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From the article: "Is everyone who uses social media websites for SEO bad? Are they all spammers? Absolutely not. Some of the most respected members of the SM sites are SEOs by profession. Without “outing” any, it’s clear that they are active contributors who submit quality content. They participate in many ways, more than just submitting. They vote, interact, and in general they add more to the website than they take."
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from AutomotiveSEO 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 4

In case anyone tries to pass judgment without reading the story, it focuses on the concept that people who are SEOs who contibute to social media and also occasionally submit their’s or their clients’ works are not the Spammers.  Those who submit "buy cheap viagra" are the targets of this article.  They’re the ones that give SEO a bad name, and this article tries to differentiate.

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from asnider 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Exactly. I suppose I could have made that more clear in the story description.In someways, this article can be read as a sort of "what not to do" in SMM.

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from Gab 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 1

How about lame people leave sphinn alone? so many submissions from strategicprofits.com, or some company whose name was "seo" submitting a "story" that they sell seo services. 8-|

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from Gab 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 0

You can (and should) edit the title and description. There’s a small edit link next to it.

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from DoshDosh 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I suppose this story is going to make it to the Digg frontpage again? You guys have been hammering Digg hard, AutomotiveSEO... I have an account that’s friends with OBoy and I get shouts all the time. You guys are aggressive. :)

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from AutomotiveSEO 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 0

DD - Social media is currently our only source of traffic.  0Boy researches and writes well, but there’s no point of putting it out there if there are no readers.  Now that some of the more established diggers are on the feed and submitting the stories (IvanB, ThinkingSerious, Verge, Webcure) we should be able to end our aggressive campaigning and settle back into the lovely world of reading and digging stories from across the web without having to worry about whether the story will FP on Digg and other places.  Fear not, my highly respected friend.  The blog should have legs of its own soon enough.BTW, why am I not your friend?  I might not FP 20 stories a month, but I try!

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from DoshDosh 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I think the association of ’SEOs’ with ’Spammers’ just worsens the image of any SEO in the industry... I know you focused on the cheap viagra type but hey, do diggers really care? Put SEO + Spammers together and you have a frontpage... it’s kinda cheap IMO. Being an SEO yourself, I wouldn’t have thought you’ll need to lambast your own industry just to get a rise out of diggers.

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from DoshDosh 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Look at this story currently on the frontpage: http://digg.com/tech_news/SEO_Spammers_Leave_Social_Media_Sites_AloneIf you were an average digger... what would you think? SEO = SCUM. The perceptions of an audience that already hates spam is now associated with SEO.I know you’ve clarified yourself in the comments but hey.. I don’t think many diggers read or even understood what you said. Here’s an example of a guy who doesn’t. He left this in the comments: "I’ve said it before and I will say it again - search engine optimization (SEO) is complete bullshit. I’ve posted about this on Digg before when articles about SEO have made it to the front page....Plain and simple, SEO is the digital equivalent of the "get rich quick" scheme. It really is too good to be true. You can cheat your way to the top but you’re not going to stay there. There is no substitute for good site design, interesting and original content, proper tags, and good old fashioned reputation. It always wins out in the long run."

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from tamar 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Well here’s the problem. Do you consider that stock tips and Vigara emails sent directly to your inbox are coming from SEOs? I think not. I think they’re coming from spammers.When you equate SEO with spam, you continue contributing to the misconception that there are SEO spammers. I disagree. Those people are spammers, plain and simple. They are not SEOs.Diffee, you know I respect your opinion and I know you respect mine. And I think that you’re easily promoting a stereotype that should never have existed in the first place. SEOs != spammers. Spammers are in their own league.

