Barry Parr of Jupiter Research says it loud and clear. “Our research shows that consumers see social news sites as less trustworthy than news media or portal sites — by a fairly wide margin.” Source.
Let’s backtrack. I am an online marketing snob. Anything that helps “game the system” is in direct conflict with my prime directive of working to keep online marketing as a legitimate business in the minds of the “outside world”. Why? Because I care. I work in this business and I’m sick and tired of seeing the scammers drag our brand into the mud.
Today I’m refocusing on Digg, or any other social networking site. Amy Gahran, over at The Right Conversation gets into it with a piece about social network spam. In her article she points to Naill Kennedy who “diggs” even deeper to outline the entire mystery.
Here’s a summary: People have figured out a way to get exposure on social media sites like Digg in order to push bogus content/sites that make them money either by CPA (cost per action/sale) or CPC (cost per click).
Naill’s conclusion (dead on):
I believe social media accounts are currently available for rent or for sale, rewarding active users with paid placements or account resells in much the same way as a World of Warcraft character might be resold on eBay. Social media sites and search engines need to stay on top of this new form of content creation, continually analyzing data and scrubbing out the dirt. Sites overrun with web spam quickly lose their utility and might be banned from search engines.
Social media sites continue to change the way we interact with data but expect more activity and content shaping in the future from marketers targeting the social media space for a quick link injection.
So, what are we gonna do about it? Education is the key, so keep blogging the positive fight.