Fire Search Spammers - or - Me Me Me Me Me Me Me

57 comments
Thread Title:
Sanctamonious Trumped up Drivel Red Alert!
Thread Description:

This piffle really does have to be read to be believed: pj fucso makes a debut appearance at the Clicz article threadlinked above pointed out by Danny

It's nothing short of a sad advertisement using scare tactics and negative marketing (aimed at the whole industry except ms fucso it seems) to further the authors ego.

Unless you're at a loose end, dont bother. For those with nothing better to do (that would be me right at this moment heh..) here's a few choice snippets:

As a corporate SEM specialist, I've been directly involved with firing several SEM firms that have spammed the search engines.

Ok, i can live with that, though i doubt it's that many...

When I discover an SEM firm practices questionable SEM tactics, there's only one thing to do: Fire it. Although my penalty for an SEM firm that spams the search engines is completely consistent, how I actually go about firing them varies according to the degree of their spam tactics.

Ok, you're the big cheese huh? Im duly impressed...

Many SEM firms will agree to work on a month-by-month basis. It's usually not worth my time or energy to confront the firm in question about its spam-like ways. If the transgression is minor, I simply allow the contract to lapse and find an SEM firm that better suits my company's needs.

Doesn't seem very practical to me. Seems like you should have spent some time with the firm before hand making sure they understood what was required of them. In essense, your saying that you either a) dont spend anytime talking to the companies you hire about what you want from them or b) talk to them, but ignore them going against your stated wishes and have to start developing a good working relationship (if that's the case at all) with the next poor firm that happens accros you. Way to go...

If the SEM firm tries to stand its ground on the contract, I present it with the facts and show it the business relationship has become untenable. Usually, the firm accepts that it's in the doghouse. I'll never throw a bone its way again.

You see, i dont really find the basic principle offensive, but holy shit! You use terms like dogs, and bones to describe SEM firms? Who the fuck are you?

It takes a great deal of begging and groveling to get a site back into a major search engine's good graces. I must lay prostrate and bare the company's soul before the search engine that did the banning. Proper penance usually requires the assistance of a trusted expert outside the company to affirm the site has cast off its demons.

If your such a big shot, why dont you just call your damn ad rep? That's what everyone else does... Im just not buying this..

I hope some day soon definitive culpability in such matters will be determined by the courts.

Ahhh.. now i get it. Some kind of medication appears to be at play here.

Currently, an ounce of prevention is the only defense from falling prey to marketers who spam search engines. In my next column, I'll present a few ideas about how to avoid hiring an SEM firm that employs questionable strategies.

Oh, im sure you will. Really, come back Shari Thurow all is forgiven!

What kind of mad class A hallucinogens are the editors at Clicks on? To allow such obviously self serving, poorly argued, dreadfully written ego boosting nonsense on the site just reflects on what authority they have left remaining...

Please somebody over there get a grip...

Comments

ROFL

I thought it was a GREAT article. I was very impressed and wondered why I hadn't heard of her before. Her previous article was also good, imo. I hope to get to meet her at the next conference!

One thing that I wasn't clear on in this article, however, was why she needed to hire so many different SEO companies. Would like to understand that better.

My Favorite Quote

At the top of the page in red letters:

Quote:
Sponsored by Google

OMG

At first i thought, yeah that'll be on all the articles, funny thought your_store but man! It's just on that one...

(prolly more but not all)

Am i ad-blind? Well spotted that chap, well well well it all becomes just a little bit clearer doesnt it?

For crying out loud, is anyone else just a bit sick of people assuming your an idiot?

lol! Nick, you are an absolut

lol! Nick, you are an absolute gas, the commentary was just too much for me while I'm sitting here with nothing to do.

Try this one on for size...

http*//www.clickz.com/experts/search/opt/article.php/3444461

SEM specialist?

R U saying that there is no such person as PJ FUSCO? That G just write shit like that and ClickZ just print this drivel! Surely not.

