Daily Archives: November 27, 2010

Dear Rabid SEO-Mongering Jackasses

Just so you know, when I click on a link that takes me to your site to look at an article, and what I get is a full browser screen full of ads before you bring up any actual content, I do two things:

1. I assume you’re an asshole, because you’ve just wasted my time;

2. I put your site on a blacklist of useless sites that I will never, ever visit again.

Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, I’ve noted a strong correlation between SEO-optimized, ad-intensive sites, and really crappy content, probably because what’s been written takes a back seat to a desperate hope that I’ll click through a Google ad that’s ridiculously unrelated to the content at hand. Nearly inevitably the content is one of two things: a “Top [insert number here]” list which in fact has no critical evaluation at all but is just a slapped-together list of whatever the author could find in a five-minute Google session, or the dry heavings of some “social media strategist,” retching up some bit of wisdom that wasn’t particularly new the first time it hit the Web, back in the last millennium. These sites are the best argument there is for avoiding any sites on the Web other than Seth Godin’s and Cracked.com.

Anyway. If you are an SEO-obsessed jackass — and you know who you are — please pull your head out and have a site that’s meant to be read, rather than a site that unloads a shotgun blast of ads into a visitor’s face, followed by an article featuring bargain basement writing skills. If you are someone wandering the Web and you land on a site where you have to scroll to get to the content you came for, you probably don’t actually have to scroll. It’s not going to be worth your time. That site’s not there to engage your brain, just your eyeballs. Just back out and never go back.