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I'm being harassed online by someone manipulating SEO

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by dawgma, May 20, 2012.

  1. dawgma

    dawgma Newbie

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    I'm a private individual, I don't own a business or make money off the web. I have volunteered for a few groups though, one of which has been targetted by someone who is literally mentally ill, obsessive and paranoid. He has created attack pages targetting various employees and current (and in my case former) volunteer board members and because he, apparently, manipulates SEO and spams various directories with links his attack pages have ridiculously high rankings when the names of his targets are googled and come up on the first page of one's google results, often first or second.

    I've reported his site to google but nothing ever happens. A small claims court case for libel would be useless since he's on disability and the courts don't garnish social assistance payments (at least they don't here).

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm quite concerned that if I'm being "Googled" when applying for jobs and whatnot his page will come up. I'm actually very depressed about this.
     
  2. popcrdom29

    popcrdom29 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    You can still sue him but not for money if you don't want to do that. If you win a judge can issue a cease and desist order.
    If you feel your reputation is being slandered then you should take action in court. Whether this person is disabled
    or not it doesn't justify his actions.
     
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  3. SuperLinks

    SuperLinks Elite Member

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    My recommendation is to create a positive reputation management campaign for yourself, and maybe others if they want to.

    That will help push up the "positive" stuff, while pushing down his listings.

    Have you tried to contact the guy and reason with him? Maybe he's unconsciously seeking attention seeing that he's so old, and likely lonely. I'd try and do this at the very least, it could turn out positively for you.

    If this doesn't work, I'd look at contacting an attorney and atleast have a consultation with them. See if it is possible to file a DMCA for the content that he's hosting. Most hosting companies don't mess around with DMCA notices and make take down the content. If that doesn't work, maybe small courts can prove in your favor, and instead of garnishing wages forces the man to take down the content.
     
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  4. portugalkix

    portugalkix BANNED BANNED

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    Do your own reputation management. Create your identity online.
     
  5. dawgma

    dawgma Newbie

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    Yeah but I can't do that in small claims court - in my jurisdiction small claims judges don't issue court orders or cease and desists, they just award damages and since the guy has no income or assets (he's on a disability pension which courts won't garnish) taking him to small claims is useless. I'd have to take him to "real' court which would cost me at least $10K which I can't afford.
     
  6. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    It's an Algo, of course it can be gamed.
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  7. dawgma

    dawgma Newbie

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    Yeah, that's what I'm trying to do. Unfortunately this guy is obsessed and he spends several hours a day spamming links to his webpages on various directories, blogs etc so while I have been able to get several positive and neutral pages high up in my SERPs I haven't been able to budge his negative pages.

    His pages have disappeared from my SERPS for several months in the past, I think because his attack page was sandboxed by Google for violations, but it wasn't actually delisted and showed up again when the penalty expired. I'm hoping by doing my own reputation management it'll force him to pump so much effort into optimizing his site that it'll get delisted but that might just be a short term solution.
    Yes, no luck. Any attention just encourages him.
    I did get a page delisted from Google for DMCA violation. He ended up creating a mirror page on another domain using a non-DMCA image (or at least one that I didn't own) and, worse, he has such a sense of entitlement that after I got his page delisted he went bezerk and wrote an expanded page accusing me of being a cyberbully (apparently having his bullying neutralized makes me a bully in his books) and making me his #1 target.

    I'm talking to a lawyer and we'll see about sending a letter to his web provider, but other people have done that in the past and as a result he's moved his "operation" to an offshore web provider in China that is quite happy to ignore legal threats from the west. Another example of the PRC's ambivalent relationship with the rule of law. According to Hong Kong law it's only libel if the victim is a citizen of Hong Kong(!).
     
  8. JimmyWong

    JimmyWong Registered Member

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    Any chance I can please see one of these pages? Genuinely intrigued by this nut case.
     
  9. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    It's an Algo, of course it can be gamed.
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    Generally sharing particular web sites here is not something done as there could be negative repercussions.
     
  10. dawgma

    dawgma Newbie

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    Good point.
     
  11. dawgma

    dawgma Newbie

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    I don't exactly want to drive traffic to his site:)
     
  12. dawgma

    dawgma Newbie

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    I didn't do anything initially - I just happened to get involved with a (completely innocuous) community organization that expelled him years before after he physically attacked someone at a meeting. The guy is mentally ill and obsessive and since then he's spent a lot of his time building a website dedicated to attacking this organization and anyone who belongs to it, even people like me who he'd never met and have never had anything to do with him. He had an attack page up on me that used a picture of me he stole off of Facebook - I put in a successful DMCA request with Google and they delisted that page and he decided that I am evil as a result, created a new page full of even more elaborate lies and half-truths and does everything he can to keep the page highup in the SERPs for my name. I probably shouldn't go into much more detail here. If anyone thinks they can help feel free to PM me and I can provide more details.
     
  13. imperial444

    imperial444 Elite Member

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    Occupation:
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    start your own Reputation Management campaign
     
  14. lancis

    lancis Elite Member

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    In such a case it should be very easy to outrank him. Your name is a low competition keyword in the terms of SEO. Since I don't know your name I'll use John Dow as an example. Register yourself on the following networks, with 'johndow' as username:

    - facebook
    - twitter
    - wordpress
    - naymz
    - identi.ca
    - linkedin
    - tumblr
    - livejournal
    - digg
    - blogger
    - pinterest

    If the username is taken use 'johndow1/2/3/4/etc' Interlink everything, e.q. put links from wordpress to the rest of sites with your variations of your name as anchor text. For example 'Follow John Dow on Twitter'. Write some content that is relevant to you wherever is needed (may be resume).

    If in 2 weeks you do not rank above your bad review, add more sites to the network. The bad review should fall off pretty quick.
     
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  15. AlexMit

    AlexMit Junior Member

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    Rep management, web2.0, youtube/facebook/g.places with no outbound links - only for reputation.
    lots of work, but it's worth it
     
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  16. redrubies

    redrubies Supreme Member

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    If he is bullying or harassing you, call the police and demand that something be done about the cyber bullying.
     
  17. EliteIM

    EliteIM Junior Member

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    he is smart more than you ,is that what you wanna sue him for? go ahead an beat him in the game, don't scream here like a Little girl.
     
  18. dawgma

    dawgma Newbie

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    He's not smarter - he's just obsessive and has no job or life and lives off of welfare so he can spend 8 or 12 hours a day online harassing his invented enemies and building links to his attack pages. I'm not screaming, I'm looking for some practical advice (and thanks to those who have given it) and possibly some assistance from someone who has some knowledge on how to deal with situations like this. The police here don't really understand the internet or care about online harassment or cyberbullying unless someone actually threatens physical harm - he doesn't actually utter threats. As for suing - yeah, if someone is seriously defaming you and trying to hurt your reputation and your livelihood why wouldn't I want to sue him?
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  19. brainstorm1

    brainstorm1 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Maybe talk to him in person? Politely?
     
  20. dawgma

    dawgma Newbie

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    Believe me I tried. He's not reasonable. He actually does have a psychological disorder and without the internet he'd just be another loon ranting on a street corner or making photocopies of handwritten rants and sticking them up on lampposts. If it wasn't for the SERPs I wouldn't care but his two attack pages turn up on my first page and it's a serious concern, especially since prospective employers google people more and more. Anyone who knows me and looks at his stuff has no problem concluding he's a nutcase spinning lies, I'm more worried about people who don't know me.