BTW Nice comments NW ;)

Nick you need to read her other stuff man

Nick how about doing a commentary on this one also.
http://www.clickz.com/experts/search/opt/article.php/3444461

In fact you may want to do some research to the writing and deal with a number of her "articles." It would make for good reading.

Too funny, Nick. I read that

Too funny, Nick. I read that article on Clicz and was convinced it was a wind-up. It's for real?!?

Nick, you're a screech

... screech meaning hilarious.

Her presentation contains illogics. She's an expert who can't discern whether a company in the same field is doing the right thing until it's too late? Nah; actually, the purpose of the article is public relations (for her) and an attempt to grab more clients.

You Have To Admit...

...she does write well. I kind of liked how she hammered all the lame spammers. We need to tell her about Doug. They could do some joint write'n together.

>Doug all one could think

>Doug

all one could think when reading the article...but I thought it was too obvious to point out ;)

Nah....

Doug might aspire to that, but outstandingly awful and inelegant an attempt at self positioning by belitteling the rest of the industry that it was, doug just couldn't manage that.

He dribbles just a little to much to be coherent.

SEM specialist? But can't hire the right people!

Surely it’s her responsibility as a “SEM specialist” to hire the right people.

Hiring one spammer without realising could be seen as a bad choice but several sounds like incompetence. If you only wanted white hat methods on your site would you risk using a firm that admits it was duped into hiring several spammers in the past?

Nick warned you BUT ....

Nick warned you BUT you went there anyway. Well, so did I.

New Years Resolution: Listen to Nick

She is a spammer! :)

She spammed her way into ClickZ with a self-promotional piece of crap. She certainly gains my respect for that but that’s it. The article in itself is completely worthless to anyone - except the few that want to purchase her questionable “professional SEM” services.

Personally, I would not recommend any company to hire a person that so openly show a complete lack of judgment and management skills when it comes to handling SEM.

Wish at least I could say she is a good writer but she is not. Sorry, but the best word I can find, given my limited vocabulary is: It Sucks! :)

What's wrong with you guys?

It's a good article. We need more people to speak out on search engine spam. Shame on you all for picking on someone just because they speak out.

This is what's wrong...

Jill, it's a piece of drivel - badly written, badly argued and self-promotional. You could have written something 10 times better from the same point of view (and even though I wouldn't have agreed with you I would have respected your writing).

She's not just speaking out

Actually Jill, id say shame on you for letting your ideals cloud your intelligence.

Read the article, it has nothing to do with "standing up" - i think folks that do bad things to companies without being instructed to should be fired also, worse, shot.

It's not about that. It's about bringing down an entire industry to further yourself.

It's about lying.

It's about self promotion dressed up as article.

It's about bad business - How could anyone hire someone who gets duped by dubious companies on such a regular basis?

From my original post:

Quote:
"Many SEM firms will agree to work on a month-by-month basis. It's usually not worth my time or energy to confront the firm in question about its spam-like ways. If the transgression is minor, I simply allow the contract to lapse and find an SEM firm that better suits my company's needs."

Doesn't seem very practical to me. Seems like you should have spent some time with the firm before hand making sure they understood what was required of them. In essense, your saying that you either a) dont spend anytime talking to the companies you hire about what you want from them or b) talk to them, but ignore them going against your stated wishes and have to start developing a good working relationship (if that's the case at all) with the next poor firm that happens accros you. Way to go...

It's about a lot of things.

What it is not about
Is black vs white - that is a non-issue and no one in this thread as far as i can tell is arguing that point. It's a dreadful article written by an unethical schemer out to promote herself by dragging others down and giving a false impression of the industry.

She is out to promote by using the "white vs black" argument - and you're the only one that got suckered im afraid.

Seriously. Read it.

and have a merry xmas heh.. :-)

The article itself is Black Hat :)

Jill, I agree with most of what the other posters say - you could have written something like this with a "white hat" goal a million times better than this self-promotional garbage.

