Warning - Mixing Yellabot & Lawyer Review Sites

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Hey Warriors,

So I'm always looking of ways to automate mundane tasks and using plugins with Wordpress can make your tasks easier to accomplish.

Goal:
I wanted to set up some lawyer/attorney review sites that were locally based and would rank locally on page 1 of google and these would be monetized with adsense and CPA offers.

So I used the plugin Yellabot..which essentially scrapes the yellow pages based on a keyword that you type in to its search field...ie Los Angeles Lawyer.

Yellabot goes out and grabs all the info from yellow pages online and aggregates it for you so you can upload to your Wordpress site.
And that it exactly what I did. And ended up adding like 6k pages within a half hour or so.

In addition, Yellabot has a template associated with it so it will for example...pull royalty free images and place a photo to the left of the information that it pulls from yellow pages online...in this case the attorney's contact info.

Well here's why I despise attorneys:

Well after my 3 attorney sites have been up online for about 12 months...I get a certified letter in the mail and it is from the courts. Hmmm I wonder what this is about? Apparently, when Yellabot scraped content of this one particular lawyer...it placed a picture of a boy...maybe 17 years old...smiling ....to the left of his information...no big deal....right?

Wrong!

This particular lawyer saw that picture and now decides he has to take me to small claims court for...Libel, Defamation, Intent of emotional distress..and a few others....all because this picture of this boy was automatically placed next to his information. And what do you think this lawyer wants..? Yep...money. He wants to sue me for money....because he feels I created this to basically sully his name I guess. Really? Are you serious?

This one site has thousands of indexed pages that were created with software and there is no way I can check all of them. This guy just happen to do a search for his name in google....and blam...he sees that page on my site...and now he's gonna sue me. Parasite.

So be careful when you think about creating a site like this.....cuz it might come back and cause you some grief.

My court case in on the 30th of this month.....so I ill keep you guys posted on the outcome if you're interested.
#lawyer #mixing #review #sites #warning #yellabot
  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    Sorry to hear it. This is one of those unintended consequences of marketing like you did. With lawyers, obviously, you should keep your nose clean.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gussieboi
    Wrong niche to choose. Dont mess with the lawyers...
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  • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
    Perhaps, you shouldn't be putting up automated pages/sites and not having a clue as to what is on them.

    Stealing data from yellow pages and adding 6k pages within a half hour or so is not adding anything of value to the internet.
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    • Profile picture of the author guitarjosh
      Originally Posted by AlphaWarrior View Post

      Perhaps, you shouldn't be putting up automated pages/sites and not having a clue as to what is on them.

      Stealing data from yellow pages and adding 6k pages within a half hour or so is not adding anything of value to the internet.
      I'm sure "adding anything of value to the internet" is the primary goal of everyone on this forum. Maybe it looks that way from that high perch you're sitting on though.
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      • Profile picture of the author Talen
        It's funny how lawyers are the despicable when what you did was wrong. You should have known a lawsuit was a possibility just from the mere fact that you knew the program you used would swap out pictures and add in pictures of god knows what. What if the pic it added in was of Ted Bundy or the like?

        Fact is he's probably worked hard to build his business and having a pic of a 17 year old next to his listing might infer to someone that sees it that he is young and inexperienced.

        And yes, if you have 6 thousand pages created and uploaded to your site it's your responsibility to check all those pages or you could end up getting sued.
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        • Profile picture of the author tylerjaysen
          Originally Posted by Talen View Post

          It's funny how lawyers are the despicable when what you did was wrong. You should have known a lawsuit was a possibility just from the mere fact that you knew the program you used would swap out pictures and add in pictures of god knows what. What if the pic it added in was of Ted Bundy or the like?

          Fact is he's probably worked hard to build his business and having a pic of a 17 year old next to his listing might infer to someone that sees it that he is young and inexperienced.

          And yes, if you have 6 thousand pages created and uploaded to your site it's your responsibility to check all those pages or you could end up getting sued.

          Yeah I see your point and that is why I'm sure the reason why he's suing.
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  • Profile picture of the author stephenwaldo
    Man, that sucks.

