DaveN Getting Sick of SEO Wankrage


Dave recently expressed his frustrations about not sharing lots of SEO information:

I have been getting some flack, in private emails and in public places about the lack of seo advice been given out in public places.

Well the reason why I stopped was all the fucking idiots that decide that because their 8 page website on some hardware shop in some backwater town selling gay pink hammers didn’t get a penalty for hiding text in a hidden div, or the fact that they only have forum - blog - guestbook links has IBL’s, then I must be wrong. To be honest I don’t care that much whether they believe me or not, It’s advice nothing more nothing less..

Are just a few people getting more cynical, or has the SEO community went from something that used to be fairly public to something that is becoming more and more private (with the various public discussions being flooded with noise)?


I agree with Dave, but even

I agree with Dave, but even more irritating to me is the attitude of business directors who read some of the SEO web and then think they have the magic keys to the kingdom. They think they no longer need talent, just a monkey to do the work. I say let them live and learn the hard way cause that's what they deserve.

Why did that happen? Maybe because of what dave says... Google is a mess, and everybody and his cousin writes on SEO with authority these days.

Just look at the comments by J-Man in Dave's thread. He got free advice and it was spot on. His response? I paraphrase it thusly : "yeah yeah, but really, what trick do I need so I don't have to change my site but I can rank?"

There are a lot of people that can't read...

There are a lot of people that can't read ... or don't want to ... 'cus you see someone ask the same question two hours after someone else just asked it; while there are five parallel week-old threads already open on the same subject.

Was any "advanced" stuff up for "public" viewing anyway? I hear that most of the leading and bleeding edge is in private forums nowadays.

But whatever, most people can't even get their heads round the basics.

And there is still some mistaken belief that all SEO is, is "tweaking some meta tags and getting a few hundred links from some link farms".

What is really sick-making is the number of forum users, people who you know are right in the middle of doing some SEO job that they are charging a client good money for, who appear in the forums asking the most basic of stuff - and have some xxxxGURU or xxxxEXPERT user name to go with it. Sheeesh. Would you employ a plumber or electrician or dentist who kept phoning someone up asking them how to do the job?

has the SEO community went

has the SEO community went from something that used to be fairly public to something that is becoming more and more private

You can't have discussions anymore in public. In public, everyones trying to out market everyone else, guru's spreading disinformation, fan boys are flaming opposing guru's, and new comers are begging for attention. All that combined with the sheer number of people trying to chime in their 2 cents makes for a huge mess.

In short the forums just haven't scaled well.


All the old timers with very few exceptions have basically clammed up online and AFAIK offline. Which among them are really contributing anything beyond 'directory submissions to get links'? None of them, that's who.

Ask anyone who's up and coming in the industry, and there's little respect for the old timers anymore -they're seen as an old boys club.

Say what you will about WMW, but attending the pubcons (TM) is really the only way to get anything beyond that basic level of information. DP's full of PR2 directory floggers, WMW online has nothing hardcore in the way of informative SEO posts anymore, and here? Give me a break. And it's not that any of the forums are flooded with noise, it's that there's a lack of input from seasoned SEO'ers.

You don't have to look further than your nose to see the proof. Look at the list of threadwatch editors in the top right of your screen. With all due respect, that sure reads like an old boys club of SEO'ers doesnt' it? And how many posts are they contributing here with detailed SEO information? Zippo, nada, nothing. QED.

As for 'all the fucking idiots',that's part of being in an online community. Taking that kind of attitude is about as useful as the folks who sit around forums who's only posts are 'use the search function'. Surely everyone here knows enough about online communities to know that you've got to deal with the same issues and problems over and over again. It's not the community that's the problem if folks are not contributing.

I've even been thinking of posting here a detailed outline of my latest linkbait endeavour simply to get some action going on the subject. Pretty sad day when folks of my caliber have to consider contributing in that way because the knowledgeable folks can't be bothered.

I am a fucking idiot????

I don't do anything with school boys old or otherwise.

What has happened is the noise surrounds the real helpful comments. That and after a while you can get discouraged.... your help is drowned in a sea of BS suggestions by people who know just enough to get it screwed up.

There are sites out there with solid information - the real trouble is it is hidden by the forest of misinformation....

