Why John Conde, Stymiee at SitePoint Forums, is a Joke

Jun 8th

Stymiee, a moderator at SitePoint, in a thread about learning SEO claimed:

Read forums and websites dedicated to discussing SEO. You'll learn more and won't get only one point of view which is usually a bad thing. Remember, those who can, do; those who can't, teach.

In the thread they dismiss the -950 Google ranking phenomena as a myth, when it clearly happens to many websites (likely due to filtering and local re-ranking of search results). Misguided group-think lead by an alpha male ogre is a bad thing.

The guy who claims teachers are bad has about 19,000 posts and carries around his SitePoint SEO Guru badge. In the same thread, he talks crap about my book, deletes my response, bans me from the forums, as he claims the forums provide more opinion diversity. Charles, the person who notified me of the hate thread, had the following to say

Have you ever run into him before? He is an unbelievable dickhead. I hate to sound unprofessional with someone I have never met, as it is not my style but, he roams the sitepoint forums spouting off at the mouth like he wrote every single SE algorithm. Not to mention how he does it in a belittling way to people who are truly ignorant through no fault of their own. I have no idea why sitepoint allows him to be a team leader. I have written them with links to posts he has made offending comments on so many times I can’t even count.

I am willing to bet that your post will be removed within hours. That is what happens every time I make a valid point against him.

Since my comments were deleted from SitePoint I will post them here for posterity:

Nice to see you delete my comments while running a hate thread about me... which shows how accurate and balanced this forum thread is.

[QUOTE=stymiee;3416219]Remember, those who can, do; those who can't, teach. ;)[/QUOTE]

And it only took him about 19,000 posts to figure out what group he belongs to. Congrats Mr. SEO Guru of 2006.

What a joke!

Published: June 8, 2007

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Comments

Alex
June 12, 2007 - 4:55pm

Mel, what Aaron has said is not childish or immature.

His whole point is that there is barely free speech in the forum and people can't speak against the moderator's views. And if they do, their post will be deleted. Basically, the moderator can't take constructive criticism and he wants to look like he knows everything.

Maybe he doesn't really know anything at all! That's what I'm thinking...

ferret
June 12, 2007 - 5:40pm

come one everyone knows sitepoints SEO section is joke, sitepoint is good for web dev but not for SEO, its bunch of noobs in there calling each other spammers etc

Adam Moro
June 12, 2007 - 7:35pm

"Anyone can write a blog and publish a book."

Can anyone rank top ten in Google for "SEO"? I don't know what BS SitePoint is feeding you Mel but that speaks worlds of credibility to me.

I'm surprised the members at SitePoint overlook the fact that SEOBook.com dominates over SitePoint in the SERPs for "SEO". Does anyone else see the authority that conveys or am I taking crazy pills?

June 12, 2007 - 9:27pm

The irony of talking down SeoBook compared to SitePoint stuff is that Brendon Sinclair, the author of Sitepoint's top selling web design kit, recommends SEO Book. He even created SeoBookReview.com to review and recommend SEO Book.

bill
June 12, 2007 - 11:51pm

Good old web 1.0 flaming going on here! I value both sites, but SP really took the first dump. I have spoken!

katy gee
June 13, 2007 - 12:37am

Yeah, they're allergic to criticism in general over at SitePoint. I left a five-paragraph comment in a forum (3/5 critical, 2/5 praising, no name-calling, no naughty words), and sweet holy Jesus in a nutcracker, did they ever get mad! Every boy in the daisy-chain took his hand off the next guy's tool just long enough to flame me and/or tell me to get lost and/or that I shouldn't be allowed to post (in a public forum!)

Fair enough--I don't stay where I'm not wanted, and who'd want to swim in that kind of a pool anyhow? So, though I understand TOTALLY your motivation for this posting, I'm adding my vote with the others who say: Move along, nothing to see here.

P.S. But oh, I just can't resist asking: You bad boy, why did you "make up" the sandbox?! HAHAHAHA

katy gee
June 13, 2007 - 12:37am

Yeah, they're allergic to criticism in general over at SitePoint. I left a five-paragraph comment in a forum (3/5 critical, 2/5 praising, no name-calling, no naughty words), and sweet holy Jesus in a nutcracker, did they ever get mad! Every boy in the daisy-chain took his hand off the next guy's tool just long enough to flame me and/or tell me to get lost and/or that I shouldn't be allowed to post (in a public forum!)

Fair enough--I don't stay where I'm not wanted, and who'd want to swim in that kind of a pool anyhow? So, though I understand TOTALLY your motivation for this posting, I'm adding my vote with the others who say: Move along, nothing to see here.

P.S. But oh, I just can't resist asking: You bad boy, why did you "make up" the sandbox?! HAHAHAHA

David
June 14, 2007 - 4:55am

That's Brendon Sinclair, not Brandon, he also answers to Shirley.

Tari Akpodiete
June 14, 2007 - 7:24am

Greetings Aaron:

I have long been an admirer of yours.

There are lot of snake oil sales people/scammers in SEO/SEM (some charging the gullible 12 grand plus for questionable seminars), not to mention all the people who talk a lot on forums and actually say little of relevant meaning, mainly because they know nothing.

When they run across someone who actually has a clue, these people try and tear them down as they find them threatening, both personally and professionally. They like to be king of their own little domain as they mislead tons of people.

You're not one of these sleazoids, and that bears repeating - a lot. Anyone who reads your blog, and the blogs of others knows that you are the real deal and that you are highly regarded by people of consequence, such as Darren of ProBlogger.net.

I'm always amazed by these silly people who set themselves up as experts and even more by those who buy into their delusions of grandeur. While some forums may contain good info on SEO, one usually has to shovel a mountain of sh*t to get to it. People looking for legit info could save themselves a lot of time and trouble by sticking to legit sources, including, but not limited to your book.

Kind Regards.

Tari Akpodiete
ReallyGoodFriend.com
and SEOguruBusters.com

P.S. By the way, it would be great if people posting here would not use the word 'faggot' to describe the antics of Stymie.

