“Repost to Impect Others”: Debunking SEO Myths with GenAI

“Repost to Impect Others”: Debunking SEO Myths with GenAI

✍️ I began in content publishing back in 2006. I was then an information and communications technology (ICT) student fascinated by the growth of Internet technology and the tools that allowed us to write about our hobbies and interests while connecting with like-minded people. Back when Facebook was not yet popular, and Twitter and Instagram did not exist, people mainly used blogging platforms and personal websites to publish their content. At that time, generally tech-savvy individuals who blogged or owned a website had more visibility. They were easier to find than anyone is in today’s age of information overload.

Since the competition was lower, as were the barriers of entry for the tech-savvy, my first blog generated significant traffic, even though I never monetized it and the quality of the content was undoubtedly lower than what I publish today at reddgr.com. My writing was more of a hobby than a professional or academic activity, but allowed me to learn about some domains of ICT that were in their initial stages back then and have only grown and become highly relevant and lucrative businesses over the years: web analytics and search engine optimization (SEO).

Digital analytics and SEO are much different today, so I thought it would be interesting to have a chatbot analyze a mostly ironic post about a rudimentary SEO experiment I did in 2007. Today, in the era of generative AI and bots that scrape search engines and write high-quality text much faster than any human, this might be more relevant than we believe. As in all other Reddgr.com blog posts and Talking to Chatbots pages, I share the chatbot prompts preceded by the emoji 😎, and the selected answers preceded by 🤖.

Screen capture from google.com.pe, Google's subdomain in Peru, taken in 2007. The search query is, without quotation marks, "porno bideos y ceso por monton gratis." A blog titled "SNOB (NO lea eSte Blog)" appears as the fourth search result. Highlighted keywords are "cesó" and "por videos"
Screen capture from google.com.pe, Google’s subdomain for Peru, taken in 2007. My blog appeared as the fourth search result amongst other Spanish-language sites

😎 Back in 2007, I did a rudimentary SEO experiment that I published on my blog. I maintained this blog only for fun and to share knowledge about web technology and other of my hobbies. The blog post essentially contained a screen capture of a Google search which could be interpreted as an overly misspelled query for videos. I came up with that odd misspelled sentence because the web analytics tracking tool Statcounter revealed some users landed on my website via that exact Google search. This is probably funnier today, 2023, than it was back then because it shows how web search technology has grown to become more sophisticated but, at the same time, it can shed some light on one SEO technique that some people still use today: misspelled keywords in SEO. Could you provide information and sources about the potential usage of misspelled words in websites for SEO traffic generation and how the practice has evolved over the years? Please, properly cite the sources in your response when the text might have been copied or rephrased from a website

✍️ To avoid problems with the chatbot refusing to respond, in the prompt for Bing Chat I didn’t provide the details of what the misspelled query seemed to imply about the results expected by people who googled those words and landed on my website. The Google search query was, without quotation marks, “porno bideos y ceso por monton gratis.” While the misspellings are terrible, it can be inferred by a fluent Spanish speaker that the intended search was something like “porn videos and lots of sex for free.” My blog would show up in the search results in a high place due to some very vague coincidences of strings in one of the pages: the verb form “cesó” (Spanish for “ceded”), which almost matches “ceso”, an exaggerated misspelling of the Spanish word “sexo” (sex); and the string “por vídeos” (“for videos”), which is only two characters short of the phrase “porn videos” in Spanish.

🤖 [Original answer by Bing Chat]

The practice of using misspelled keywords in SEO has evolved significantly over the years. In the early days of SEO, targeting misspelled keywords was a common strategy. This was because search engines focused on returning content that used those exact phrases versus recognizing the spelling error and then returning relevant content. [SEO.com]

However, with the advancement of search engine algorithms, this practice has become outdated. Search engines like Google and Bing have improved their understanding of what words mean and are now capable of recognizing misspelled words, converting them to the correct spelling, and then showing results for the correctly spelled word. [Search Engine Journal]

Targeting misspelled keywords today is generally considered ineffective and could potentially harm your SEO efforts. [e-GSS] It’s also worth noting that publishing content riddled with misspellings doesn’t demonstrate experience, expertise, authority, or trustworthiness, which are key factors in Google’s search engine algorithm.

In conclusion, while the use of misspelled keywords was once a valid strategy in SEO, it is no longer recommended due to advancements in search engine algorithms and the shift towards prioritizing high-quality content.

