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Lies, Damn Lies, SEO and PR

Lies, Damn Lies, SEO and PR

Steve Rubel would like to think that it is SEO practitioners who are the dirty social media manipulators and “most in the PR business take a clean approach to social media”.

Unfortunately Steve, nobody believes you, not even journalists, despite your assertion on your blog that “every journalist would take issue with that statement”.

Why does a company hire a PR firm? Steve might suggest companies use PR to honestly communicate their brand, or something along those lines, but really what they are buying is the hope of positive column inches and beneficial attention. Perhaps the protection from negative stories too.

PR is about manipulating the news and therefore the public. SEO is about manipulating search engines and therefore the public. The BBC, interviewing Amy MacDonald about Her blog asks

There’s a blog on your website – do you actually write it yourself?

Why the surprise? Surely we should assume a blog is “clean” of spin? Unfortunately we can’t, since PR people have been creating faux blogs such as the infamous Walmart debacle.

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Am I saying SEO is any better? Certainly not, but I would say that just like there are good and honest PR people there are all kinds of SEO people.

Thankfully social media tends to reward good content, no matter the source. There will always be gaming but the content that really succeeds over and above the Digg front page will be the content that deserves it.

View Comments (2)
  • See, I personally don’t see how SEO is any different than good sales/marketing. A good salesman simply sells what the customer is wanting to buy. For instance, if a new car buyer is focused on the warranty…shouldn’t the salesman be focused on the warranty…instead of say materials or craftsmanship?

    SEO is just making sure that you’re selling what the searching public is buying and making sure it can be found. I don’t think there is anything inherrently shady about that. Some of the methods may be shady but not the practice.

    At least that’s MHO.

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