Am obviously in an outdoors metaphor phase!!!

Wheel instead of bitching why nnot write some tips!

xxxxGURU or xxxxEXPERT

xxxxGURU or xxxxEXPERT

I always cringe whenever I see guru or expert in a username.

Look at the list of threadwatch editors in the top right of your screen. With all due respect, that sure reads like an old boys club of SEO'ers doesnt' it?

I got on the web in 2003. If I am an oldtimer that is news to me ;)

I think my biggest issue is that I sorta view TW as more of a news and trends type website...whereas I post more of my strategy tips to SEO Book. There are three big factors in that

  • many of my tips would be far below the knowledge level of the average TW reader
  • if I post live examples of my ideas on TW it will most likely get a bit deeper coverage (as far as suggestions of intent and motive in marketing methods) than I would prefer
  • and this one is a shitty reason to admit, but I make decent money from seobook.com, whereas this site is more of a site for fun for me. If something that would earn $1,000 or $2,000 by being posted on SeoBook doesn't earn anything because I post it elsewhere it is hard to justify doing that too often. (not saying that I am all about money, but it is hard balancing everything I am doing)

I've even been thinking of posting here a detailed outline of my latest linkbait endeavour simply to get some action going on the subject. Pretty sad day when folks of my caliber have to consider contributing in that way because the knowledgeable folks can't be bothered.

Wheel, I wouldn't consider you to be of any lower caliber than I, so feel free. I would love more of that.

I missed that

XXXExpert and XXXGuru - he was talking about me!!!

He knows about the porn years!

Hey, er...Wheel I've seen

Hey, er...Wheel

I've seen some pretty good stuff out there. Here even. Andy Hagans and Aaron have given some nice tips worth some respect on gaining links and trust.

Pretty much anything you want to know is on the net somewhere. You just need enough time to read it all. No need to listen to the old farts.

Time is a rare commodity

From what I know personally of many "old timers", I guess I'm not the only ones to be inundated with work. It's certainly the only reason why I haven't been able to keep our own blog running for the better part of a year now.

What with search marketing exploding all over, clients queueing up in droves, the basic requirements continuously shifting and requiring development and testing of new strategies, new tools, etc., there's simply too little time left to devote to the community in terms of regularly writing up some original hardcore technical stuff that's not merely regurgitating age old standard wisdom.

And yes, it's a much noisier environment now than it used to be even a year and a half ago, with lots and lots of newcomers vying for attention no matter the drivel they may be throwing at everybody. But indeed, there's still plenty of good, solid information available if only you search for it - just don't expect to find it all on the public forums anymore. Seems that they've mutated into an arena where most people prefer to chill out rather than dive into SEO technicalities all the time.

Wheel: Would love to read whatever you feel free to contribute, too.

Bit harsh

"Ask anyone who's up and coming in the industry, and there's little respect for the old timers anymore -they're seen as an old boys club."

Not sure I would agree with that. I compared to a lot in the industry am fairly wet behind the ears (just over five years in the industry), however people such as Danny Sullivan, Ammon Johns and the like still command respect whenever they comment on topics within various forums around the web.

There is a lot of c**p out there particularly on the forums, but good useful information is still out there to be found, however the use of forums as a medium for distributing such content seems to be negating in favour of blogs.

It is a pity the SEO industry is not as "Open" as it was when I first entered the industry, however I would not say it is dying, its just harder to find

Everyone has their thresholds

The community is built on an abundance mentality - but it sucks when you get burned by being bilked for information.

I get fickle at times - and it's tough to learn the what you should share versus what you shouldn't line - there's a big difference between bar sharing with people that have proven their trust, client sharing, and forum sharing.

It's essential to give back fundamental understanding and learning material to the community. Highly specific techniques that will get abused and erased? I don't know that I'd want advice from someone dumb enough to give that info out on a forum.

Advice to newbies - start your own secret seo club :)

besides which...

What more is there to say about SEO? many of the old-time writers have written so many articles about SEO technique they have run out of metaphors and cliches. I have a hard time writing about SEO these days because the subject is simply not as interesting as writing about social networking, GooTube, link-baiting or getting drunk with my dad and at industry events.

