On February13th, the judge threw my case out of court based on jurisdiction (background here), but offered the plaintiff up to 30 days to file a request to amend. The plaintiff has been late on just about every filing the whole suit, which is rather sad, considering they sued me. Based on their lack of replying up to this point (at about 45 days), I would say that my case is probably over (my lawyer thinks so anyhow).
This case might help free speech online by being easy to reference, helping other bloggers not get bogusly sued by sleazy companies based in Nevada (I am not saying all Nevada companies are sleazy, but certainly at least 1 is exceptionally sleazy).
I think the biggest thing the web as a whole got out of this is these bogus lawsuits is the industry defining document for what it means to be an unethical SEO firm. I logged into Pacer to check out the Traffic Power Sucks.com case and found this 196 page motion with ALL KINDS OF EVIDENCE IN IT!!!!!
Now there are rumors here and there about this and that around the web, but never before has it been so neatly compiled into a single document. I find it absurd that Traffic Power more-less asked for the document to be compiled (how stupid can they be) by stating the bogus claims in their lawsuit. Feel free to link to it, or grab it and put it on your site.
Some legitimate well branded SEO firms may even find this document useful as sales material to show people what happens when you sign up with the wrong SEO partner.
There are some SEO companies that will take your money and then do nothing at all, but outside of them this document has a bit of most everything in it:
- tons of customer complaints
- media coverage of lies to customers
- extortion claims
- multiple cross referencing ways showing alternate company names
- reports from workers who were inside the company about showing false ranking materials and a manager at sales meetings standing on desk saying "a sucker is born every minute."
- cold calling - if their search marketing techniques are effective then how come they can't drive enough leads to their own business with them? these jokers even cold called me to promote a trashy site (that is what in part lead to others commenting on my site and causing these slimeballs to send me a bogus lawsuit)
- stolen content - obviously not cool - many examples
- sketchy links - yup
- sneaky redirects - yup
- what a banned site looks like - traffic-power.com
- confirmation from Matt Cutts (of Google) on the ban of an SEO service site - the first time in the history of Google as far as I am aware of
- filing bogus lawsuits to try to silence smaller and poorer sites who do not make millions scamming small businesses - yup
While I believe my case is over Dave's still might be dragging out for a while. Please donate to his cause if you can spare a few bucks.
Here is some further background on the CEO of Traffic Power. Don't forget to help spread the court paper if you need an example of what happens when someone hires an unethical business partner to provide SEO services.
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