A couple of weeks ago I wrote about “FUBAR SEO”—about the hacks who give SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a bad name by using ill-advised and stupid automated techniques designed to trick the search engines.

Good SEO, both on-page and off-page, as a technique of honest website marketing is completely appropriate, of course.

It’s one of the things we do—we just hate when it’s done badly, since it doesn’t serve the client, and it makes it harder on the rest of us, since horror stories seem to travel faster than the speed of light.

In that earlier post, I focused on articles that are software-generated rewrites of a genuine article, but that come out practically unreadable because software can’t get it right.

You wind up with sentences like: “Regardless of irrespective of whether you ought to achieve shoppers or improvise your place inside the current promote . . . .”

Articles filled with this garbage can achieve the primary goal, which is to get posted somewhere, with a link back to your site. Mr. SEO Whiz tells you “it’s the link that’s important, not the quality of the article, and search engines like sites with lots of other sites linking to them, so we’ll just focus on getting the links.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want links from that kind of article. The thoughtful and savvy customer I want probably isn’t going to click the link to my site after he reads trash like that.


Shortly after my rant on all that, I came across a situation where a major, national player in the SEO space, working with a local, highly-respected business, created a bunch of junk articles like that, and got them posted on a porn site.

The owner was outraged when he found out, but getting rid of stuff like that isn’t the easiest thing in the world, especially without cooperation from the people who put it out there—and now he has to explain, if he ever gets the chance, why it is that he’s associated himself with a pornography merchant.


Some years back the diamond industry ran a campaign advising shoppers: “If you don’t know your diamonds, know your jeweler.”

The same thing applies here. Know who you’re doing business with. Check citations and memberships on the web. Ask for references, and check them.

As I said in the earlier post, we really are trying to distance ourselves from the term “SEO.”

Yes, much of what we do helps websites get more visibility and better rankings, but I’m so tired of the way that most of the hacks are ruining SEO that I don’t want to play there any more.

The best way to do that, since getting more visibility and better rankings is an important and valuable strategy in doing website marketing and building a powerful, profitable website, would be to change the game, or at least change the language.

Like mechanics and servicemen became technicians, or like “salesman” became “sales executive.”

Anyone have an idea?

How do we tell people that we get websites to be more visible, get more traffic, and most importantly, make more money, without saying “SEO?” And also without making it sound like we’re website designers.

If you were looking to engage someone to help your website get higher rankings in the search engines for meaningful keywords that lead to purchases, what language would you want to hear? What words would persuade you that you were talking to the right guy?

Thanks for listening!