Shut your SEO pie hole if…

Ian Lurie
  1. You don’t rank in the top 10 Google results for your full name (witnessed this very week).
  2. You don’t know what nofollow is.
  3. You think ‘semantic’ is a software company that protects PC’s from viruses.
  4. You think ‘canonical’ is what happens when you’re made a saint.
  5. You feel obligated to tell people you’re a “top eBay marketing partner”. Huh?
  6. You wave toolbar PageRank around like a weapon, not realizing it’s actually a limp noodle.
  7. You write like a vicodin-addled raccoon.
  8. You market your services with calls to action like “Want cheap adult traffic?”
  9. You think putting a NO-CACHE directive at the top of every page of your site will actually help you rank better.
  10. You still use tables throughout your web site. It probably doesn’t impact your SEO but it’s lame, stupid and it irritates the hell out of me that you’re out there presenting yourself as some kind of search god when you’re still writing code using Microsoft Frontpage.
  11. You can’t seem to tell anyone what your “system” is for SEO. That, by the way, is because you don’t have one you frakking idiot. You’re doing what everyone else does, only less well and less thoroughly.
  12. You guarantee that people who buy your system will absolutely be on page 1 of Google within NN days. But you don’t say what for, or how, or for how long, or anything else of meaning or import, for that matter.
  13. You can’t spell ‘social media’.
  14. You can’t seem to put the web address of a single one of your clients anywhere on your site.
  15. Analytics, to you, means “how many hits we got”.


Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He'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. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

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  1. Ian,
    While I usually appreciate your lists and common sense lists and pet peevs, just a couple of things on this one.
    1) Why do you need to? I’ll assume you mean your company name.
    5) There is such a thing. Well, there is such a thing as a “Top eBay Partner Network publisher”.
    10) Sometimes tables are required and are the correct solution.
    14) MANY choose not to for VARIOUS reasons.
    All the rest I agree with 🙂

  2. Canonical is what happens when you’re made a saint…:)made me spill my coffee.
    I do agree with 15, but I have to say, I spent my first years online testing and analyzing too much. I think it’s important to stay focused on promoting your sites and not just improving your analytical skills.

  3. Thank God I rank in the top ten for my name. Several times in fact:) Seriously though this rant was very entertaining. I actually work with a client whos old “SEO Company” did not know what nofollow was. How pathetic.
    Nice post. Thanks for sharing

  4. Ian,
    Dare I ask what triggered this little outburst? 🙂
    I’m afraid that based on your criteria, about 90% of “seo experts” should probably “shut their pie holes”…
    By the way, you must know what you’re talking about when it comes to SEO because you rank number 1 on google for “vicodin-addled raccoon”. Way to go!
    😀 Charles

  5. @John heh i had to as well… i’m not number one either, but i’ve got 7/10 listings… heh maybe i should try and make it 10 outta 10.

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