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from AutomotiveSEO 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Dosh and Tamar - First, Dosh, "kinda cheap" - absolutely.  In fact, you’re being kind.  It was plain old dirty Digg baiting to the extreme, and I was against the headline and the story until I was convinced otherwise...I argued exactly what you two are saying.  On the surface, it seems obvious.  But here is the counter argument that convinced me otherwise:"JD:: you’re assuming that headlines on Digg equate into publicity that can change opinions.  SEO to members of Digg is a topic that falls into one of three camps-1- those who know about it and don’t like it -2- those who know about it and like it/understand why it exists, and -3- those who don’t understand what it is.If SEO were a brand, this headline would be bad.  If it were a person, it would be bad.  It’s a profession/trade, and with any profession or trade, you either need it or you don’t.So, those who fall in category 1 will have their opinions perpetuated.  Bad on the surface, but not when you consider that close to 100% of those people will have that opinion with or without the story.  No harm.Those who fall into category 2 either know the difference between seo spammers and real seos or they don’t.  If they don’t and they read the article, they’ll understand a bit more and therefore will know that there is a difference in styles.  That knowledge helps you by giving them knowledge that there’s a difference.Category 3 is the money category.  Anyone who doesn’t know about SEO who reads the headline may read the story and possibly enter the market.  They may Google SEO and enter the market.  There will be some who form a negative opinion based on the headline, but keep in mind, there will be very few cat3 people who do this, and they weren’t the people who would ever seek the services in the first place.Rule #1 in creating awareness of services- any publicity that starts a research process is good publicity.  ANY story that hits the front page of Digg with the term "SEO" in it, regardless of the spin on the headline, will have tenfold more benefit to the industry than detriment.  This headline will not make people who liked or needed SEO to suddenly switch gears.  What it will do is bring it to the forefront.  We’re not selling burgers.  We’re selling a service that is not understood.  Any method of bringing people to research the topic is a positive thing.  The only ones hurt by it are the SEOs themselves, but only their feelings.  Nobody will lose business over this article, but I guaranty that some will gain business that would have never sought them out before."0Boy is a spindoctor/PR manager by trade.  It made sense, so I approved the story.  If you think about it, it does make sense.

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from tamar 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Well, yes and no.  SEO to the "average" Digger is a black hat dirty tactic that associate [ethical] people with Viagra crap.  Sure, you and me may fall into one of the categories above, but the people who are voting and saying negative things about SEO are the people who you are feeding.And the problem with your argument is that you expect that these folks will actually read these articles.  I bet you’re getting a ton of blind Diggers.  Do you really think they want to read about SEO?  So yes, the headlines on Digg typically do equate into publicity that can change opinions. 

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from DoshDosh 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Let me start by saying that I understand your argument. It can be simplysummarized into a simple four word PR mantra: ’Publicity is always good’  But that doesn’t mean I agree with it. The quote you’ve just posted is reductionist. The truth is, you can’t manage the perception of people once something like that is out there.You’re calling apples, oranges by claiming that viagra spam = the work of seos. Simplistic, yes. Easy to understand? Totally. Just the way the Digg crowd likes it. Bad on the surface, but not when you consider that close to 100% of those people will have that opinion with or without the story.  No harm.No harm? I suppose racist propaganda could be released and sanctioned by the government because some people already have the opinion within them? No, I don’t think so. And I’m not exaggerating. Pull your notion far enough and it’ll fit what I’m saying. It’s the same blanket assumption. Rule #1 in creating awareness of services- any publicity that starts a research process is good publicity.  ANY story that hits the front page of Digg with the term "SEO" in it, regardless of the spin on the headline, will have tenfold more benefit to the industry than detriment.Let’s be realistic. Your statement sounds altruistic but we all know you’re in it for the traffic. Sorry to blunt but I’m not a beginner and I don’t think your story was slanted in the way you said it was... to bring awareness to the SEO industry and get them new business.

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from blogrush 2417 Days ago #
Votes: -2

I’m not sure what the value of cleaning up the image of SEO holds for anyone.  Seems like a waste of time to me.Is anyone going to lose business because of the this piece?  I hardly think so.  You are also missing the pint of Digg entirely.If you think baiting Digg is used for the purpose of swaying Diggers and getting that short burst of traffic as the end goal, I can see why the reaction to the title of the piece is negative.But if you think about it, the reason we bait digg is not to get a bunch of traffic fromDiggers or to care atall what they think.  They are hands down the worst customer prospects on the face of the earth.  Anyone who’s tested the traffic conversion from Digg stories will back me up.All you are after is the A-Listers who also read the front page of digg.  You are baiting THEM.  The incoming links from other powerful high ranking sites in your niche from one front page digg story can be massive.THERE’S your traffic of quality.  THERE’S your heavy duty link love.  And THERE’S where you hit the people with your message who are open to understanding it and who are prospects for your services or to become regular readers.Digg is nothing more than a waypoint on the road to getting massive attention in your market.Considering Digg PART of your market, well, according to all the tests we’ve run, that’s a terrible business plan.  Diggers don’t buy, but they break websites into the mainstream.  And that’s with positive (hardly ever) and negative takes on our stories.It doesn’t matter what they think or what they say.  It matters whether or not they are saying anything at all.

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from tamar 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 1

blogrush: I’m afraid that as a top Digger, you’re wrong. Maybe I’m an anomaly. I certainly do buy. Sure, I may not buy your life insurance service, but if you talk about your blender enough times, those Will it Blend videos will resonate and maybe when I need a blender, I’ll consider that one.