Shelley
June 14, 2007 - 11:17am

Aaron you rock totally, I'm buying your book tomorrow or the next day, and JOHN CONDE IS A SISSY FAGGOT CRYBABY - MUAHAHAHAHAHAH

Rock on Aaron!!!

Shelley
June 14, 2007 - 11:20am

Oops-didn't mean to post that twice sorry-but anyway you doubly rock and John is a double sissy :)

Big Al
June 15, 2007 - 12:23am

Well done for agreeing everyone, but how many of you took the time to go and read the full thread? It wasn't a specific attack on Aaron Wall by anyone, if he writes a book, then it's in the public domain, and open to criticism by anyone. As stymiee admitted, his initial choice of words may have been wise, but he rectified this.
There are a lot of claims that Mr Wall was not given a chance to respond to this criticism, but this is not true. He just chose to abuse his position as as SP member, and was banned as anyone who abused it would be. No-one will be banned for their opinions, it is the manner in which they put them across, and if Aaron cannot show some restraint then he has only himself to blame.
To say that the SP SEO forums are of a poor standard, because they don't rank well in Google for "SEO" is a vast misjudgement. The optimization of the forums of a whole, is, somewhat unsurprisingly, controlled by a small team of staff. The people posting in the forums have no control on the optimization of the forum, so to correlate the knowledge of the members with the ranking of the forum is frankly absurd.
As for you, Aaron, your site propogates various SEO myths, for example, a boost for .edu and .gov links. If you seriously believe this then you do not truly understand search. If you don't believe this then you are frankly damaging your own reputation to mislead your readers.
Readers, if you want SEO discussions that are based on well devised studies, thorough logic and reasoning, and are prepared to accept nothing less than this, then visit SitePoint. If you want sensationalist, inaccurate rubbish then visit any of the other numerous forums around the internet.

Big Al
June 15, 2007 - 1:07am

I might also add that the claims that Aaron shows his SEO superiority by ranking for "Sitepoint Forums" is misguided. There are 14 results for this query...well done on getting ranked in there. Unsurprisingly not actually #1 at all. Try doing a search for "John Conde", and you find SEOBook on ..............ok I just found it on page 9, behind not only SP, but several sites that simply aggregate content from numerous SEO blogs, that have quoted this post. Top rankings.

June 15, 2007 - 3:04am

Hi Big Al
You do realize I have made no attempt to market this page, right? And over 80% of the content on the page is user generated. Of course it is not optimized.

As for you, Aaron, your site propogates various SEO myths, for example, a boost for .edu and .gov links. If you seriously believe this then you do not truly understand search.

Are you saying you got a trusted .edu or .gov link and didn't notice any additional traffic or increase in rankings? I would love to see some evidence of this.

A Reader
June 15, 2007 - 4:09am

No-one will be banned for their opinions, it is the manner in which they put them across, and if Aaron cannot show some restraint then he has only himself to blame.

Readers, if you want SEO discussions that are based on well devised studies, thorough logic and reasoning, and are prepared to accept nothing less than this, then visit SitePoint.

Yes people, and if you do visit Sitepoint Forums, make sure that you tell stymiee and every other staff member you can that their threads suck, their sites suck, and they suck. See how long you last. After all, it's not an opinion you get banned for, it's how you put it across and the word "suck" seems to be a perfectly acceptable word to use as a means of description.

If you want sensationalist, inaccurate rubbish then visit any of the other numerous forums around the internet.

Wow, so EVERY other forum sucks except Sitepoint's? That's quite a bold assertion. You should make mentor in no time.

Big Al
June 15, 2007 - 4:13am

I wasn't implying that you've marketed this page at all, and that part of my comment wasn't really directed at you, rather at the people who were using "SitePoint Forums" SERPs to try and belittle the opinions of those who are active there.
As for the whole .edu/.gov issue, I'm not saying that a link from a trusted .edu/.gov site will not bring you traffic/rankings, what I'm saying is that the reason for this increase is because it's a trusted, high authority domain, not because it's a .edu/.gov domain. These two concepts of domain trust/authority, and TLD are completely separate.

As I pointed out in the original SP thread:
Great Content --> Incoming Links -->Trust & Authority

The reason .edu/.gov domains are often high trust/authority links is because they have great content, which leads to many great incoming links. This is the natural way of the web, with the wheat separated from the chaff via the sorting mechanism of links. There is no need for Google to place an automatic boost on .edu/.gov domains, if these sites are of high quality, they will gain high trust and authority because of their own merit. Google gains nothing from giving a boost to these already authoritative sites, and stands to lose (in terms of poorer search results) by placing arbitrary high trust/authority on .edu/.gov sites that may not be of high quality. In reality, a lot of .edu sites are in fact controlled by students, and really aren't of a high quality. What does Google stand to gain by giving these sites an arbitrary advantage? If there isn't a gain to Google, then they won't do it.
Now I know there is no scientifically proven fact there, but unfortunately this is not an area that could easily be tested. Unless you can find two sites that are identical in every regard except tld, for example, a .com and a .edu, and place a link with obscure (as to now non-existent) anchor text on each, to 2 identical pages with no other incoming links, then this cannot be proven either way. If someone does manage to carry out this study I'd be intrigued to see the results.
What I can provide, however, in the absence of scientific data, is solidly reasoned, logical rhetoric. The argument I outlined above can lead us to only one conclusion, that there is no intrinsic advantage to any given tld. If you can find any fault in the logic then I'm happy to hear it.

June 15, 2007 - 4:20am

The reason .edu/.gov domains are often high trust/authority links is because they have great content, which leads to many great incoming links.

I don't entirely agree with that. It is PARTIALLY correct, but the early web had an abundance of .edu sites, and that was back when search sucked really bad, so it took less to be linkworthy. Things that are early to a market rank until something better comes along and pushes them out of the way. So, in some cases, sure there is better content there, but in many cases there is simply older content there. Some of those who voted for it are not actively maintaining their pages, and as the web gets larger content that was once remarkable no longer is.

