Why Does SEO Have A Bad Reputation?

Why Does SEO Have A Bad Reputation?

Why Does SEO Have A Bad Reputation?

Episode 033

This week’s episode is dedicated to a single listener’s question – “why does SEO have a bad reputation?”.

We discuss why this is the case with SOME people and look at it from a few different angles. We also tie the discussion for some reason into the  terrible TV show Byron Baes.

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Unknown Speaker  0:02
It’s time for the SEO show where a couple of nerds talk search engine optimization, so you can learn to compete in Google and grow your business online. Now, here’s your hosts, Michael and Arthur.

Michael  0:24
Well, hello, and welcome to another episode of the SEO show. After shaking his head, he doesn’t like my well.

Arthur  0:31
You need to work on your interview skills.

Michael  0:34
I thought I was by doing it a little bit differently. Yeah, but

Arthur  0:36
different doesn’t necessarily mean better.

Michael  0:39
I never got where I’m AB testing them, just seeing what the response is like, and then I’ll favour the windows virus. My response. So the listeners response, all of our adoring fans that write in tell us about our injuries? You know, the ones right? All three of them? Pretty much. Yeah, well, look. Hey, that’s a pretty good little segue. Because see, I was just dodgy then saying all our adoring fans that write in when, in reality, fans don’t really write in. I’m talking a bit. And it’s a bit like the topic of this show today. Because someone Brian asked, Why does the SEO industry have a bad reputation? And they have a bad reputation? Because there’s constantly people making stuff up? Like I just did pretty much as an SEO,

Arthur  1:23
you shouldn’t be doing that. No. Well, I

Michael  1:25
don’t as an SEO, I don’t. But as a co host of the SEO show, trying to work desperately on my injuries. I do a little bit. But yes, yes, your industry does have a bit of a bad reputation, we would have normally done this in one of our q&a episodes. But we felt we could do a whole episode on this one question from Brian. So Brian, you’re getting a whole episode dedicated to you today, which is pretty cool. Lucky, Brian, very lucky. And I do agree that the SEO industry does have a bad reputation. It’s annoying, because I’m What’s annoying as an agency. And you know, it’s something I’ve worked in since like, the late 22,000. so late 2000s. I’ve been doing SEO since. So seeing it go through, you know, being this new thing. And then like a big gold rush, and then just lots of dodgy operators coming in that have no idea what they’re doing ripping people off. Yeah, causing us to be thrown in with, you know, car salespeople and real estate agents of like, dodgy operators in some people’s opinions is annoying. And it comes down to two things really. There’s a lot of incompetent people in the SEO world isn’t there there is. There’s also a lot of clients engaging with SEO in the totally wrong way. Very true. With those powers combined, it leads to a bad reputation for the industry for some people, you know, other people that have really grown their business and had huge success. Don’t think that FDA has a bad reputation. But you know, when you have a bad experience, that’s gonna cloud your thinking.

Arthur  2:55
Yeah. And like you said, it’s unfortunate for people like us who I think we’re good SEO is so being kind of pigeon holed based on someone else’s bad experience with a dodgy SEO is frustrating. And often you have to, I guess, regain someone’s trust. So if a client’s had a bad experience, it’s basically guilty until proven innocent, but a lot of the time

Michael  3:15
hmm, yeah. So we thought it’d be cool to chat about why SEO world has a bad industry, bad industry bad reputation. And in the planning for the the episode, I thought we could break it down into the industry, the agency and the client. And those three things and how they you’ve prepared I have prepared for once. I’m going to start with a little story here. Okay. i My wife was watching some absolute trash the other night show could Byron Bay’s. Okay, then if you heard of it, you have because I was telling you about it. Don’t Don’t pin it on your wife. You’re watching it. No, I will. I came in. I’m like, You know what, I’ll give this a go. I tried to watch it. And I had to leave couldn’t stand it. But something about it really annoyed me something in it. They’re introducing all the people and stuff and it flashes up on the bottom of the screen with their name and what they do, like the title, job title. Yeah. And one of them flashed out with like, Johnny or whatever his name was, yeah, beneath it. Digital Marketer, okay. And like, they’re just, he’s not a digital marketer, this guy, he wouldn’t know his canonical tags from his robots dot txt file. He wouldn’t, but he’s out there like this is I’m going to get to my point in a minute. Sounds like a random hate. He’s done. He’s done Digital Marketer out there. His job title, he definitely isn’t working digital marketing. Okay. But that’s sort of the state of things at the moment. There’s just so many people piling in to this world because it’s a growing industry. It’s booming, like, clients are getting results in some cases. Yeah, there’s all these gurus out there telling them they can go start a business in digital marketing and just kill it. It’s like it’s almost like people on Instagram saying they’re an entrepreneur when you don’t really know what they do. So um, the industry itself, you don’t need qualifications. So what made Gianni not a digital marketer and you’re just just, I could see he wasn’t just the look of him just the look of him. 30 seconds of watching him on the screen. Okay. You know what, I’m probably wrong, I’ll get his name not even Johnny. I can’t remember what it was. But

