He doesn't know a thing about conversions or usability.

He thinks his way is the only way to do SEO.

Recommendations for your meta keyword tags are considered "critical."

When all your competitors are buying links but your SEO recommends "playing fair." (via chrisfaron)

You can't get them to return your calls or emails, but they are burning up twitter with status updates.

When your 404 error log is bigger than your referral log. (via @btabke)


Foursquare says they checked in at the beach when they should be checking on your account.

Your SEO firm boasts you get a dedicated SEO Strategist, PPC Strategies, Link Strategist, Analytic Strategist, Social Media Strategist and Copywriter. But it's all the same person.

Your home page title tag still reads, "home page" (via Matt_Siltala)

They spend more time on Google+ and tweeting about it than they do on your site and fixing it.

The person in charge of SEO scratches their head and asks "What is SEO?" (via @Trinity_IT)

They provide ranking guarantees based on #1 rankings for AltaVista.

They provide ranking guarantees based on #1 rankings for VERY long-tail keywords

Your first paragraph lists your city 5 times. (via @ACTeeple)

He believes everything Matt Cutts says.

They claim to have a "special" relationship with Google.

Follow at @StoneyD, and @PolePositionMkg.

October 13, 2011

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.


Wanting to "play fair" is good SEO. I would never advise anyone to buy links no matter how many of their competitors are doing that.

There are SO MANY other ways to acquire links -- and paid links are iffy as well as risky.

In fact, I'll go so far as to say that any SEO who advocates paid links over other linking strategies sucks worse than all the rest. That's a terrible SEO strategy and a really bad business practice.

"They provide ranking guarantees based on #1 rankings for VERY long-tail keywords"

That's probably the easiest trap unsuspecting site owners fall for. They are "guaranteed" first place in Google...but the SEO provider conveniently forgets to tell them that it will be for a keyword with zero search volume.

And I have to agree with Michael about playing fair. No matter what black hat tactics the competition is using, I always tell clients to stay away from it.

what Michael said...and Nick. heard 'em all in my 12 years in SEO.....and yup, the education of prospective clients is the area that needs the most work....



And let me add to the list from accounts I have taken over. They installed an SEO pack to wordpress but all 100 pages say no index, no follow. They boast but clients sites they have optimized and they are ranked 22,000,000+ in Alexa. I have so many more...and I am sure others do to.

Some of these made me smile, some of them made me scratch my head. What I would really like to see are the actual comments some of these folks made. ie: what is SEO, scratching head. Really?

We struggle with this with many clients who have engaged the services of a so called SEO expert only to get results that are less than they should be. Or we have run in to more than one Spokane website design agency claiming to be SEO experts and have lost bids based on this so called expert. (We prefer to work with a true SEO while we focus on website design as that is our specialty). In the long run, they get nothing for their money. It's a shame. Really, it is.

Ha ha! Great post - what about "he highlights irrelevant ranking improvements when you're on the brink of bankruptcy!"

Well said and great list. I receive all the above everyday by email. And they keep on sending the same thing everyday.

The 3rd one is so true, the one that always gets me is when agencies say "we dont buy links" when all there clients have paid for links, classic.

"They provide ranking guarantees based on #1 rankings for VERY long-tail keywords"

Then when they get down to it the keyword phrases they will get you to #1 on are ridiculously specific and long. Probably something no search engine users will actually search for.

"Your home page title tag still reads, "home page""

A very funny yet sadly true list - especially the last comment.

I know of one company that advised a friend of mine to change his company name to ensure that they were the only company on the web with those two names in a search engine. A Googlewhack!

Thankfully they ignored the advice.

Haha love this: "He believes everything Matt Cutts says." Nice one StoneyD! :)

Hilarious! I've worked with some who have asked many of these questions, scarily many of them have now set-up on their own. Great list, thank for the humor :)

Love this list.

I do find the title and meta tag and domain name have a impact on SEO but really love
"our home page title tag still reads, "home page"

Love your comment Jason Walker
"I know of one company that advised a friend of mine to change his company name to ensure that they were the only company on the web with those two names in a search engine. A Googlewhack!

Thankfully they ignored the advice."

I find many SEO people or just web designers that create a web business and have little to no real knowledge of how SEO works.

Was a fun list to go through.

AltaVista guaranteed rankings - I'd hope people would smell a rat with that!

I wnet down the list and could apply almost every one to my previous SEO company. Note I said previous.

This is a fun list, especially the comment about being ranked as #1 on Alta Vista! hehe

I love the title. It so makes you want to read the article - so I did.

It was a fun read, but it was off the mark in a few places, at least from my perspective. I mean, what other perspective do I have?

One thing that I found off the mark was this statement:
"They provide ranking guarantees based on #1 rankings for VERY long-tail keywords"

This may be an accurately critical remark except when it's the marketing strategy for pull marketing. If a website is going to push, as most are, then they need to spend money and push hard. This means going after high traffic keywords. So long tail keywords don't work and won't be of any value to push strategy.

Pull strategy is a different game and one that changes very little over time. A client won't need to constantly learn new marketing trends, new keword trend and adjust to Google's algorithms however they progress because Google loves organic pull marketing. It's what the web does best and it's what Google based it's page rank system on, which is simply link popularity.

Does anyone think about what the web does better than any other marketing medium? It shares. That's what all networks do. Social networks share and nothing ever went viral without sharing being a big part of it.

A website doesn't have to do much more that share with their market, but we are all in a hurry for instant results and Google keeps trying to knock out websites that take shortcuts. It is an endless battles when you push. It's a naturally slow certainty when you pull.

And a mix of the two at appropriate choice points is a killer strategy.

Edward, that wasn't meant to suggest there is no value in long-tail keywords. The point was that the SEO guarantees #1 rankings, but when you look at the fine print its ONLY for easy-to-rank long-tail phrases.

the title still says home page just hit home with me. I just had a website made and started to look into seo to promote it. when i learned about the titles i noticed mine still said home page. needless to say i wasn't ranking...

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