Why Bloggers Hate SEO's

Oct 12th

I was writing a longer article and decided it would be better in pieces. This first one is about marketing, profit, and why I think most bloggers hate SEO.

Let me know what you think of part 1. Tomorrow I will post part 2.

Algorithm Manipulation & Constant Change:

In the forums recently there has been some whining about Google being an out of control beast with no relevancy, etc. I guess when you look close enough there is always some amount of that.

People are also comparing the new Yahoo! algorithms to the Google Florida update. We tend to think the relevancy is not there when our own site disappears, even if it is temporary. Admittedly the algorithms may be jacked for a while, but if people like your site and sites like yours are not in the search results it hurts the relevancy and brand of the search engine when those results do not show up, even if some of those sites were banned long ago.

Search algorithm manipulation may still be beneficial, but is not necessary to succeed if others are interested in what you offer. Those who take a holistic approach to marketing do not need to worry as much about the ups and downs associated with changing search algorithms or search business models. If people believe in you enough they will push you to success even if you do not know what you are talking about.

There is nothing wrong with creating content with the intent to spread it. That is all SEO is focused on: spreading content, ideas, and websites for profit.

What is Profit?

Profit can be:

  • money
  • feeling important
  • knowing others are reading what you write
  • getting feedback
  • knowing you helped others
  • settling a score with someone you are pissed at
  • doing something which others stated you could not
  • or a variety of other things

Bloggers are SEOs?

When a blogger Google Bombs a person they are doing nothing more that a souped up blog version of SEO. In spite of the fact that bloggers do the same things as SEOs (and sometimes even far worse) many bloggers like to tell you just how much scum the average SEO is.

Why is everyone and their dog launching or partnering in a blog network? Money. Plain and simple.

As NickW would say:

I suspect the ratio is more like 95/5 with regard to who's making reasonable money at blogging.

Personally, i see this as the new seo if you like - and the old guard, who can get their heads round the new medium, are all set to rake in what they want pretty much - it's open season out there...

While many bloggers and designers claim they absolutely hate the topic of SEO - and SEOs - much of the bad SEO advice offered is given by bloggers and web designers who never studied the topic.

At one point in time I had to tell a content rating website to stop hiding content on their own site. They were handed that dubious hide the content tip from a web designer (who ensured them that it was search engine friendly). Even outside of search think how poor it sounds for a content rating website to hide their own content. Where does the credibility go with moves like that?

Why Do Bloggers / Designers Really Hate SEOs?

Many people who are chronically pissed at anything remotely related to SEO are probably in that mode of thought for one of a few reasons:

  • Envy: I remember when I just started out on the web and was doing economically bad because I had few connections, limited experience, and minimal business savvy. I am not ashamed to admit that for a period when I was barely getting by I felt envious of people with better business models. Many web developers, bloggers, and designers whom are barely getting by like to push the blame of their lack of marketing skills and low wages on budget shifts toward marketing and spammy results clogging up the engines.
  • Sick of blog spam: Whenever a blogger talks about comment or trackback spam, or any webmaster gets referral spam many of them blame that annoyance on SEO in general, although the software developers are at fault for selling software with holes in it. Some people have even been known to blog spam for a competitor to hurt a competitors website, just because the software vendors make it so easy.
  • Sick of low quality search results: Search engines have spent a ton of money, time, and attention marketing their faults as belonging to a third party.
  • Quality of Content: Some people believe that SEOs aim to do anything necessary to avoid creating useful websites or content. While some people just aim to exploit algoritmic holes, some of these same people later go on to do SEO for many legitimate websites. As an SEO, if you have clients, it is ideal to have clients that give you a performance based cut (affiliate programs) or clients that have naturally authoritative sites which can easily rank for their official name and related terms. Some of the better SEOs refuse to work for a company unless they are deeply interested in that companies products and market.

    Most blogs are not of amazing quality. If the average blog's content quality was high people wouldn't be failing the Turing test as often as they are.

  • Web Standards: Many sites follow no standards other than putting money in the pocket of the author. That would occur whether or not there was a field called SEO. Sadly most of my sites are not yet standard compliant, and it would probably cost me about $100,000 to even attempt that. I may eventually try it, but you can't learn everything all at once. Learning is a process. Just as many designers are bad at marketing I am bad at designing and web standards related stuff.
  • Easy to pick on: XYZ marking firm is a bunch of knuckleheads is an easy story to spread. Web mob justice means those stories spread fast. Did you know that Gillette now has a 5 blade razor?
  • Selective Memory & Anchoring: How often do you hear a person thank an SEO for placing a relevant result at the top of the results? Never. How often do you hear of SEOs being $@&*ers? Much more often.
Published: October 12, 2005

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Comments

January 8, 2007 - 1:35pm

What specific arguement is faulty?

