Amuse Me Geek Love

Dear Guardlex, You’re Doing it Wrong…

This is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen today. (Yesterday got a little crazy towards the end, so I can’t even say “this week” — but for TODAY, this tops the charts on the crazy scale.)

In my email today was this:

My name is Jacob Getman, I work in the Anti Piracy Department of Guardlex (, we provide anti-piracy and Intellectual Property protection services for [COMPANY NAMED removed so they don’t think I’m linking to them again] company.

As such I am personally authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the aforementioned company.

It has come to our attention that your website (or website hosted by your company) contains links to the [name removed] company website (URL removed) which results in material financial loses to the company we represent.

A top top seo expert will rank in the top spots on locl searches.

This material financial loss is due to search engine penalties resulting from the links originating under your control.

I request you please remove from the following website all links to [removed] website as soon as possible. Please see the list of website pages in question:

In order to find those links, please do following:

1) If this is an online website directory. Use directory’s search system to look for [removed] links.

2) If there are any hidden links in the source code of website. Open the website’s home page and view its source code. Search for [removed] in the source code. This will reveal any hidden links.

It is our understanding; the links in question have not been authorized for use by our client, its agents, or the law.

Therefore, this letter is an official notification to effect removal of the detected infringement listed above.

I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by [removed] company, its agents, or the law.

I further declare under penalty of perjury that I am authorized to act on behalf of the trademark holder and that the information in this letter is accurate.

Please, remove all links to [removed] website within the next 48 hours.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are at all unsure how to remove the links. We will be happy to assist you in any way to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Looking forward to your positive reply.


Jacob Getman
Head of Anti Piracy Department
Guardlex company
2820 West 8-th str,
Brooklyn, NY, 11224
Tel: 17183032669
Fax: 19175913014

The post was from 2001. Just shy of 11 years old. So 11 years ago, I got new glasses. I shared about them, and a lot of people asked, and I suggested to check out a website (the link I’ve now removed) so that they can get similar glasses.


Considering the post was 11 years old, it either wasn’t impacting their SEO at all, or since it was in the context of a post about eyeglasses, it was helping their SEO, but I could definitely tell they could use some Georgia SEO Explosion, LLC help.

But what really makes me sad is that this company is selling this crack-pot service to corporations and telling them that they will waste time going around the internet telling people to stop linking to them. I mean … really??? WOW.

And they must do it a lot, because my hosting company responded to them with this:

We’ve had this discussion with you before: there is no infringement of anything in merely linking to one site from another – case law exists on this. We absolutely will not instruct our users to remove links that violate
no statute or our terms of service. Whether they choose to do it on their own is entirely up to them.

Oh my, how I *LOVE* Hosting Matters and AmazeLaw website builder for lawyers. (I’ve used them for 10 years and I can’t rave about them enough!)

Le sigh. The whole thing is just silly. I removed the link, but I REALLY hope that they figure out how the Internet works and stop telling people not to link to each other. That is part of the beauty of the Internet!

Update 7/20/2012: Hey, Guardlex? SUCK IT. I just put the link to back up. Because it was innocuous. Especially after reading all the comments on my site, BoingBoing and Hubspot. Oh, and I didn’t ask their permission to link to them either… BECAUSE THAT IS HOW THE INTERNET WORKS.

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

38 replies on “Dear Guardlex, You’re Doing it Wrong…”

In my line of work (Web site strategy and development for a massive tech company) we are constantly looking for ways to increase our link juice. A blogger linking to my company and talking about how good the product is a WONDERFUL thing. That company is paying the wrong consultant.

This is definitely ridiculous! I think there are a lot of people who would get disappointed in this kind of situation.. Thanks for the share!

This is really silly. But don’t feel bad. Ann Smarty (a respected SEO writer) also got this type of letter from a different lawyer.

Just link to the little guys. They will appreciate it!

Wonder if the big guys will come to understand that if they keep this up their fancy, useless sites will loose their ranking in the search results because everyone of any authority will quit linking to them?

Did you contact the company that employs these yahoos? Sounds like it was a company that you were positive about, they might like a heads up about the dickery being perpetrated on their behalf.

The only way this would make any sense was if the link was to an online shop selling counterfeit merchandise, and Guardlex represented the manufacturer whose merchandise was being counterfeited.

But even then, it would really only make sense to go after the online shop, not everybody who links to them.

A little disappointed to see that you (and the other person linked by elaine) caved and removed the links. On the other hand, I can understand wanting to avoid getting into a confrontation with the SEO monkeys. Hopefully someone will stand up to them soon and get it to stop.

Removing the link was exactly the wrong thing to do. That gave in to what Cory Doctorow refers to as this company’s “dipshittery:.

