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As the what is crossing the line with linkbait debate heats up jill whalen weighs in with "Is making stuff up really part of our job description? What about obtaining links at any cost?

Maybe I’m just not cut out to be a marketer. Certainly not if it involves creating hoaxes to trick the media.

No idea what I’m talking about?"
Comments40 Comments  

Comments

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from cre8pc 2264 Days ago #
Votes: 2

So the line between gossip and sensationlism and straight journalism no longer exists.  Any journalist worth their degree and paycheck checks out sources and facts.I don’t really blame SEO’s (oddly enough.)  As long as search engines and social media thrives on words, not truth, the game is on.  What a surprise that even Fox News fell for linkbait.  So telling...For me, the wider view includes conversions and whether or not I could be persuaded to use an SEO who can get bring traffic in on the weight of link bait headlines vs the intergrity of the company, exceptional customer service, value proposition and a user centered site.  Eventually, the cat’s outta the bag and some folks will go back to something more solid and memorable than a moment of hiliarity they read on the web.

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from Jill 2264 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Personally, I can’t imagine a reputable website knowingly allowing a fake hoax story to be published on their site for the sake of links. It’s truly unfathomable to me. But like I said, perhaps I’m not really a marketer afterall, certainly not if that’s the sort of thing it takes to be one.

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from SpostareDuro 2264 Days ago #
Votes: 1

hopefully, there will be more than just ’words’ as opposed to ’truth’ promoted by us. these sorts of things damage everyone that calls themselves marketers because EXPOSURE will happen, no matter what. who better to spread the word that truth is most important, than social media participants? we can contribute to the deceit or we can promote truth. either way, it all comes back on us..good bad or indifferent.

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from cre8pc 2264 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@Jill "I can’t imagine a reputable website knowingly allowing a fake hoax story to be published on their site for the sake of links."Does boggle the mind, doesn’t it?  I didn’t catch all the news hoopla. Did any "news" site put in a disclaimer or note that the story wasn’t real?  There could be a readership for this stuff. Think STAR magazine and the other stupid ones with outrageous headlines and stories that take a molecule of truth and blow it up into a story that no longer resembles reality.It’s far funner to read about hookers playing video games than listening to how gas prices are going to $10/gal. :)

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from Jill 2264 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Did any "news" site put in a disclaimer or note that the story wasn’t real? It is my understanding that the news sites all thought it was real. But one must assume that the money.co.uk site where it originated from knew it was fake.

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from onreact 2264 Days ago #
Votes: 1

While I’m not exactly applauding Lyndoman for the moral part of this link bait this post here is condescending bashing with no substance and adds nothing to the discussion.

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from Kimota 2264 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Nice to have you on my side of the fence Jill. We have cake.But, on another note, I really hope this fence can come down. In journalism there are those that work for The Times and those that work for The Sun. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they still drink in the same pub. Many here applaud Lyndon and see this tactic as a legitimate technique. Many others see it as a worrying trick. I think we have our own black-hat, white-hat scenario for linkbait now. And there are plenty here on Sphinn who have no problem with black-hat SEO who we all still love and adore. I think this is the natural fallout of that development.

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from Jill 2264 Days ago #
Votes: -1

My favorite comments on this topic are those that say "while I’d never do this for my clients...I don’t see anything wrong with it."Gee...I wonder why you wouldn’t do it for your clients then? Just strikes my funny bone...

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from BogglesMyMind 2263 Days ago #
Votes: 1

jeez enough with the whinning already.  marketing, like any other industry, moves forward.  No reason to read it if you don’t like it.  Funny all the negative votes for onreact, who probably has the most valid point in this discussion.  One could argue that this is pretty "low" smene linkbait, and in fact there are probably better things to point out about search in a positive light than focusing on the negative.

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from Jill 2263 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I have to say that I’m somewhat shocked that there are people in this industry who don’t want to have this conversation for some reason. Weird.

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from Kimota 2263 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’m worried by this development as well, Jill. It’s as if debate is wrong and contrary opinions are to be dismissed if they don’t allow for the easiest route to thousands of links.

