Guys, Rand Didn’t Do It For Linkbait…

Posted on October 7th, 2007 at 12:50 pm by Michael VanDeMar under blogthropology, lackofmeds, scams, SEO

At least, not in the way most people seem to think. That’s just not the way it looks to me. This is probably the 4th or 5th time now I’ve seen the recent Rand fiasco speculated upon as being typical link bait (very nice read Li, by the way). Personally I thought the motivation behind this whole thing would have been more apparent, but I guess not.

Guys, it was the Forbes article that Rand mentioned that he wanted everyone to notice. The sites he outed, and even the topic itself, were completely secondary to that, and hence unimportant. I’m guessing now that most people didn’t actually read it. The important bit was contained at the beginning of the second paragraph:

“Search engine marketing consultant and blogger Rand Fishkin recently compiled a list of more than 70 sites…”

That was it. That was the whole reason Rand had to rush and post, why the post he did sounded forced, and why he needed people to notice it. Basically:

  • Rand (and SEOmoz) were mentioned in Forbes.
  • Rand was aware of the fact that the vast majority of the SEO/SEM community would never see that article.
  • Rand decided that it was important that people know Forbes mentioned him, probably thinking that it would magically erase any negative criticisms he may have gotten in the past (worked with Newsweek, right?).
  • Somehow, he comes to the conclusion that just telling people that they mentioned him would be too honest, that being humble is a sign of death throes, and so instead contrives a rushed article based around the same topic.
  • To this end, he posts (again) without considering what damage he might cause.

This does make sense, of course, since being mentioned in a major magazine is much more important than actually writing quality material that has merit all on it’s own.

For the record, in my opinion, had Rand just said “Hey! Look at me! I’m in Forbes!“, then he would have gotten a nice small round of applause (clap clap) from those who cared, definitely would have gotten a few links here and there, people would have moved on, and he would not have looked (again) like an ass.

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2 Responses to “Guys, Rand Didn’t Do It For Linkbait…”

  1. LiEvans Says:

    Thanks Michael I appreciate you reading and liking what I wrote today.

    I actually wrote the post more to have the discussion about “outting” websites, whether it’s ethical or not. Do you do it for linkbait, to cause controversy and such?

    I’m still wrestling with a lot of things when it comes to my thoughts on Rand himself, trying to see where he might be coming from, as opposed to where we all think he’s coming from. But regardless of my own personal feelings, I still don’t think outting the sties was a good thing. :(

    Cheers!
    ~Li

  2. Michael VanDeMar Says:
    I actually wrote the post more to have the discussion about “outting” websites, whether it’s ethical or not. Do you do it for linkbait, to cause controversy and such?

    Li – right, I understood that. My point was more to the fact that I think Rand was more negligent in this instance than malicious. It was due to lack of thought rather than a deliberate actions.

    Of course I might be wrong on this, and honestly I do think that he is capable of doing something like this delibertely, such as with the directories. I just don’t think that was the case this time.

    But yes, regardless of whether or not I think he did it to purposefully, I do think that it is unethical to out relatively innocent sites like that.

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