This happened early last week, a Marxist parody site, The People’s Cube, seemed to have been dropped from Google’s index. Now, as a Marxist parody site, this was picked up in the conservative blog, Little Green Footballs (of Dan Rather memo-gate fame). Of course, this picked up steam as a conspiracy from Google to suppress a comedic view of Marxism.
Shortly afterwards, Matt Cutts posted an explanation that had little to do with the content, but rather the hidden content of keywords, links and hidden CSS text. Matt recommended purging the spam first and then submitting a re-inclusion request.
I have always recommended that people be extremely honest and sincere in their re-inclusion requests, that manners will go a long way and it is always better to be nice. However, Matt posts the first few lines of the re-inclusion request from The People’s Cube, who chose to be a little more confrontational ;
“Dear comrades at Google . . .
We suspect it is also a deliberate removal – much in the spirit of 1984-style historical revisionism – removal of a “people’s enemy” from life and history. …. We can only think of three reasons for this:
1. Google is retaliating against sites that ridiculed its Google China project.
2. Google has begun to implement its Google China policies in the rest of the free world.
3. A left-leaning Google employee who’s got access to the database was suffering a nervous breakdown over the mockery of Marxism on our site, and so he or she dastardly removed/blocked The People’s Cube, hoping to “improve” the public discourse by silencing the competition.
You tell me which one it is.”
This would be my best example of what not to do with a re-inclusion request.
Knowing spam, penalties and re-inclusions like I do, I was rolling with laughter at this whole situation. All parody aside, I think that the People’s Cube got more exposure than they could have ever imagined at their own expense. Looking over the Cube website lately, there are songs about Google suppression of free speech, tributes to the power of 1984 Orwellian group-thought, and some pretty hilarious headlines.
One of my favorites: “Google: information is like coffee and we’re the filter”
Of course, I posted this for no real educational value, but simply for the comedy that is life.
Now, there was some not-funny things that happened as a result of this. Some supposed “SEO” company found out the who the design company was for the People’s Cube website, and then tracked down as many of their clients as they could and then called them and told them that Google would penalize their sites as a result of their association with The Cube.
This “SEO Company” was asking for payment to prevent the penality, otherwise they would report the association. This is Marxist parody, right? Unfortunately not. This has been happening to a few other people as well. It looks like some companies are using Matt’s examples that he posts on his blog as “meat” for their bogus “optimization” cold calling campaign.
Not nice, guys.
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