And Google does have an authority centric algorithm. Publish a page to a new site or an authoritative site, and typically the authoritative site will outrank the new content...it doesn't matter if that page is a student page or a professor page.

Big Al
June 15, 2007 - 4:25am

[quote]Yes people, and if you do visit Sitepoint Forums, make sure that you tell stymiee and every other staff member you can that their threads suck, their sites suck, and they suck. See how long you last. After all, it's not an opinion you get banned for, it's how you put it across and the word "suck" seems to be a perfectly acceptable word to use as a means of description.[/quote]

Yes indeed, caught in a trap of my own making one might say. Fortunately, I'm sure stymiee saw it appropriate to warn himself after he realised his words were inappropriate. Also fortunately, he chose to correct himself in a later post, not repost identically. I'm sure if he offends again he'll have no problem banning himself. :)
Seriously though, members of any forum asking for advice on a subject would like to know when people believe a product is sub-par. Although I disagree with the wording of the response, if this is the man's opinion he should put it across. If Aaron had wanted to argue this point he should have obeyed the rules of the forum. Returning to your suggestion, if it is appropriate to the question originally asked, I will voice my opinion be it good or bad on any product. What you seem to imply is personal attacks on people and threads, which is not tolerated by anyone, and did not occur in this case.

[quote]Wow, so EVERY other forum sucks except Sitepoint's? That's quite a bold assertion. You should make mentor in no time.[/quote]
OK maybe it was a little over the top on my part there. I truly do believe that SP SEO is a great place to develop not only SEO skills and knowledge, but also the level of critical thinking required to formulate your own opinions. When I first joined I was slated by several members for some of the answers I gave, and theories I proposed, and I am truly grateful for this, as it forced me into really thinking before posting, and treating all problems in a logical and analytical way.

Big Al
June 15, 2007 - 4:31am

"I don't entirely agree with that. It is PARTIALLY correct, but the early web had an abundance of .edu sites, and that was back when search sucked really bad, so it took less to be linkworthy. Things that are early to a market rank until something better comes along and pushes them out of the way. So, in some cases, sure there is better content there, but in many cases there is simply older content there. Some of those who voted for it are not actively maintaining their pages, and as the web gets larger content that was once remarkable no longer is."

The content may no longer be remarkable to a human, but if it still has the links then in Google's eyes it _is_ remarkable. Google has no other measure of how good content is. If these links are remnants from an earlier era, then this means that the sites in question are benefiting because of their age, i.e. their being around at the beginnings of the internet. OK a .edu site may be more likely to have been around at the beginning of the internet than a .com, but just because there's more ancient .edus than ancient .coms doesn't mean the .edus are getting a boost. It just means there are more of them.

offtopic: How do I do quotes on here??

Big Al
June 15, 2007 - 4:47am

I have to sleep now so I'll leave you with some parting blows...
If I am to accept that .edu/.gov sites have an intrinsic boost to their trust and authority, I need logical answers to the following questions:
1) How does an intrinsic tld boost give rise to better search results, bearing in mind that, in your own words, "in many cases there is simply older content there." the implication being that the content is not better. Searchers want the best content, so the best search results have the best, not the oldest content.
2) Google explicitly state that .edu and .gov domains do not receive an implicit boost. Why would Google say this if it were not true? If they are trying to put webmasters off gaming their algorithm, why would they not simply remove this factor from their algorithm, and cut out the middleman? What other motivation could they have apart from being honest?

Anyway, it's my bed time seeing as I'm on the better side of the Atlantic ;) so goodnight and I look forward to reading your reply tomorrow.

June 15, 2007 - 7:18am

offtopic: How do I do quotes on here??

The fact that you had to ask how to do that (when it was done many times on this very page) displays a lack of experience for one who talks about the grand vision of Google with any authority.

Most SEOs would (before asking) chose to view the source code. If they did they would see the blockquotes.

As to your other questions... many of the algorithms are built around not providing the best results, but based around providing good enough results while discouraging/demoting spam.

How could one explain all the .edu spam without thinking a large amount of the relevancy scores are based on domain authority?

Google speaks in absolutes and ideals because they want dittoheads to spread their misinformation and they want the public to think they are more powerful than they are, but right now 5 of the top 10 results for buy viagra are .edu spam.

Are you telling me those spam redirect and other lander pages are ranking due to their originality or quality? Not likely.

Big Al
June 15, 2007 - 3:18pm

The fact that you had to ask how to do that (when it was done many times on this very page) displays a lack of experience for one who talks about the grand vision of Google with any authority.

Most SEOs would (before asking) chose to view the source code. If they did they would see the blockquotes.

Not really relevant at all. When it's 4AM one's not always at one's most attentive state, and while I would have made the educated guess they were blockquotes, as these are semantically fitting, how am I to know whether they are inserted by HTML in my comment, or by a form of BBcode. A site which values usability would have some way of telling me. But that's not really the point in hand here.

As to your other questions... many of the algorithms are built around not providing the best results, but based around providing good enough results while discouraging/demoting spam.

OK I'll rephrase one of my questions then:
How does an intrinsic tld boost help Google to reduce spam in their results?
You didn't answer my question about how it would help improve results, so given the spam results you showed me, which you think are down to .edu automatic trust, why would Google not remove the boost having seen what it's doing to their results. As I said before, non spam .edu pages do *not* need this boost to rank well, so why give a boost to the spam pages.
In terms of explaining these results, I have two points to make:
1) Spammers are going to find a way to game Google's algorithm, it's a sad fact of life. If they *believe* that .edu pages have an intrinsic advantage, they will direct their efforts towards getting that page to rank. In fact, if they had directed those same efforts at a .com page, they would also rank in that place.
2) Whether or not a large amount of the ranking score is based on domain authority or not is irrelevant. The domains on which they are hosted may well have high authority, but as I pointed out before, this is not down to their tld, but down to their content. Remember content->links->authority. So yes, these pages might rank better because of domain authority, but this is in no way an argument for implicit tld boosts.

thetafferboy83
June 15, 2007 - 5:26pm

What a storm in a teacup.

