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Lyndon shows us how it’s done by launching a simple article across social media. Some time later, 1/2 million page views, and he’s on fox news with ’headline of the week’. Hat off to you sir!
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Comments

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from baiduyou 2349 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Brilliant work from Mr Antcliff, the bar has been set.

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from patrickaltoft 2349 Days ago #
Votes: 4

Did it work though?https://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/advsearch;_ylt=Amb3N2zul7NJBCykXv6aHbDbl8kF?p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.money.co.uk%2Farticle%2F1000390-13-year-old-steals-dads-credit-card-to-buy-hookers.htm&bwm=i&bwmo=d1500+ links already. Success in my book.

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from dmorris 2349 Days ago #
Votes: 0

The Radio one mp3 is utter genious... Good work Lyndon.

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from nsmseo 2349 Days ago #
Votes: 4

This is brilliant, watching those guys on Fox News was hilarious, Greg Proops quote "Nerds know how to party!" Awesome!

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from tomcritchlow 2349 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Yeah good point patrick, not only lots of visits and mentions but a good number of links.

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from ciaran 2349 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It’s a winner. I wonder if the Fox News guys got it from their colleagues at The Sun?;)

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from Jill 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Wait. The article is completely fabricated and you all think this is a good thing? I’m confused.So that’s what link bait is now? Fake shit? Really?

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from Lyndon 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Abolutely-completely-utterly a fabrication, a tissue of lies weaved in a fog of deceit. Or what most people would call satire.Nowhere do I see the author claiming this is true or that it is attributed to a news report.I am very surprised that people thought this was real, but then people believe all sorts of things just because they are told them. Some people think that Martin Sheen really was the President, waddya gonna do?

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from iBrian 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 6

The linkbait is great - well targeted, and successful.The failure of journalists to actually research a story, though - that’s their flaw. No surprise with The Sun, though. :)

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from yojpotter2 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -1

This is just crazy! Really crazy!

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from Jill 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Lyndon, I saw you tweet it a few days ago and read it. I didn’t understand what it was you were up to when I read it. I kept thinking, "why is submitting this news story to Digg such a big deal?"Now I see what you were up to, and I can’t say that I think it’s a good idea.Don’t you think that we all have responsiblities as online journalists of a sort to not out and out make news up? It’s hard enough to believe anything you read online already.  If people start doing this more often (and apparently from the sounds of this thread they will) then the Internet is surely doomed.  At least the news aspect of it. To me, this is very sad. Sad that you would do this to begin with, sad that actual news outlets would pick it up, sad that it got links, and sad for what it all means in the larger scheme of things.Okay, maybe I’m being dramatic, but I literally felt sick to my stomach when I read that this thing was completely made up on purpose to trick people. :(

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from Lyndon 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 4

Well, as I am not a journalist and as I did not claim it to be true I don’t feel bad at all. I let people decide for themselves wether it is true. News organisations contstantly publish untruths dressed up and news and people don’t seem to mind all that much. So when Fox news picks up a story with no corraberation or even an author and then dresses it up as true, that is where your ire should be pointed at.My background is as a fiction writer, stories are written as if they actually happen, it’s what Shakespeare did, it’s what Hemmingway did. I wrote in the style of a news report but it was fiction, just like the Daily News makes a program in the style of a news show. OK, you could say it’s obvious, but not to everyone.If you investigate the media a little more closely you will find stories that make this little fiction seem like Newsline. WMD anyone?

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from JamesDuthie 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 4

I can see both sides of the argument here. It’s a brilliant and creative concept from Lyndon. And it would have clearly achieved the goals he and his client set (and then some!).But I tend to agree it does point us into dangerous territory. As online marketers, we already tend to have a shady reputation, particularly SEO’s. If this type of tactic becomes mainstream it’s certainly not going to help improve that situation. And more importantly, people may lose confidence in social media as a credible source of news... for which we will all suffer.

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from KenJones 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 6

I’ve sphunn this because I’ve found the effects of this story to be very amusing, from the point of view of seeing how far it’s spread throughout the media and the obvious fact that it highlights just how poorly researched even the biggest news organizations in the world can be.  In terms of pure linkbait, gaining inbound links from a massive number of authoritative sites, it’s clearly been a raging success.But...I also find myself agreeing with Jill’s concerns about the ethics of using an outright lie as a way of trying to promote a site, especially one like money.co.uk, where consumers will want to be able to trust the advice and information that they find there.I’m not really sure that the "I never said it was true" defense holds up.  And as for citing WMD as an example of ficticious news, if this story ends up being half as damaging to money.co.uk’s credibility as WMD was to the government’s then there’ll be a hell of a lot of rep management fallout to deal with.Dammit, this fence really isn’t a comfortable place to sit. ;-)

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from Lyndon 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Yes, I guess it’s true. This may mean the end of social media as we know it.But somehow, we will struggle on and find a way through truth and righteousness.

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from mike 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 4

I’m with Jill. Linkbait SOUNDS deceptive, and now it seems it IS deceptive.Different if the site was INTENTIONALLY satirical, like The Onion, but to just spread lies? Man, no wonder people hate marketers! Different even if teh exercise was to prove people were idiots. All that this proves is that some people will tell any lie imaginable for a link. Personally, I’d rather be a real man, and only ever lie about the number of women i have slept with (48,194) and my general sexual prowess (I’m a god).

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from Kimota 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -1

This is a terrible development and I am amazed it has as many supporters as it obviously does. I think there is still fallout from this to come as the media - and the readers -  realise they’ve been ’had’.

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from Lyndon 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I really don’t believe how po faced and sanctimonious you are all being over what is basically a laugh.

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from Kimota 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Well, our local newspaper website is still running the story without any correction. Let’s see how amused they are if you tell them they’ve been had - placing the trust of their website into question. You want to dupe the media, be prepared to ride out the reaction.

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from Disco-Stu 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’m with Kimota. SEO’s catch flak for spamming, and now we’re spamming trusted news sources with fake news? Arguing innocence by saying the onus is on the news-sites for not checking the source is like blaming a fraud victim for letting himself get ripped off.  There might be SOME sense to that argument, but in the end it’s still a rip-off, and everyone knows it.

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from Lyndon 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 5

What? I didn’t dupe the media, the idiots duped themselves, they are responsible for what they print not me. If they are stupid enough to print a story that has no basis in fact and does not even have a writer listed then tough! I don’t give a toss what they think, if they want to play fast and loose with their website  it’s their problem.It’s a pretty stupid thing to say I am responsible for what someone else puts on their website. If you are going to print a story, get it verified. I know that and I am not even a journalist, lol.

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from Kimota 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Then by your own argument, you aren’t hoping they will link to you.But wasn’t the purpose of the piece to get people to link back? You know as much as anyone that it was Dugg because people thought it was true. For it to be effective linkbait, people needed to be duped. You are then blaming them for doing so.One moment you’re extolling how successful your peice was at achieving the goal of getting links, but in the next , protesting that the very same people who did link to you shouldn’t have and saying why.You can’t have it both ways, you know. It was either designed to get exactly this response from people believing it to be fact or it wasn’t. If it wasn’t, the excercise is a major failur by giving you the wrong reaction.

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from Lyndon 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I will say it again. People are responsible for what they put on THEIR OWN websites.No news website was spammed in the making of this linkbait.I am glad the praise I am getting from my fellow marketers is a lot noisier than the shrill whinning I am hearing here.

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from Kimota 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -1

So the fraud victim is responsible for handing over the cash to the conman. Sent any good emails from Nigeria recently? Are people who follow the link responsible for their own transactions or should the email writers be strung up by the balls?SEOs image just took a major knock.

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from webprofessor 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 7

This is no diffrent than the pranks of Alan Abel. http://alanabel.com/index2.phpHe convinced journos that there were people who wanted clothes for animals because of the obscenity of naked animals. 40 yearsa ago! Journalists should be held accountable for fact checking... thats there damn job. They know damn well that stuff like this is fake... they choose to ignore it for their own ends.

