7 SEO Idiots (I Mean ‘Experts’) to Avoid

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Some of the SEO “experts” we encounter exhibit less than tasteful attributes. Having been inspired by The Oatmeal, I’ve taken the liberty of illustrating some of the bad SEO professionals.

I understand that I might be slightly hypocritical in this post. I’ve found myself displaying some of the characteristics below.

Revisiting the Idiots/Experts: It’s been nearly four years since this post first went live and yet so much of it still holds true. However, we’re four years older and wiser now, and the search engines have changed a lot in that time. So we decided to take this opportunity to reexamine these “experts” from our new perspective.

Big Words/Acronyms SEO

You may have caught yourself using jargon that might be over your clients’ heads. These SEO Experts may know the trade, they just lack the ability to communicate effectively with clients. If you notice that your client has a blank look, you may want to ask if they don’t understand something you’re saying.

Your CMS is really bad for SEO. In fact I don't see a robots.txt or an XML sitemap. I recommend a mod_rewrite for your non-www version and use of the canonical tag. Your keyword density looks spammed and you have no ALT tag descriptions. No wonder you aren’t at the top of the SERPs.

The 2014 Version: Jargon isn’t just about acronyms or sounding too technical. These days, you’re just as likely to start talking about cute and cuddly animals, yet find yourself facing some blank stares. If you tell your clients that pandas, penguins, and hummingbirds ruined their rankings, you’re still falling into this trap. Not everyone is fluent in Google-speak.

Sparkling, White Hat SEO

Don’t get me wrong, white hat is the way to go in SEO. However, some incompetent SEOs may claim that their lack of linkbuilding is due to high moral principles. They put on a facade of “White Hat.” These SEOs either don’t get linkbuilding or they don’t want to put forth the effort to do it. Of course there are plenty of gray/black hat ways of building links. But other linkbuilding methods such as submitting a press release, creating quality linkbait, etc. are legitimate and great for SEO.

Just give me a few years and I'll get your website to the top. I'm completely white, sparkly hat. My SEO campaigns are based on moral principles. Link building is just not for me and my possy. If you have to work for links, then you're crossing the integrity line. Most of what I do is on-page... actually all I do is on-page optimization. But hey, I'm really gooood at it.

What Does White Hat Mean Now: Yesterday’s white hat practices may not be black hat today, but a lot of these old practices that everyone KNEW were solid and wholesome are now ineffective and potentially a waste of time. Think of guest blogging. Sure, it still has its place, but this sure-fire, reliable, and white hat tactic must now be done with extreme care or not at all. They’re not wrong. They’re just overused.

Conversion Expert Turned SEO

The Conversion Expert SEO is more uncommon. These SEOs somehow mistakenly believe that user experience is intricately connected with SEO. They carry the label of “Internet Marketer” but they only talk about conversion and design. The idea of increasing traffic rarely crosses their minds

Search marketing is a lot about user experience. So you've got 10 visitors a month? With my SEO experience, I'll boost your conversion rate by 10%. I'm sure we can convert at least one of them.

2014 Considerations: This is an interesting case. With many of the most recent Google updates, user experience is, in fact, growing in importance for SEO. This includes elements like load speed and site metrics that indicate whether or not your page is answering searchers’ expectations. Conversion optimization is closely tied to user experience, so while it’s not the end-all and be-all of SEO, it has certainly become an important component.

Self-Proclaimed Social Media Expert

The Social Media Expert may have been an SEO who was drawn into the hype of Social Media. He tells the world that he is a Social Media Expert because he knows how to use Facebook and Twitter. He frequently talks about “going viral,” although he has no idea how to go viral. And sadly, he measures his effectiveness based on the number of followers and friends he acquires.

We HAVE to get an account with every social network... I've already signed you up for SocialBunny, Diggggg.com, and Wuphf.com. If you get lots of accounts you'll get lots of links. Oh yeah, you're going to want a lot of followers and friends... it will definitely help your SEO.

