Be Clear On What You Mean!
Last week, technology news and culture site The Verge posted a massive feature entitled Scamworld. The piece talks about the world of internet scammers and the way get rich quick schemes are used to con innocent internet users out of huge amounts of their hard earned money.
The article itself was excellent and exposed a number of the worst known offenders in this dark part of the internet. There was just one problem, the author of the article Joseph Flatley used a very ambiguous term for these people through0ut, ‘Internet Marketers’.
This caused quite a storm in the world of legitimate online marketing with big names in the industry making known their disappointment in the way the the article portrays people like them, especially with particular parts such as the comparison of ‘Internet Marketers’ with snake-oil salesmen.
Danny Sullivan of Marketing Land and Miranda Miller of Search Engine Watch both wrote long passionate replies on their respective sites slamming the way the article could misrepresent people in their industry.
I personally find the reaction from the online marketing community a little over the top as the aritcle is pretty clear that it is talking about certain scammer types of ‘Internet Marketers’ but it does highlight the need to be clear on what you mean when writing for the internet.
Online marketers and SEOs in particular often get a lot of stick for shady practices to boost site rankings but there are a great number of us who operate completely above board, and when an authority site like The Verge publishes such an article it could cause a lot of people to wonder about us.
SEO and online marketing are important to the success of any online business and as Danny Sullivan and other pointed out, even the banner ads on the article itself would’ve been place there by a certain type of ‘Internet Marketer’.
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