What’s the difference between “news” and “content”. I guess if you are a Search Engine Optimiser, a new breed of PR specialist sent from hell to destroy us all, you don’t think there is any.
M’learned colleague Deirdre Hipwell at The Times fell foul of the SEO folk this week when she dared to get cross about PRs asking for hyperlinks to their client’s website on articles she’d written.
There were lots of angry and amusing exchanges on this – you can see the thread here.
My favourite response was from a hack who noted that after his website reported a robbery at a local William Hill, an agency got in touch asking for a link to the William Hill website.
You’d have to be an SEO professional not to see why this is funny.
Another colleague offers this view on the SEO crowd: “PRs should be thankful for digital marketeers – it makes them look as though they act with integrity and judgement.”
The other problem with this industry, aside from being annoying, is that they don’t do what they think they do. They imagine they are gaming Google, but the simpler truth is that Google is toying with them.
If you want to feel depressed, read Hipwell’s increasingly exasperated attempts to explain what she does for a living. It is not to try and drive traffic to corporate websites.
Someone, help these people.