SEO Reality Check; Ideals from glass houses
If there's one thing I hate it's having to do forensic and clean up SEO work. Sure, I like solving mysteries and that's what makes it interesting. But all too often I can't help but think about the price-tag. Sometimes it's a larger corp where the penalty or dampener won't hurt them all that much. Other times it's smaller businesses that can be crippled. Or heaven forbid, blasted beyond the ability to recover. At the end of the day I can't help but think somebody is losing a job, or worse.
Now, it would be great to sit here and tell you that it's totally Google's fault. That they should simply be devaluing all the crap links until we get the message. That would solve the problem right? Not so fast.
Look into my eyes
My buddy and co-host, Terry van Horne has made more than a few analogies as to why that doesn't work. Apparently SEOs and even the client base, just don't learn that easily. For example over the last while I'd seen RFPs, sales contacts and other client initiated sales enquiries for things such as;
- article posting
- blog posting
- PR submission
- business directory submission
- Social media links
One even had things like the need to understand 'search engine ranking algorithms' and having excellent 'communication skills'. Ok, let me try and handle that for you; Don't be a fucking idiot or said algorithms will crush your nuts.
That some good communicating or what?
And I've also seen services in the last few days (some of them offered by a site claiming to be 'Canada's #1 SEO company' no less) such as;
- Articles Submission
- PDF Submission
- Wiki Submission
- RSS Aggregates
- Press releases
- Social Bookmarks
- Social Networks
- Web 2.0 Profiles
- Forum Profile Creation
- Blog Comments
- Traffic Blast Included
- Link Wheel Setup
- Directory Submissions
Woo hoo... step right up and get whacked by the Penguin for $100... of for $500 a month we can get you a full blown Manual Unnatural Links penalty!
The question remains; Would SEOs REALLY learn if Google merely devalued links? Or is Terry somewhat right? They (and clients) need to be beaten around the head to get it? I am starting to wonder.
So therein lies the rub my friends. Regardless of judging Google and it's morality/ethics, I for one would rather start by looking in the mirror. I am not entirely sure how good a job we're doing at educating potential clients and getting a higher profile of the potential risks, out into the places where they lurk. I doubt they watch our hangouts nor read our blogs.
Google is your friend
First things first, those web spam guys do something called adversarial information retrieval, (AIR).
Let's get Googly with that word [adversarial];
ad·ver·sar·i·al - ˌadvərˈse(ə)rēəl/
- involving or characterized by conflict or opposition.
"industry and government had an adversarial relationship"
Does any of that sound like we're playing nice? In fact, Matt's a pretty toned down AIR guy from what I gather. I've read enough papers, watched video lectures etc... to know that many of those skilled in the art, aren't really fans of ours.
Try this on...
Or maybe this guy...
If you ask me, Mr Cutts is down right pleasant compared to many of his AIR breathing brethren.
Get Past Google
Now, before ol Barry Adams comes along and starts calling me a Google fan-boy, let's get this straight; At this point I don't give a rats ass about Google. They can move the goal posts all they like. It's my job to stay on top of that. That's what a good SEO does.
What is truly pissing me off to no end are those that seemingly are ignorant of the evolution and existing reality, or they are willingly leading clients down a road they know might end badly. Regardless, it's bullshit. To grasp at a reality where Google is the only one at fault, is a fools game.
I truly feel like doing searches like these (uhm Google? Why even index these guys?); [link building services] or [SEO link services] and shitting on any of 'em selling toxic crap. But I guess that would be 'outing' or some such shit and the SEO world would get mad at me. Meh.
Worrying about Google's morality/ethics? I'd much rather see the industry come together to start better educating clients and stomping out the crap service providers that don't deserve to call themselves SEOs.
Then we can get back to talking smack about Google. Aight?
As you were...