I await letterbombs as I [partially] defend stymiee here.. I've hung around SP for a few years now and mainly post in the SEO forums, and like most people I've had confrontations with both aspen and stymiee which have lead to warnings and all sorts of nasties. Stymiee will elbow drop anyone who posts theories which don't have 100% evidence behind them which is a double edged sword.

1) It discourages theorizing on latest trends

2) It keeps clutter out of the forum

For me, #2 is way, way, way more important. I hang around DP as well and the SEO forums on there are horrible with dozens of posts appearing daily on PageRank and when is the next PR update and "I put 200 links on my homepage, can I has some PR nowz?". It's total tripe. As far as forums go, when I need a quick, definitive SEO answer, SP is a goldmine.

Aaron, I paid my $80 for your book, even though stymiee said it was tripe, just as I read the SP SEM kit as well. Why? Because I want to make my own mind up and read everything I can. I don't think your book sucks, but it definitely as a big chunk 'o' fluff in there, however I would recommend it to new SEOers, because it is well structured and gives you a good ethical compass to set out on.

Frankly, I think it's disgusting that you've chosen to use your position in the SEO community to slam someone down like this, it's childish and you obviously have a lot of followers/fanboys that would probably kill for you so recruiting a little hate crusade is very easy for you. Unfortunately, I've lost a lot of respect for you.

Why don't you two kiss and make up?...

GODWIN'S LAW!!!

A Reader
June 15, 2007 - 5:47pm

Frankly, I think it's disgusting that you've chosen to use your position in the SEO community to slam someone down like this, it's childish and you obviously have a lot of followers/fanboys that would probably kill for you so recruiting a little hate crusade is very easy for you. Unfortunately, I've lost a lot of respect for you.

This is the crux of the matter really. Aaron has shown through his comments on here, that he is capable of holding an intelligent debate on a subject. While he and I obviously differ in views we are both capable of being civil about it.
If he had chosen to be civil, and make good arguments on the SP forums, he would *not* have been banned. The day someone is banned for having opinions that conflict with SP staff is the day I stop posting there.
Simply put, he masquerades as an SEO professional, but his behaviour both on the SP forums, and in making this post tells a completely different story.

Ed
June 15, 2007 - 7:42pm

The day someone is banned for having opinions that conflict with SP staff is the day I stop posting there.

I was more or less given a warning for this thread: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=417049

Trust me, if you go against staff, they'll look for ways to get rid of you.

June 15, 2007 - 10:57pm

How does an intrinsic tld boost help Google to reduce spam in their results

Read the research paper on TrustRank. To select seed sites they looked for sites which link to many other sites. DMOZ clones and other similar sites created many non useful seed sites.

Sites which were not listed in any of the major directories were removed from the seed set, of the remaining sites only sites which were backed by government, educational, or corporate bodies were accepted as seed sites.

The algorithms might not go it is .edu therefore outranks God. They might go more like it is .edu therefore has greater chance to be a seed site for propagating another layer of trust on top of PageRank.

While he and I obviously differ in views we are both capable of being civil about it.

If you call deleting my comments and a lifetime ban as civil then I guess we both are. Some animals are more equal than others though.

deviantgirl
June 9, 2007 - 9:10am

I guess people have their opinions on competing products but for Stymiee from SitePoint to delete and ban you from the forums was unjust, rude and cowardly.

SasaVtec
June 9, 2007 - 10:28am

I would have to agree with you, he seems to be a coward hiding behind his so called "Forum Leader" title.

Just in case it disappears http://www.directorymix.com/spproof.gif

CA
June 9, 2007 - 10:42am

I think there is some truth in that what people cannot do, they teach. Obviously you are not an example of this, however you have to consider...

A. Walking sales letters like Joel Comm.

B. Seo service firms that are liquid, however fail to do well in affiliate/adsense sites and instead ridicule the business model.

As soon as you can spot a cliquey forum it is best not to participate I suppose. I recently considered signing up for a forum, to drive users to another site, then I seen an example of a ego-driven twat like the one you just mentioned happens to own it.

you can see it here - http://www.thewholesaleforums.co.uk/forum/forum-news-and-announcements/1...

in which someones sig strip says - "This business is FOR SALE, includes everything! PM if interested.
PLEASE NOTE. That I have been given permission by Anthony to have this here."

The fact is you understand seo on a much deeper level, than people like him. He obviously thinks all he you have to do is change your title tags, submit to directories and get links with the right anchor text. Let's face it, most people think they know more about seo than they actually do.

Jonathan Street
June 9, 2007 - 11:38am

I've never understood how you can post 4700 comments a year and actually get any work done.

stymiee is right when he says you can learn all you need to know on forums. The problem is it takes so long.

If you actually value your time paying a few hundred/thousand dollars for an organised introduction to SEO makes sound business sense.

quadszilla
June 9, 2007 - 2:44pm

"stymiee is right when he says you can learn all you need to know on forums. The problem is it takes so long."

Not all forums are a time sink. You just have to find one that weeds out the pikers so you're left with just the quality threads instead of inane chit chat.

Kevin
June 9, 2007 - 3:15pm

Aaron,

You are dead right about stymiee. I have been participating in the SitePoint Forums for quite some time and this guy definitely is a joke. He's one of those guys that doesn't believe anything unless it comes from Matt Cutts' mouth. That's the definition of a horrible SEO... someone who makes no attempt to hypothesize in this field is going to get bit and bit hard.

All jokes aside, I've said to myself numerous times when reading his posts, "this guy is the resident 'SEO Guru'? He just seems like he thinks SEO is snake oil too often." How dare he say anything bad about you or your book... he is peanuts compared to Aaron Wall.

The truth of the matter is his "badge of guruism" doesn't do justice for many of the other truly brilliant community leaders SitePoint has. He's bringing the standard down low.

jim
June 9, 2007 - 3:48pm

In the offline world, the rule of "those who can't, teach; those who can, do" may apply but in the online it doesn't. Those who can, do AND teach because by teaching they are continuing to market themselves and build up that brand recognition. If all these SEO experts such as yourselves didn't have blogs, I never would've heard about it. Even if I had, I wouldn't have trusted any of you without any evidence and the content in these blogs is evidence of expertise.