January 8, 2007 - 8:15pm

Uh.... all that talk.. and no definition of the term "SEO" is given!! Engrish 101, my friend!!

October 13, 2005 - 1:44am

You have an error on this page when viewed in IE. Error said it was line 161; caused the page to reload a with half the content.

October 13, 2005 - 3:53am

This is a good article useful relevant and logical. I do seo and it is not easy to rank in the top of the searches, I get horror stories of clients calling spending all kinds of money for bad webdesign ie not seo friendly. I am also an artist and consider design and astetic to be very important, what good is it if no one sees it. Many designers work in flash and frames, these programs can reak havvoc on the spiders, do not use them if you ever want to optimize a site. As far as blogs and seo I agree 100% that the future is blogs and rss and still websites. It is like when the skiiers and snowboarders would fight over the best way and it should be more about the most fun. On a last note CONTENT IS KING. Take a look at my baby my first art site Leonardo Da Vinci, Surrealism, Impressionism and just great art

October 14, 2005 - 1:39am

I think I fixed that javascript error...thanks for reminding me Quadzilla

October 14, 2005 - 5:44pm

Sick of blog spam: Whenever a blogger talks about comment or trackback spam, or any webmaster gets referral spam many of them blame that annoyance on SEO in general, although the software developers are at fault for selling software with holes in it.

So if someone slashes your car tires, are the tire manufacturers at fault for not making slash-proof tires?

Ad absurdum, your logic means that victims of rape, because they aren't wearing chastity belts or Rapex devices really deserve it?

Not all technical envelopes are worthy of pushing

Blame Ford for creating the Pinto. But if a bunch of loons KNOWINGLY started ramming Pinto rear-ends it's the latter that are responsible for the subsequent fatalities.

The fault is often with the intent, not the vulnerability.

October 14, 2005 - 5:51pm

So if someone slashes your car tires, are the tire manufacturers at fault for not making slash-proof tires?

Wrong analogy. A better example might be Firestone Tire Blowout Recall Blows Up. Maybe it was something with Ford Explorer that made their tires blow up, but they still recalled the tires because they were screwed up.

I have yet to see an apology from MovableType for the comment spam problems left by the holes in their software. Their software has caused me to have to wasted many hours of template changing, blacklisting, and other fixes. They should not charge for software upgrades when the biggest reason to buy one is to plug the holes they left in their software.

The fault is often with the intent, not the vulnerability.

Right. And the intent is to make you BUY AGAIN to plug the holes.

October 14, 2005 - 6:59pm

I also think that it may be nearly impossible to plug all holes. Therefore one should buy early version software to be ensured of free unlimited updates? Did MT advertise perfect comment spam blocking when you bought it?

I don't use MT.

Blogging software is all so new that it's premature to hold it to bulletproof standards. Shouldn't all antivirus programs have perfected it yet?

I don't think that people who use "bleeding edge" software should emphasize faulting the technology instead of going after the real villains... the comment spammers.

FWIW, WordPress' open source seems to respond much faster to flaws. I know you have a thing about WP, which I still don't understand.

If spammers and hackers lost a finger for each conviction, it'd do a lot to improve the quality of life for the rest of us who want to get work done. Actually, I think my response is merciful. If we quantify that 100M spams each take 5 seconds of human time to process, that's 500M seconds of human time that could have been spent doing something else. That's about 16 years. Thus if a spammer sends out 600M spams, he's used up 96 human years and ought to be removed for exceeding his quota, effectively "stealing" from others.

And parents who can't trust their teens need to unplug the cable modem while they're out of the house and make sure the cable modem is in a locked room. My kids aren't allowed to dabble with explosives in my neighborhood... why should hackers and their parents be exempt from material damage?

Another way is for the software designers to openly run "honey pot" sites and pay hackers $100 per hole.

A funnier way would be to publish the home addresses of the spammer's clients with instructions on how to slash their tires and break their windows. They're deserving for not having slash-proof tires and break-proof windows, right?

October 14, 2005 - 7:18pm

I also think that it may be nearly impossible to plug all holes. Therefore one should buy early version software to be ensured of free unlimited updates?

No. The issue should have been addressed early on, but it was not. They never tried to make a legitimate fix until years into the problem. That is their fault.

Did MT advertise perfect comment spam blocking when you bought it?

No, but they didn't advertise that they were going to be lazy or unwilling to plug their holes either.