The only major evolutions in SEO at this time seem to be around link strategies. Aaron, Andy, Rand and Todd have that field well covered.

shhhhhhhhhh I will tell you a secret

Put your keywords in your title tag - it really really helps!!!


The problem is burnout. You can only answer the same questions over again so many times before you go crazy - for free at least. If somebody wants to shove big rolls of $100 bills in my hand I'll gladly dust off my Better Living Through Meta Tags spiel #5 a few more times. heh

Me too on the noise factor also.

I think there is a

I think there is a difference between some types of SEO and most other disciplines.

If you teach someone how to be a lawyer, accountant or engineer, you are teaching them how to work for a living.

With SEO (at least the cutting edge stuff), you are teaching them how to "sting". i.e. how to pick easy money up off the ground. You don't get professional sting artists teaching their trade to the public either.

White hat SEO is more like learning an honest trade. Gotta work for it. No great secrets. Just follow the rules and work hard and you'll get a reasonable payday. You won't get rich either. But, then neither does an engineer.


Bet Dave didnt expect this response of the back of thaat post :)


could it be that seo just isnt that hard? I mean seriously? Maybe the reason the oldschool people dont talk is because everything has been said and said and said.

Sure, try it - maybe you'll like it

Why not take up some campaigns, say in the porn, pills or casino sector and make them work? White hat or black, your choice.

It may not be outrageously "hard" in any technical sense once you've determined what's actually required and how to set about manifesting it, but then, so is nuclear physics.

I think it is a combination

I think it is a combination of factors

- burnout
- it's all been said
- many of us have more opportunity than we know what to do with
- the people who ask the most questions are often the least likely to value the answers

nuclear power is usually quite boring Fanto

nuclear power is usually

nuclear power is usually quite boring Fanto

I'll second that


Dirk, our CTO, happens to hold a doctorate in physics ... and yes, it IS quite boring, Aaron. On the other hand, so is "white hat" SEO IMV ...

Wheel: Aaron gives it away every day.

There are plenty of people out there giving away free SEO advice, including some great stuff. Aaron gives it away under many different names, in many different places and links to plenty of other people who do as well.

SEO pundits give away answers all of the time. Aaron gives away advice on SEObook.com to sell his book. He also gives you free tools to show you how to do everything he suggests except the actual work of being creative.

The issue isn't the noise, burnout or elitism. The issue is the challenge of teaching in a one room school house. People from beginner to expert come around looking for answers. The real answer is SEO takes knowledge, a lot of work and the willingness to constantly revise your strategy!

one room school house You

one room school house

You know ROIGUY... I was just making a post (will have it up tonight) about how flawed my advice is for so many people because it is so hard to have useful advice that works for MySmallNewWebsite.info right on through to eBay.com ... and yet people from both types of companies and every group between read my blog, use the tools on my site, and buy my ebook.

Put it this way people

I hate to say this.. but there is literally no such thing as 'old timers' in this industry...

I guess I would be considered an old timer when I used to stuff double title tags in 1997 so that my site would rank higher in Altavista? Is that considered old-timer?

Back when Altavista didn't even have it's own domain name.. it used to be altavista.digital.com .. I remember the day Altavista finally got it's own domain name.. I remember when Altavista used to list stuff alphabetically... hence spammers were flooding their title tags with "###" to outrank the spammers putting in "AAA" in the front.

I have been playing with these engines for 10 years now... not full time... but every job I ever had in the 1990's I wound up doing their SEO..

Well guess what then... if I dolled out that advice today "make two title tags" or I told them to 'stuff pound signs' in the Title tag..people would be on the floor laughing..

This crap changes so freaking fast that about 15 seconds after I figured out what exactly changed.. it's changed again.

There is no such thing as 'old timer' ... trust me on that...

I have been doing this forever.. and guess what ... here I am on threadwatch, searchguild, etc etc.. learning stuff every day...

Why.. because what I knew yesterday... might not apply tommrow.


?Ever since I read this thread I have been chuckling to myself.

You wanna know something?
The best outside SEO tip I have gotten in a while was here at TW just a few weeks or so ago.
It slipped by without much notice...

My take on SEO - do your own research - don’t ask others questions - figure it out yourself.

