SEO Blog - Internet marketing news and views  

Stop Sphinning your wheels

Written by David Harry   
Sunday, 07 October 2007 18:21

Well, it’s actually the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend here in Canada and I wasn’t really planning on posting anything. The problem is that I sat down to my ‘puter and made the mistake of looking at my reader. I am starting to wonder if folks are Blogging just so they can post it on Sphinn or what? So much crap and it seems to be getting worse.

You gotta be kidding me?

accahd.gifToday I saw stuff from a reasonably respected source, namely the Search Engine Journal on a speculative Backlinks update and even worse the ToolBar PageRank export. I expect such trite from SEO forums as those rabid animals still value such garbage. I certainly don’t expect it from reputable SEO Blogs etc…. And I don't even mind that, except the furor it creates amongst the rabid-SEO crowd.

To start with, it is speculation. Secondly, the toolbar as any kind of valued metric to ANY serious SEO should be nada, zilch, butkis. I even question the value of knowing Google’s latest backlink export truth be told. We can certainly get a picture of backlinks from Google, Yahoo and so on… but we will never know EXACTLY what Google sees and how they are valuing them. So, for me, both metrics are nothing more than a passing novelty. But the fine folks of the Sphinn community sure think it is a Hot non-Story

So much for letting the people have editorial control via a voting system, huh?


Sphinn me!! Sphinn me!!

Now let’s add to that one with the fine folks that are using Sphinn to flame bait everyone from Jill Whalen to Rand Fishkin. Regardless if it is ‘flame bait’ or not, it ain’t freakin NEWS… it’s personal bullshit! I only recently started hanging at Sphinn - as I am always interested in participating in these kind of sites ( SEO Yak earlier this year and more recently with Bad SEO). For a while I kept the Sphinn Feeds in my reader to try and keep sphinnme.jpgmyself abreast of things. I noticed that lately, there is a bit of a problem with not only quality of posts, but much like the world of Digg – people are trying to write FOR the Sphinn… not for the quality of the post… because one shouldn’t be posting for the sake of posting right?

If it’s not Flaming a prominent figure, then it is kissing their ass ( love bait ) to get noticed. There was Local SEO's version of a love in with Andy to get attention and a while back Lyndon explained how to get the attention of top bloggers – ha ha ha.. I liked that one at least. There is a new game afoot and we shall call it ‘Love Bait’.  Further to that, putting names of someone prominent in the post - is also a sure fire way to get some Sphinns… Or hey, any post with Matt Cutts name in the title should fly well. This can even be used to write stories about Sphinn… much like this one, except they are usually ‘ways to get Sphinns’ or lists of why ‘Shinn is so great’ or ‘Ideas to stop Sphinn spam’ or ‘Will Sphinn ban users’ – sure, I wrote a ‘Sphinn Spam story’ – but really was simply trying to get some attention to Spam that seemed to be hanging around un-mod-ified… the attention it got though, freaked me out some. Yikes.


Title Bait

Another thing I also get riled up with is folks that write a ‘Sphinn-able’ post with a catchy title where the actual content was more than a bit light on quality. These are generally a post that are no more than a few hundred words long or less with information and is less than useful… Great Title though - ( If you want to learn how to write titles and still - almost always- put some content behind them - see Lyndon's Blog.)
Who the hell puts these Title-bait, content light entries up on places like Sphinn anyways?? Is it more of the famous marketer’s nepotism? I Sphinn/Digg/Stumble your crap and you do mine - so it looks like some one other than the twit that wrote it is actually interested in such regurgitation?

I think it is simply hilarious how marketers are using the same tactics on the rest of their own community that they do in performing their job function each day. When done well and there is actually some useful content on the other end, I think it is great. Many times, it seems, the titles are the only redeeming quality of the actual story. I have to believe that the entire post was geared at Sphinn users to get some traffic NOT because the author was interested in educating or informing the end user. Remember - I don’t Digg getting Stumbled Upon!


The Fire Horse guide to Sphinning your wheels

I haven’t been around Sphinn all that long and my early enthusiasm is waning. I have never been big in the Social Media stuff though, it seems temporal, inconsistent in nature and I wonder about the long term ROI in index_02.jpggeneral….. but here is some great CRAP if you want to get noticed on Sphinn, in no particular order… it all works!!

  • Write about Black – Blue – whatever hat SEO
  • Flame someone prominent
  • Compliment someone prominent (or interview them)
  • Write about Sphinn (like this post ha ha ha ha)
  • Make an outrageous claim
  • Give it a whacked out title (regardless of the content underlying it)
  • Write a post that is contradictory/in addition too, a recent Hot Topic
  • Write about Paid links (and mention Matt Cutts)
  • Anyway, I am going to go back to enjoying the day, (though overcast ) and leave this behind. I simply felt like ranting with my morning tea…. My reader was clogged up (after a whole 24hrs off?) and I was getting pulled into posts only to find it a waste of my precious clicking energy. I rant because I must – it is part of my therapy, part of my relaxation. Trust me, no one is ever going to pay me to do it :0)

    Over and out!


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