Friday 6 June 2008

Shock tactics for charity - let me relax please

Hearing that Scope the national disability charity has employed shock tactics in a marketing campaign for the cinemas sends me straight to the DVD shop. Is it the right thing to do or should we be allowed to relax without having distressing images pushed on to us during clearly defined downtime such as going to the cinema?

For me it’s personal. Seven years ago I was made bankrupt, 9/11 stopped everything for a few days and the tight cash flow that was my world strangled a potentially fantastic business. Oh well, so much for the sob story, but I do have a point.

During that time was the proliferation of the get out of debt adverts, right on cue with my own demise I struggled to relax in front of my favourite channel, National Geographic, as I was bombarded with my problems every 15-30 minutes. I felt that I was being invaded with a message I did not want or need, maybe my health even suffered?

The Scope marketing campaign is delivering a message, an important message, but is the vehicle morally correct? Should marketers be allowed to effect peoples lives this much?

Now, this Scope campaign does not affect me directly, i.e. I’m not a disabled victim of violent crime, and the frequency of exposure limited to the silver screen, for now. But, if I were a victim of this crime, what would it do to me?

I’m going to think this over for a few days.

Wednesday 4 June 2008

SEO is black and white

We have been working on our SEO the last few days, dialling all the factors, giving David a headlong view of the SEO world, confusing is it? I’d say yes.

Even before we pen our first Meta tag we need to second-guess what the mighty search engines are thinking. Their duty and profession rightly so is to provide the best experience for its users, producing pages relevent to the query.

As commercial entities we see this as an opportunity to position our products and give the potential client a message. But its not as simple as matching keywords of our products page to the query, many more factors can give you the page ranking you deserve or a short trip to the sandbox.

Lets take one example factor #113 on our checklist, one of speculation and in most cases outside of your control.

Lets say you have a book marking campaign underway, everything is great dig, dig, dig. A neighbour site decides to feed your article into its website with your link back working great into a landing page. What if it’s a bad neighbour with an ASO pending?

Google says that incoming links from bad sites can’t hurt you because you cannot control them, however people speculate otherwise, especially when we add factors such as web rings, who knows?

For the good people of the world SEO is not the enemy, it’s the abusers of the system that are, with this in mind be safe in the fact that search engines are a good thing and if you play by the rules you will be rewarded, if you bend them and get a slap on the hand except it and if you commit SEO crimes, go to SEO jail.