Long time readers may remember my post from early January of 2007, The Secret Formula for Making Boring Porn, Part 2, and may also remember that it ended up linked to a Boing Boing post entitled “Media overestimates porn industy’s girth.”
The reason we got that traffic-driving, google-rank improving link is because I spoon fed the information in the post to Boing Boing editor Xeni Jardin. I sent her the link to my post. I sent her the links to the ADT post she quoted, I sent her the link the the Luke Ford post she quote. I gave her the Forbes links. And I put them all in context so it would be easy for her to turn it into a news item. This is how the modern world of media works. You send out notes to gate keepers like Xeni Jardin or Andrew Sullivan, or Richard Corliss, and sometimes you get a mention. This is how a guerrilla operation like the Comstock Films public relations department (i.e. yours truly) monetizes expertise, experience and cunning.
This morning finds me checking out some stats using Google’s webmasters tools, and I’ve noticed some unexpected shifts in rankings. Nothing earth-shattering, but certainly worthy of further investigation. A little more typing and clicking and suddenly I’m in the middle of the Great Boing Boing disappearing post controversy.
Apparently the story I researched and then handed to Xeni Jardin has been “unpublished” because it also quotes Violet Blue. Apparently Boing Boing has “unpublished” any story that mentions Violet Blue, which would seem to include the Google sex search bug story I handed Xeni Jardin in December of 2006.
Naturally I’m not happy about Boing Boing’s decission. The loss of the inbound Boing Boing links translates into a loss of the time and effort I put into getting the press pick up in the first place. Further more, it puts me in the awkward position of a) saying nothing in the hopes of preserving whatever relationship I might have with Ms. Jardin and Boing Boing; or b) writing about it and hoping that there’s some value adding my voice to the discussion of what implications and real world effects Boing Boing’s decission has.
Back in late 06/early 07, when we realized just how vague, eratic, and fallable Google’s ranking methods could be, we moved to uncouple our fortunes from the whims of Googlebot. This Boing Boing “unpublishing” things suggests that it’s time for a re-evaluation of our PR tactics.