HESITATION SEO: THREE YEARS AS SEO.

Happy Anniversary

New Nine Inch Nails album – new post. In 2012 I wrote a post in Don Rhoades blog called “How NIN makes me a better SEO” based on “The Downward Spiral” album. I just celebrated my third SEO birthday, and I want to share some stuff about SEO, clients and general observations. This is for you, SEO. This is for you, client. This is for me as well. Thanks for reading.

The eater of dreams

Thinking is good. Over-thinking, not always. We proclaim new techniques, the “ultime guide to <insert topic>” and “X number of things you need to do for <insert topic>”. But the reality is that there is no one-fits-all solution for SEO problems of our clients. But one thing I don’t see around too much is to dream of something more for our clients. Dream of something beautiful and then try to realize it. We can be wrong for sure, but SEO does not necessarily mean “boring” or “geek”. Create some magic.

I am just a copy of a copy of a copy.

No, you can’t copy. It’s not me telling you as SEO. We all know that duplicate content is not good for your website. But your readers / customers are asking you to present something new, something different. How? Just look around you. Ask your friend. Ask your audience. Read something not related to your business. Push yourself harder.

Everywhere now reminding me I am not who I used to be; I’m afraid this has just begun consequences for what I’ve done.

Three years in SEO, and I’m still learning. I’m still learning that shit you create as an SEO will come around to haunt you. So, let’s be honest and say “no, I’m not going to do that” when clients ask for impossible things. Educate the client. One of the things I love about my job is being able to sit down and explain how SEO works and why your website is not working. I’m not 100% geek, I’m not an Excel maestro, I’m not a guru (or other stupid titles). I’m just a guy who knows something about SEO and can help with that.

I know a lot more now, compared to three years ago and still I have a lot more to learn. But I’m honest with myself and with people asking me to work with them. I can’t be otherwise. I can’t spam like hell, just to make the client happy. I can’t, really. I did it, yes. I paid for it (link removal requests…ding-dong). I want to create something useful for the people that trust me. It doesn’t matter what tricks work to show up first in the SERPs.

I’m just trying to find my way.

You should too. I read posts about SEO every day. I follow some great SEOs around the world. But I’m trying to always think for myself – apply what I learn to my everyday SEO tasks. Just because everyone is saying something doesn’t mean you need to follow it blindly. Don’t be afraid of going against the current.

This paranoia turns to fear just who was whispering in your ear? Pretending, but I know you hear (just how’d we fucking end up here?)

Paranoia is a big part of the SEO community. You know, for every Google update, Google change, Google superpower against our websites. Paranoia turns to fear and we run and scream, removing links, changing links to no-follow. Many times, we need to this because we created bad stuff in the first place. But too much paranoia is not healthy. Too much fear is blocking you from seeing things clearly.

You, SEO, need to take actions to resolve bad situations, but don’t whine for every G-announcement. Please, it creates confusion and you know already you’ll forget about it after 2 days away from Twitter.

You, client, need to understand SEO is evolving, things change (that’s the best part of every project… it keeps it alive) so you need to listen to your consultants, trust them, ask them because you want to know more. Don’t point your finger, especially when you don’t know anything about it.

Can I ask you something? What did you expect? So disappointed with what you get.

Be transparent and straight to the point in the relationship with your client. You expect the first result for “best Italian pizza” in 15 days? Not going to happen. Tell them right away. Cut the bullshit, because the best thing is to find clients who think clearly and they’re on the same page as you. Clients are always going to be disappointed (traffic is down, drop of one ranking position, not enough links, too many links), but it’s our job to talk to them and help them understand how SEO works. But with clients who don’t know magic, it’s hard for me to get along.

I survived everything. I have tried everything.

Do you? Because I certainly didn’t. So, my dear SEO gurus and experts, as much as I appreciate your knowledge (and thanks for all the things you taught me and you’re still teaching me), don’t lose your humility, because the world is evolving – so you don’t know everything. You can’t. Simple as that.

I’m part of you. I’m inside your head.

Maybe a bit strong here, but the message is there: let’s talk. Let’s be on the same page. I’m your SEO consultant. I care about your website. I really do. Don’t treat me as an external force who can screw you anytime. Because I won’t. Consider mef as part of your team, even if I’m not sitting in your office every day. SEO (consultants, agencies…) and clients should collaborate more, first from a human point of view. Many relationships go bad because there’s no trust. I’m here to help. I’m going to win your trust. You need to trust me.

I’ve got to let it go. I’ve got to get straight. Why’d you have to make it so hard? Let me get away.

The importance of a “no”. If you can’t help, if you don’t care, go away. Find something you love. Something that excites you. Don’t come to a meeting if you don’t care. Don’t come to a meeting if you don’t have anything to say. Let go. Trust others. Be honest with yourself.