In fact, by describing almost the entire industry (excep herself, off course) as being nothing but a bunch of spammers (whitout even trying to define that term in relation to search engines!) she is in my mind hurting the industry a lot more than she probably realize.

Jill, do you really believe articles like that will improve the general publics respect for our industry? I don't! This articles purpose is clearly to scare people and have them come to a "great ethical SEO" like her.

So, this article is pure Black Hat - selfish and harmful.

The only good thing about getting such an article our is that I can use it in my workshops for large companies to show them what kind of people they DEFINATELY should not sign up with :)

Getting the word out

Quote:
You could have written something 10 times better from the same point of view (and even though I wouldn't have agreed with you I would have respected your writing).

LOL...thanks (I think!).

Quote:
It's not about that. It's about bringing down an entire industry to further yourself.

No, it's about getting the word out. There are too many companies out there willing to put sites in jeopardy and it's a *good* thing (imo of course) to let the mainstream people of the world know about this. She didn't mention any names.

How do you figure it's promoting herself? I don't even think her company is mentioned anywhere is it? I don't recall even seeing it in her bio (although I might be mistaken about that).

Never be afraid to speak out against what you know is wrong, even if it's unpopular. Yes, it will make you enemies (as I know from my own experience) but that's life.

point

>>There are too many companies out there willing to put sites in jeopardy

Jill, that's where you're going wrong here. You're focusing on a point near and dear to you and not seeing the whole picture.

Just becuase the article (kind of) raises a point you feel pationately about, does not mean it's a good article.

It's a damaging advertisement and nobody here is actually saying anything about the black/white issues.

That is not the point at all.

damaging?

To whom? Spammers? So what? Maybe they will get less business this year cuz of it?

That's a good thing, not a bad one.

The less spam that the search engines have to index, the better.

oh dear...

Jill, you dissapoint me and do your self an injustice with that last comment. I really would have expected better from you.

Have a nice xmas, im off to have a beer :)

Why?

Why would you think I would say otherwise?

I've been pretty consistent with everything I've said through the years regarding this subject. In the article in question, it sounded like the sites being worked on were for legitimate businesses, not pills, porn, casinos, etc.

I have never waivered in stating that there is never a reason to use SE spam techniques on legitimate business sites. There isn't. And the more people that know that, the better.

Which is why this article is a great one.

my point

>>Which is why this article is a great one.

That's what im driving at Jill. You appear to be letting your passion for a general subject overrule your objectiveness.

For what it's worth, we agree on more things than you might expect. For example: To risk a companies website through high risk tactics (unless of course they have employed you for such purpose) is tantamount to gross negligence.

If you can put your general opinions on spam to one side, as that is really not the point here, you'll see that all of the other members in this thread, and myself, have no issue with that.

It is not my/our point.

The point is that the article is a self serving, poorly written advertisement that does nothing but harm to an otherwise good industry.

There is a reason you are alone in your views on this Jill.

I guess I'm blind

Cuz I don't see where her company is ever mentioned, nor her services. It says she works in house for a health and beauty company. How the heck is she promoting her services in the article since she obviously doesn't offer SEO services?

You are the ones reading your own biases into it, not me! :)

Cavalry

Alright, now we got a PARTY :)

2 HR mods just signed in - welcome to TW guys, do introduce yourselves

Nick

Who, me?

Hi folks.

I don't see anything wrong with the article. What she's talking about is hiring firms that don't do what they say they're going to. It's not a matter of her failure to tell the SEOs what she wants; it's them either failing to do that or doing something else, which is certainly a reason to fire them and replace them, hopefully, with people who'll do things the way she wants and be clear about that, whether that's pure as the driven snow or some other shade. In that sense, it doesn't have to be viewed as another salvo in the war of the hats. It's just about getting rid of consultants who don't do things the way they promise they will.

And why is no one responding to Jill's point that, since the author doesn't mention her company, it seems pretty specious to claim she's just promoting herself?

