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May 10, 2014

Can we get a little Streisand Effect here?

This week, someone at a London SEO company called iProspect sent me a request to remove a link to a third party's site.

TL;DR Help stop an SEO bully by linking to http://www.dyno.com/dyno_the_dog.htm from your site, on your Facebook page, or in a tweet.

Do it for the Little Guy (small sites, like this one).

Or do it just for kicks. It could be very entertaining to see how busy we can keep iProspect sending out its "Link Removal Request" messages. Maybe they'll learn the same lesson that Barbra learned.

Here's the deal: Five years ago, I linked to a page at a British company's site. I know very little about the company, aside from it's a British plumbing firm called Dyno-Rod®. I assume that iProspect is now providing SEO services to Dyno-Rod and that's why they requested that I remove my link to Dyno-Rod's site.

This is an excerpt from the e-mail I received from iProspect. I'd quote it in full but they'd probably sic a lawyer on me for copyright infringement or something. (This quote will be covered under Fair Use.)

Unfortunately, due to a recent Google algorithim (sic) update, we are reviewing all of the sites which currently link to Dyno.[...]

If you could please confirm the removal of the link(s) asap, as we are waiting to report back to Google on the status of our link profile.

Now how lame is that? A complete stranger asks me to do something s/he has no right to ask, to do it "asap", to do it for free, and bases the request on an incredibly weak excuse like "Google algorithim update." (*eyeroll*)

And "report back to Google"? Snort! Ri-i-ight, mate. I'm sure Sergey's eagerly awaiting that. (And it's 'algorithm', btw. Larry's sure to notice if you misspell it in your report.)

This message was so much Spam to be deleted... until I noticed that the sender also sent it to my domain registrar's Abuse reporting mailbox. If you visit the page with the link, I'm sure you'll agree that the link can't be considered abusive in any sense.

Reporting it to my registrar as abuse was simply arm-twisting by iProspect. In plain language, they're being jerks.

I replied to iProspect yesterday, inviting it to go pound sand.


I don’t understand why you think that I would accede to your request. Does sending an e-mail that says, basically, “Thanks for linking to our site but please don’t link to our site” get other site operators to cooperate with your efforts? I find that very difficult to believe.

And I see that you’re asking me to remove a link to a page that is evidently no longer active at Dyno.com. I find that even more difficult to believe.

But I must admit that I don’t understand, in general, why SEO businesses seem to think they should be able to police links to their clients’ web sites. I assume that SEOs try to do that in order to enhance their clients’ standing on the web in some way - though I neither know nor care about those details nor about the SEOs’ motives.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s a sad fact of life that site owners do not get to choose who links to their pages. Who will link your pages is always a crap shoot, as we’d say here in the States.

But wait! I have some good news, too.

Being able to freely create links to other sites is the very feature that drives the wonderful World Wide Web on this Internet thing that we all enjoy so much. It’s the feature that is apparently driving at least part of iProspect’s business, I might add.

Please tell Dyno (and your other clients) that if it doesn’t want links to its pages, then it shouldn’t publish those pages. Once a page is published on the web, it’s public information that can be linked by anyone, anywhere, at any time, in any manner desired.

That’s the whole idea of the web in a nutshell. So don’t bite the hand that feeds you, etc.

And how I wish I could close by saying,

Have a wonderful day -

Posted by joke du jour at May 10, 2014 06:01 PM

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Real jerk move by this guys...
They deserve a lesson, especially for involving the registrar.

Posted by: Matt at May 11, 2014 05:59 PM

Thanks, Matt.

Posted by: JdJ at May 11, 2014 08:16 PM

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