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from DoshDosh 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’m not sure what the value of cleaning up the image of SEO holds for anyone.  Seems like a waste of time to me.Nobody ever said anything about cleaning up the image of SEO. That’s not what this is about. If you think baiting Digg is used for the purpose of swaying Diggers and getting that short burst of traffic as the end goal, I can see why the reaction to the title of the piece is negative.Please. Nobody said anything about creating an article to ’sway the minds’ of diggers. It’s digg bait, we all know that. Most social media marketers can see that easily. I’ve already mentioned that in my comment above. Nobody said traffic was the end goal so don’t assume.You are also missing the pint of Digg entirely.What you’ve mentioned about attention, traffic and links and using Digg as a waypoint is accurate but it is irrelevant to this discussion. I already know that Digg is a powerful soapbox and launching pad for any new website/initiative/business/idea. I’ve written about this many times: http://www.doshdosh.com/social-media-marketing-in-a-nutshell/And yes, I do get Digg. I’m not ’missing the pint entirely’. I know its value. But I’m specifically talking about perceptions. Social News Watch isn’t in the business of selling anything. It doesn’t have a conversion funnel set up. I’m talking about the way the bait was angled and how it influences perceptions. That’s all.

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from streko 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@tamar - "...stock tips and Vigara emails sent directly to your inbox are coming from SEOs? I think not. I think they’re coming from spammers..."spammers is such a harsh word, lets call them "direct email marketers" ;)

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from blogrush 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 0

You’re not necessarily an anomaly.  But you certainly aren’t the most common Digg user.  We’ve found it just doesn’t pay dividends to focus on Digg users themselves for marketing.For one, it would be a slippery slope to do a focused campaign because it kind of takes the spirit of sharing news with a community and puts the focus on manipulation of that community to get them to buy stuff by hiding behind "news."That doesn’t bother many people, and I might do it if there were any margin in it myself.But the real issue with my markets is this:  Digg traffic compared to all other forms of traffic to my sites and client sites performs so poorly that you start to regret the bandwidth they used visiting your site.I don’t know about other markets and haven’t tested beyond my sphere.  But for us it’s just more valuable to focus on the discussion incubation process at Digg because we know influencers are watching and can pick up our stories at any moment because of the attention they get at Digg - good OR bad.Thanks for your blender purchase by the way.  I am sending along an extra set of blades as a bonus!  :)

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from IncrediBILL 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 1

If you think about it all marketing is spam.Get your message out as early and often in everyone’s face possible.Therefore...if marketing = spamand seo = marketingthen seo = spam

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from blogrush 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Dosh,Yikes man!  I was talking about the slant completely. And I wasn’t necessarily responding to you personally.  We know you’re a maven around here - no need to feel defensive.Everything I said has to do with the slant of the story being taken as bad juju.  My position is that there’s nothing to save in an industry that is so wildly diverse under the umbrella of SEO.It’s not an institution to protect.  Because it’s not an institution.  It is too vague and has players from black to white hat, from amateur to pro in it.  You’d have to have something more concrete to protect than "SEO" and the myriad definitions of that term, along with the scores of types of people who do "it.""No harm? I suppose racist propaganda could be released and sanctioned by the government because some people already have the opinion within them? No, I don’t think so. And I’m not exaggerating. Pull your notion far enough and it’ll fit what I’m saying."Pull any notion far enough and it ends up in Nazi Germany or a "whites only" water fountain.Seriously man, I’m a fan of your writing, but you seem overly sensitive today.

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from DoshDosh 2417 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It’s not an institution to protect.  Because it’s not an institution.  It is too vague and has players from black to white hat, from amateur to pro in it.  You’d have to have something more concrete to protect than "SEO" and the myriad definitions of that term, along with the scores of types of people who do "it."Let me just clarify my position. I’m not even strictly an SEO. Consulting and client-work aren’t my main income source and frankly I don’t even do that much of it. I’m not ’protecting’ anything. I’m voicing my opinion in the same way I would when I read about Mike Romney’s position on atheists and religion. When I see certain dissinformation being spread on the net through hub-like news sources like Reddit, Digg or Propeller. I have a voice and I’m using it right now on Sphinn. Like I said, it’s not traffic/attention/links/conversions. This is purely about the way people see things, in particular how the Digg crowd will percieve SEO and SPAM. I just don’t like it. That’s my personal opinion. Of course, you or anyone can think I’m wrong. It’s all subjective, really. Pull any notion far enough and it ends up in Nazi Germany or a "whites only" water fountain.Let’s not make this a slippery slope fallacy. My analogy was created specifically to address a comment left by Automative SEO and this point in particular: if it a perception already exists, it does not harm to perpetuate it even further. I mean, what does it matter? Let’s just bring on the hate a little more by fanning the fire. I didn’t agree with that, hence the analogy. I’m not even going into Nazi Germany or racial segregation... that’s not my point so I don’t think the exaggeration on your part was needed. Sorry if I seemed overly sensitive or if I misread your comment. That’s just the way I am when I am talking/discussing about topics that really interest me. I like the blood rush. :)

