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13 June 2005

Googlethics?

Interesting story on ethics for those of us with corporate websites. Quixtar are a Multi-Level-Marketing (euphemism for pyramid scheme) company, who unsurprisingly come in for quite a bit of flak on the web from their disgruntled 'Independent Business Owners' (read 'victims').
As no-one's likely to sign up if they've read about others' bad experiences, Quixtar hit on the idea of employing people to write a whole ring of blogs featuring regular positive stories. The point of these supposedly independent blogs was to boost each others' Google ratings, and make sure critical voices never appeared on the front page. More at http://www.ojr.org/ojr/stories/050601glaser/
The NUJ's PR branch issued some good professional guidelines for PRs a while ago, and I think this breaks pretty much all of them! We've all got our little Google tricks to try to boost our ratings, natch, but going to these lengths really takes the biscuit. What would you do if your company tried to get you to write copy just for the sake of Googlejuice, and to drown other commentators out rather than to actually be read by anyone?

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