Sign up right now for email updates and get two free ebooks:

Don’t Fall For It!

Just lately I have been the target of some pretty clumsy linkbait attempts. A couple of readers prompted me to look at one particular blog where the author on three separate occasions (that we know of) has goaded me to react.

First of all this makes me super grateful for my loyal readers. Not only did they notify me that this guy is trash-talking me, they also tried to stick up for me.

This particular guy has been pressing buttons, questioning my motives, implying I take part in cliques, and generally rubbishing my approach. You can see the instincts to defend myself are going to be pretty strong. As you build your reputation you find it harder and harder to resist fighting your corner to put things right.

The lesson I have learned though is if you pay them attention, even in comments, they find it as encouragement. They think their tactics are on the right track so continue. Who knows what they would have done if I had linked to the posts from here?

Random internet critics do not get any benefit from seeing others as having honest and valuable motives. They have to see their selves as the lone arbiter of righteousness. It’s a form of intellectual hubris and cognitive dissonance. Do try to quietly put them right if they criticize behavior but once it devolves into attacks on your person, by continuing to discuss you only end up being dragged down to their level.

It’s advice from the early days of the Internet but it is still as true as it was back then. Don’t feed the troll!

»crosslinked«

Sign up right now for email updates and get these
two free ebooks

"Creating Killer
Flagship Content"

"Authority Alliances"

Just enter your primary email address in the form below and hit the button!

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!

Comments

  1. The things people do to get a link πŸ™‚ There are easier ways!

  2. The things people do to get a link πŸ™‚ There are easier ways!

  3. good sign that you are getting on the radar too! Success has its price it would seem. Congrats on the near 4K subscribers!

  4. good sign that you are getting on the radar too! Success has its price it would seem. Congrats on the near 4K subscribers!

  5. hmmmm, which gets me thinking. How would one bait the inimitable Chris Garrett?

  6. hmmmm, which gets me thinking. How would one bait the inimitable Chris Garrett?

  7. It’s tough isn’t it Chris, not to respond the way your natural instincts wants you to do.

    You want to come out swinging, because more than likely you can verbally beat these smucks under the table – and more than likely they’ll quickly scamper off and hide under the rocks where they came from.

    But as you say: don’t fall for it. That’s exactly what they want you to do. Engage with you so that they can feel some sort of self-importance by being able to “push your buttons”.

    9 times out of 10 you ignore them and they’ll eventually go away.

    And now the but …

    By engaging with them you can probably quickly get their number and your loyal readers, in fact any savvy person, will quickly realize the pitifulness of the attacker.

    This “but” is more so if they continue attacking and thus start eating away at some of your personal branding.

  8. It’s tough isn’t it Chris, not to respond the way your natural instincts wants you to do.

    You want to come out swinging, because more than likely you can verbally beat these smucks under the table – and more than likely they’ll quickly scamper off and hide under the rocks where they came from.

    But as you say: don’t fall for it. That’s exactly what they want you to do. Engage with you so that they can feel some sort of self-importance by being able to “push your buttons”.

    9 times out of 10 you ignore them and they’ll eventually go away.

    And now the but …

    By engaging with them you can probably quickly get their number and your loyal readers, in fact any savvy person, will quickly realize the pitifulness of the attacker.

    This “but” is more so if they continue attacking and thus start eating away at some of your personal branding.

  9. Chris,

    A person whose existence is derivative from yours won’t last long. As a pastor and in church ministry for over 19 years I have felt the sting of criticism in the past. You are fortunate that it is someone you haven’t met just sitting in their pj’s typing on a keyboard and not someone you always see.

  10. Chris,

    A person whose existence is derivative from yours won’t last long. As a pastor and in church ministry for over 19 years I have felt the sting of criticism in the past. You are fortunate that it is someone you haven’t met just sitting in their pj’s typing on a keyboard and not someone you always see.

  11. It amazes me that people still think the whole ‘controversy to build traffic’ thing works in the long-term.

    I’ve yet to see a trash talking post reflect as badly on the target, as it does on the writer instead.

  12. It amazes me that people still think the whole ‘controversy to build traffic’ thing works in the long-term.

    I’ve yet to see a trash talking post reflect as badly on the target, as it does on the writer instead.

