Google's Penguin & Panda Updates Are My Fault?

May 29, 2012 • 9:21 am | comments (46) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Blog Administration

spit on meI received a friendly email over the weekend from a reader.

The email had the subject line that read, "for Barry" and the message read:

You miserable prick. You continue your Google ass-licking as Google boots everyone of us from SERPs. I shall spit on your face next time we meet. Panda and Penguin are designed to hurt non-advertisers and help brands.

I get these types of emails every now and then. In fact, one person threatened to meet me at a conference once and make me pay for whatever I did to them.

Clearly, if you were hit by the Penguin or Panda update you are upset. But to blame me and to threaten me because of it is just really not acceptable.

This email form was sent via the IP address, which is somewhere in Sweden. I've been to Sweden about 8 years ago, so I don't think I know anyone there personally.

Anyway, I apologize if people take the stuff I read the wrong way.

I honestly find it funny because Google thinks I hate them and give them a bad rap in my stories. Then I have SEOs complain that I suck up to Google. Does someone who suck up to Google write this? I think not.

But what you wrote is down right wrong, nasty and clearly insensitive. I just wish you would tell the community who you really are instead of just hiding. Oh, and I welcome you to spit in my face, since you do not have the courage to stand up for what you believe publicly.

Every now and then I show some emotion when I write, some of the readers here ask me to. Thing is, I am so not fired up when writing this now, but I think it gets the point across.

Forum discussion, well - no where - so comment here.

Image credit to ShutterStock for spitting angry people

Previous story: Porn Ads On Your Google Home Page?


Jason Duke

05/29/2012 01:30 pm

Whoever sent that mail is a fool and shows the very very worst side of our industry. Give them no credence Barry as I for one am disgusted at their words!

Levi Wardell

05/29/2012 01:33 pm

I SHALL SPIT IN THE FACE OF YOU!!!!! ha. Frustrating, I'm sure but damn man, you gotta laugh at people when they are so off base that they shoot accusatory content like this at you.

Scott Boyd

05/29/2012 01:34 pm

Bing has an office in Sweden, right? :)

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2012 01:34 pm

Yea, just sharing some of the more thought provoking emails that hit my SEO inbox. :)

Nathaniel Bailey

05/29/2012 01:35 pm

Ignore the numpties Barry, they clearly don't know how to stick within the Google guidelines so they are just looking to point the finger at someone in the hope that you will give them some traffic and publicity IMO. People that can't admit to messing up will never learn and I hope they aint still taking people hard earned cash for a job they clearly can't do even with the helpful advice people like you offer to the community for free! Keep up the good work dude :)

Marina Ofengeim

05/29/2012 01:37 pm

Hello Barry! I've never wrote here any comments of any kind since there are a lot of professionals out there. But I feel to oblige saying huge thanks to you & your work for giving us all updated info, tips & help. I say: "Let's ignore such people & their letters!". Again - thank you very much. Best regards, Marina

Kevin Burke

05/29/2012 01:38 pm

Well at least you know you have a Global audience and are resonating with your readers.

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2012 01:39 pm

Thanks Marina. :)


05/29/2012 01:44 pm

Congratulations. You're celebrity )

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2012 01:44 pm

Yea, I deleted it but then thought it might make for a good post here. It is SEO related. :)

Greg Young

05/29/2012 01:45 pm

Imagine the email Matt Cutts got.

Björn Walther

05/29/2012 01:48 pm

Hey Barry! If this email was sent from Sweden to you - don't judge all of us on the behalf of one email. :-) 8 years... If you feel like revisiting Sweden and Stockholm, send me a tweet.


05/29/2012 01:49 pm

Barry you are the only straight shooter I know and follow, besides Aaron Wall. I think you are one of the few that Google treads lightly around. That's a very good thing. Hang in there! That Swedish dude is just mega frustrated and sees you as a way of making his day a bit better. One truth, the most abundant elements of the universe are hydrogen and ignorant people.


05/29/2012 01:51 pm

Thumbs up ))

Tamar Weinberg

05/29/2012 01:54 pm

They google something about lower rankings, find SER, and think you're Google. I get this all the time since I write articles on Facebook. People think I am Facebook. I see other blogs and publications get similar misdirected anger. It's fun to read.

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2012 01:55 pm

I guess I should share these emails more often. You'd comment here more often. ;-)


05/29/2012 02:02 pm

Ignore them Barry, as I am sure you do. What do you think about waiting out the Penguin problems, it is likely to be about the link profile and many of these links will disappear after a year or so. To try to remove them all is of course prudent but is very time consuming and usually quite fruitless.


05/29/2012 02:05 pm

It's like I told you when I first met you! A great number of people appreciate your work!


05/29/2012 02:08 pm

By the way, this is broadband IP. Not sure about Sweden, but in many countries of EU mobile broadband can be bought providing documents only, means it can be traced easy. Consider forward to local police. They definitely will take it seriously.