>Shame on you all for picking

>Shame on you all for picking on someone just because they speak out.

Speaking out against everyone but herself?

>I don't see where her company is ever mentioned, nor her services.

It doesnt say who the good guy is in all attack political ads either does it?

"It doesnt say who the good g

"It doesnt say who the good guy is in all attack political ads either does it?"
Not necessarily, but it usually at least gives a pretty strong hint about who the bad guy supposedly is. This article doesn't. It just says that she fires firms that do their work in ways she doesn't approve of.

>What she's talking about is

>What she's talking about is hiring firms that don't do what they say they're going to.

That can happen no matter what type of SEO methods a company uses. I had a client who was once using one of the half dozen largest SEO firms in the world. After 6 months that client had 4 backlinks - and the firm they hired was not one that spammed or whatever. They just took the money and did nothing.

You do not need to use spam to be ineffective. Plenty of firms collect money and then do nothing for it. Associating spam with ineffective leaves out a lot of other ineffective companies.

>It's just about getting rid of consultants who don't do things the way they promise they will.

And typically those are not usually quality black hat ones anyway. So you tell a person to avoid taking any risks and then they get a company that does nothing. What again was the point of the article?

LOL

Well this is one way to gain new members, Nick!

Quote:
I had a client who was once using one of the half dozen largest SEO firms in the world. After 6 months that client had 4 backlinks - and the firm they hired was not one that spammed or whatever. They just took the money and did nothing.

And that would make a good article as well. It doesn't mean it would be self-promotional, it would simply be warning people against guinea pig SEO techniques, which are also a huge problem in our industry.

From the article: [quote]As a

From the article:

Quote:
As an in-house SEM wonk, I'm an avowed "white hat." I employ highly conservative SEM tactics. I err on the side of caution and the desire to do right by my employer.

Is that the point of the article? I don't think so. I think that's just there for her to point out what she wants when she hires an SEO. Of course if your goal is a top ranking at any cost and you hire a cloaker who accomplishes nothing, you ought to fire them too, but as an avowed white hat, that's not where she's coming from. She wants a conservative approach, and when she doesn't get that, she feels she needs to get someone else to do the work.

The point, I think, is that you need to make sure whoever you hire is straight with you, does their job, and only takes whatever risks you're willing to take. If not, ditch them. Nobody here disagrees with that, do you?

White Boy Speaks Out...

Well I consider myself a white hat : ) and while I am not as white as Doug or Jill personally I though that the article was written very well.

Was it self serving, yes it even sounded a bit arrogant to me but its hard to tell by just reading over article. Well hard for me.

Does it seem to leave the impression that many or most SEO firms are spammers - it did.

Did it make me wonder why she has so many problems with SEO companies. This was a big one for me. I can't imagine her having so many problems with the companies she is hiring. Lets see, I can see the opening talk.

Ok SEO company rep I am white hat, we don't do any think spammy here at all. Got it. Ok, good I just fired the last 4 lamers we had working here so remember no spam.

And of course the SEO company goes out and does some thing spammy any way. I am still shaking my head on this one.

Does this leave FUD in the minds of those that are wondering... It surely does. In fact let me see, good there it is, I'm going to email her right now...

Is she looking for work. I doubt it, she is claiming to be the SEM manager of a $1 billion a year dot-com corporation.

Any way I have sent her a kind invite to threadwatch.org for tea and comment reading :)

Hey I sent out Doug an email also, perhaps he will drop by also on his white horse.

No

I dont disagree with that qwerty.

It's not really the basic principle that i find offensive - in fact, i did actually say this in my original post.

It's the positioning and crystal clear self promo. It's the attitude that everyone except pj fucso is a bad person. All of this is insulting.

In fact, from what i've read, i find it very hard to believe that she'd be qualified to choose an SEM firm at all. She sounds like a rank amateur.

After all, how many firms does this big shot have to fire? It would seem negligent to me to continously hire bad suppliers. I smelll a phoney...

