Respectful Insolence

I got this e-mail the other day, and I urge everyone who’s ever linked to Robert Lancaster’s excellent site to do as Tim Farley requests. (While you’re at it, you should consider linking to Farley’s equally useful What’s the Harm?):

I’m writing you because your site is one of the top ranked sites (according to Google) which hyperlinks to the site Stop Sylvia Browne. As you know, Robert Lancaster has done a fantastic service to the community by creating and maintaining this site over the last two years.  Robert is currently in the hospital recovering from a stroke that he had in August.

Unfortunately, the renewal for the domain name “stopsylviabrowne.com” came due during the first weeks after Robert’s stroke, and it expired.  A domain squatter noticed this fact, and snatched up the domain before anyone noticed.  So now that domain contains non-skeptical content that we should not be endorsing via hyperlink.

We need everyone who is currently linking to the old domain to change their links to a different domain which is STOPSYLVIA.COM. This new name is up and running now.

NOTE!  If you have already changed your link to point to a .NET or .US domain, we need you to change it to STOPSYLVIA.COM.  It is important for Google ranking that we all link to the same URL for the site.

It is also vitally important that we remove as many links to the old domain, and change these links to point to the new domain.  If your blog or content management software allows it, please revise any and all old posts you can. (Most blogs will let you revise old posts).  This will simultaneously boost Robert’s site visibility and penalize the current owner of the old domain.

If you need more details on precisely what you should be doing, feel free to read my explanation here:

http://skeptools.wordpress.com/2008/11/01/skeptics-load-your-google-bombs/

I explain exactly how and why Google-bombing works and give you some specific tips on how to compose your hyperlinks to have a maximum effect. Note for instance that you SHOULD include “Sylvia Browne” in the hyperlink, but you SHOULD NOT include the word “Stop”.

I thank you for your attention to this, and I’m sure Robert and Susan Lancaster thank you too.

–Tim Farley
 http://whatstheharm.net

P.S. To see precisely which of your pages link to Stop Sylvia Browne, you can use the same Google search which I used:

http://www.google.com/search?q=link%3Astopsylviabrowne.com

Done! And I wish Robert as complete a recovery from his stroke as possible. Strokes can be devastating, and I hope he’s able to return to the running of his most excellent (and needed) skeptical website.

Skeptico has more. as does the JREF Forum.

Comments

  1. #1 Blake Stacey
    November 2, 2008

    The guy who bought the domain is now trying to sell it on eBay.

  2. #2 HCN
    November 2, 2008

    Please do not bid on the old site name at Ebay or the other place it has been put on auction. Just direct all links to http://stopsylvia.com/ … increase the ranking of the new site, and reduce it for the old site.

  3. #3 Liz D
    November 2, 2008

    Done. I thought I had written something about the “stop Sylvia” effort but in searching my blog, nope.

  4. #4 DLC
    November 2, 2008

    Unfortunately, the only thing that will really stop Sylvia is when she eventually gets too old to keep up the con.
    But I still appreciate Robert Lancaster’s work.

  5. #5 Bronze Dog
    November 2, 2008

    Bad news on a similar front: Some Chaotic Evil guy apparently hacked Stop Jenny McCarthy.

  6. #6 Knurl
    November 2, 2008

    I haven’t had the chance to check out the Stop Jenny McCarthy site until about a half hour ago. I think something’s wrong. A single page comes up that says “Chaotic Evil Fuck Off Killing Paladins Since 1986″. I don’t think that’s what’s supposed to come up. Please check it out and let me know if something’s wrong.

  7. #7 Bronze Dog
    November 2, 2008

    Take the ‘site’ part of the address, and it comes up normal. Just found out.

  8. #8 Disketta
    November 2, 2008

    What’s the big deal about Sylvia Browne that there actually needs to be a website devoted to stopping her? It doesn’t seem worth the outrage, imo.

  9. #9 Bronze Dog
    November 2, 2008

    She’s a big name psychic who makes a lot of money scamming vulnerable people.

  10. #10 marilove
    November 3, 2008

    Disketta, do you realize how much money she takes from people? And how she manipulates them and fools them? It’s wrong.

  11. #11 wheatdogg
    November 3, 2008

    Done. Thanks for the heads up.

  12. #12 AndyD
    November 3, 2008

    “What’s the big deal about Sylvia Browne that there actually needs to be a website devoted to stopping her? It doesn’t seem worth the outrage, imo.”

    She told the parents of a missing child that the child was dead. He wasn’t. She told a woman her husband drowned, he died in WTC. She told a couple their dead daughter was shot, the girl had in fact died in her room and an autopsy had found no cause. And these are just the big misses that make the headlines. Why wouldn’t someone try to put a stop to her expensive brand of nonsense?

  13. #13 Ranson
    November 4, 2008

    Fixed all the links at my site and added some more.

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