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Internet Marketing Geeks Tried To Kill Me Yesterday

“I have to go, I’m sorry,” is what I said abruptly to the gentleman I was speaking with on the phone yesterday. I had to hang up. You see, I was having my first anxiety attack.

thescream.gifIt happened quickly and came from out of nowhere. Yesterday at about 3:30 I began to feel a thumping in my chest, combined with a shortness of breath. As the beating got worse, I stood up and tried to stretch, it didn’t help. I tried drinking some water, it didn’t help.

Queue the drama. For a brief second I thought I was having a heart attack and was going to die.

So what does an Internet marketing geek do next when they panic?

Of course, the answer is… Google it.

So I asked my studio-mate Dave to look up “tips to stopping an anxiety attack“, while I sat in a chair and tried to recover. I was getting worse. Thump, thumpity, thump! My heart was practically in my lap.

Dave scrambled to his Mac and looked desperately for an answer for me.

But guess what? The tips to stopping an attack aren’t easy to find. It turns out that all the other internet marketing geeks out there have built countless high-ranking landing pages about anxiety attacks and panic attacks and every other most searched for phrases, and they dominate the first page listings.

What does that mean?

That means that when do a search on Google, you get a ton of sales sites, instead of informational sites. In other words, you get sites that were built by search and affiliate marketers to get high keyword rankings, not sites that were built by experts in anxiety. Big difference.

Ahh, the sweet irony of my profession.

As I was sitting there wondering how to stop my heart from pounding out of my chest, I had to laugh as Dave went through the first page, link by link trying to find some actual “tips to stopping an attack”.

TheFinger.jpgInstead all he could find were lists of symptoms of anxiety attacks, and anywhere a solution to stop an attack was mentioned, there was an accompanying affiliate link to a product or service that I could buy that would help.

As it turns out, at least the information they did provide convinced me I wasn’t going to die and I was only having an anxiety attack. On the other hand, it would have been nice to get some tips (instead of products I could buy) that could help me stop the attack right away.

24-hours later and I’m much better and taking it easy. I believe a combination of lack of sleep, stress and too much coffee is what triggered the attack, so now I’m rested up and caffeine free, and stress-free, for the moment at least.

As for you fellow Internet marketers out there… I’m not sure to applaud you, or flip you the finger. Maybe both.

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8 Awesome Comments So Far

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  1. Nate
    February 14, 2007 at 3:41 pm #

    If your heart is thumping, you are having shortness or breath, and you don’t know what to do…call a doctor. Don’t rely on Google to convince you that you aren’t going to die.

    6th link down on the Google search…

  2. Chris Pirillo
    February 14, 2007 at 4:27 pm #

    Welcome to the club. Had mine right after the second Gnomedex in Des Moines. :)

  3. Amy Domestico
    February 14, 2007 at 6:58 pm #

    Why do I feel partly responsible? Having a horrid guest on your radio show might had done it? lol

    Anxiety……..Yoga…. try it.

    You may feel like a complete moron trying to put your feet behind your ears but you will laugh so hard you wont even think about being stressed.

    Or maybe just extra hugs from the kids…..hugs do lots for the soul.

  4. smoMashup
    February 15, 2007 at 6:47 am #

    I believe this is why a lot of SEO firms go for niche phrases. Content and Relevancy are still at play here and though I’m sure most of those companies would like to come up for a more general search like “stop anxiety attack” but if you plug that in you’ll find it riddled with lots of resources. There are of course marketers on top of there game here but perhaps that’s why wikipedia has become such a wide spread destination.

  5. Rosie
    February 15, 2007 at 2:51 pm #

    I always Google my health problems! I thought I was the only one who’d rather self-diagnose and see if I HAVE to go to the doctor or not.

    Glad you feel better – I’ve had a few anxiety attacks in my life and they are not fun. (I was interned with Hal for a summer, need I say more?) ;)

    (BTW – +5 for adding in a Johnny Cash photo.)

  6. Shawn Kerr
    February 18, 2007 at 10:34 pm #

    I had my first anxiety attack several years ago. The first thing I did, had someone come get me and take me to the hospital. I swear it was a heart attack, at least that’s what it felt like and since it wasn’t, I hope I never have a heart attack. I can only imagine what that feels like.

    Unfortunately Xanax is the only thing that’s ever relieved the symptoms. But as much as I stress out, I surprisingly haven’t had many that have been as bad as the first one.


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