Inside Voices, Please

Oct 8th

Marketers often rely on a facade. If marketing and advertising were truly transparent few marketers would ever be seen as heroes ;)

When information didn't spread as widely it was easy for one public relations hero to scam one country into bombing and destroying another for the benefit of their client.

Distortions and misinformation can work in the short run, but with the web people are connected all the time and the memory is deep.

What is risky about the gap in the narratives is that it gets harder to cover over as time passes. And if you are aggressive + swim with sharks eventually one of them will get mad at you...so your inside voice goes public.

This sort of parallel is almost everywhere in business. Google's Eric Schmidt highlighted how amazed he was at how lobbyists write legislation. In the same way, Google writes their guidelines for webmasters to follow. Follow them or accept great risks.

How do you know a person is a big link buyer? If they tell you not to buy links and that they don't buy links then they are probably lying. It is a lie you are *expected* to spread to minimize the risks of Google coming down and crushing you.

Some of the most profitable businesses rely on having multiple business models and multiple brands that monetize markets in different ways. To the person who is afraid of risk you sell the fear - don't buy links. To the person who wants the juice you sell the juice. Then you use the data from their link purchases to figure out what keywords you should be targeting and what domain names you should be buying.

When DIY SEO launched one of their "advanced" tips was to ensure you were not buying or selling any links. And that is from a person who sold a text link network for north of $30 million & is rumored to be associated with yet another text link network. If a person tells you that the links they are selling you are giving them the information needed to figure out what domains to buy then they lose the data source.

But if the person comes out and tells you that you should buy links then that puts all their other publishing enterprises at risk. For me to even write about this weird dichotomy would make some people think "well that person is black hat" when in reality simply observing and stating truth is as white hat as you can possibly be. So as an SEO you either have to lie, or absorb additional business risks for being stupid or naive enough to be honest in a market dictated by a monopoly which preaches the value of openness.

The weird thing about that appreciation for openness is that (beyond a marketing & public relations angle) it never applies to anything core to their own market position, but rather to competing business models. With their own business they don't have the time of day for their paying customers.

It is hard to beat someone by following their lead. As a new business with limited leverage & capital you must create your own value systems if you want to find opportunity & create a lasting business. This is especially true because many value systems are arbitrary.

Early Google research highlighted how they hated ad based business models and how they felt that having a pure search service was crucial. After they gained market leverage they also gained amnesia. Now on some searches half of web users see nothing but paid ads above the fold. :D

Certain markets & certain business models rely on using a key piece of misinformation to dupe consumers (even Google highlights how searchers do not realize AdWords ads are paid placements). If you are new to market and you have nothing to lose then one of the easiest ways to cause a stir and get noticed is to highlight those types of issues and/or cannibalize those business models.

There is a bit of a water cycle to businesses and business models. Notice how Blekko is pushing hard on openness and sharing data? Great market entry strategy.

Once you are more established the risk/reward ratio is significantly different. Which is precisely why you rarely read a blog post like this one. By the time a site is as wide read as this one is there should either be a bit of common sense or an investor who has me on a short leash. :)

I should be telling you to not buy links and stay away from the types of folks who have ever even considered thinking about it. :D

The point of this post isn't really about link buying, but rather that you need to consider risk and reward with anything, and do so using your own value systems if you want to compete. Most media has some fibs in it, as concision requires reductionism & it is rarely profitable to give away the farm.

We promote how fair society is and how important meritocracy is. But the conclusion I have come to is that the concepts are largely a farce. Your job as an entrepreneur is to succeed *in spite of* the lack of meritocracy, the extreme corruption, and the debt slavery that are core to modern living. And the first few years are the hardest part!

And I am convinced that this sort of dichotomy isn't unique to the field of SEO, but is rather well ingrained in every large highly-profitable market. It is core to capitalism. After all, there is the a reason the banking class can get away with repeatedly systemic violation of the rule of law and you can't: lobbyists write the laws.

Published: October 8, 2010

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Comments

October 8, 2010 - 3:02am

Hey guys!

Just imagine 10 slackers from fortune 500 companies that do virtually nothing and you have armies and armies of guys like they... every company has 30,000 or 50,000 slackers like those mentioned above... and guess what they earn more then Andy or anybody from the 'syndicate' out of 'big launch'.

