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closeLook how old this is!
I post at now, and this post was published 13 years 1 month 13 days ago. This industry changes FAST, so blindly following the advice here *may not* be a good idea! If you're at all unsure, feel free to hit me up on Twitter and ask.

I received a “threatening” email yesterday from Jeremy Wyss at Peak Studios that I just have to share here after posting it last night on Twittter.

Spurred on by ReTweets from internet marketers like Todd Mintz, Greg Boser, Aaron ChronsterDavid Mihm Michael Dorausch (OK, sorry, that’s too much work, but here are dozens more )  I ended up getting over 500 visitors to my old 2008 post from the Retweets alone in one night.

Now I’m not really the vindictive type, and I’m not always this petty, but God dammit I know when I’m right, and I’m not gonna back down here. Besides, it’s too important that our industry stop “search marketing firms”  like this from damaging their clients.

Much like some high profile marketers I know of, like  ShoemoneySugarRae and Michael Gray, I don’t  generally like to  “call out ”  other peoples behavior unnecessarily. But when they totally DESERVE it, or they’re complete and total idiots, I’m not afraid to let it rip, and this is one of those times.

Just minutes ago, the “axe fell” and this guy emailed the contact info of a bunch of domains he researched, some of which are my clients, some affiliates, (and some I’ve never even heard of) with a vague, non-specific and unsigned “warning” about me.  (Score one for John Andrews here by the way, who told me a couple of years ago I was crazy to keep client references showing on my site. Guess you were right, John.)

A Quick History
Way back in October of 2008, Peak Studios sent some badly spun forum spam for their “search marketing services”  to the search marketing forum which I’m a moderator for, over at SEMpdx.  I thought it was sort of funny, so I Twittered it.

When I phoned Peak,  not only didn’t see anything “wrong” with it,  he defended it,  and didn’t even see the irony. (Anyone that knows me realizes I believe there’s a time and place for spam, but that sure wasn’t it! 😉 We hung up sort of agreeing to disagree, and I dropped it, thinking “this guy just doesn’t get it”! 

A couple hours later, this guy, the owner of Peak Studios,  actually then phoned the number on the SEMpdx website and spoke to both  Kent Lewis (the past president) AND to Ben Lloyd (the current president, where he DEMANDED that I take down my Tweet or else!  Seriously!

When Ben told me, I was so ticked off that I wrote a post over at SEMpdx there about the ignorance of  the  Peak Studios forum spam activity, titling it “Spam is in the Eye of the Beholder”.

Just to clarify, this is the Peak Studios I’m referring to…

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That infuriated him of course,  and after a few heated emails with the board, Ben informed him that the entire SEMpdx board of directors unanimously voted to leave my post up.

Ya know what he did then?

Instead of apologizing and perhaps looking within,  Quince Wyss, then turned around and left fake negative reviews on the SEMpdx board member Google local business profiles. And this was AFTER 99 % of the internet marketing community pointed out the error of his ways in the comments at Sphinn.

I Lost It
The fake review on my own Google business profile REALLY had me smoked, so I blew up, and phoned him, leaving a screaming and profane voice mail for him that would have made my Dad blush.

What does he do? He edited and cut my voicemail to take out his company name or what I was accusing him of, and anonymously posted on YouTube, trying to make me look like a raving lunatic.  (This, “raving lunatic” stuff came as no surprise to my wife or anyone that know me, because I was REALLY pissed.)

That recorded voicemail on YouTube sparked me to do some investigative digging into their history  so I posted on my own blog in December of 2008 with a backstory and video showing exactly how  Peak Studios was leaving deceptive fake “bad” reviews for their clients competitors!

I still stand behind that post 100%, and my decision to do it, and I was pretty happy to see that it too was supported by the entire Sphinn community. Even Tamar Weinberg from Techipedia thought it was worth mentioning in the Ultimate Social Media Handbook.

So, now you’re current and up to date,  and oh,  I forgot to mention that the post is ranking highly for their company name, and that’s why he contacted me yesterday after 14 months with his “threat”.

It’s interesting to note that from his perspective, the fact that Peak Studios spammed SEMpdx in the first place was is a total non-issue.

