The acronym SEO refers to “search engine optimization,” which (to me) translates into “making Google love you.”
When Google loves your site, then it’s magically easier for web surfers to find. But if Google decides you’re acting cheesy, then what? Lights out, buddy.
Your site has been relocated to an Internet ghost town.
Desperate Acronym People
People who make money off of “optimizing” websites are called SEO experts. They all claim to know how to make Google love you, but how do you know if that’s really true? When they explain what they do your face will get very numb. After a few minutes you could have a limb amputated without anesthetics.
Here’s all you need to know about SEO experts: their usual “expertise” is tricking Google into thinking your site is more important than it is. For example, they’ll use tricks like paying for links to your website. Unfortunately for the folks that hire them, that kind of trick has a really short shelf life. Why? Because it’s something that Google expressly prohibits. Like, in writing.
SEO experts that do this for lawyers have been called “an embarrassment to the legal profession.” Lawyers who hire bad SEO experts are worse than embarrassed; their expensive sites wind up in the aforementioned Internet ghost town.
Wanna avoid this problem? Listen to Matt Cutts.
Matt Cutts is Google’s Sheriff for fighting bad SEO guys. He often posts short videos, and he has a blog. Recently, he wrote about a blog practice that used to be helpful, but now is ruined thanks to SEO experts. Read this passage with the weary inflection of a school headmaster:
“[T]his is why we can’t have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains.“
Matt Cutts would be the first to say that finding SEO folks who can have nice things is incredibly hard, and boy do I agree. I’ve had many encounters with SEO experts, but up until recently I’ve found all of them annoying at best.
Last week I had the good fortune to attend the Florida Bar Association’s excellent Solo & Small Firm Conference. There, I met Conrad Saam of Atticus Marketing, who blew me away because: (1) he’s incredibly knowledgeable about SEO, especially SEO related to lawyers, and (2) he rails against “get rich quick” practices that abound in the SEO world and favors instead the tactic of creating quality web content.
I used to wonder what a respectable, helpful SEO expert might look like. Now I know, and I even managed to capture it with my camera.
What about you? Have you met any helpful SEO experts? Sound off in the comments.