Well, not everyone...

If everyone other than PJ Fusco is bad, she doesn't need to try to find anyone to replace the last firm she fired. We're all bad bad bad, so she'd better roll up her sleeves and do the job herself. Clearly, she's not saying that.

It wouldn't surprise me if this weren't based on a true story. I do see your point that she seems to either have very bad luck or she's just lousy at finding people to do this job for her. But this much is true: I'm currently working on a site the owner of which had to fire two other firms (one known by all to be evil, the other quite well known with a good reputation) before they got to me.

I don't know if the article is exaggerrated or completely false, but I'm sure we've all replaced somebody else on a project when they failed to deliver.

>but I'm sure we've all repla

>but I'm sure we've all replaced somebody else on a project when they failed to deliver.

so why not offer up tips on how to find one like the good one you hired instead of writing up some article which states SEO = spam = bad.

Sponsored by Google no doubt...

its the wording that is rotten

In my next column, I'll present a few ideas about how to avoid hiring an SEM firm that employs questionable strategies.

sounds much worse than something like

In my next column, I'll present a few ideas about how to hire an SEM firm that employs safe strategies.

what was the point of it?

In an industry where few can agree on what constitutes spam the article seems poor. A corporate SEM specialist should know what one person calls spam another calls search engine optimisation. After hiring and firing the first few “spammers” it should be obvious there is need to better vet providers or as minimum to provide some guidelines. It seems like these firms are being hired to promote a site and left to get on with the job, as its too much hassle to talk to them. Then shock horror they do things differently to what was wanted.

I think the article would of been a bit clearer given a few examples of the spam, or a case study. I’m pretty sure we could all come up with something different for “relatively minor infraction“, seems a bit meaningless, what was the point of it? “I’ve had to fire nasty spammers”

Some tips on avoiding spammers, lessons learned etc would of made a better article but i see that’s coming in the next eagerly awaited instalment. Wait a minute, someone who keeps hiring spammers is going to tell us how to avoid them, that should be interesting ;)

why keep saying that?

Quote:
It's the positioning and crystal clear self promo.

How can she be self-promoting when she gives no details on who she is? Why do you keep bringing it back to that, when it's obviously not true if you read the whole article, including her bio.

Sure, there are people who self promote in their articles, most people do. But this is one definite case of someone who is NOT self-promoting in the least! That much, we can be sure of just be reading it.

so why not offer up ti

Quote:
so why not offer up tips on how to find one like the good one you hired instead of writing up some article which states SEO = spam = bad.

Because that's not what she wanted to write about.

It’s not clear what she’s

It’s not clear what she’s was writing about though is it, did she write all that just to say she had hired and fired a few spammers? Hardly interesting without the details. Or was she trying warn the SEM world about spammers?

Is that really worthy of an article on clickz anyway? I think the stronger message was that she’s repeatedly shown bad judgement in hiring and failed to communicate here requirements effectively – not good for a “SEM specialist“, which make you wonder how qualified she is to be writing SEM articles. What will anyone learn anything from it?

ihelpyou thread

Doug won't be dropping over but he did sent me the link to their discussion. They are very much enjoying the article over there : )
http://www.ihelpyouservices.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17277

Jill, you very well know the

Jill, you very well know the value and goals of personal branding and that’s exactly what she is pulling. All you need for it to work is her name and that is well positioned in the article - above and below. You certainly do not need to name the company you work for, for personal branding to work well - in fact, in my opinion it actually works better if you don't.

Also, I don't understand how you, Jill, and others can think for one moment that public mud fights about something as hard to define as "working ethics" can help make this business better for anyone. I (and other so called "black hats") could spend my time attacking you for many things in your production too (along with other so called "white hats") - for example white hat's general lack of advanced knowledge and ability to optimize competitive industries, but I chose not to do so. I do so, because I do not think that it will either create more trust and interest in our industry and I certainly don't think it will create less "spam" and bad search results.

