How to get me to definitely not remove a link. Fsck off,

If you’re going to hire a firm for SEO optimization or to help with negative reports about your firm, I hope you hire a good one.

From my inbox (you may have to read it more than once to really get the full flavor):

From: “Link Removal” <[email protected]>
Subject: Action Required: Penalized Google Domain
Date: Sun, November 16, 2014 11:40
To: [email protected]

Hey Webmaster-

Google recently issued an “Unnatural Link Warning” to our site. As part of our investigation, we have discovered that some of the backlinks listed on your website to are contributing to this problem. The backlinks which we believe to be causing the problem and raising alarm at Google can be found at the following location:

Before we can begin a revaluation process at Google for, all of the troublesome backlinks to that website must be removed immediately.

Subsequently, we are asking you to remove the backlinks from your website as soon as possible.

Thank you for your help!

“Action Required?” Oh really?

“Unnatural link warning?” If I contact Google, will they confirm that I have an “unnatural link” on my site?

“Raising alarm at Google?”  If I contact Google, will they confirm they are alarmed? If so, I can offer them therapy.

My links to that site “must be removed immediately?” Who the fsck are they to tell me that I must remove links immediately or that I have to take action?

Trying to suggest that must comply because this involves Google and Google’s statements about the links is deceptive, at best.

The links they include all point to a stolen drive breach report I posted in August involving Imhoff & Associates. emailed Imhoff & Associates to inquire whether they had hired this firm, and if so, what they were going to do now that they saw how the firm conducted itself. also tweeted to Imhoff & Associates, telling them to look for the email. They did not respond to either the email or the tweet.

The law firm that represented them in the breach report to state attorneys general, BakerHostetler, did respond, however (they were cc: on the email). Tanya Forsheit of BakerHostetler responded:

I am informed that Imhoff & Associates regularly uses certain automated third party services to assist with search engine optimization. It was never the intention of Imhoff & Associates to use such services to seek to remove content from relating to the incident that you reported back in August.

Although I am very glad to learn it may not have been their intention, using a service that engages in such iffy behavior is more likely to hurt their online footprint than help it, as now their name has been associated with somewhat questionable behavior or communications. If you’re using a company to help your online reputation, ask to see a sample of their communications on your behalf.

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  1. Amazed Canuck - November 17, 2014

    LOL… and poor you for having to put up with this.

    This reminds me of when the National Pork Board got lawyers to issue a cease and desist to ThinkGeek for selling…. Unicorn meat, “The Other white Meat”.

    Let us know if google ever gets back to you because databreaches has raised the alarm over at google due to “Unnatural links”.

    BTW, what exactly is an unnatural link? Those links look totally natural to me. But I’m not a trained lawyer or someone trained in sending out take-down notices. A quick look at google states unnatural links are artificial links.

    Artificial links? Your links aren’t real? ah this is like metaphysical quantum physics, eh? Better call a quantum mechanic to fix those links pronto.

    and, BTW, Unicorn meat is an excellent source of sparkles.

    Poor you…

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