Your site scores better than mine... so I'll sue...???!

A chap called Dean Hunt is receiving nasty emails threatening action because his site is ranked higher in google searches than some business. Here's the exchange:

——-Original Message——-

From: xxxxx xxxxxxxxx
Date: 12/8/2006 xx:xx:xx PM
To: Dean Hunt
Subject: DeanHunt.com Google Removal Request

Hello Dean,

My name is [edited] and I run [edited].com

I have been running the site for over two years and we have been ranked very highly for the search term [edited].

On Thursday morning I checked our google positions and your site is now above us for this term. I haev checked your blog and it has nothing to do with [edited], so I think it would be best all round if you remove your blog from google for this search term.

Please understand that we make our living from this, and you are just writing a blog that has nothing to do with [edited].

If you do not remove yourself from google for this search, then I will call them myself and have you removed.

I expect a reply soon.

Thankyou.

[edited]
[edited].com

From: xxxxx xxxxxxxxx
Date: 12/8/2006 xx:xx:xx PM
To: [edited]
Subject: Re: DeanHunt.com Google Removal Request

[edited],

Dean here from DeanHunt.com

I just received your e-mail. My first question would have to be… Are you serious?

I had to re-read your e-mail three times to make sure my eyes were not playing tricks on me!

Here is some more info that may help you understand my stance on this:

a) I have never attempted to rank for the search term [edited], I seem to rank fairly well for [edited], which I suppose is fairly similar. But if Google prefers my site to yours then perhaps you should be asking yourself why that is.

b) There is nothing I can do about removing myself for that search term, nor am I going to attempt to do anything. I have no information on my site related to [edited], so I am sure that the searchers will generally visit your site instead.

c) You can contact Google if you wish! I doubt you will get a serious reply though.

Perhaps instead of wasting your time with e-mails like this you could work on improving your web site instead?

Anyway, good luck with contacting google, if you do get a reply, I would love a copy of their e-mail. I have prepared a nice little place on my wall to hang it from.

Take care,

Dean

He's received a reply saying:

Dean,

Firstly, I have to admit that I was not impressed with the sarcastic nature of your reply.

Secondly, I am writing to let you know that I have contacted Google and am awaiting their reply.

You have to understand Dean that an online business should be higher in Google than a blog.

Don't forget that Google is a business as well, they obviously make more money from other businesses than they do from blogs, so it is in their interest that I am higher than you for certain searches.

I have also contacted my lawyer about this issue, so you should expect a letter in the post very soon.

I expect a reply soon.

I'm quite amused by this sentence:

Don't forget that Google is a business as well, they obviously make more money from other businesses than they do from blogs, so it is in their interest that I am higher than you for certain searches.

Google has no interest whatever in who the ranks are, they're only interested in the ranks reflecting what the searcher wanted (the only issue that may cause them to take action here). Google earns money from sponsored links in the search results (these are labelled as such). The minute that google begins to manipulate it's search rankings artificially is the minute they jump the shark - that their search becomes less useful.

The bravado is amusing.... a third party is ranking your site more highly than mine, so I'm going to sue YOU! The results of a google search is not something that Dean can affect directly. This to me looks like bluster....

Another alternative could be that the email is an ingenious fiction (there is nothing that could allow independent verification) - if so, well done, Dean, it's a great ruse!

An update has been posted.