Snarky or not?

I was feeling grumpy, so I wrote a snarky review of Compete. Question: should I post it? Sometimes it’s fun to let loose with a rant. On the other hand, when I listen to the SearchCast lately, I wish Danny would rant less. Sometimes it seems like Danny is one of the few people in the search industry that stays above ranting, and you hate to lose that, you know?

Anyway, I’ll let the comments decide whether to post the write-up on Compete.

Update: the vote is overwhelmingly to post. It’s not so much a rant as snarkiness/sarcasm. TJ from Compete showed up (quick reaction!), so he/she can deflate me if I got anything wrong.

46 Responses to Snarky or not? (Leave a comment)

  1. Rant away Matt, it would be great to hear a snarky review of Compete ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I would be interested in the review. I have my doubts about je effect of the ‘be cautious visiting this site’ warnings. For my domain I surely know that the traffic estimates are really inaccurate.

  3. Hmm

    Wonder how they get the trustworthiness ranking from – why is my works domain marked as untrustworthy!

    Interesting that is also untrustworthy.

    Id review the rant after you have slept on it (though if I where you I would have at least two Blogs one personal and one semi work related)

    I am also careful about what I post on my personal blog – ie non political stuff ( I must write more on net Neutrality/ID Cards ) – but ill use a nome de plume for that donโ€™t want to hurt my self a few years down the line.

  4. Snark away, Matt! I’d never heard of Complete before this morning, but I’m not impressed. The “trust” score appears particularly flawed – Geocities and Wikipedia can be trusted but the BBC can’t? shurely shome mistake…

  5. I think it is quite natural to express your thoughts despite of the matter. If you want to say or write something, you should do that. Personally, I am eager to read what you think about Compete. Let other people worry where to rant or not. Only sharing opinions it is possible to find out the truth or come to a position, which will satisfy the majority of those who participate. Some people may still not like what you did, or what you were going to doโ€ฆ Itโ€™s ok!

  6. Yes… You should slam them Hard! (It’s great link bait) Then write a follow up post about what great guys they are and how you are all best friends now.

    (Just kidding)

    No… Not unless you have a funny story or they have seriously screwed up and deserve it. I try to reserve those things for when people commit fraud, steal something, carelessly place others in danger or whatever.

    Ranting on a regular basis about things that are slightly annoying can take the punch out of a rant that is well deserved. (Unless you’re Scott Adams)

    Please DO rant about websites you are deleting from the index. If they canโ€™t be a good example โ€” They can still be useful as a horrible warning.

  7. Always good to leave it until after a good night’s sleep – wish i would practice this more as i am often guilty of not doing it.

    Looks to me like zotspot, complete and there is bound to be more, are going to obtain users through kickbacks. MLM – well its always about the MLM never the product.

    Would love to here your take on all this in your normal balanced way.

  8. Well, I’d like to see a counter-response about their whole ‘trustworthiness’ claim, so I say post.

  9. I second the “sleep over it” train of thought. Once it’s online you can hardly retract it — especially now that you’ve started baiting already ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. From their site, regarding their bizarre take on “trustworthiness”:

    “Site History: If a site does not achieve a minimum amount of visits from the community, it is flagged as suspicious. Most spoof/phishing sites are launched for short periods of time and don’t have an established site history. Our approach makes it difficult for malicious operators to create a fake site history.”

    ie., if you’re not one of the gang you’re dodgy.

    That has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve read in a while — snarky away

  11. I say go for it. Their “trustworthy” indicator is obviously a sham. And they base it on people who intentionally (lets hope) install their spyware? Get real!

    AOL, which published gigs of personal search details on the internet (accidentally or not) is labelled “trustworthy”, while your site is not? Every popular global-tracking online ad services company is also listed as “trusted” (Zedo, DoubleClick, ParentingSource4u…) even if their policies and histories are to share all your information for money, install spyware or give away your email address to anyone.

    Since the “trustworthy” indicator is what they base their sites purpose on, I don’t feel any pity about pointing out that they fall short of any legitimacy.

  12. According to a search for Matt Cutts, I was cautioned to be carefule posting personal information on this domain. ๐Ÿ˜› Matt are you selling our info? j/k

  13. I would be careful about a “rant”.

    Why not just point out the deficiencies and leave it at that.