Arthur  5:17
I guarantee you’re gonna make is there’s a lot of people out there claiming to be digital marketing experts, when really they don’t know what they’re talking about trying to get as many clients sign as many people as they can correct scammed them to a degree and build a business out of it.

Michael  5:31
Yeah. I don’t even necessarily think a lot of them are actively scamming. I think. I just think they like the idea of being in business and stuff. But they don’t come from a nerdy, technical digital marketing background.

Arthur  5:45
So they’re not so they’re not selling marketing courses. They’re just digital marketers.

Michael  5:49
You will there’s there’s the Yep. I don’t know what he thinks he does.

Arthur  5:53
Because there are those people out there that are selling courses. Yeah, the gurus, gurus, you know, drop shipping, digital marketing that they’re scammers in my eyes.

Michael  6:02
Well, if there’s one thing more incompetent than a dodgy Digital Marketer, a drop shipper, that’s an online course guru selling the dream. They didn’t, why are they spending all their time selling courses on how to do digital marketing make all this money rather than just doing that themselves? Because actually, they’re preying on these, those are creating more competition for themselves. Yeah, cuz they’re not actually doing the stuff they’re teaching. Exactly. But they’re also preying on people that want to very quickly and easily go create this business and make all this money without actually thinking about the product or service they deliver in the clients that they look after. Yeah, the dodgy digital marketers. So there’s a lot of this stuff and there’s no qualifications needed knows that IT certifications or industry, body memberships or regulatory oversight in the industry. And so anyone can just rock up and say that they’re a digital marketer, like some bloke off Byron Bay’s, and start taking money off people got to watch the show tonight. Don’t don’t do it to yourself. But I’m like, everyone sort of knows there’s a bit of a gold rush, as we’re saying in this space at the moment. So how do you how do you address that? Well, it’s I’m really researching who you work with. Right? I think so. Look at my background. I feel like we’ve had an episode that kind of talks to you every day like dodgy dodgy sales tactics. So

Arthur  7:20
I think yeah, having a look at the agency and having a look at the team, how long they’ve been around. Have a look on LinkedIn and like have a look at the SER chops. Yeah, basically have a look through the team and their pedigree. Their pedigree. Hmm.

Michael  7:36
I like that. Yep. Yeah. So I

Arthur  7:38
guess have a look at the experience. How long have you know, the person you’re dealing with? If you’re dealing with SEO? Specialist? How long have they been in a car? You know, how they’ve been doing it for a year, and they’re a specialist already? Had they been doing it for, you know, six years? You know, someone that’s been doing it for six years is going to be a lot more knowledgeable and have a lot more experience than someone that’s just claimed to be a specialist and yep, you know,

Michael  8:00
yeah. Do the people that run the place have a background in doing this stuff? Or are they just people that have started a business after doing a YouTube course? Yeah. And are now selling services that they thoroughly incapable of delivering out of it?

Arthur  8:13
It’s not to say that someone if someone’s been doing it for a long time that they’re good. But, you know, you think that over the years there would have picked up enough experience to know a thing or two about digital marketing?

Michael  8:24
Yeah. And like, let’s say with your accountant, would you go give it to someone that has just done a YouTube? What some YouTube videos and throwing up a website saying differences. accountants have certification? I know that but like that aside, yeah, you would want to be, you’d want to see that they’ve actually worked as an accountant before and know what they’re doing. Yeah, they’re not just someone

Arthur  8:45
that a lot of dodgy tax accountants out there. Very similar.

Michael  8:49
Probably isn’t because of regulation, as he said. But if like maybe bookkeepers, yes, anyone can say their bookkeeper and do it. And I believe anyway, and you’re gonna have varying degrees of quality. But look, that’s the first pillar of why the SEO world can have a bad reputation with some people that have a bad experience. Because as we said, not everyone has a bad experience. That’s the clients love SEO. So that side of things, the dodgy side of, you know, training courses, no qualifications needed will lead to dodgy agencies, as you said, people with no experience selling services to anyone. The other thing is, some agencies will offer a prescription without diagnosis. I love that line.

Arthur  9:35
I like a two sword here in the notes. It stands out.