    Have you talked to a lawyer at all? Have you talked with the lawyer who's suing you at all, or did you just get a letter in the mail? Do you have any idea about what's gonna happen, or is it still totally up in the air at this point? I guess you did just post this today...I'm always curious when I read about legal stuff like this.

    Either way, eff that guy! What a jerk.

    I'll be rooting for you!

    Kindly,
    - Stephen
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    • Profile picture of the author tylerjaysen
      Originally Posted by stephenwaldo View Post

      Man, that sucks.

      Have you talked to a lawyer at all? Have you talked with the lawyer who's suing you at all, or did you just get a letter in the mail? Do you have any idea about what's gonna happen, or is it still totally up in the air at this point? I guess you did just post this today...I'm always curious when I read about legal stuff like this.

      Either way, eff that guy! What a jerk.

      I'll be rooting for you!

      Kindly,
      - Stephen

      No I haven't talked to the guy...just got the letter in the mail. My court date is the 30 of Dec...so a few days away. I will come back and post my results of that court day. And yeah this guy is a duche for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
    You called the lawyer a parasite. But in all honesty, and I may be the only member of the Warrior Forum that believes this, when you use software to automatically take data from sites that you do not own and create thousands of pages that you do not know what is on them, then you are the parasite.

    Despite what most people think, lawyers have a strict code to follow when advertising. Without knowing the specific facts, it may be that what you put together looks like lawyer advertising and may have subjected lawyers to possible discipline by the state bar.

    It may be like another warrior suggested, the photo may make it look like the lawyer is young and inexperienced.

    Or it may be something else.

    Bottom line is that I think that there is a lot more in play than a lawyer trying to get money from you.
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    • Profile picture of the author gerry.c
      As the creator of YellaBot, I'm also interested in hearing the outcome.

      Originally Posted by AlphaWarrior View Post

      You called the lawyer a parasite. But in all honesty, and I may be the only member of the Warrior Forum that believes this, when you use software to automatically take data from sites that you do not own and create thousands of pages that you do not know what is on them, then you are the parasite.
      In regard to the above post, I'd like to point out that the Yellow Pages consist of user submitted content. It has been found in court that the data presented on any Yellow Pages directory is not protected by copyright laws. I'll refer to one major case where the Yellow Pages lost their copyright claim in court.

      Here are some blurbs from the case:

      Telstra had argued the Yellow Pages and White Pages listings - including its database of names and addresses - were covered under copyright law and could not be legally copied by other parties.

      But Justice Michelle Gordon rejected this argument.

      "None of the Works were original," Justice Gordon said in her judgement this week."

      "None of the people said to be authors of the Works exercised 'independent intellectual effort' or 'sufficient effort of a literary nature' in creating the (directories)."

      "Further, if necessary, the creation of the Works did not involve some 'creative spark' or the exercise of the requisite 'skill and judgment'."

      Full story: Telstra loses copyright case over Yellow Pages and White Pages | News.com.au

      This trial set a global precedent.
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  • Profile picture of the author sterling628
    Thank you for sharing.
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    • Profile picture of the author mosthost
      Originally Posted by sterling628 View Post

      Thank you for sharing.
      Thank you for being you.
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  • Profile picture of the author 3aliens
    so what was the outcome of the court date.
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  • Profile picture of the author tylerjaysen
    hey everyone, I received a few messages about the outcome of my case with this lawyer, so I thought i would post the latest.

    Well we did meet in small claims, and before we would get our chance appear in front of a judge, we were asked if we would like to talk it out in mitigation prior to appearing before the judge. We both agreed.

    So we went over to this room and were both given a chance to speak our side to the 2 mitigation specialists that were assigned to our case. The lawyer went first, then I went second.

    As I expected, this lawyer was early 30's and was afraid of his own shadow. Very meak and timid and went on to tell his story of how he came across my website with "HIS" info page and how when he saw the site of him and his info and the picture of the young boy next to it....well he suffered extreme emotional distress when he saw that info. He felt that he should be awarded $1,500 for that distress.

