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Published on June 6th, 2012 | by 011100110110010

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Trust Issues Within The SEO Industry

This post isn’t about trust in a domain authority or a brand sense but in terms of good ol’ fashioned, reliably certain trust. If you have trust issues the definition is below…

Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

How can you build trust?

Fear not. there are many ways to build both real and artificial trust online. Unfortunately the SEO industry is full of charlatans and frauds who mainly dabble in the latter. Some of my personal favourites are below:

  • Discussing ideas and thoughts with people & not being a noob
  • Being transparent
  • Agreeing with the right people
  • Disagreeing with the right people
  • Befriending the right people
  • Sharing the right content
  • Writing the right content
  • Condoning the right content
How many have you done? We’ve all done a few and you probably see it being done on a daily basis. It appears to be the way to get to the top if you want to be an ‘SEO rockstar’ (I’ve patented the list above so no using any technique or expect a knock on the door!) The excellent thing about this is with each passing day they create inflated, artificial trust! Great! These people are now trusted within the industry despite having displayed nothing. The problem with this is it leads to…

Trust issues within the SEO industry

This issue isn’t that we don’t trust or listen to each other enough, quite the opposite. We are all guilty of trusting people and their opinions too quickly and easily.

On the smallest and most personal level I know people who think that I am knowledgeable about SEO because I’ve written a few stupid blog posts that other people have liked, tweeted and commented on.

Seriously this doesn’t mean shit. I could have rewritten that stuff from anywhere (and most probably did).

Do you know what sectors I’ve worked in? What keywords I have attempted to rank for? What kind of traffic increases I have gained? Can I build links? Can I write decent copy? Can I do a decent SEO audit? Do I understand the basics of SEO? etc, etc, etc. **

In terms of my knowledge do you know the answer to the questions above? No. So why would you trust anything that I write?

Everyday hundreds of shiny, sparkly, brand new SEO’s aspire to make the big bucks and become an SEO star*. Think about a few blogs that you have read over the last few months/years. Some of these people are heroes within the industry, perhaps rightly, but again why should you trust their judgement?

Do you know what they’ve done SEO wise? Why should you trust anything they write? THIS IS STARTING TO SOUND VERY FUCKING PARANOID.

You! Who do you trust?

O.k so I’m playing devils advocate here. I acknowledge there is a stage where you have to trust someone otherwise you could end up slightly twisted… However what I’m trying to say is don’t be afraid to question things, even if you never intend to actually ask them.

The next time someone writes a post/tweet/whatever and you are unsure on something don’t be afraid to ask that question, or if you are non-confrontational  look into whether it works, before taking it as gospel.

* I actually don’t think that there is anything wrong with wanting to make money or be well known within SEO, in fact good luck to anyone that tries. Beware of the bitter ones, there are a few :)

** Answers – Non competitive ones, long tail keywords that get no traffic, none, nope, haha hell no, audit? and unfortunately no.

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About the Author

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



7 Responses to Trust Issues Within The SEO Industry

  1. Hey Sean,
    good post. I totally agree on what you’re saying here, because I feel the same.
    As for myself…I started to do some guest post for example and I WAS really excited. But then , I decided to stop because I was saying really the same things and nothing grounbreaking for the SEO community, not telling about experiments, things I’ve done from a technical point of view and stuff like that.
    So I thought: why should I write just because they asked me to do it? I am in the process where I’m learning a lot yet, and one thing for sure I’m seeing in the SEO community is “SATURATION”. Everyone is talking about the same things (maybe including myself) just to be part of the buzz for a topic, hot in that moment.

    I have some SEO heroes, and I have to admit they are not the “usual” ones. But I’m glad because I like the person as human being first, and then as SEO. And trust me (for real this time), when you start knowing the human being behind the SEO, sometimes you have really bad surprises.

    SEO community scared me a bit, because you have the feeling like : “oh, you are an SEO kid, so I don’t even bother answering you”. Is this supposed to teach me something about SEO? Why you are going around the world telling how great SEO is and how important is , and how you need new people, but when I ask something you don’t even bother to answer me because it’s taking you too much effort to get down from your pedestal?

    I have one last post I would like to publish, like a sort of testament. and then silence for two more years or something. I will publish something funny and interesting FOR ME in my blog, but that’s it.

    Thanks for this, I really liked it.

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    • Hey Alessio,

      You’re not the first nor will you be the last that talks about an over saturated market in terms of blogging about SEO. Barry Adams mentions it in a recent interview >>> http://www.craigaddyman.com/an-interview-with-barry-adams/

      I think it’s because we’re a content-driven industry, and we’ve run out of things to write content about. We’ve blogged about everything and everyone and have run out of new things to say, so whenever something genuinely new arrives we all pounce on it and blog it to death several times over

      Haha, I’m interested in finding out about this post of yours! When will we see it?

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      • Dunno actually, because nobody wants to publish it because I use the word “fucker” and “shit”. Or maybe because it has a meaning only for me, or it’s shit 100%.

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        • Haha, quite a few different reasons then! If it’s a personal post then add it to your own site.

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  2. Joel says:

    I wrote a post yesterday that people trusted. I even said it was fake, right within the post. People still didn’t figure it out.

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