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from blogrush 2416 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think we were all replying around the same time and my comment looked like a response to yours when it was directed somewhere else.  If only we had a "DoshDosh is replying to your last comment" kind of widget we’d be less likely to talk over each other and get the context wrong.  We’re all just "loud" when it comes to this stuff and, if nothing else, the piece accomplished some heat in our dicussion!

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from AutomotiveSEO 2416 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Fireworks.  This is why I love Sphinn, Newsvine, places like that over Digg and Reddit.  Intelligent conversation.Dosh, I think I’m not expressing myself properly.  I’ll try again...Despicable Digg/link bait?  Absolutely.  Negative slant?  Absolutely.The point we were trying to make is that, based upon Digg mentality in general, the negative effects of the headline and the article were microscopic.  The chances of good coming out of it were stronger than the chances of bad coming from it.  The PRINCIPAL behind it was bad -- it was morally wrong to "bash" SEO (as perceived by the thousands of people who read the headline).  The damage done was nil.  The damage done if racist propoganda were released and sanctioned by the government... I’m not even going to discuss the quality of the comparison"Let’s be realistic. Your statement sounds altruistic but we all know you’re in it for the traffic. Sorry to blunt but I’m not a beginner and I don’t think your story was slanted in the way you said it was... to bring awareness to the SEO industry and get them new business."Of course we’re in it for the traffic.  I never claimed that the article had altruistic motives.  What I was told in the little micro-marketing 101 email that I received and shared is that bashing SEO in that particular manner would not hurt, that it may help, but either way, it was an acceptable story to publish.  I don’t care if it helped anyone.  My concerns were that it could hurt SEO as an industry.  The message I got convinced me that it wouldn’t.I think the heart of the issue is that we, as SEOs, whether part time, full time, past, present, or future, don’t like to be bashed.  It isn’t that anyone is concerned that a frontpage story on Digg will hurt business.  Realistically, it did not change a single opinion (sorry to disagree Tamar, it’s rare).  The haters will continue hating, Digg story or not.  The supporters will keep on supporting, Digg story or not.There are a thousand other stories out there that truly bash the industry.  This is not one of them.

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from DoshDosh 2416 Days ago #
Votes: 0

The point we were trying to make is that, based upon Digg mentality in general, the negative effects of the headline and the article were microscopic.  The chances of good coming out of it were stronger than the chances of bad coming from it. I’m not sure why you still assume that there is a greater chance for good than bad. It could swing either way... and honestly,we are both talking about perceptions we cannot manage or fully understand. We don’t know what effects this has and probably never will. We can’t read minds or poll every person out there who ever read it. We’re playing black and white scenarios here in this discussion and things don’t work like that, especially in social media.  As a marketer, you probably know this very well. I’m probably guilting of pushing the negatives a little too much in my earlier comments. The haters will continue hating, Digg story or not.  The supporters will keep on supporting, Digg story or not...There are a thousand other stories out there that truly bash the industry.  This is not one of them.Information influences minds. To say that nothing has changed and the status quo remains doesn’t really make that much sense to me.I don’t think anyone said that this article bashed the industry. We know it doesn’t. It’s the way it was angled to get your site attention and traffic, possibly at the expense of harming an internet user’s perception of SEO in general. A weak correlation would be how tabloids use sensationalistic headlines to sell papers but in the end, spread disinformation. Note that I’m not calling Social News Watch a tabloid. I do like some stories there and have even submitted them to Sphinn. Most people don’t take the Digg crowd seriously but when anything is put on a platform so big, perceptions can be influenced for both better or worse. Congrats on the frontpage. :)

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from kimber 2416 Days ago #
Votes: 1

sphunn, simply because of the conversation here in the comments.