Michael  9:37
It does stand out. So it’s like description without diagnosis. Yeah, so you call up. I need some SEO package. 500 bucks a month. I’m

Arthur  9:45
gonna package it out hearing out your actual problem. Yeah, yeah. It’s like a doctor saying, Yep, I’m gonna prescribe antibiotics without even knowing that you know, you need them.

Michael  9:54
Yes. So there’s that going on a lot. The other thing is some services out They’re just charging too little SEO slow and expensive kind of Skype that we’ve spoken about that before. So if they’re charging too little, they’re going to ultimately deliver a bad service, then the person on the other end of it is going to think SEO is dodgy. And then SEO is gonna have a bad reputation. I would say services run by salespeople, not nerds. In the SEO world, like some person that’s come from not in the industry and just started a business and is selling it all and doesn’t, isn’t weird in that they like to build websites and like building do content and all that stuff that SEO people do, probably not going to be the best experience in terms of what they deliver their clients,

Arthur  10:42
if the salesperson is the person that’s actually doing the digital marketing is that we’re saying? Yeah, if the salesperson is the one driving the business, or if the business is just very sales driven, like not to say that that’s wrong, but if you can kind of get the sense that the will like, I’d like to think windows at heart, and we kind of portray that with our website and our branding and guess the way we operate, but there’s agencies out there, which just seem like they’re more of a Sales Machine. And you can just kind of tell by looking at their site, and the fact that they’re just, you know, constantly pushing, you know, when trying

Michael  11:13
to say, yeah, 100% and I reckon most clients should be able to pick up on that. That’s the thing.

Arthur  11:17
I was thinking about it and it is kind of hard for me to put on, you know, client call it goggles for lack of better words. Yeah. But um, I can see through the bullshit. Yeah, it’s because I’ve been doing it for a long time. But if you’re a client, and you’re saying that sort of his messaging and sales tactics and promises and guarantees, and I can see why it is appealing,

Michael  11:40
yeah, yeah. Well, a guarantee of all the the results and, you know, that’s a red flag will work for free. If we don’t get results, we don’t get paid all that stuff. Totally appealing, but usually not true.

Arthur  11:54
I find nothing. I’m a salesperson. But you know, I clients do ask, Do you have any guarantees? You know, if I sign with SEO, can you guarantee me position one in three months? The answer is no. Because, you know, no one can guarantee that if they are, they’re lying. Yeah. And if the if they’re doing guarantees, they’re often, you know, picking cherry picking keywords that have no search volume, they’re not going to drive traffic, but they know they can rank Yeah, very quickly. So on paper, you might see a list of 20 keywords, ranking first, they’ll take that off, but they don’t have any volume or traffic, or relevance and achieving

Michael  12:28
any business outcome for you. Yeah.

Arthur  12:31
So you know, it’s a scam. It’s, you know, misleading to the client. They’re probably thinking, Well, look, I’ve got all these position one keywords, the reality, it’s not doing anything. Hmm.

Michael  12:43
Well, maybe this is a good segue to talk about the third pillar of this, which is clients contributing to why FCA has a dodgy reputation in some parts, because you just said there. What do you say clients wanting guarantees and stuff? And, yeah, the rest of it, you know, if a client doesn’t understand what they’re buying, and then they get angry about it, I see that happen a lot. Like they’ll, they’ll think they want SEO or need SEO, when really they need Google ads or something like that, because they’re going for quick results. Yes. But they want to buy SEO and a dodgy SEO agency says, yep, we’ll sell you. Yep. If they’re back then gonna blame SEO when it takes months and months and months to get results for the agency and swear it offsets dodgy.

Arthur  13:25
And it look, it’s happening a lot. Yeah. And that goes back to what I said earlier, then you’d basically go to until proven innocent, working hard to try to convince the client or whoever you’re working with that it does work that it is, you know, a great channel for, you know, driving revenue or whatever your goals are. But they have this tainted, you know, picture of SEO. And it’s just so hard to you know, bring them back. Yeah, I guess for lack of better words.

Michael  13:52
No, that’s exactly what it is, you got to sort of build up that trust, again, that was lost with energy engagement. And

Arthur  13:59
that could also lead to a bad I guess, relationship with the client. Because if they’re, they don’t trust you, then they’re going to be hitting you up a lot. And you’ll, you’ll get a feel for that. You know what I mean? You know, that they don’t trust you. And it can be frustrating for the person on the other end. Because they’re dealing with this client that’s constantly unhappy. You’re trying to, you know, explain everything trying to, you know, I guess educate them along the way. But they still have this perception of ESEA. It’s a scam or whatever. Yeah. So it can lead to, I guess, having communication issues with the client and just an unpleasant experience for both parties.

