Most search marketers are aware of the awesome power of social media as a check upon predatory behavior (for any and all stupid acts tend to be presented to the entire community for comment / censure/ ridicule). However, there are a few members of the community that are too thick-headed to realize that community wrath can become a very personal problem if they act inappropriately.
One of my social media friends is Mike Halvorsen, who does search engine optimization in Columbus Ohio. He has earned a top Google ranking for the search terms “SEO Columbus”, a very relevant generic search phrase for his professional services.
Enter Joe Rozsa, another local Columbus Ohio SEO who runs a company called Kalor Technology. He decided he wanted to compete in the SERPS for the term “SEO Columbus”. He even buys the domain name “seocolumbus.com”. He then attempts to rebrand himself as “SEO Columbus”. All fine so far.
However, Joe then enters “dickhead” mode. Rozsa emails Halvorsen attempting to claim rights to the generic phrase “SEO Columbus” as a business name trademark. Can’t be done. He can probably register the name “SEO Columbus Inc.” as a DBA if he so desires…however, he isn’t allowed to prevent anyone from using common descriptive business terms to describe their service offerings even if it conflicts with his DBA.
And yet, had Joe approached Mike nicely, he might have gotten Mike to take down his high ranking page. However, Joe tried to bully Mike with legal action based upon false pretenses. Most SEO’s placed in the same situation tend to respond as follows:
Mike posted the entire exchange on his blog and as we speak, the SEO Community is exacting just revenge on Joe Rozsa via social media for his boorish behavior. Even if Joe realizes the error in his ways at some future time, a permanent record exists of his malfeasance. Plus, thanks to the community, he might even lose his top rank for “SEO Columbus”, something he values so dearly.