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from MariosAlexandrou 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Of the more popular personalities on this thread, you could’ve almost guessed exactly who wouldn’t like this sort of thing. I for one consider it a success. Of course, topping it will be next to impossible :-)

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from Lyndon 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 2

To compare me to Nigerian money scammers makes me feel you are not too concerned over your own image.

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from steaprok 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

the truth is the journalists, bloggers, seo’s , smm’s and everyone else is just upset becuase this exposes their own naivety. sorry, but its true!! Dont hate the player, hate the game;) What is the uproar about? probably just mad becuase they didnt think it up, its freaking genius. Period. Shame on the news outlets, they are the ones that should be getting heat.. but somehow that is being overlooked. if he would have hacked his way to news outlets displaying his article, or forced them in some way. But the reality is, that it was their appetite for sensationalism that got the best of them end of story! Its easy for some to sit back and critisize tactics from the sidelines. @kimota "SEO’s image took a major hit" LOL are you serious from who? Jason Calcanis!! also regarding comment about "Then by your own argument, you aren’t hoping they will link to you."cmon , as marketer you should know that not every single thing you try works, so that it worked cannot be used as a rebutal or as a counter point ..  

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from SpostareDuro 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -1

negligence is punishable criminally, as in the case of neglected children, elderly and even household pets for heaven sakes. much less purposefully lying as a means of gain. legally speaking, if we neglect our children, we are responsible for what we do not do for them as if it is something we are doing TO them. if we knowingly support and promote the services of a known conman, are we not responsible for stealing an old woman’s nest egg? home? comforts she should have in her aged, ending and likely painful life?promotion of lies may be a terrific marketing tool which gains many advances in your bank account. but it essentially robs you of dignity and others of what thy hold dear. there are other ways to put food on the table.if you’ll lie with one thing, you’ll lie with another.

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from Lyndon 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@spots, I never said it was true. I simply wrote a funny story is a spoof style of a news report. It’s called satire. I think you are being too po faced about this and taking it way too seriously.I don’t feel robbed of dignity at all, I feel very good about myself.

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from webprofessor 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

what a bunch of nonsense... I don’t even no where to start...

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from Lyndon 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

....as you enter the twighlight zone......

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from Kimota 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"To compare me to Nigerian money scammers makes me feel you are not too concerned over your own image." I’m making a point that because they fell for your trick doesn’t absolve you of responsibility, as you were suggesting. My image is fine. My readers trust what I say. ;-)

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from mike 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Some thoughts:1. If it is "satire", where is the evidence on the site?2. If it is a joke, why is there no "haha gotya" comment on the page now?3. Why brag about the fact it was intentionally linkbait?4. Why is lying a good development?5. Killing the golden goose doesn’t seem terribly smart! I bet you havea harder time now with similar "satire". "I am glad the praise I am getting from my fellow marketers"I am prety sure that marketers have a code of ethics, and very few state that lying is acceptable, but I am happy to be corected on that.

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from Kimota 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 2

**cough**http://sphinn.com/story/46486http://sphinn.com/story/46512The $0.02 of Andy Beard and myself

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from DVOLA 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -4

In some of these posts I detect a sence of jealously maybe I am wrong ? Damaged reputations ? anyone remember the kids shouting from the well that werent actually in the well? We now dont hate all childeren.. Nigerian email scams .. what ? If your stupid enough to to get scammed then thats your luck out ... what a total over reaction by some ... I would much rather give a link to somthing made up that I found funny than the "best ten japanses vending machines ever".. Some of you just need to calm down.. it was just a great piece of marketing.. BTW do you know that Cadburys never actually got a gorilla to play the drums ?

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from Kimota 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Rather unnerving the number of marketers that don’t see the difference between Cadbury’s drumming Gorilla (taking one mentioned example) and a story that pretends to be news when it is fake without any attempt to clue the reader into the scam.(Yes I know you were being sarcastic with the Cadbury mention, but then so was I was the Nigerian Scam reference to make a point - Jeez. Some people need to learn how to interpret analogies).I guess the old cliche of ad men having no souls or scruples is truer than I thought. Or hoped.Actually, there is one voice we haven’t heard which is actually very valuable within this debate. I would love to know what money.co.uk’s reaction is to this. I wonder whether they see it as a great success or a challenge to their site’s credibility as a financial advisor for whom trust is a major selling point.

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from spyros 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Just plain FANTASTIC man! Well done!

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from Lyndon 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

People are acting like I put a fart cushion on the Queens throne.It was a joke story, whipped into a frenzy by bad journalism.

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from baiduyou 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 4

Come on people - has everyone become so used to sensationalist tabloid bullshit that they can’t use their own judgement anymore?The idea that it should include a line at the end the say it isn’t true is absurd - How many clues that it’s a joke could someone need? A minor being named for a crime? Hookers that take credit cards? People of restricted growth working with a travelling circus? The ’Ralph wants to be a politician’ line?People have to take responsibility for what features on their own websites. You can blame Lyndon as much as you like but Money.co.uk took the decision that they were happy with publishing the story for what it was - a piece of satire.If a serious news site then republished this as fact without checking its authenticity it’s them who have lost my respect, not Lyndon for writing it. Verifying a story is correct before you publish it should be standard journalistic practice, no?

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from baiduyou 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Incidentally, I thought that this video commentary on the media uptake of the story made some great points http://youtube.com/watch?v=wMg8vqWB69s&feature=user

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from nsmseo 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Here, Here @baiduyou.The most important factor in all of this is that here we have established media sources failing to check up the facts of the story - plain and simple - if someone had done their job right it would never have snowballed to this scale. Nice one Lyndon.

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from Kimota 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It obviously wasn’t that clear it was a satire, despite what you might think - otherwise hundreds of people wouldn’t have Dugg it or linked to it or included it on news pages as fact. It’s on a site supposedly giving out salient FACTUAL financial advice, so yes, it does need a disclaimer if it is not going to conform to the strictures of the site.Yes, journalists should be more careful, but that doesn’t mean the writer doesn’t shoulder some responsibility for deliberately playing to their achilles heel.If this became common, expect stricter guidelines and regulations monitoring the actions of online marketers. People want to trust what they read online. The fact that Lyndon wasn’t cleaer enough if he meant this as satire is proven by the reaction. If it was intended as satire - he failed. End of story. If it wasn’t intended as satire, then there is a serious ethical issue. You can’t have the argument both ways - claiming it as satire but blaming all the readers for not recognising it as such. Poor communication is the fault of the writer, not the reader.

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from Kimota 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Anyhoo, one final point. The thing I think urks some of us off is the idea being put forward by some that this isn’t even a topic worth debating - that we’re somehow ’moronic’ (one term I saw today) for having the contra point of view.That is just plain arrogant. There are a number of people here who are very annoyed at this turn of events - not all as vocal as me, but that’s always been my failing... ;-) I’ve fielded responses from people all day agreeing with what I’ve argued and even thanking me for standing up. So don’t dismiss the alternative view as moronic or po faced or any of the other ridiculous claims that have gfone forward today just because we disagree with the methods used in this instance and feel it worth debating why that is.Out of debate, learning comes. The debate is important and this one strikes at the heart of what we do as marketers, so embrace it and consider all sides.

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from baiduyou 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -1

@Kimota What makes you think that people had to believe it was true to Digg it or link to it? I think the average Digger is more concerned whether something is funny or not than its factual accuracy. The focus is on entertainment, not reference.Also, and this is a minor point, as far as I’m aware the article was placed in money.co.uk’s "And Finally.." section, which in the UK is associated with humorous pieces. It wasn’t on the home page with the serious stuff, despite being the most popular article on the site. Will their target audience suddenly lose faith in the validity of their financial reporting because of this piece? I doubt it. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, as there don’t seem to be many Private Eye reading, Have I Got News For You watching Brits up in arms.We’re in agreement that stricter guidelines and regulations would be great - I can’t believe The Sun can get away with printing this sort of shit - and I mean that in the nicest possible way Lyndon ;) - or that Fox should be allowed to call itself a reputable broadcaster. 

