Cowboy is a poor description...


..but web anarchist didn't seem right, either, hhh.

I've been struggling to name the current evolutionary stage for the web marketers who've been around long-term. As mentioned in another TW thread, quite a few of them are no longer (technically-speaking) blackhats --having found ways to make their wares at least passably palatable to their visitors and review editors.

One trait seems to run throughout; they do not accept the "rule of (marketing) law" being handed down to them from on-high.

If not cowboy, what?



Guerrilla marketers Search

  • Guerrilla marketers
  • Search opportunists
  • Underpanters?


What about wildcatter?


>businessmen? I hear you,


I hear you, cornwall, but they also tend to deride those who cry for paved streets, cubicles, time-clocks, and orderly/routine paychecks.

>Search opportunists

Yeah, a significant number are falling for the 'easy kill' and going PPC --which is opportunistic, true enough. (But not search to the purist. Well, OK, me.)

>Wildcatter? Hmmm, the term


Hmmm, the term has panache, yes. But it's even more obscure than cowboy for the EU types, I'll bet.

Nerds with Fiscal Responsibility


Search Illuminati?

Search Illuminati?

Old Hands

Old Hands as in "the Old Hands"

Operators (perhaps too vague)

Grizzled SEO's

Reformed Infoseek Spammers


Every time I notice I am a veteran of some tactic or counter tactic or survivor of an algo tweak I also discover what a newbie I am in some other area of SEO/SEM.

A veteran search marketer has been through a battle or two and survived. A seasoned veteran has still more experience.

MW says:

Text: having or showing exceptional knowledge, experience, or skill in a field of endeavor < a veteran teacher who is quick to help new teachers>

I like Maverick, but Wordnet pegs a maverick as :

someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action

which leaves the experience bit unchecked. MW thesaurus equates maverick to "nonconformist".


SEO2.0 hhhh

>But it's even more obscure

>But it's even more obscure than cowboy for the EU types, I'll bet.

We have oil over here too you know, hehehe



>Infoseek Your 'age' is


Your 'age' is showing, Brad.

>We have oil over here too

>We have oil over here too you know, hehehe

Pffft. You wouldn't know a wildcatter if he bit you on the ass.

>SEO2.0 hhhh

Luckily for you I'm not an admin on this board.

>> Yeah, a significant

>> Yeah, a significant number are falling for the 'easy kill' and going PPC


(Easy kill my ass.)

>sharks Hey, that -or some


Hey, that -or some derivative- has possibilities. It won't top "affiliate crack" in brandability, but I do like the possibilities of the blood-in-the-water metaphor .



My vote

Iconoclasts just to make it sound really wanky ;O) Quite like sharks tho ...

>wanky chris, it don't get


chris, it don't get much wankier hehe...

I like the blood in the water thing aswell, but then we're just going to upset danny with that one, the poor lamb's been trying to balance the bad rep seo has for what seems like forever heh..

ok, danny can be "search

ok, danny can be "search lamb" hhh.

"veteran search shark" gets right to it, doesn't it? we'll have to try it out.

I like sharks too, but

I like sharks too, but you'll have to fight the journalists for the use of that moniker. (Those poor journo's.) hhh

Great White metaphor doesn't

Great White metaphor doesn't seem to work out, hhh.

Orca? (Smarter than sharks

Orca? (Smarter than sharks and have a better reputation.)

shit no! i'll just think of

shit no! i'll just think of "free willy" evertime i see it!


does not roll off your tongue

"shark" gets straight to the point and rolls off your tongue easier than "veteran search shark" what is a bit of a mouthful. Seeing as the web uses abrevations it could just be "VS"

yeah, it's too long --we'll

yeah, it's too long --we'll soon cut it down or abandon it. still better than cowboy, though.

>search lamb

Bwwwwwaaahahahaha! Makes me laugh, danny won't be happy though. There go our comps to SES, Nick.

It's a very endearing term

It's a very endearing term in uk english, honest guv...

Just ideas

Ruth Ann likes "The Rat Pack"

I'm leaning toward " Ex Friends of Janet Berg Society"

serial opportunists

As in a few years most people here won't be doing this, they will have retired or moved on to the "next thing"

>won't be doing this True,

>won't be doing this

True, search will have changed, perhaps taken almost entirely inside a huge walled garden. (So huge and convenient that most will never see, or even look for, the walls.) But that's a meaty topic for another thread, eh?

there you go


I read ...

I read this the other night: SERP perps

Perhaps not the right tone, though.

I immediately thought of a

I immediately thought of a historical term that seemed appropriate:

Privateers were the name given to privately owned warships (most often Pirates) that agreed to serve almost as respectable members of Elizabethan forces. They were independant, taking no orders, but literally given license to do whatever they would to the enemies of the realm. Although the privateers who practiced piracy are the ones famed, the main point was the independance. There was nothing to prevent a Privateer from being strictly legit, but many naturally went where the plunder was richest.