    My site is ranked untrustworthy while 100% of my business (18 years dealing with the public) depends on user confidence. Many uninformed searchers are not going to understand their system.

  14. I like how yahoo is the #1 site and google is #2. That’s just crazy! Why would anyone use that site?

  15. Please post your rant. This is the first time I’ve heard of the site, and somehow they’ve marked my legitimate site as a “potentially” malicious. And after reading their FAQ I’m not clear on the course of action I need to take to reverse that mark.

  16. Just thought post it to slashdot ๐Ÿ™‚

    Then coment on it from here

  17. Post it! I would like to hear form you about them.

  18. If its constructive, post away.

  19. I like Steve’s idea. Sleep on it. But, side by side with Yahoo? I think that is funny.

  20. Matt.. are you ranting about whether or not you should rant? Seems to me you should have just posted the rant…. instead of this rant ๐Ÿ™‚

    seriously though, how do they get their trust rating? It cautions against my dictionary site, but there’s nowhwere on the site where you could provide information if you wanted to. They need to re work that algorithm.

    I got nothin….. I just like saying rant.
    rant rant rant.

  21. Let’s hear it!

  22. I’m always interested in reading what respected folks like yourself have to say about something I’ve never heard of. It’s hard to wade through all these sites popping up on the net, especially which ones may help with SEM/SEO type services.

  23. Yes please post it…
    You could rant about too!

  24. Always best to sleep on it – Then post it!

    You can always use tags to let your readers know you are ranting.

    Look forward to seeing your rant…

  25. Well, as a proponent of my vote is going to have to be…. Let’s talk.

    Matt, I help manage and appreciate you taking the time to check out our new service. We would enjoy answering any questions you have before you post.

    tj (at)


  26. Ohhh come one… iv been waiting for a long time to here a post where Matt really lets someone/something have it.

    Especially with compete… hunk of rubbish is my review

    DO IT!

  27. Go for it. If you can’t rant on your own blog, what’s the point of it all? If you have something to say, say it. I’d like to hear your thoughts. It’s not like you rant all the time which might be annoying.

  28. Dennis Miller knows how to rant, lately when George Carlin does it he sounds like an grumpy old man…wait this sounds like a rant, sorry George I own all your works (including the records).

  29. Doesn’t the fact that your own conscience ask you if you should post this say enough? When in doubt: post. ๐Ÿ˜›

  30. Seems the people have spoken. Rip into them Matt!! Hey wait, I like those cheesy buttons on the site tho. Don’t rip into the neat little icon graphics (maybe the funcionality of them, but not the actual graphics) ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. I agree. Post away. Just from the comments in the discussion here it seems like those guys are whack-o.

  32. If it needs to be said, say it. Who cares if it’s a rant or not?

    People get way too hung up on “what if I sound like this…?” or “what if so and so doesn’t like what I have to say?” Give it the Jesse Ventura/Howard Cosell treatment and tell it like it is.

  33. I wouldn’t bother myself… It’s not worth the hassle. Everyone gets a bit peeved off now and then but often just writing it out and then just forgetting about it can be enough.

  34. But Matt, you said you wanted more rants on the Daily SearchCast! Oy, my head ๐Ÿ™‚

    Actually, I’m with you in staying above the rants at least in writing, as much as possible. I find it’s harder to ease a blow in print as it is in talking. So I might rant more when discussing something verbally, because I can more easily dull the rants in various way (or so I hope).

    In print, I deliberately keep my rants far and wide. If I rant there, you know I really, really am upset about something. And I think that upset carries more power by not rolling it out every time.

    As for you ranting, hey, sure, if you feel the urge.

  35. I can relate, I often rant about how people suck and then say to myself “Wow, I am really not happy and into this “SEO” thing anymore and it must be showing” then delete the post.

    Rants are good if they make a valid point like this post for instance.

    Point: Danny rants too much!

