bankruptcyaction-threats_01

Gordon Sands Threatens Seattle Bubble with Google Disavow in Misguided Attempt to Clean Up BankruptcyAction.com Comment Spam

Last week I got an email from Gordon Sands, “a principal” of BankruptcyAction.com—a website I’d never heard of—claiming that Seattle Bubble contains “link(s) to BankruptcyAction.com.” The claimed reason for this random email was to remove a link on my site “because the links are not in the same niche as our site,” but the real reason was obviously that the proprietors of this site had previously engaged in link-spamming, were punished by Google, and are now scrambling to get publishers to remove their comment spam links (via BoingBoing).

bankruptcyaction-threats_01

I especially enjoyed the big, red, bold text at the end of the email threatening to use Google’s Disavow tool as some sort of weapon against me should I not comply with his demand. Despite the vague claim in the email (no specific link to the post or posts in question) and the unnecessary threat, I decided to look into it, because to my knowledge no spam comments have ever gotten through on my site thanks to Akismet.

As best I can tell, there exists a grand total of one link to BankruptcyAction.com on Seattle Bubble. It was placed by a long-time reader in a 2008 comment. Since I’m not in the habit of editing reader comments unless the person who posted the comment requests it or it violates my comment policy, I politely declined to modify or delete the link in my reply:

bankruptcyaction-threats_02

This did not please Gordon, who indicated that he intended to follow through with his big scary threat:

bankruptcyaction-threats_03

Since Gordon seemed to be operating under some sort of false assumption that I care whether or not BankruptcyAction.com disavows my site to Google, I thought I would clear things up for him.

bankruptcyaction-threats_04

In reply: more veiled threats from Gordon.

bankruptcyaction-threats_05

I thought it only fair that I give Gordon a few tips, like if you want someone to do something for you maybe don’t lead off with giant bold threats.

bankruptcyaction-threats_06

Gordon’s final word on the matter confirmed my original suspicion: he’s trying to undo the damage done by comment spam.

bankruptcyaction-threats_07

That the comment in question on Seattle Bubble is obviously not spam is of no concern to Gordon Sands or BankruptcyAction.com. And because apparently he felt like his threats did not go far enough, he decided to close our conversation by calling me “a sensitive woman,” which I assume was meant to be an insult. But I am the one who “can’t handle your business.” Right.

Good luck to you as well, Gordon Sands and BankruptcyAction.com! You’re going to need it.

[Update]
Oops, I guess Gordon Sands decided he wasn’t done “wasting time” after all!

Keep digging, Gordon.

18 thoughts on “Gordon Sands Threatens Seattle Bubble with Google Disavow in Misguided Attempt to Clean Up BankruptcyAction.com Comment Spam”

  1. This gives me the idea of moving all the spam in the comments on my site to a special page instead of deleting it. Sooner or later somebody will come around and try to get me to delete their links off that page, and they may even threaten me. I’ll just give them the raspberries and laugh, like you folks are doing. BTW, I like how the spammer got all upset at the end. Very funny.

  2. I love how comment spammers are suddenly worried about the spam they’ve left all over the place now that Google is punishing them for it. I’ve not received anything similar myself, yet, but I have in the past long before Google implemented this policy. I was so ticked off about it that I wrote a big entry calling the spammer out for it on my blog.

  3. Ummm is it just me, or does it seem like he completely misunderstands how disavow works? He seems to be under the impression that if he disavows your site, it will magically disappear from all google search results. I believe that what actually happens, is when google calculates page results for say, “idiots who practice bankrupty law” and say some site like “bankruptcyaction.com” was calculated with 200 links from other sites, google would go, “Oh wait, this one for SeattleBubble.com is disavowed, I guess it only has 199 links instead.” That’s hardly going to destroy SeattleBubble’s business…

    1. Reminds me of a Monty Python skit…

      Right! If that’s the way you want it — Cardinal! Poke her with the soft cushions!

  4. The funniest thing about this is that I was the one who posted the link, and it IS relevant to his business

    Who’s the crummy businessman?

  5. I earn $80 an hour working from home! So glad that I will never need to call on the services of BankruptcyAction.com.

  6. I don’t understand something. I read the “offending” comment, in the context of the article and comments, and I don’t see what this Sands idiot is complaining about. The link in the comment is a data reference citation, and makes NO value judgment about the source. What is he whining about?

  7. I run a web site, and while I try to get all the comment spam some has gotten through over the years. Whenever I get a request to remove it I tell the company that since they paid to have them placed it’s only fair to pay me to remove them. $100 per link, payable in advance.

  8. Good call @hank but it is very unlikely to get them to pay $100, I tell them $10 per link and it seems to get paid every time.

    I also don’t think this guy understands the disovow, the point is to tell Google not factor a link from a site, not to penalise the website it is coming from.

  9. I had not heard of this problem until I got a similar email from a different company this morning. I googled some key phrases and this blog post came high up the list, so your correspondent should be happy with all the free publicity he is getting! In my case, I had one link to the company on my site – a genuine one, in which I recommended their product. I had sprained my ankle and bought one of their walking sticks: that’s it. But as I am not in the walking stick niche, my recommendation is irrelevant, nay damaging, to their business. What???? I am not bothered about the disavowal threat, but they have made me more than happy to withdraw my recommendation. I have, instead, linked to this post, so I hope that doesn’t upset you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>