We've covered Link Baiting and Digg Baiting around these parts before now, but it looks like their time has come. Forget about them, for a new trend is emerging in the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) field - Video Baiting.
With the growth of YouTube and the like, there's a growing embracing of video technology from SEOs, giving them a chance to expand the link building possibilities with educational videos. Google main man Matt Cutts can be seen as one of the precursors of what will be known in future times as Video Baiting, with his series of tips about getting listed in Google.
From that day there's been a growing tradition of nondescript and slightly beefy blokes standing in front of web cameras and talking about technical stuff. Given the sort of videos blokes generally used to make for sharing on the web, it's a pleasant change (or not).
Till now the tone of these videos has been largely deferential and polite. But that's set to change, thanks to one man's rallying cry and use of the old 'put a stick in a bee's nest and stir' technique. Step forward Michael Gray.
I've always enjoyed reading his blog - he covers a lot of great ideas and plays for Search Marketers and Optimizers beyond the usual mainstream practices. Having initially jumped in to the polite and technical pool of technical videos, he quickly realised the potential, and with a much needed blast decried - "SEO Bloggers, step away from the keyboard!"
Having recently dumped a load of repetitive feeds from my bloglines, thanks to the echo chamber effect, his words are timely and justified. But you have to admire his technique - already outraged bloggers are responding with videos and links, and there we have it, a perfect Video Bait.
Ok, in reality, Video Baiting ha been around a lot longer, viral videos are nothing new and have been used with great effect. Just take a look at LonelyGirl15 or more archaically, the Shake 'N Vac lady. However, the idea has broken through the micro-focused haze of navel-gazing that many in the SEO world are guilty of, and struck a chord long after the main refrain has bounced off the walls and into the stratosphere. Expect to see a lot more of it.
Ok, so MySpace is not a next big web thing I know. It's fast becoming a last big web thing. It's been there, seen it, done it and had its own worms and court cases to prove it.
I've wanted to write something about them recently, but haven't found time. I was going to do a whole piece on using fake persona to make targeted pages, or something about the crashes some users profile pages cause. Instead, I thought I'd roll all them areas and more in to one post with a couple of succinct top ten lists, so here you go.
Ten Reasons I Hate MySpace
I could probably make this list a top hundred, but that would be nit-picking. I really, really, really hate MySpace, but given my profession, I can't in good consciousness ignore it. I should also point out, whilst I have a number of fake MySpace pages, I don't actually have my very own personal one. What's more, I don't ever plan on having one. Here's why.
It's like being a webmaster, only dumbed down. Seriously, like, now everyone has a webpage and has customised to show their hidden shallows. If another person tells me they have their own website and gives me a MySpace address, I'll blow.
MySpace users aren't considerate. Nope, anything but - they're hot-linking, content stealing, non-spending, time eating, soul sucking, html pasting web vermin who care little for the etiquette of the net.
Every time I open a MySpace page it's like playing Russian Roulette. I like looking at my traffic referrers, and I'm always wanting to see who the latest MySpace profile person stealing my bandwidth is. Unfortunately, and this usually happens when I have 15 tabs open - more often than not the mass of plugins, toys, pictures and customisations manage to kill my browser stone dead.
Ok, so I should know better, but it's habit, and it's normally when I've forgotten I've got a half complete post or comment in another window. I was going to make a game that randomly pulled out MySpace profiles until it killed the browser, but I'm not clever enough for that, instead I made a quiz. For people to add to MySpace. Despairing sigh...
50% of the people on there are fake. So I'm drowning in spam every time I open one of my fake profiles to add another 50 non-converting people to my account.
The other 50% of people on there aren't fake.
They cut down on robots, just after I bought Adder Robot - I got giddy testing the gullibility levels of 500 people a day - but then they cut it to 50 and broke my account. What a waste of my robot's effort.
All my fake profiles have horrid blokes stalkers. Yes I know they are attractive women, out for flirting, but that doesn't excuse some of the frankly disturbing come-ons I have to put up with.
The traffic is generally crap. It'll click anything that moves, but anything that's worth clicking knows it's come from MySpace, so pays a pittance for it.
It spawned a million crap eBooks. Just when my lack of love for webmaster forums was being killed by the endless directory, pixel and top site copycat nonsense, MySpace kicked in with crap eBooks and schemes. But that's not all - accounts with friends, MySpace resource scripts and more. All of it crap, all of it pointless, all of it done to death.
It's owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Ten Reasons I Love MySpace
Ok, I'm going to be pushing it a bit here, but we've had the yang, now it's time for some ying. Things I like about MySpace, none of them in the slightest bit ironic or tongue in cheek.
It helps develop the creative writer in me. Give me an hour and a couple of sexy lady photos from iStockphotos and some dubious back story and blog posts and I have a bevy of fake profiles that offer some SEO juice and a method to target certain demographic. Unfortunately, by that time I'm usually so cheesed off with it all I have nothing of interest to do with them.
I enjoy switching out hot-linked images. I know it's mean, but I get a kick putting massive 5000px square transparent gifs in the place of popular images and breaking hundreds of MySpace profiles in one fell swoop.
Some of my favourite bands have MySpace pages. However, I hate MySpace and don't have my own profile so I have to make do with going to their proper websites and joining the communities there.
You can live vicariously. Yes, I'm Jane the big chested lady from Bristol who's looking for love. Yes, I'm Robot the Johnny Depp lookalike from Llandudno, looking for ladies who enjoy flower arranging. Yes, I'm the sad webmaster from Wales who enjoys pretend to be something he's not. Oh.
Most MySpace losers users are easily fooled. Those with the moxy to question you about why a complete stranger wanted to be their friend are easily swayed by a reply saying "Because I surfed your profile looking at other people who liked *insert band/actor/film/niche here* and liked the look of yours.
It reaffirms my lack of faith in humanity.
I enjoy laughing at EMOs. I wish I'd have been clever enough to do this. Instead every time I see it I'll laugh like a drunken fool.
I enjoy laughing at bald men. Especially when they think the photo of them is going to make me want to be their bonk-buddies. I'm collecting them all for a book one day.
I like to ponder that given an infinite amount of MySpace users and keyboards, eventually they may learn to type "you're" correctly.
I own a MySpace resource site - and once millions of MySpace users have linked to it, I'm going to dump the site and sell EMO records off it.