Let me just edit my Google ranking...

I guess this should be filed under "too funny to make up." It seems that some crazy person has been threatening one Dean Hunt because his blog is ranked too high on Google. Apparently Dean's site ranks higher for the same of some product that the crazy guy is selling and he wants Dean to do something about that, by God. There's a short and humorous summary at Search Engine Journal.

Now, I think we can all agree that this unnamed merchant doesn't have a clue. The fact that he would even make a bizarre request like this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has no idea how Google works and probably hasn't worked too hard on his site's SEO.

However, I don't think Dean's response was really appropriate. While the merchant's request was certainly misguided and unreasonable, it was apparently made in earnest. As such, I think the obvious contempt in Dean's response was a little much. It certainly didn't do anything to resolve the situation.

This kind of attitude is how "computer geeks" get a reputation for being arrogant. When someone makes an unreasonable request, there's no need to say or imply that they're stupid. Instead, give the person the benefit of the doubt. You don't have to devote hours to patient explanation of the underlying concepts, just politely say that it simply doesn't work that way and there's nothing you can do about it. If the person continues to be unreasonable after that, then just walk away. Insults and alienation are seldom productive (unless you're goal is to piss people off).

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