Strip Mining All References to Gates of Vienna

We received an interesting request this morning in an email from a tech firm in Australia that acts as a clearinghouse for technical information related to the mining industry.

The entire text is reproduced below. I’m a nice guy, so I’ve redacted anything to identify the firm or the manager. I mean, it’s not his fault that he lives and works in a soviet state, is it?

From: Web Manager
To: gatesofvienna
Sent: Monday, August 03, 2015 11:07 AM
Subject: Important Request for Link Removals to [tech co].com from

Dear Webmaster of,

My name is [Web Manager], web manager of www.[tech co].com.

As a result of Google’s ongoing Penguin and unnatural link updates, we have undertaken an audit of our backlink profile and have identified a number of links that we would like to remove in order to help our Google rankings and organic visibility. We are contacting you, along with a number of webmasters asking them to remove links to our site. In making this request we accept that you may have added links in good faith and this request is no comment on the quality of your site.

There is/are 1 link/s on your website to our website are as below:[link from 2008]

They point to these pages on our website;

[URL on tech company’s website]

We’d like to thank you for linking back to our website, however we would like to take this opportunity to ask you to remove all links to our site www.[tech co].com from your website to help clean up our website’s backlink profile. It would be very appreciated if this could be done as soon as possible, and you could also please reply and let me know once this has been completed.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thank you for your cooperation.

[Web Manager]

e: webmanager@[tech co].com
t: +44 (0) [phone number]

Head Office
[Address], NSW

Sales and Editorial Office
United Kingdom

This message and all files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the addressee. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender or contact us via info@[tech co].com and destroy your copies of this message and any attached files.

The link he’s referring to was in the comments, and was used to back up a technical point made by one of our commenters in a very long thread.

Notice that the company’s marketing is done from the UK, and the international prefix on his phone number is also for the UK.

I surmise this: On orders from somewhere far above his level, Web Manager was tasked with removing any backlinks to his company from that nasty racist Islamophobic site, the hateful blogspot blog for Gates of Vienna. That is: This is another trickle-down from last week’s Hate Not Hope report.

Update: I should have mentioned that the last time I got one of these was four years ago, a couple of weeks after Breivik’s manifesto hit the web. That’s what makes the timing of this suspect.

Here’s my reply:

Mr. [Web Manager],

The link you sent is to our blogspot site, which has not been the home of Gates of Vienna for more than two and a half years, since we migrated to our own domain. I’m not certain that I can locate the login for the old site; it’s been so long.

But I’m perplexed — why would you wish to be delinked by Gates of Vienna? I would think that a link from a site with the stature of ours would be an asset to your company’s web profile and Google ranking. What possible reason could you have for wanting it removed?

Cordially yours,

Ned May
a.k.a. “Baron Bodissey”

I’ll let you know if I hear anything more.

13 thoughts on “Strip Mining All References to Gates of Vienna

  1. Actually, they may just want the link deleted because it’s on a very old “out of date” and possibly abandoned web page. This may make it appear to google’s ranking algorithms that the page being linked to might also be old, out of date, or abandoned, thus lowering the score it assigns.

    I’m guessing that the company involved is a “search engine optimization” company that gets paid to intentionally try to game the page ranking algorithms of search engines.

    Have they implemented their truth-by-consensus biasing algorithm yet? I don’t really know but they do have people manually assigning “quality” scores to some pages. I know this for a fact because I knew someone who had this job. It is supposed to be used to help them filter out spam/exploit/abusive pages but who knows if individual rank-and-file employees will limit it to that or if there is anything to stop abuse by the google employees/contractors themselves.

    • I would agree with you, except for the timing, which makes it highly suspect.

      The last time I got one of these was four years ago, a couple of weeks after Breivik’s manifesto hit the web. Need I say more?

      • It’s a coincidence in both timing and location. If you’re not getting these randomly all the time then I’d have to agree with you.

        • Nope. The only 2 times I’ve gotten any are 2 weeks after Breivik and 1 week after HnH. Coincidence? I think not.

  2. There’s a very silent war in progress on the internet. Chris Spivey’s website has been taken down. One may or not agree with what Mr Spivey says on his site but it is worrying that he has been intimidated and silenced by those who would rather not allow free speech.

    • One thing I notice with some unPC sites (e.g., pro-Confederacy site) is I’ll get a warming from Firefox that there’s something suspicious about the target URL. Something about a site certificate that doesn’t match up with the “proper” one. I don’t recall more of the details but it seems suspicious to me given what I know of the sites. It’s not like I’m trying to access a Swedish government site.

      As a matter of fact, there are a lot of details I don’t recall, but that’s another story.

  3. Watch out!! Next these limey libbers will accuse you all of having dealings with MINES… not the digging kind but the OTHER kind.

  4. Unfortunately, I had already sent my contribution to GoV by the time these egregious incidents happened (HnH, and this delink request), so I was not able to respond to these events appropriately.

    I was able to cancel my account with Macys after they dropped Donald Trumps line of clothing. I specifically communicated to them that I was not responding to their political opinions, which they had a right to hold and express. I was responding to their attempt to punish an expression of non-political correctness by attacking the speakers financial interests.

    If Google is getting to be that controlling through its algorithms, perhaps it’s time to switch to Bing or another search framework that is less filtered: I prefer to do my own filtering, thank you.

    • I am sympatico regarding your methods. I don’t know what to make of the Donald, other than to hope he has his crown of thorns ready, because the media psychophants will be after him.

      They’ve managed this kind of torture with other individuals and instead of the slimy boycotting, your specific message to them is far more effective. It tells them to get a backbone.

  5. Removing links that are used to support a point made in an article or comment should be considered improper. This is like asking a publisher to remove citations from scholarly books because the person whose work is cited doesn’t like the other author. Citations are standard practice and necessary. Removing them makes it nearly impossible for others to verify what has been said. Such a request should be rejected. If the tech company does not want to be cited by others, they should shut down there web site.

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