Yesterday I highlighted the Info-graphic about the Pakistan flood. The Info-graphic was being used by a discount voucher affiliate website as a cheap way of getting more inbound links with their preferred keyword anchor tag. Although I was happy to call them out of heir shameless plug of the disaster in Pakistan, I blame myself of having an angle in my post which does not fully cover the load of this practice: The shameless marketing use of a disaster impacting millions of people in Pakistan.
Instead, I highlighted the idea the use of an info-graphic in this story could be the end of info-graphics for link building. Shame on me for missing the deeper message which I intended to highlight! Andrew R H Girdwood is right when he wrote (bold pieces from me to highlight main message that made me think about my own post):
Are we horrified at this attempt at SEO?
Not quite. The title suggests the info-graphic is to blame!
The headline isn’t the attempt to profit off death. The headline isn’t the appalling unpleasant SEO approach on the back of human tragedy. No, the headline speculates on the end of the info-graphic.
Gah. I can see how this might have happened. Dennis had the info-graphic in mind as he started to write the post. He might have initially wondered why a voucher code site was writing about Pakistan at all. However, I feel, the dirt he’s dug up can be planted, fair and square, on the boots of the type of SEO that encourages the world to hate SEOs.
The comments I have seen on Twitter regarding this post better cover the load of what DiscountVouchers.co.uk is trying to do. Here are some of these comments, which obviously make much better titles for my original post:
@lyndoman: Its shameful that marketers are using the Pakistan flood to line their pockets http://twurl.nl/6ji6lc << via @wiep
@neyne a really important post by @TheNextCorner. stop using disasters for linkbuilding http://bit.ly/dmoeDh
@bitbang_search Pakistan Floodbait used to gain Links with infographic: the horrible and unethical case of DiscountVouchers.co.uk http://is.gd/eAHI4
@copestoneTeam Shameless use of the Pakistan flood disaster for search engine marketing campaign: http://bit.ly/dmoeDh via @jennysimpson #badmarketing
@stuartpt Pretty poor behaviour: http://thenextcorner.net/pakistan-floodbait-end-infographic/
@rmsimons Soulless, money-hungy, egoistic vultures. Bah. | RT @jodykoehler ‘Pakistan Floodbait: The End of The Info-Graphic’ http://bit.ly/dmoeDh
@robgreenseo FYI, you can contact the site that used a Pakistan Flood infographic for linkbait at @DiscVisc and email@example.com
From these reactions, it’s clear to me the majority of people who make the connection between discountvouchers.co.uk and the Pakistan floods are totally appalled from the marketing practice this company is using. Trying to get an extra push in the search engines, while even no-following the link to the charity website.
I updated the title of my original post to better cover the impact of what we see here: some marketeers don’t care on how they get traffic or customers, as long as there is growth and lot’s of them.
It was a humbling lesson on my own view of the world. While writing the post, I was only thinking on how this company could do this. After finishing the whole post, I tried to think about a good headline which would cover the full load. With my SEO head on the full day, and still having a couple of emails open I’ve been working on, while browsing the Internet, I created the original title: Pakistan Floodbait: The End of The Info-Graphic. This title was pretty SEO related, which I know have changed into: Shameful use of Pakistan Flood Disaster to Gain SEO Links and Traffic
Andrew Girdwood says
Thanks for the update. You really touched a nerve – but it was something worth doing, I think, this was a healthy debate.