SEO has a bad rep - sure... but SO WHAT?
Many amongst us even badmouth our peers.
And incompetence IS everywhere.
But are any of these things really the root cause of why major publications and bloggers and other news sources consider us, as a group, to be hacks or spammers or Bad for the Internet?
The reality is that they don't get it - But they won't ever get it and we can't convince them otherwise!
First, let's be realistic: there are plenty of hacks, spammers and incompetents amongst us, surely, but that is truly the case in any and ALL fields.
How many industries have a positive approval rating?
Congress? Nope that's 24-29%. President of the US? Nope: 31%.
How often are the majority of SEO practitioners considered respectable or even good at their trade?
Even most burger-flippers probably aren't good at their jobs. I'm guessing, but many probably cheat (by burning a burger or under-cooking it) too.
On the other side of the spectrum: how about investment bankers or lawyers or accountants? Are 90% of them not hacks (or just basically fancified guessers)? Or janitors?
Or insurance agents?
Or sales people?
There is probably no industry at all where 90% don't suck.
Why should SEO be any different? Are we held to a higher standard for some reason? No. OK, maybe people don't talk about burger-flippers or insurance agents as much as they talk about us, 'cuz it's not new and it's not tech or it's not newsworthy, but of course we only notice it when people talk about our industry…
Every potential client or employer or inquisitor of any kind is going to forever ask about those things they hear a naysayer suggest regardless of whether it's Wired Mag, Google, their own CEO, or Jack/Jill from the Accounting Department...
So we have to answer those questions when they come up. That'll be the case forever - let's get over it!
Some people will believe us and some others will be afraid to trust us -- they'd rather find comfort in rejecting SEO as they'd feel they are doing the right thing for their company by bad-mouthing us or rejecting our proposals...
Why should the 10% of us who are actually good at SEO be vilified for the (clean) service we provide just because some others aren't good at this or aren't playing by the same rules?
People like Jason Calacanis and Dave Pasternack from Did-It and others just help those of us who are legit to hone our response to such criticisms.
So What can we do?
Just hold our heads up and do a good job for our clients or employer while we continue to contribute to the community in such a way that we'll attract more good workers than bad.
So What? Just do good and those who doubt that our efforts are effective will soon call - the phones are ringing for a reason!
Discussion on Sphinn
by Tim Dineen