Bad trends in SEO – when a little knowledge gets dangerous

| September 14, 2010

My fiance is Head of Search at one of the UK’s most successful SEO agencies. So I can be confident the SEO knowledge I get from him is worth having. 

As a freelance copywriter I regularly create white label copy for SEO agencies. So far, so good. But I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. There seems to be a growing number of SEO agencies around who don’t actually know much about SEO. Most of the straightforward stuff I’ve covered in this blog is obviously a mystery to them.

Free enterprise is all very well. But selling SEO advice when you don’t know what you’re talking about is downright dangerous… as well as amoral. Needless to say I sacked them, if that’s the right term for a freelancer who terminates a working relationship with a client.

What to do if you’re looking for a good SEO agency? It might be wise to familiarise yourself with the basics of on-site SEO and link building before choosing a supplier.  Then at least you’ll stand a chance of winkling out the bullshitters.

The rise and rise of the Google sceptic

At the other end of the scale, witness the rise of the Google sceptic, another situation where a little knowledge can be commercially destructive. I’ve come across more than one prospective client who doesn’t want Google to ‘have any influence whatsoever on who visits my site’, in the belief that natural SEO somehow magically circumvents Google altogether.

Hm. As an online business it’s pretty silly to bite the mouth that feeds. Google prides itself in being a considerable force for good, taking fairness as it’s flagship when creating search algorithms. It makes every attempt to take the interests of searchers and businesses to heart. For a start, if you’re on Google you can’t avoid its influence. Secondly, why try to avoid a wholly good thing? Oh, conspiracy theorists are so tiresome.

It’ll be interesting to see what fruitloopery and nutterdom crawls out of the SEO woodwork next, as the industry finally enters common parlance and goes mainstream. Hang on to your hats.

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Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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