Are you freaking kidding me? Problems in SEO

ImageLast night I attended a local networking event where a panel of “experts” discussed the importance of social media to SEO.  What I could not believe was the large amount of misinformation that was communicated to the audience.

When one of the ‘search gurus’ was asked the question: “What can people do to get their site to rank well?” His response: “Buy links, can I repeat buy links!”

As I tried not to fall off my chair,  I thought to myself, this idiot is getting paid by clients to have their site optimized and this is the only advice he can give!  Nothing about optimizing the the website for the best user experience or maybe even building a community around your brand where links to your site could potentially be created or hell, publish content with your desired keywords to your blog that people are interested in.  Nope, buy links is his idea of the best way to get a website to out rank the competition.

I’m not going to go into everything that was said at the meeting like “Google doesn’t know what they are doing with Google+”.  But I feel this is something that is pretty common in this industry.

When I started at HLK, a Digital Strategist came to me and said that I was the first SEO that gave her information that she had not heard before.  That it was nice to speak to someone in the industry that actually knew something about search and wasn’t full of the same spoke and mirrors she had heard other places.  I hate hearing comments like this.  So many people claim to be search professionals that are really just spammers in disguise.  That charge clients large amounts of money for short term rankings that eventually result in penalties or even the worst case deindexing when Google comes out with a new update. Thus creating the bad reputation that is associated with the SEO industry.

People who claim to know SEO are going out and pitching clients that don’t know any better.  Then when clients do not get the results they were promised, they think that SEO is nothing but crooks selling them services that don’t really exist with no return on their investment and no long term benefit to their business.

This is what is so disheartening about what I do.  There are so many wonderful SEO experts that have a proven track record of great results from their optimizations and off-site efforts.  I wish these people got the recognition they deserve and were able to reach a wider audience.  I just can’t stand the people that are the biggest problems in the industry yet get the most notoriety.

Categories: SEO, Social Media


  • Lyndsey Politte says:

    I completely agree!!

  • Will Hanke says:

    Pretty sure the ‘buy links’ comment was a joke, although most in the audience probably didn’t realize that, and hopefully they didn’t take it as gospel!

    • brookekisker says:

      O awesome I hope it was. From where I was standing it seemed as if he was serious and he did not really follow up the questions with any other information. So I am very sorry if it was a joke, but from the people that I spoke to, they all thought that comment was his recommendation.

    • If it was a joke, it was poor in taste by whomever said it. Don’t remember. Even without a recovery or explanation afterwards, seemed obvious many people thought it was a recommendation.

      I honestly thought both you and Erin (?) presented the most factual and actionable advice among the panelists. Every one else appeared to have opinions or hypothesis they were giving as answers, which many of them where complete farces. To me, I think the quality could have been much better, even though this was very basic.

  • I think you are missing the fact that seo is like any other business. You will have the scammers mixed in with the good guys. It makes the job harder for the good guys. But you should get to the point where people search you out because of the results you generated for past clients.

    • brookekisker says:

      I completely agree that there are scammers in any business. From my experience, there seem to be more unqualified people posing as SEO’s than in other industries.

      • Look at time shares or MLM. I think those would have a higher ratio of scammers.

        The biggest problem with SEO is that so many people do not track results well enough to know what actually made the difference. SO they pass off hunches as facts.

        For example I heard a guy the other day try to say that Google Randomly selects brand new websites and gives them an insanely good page rank for no reason other than being “lucky”.

        I would love to see the formula for that algorithm!

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