Silence Of The Link Lambs

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Last week Search Engine Land posted information about a link building opportunity with Wired that caused a bit of commotion after people took advantage of the opportunity.

Tonight I got an email from StomperNet explaining a similar firestorm caused by it’s members with the site Scribd.com. Here’s an excerpt from that group broadcast that explained (in part) what happened:

…”OK, just about two weeks ago we released our “NoSecrets” video. In that video we gave a bunch of new strategies for using social media sites to build your business. One of those sites was scribd.com…Now this is where it got interesting … That NoSecrets” video went viral… And it was viewed many, many tens of thousands of times. Naturally, many of those people put the strategies to work…. But, of course, with SO many people viewing the video, well let’s just say not all of them used the scribd.com strategy the way they were supposed to*. And just a few days after we released thatvideo, scribd.com made some changes. They posted about those changes on their blog…”

More ” we’ve been spammed, Internet marketers be damned” drama. Interesting.

No, I don’t condone spam and even more importantly, I don’t condone stupidity. Anytime I write about a strategy and provide example sites, I try to add a “don’t spam” type disclaimer. Not because I’m covering my ass but for site preservation. I don’t want to add to the demise of open sources, I saw what happened to places like Yahoo! Answers and del.icio.us, and I don’t want to be part of turning those places pink.

(Yes I know, this little blog isn’t in the same league as SEL or Stompernet when it comes to influence, but hey — even small voices carry on the ‘Net. :)

Publicly sharing link building information and resources has become difficult recently. With certain tactics on the outs and open sources now fighting back, sharing where and how to get links has become a touchy subject.

How much is too much information? Do you discuss principles and leave out the specifics? Do you talk about the type of site but never reference one by name? I’ve always freely shared ideas and sources because it’s how I was taught and how I continue to learn. I’m one of those old hippie types who believes in the communal nature of the Net so I contribute and give back by sharing what I know works. My defiant ying side wants to scream out stuff like this:
Link far out and stick it to the man.

But the yang is a little different. I’m also an ISTJ pragmatist who thinks sites accepting UGC (user generated content) shouldn’t be surprised when their systems are challenged by large numbers of people looking to add their articles. Especially when those sites were built to accept those articles to begin with! If you think what’s being submitted is spam, bounce it. IMO, public sites accepting content shouldn’t build a business without a spam contingency plan.

So what’s an old Pink Floyd lovin’, granola chewing link building chick supporting a viable 2008 business and a new Lexus supposed to do? Share? Not share? Go underground or worse…regurgitate?

Lots of questions, not so many answers – yet. For now I’m going to keep on truckin’ but with a Mad Eye Moody approach. Hopefully no one will come along and eat me alive for doing so.

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Agree or disagree with my assessments? Do you have a tool or topic you want to know more about? Leave a comment and I'll consider it. Thanks for stopping by! ~~Debra

Comments

  1. Bob Mincus says

    I agree that most of the legitimate internet marketers teach link building skills with the rule that you should not spam.

    I like to follow the blog of James Brausch, and he always preaches that the way to long term success is to always add value – and spam isn’t adding value.

    He, and several other marketers, also say that websites, forums, etc. should be treated as someone’s home, and respected.

    The problem is that, if you give someone advice, you can’t police him or her and make them follow the spirit behind the tactics.

  2. Dave Origano says

    Hey Debra,

    you’re right on. I like the way you ‘protect’ the sites you link to from these kind of opportunity seekers.

    Eventually those people always spam opportunities. But the true ‘internet marketers’ aren’t to blame. Most of them have high standards and operate completely ethical – without spam and breaking site’s policies.

    -Dave

  3. Arnie says

    Woah… Pink Floyd, granola, Lexus… I had you in my favorites but now I am grabbing your feed. Peace out.

  4. Corey says

    damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    about a week ago i blogged about a specific question on yahoo answers and how it revealed interesting things about the marketing efforts of two companies. within minutes goons tried to mitigate my observation with brand new yahoo answers accounts.

    goons are rampant. not much you can do but continue to help people the way you would like.