The mood of the online community can get ugly at times. Mobile Crunch recently posted an article calling out Reverb Communications, a PR firm who work with several leading App developers for the iPhone. The writer, Gagan Biyani, chastised them for seeding positive reviews in the App Store for their client’s Apps. It is a clear breach of ethics, yet the comments are quite interesting. Seems the average reader has become quite apathetic, many believing that this is to be expected! Seems our tolerance for rogues is diminishing. Some even state that they would hire this firm as they obviously know how to produce results.
One even likened it to the way Obama used Social Media in his Presidential campaign. Certainly a stretch. White Hat eMarketing firms operate within the parameters set by the search engines and the social sites, ensuring that their clients are easily found when their prospects are looking for them. Legitimate firms do not use link farms or any “Black Hat tactics” to improve their client’s visibility. They simply optimize (thus the commonly used term Search Engine Optimization) their clients so they can easily be found online.
The World Wide Web is made up of people. Human beings, with all of the good, the bad and the ugly. So it stands to reason that “buyer beware” applies. But make no mistake – we would choose not do business with a firm that conducts itself like Reverb does – results at any cost is not an acceptable business practice for us. So please folks, keep outing companies that consider this acceptable practice and let each of us make our own decisions whether we choose to be involved with them or not. There is a line and we all know when we have crossed it.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5, 2010