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from discuit 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -1

I think its absoloutley brilliant. Hats of to Lyndon90% of the British Tabloid press is made up bullshit anyway.

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from Kimota 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Umm, subscribed to Private Eye (been reading it for about twenty years) and get sent Have I Got News For You each week by Bittorent so wrong on both counts. I’m a Brit with a journalism, media llaw and marketing background so I fully understand the Brit humour, satire and areas that are - shall we say ’sketchy’ under British media law. No one is more cynical about the media than me - I studied it for years - so I do understand the issues here - probably more so than many of you.But I really don’t think short stories - no matter how satirical - get 2500 diggs. People found it funny because they thought it was true. When you know it’s fake, it’s not even particularly satirical - I mean what is it supposed to be satirising? Satire makes a specific topical point by exageration or immitation. What is the point being made? It was only funny in the context of being true - take that away and it’s pretty weak.It was created to dupe people into believing it was true. The "And Finally" section contains only one piece - this one. So it’s hardly developed a reputation for being a satirical section on the site or signposted as much.And as I said before, the fact that so many people didn’t realise it was ’supposedy’ satire means it fails on that count. If it was initended as a satire and so many people obviously missed that nuance, why hasn’t the page been updated to clue people in? Because it’s better to keep them duped. That;s the deception and that is what is worrying.Anyway, my position is clear. If people can’t understand these points and prefer to instead call my views moronic, po-faced, an Albanian Marxist or lacking in a sense of humour, (gee, Twitter’s been interesting today) then I know people don’t actually have answers to my arguments and have to resort to attacking me instead.Oh - and before anyone misinterprets my view - I am against this technique and what Lyndon did, but I have absolutely nothing against Lyndon or anyone else . Fine people. Don’t mistake vigorous debate and an argued view as a personal attack. It is purely about debating the issue at hand.I rest my case, m’lud. Pass the whiskey, let’s all get drunk. ;-)

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from DVOLA 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -2

1. hired to bait 2. wrote article3. Huge wopping sucess4. clients happywhats the problem ?

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from DVOLA 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -3

Oh sorry missed out some online marketers are jealous , sorry I meant unhappy that no one pointed out it was fake...I will watch out for all the disclaimers telling the world "caution this is link bait "   the next time you launch your bait ...  that is if your skilled enough to do it..now wheres that whiskey :)

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from Kimota 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Aha - thing is, my readers know they can trust what I write is correct. And like I said, no need to get personal.

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from Lyndon 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I think you crossed the personal line when you said, "Sent any good emails from Nigeria recently?" Which I would class as moronic. Anyone who knows me knows I use Ghana.

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from baiduyou 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Not everyone has to get a joke for it to be funny. The best parody treads the fine line between absurdity and being almost believable. That’s where the humour is. Putting notices everywhere saying "Warning! This item is intended for humorous purposes only and is not intended to be taken seriously" kind of defeats the point.As for it not being satirical, that’s subjective, but as a Brit I’m sure you remember a lot of people were upset with the Brass Eye Paedogeddon special. They didn’t get the point that it wasn’t making a joke of the issue of paedophilia - it was lampooning the frenzied media coverage of the topic at the time. A lot of people not understanding it didn’t mean it had failed.The argument seems to come down to whether you thought the article was a deceitful lie or a fun, harmless joke. Personally, I thought the "13 Year Old Steals Dad’s Credit Card to Buy Hookers" piece was a great satirisation of low-grade tabloid journalism, others might disagree. I would ask though how ridiculous or exaggered a story has to be before people begin to question it?And why does Money.co.uk’s "And finally..." section need to develop its own reputation for humorous items - it’s already an established idea across the media. Not to mention that it would be pretty hard to develop a reputation for funny or satirical items without putting any in there in the first place.People read absurd, 100% fictional stories in the news every single day. I think the issue is that this one has been admitted to be a joke and those who believed it was true are outraged. Should money.co.uk now include a note to clarify the situation to anyone who still doesn’t realise? That’s their call, not Lyndon’s. If because of this perfect example a few more people realise that a lot of what they read in the press is fictional bullshit, it can only be a good thing.As always though, a bit of debate is healthy. I can see your point of view and I certainly don’t think you’re a moronic, po-faced Albanian Marxist ;) (of which there are not nearly enough around)

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from seanmag 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 4

I thought this was rather good for a few laughs.  It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out, by how the story was written, that it was satire.  The fact that other reliable news sources reported on it - most notably FoxNews, is a testament to some people’s willingness (and desire), to run with a story with an "ignorance is bliss" attitude, simply because it makes for good radio or TV, etc.  FoxNews could have easily asked one simple question to Money if they cared: "Is this a true story?  Clearly they didn’t do that - perhaps because they didn’t want to lose their headline of the week.For those that are getting in a huff about this, I think you’re going a bit overboard.  Do you have any idea how much of the World’s News is either fake, massaged, etc.?  This is a satire story about a 13 year old boy hiring hookers to play Halo.  It’s not like a President of some country falsely accusing and them bombing another country for having weapons of mass destruction only to find out if they had done their homework up front they could have avoided it. (God forbid that should ever happen).This tactic may be a one horse pony for the money.co.uk site, but it appears to me that in one feel swoop - this one horse pony won the Kentucky Derby.  That’s a good pony to ride.  I have no problem with it.  No one got hurt, many got a good laugh and Lyndon delivered his April Fools joke a bit late.  Timing is everything.On a final note, for what it’s worth, I live in Texas and I know that kid.  He lives in my neighborhood. There are a thousand just like him.  ;)

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from seanmag 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

On one final note, have the commenters on this thread even seen the FoxNews video?  http://tinyurl.com/5qwkot (tiny url force of habit compliments of twitter)These guys are obviously having fun with the story.  Do you really believe they thought it was true?  C’mon people.  If it’s okay for a news organization to run with something like this that they know is a fabrication, why are all of you getting so upset about it?  Lighten up.

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from incrediblehelp 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -2

Where does Cutt’s and search engines stand on something like this?  Don’t they feel the "system" is being gamed here?

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from Makakman 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -2

Great work Lyndon, if media agencies are stupid enough to run with a story without checking the facts then more fool them. Since when has The Sun or Fox News been reliable anyway?!If I’m writing a blog post and want to include a link or quote in it I do some research to double check the facts. That’s just because I want my posts to be reliable and of quality to my readers. Something these journos could think about doing.Re Digg there’s so much rubbish on there I would certainly think twice about if a story was real not just because it’s on there.Great debate but lighten up people, Lyndon is only doing his job, shame I can’t say the same for the journalists!

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from NickWilsdon 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@incrediblehelpYep, I’m actually counting down the minutes until Google announces all linkbait must be labeled publicly and made machine-readable - with associated -950 penalties for "making stuff up". Seriously though, it doesn’t pay to be *too* successful or too public about that success. I don’t blame Lyndon for deleting his post.    

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from cgoward 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -1

The removed original posting by CornwallSEO is available here:http://www.widerfunnel.com/blog

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from cgoward 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -1

More specifically:http://www.widerfunnel.com/traffic-building/when-linkbait-goes-mental

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from Jill 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

cgoward, you don’t happen to have all the comments somewhere too, do you?

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from iBrian 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 3

If anyone’s worried that Lyndon may be potentially damaging the credibility of media, all I can suggest is they pick up any general tabloid, and try and argue that "it’s all true". Tabloids have been publishing "heard down at the pub, honest, guv’nor" stories for decades, and there’s a whole list of libel cases successfully brought against newspapers for implicitly publishing stories which were not simply untrue, but aimed at damaging the reputation of individuals or companies.Honestly, put Lyndon’s story in context with general tabloid journalism, and  what you see is offline media strategies moving online. :)

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from tpiddy 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

if anything i think this is a an inevitable and GOOD development.  the state of modern journalism is shameful, and it will take manipulation such as this to expose the evident problems.  people realizing that the journalists know little more than they do about anything will make them think more critically and do their own investigation instead of swallowing the nonsense they spew. 

