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Don’t abuse your trust

Rick Astley

Joost de Valk (aka Yoast) a respected WordPress SEO expert, sent a false link to his Twitter followers.

A still photo of the Rick Astley YouTube video  played when viewers are Rickrolled.

The @Yoast Tweet stated it was “The absolute secret toWordPress SEO…”,but the link went to a YouTube video of ‘Rick Astley – Never Going To Give You Up’. This Internet meme is a bait and switch link, know as ‘Rickrolling‘ and was popular back in 2007; the person provides a link that they claim is relevant to the topic at hand, but it actually takes the user to the Astley music video.

This ‘in joke’ may work for people who know you, but Twitter messages are also designed to be retweeted, so you can grow your following.

My issue is, if you are promoting yourself as an expert in your field, and your prank link is the first message a new client reads. Then don’t be surprised, if those people will not take you seriously, when you have something important to say.

What do you think? Please tell me by sending a message, using the comment form below, thank you:

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Elms/100001106490230 Peter Elms

    I think @Yoast Tweet was just a stupid old joke, I find it had to believe that a so called SEO expert would send something designed to make his followers feel foolish. A strange way to gain respect in your field, but who am I to criticise the famous Yoast :-)

    • http://thinkprofessionallyaboutphotography.com/dont-abuse-your-trust/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Think Professionally

      Hello Peter, using Twitter to send a joke is fine by me, but hiding that joke behind a false link is what I have an issue with. Plus I agree it’s a very lame old joke :)

  • http://twitter.com/yoast Joost de Valk

    Heh well it showed a lot of people that they’ll click any link by any “expert”. Twitter is a personal messaging medium, if you can’t play a joke anymore, what’s it worth :)

    • http://thinkprofessionallyaboutphotography.com/ Think Professionally

      Hello Joost, thank you for spending some of your time, to reply to my post.

      I am not saying there is anything wrong, with using Twitter as a medium for sending jokes; I myself, love Twitter for that.

      But I believe that link baiting is bad practice, even if it only just sends you to a joke.

      Are saying, that we should only be using Twitter for personal messaging?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Elms/100001106490230 Peter Elms

      It sounds like you are calling your followers gullible for clicking on your links, just because you call yourself an “expert”.

      Weird way to think about the people who bother to follow you!

      So are you are saying, anybody who clicks on any my Twitter links must be stupid, because my tweets are worthless?

      Or are you saying that because it’s only YOUR Twitter, the information in your message might just be a worthless joke?

      How are we supposed to know the difference, or doesn’t it really matter as it’s only tweet! :)

      Look I put a smiley face at the end, to show I’m only joking!

      • http://twitter.com/yoast Joost de Valk

        I think that you’re taking this all far too seriously Peter. I posted a tweet, got 2-3 responses like this one, and about 200 LOLs, guess what, I’ll go with the LOLs. Will I do this again? No, as repeating jokes is stupid ;)

      • http://twitter.com/yoast Joost de Valk

        I think that you’re taking this all far too seriously Peter. I posted a tweet, got 2-3 responses like this one, and about 200 LOLs, guess what, I’ll go with the LOLs. Will I do this again? No, as repeating jokes is stupid ;)

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Elms/100001106490230 Peter Elms

          I wonder how many of those 200 LOLs where from new followers?

          I wonder how many more people, will now be wary of anything you post with a link?

          Hold on… why should I care, about what you link to!

          Because as you said before, more fool me for clicking on any of your tweets as Twitter is ONLY a “personal messaging medium” so even link baiting is okay! ;)

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Elms/100001106490230 Peter Elms

          I wonder how many of those 200 LOLs where from new followers?

          I wonder how many more people, will now be wary of anything you post with a link?

          Hold on… why should I care, about what you link to!

          Because as you said before, more fool me for clicking on any of your tweets as Twitter is ONLY a “personal messaging medium” so even link baiting is okay! ;)

        • http://twitter.com/HotPinkTw Hot Pink

          Joast de Valk, what will it take for you to admit, that your link baiting tweet was a stupid mistake?

          Perhaps you believe that hiding the true intentions of a link is a legitimate practice? You must do, as your defence is “only 2-3 people complained and over 200 people thought it was funny”.

          I was taught by a customer service manager, “to address any criticism, as you will learn more from that, than from faint praise.”

          But what do I know, I don’t put myself across as a marketing “expert” looking for hire.