Not to sound like a freaking fanboy but SEO Book is great, dude can keep his power trip.

Deano
June 9, 2007 - 4:02pm

"referring to the mythical -30"
Yeah I was mythically stuck at number 31 for searches such as www.mydomain.com. Also I could copy paste a line from my site, do a google search and be number 31, unless it was really obscure and there were only say 18 results, then I'd be number 18.
The whole thing lasted about 9 weeks, during which time I did a lot of tidying up of the site.

AhmedF
June 9, 2007 - 5:42pm

Hehe ran into Symmie recently too - quite dismissive.

Julie VanMersbergen
June 9, 2007 - 5:55pm

Probably a guru who sits in his mom's basement and guarantees clients 500 visitors a month... all from his cable modem.

Doug Cress
June 9, 2007 - 6:19pm

Aaron - Probably not worth your time worrying about these assholes.

Posting minor grudges on your site doesn't reflect well on you. I mean that with all due respect.

A Reader
June 9, 2007 - 6:46pm

To Doug,
yeah I see where you are coming from, but it looks like Aaron has actually been banned from the forums for meerly responding to a criticism. How else is he meant to defend himself?

Deano
June 9, 2007 - 6:48pm

That last post 'to Doug' was by me. I forgot to fill in the name field.

Greg
June 9, 2007 - 8:09pm

Hey Aaron i love the book and you are highly respected by a lot of people, if they dont want you at site point, come over to Wickedfire.com i know they would love you there!

Cygnus
June 9, 2007 - 8:26pm

I stopped at their dismissal of -950 as a myth; every major element introduced like that (sandbox, -30 penalty, etc) always seems to be dismissed by those unwilling to look at actual data as supporting evidence.

Bummer that some knob on a forum felt the need to attack you, but it seems to be just another cost of doing business when you are successful.

BTW, I agree with quads on reading the right forums, and even then on reading the right threads -- I maybe only spend 30-60 min a day going through all the forums I read, but that is worth years of time trolling some of the lesser quality forums/blogs.

Egor
June 9, 2007 - 8:38pm

While I can't comment on his SEO knowledge (or the lack of), I can state, from my experience at SP, that he is a total faggot. He acts nice and well-intentioned in public, but once you have a one-on-one with the man, it's a completely different story...

Mike
June 9, 2007 - 9:08pm

Aaron, forget about SitePoint, we'd love to have you visit and participate at Wickedfire[dot]com.

Lord Brar
June 9, 2007 - 9:19pm

Hey Aaron!

Though it's been long since I talked to John but when I knew him, he was a cool kid. But then he was not the super mod that he is today. And yes, being in company of other oh-so-great mods also is a wonderful thing.

As far as Johnny's SEO consulting business (he runs a company) is concerned, you just got him in deep shit. :P

But yeah, we'd love to have you at WF! Do drop in. ;)

Rock on!

Ed
June 9, 2007 - 10:03pm

The "Guru" badges and "[insert award here] of the Year" award badges on sitepoint are rewarded based on the results of the yearly Sitepoint Community Awards. It's basically a popularity contest, so just because members sport certain badges with certain titles, doesn't mean it is a fitting title for the person or that they were the most deserving.

The volunteer staff(like stymiee) at Sitepoint have become very cliquey in the past year or two. It used to be that staff were rewarded their positions based on their helpfulness in the community but as Sitepoint has churned out more and more products(mostly focused towards n00bs) the staff has become more of a band of friends who get into their positions with help from their friends(whom are already in staff positions) and by basically being unpaid sales associates and PR reps for SitePoint Pty Ltd.

Aspen used to be the "SEO Guru" of Sitepoint. Aspen was also very cocky and would belittle people, but the difference between Aspen and Stymiee is that Aspen actually distinguished himself from others by doing controlled experiments and utilizing other scientific methods and high order thought. And to my knowledge Aspen never abused his staff privs and deleted others comments, he was more than willing to hash it out publicly with them. I actually had/have a lot of respect for Aspen.

Stymiee, on the other hand, mostly just regurgitates what he learned from Aspen and what he reads, apparently, on Matt Cutts' blog.

But nevertheless, SitePoint Pty Ltd. decided to remove Aspen from his staff position and stymiee was promoted to "fill" it. A straight explanation was never given to Aspen as to why he was removed, but I always figured it was because of Aspen's sometimes overly-aggressive attitude, and SitePoint Pty Ltd. thought that was bad for their image and could hurt their advertising prospects and/or sales. If that is true, the irony is, that stymiee has adopted that big-dog, know-it-all attitude since he was promoted, but he hasn't done the things to distinguish himself from every other Joe on every forum like Aspen did.
Aspen's expertise was deep and vast, stymiee's is just vast, like a lot of other peoples'.

Eli
June 9, 2007 - 10:15pm

I'll be perfectly honest.

Aaron, I've always wondered why you associate yourself with the other "gurus" in the industry. You're nothing like them.

Patrick
June 9, 2007 - 11:36pm

"Remember, those who can, do; those who can't, teach. "

I was wondering about that phrase just 3 days ago and it made me realize, that most proverbs are crap, because they'are always true for some cases, but have plenty exceptions to them:

1)Tell this to a translator who makes about 40k a year (at least where Im at) and works basically full-time and complains about how stressy his job is.

I'm sure many of them would prefer to teach foreign languages at school, make the same amount of money, but have way less work and 3 months of vacation. My dad is a teacher (one of the more ambitious ones, actually) and he has as much free time as I had in school.

2)Some people are outgoing (Im not) and simply prefer being around people.

Adam
June 10, 2007 - 1:44am

This hating stuff is a waste of everyone's time.
I just took a quick minute to send Sitepoint a complaint about stymiee. If I get banned I guess I don't really care as there are so many other great places to get information from in the first place.

Funny how someone can talk about " those who can, do; those who can't, teach. " and then be listed as having 18,000 + forum posts. I would say that's plenty of teaching (preaching) and a whole lot less "doing".

