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Published on January 13th, 2012 | by 011100110110010

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SEO People Lists & Judging an SEO

SEO people lists. We’ve all seen them, articles that talk about the latest SEO wunderkind. They generally contain the same people, including the same descriptions. I was reading the latest one yesterday and it made me think “How does the author know if this person is any good at SEO?

Before I carry on, lets get the following out of the way, it covers my arse in terms of bitterness and resentment… :-) This is nothing against any person who writes a “SEO’s to look out for in 2012″ based post neither is it against the people who are added to them. I don’t have the want/intention or ability to be included in such a list. The issue is how these people are chosen or judged.

You rarely see an SEO publicly discuss the websites that they work on and understandably so, no-one wants to increase the competition within their sector or lose clients (SEO consultants and agencies are sneaky when it comes to stealing business, yes especially the big ones!) But I can imagine for the majority another reason is because they can’t preach white hat and brilliant link building if their sites are shit and their backlink profiles are spammy as hell.

If you’ve written a similar post or tweet about da bestest SEOs in da world eva, how did you decide that the person you were bigging up knew what they were on about? Was it their blog content, social networking, public speaking or maybe their self promotion? The funny thing is these things are all based on someone’s ability to talk to people and effectively rewrite content, combined with the occasional unique, clever idea.

Is this really the best way to judge whether someone understands SEO? Does having the skills above mean that they understand what it takes to improve rankings, traffic and conversions across a multitude of sectors? I don’t think so.

Whats the point of this article? I’ve forgotten.¬†Feel free to agree or disagree below…

 

Watch out for my next post – “SEOs to watch out for in 2012!”

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One day I will make a living out of this industry, until then I'll carry on writing here.



11 Responses to SEO People Lists & Judging an SEO

  1. Gonzeaux says:

    I don’t think those lists are built on “who knows SEO best”, but more who can you learn from. I am flattered to be included in such a list, esp. with the other, more expert SEO’s. A great majority of what I share is written by other people that can articulate far better than I can. Many times I do very repetitive things to produce results and I don’t have any earth-shattering new technique to blog about. I don’t have massive data that I want to share, and I would never use someone else’s data to prop up my theories. I do answer questions from people that ask in DM’s, and there’s probably a great deal of that going on that you don’t see. I always try to help newcomers because when I started out, many “name” SEO’s were esoteric dicks.

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  2. Barry Adams says:

    It’s a popularity contest, of course. As someone who occasionally gets listed on these ego-bait pieces, I too wonder how the heck people get chosen & sorted for those lists. Especially those listed above me. I mean, who are they kidding?

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  3. And in one sentence you fuck up my whole post… Thanks Don!! ;)

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  4. Nick LeRoy says:

    Nobody actually *does* SEO. It’s all about blogging about it and bragging on Twitter. :)

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    • Nick, I will be writing a post about how great I am at some point, all I’ve got to do is steal someone’s great work and call it my own. Easy!

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  5. Hey Mate,

    You make a valid point and I’ve always wondered about this sort of thing… in my view and in my experience many of the true “Best SEOs” are the unsung heroes who tend to keep to themselves.

    With few exceptions I always try to create lists, give props or FF’s to people that either share the best content with me, are most helpful to their users (i.e. respond to Tweets/questions, etc.) or that I have actually worked with and I know for a fact are brilliant SEOs even if they don’t talk much about SEO on major blogs.

    In any event, the long and short of it is that without access to case studies, client feedback and/or working directly with someone the lists are pretty arbitrary if they’re about “best SEOs”. However, if they are about “best sharers or creators of SEO content” – as you say – well that’s a bit easier for all to judge.

    As a minor aside, some of the work that I’ve seen second hand from some of the “best SEO agencies” based on industry reputation and positioning would make me quite sceptical of any such list.

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    • Hey dude,

      I think you and Don are spot on in terms of why these lists are produced and didn’t really think about it from the community sharing/helping perspective (which I suppose at some level is more important than whether someone is good at SEO or not). In terms of your last point I would love to have access to some reporting/data for some of the larger SEO agencies just to see whether they really practice what they preach!

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  6. I think they are giving other people a chance Barry :)

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