The poorly crafted and badly spun articles sent posted in a search marketing organization’s forum  was bad enough, but the fact that they still defend it (below),  and that they left us fake reviews for exposing them,  and then were (or still are?) leaving damaging reviews for their clients competitors should be very enlightening to other marketers and bloggers in Colorado .

So, instead of being afraid of this supposed “blackmail threat”,  I’m sort of proud to have my “clients” read the history here, as well as my family, friends, kids, parents, and anyone I ever have contact with, or may possibly in the future.

Thanks for the link bait Quince and Jeremy, and yes, I do plead guilty of having an ego – but I also have the business sense to understand when I’m wrong, and I’m man enough to admit it when that happens.

Verbatim and unedited, here it is below… (His stuff is red, and mine is blue and of course, read from the bottom up for context

This Email went out today to an unknown number of people – Unsigned, by the way, from a Gmail address, with all the typos and  grammatical errors you see below-

From: Jeremy.wyss [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2010 1:03 PM
To: Scott Hendison – Search Commander, Inc.
Subject: Scott hendison is not looking out for your best interests – recommend contacting him to discuss – here are the details

As a consumer I like to work with companies who always think about my best interest. Scott Hendison has been bashing our company for over a year now and when asked to stop he refused cause of his ego. He thinks it is a game or something.

I’d point out that after my December 2008 post, I really did nothing, and had in fact forgotten all about it. There’s was no “continual bashing” –  certainly not like there will be now!

Well we have had just about enough and told him we would not be putting up with it anymore. We had given him 24 hours to remove his post that he claims is about us, unfortunately not all of his information is correct (What about the video proof I have for all of my claims on my original post?) and whenever we tried to respond he would not post it, cause he bashed us on his site and wanted everyone to think he was right (again with his ego).

( I never deleted or declined approval for any of his comments, and do encourage him to speak his mind here. Anyone can vouch for the fact that I love a good argument, and there’s no way I’d delete anything. Why would I?  With every sentence they write, it makes them look worse and worse! )

The reason I am telling you this is cause it may have an impact on your company if you continue to work him and he doesn’t remove the requested items. I can only assume that he is well aware of the fact that the negative online reputation that he is getting, from being so negative towards others, will effect his clients eventually. The problem is that his ego makes him believe that his negative smear campaign against another company has no effect on his company or the companies he associates himself with, probably cause of his God complex. Well in todays world people do look at the companies that people choose to do work with as a marker of their professionalism. I for one would not want anyone to associate myself with a person like Scott who would rather hurt his clients than take 10 seconds to remove something.

I would strongly recommend calling him and letting him know that he was hired to look out for your best interests ( not drag your business name through the mud with his) and to remove the items immediately so everyone can go on with their life. In addition, he received this email too and is well aware that I am sending it to you, I guess he really just doesn’t care about his clients.

So that went out to clients, UNSIGNED I’d point out,  with no links at all, or an explanation of anything. He even sent it from a cowardly Gmail address. How does this “hurt” me or my clients again? My last threat to SEND that email came from him came about an hour before he sent…

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2010 12:03 PM
To: Scott Hendison – Search Commander, Inc.
Subject: this is going out to your clients in 20 minutes if that stuff isn’t removed… this is step one are you sure you really want this?

this is going out to your clients in 20 minutes if that stuff isn’t removed… this is step one are you sure you  really want this?

He had a rough draft here of the letter above, then he thoughtfully, included the entire text in this one email,  which made this post easier.

First of all this isn’t Quince, 2nd of all the entire incident occurred cause of a misunderstanding, cause from looking at the sempdx it looked like we were aloud to post things about our company. Unfortunately, there was no disclaimer that said if you are on the board of sempdx please post and reply to people here. I was the one who posted the two blog comments and I never reposted them I edited them. Instead of being an adult and just clicking deleting them you decided to call and argue with Quince. We manage blogs too Scott,it is easy to just click a button or even better you don’t allow posts to go public until reviewed.

You saying I would not work this guy cause of this message is spam as you interpret it on your post, have you read what you wrote on our reviews?

Oh we know what we did towards you was not right I am the first to admit it, but we did it in retaliation for your comments about us on sempdx, your site and google maps along with your little social networking.

finally your vague answer to my question is wonderful, so you don’t care if you negatively effect your clients income.

