Link whores, sluts and pimps- Oh my!

Five cent tour of Bablion:

The ambiguous and prolific guidelines for building traffic to a website, blog or other online activity leads to mistakes, dark suspicions and a volatile Web 2.0. Questions of right and wrong are debated, people argue unnecessarily, flame wars break out, and an unfortunate humor about it all evolves into sometimes funny and sometimes hurtful pejoratives and slurs such as ‘link whore’ and ‘slut’. Such disreputable and despicable slurs are last things you want to accomplish with your online marketing strategy.

Whores, sluts and pimps

The term, ‘link whore’, sounds adult, sexy, dirty, despicable, and disreputable. Link whores are alternatively referred to as link sluts OR, more commonly, sluts.

Most likely, you or your company wouldn’t like to be refered to as a link whore. Or slut- whatever your gender or business (escort companies, of course, might enjoy such fun). Unless you happen to be kinky.

Or, unless, you drove a Ferarri, Brabus super-car or pimped Dacia… chilled out in the VIP only section of five star restaurants and clubs like Fratelli… drew bugs on your quantum-processing laptop- while ignoring beautiful specimens of the opposite sex trying to engage you in flirtatious conversations and rewarding business opportunities.

Who cares what people say about you when you have all that!

The terms, link whore or link slut, are, in fact, gender non-specific. They represent a humorous characterization of the questionable means that some people to get hits for their own website or blog.

There is nothing in this post about whores, prostitutes, escorts or mistresses that enthusiastically exchange sexual favors for cash. Nor does this post provide any way for you to arrange for Bucharest adult entertainment at 3 Moeciu Street. Um… ask for alice or zorgot.

Those who pratice dodgey and questionable hit-fetching tactics for clients are sometimes called link pimps.

Pimp my link

But as funny as “Pimp my link” might sound to you or me, most netizens and SEO-SEM experts believe that link whores and link pimps represent a class of cesspool memes that generate ambiguation (noise and distortion) in search relevance and ranking.

Link whoring, some contend, also adds unneeded stress to the overloaded internet infrastructure.

The crux of the problem may be that there seems to be more link whoring tutorials about the wrong way to build links and traffic… than white hat kung fu. Search for traffic building advice and the link whores and link pimps come up on top everytime.

Somehow, the big whores and pimps accomplish what they advise on (otherwise fewer would learn the whore and pimp craft). Of course, noobs to traffic building don’t know any better as they launch themselves on their new online careers as whores, sluts and pimps.

Dodging the Bad Rap

SEO and SEM experts that pride themselves on ethical link building are especially offended by link whores, beacuse link whores give a bad name to the professional link building that they dedicate themselves to doing. Eric Ward, a self-described white hat link builder, writes in his blog: “these tactics make the web experience worse and simply don’t work.”

In Ward’s article, Are You a Link Whore?, he writes:

“Quit trying to fool Google already. They have enough problems with the Adsense spam that’s the web equivalent of Kudzu. It’s everywhere. Combine blog spam with Adsense spam and you have one majorly unfufilling search experience.”

As others point out, link whores give a bad rap to the white hat working girls that build relevant and meaningful links.

What does a link whore do?

According to Ward, the calling cards and scent trail of a link whore are easy to sniff out.

1. Social bookmarks accounts just to post their own URLs

2. Leaving a comment on a blog only as a means to leave their URL there

3. Paying for one way links from high ranking sites that don’t relate to their site?

4. Using trackbacks just for the link?

5. Going back to existing links and changing the anchor text to get better performance with the bots

6. Sending out frequent press releases that look like a linked-down site map

On the Romanian web, link whoring and pimping gets to a whole new level that Ward cannot imagine. Large and small Romanian companies consider this business as usual.

7. Driving traffic with translated content and claiming it as original content from their journalists and news teams. Unfortunately, news stories in major publications often represent quick- copy, paste and translate jobs.

8. Creating bogus directories with every key word possible and link lists being deadends- regardless of whether or not the traffic leaves as fast as it hits the page. Apparently, Google is totally oblivious to this.

9. Creating unsolicited and bogus company detail pages to get search results. Best Jobs (www.bestjobs.ro) and eJobs (www.ejobs.ro), the two leading online recruitment services in Romania do this. Nor does Google seem to be punishing this kind of behavior.

10. Mutiplying blog influence with sock puppets and multiple anonymous accounts.

Losing faith in the new religion

As link whoring and pimping increase, more and more netizens are getting cynical, contentious and authoritarian regarding anything that resembles link whoring and direct marketing. They tend to over-react to any newcomer who puts a link in a post or comment- even if a URL was inserted with thoughtful intentions.

I, myself, recently found myself in a unfortunate flame war due to cynical prejudice and hysterical mis-perceptions.

What happened to the friendlier web 2.0? I wondered. And then I did a little digging on the matter.

Worse, there are disagreements among the most popular SEO-SEM bloggers on what actions constitute link whoring. Brian Clark at Copyblogger, for example, has some highly ranked pages and a high reputation for compelling SEO strategy. He suggests some of the same things that Ward argues as evidence of link whoring- but not only those things. Brian Clark is also a strong advocate for content.

Regarding content, Clark writes:

“The way to create compelling content is to focus on ‘what’s in it for the reader.’ Likewise, no one is going to link to you unless doing so gives them a benefit as well.”

The Road to Hell

Enthusiasm to get the word out and to share one’s work, friendship, thoughts, or offer (your offer or that of a client) is, perhaps, the most common problem. It’s too easy to make mistakes because the available guidelines are as prolific and ambiguous as the practices (good and bad) used to reach out to the world.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and great expectations. But if we are not in hell yet, there is hope for us. And me too. As we saw in Pretty Woman, love, respect and a bigger picture can sometimes save a working girl (Vivian Ward played by Julia Roberts) from making more mistakes.

Key to our getting it right (allowing some mistakes along the way) is our passionate interest in the wide world: the desire to know it and be known by it.

Nor should we ignore the interest that the world has for us as persons and companies- people and companies who sometimes just need to develop new capacity to decide well regarding the rightness or wrongness of a new action or opportunity.

And, somehow, we all need to be rescued.

……………………………………………..

Below is something to help you remember the magic you felt when you first saw Pretty Woman:

………………………………………………

………………………………………………

Regarding my comment about pimped out Dacias (above), here’s a clip of an infamous Romanian link whore:

………………………………………………

………………………………………………

Stan Faryna
March 01, 2008
Bucharest, Romania

add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank :: post to facebook

………………………………………………………………………………………………..
………………………………………………………………………………………………..

FEED UPON other popular posts by Stan Faryna:

>> Outsourcing
>> Great Websites
>> IAB Europe
>> Online Strategy
>> Open Source

………………………………………………………………………………………………..
………………………………………………………………………………………………..

About Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna is editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

Here’s my fair use policy for my content:

If you want to share my content with your own audience, you may quote a brief excerpt, if and only if, you provide proper attribution (Source: The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna) with a direct link to the source. You may not republish or translate the entire article without my written permission. Send your request for permission by inmail through the linkedin professional network at www.linkedin.com.

Advertisements

3 Responses to Link whores, sluts and pimps- Oh my!

  1. Independent Delhi Escorts…

    […]Link whores, sluts and pimps- Oh my! « The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna[…]…

  2. escort bucharest…

    […]Link whores, sluts and pimps- Oh my! « The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna[…]…

  3. bucharest escort girl…

    […]Link whores, sluts and pimps- Oh my! « The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna[…]…

Speak from your heart!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: