“He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone.” I admit reading or rather scanning the “confidential” Twitter documents obtained by Techcrunch from a hacker and published in excerpts. Of course I was curious. On the other hand:
Was this whole Techcrunch Twitter hacked scandal worth it?
Are we wiser now? Has humanity gained some new insights? Did Techcrunch prevent a corrupt president from breaking the law?
Let me begin from another starting point though: One of the confidential Twitter documents contains a mention of SEO. It reads literally: “SEO?” So we know now that Twitter is considering SEO. In case you are a SEO company you might want to cold call the Twitter founders or staff now. Unless of course you have some scruples left.
There are some additional facts about Twitter and search that make some news.
- A so called TweetRank to be introduced
- a better integration of Twitter results in Google blog search
Still, do we need this information to earn more money or change or our SEO tactics? Maybe a little. On the other hand we would know sooner or later anyways once they introduced it.
SEO practitioners often get accused of being unethical and some of them indeed prefer the “what works is OK” kind or ethics.
Here we have the probably most touted technology publication (or should I still say blog?) with an enormous popularity and readership. This publication gets away with publishing stolen documents for no other reason than SEO: It’s a classic link bait. They get a huge number of links and traffic of course. There is nothing to reveal here that should have been revealed. I’s clearly not Watergate. What will TechCrunch and other blogs learn from it? Hacking startups is great. You get an excellent exposure and more links than any conventional SEO tactic can get.
The next blogger will pay hackers to steal information from companies. Or wait: How do we know there was no money involved in the exclusive “hacker sends the Twitter data to TechCrunch” deal? Can we trust hackers? Can we trust TechCrunch not to pay hackers now that they did actually sell stolen goods? Yes, they did. The sell information because they earn money via ads displayed around it.
Michael Arrington complained a while ago that he was spat on by a stranger. I wouldn’t be surprised if more strangers start spitting at him now. That’s also the reason why I won’t neither link the TechCrunch article about the leaked documents nor mention the name of the hacker. Both want the publicity. I have given them enough attention.