    Conclusion: This post was infact a rant, no reason for another post, very snarky…

    Anyone want to buy a PR6 SEO Buzz Box blog? ;-(

  36. Yes please, go for it…

  37. Snark?? Is that an american word? Us brits say Nark, or Narky, did you try to copy us but got it a bit wrong? :p

    As far as rants go, I find I tend to rant as soon as something has happened causing me to want to rant, then it either fades of during the rant, so I can’t be bothered with it anymore, or I leave it for a bit, step back, come back to it later, and see things in a different light and then glad I didn’t rant…I kept my cool, calm and collected exterior ๐Ÿ˜‰

  38. Matt,
    I’ve always been told that if you haven’t got anything good to say, keep your mouth shut. (But that’s optional) Well, unless it’s constructive criticism. You know, Good ‘Ole Country Boy Style.

    I looked in wiki for “rant” and “objectivity” and get this:

    You know one of the worst things we can do as a people is to have a “knee jerk” reaction to something, which of course later on after we let it breathe for a while, we’ve changed our course. I agree with those who say sleep on it. But I would just add to stay in the realm of Objectivity.

    Oh, I wonder about the whole trustworthiness thing, especially when I went to and typed in and OK, now I’ve got to look out for the FBI mis-interpreting what I was doing. I just really wanted to see how compete rates these anti-american sites. So, I figured I would look up some places that I would give like a billion thumbs up to, such as (Green Check-Mark w/ Trust), (Green Check-Mark w/ Trust), then got only a (Yellow Exlamation Point w/ Trust). Can’t figure out what’s up with that. Objectively, if you can’t trust the President, then who can you trust. Now, don’t go political on me! Stay Objective.


  39. Trust scores are flawed from the get go because its all designed for geeks. Unless there are worldwide branding and marketing campaigns it will mean nothing or little to the people that matter, which are the consumers. BBB seal is a sign of trust because there was human interaction, but I would not put much trust in something like another demonic little bar.

  40. Danny, I needed six minutes/day more of SearchCast. But the recent rants have convinced me that SEO needs more people to be statesmanlike. There’s too many people ranting in the SEO area already; we need more level-headed folks.

    Welcome back from vacation, by the way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. The real differentiator for a good search result and a good site is the time that users spend on them. If we start implementing this into search we will get rid of spam in the top SERPs.

  42. Thereโ€™s too many people ranting in the SEO area already; we need more level-headed folks.

    I don’t know if the problem is that there are too many people ranting so much as it is that there is too much to legitimately rant about.

    Here’s a short list (in no particular order):

    – Cloaking
    – Keyword stuffing
    – Tier 2 engines with concepts that need a lot of work to be even remotely successful
    – Scraper sites
    – The entire online pharmaceutical industry
    – The manipulation of social networking sites for traffic and SEO purposes
    – DMOZ
    – Stupid link exchange emails from sites no one is ever going to visit

    And I’m only scratching the surface. You’ve probably seen stuff from your Google perch that would make the rest of us want to carve away at our eyes with plastic KFC knives because that activity would be slightly less painful.

    Dude, if you don’t bitch, you’re going to end up on a rooftop with a sniper rifle across the street from a search engine conference pegging off whatever blackhat types you can hit. And as cool as that would be to watch on the news, who’s gonna run this blog site?

  43. ‘…recent rants have convinced me that SEO needs more people to be statesmanlike.’

    Matt, You’ll get that…. Most people are willing to be less obtuse and perfectly mild mannered when they know what is going on and can find a legitimate solution.

    On my previous rant for example I finally found a way out ‘legitimately’ which was the DMCA. Eveidentally as it turns out…scrapers are really not allowed legally to take you adverts from Google and redisplay them without your permission… I never knew this! Also google removes the listing containing these adverts on request if you send them a list of the culprits. Didn’t know that either Til last friday. I know it now though!

    Now I’m perfectly mild mannered, and well I won’t insult myself by claiming to be a statesmanlike… I don’t think I want to be associated with that lot!


  44. Trustworthy Shmustworthy. Who’s the judge anyway. Without that info the info is no good.

    Rant away, tear them a new bunghole. That’s why we like blogs? We want to hear the real Matt opinion, not some politically correct niceties. That’s boring and the web is full of it. I like how you can say “Fuck” on your blog….. ; )

  45. If you rant will you get your way. Doubt it. If on the other hand it makes you feel better then go ahead. I will bet you do not win any argument that way. But oh the pleasure.

    all the best John

  46. I agree. Post away. Just from the comments in the discussion here it seems like those guys are whack-o.