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Discredit an Impostor who claims to be the "official site" - Is it possible?

a close friend with a legitimate complaint

12:52 am on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi all! (I've not been around in a while)

This is no joke. I got a call this AM from a close personal friend who also happens to be the widow of a pretty famous actor. When you Google her late husband's name, one of the top 10 results claims to be the "official" site of her husband.

In truth, there is no official site. We may create one and there's no doubt that she is the legitimate "heir." This "impostor" claims to be his first born son, but the wife says not. I believe her. For sure, there's nothing "official" about this site even though it makes this claim including in the page title so it appears that way on the SERP (as well as in Wikipedia).

I know how to make the new site, if we make one, the "authority" from a SEM point of view; but does Google ever penalize sites for being the in-authentic "official" site if there is evidence to the contrary? In other word, penalize the site for its false representation.

Any help will be very much appreciated!


2:29 am on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't think google can penalize for that, you can send a DMCA notice if the site is doing any kind of copyright or trademark infringement.

I would just email the guy and ask him to stop using the words "official site" on his site. Or go to one of those free ask a lawyer sites and see if it's fraud then search for a sample cease and desist letter (c&d), send him one of those...might help.

2:37 am on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Ah well you are gonna have to make a public protest about this anyway? Is it Humphrey Boagart?
2:56 pm on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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I actually had a similar situation with regards to an "official" band site I originally created in 1997, which was commissioned by the former road manager of the band. The leader of the band is dead, the rest of the band were originally on board with the whole thing, but eventually they fell out with the road manager (who tended to want the site to be a sort of shrine to the dead leader, and mostly ignored the contributions of the rest of the band members, some of whom are famous in their own right) and eventually he used the site to post a lot of nasty stuff about the other band members, at which point I asked him to take his business elsewhere, and the rest of the band members asked me to put together ANOTHER "official" site at their behest. So now there's two sites out there claiming to be the "official" site of this band. I just put the new site up about four months ago, and we're fourth while the old site is #1 with no updates, since the road manager doesn't have anyone else to work on it. I assumed there was nothing much we could about it except try to make a good enough site that we will eventually overtake the old site in the SERPS.