SEO Confessions: I’m a Fraud
Ian Lurie Jan 17 2008
K, I had a great day today, so I’m cheery. That means it’s time to tear an internet marketing scam into a pile of tiny bits and pieces.
I have no problem with the format. It’s a landing page and a sales letter. Fine.
But whatever you do, do not use this guy’s recommendations. Buy the guy’s book if you want. Use it to prop up uneven table legs, or give it to your dog as a chew toy. But his methods are a one-way ticket to a search engine ban.
Exhibit A: He’s been penalized
Amazingly, his site is still in Google’s index. But when you have a 0 pagerank on a site that’s over 2 years old, and you’re an ‘SEO Professional’, something’s wrong.
Exhibit B: The Best SEO Techniques Available. In 1999.
He talks about techniques like ‘doorway pages’. Search engines figured out these tactics in, what, 1999?
If you really, really want to try doorway pages and cloaking, go for it. But you’d better make sure you understand how to file a re-inclusion request with Google, first. Because if you get caught, they’ll dump your site.
Exhibit C: Claims of Automation
If someone tells you they have software that completely automates the SEO process, run, screaming. Do not get in the car, do not accept the candy, and don’t go behind the building to see his puppy.
We use lots of automated tools. To do things like track rankings and find keywords. But at some point, a human has to write actual copy, and make actual code changes.
Get an adult, and find another ticket to SEO glory.
Exhibit D: Trust Your Instincts
Read the whole letter. The claims that anyone, at any education level, can become an SEO expert; the crappy grammar (“with you’re search engine marketing on auto-pilot”); the use of every exclamation point left on Earth.
Something’s not right. It seems too good to be true.
That’s because it is.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More