I won't name names. I'm not commenting about blatant spammers. They're easy to spot. I'm referring to the more subtle but persistent amateurs who just want desperately to be at the top tier. If you ask peers to visit your lens and request an honest rating that's one thing. If you on the other hand beg publicly for traffic, offer to list/rate/link to someone's lens as a reciprocal gesture, or continually post about a "problem" that's not marketing. That's whining and wheedling. It's buying traffic or playing on a person's good nature.
If a lens niche is valid, if the topical content is good, and the marketing is solid and honest, the traffic will come to the lens. If you request a review in the forum, that's fine. If you request a Squid Angel review and possible blessing, that's okay, too. Those are accepted, encouraged practices. Participate in other forum communities, visit web sites and blogs. Build a following organically ... that's how SEO works best.
But put the handout hat away, puhleeeze. Save that for family and friends, not fellow lensmasters or newbies who don't know any better. Asking for traffic to help you get ahead in the short term is, simply put, IMHO, shabby.
Take a look at the top lensmasters and you won't see them pulling any of these tricks. They are visiting lenses and blogs and forums, making real comments. They're building lenses and hooking them into groups. They're featuring other lensmasters on their lenses - they don't fear the competition, they welcome the expanded content opportunities. They comment and get return comments - valid comments. They tweet, FB, blog about what's timely and on topic, and it WORKS.
They don't try to be the most popular kids on the block, but guess what? They are. And you could learn a lot from them instead of those get rich tricks books you've read.
I feel better now.