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Great read! Thanks also for the blackberry friendly theme. I found this post via twitter and didn’t have to zoom, just read :)
You know the last comment makes me think of Matt Cutts’ response to this story. He doesn’t officially state it’s wrong but leaves us with a “maybe”…
Sex will always sell, especially to communities like Digg…
While I disagree with the ethics surrounding this site – that’s sum serious attention…
Now that’s the definition of successful linkbait.
Great to see you are continuing to communicate about the story, and engage in the multiple related discussions taking place. I’ve been fascinated by the whole process, including but not limited to the reaction of the search community. I’ve uncovered a number of stories that have spread like wildfire across major media outlets (all hoaxes) during the past decade. Will share some findings when it’s organized.
Very interesting read its amazing to see how easy it is to manipulate people and the media when your own intentions for the fuition is clear
Leaving a viewer with no reason to question information and wanting it to be true is obviously an entremely powerful tool whether your issue is true or not is obviously of no interest to an ‘open’ viewer
I have been thinking about writing a small piece in admiration of the other end of the bait, on the SEO side as it would be a good lesson, but some of the official opinion, both by the receiver of good fortune (all those links) and the judge of the fortunate (G) leave a bad taste in my mouth after the little bit of “Sunday Sport” fun.
Sounds like an english 101 class. However, I wonder what type of people you will attract with this linkback strategy. Some might be customers you don’t really want.
This is very interesting social media case study. Interest, Desire and action. Social networking is on the front lines of ethicial debate.
I guess there are other better ways to build some links than faking it..or misleading your readers..^^ …anyways it’s a nice read..^^
Lyndon I am off to nick my dad’s credit card!
Great write up!
It was a great read,surly it`s all about having a hook and thats what you need for your target audience ……nicely done….
So… What’s the grand total so far with the links? I’m sure that total is still getting bigger.
@tonyg, yep, it’s not complicated, in fact it’s just very basic marketing. It’s the nuance that can be tricky.
@Hawaiiseo, I stopped counting at 14k
@Zoobie joy, there are many ways to build links, this is one of them. If you don’t want to do it this way, then maybe look at what I wrote and customise and adapt to your own tactic.
@Andy, it’s been an exceptional experience. I can’t say I handled it correctly, but I am waiting for someone who had a similar experience to tell me how they would. Mostly I am getting advice and opinion from people who have never been in this situation and of course they say they would have handled it better. But, that’s life.
There is definitely a cross-roads when you begin to develop a site whose sole purpose is to earn you some money. You can either write magnificent content in hopes of it garnering links on its own, or you can focus less on content and more on link building. Which is the best solution? I would say it depends on the owner’s writing abilities and time restraints.
Many big newspapers (take the Yellow Press) make up stories (or at least parts of stories) because they need to publish something scandalous. Still, many people read them.
It is not Googles Job to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and lie.
Brilliant! Absolutely Brilliant!
That pretty much sums it up. Newspapers have been doing it for years. Tell half a story, or something they know to be untrue just to sell papers. Nothing new there. And then Matt Cutts says… that they don’t like fake stories. I want to know how they validate each and every story that is ever published and work out it true value? Ah… but they won’t say.
Anyhow, I thought the story was a scream! Thanks for the good laugh!
All I have to say is Absolutely awesome. I will admit I’m completely envious right now. Hah. I’ll bet your voicemail is blowing up after the australian TV show covered your blog.
Lyndon, what puzzles me, is whether your story is so advanced it passes over me, or that it is very, very simple.
Simple, because it is just the basics of marketing, indeed: just find out what your audience wants, what touches them to their hearts and give it to them. In your case, you chose to create a story, rather than cover a real one (or just create another list).
Complex, because there has to be something more, than touching on emotions. There are plenty of emotional stories out there, but none of them get such attention. Maybe you touched several of the strings at once? Then again, maybe it is the plausibility of the story and the exaggerated *but still plausible* level that made it stick? Maybe you could expand more in this direction.
Last time I checked, it was about 9k (probably due to page dropping out of homepages and current top lists).
I agree with Andy and Hobo…
Lets face it, all turn out well in the end they got their links and you got tons more work …. all the bits in between (sphinn included) was just aload of bollocks..
Nice one !!
I’m with Bill Hicks on this one…kill yourself.
But seriously, I understand the thrill of gaming a system and I had a good chuckle at the story – no harm done, really.
On a larger scale though…it would be great to have smart minds chipping away at things that might matter.
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