Help! YouTube is killing my business!
An Ohio company's sales get 'killed' as YouTube surfers cripple, a pipe equipment seller's web site.
By Christian Zappone, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- One place where YouTube's success isn't being celebrated is in the offices of Universal Tube and Rollerform Equipment Corp. near Toledo, Ohio.

The company, which sells used machinery for making tubes to clients worldwide, has seen its site knocked off line by millions of online searchers looking for video site.


"It's killing us," said Ralph Girkins, president and owner of the 22-year-old business. "All my worldwide reps use our Web site. Customers all over the world use it to bring up photos of the machinery, descriptions and specifications there."

Girkins says his site, which has been online since 1994, got 68 million hits in August.

One of the most damaging aspects is that the company advertises to customers worldwide under the name, Girkins says.

When clients try to look them up, they get a streaming video site. "It's lost credibility as well," he says.

When performed a Google search on the term "utube" came up in the first slot, followed by Universal Tube and Rollerform Equipment Corp.

Girkins says he's tried to reach YouTube and Google to ask them to host his site or do something to help get his site back online.

"My phones are dead," he said. "And a customer who can't find my $3-$400,000 machine online will just keep searching the Web until they find it elsewhere."

He called YouTube's number but the voicemail said the mailbox is full.

He said he's had no way of contacting Google (down $0.44 to $426.06, Charts), which recently agreed to buy the video streaming site for $1.65 billion.

YouTube officials were not immediately available for comment. Calls to Google were referred to YouTube.

"I buy $100,000 worth of used machinery and want to get it up on the Web site [for clients to see]," Girkins said. "I can't even get on the Web site."

Shares of Google's search rival Yahoo (down $0.01 to $24.23, Charts) traded down slightly on the Nasdaq Thursday morning.


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