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How SEO Is Polluting the Internet

Over the last couple years, the parabolic surge in social media marketing, link-baiting, and viral marketing has polluted the Internet, all in the pursuit of higher Google rankings.

Spam has evolved into a new form… a form which doesn’t look like spam… and that is the most dangerous kind.

Sensationalist headlines, superficial content

How many articles on Digg and Reddit have you seen that begin with tabloid-esque headlines like “Top 10 Ways to ______”, “7 Reasons You Should _______”, “6 Secrets About ____ They Don’t Want You to Know”.

Most of these headlines lead you to re-hashed and dumbed-down content—engineered by sneaky SEO companies to grab your attention, garner your votes, and win your backlinks.

Have you noticed how infographics have been popping up on blogs everywhere? This is because they’re the latest fad in viral marketing.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like looking at infographics. Most infographics provide excellent educational value, but beware of shoddily crafted ones developed by snakeoil SEO firms that reek of outright lies and misinformation. And the “matter-of-fact”, authoritative way that they present their content can be very dangerous to naive, elderly, or young minds who accept the information at face-value.

Information overload

The popularization of turnkey content creation systems like WordPress, Blogger, Twitter, Youtube, has made everyone as self-proclaimed online publisher, whether they deserve to be or not.

Twitter, in particular, is the ultimate cesspool of garbage content. Let me make myself clear: I hate Twitter.

By limiting people’s thoughts to 140 characters, they are guaranteeing that nothing meaningful can be expressed except spastic, narcissistic, self-centered spam—do you REALLY care about what club @KimKardashian is partying at tonight?


I don’t want to end this article on such a sour note, so I want to remind readers of MO that it is important to adapt to and capitalize on Internet trends.

As an Internet marketer, linkbaiting, engaging with members of your niche, and pumping out authoritative content leads to higher rankings, so keep at it.

However, as a web citizen, stay vigilant of content with ulterior motives.

In closing, the prescient producers of EPIC 2014 / 2015 say it best, criticizing the social-web as “merely a collection of trivia, much of it untrue, all of it narrow, shallow and sensational.”

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