Paid Posting: Is mis-spelling a key word to attract visitors ethical?

In this blog, I have always strived to post the best as I can, and to ensure that the formating, language and presentation of posts are of the highest standards. Naturally, there are times when I fall short, but this offer to post took my breath away. Names have been changed to protect the guilty. Read and let me know what you think. Was I right or was I foolish?

This is what the company asked me to write about:

Please write your journal entry on http://…lifeinsurnace…. Entry should be at least 2-3 paragraphs. You can write about whatever you want but it should be something related to the link, and include at least 3 links to the web site in your entry. … (Just standard guff, nothing unusual here…)

Seems reasonable. Seems fine. It’s just a life insurance website looking for extra exposure. Nothing wrong about that. We all need some kind of life insurance, don’t we? Anyway, the offer goes on:…

Information From Advertiser: Doing a bit of an experiment on typos – please link at least once to the site with this exact text: “life insurnace quotes” Note the mispelling of the word “insurance” in both the domain name and the text to use in your link. Thanks you!

Now, I don’t mind writing about products and services, but this ‘trick’ is a way to game the search engines, or more specifically, the users who are careless in their spelling. It’s also cheaper for a website to reach top of the ranks of Google Search if a word is mis-spelled.

I was seriously unhappy about deliberately misspelling a word to trap unwary searchers, moreover, I was unhappy about creating the impression that an advertisement with a dubious ‘wrap’ would try to game people into visiting its website, and most of all, I was unhappy that such a trick would undermine my attempts at maintaining a quality website.

Naturally, I declined the opportunity, and sent a withering reply to the blog ad company approached by the advertiser.

Did I overreact? Would you have been bothered by such a link? Could I have put the words in quotation marks? What are your opinions? Did I do the right thing?