SearchGuild.com is dead. Poor hosting has destroyed my favourite SEO forum.

The first, and really only, forum that I have participated in regarding SEO (search engine optimisation) and other general web stuff, is Search Guild. I am not sure how long I was a was a member for, possibly over a year, and I would drop in for a chat, ask a few questions, give some advice etc. most days. But now SearchGuild.com is dead. A combination of server hackers and poor administration from 1and1 has meant that the forum has been closed. The webmaster, Chris Ridings, as said that moving to a new hosting provider, and setting it all up again, is frankly a lot of work for little financial returns. So, what will happen to all the regulars from SearchGuild? I have set up a Facebook group, SearchGuild Lost and Found, for people looking to find their old SearchGuild buddies, and maybe even ask some SEO related questions!

What has happened to SearchGuild? Where is SearchGuild? How was SearchGuild lost? Why was the server taken down? Here is an abbreviated story of the downfall of SearchGuild.com:

On November 6th a group of hackers gained root access to the dedicated server.
On November 22nd 1and1 received an email allegedly from a foreign bank using a hotmail account that suggested an IRC server was running and giving out illegal credit card numbers.
1And1 claim they locked the server, but they locked down the wrong server, leaving SearchGuild.com still open for business.

Due to “router issues” many people from the UK could not access SearchGuild, even tohugh many from the USA and the rest of the world still could. I managed to access SearchGuild via a proxy server, and even managed to log in to say hi, but that was the last time I got on.

SearchGuild is dead, but long live SearchGuild I say. If you were a fan of SearchGuild, and want somewhere to hang out, or if you know where most have migrated to, pop over to SearchGuild Lost and Found on Facebook and let us know!

It’s a sad day for internet freedom, for forums, for security. The hackers won, and the result was a well respected web community was wiped off the face of the internet forever. SearchGuild is dead, long live SearchGuild!

SearchGuild.com has been sold off to the highest bidder!

Feb 4, 2008 

News hit me earlier this evening that my old favourite SEO forum has now been sold for USD8,655. It has been bought by the owners of SEONews, who will hopefully revive the old brand and build a new Search Engine Optimisation community. Maybe Burger Man can be reincarnated. The sad thing is that the SeachGuild.com database was lost in a hosting mishap, which means that all the good work done over the years has been lost. For those that have been heavily involved in SEO for more than a few years will probably remember the SEO competition for the phrase Nigritude ultramarine. The competition was arranged and monitored by SearchGuild, and details are still on Wikipedia, although there are no longer any references to SearchGuild. For those interested, SearchGuild was the creation of Chris Ridings, who was prominent in the SEO community during the 1990’s and early 2000’s, but has moved on from SEO since then.

As an afterthought, maybe it is time for a new approach to SEO. Chris Ridings started improving the SearchGuild architecture a year ago, to attempt to bring it in line with “Web2.0” principals, but really maybe a forum is too old fashioned now. A new style of community is needed, something to bring a breath of fresh air into the stuff SEO world.

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