As for the evolution of SEO techniques over the years, the practice we know as SEO started in the mid-1990s [Search Engine Journal]. The key elements for ranking a website have included meta title and description, appropriate keywords, internal and external linking, H1 tags, images with alt tags, etc. [Pepper Blog] Over the years, SEO has evolved from focusing on listing, link building, and keywords to incorporating new trends and taking a human-first approach. Today, SEO comprises a range of factors that include keywords and links, but also looks at the content quality and search context.

Learn more: [Affiliate Marketing FAQ], [HubSpot blog], [Search Engine Land], [Screaming Frog]

😎 That’s a very good overview and selection of relevant links to learn more about SEO. I will post this chat in my new blog post about SEO. I would like to connect my experience from using web analytics tools 16 years ago with some questionable behaviors that I observe today (2023) in social media involving keyword misspellings. Popular social media sites such as LinkedIn, X.com, or Reddit, have a very high authority in search engines, so I suspect some people might want to take unfair advantage of that in order to raise social media impressions for them and, potentially, for others in exchange for money. I know SEO and fair usage of their platforms are taken very seriously by the largest social media companies, so I would like you to elaborate more on the potential misuse of SEO techniques by social media users. To illustrate this, I’m attaching to my blog a message I found on social media:

Screen capture of a LinkedIn post:Agree 👍💯?🔄Repost to impect others.✍️leave a comment and share your experience & insights. Follow me and ring the 🔔on my profile.🔝send me a connection request.The message also includes a visual featuring a luxury car stranded in a rainforest
The message has 1,182 reactions and 55 comments
Screen capture of a LinkedIn post. The post has 1,182 reactions and 55 comments

Agree 👍💯?

🔄Repost to impect others.

✍️leave a comment and share your experience & insights. Follow me and ring the 🔔on my profile.

🔝send me a connection request.

Text quoted from multiple LinkedIn posts. Featured on Reddit community r/LinkedInLunatics

Notice the misspelling of the word “impact”, which is spelled as “impect”. Some of these messages can be found on Google by searching the misspelled sentence. I can observe there are many other messages on the same social media platform with this exact content and they get an unusual number of engagements, despite they seem extremely repetitive and not particularly valuable. Some of the people who post these messages advertise digital marketing and SEO services in their profiles.

A version of The Pyramid of Intellect meme. A pyramid chart that showcases hierarchical levels of intelligence. The bottom tier of the pyramid is labeled High School Diploma, which leads up various levels of education to Ph.D. The tip of the pyramid is captioned with “Follow me and ring the 🔔on my profile.”
Just a Pyramid of Intellect meme that I posted on social media when I discovered this series of posts

✍️ The author of the post, among lots of buzzwords and high-rank keywords for search engines, featured the following sentences in their user headline: “Daily Impressions 300k” – “Contact for paid promotion.” Misspellings and follower farming on social media may look like a funny source of memes to well-intentioned people, such as those who post on communities like r/LinkedInLunatics. However, some things we find on the Internet that look amusing or inoffensive sometimes are a mask for questionable or unethical practices.

Due to what I often label as “the influencer bubble” on my social media posts, more and more people are growing interested in Internet publishing and social media. As someone with more experience than the average internet user, my goal with this post is to offer helpful advice. That’s why I started the post with the funny and well-intentioned SEO experiment I did 16 years ago. It’s good to have fun on the Internet, as well as do ethical business on it, but we should always be aware of the Dunning-Kruger effect when judging a seemingly inoffensive conduct as funny or “cringey.” Behind those social media posts, there might be other motives that don’t deserve as much attention as honest and well-intentioned advice. Read more about the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Screen capture of the front page of the Reddit community LinkedIn Lunatics.Community headline: A subreddit for insufferable LinkedIn contentCommunity description: Scroll through LinkedIn and you will find a mix of rampant virtue signaling, cringeworthy titles, and stories that could come from r/thathappened. This subreddit is for sharing and discussing these LinkedIn characters. **Linkedin is public content, there is no need to hide user names**Featured front page post (sorted by all time popularity):Posted by u/Marineray
7 months ago
Dude puts himself as investor for every stock he owns
Front page of the LinkedInLunatics community on Reddit.com

🤖 [Original answer by Bing Chat]

The misuse of SEO techniques on social media is a concern. Some users may attempt to manipulate the system by using misspelled words, excessive hashtags, or repetitive content to increase their visibility and engagement. [Semrush blog] This behavior can lead to a poor user experience and is generally frowned upon by both the SEO and social media communities. [Sprout Social]

In the example you provided, the misspelled word “impect” instead of “impact” could be an attempt to stand out in search results or to circumvent spam filters. This is not a recommended practice as it can lead to penalties from social media platforms and search engines.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, X.com, and Reddit have strict guidelines against such practices. They use sophisticated algorithms to detect and penalize users who engage in spammy behavior, including the misuse of SEO techniques.

