Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

Inbound Marketing Trap -- Over-optimized Marketing

May 13, 2012, Clarke Bishop

I'm a guitar player -- Well, sort of. I was thinking of buying a special learning guitar from Fretlight. It has LEDs built into the neck to show you where to put your fingers!

Here's what happend, Fretlight lost my trust due to over-optimized marketing. I'm no longer a prospect.

Over Optimized Inbound Marketing

Like many people, I rely on reviews and opinions from other people. And, the reviews were all great -- This thing was supposed to play just like a Fender guitar. Plus, it would help you shorten your guitar learning curve.

The reviews were so good, I got curious and did a search for "Fretlight negative review." That's when I started seeing stories about how Fretlight was aggressive in suppressing negative reviews and getting non-guitar players to write glowing reviews. Then, I found people talking about some serious quality problems and playability problems.

Fretlight may have a good product, I don't know. The point is that I'm too put off to find out! If their product really does help you master guitar, I wish they had put more effort into improving their product than perfecting their marketing.

The safe way to get search traffic is to create great content that helps your prospects solve their problems. Anything else and Google will getcha.

Google's Penguin Update and SEO

Speaking of over-optimized marketing, you may have heard about Google's recent Penguin update. Google is now penalizing sites for having over-optimized links.

Let's say you want to rank for a keyword like "inbound marketing." And you have lots of links that all have the same exact anchor text that includes the optimized keywords. 

Google figures this couldn't have happened naturally -- You must be manipulating the links. If it were natural, at least of few of the links would say "Click Here" or something equally irrelevant. ("Click Here" is the anchor text even though this link doesn't go anywhere.) 


What works and will always work is creating great content and serving your prospects. Anything else can work against you.

  • You can't fool Mother Google. Don't try.
  • Always, Always, Always, make sure you are serving your customers first.
  • Have a great product. If you don't, improve the product until it is great.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, SEO

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