oct 13


"Search Engine Optimization is not a legitimate form of marketing. It should not be undertaken by people with brains or souls. If someone charges you for SEO, you have been conned." Previously: Bad Strategies.


'All of this is a good idea, and none of it is a secret. Its so obvious, anyone who pays for it is a fool.'

What if a business doesn't have time to write 1000 words every week? What if the business is a local plumber, who works a 12hour day? Is he a fool for not having enough time..? Isn't that where seo companies can help...?!

posted by Andrew at 12:40 PM on October 13, 2009

The point is that if the local plumber has gone so far as to create a website, then he hired a web designer/developer, and any one of those with any amount of competence should nuke any necessity to also hire an SEO specialist.

posted by Rex at 12:44 PM on October 13, 2009

I think your definition of SEO is too narrow.

It sounds like your referring specifically to onpage SEO elements and spamming.

But your right any web designer/developer worth his salt should be baking all the onpage stuff in, right from the get go.

Most of the problems stem from the bad apples they have poisoned the term SEO and are working hard on spoiling social media.

Speaking to those bad apples you ought to find out who put you on the "dofollow" link drop/comment spam newsletter and send them an itemized invoice for your time spent deleting all that crap.

posted by ryanl at 3:08 PM on October 13, 2009

The biggest scam ever played by an industry is the creation of the so-called black hat versus white hat dynamic within SEO. The comments on Derek's post is full of supposedly "good" SEO guys carrying this torch, just like you. The problem with this formulation is this:

1) Black hat SEO specialists are the first ones to use this dichotomy, always identifying themselves as white hats.

2) White hats don't actually exist -- or if they do, they're just unskilled developers or designers.

This entire "oh, but there are good SEO people" is supposedly saying something about ethics, but it doesn't say anything about skill! And I still haven't found anyone who will identify a single skill that an SEO specialist can bring to the table that a half-way decent developer already can't already do.

(I have a very small exception! I actually think that SEM is still a skill, because it can involve some crafty linguistics, math, and pattern recognition.)

posted by Rex at 4:00 PM on October 13, 2009

What the hell is a SEO specialist? I don't know exactly what that is? I just try an make it as easy as possible for people to find and purchase things that I sell.

SEM - are you referring to adwords/yahoosearchmarketing/msn adcenter? there are too many acronyms...SEO, SEM, SMO they are all about the same thing, visibility. Getting your site/product/story/news/content where people that are looking for it, can find it.

posted by ryanl at 4:22 PM on October 13, 2009

They call me an SEO, but really, I'm teaching the Web to people who grew up in a different medium. You can be disappointed that they need it, but you can't deny that they need it.

posted by Andy at 8:49 PM on October 13, 2009

I hate that he misses the fact that SEO practices are a very small part of a much bigger and much less brainless internet marketing pie. Search marketers buy media for their clients, manage substantial budgets, measure metrics every damn day and have to prove a return on investment like anyone else.

To ignore the importance of search to a company that does business off the web is to ignore the simple fact that search engines drive traffic to sites.

posted by Carlos D at 4:53 PM on October 14, 2009

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