Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

WordPress Doesn’t Care About You

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To the anonymous folks trying to attract clicks by faking incoming links to my site:

I appreciate what you are trying to accomplish. I, too, wish to increase traffic to my site, and employ some strategy toward that end. Our strategies seem to differ from each other so markedly, however, that I am compelled to address the difference, and perhaps to offer some constructive comments.

The most glaring difference in our approaches manifests in the straightforward vs. the roundabout. My approach, the straightforward, requires real work to generate quality content and attract a loyal audience of readers who themselves feel driven to share my writing with others. Whether this eventually evolves into something more lucrative is not the current issue, but of course I have no problem with earning money from my creative efforts.

You, on the other hand, favor the indirect approach, i.e. tricking me – and I do not flatter myself into thinking I am the sole object of your automated techniques – into thinking that someone followed a link from your site to my own, and perhaps then clicking on that “referring” link as it appears in my stats, thus boosting the traffic of the referenced site. This approach in effect ignores the quality of the site in question, as well as the morality behind the technique it employs.

Each of our approaches presents challenges that the other might not, and still other challenges remain no matter which approach one chooses. My approach requires actual work, sometimes hours at a time, to generate good ideas and express them effectively. It might also involve addressing feedback, corrections and comments. Your approach requires hiring a shady consultant to employ a bot that fakes visit logs at countless sites, much in the way a spammer sends thousands upon thousands of messages to people’s inboxes in the hope that a tiny fraction will respond. This presents little challenge, of course; the challenge of your approach lies in the slow death of soul that any feeling human should sense upon embarking on such a cynical journey in service of Mammon.

Neither approach really guarantees quality traffic, the kind of traffic that sustains a site; the vagaries and competition of the sea of online information make any simple prediction impossible. But only one of the two approaches preserves the dignity and self-worth of the site promoter, and it’s not yours.

Perhaps you do not care. Perhaps you simply hired a consultant to boost your traffic, but did not specify that you wanted quality traffic, the kind of audience that actually takes an interest in your site and its content. Perhaps you are aware of the issues but are already so morally corrupt that none of it bothers you. All of that is immaterial. Your behavior offers me one undeniable benefit: each fake referred link gives me one more reason to feel smugly superior to you, furnishing me with more fodder for my own pontifications. One day, those pontifications will become popular enough that I shall wield enough clout to silence you and your ilk. And I will feel righteous in the process.

We all dislike sanctimonious behavior. So you must ask yourselves whether provoking it is such a worthwhile endeavor. While you consider that, I’ll be over here, mocking you. Cheers.

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Written by Thag

January 18, 2011 at 10:58 am

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