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from AutomotiveSEO 2416 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Dosh, you nailed it.  I think you are pushing a little too much of the negative and I’m pushing too much of the positive.We will never know for sure what effect, if any, it had.  In retro, I think I would have pushed harder for it to not be posted, knowing what I know now.  Not because of any reaction, good or bad, from the thousands who read it, but because of the dozens who read it from here.  The people in the industry are those that I really care about as far as opinions go.  I have the luxury of working for a firm that has too many SEO customers all lining up, but I’ve been on my own before and I realize that losing one client can be destructive.  I just lost site of that when I approved this article.I’m not backtracking on my opinions - I still stand by my arguments above.  All I am saying is that even if I believe that perceptions about the industry won’t be changed by this story, I should have taken the opinions of my peers more to heart.

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from IncrediBILL 2416 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Who gave me a MINUS vote above just for speaking the truth?If you can’t handle the truth of your medium you’re just lying to yourself.

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from AutomotiveSEO 2416 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I gave you an up vote.  Back to 0.

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from IncrediBILL 2416 Days ago #
Votes: 0

LOL thanks!

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from tamar 2415 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Hey guys, I’m sorry I didn’t follow up earlier, but I have a few things I wanted to add to my previous comment.blogrush: You say that "I’m not sure what the value of cleaning up the image of SEO holds for anyone."  But that negative image puts me in a category that I never ever wanted to be part of.  When I joined this industry, I was a system administrator at a web design firm that also offered SEO services.  I never knew what SEO was until several months into my position.  I then began learning everything there was to know about SEO and still have an interest in SEO.  It pretty much stops there.  I cannot consider myself an SEO.  I don’t "practice" SEO work on clients, but I understand what elements are necessary to have a site that is well-optimized for search engines.I also had an interest (much longer term) in social media, and I love psychology (which is why I minored in psych in college).  Combining those two brought me into where I consider myself most comfortable: the area of viral Internet marketing.  After months of studying Digg, I learned what appeals to the majority of users.  I also learned how much negative stigma was attributed to "SEOs" (even though it’s a misconception most of the time since the average Digger simply doesn’t understand what SEOs really do).  Over time, I realized that I’m much happier in the social media world and decided that SEO is not my thing.  (You may notice in my personal blog that I don’t even talk about SEO anymore but did at one point.)  That said, I repeat that I don’t consider myself an SEO.  I’m just knowledgeable in the subject area, and that’s all.I constantly find myself defending my position because I write for Search Engine Roundtable and that somehow automatically means I’m an SEO.  I guess people don’t really read Search Engine Roundtable often.  Most of what I write about is hardly SEO at all (though yes, I do summarize SEO forum topics occasionally).  Just because I have an interest in search and can write about search engine optimization doesn’t mean I’m an SEO.  With regards to how this works with Digg and other social media mediums, I certainly think it’s more important (in my role) to be an active community participant in a community that I truly like to than to associate myself with a group that the same community dislikes.  That’s not to say that I don’t respect my colleagues, but at the end of the day, I think I’m where I am because I have a knack for social media and blogging, not SEO.I hope that clarifies where I come from.  I’m not a top Digger because I have the intention to manipulate rankings at all.  I’m a top Digger because I very much love social media and I love finding stories to share and discovering new interesting stories through my friends.  I will continue to participate in social media but I have to say that I totally hate equating SEO with spammers because this is exactly why I cannot and will not ever consider myself an "SEO" again.

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from scottclark 2415 Days ago #
Votes: 0

nicely said, @Tamar.I like your T-Shirt... but hey, I DO read your blog.

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from AutomotiveSEO 2413 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sorry for the late reply.  I’m the exact opposite of Tamar.  I’m an SEO who understands Social Media at a relatively high level but who doesn’t practice it is a way that would make me a top Digger.With that said, we actually have a lot in common.  One major difference - I don’t care what the general Digg population thinks of SEO.  It would be nice if there were no black hats or spammers.  It would be incredible if the art and science that is true search engine optimization could gain the same exposure that is given to the minority who tarnish our image.  Bottom line - nothing posted or made popular on Digg will change any minds.Is a negative title on a headline perpetuating the image?  Yes.Would a positive slant on a headline that made it to the FP help reduce the bias?  Possibly.Would a positive slant on SEO make it to the front page of Digg?  We all know that answer.I have more respect for the opinions of the people in this network than all of the other networks combined, which is why I somewhat regret allowing the post to happen.  Still, I am firm in my opinion that the only perceptions that had a chance of changing were here and not on Digg.Tamar, the fact that you are not as SEO lends credibility to your opinion on the matter moreso than just about anyone else.  You know the subject as well as anyone who practices regularly.  I will take your comments to heart and make adjustments on future posts.

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