A Little Respect, Please

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I run a small business offering web services to other small businesses. Being small doesn’t make me dumb or a doormat; it doesn’t make the SEOigloo blog an appropriate place to drop links.

Today, a new IYP company attempted to drop this link in my recent post regarding Google’s Caffeine Update:

If you are looking for another up and coming IYP site to get you listing more visible on the web and help with small business resource management, please sign up with our site: xxxxxxxxxxxxx Thank you

While it’s very tempting to me to publish the name of this new IYP, I’m X-ing it out in order to give them a fairer shake than they’ve given my blog. I receive spammy comments like this on nearly every post I write, and I summarily delete them. I’ll take the high road here for a moment and attempt to assume that companies who are engaging in this extremely foolhardy method of self-promotion are either paying an amateur SEO to market them or are somehow unaware of the potential consequences of this disrespectful activity.

My Little Tutorial For Linkdroppers

Why Your Strategy Is A Poor One
When you waltz into a blog and leave an unrelated comment and drop a link, you are showing your lack of respect for both the blogger and her readers. I am not writing so that you can have free advertising and my readers are not coming here to read your free advertisement. Just as you would not burst into a restaurant, where chefs are making carefully prepared meals and diners are enjoying a leisurely supper, to scream out the name of your business, apropos of nothing, you should be embarrassed to behave this way on my blog. It’s uncivilized.

Why You Do Not Wish To Appear Uncivilized
Supposing I published you comment. Now everyone who visits my blog has just witnessed your spammy endeavor and must conclude that you are barbaric. You do not understand the art of conversation or the subtlety of contributing value to the blogosphere. Your chance to make a truly good impression of your business and its intent has just been publicly ruined, by you. Who will want to do business with your company now if you’ve just revealed that this is the way you do business?

Doing Business With Me
As if it weren’t already bad enough that you’ve left a nasty taste in all of my readers’ mouths, you have just insulted me – the blogger – the one sitting behind this keyboard with the power to make news about your company. Think about that.

Not only may I decide to publicly shame your company by blogging about your uncouth promotional activities, but I may tell every other SEO, Web Designer, Local Search Marketer, Usability Expert and SEM I know about your spammy tactics of self-promotion. Additionally, on my desktop, I have a little file of all of the IYPs and indexes that I promote to my own highly-valued clients as important places to get their companies listed. Do you think, after what you’ve done, that I will entrust my clients’ profiles to your sullied hands?

A little linkdrop here, a little linkdrop there – someone must have told you this was a good idea, but I hope my illustrations will have begun to help you see how this unwise behavior muddies the very pool in which you were hoping to make a splash.

The Karma Of Spam
If you are willing to spam blogs, is this an invitation to evil forces in the world to spam your Local index out of existence with false submissions from every spurious locksmith, florist and lawyer under the sun? Who will be there to offer you a hanky to dry your tears when your directory is spammed into irrelevance if you are willing to employ such tactics for your own company? By using spam as a promotion tool you are encouraging spamming to be the status quo on the web and no one – no one – benefits from this in the end.

Getting It Right
Do you have a really good tool, website or offering that you think will be a genuine boon to local businesses? Why not go to the effort of getting to know me? I’m pretty involved in Local Search and I blog about all kinds of Local-related matters. You might hunt up my website’s Contact page, figure out what my name is and send me a personal email telling me about what you’re doing in Local. Who knows, I might check out your offering and decide it’s worth blogging about. I might even interview you, link to you, tell my colleagues and clients that they should pay attention to you. My website gets a healthy dose of annual traffic, and I also write for Search Engine Guide which has incredible visibility. While I’m tooting my own horn, I’ll also mention that I’m a moderator of one of the most respected forums on the web where the advice of mods is taken to be honest, genuine and valuable. If I know from experience that a service is good or important and I mention it at Cre8asite, I believe people will take my word about what I’m saying. Ethics and honor are very important there. In my own small way, I have some influence and I just might go to some trouble for your company if I genuinely think you merit the effort…but not once you prove to me that you don’t think I merit the effort of this type of simple courtesy.

Manners matter with me, and the quality of the web matters hugely to me. My blog is not your spot for polluting the web with unrelated linkdrops but it just might be a place for you to make meaningful contact with a small business owner and blogger who cares very much about Local Search. Think this over before you decide to pursue your linkdropping campaign here and elsewhere. Make a smarter choice.

4 Responses to “A Little Respect, Please”

  1. on 14 Aug 2009 at 3:02 pm Mike Ramsey

    he he he he….I have just made a “people to never cross list” and I put your name in bright red. Great point though. It is like somebody taking a big mac into Wendy’s and sitting by the Ketchup dispenser. Well sort of…

  2. on 14 Aug 2009 at 4:51 pm Lori

    Bravo, Miriam! Unfortunately the spammer probably will not bother to read your post and may continue the same lame link dropping tactics.

    I think it’s funny that spammers now try to make comments appear more authentic…but Askismet still catches them anyway, so what’s the point? It’s lazy and sloppy.

  3. on 14 Aug 2009 at 11:33 pm admin

    Hi Mike,
    I promise, I’m normally a very low-key, forgiving lady but you know how it is with spam. Every day, I delete the same email from a man named Johnny in China trying to sell me SEO services…he sends it at least twice a day. Then there’s the other company that keeps trying to sell me rubber moulds. I have no idea why. Then there are all of the people who need my help in rescuing their 10 million dollar inheritances and who address their emails to me as, “My Dear One”.

    Okay, I can deal with all that. My inbox is never spam free. I guess having to deal with spam here too, and spam as silly as that, made me need to say my say on this.

    I thought your Wendy’s analogy was clever!

    Have a great night.
    Miriam

  4. on 14 Aug 2009 at 11:35 pm admin

    Thank you, Lori!

    Yes, I have been seeing oodles of those more smartly-worded comments for the past few months. I bet you have on your blog, too. Akismet does catch some of them but it’s up to us to catch the rest and plead for a more civil world.

    I hope you’re having a great August!
    Miriam

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