Fawlty Towers and Trolls SEO strategy – have you got the balls?
We all know that if a customer is unhappy that they are 10 times more likely to complain than if they are happy. Well poor service could be a fantastic opportunity to improve your SEO.
Let’s say you run a restaurant. Consider a situation where for a day you deliberately gave all your clients appalling customer service – picture a day at Fawlty Towers. In the past your clients would have just grumbled and not come back, nowadays they’ll be straight online on Facebook, twitter, mumsnet, forums, tripadvisor, restaurant review sites etc. and anywhere else to vent their spleen and to take revenge on your appalling rudeness.
They’ll be so agitated that they’ll post a link back to your site just so that your readers are in no doubt as to where you are and so that they can avoid you.
What a great result! Fantastic. Go out into the streets and rejoice. Think of all those juicy, natural, organic links pointing back to your site. Clever though the poor old Google bot is it cannot determine sentiment very well (or may not even want to) and will treat those links as a good reason to boost your site’s rankings.
This is obviously a very dangerous tactic and not one to be approached lightly but you do see instances of it happening if not deliberately then definitely inadvertently.
Ryan Air are exemplars of deliberate bad PR to attract venom and spite from their clients, who keep coming back, and who presumably keep posting links to their site.
Mothercare were in the spot light last month for its appalling customer service, this was all over Mumsnet for days and other forums just clicking up the inbound links. What a gift!
Also see here for a case study from american company My Decor Eyes whose poor customer service has catapulted them up Googles Rankings. Here is an excerpt with a comment from the owner:
“Hello, My name is Stanley with DecorMyEyes.com,” the post began. “I just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement.”
It’s all part of a sales strategy, he said. Online chatter about DecorMyEyes, even furious online chatter, pushed the site higher in Google search results, which led to greater sales. He closed with a sardonic expression of gratitude: “I never had the amount of traffic I have now since my 1st complaint. I am in heaven.”
For the ultimate SEO buzz and getting attention online why not try Troll SEO.
It’s dangerous but could be fun
Indeed it is not all about links on the Internet it’s all about getting attention and this is where Trolls come in.
Online a Troll is someone who deliberately stirs up forum discussion by posting extreme, controversial, rude, occasionally funny, comments just to annoy and cajole other readers. He is the firestarter, the poker of ants nests.
Get it right and and everyone gets on their high horse and attacks the troll, the number of contributors increases, attention and eyeballs gather and hey presto suddenly everyone’s on your site.
This is maybe how we know about Liam Stacey who used twitter to launch a stream of racist abuse against footballer Fabrice Muamba as he fought for his life. Is he really such a racist? Maybe, maybe not but now we all know who he is and he’s got our attention.
Why did I find myself reading Louise Mensch’s (Tory MP) Twitter the other day? Well she had decided to promote all the sexist abuse she gets on Twitter in her favourites. Too disgusting to broadcast on the radio I had to see it for myself when I heard about it! As did thousands of others neatly promoting her profile, her number of followers etc.
But who were these people posting all this sexist abuse? If you were to meet them face to face would they be so bold? I suspect not, but online they are Trolls, operating unseen, below the fold of the page, viley expurgating their venom and inadvertently promoting their hosts’ blogs and websites. Everyone should have a pet Troll.