An Open Letter Regarding Michael Ippersiel.com
This post is a public declaration by Michael Ippersiel of Guelph, Ontario, Canada; that the website bearing my name (michaelippersiel.com) does not belong to me, nor represents my views or opinions and absolutely does not contain any content that has been written by me.
The domain was originally registered from 2009-2011. I had planned to switch the domain to a new registrar and allowed it to lapse for a short time last year thinking that my name (being fairly unique) would be worthless to anyone else. Apparently I was wrong.
An individual decided to purchase my domain during the lapse period and is publishing what I consider ‘subpar’ content on it. They have also chosen to include ‘posted by michaelippersiel.com’ on each new posting, leading people to falsely assume that I am the author of this content. Since I have worked in the journalism industry and as a web content creator, the association of low quality content is damaging in the eyes of potential employers, associates and partners in my particular career field.
The only reasoning that comes to mind for someone to decide to mislead the public in this way (that I can see) is to pressure me to buy back the domain at a highly inflated price (a.k.a. cyber-squatting).
My attempts to contact the owner through GoDaddy have thus far been unsuccessful. I’ve also filed an official complaint through ICANN and am consulting with a litigator to explore any legal recourse that will resolve the issue.
In the meantime, I ask that you please disregard the michaelippersiel.com site during any research into my name and work online.
As a result of the numerous changes that Google has made to the way they rank websites (i.e. Panda and Penguin updates), the old domain appears to have been allowed to lapse. Since I published this post, it has become far less profitable to hijack someone’s domain name and get it to rank with garbage content.
The other massive change that is encouraging to anyone who has had someone attempt to impersonate them via a domain name is Google Authorship markup. By completing your Google+ profile and linking to your main blog or website and then linking back to your profile, you verify that you are the site owner and can also specify which sites you contribute content to online.
This helps to prove that you are who you are, and makes it harder for someone else to claim to be you (or that the writing they publish is yours).
While Google is far from perfect, many of their changes to clean up search has made it far less profitable for scammers out there. In this particular instance, it has helped me and I’m sure many others who have been put in a situation where someone else is masquerading as them (albeit indirectly) online.
Thank you Google!