I am sorry, but the "white hat" crusade reminds me terribly of certain orthodox religious movements: "Follow me or you will all be banned....".

Banned from ihelpyou

Seems like I've had my posting rights turned off over at ihelpyou, i can login, but not post - in firefox, IE and opera...

So, i'll have to respond here. Here's what i was going to post:

Quote:
Yes, merry xmas all at Ihelpyou - even you doug heh...

>backslapping

Oh come now, not really jill, we all quite appreciate you over there, you know for a fact that i do - but it is interesting to see the huge difference of opinion on that little thing isn't it?

From my own personal point of view, i think those in favor so fervently are missing the point TW boys and girls are making: It's not about bh/wh - that is the furthest thing from my mind - it's about insulting the industry space we all occupy and using scare tactics and self promotion.

It's about using the whole bh/wh as a selling point - which to me is cynical in the extreme - and rather black hat i may add :-)

by the way doug, if you stop me posting - it just means i have to post under another name right? wouldnt you rather know who i was when i posted? heh...

Good points Mikkel

That's exactly what i was driving at - it's rather astounding that you cant see that jill? - besides, there is an email link right?

The thing.

There are two ways to promote yourself in this world (and promoting yourself to make your own ego happy is just as much self-promotion as trying to increase demand for your services).

The first way is to raise yourself above others. This involves a lot of climbing and self-improvement.

The second way is to undercut and knock down anything around you that is taller.

This article firmly and unarguably chose the second way.

This author is far from alone in following the easier of the two methods. In fact our industry is rife with it. It is one of the reasons I so firmly believe we need a real 'Marketing Board' type organization.

Y'see, at present if a potential customer asks for proposals from ten different SEM companies, they all warn him about the unethical/unsafe methods used by most companies (except theirs of course). When he looks at ten proposals, the only thing on which they all absolutely agree is that choosing a bad SEM company can cause great harm, and no two can agree on whom can be trusted. So the company don't buy - the SEM's collectively downtrod and undermined the faith in the entire industry.

We need to stop being so near-sighted and selfish. We need to start saying, look, just about any form of SEO can work, but some methods will suit your business objectives, brand, and working methods better than others. We need to big ourselves up as the most suitable and complimentary option, not continue with cheap scare-mongering and bullshit.

This article reeks of scare-mongery and rumour. It even attempts to paint SES as a haven for (and proponent of) predominently black-hat 'scam' SEO. It is either a great shame of thoughtless ego-masturbation, or worse, a sign of yet another 'spokesperson' who doesn't actually know much about SEM techniques, risks, etc, and has based their entire ethos on something as single-sided as Google's webmaster guidelines (not the same guidelines used by any other engine, and any Google ep can tell you that the guidelines are not rules, but simplified stuff that says "if you have to ask, don't risk it".

Not scare tactics, just making people aware

Quote:
From my own personal point of view, i think those in favor so fervently are missing the point TW boys and girls are making: It's not about bh/wh - that is the furthest thing from my mind - it's about insulting the industry space we all occupy and using scare tactics and self promotion.

But don't you see, as long as there are companies promoting unnecessarily risky techniques when they are not necessary (for legitimate business sites), and as long as there are companies promising stuff that they can't deliver, there is a need to make people aware of this.

Why can't some of you believe that there really are people out there who do believe in trying to make the Internet and search engines as a whole a better place. Why does it always have to come back to you thinking that it's someone trying to knock down someone else.

There really are people out there who just want to help others, and protect others, and make the world a better place. Really!

BTW, Doug said in his thread that you're not banned Nick, so I'm not sure why you can't post there.

Anyway...I'm off for a few days. Not cuz you've scared me away (you can't get rid of me that easily!) but cuz I have to do one of those silly family vacation things... :P I'd actually much rather fight it out with you guys!

You guys fell for it too...

That article did exactly what it was supposed to do. Stir up the pot which it is doing. Imagine how many other places are having this very same conversation. That freakin' article is viral!