It’s important to note that while social media can influence SEO, the best practice is to focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that provides value to the audience. This approach is more likely to result in genuine engagement and a positive reputation, both on social media and in search engine rankings.

In conclusion, while some users may attempt to misuse SEO techniques on social media for short-term gain, such practices are generally ineffective in the long run and can lead to penalties. The best approach to SEO and social media is to focus on providing value through high-quality, relevant content.

Learn more: 1. semrush.com, 2. sproutsocial.com, 3. iihglobal.com, 4. searchenginejournal.com

Screen capture of Google web search. Showing search results for "repost to impect others", returning multiple entries and images on popular social media sites: LinkedIn, Pinterest, and RedditDebunking SEO Myths with GenAI
Google search results for “repost to impect others”, returning multiple entries and images on popular social media sites: LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Reddit

✍️ I originally planned to finish the post with more chatbot prompts that would help explain the importance of this topic, and the reason why showing a Google screen capture from 2007 was relevant to the story. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much luck with either Bard or Bing Chat providing reliable figures and insights about the market growth of Internet advertising between 2007 and 2023. Search Engine Optimization and follower farming on social media are essentially business techniques that enable Internet publishers to get a small piece of the Internet advertising “pie.” The Bing-generated overview and the charts below might help get a sense of the size of that pie and how it has evolved since 2007:

😎 Provide an estimate of the market size of the digital advertising business, and a list of the largest companies by digital advertising revenue

🤖 [Original answer by Bing Chat]

The digital advertising market is projected to reach US$679.80 billion in 2023 [Statista] . The largest market within this is Search Advertising, with a projected market volume of US$279.30 billion in 2023. Most ad spending will be generated in the United States, with an expected expenditure of US$271.20 billion in 2023.

The largest companies by digital advertising revenue in 2023 are:

  • Google (Alphabet): Google’s share of digital advertising revenues worldwide was projected to amount to 39 percent.
  • Facebook (Meta): The forecast for Facebook digital advertising revenues saw the Meta company generating 119 billion U.S. dollars by the end of the fiscal year.
  • Amazon: Amazon came in third with an expected seven percent share of digital ad revenue.
  • TikTok: TikTok was projected to see its online advertising revenues hit 18 billion U.S. dollars.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn advertising revenues were forecasted to reach approximately a third of TikTok’s amount for 2023.

Source: Statista

These figures are based on forecasts and actual revenues may vary.

An image featuring a pie chart titled 'The $680 Billion Digital Advertising Market' displaying the following distribution:Alphabet: 39%
Meta: 18%
Amazon: 7%
TikTok: 2.6%
LinkedIn: 1%
Others: 33%Published at reddgr.com
Source: statista.com
Pie chart: ‘The $680 Billion Digital Advertising Market’. Source: Statista

✍️ To estimate the overall size of the pie in 2007, find below the data for the two biggest players in today’s market, Alphabet (owner of Google Search and YouTube) and Meta (owner of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram). According to Search Engine Watch, Google held a 40.3% share in the digital ads market in 2007, which suggests that the market’s total size was around US$ 26.5 B. That represents a growth multiple of 25x (+2,465%) over the past 16 years.

Statistic: Annual revenue of Google from 2002 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Annual revenue of Google from 2002 to 2022

Statistic: Annual revenue and net income generated by Meta Platforms from 2007 to 2022 (in million U.S. dollars) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Annual revenue and net income generated by Meta Platforms from 2007 to 2022(in million U.S. dollars)

✍️ I am happy if anyone found this post interesting, or insightful. Like most other publications posted on this website, there are chatbot examples, charts, numbers, and images… These elements helped me shape an informative piece on topics I like to write about and, likely, you like reading about if you landed on this page and kept reading until this point: Digital Marketing, Social Media, SEO… I wanted to add just one more paragraph to let you know none of those topics were my primary focus when writing this article. My primary focus was ethics, and this inspired me to write a new Talking to Chatbots page I would like to share to finish this post:

✍️ If you found this post interesting or insightful, I’m glad! Like most other publications on this website, it includes chatbot examples, charts, numbers, images… These elements helped me create an informative article about topics I enjoy writing about that you probably enjoy reading about too, such as digital marketing, social media, and SEO. However, I want to make it clear that these topics were not my primary focus when writing this article. My main focus was on ethics. This inspired me to write a new Talking to Chatbots page that I’d like to share to conclude this post:

Talking to Chatbots: Ethical Choices Lay the Foundation for a Resilient Long-Term Network

NOTE: yes, those were actually two peragraphs. #impect 😎

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