OK…before I start making my point I want you to know that I usually don’t publish rants that directly affect a single person (I actually don’t like doing it), but in this case I thought I would make an exception.
I am pretty sure everyone knows who Rand Fishkin is, but in case you don’t know he is the founder of SEOMoz.com.
On his latest “Whiteboard Friday” session he basically admitted that his favorite way of getting links and business exposure is to participate in cleverly disguised link schemes or receiving so called “kickbacks”.
Here is the actual video:
Let me point out some of the most important stuff from this video.
That’s a great way to go to help seed this process. If you don’t already have that built up though, it’s really hard to get that started, unless you do this. This is my absolute favorite process for this kind of work.
Step one. Go out and assemble a list, as big or as small as you want – it can be as niche or as widespread as you want – of people, friends, colleagues, people who you admire, whom you would like to help out, meaning you want to help them promote their stuff.
Then he says…
Step two. You need to reach out to them. That outreach process looks like this. Note that you want to share and recommend some stuff…….. I do this with books and with vendors here in Seattle, that we’ve used as a company, or that I’ve encountered. I do it with SEO people. I have a whole recommended list of SEOs. All this kind of stuff.
Then he says this
Then I would note to those people, “Hey, I’m trying to get more active in my social sharing and building up my recommendations list, and you’re a person that I really like and admire. Do you have anything that you would like some help promoting? Is there anything I can do to help you promote something out there? Is there something I can link to for you, maybe put on a recommended list. I could socially share this. I could tweet it. I could put up a Google+ post about it.
And here is the kicker
Great. Now I am going out and helping all of these folks, and in the future, right after you’ve helped all the people, the next time you need help promoting something, whatever it is, you have a group, a list of folks that you know you have already helped out. You can reach out to them again and say, “Hey, I have this thing, and if it’s not too much trouble, I would love some help promoting it.
To be honest I find it funny that he actually tries to defend himself here and states that it’s “not a direct reciprocation”…lol
Here is the thing…in 2007 Shoemoney made a post about how you should assume that whenever someone talks about a product or service there is a “behind the scenes” deal going on.
Rand Fishkin actually responded to that and made this post stating that he doesn’t do this type of stuff.
Did he just make himself look like a liar?
On his “Whiteboard Friday” video he straight out tells you that his favorite way of getting links is to participate in link schemes. Linking to someone simply because you expect them to help you and link back to your shit in the future (or whatever) is nothing else but a cleverly disguised link exchange scheme.
Doesn’t Google say that link schemes that are designed to manipulate Page Rank are against their quality guidelines?
I wrote a post in 2011 titled “Gatekeepers are back in control” that touched on that subject a bit as well. I talked about how bloggers are pimping each other’s shit simply because it benefits them and not their readers.
I also talked about this topic in this post but from a different angle. To be honest I hate this approach but I guess it’s the reality. The web is being shaped around sneaky deals and kickbacks instead of quality content.
By the way, I also mentioned this happening when I wrote a post titled “Message To Matt Cutts”. It’s all about the “What’s in it for me” concept if you want to get links to your blog or website.
I am starting to think that Rand is just a blackhatter in disguise….Oh wait, he did publically out Aaron Wall from SEOBook once for his affiliate links passing page rank which can be classified as Negative SEO campaign.
Anyway, according to Rand if you really want to get those juicy links to your site you need to start making deals that produce kickbacks.