Wasarrested.com links in search results
February 18, 2004 12:05 PM   Subscribe

How to get "wasarrested.com" links out of Overture search results, or at least off the first page? (more inside)

So last week, I got a panicked text message from a relative: "Defamatory remarks abt u on a web page!" I checked the URL, and it was just a bunch of wasarrested.com pages. No biggie; I laughed it off, told the relative it was a humor site, and forgot about it.

Now I hear about Yahoo's engine switch, so I drop by Yahoo to ego-surf a bit and check the quality of the new search. Not good: a search for my surname now returns those wasarrested.com links first, followed by various other associated joke pages. These results match up with Overture's results to a tee, which means that this is a problem on Overture's end.

Now, I wouldn't be so concerned if the joke pages only came up for my full name, but this is my family/clan we're talking about, so I'd rather not drag their good name into these cute-but-puerile web antics. So what's one to do about this? Is wasarrested.com paying top dollar for a high listing on Overture? Somehow I doubt that. This doesn't look like wasarrested.com's fault: the joke pages are dynamically generated from the URL (which is why the "remove" page is also a joke). And I don't think I can just call up or email Overture and say, "Hey, your algorithms are screwed up, bump down these prank sites."

I don't run into problems like this with Google. *sniff*
posted by brownpau to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Response by poster: Screwed up my more inside link. Argh.
posted by brownpau at 12:07 PM on February 18, 2004

I don't think I can just call up or email Overture and say, "Hey, your algorithms are screwed up, bump down these prank sites."
Why not? I think you can.
posted by mischief at 12:50 PM on February 18, 2004

Get a lawyer to send the site a threatening letter.

Will this work? Let me tell you my story. At one point, I was the idiot who ran a site called smokescrack.net. (Although the site is still up, it's been changed quite a bit by the guy at isgay.com, who bought the site from me.) At any rate, I'd actualy built the site specifically to be spiderable and by the time I'd sold the site, there were 10's of thousands of indexed pages, even though the whole site consisted pretty much of one dynamically generated page.

I thought this was pretty funny at the time. Anyway... I'd been doing this for a few months when a lawyer from a pretty major firm popped up with an exceptionally threatening letter. Apparently, what had happenned is this - some guy was selling his company to a big name software company for hundreds of millions of dollars. During this process, they'd done a due dilligence search... And guess what popped up? Thisguy.smokescrack.net.

The person involved was pissed.

While I wasn't worried about losing a defamation or slander lawsuit -- the site is dynamically generated, after all -- the average website owner probably doesn’t need the headache. I know I didn't. (I sold the site immediately afterward.) In the end, we worked out a deal where going to Thisguy.smokescrack.net would no longer generate the full page, but instead something like "This page has been removed." It didn't take long for it to drop completely out of google's index.
posted by ph00dz at 1:02 PM on February 18, 2004

Response by poster: Here's the email I sent to rcranium and cc'd to Overture consumer feedback:
I played around with wasarrested.com a couple of years ago, and now those dynamically generated page from wasarrested.com, isgay.com, and pieceofshit.net show up as the first three results on Overture.com. Problem is, now that Yahoo is using Overture as its primary engine, they come up as the very first results on a Yahoo search for my family name. Ouch, ouch:


I'd normally be okay with it if it was a search for my full name, since it's pretty funny, but this problem affects a single-word search for my family's/clan's name as well, and they're certainly not as web-savvy. This affects my uncle, who's an attorney in the DC area, and his name turns up right alongside mine -- me, his convicted gay felon piece of shit nephew! :D Already I've gotten alarmed calls from two relatives asking why I got arrested, and I needed to calm them down and tell them to read the site disclaimer.

Is it possible to exclude my family name from the wasarrested.com engine? If you can just add a simple if() to keep the "Ordoveza" name out and return a 404 header, I'd be really, really grateful. Thanks, mate. Hope you get out of jail soon. ;-)
posted by brownpau at 7:41 PM on February 18, 2004

kudos for being nice
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 8:54 AM on February 20, 2004

Response by poster: Two days, still no answer. That's what I get for being polite and idealistic.
posted by brownpau at 9:13 AM on February 20, 2004

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