“You Have Been Warned”

“You have been warned about this before. Please do not leave your link signature in all of your comments. I told you previously that it belongs in your profile.”

The words above belong to one Tony Kaye. Mr. Kaye, from what I can tell, is a low-level employee at Gawker Media’s Gizmodo. I’m happy to report that when you search the Internet for Tony Kaye, you’ll find lots of references for Tony Kaye the 1970s-and-later musician and Tony Kaye the film director, but nary a one to this Tony Kaye.

And that’s as it should be. The other Tony Kayes are far more important than Gizmodo’s Tony Kaye, and besides, Gizmodo’s Tony Kaye is a Search Engine Optimization bad guy and doesn’t deserve to be noticed.

Oh yeah. And I predict that in a few week, “Tony Kaye” is going to point right here, too.

Why am I telling you about Tony Kaye? because last week Tony wrote those words above in response to a comment I posted at Gizmodo. The comment was in-context at the time, but Tony moved it to a purgatory designed to hide my comment but still keep it around to serve Gizmodo’s purposes. I then responded to what Tony did, but my response, being directly critical of Gizmodo’s practices and Tony Kaye, was deleted (EDIT: happily, as of February 11, 2011 my comment was added to the original link). So here it is:

Tony, I’m being honest/serious when I say that the phrase “it belongs in my profile” doesn’t register for me. I’ve never seen “my profile”, nor, frankly, am I terribly interested in it—especially when I’m spoken to like that.

And I’ve never seen the “warnings”. If Giz’ terms of service (no comment beyond saying that I know you know how much of it either I or most other readers have ever read) specify “no self promotion”, that’s your right. So’s nuking posts that violate those terms if they exist. But let’s call it what it is: If I participate in your forums in an on-topic way, I’m being a good citizen; I’m contributing, and adding value to your content. To have a problem with me doing the equivalent of handing out business cards at a party is just whiny and childish.

I’d post a link to a story I wrote about this, but I’m sure that would offend your sensibilities, too. And frankly, I can’t be bothered. I’ll just go hang out at someone else’s party, attracting/retaining traffic for them instead of you.

Geeeez, man. Get a grip.

Disclosure:  I’ve included the link I alluded to in the words Tony Kaye deleted from Gizmodo when my original comment did not include that link.

My point, besides showing you, Tony Kaye, Gizmodo, and its many readers just how good we are at Search Engine Optimization, is to talk about how important it is that you understand SEO and undertake Search Engine Optimization as you construct your business change and business planning.

Search Engine Optimization is what’s driving the traffic patterns on the Internet and also what decides which people come to your web site and who doesn’t. SEO is one of the few tools available to small businesses trying to fight back against “the big guys” getting bigger at their expense.

And Tony Kaye and people like Tony Kaye may not like it when others practice coopetition by taking advantage of the opportunity to hand out virtual business cards at their parties, but to pretend they can control the practice is short-sighted, and provides more opportunity for smart people—like you. And actually, is kind of rude. You want me there but not to tell people who I am? Puh-leeeze.

Or as mega-marketing star Seth Godin has said: it’s OK to be unreasonable.

Thanks, Tony Kaye. See you in the Search Engine Optimization results for your name.