Keep in mind I already paid for an upgrade and install and still had to configure & install 2 extensions to block the spam. Common useful antispam extensions should be part of the install package.

Blogging software is all so new that it's premature to hold it to bulletproof standards.

The stuff has been around for years.

Shouldn't all antivirus programs have perfected it yet?

I am sure if comment and trackback spam were their only problems it would be doable and done, but of course there might be some people who write virus protection software during the days and viruses at nice. Make extra income and ensure your job stability doing a bit of moonlighting, etc.

"bleeding edge"

It is a simple CMS. A fucking form box tied to a MySQL database.

FWIW, WordPress' open source seems to respond much faster to flaws. I know you have a thing about WP, which I still don't understand.

I like Wordpress. I will flow a few dollars their way pretty soon (and most likely donate around or more than the amount Matt said he gets in a month a while ago when he was justifying the 100,000 AdSense content spam pages).

If spammers and hackers lost a finger for each conviction, it'd do a lot to improve the quality of life for the rest of us who want to get work done.

I read your blog and though it was pure spam. Nothing but drivel. Actually I did not read your blog, but where do you draw the line? Who decides what is punishable? The whole point of the web is that it does not need a top down system to punish people. People can do well on their own without dealing with that sort of crap.

Thus if a spammer sends out 600M spams, he's used up 96 human years and ought to be removed for exceeding his quota, effectively "stealing" from others.

What if you considered Google was funding a bunch of that spam?

What if one of the blog companies intentionally did not fix all the holes to require more upgrade purchases?

And parents who can't trust their teens need to unplug the cable modem while they're out of the house and make sure the cable modem is in a locked room.

If you do not trust your kid then you ought to have done a better job parenting. People will make mistakes, but that is just part of learning. People don't learn by being isolated - actually, that is pretty inhumane.

My kids aren't allowed to dabble with explosives in my neighborhood... why should hackers and their parents be exempt from material damage?

Bloggers (and sloppy blog software) actively encourage and ask for comments.

Another way is for the software designers to openly run "honey pot" sites and pay hackers $100 per hole.

A good idea. But not one that is well adopted.

They could do that, or just talk to some of the leading spammers...who will tell them the problems.

A funnier way would be to publish the home addresses of the spammer's clients with instructions on how to slash their tires and break their windows. They're deserving for not having slash-proof tires and break-proof windows, right?

That works great until the day someone learns how to blogspam while spoofing IP addresses and people are standing outside your house with pitchforks, right?

October 14, 2005 - 8:02pm

Maybe if we could figure out a way to ensure that people named Aaron would never have pitchfork mobs outside their houses...

Lee Odden
October 15, 2005 - 3:48am

Most bloggers and SEOs are pretty much full of themselves so it's inevitable that there's so much whining going on. In the meantime, others are laughing all the way to the bank.

October 18, 2005 - 5:07pm

Aaron, cleaning up your code to validate (standards compliance) is not as time consuming as you think. Once you learn how, you'll save time in the long run because you'll be able to validate your work to automatically detect coding errors. I recommend the Web Developer Toolbar for Firefox, which has a button "Tools" to validate the current web page. Most errors are clinical, so you can use search and replace to fix them.
The two most common problems you've got are failure to use self-closing tags and unencoded ampersands.

In XHTML, all tags must be closed, even META and BR. I recommend using self-closing tags: a space and then a slash at the end of the tag, like so: <META name="description" content="Self closing tag" />

If text or a URL in your page has an ampersand, you or your software has to replace it with &amp; otherwise you'll get a bunch of validation errors for each ampersand.

August 30, 2007 - 5:27am

You'd be in dire straits if you needed to find someone who would agree that profit is: doing something which others stated you could not.

LOL, Brad

Drossitor
January 17, 2007 - 10:18am

so, your kinda stickin' it to yourself

November 17, 2006 - 9:17am

Consider me naive, but I’ve just come across your blog. After spending about close to two hours on it, I think I’ve discovered things that I thought were sometimes only under closed doors. I’m no newbie to SEO, and am actually surprised how I missed your blog before - but hey, its never too late is it. And today is my marathon SEO day so I might even look at buying your eBook.

I think that you are doing some people great service by running this blog. I must confess that this site is going to be a very regular visit for me now on.

Godspeed !

January 5, 2007 - 11:35pm

A very interesting post. There are obviously good and bad SEO sites (and authors) like there are good and bad sites (and authors) in any category.

Your blog spam argument is faulty, though, I think. It's like blaming smith&wesson for shootings. Sorry, I but I don't really like people letting off guns, either.

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