Like several people have pointed out in this thread SEO is easy... working with wankers is hard.

The Blogs Did it

A lot of the best posts have moved from SEO forums to blogs. Maybe its the advent of Adsense revenue but a lot of the old timers think they are bloggers now. I mean you throw a stick anywhere and you hit some SEO driving a blog these days. :)

Newbie speaking

"Old timer" SEOs rarely give free detailed info on forums nor should they. Not many professionals anywhere give away their trade secrets on public forums.
Knowledge is easy to attain however by purchasing Aaron's SEOBook. There aren't many industries where so much information can be purchased for so little.

could it be that seo just

could it be that seo just isnt that hard? I mean seriously? Maybe the reason the oldschool people dont talk is because everything has been said and said and said.

In some respects the level of SEO that is attainable (in the short-term) by most people in the forums is the stuff that's been beaten to death with the usual minor-modifications that occur over time. The more advanced stuff simply works too well, and for far too short of a time-span for most people to want to give away. That and nobody wants to be the one to catch shit from all the other "old-timers" cashing in on those tricks-du-jour which will die an even faster death once they're completely in the spotlight.

Maybe its the advent of

Maybe its the advent of Adsense revenue but a lot of the old timers think they are bloggers now.

I don't think it is AdSense... when we had AdSense plastered all spamlike on TW that earned less per month than I make in a day from consulting and ebook sales.

But I think it is much easier to build up your rep by controlling your own content. If you do decent stuff here or there or love the community feel of some sites then contributing to them is cool, but if you are going to bust your ass creating something of great value the only way to ensure you get back as much value as you can is to control your own content.

That's why, like Lots0 said, sometimes you can see a tip here or there slip, and sometimes people do not even notice them, but you don't see people want to just lay it all out there. Plus like nuevojefe said, some of the techniques are so short term and profitable in nature that they are silly to share. Some techniques die almost the same day they are shared...look at the Wordpress content hosting fiasco, for example.

It's a philsophy...not a process.

You can't teach "tips" to a philosophy. SEO as a process is easy, as a thought process it's hard to teach. I don't like plugging my own stuff (at least not to a group of folks who might call me on it), but it's fairly applicable, and anyone here is a good seo and can find it;)

I've been thinking about this one a lot lately - mainly why SEO seems to be smoke and mirrors to some and so well regarded to others. Yes, it changes - the people that are old timers - are so because they've adapted the philosophy of fast moving changes that are around general principles of increasing relevance and the likes. The "old timers" are the people who have adapted the philosophy of change (as well as giving to a community), and the reason most of us still respect the term "SEO" within the industry.

90% of seo is applying the thought process to a specific business model in my mind. Strict knowledge of variable guidelines by itself does very little - all you need to do is read Rand's "search engine ranking factors" a dozen times or so. It's like knowing a million great recipes, but never actually cooking anything.

There are lots of different motivations for sharing knowledge ranging from altruism, to ego, to sales pitch. To actually learn anything, you need to read through the lines of individual's motivation - and hunt for the juicy bits that might apply. Bookmark them and save 'em someplace you'll remember it for when you need it.

Sometimes the nice part of a forum or blog is that you can vent your ideas from your soapbox and refer people to them - helping more people understand the thought process than if you just had individual dialogs (that often get tiresome when they are one-sided). I really enjoy helping people, but when I have the choice of helping 5 new people by e-mail get their start in SEO - or working on a project that is likely to make some nice $$$ - it's often hard to justify being an altriust a lot of the time.

It gets a bit frustrating when people EXPECT "tips" that are the solution to their problems (even in paid consulting). I enjoy teaching the philosophy, history, and thought process - but get VERY frustrated when people think it is just a quick process where I can give them a handful of get rich "tips". If money grew on trees, why wouldn't I be growing my own?


why ARENT you growing your own?

If anyone should know...

that I'm planting my moneytree seeds - it should be you:P

At this point I care less

At this point I care less about SEO than I do about "traffic acquisition" (that's what you call SEO to VC's, btw). If I need to airmail an old lady out of a 12th story window with a URL Post-It Noted to the back of her dome to generate some "buzz", well then, by God, the old lady goes for a swan dive.

