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Comment-spammers threaten to sabotage their victims through Google Disavow if the evidence of their vandalism isn't removed

Tim got an email from someone trying to get rid of comment spams -- ever since Google started punishing sites that left comment spam on blogs, this has been going on a lot. When Tim told the guy to buzz off, he threatened Tim with sabotage by means of Google's "Disavow" tool, growing progressively more abusive as Tim stood his ground.

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Baybrook Remodelers' cack-handed SEO genius wants our unflattering coverage removed from the net


Remember Baybrook Remodelers, Ken Carney's Connecticut-based construction company who bully and sue disgruntled customers who leave negative reviews on Yelp and other sites? Well, now they've hired an SEO creep called Todd Ramos, who is hassling Techdirt to try and get their post about Baybrook taken down.

Ramos's campaign tactics include smearing Baybrook's victim (referring to her over and and over again as a "crazy woman"), and inventing imaginary conversations with Boing Boing in which we are said to be considering removing our own coverage. For the record, we are not. He also claims that we were hired by Baybrook's victim to post uncomplimentary things about Baybrook (we were not). And he claims to have "600 bloggers and 20000 blog as ranging in pr 4 to 7" through which he will smear Techdirt if they don't remove the post.

The most cack-handed part of this whole thing is that its founder, Mike Masnick actually coined the term "The Streisand Effect" to describe the knock-on publicity that arises from censorship attempts, because the attempt at censorship is often more newsworthy than the information that is under dispute.

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RIAA you suck at SEO

The RIAA says Google doesn't list the sites it likes highly enough on search result pages. Masnick on TechDirt nails 'em to the wall: "For everyone else in the world, if they're not satisfied with how the sites they favor rank in Google, they learn a little something about search engine optimization. But, noooooooo, not the RIAA. They think that it is a requirement that Google be tailored to them directly." Cory

Find the unfortunate typo in this Livestrong "nutrition" article

There are three things very wrong in this article at Livestrong.com, which my friend Meredith Yayanos pointed me to just now via Twitter. One, "nutrition" and "Velveeta" used in the same sentence at a website associated with cancer prevention and treatment. Two, the message in the yellow band—probably something they want to downplay right now, but no-one has gotten around to updating on the site. And the third is the real kicker, but you'll have to read the copy closely to find it.

The Livestrong dot-com site is basically a content farm populated with Turked-out SEO-bait by Demand Media; the dot-org is where the cancer advocacy organization does its thing.

Making sure Pizza Hut is "accurately and effectively represented online"

Hello Mr. Pescovitz,

My name is Alli Berry and I am working with Pizza Hut, making sure that they are accurately and effectively represented online.

I noticed that your article “Pizza Hut Perfume” at http://boingboing.net/2012/12/06/pizza-hut-perfume.html discusses the exclusive Pizza Hut perfume but does not contain a link to the Pizza Hut website. Therefore, I wanted to reach out to you in hopes that you will consider linking to it for the convenience of your readers.

The Pizza Hut home page can be found here: http://www.pizzahut.com

I hope this is helpful and you will consider updating your page accordingly. If you have any questions or need any further information, please feel free to contact me at the information below.

Thank you,
Alli

Alli Berry
Performics
On behalf of Pizza Hut

_____________________________
Site Summary:
http://www.pizzahut.com
Pizza Hut delivers more pizza, pasta and wings than any other restaurant. As the world’s largest pizza franchise and a subsidiary of Yum! Brands Inc., Pizza Hut operates nearly 10,000 restaurants in more than 90 countries.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer
The information in this email and any attachments may contain proprietary and confidential information that is intended for the addressee(s) only. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, retention or use of the contents of this information is prohibited. When addressed to our clients or vendors, any information contained in this e-mail or any attachments is subject to the terms and conditions in any governing contract. If you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately contact the sender and delete the e-mail.

Done.

SEO company rep says it's illegal to link to his clients' websites

An SEO company called Guardlex sent a bizarre legal demand to the Big Pink Cookie blog saying that they represented a client that BPC had linked to, and that this link had damaged its googlejuice, and that this was illegal and that BPC had to cease and desist or face the consequences. The letter was from Jacob Getman, who works in the "Anti Piracy Department" -- implying that linking to a website constitutes "piracy" in the topsy-turvy world of SEO scumbags.

It has come to our attention that your website (or website hosted by your company) contains links to the [name removed] company website (URL removed) which results in material financial loses to the company we represent.

This material financial loss is due to search engine penalties resulting from the links originating under your control...

It is our understanding; the links in question have not been authorized for use by our client, its agents, or the law.

Therefore, this letter is an official notification to effect removal of the detected infringement listed above.

I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by [removed] company, its agents, or the law.

I further declare under penalty of perjury that I am authorized to act on behalf of the trademark holder and that the information in this letter is accurate.

I'm sad to say that this appears to be the kind of legalcomic dipshittery that will come to define the coming century.

Dear Guardlex, You’re Doing it Wrong…

(Image: Dunce, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from scjn's photostream)

Large collection of default spam-comments from a slimy SEO tool

I get a ton of spam sent to my personal WordPress site, which is evidently sent using some kind of toolkit for would-be SEO scumbags. The spams use the SEO-target's URL as the sender's web-page, and consist of a bland, usually mildly positive, usually ungrammatical comment.

This morning, I woke up to find that someone who was new to the tool (or unclear on the concept) had left a spam with all of the default comment messages in it, dumping the full database of anodyne comments intended to fool both the spam-filter and the human operator into thinking that the sender had read the post and was replying to it. The comments are necessarily generic, as they are meant to apply to literally any WordPress post on any site, ever. I wonder if the poor grammar and odd phrasing is deliberate, intended to make human moderators less suspicious and to lead them to think that some earnest foreigner is trying desperately to compliment them across the language barrier.

The comments also tend to invite replies, with mild complaints about RSS errors and layout problems. They mention spouses, cousins and friends. All in all, they're a curious collection of spammers' hypotheses about what will appeal to the vanity and goodwill of people who run legitimate WP sites.

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WordPress Spam Dump