The Social World is Different: A “viral” Facebook post in 2014 has come to mean “paying a lot of money.” Facebook has changed its algorithm so much that a basic post is unlikely to reach more than a tiny portion of your followers – unless you’re willing to pay for it. On top of that, if your SEO refers to Google+ as a ghost town, they’ve missed the point completely. If Google is important to your business, Google+ has to be as well.

IT Guy

SEO is an IT thing right? Wrong. Unfortunately, the in-house IT guy thinks that SEO belongs to the IT department since it involves algorithms and coding. While SEO may require someone with a bit of HTML skills, it should belong to the marketing department and more specifically a “Search Team.”

Well, I just googled SEO and I found out that keyword density is REALLY important. I’m just going to be adding our keyword, 'Organic Kitty Chow,' all over our website and in the keywords meta tag. We don’t need an SEO firm -- SEO is an IT thing. I’ll take care of it.

Everyone Has an Opinion: SEO has changed so much in the last four years that it isn’t just the IT guy who has an opinion. It’s been around long enough that now everyone has “heard that SEO is all about [fill in your favorite trending strategy].” Unfortunately, if these people have the ear of your client, they may be making it harder for you to explain what it really is.

Bad Grammar Offshore SEO

We get plenty of emails and comments filled with poor translation grammar. Do you really want someone who’s using a translation tool to do your keyword research? These SEOs may be cheap but not very effective.

I has like blogging, and I always comment on other blogs to get links. I says things like 'Your write good posts, I am bookmarking this blog for return.' These kinds comments always get approval. SEO is really a lot as surgery. I has got thousands of comment links with my softwares. Please make business with me.

Bad Grammar ONSHORE SEO: There was a time when, in the pursuit of positioning a keyword just right, an SEO would go to extreme grammatical lengths. The things a person had to do to fit in those nasty geo-targeted keywords doesn’t bear thinking about. Modern SEO isn’t about fitting in keywords. It’s about using your content to address topic and answer a question. (You don’t have to go to an offshore company to find SEOs who still think exact keyword repetition will help your pages rank.)

Black Hat SEO

The Black Hat SEO should be avoided like the plague. He may get you fast results, but those results will quickly decline after Google notices the spammy tactics around your website. Black Hat SEOs will always take the easy way out and often do more damage than good.

Give me your business and I'll get you to the top tomorrow. I've got plenty of doorway pages and I spin just about every article out there. Who needs to actually write unique content anymore? Don't worry about my techniques, they always work. I've only had a few hundred websites banned.

A 2014 Perspective: In the world of swift and painful manual penalties, avoiding Black Hat SEOs is more important than ever. Once Google brings out the ban hammer, it’s extremely difficult to get back out of the penalty box. You don’t just lose your rankings when this happens. You’re excluded from the entire index. Beware the promises that are too good to be true and especially be cautious of automated processes that claim it only takes weeks to dominate the search results.

Update: I used your comments and posted 12 More SEO Idiots. Check it out.

Any more ideas?

Do you agree? What other SEO “Experts” should you avoid? What else has changed in the last four years? Share your ideas in a comment.

 

Comments

  1. JohnCarcutt

    It really starts getting fun when you realize that the great ones are the ones who fit multiple categories, Ive met more than one of the following…

    Big Words/Acronyms Social Media Expert SEO
    The IT Guy Conversion Expert SEO
    Bad Grammar Offshore Black Hat SEO

    @streko – Just hire some mommy bloggers to do it for ya!. :)

    Posted on October 6, 2010
    • David Scoville

      Great insight, John. I’ve seen my fair share of the combinations as well. I suppose an idiot’s an idiot.

      October 6, 2010
      • JohnCarcutt

        “an idiot’s an idiot” – So true. Just made my quote of the day! … lol

        October 6, 2010
  2. James

    Brilliant post – I think many in SEO have themselves become personified in many of these stages through their SEO learning experience / on-going trial and error. Perhaps these idiots are not actually idiots, but actually stages of enlightenment muddied with ‘SEO rites of passage’

    Or probably not, just idiots.

    Posted on October 6, 2010
    • David Scoville

      Good point, James. I’ve been in a few of these categories. Hopefully I can help some beginning SEOs skip some of the “stages of enlightenment.”