White Hats remind me of ...

White hat SEOs remind me of a doctor that claim he doesn’t ever have to take any risk in the treatments and operations he perform on patients – but then, at the same time, admit that he doesn’t take in very sick patients – or sick patients at all :)

White hat SEOs remind me of accountants that tells me I can’t deduct this or that when other accountants say I should at least try – and my competitors gets away with it all the time

White hat SEOs remind me of “teachers” that tells me not to believe in Darwin because God made it all up in 7 days

White hat SEOs remind me of religious fanatics that tells me not to think because all the facts can be found in the Great Book (or, in Googles webmaster TOS)

White hat SEOs remind me of the narrow minded people that tells me not to drink, not to smoke, not to have sex before marriage and desert before dinner when the fact is its killing all fun and the reason to live

But then again, white hats do go to heaven right? Well, that may be so, but they’ll go poor! :) You are welcome to wait for your fun until you get there – I’ll have mine here, thanks.

None of the many corporations I have worked for, including large fortune 500s, care much about ethics or going to heaven – at least not before they made a pile of money. They care about results and proper risk evaluation. White hats offer them none of this – only scare tactics and stupid self-made limitations.

Look at what companies do in other aspects of their business …

What kind of accountants do they hire? Aggressive ones or “white hats”?

What kind of off-line marketing people do they use? Aggressive ones or “white hats”?

What kind of lawyers do they engage? Aggressive ones or “white hats”?

The bottom line is that most companies want results and they are willing to take some risks getting there. They do that all the time. The risks of doing SEO – even the darkest Black Hat stuff, are far lower than any of the other day-to-day risks they take.

To get results you need knowledge. Knowledge that white hat SEOs most often do not have. So I guess, that’s really why they have to defend themselves with the “we are so ethical” tactic. I am sorry, but it’s a bloody laugh if you ask me

I wish people would stop equa

I wish people would stop equating white hats with religious zealots. As an atheist (and a damned proud one) and as a member of what would probably be called the white hats (although I don't call myself that) I find it mildly offensive.

We're not all about scaring people away from the services of those who are willing to use riskier tactics. Some of us are about providing a low-risk, long-term solution for those who want to go that way. If someone came to me saying their competitors are all cloaking and they want to do the same thing, I'd tell them that I advise against it, I don't see it as a long-term strategy (especially if you intend on keeping your site on the same domain permanently) and I don't do it. If they still insist that's what they want, I'll tell them where they can find someone who'll do it for them.

I'm not opposed to free thought; in fact, I'm a strong proponent of it.

Quote:
White hat SEOs remind me of “teachers” that tells me not to believe in Darwin because God made it all up in 7 days

That's just silly. If someone asks me what I base my theories on, I show them. If someone asks me why I don't recommend certain methods, I show them sites that are doing it. I deal in reality, not faith.

Quote:
White hat SEOs remind me of a doctor that claim he doesn’t ever have to take any risk in the treatments and operations he perform on patients – but then, at the same time, admit that he doesn’t take in very sick patients – or sick patients at all :)

How about doctors who view risky techniques as.... risky? Doctors who treat their patients based on a concept of general, long-lasting health without radical procedures that have short-term benefits and long-term dangers? Doctors who don't drill holes in your skull or apply leeches when diet and exercise are the best solution? Doctors who see a patient in need of regular care, but who thinks s/he needs some radical procedure, and explain the risks of what the patient wants, tell them they think it's a bad idea, and tell them to look elsewhere if that's really what they want?

I'm sorry, but it's just such a cartoonish picture you're drawing, Mikkel, and while there are some "white hats" who probably fit the caricature, to say that we're all like that is like saying you lot are all Dr. Mengele.

And besides, this thread isn't about WH vs. BH. It's about an article the subject-matter of which is firing consultants who don't do their job the way they said they would. Right?