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from Wiep 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@incrediblehelp, @NickWilsdon:No more widgetbait, no more ads for link building, so no more made up linkbaits would fit in perfectly... From now on, linkbait pages only count if they’re being referenced by Wikipedia.@Jill:Google’s cache has a few ;)

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from sza 2348 Days ago #
Votes: -2

"as far as I am concerned if it works and results are achieved then do it"This settles it.

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from cre8pc 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"as far as I am concerned if it works and results are achieved then do it"Bah!  If I wrote a linkbait headline in my blog saying "Forums founder, Cre8pc, pole dances on bar at SES conference", you can bet the "results" would be amazing, but at what cost to my business rep?  (Unless I want to start usability testing adult sites. In which case, you have a valid point.)  And if the story is made up, I’d have a lot of ticked off people to deal with, esp. if nobody took pictures!

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from Hooley 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 4

I lost patience reading the crybaby comments here.  Let’s just be real, I read this story not knowing it was Lyndon.  I laughed my ass off.  Pure entertainment. When I found out it WAS Lyndon, I thought to myself "Orson Wells goes Web 2.0". Stop with the "linkbait" crap.  It was a marketing tactic that provided amazing results, entertainment, and happened to be developed by an SEO who knew where / how to push it.  If it was on the radio, I don’t think Jill Whalen et all would be so harsh in their responses. It was a notable effort, well done, entertaining, and it also showed how stupid the general mass media can be!  Let’s drop all this "Social Media is ruined forever" and "SEO sunk to a new low" bullshit.  Quite frankly, I would reserve such judgmental views, because SEO fundamentalism is worse than the "sins" they are condemning.It’s not like he’s a russian hacker breaking into paypal accounts, he’s an SEO who wrote a damn funny story that got picked up by mass media.  Get over it.  And get over yourselves.

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from Jill 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 1

If it was on the radio, I don’t think Jill Whalen et all would be so harsh in their responses. Umm...I think if it were on radio it would be illegal (thanks to Orson Welles actually).

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from Hooley 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 1

touche.  But I still think condemning it is lame

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from Jill 2348 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Okay, Chris.

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from janecopland 2347 Days ago #
Votes: 0

No matter which side of the argument you come down on, you’ll surely all recognise that this isn’t nearly as big of a scam as Dick Masterson, who managed to convince the Dr. Phil show and most of America that he was... well, real. Was there a (checks comment count) seventy-comment thread about Dax/ick? And if so, why not?

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from Jill 2347 Days ago #
Votes: -4

@janecopland there probably were a number of threads on it on relevant forums. But since he’s not a search marketer, would you really expect a thread about it here?

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from janecopland 2347 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I’d argue that it was an incredibly successful display of marketing that began online, made it offline and relied on a falsehood. I’m just throwing this out there, trying not to express an opinion about the ethics of either: Is there a big difference between the two and if not, why are we bemoaning Lyndon’s case as a new low?

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from Kimota 2347 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"I think you crossed the personal line when you said, "Sent any good emails from Nigeria recently?" Which I would class as moronic. Anyone who knows me knows I use Ghana."Good morning everyone. Interesting to see how things developed over night.Lyndon, I’m sure you know I wasn’t really saying you were a Nigerian scam artist, but was drawing a comparison for illustration between conmen and your argument that because journalists fell for it, you bear no responsibility (as the comment went on to explore).  Calling someone moronic is one thing (or an Albanian Marxist for that matter) as that is not an attempt to make a point. Using an allegory to get a point across is another and is not a personal attack. But I do apologise if you took it as one.

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from JulieJoyce 2347 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Sadly, satire is lost on a great deal of people. I think Lyndon is quite possibly the most brilliantly imaginative and innovative person in this field right now...this is almost as good as Batboy.

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from Kimota 2347 Days ago #
Votes: -2

Independent  reactions from outside the Sphinn community - http://www.ihelpyou.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26903

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from Jill 2347 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Haven’t read it cuz i don’t read there, but you can’t really call ihelpyou independent.

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from Kimota 2347 Days ago #
Votes: 0

well, maybe, of Sphinn then. Yeah they’re other SEO practitioners, but not who we see here.

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from nsmseo 2347 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I think the only thing to come out of all this that I will seriously take on board is if your going to use this tactic then never let the cat out of the bag. I have been floored by some of the comments I have seen written here, on blogs and elsewhere.I respect the opinions of others to vent their views but to call Lyndon’s article blackhat, spam, immoral etc ... is laughable.Perhaps its because I’m from a place that says there is a big, dirty monster in a loch not far from here and watch the thousands buy into the Nessie story each year that I can see the humour in this. I still think it was brilliant, absolute prank perfectionist. Lay your anger at the door of the media because there the ones that really duped the masses.

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from Jill 2347 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I respect the opinions of others to vent their views but to call Lyndon’s article blackhat, spam, immoral etc ... is laughable.In any other medium besides the Internet, it would be called a lot worse than blackhat, it would actually be illegal.  At least here in the US not sure about the rest of the world.

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from nsmseo 2347 Days ago #
Votes: -1

C’Mon Jill there is enough red flags in that story to keep a dozen Spanish matador’s happy for some time. The only people I see here that could cause any sort of damage is the ones on some sort of ’crusade’.

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from evilgreenmonkey 2347 Days ago #
Votes: 4

Although our finance client would never allow this article on their site, I do think that it’s a superbly crafted piece of linkbait. In the UK there are "creative" stories in newspapers such as News of the World and Sunday Sport everyday, I believe the US equivalent is The National Enquirer. If the national press can publish stories such as "London Bus found in Antarctic Iceberg" (not to mention other characters), a website can certainly do the same.

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from neyne 2347 Days ago #
Votes: 1

oh boy...it is a sad thing when one internet marketer’s reputation depends on another’s. There are plenty of doctors selling snake oil, does that mean that we will not go to hospitals anymore ? If you think what Lyndon did is wrong, don’t do it yourself. Market yourself as a person that does not make up stories to get links and see what comes out of it. Just stop taking the higher moral ground while referring to yourself as "the industry" only because Shoe and Jason do...What about doing things in real life for the sole reason so that they get covered by the press/get links out of it ? Isn’t that also stretching the borders, since, hey, if it wasn’t for the media and the personal benefit, it wouldn’t had been done (not sure about my tenses here, help me out) ? And if this episode makes the offline press a bit more stringent and diligent at checking their resources, then Lyndon definitely deserves a few links for such good deed.Let me just give you a bit of a newsflash, people did not believe everything that was in the news long before Lyndon came up with this. There is a reason why this was not published in NYT or WP, but rather in The Sun and the Fox News. If those idiots are so eager for scoops that they will lap up anything, it would be idiotic from Lyndon not to take advantage of it... And besides that, I bet no one is really going to sleep in tears because they thought they could pay hookers with their dad’s CCs and that piece of false information has ruined their business plan...

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from Kimota 2347 Days ago #
Votes: -1