      October 6, 2010
  3. Robert

    love it :)

    Posted on October 6, 2010
    • Michael

      I think that SEO should know about conversion rates, social media. Of course if you have an expert for social media and conversion rates in your company, than don’t worry.

      What would be the best SEO guy? Is it someone who brings thousands of people to website and get 1st position and see it as success or is it someone who would say I have increase sales by 10% because of my efforts?

      October 6, 2010
  4. Andy Butler

    Excellent post, I laughed my socks off. I liked the Bad Grammar Offshore SEO and have come across a few Big Word/Acronyms SEO’s.

    Posted on October 6, 2010
  5. Judith

    Love it, David!

    How about adding “Big Fat Liar Guy”? I run into this guy all the time. Outright “fibbing” about what can and can’t be done as well as looking at optimized sites and making claims of what needs to be done — that already has!

    Keep the good stuff coming!

    Posted on October 6, 2010
  6. Darren

    Great points and I love the graphics! All true points when doing SEO, so it’s nice to see standards for SEO! Thanks for the post!

    Posted on October 6, 2010
  7. Afonso Savaglia

    If you split a SEO team, you’ll have all of those 7 idiots, lol!

    Posted on October 6, 2010
  8. NatC

    Not sure if we’re thinking about the same. Is this the one who will ask for many ergonomy & design changes on your site “because I feel like Google will really prefer it that way”?

    Posted on October 6, 2010
    • David Scoville

      Hey NatC, Frankly, coming from a lot of web design experience, I used to be that SEO.

      October 6, 2010
  9. Kannan

    Awesome post… Great explanation with beautiful words :)

    Posted on October 6, 2010
  10. Dawn

    Well after I stop laughing I think I’d better go and check on my meta tags. I like to stop by each day and say a few kind words to them. They’re not appreciated much nowadays – although they do have their uses – and feel sighted if I don’t give them daily attention.

    I’ve heard that they like to congregate in large flocks so I may add a few more just to make them feel at home!

    Posted on October 6, 2010
  11. Betalabs

    This is so true…brilliant

    Posted on October 7, 2010
  12. Dave

    Great post. The bad grammar / offshore SEO point is particularly pertinent at this point in time.

    Posted on October 7, 2010
  13. mike

    I like the most is that link building is not a bad. Many people says that link building is black had method and they do not touch it . I agree with this

    Of course there are plenty of gray/black hat ways of building links. But other linkbuilding methods such as submitting a press release, creating quality linkbait, etc. are legitimate and great for SEO.

    Posted on October 7, 2010
  14. JAnderson

    Great post, love the artwork. . .

    Posted on October 7, 2010
  15. Domenick

    LMAO, I didn’t comment when this first came out, but I was talking to somebody about their site earlier today and let them know they had no title or meta description tag for all their pages/post, and I got “meta description, yeah, I don’t even know what that is” and I couldn’t help but laugh and think about this post. Funny, funny, funnny.

    Posted on October 7, 2010
  16. Murlu

    Let’s not forget the “results” guy – you know, I can get you to the top of Google, just look at my screenshots…

    Nice! You rank #1 for the term “Puppy Poo Cleaning Supplies In Alaska”!

    Posted on October 8, 2010
  17. Ross

    Interesting, that seems to cover just about all SEO.

    Posted on October 8, 2010
  18. Eric Miltsch

    Golden. Love this…

    Don’t forget about the guy who doesn’t even have a site of his own – and even worse, the guy who says he can’t show you any examples of his performance b/c his client list is “confidential.”

    Nicely done.

    Posted on October 11, 2010
  19. Chris Kellett

    Thanks for the great article often you find that SEO firms are a combination of many if not all of the above. I am a freelancer working from home and have found a really good tool to help you get started in SEO and learn at the same time its called DIYSEO.com

    Maybe some of your newer readers might want to have a go on it and see if they can start with SEO there.

    Posted on October 12, 2010
  20. Jesse Dictor

    So, then, which is the one you want?

    Posted on October 13, 2010
  21. Lewy

    @SEO_Canada Tell me, are you currently wearing your sparkling, white hat or is it hanging on the coat stand?