  13. @Jack – Yeah if people are hating I must be doing something right πŸ˜‰

    @Lyndon – Just let me know you have something remarkable that my readers would get a lot out of πŸ™‚

    @Martin – It is hard but gets easier over time. People have poked me with virtual sticks for a long time, going back to my BBS days, trolls have smaller impact with experience πŸ™‚

    @bill – Yes I am grateful for the fact it is only words on the internets

    @Chris – This particular instance is heavily cloaked as being reasonable (while making untrue assertions and assumptions), styles change but the attention-seeking remains the same πŸ™‚

  14. @Jack – Yeah if people are hating I must be doing something right πŸ˜‰

    @Lyndon – Just let me know you have something remarkable that my readers would get a lot out of πŸ™‚

    @Martin – It is hard but gets easier over time. People have poked me with virtual sticks for a long time, going back to my BBS days, trolls have smaller impact with experience πŸ™‚

    @bill – Yes I am grateful for the fact it is only words on the internets

    @Chris – This particular instance is heavily cloaked as being reasonable (while making untrue assertions and assumptions), styles change but the attention-seeking remains the same πŸ™‚

  15. Harassing, berating, and poking fun of other people… Why do people do that? Unfortunately, because it’s brutally effective. Just look at all the tabloid magazines. Magazines like Globe and the Enquirer outsell Time and Newsweek by wide margins.

    I agree that it’s sad, but it is effective…

  16. Harassing, berating, and poking fun of other people… Why do people do that? Unfortunately, because it’s brutally effective. Just look at all the tabloid magazines. Magazines like Globe and the Enquirer outsell Time and Newsweek by wide margins.

    I agree that it’s sad, but it is effective…

  17. I’ve experienced this myself unfortunately and it really just sucks. Your instinct to defend yourself and fightback is overwhelming but you are right…if you do that if gives them the attention they want. Unfortunately by ignoring it, they may also end up trying to see what other ways they can get to you. Eventually they run out of things to say and just fade away.

  18. I’ve experienced this myself unfortunately and it really just sucks. Your instinct to defend yourself and fightback is overwhelming but you are right…if you do that if gives them the attention they want. Unfortunately by ignoring it, they may also end up trying to see what other ways they can get to you. Eventually they run out of things to say and just fade away.

  19. I think you provide a great service to this industry with very moral theories on real seo practices. As far as cliques are concerned I am not even in the SEO industry I sell ceiling fans for a living and you have provided a link for me on your site.

    I guess people with little morals reach for the closest business practices when in practicing business. It is a choice. Moral practices work just as well as immoral practices I guess some people just gravitate toward the practices of there true self.

    It is unfortunate that there maybe some new comers to seo seeing the immoral style that he is expressing and taking it as the right way.

    Oh well, it is a tricky world. I believe that if you are true to yourself life will be true to you.

  20. I think you provide a great service to this industry with very moral theories on real seo practices. As far as cliques are concerned I am not even in the SEO industry I sell ceiling fans for a living and you have provided a link for me on your site.

    I guess people with little morals reach for the closest business practices when in practicing business. It is a choice. Moral practices work just as well as immoral practices I guess some people just gravitate toward the practices of there true self.

    It is unfortunate that there maybe some new comers to seo seeing the immoral style that he is expressing and taking it as the right way.

    Oh well, it is a tricky world. I believe that if you are true to yourself life will be true to you.

  21. I think it’s unfortunate that this technique works so well. Good going for not taking the bait! If everyone reacted the way you did, then it wouldn’t be such an effective way to get noticed.

  22. I think it’s unfortunate that this technique works so well. Good going for not taking the bait! If everyone reacted the way you did, then it wouldn’t be such an effective way to get noticed.

  23. @mark – Yes unfortunately it is a historically successful way of getting attention, but so is stripping naked and running down the main street while singing show tunes πŸ˜‰

    @Sara – Yeah maybe they will move on but I am thinking though this post might just inflame their sense of superiority and cognitive dissonance …

    @Colbs – Agreed, all we can do is what we think is right

    @George – You could say I partially took the bait writing about it but on the other hand my brain is always looking for things to write about so I can hardly help it πŸ™‚

  24. @mark – Yes unfortunately it is a historically successful way of getting attention, but so is stripping naked and running down the main street while singing show tunes πŸ˜‰

    @Sara – Yeah maybe they will move on but I am thinking though this post might just inflame their sense of superiority and cognitive dissonance …

    @Colbs – Agreed, all we can do is what we think is right

    @George – You could say I partially took the bait writing about it but on the other hand my brain is always looking for things to write about so I can hardly help it πŸ™‚

  25. I’m glad you said that responding to a personal attack so easily leads to being brought down to a nasty person’s level. It’s a lesson I’m trying to learn. Sigh. But I do cognitively recognize that truth!

  26. I’m glad you said that responding to a personal attack so easily leads to being brought down to a nasty person’s level. It’s a lesson I’m trying to learn. Sigh. But I do cognitively recognize that truth!

  27. Hi Chris,

    I’ll just comment with one of my favorite quotes from many years back, I don’t even know who said it first, but everyone please feel free to use it if you like it

    Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.

  28. Hi Chris,

    I’ll just comment with one of my favorite quotes from many years back, I don’t even know who said it first, but everyone please feel free to use it if you like it

    Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.