Simon Heseltine

05/29/2012 02:09 pm

...are you sure he said "Spit on your face"? ;)


05/29/2012 02:09 pm

According to Google (no one else checked?) that IP is on a list of known Tor exit nodes - it's likely that someone was using that to obscure their location. Probably not a Swede.


05/29/2012 02:09 pm

Well played on the title btw!

Arwin Adriano

05/29/2012 02:24 pm

LOL, I give this email an A for effort of having a little courage of informing you that he's always behind your shadows. :D


05/29/2012 02:31 pm

Just ignore the stupid fuck

Barry Schwartz

05/29/2012 02:55 pm

I'd never judge all Swedes on one email from a random person.


05/29/2012 03:43 pm

lol lame of them to write that.

josh bachynski

05/29/2012 03:43 pm

I have been catching flak too. People are angry and they need someone to blame other than themselves and oddly they don't have Matt Cutts' email ;p

SEO Aware - Melissa

05/29/2012 03:47 pm

Barry, people and their insults still shock me. I was called the "C" word this weekend for thanking the military on SEJ, It is easy to say ignore, but it isn't always easy to do so. You deserve better and the smart people know you are amazing.

Joseph Rega

05/29/2012 04:16 pm

That's awful, just ignore it. I like the way you write and what you write about; keep doing what you're doing Barry!

William Cross

05/29/2012 04:43 pm

Well, my reading of the email posted looks like they are just blaming you for 'still licking googles ass' while google screws everyone. That aside, emails like that are just rather stupid and only serve to make the emailer look bad. But that's his problem, not your Barry, so don't sweat it. :)

Dr. Peter J. Meyers

05/29/2012 04:43 pm

If people don't even know the difference between you reporting on Google (and potentially helping them with free information) and Google changing the algorithm, it's easy to see why they keep getting hurt every time there's an update.

Joe Youngblood

05/29/2012 04:56 pm


Brian Greenberg

05/29/2012 06:07 pm

Try to ignore those types of comments Barry. When you put yourself out on the internet it is inevitable you will receive those crazy comments. It is impossible to please everyone on the internet. I personally think you do an excellent job.


05/29/2012 11:26 pm

414 years since the turn of phrase was introduced and people are still shooting the messenger. Don't hate the player, hate the game ya'll!


05/30/2012 02:40 am

Meh, probably a Black Hat

Raviraj Tak

05/30/2012 04:18 am

Why they are blaming someone else.. Instead of this just try to figure out how to overcome from this Google updates. If the SEO is done in a good manner than there is no way you should worry about the big G updates..

Sunny Ujjawal

05/30/2012 04:38 am

I hope you also receive appreciation and thanks emails from SER and SEL readers, so ignore this one stupid (1%) and publish those 99% and your team help us a lot in SEO & online marketing updates.


05/30/2012 05:04 am

Barry...You are just awesome..:) Every time you provide us valuable information on the updated that are being rolled out and we really get benefited by the taking actions on the updates that you provide.... You are right...Every now and then, these type of instances occur. But no need to worry...We are with you always...


05/30/2012 06:02 am

So many people out there have been affected by this algorithm and they just don't know where to vent their frustration. I kind of understand his frustration I just don't understand why he would target you? I mean you don't even factor in this. You are just reporting. Now if I was Mr Cutts or Mr Singh I would be a little wary at the next meet the public I go to. Lots of angry people out there.


05/30/2012 06:20 am

Hmm, its like angry birds. Good thing to highlight barry.

Ismael Verón

05/30/2012 11:40 am

Dont worry Barry, there are assho.... and insecure people everywhere in this world.


05/30/2012 11:53 am



05/30/2012 12:34 pm

time to add "spit" and "prick" to your email filter, Barry. Seriously, this is completely wrong and as we all have noticed, number of frustrated people increase after every update. As someone said below, I can't imagine emails Matt Cutts get after these updates.

John Allen

05/30/2012 01:23 pm

Adding my voice in appreciation for your efforts to keep us informed. I know these kind of emails are disturbing and am sad to hear you've become a misdirected target for people who are angry with Google.

Webstats Art

06/04/2012 06:27 pm

Hey Barry. Thanks for letting people comment here, even if they are skulls leading to experimental websites loaded with crap. I really appreciate the info you give to all of us and I would not be worried about this guy. They are paranoid about foreigners stealing their women. I don't know what that has to do with the SERPS or google updates but maybe there is a connection somewhere.. LOL!

Sheldon Campbell

08/23/2012 06:15 pm

Fortunately, you're a pretty laid-back individual, so this sort of garbage probably doesn't affect you that much. Still, it's sad that there are so many folks out there with such low comprehension skills that they feel justified in blaming you. God forbid they should accept any responsibility for their own actions! You've always been even-handed in your work, in my opinion, Barry. This is simply one of the nasty side-effects of having achieved a little notoriety. Soon, you won't be able to go out in public without being swarmed by paparazzi and the shelves at Toys-R-Us will be stuffed with little Barry Action Figures. :P Hang in there, man.... there's always the hope that Darwin's Law holds some truth that the gene pool will eventually be self-cleaning.

blog comments powered by Disqus