’ow do all.A few rebuttals required, methinks... Pull up a chair, pour your favourite tipple and consider the following.1. To those who maintain the diggers and the other linkers obviously knew the story was fake and therefore dugg it as a funny satire, read the comments on the Digg page. 99% clearly believe the piece to be true, even to the point of saying that they would have considered it fake if it was the Onion, but checked the originating website and saw it was money.co.uk and went ’wow, it’s true.’ It’s there. Read the comments. There are close to 150 of them and only about five call it a fake. The rest want to canonise the kid. They discussed whether it was fake and decided it was true. Based on the website. So I think we can call that case closed.2. Greg Proops may have suspected it was fake (or he was just making a joke - it’s vague), but the rest of the Fox panel clearly believed the story. Sure they should check facts, but it’s Fox. They suck. The fun story is more fun when they think it’s true, they’re not about to destroy a funny moment by debunking themseslves before it goes to air. So yes they should have checked, but yes I think it’s clear they believed it was true (insofar as they looked into it).3. To those that believe putting it in a section called "And Finally...’ is enough of a signal to say it is fabricated and that ’And Finally...’is well known for this, I would dispute that. "And Finally..."  comes from the television news tradition of finishing a bulletin with a funny news story - the man floating in a deckchair with balloons, surfboarding bunny rabbit - that sort of thing, with footage. Often called the dead donkey segment. It is not a fabricated news piece, but a funny news piece. The two things are not the same.4. Just because some news is fake doesn’t mean marketers need to use the same techniques.Our agendas are different to news media. We want to be taken seriously when we say ’buy our product’. Sure, the way we preaent our products can gloss over failings and highlight benefits, but we never openly lie about them. (Hence Ribena recently getting into a whole lot of trouble and completely damaging their brand with the fake vitamin c claim). Marketing is about persuasion. The moment our persuasive skills are questioned, they’re dead. Fluff news like The Sun or Fox is about entertainment a lot of the time. Different agenda, ergo different consequences of fabrication.5. Some have argued that Brits are more cynical about the media or have more highly tuned satirical senses due to Private Eye, etc. Apart from the obvious rebuttal that I can claim all those characteristics for myself as well, the internet is an international playing field. If only Brits are going to get the joke, you have a problem when America reads it, or Europe. I don’t think they view the internet as a British comedy clique. Online marketing has an international audience, and should be aware of that, unless the campaign is targeted and marketed to a very focussed group. This wasn’t. Lyndon submitted it to Digg himself (with no hint to the fabrication), marketing it as far and wide as possible.5. Does some people using this technique affect the rest of the industry? The analogy neyne uses is very apt indeed, because it’s exactly the point I wanted to make. This is the snakeoil of the marketing industry. I don’t agree with it, which is why I would never sell it and I hope clients come to me instead. But it’s there. I wanted people to recognise this technique for the snakeoil it is and not as a legitimate technique of prestige. So, neyne, you sort of made my point for me. Thanks. There will always be postive and negative perceptions of marketing. I think this creates a negative perception, but I also think it is unavoidable. Someone’s always going to do it. Doesn’t mean we should condone it. Snakeoil salesmen don’t often turn up to medical conventions.5. Lyndon’s still no doubt a good guy. He just chooses to use this technique. What was important was we had the debate. That’s how people learn, trends emerge and better techniques are designed. Lyndon has borne the heat of this purely because he was vocal about having unleashed this piece of linkbait. It started the debate. But if he hadn’t, someone else would. It was an issue that was bound to crop up sooner or later in this still fledgling industrry of online marketing. So Lyndon - sorry it was you. Phew - you can see I loved the debating team at school.Am I overeacting? Maybe. I like a debate and I was amazed at the positive response this dubious technique received at first. Are others being niaive in thinking there wouldn’t be criticism? Definitely. Is the debate valuable? Oh yes. Our industry has precious little in the way of regulations. We regulate ourselves, unlike journalism or advertising that operate under incredibly stringent codes of ethics and media laws. Because of this, we need to have these debates to keep ourselves in check. If we didn’t, we risk having restrictions thrust upon us when someone else decided to have the debate for us.It’s saturday night here. Doctor Who is going to be here in a few hours and my other half is looking gorgeous, so I’m going to go. Have a wonderful weekend everyone! And keep your credit cards away from your kids!

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from DVOLA 2347 Days ago #
Votes: -1

"i Loved the debating team"  yep we can see that....  :)  this comment reads like a summing up of a trial case ?   it was only a peice of succesful link bait , no one ended up with an axe in their head...  I honestly do think that a few people commenting are worried that the bar has been raised and some will just simply not be able to reach that level ( or anywhere close to it ) .   Honestly no animals were hurt in the making of this seriously succesful link bait..

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from Kimota 2347 Days ago #
Votes: -1

I’m only answering the points raised by people including yourself to demonstrate that it wasn’t necessarily as innocent as you make out. You disagree with me, but you don’t argue with my points. Hmmm? ;-)

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from Jill 2347 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@evilgreenmonkey you said:If the national press can publish stories such as "London Bus found in Antarctic Iceberg" (not to mention other characters), a website can certainly do the same.Yes, they absolutely can. One can only hope that they will also realize that they who publish fake stories will also end up being thought about as a tabloid journal such as the National Enquirer, rather than an actual news site.So if they’re okay with that, then all is well.

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from ciaran 2347 Days ago #
Votes: 3

In any other medium besides the Internet, it would be called a lot worse than blackhat, it would actually be illegal.  At least here in the US not sure about the rest of the world.Seriously? Someone better tell The Onion & Jon Stewart. Seriously people, I really think that a bit of perspective has been lost at some point in this ’issue’.

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from Jill 2347 Days ago #
Votes: -1

ciaran, not sure what the onion and and jon stewart have to do with this as the article in question didn’t get all the publicity due to the fact that it was satire. (As Kimota has already mentioned numerous times.)Had this article got the attention because it was such a great parody, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

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from neyne 2347 Days ago #
Votes: -2

The analogy neyne uses is very apt indeed, because it’s exactly the point I wanted to make. This is the snakeoil of the marketing industry. I don’t agree with it, which is why I would never sell it and I hope clients come to me instead. But it’s there. I wanted people to recognise this technique for the snakeoil it is and not as a legitimate technique of prestige. So, neyne, you sort of made my point for me. Thanks.Now, now. Being the one that wrote "Jeez. Some people need to learn how to interpret analogies", you should really pass using the mention of the expression "snake oil" as something I intended as a description of what Lyndon did. After all, snake oil is a metaphore for something ineffective being sold as a real medicine, and I think that even those opposing Lyndon’s technique do not think his little trick was ineffective. By using "snake oil", I meant that this is probably what it is in the eyes of the ppl opposing this technique (like yourself, which you promptly confirmed). Doesn’t mean that I see it as such. Truth is that I think it is a brilliant marketing move and even better due to the fact that it puts tabloids (like The Sun and that crappy, crappy Fox) to shame and exposes their sensationalism. Now, you being a writer yourself, would you report a piece of news published on a commercial website without double-triple-quadrouple checking it ? So it serves them well. So Lyndon did great with his links, crappy press got what they deserved and the balance is restored.The only amateurish thing about this whole issue is the fact that Lyndon exposed it as a hoax. Instead of gloating, he could have milked that cow for much longer...

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from Lyndon 2347 Days ago #
Votes: -2

"The only amateurish thing about this whole issue is the fact that Lyndon exposed it as a hoax. Instead of gloating, he could have milked that cow for much longer..."A mistake I acknowledge. But I challenge anyone to resist gloating that Howard Stern is repeating their work.Thanks for the positive comments, of which are in the overwhelming majority :)Evil linkbait rocks!

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from ciaran 2346 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Why this won’t kill internet marketing:Have a look at this and this. Note, when both were released they were unbranded (the Lenovo one was on a separate domain & the Ray-Ban one didn’t have music, and didn’t link to the Ray-Ban site, making it seem even more amateur.) They’re spoofs. Some people thought they were real. Some didn’t. People got a kick out of them. The sun rose & the world kept turning. 

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from g1smd 2345 Days ago #
Votes: 3

The perception of the SEO industry is already in a dismal state... and has been further damaged by this.<div></div><div></div><div>To the long list of previous complaints, we can now add:</div><div></div><div></div><div>SEOs: people who make up fake stories.</div>

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from MattCutts 2343 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"Where does Cutt’s and search engines stand on something like this?"<div></div><div>My quick take is that Google’s webmaster guidelines allow for cases such as this: "Google may respond negatively to other misleading practices not listed here (e.g. tricking users by registering misspellings of well-known websites). It’s not safe to assume that just because a specific deceptive technique isn’t included on this page, Google approves of it."</div><div></div><div>There’s not much more deceptive or misleading than a fake story without any disclosure that the story is hoax.</div>

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from Kimota 2342 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Does that mean you would count this technique as ’webspam’ then Matt?

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from Jill 2342 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Thanks for weighing in, Matt. I hope the fact that you’ve pointed out that this practice would most likely fall under Google’s definition of things to which they would respond negatively, doesn’t take away from the larger issue (beyond search engines) of people making up fake stories and submitting them as real.