You can look at it this way is it worth your time and energy to deal with the ramifications it is going to bring to you if you don’t remove it? It will take you ten seconds to remove it and it may hurt your ego a little bit but just think there are still posts bashing us at sempdx  so you have won.That is the whole point you want to think you have won right?  I can tell you for a fact the only way for you to win is agree your little game is over take your trophy, remove that stuff and move on with your life.

Scott Hendison – Search Commander, Inc. wrote:

You know, you’re probably not a bad guy, but you’re incredibly dense.  I phoned you in the first place as a courtesy, one SEO to another, and you just didn’t get it.  I TOLD you this would happen, and that I’d end up ranking for your name, but no, you didn’t want to listen.

Now you dare to threaten me with some imaginary loss of income? Are you serious?  To retaliate I guess I’d just copy / paste this whole email as a new blog post.  Care to bet on how fast I can get an indented listing for your name too?  Maybe I’ll ask some friends if they’ll let me guest post on their blogs too, and take up some more page one real estate.

You’re asking ME  if I “can’t stand to remove something?” Seriously?  Dude, you’re the one that refused to take my voicemail off Youtube, and it cost me time, energy, a little stress, and more than a few bucks to  get rid of it myself.  (By the way, if you still have a recording, I’d love to have it, and I’ll post it myself)

My whole point is that you’ve never admitted the error of your spammy ways in the first place, and never apologized for the fake reviews you left me, because you still don’t think you did anything wrong.

You even had the balls to register variants of MY NAME with Google and for that alone I should come after you.

Not too smart for someone who’s own name .com is still available – (don’t worry, I wouldn’t stoop that low)

Anyway, thanks for sparking some  more comments on that year old post today , by the way.  Why don’t you just let this die off, before you become even more of a trending topic at Twitter

You’d better wise up, quit while you’re behind, and stop pissing me off or I really WILL make it my mission to drive you completely off page one for your own name.  Believe me, I’ll find the time, with legitimate facts posted at a few domains, and a few choice links.

Go ahead, dare me to…


(PS – My apologies to those I’ve annoyed with my bcc, but please let me know if you’d either like to write about this fiasco, or might let me do a guest post in case this guy wants to continue to escalate)

From: Jeremy.wyss [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 3:20 PM
To: Scott Hendison – Search Commander, Inc.
Subject: Re: page removal – Peak Studios

So you thought about the effects it could have on your income and the income of the businesses you market for? really are you an adult or is your ego so big that you can’t stand to remove something?

Scott Hendison – Search Commander, Inc. wrote:

Gee, what’s wrong? Are you not happy with it ranking highly for your company name?

Do you really think I’ll respond to this by taking it down? Hilarious.

Sorry, but nothing about you on  my site is coming down, because nothing there is untrue.  Nothing.

I show my facts there pretty well, I believe. Frankly, I’d forgotten all about it, and have better things to do.

Also, NONE of my own Google reviews are anything less than 100% true, including my thoughts on my own dentist, my kids dentist, my kids school, my friend Randy,  Marvin the fishing guide who took us fishing, David our mortgage broker since 1999, and so on.  I’m not sure what your beef is with my REAL reviews, UNLIKE what you guys were doing  – or for all I know still are – that’s what reviews are for!  Do you really not comprehend the difference?

Don’t worry, I won’t contact you because I’ve got NO INTEREST in discussing anything with you, however, feel free to comment on the post in question.

Actually, lets see if people think I should remove it or not…

I’ve also bcc’d the board of SEMpdx (who all remember the situation quite well)  in case any of them want to weigh in, and I’m debating placing this email online as another post to outrank you for your company name…


Scott Hendison

From: Jeremy.wyss [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 2:16 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: page removal.

You need to remove this page from your website along with the two reviews you and your friend left on peak studios local listings David Kyle reviews and the reviews in your own name within the next 24 hours. This is not a negotiation or discussion the 3 items will be removed within 24 hours. no point in contacting us to discuss we will just make sure it has been done by tomorrow at noon. If you need guidance I would look to your family, friends, the companies listed bellow and god to help you make your decision – I am sure they will lead you in the right direction.

(about  25 domains have been snipped out here for privacy – even though less than half ever were actual clients of mine)

Have a wonderful day and may god bless you!

So, there you have it, and thanks for reading. I’m sorry to waste your time, but this was just too rich to pass up. What do you think?  Am I completely out of line?

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