Please don’t remove these links! By doing as these asshats ask, you’re encouraging them to pursue other small blogs similarly in the future! Have you sent this story to Popehat or the Legal Satyricon or any other 1st Amendment blogs? There are people who are willing to step up and help fight assholes like this, but you have to be brave and take the first step, and try not to worry too much about expensive, frivolous lawsuits (cases that lack any merit like this will never get that far).

I am very glad you relinked. If for no other reason than your link probably predates whatever “policy” they think they are enforcing and after 11 years without objection, it is tough luck. Like really, all else (and that is a lot else) aside, their timing is so stupid and off. Makes me embarrassed to be a lawyer. All that crazynlanguage they put at the end also makes nomlegal sense and has no legal effect. Just bad lawyering.

My favorite analogy for hyperlinks and their copyright status is to simply state they are just one kind of bibliographic citation, which are unrestricted as a matter of law. I can take either [Snerd et all, “DMCA causes cooties”, . Journal of irr. results, May 2035 pp 42-47] or into a good research library, and read the article.

Neither contains the actual content, so no infringement has occurred.

I’m a full time SEO teacher and marketer and that sounds like a competitor running a “negative SEO” campaign. Contact the site owners directly and see if they really do want you to remove the links – I’d bet you dollars to donuts that they don’t, and that they love your positive review and powerful link.

Their competitors, on the other hand, may very well have hired an unscrupulous firm to threaten sites who have high-power links with bogus copyright claims – assuming that most would capitulate and remove links, rather than wonder why the hell anyone would want to stifle nice comments about their business.

Obviously I could be wrong, but it might be interesting to chase that up.

Isn’t this a reverse psychology threat? So you get upset, and start blogging about it, and lots of people link to it, or copy the story, and now this eyeglasses dude has a great Google rating because of the hundreds of links from everywhere??


I read about his at BoingBoing so followed the link from there to see what the story was.

I’m really glad you didn’t submit to the total bullshit from Guardlex and agree with your remark telling them to suck it. What a waste of space they are!

This is likely because of the new Google search algorithm, which penalizes companies with lots of spammy-looking links.

This means that websites that dropped in the rankings are now begging for others to un-link them in the hopes this will improve their rankings. Ironically, sometimes those are links that they asked/paid for in the first place.

For example, see this article about directories taking advantage of this and charging to remove links:

I think Jake might be onto something. Why on earth would want links to their site removed? The links are free advertisements and help increase their rank in google. You’re helping them by linking to them. So they must be really stupid… Or the Guardlex company was actually hired by a competitor to (in which case I wonder if would have legal recourse against Guardlex). Also, Guardlex probably knows darn well that what they’re doing is absurd, but isn’t about to stop taking money from their clients.

Having been where you are, I removed the link. My feeling was the asshats no longer deserved the positive mention I’d given them.

Today, I’d remove the link, leave their name, add a comment about how they treated me and ask people to make up their own minds if they want to do business with a company that intimidates little guys.

You should do what they do!!:
Sue the f*** outta them, ‘inyurface’-battletactics in cyberwars all is allowed it seems and nothing’s known.
Sue them for infaming your good name in the (online)media, your website’s name being slendered with ‘illegal practices’, your “statcountergraphs” are deterioraring etc,etc:ask, let’s say a millionbucks, let’s see where it’ll take us(yes US: you split the cash granted to you with me and then I”m ogff to the Cocos-islands)…just a thought..
Notoriety instantly Madame!, yur famous overnight!.Thanx to them.Nais to see some thangs come back and bites one in the ass.Bye, have to go bacck to the far corners of cyberspaace now, where the freaky people hang out.

Wow! I agree, it might be a kindness to let the client know that their team of lawyers is not working in their best interest, though they’d probably sue you for that. Hopefully they’ll see this article and figure it out. I’m glad you put the link back up 🙂

They must have gotten deindexed by Google for building links too fast. I have had that happen to me before. I never removed the links and I was eventually placed back in the SE.

That is unheard of and I think it deserves recognition. I do believe that you have the right to link to a site from your own site with or without permission. What is your link was a review. That goes against your rights.

I am not an attorney but I do believe I am right.

I look forward to an update on this if any!

Thank you,
Jonathan Smith

I just got one for a link on my 100 Things About Me page on Neurotic Fishbowl that I haven’t updated since probably 2004 or so. It’s a different company, though.

Even if my MT install wasn’t broken, making it a pain in the ass to edit the page, everything echoed in this ppst is why I wouldn’t bother removing it. So dumb.

Hi Christine,

I stumbled upon this article because i had the same experience with Guardlex on one of my websites. With some research, I too agree that there’s something shady going on. Guardlex is a fly by night website that was started only in 2011, according to They have a lot of bogus complaints online with people getting the same anti piracy complaints. It also doesn’t make sense that an established website like with 54,000+ backlinks would be affected by you linking or not linking to them. It is most likely a competitor.

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