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from neyne 2342 Days ago #
Votes: 5

what’s google got to do with this ? Google’s webmaster guidelines allow for cases like this ? It is as if a librarian weighing in on the marketing techniques of the publishing house. The NY City Library does not allow for books to be advertised on buses. Does that sound reasonable to anyone ? It sure doesn’t to me.If you want to discount those links algorithmically, have a ball, but I don’t think Google has any place as a company to pass judgment on these issues.Does Google approve of the way i treat my compost garbage ? How about the miles per galon ratio of my car ? The way i treat my wife ? Can you ask Sergey whether I should buy her more flowers ?

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from Jill 2342 Days ago #
Votes: -2

what’s google got to do with this ?Umm...perhaps someone previously in the thread asked where Matt Cutts and Google stood on the issue, so that’s what Matt was providing?

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from neyne 2342 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Thanks Jill, I can also see the quote in Matt’s response. My question is pointed at both Matt and the people asking for his approval of the color of the new kitchen curtains. Can I ask you Jill, do you think I should wait till the real estate here gets a bit cheaper and then buy property, or should i just buy the property now since there is a chance it will not get much cheaper anyways ? Matt, what do you think ? Anything in Google Webmaster Guidelines referring to this issue ?

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from Kimota 2342 Days ago #
Votes: 1

neyne, it’s a bit naive to suggest that the link bait tactic wasn’t to help the website perform better in Google. It certainly wasn’t to gain qualified traffic to the website.Therefore, if Google can see it as an attempt to exploit their algorithm, of course they have an opinion and of course it will have a bearing on the validity of the technique iof Google start penalising sites for this.Not everyone agrees with Google setting guidelines for how webmasters perform SEO, but those guidelines are only to help webmasters understand the type of content Google want to appear in their engine. If you don’t want your site to appear in Google or rank highly, then no, Google’s opinion doesn’t matter. If you do, it does.Of course, as Jill pointed out, whether it has a Google effect or not  is only one side effect of this bigger question of fabricated content blurring the quality of online information. But it does go to the heart of the motivation for doing it in the first place.

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from Jill 2342 Days ago #
Votes: -1

My question is pointed at both Matt and the people asking for his approval of the color of the new kitchen curtains.And that’s exactly what I meant by Google’s response taking away from the larger issue at hand, which does indeed have nothing to do with them.

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from neyne 2342 Days ago #
Votes: 3

let me ask this hypotetical question: i decide to sell my dog to a circus, just so i can write a blog post about it and thus create linkbait. Do you think Google should be consulted on the question whether selling pets is a moral thing to do ?Since Google indexes and ranks the whole web (more or less), they get to be a moral authority on everything that happens there?Come on people, I am beginning to feel a little bit like The Wave is happening around here. It is not Google that surprises or worries me. It is the glassy look in your eyes...

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from neyne 2342 Days ago #
Votes: 1

And that’s exactly what I meant by Google’s response taking away from the larger issue at hand, which does indeed have nothing to do with them.OK. Good. Am a bit relieved. We can agree or disagree about that larger issue and that is totaly cool (as long as we are not calling Lyndon a whore or someone who disagrees with him a moron), however asking how Google feels about this is absurd. They say linkbait is great. Create content that will make people link to you. They don’t get to weigh in about whether their moral bone feels all snazzy about the linkbait.BTW, I met 4 people in the last 7 days that thought that "Take your daughter to the war day" skit fron Onion news was a real news item. Had to use force to hold their hands of keyboards and cellphones while yelling "its fake, its fake" <div class="comment-info"> <!--Reply--> <div id="reply-42771" align="left" style="display: none"> Send comment HTML is disabled <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="320" height="240" class="mceEditor" style="width: 320px; height: 240px"><tbody><tr><td align="center"> </td></tr><tr><td dir="ltr" class="mceToolbarBottom" height="1" align="center"><img src="<img src="<img src="<img src="<img src="<img src="<img src="</td></tr></tbody></table> </div> </div>

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from Jill 2342 Days ago #
Votes: -1

BTW, I met 4 people in the last 7 days that thought that "Take your daughter to the war day" skit fron Onion news was a real news item. Had to use force to hold their hands of keyboards and cellphones while yelling "its fake, its fake"Interesting that they couldn’t see that everything at the Onion was fake. Does make one wonder about everything at money.co.uk though.As far as Google goes, my personal feelings on their webmaster guidelines is that they are completely unnecessary. If we need Google to tell us what is right and wrong, we have much bigger problems.  I’ve never given them (their guidelines) any attention because they have nothing to do with how I do my job and conduct my business.

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from linkmoses 2342 Days ago #
Votes: 2

You mean Martin Sheen wasn’t the President?As a case study in successful link attraction, this one’s awesome.  Can’t dispute that.  But the ultimate success or failure of any link attraction strategy isn’t in the numbers of links or buzz created.  It’s in what you did with the links and the traffic, and why.   Similarly, one of the unintended consequences of ad driven content is that the content gets created solely as a place to stick ad code, and thus creators are way too eager to do anything to attract traffic to pages where that code resides, so that that same of that traffic will leave that site after a brief and aimless visit, preferably via a link that when clicked makes the content creator a few pennies.  Content that is just appealing enough to get someone to come by, but not so appealing as to keep them interested in anything for too long.  This is SOP, and we all know it and encounter it every day.  I’ve always felt it was ironic the herculean effort put into attracting people to a site, just to try and send it away as quickly as possible via an ad link, hoping to bank a nickle for it along the way, and then start it the circle all over again.  Ads plus Linkbait is like an MC Escher painting.  After you get over the artistic aspects of it, you realize the futility of it, and it becomes just about the $, and at that point I’d rather go sit on the beach.

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from MattCutts 2342 Days ago #
Votes: -1

neyne, if I used the word "cover" instead of "allow for" perhaps that would be more clear?Jill, I stayed away from the discussion for quite a while in order to let the discussion of the larger issues happen on its own. :)

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from sem4u 2342 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Small case study:I know of a site that published a fake story, as their stories were being copied by a rival site. The rival site did copy the story, but the story did generate hundreds of links from forums and blogs in the sector. It was a great case of linkbait working at its best.

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from neyne 2342 Days ago #
Votes: -1

@matt - i think you should leave it to the public to judge on that issue. IMHO your (Google’s) domain of responsibility ends with your algorithm and index. How do you discern between false content creation for the purpose of reputation management (unrelated to attempt to gain rankings) and for the purpose of ranking ? I think that you are stepping out of your turf when you are weighing in questions like these. There is no difference between this and any other linkbait. It was the greed and sensationalism of the mainstream press that has caused the linking effect. As tempting as it may be, I don’t think you should weigh in moral questions. That is not your responsibility as a librarian.

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from rustybrick 2342 Days ago #
Votes: 9

<div><div><div>I call for the nosource META tag to be instituted by Google immediately.  Alternatives can be a rel=nohoax attribute around the fictitious portion of your articles and stories.</div></div></div>

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from incrediblehelp 2342 Days ago #
Votes: -2

I am glad (since I asked him too) Matt came in a offered his opinion on the topic, but I think Google is on a slippery slope here. When they stop being objective of content that is published online I can see huge problems going forward.  I don’t think it is Google job to differentiate real and fake.  This is now entering the gray area of opinion, censoring that could be bad for everyone.Now sure the Lyndon issue is pretty cut and dry.  Easy to spot, but how or why in the world would they expect to actually try to demote/penalize/ban on a larger scale?  Demoting Lyndon link bait is as easy as a hand job.  Scaling a way to demote/penalize/ban other fake stories surely is impossible while being objective.This is similar Google war on paid links.  There is truly no way for Google to know I am paying or not paying someone for link on another website.  Making these assumptions can be very dangerous.

