The Wages of SEO

February 4, 2010

A not so happy quack to the reader who sent me a long, long diatribe by SEO guru Daniel Sullivan, father of the mega-search engine optimization conferences. These are held seemingly every few days in every city around the world. Fearful marketing managers and snake oil sales professionals meet and greet in a unbridled mating game. The idea is that a fearful marketing manager with lousy Web traffic will speed date SEO experts, and both will go off to click through bliss. Well, that’s the theory.

Let me give you the cast of characters:

  • Daniel Sullivan, search expert, SEO guru, and father of giant, zealot-stuffed conferences
  • Mark Cuban, entrepreneur, Google critic and basketball team owner with an investment in Mahalo, IceRocket and other properties
  • Jason Calacanis, entrepreneur, business seer, and New Yorker who nurtures, a conference, and a snazzy electric sports car
  • Google. Yes, the Google that is the bane of Rupert Murdoch and other publishing executives obsessed with “real journalism” and pay walls.

My goodness. This line up is like a modern version of a Greek drama. Each character is larger than life itself.

You will want to read “He Calls Google A Vampire, But Mark Cuban’s Mahalo Is Doing The Sucking.” I quite liked the screen shots, the red arrows, and the description of the SEO tricks identified by the master himself. If you have some trouble figuring out who is the bad guy in this analysis, you are with me. The basic idea behind the write up is that a basketball team owner is not happy with Google. The basketball team owner sees Google as a company profiting on the labor of others. The SEO guru is annoyed that the basketball team owner has invested in the New Yorker’s search company that uses the SEO methods taught at the SEO guru’s conferences to generate money.

In the write up, the savvy New Yorker (Brooklyn, in fact) is an alleged villain. The write up explains in great detail the SEO tricks used by the New Yorker to generate money via Google’s monetization programs. Keep in mind that these tactics are part of the warp and woof of the SEO guru’s conferences.

The “vampire” Google wants traffic and, therefore, wants to get as many people clicking within the Google world as possible. Web site owners want to ride the money train too, so Web site owners need SEO. The SEO guru delivers the goods; that is, methods for spoofing Google.

What we have in the write up is a description of the feedback loop that has made Web search less effective over the last three or four years in my experience. I can’t figure out who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. Maybe the cast of characters, like Greek mythological figures, are a mix of good and evil, deeply conflicted, and sufficiently confused to make really bad mistakes. Remember Orpheus, Sisyphus, et al?

I know a fix.

Why not log on to a social networking system and post a question. You may have a better chance of getting a useful result just asking people. Search is broken. SEO has played a role. Move on.

Stephen E Arnold, February 4, 2010


3 Responses to “The Wages of SEO”

  1. surfvoucher on February 5th, 2010 12:53 am

    I have to disagree with you… there are certain strategies that only the top SEOs in the industry use. We have tried several forums but in the end we always get the same basic answers that might work for some low targeted keywords but in the bigger industries it is always worth to invest in some decent SEO consulting.

  2. seo on February 5th, 2010 5:15 am

    Wow , different information , which I never read or heard till now . The wages of SEO is accoridng to the cast of seo characters and its seo friendly . Thnak you for sharing this ever read informaiton .Its a resouce ful one.

  3. Stephen E. Arnold on February 7th, 2010 6:31 pm


    Thanks for disagreeing. I stand by my assessment of SEO and those who sell that “expertise.”

    Stephen E Arnold, February 7, 2010

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