Mark Glaser has filed a column on questionable SEO practices in the OJR. It focuses on Quixtar, the online arm of multi-level marketing king Amway. From the piece:
The company, a revamped online version of Amway, has had trouble with critics online and decided to fight them by unloading an arsenal of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that go against accepted marketing techniques and into the muddy world of Web page spam, also known as link farms and Google bombing.
To put it simply, Quixtar enlisted various people to help create dozens of Weblogs that linked to each other and were filled with positive stories and key words. The idea is to help put these newer blogs at the top of search results for phrases such as “Quixtar success” and “Quixtar opportunity,” while more critical sites such as
Quixtar Blog and Amquix.info would drop down.
It’s interesting to see how a company like Amway/Quixtar is using search to squelch its critics and promote a positively skewed vision of its practices. Not unlike Scientology, Amway is a controversial topic, one that has adamant detractors (it’s a scam, a cult, a house of cards) and true believers (it changed my life, it really works, you too can get rich…). It also has plenty of folks who are just working the plan and not really taking sides.
Net net: Another proof point in the motto You Are What The (first few links in the) Index Says You Are….