Are Apple Using a Spam Technique for Free Marketing and/or SEO Benefits in Google?
Apple have a program called Pages and I believe they could be using it for shady SEO purposes, in order to get free links to www.apple.com. Pages is a text software, basically Apple’s version of Microsoft Word which all Apple users are encouraged to use.
The basic idea is that Apple appear to have a broken piece of software, which denies authors the right to add a url the first time they try, in a document created on Pages. The software is not in beta stage, it was updated today, there is no excuse to have a mistake like this happen. The fact that the second time you attempt to enter a url it magically works, suggests that the first attempt not working has been done on purpose, perhaps to deny author’s of links and to fill many more webpages with links to www.apple.com.
We know Apple love free marketing, this all began with their genius product launch events, which are better than any advertisement. However if this is really another attempt at free marketing, it is highly unethical because it is denying authors their intended links if they don’t double check. It is putting links out there which people will click on expecting something else. It will most likely break Google’s Webmaster Tools Guidelines too.
Now lets be serious, it seems unlikely that this is a cheap SEO trick, after all Apple has around $180 billion. But they are famous for being unscrupulous. They have taken the uncaring, bullying and selfish personality of Steve Jobs as the company personality. They do not do adequate charitable work, they exploit Chinese workers (or at least they did as it was well documented in the press).
Plus they exploit their own customers. They do this because storage space is not a major buying decision. Therefore the company gives a tiny 16GB basic version on iPhones and iPads, of which around half of that is used up by the operating system. Then they charge extortionate amounts to upgrade storage, with no option to plug in mini SD cards, which nearly all other phone manufacturers do.
After reading the Steve Jobs book recently, which he paid for, I realised it made him out to be a truly horrible human being. I believe the uncaring ways of Jobs have carried over to the new regime and unethical practices are in place. This seemingly petty stealing of links by bloggers and web authors is just one more unethical practice.
Below I explain the issue with screenshots
The difference is that when you highlight some text, then click Insert you will see the above image. Then you paste in a url to replace the default www.apple.com. You see this:
Then the only thing you can do is press the “return” button on your macbook. This highlights your link, making you think all is well, as in the image below. To close the pop up the only way is to click into space anywhere.
So now I click anywhere on the page to continue my document and if I don’t check the link it will get published online pointing to www.apple.com. But if you decide to hover over the link you just placed you will always see the below. This happens every single time:
Next you need to re-enter your url and press the return button again. It always fails on the first attempt and always works on the second attempt.
Today a new version of Apple’s Pages was released (5.5.2) and the issue is still there. It looks to me that Apple are using a spammy tactic to try and get more links online by having people publish documents made in Pages, with links that they did not check a second time.
Apple are one of the most unethical companies in the world in my opinion. They have more cash than the US government yet they do barely any charity work. There have been many reports of poor working conditions for their employees in China. And now they seem to be stealing links from writers who wish to publish content written on Pages online.
I just have one more thing to say:
ALWAYS DOUBLE OR TRIPLE CHECK YOUR LINKS WHEN WRITING WEB CONTENT FROM PAGES. OTHERWISE YOU MAY INADVERTENTLY BE LINKING TO WWW.APPLE.COM
I have deleted the software already and replaced it with the superb Open Office which is a free open source word processor and has always been a great tool. If you are writing web content my advice is to do the same, it also has a hand “Web View” and more features than other word processors.