Arrogance About Your Google Ranking Can Land You In Jail

Vitaly Borker - the owner of - the subject of a recent New York Times article titled "A Bully Finds A Pulpit On The Web" "was arrested Monday and charged with cyber-stalking, making interstate threats and mail and wire fraud." the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Borker, 34, is accused of allegedly threatening customers who visited his luxury eyewear site Their furious online comments helped catapult the site to the top of Google's search results, drawing in more customers.

Since at least 2007, Borker had sent defective and counterfeit glasses to customers, refused to give refunds when warranted, charged exorbitant fees and harassed customers under aliases such as Tony Russo and Stanley Bolds.

At least 200 complaints were filed with the Federal Trade Commission by U.S. and foreign victims.

Authorities found weapons and ammunition at Borker's home when they arrested him Monday. Calling him a "fraudster," Bharara said that he could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted of all charges, which were filed Friday," the LA Times stated.

The arrogance of Borker was his downfall - if he had refused to talk to the New York Times the story may not have had such an impact and gotten so much additional publicity. So while he may have gamed the system, he really did not understand how social media would show how much of backlash there can be and how that gets the attention of the government and law enforcement. People have been tracked and arrested through Twitter and Facebook - they just don't understand how it all works.

I will follow the tweets about his trial with interest.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.