    Posted on October 15, 2010
  22. Stephen Chapman

    I just lol’d a little when I looked at your site’s meta description. *facepalm*

    Posted on October 18, 2010
  23. Ridho Putradi

    nice one mate …
    hope I’m not seeing myself like what described on the article :)

    Posted on October 18, 2010
  24. Mike Saunders

    I think I have met every single one of these SEO “experts”. Brilliant post.

    What about the “newbe”

    “does your website have metatags? It’s definitely the way to go. Google loves metatags, in fact the invented them. I will let your in on a secret… Have your heard about meta descriptions…”

    I still bump into these people every now and then.

    I enjoy it when people can laugh at themselves.

    Posted on October 20, 2010
  25. Greg Hill

    David you really nailed some of the personalities in SEO. Great job. My personal fav is the Bad Grammer SEO. I truly love link requests and articles crafted with this fine gibberish. ;-)

    Posted on October 20, 2010
  26. Dave Cain

    Organic kitty chow – I’ve heard it all now lol! It looks like a tough keyword for an IT guy, its got 223,000 results in Google.co.uk :D

    Posted on October 22, 2010
  27. Ryan Midnight

    Having dealt extensively with “IT Guy” and “Bad Grammar Offshore SEO”, I’m very happy to say you’ve nailed them spot on.

    Oh, Bad Grammar Offshore SEO, why do you vex me so?

    Posted on October 28, 2010
  28. Betsy

    I try to be considerate of them, but really, who would outsource their seo to someone who can barely form a sentence in English. I am constantly shaking my head at people who are so cheap they don’t even care if their seo “guy” can use the same language as the customers that they are trying to reach.

    Posted on October 30, 2010
  29. DiTesco

    I would not anything for the time being as reading this post was worth every second of my attention. While it is hilarious, unfortunately there is a lot of truth behind it and these are the common pitfalls why many people are not satisfied with their SEO consultants (wannbee’?). Good one..

    Posted on November 2, 2010
  30. Thomas

    I usually give it to my clients straight “I may not know everything about SEO, but I know what works!”

    Posted on November 4, 2010
  31. Alex

    Hello David,
    Great post, almost all the descriptions you did are funny.
    But I have some questions:

    About the offshore SEO, are you one of those peoples who hate others just because they weren’t born in USA, Uk, Australia etc?
    What if someone doesn’t know how to write and speak perfect English, does that mean he doesn’t know how to conduct a productive SEO job?

    Also, I would definitely like for you to post a banner with the perfect SEO worker in your opinion :), maybe it can become a benchmark for the experts to aspire to and a guideline for others who want to find quality seo, in my opinion if you combine all the characters you said, that would definitely would be a SEO guru

    I hope my questions aren’t to rough, being a new comer and all :D.
    Pardon my bad english!

    Posted on November 8, 2010
    • David Scoville

      Hi Alex,

      In no way am I out to discriminate SEOs based on ethnicity or nationality. An SEO who can provide legitimate results, is a real expert, regardless of the language that he/she speaks.

      However, comment spamming is never a good tactic — and the best way to get banned from commenting is to use poor grammar and punctuation.

      It is extremely difficult to sell yourself to English speaking clients if your language isn’t up to par. Even if an SEO has brilliant SEO sills, many clients can’t see past the poor English. In many minds, poor grammar somehow denotes a lack of education.

      With that said, I have to applaud your English, Alex. You are doing very well.

      November 9, 2010
  32. -JG

    Stephen, I loved your article on this @ZDNet. I will be following.

    Posted on December 20, 2010
    • Stephen Chapman

      Hey, thanks so much! I appreciate that. =)

      December 21, 2010
  33. ORV Info

    I came across all of them and it did make me laugh, but I have to say that having perfect English is not a necessity, for me at least. Some of the worst SEO firms and freelancer are UK/ US based.

    Posted on December 21, 2010
  34. Courtney Hume

    This is hilarious and so true! This also made me laugh. I think as SEO professionals, we always forget to use simply language to explain what SEO is and what we can do for our clients. Great blog post!

    Posted on December 28, 2010
  35. 192seo

    Social media expert is the best! I love when people tell me this.