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from rhcerff 2342 Days ago #
Votes: -2

I don’t see what the big deal is really. While I would never have thought of doing something like this... and wouldn’t suggest any of my clients do it. For the reason that Jill mentioned earlier - you don’t want to be grouped with all the other "national enquirers" of the world.  But it really did have the desired effect.If you don’t want to link to it, don’t! It’s that simple. If everyone out there believes everything they read online to be gospel... well then Google’s SERPs are the least of our worries really!I have seen numerous quality news sites run April Fools articles... and as usual many are taken very seriously! Not everyone celebrates (if that’s the right way to put it) the 1st of April as a day to take the piss out of people. If these are genuinely amusing, shocking...etc should Google now insist that you can’t take credit for this?However, Jill, I tend to find it hard to believe that it’s illegal. Because then every hoax out there... every poorly reported and every image that has been doctored in photoshop is sure to put many people in jail.Freedom of speech and expression is a double edge sword - with truth comes lies.

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from dailymoolah 2342 Days ago #
Votes: 7

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me" - I suppose that’s rather appropriate in this circumstance. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Lyndon’s already done this sort of ’evil linkbait’ in the past, or will, in the future. Rest assured, he won’t be gloating about his successes and instigate a thread such as the one we’re discussing right now.In the grand scheme of things, I think Lyndon did really well. From a social media perspective, people often vote on what they WANT to believe, and not what truly is. Do you think a digg user verifies the sources of the story he or she is digging? Definitely not - as the purpose of digging a story up is to share popular, sensational content - whether true or untrue.I remember a couple of months ago, a story about a university kid who built a lamp that could last a 100 years on the same battery power source (can’t remember the link), and that turned out to be a hoax. I didn’t see any heated threads come about that story, and I don’t see why Lyndon should be accountable for his linkbait strategy in this situation either.Was is ethical ’social media marketing’? That’s debateable. Was it Lyndon’s responsibility to make sure the websites that linked to the article, knew of its ’truthiness’?? Definitely not. The intent and outcomes of a situation are always debated in ethics courses worldwide. Was this article fabricated purely for links? brand awareness? buzz? all of them? In either case, I believe Google should not play judge on whether the article was ’okay’ in their eyes. This is for a couple of reasons:1. The onus and responsibility of a linking entity is entirely on their own editorial preferences. Journalists from credible news sources should definitely know better than to syndicate articles that not only sound off-beat, but have no sources cited either.2. Google’s mission is to bring the highest relevancy in search. To date, it is probably the closest of the major search engines to do so, but we all know it cannot and is not a 100% perfect. Therefore, it’s prime goal as a search engine should to be to keep refining and improving its index (and in an utopian world - seo’s help this process). It is certainly a slippery slope when this search engine giant might choose to judge content based on fact versus fiction, instead of the algorithm it’s close to perfected. That sort of judgement is not scaleable, as for every hoax story that get’s outed, there’s dozens more that never do.

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from neyne 2342 Days ago #
Votes: 2

moolah, i wish i could have expressed it so well like you did. Excellent response and i agree with every sentence.

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from Jill 2342 Days ago #
Votes: -1

1995 general public definition of what an SEO was: "Oh you’re the person who stuffs keywords in white text on a white background!"2004 general public definition of what and SEO was: "Oh you’re the person who ruins good website copy by stuffing it full of keywords and the one who sends out irrelevant reciprocal link requests!"Is this the 2008 general public definition of what SEO is? "Oh you’re the person who makes up fake stories that the media picks up as real to gain publicity for websites!"[sigh]

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from Jonah 2342 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@MattIt is hard to know whether this one counts as "fake news" or parody.  I laughed through the whole thing, but I already knew is was fake before I read it.  So does this mean a great April Fools gag shouldn’t count at link bait?  Does the April 1st date count as disclosure the story is fake?  I understand that you would consider a site gaining authority in the index based on "fake" information potentially spammy, but this is a really, really slippery slope.How do you differentiate that versus a "true" story written around an ascertion that turns out to be a lie?  For example, I recall some stories about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction.  Is this "fake news"?  How about the bloggers who wrote about the 13 year old Texas Felon.  If someone links to the re-telling of fake new, is it still fake?This is the slippery slope of Wikiality that Stephen Colbert so artfully satired.I recommend you withdrawl your comments and let the links stand.  Google doesn’t want to be the truth police.  The question should be relevancy, and this is the most relevant story for 13 year old orders prostitute... http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=13+year+old+orders+prostitute&btnG=Search

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from NickWilsdon 2342 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@JonahMost relevant for the query "13 Year Old Steals Dad’s Credit Card to Buy Hookers" Shirley?http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=13+Year+Old+Steals+Dad%27s+Credit+Card+to+Buy+HookersYou got me worried there when I checked that link.

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from dailymoolah 2341 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@neyne - Thanks!@Jill - Given the story at hand, and the master ’linkbaiter’ that created it, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to term this in ’social media’/’viral content’ rather than SEO? Despite the obvious correlation and tie-ins in all aspects of internet marketing (SEO/SEM/SMM), isn’t it time we gave distinction between true social media marketers (think Lyndon, Mmd Saleem, Mr BabyMan, etc.) than SEO’s (think Danny S, Rand, Todd, etc.)? If so, then perhaps this entire hulabaloo is a social media piece gone haywire, rather than one that affects SEO directly.

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from blackhatdomain 2341 Days ago #
Votes: -2

<font size="3"><font face="Calibri">Had Lyndon failed and it would have been called a rat.</font></font><font size="3"><font face="Calibri">He did it and now he is king. Nothing new here. </font></font><font size="3"><font face="Calibri">Terrorists are proclaimed national heroes when they win. </font></font>Lyndon mistake was a classical one: gloating. The fish dies by its mouth. (Spanish proverb) No linkjuice from Google now.

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from Jill 2341 Days ago #
Votes: -2

@Jill - Given the story at hand, and the master ’linkbaiter’ that created it, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to term this in ’social media’/’viral content’ rather than SEO?@dailymoolah: Sure, but where do you draw the line between what is SEO and what is social media. Even in your example of who you call SEOs, I would certainly call Rand a social media marketer rather than an SEO, but that’s just my perspective. There are so many overlaps that social media marketing has certainly become an aspect of SEO in today’s world. (This is probably a discussion for another thread!)Meanwhile, can’t read or post to this thread anymore because it locks my computer up for a good 2 mins. straight :(

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from blackhatdomain 2341 Days ago #
Votes: -3

The only, most important part of the puzzle is the domain name and no seems to talk about it.Without that premiun domain name no one would have Dugg the story in the first place.To do the same one only needs a domain name like that one and 100 Diggs.

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from Aussiewebmaster 2341 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Okay this is a great conversation.... did people take it seriously at first - yes - but 99% laughed even then. It turns out to be a marketing hoax.... and it did not mark itself as a hoax (really that one had to be a hoax post)  -  Lyndon rebrand the cut line of site to "News You Don’t Want To See" and do one daily... even if Google drops you the viral traffic would be solid and profitable.Jill the sky may be falling but in this particular case Lyndon is not Chicken Little - this is not documents proving presence of WMD... and all the journalists must have suspected something when the hookers stayed and played video games... they would have taken the cash and bolted.Matt obviously Google has the right to make whatever call - even if it there is no set guideline. IMHO though there have to be as many people linking to it now that it is out in the open because it was funny... parody and online hijinx are as much a part of the web as Google is... I was pranked by it and gave it a link... and the story has more interest now that it has been proven a hoax. It will end up on Wikipedia... at what point does it come back purely for that reason?

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from johnandrews 2341 Days ago #
Votes: 0

What a screwy community. The guy goes tabloid, which is nothing new, and the fair & balanced guys promote it, which is nothing if not hilarious (for the irony and the reality), and here the same search marketing people that organize industry conferences call him out on ethical grounds? But wait for the best part... when he removes his own post from his own blog, those same righteous ones then point to a scraped copy and even seek a more exact replica! Righteous hypocrites? The guy pulled his own post,  but it’s ok to republish it (sans permission) and highlight it, even with awareness the author wants it removed from view? Sad sad commentary on the so-called leadership in this industry.

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from NickWilsdon 2341 Days ago #
Votes: 0

John is 100% right about the republishing by Wider Funnel - that was not good. If someone choose to take down their post, that decision should be respected. 