          A man who can’t admit when he did wrong, is no man at all ;)

          • http://twitter.com/yoast Joost de Valk

            Take it as a joke and move on mate, if you didn’t like it, you didn’t like it. I did, a lot of my friends on Twitter did. I see nothing wrong in it, if you do, unfollow me. That’s how Twitter works.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Elms/100001106490230 Peter Elms

            OUCH!! Looks like someone touched a raw nerve Joost, why no smiley faces LOL! Nothing wrong with Rick rolling, just don’t expect to be taken seriously if you do it. That’s all I’m saying, and by the look of your last response, deep in your heart, you know I’m right! ;-)

          • http://twitter.com/yoast Joost de Valk

            No wat touches me in my heart is that people think it’s cool to abuse stuff like this to promote themselves and to say ugly things (that wasn’t you, but “Hot Pink” has no clue on how to behave courteously on Twitter, and yes, I do still take offense at stuff like that, even though as a “high profile blogger” you get a thick skin).

            You’ll have to live with the fact that your “beloved” WordPress SEO expert plays a prank on you if you follow him every once in a while, or you’ll have to find another one, luckily, I know I’m the best ;)

          • http://twitter.com/HotPinkTw Hot Pink

            I am truly, truly sorry if you took anything I said as being abusive, that is last thing I would want to do :-(

            I really believe in Karma, and because it feels to me that you have been hurt by my tweets, I will delete them.

            I know it’s no real excuse, but I am new to all this social media stuff, I only started blogging and tweeting a few days ago. I was enjoying our banter but it seems like I took to far, so please forgive me for that.

            My intension for going online was to have fun by chatting with people and finding a few virtual friends, but I got caught up in this ribbing of you and acted out of character.

            Lesson learnt for me, don’t get swept along by others. I must stop and think at times, on how what I say could be interpreted by others.

            That’s Karma coming back on me, for joking that you needed a lesson on Twitter, when it seems that I’ve broken Twitter etiquette in me first few tweets :(

          • http://ashteadtesco.co.uk Tesgo

            Hello Hot Pink, don’t beat yourself up about it, I was annoyed by being RickRolled, but I’ve learnt not to take things to seriously. I used to follow Yoast, but I don’t now, not because he played a stupid prank on me but because when I told what I thought about it, he made me feel that I was stupid. So I thought, even though he is very good at what he does, he is not a very nice person and I don’t have time for people like that.

          • http://ashteadtesco.co.uk Tesgo

            P.S. I’ll be one of your virtual friends :) as I think we are both on the same wave-lenght :)

          • http://twitter.com/PeterElms Peter Elms

            hay hot, don’t be bullied into apologising to yoast he’s more big enough to take it you did nothing wrong as yoast has said twitter is for having fun and playing jokes :)

          • http://twitter.com/HotPinkTw Hot Pink

            So all of your following friends, who retweeted your link bait joke, to their followers, and all those followers who did the same. Are all going to think, now that @Yoast, he’s a funny guy I must follow him; because he posts GREAT jokes. Maybe YOU need a lesson in how Twitter works :)

          • http://twitter.com/HotPinkTw Hot Pink

            So all of your following friends, who retweeted your link bait joke, to their followers, and all those followers who did the same. Are all going to think, now that @Yoast, he’s a funny guy I must follow him; because he posts GREAT jokes. Maybe YOU need a lesson in how Twitter works :)

          • http://twitter.com/Papaya_Farm Papaya Farm

            @Joost gives up being a #WordPress #SEO “expert”, to become a Rickrolling comedian ;)

          • http://twitter.com/yoast Joost de Valk

            You know, I’m a WordPress SEO expert only in your eyes apparently, but I’m also a dad, a husband, a blogger, a developer, a speaker and a good guy to hang out with. On Twitter, I’m all of those. If I were only the WordPress SEO expert, life would become very sad very soon :D

          • http://twitter.com/Papaya_Farm Papaya Farm

            Take it as a joke and move on mate, if you didn’t like it, you didn’t like it. I did, a lot of my friends on Twitter did. I see nothing wrong in it, if you do, unfollow me. That’s how Twitter works.

            Wise words, follow them! ;P

          • http://twitter.com/yoast Joost de Valk

            Take it as a joke and move on mate, if you didn’t like it, you didn’t like it. I did, a lot of my friends on Twitter did. I see nothing wrong in it, if you do, unfollow me. That’s how Twitter works.

        • http://twitter.com/Papaya_Farm Papaya Farm

          @Yoast So you are saying YOUR Rickroll is not a repeat! #SEO #WordPress #Fail

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