- Aug. 24th, 2006
- 30 comments
I'm friendly with some spammers. Most of them are pretty nice guys. I don't spam, and I never will — but I keep in touch.
Since most spammers are really just out to make a buck and not hurt anyone, I would never expect them to mock and laugh at a spam victim. But sadly, that's exactly what "white hat" Rand Fishkin and the "professionals" at SEOmoz did.
Let's have a look:
"you've got to understand what I currently do for a living…I scrape the search engines and create the "crap" that they really don't like to see in their results."
One of the people he scraped was Kimberly Williams of Boston Electrolysis. She was very upset and sent him a letter asking him to take down the offending content.
Their response — It's disgraceful. They mock and laugh at it in the post:
"Actually Kimberly called twice and on the first call said something about reporting me for stalking. This person, in my opinion, needs help."
"I've got a new title - LOL."
How could the same guys that got a full-page interview in Newsweek, Washington Post and USA Today be laughing at some upset spam victim? Because Rand has a few outsiders contributors to his blog, I instinctively thought that this was just a mistake that slipped by and it was sure to be retracted.
How horrifying it was to discover that not only was it not retracted, but Rand actually put his stamp of approval on these shenanigans with a later edit!
SEOmoz more than tacitly endorses this behavior when he says:
"Edit (from Rand): Kimberly called our offices as well and gave us a bit of a hard time. I think that Geoffrey's reply/explanation to Brian Turner in the comments belongs in the post"
Note: This guy also speaks at SES.
They argue, among other things, that since G-man only used SERPs, that it's fair use. Ok, let's assume for a moment that that's true. I don't think it is, because the aggregation of lots of fair use is not fair use. But even if it is fair use, why is a corporate blog hiding behind a technicality? Why do, or speak about it, at all?
Every black hatter I know said he would just pull the offending content down if someone got mad enough. "It's bad karma," one of them once told me. Clearly, even most black hatters have a soul.
OK so it's just Rand and G-man that are soulless, right? Wrong.
SEOmoz team member Rebecca piles on in the comment section with a:
I think Kimberly is the Dean of Bad Grammar.
Wow, imagine someone's grammar wasn't perfect when they were totally upset. Unforgivable!
She continues with the only piece of sanity from SEOmoz in the entire exchange:
"If you don't like the blog, don't read it."
I stopped reading.
As for G-man. Some 800 of his spam sites can be seen here:
And there are many more. Just use Alexa and MSN to find the rest.
The spam victim, Kimberly said:
One last warning Mr. Faivre [G-man's real name], if you do not remove my property from your site immediately every one on the net will just what a thief you are.
Well Kimberly, maybe you just got your wish!
If you think this is wrong digg it.