Google bombing, link farms and other jargon

[Tags: , , ]. OJR’s Mark Glaser has put together a great article on the ‘dark side’ of Search Engine Optimisation, specifically operators such as Quixtar. It includes some very useful distillation of why interactive promotion is so important, such as the following quotes:

“Every major company, non-profit and religious group now has to worry about their Web reputation and has to pay very close attention to that first page of search results.

“”Managing brand credibility and press exposure is nothing new,” said Nan Dawkins, co-founder of Red Boots Consulting, which focuses on SEO for non-profits. “The only new wrinkle here is the medium [Internet/search engines] and the tactics used to get visibility in that medium. The reality is that search engines are VERY IMPORTANT to an organization’s brand. Search engines are where people look for answers to their questions, and there are a lot of different takes on those answers. Your side of the story may appear, but it is a certainty that it will appear alongside other, varying opinions. If you don’t manage it, it may manage you.””

While SEO is accepted within the industry, says Glaser, the complaint is about companies such as Quixtar using ‘Google bombing’ (explained here) and ‘link farms’ (explained here), among other techniques, to skew search results. Eric Janssen, the man behind Quixtar Blog, a site commenting on Quixtar’s practices, puts it as follows:

“It’s not about providing a great information resource that will be the #1 site on the Web. It’s about flooding the Web with crap, and in that sewage, [they’re] going to bury everyone else. That’s my main concern.”

Further reading suggested at the end of the article include:

Reuters: Google pulls, replaces Web page critical of Scientology

AdRants: Panera Launches Faux Blog

MetaFilter: Ashlee Simpson Message Forum Spam

Wall Street Journal: Online Buzz Helps Album Skyrocket to Top of Charts Google Caught Cloaking and Keyword Stuffing?


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