Lots of people have taken up blogging in recent years. Some people write blogs to educate and make money, whilst other people blog as a hobby. Irrespective of your blogging reasons, it is crucial to provide factual information when publishing content. This is where ethical & unethical blogging come in to effect.
Misrepresenting information and hoping readers to remain indifferent to the information presented can be seen to be unethical. Also, such acts can be seen to mislead the community of people reading your post. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that the facts and information presented on your blog are true!
Ethical & Unethical Blogging
Why Bloggers Make False Claims?
Before I make any statement, I would emphasize the fact that (hopefully) no blogger would deliberately try to misinform their readers.
One reason why bloggers may make false claims is to do with time. Checking facts can take a lot of time to research properly, time that is always against bloggers. Bloggers are desperate to attract traffic to their site, therefore, investing time to research posts can be seen (to some) out of the question as that time could better be spent writing more posts.
A great article is created and fleshed out to few hundred words with some “facts” or “information” that may not necessarily be true. The blogger perceives that both search engines and readers will find it sufficient. But in reality, maybe it is sufficient for search engines but what about readers?
Examples Of Unethical Blogging
Now, of course not everyone does unethical blogging, in fact the vast majority of bloggers are very good! That said, I felt that I should give some examples of unethical blogging that some people use.
Last week I guest posted on a high traffic site within the SEO niche. (I don’t wish to link to any articles and belittle the author showing their ignorance, I am just trying to make a point.) A certain post of theirs discussed a few ways of traffic generation. The ideas mentioned were excellent but one of the ideas was completely outdated and misinformed. To give you a clue, the post in question talked about article directories. Now, we all know how the article farms (directories) suffered as a result of the Panda and Penguin update. The most interesting point was that some people approved of and said that they were going to use this particular outdated idea via the comments section. The blind ruling the blind I guess!
Here is another example of unethical blogging that is unfortunately quite common. Around the time that Google launched its EMD (Exact Match Domain) update, a couple of days later, an article was published in SEOmoz showing how EMD affected some of the sites that the author ran. The post was well researched and had images from their own database. After a week or so, I was searching for sites to guest post on. Being an SEO enthusiast, I was searching for sites within that niche. I stumbled upon a site and was astonished to see a rewritten post of the one published in SEOmoz. I should, however, admit that the post was well rewritten, but I was annoyed that the author took all the credit! There are many examples of articles being copied (rewritten or not) from sites without any credit being given.
These are just two examples of unethical blogging. There are many more but I think these two will suffice to prove my point. There are several disadvantages of such tactics and I will let you figure it out for yourself. I would like to focus on the solution, rather than the problem itself.
How To Make A Well Researched Post?
Researching for a topic is simple. Generally, there are two options you can do. You can either;
- Practically implement strategies and see what works.
- Theoretically arrive at an opinion and present it as your research.
Considering the practical implementation, it is the best way of researching. This is because these types of posts immediately establish the writer as the authority as they show proof of what works/what doesn’t work on their site. For this strategy to work, you really need to be passionate about the subject you are writing about. This is why new bloggers are suggested to focus on a niche that they are passionate about.
The other way of theoretical research is easy and time friendly. You just have to consume information through various sources and arrive at your own decision through supporting facts. Most bloggers fall within this category of research (even I do it). However, many fail to provide credit and links to supporting facts when appropriate. You could argue that some may think that this presentation of supporting facts will dethrone their authority. Another reason may be that they do not wish their PR juice to be distributed. If you are a PR fan then I will tell you the truth “PR is just another element for ranking out of hundreds”. (Hey! You can always use nofollow links)
Linking to supporting facts or original source is vital. These are the practices that will establish you as an authority and increase reader’s trust. Not giving credit and proving yourself as the ultimate authority by taking other’s credit is just a lame way of blogging and can be seen as unethical blogging!
The internet has shrunk the whole globe. It is much easier for readers to find out the real source (as I did). If you steal other people’s ideas or content, do not be surprised to have your own work stolen as well. The same holds true the other way around – “As you sow, so you reap!”
What other unethical blogging practices have you noticed? Have you been victim to someone stealing your content and trying to pass it off as your own? Let us know your views and opinions by leaving a comment below!
Thank you to my Guest Post Author: John
John works as an Editor at eyeforweb.com. He has been working with the firm for the past two years. EyeForWeb (which is run by expert WordPress developers) is dedicated to provide excellent designing and SEO service.