    Posted on December 29, 2010
  36. Wes

    But sparkling white hats are so pretty… And, And, the social media experts, well, have so many “followers” they must know what they’re doing.

    Ha!

    Good one, David!

    Posted on December 31, 2010
    • David Scoville

      Thanks Wes,

      You’d think that when people call themselves “Experts” they should really know what they’re talking about.

      January 3, 2011
  37. Pimonrat

    Thanks for the great article.
    It’s so creative and cute post.

    Posted on January 10, 2011
  38. William

    For anything to be funny, it has to have an element of truth in it. Your article is hilarious because it is right on the money in so many instances. It makes you appreciate the legitimate SEO companies like SEO.com all the more. Thanks for the great article.

    Posted on January 10, 2011
  39. Edward Beckett - Florida SEO

    My absolute favorite is the SEO company or consultant that claims they can achieve ‘X’ {rankings, conversions, PageRank, etc } for their clientele and yet they have a PR Zero site and don’t rank for their own terms …

    After that – I’m just plain amazed by the emails that start with ….

    ‘We are SEO company India from the I-Can’t-Even-Pronounce-It region’

    Posted on January 19, 2011
  40. Dennis John

    Awesome Post…!! Some points that usually makes an Ethical Internet Expert find it tough to convince clients. As 7 Experts (Idiots) like them mis-lead most of the Clients to not seek genuine expert service.

    Posted on January 22, 2011
  41. Murray Ambler-Shattock

    Sad but true. Only 7! I think you mean more like 70.

    The SEO industry I know and love is now jammed full of charlatans. :-(

    I spend an awful lot of time for clients rescuing them from amateurish disasters and ‘Our marketing grad has had a go’, arrogant ‘you don’t need it’ coders and ‘seemed better value’ overseas firms armed with a script, glossary and a call centre and the consequential nightmares that ensue.

    Interesting blog, that’s sparked some heated debate. Good stuff!

    Posted on February 4, 2011
  42. Javier Vasquez

    David… this was a great post! I got quite the laugh when looking at your graphics. Too good!

    Posted on February 6, 2011
  43. Steve

    Where can I find an ethical gray hat SEO?

    Posted on February 8, 2011
  44. Kellen

    So here’s my favorite… the guy who claims he’s a “local search marketing expert” after taking a 1 hour class on claiming a business listing on Google Maps. These guys are everywhere!

    Here’s another one… the SEO who’s website is built entirely in flash and believes that onpage optimization is keyword stuffed meta tags and hundreds of cleverly placed (small, same color as the background) keywords in the footer.

    Posted on February 13, 2011
  45. Roger

    There are so many great things about this blog. There are so many true and funny comments. I have to say I love the calls from companies with a zero PR on their site that promise to get you to the first page on all the major search engines. One guy actually told me that they did not want to optimize their site because they preferred making cold calls. I tried to keep from laughing as I told him it makes sense. I hate having interested customers calling me and wish I too could work my way into the cold calling business.

    Posted on February 14, 2011
  46. Scadabra

    You write good posts, I am bookmarking this blog for return! Please makes business with me, I is real

    :P

    Posted on March 2, 2011
  47. Abhijit V. Chaore

    Not only this article informative but a thoroughly enjoyable too. I really liked it a lot. The way you explained things in an illustrative and humerus manner is awesome. Keep good work.

    Posted on March 8, 2011
  48. John

    I want to hit the wall when I get emails from bad grammar SEOs. And on top of that, you have people over here in the states who will go with them because they are cheaper. Then I tell them that they will be touching the content of their site with poor English. Oh well. :)

    Posted on March 8, 2011
    • Camping Gadgets

      I totally agree, although I get plenty of emails and comments from stateside people who have bad grammar and poor spelling too. I’m just tired in general of all the people promising me such miraculous results in such little time.

      April 2, 2012
  49. William

    I personally love getting a call in the middle of the afternoon from someone who askes me three times who I am. He clicked on my PPC ad and just called me to tell me that he can’t find my site listed organically on page one of Google. They go on to tell me that I am paying for PPC ads and they would be free if I could get on the first page of Google as if he is letting me in on some closely guarded secret. He can get me on the first page of Google even tough he can’t get his own site on the first 10 pages. He goes on to explain there is something called meta tags. Wow I say, I think I will go change my meta tags right now and hang up.