The Privateer was the ultimate in assessing risk versus reward, plunder versus retribution, and steering thier own course largely ignoring the muddy politics and rules of the day.

Perfect, Ammon. I'm going

Perfect, Ammon. I'm going with Privateers.

Affiliate mercenaries?

Looking at a competitive two word phrase today...perhaps
Affiliate merceneries?

Pro traffic drivers.
Legendary SEO desparados.
Boat drink marketers.


Since I was the one slighted by the implication that I was a cowboy, I thought that this needed more thought. "Cowboy" has nasty British overtones of "cowboy builder" rather than the etherial American dream, as aspired to by the "Marlboro cowboy" - the marketing aspects of whom, I suspect, I know more about than anyone reading this board.

There are few words in the English language that sum up what we mean to imply. You were unhappy with businessman, I suspect because you want to retain a slightly "raffish" element of "loveable rogue" to the job. Funnily enough gentleman has part of what you are looking for, and one of the dictionary definitions being " A man of independent means who does not need to have a wage-paying job." But perhaps readers of this board do not consider themselves "gentlemen"

As far as I can see, the combined wisdom of TW has not come up with the "right" word. However, where you have not explored is in literature. There is a wealth of slightly dodgey characters, wheeler dealers who usually come out on top, often taken from the NCO ranks, as they are not gentlemen enough to be officers, and have to fight to survive.

There are ones like Sgt Bilko (nah, not really), Yossarian, the wise-ass bombardier in Catch 22 who was too smart to die but not smart enough to find a way out of his predicament (name hardly rolls off the tongue), Klinger in Mash (hardly a figure, I aspire to being)

Then I thought of Blackadder, that slightly spivvy character, who fights those both above and below him, and usually manages to make out in the end. In one episode he lives in fear of "the red hot poker up the rectum", something that a well known search engine appears to enjoy threatening me with every few months.

Maybe someone can come up with a better fictional character?

>>better fictional

>>better fictional character



How about 'Rake'.

definition: An immoral or dissolute person; a libertine.
(it would make it easier for Dougie-boy to hate us, always an advantage;))

..and we are all raking it in, right?


...although I like "Privateers" - it works well.

We could take over that 'talk like a pirate day' as well.

Privateers is good. What

Privateers is good. What was that Errol Flynn movie: "The Sea Hawks"? And Danny will like it marginally better than "sharks". Freebooter, would also work, but privateer sounds better.

To stay in the wild west

To stay in the wild west terminology:

cowboys --> ranchers
frontiers --> settlers
gold diggers --> mining companies
bandits --> politicians

privateers is not bad though...

you missed... old timers -->

you missed...
old timers --> (One who has had long experience in a given activity or capacity) or ( An elderly person) take your pick :)

Old Timers makes me think of

Old Timers makes me think of fiddle and banjo, which I love

Veterans maybe, after all this game is warlike...

Old timers, Veterans, etc

Old timers, Veterans, etc are just too broad somehow. Rake was nice, good to hear an olde worlde term like that.

I'm trying to get at the core of what RC was after in his initial post:

I've been struggling to name the current evolutionary stage for the web marketers who've been around long-term. As mentioned in another TW thread, quite a few of them are no longer (technically-speaking) blackhats --having found ways to make their wares at least passably palatable to their visitors and review editors

The last sentance there is a key one, I feel, to what he's looking for a term for. Not just anyone who's been around a while and survived, e.g. Ballmer, Jobs, Gates. Not the ones who always had the budget to do it the old way mainly through PR, big ad budgets, and traditional marketing. Ex-blackhats, still-blackhats, and hardcore "explorers of the boundaries".

In that light, Privateer still seems like a very good fit.

Indeed, some of the engines do seem to have clearly offered us goodwill, and tolerance that we may spam the other engines as we please... so long as we know our sites will be sunk or hung if caught in the piracy of their own SERPs ;)

Looks like we have a winner

I agree with Black_Knight, put that way it does look like privateer is the way to go?

the cleaners


Theres a cooler word for

Theres a cooler word for privateer...


I like these as well...

Hacker boys
Aggressive seo

The only probelm with privateer is this, I feel like in order to give the word any justice I need to be holding a tea cup with my pinky sticking up in the air. :) It rolls off the tongue nicely though.

when people ask me..

I always say : Seasoned Seo


I like Privateer...or

I like Privateer...or Mercenary. I like Mercenary according to

Quote: that serves merely for wages; especially

I was actually referred to as a 'hired gun' by my boss at Nokia. Literally, she said "You're nothing but a hired gun and you'll do as I say."

