The SEO Squares
“Yoohoo, I’ll make you famous!” – William H. Bonney, Young Guns II
Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame. We have Andy Warhol to thank for this supposed entitlement to fame, but is fame always justified? We easily could have expanded this “square” to be a rectangle and included dozens of other well known SEO personalities. Why we selected these 8 (can’t really count Brad Smart since he doesn’t actually exist) is something of a mystery even to us here at Big Oak, our SEO company. We started throwing out names of people we had heard of or read about and we choose these on our gut feeling of who would be well known. Picking these folks doesn’t mean they are never wrong or don’t make mistakes, but they have some sway over what many people do when it pertains to search engine optimization.
My comments below are not directed at the folks above, but at the entire SEO industry.
Of course with notoriety there comes responsibility, and that leads to this question: Are SEO personalities good stewards of the power we give to them? Is solid advice coming forth? Do they have the real expertise to show the way? Are they working in the trenches so they have an accurate idea of what the little guy needs to do to get better rankings in the search engines? Or do some live in ivory towers of consultancy, casting down judgment on SEO companies and do-it-yourselfers who don’t have the luxury to write “quality content” and wait/hope for links to come naturally.
I have heard many gurus speak and most understand that the SEO game is fairly cutthroat, as many ecommerce businesses rely on rankings for their business’s survival. While that can be a foolhardy stance, some businesses feel their budgets won’t allow for much more and their hopes rest “squarely” on search engine rankings. But a few “SEO gurus” dole out impractical advice and remain consultants to the last, refusing to get their hands dirty and help the client do the work or even give the client real examples to follow.
Finally, let me say that I think all the above SEO Squares are honest and try their best to help their clients. This is not an attack on any of them. I hope they are all good sports with their comic equivalents and know we did not intend to offend. This is more a call to action to all of us in the SEO business to be more empathetic with our clients and try to understand how valuable and trusted our advice is to them. We should all put ourselves in their shoes before deciding what we will say and what we will do. After all, our goal should be to help them grow their businesses, not become detached consultants.