Sitepoint is a good resource but people like this stymiee character are ruining it.

ferret
June 10, 2007 - 5:01am

lol, that stymiee guy is still around , that guy is a ass clown to the tenth power

Paul
June 10, 2007 - 11:37am

Spats in online forums are an everyday occurrence - the deletion of the posts should never have happened - slug it out and if it gets too messy then lock it down.

I ain't a member of Sitepoint (or if I have registered I have never posted) - I prefer the Devshed family of forums -- the locking of horns at least gets its full public airing.

Jadehat
June 10, 2007 - 5:44pm

Ah. It was me actually that first mentioned SEO Book in this thread as a guide for learning SEO.

Too bad it turned out so badly, and too bad that otherwise nice forums such as SitePoint are ruined by oppressive and stubborn moderators.

minstrel
June 10, 2007 - 9:23pm

Nice going, Sitepoint.

Since you don't have a Digg button on your blog, Aaron, interested readers can it here: http://digg.com/tech_news/Moderator_hate_plus_censorship_a_bad_combinati...

Paul
June 10, 2007 - 10:04pm

Wow that John Conde is full of it, and is getting worse by the day.

Of course [Aaron] is nice to people. Everyone forgets the one thing that explains why he does everything he does: he's selling something. Over here we're not.

It is though John can't see the WebCEO ad at the top of the page, the pop ups for the books SitePoint sell, or the rubbish in his own signature links. You were spot on Aaron. That guy is a joke.

John Conde
June 10, 2007 - 10:39pm

If I had known you were going to blog about me I would have thrown up a website for you to link to. Then I would have avoided the sandbox, the -950 penalty, the -30 penalty, and, um...what other stuff have you made up that I can avoid? Maybe I should go out and publish one on a .edu domain so I can get the boost that .edu offers, too? I know, I know. Google has dismissed all of that as untrue but who cares what Google says? You're selling ebooks. Maybe you can also link to me from your other websites, too? Oh, wait. You don't have any.

For the record, although we're not allowed to discuss a member's status at SitePoint, since you have made this very public I think an exception is in order. I definitely discredited your book. I did say it sucks. And as a staff member I probably shouldn't have used that word to describe it. I should have said it was bad. Or inaccurate. Or misleading. Still, if you had bothered to defend your precious book and ideas in the community it would have been allowed to stay and would have made for a great discussion. Unfortunately you didn't choose that path. Instead you went straight to flaming me. That is against the rules not only at SitePoint but virtually every respectable webmaster forum. Being you participate in many of them I know that you know this. Your post was properly removed and you were warned. But what did you go and do after that? You came back and posted the exact same thing again! Aaron...duh!! What did you think would happen? Did you think we would let the second one stay because it suddenly was acceptable? Outside of your own little world you are a human being just like everyone else. No special privileges. Think you can get used to that concept?

I also disagree with your assessment of my participation at SitePoint. Unlike the "me too" people who have commented on this blog post, I prefer not to blindly follow anyone who is out to make a buck at my expense. Instead, I choose to have an intelligent discussion about SEO and stick to established fundamentals. But I will admit, if I ever decide to sell an SEO book of my own, I would certainly consider making up fluff and nonsense as well. After all, not only do you need to keep generating a buzz to stay visible, but no one wants to hear that SEO requires hard work and patience. They want quick, easy, and tangible. You give them that. That's good marketing and I can't argue with that.

Here's something many of us know but apparently you do not. When someone makes a personal attack on someone else it usually means that they do not have anything of substance to stand on. They have no answers and cannot defend their points so they get personal and attack the person instead of their ideas. For someone who claims to be an expert on SEO for you to not even try to defend your ideas and go straight to attacking someone speaks volumes about how confident you are in the baloney you spout off here.

In your attempt to make an ass out of me you have made an ass out of yourself. Your personal attack shows you to be petty and the fact that you never even attempted to back up your points expose them for the fallacies they truly are. Since you have far more to lose then I do (heck, you've made me famous) you really should stop and think before you act next time. Now when people visit your blog they can see who you truly are and think twice about wasting their hard earned money on your book.

June 10, 2007 - 11:03pm

Maybe you can also link to me from your other websites, too? Oh, wait. You don't have any.

It is ignorant lines like this that make your ignorance shine through so clearly.

I own 400+ domain names and probably about 100 sites that are at some stage of development. I don't spend much time on forums anymore because I am too busy making money from my websites.

I make more away from SeoBook.com than I do from this domain. I stopped spending too much time on forums because there is too much potential out there which I can't ignore.

For the record, although we're not allowed to discuss a member's status at SitePoint, since you have made this very public I think an exception is in order.

So the rules bend as needed to suit your own agenda.

stick to established fundamentals

Unlike the forum rules, which are arbitrary, eh?

As the algorithms change the established fundamentals become irrelevant. For example, at one point in time affiliates made lots of money from AdWords, and many of those same fundamentals that were so profitable are no longer relevant to the current marketplace where quality scores kill business models that functioned for years.

Your personal attack shows you to be petty and the fact that you never even attempted to back up your points expose them for the fallacies they truly are.

Words like truth located in ignorant drivel do not make the drivel true. Assuming everything is false until it is proved otherwise to you by others you chose to flame for your own ignorance leads to sustained ignorance.

heck, you've made me famous

I guess that shows who is a better marketer then.

I never heard of you until you attacked me.

if you had bothered to defend your precious book and ideas... When someone makes a personal attack on someone else it usually means that they do not have anything of substance to stand on.

Can you believe the same person wrote both of those sentences? The word defend shows that you actively attacked me. And deleting my comments was cowardly.

The difference between you and I is that I did not have to edit or delete your comments. I am comfortable enough with my own knowledge to let you say what you think, even when it is wrong.

Paul S
June 10, 2007 - 11:55pm

Now, were having a proper discussion.

It should be tagged SEO (John) vs SEM (Aaron).

May the best Stag win...

Visio
June 11, 2007 - 12:16am

Let me put it this way Aaron. There is Stymiee and there is wrong. You either agree with him or your WRONG!

For what its worth John was a lunatic in that thread, that is ignoring anything else he ever did. I would have a problem with anyones comments or user being banned for that reason.

If seo was based on posts John could take the medal, unfortunately it isn't quite that easy.

Brad
June 11, 2007 - 12:57am

I've been a member of Sitepoint for a while now and am mostly just a lurker, but the SEO forums are something I watch. I've seen stymiee's post and actually am glad he is there because there is so much BS in that forum and he pretty much sets people straight.

Yeah, he said your book sucked. And he banned you. Do you really care? It looks pretty bad for you to engage him in this public pissing match. He will come out on top if this is the way you proceed. All he has to do is not reply and you will look like the petty one.

Charles
June 11, 2007 - 1:09am

For the love of all thing holy I hope that sitepoint reads this. For a split second I thought I was the only one who found him rude and abrasive.

I just have to wonder why more members have not called him out? Did they feel intimidated or were their posts removed as well?

Visio
June 11, 2007 - 1:51am

Charles, THEIR POSTS WERE REMOVED. I was talking to a friend(seo ranter) and both of us posted and both of us had our posts deleted.

I have had warnings for disagreeing with the guy - btw I have two accounts there hehe - and have seen others disrespect members openly and get away with it because they agreed with John and were friends with him.

I have called him out many times but anywhere he has mod positions my posts get removed. Fortunately on some forums I have the upper hand :P hehe

Brad, Aaron looks bad by not saying anything. Its his blog, he was the one who John insulted and it was his book. I think those are three good reasons to atleast dispute it.

Anyone who thinks John was wrong should email SitePoint and tell them so. Majority rule.

Marcel
June 11, 2007 - 2:44am

Join us at DigitalPoint

Marcel
June 11, 2007 - 2:47am

However, it too bad you guys had to make this so public.

Jesse-Lee Stringer
June 11, 2007 - 2:54am

hehehe...

It's nice to see a biased discussion every now and then.
By my own eyes I see

A) A successful domain, entrepreneur and self-made SEO Guru which seemingly is the web's best #100 SEO resources.
B) A well-respected forum moderator that practises discounting other SEO professionals including their products while producing his own side of the story.

Continually I see enough people to *bother* posting how frustrating Mr'B is while we seemingly only get 3 supporting Mr'B 's actions.

I'm not going to pick sides here but as an anonymous visitor I can definitely see how this going to end out.
Professionally both dis-respected, products worth discounted and obviously a continued flame war.

I highly respect Aaron for allowing the comments to continue however would prefer that the original 'deleted' forum topic be re-published for the sake of a better argument.

Regards,
Jesse-Lee Stringer
http://www.CS-Developer.com

Dean
June 11, 2007 - 6:38am

Brad
You may think that he is doing a good job, but is he?
Just the second sentence of stymiee's reply is enough for me to know that the guy doesn't know what he's talking about. I have had personal experience of both the -30 penalty, and galloping up the SERPS after the sandbox period is over. He may deny that they exist, but I am happy to believe what I have seen with my own eyes :)

Adeel Shahid
June 11, 2007 - 7:07am

Question is, if so many people now know that John is doing such and such we just now have to wait and see if Sitepoint does anything.

Michael
June 11, 2007 - 11:40am

Hmmm. I always thought a stymie was an attempt to obstruct or hinder someone. Maybe he misspelt his name!

David Saunders
June 11, 2007 - 3:00pm

Sounds like a bit of a wanker to me....

That's why I stay away from any "chat board" these days - if I can't chin the wankers on the spot I won't mix with them.

I just hate these nobs that hide behind keyboards...

David
Charlotte, NC
Chelsea FC Headhunter - Wochit Mate.....

Ed
June 11, 2007 - 4:16pm

For the record, although we're not allowed to discuss a member's status at SitePoint, since you have made this very public I think an exception is in order. I definitely discredited your book. I did say it sucks. And as a staff member I probably shouldn't have used that word to describe it.

Saying his book sucks is exactly the same as if someone had said that the website in someone's signature sucks or saying that their coding/seo/writing/whatever skills suck. And that's exactly what you remove posts and warn/ban people for all the time. So did you remove your posts and warn or ban yourself?

I should have said it was bad. Or inaccurate. Or misleading. Still, if you had bothered to defend your precious book and ideas in the community it would have been allowed to stay and would have made for a great discussion. Unfortunately you didn't choose that path. Instead you went straight to flaming me. That is against the rules not only at SitePoint but virtually every respectable webmaster forum. Being you participate in many of them I know that you know this. Your post was properly removed and you were warned. But what did you go and do after that? You came back and posted the exact same thing again! Aaron...duh!! What did you think would happen? Did you think we would let the second one stay because it suddenly was acceptable? Outside of your own little world you are a human being just like everyone else. No special privileges. Think you can get used to that concept?"

Jesus, you are a douche nozzle, John. No special privileges? Please see my comment above.

I also disagree with your assessment of my participation at SitePoint. Unlike the "me too" people who have commented on this blog post, I prefer not to blindly follow anyone who is out to make a buck at my expense. Instead, I choose to have an intelligent discussion about SEO and stick to established fundamentals.

You are kidding right? I don't know if you do it anymore, but forever, whenever anyone made any criticisms in the forum support or feedback forum at sitepoint forums, no matter how valid and politely written, you would do whatever you could to defend sitepoint's operators and negate the criticism. You are the ultimate suck-up. IMO, it's how you can get away with all this crap even in the face of all the complaints, because you shine SP's taint every chance you get in public and spend all day in the mod panel banning spammers, and erm, just regular people who disagree with you.

Here's something many of us know but apparently you do not. When someone makes a personal attack on someone else it usually means that they do not have anything of substance to stand on."

You attacked him first. I think that when you say that the fruit of someone's hard work sucks, that's about as personal as it gets. If you think it sucks, fine, but give the man a chance to defend himself. Don't be a pussy and abuse your mod privs to get rid of him.

In your attempt to make an ass out of me

Erm, wouldn't that be kind of like attempting to make a dumb, trashy hick out of Britney Spears?

Anthony Allott
June 11, 2007 - 4:41pm

Aaron this guy is a SITEPOINT MODERATOR. You have a site with excellent SERPS and you make an absolute killing with your sites.

Why give this little faggot free publicity? He should return home and suck on his moms titties.

Keep at it Aaron and I dont recommend posting when someone tries to defame you. Its a bit immature.

Scott
June 11, 2007 - 6:52pm

The best part of all. Do a Google search for SitePoint Forums. Aaron your post comes up right at the top.

SitePoint should really do some hard thinking about who they have representing their company. This discussion really makes SitePoint look bad. Now someone who searches for SitePoint will see your post and I think you can all guess the conclusions that will be drawn.

Scott

Shaun Anderson
June 12, 2007 - 1:09am

Jeez no link love! Oh well. Last post :)

While you two slog it out and everybody else watches you (fun though it is) I'll keep seoing :)

Although Aaron I know what it feels like to start arguing with high and mighty mods - it sucks - you've probably wasted some of that precious time on this pap! :)

Regarding penalties etc - I must say I've never actually seen them on any of my sites. Probably because I generally seo client sites with real businesses instead of middle-men adsense spam sites and I've never went totally overboard either.

However I do visit seobook more often than sitepoint and i agree those badges are bollocks (and not the dogs ones).

And so much for a forum. That topic which was quite fun (although I thought it was a forum and not a mod blog!) is now closed. Pity.

Here's my take on .edu for what it's worth.

Take (nearly) all the PR in the planet and put it into one place (the W3C) and filter it down through linked .edu's > edu's > edu's = some well trusted and google friendly sites - to start with at least. Tap it where you can! ;)

No metnioned in the post either about the age of those .edu + .gov sites....

Not bought the book yet, only because I am obsessed and haven't yet quite exhausted all the free advice yet although if you have any free copies for review i'd happily review it on my blog - free of charge of course! :)

Oops - better not take this post off topic and let you get back to your duel! :)

Adam Moro
June 12, 2007 - 1:16am

"Maybe you can also link to me from your other websites, too? Oh, wait. You don't have any."

The first site I ever learned or even read anything related to SEO can be found at search-marketing.info. Do you remember that site, John?

Personally, I've never put much faith in SitePoint's forum. The reason being every time they come up in the SERPs for something I'm researching, the information isn't helpful. Granted I've not read all of the threads there but to be honest, I don't need to now. John Conde and his contradictions that are present in virtually every comment he makes, has made it very clear what type of approach SitePoint takes to providing information. I'm confident I'll never visit that site again. Thanks for pointing out their inaccuracies, Aaron.

@ John Conde and all those who are taking the "me too" approach to his comments - please keep doing what you're doing. You make professional SEOs (those that base their efforts on experiential knowledge) much more valuable to the industry. Thanks for brain-washing the competition, John!

@Quads - I already did. It's called SEO Blackhat. :)

Mel
June 12, 2007 - 1:43pm

First of all, I would just like to say that SitePoint rocks and I think part of the reason you are making a big deal of this situation has a lot to do with the feeling of inadequacy. I think we should all look at the fact that in the web/publishing community, SitePoint Pty Ltd are giants, you on the other hand..... Anyway.

Whether your reasons are to defame SitePoint or John Conde, you are so wrong it is really taking all of my intelligence to grasp why you are even making a big deal out of this. So I have a real nice (and easy to read) list for you and your cult to have a look at:

1. Someone said your book 'sucks'. Big deal. Good and bad reviews happen all the time and you really shouldn't be in the business of publishing books if you cannot handle them. That is childish, immature behavior. Grow Up.

2. For you to publish a record of this on your blog just reiterates my first point. That is childish, immature behaviour. Grow Up.

3. Does fame and the fact that you have published a book mean you can break forum rules and policy? You break the rules, you do the time. Simple as that. Whinging about this only makes you look stupid, which at this point, I have no doubt you are.

4. Libel and Defamation. Two words. This further enhances your stupidity.

5. Hate thread? What hate thread? Does anyone see a thread named: I hate Aaron what ever your name is.
That's right - I don't even know who YOU are. Don't you think your are over reacting?

6. If you where really mature, professional then why ignore a warning from a staff member at SitePoint? Or is because of your 'celebrity' status, you think you can break these rules? Really shows you can keep a professional approach when dealing with reviewers. What are you going to do, post a blog every time someone says you suck?

7. Anyone can write a blog and publish a book. Credibility is what you lack, and I think this must disturb you on some level as why else would you feel the need to validate yourself to 'some one you never heard of until they attacked you'

I think what we have here is what I like to refer to as an Oedipus complex people; which is made up of two things- hubris, and the need for Mommy.

What professional behavior, and if you trust the word of this guy then I really worry how your Marketing will turn out :)

Stick to the experts people, stick to www.sitepoint.com

(Oh, nice site design, by the way....lool)

January 12, 2008 - 12:31am

This guy is a pen-s! If you dont agree with him, you are wrong. Every time you make a comment to a user, he wants proof, or a thesis, to prove your point. He constantly says meta keywords dont matter, yet uses them on his own sites. He has his group of followers, or nay-sayers, if he farts, they burp! They are the uh-huh guys of sitepoint. I know of many others, myself included, who quit using sitepoint because of him. He loves to rain on a parade! He is always right, and everyone else is always wrong. I hope he doesn't carry himself in this fashion in everyday life and is only a dick on the web!

September 8, 2009 - 7:40pm

I met John at Star Wars convention a few years back and he tried to tell me that Han Solo was responsible for Greedo's death when in fact Greedo's mentor Warhog Goa was actually responsible for his demise. Goa had tricked an over-matched Greedo into going against Solo after receiving a payoff from two Rodian bounty hunters who were tracking the young novice. John continued to tell me that this information was based on an artificial hypothesis and then went on to call me a young padawan. The fuckin' nerve. May the coarse be with him.

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