People who work in Search Engine Optimisation have a mixed reputation. Some people think of them as masters of a mysterious art form while others think of them as shysters who fleece money from businesses with no guarantee of being able to give them anything in return.
Whatever your viewpoint, getting your website to the top of search engine results is hugely important and there’s little chance of SEOs disappearing any time soon. The question is, what does that ‘mysterious art form’ involve?
Well, one part of it would appear to be asking for help on public forums. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that… unless you get caught by your client.
A thread on the Google Webmaster Help forum has raised a few laughs today. It begins with an SEO named ‘Gary’ asking for help with DIY Doctor, a site he is working on which has dropped in Page Rank recently. Quite a few helpful suggestions are posted in reply… and then the clanger:
“Gary, this is Mike Edwards, the MD of DIY Doctor. Your company have just given me a price of £2500 – £5000 to give me a report which you have obtained from a forum which we use anyway. Not only that but you have asked for that kind of money to look at a problem you do not think you can solve.
From where I stand this is pretty despicable behavior and not what I would expect from a “professional” SEO company.”
To be fair to people working in SEO, the mysterious, ever-changing inner-workings of Google are difficult to navigate and sharing information is often the best way to tackle a problem. Still, the moral of this story is this: if you’re charging for work and need help it pays to use a little discretion!