In May of 2007 I wrote a post titled Assume The Position. In that post I talked about several examples that bloggers and other people are being compensated in some way for pretty much everything they write about. You should just assume it.

Course people ran with that and said ShoeMoney said don’t trust anything he writes about.. Which whatever. All I do is talk about my experiences or thoughts about something and if you find value in that then great. But please make your own conclusion whether or not you should make a buying decision. I just want you to assume that I am motivated in some way about everything you read on here. Even if its to give value and get more readership. Make sense?

ANyway within days Rand Fishkin (SEOMOZ Founder) out of the blue fired away with a post about the vast difference between SEOMOZ and ShoeMoney and why you should be able to trust bloggers and links and what they recommend.

Ok back to the future.

Last week on Barry Schwartz gave an amazingly glowing review of Rand’s (SEOMOZ) newest product product called Mozcast.

I am not suggesting was paid outright to give this positive review BUT being that Rand’s company (SEOMOZ) is a huge sponsor of searchenginelands conferences every year isn’t there a conflict of interest there?

Taking Rand’s previous stance shouldn’t there be some form of disclosure?

What would your company pay for a positive review of your newest SEO service on the most respected blog in the industry?

Maybe you should rethink sponsoring an SMX event 😉

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

23 thoughts on “Rand Fishkin’s Interesting New Stance On Disclosure”
  1. Randy and Barry are bed buddies? Never!

    Seriously though, this should come as no surprise. Fishkin is a holier than thou, self proclaimed white hat ‘seo guru’ as they come. Wouldn’t be surprised if G$$gle as well as SE land had some kind of private ‘agreement’ going on with the Mozster.

  2. After a long time I found your good old style of blog post that is pointing out things. I think it is fine as long as it is disclosed for a paid positive review.

  3. AHhhh yes. Self promotion. Isn’t this the thread that combines the fabric of america?

    Google sends how much of it search to Youtube? Now its cutting wikipedia out of results with its own little summaries about people. what do you think about that?

  4. I agree 100%. Even if there was no money taking place between them, there is a give/take that happens between people. And that’s not a big deal, but you should at least be aware of it by not trusting anyone.

    Related to that, I read on a forum where people were arguing if it’s ethical to give away free products for testimonials. I said it’s not a big deal, but people reviewing the testimonials shouldn’t put any weight on them. They could’ve sent out 100 review copies and only got 10 glowing testimonials back. And those could’ve been from people that owed them a favor.

  5. ShoeMoney keep doin what your doin, there is always going to be backlash.. if people are taking time to hate you must be doing something noteworthy

  6. Seems a little bit of a stretch Jeremy, but sure. I’ll check with Danny & Barry and see what their policy is around coverage of items related to anyone who sponsors their site. Obviously, they cover tons of people and businesses who buy advertising on SELand/MarketingLand, speak at SMX events, have booths at those events, etc. We’re hardly an outlier in terms of financial sponsorship (did a booth at one of their shows – SMX Advanced – this year and I think maybe a lanyard sponsorship at another one).

    Honestly, I’m worried you’re trolling for attention and controversy and reaching for a target, but am happy to take the bait.

    1. Really I thought I saw you were sponsoring a big cocktail reception…. maybe I read that wrong…

      BTW now that your owned and can only post self serving content not sure why I would troll you…

      1. What a low, baseless comment, Schoemaker. Comments like this diminish from credibility, casting doubt on sincerity and character. If you want to question someone’s intentions, you should have the integrity to use facts rather than specious attacks and accusations.

        Full disclosure: I’m biased in that I know Rand, and I admit that the way he acts leads me to trust his ethics and character.

        1. You’re right Carson. Across the board.

          Like when Rand used as an example on a video interview of Shoemoney and asked “who should Google come down on” that was of the highest moral character, fueled by a combination of curiosity and integrity.

          That wasn’t a specious attack or accusation of any sort.

          Full disclosure: I think (scratch that, know) Carson Ward is either ignorant of history or selective in his memory.

          1. I’m sorry Aaron, I didn’t see you respond.

            I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, so I’ll choose “ignorance.” It sounds like you’re saying that Rand used SEOBook as an example of Shoemoney??

            But honestly, I should not have inserted myself into this disagreement, and I really do not keep track or want to get involved in this sort of thing.

            I have no problem with you, Aaron – we don’t have to choose sides here, do we? Keep up the good work.

  7. A bit of meow meow is always nice in the summer when sales are low and the interents is a bit slow.

  8. As a “newbie” looking in, I have followed Jeremy and appreciate his transparency. I’t seems the difference is Jeremy has always claimed to be a Affiliate Marketer… He’s never tried to hide that fact. I don’t know enough about Rand to make a Judgement but the Industry’s while intertwined are Different. Jeremy Isn’t trying to get clients for SEO, but it seems he intimidates the big names in the SEO industry! Google Rand’s name and Shoemoney is Ranking 5th.???? Has to be a tough pill to swallow when your business is SEO, and a “Affiliate Marketer” can rank that high on you..?? If people have half a brain they would research things for themselves.

  9. Definitely a bit of conflict over there. A bit of disclosure will give more credibility.

  10. Is this true Shoemoney?: “In person, Jeremy’s always been a great friend and someone I really respect” (from Rand’s post)

    I really can’t believe that, always makes me itchy when people use words of this sort before they start flaming.

    1. In person many people are more polite than they are in private or from a keyboard.

      My wife and I were talking to an SEO who mentioned talking to a few people & one of the things that person said was “but I was saying good things about you.”

      I am sometimes a bit aloof with the social clues, but my wife is razor sharp & she later told me that him saying that bit with a “but” meant that obviously the other people were saying the opposite of what they write on their blogs. A point of fact that was later confirmed.

  11. From my experience I would have called Seomoz a major sponsor at SMX and not just doing a booth at a show. They had a key large corner booth at SMX Advanced. A mascot Android looking dude walking around. Some giveaway things. Lots of staff. They did a whole evening party with food drink and bowling. Just my late observations there.

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