Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Just Admit It - Bad SEO Clients Buy Links

This conversation is partially accurate (inflated for humorous purposes)
Sample bad SEO client conversation:
SEO: You bought links, right?
CLIENT: Well, we didn’t buy links – we paid an agency and they bought links… for us.
SEO: So, then, you bought links.
CLIENT: (Indignantly) I wouldn’t say that.
SEO: (Sigh) So, what would you say happened, then?
CLIENT: I already told you – we hired an agency who may have bought links and had them pointed at our site.
SEO: So then, there are links out there that point to your site that someone paid for, right?
CLIENT: Well… we didn’t tell them to buy links for us…
SEO: Right… but there are links out there on the internet that point to your site, right?
CLIENT: Right.
SEO: And some of them you earned organically, right?
CLIENT: Right.
SEO: And the others were paid for… by someone… and those paid-for links point back to your site, right?
CLIENT: Well… I don’t know if that’s accurate…
SEO (violently hits the mute button on the Polycom): “Motherfucker, you bought links! You fucked your own site, you asshole! Just admit it!” Then the SEO looks down to see that the he missed the mute button – the client heard everything. A brief moment of panic fills his bugged-out eyes while he stares at the Polycom, begging for the light to magically turn red from green… five seconds ago. While that doesn’t happen, a very uncomfortable silence fills the room. Just before the SEO has a chance to apologize, the Client speaks up.
CLIENT: “Well, okay, I guess so. But I don’t think you need to-“
SEO: “Look, I’m sorry – it’s not you. It’s just that we deal with this all the time and no one wants to admit that they bought links or had someone else buy links for them… that and I totally missed the mute button before I cussed you out. So sorry about that… but can we move forward now? Now that we all know you bought links?”

Buying links is like watching porn

I heard a comedian a long time ago – back in the days of the 976-numbers when you could call a 976 number and get charged a few bucks to hear a sexy-voiced woman (who probably looked like a wildebeest with stubble) pretend to pleasure herself to your nerdy, pathetic, nasally-voice on the phone. The comedian had the crowd going. He was on a roll, until he mentioned something to do with how everyone watches porn… and the crowd went silent, aside from a couple of golf claps and polite, laugh-like murmurs. The comedian stared down the crowd kind of angrily, and said, “Oh… right… no one else here watches porn. It’s a 10-billion dollar-a-year industry and every year I get a bill for 10-billion dollars. Fuck you people.”

Buying links is kinda like that. Just admit you did it if you did it. It’s not like you did anything uniquely wrong. Wrong, sure – but not uniquely wrong. Doing something uniquely wrong is like what the Manson Family did. Buying links, aside from being like watching porn, is also akin to professional athletes doing steroids and popping HGH pills like peanut M&Ms. You all do it; you’re all breaking the rules; you all got caught – just move on and fix the problem, already.

We see tons of clients with absolutely wretched content, let alone overall subject matter that no one would ever willingly seek out, yet they have been ranking at the top of Google for, like, ten years for all kinds of (largely-irrelevant) keyword phrases that they clearly paid for. They come to us after getting knocked in the dirt by Penguin… then they have the nerve to try to tell us they never bought any links. Here’s another analogy to help you understand how ridiculous you sound when you deny that you bought links:

500-LB PATIENT: “Doctor, I’m feeling faint, my left arm is numb and my chest feels like there’s a Buick parked on top of it. What’s wrong?”
DOCTOR: “Your symptoms sound like a heart attack. How are your eating habits? Do you exercise?”  
500-LB PATIENT: “I jog 5 miles a day and I eat exclusively lean, white-meat chicken with green leafy vegetables daily for every meal.”
DOCTOR: “Yeah… you need open-heart surgery, fatass… and put down that fucking donut when you talk to me.”

You bought links, asshole. Just admit it - you're the perfect example of a bad SEO client.

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