If that “article” over at SearchEngineLand didn’t make you question the motivation of those guys, and their value to the search marketing community, I worry about your mental health. Believe it not, there is more to search marketing than paying Google for AdWords. And I dont mean there’s all the detail behind Google AdWords Professional status, or how to use bid management. I meant paid advertising is not the answer to every need (and may already be in the dumper anyway), and search marketers really need to pay attention to search marketing, not just paid search marketing. That’s why this article is so disgusting. It hurts search marketers — all of us. And it benefits who, exactly?
It benefits the reporters, that’s who it benefits. SearchEngineLand. They get a sensational headline and some attention. But at the cost of not only shutting down a perfectly legitimate and viable web collaboration opportunity (as Jeremy Luebke properly notes immediately in the comments on Sphinn) but far worse – they take a public stance that a collaborative web site should be using nofollow. Ouch. When was Danny Sullivan given authority to speak on behalf of web participants? Or search marketers, even?
I won’t argue that a wiki is open to abuse. I won’t argue that the single spammy page they observed was spammy. But who made it Danny’s business to police the web enforcing a default behavior of no follow? And when did that become a wise move for Danny Sullivan and the SearchEngineLand folks? And why is that?
To publish an article highlighting an open wiki with a title like “free links from Wired” is far more abusive than the spammy page they witnessed. Not only is it inappropriate, but it is intimidating and bullying. The guys at Wired may be naive, but they may also believe in their wiki and the democratic process of wiki editing. They deserve an opportunity to try and succeed without some former spammers shouting out in the headlines “hey look! an exploit! Free links for the taking!”. Oh, and remember.. they did that on a search marketing web site.
The follow on comments that suggest this “expose” was for the good of the wiki or the web or whatever? I totaly call BS on that. Puhleeeeze. Trashy sensationalism that crossed ethical borders for the sake of short term audience attention grabbing, at the expense of Wired and all of us in marketing and web publishing who have to deal with the fall out: default no follow on everything published on the web. I’m sorry but that is garbage.
That article was shameful. Disgusting. Just plain wrong. Bad for everyone. I expected much better from SearchEngineLand.
From the Wired wiki comment section:
Danny, why would you bother posting in here when it can easily enough be edited? Doug’s right on this…all this does is serves to demonstrate the link-obsessed ass-kissing nature of the SEO industry in general. EVERYONE, GET YOUR WIRED WIKI LINKS …