HomeBlogSquare Peg Design Poached Sites

Imitation: Sincerest Form Of Flattery

Published April 15, 2010

Square Peg Design ScamMy client, Excel Diamonds, notified me this morning that the site we designed & programmed for them, was actually not designed and programmed by us! He was joking of course, but his point was a company named Square Peg Design had the site listed in their portfolio.

Here is a picture:

Square Peg Web Design Scam

They liked the design so much that it was the first site listed when you clicked on their "portfolio" section of their web site. Of course, this made a bunch of us here at RustyBrick a bit upset. But honestly, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so hey - we are also flattered.

My client told me he discovered this portfolio after seeing in Live Person, a person crawling his site day after day, this whole week. He then tracked down the IPs and domains to Square Peg.

So we both, my client and I called Square Peg individually. We talked to a guy there who said it was a mistake. In summary, he said he hired a 3rd party designer from India to off-load some of the work, and he asked if he can use one (or some) of the designer's web sites in their portfolio. One of the sites this Indian designer claimed as his, was Excel Diamonds, a site we designed originally and then again in March 2007 - even before Square Peg's domain was registered, which was on July 2009.

Eventually we talked to Square Peg and they immediately took the site off their portfolio. They said it was a big mistake and they apologize for not doing their due diligence for validating that the site was designed by who their Indian designer said it was from.

Do I believe him? Honestly, I do. I wish I didn't. I mean, it is just bad business doing something like that and I wish he was lying to me.

Believe it or not, this was not the first time someone took credit for our work. In fact, someone from India tried to convince people that he was RustyBrick. He emailed people using the email web.rustybrick@gmail.com to try to convince people he was us. It eventually got back to me and he stopped using the email. We were also impersonated on Twitter. Again, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

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Barry Schwartz is the CEO of RustyBrick, a New York Web service firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales. Barry is also the founder of the Search Engine Roundtable and the News Editor of Search Engine Land. He is well known & respected for his expertise in the search marketing industry. Barry graduated from the City University of New York and lives with his family in the NYC region.

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