• http://www.barryadams.co.uk/ Barry Adams

    Where did you first hear about the PSKL kerfuffle, Greg? Just wondering, as in yesterday’s SearchCap here on SEL you’ll find a link to my blog post about it.

  • http://www.mikehaydon.com MikeHaydon

    Surely one could not sue the other company without joining Google as a party. In fact, the suit may have to be against Google as the primary. The loss would be caused by a change in Google’s algorithm, not the actions of the other party. And we all know how quickly that suit would be thrown out.

  • http://twitter.com/gregfinn Greg Finn

    An acquaintance emailed over yesterday, which is also a legal way to share a link :)

  • http://www.documentarystorm.com/ Benjy

    Very interesting legal perspective. This is on-topic for penguin, although not necessarily a legal angle. Still, I’d really appreciate a professional eye on this:

    I’ve been working diligently on analyzing my websites that were hit with
    the Penguin algo update on the 24th and found something very
    interesting.

    Yesterday, I checked my site using seo-browser.com
    to see if there was anything that I was missing by viewing my sites via
    a regular browser. I realized that I inadvertently had ‘hidden text’ on
    all the sites that got hit by the demotion. I have since removed this
    code from my sites and am really hoping that this was the reason my
    sites were flagged as webspam.

    A couple of years ago, I added a
    ‘tooltip’ over some buttons on my sites so that when you mouseover the
    button, a little info box would pop up displaying a message. I
    eventually removed those buttons, the trigger for displaying this text,
    but now I see that the tooltip text was still visible via an seo browser
    or to Googlebot.

    This is the code that has now been removed:
    It’s amazing! Download
    ‘Graboid’ for the BEST Gossip Girl
    episode quality for FREE!  Plus other TV shows.

    I am
    hoping that this leftover line of code is what triggered the Penguin
    webspam filter and that now that I have identified and removed it, the
    penalty will be lifted.
    Again, this is my website: http://www.gossip-girl-episodes.com
    What do people think: could this make the difference?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-McKirahan/1625907031 Scott McKirahan

    I, too, read this article yesterday. The company sending out the legal threat message defended its actions, not on the basis of truthfulness that they could really sue, but based upon the efficiency with which links got removed by recipients who were fearful that a suit could be entered against them. They seem to acknowledge that there is no legal basis for the threats they make but that the ends justify the means.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christian-Noel/50205756 Christian Noel

    Great article. I also enjoyed the link bait title only to feel safe and sound at the end. Good times!

  • http://www.sitetrafficcontrol.com/ Site Traffic Control

    Very interesting, indeed.

  • http://www.alexseo.se/ Alexander Edbom

    Haha stupid people trying to sue for Negative SEO… 

    It’s Googles rules, their updates. If you are going to sue some one, sue Google else you can’t sue anyone as everyone is playing by their rules. 

    Really people, you want laws for “Google” that is just ONE search engine out of thousand others?

    And as far as I know, It’s legal to link to copyright protected files as long as you do not host them. Sometimes the lobby companies pay police to take down one or two sites but these sites are often very popular, in the size of Megaupload or The Pirate Bay. It’s just a corrupt goverment, nothing to do with legal or not legal to link to this kind of material.

  • cblankinship

    The issue with the new linking scheme is the INTENT behind the strategy. In the two provided cases there was no evidence the intent of the linking was to interfere with the linked website’s ranking, thereby the site’s owner’s ability to make money.

    Those who strategically link from spammy domains are INTENDING to interfere with a website’s rankings in a fraudulent and deceptive manner. This type of tortious interference is actionable as the damages are not only real, but quantifiable. 

  • http://davidallen.co/ David W. Allen

    So does this mean any links to other sites will be affiliate links only? That would be a shame. Maybe an affiliate type site needs to be set-up where companies can list pages of their sites that can be linked too and the only legal way for Simone to link to other sites is though on of these services where all linking is trackable and controlled. Food for thought.

  • http://www.microsourcing.com/ MicroSourcing

    Link removal requests can be done without legal threats, although this does speed up the process. It looks like the company is transferring accountability to the site they had links to instead of taking  responsibility for negative SEO. If they practiced link buying, which has been outed as a black hat SEO years before Penguin was launched, then it’s odd that they didn’t see the penalty coming.

  • cattie88

    I think a company should be responsible for its own link building campaign and there is no reason to blame other websites because of your own mistakes. If you have tons of spammy or paid backlinks and you get penalized for this, this is only your fault.  

  • Agência Macan

    The truth is that the company should have known of the existence of these links, but why not take this attitude before the upgrade?

    People do things wrong and then they want to do damage, or, if they do not, they run after the site be punished somehow.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    I think Penguin has made people take a serious look at their link portfolio and weigh the value of each link. More site owners might be asking sites to remove poor quality links as a precaution, but threatening to sue someone is ridiculous. The Internet is built on sites linking to each other. 

  • kevinlee670

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  • andrewlea14

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  • Loki God From Asgard

    Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!Spammer Please Flag !!!!

  • http://www.mythphile.com/ Blue-eyed Gal (Ellen)

    This technique could backfire: threat of frivolous legal action is (a) a threat, which could be legally culpable as some form of blackmail, and (b) if it gets out on the web that your company is using threats and intimidation to clean up your backlinking mistakes, it could result in a lot of bad press that might do as much damage as the questionable links.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GWZHJ6IFGDFFREE3JFX4N45JCE Brian

    Good luck proving a single link affected the Google rankings and caused financial loss.  Aside from that this does not appear to be a proper copyright infringement claim justifying a DMCA notice.  A good response would be a counter-DMCA notice.  That not only prevents the web hosting company from permanently removing the link, but now you are set to recover your damages and attorneys fees – which should end the nonsense.

    Brian Kindsvater, Esq.

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  • NguyenMarquita84

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  • http://www.facebook.com/manoj.aravindakshan Manoj Aravindakshan

    It’s silly —– forget penalties; undervalue links that Google doesn’t deem appropriate —and give weightage to links that are from high quality websites. There are a whole lot more signals that search engines can be using (particularly on-page and on-site) to determine whether a website or a web page is relevant to a query, than just relying on external link attributes. The sooner Google works on that aspect, the better it will be for everyone. 

  • http://www.virtualstafffinder.com/ Virtual Admin Assistant

    So what shall we do. It is legal to create link to any site as reference for your write up yet we do not know if it is legal or not to Google