SEO Headlines 04/08/2008

Phorm Commits Social Media Faux Pas

Phorm is jut getting all sorts of bad press lately. Last week BT was called out for testing the ad service without getting user content and now we hear Phorm is back in the news for some "overzealous editing" on its own Wikipedia pages. The Register reports that Phorm deleted factual information out of a controversial Wikipedia article related to its ad dealings with BT, Virgin Media and Carphone Warehouse. Uh oh, social media no-no!
Even more amusing to me is that a Phorm representative told The Register that the company didn’t see how they did anything wrong. Aren’t you allowed to "correct" Wikipedia articles about your own company or service?

Um, no, actually you’re not. Wikipedia sees it as a conflict of interest and it sort of pollutes the system and opens up the door for companies to turn Wikipedia into a useless press release. Why are people so dumb? My head hurts.

Companies really need to lose their immediate instinct to whitewash everything that’s not 100 percent favorable about them. Do you really think the Wikipedia crazies aren’t going to realize that factual information has been removed and replaced with corporate jargon that makes you come out smelling like a rose? The person responsible for disinfecting the Phorm Wikipedia page should really be let go of his or her responsibilities with the company. They didn’t do Phorm any favors here and that’s not the kind of mind you want on your team anyway.

World’s Worst Dear John Letter

Jack Spirko just broke up with Google and it was kind of sad. But not for Google, for Jack.

Jack goes off on a long tangent about how Google resents SEOs and continually spreads propaganda about them and blames them for Google’s own limitations. He then tries to make the case that Google needs SEOs to survive, which I’ll admit, got a giggle out of me. To "prove" his argument, Jack lists all the reasons why Google’s mistakes are totally not SEOs’ fault, only none of it really made a lot of sense. It’s like when you fight with your completely irrational significant other and he/she lists off all the reasons why the failure of the relationship is YOUR fault, not theirs. Um, okay, fine, but what’s your point?

I realize the post is meant somewhat in jest, but c’mon. Painting Google as the partner that just never understood you is beyond played out. Stop crying and starting proving your mad search engine optimization skills. Nobody owes you anything. Not Google, not the industry, not your clients, not your mother, no one.

And if we’re being honest here, what he’s saying is just plain untrue. Google doesn’t treat SEOs like enemies. If they did, they wouldn’t be out there at conferences trying to increase the spread of information. They wouldn’t be releasing free tools intended to help site owners optimize their Web sites and provide more information about potential problems. I don’t think Google has ever been more open than they are right now. It’s fun to pick on Google because they’re so large and dominating, but they’re not the enemy. There’s no need to try and paint them as such.

Fun Finds

Barry Schwartz repeats ways to hurt your competitor’s site in Google. Not listening. Focus on your own search engine optimization efforts and don’t worry about them. Karma is delicious. [Word. –Susan]

Dave Winer gets in on the Google Apps Engine talk. To be honest, I have no idea what any of that means. The best I can do is point you to Paul McDonald’s post on the new Google App Engine blog.

Lisa Barone is a writer, content marketer & VP of strategy at Overit Media. She's also a very active Twitterer, much to the dismay of the rest of the world.

See Lisa's author page for links to connect on social media.

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