Breaking the SEO Barriers (It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Seen)

The world of optimization information isn’t a pretty world, ladies and gents. Stories abound that you wouldn’t tell your children; they’d give you nightmares. Those who aren’t in the SEO industry may not realize it, but behind the scenes, it’s often not for polite company to see.

See, the SEO industry is still considered by much of the “mainstream” tech world as the all-encompassing snake oil salesman. Optimizers are blamed for destroying the Web, disintegrating the integrity of information retrieval and so on. While this can be laid directly at the doorstep of some SEOs, most aren’t out to “flood the Web” with crap. Most, in fact, feel that we as a whole have an industry reputation to build, maintain and uphold.

With this in mind, if you manage to step into the industry and run with the big dogs, you have to remember that the big dogs bite. Some of them have REALLY big teeth. Blog posts and articles will be scrutinized for errors. If an error is found, you WILL hear about it – often right out loud, in public, where everybody else learns that you messed up. Some of my favorite quotes that come to mind regarding this topic are:

No one is listening until you make a mistake.
If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
Errors have been made.  Others will be blamed.
The tongue weighs practically nothing, but so few people can hold it.

Why? Well, first, it’s all about maintaining the SEO industry reputation. The more who push out crud, the worse we look. The more who DO flood the Web with crap, the worse we look. If you’re claiming to be an SEO, in other words, you’d better know the front end from the back end of a campaign.

Secondly – and those who’ve read posts in the Article Archive before won’t be surprised by this – many of us are slightly to very egotistical (I think it comes with the territory). Of course, many are also highly intelligent (*cough*like me*cough) and know it. There was this one time…

I digress. The point is, if you’re a website owner looking for information on optimization keep in mind that, for some of us, the topic of the blog or article you’re reading took a lot of guts to cover. We never know how it’ll be received by other SEOs – and let’s be frank, it looks bad to potential clients when an article gets tons of “why’d you write this crap, don’t you know what you’re doing?” comments.

Of course, blog owners could always delete the comments, but darn it, that’s just not ethical. You take the good with the bad and make the best of both.

Not every piece of writing will break the barriers of SEO and provide shocking new information that will rock the world. However, it’s safe to say that many pieces of writing will be noticed by the big dogs of SEO (SilverBulletSEO) – you could lose an arm or leg if you don’t pull back fast enough.

Today's Author

International SEO consultant is my title…but who cares about those? What I love is creating strategies that include marketing, social, SEO, relevance, ruffling feathers and starting revolutions. What you read on this blog will hopefully inspire you to continue the conversation. When I’m not multitasking around Level343 I sneak away and go sailing. I’m crazy about pistachios, and of course Nutella.

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8 Responses

  1. According to you – No one is listening until you make a mistake.
    If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
    Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
    The tongue weighs practically nothing, but so few people can hold it.

    Those who do not do anything, it is also not wrong, so we must continue to do, make mistakes and learn from mistakes

  2. Amen to Doc and your statements Gabriella. If you want to run with the big dogs, we do have to have thick skin and be agile. It is indeed a risk we take when clients read our posts and see the ‘crap’ comments but as you already know, this is where an active ORM strategy and a ‘pack’ of your own helps (especially if that pack is seeded with several large dogs [which in your case I know it is]).

    Occasionally you may incur the wrath of a dog which is somewhat of a rogue which even packs are afraid of, but I’m guessing this has a below 0.00001% likelihood chance of occurring and if it does occurs, you can rest assured that your post will gain some serious industry weight. 🙂

  3. It’s the big companies who have ruined the industry. They have outgrown their customer service. They forget to serve the client and to understand their sales and product cycles. To them it’s about numbers; not about service.

  4. Sadly, I ought to agree. Altough I’ve used to work with the most respectable firm in the Israeli SEO industry till lately, I’ve reached the conclusion that it is bluffing it’s client so I had to retire and open my own business with my own standards. Point is- there are large and small firms, thousnads of freelancers and wannbes – Even in a small place such as Israel – no one is secured. Businesses should check carefully who they hire and how they are geeting their “authoritive” links.

  5. “[H]e didn’t realize he’d actually graduated to being a full-fledged SEO, until he started taking hits from others.”

    When began learning SEO, I had no way of judging the quality of articles. I pretty much had to take them at face value. No real life experience and not much studies to compare them against. Now, as I’m getting more knowledgeable, I find myself here and there starting to disagree with articles, even getting angry by them sometimes. I suppose that’s another sign of personal SEO progress. Becoming one of the sharks. :0)

  6. Too true, Gabriella! It’s a dog-eat-dog (alive!) world out there. As a student of SEO, I sometimes find it amusing. But then, as only a student, of course, I’m not the target. 😉
    At times, it can even get out of hand, turning into personal harassment for some past slight, real or imagined.
    A friend and mentor once told me that he didn’t realize he’d actually graduated to being a full-fledged SEO, until he started taking hits from others. There may be something in that.

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