Sometimes called "SEO via Legal" or C&D SEO, this to me is the scum-baggiest way to do SEO.  And if you send a letter like this to one of my clients, I’ll make sure that everyone knows what a scumbag you (Snap-On) are.

C&D SEO works by eliminating pages that compete with you for a given keyword.  Rather than Snap-On Tools ranking for its own name legitimately through good press about their company, and what great tools they make, they instead look for everyone who has said anything about them and send them a C&D.  This doesn’t work well for SEO, because anyone with half a brain knows that you can’t use Trademark laws to force the removal of your name, unless they are attempting to use your name as their own.  I can say "I drank a Coke and it was good" and Coke can’t stop me.  Snap-On already has issues with a weak trademark because it is only a trade mark in certain contexts.  "Let me Snap on my coat and I’ll be ready to go skiing" or

Like in this photo:

That turtle has his Snap on: An alligator snapper wiggles a pink appendage in its mouth Photographic Print by George Grall

"Dudes, that turtle really has his Snap on. Tools don’t let him bite you"

So here is the C&D Letter from’s Goons.

Dear Registrant,

Snap-on Incorporated is the owner of the well-known trademark and trade name Snap-on. As you are no doubt aware, Snap-on is a trademark used to identify products, services, activities and events related to Snap-on Incorporated.

It has come to our attention that our trademark Snap-on appears as a metatag, keyword, visible or hidden text on the web site(s) located at:

Multiple Addresses Removed

without having obtained prior written authorization from Snap-on Incorporated.

In view of Snap-on Incorporated’s rights to the trademark Snap-on, we ask that you immediately remove all metatags, keywords, visible or hidden texts including trademark presently appearing on the above-cited web site(s) and any other web site(s).

Should you require additional information or wish to further discuss this issue, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.


Snap-on Incorporated

Brand Protection

Technically we are complying because the pages are coming down so that they end up here.  Which I’m certain will be much better for Snap-On than the situation before they hired the corporate tools. (watched Dr. Horrible last night and couldn’t resist).

 Dr. Horrible and the he has a Snap On his lab coat

(Gee look at Dr. Horrible he has a Snap On his lab coat, as he get’s beat up by Captain Hammer Corporate Tool)

The Moral of the story.  Do good SEO through good PR and good will.  Using Legal to do your SEO for you will almost always end up damaging your brand, and creating more problems for you than you had in the first place, like being on the front page for the search "ScumBag".  And then you have to hire a reputation management company, and it becomes a downward spiral of expense that finally escalates to having to order a mob hit on the guys who have better lawyers, bigger brains, or more search authority than you do.

Leave a Reply