Who likes spam? Obviously, in the world of the internet, the word spam has come to refer to unsolicited commercial emails.

There are rules about spam, and rightly so. I’m as opposed to spammy practices as anybody, but I also have another pet peeve and that is when people abuse the word spam, applying it to almost anything they don’t particularly like. For example:

Spam

Advertising Isn’t Spam

Sites with banner ads are spam, aren’t they? No. Advertising foots the bills for a lot of content providers. If you don’t like ads, you can click away, look away, or use an ad blocker (which I don’t care for, myself).

Should you smatter every inch of your sites in ads? Not if you want any kind of readership whatsoever. You’ll be conservative in your approach, but ads aren’t spam.

Unsolicited Email Isn’t Always Spam

I have a lot of very nice and well-intentioned friends forwarding me cute poems, pictures, and jokes. My favorites are the ones that end with lines like, “If you love Jesus, you’ll forward this on to ten friends right now!”

I don’t like lines like that. But these emails come from friends (whom I hope don’t read this post). Nonetheless, this isn’t spam. Hit the delete key and go on with your life.

Self-promotion Isn’t Spam

With the growing popularity of social networking sites, the idea is quickly spreading that if you link back to your own sites, it’s spam. Most people are beginning to have enough sense to realize a couple of things. One is that if you’re going to do this, do it in moderation. Make the majority of your interactions non-selfish in nature.

Don’t forget, however, that self-promotion has another name, and it isn’t spam. It’s called marketing. Are some people annoying with their “marketing?” Absolutely. Some just stink at it. But it isn’t always spam.

Spam Isn’t Defined by What You Don’t Happen to Like

If it’s an affiliate link… if it’s poorly designed… if it’s spelled incorrectly… it must be spam. No it isn’t. I have a dozen pet peeves, and you do too. You’ll probably tell me about them in the comments (which I welcome). Spam is a problem. It’s a problem in email, in auto-blogs, in comments, and on social media platforms. But hey, let’s be careful about how we define it so that we don’t go on a proverbial spam witch hunt.

And hey, go easy on the wonderful stuff that actually IS spam. Sure it’s loaded with sodium and fat, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it on crackers with some squirts of cheese!

Author’s Bio: Liva Sleiman is an expert marketing consultant and is associated with an SEO and marketing agency. She is a proficient freelance writer who works for many online publications where she covers online business related topics. She offers her knowledge, particularly on SEO, social media marketing and many more.