What SEO advocates don’t want you to know they censor . . . just ask Search Engine Land

Breaking News Update: Let me give you an idea of why I am not a believer in SEO . . . go to Google right now and type in “is paterno guilty” . . . look who comes up first on the first page. This is without SEO and focusing instead on content.

Yesterday I made a comment on this article. I even went as far as providing the link back to my research referencing why I did not believe that the data that you had provided reflected the entire picture (see Google Crackdown on Content Thins Sites Exposes The SEO Myth).

For the next 24 hours my research link had heavy traffic without a single dispute (in fact it was re-tweeted numerous time). This morning when I came back to this article my comment had been removed. Respectful debate backed by solid research is not something that one should avoid or censor even if it may not concur completely with your position.

So here is the question . . . why did you remove it without even offering a rebuttal comment? Again, any position that I take or question I pose is subject to scrutiny and if it is a solid position then it will stand the test of said critique.

The fact that despite the obvious interest in what I had to say removing it does not bode well for either your publication or SEO as a whole.

my response to the removal of my comment from the December 8th, 2011 Search Engine Land articles “An SEO Playbook For 2012” by Tom Schmitz and, “Survey Says SEO The Single Most Important Marketing Channel For SMBs” by Greg Sterling

Search Engine Land Policy?

One policy that I have with all 13 blogs that are under the PI Social Media banner is that we do not censor reader comments unless they are 1) SPAM that gets through the usually reliable WordPress Akismet filters, 2) are off topic or are not backed by sound research or 3) are gratuitously profane and/or disrespectful of sincere debate.

While each of these are important standards, point number 2 is critical to me which is why I allow links back to reference material supporting the commenter’s position.

Sadly, not everyone shares this commitment to open-ended dialogue as they instead opt for an unchallenged venue in which the only voice that ultimately resonates will be their own.  Oh sure, these sites allow comments but only in the form of an individual opinion as opposed to well researched facts because it would seem, one can always discount detractors as being sincere but uninformed interlopers.  Or to put it another way if you outright block or restrict the inclusion of reference links you are in reality practising a form of censorship if said links add meaningful insight to the overall subject matter being discussed.

Credible publications such as the Huffington Post, ZDNet and The New York Times allow links within the comments posted on their sites, which I applaud.

However, those publications that fail to do so operate under the misguided notion that their readership is a proprietary asset that must be blocked from accessing other sites or worse yet, do not want their readers to access information that contradicts their cherished positions.

This seems to be the case with Search Engine Land’s Tom Schmitz and Greg Sterling.

After posting my brief comment and providing a link back to an article I had written as a means of supporting my position – which contradicted what the writers were saying, the response was tremendous in terms of click through activity.  I guess their readers are interested in alternative opinions.

24 hours later, my aforementioned comments were removed and I was shut down and blocked from submitting any further comments.

Regardless of the reasons, any time you censure a submission in which there is a sincere effort to provide another point of view the true spirit of an informed exchange is compromised.  I believed in this principle long before the advent of social networking and, believe it even more so today where through the wonders of the Internet the breadth of insight and opinion on a global perspective adds that much more value to any conversation.

In short, I have enough confidence in my readers to know that they will look at the issues from all sides and have the ability to make their own “informed” decisions, that is why I have no problem including multiple links in my posts because I want them to get as much information as possible.

I think that it is time that more of the industry moves into the 21st century and embrace the emerging open door, social media mindset or they may one day find that they are the only ones reading what they write.

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Comments
4 Responses to “What SEO advocates don’t want you to know they censor . . . just ask Search Engine Land”
  1. “Opinions are welcome, as long as they are positive.” Very true.

  2. piblogger says:

    Let me give you an idea of why I am not a believer in SEO . . . go to Google right now and type in “is paterno guilty” . . . look who comes up first on the first page. This is without SEO and focusing instead on content.

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