Social media consultant Mike Byrnes covers a "beat the system" tactic NAPFA members are engaging in to get better search engine rankings.
NAPFA members have engaged in a practice where they link to one another's sites. Link popularity is an imporant component in search engine rankings. The more sites link to you, the better your site will do in search engine algorithms.
Byrnes blows the whistle on an advisor who has been promoting this "black-hat" SEO tactic, and he mentions that it was suggested as something other NAPFA members should participate in at the group's recent conference.
In questioning the judgment of the advisor who encouraged attendees to join NAPFA's link-exchange program, Byrnes says he "did not seem concerned that the NAPFA members run a risk of Google labeling the exchange as a 'link farm.'”
I'm seeing more misinformation than ever circulated in the advisor practice management world. Advisors are being hoodwinked left and right by sales people, and it is more difficult than ever for advisors to filter out the noise and focus on reliable sources of information.
The participation by NAPFA members -- who pride themselves on their integrity and fiduciary status -- in a link scheme is not a serious ethical lapse, but it is unbecoming.
NAPFA members participating in the link scheme are not intentionally showing a wreckless disegard for following the rules set by Google and other search egines. They're just naive about the rules and don't realize what they're doing is frowned upon by ethical search engine optimization vendors.