    He went on to claim that I had posted egregious incorrect info of him and he felt that that was a case of libel.

    So now it was my turn and I printed out the stats for my site showing this lawyer that his page only received a few hits....and those were hits from himself actually looking at his site info. I reassured him that the page of him had been taken down as soon as I received the papers that were served to me by the court.

    Prior to getting served, I had no knowledge of his page even existing, let alone having that picture of the young boy next to it. Anyway, after I told him that the page was taken down and he also acknowledged the fact that he also checked the page and agreed that the page was no longer online...he felt a little better.

    In addition, I began to tell him that his site was created with software and that I had no interest in harming him or his reputation and therefore my intentions were innocent and I had no malice toward him to come to the conclusion of libel. Furthermore, his info was scraped from the yellowpages and anything taken from yp was already put up there by someone other than me.

    Well after an hour of discussions, and the fact that this guy was about to cry and breakdown, and also fearing that the judge would take the lawyers's side, I wanted this case to go away. So I offered to pay him $500 and have this not go before the judge and make it go away. The lawyer agreed. He perked right up and was all smiles now. He just made $500 for no work.

    And so I paid him and we went our separate ways. Yeah this left a really bad taste in my mouth and yeah maybe I should've fought it in front of judge, but I figured that I was gonna lose and felt $500 was better than $1,500 plus any other fees he accumulated as a result of the lawsuit. Ugh.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarciaA
    Thanks for posting this update, I didn't intend to be a pest when I PM'd you, I was concerned about your situation and knew there were other's who felt the same way.

    From reading your post, I interpret that all things considered, you are not too dissatisfied with the outcome, I hope.

    If you don't mind me asking (and if you just want this thread to go away I understand), would you have gone into this arbitration meeting with a different mindset or not at all if you had known about the Australian case involving Telstra or were you already privy to that knowledge.



    Love,
    Marcia
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    • Profile picture of the author tylerjaysen
      Originally Posted by MarciaA View Post

      If you don't mind me asking (and if you just want this thread to go away I understand), would you have gone into this arbitration meeting with a different mindset or not at all if you had known about the Australian case involving Telstra or were you already privy to that knowledge.

      ya know...I was just too paranoid that the lawyer and the judge would look down in unison at me...the lowly internet marketer...and throw the book at me...ha lol. So I just settled with the guy.

      Yeah I was going to fight it all the way in front of the judge...because I felt that I did nothing wrong or malicious or derogatory to this lawyer. However, that little voice inside me kept saying.. "just settle with this guy" because I don't think he would have gone away. And $500 was better than $2000 +.

      Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author gerry.c
    Yeah, thanks for the update Tyler. Nothing worse than getting sued by an attorney. At least he wouldn't have been able to sue you for his lawyer fees, lol.

    Well, I know it's not really my business to do this but if it's any consolation, I'd be happy to do some small part in helping you recover your losses by donating any one of my products you don't already have, free of charge. I can't remember what all of my products you already own. Sounds like you have YellaBot and EZ Empire Builder, at least. Shoot me a PM and I'll be happy to hook you up.

    My guess is you wouldn't have had to pay anything if it went in front of a judge but, at the same time, it's wise to go with your gut. My instincts are rarely wrong, in the moment, as I'm sure is true of you, as well. You really can't go wrong by trusting your instincts. At the end of the day, you have an interesting story to tell and at least it goes to show that sites like this can and do draw the attention of the business owners.

    One thing people are doing a lot is building EZ Empire Builder business directories, tossing a little SEO at their site, quickly outranking the companies for the company name and then using that as a foot in the door to sell adspace and local business services, like google places ranking services, web design, SEO, social media management, mobile marketing, etc etc. It's an amazingly successful way to get your foot in the door with a local business.

    So, to make things easier for people, I am currently building out a research tool that runs reports on all the business listings generated when you use EZEB to build the directory.

    If your directory has 300 listings of doctors in San Francisco, it runs a bunch of reports for each business... for things like backlinks, google places rankings, onpage SEO, online repuation (ie., number of poor ratings on Yelp, Google places, etc)... tons of reports.