    Posted on March 14, 2011
  50. Stas

    Great “SEO types” analyzing! It is very funny and at the same time true and realistic.

    Posted on March 17, 2011
  51. Peter L Masters MCIM

    This is great, excellent stuff! Thanks for sharing! If only so many of the comments weren’t based on people that are really out there! Keep up the good work, thanks again, Peter

    Posted on April 5, 2011
  52. Jeff

    Haha spot on!

    I live the social network guy talking about ‘goin viral’ frequently when they don’t even know how to ‘go viral’, haha!

    Funny article!

    Jeff

    Posted on April 10, 2011
  53. Neal Morgan

    Excellent post, you must of been phoned up by the same sham marketing companies that phone me.
    I love it when they start with ” Hello i’m bla bla bla of bla bla bla marketing, have you heard of Google?”

    Posted on April 15, 2011
  54. Matt

    Great article – very funny and original

    Posted on April 28, 2011
  55. Supriyono

    There are a lot of guys claiming themselves SEO experts. With poor (English) language! I was just wondering how they can help me when they are not ‘really’ experts themselves.
    Thanks for the nice post.

    Posted on May 5, 2011
  56. luke

    lol nice article. Im linking to this on my blog.

    Posted on May 9, 2011
  57. Andrew

    I came across this article as I was looking for how a client is ranked for a particular search term. I read it and I had a good laugh as I think you have hit the nail on the head with this one especially the “Bad Grammar Offshore SEO” one. I even get emails from them saying how great they are at seo but the grammar on even their email is pretty poor.

    Posted on June 13, 2011
  58. Sean

    I love the various descriptions of these experts, I find in most cases they’re exactly as described. Embellishing seems to be 50% of current SEO, trying to trick the search engines into results that aren’t organic or relevant. I’m personally tired of spam comments on my blog about “you site looks nice, add my website-we should be friend” from foreign randoms.

    Posted on June 30, 2011
  59. Babu

    Your TITLE is really interesting… and I would say articulate!!

    Posted on July 13, 2011
  60. Brandon

    I’ve got to put my two cents in on the conversion expert gone SEO, with latest updates from Google, conversion may not be the target but user experience factors do have an affect on ranking in the SERPS. Things like bounce rate, CTR, how long a person is on the page, etc. These are site metrics Google looks at, the likeness of the site, click bait. Which also all pertains possibly to user experience and conversion on the site as well. In my opinion this is a good thing, because now optimizations are collaborating effectively together.

    Posted on July 20, 2011
  61. Henrik Svenningsen

    I can only agree, that the It Guy is very common. Nice illustrations!

    Posted on July 27, 2011
  62. Jesper

    Great article – illustrations are hilarious!!

    Posted on July 28, 2011
  63. Dmore

    This is a great post, but the funny thing is that I know SEO professionals that fall in one or more of these categories. I think I just found an outline for my next brochure.

    Posted on August 18, 2011
  64. soberninja

    When I was hired as an in-house marketer for our company they already had the “IT SEO guy” hired as a third party. I kid you not he said “if you don’t understand programming, you’ll never be a good SEO…” in a condescending tone. Well, 4 months later one of our sites got slapped by a Panda update because of his “seo programming prowess”. STEER CLEAR folks!

    Posted on August 24, 2011
  65. Don

    Exactly the one I run into all the time, the designer/SEO guy. Usually I check back a few month later, and get the customer when they see that nothing happened.

    Posted on October 11, 2011
  66. Brent Rangen

    Criticizing bad SEO isn’t going to get us anywhere. Next time, work on things to hold us accountable.. standards.. and you’ll be providing an actual service to the entire industry.

    Posted on October 13, 2011
  67. Jeremy Hawes

    lol, ok the the "Big Words" SEO guy is someone iconic of 90% of the LinkedIn group leaders – the guys who either start the group topics and make 75%+ of all the comments. The funny part is how much they argue about how one guy's SEO stuff works wonders and the other's is a scam – funny because they are both right half the time and just having a pissing contest. They got so heated one time that the other was threatening to sue the other – good gracious.