Their pre-launch or sales videos are mind blowing. OK they are great sales guys but hey every day they sell you extended warranties and stuff you do not need in grocery store. sales are not sin.

Out of Andy's, Frak's, Jeff's videos I learned allot they are very insightful. Guy wants to earn 400k out of launch that is practically one year project plus he to invest allot to come to that position to do it and now you satan them. Those 10 guys from the beginning of story are making more and only support the system of capital flow.

Those guys are out of system, should I say romantic pirates and now people take some friendly chat and make big thing put of it. Just imagine your dirty talk about your girlfriend/wife or whom ever if that would be taped and broadcasted to her would you feel yourself basted? Hey but that was just a chat with your friend and you use language that is not very decent but who cares...

Taking things out of context are very good marketing weapon.

October 8, 2010 - 2:11pm

Defending the syndicate simply because they are mentioned, without understanding the reference or the reason it was used, is a shining example of "out of context."
Check this out, Zoransa: "As a new business with limited leverage & capital you must create your own value systems if you want to find opportunity & create a lasting business."
At no point in this statement does Aaron talk about how many millions you can make from the beach like he does, or how easy it is to get ahead online like he is. He's not selling you anything to help you get ahead - he is offering an idea to you, free, and allowing you to approach an online business with a foundation in realism. He is sharing his valuable experience, not using it to manipulate your trust to gain access to your wallet. Big difference.
There is no "EASY" in online businesses that last longer than the 60-day refund window.
The reference to the 'droid's video was in-step with what Aaron's post is about. Your defense of its characters however, is not.

October 9, 2010 - 12:48am

Although, competition is very tough in some keywords still we cannot avoid that some people or website owner really invest a lot just to be sure that they will reach the top. I do agree that it's pretty hard to beat the top competitor most especially if that site has a lot to proved in the first place. I guess a thorough understanding of your niche and proper way of optimizing yours will be a good start though.

October 12, 2010 - 8:13am

"Your job as an entrepreneur is to succeed *in spite of* the lack of meritocracy, the extreme corruption, and the debt slavery that are core to modern living. And the first few years are the hardest part!"

I am shocked that I am reading this here. You dare to say in public what people are thinking in private. You are taking a risk by publishing this. It takes enormous courage to make these kind of posts.

Never before have I seen so much truth being exposed as the last few years on the Internet.

What will be the effect? Its going to be very interesting to see what happens. At several points in history, this type of freedom has been snuffed out. Long before the people learned as much truth as they have learned so far.

October 12, 2010 - 9:17am

Some very though provoking videos and words.

We are brought up to believe we are sentient beings who are able to critically analyze a situation and then make some sort of logical decision.

There's a problem with this concept though and can easily be proven to be false.

There's been some fascinating research carried out by psychologists which show us humans to be irrational but often in predictable ways.

People don't want to hear the truth, they want magic pills and magic bullets. They want someone to lead and tell them this is the right way.

People have a frustrating way of justifying foolish beliefs even when there's am over whelming volume of logic which tells them otherwise.

The truth does have a habit of finding it's way through. The truth is a result of poor choices, bad judgments, incorrect insights and the results are all around us.

My recommendation is to make it mandatory to read a book or two. Here's start...

Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions and hurtful acts. Carol Tavris and Elliott Aronson.

Whilst reading this book won't provide full protection from every poor decision it will provide some and hopefully help us all to ask questions about the world we live in.

Regards

Steve

October 12, 2010 - 3:25pm

Thanks for the book recommendation Steve :)

The field of behavioral economics is fascinating & I have been a big fan of Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational.

October 12, 2010 - 1:18pm

An easy way to find link buyers: just trawl through Yahoo! Directory, Business.com and botw.org.

Oh sure, they're reviews - you pay for a review, not the link, I get it.

Now, I'm listed in all 3 directories for one of my sites. Guess what? I get almost zero traffic from all 3 directories combined. Nobody seems to be browsing these directories, I wonder why they're so expensive? ;) - and I wonder why I don't care that I don't get traffic from these sites?

October 12, 2010 - 3:20pm

One of the reasons I love web directories is that they tend to sorta be approved by MC. Of course the editorial reviews might be a bit of a farce, but so long as the TOS sell the concept then you are good to go. :)

Ironically, while being smaller than the likes of Business.com and the Yahoo! Directory, BOTW tends to have a much more stringent editorial review than the other big ones.

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