Controversy can help build or destroy your brand, but either way it can also help build your linkage profile ;)
Whenever you start a new site where you want to sell direct advertisements sometimes it makes sense to list a few temporary ads pointing at some of the top sites to make others think your ad inventory is useful and they need to be there. Of course, if you do this with blogs using their graphics, while targeting the blogging community you can expect it to backfire. Being evangelical, and creating a bullshit ethics cause leads to many links.
If you create a cause and get that story syndicated on Boing Boing you will get a lot of links out of it. Ironically, Boing Boing even linked to the site that was being hated on. Silly move for how tech savvy they are supposed to be over there. Anyone who thinks that leveraging names or the brands of other companies is something new to the web is simply naive to the business world. Leveraging real brands or names and then using that to sell ad space or a magazine is done in the publishing world often as well, by well known "prestigious" companies like Eli Research.
They contacted me to ask me if I wanted to be on their advisory panel for Search Engine Marketing Alert
elifinancial [dot] com/search_engine_marketing.htm
After they talked it up they never contacted me again and started mailing people things that sorta looked like bills. Some of those people later bitched me out for it, as if I knew they really didn't want my opinion, just my name to throw on aggressive marketing.
You need only look at their page title on their sales letter to know I was not involved with it. I did give them my name though. And that was a mistake. After you get established you really need to be greedy with what you agree too. Most people looking to leverage your name are doing just that, often with more aggressive marketing techniques you would never approve of.
But companies set up shop near other shops all the time. One can go to far with it, and there are instances when it is absolutely wrong, like one guy that used a picture of my ebook to linking to another one of his blog to sell a different ebook about SEO - that is obvious consumer deception.
I can see how some people would say using their image without permission is wrong, but if it references your own site in a non derogatory way where are the limits to fair use? Is someone giving you free marketing for your own site such a news item that you have to post it shortly after hating on people trying to control words? Words are like tags, and because of search we have the ability to rank for the things we write about.
I get a bit perplexed when people like Darren Rowse make statements like this:
the ends wouldn't justify the means in my books. They are using the hard work of others to launch their own business off.
That perturbed me enough that I had to reply:
As opposed to search engines which build an ad system over the top of others contents? Or bloggers who heavily cut and past content, and then scatter AdSense ads around the content to where it is hard to find the content?
Much like the SEO ethics crew, the blog ethics crew push the issues so hard because they don't want people to dive deep into what is really going on, seeing that what they advise others to do and how they directly make their money are often not one and the same. Without social currency the other pieces do not work.
If you are an evangical blogger, and rush quick enough you can register blackhatblogging.com or whitehatblogging.com. Blackhatblog.com and whitehatblog.com are already on Sedo for $250 each. I am half tempted to build a network which will rely on idoit ethics blogs to provide it enough free marketing to make it a success.
Please link at me. Rest assured all the unethical people are elsewhere.
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