    Posted on December 2, 2011
  68. Jenny24

    True that! I thought I was the only one thinking that about those SEO "experts". Great article David. You tell them! Best regards! 

    Posted on December 6, 2011
  69. Yuvin Ghotra

    great post!
    To be an expert in Online marketing niche you have to have some knowledge of everything but a deep knowledge of marketing and user experience.

    Posted on January 4, 2012
  70. Kreative Genesis

    I laughed like nobody’s business when I read this article. Yep, the 7 listed SEO experts are definitely ones to avoid. I wish I am my own expert when it comes to SEO & SEO instead of just writing keyword-rich web content. It takes longer time to rank clients’ websites.

    Posted on January 10, 2012
  71. Vic

    This is entertaining and also useful post for every SEO to consider. I usually receive bad grammar comments on my blog. They may be fall not only once but twice or more of the definitions above.

    Posted on January 15, 2012
  72. Paul Dumas

    The IT Guy might as well also be called the “buddy/brother/husband” who knows how to do EVERYTHING, but for some reason hasn’t actually done ANYTHING. Just love running into and having to compete with the unfulfilled “buddy deal”.

    Posted on January 27, 2012
  73. Chris HELP!

    Bad Grammar Offshore SEO Guy is my favorite. He spams my email inbox all the time asking to partner with me. He claims to add value to my clients, but I can barely understand what he’s saying.

    Posted on February 15, 2012
  74. Michael

    This gave me a chuckle, nicely done dude.

    Posted on March 5, 2012
  75. Tom C

    I agree with @Paul Dumas…the IT/brother-in-law Guy is the toughest one to overcome. Being family, it’s very hard for the business owner to take our word over their family member’s.

    Another tough one is the “IT Consultant” who gets involved knowing nothing about web development and certainly nothing about SEO. As soon as you hear that you’re going to be working with a client’s “consultant”, beware!

    Thanks for the funny post… 

    Posted on March 13, 2012
  76. Amanda

    I love this article, its so funny yet sadly true!

    Posted on April 5, 2012
  77. maplestory

    Thus here’s our favorite… the guy who promises he’s a “local search engine marketing expert” following having a 60 minutes type about declaring an enterprise listing on Google Roadmaps. These guys are everywhere!

    Here’s an additional one… the Search engine marketing who’s site is made completely within thumb along with believes which onpage marketing is key phrase loaded meta tags and also numerous skillfully put (tiny, identical color because track record) key phrases inside footer.

    Posted on April 14, 2012
  78. Simon Dewey

    What I don’t get is why they have to phone/email to let you know about their services – if they were that good wouldn’t they be on the first page of google?

    Posted on May 27, 2012
  79. Sara Thornton

    Excellent post David, and still 100% relevant almost 2 years after this article was written!

    I hope that more SEO clients stumble across this, as it would help them a lot to distinguish the cowboys from the good ‘uns.

    I never cease to be amazed at the “Bad Grammar Offshore SEO” pack, who are now “smartening up” their mass blast emails with English names as their email profile, and then a blatantly non-English name in the signature. The best I’ve seen thus far is 3 different names in one email (Email from: “English name #1″, Introduction as “Hi my name is “English name #2″, and then a non English name in the email signature at the bottom!

    To add to the hilarity, they are spamming an SEO company with poorly written offers of SEO services: “We get you page 1 Google”. That’s very kind of you to offer, but I’m afraid you’re attempting to sell cake to a baker.

    I do love how they polish off the disaster by quoting the “CAN-SPAM” act.

    CAN-SPAM, but can’t spell.

    Posted on June 13, 2012
  80. Grace Morris

    I love the IT guy! I’ll always remember the IT guy that asked if using the keywords tag was enough content for the page to rank. Yup–that’ll take care of it!

    Posted on July 20, 2012
  81. Rajesh Kumar

    All are of Indian Style, Actually, Indian SEO companies charge the clients and pay their employees just for doing spam on the web!!

    I also got paid for that, But Now I don’t do that, will not do that at any cost!