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from Jill 2263 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@ Kimota Yes, it’s very strange. I’ve never quite seen this sort of thing. People like you make well-reasoned arguments addressing the issues only, but get attacked and called a moron or fundamentalist or whatever other names were floating around. I have not seen anyone on Sphinn who’s been skeptical of this technique actually attacking anyone in particular, but more stating their fears of where this type of marketing could possibly lead. And those are real fears that do need to be addressed, at least in my opinion. We have a bad enough reputation in general already to now have everything we publish be scrutinized as to whether it’s actually true or false. If the techniques that were used in this link-baiting example become mainstream, imagine which way the reputation of search marketers will be heading? No matter. I’ve gotten used to being thought of as a used-car salesman all these years. Just thought we were maybe moving past that phase as of late, but perhaps not.[added as an aside: Speaking of used cars, my husband is at this moment heading to a used car place to purchase one (really). I hope he comes home with some new tips for me!]

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from Kimota 2263 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Trying to sell my car at the moment...Low miles, one careful driver. You only need to come to Sydney to pick up... ;-)

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from Jill 2263 Days ago #
Votes: -2

[Offtopic...sort of...]Ahahaha...he just came back from the used car place and did indeed bring back a new trick.The price quoted online for the car he was looking at, apparently was only good if you were trading in a car as well.  Good one.I’m sure there’s something we can use with that trick that will translate into SEO/SEM somehow...hmm....

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from ciaran 2263 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Jill, I’m certainly open to the conversation but would guess that what many feel (I certainly do) is that this story is in danger of turning into a convention in a goldfish bowl, where the same things get said, on both sides, and nothing actually changes. Does it really need the 4 or 5 posts I’ve now seen, none of which say anything that different? I don’t think so. And I’m one of those of the "Wouldn’t do it for my client, but don’t see the problem" and it’s pretty simple why. The key is with the word ’client’. No-one put a gun to their head and said "Publish this". They made a decision to use this tactic. Not Lydon. The client. And just because I wouldn’t do it (not because it’s fake, more because I wouldn’t want a story about hookers on a finance site) doesn’t mean that I can’t suggest that Lyndon has done nothing wrong here.Now, seriously, can we move on?

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from skinner 2263 Days ago #
Votes: -3

I’m with you Jill: truth is important to me and I don’t care if I’m labelled a ’fundamentalist’ because of it. But, on the other hand, I don’t think there’s much change of us all being tarred with the same brush. We’re White Had, and lying is Black Hat.

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from NickWilsdon 2263 Days ago #
Votes: 7

@skinnerSeriously, this is the kind of comment that worries me. White hat/Black hat refer to conformity to search engine guidelines. They are not positions of wider social morality (i.e. good or evil). Lying is not blackhat. Beating up old ladies is not blackhat. Someone who is carrying out blackhat techniques is someone who is not abiding by the search engine’s terms and conditions. That is all. We really have to be careful not to use Google’s framing here. They defend their terms and conditions vigorously but that is all they are. They are not laws. Someone who breaks them is not doing something illegal. We have a legal system which determines right and wrong. Those laws should be a reflection of what our society considers acceptable. What we consider good or evil. This process should never be supplanted by the terms and conditions of a corporation, even Google.

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from BogglesMyMind 2263 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Gag @skinner. Other than the holier than thou white hat stuff that already makes me puke every time I hear it (btw we do follow guidelines you will not find paid links in any of our client footprints - for the record), comparing this subject to white/black hat is ludacris (sic)

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from ciaran 2263 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@nickwilsdon - better put than I could have managed  

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from Kimota 2263 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Have to agree with Nick here also. Black Hat should probably be left within the realm of google guidelines only, rather than stretching the definition for exactly the reasons stated. Not sure whether I am one of the guilty ones for using the term in the last few days (way too much back and forth for me to go checking now), but if I was, I withdraw it in light of Nick’s argument. Still disagree with the technique and can see the words ’wedge’, ’end’ and ’thin’ rushing towards each other to form a sentence, but it ain’t black hat.

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from mike 2263 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Lying is illegal and wrong when used as a marketting tool. Illegal at the very least in my country.Celebratring lying and deeption whose goal was to use that deception to market is just bizarre!

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from Kimota 2263 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Mike, you just made my Xmas card list. ;-)

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from Jill 2263 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Mike, that’s exactly my thought. In any other medium but the Internet, this would be considered fraud.

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from Halfdeck 2262 Days ago #
Votes: 0

While Lydon claims the story is satyre, the reason it went hot is because people assumed it was a legit news story.Lying for the sake of links enters the realm of blowing Eliot Spitzer for $4k/hour. If that’s how you want to live your life, who am I to stop you.

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from neyne 2262 Days ago #
Votes: 0

i guess that comparing Lyndon to a whore is in the realm of legit discussion...

