Inbound, Outbound, Outhouse

Jun 1st

Jon Henshaw put the hammer down on inbound marketing highlighting how the purveyors of "the message" often do the opposite of what they preach. So much of the marketing I see around that phrase is either of the "clueless newb" variety, or paid push marketing of some stripe.

One of the clueless newb examples smacked me in the face last week on Twitter, where some "HubSpot certified partner" (according to his Twitter profile) complained to me about me not following enough of our followers, then sent a follow up spam asking if I saw his artice about SEO.

The SEO article was worse than useless. It suggested that you shouldn't be "obvious" & that you should "naturally attract links." Yet the article itself was a thin guest post containing the anchor text search engine optimization deep linking to his own site. The same guy has a "book" titled Findability: Why Search Engine Optimization is Dying.

Why not promote the word findability with the deep link if he wants to claim that SEO is dying? Who writes about how something is dying, yet still targets it instead of the alleged solution they have in hand?

If a person wants to claim that anchor text is effective, or that push marketing is key to success, it is hard to refute those assertations. But if you are pushy & aggressive with anchor text, then the message of "being natural" and "just let things flow" is at best inauthentic, which is why sites like Shitbound.org exist. ;)

Some of the people who wanted to lose the SEO label suggested their reasoning was that the acronym SEO was stigmatized. And yet, only a day after rebranding, these same folks that claim they will hold SEO near and dear forever are already outing SEOs.

The people who want to promote the view that "traditional" SEO is black hat and/or ineffective have no problems with dumping on & spamming real people. It takes an alleged "black hat" to display any concern with how actual human beings are treated.

If the above wasn't bad enough, SEO is getting a bad name due to the behavior of inbound tool vendors. Look at the summary on a blog post from today titled Lies The SEO Publicity Machine Tells About PPC (When It Thinks No One’s Looking)

Then he told me he wasn’t seeing any results from following all the high-flown rhetoric of the “inbound marketing, content marketing” tool vendor. “Last month, I was around 520 visitors. This month, we’re at 587.” Want to get to 1,000? Work and wait and believe for another year or two. Want to get to 10,000? Forget it. ... You could grow old waiting for the inbound marketing fairy tale to come true.

Of course I commented on the above post & asked Andrew if he could put "inbound marketer" in the post title, since that's who was apparently selling hammed up SEO solutions.

In response to Henshaw's post (& some critical comments) calling inbound marketing incomplete marketing Dharmesh Shah wrote:

When we talk about marketing, we position classical outbound techniques as generally being less effective (and more expensive) over time. Not that they’re completely useless — just that they don’t work as well as they once did, and that this trend would continue."

Hugh MacLeod is brilliant with words. He doesn't lose things in translation. His job is distilling messages to their core. And what did his commissions for HubSpot state?

  • thankfully consiging traditional marketing to the dustbin of history since 2006
  • traditional marketing is easy. all you have to do is pretend it works
  • the good news is, your customers are just as sick of traditional marketing as you are
  • hey, remember when traditional marketing used to work? neither do we
  • traditional marketing doesn't work. it never did

Claiming that "traditional marketing" doesn't work - and never did, would indeed be claiming that classical marketing techniques are ineffective / useless.

If something "doesn't work" it is thus "useless."

You never hear a person say "my hammer works great, it's useless!"

As always, watch what people do rather than what they say.

When prescription and behavior are not aligned, it is the behavior that is worth emulating.

That's equally true for keyword rich deeplink in a post telling you to let SEO happen naturally and for people who relabel things while telling you not to do what they are doing.

If "traditional marketing" doesn't work AND they are preaching against it, why do they keep doing it?

Follow the money.

Published: June 1, 2013

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Comments

June 3, 2013 - 11:18am

Surely outing sites is an acknowledgement that the algorithm is flawed, if it was functioning "as merchandised" we would only see percieved legitimate brands with "great content",stellar social engagement and user signals on page one? Outing ultimately could be interpreted as an admission that maybe all this trust in the algo, quality content centric , inbound first fluffery may not be as effective from a ranking perspective (in some cases) as a heavily manipulated / sculpted back link profile :).

I also feel uneasy about high profile search marketers (like Rand) continuing to act as the SEO police by lobbying to throw sites under the bus. The G+ comment is a little disengenous by wishfully hoping for a future Penguin iteration to catch out transgressions like this (when the reality is that the site will be quickly toasted due to Rands profile and network).

Also I loved Randy Milanovic's muppet twitter antics; so many types of idiocy wrapped in 280 characters!

June 3, 2013 - 1:39pm

On a slight tangent, but to do with blackhat tactics. I had a "Clarity Clarence" moment the other day. If you exploit and find loopholes and weaknesses in Google's algorithm, you're a "bad guy" (according to Google) and they punish you for not following their guidelines. And then I realised....Google find loopholes and weaknesses in tax laws around the world to avoid paying taxes. When they're "outed" as doing so, they say they're doing nothing wrong, it's not their fault the tax laws can be exploited like this. Ah well.

June 4, 2013 - 7:42am

Hey,
I am new to this SEO thing but I loved your article. Its unique and cotains some very useful info. Thankx for sharing. I specially loved your eample regarding Therory of Constraints.

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