The SEO Reputation Problem: Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2007

Aug 23, 2007 | 2,546 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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SEO is a four-letter word to some people that stands for snake-oil salesmen and blog spammers. Yet SEOs are also highly in demand and plenty help website generate traffic that converts. This session looks at SEO's reputation problem and explores possible solutions.


  • Jeffrey K. Rohrs, VP, Agency & Search Marketing, ExactTarget


  • Shari Thurow, Founder & SEO, Omni Marketing Interactive
  • Kristopher B. Jones, President & CEO, Pepperjam
  • Jennifer Laycock, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Guide
  • Jonathan Hochman, Founder/President, Hochman Consultants
  • Kathleen Fealy, Education Chairman, SEMPO

Omni Marketing Interactive's Shari Thurow is first to speak. Shari shares about a personal tale when she was once named a MSN search champ and someone said in her blog that she was a spammer. Now, the concerned blogger did not even let Shari leave a post on the blog. She says that within the academic community its hard to explain you are not the plague. This means a whole lot of information is required to inform everyone -be it librarians, school kids, professionals the difference between good and bad search.

Next up is Kristopher B. Jones of Pepperjam. Kristopher feels that the crux of this debate lies in Q & A while also he maintains that this is an important issue.

Sadly, SEO personnel have a part of the profession that seems to speak for the rest. This leads to illogical conclusions and puts business personnel in the position to justify themselves. When a customer approaches Kristopher's company, he suggests an integrated approach to look for where possibilities are. Be wary of the small portion of SEO personnel who will offer you guarantees. Kristopher runs a quick search on "guaranteed search engine placement" and a big list of results pop up. Important thing is to convey to your client realistic expectations. Else, the customer will have unrealistic expectations.

Next to speak is Jonathan Hochman of Hochman Consultants. Johnathan opens eBay and tries to sell Wikipedia home page placement and links. People who do this are called frauds. This ruins your reputation. Of late, everyone is spamming Wikipedia. SEO contests equals public nuisance. This kills the image of SEO fraternity. According to Johnathan, Wiki adopted a noFollow policy as too many SEO contests were going on. After this they removed link juice and SEO bloggers cried foul.

Johnathan says 'netiquette' does not exist anymore. You should involve yourself with communities and cal out spammers.

Next is Kathleen Fealy of SEMPO. Kathleen states that many small-sized businesses are requesting services for under $5,000.

How does one know whether they are hiring someone qualified? After all, when you visit a doctor, there are diplomas on the wall. But most SEOs learnt through experience and worked their way up. How does one know if the SEO you are hiring has a good track record.

Small businesses are the most popular victims of malice and scams as they are suckers for “too good to be true” offers. Nothing like a “free lunch” exists but businesses don't always know better.

A little knowledge can be dangerous:

  • Web designers don’t know how to design for the search engines.
  • Traditional print/PR firms add the service because their clients asked for it and they have experts in Photoshop on staff.
  • Marketing professionals figure how hard can it be.
  • When a bonafide SEO professional tells them that it has to be done again, the client returns to the first provider who tells him that SEO is wrong.

Kathleen believes that authentic SEO professionals should turn evangelists.

  • Explain what needs to be done.
  • Write articles
  • Speak to organizations
  • Join Professional organizations
  • Don't forget ethics
  • Educate businesses.

Lastly its Search Engine Guide's Jennifer Laycock who throws some light on social media from the perspective of a user. People of similar passions from all over the world can connect and create a community. Those in marketing feel social media is a one stop extravaganza.

Jennifer feels that we dont care for the folks in the community all we care about is how to sell them something. As a fan of Bento Yum, Jenn started a hobby blog about the food. She collaborated with SAHM and together they had a lot of information. However, Jenn did not sell. Her competitor saw the blog and called her a spammer. And that is how her reputation came to be for a while.


4.thumbnail The SEO Reputation Problem: Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2007

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail The SEO Reputation Problem: Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2007
4.thumbnail The SEO Reputation Problem: Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2007