The Transparent Marketer

Some marketers hide their motives well. I am no good at that, so I try to be fairly open about most things.

One thing that is hard about being a really open SEO is that if you do come across great ideas and openly share them then they lose their value quickly.

In my ebook I state things like "write testimonials for quality linkage data." And then I get people who want to write a testimonial about my stuff and then are pissed if I do not give them a link. I don't want inauthentic testimonials on my site...and a link is worth more than $79 in some industries. Sometimes it is hard to be really open without pissing people off.

A while ago I also advocated on topic blog comments and then some people would read my ebook and use my site as a sitemap for their site with various me too type posts. Again acting mad when I did not approve.

One guy wanted a discount on my ebook. I don't normally do that, but I told him yes. I had him donate it to the Red Cross and then gave him a copy of my ebook. Later the guy told me how great his conversion rate is and he wanted to hire me to do SEO on his site. I told him to go to hell. I am not going to work for clients that think they deserve a discount for no reason...those are almost always the worst customers. He wanted me to refer him to someone else and I told him he was out of luck. That is just how it goes.

I bought a link off a website, and since I loved the site I gave the webmaster a free copy of my ebook. He soon increased the price of links on his site 400%.

Long ago I mentioned that some SEO should probably put together a meta search engine to build links. Nobody did, and less than a month after I did the site had over 1,000 backlinks.

I created that meta search engine for four main reasons:

  • I wanted to create a quick market research tool. Once it was made there was little extra effort to make it a full feature meta search engine. When Google was originally created they wanted to find out what links were most important, and then noticed that it was pretty relevant when they created a search engine using PageRank + page title.

  • Most meta search engines are cluttered with ads to the point that serious voices on search recommend not even using them
  • cheap & easy link popularity - I am betting I could get a large number of the right types of authoritative well trusted sites to link at my meta search site without much effort.
  • extend brand / image - I do not see this field as being one which has longevity for a large number of the participants. Those people who are really good with algorithms will do good for a while, but more and more it seems to me that the people who find ways to become synonymous with search will do better in the search marketing sphere. Search is such a loved topic and search marketing is such a hated one.

Does me saying all of that make the tool any less remarkable or worthwhile? What quality content or quality websites are created without some sort of agenda or goal?

Can marketers be too transparent? At what point does it help? When does it hurt? How do you know where to draw the line? What markets are good to be transparent in? Which ones are bad? What are some good & bad examples of marketing transparency?

Published: October 7, 2005 by Aaron Wall in marketing

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