    Then, with a little SEO, you end up outranking the business, the whole goal being to outrank just for their biz name.

    With that, you can call them up and let them know, "hey, it took me 15 min of work to outrank you on Google... can I have a few min of your time to show you why it was so easy?"

    You look at the reports, see what services the company is MOST in need of and pitch them that one single service while on the phone. If it's a local business to you (ie., if you live in San Francisco), then you shoot for an in person meeting so you can show them the sexy visual reports which helps close the deal. One of my associates has been doing this successfully for a long time and we're working on it together and hope to have it out the door this year.

    Anyway, sorry to go off on a tangent.

    And thanks again for taking the time to post your outcome for all to read. I hope your situation didn't get in the way of your direction and what you were doing online.

    Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author dlman1999
    Wow I think I would have produced log files with his IP and flipped the script!

    Counters are ALWAYS cheaper than original filings and bury him with intensive interrogatories!!!

    Please help me understand why you signed for the letter?
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    • Profile picture of the author WraithSarko
      Originally Posted by dlman1999 View Post

      Wow I think I would have produced log files with his IP and flipped the script!

      Counters are ALWAYS cheaper than original filings and bury him with intensive interrogatories!!!

      Please help me understand why you signed for the letter?
      that sounds like a lot of jibberish to a guy who just builds sites
      Signature
      SuperExpensiveNUKE...SubmitterEnvyNUKE...SENukeXCRaptastic
      I've spent the last 59 months building 412 MFA sites. Each site averages 8 cents per day...I said average, some make up to 17 cents per day, PASSIVE INCOME! This income allows me to live comfortably and buy ANY flavor Jolly Rancher or Skittles I desire. Don't give in to fear, it CAN be done!
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  • Profile picture of the author anaconda
    Good luck with Yellabot - I've put in 3 support tickets and 3 or 4 emails over 4 weeks and not had a single reply. Great product if you never need support.
    Signature

    There are only 2 ways to fail - not starting and not finishing. - Anon
    You miss 100% of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky Canadian Hockey Player

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    • Profile picture of the author Colm Whelan
      Originally Posted by anaconda View Post

      Good luck with Yellabot - I've put in 3 support tickets and 3 or 4 emails over 4 weeks and not had a single reply. Great product if you never need support.
      My experience is the same. Looks like a good product bu AWFUL SUPPORT.
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  • Profile picture of the author benedictccastro
    I just go through the post. it's really helpful and informative. Thank you for sharing such a nice information.
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  • Profile picture of the author anwar001
    That incident must have surely left a bad taste in your mouth. Thankfully it is over and you didn't have to shell out a huge sum of money.

    By the way, I would like to know whether you are making nice profits through these sites created from Yellobot?

    How are you monetizing the sites? How much average visitors do you get per site in a single day?
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  • Profile picture of the author Vivers
    There are other threads about working with lawyers. Don't! These people are ruthless. Sorry for your troubles
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    This is one of the dumbest ideas I have seen. You're incredibly lucky it was only one lawsuit and only $500. Most attorneys would have served you in Superior Court with a $25k minimum. None of this small claims business.

    Instead of calling the lawyer a parasite and ripping him, you're the one scraping content, creating a crapola site, and placing misleading and deceptive pictures next to fake reviews.

    .
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  • Profile picture of the author gerry.c
    I'm sorry for posting on an old thread but considering the evergreen nature of forum posts and some negative comments, I wanted to clear my name here... YellaBot support is solid. Like any online product we have had our ups and downs finding quality support representatives but for some time we have had an extremely high level of support.

    Our last 60-days report on zendesk is 100% satisfaction which I hope says a lot.

    http://yellabot.com/images/zendesk-5-12-2015.png

    Apologies to anyone who has experienced anything but the best possible support in the past. Just keep in mind that forum threads are often one-sided. As a vendor of a product, we are not always able to see what is being said around the whole web.

    That said, if anyone has any issues in the future, please don't hesitate to message me here on WF directly and I will be more than happy to assist you.
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