Michael  14:32
Yep. On the client side, as well, I would say, unrealistic expectations, and to compress timeframes, like, you know, just need it quickly. And I need amazing results, and I need to be spending 500 bucks a month to get

Arthur  14:47
it. Yeah, I think the worst thing is when you do tell a client, it’s going to be X amount of time. And they say yep, yep, you know, understand that then when you send them the first report, and they don’t see what you know, they’ve set this benchmark in their mind. And no matter what you say, no matter how much you try to steer them in the right direction, they’ve got this benchmark in their mind. So although they say, Yeah, I understand that six months, they’re going to be disappointed after a month long. Yeah, they’ve already kind of, you know, set those benchmarks.

Michael  15:13
So, it really, SEO works where they’ve a fit between a skilled practitioner that knows what they’re doing, with a strategy that’s customised to the customer, a customer with a realistic investment and a realistic timeframe that understands what they’re actually buying. Yes. And then the ultimately, the product or service that’s been promoted, has a chance of generating enough sales to generate a return to recover that investment. Yeah, all those things need to be in balance, for the engagement to be right. And if things are out of balance there, it often will lead to a bad engagement. Yep. So um, then again, the same as you know, used car dealers, they have a bad reputation, but there’s plenty of really good one. Yeah, real estate agents have a bad reputation talked about reviews, in this episode. Know, what sense? Well, I

Arthur  16:03
mean, that’s another thing to look at. I mean, when you’re looking and you’re doing your research on the people at agency, have a look at the agency and see what sort of reviews they have. The only thing I would say and that just Yeah, well, that’d be fake. Yeah. Oh, yes. Yeah,

Michael  16:16
you got to do your research, like usual. But um, review, that can be a fact a part of why the industry has a bad reputation, in fact, because the fake review, yeah, like a dodgy operation will actively manipulate their reviews to make them look better than what the real customers are saying, Keep winning business and then rip off more people. And it happens a lot.

Arthur  16:36
Yeah, you could try dig a little bit deeper than just Google reviews. I remember Whirlpool, was a good source of, you know, getting legitimate feedback from people that I’ve actually dealt with. Yeah. Bad agencies and those massive threads. Yeah. Back in the day. Yeah. I don’t know if there still is. I think there there would be I haven’t checked in a long time. But yeah, do your research, you know? Yeah. See what other people are saying. If they’re a big agency, then there’s probably some sort of chatter about them online.

Michael  17:03
Yeah. Like if they’ve been around for years and years and years. And that’s a good sign. That’s

Arthur  17:07
a good sign itself.

Michael  17:09
That would be the one thing like if there’s a lot of like, Johnny Come Lately, as they say, In this world, that pop up for a while and then disappear, or they get a new name from looks at that. I guess we’re not trying to with this episode necessarily teach you what to look out for. In terms of qualifying these agencies. It’s just more about this question that was sent in by Brian where he says, Why does the FCRA industry have a bad reputation? I feel it only does with I guess, people that have engaged the wrong sort of agency or gone into the wrong expectations, the ones where everything is in alignment. Generally, we’ll have a good experience. And SEO is a massive channel for those types of businesses for a lot of businesses. So yeah, we thought this warranted, it’s an episode. We have touched on all of these types of things in previous episodes. But in a rapid fire way, we wanted to answer that question today for Brian, and get on our soapbox. A bit like at the start and let you all know not to watch Byron Bay’s whatever you do, I’m gonna watch it tonight. Maybe not tonight, but this weekend. You got to watch the Broncos tonight. Is that tonight? It’s Friday. Yeah. So watch that and then see how you go with Byron Bay’s? I don’t I don’t think you’ll get through it.

Arthur  18:24
I’ll give it a crack. I want to say this journey guy now. All this digital marketer.

Michael  18:29
Yeah, I forget his name is a blonde dude. So you’ll see it’s what the first step was 10 minutes into the first episode. He’s not a digital marketer. Oh, yeah, he’s not really might be. Every set. I’ll give it

Arthur  18:43
a little bit more than 10 minutes and I’ll give you my feedback.

Michael  18:47
All right. Well, I’m glad you’ve got your night sorted. But to everyone listening. Thank you for tuning in. We’ll be back next week with another episode of the SEO show. In the meantime, happy SEO in say aye. Aye.

Unknown Speaker  19:00
Thanks for listening to the SEO show. If you like what you heard, don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. It will really help the show. We’ll see you in the next episode.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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Arthur Fabik


Michael Costin


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