Eventbrite has worked well for buying tickets to events I’ve attended…

But over the last few months I keep getting spam for events that are not only not remotely interesting, they aren’t anywhere NEAR me. Sorry, but I’m not hopping on a plane for a pub crawl on the other side of the continent or a 2-hour “gong bath experience” on the other side of the planet.

At first I thought they were bogus. But everything pointed to Eventbrite’s servers. I’ve been blocking the campaigns in Eventbrite as I get them, but at this point my account settings show 10 organizations I’ve blocked, even though I’ve theoretically unsubscribed from “all Eventbrite newsletters and updates for attendees.”

Of course searching online is useless, because (1) everything’s about how organizers can keep their messages from landing in spam folders, and (2) searching online in 2023 is more or less useless anyway. It’s the end result of years of SEO trying to get into the first page (now with generative AI to flood the zone with even more bullshit!) combined with Google and Bing giving up on trying to give relevant results when what they really care about is ad impressions — and no, DuckDuckGo results aren’t much better.

I haven’t bought tickets to an event that uses Eventbrite since 2019 (for obvious reasons). I’m thinking at this point I should just cancel my account [Update: I did], and the next time I want to go somewhere that uses them for tickets, I can open a new one. With a different address.

A lot of articles on SEO make me cringe, because they tend to have the attitude that Google (and it’s always Google) owes them traffic because they jumped through all the right hoops, and how dare they ever change what those hoops are!

It’s refreshing to see an article by someone who recognizes that Google’s job is not to give websites high rankings, but to show readers what they’re searching for. Their algorithm is a way of measuring how closely you match that goal, not the goal itself.

Doing your SEO solely by targeting today’s algorithms is like only studying what you know is going to be on a test: it might work for this test, but it won’t help as much on the next one…or when you get out into the real world.

People aren’t looking for backlinks and keyword density. People are looking for content. In the end, no matter how tricked out your SEO is, it’s compelling content that keeps people coming back.

It’s always something. Apparently WordPress.org has been dabbling in black-hat SEO, hosting thousands of keyword-based articles on their high–page-ranked site and placing hidden links to them on their home page. Way to go, guys. This makes the paranoia over remote images almost look reasonable. What’s next, putting ads in the next default template?

The free/open source software world is based primarily on trust. Based on comments I’ve read over the last couple of days, WordPress has lost a lot of it. They’ve even been (mostly) dropped from Google. A sensible precaution while things are sorted out, but it unfortunately means the first top-level listing on a Google search for “wordpress” is wordpress.com, which looks like a cybersquatter. Not exactly an improvement.

In a support thread Matt answered last week, he referred to it as an “experiment.” He’s on vacation right now, but someone has taken it upon themselves to remove the bogus articles from the site.

My thoughts: Continue reading