By portentint | April 26, 2010
I’ve gone to my share of conferences. I’ve spoken at some, listened at others.
And with a few notable exceptions, at least one goober gets up on stage and says things about SEO that make me cringe. Examples from the last year include:
The happily clueless
Some idiots will just spout totally incorrect stuff with a smile on their faces:
“Make sure you optimize your keywords meta tag. It’s a critical way to tell searches how to rank you.”
- unnamed moron who couldn’t even say ‘search engines’ apparently.
“Semantic SEO is when you put more keywords on the page.”
- Wow, really? So I’ve been doing your cutting-edge new form of SEO for years? OMG WHO KNEW I WAS SUCH A F–KING GENIUS!???
“Put text into your images. It helps them rank for blended search.”
- I couldn’t comment. I’d swallowed my tongue.
“rel=canonical is a great solution if you have multiple sites with the same content.”
“Use the rel=cannon tag and you should be fine.”
- If we’d all been drinking, I could forgive this one. But we were all cold sober. And this, er, guru was dead-serious.
“252 links is what you need to rank #1 on Google.”
- Saw this in a conference video. I had to be physically restrained from punching my monitor in an effort to make. the. pain. go. away.
If you hear stuff like this, don’t be polite and sit through the presentation. Don’t make a scene. Stand up and quietly walk out. Otherwise your IQ may shrink as you stand there.
The endless pitch
Then there’s the ‘expert’ who marches up onto the podium for their allotted 10 minute presentation, proceeds to take 20 minutes and does nothing but tell you how they are God’s gift to SEO, their company has had amazing successes, etc. etc.. Half the time this turd and half their clients are either banned by a major search engine or are spouting total, 100% pure bullshit.
By the time they’re done, the rest of the panel wants to kill them, the room has emptied, and all life has been sucked from the presentation.
The only way this guy lands any clients from his 20-minute sales call? If someone in the audience is recovering from a recent head injury.
The SEO naysayer
Want links to your blog? Give a keynote or presentation that says SEO is bullshit! Sure, everyone will hate you, and you may get curb-stomped on the way home, but at least you’ll be remembered.
Hey, didn’t you give that presentation before? TEN TIMES BEFORE?
Don’t be a total shit-for-brains. People are paying to come to this conference. They expect to learn something, not get a ‘refresher’.
The buzzword bullshitter
And finally, my favorite: The person who gets up on stage and recites every hot SEO term, seemingly in order. Something like “LSI 3.0 semantic space optimization methodology has really worked well for our clients”.
I’ve been guilty of this myself. Sometimes, you get up there, someone sticks a mic in your face, the lights are burning into your retinas and RIGHT THEN your mind goes utterly blank.
I can only apologize and say that I later burn myself with the hotel iron as penance.
What’s to be done?
I don’t know, actually. The world is full of people who spout off about things they don’t know, or think they’re the greatest ever in their field. Personally, I have an ego with the consistency of damp lint and very little patience for people who, by pretending they’re qualified, give other business people bad advice.
For now, the occasional rant will have to do.