SEO Confessions: I'm a Fraud

Ian Lurie

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.

Today’s victim is SEO Confessions, a site that guarantees everything except the apparent author’s hairstyle:

SEO Confessions

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

You don’t have to believe me. Just look at his pagerank. It’s 0:

no page rank!

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?

doorway pages

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.

Other Options

Check out Aaron Wall’s SEOBook. Sign up for
Just please. Don’t take the candy…

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. Ian:
    Nice to see a blogger actually “name names” for once.
    I’m sick of reading posts where the author rails about a crappy product or service but refuses to name names – probably for fear of legal recourse.

  2. Hi Matt,
    There are only repercussions if you lie. I promise, when it comes to this site, I’m telling the truth…

  3. Ian, I love it, don’t stop!
    I really, really, really, really hate web sites like this and it’s good to see someone who knows what they are talking about actually quantify what’s wrong with them.
    I’m particulary delighted that you picked up on the grammar (The, You’re v. Your example is one of my pet hates!) But to be fair to the guy, he does actually say that anybody at any level of education can succeed with his programme so, if he’s successful (and he has got us all talking about him after all) then this actually strengthens his case!
    You have just gone onto my blogroll.

  4. Thanks Phil. I try to always channel my obnoxiousness to positive outlets.
    If you find other sites that need a slap, feel free to post them here.

  5. Thank you so much for exposing this kind of blatant crap. I mean, you can pretty much tell by the 1987 sunglasses and sticky hairdo that the guy is bogus, but for those of us who are just trying to make it happen from home, this kind of stuff is provocative if not enticing when you are looking for it. There are SO many ways to work from home and I am proud to say I have tapped into some; but this, as you wisely point out, is not one of them.

  6. For every blog that exposes this guy, a few unsuspecting late-comers will get suckered. I look at this guy and my first thought is “weenie roast.” But so many people are just now hearing the term SEO that they’ll go with a moron like this and his long-ago banned black hat work.
    Akin to the “lose 18 punds in 3 days” guys – only with cheap sunglasses and a suit.

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