SEO Blog - Internet marketing news and views  

Bad SEO Part I

Written by David Harry   
Sunday, 28 January 2007 09:35

accahd.gifI decided to start a new series called ‘Bad SEO’ – to highlight what to look for and funny anecdotes about encounters with some uh.. not-so-professional Search Engine Optimization providers out there. I am certainly NOT going to start ‘outing’ people (naming offenders) – simply posting chronicles as a warning to the consumer; and a good laugh for the professional (hard working) SEO craftsperson. ‘Tis borne from unfortunate tales and wary consumers all in need of reassurance.

So I say to all you SEO Hacks out there – the Reality Train is a comin’ – Get off the tracks or get run over.

12 Step Program - Things you DON’T want to see on a SEO provider’s website;
<< Much of this rant is based on a REAL SEO site/provider, tho a few are JUST ME ranting – let the debate begin! >>

Here we go...

chldply.gif1. Submitting to SEs; Any good SEO knows one doesn’t need to submit to the major Search Engines (SEs). A proper campaign will naturally encourage indexation I do not want to see a ‘Manual Search Engine Site Submissions’ program if you please.

2. ToolBar PageRank; <IMO> Love me – hate me – but gaining TBPR is not a viable focus of ones SEO endeavors nor budgets. It is a natural by-product of a quality program. Nothing to see here.

3. Keyword Density; <IMO> It is the age of relevance. Think semantics and phrase based optimization. ( shout out to PaIR Brother Bill )

4. Alexa; Ha ha ha ha ha ha – Ok come on!

5. Compliant code - code/text ratio; <IMO>These are largely concerns of ‘accessibility’ and ‘usability’ more than ranking considerations. Leave it alone would ya?

6. SandBox; <IMO>sure it’s just me – but the common definition(s) are a moving target. I would rather hear about ‘link maturity’ or ‘domain aging’ factors… at least it is a tangible concept.

slippry2.gif7. Questionable methods; obviously doorway pages (not target pages), cloaking, sketchy link building and their ilk is cause for concern.

8. Guaranteed rankings; Until the Search Engines Start publishing the algo data and letting us know ahead of time when the next major update will be – nothing is guaranteed. Sure, there are performance based contracts, but that is a different beast than the ‘Guaranteed Google #1!”

9. Non competitive KW testimonials/case studies; proudly standing behind client rankings for terms that in truth, are not all that competitive shows a lack of understanding of the value of a given target.

10. Talk about ANY engine other than the Big 3.5; Really, outside of Google, Yahoo, MSN/Live – Ask – don’t mention it .. There isn’t much more I can say about that…

11. A Blog full of OTHER PEOPLES Articles; That really somehow defeats the purpose of a Blog now don’t it?

chldply.gif12. Stuffing your Meta-Keywords; its bad enough MKW are barely viable in 21st Century SEO, but a SEO company shouldn’t be STUFFING them on their site...that’s for certain.

Actually… the site’s Meta Data should NEVER look like this;

<meta NAME="robots" CONTENT="index"> -- Yes I believe that why they came to the site. You cannot tame the beast as such ( u need to train). It is NOINDEX/NOFOLLOW that we care about ever using

<meta NAME="robots" CONTENT="follow"> same as above. We only care about the NOFOLLOW/NOINDEX

<meta NAME="coverage" content="Worldwide"> ha ha ha ha ha

<meta NAME="revisit-after" content="3 days"> this is NOT how crawl rates are established. REALLY. No SEO company should have this tag, it is simply sad.

<meta NAME="AUTHOR" CONTENT="URL REMOVED"> Important stuff



<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1"> YAAAYY Look Billy got one right auntie May!! Get him a cookie.

Incorrect stats - data –claims; we all love to state fancy numbers and why not? Many of us are numbers freaks. But when there is nonsensical ‘cirle talk’, or quoted data that is known to be false, is in poor taste IMO.

dedend1.gifStay Current; if you are going to offer SEO news and Articles.. don’t use large amounts of other people's work and have something more current than 2005 – shuddderrrrr

So there we have it. The first (last?) installment of Bad SEO. I may do another Part II and more .. .. shoddy providers do irk me. ..and I can't help myself ( what did he just say?)

