A Little SEO Knowledge is Scary


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knowing-a-little-SEOA business acquaintance of mine fashions himself as knowledgeable in marketing communications after just two years working as a marketing assistant taking direction from people who knew even less than he. This is the person whose business card features 15 “specialties” including SEO. By definition, specialty means a special subject of study, line of work or area of interest. What he is really is is a generalist; he knows a little bit about a lot of subjects, theoretically.

When people think they know SEO, but have no real hand’s-on experience, they can waste a lot of time (mine) and money (their client’s). Following are scenarios I’ve encountered from marketing consultants who want to “pick my brain” and then sell SEO services to their traditional marketing and PR clients.

1. “Google just dropped my website from Places. I hate Google! Can you tell me what’s going on?”

Anyone who knows SEO will tell you that Google Places has nothing to do with SEO. Without a context, I cannot tell you what happened. Do you have conflicting data in any Internet Yellow Directories? Did you verify your Places listing? Are your competitors receiving reviews and your listing is actually on the second page?

2. “I’ve just discovered KnowEm and am recommending my client set up 100 social media accounts. It’s part of my “SEO package.”

Somewhere they’ve picked up that setting up a bunch of social media accounts will help with ranking but don’t know exactly why.

3. “My client received a call from an SEO firm offering to perform link building for a $299 set-up fee and then $149/mo. thereafter. They said links would improve their rankings.”

I have one word for this type of offer: offshore. All you need to do is ask to review a few websites and perform an inbound link (IBL) analysis. (If you don’t know how to perform a link analysis, you shouldn’t be offering SEO services.) You’ll quickly see that those cheap links are cheap for a reason. Actually, those garbage links are no longer benign. They will hurt your rankings, so they’re not so cheap after all.

There. I feel better now.

Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Nicolette Beard
As a former publisher and editor, I'm passionate about the written word. I craft content to help drive the autonomous customer experience (CX) revolution. My goal is to show call center leaders how to reduce the increasing complexity of the customer journey.


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