So, I walked out.

Privateer moves to the top.

Privateer moves to the top. Some of my cohorts are (now) doing VERY legitimate, VERY ethical, VERY business-like online marketing campaigns that go above and beyond the old SEO. Also, a few of them are relatively new to the game and were just fast learners --but they were never part of the "old core." As mentioned above, the one universal trait is that they do not accept the rule of marketing law as dictated by others. This does not just apply to SE TOS but can run the gamut from aesthetics to usability.

Here in the States, some of our colonial privateers were or went on to be statesmen and leading citizens, so whether being a privateer equates to being a pirate seems to be in part a matter of semantics and in part which end of the gun barrel you were seeing --much like this industry.

When someone asks

I tell them that I am unemployed (well its true, I don't work for anyone).

When they ask where I get my money, I tell them I am Lucky...

If someone really pushes, I tell them I am an 'Underwear Cowboy' and that always stops the conversation in its tracks. hehehe

Note: I no longer only wear underwear to work. As soon as I hired a few people, it became 'uncomfortable' to work in just my Tighty Whiteys and Cowboy Boots...


so whether being a privateer equates to being a pirate seems to be in part a matter of semantics and in part which end of the gun barrel you were seeing --much like this industry.

How's the saying go...
"History is written by the winners?" ;)

Besides, privateers get

Besides, privateers get really intimidating headstones on their graves. We have one nearby... hoping to get Nick to add a photo soon.

>> became 'uncomfortable' to

>> became 'uncomfortable' to work in just my Tighty Whiteys and Cowboy Boots...

You don't look uncomfortable

How's the above for a grave,

How's the above for a grave, eh? Captain Burns of the Snap Dragon really knew how to go out in style. He had one of the cannons from his old ship mounted on the crypt. Love it!

Great picture. I'm still

Great picture.

I'm still favoring privateers, but I just thought "keyword smugglers" sounded nice and worth a mention.

God please, ANYTHING other

God please, ANYTHING other than SEO !!!!


prospect> So what can you do for my web buisness?

Privateer> ARRGGHHHH Matey. I'll be a scurryin over the plank to the lee side of Gogle and bringin yer pots o'gold back from her decks. ARRRGGHHHH

Sure, why not?

>cannon Of course, when they


Of course, when they put a Sun UltraSparc on my grave it's going to lose some of the effect.


As in, eeeeewwww, clients? They were such a nuisance that I tossed them off the deck about 7 years ago, Bob.

>ANYTHING other than SEO

And, for those of us who do only organic, what would you call it, Massa?

Being one who grudgingly

Being one who grudgingly manages PPC for select clients but who's love and focus has always been on organic, I too see the need for some kind of all-encompassing nick we can all be associated with.

Personally I liked Cowboy very much because to me it instantly brought to mind images of men of honor forced to fend for themselves in a land full of unexplored opportunity but lacking in legal restraints. I do see the problem with the term in the minds of our brothers across the pond though.

Unitl about 2001 I called myself a search engine placement specialist. Which was no better than SEO and just as misleading and difficult to explain because I did not place any search engine anywhere. I was never able to find a simple name to describe what I did in terms of online promtion. To this day, my own mother is not sure what it is I do and she was my receptionist for a year or so back in 2000.

Since about 2001 I have been referring to what I do as traffic generation and conversion. Sometimes I've referred to myself as an online conversion specialist. Those things still cause me to spend more time than I should have to spend explaining what I do but it is still less than it used to be and I'm more comfortable with those terms becaue they more accurately describe what I do.

Those terms won't work for this purpose though because it still does not meet the objective of finding a new term to cover a community of people who generate online traffic, analyze stats, manage content, create original content, acquire approriate links for a specific purpose, build websites, create forms, write scripts, track vistors through a sales process, develop objectives and strategies, set budgets, outsource specfic tasks to qualified providers AND run a business while doing it.

So, I wish I could help but I honestly don't have a clue what the term should be. I do know that you are 100% right that it is time to find that term, because you are also right that it is no longer about spam, (you know me, I never even believed there was any such a thing to begin with), and it certainly isn't about anything as childish and silly as hat colors. It is about business. Business being done in a new way by people who are not bound by tradition or educational peer pressure. A brave new world full of incredible opportunity that offers the promise of success to everyone equally regardless of race, religion, sex, or even financial wherewithall. The internet and the business being done on it is exciting, fast paced and being re-invented almost daily. I love it!

I wish I could help but I'm at a loss. So, call me what you will as long as you call me for supper.

>Loved the Euro trash merry SEO prankster idea and I had a feeling about that drawing. Louise just seemed too eager to help.<

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