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from ciaran 2262 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Guys - I respect your POV (well, most of you) but think that this is why some of us just don’t see this as ’lying’ (or at least why I don’t)Anyway that’s probably me on this one. Most forum conversations are considered dead when someone calls someone else a Nazi - I think that in this case someone being called a whore will have to suffice. I certainly think that the comment in question answers the original point of whether search marketers have sunk to a new low. Nice.

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from neyne 2262 Days ago #
Votes: -1

yeah...with that said, i think it is time to let this one go... at least as far as I’m concerned

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from theGypsy 2262 Days ago #
Votes: 1

well, I haven’t really commented much but the real lesson is that Lyndon’s pride in gloating over the success was likely the downfall. If this fabrication was ’news’ then what else out there is as well? This can’t be isolated, but usually we aren’t privy to this knowledge.So he’s the only marketer/writier to ever do such? Unlikey ... just most folks decieving the public don’t announce it.... you know, like WMDs... he he....At what point did everyone start treating the media as gospel? yeeesh.... the whole world operates an veiled lies and misinformation... time fer a reality check peeps.The only mistake here technically was promoting the fact it was BS... if he hadn’t we wouldn’t be having this convo.... beyond that it is up to each person to decide what they feel is right and for consumers of media to be wary...’Believe none of what you hear and 1/2 of what you see’ Would I do such? Likely not with the risk of damaging mine and the client’s reputation.. but that’s a business decision... not a moral one...

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from Jill 2262 Days ago #
Votes: 2

theGypsy said:At what point did everyone start treating the media as gospel? yeeesh.... the whole world operates an veiled lies and misinformation... time fer a reality check peeps.Whether that is true or not doesn’t mean that we should add to it. But these discussions have made it very clear that there is no "we." We’re all responsible for our own reputations. It’s unfortunate that the general public will probably paint us all with the same brush though. And that’s why fraud search marketing is troubling to me.

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from mike 2262 Days ago #
Votes: 0

BTW: lets be clear here: this isn’t dissing satire or making fun of the MSM (as Digger love to call it). Rather, it is an issue with using a site’s credibility and trusworthiness to perpetrate a deception for the explicit purpose of generating links / marketing a business, with no indication that is what it is, either before, after or during the decpetion. Now, had the business in question used this to demonstrate something, maybe it would be acceptable. But to let it go as deception? I find that distasteful.

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from nsmseo 2262 Days ago #
Votes: 1

For any SEO to comment on the tactics used as demonstrous or anything else likewise are forgetting what they do for a living ... they manipulate links to look natural. I’m utterly fed-up with the crap that has gone before ... who the feck are you to judge anyone for their skills to game the system when YOU do it everyday.

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from BogglesMyMind 2262 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Lol first black hat now fraud I say OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!

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from BogglesMyMind 2262 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Jeez Jill c’mon are you trying to coin a phrase here? Your post must be driving some good traffic (and links) to the blog. I would say this is starting to vere into a tabloid-esque way to market an article, possibly... is there irony there c’mon tell me honestly? I respect your strong feelings about the subject but really feel you are starting to take this too far.

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from hjortur 2261 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Fabricating news is considered pretty serious in the media, not every day practice (at least in media with self respect). Creating good stories for internet marketing is quite ok, if they are not portrait as true news. An internet marketer with self respect finds the means to get a good story out without just lying and risking the reputation of the client and of him self. No, it’s not the kill of internet marketing nor is it the end of the world. It’s just bad marketing. Lyndon should have read more than just the cover of Godin’s "All Marketers Are Liars" to understand what it’s all about.

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from g1smd 2261 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Now that I know that   money.co.uk   publishes stuff that could be untrue, but doesn’t add a note to that effect, I’ll be looking elsewhere for reputable and factual information.

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from g1smd 2261 Days ago #
Votes: 0

***  For any SEO to comment on the tactics used as demonstrous or anything else likewise are forgetting what they do for a living  ... they manipulate links to look natural.  ***You reckon?   There are a lot of SEO people that do nothing at all with links.  Me included.

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from onreact 1842 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Condescending self-righteous bashing of a respected community member.

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from BogglesMyMind 1842 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I agree let’s focus on the positive and quit trying to bash creative marketing.

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from ciaran 1842 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This post is no better or worse than others on this topic, but it’s been overdone. Let’s move on.

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from nsmseo 1842 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Repent, repent, aye right who are t=you to preach to me from the Church of The SEO Demented Mind!!! There is a name for people like you - its called ’Bitter’

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