  29. Don’t worry Chris. School starts soon and all the trolls will be busy at preschool learning their ABCs and how to share.

  30. Don’t worry Chris. School starts soon and all the trolls will be busy at preschool learning their ABCs and how to share.

  31. Chris,

    I especially believe that your role in creating communities & in general a “man of the people” runs 180 degrees in the other direction of his suggestions.

    Take care,
    Nathan

  32. Chris,

    I especially believe that your role in creating communities & in general a “man of the people” runs 180 degrees in the other direction of his suggestions.

    Take care,
    Nathan

  33. Where was this post last week when I needed it?

    Course, I know better than to link to a troll, but every once in awhile I’m suckered into acknowledging them. You know, just for sport. πŸ™‚

  34. Where was this post last week when I needed it?

    Course, I know better than to link to a troll, but every once in awhile I’m suckered into acknowledging them. You know, just for sport. πŸ™‚

  35. WOW! 4,000 readers – success in blogging definitely has its price. I’m sure you know this. Now that you’re settled all you need to do is to firmly separate the wrong from the good. And with 4,000 readers you have an excellent “market”. Good luck!

  36. WOW! 4,000 readers – success in blogging definitely has its price. I’m sure you know this. Now that you’re settled all you need to do is to firmly separate the wrong from the good. And with 4,000 readers you have an excellent “market”. Good luck!

  37. That’s too bad that people try to take advantage like that. I’ve been fairly lucky and haven’t had anyone start attacking me because of my blog…yet.

    Although I have had people who know of me through a mutual friend write deliberate stupid comments. Luckily I moderate my comments so I delete them so they don’t end up contaminating my blog.

    Great post!

  38. That’s too bad that people try to take advantage like that. I’ve been fairly lucky and haven’t had anyone start attacking me because of my blog…yet.

    Although I have had people who know of me through a mutual friend write deliberate stupid comments. Luckily I moderate my comments so I delete them so they don’t end up contaminating my blog.

    Great post!

  39. Reminds me of when we were little and Mom said that the bully was just teasing to get a reaction. Stop reacting and he’ll leave you alone because you’re no fun anymore!

    I’m glad you have such loyal readers. Feels good, doesn’t it? I would stick up for you if I saw people picking on you! πŸ˜€

  40. Reminds me of when we were little and Mom said that the bully was just teasing to get a reaction. Stop reacting and he’ll leave you alone because you’re no fun anymore!

    I’m glad you have such loyal readers. Feels good, doesn’t it? I would stick up for you if I saw people picking on you! πŸ˜€

  41. Hey Brian – I never thought it would be so easy to bait you like that gal did to you last week. πŸ˜‰

    Hmmm … now what can I do to trash talk you to get some easy visits – oh yeah, write some decent content. Sadly for many, decent content means actually thinking and writing and formatting a readable post and, and oh my brain hurts … so I’ll just trash talk the copyblogger. πŸ™‚

  42. Hey Brian – I never thought it would be so easy to bait you like that gal did to you last week. πŸ˜‰

    Hmmm … now what can I do to trash talk you to get some easy visits – oh yeah, write some decent content. Sadly for many, decent content means actually thinking and writing and formatting a readable post and, and oh my brain hurts … so I’ll just trash talk the copyblogger. πŸ™‚

  43. People that talk about you are usually talking out of jealousy.

  44. People that talk about you are usually talking out of jealousy.

  45. >>Hey Brian – I never thought it would be so easy to bait you like that gal did to you last week.

    Like I said elsewhere, I ignore 49 out of every 50 trolls, but if you’re unlucky number 50, don’t be surprised that my opinion of you is low.

  46. >>Hey Brian – I never thought it would be so easy to bait you like that gal did to you last week.

    Like I said elsewhere, I ignore 49 out of every 50 trolls, but if you’re unlucky number 50, don’t be surprised that my opinion of you is low.

  47. Hello Chris:

    Do you see a link between your argument in this article and your recent article at Copyblogger about 3rd party endorsement?

    The person who has loyal readers who will stand in his/her corner will always trump the person who makes unwarranted personal attacks. Keep on providing value to your readers and your loyal readers will fight your battles for you.

  48. Hello Chris:

    Do you see a link between your argument in this article and your recent article at Copyblogger about 3rd party endorsement?

    The person who has loyal readers who will stand in his/her corner will always trump the person who makes unwarranted personal attacks. Keep on providing value to your readers and your loyal readers will fight your battles for you.

  49. Take comfort in the fact that you know what ‘hubris’ means – and very few trolls do. πŸ˜‰

  50. Take comfort in the fact that you know what ‘hubris’ means – and very few trolls do. πŸ˜‰