Cropped portion of stereograph

Image via Wikipedia

Earlier today, I noticed what is called a pingback to this site which is essentially someone linking back to your content on your blog from their blog. Usually, that’s a good thing and I would send the author a thank you for pointing their visitors to my site, but in this case I was extremely annoyed. Why was I annoyed? Well, my content was being used in a page full of nonsense content on a site that is selling marketing services. The site in question was using a search engine optimization tactic of copying content from other people’s sites, mashing it all together to make the search engines think that it’s original content and essentially tricking the search engine into thinking that it was real and sending people to their site and boosting their rankings. There is no value in the page they created except to them and it’s against the rules for all the major search engines.

If you click the image to the below, you can see a screen shot of the original page to see what I mean.

Besides being against the rules, in my opinion, this is a dishonest and unethical tactic and if the company that did this is using this same SEO tactic to promote client sites, then it can also cause great harm to their clients and get their site dumped from the major search engines. Sadly, this is not an uncommon black hat tactic and you can find dozens of scripts on the web to take the lazy way out of creating content for search engine optimization purposes. Rather than take the time to create content of value to people and create something that people would actually want to see, they choose to take other people’s content and make the web a jumble of crap. The good news is that the geniuses at the major search engines continue to clean out the riff raff content on the web created by these SEO tactics, but it’s sometimes tough to keep up. We prefer to create original content based sites for our web marketing clients here in Miami, that provide real value to their potential customers and to the web in general while optimizing the content for the keywords that are important to them. Distributed content strategies are our number one SEO tactic and we would never risk our SEO clients’ reputation by using anything but ethical and honest tactics.

So, why does this have to do with being proud to be an idiot? When I submitted a form on the web site asking them to remove my stolen content, here is the response I received:

Hey cry baby, when you agreed to have your content syndicated you made it okay to publish this anywhere. You should be happy as your content is getting extra visibility but like the fool you are you are offended. What an idiot you are

So, I wrote back:

I have no problem with someone quoting my content for professional purposes in the context of their own original content, but when it comes to these types of pages that are used to trick the search engines into sending traffic your way, I want nothing to do with it.  So, if being professional and operating in an ethical manner in this profession is foolish, then I am proud to be called an idiot. Remove my content from your site.

I am proud to be an idiot and to be able to assure our clients that we never resort to these types of tactics. If you are in this business, then I hope you’ll join the proud idiots of the web marketing world and resist such desperate methodologies. There are sound and ethical ways to generate a lot of traffic to your web site, but it does take time and effort. Put in the investment and you will provide value to your prospects and to the web and you’ll see a return on your investment.