SEO Inc Tries To Silence Google Blogoscoped Over Rankings

Last month, SEO Inc apparently fell out of the top rankings for the term
“search engine optimization” at Google. I felt it was a non-story then. That’s
changed now that the company issued a cease-and-desist notice against Google
Blogoscoped, implying that Philipp Lenssen there may have trade libeled them.
More details and a copy of the letter from Philipp here:
SEO Inc Sent
Me a Cease & Desist

Wow. What did he say? John Battelle has a
reprint over here,
but here’s the key passage is this:

It?s kind of ironic that, a search engine optimization company
which for a while was on the Google number 1 spot for the highly competitive
query “search engine optimization”, is now nowhere to be found in the Google
results. This is likely due to the recent PageRank update and even more
algorithm tweaks implemented by Google. Enter ?SEOinc? into, and is nowhere in the top 10; and the PageRank has dropped
to ?none?. Only by entering ? into Google will you see the
site is still indexed in some way.

And while a low or non-existent Google ranking is bad enough for sites
outside the SEO industry, it hits everyone in the SEO business twice as hard:
not only are SEOInc not being found with search engines anymore, they?ve also
lost their biggest proof their services are worth paying for.

Of course, the fact this site has seen the Google death penalty hints that
they?ve overoptimized using ?black hat? search engine optimization (such as
linkfarms, for example).

Who is Philipp to say that SEO Inc lost the biggest proof that their services
were worthwhile? Actually, SEO Inc. made this suggestion. Until recently, it had
these claims on its web site, which Philipp’s article lead off with:

?Search Engine Optimization Inc. uses our proven Search Engine Placement
techniques to rank more sites in more top positions than anyone in the
business. Our cutting-edge strategies are currently used by companies
including AT&T Broadband, IGN, Sierra Trading Post, and Microsoft. (…)

The title of Certified Advanced Search Engine Marketing Strategist from the
Academy of Web Specialists is your assurance that SEO Inc Search Engine
Optimization incorporates highly effective, ethical and proven methods of
gaining you top positioning.?

Those are now gone, though in a new development, the company appears to have
recently become a member
of the W3C. From its home page:

Search Engine Optimization Inc is the FIRST and Only search engine
marketing firm to become a member of the (W3C) World Wide Web Consortium. Read
Article here.

As said, I thought the company’s drop in placement for “search engine
optimization” was a non-issue when I heard about it a few weeks ago. I wouldn’t
have reported them as being “good” for having any type of placement, since
placement for a term doesn’t necessary mean good conversions.

In addition, top rankings can be meaningless. Was the term competitive or
not? IE, does anyone actually search on it? And if you were top ranked, how long
for? On which search engines? Ones people actually use? These are the types of
reasons why I simply ignore any claims based on rankings.

Want to discuss or learn more? Check out these forum discussions:

That last thread we actually pulled from our forums back in mid-April. No,
not because of a cease-and-desist letter or any message. Instead, our forums
have a

about public spam reporting. We don’t allow it, unless a site is
incredibly well-known or the issue has become discussed in a variety of public
forums. Ironically, with the many blog comments now about the cease-and-desist,
the thread that previously was pulled now qualifies for restoration.

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