    Posted on December 24, 2012
  82. Jason

    Hi , i really agree with you on what you are saying but its something to laugh about too :) ! I really dont agree with black seo and i am curios to find out what is the best seo technic out here to use :P ! sorry for my english !

    Posted on April 15, 2013
  83. [email protected]

    Everyone loves it when individuals get together and
    share thoughts. Great website, continue the good work!

    Posted on April 19, 2013
  84. Shayne@Shayne

    Good day!
    This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted on May 7, 2013
  85. Matthew Boley

    Written in 2010 and it still holds true to this day, I love it. Nothing’s worse than getting a client you have to work with in IT department that couldn’t rank the site up either. He’s going to be telling them your wrong the whole time until you do rank up those specific terms they are going for. He’s also going to be drilling you for information so he can learn it himself and do it himself. He’s looking for that promotion, if he learns how to do it, he’s going to talk bad about you, so he can do it himself and become the number 1 asset to the company. He can then ask for raises, etc… They are no dummies.

    I also like some of these

    “Looking for ethical SEO services”

    Must know how to use Senuke, submit to high pr blog comments, forum posts, and knows all about link wheels.

    Some people just don’t have a clue what is going on anymore… This was posted on Odesk about 3 weeks to a month ago. I actually took the time to message the guy and tell him that if he did any of that he would end up wasting his money and hurting his site.. I then gave him a few minutes of info on the phone and what to look for in an SEO company. He said he was looking to spend under $100 a month and rank terms up that were getting 300k + exact hits a month. I told him, there is no way I could ever help for $100 a month lol and that it was impossible. He told me I was just to expensive and he was going to find another company to use…

    This is what ends up happening to people to.. They find the cheapest service they can possibly get and in marketing, you get what you pay for. If you pay $100 your going to get Senuke, if you pay $500 your going to get semi manual submissions, maybe some ethical work like a guest post or 2.. If you pay $1k + then you are possibly getting all manual work and some decent articles. Sure there are exceptions to this rule and you will find the general person willing to work a bit cheaper like myself.. But there aren’t many of me lol.

    Honestly though, I am all about white hat tactics myself.. but what we write today could come back to haunt us in 3 – 4 years. Who would of ever thought DMOZ.org could have been a bad place to submit? There isn’t just 1 person that claimed they got a message from webmasters and Google showing them the example about DMOZ.org as the bad link, but many.. Some say it’s still ok. My instinct is that it is, because I have used it for so long and I want to believe that it is, but if Google’s bot is picking it up as a bad link type, why would I use it? If the webmasters see the link on their end and they are pasting it as an example, it must be under a bad link list somewhere on their screen. I am sure it’s not one of the worst by any means, but if it’s semi unethical why would anyone want to be on it.

    Who would of thought you couldn’t use dofollows in a prweb press release even if you are using your brand name such as SEO.com. According to John Mueller you just can’t do this now… Now prweb switched to nofollow so you don’t have to worry, but regardless what about sbwire, etc.. many of the other good ones that haven’t switched. What if you get syndicated through a dofollow.. Could it come back to haunt you.

    So when it comes down to ethical.. I like to say, we use the most ethical tactics at this current time known.

    Something tells me that down the road, internal linking using exact match anchor texts could be over optimization as well.. Sure right now it’s great.. It’s the only way to tell Google what you want to rank for since you can’t use optimized anchor text offpage and rank your terms up now..

    Basically you have to do the following to rank anymore.

    1. Build authority up – using ethical tactics b2b type sites, great guest posts, linking t your brand name, build your overall brand presence and domain/page authority up etc…
    2. Proper onpage SEO to tell Google what your page is about and what terms you want to rank for.
    3. Social presence, links, being active, etc.. It all ties in together and I am sure that everyone knows what I am referring to.. Basically if you have a limited budget use Google plus and Facebook… According to Moz those are the 2 most important for SEO statistics..

    Sure there are many other aspects of ranking terms up, but those are the basics. Every site is different and you have to analyze the situation of the site, before you even try to rank it up…

    Anyways… Great post and I couldn’t of said this all better.

    Posted on October 8, 2013

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