickin website if you don't like losing control who's linking and writing about you. Or move to China and start gaining reputation in The Party. I just cannot give better advise than if you are so out of understanding what Internet is, you shouldn't consider taking the task of search engine optimization.

OMG. So appalling a company with such a history seems to have lost contact with reality.

PS: the discussion was recommending the shop, but as a result I'll add information that the people running it might just be too strange to do business with..


Scott McLean said...

Hi I like your blog a lot. What's happening there today? I'm just sipping some soda and trying to relax. Take care.

Penny M said...

Wouldn't it be _such_ a shame if lots of trannies linked to their website and completely ruined their ratings ;-)