Until next rant.. play safe



0 # Kate 2007-01-28 23:10
Hi, I found you via MyBlogLog.

What a great article. I'm not an expert on SEO, it's something I have been teaching myself over that last few months, but I do identify with the points you make.

In the last two weeks I have come across sites which advocate submitting to search engines and which rave on about the wonders of a high rating at Alexa. I'm a newb but I know that is a load of old doo doos. The sad thing, both sites offered SEO for a price and I suspect a lot of people who don't know any better will pay good money for a useless service.

Oh, and a big thank you for having comment verification which is actually readable.
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0 # thegypsy 2007-01-28 23:46
Hiya Kate, thanks for dropping in!

I also run a Web Design Company – so many times they have to work with other SEO teams that are in place. Some just try to convince my gang of some pretty crazeee things. It was getting to me – sure a few of the points are ‘in my opinion’ but much of that came from and actual SEO providers site

A ranting we shall go !

I shall have to slide over to MYBL and say HI!

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0 # Jun 2007-01-29 14:47
Hi Dave,

Nice list. This would surely be a guideline as I'm planning to add SEO to web design I offer to a few clients.
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0 # oral seymour 2007-01-29 15:51
Nice list dave...I can just refer users to this list instead of building one of my own. Can you believe the nerve of some SEO companies out there?
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0 # theGypsy 2007-01-29 19:27
Hiya Jun, nice to see U - It would certainly help you with some things NOT to do - which will keep U off of my list too... lol

Oral - Yo Bro.. yeah this is from that site I mentioned the other day on the boards... the others (TBPR etc..) I added on a personal note.
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0 # WilliamC 2007-01-29 19:56
Nic elist, and good for a few chuckles.

Thanks David :-)
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0 # thegypsy 2007-01-29 20:10
Hey Will - he he. I just had to man, you know how it is out there. My web development company runs into some doozies they have to work with..

As you know, we hear some nasty stories on the boards.. maybe this Bad SEO series will help educate the consumrs.. give a luagh to pros.. and give me somewhere to vent
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0 # Zaraha 2007-01-29 23:46
Hey Gypsy. Got here from WWS. Awsome article!! More informative than funny to me since I'm still a wee seo grasshopper, but great nonetheless. Sometimes knowing what info to ignore is even more important than knowing what to pay attention to, so the heads up to BS is much appreciated.
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0 # Zaraha 2007-01-29 23:48
Ugh, pasted a weird title in that last comment...wish i could edit. oh well. the real title was supposed to be "Awsome Article." BBoy Video will just have to do :eek:
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0 # kay 2007-01-30 01:28
haha ok im guilty of making reference to PR and sandbox but only in that i say something like 'commonly referred so as'

other than that, i gotta agree with everything you learned from me :P hehehehehe
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0 # kay 2007-01-30 01:30
i made the same mistake as zahara. tonight , i come disguised as an airhead!
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0 # thegypsy 2007-01-30 03:13
You GRLz are doin well huh? Those are just the IMO one's anyways Kay. I mean more of some one selling 'increased PageRank; as a service or including it in any way in a service package... tho U know my feelings on it in general - he he

..and the SB - well it's too fincky a term in SEO. I prefer more definative... besides and SEO company can cover up their short commings with 'we're in the sanbox period' kinda crap.
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0 # TheMadHat 2007-01-30 11:46
"We have a network of over 20 million users...." followed by whatever they say next. Get those calls daily.
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0 # Kay 2007-01-31 01:02
and those who say "our clients include FAMOUS NAME HERE". haha meaning FAMOUS BRAND bought a domain off them once. next time the sales guy tells you that say "oh really? what do you do for them?" then sit back and watch them squirm, blink and stutter before their final answer is something like "...cant tell you all the details, client confidentiality ..etc"
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0 # David Bain 2007-02-17 13:40
Great post.
The only point that I'd take slight issue with is point 10.
Although I agree that in most western markets it's good practice just to go for the big 3.5 search engines, in certain markets such as China it's imperative to know that the biggest is Baidu.
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0 # theGypsy 2007-02-17 14:51
Fair enough and true. Localized Search can play in... I was more making light of those 'submitting' to every known engine...

Thanks for the catch tho.... David
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