Press Releases Can Be Good, But When They're Bad They're Ridiculous

I was checking my various sources of news this afternoon and came across a couple of PR articles at eMediaWire that seemed of interest - but turned out to be self-promoting garbage.

First there was a release about the recent SEO World Championships (I am not giving them links). Now okay I may have been too busy to hear anything about this ... so I click and read about it. Apparently the competition involved a Google bomb campaign for Global warming awareness 2007.

When the top 5 are people you have never heard of and only the winner was a US (and Phillipines) entrant it makes you wonder. But hey you can call it anything you want and limit entries to the event to your small group of friends - though it should really be called something like SEO World (of Peter's friends) Championship.

Unsuspecting customers will see this through a search or a link from one of the top finishers to the article and get a very slanted view of who they should hire. This is better than a bait and switch - it is just a bait.

The second article was's list of the top 30 rankings for seo, sem, and many other categories. The lists include some very prominent names but are interspersed with companies I have never heard of (not saying they are not good), while many of the well-know and respected companies are not mentioned at all.

I checked out the site and basically it is an aggregator site for links and banner ads. If you are an advertiser you make their rankings.

I think I am going to start the 2007 Pinocchio Awards. Email me any sites or awards or press releases etc. that you think are stretching the truth. Points will be given for outrageousness of the lie, best twisting of reality and blatant cronyism.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.