Shame to see this go black vs

Shame to see this go black vs white, although Mikkel’s post is sueperb! :)
Back to the article, it was a not a very good article in my opinion, Am a bit puzzled how it made it there in the first place, other than what pageonresults suggests to stir controversy.

Summary of the article is.
“I’m a SEM specialist. I think spammers are evil. I’ve failed to vet contractors i hire on several occasions. Once discovered i fire them”

Hardly worthy of a forum post. It lacked depth. Its intended audience can come away with nothing which they didn’t already know except an opinion that author should write better articles and probably rethink her hiring strategies(Pretty poor for SEM specialist). Even if you’re a white hat evangelist, i fail to see what is good about the article.

Weak Article

I don't know why everyone is getting worked up over this- it's far more attention than it deserves.

The article and the author's position are completely confusing- if she were a company marketing director who was having issues hiring SEO's who mis-represented their services and she had to fire them, the rest of the article would make sense.

But since she says SHE is an SEM for a single company, we don't understand who are all these people being hired for all these sites and why are they doing things the company did not approve?

I don't see it as being self-promotional at all, she doesn't appear to offer her services as a consultant for outside companies. But her warning and her reason for issuing it are unclear...

All in all, I'm suprised at ClickZ for running such an unfocused article but even more surprised and the furor it's causing!

It is really so terrifying for someone to write "if you catch your SEM firm spamming, then fire it" that it sends all the self-appointed black and grey hats into battle mode? Come on... have a little more confidence in your own ability to convince people it's OK to cheat the engines than that! This was hardly a challenge.

I have yet to hear anyone, black, white or grey, condone using tactics that are not disclosed to the clients or taking risks without the clients' knowledge. This article is about catching a firm doing something they are not supposed to be doing and firing them. Who here thinks that it is OK to use tactics on a client site that they haven't agreed to?

where she is definately wrong

irrespective of which side of this argument you take, is with

Quote:
It's usually not worth my time or energy to confront the firm in question about its spam-like ways. If the transgression is minor, I simply allow the contract to lapse and find an SEM firm that better suits my company's needs.

.

If she was taking this action because she cared about the industry then she would at least advise the SEM why she's dropping them surely, if enough clients drop them for 'spam-like tactics' then they might reconsider how they work? Who is she benefiting by not bothering to explain the reasons. Perhaps they don't even understand that what they did was 'spam-like'? (and perhaps they don't agree but that's a whole other argument).

Drop the 'for the good of our industry' black v whitehat argument on this one. If she's a whitehat then it's clearly not because she cares about the industry but because she cares about how she works and her own bottom line. I can respect that totally but it does infer the article is written for reasons other than to save the world from blackhats.

oh yep - and on the definitive culpability comment first we need definitive regulations from each SE surely, then we can definitively define what each client finds acceptable.

Nice

Good Article.

More attention than it deserves

I agree with Ammon and Scottie.

The article said "look how fantastic I am" (very badly - I'm still under the impression it was a sad joke at the expense of the entire SEM industry)

and

it's getting far more attention than it deserves

But it is fun arguing the toss regardless ;)

BTW: Does Clickz actually have an editorial policy, or is it Pay to Play?

Maybe A Little More Than Deserved

I agree this a storm in a teacup ... but there is a real issue, too. Some of you may recall one of the UK's leading retailers being dropped by Google after some (amateurish) spam techniques used by their agency, no doubt at all that is was done either without agreement, or at least without informed agreement. Having been publicly humiliated, as well as excluded for several weeks as they struggled to get the web site into profitability, I suspect they sacked the SEO.

Whatever colour your hat, I suspect few would defend the idiots, sorry, SEOs involved!

I suspect, however, that the issue is not so much not telling, but telling without explaining that there may be risks attached.

Comment added at ClickZ

Keith Petters got this (good) comment in on the original ClickZ article:

http://www.clickz.com/feedback/article.php/3452781

Comment

I didnt know that clickz had comments? Is this new or did i just miss it?

It's a good comment, thanks for posting it Mikkel..

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