Time for housekeeping. Between now and the start of the new year, I'll be following up on prior postings.
A few weeks ago, I posted about a firm that purported to practice "dark PR," generating negative stories about competitors, opponents, and anyone else who has crossed you or constituted an enemy. I was appalled, and so were many readers.
Now I've heard from the owner of that outfit. It turns out his firm specializes in Search Engine Optimization and the page to which I linked was simply a means of demonstrating his ability to manipulate Google results or, as he acronymically put it, "optimize search results."
"Please google 'negative public relations' or even 'negative pr,' we are at the top, before wikipedia," he wrote. "The irony is that we are now, an 'authority' in negative campaigning." The irony, apparently, is that his firm doesn't actually do negative PR, it just claims to -- all in the interest of tricking Google.
It seems his firm does help clients "clean up" negative information about themselves, but most of its work is optimizing search results. The promotional page he created simply took advantage of a quirk in Google's algorithm. "Google loves negative information," he claims. "They rank it on top, because they make more money from negative search results, than positive."
All this was a relief on two levels. First, apparently his firm is not a gun for hire, spreading negative information across the web. And even better, I don't have to worry about being its latest victim.