Based in part on Calacanis's recent tirades, Scott Karp recently published a great post about SEO from an outsider's perspective. In his post he runs through how and why some people are biases against SEO. I think a couple big reasons that few people talk about are mis-direction and outsourcing faults onto others.
In other news, what is going on with Goog on Google Finance? People are talking about Cramer. Some are talking about how intelligent he is while others are saying his packaging is bad and he is an idiot. Both are probably increasing his brand value though.
I have to agree. I find Cramer a bit of an idiot. I mean, apparently he has done well in stocks, I am not disputing that, but for an investment adviser he is someone I find....well, comical. I've watched his show, and to me he's like the circus; something to see and laugh at when it comes to town, but not something to take too seriously. His biggest fault, and this is ironically the draw of his show, is how he preys on and encourages the emotions of his followers. Now, he may say that its best not to invest with emotion, but watching him run around on tv with his sleeves rolled up, yelling like some motivational speaker selling a new brand of energy drink, sure sends a different message. In fact, the high quality of his marketing skill, and the poor quality of his advice, kind of reminds me of the Motley Fool.....
In every market people who evoke emotional responses win. Even if they are wrong, you will see them refererenced often just because they are good at marketing and preying on human emotions.
Many popular people create far more controversy than value, but links and trust follow conversation. And so do ad dollars. If people are talking about you, you win, even if you are wrong.
With the advancement of modern technology, people do not even vote on the content, just the headlines, which somewhat feeds into my belief that search personalization + using links as a proxy for value are going to create a polarized biased web full of recycled garbage. Everything is recycled.
Is it unfair to throw any of that blame toward search engines, or is it just default human nature to outsource our own faults and want to split things up to identify with things that are false but look good at a glance? Are our egos so broken that we have to be part of some minority or fighting for one to feel we have purpose? Must we have outspoken leaders to follow? Do the leaders believe their own words, or is it just self-serving marketing?
As more forms of vertical search come about, subscribing and publishing get easier, and more people vote without reading, you can bet that packaging will become more important than information quality...at least until people get sick of it.
I saw two popular pieces about saving money that explicitly gave money saving tips opposite of each other, both published by a friend, who recently talked up the value of his content. Some days sites like Motley Fool will tell you why a stock is a must buy and then have another article dissing the stock the same day. I think they even have a column based on biased polarized advice called Dueling Fools.
Big claims are remarkable, and worthy of a link. In a sea of rushed judgements and meaningless votes sounding convincing is more important than being correct. The perception of value and actually being of value are two different things. For the next couple years it will be far cheaper and more profitable to cater biased marketing to the ignorant rather than to create meaning with a bit of touch and originality. Or am I wrong?
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