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Random Lugnuts: Google and NASCAR Sponsorship

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Random Lugnuts, John Andretti, MyAutoLoan.com
What is Random Lugnuts?  It's random bits of stock car racing commentary written on an irregular basis by an irregular racing fan.  The name is a reference to the lugnuts that go flying off a car during a pit stop:  you never know where they are going to go, what they're going to do when they get there, they can be annoying, they're often useless after a race, and every once in a while someone gets hit and they don't know exactly where it came from.
Opinions expressed by Bill Crittenden are not official policies or positions of The Crittenden Automotive Library. You can read more about the Library's goals, mission, policies, and operations on the About Us page.

Random Lugnuts: Google and NASCAR Sponsorship

Bill Crittenden
October 3, 2013

Yesterday I received the second (of two so far) emails regarding removing a link to the site MyAutoLoan.com.

Funny thing is, I never linked to them. I could explain it all, but I think the original email and my reply are more than adequate:

Hello Richard,

I checked into the file you mentioned, and there is no link to your site.  There is a mention of your site, as your company or a predecessor at the same web address sponsored John Andretti's car in April 2009 and is mentioned in the sponsor column of his racing record.  But there isn't a link to remove.

-Bill Crittenden

From: Richard Green 
To: Bill Crittenden 
Cc: Link Removal 
Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2013 10:51 AM
Subject: Link Removal Request for carsandracingstuff.com

A Request For Your Help

Thursday 26th of September 2013 11:51:30 AM

Bill Crittenden

Dear Bill Crittenden:

We have discovered that a company we hired to help promote our website myautoloan.com have used a variety of questionable  techniques to secure links to our website. These links were placed purely for SEO purposes, with the intention of manipulating search rankings.

It appears that there may be links like this that have been placed on your site.

The presence of these links is harmful to our site's good standing with search engines, and unfortunately, retaining them may also be potentially harmful to your own website's reputation.

We would ask that you please remove any links on your site that link to myautoloan.com.

So far as we are aware, there are (or have been) links at these URLs:

We would greatly appreciate your help with resolving this problem.

You can also let us know once the links to myautoloan.com have been removed either by return email, or using the link below.

If you need any more information from us, please email me and I will be happy to assist.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you and do appreciate your help.


Richard Green

The following url will allow you to let us know that the links were removed.  This url is
provided only for ease of use.  If you are not comfortable with clicking a link please email us back and let us know it is done.

If you believe this email has come to you in error please click the link above and report it.

Normally I don't answer these, let alone write about them. Most times they are computer-generated (as was this one, else they would have realized the nature of their site's mention), sent to CarsAndRacingStuff.com's WhoIs-registered e-mail address and not the general Library help address, and most importantly sent from a domain other than the one mentioned (leading me to question if it is a legitimate request or a competitior trying to remove a rival's links).

This one was sent (apparently, but that can be "spoofed") from the domain requested to be removed, and it pointed to a Topic Page and not an article, so I checked into it. Then I responded. Without any other answer, I received another email requesting removal again yesterday.

I highly doubt that the "questionable techniques" an internet site marketer would use would include the primary sponsorship of a Sprint Cup stock car in a points-paying race. It seems that one of three possibilities is happening.

1.) It could be a scam of some sort.

2.) Questionable marketing practices resulted in the penalty from Google and any mention of the site is triggering a response by the clean-up team. Overreacting, possibly, depending on the advice they were given by their new source for SEO information.

3.) The sponsorship resulted in so many mentions of the MyAutoLoan.com in very similar postings from all the various websites that publish NASCAR results that it triggered Google's penalty. This wouldnt happen were it not for the ".com" in the name or the relative lack of mentions from other marketing, which is why, for instance, Budweiser wouldn't be penalized for being in the race results next to Kevin Harvick's name every week. If this is so, does that devalue NASCAR car sponsorships for dot coms?

Does anyone else know of this happening with other .com sponsors of race cars? My results tables are still incomplete (a work in progress), so I may not have all the requisite information to be seeing more of these if they are going around.

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