The Effect of Saying that Facebook Sucks or Twitter Sucks

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Let me first set the record straight: I don’t have any issues with Twitter or Facebook. They are both superb social media networks.

Actually this post is not about Twitter and Facebook but a valuable lesson in search engine optimization (SEO).  While I don’t profess to be an SEO expert, and I don’t typically blog about it, this is an interesting story based on simple observations.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about eBay, 10 Reasons Why eBay Sucks for Sellers because of my frustrations with the site. Today, I am still getting a steady amount of search engine traffic from visitors googling “ebays sucks”. It is is actually my number one keyword driving 100 visits per month because my site comes out on the first page for that search.

Here’s some data from Google Analytics:

How did I manage to get ranked so highly for “eBay sucks”?

I benefit from the fact that there is limited competition on those keywords because large blogs such as TechCrunchMashableHuffington Post etc. can’t publish a post saying that any company — eBayFacebookTwitter — sucks. There are many reasons they can’t do that such as legal, strategic and branding.

Do people search XYZ sucks?

Of course, people are always frustrated with sites like eBayAmazonFacebookTwitterCNNFriendfeed, LinkedIn and more. And a lot of people search with terms that come to their mind.

Here’s a screenshot from Google’s Keyword tool showing the number of monthly searches for “eBay sucks”, “Facebook sucks” and “Twitter sucks.”

What’s my point?

First, let me emphasize that I don’t recommend that anyone write a post stating that XYZ  sucks for the sake of SEO traffic. At the end of the day, the honesty of the content is what builds a loyal readership. Without that visitors won’t come back.

However, if optimizing your post for SEO is important to you, it makes sense to use casual language that people use in their day-to-day conversations. And because big blogs don’t have the ability to do so,  you should take advantage.

We’ll see if I get traffic in the next few weeks from searches on: Twitter sucks, Facebook sucks…

What are your thoughts? Since this post seems to be creating a lot of controversy let’s hear!