Knowing when it’s the time to say “oh, I can’t help with that, because there are others better than me on this” is one of the most liberating situations whether a relationship is starting or is getting harder.

I’m running out of places I can hide from this.

I stopped hiding. I’m simply honest about it. A few days ago someone asked me my opinion on his website. I knew that website already. It’s utter shit. Everything is wrong. IA, UI, SEO, call to actions, goals. I went to the meeting. Extra work. No money involved, I just wanted to help. I started with: “your site is bad, real bad. Let me show you why”. Honest, direct. I’m like that.

I thought it would have been a 2 minute meeting, with the guy screaming “how dare you?” while I was hurrying out of there. Well, it was a 2 hour meeting, and he decided to change the website completely. I’m not going to work with them (I know it would be hell) but I’m happy. I didn’t hide. I just value the fact you asked my opinion because you know I know more than you. And here you have it. Do not hide, show up.

What a pathetic string of words.

…that you say when you want to save your ass. You really think it’s better to make stuff up rather than say “I fucked up, I’m going to solve this for free”? Let alone for a minute the business point of view. As human being, are you happy to be so pathetic? Disclaimer: I’m going to fuck stuff up many times again in my life. Thanks to this, I travelled around the world, meeting amazing people, consolidating my friendships with a lot of people. That’s why I’m saying it’s important to find people to work with who are on the same page as you. It helps, not being pathetic.

Take what you want, what you deserve. Yes. Yes of course. This is going to hurt.

I wanted something. I knew I deserved something. And it did hurt, at least in the beginning. Some of my clients didn’t understand me. Some of them even cursed my transparency. In the long run, though, you.re stronger and you’ll understand that it was the right choice. Relationships aren’t easy. But being honest is always the way to go.

I don’t mind. I’m okay. Nothing ever stays the same.

I love my job. I really hope to keep doing it for a long, long time. I’m okay, I’m helping a lot of websites with what I know. I know some amazing SEOs who are helping and they are geniuses at what they do. I worked in Berlin and now in New Zealand as an SEO. I have people who trust me and what I can do for them. Things keep changing and I’ll change with them. I’ll love putting my knowledge at the service of something really cool in the future as much as I’m doing right now. I’m okay because I love to help. That’s it. How can I help you?

Black noise.

WOW. What a stream of consciousness. Hope you enjoyed it. Now you know a bit more about me. If I wasted your time, I’m sorry. If you ever come to Auckland, I’ll offer you a beer, a kiwi beer (keep it local). If I left you with something, I’m honoured. Thanks for celebrating my third SEO anniversary with me.

Posted in SEO

7 thoughts on “HESITATION SEO: THREE YEARS AS SEO.

  1. Terry Van Horne says:

    “Be transparent and straight to the point in the relationship with your client.” Used to believe that until you start telling them the truth…like… no one can rank this site first… it does not deserve to be first in fact it doesn’t deserve to be on the first page because you are just like 100 other widget sites selling the same widgets… you deserve to be first when you are as good as them or you find your USP and leverage that to get onto the first page by providing a USP worthy of being on the first page

    • Thanks Terry. Yes, I agree with you. I mean, there is so much shit around that I sometimes I needed to say ‘no’ just because the website asking for help wasn’t good enough to be something excited to work on. Rather than the website, I think that people behind that website are the major point for me to decide if I want to work on something or not.
      As I said, it’s becoming extremely important for me to find someone who wants to risk , who likes to do cool stuff just because it’s cool, to experiment and try without too many “if”.

    • Hey Alessio.

      Thank you Bro!

      Too many regurgitated posts out there that mean nothing and do little for the conscious mind.

      A little bit of humility and realism goes a long way in my mind.

      Too many people want to try and get “famous” or put up barriers and pretend to know more than they do.

      Loved the thought process buddy, keep learning and keep sharing and thanks for contributing!

  2. “You really think it’s better to make stuff up rather than say “I fucked up, I’m going to solve this for free”? Let alone for a minute the business point of view. As human being, are you happy to be so pathetic? Disclaimer: I’m going to fuck stuff up many times again in my life.”

    This is what too many are missing. There’s an amazing amount of people that stunt in this community, and defend the perception of their expertise at all costs. But many times, that cost is their integrity, and at that point you’ve lost the only thing that matters.

    • Here Here!

      Putting their own interest fists and not the interest of the business. People need to stop thinking short term, think about strategic partnerships and delivering real results as opposed to “oh look, we went up one position this month”.

      Take the pain, learn with the business and make a difference.

      You loose your values and integrity and chase short term, may as well close the door and put off the lights!

      Good to see ya here Ryan!

    • Thanks Ryan for stopping by and the comment.

      I know that saying ‘ I fucked up’ is one of the most difficult thing to say but at the same time the outcome of reactions teaches you a lot about human beings and how to be a better person

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