Subject: Unlinking required due to to Google Penguin unnatural links penalty, domain: iasshole.org

So, I feel like it’s important to give people insight into what it’s like to be a fabulous, glamorous blogger. Hint: it’s a lot like being a normal person, except instead of just living your life, you pay for server space and make bad puns a lot. Also handy if you’re in court occasionally.

This morning lyricsbay.com, a site known to many as what you hit when you’re arguing about whether a 900 years old Weezer song is about meth or alcoholism, for example, or you realize you’re having an emo moment. “Yes,” you say, trying to look around the eye-searing blingee shit on the site, and ringtone offers. “This 10cc song has really captured the agony of my soul today.”

Once I linked to a page on lyricsbay. Once a long, long time ago. Or, as they put it, I have been affected by a blackhat SEO scheme. Apparently they are in trouble with an analytics thingie called Google Penguin, which is a thing I don’t care about because it’s related to SEO. They have also emailed my bloghost about this “violation.” I think it’s a funny look at what Google’s up to, anyway.

Well, I will let the email speak for itself:

Gentlemen,

We, lyricsbay.com, have received the following alert message for all services of our website in Google Webmaster Tools:

“We’ve reviewed your site and we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines. Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in bad link schemes.”

Hence, we analyzed our backlinks to look for artificial or unnatural links from the sites that are linking to us. Unfortunately, your website falls under this category, unintentionally making Google consider us participating in fraudulent link schemes.

Below is the list of the pages of your website that we’d like to be unlinked from:

http://iasshole.org/?feed=rss2&cat=10

http://iasshole.org/?p=874

http://iasshole.org/?p=874&cpage=1

http://iasshole.org/?cat=10

Finally, please keep in mind that unlinking will be beneficial to both our and your/your client’s sites and do not offer paid unlinking since we never put these links ourselves. Apparently they are relults of blackhat SEO campaigns conducted by our competitors (unfortunately there appears to be no way to track and identify the abuser), and our both sites were involved 50/50% due to being vulnerable to such kind of attacks, which makes us believe that it will be fair if you or your client unlink from us free of charge, as courtesy.

Please note that in case we receive no positive response and you/your client will not unlink from lyricsbay.com we will have no choice but include the history of communication with your organization(s) into the reconsideration request we will submit to Google to lift the “unnatural backlinks” penalty. Thank you for understanding our position.

Best regards,
www.lyricsbay.com

I replied:

Dear lyricsbay.com,

cc’d: My blog host

Rest assured, I am a human being and a blogger. There are no blackhat violations here. I scoff to think that in all the history of blackhat violations, anyone has come in and sinisterly put a single link on a post about getting an IUD inserted (oh, this is probably a good time to mention I’m not a gentleman). If anything, it’s more of a jimmyhat violation. GET IT? Because VAGINA? Ok, that was awkward.

Point being, I don’t have ads. I don’t participate in SEO schemes. I used to do a little SEO work, so since you’re willing to let me unlink you “free of charge, as a courtesy,” I am willing to give you a little unsolicited advice, free of charge. You can improve your SEO ranking by sucking less. Look, I even found this journal article about how you can suck less: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/how-to-protect-your-site-and-recover-from-a-google-penguin-penalty/65292/ Hmm, wow. An online journal about SEO optimization. They don’t even have to pretend to be not about the SEO benjamins. That’s meta.

But I digress. Feel free to forward this communication on to Google as proof that I am not some kind of nefarious jimmyhat organization. I’m sure picking off one blogger at a time who was giving your site free clicks for no reason will really improve the your Google Penguin rankings.

No love,
SJ

http://iasshole.org

P.S. Get a PR person

P.P.S. Hi Google!

UPDATE:

Oh, they responded already!

On Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 6:36 AM, wrote:
Hi SJ,

Please let me make myself clearer. Google banned our site blaming us in buying links, it’s 100% not your fault, and we are asking you to unlink as courtesy only because we have to play according to google’s rules. Removing that links would be much appreciated.

Taras

My reply:

Hi Taras,

You were quite clear. You’re asking me to remove a link to your site. You are welcome to submit the above correspondence to Google as evidence that you were not buying links at iasshole.org. I’d even be happy to speak to the Google myself if you want to set up a conference call. Alternately, you may paypal me ONE MILLION DOLLARS as a courtesy for unlinking you.

Have a nice day,
SJ

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7 Responses to “Subject: Unlinking required due to to Google Penguin unnatural links penalty, domain: iasshole.org”

  1. Brigid Keely says:

    I’ve gotten emails from shady web companies that wanted to pay me to insert links to their site/contents in random old posts of mine. I just dump them because seriously, that is bullshit. One company started sending me insulting emails about how I just needed to be a little bit smarter and realize they were going to send me lots of money if I did this for them and I should stop being so stupid about it can’t I see what a great deal this is blah blah blah.

  2. dorrie says:

    SNAP

    PS Glad your meow meow came home. My kitty is named “Mister Evil” FWIW

  3. P says:

    I’m so sad they have to be all serious business with their business. This was shaping up to be an amusing brouhaha.

  4. JB says:

    only one mil… go big or go to bed.. or something.. i don’t really know.. I’m tired.
    Oh and people who don’t understand thing shouldn’t do things.. at least until they understand them.. and things.
    did I mention I’m tired?

  5. krumpy says:

    This is apropos of nothing, but I’m watching Sister Act (the movie, not the musical — which I have, unfortunately, also seen) as I contemplate my future. Two things worth noting about my terrible decision to watch this movie. One: WE TV is beyond ridiculous. Try to watch a few minutes of it just to see what their programming line-up includes (e.g. Pregnant and Dating! Vivica Fox’s Hair Stylist! Sonya’s Glam and Gold!) Two: Whoopi’s wardrobe included a terrible accessory that I recognize from my 1992 wardrobe, one chain-belt-purse. I had to admit this somewhere and this seemed like the right place. Back to Sister Delores Van Cartier. (OK, item one was not noteworthy, but I felt like I needed to list two items.) Ta.

  6. ozma says:

    You GENIUS!

    Best get rich quick scheme ever.

    My love for you is painful.

  7. iasshole says:

    Brigid: Oh, yes, me too! For years now. I just got a boomerang from a robot I was making fun of about a month ago yesterday. “I do hope you’ve had time to consider our offer…” Uhhh no.

    Dorrie: Is Mister Evil ABD, or more of a freelancer, unaffiliated with an institution? ;)

    JB: Have kids, they said. It’ll be great, they said!

    Ozma: They said the check is in the mail!!!