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from DaveN 2341 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Lyndon I’m 110 f*cking percent behind you,..what a crock of shit this is, when I read the story it made me smile, when i read it as a SEO hoax/linkbait I LOL’ed and thought Genius,Hat Tip to you sirDaveN

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from Kimota 2341 Days ago #
Votes: -4

"Lyndon I’m 110 f*cking percent behind you,..what a crock of shit this is,"What an insightful comment that clearly addresses the points of the debate in an intelligent and thought provoking manner.We’re all doomed if this is what we’re coming to. ;-)

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from Lyndon 2341 Days ago #
Votes: -2

I look at the achievements and dollar worth of my supporters.I look at what my critics are known for.End of story.If people like Dave Naylor and others think what I did was cool, it doesn’t really matter to me what the critics say.

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from DaveN 2341 Days ago #
Votes: 0

SEO is my life. It doesn’t matter what form the Seo comes in - a piece of fiction or a technical document Hey Kimota see what I did .. btw I did a bigger post on David NaylorDaveN

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from SpostareDuro 2341 Days ago #
Votes: -1

kimota, they are using you for the attention. unplug them.

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from rhcerff 2341 Days ago #
Votes: 1

"Ralph’s ambition is to one day become a politician."Gives it away!  Need I really say anything more?@Lyndon, those getting upset are just really bummed that they didn’t think of it first.  As said in my previous post, if people don’t like it, don’t link/remove their link to it!  End of story.Google doesn’t like it?  Why?  Should every article ever written now be checked for accuracy? time’s, dates... sources... etc... before being noted as being authentic?  And then, only then be allowed to gain the benefits of the links?  Heck, it’s their engine and they can do what they like.  Doesn’t mean that we all agree.

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from dailymoolah 2341 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@Jill - I completely agree that we’re all a bit of all things Search Marketing, with most search marketers acting in different capacities depending on the day of the week, or the client’s needs. That said, this thread is definitely waaaaay too long and freezing up my pc as well. A la prochaine!

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from g1smd 2340 Days ago #
Votes: -2

***  End of Story ***<div></div><div></div><div>Not quite.</div><div></div><div></div><div>http://www.money.co.uk/article/1000487-we-apologise-for-hoax-story.htm</div>

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from chexxer 2338 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Well I saw the story on FoxNews last week and had a chuckle, not realising it was a spoof, until I received a link to this list via another list I subscribe to.  I don’t have a red face after it, I suspect a few others do though.One has to ask how much damage it really did, apart from a lot of people’s ego’s.Talking about damage and what’s illegal. There are always a lot of emails going around that tell you to delete certain files on your computer as they have a virus or trojan. This would usually make the computer unusable on a reboot. Should one sue the person who sent (forwarded) the email because you took the action on it.I also subscribe to an investment news letter, where the writer, writes as if he’s the chairman of GM, saying how much the companies debt is and that it doesn’t make enough to pay the interest on it’s debt, and that the company will be bankrupt soon. And he doesn’t say he’s not the chairman of GM. Say the person is telling the truth,  should/could he be sued? As it has been noted a few times, if the article is illegal in USA, will Lyndon get sued and a deportation order be requested to ship him out there. To the land that probably has the  highest percentage of  lawyers per  head  of population (so somebody else can make money out of it).I agree everybody is entitled to there opinion, but some  on this list appear to over do it (must have been commenting over a week?), or maybe it’s just to get/renew/substantiate their title of "Expert".  One wonders if they have full time jobs/families and other comitments, or maybe it’s just their hobby?Just in case somebody wants to start sharpening there claws on me, I’m a semi-retired old codger, who’s trying to learn about SEO. I am only really any good at troubleshooting computer and electronic systems. Yeh, maybe I should stick to just that.

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from cgoward 2337 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@NickWilsdon Repeating Lyndon’s comments about his ’story’ is called journalism. Why should I not repeat his quote because he later decided he doesn’t want people to know what he did?Read the post before deciding if there’s any copyright material in here:http://www.widerfunnel.com/traffic-building/when-linkbait-goes-mentalFunnier than the story is Lyndon comparing himself to Shakespeare and Hemmingway. There’s satire for you!

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from NickWilsdon 2337 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@cgowardYou’re right, I didn’t read your blog on principle. I think you maybe forgetting how you touted your post though? Have a little look up the comments in this thread..."The removed original posting by CornwallSEO is available here:

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from NickWilsdon 2337 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Here’s the link:http://sphinn.com/story/46400#c42187You named your post with the exact same title as Lyndon’s. I also noticed, after your linkdrop, others linking to you in the same way. Kim used the following (http://sphinn.com/story/46512#c42192) "fyi..since lyndon has removed his post, here’s a link to his post in full"So you weren’t exactly going out of your way to pursuade anyone that you hadn’t copied Lyndon’s post. I’ve just visited your post and you’re right - it’s quotes. Why would you want to lead people to believe otherwise? Trying a little linkbait of your own perhaps?

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from Halfdeck 2337 Days ago #
Votes: 1

What I find weird about that post is two links to money.co.uk, one with targeted anchor text [credit card]. Things that make me go hmmmm.

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from cgoward 2337 Days ago #
Votes: -2

@NickWilsdonThat’s because I did repeat his post in full, Nick. His post was just an explanation/brag about what he’d done. So, repeating his post in full (wrapped by my commentary) is what you see. My point is that you should read the post and judge whether I’ve done something wrong before jumping to conclusions. Note: since I posted it, and the comment links to it, I have remove some content due to Lyndon’s concern about bandwidth that he expressed to me, but the rest of the post is there.

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from NickWilsdon 2336 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@cgowardMy conclusion was that you republished Lyndon’s post in order to get some links. My exact statement was "If someone choose to take down their post, that decision should be respected."You haven’t said anything to convince me otherwise yet - you admit you did repeat his post in full.  You didn’t  just quote him and you have since edited your post to remove some content on Lyndon’s request. I guess this is why Kim wrote that you had a full copy of the post at the time. Your point that I should read your post now is a little moot if you have re-edited it? No? You either republished the post in full or you didn’t. From my view, a few select quotes would be journalism. Copying the whole post is scraping. Republishing someone’s post after they have taken it down is opportunism.

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from jimbeetle 2336 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Haven’t been around sphinn for a while, when did it turn into Threadwatch redux? I know it’s a good discussion when Dave Naylor pops up with his very, erm, concise comments.Good chuckles all around, well worth a spinn.@Halfdeck: Thanks for another chuckle.

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from DarkMatter 2336 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@nickwilsdonummm....

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from NickWilsdon 2336 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@DarkMatterYeah you’re right - it’s late. @cgoward no hard feelings. We really have to finish this thread anyway now, it’s crashing my computer. Heh ThreadWatch arguments - yep, they were great, fitting this discussion ends with a reference to them. Without Nick to step in and tell us it’s all bollocks, these things tend to ramble on a bit.

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from rhcerff 2335 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Are ABC going to be penalized now?http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/05/abc-fbi-punkd-b.html

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from rhcerff 2323 Days ago #
Votes: 0

How about this one?http://www.property24.com/Property24/Hub/LatestNews_Full.aspx?articleid=7697http://www.property24.com/Property24/Hub/LatestNews_Full.aspx?articleid=7678http://www.property24.com/Property24/news/FullArticle.aspx?ArticleId=7690of of that in response to a "genuine" story.  I only say that because it’s based on opinion and nothing more - yet it is published as genuine news.Link bait?  Simple lies?  Or journalism?WWGD (What Would Google Do?)If any of that is indexed, then surely Google need to revise their stand on Lyndon’s obvious fake, because this which is closer to truth could do so much more harm.  Then again, shouldn’t they let the readers decide?

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from yetanotherben 2165 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Shame it’s been removed now - I would have been interested to see what all the fuss was about?! 

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from SpostareDuro 1926 Days ago #
Votes: 0

there’s already 95 sphinns for this article, true...desphunn because it encourages dishonest gain in marketing communities and business communnties as well reflecting poorly upon other marketers.

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