In many respects, beating the hell out of all these social media sites is a lot of the same kind of fun I had with the engines a few years back when they were clunkier.

In terms of strict SEO, only two facets have much appeal to me anymore:

1) Linkbaiting
2) Building virtual real estate to sell to larger companies who can't do it themselves.


Some techniques die almost the same day they are shared...

yup, I don't think its any secret that Mr. Cutts and his little red button read this and a few other forums quite often...

It gets a bit frustrating when people EXPECT "tips"

too true.

It's really easy to paint

It's really easy to paint your house. Especially the interior. But there's plenty of work for house painters, no? You'll regret hiring a sloppy one. You'll admire the clean lines and holiday-free work of a pro. And for that ultimate kids room, you may want to bring in a mural artist. But it's still just painting.

I can't paint the room without moving your stuff out of the way; you can do it or I can do it $$; don't call me until you have settled on a color scheme, or bring in a designer fir$t; I never work with someone else's paint; sometimes you really need to strip away the old crap first; etc etc etc.

But it's still just painting a house, which anyone could do, right?

blogging's just more fun

well - it is :)

Speaking as an old timer that spent countless hours back in the day moderating and adminstrating forums I must say that blogging really is more fun and a lot less pressure.

Is the biz getting more cynical? I truly believe it is. Been to a conference lately? How many new SEO companies do you see representin on the exhibit hall floor? Most of these new players have no clue what the biz is about and think that simply because there is so much money flying around now that they can simply hang out a shingle and get business. The unfortunate part of that is that it is true to an extent.

I and others I know worked on old beat up desks found at garage sales and made pleading arguments with our wives: "I promise this will pay off. People really buy this online...I'll start paying the mortgage soon...you'll be able to stay home with the kids..." and so on.

So are we a bit cynical? Most likely but maybe I'm just a curmudgeon before my time.

Free good seo advice? Sure. Tune into many of the shows at WebmasterRadio.fm or come to a conference and be liberal with the credit card in the bar. Hang out on a forum? Much less likely to get that same level of advice. Read my blog? no way! hehehe

Regardless of all that shit - put in your time. Read, experiment and experience SEO. At the end of the day all Dave, WebGuerrilla, Fanto, SEGuru,myself and the other 'old timers' are ever likely to offer is advice and gut feel. There are no guarantees in SEO.

well said

well said todd


Ermm, maybe it's because I'm fully occupied with being a l33t oldtime SEO'er - my arse - but what is Wankrage? Is it like arbitrage?

I left the e out to make it

I left the e out to make it web2.0 friendly like.
wankr (beta)

Hey just for TW

really I don't hang out much anymore in the forums thats why i love this place, it's brutal honesty and the ability to discuss anything we want ..

out of the last 300 threads submitted here, other Than a "Ringtone spammer" .. we have pulled 3 which me and aaron had a quick discussion over and led to a forum been banned here ( fucking white hat pussies anyway ;) ).


wank rage- You need viagra

wank rage- You need viagra to solve that.

blogging really is more fun

blogging really is more fun and a lot less pressure.

That and controlling your own content, as mentioned, are certainly valid reasons. But the brain drain of experienced SEO's from the forum to blogging has led to the decline of SEO forum content. It also does not bode well for the future of SEO forums.

There ARE such things as

There ARE such things as 'Oldtimers'.

They learned stuff that many if the 'up and comings' haven't got yet.

They learned how to chose who to share information with and who to ignore.
They learned when to 'STFU' and build more wealth producing sites.
They learned that 'fame' and 'respect' in the industry are only of use if they help make money.

... or in some cases they learned that "if you are happy with your current position, status, wealth level etc.. then don't go painting a bloody great target on your arse and waving it out the window".

lazy sucks

Too many dont want to put in their time, they dont know how to test anything, and they dont think its much more than "a handful of get rich tips" (great post Todd). There is a wealth of info out there, but they dont want to do research and understand why - they want paint by numbers SEO instruction or else they want it served up on a Matt Cutts video.

SEO secrets?

Don't really know any.

Block and tackle ?

Link bait, link bait, link bait ? Take the time you waste on forums and use it to link bait instead ?

Focus on making sites that generate a passive income?

No one wants to hear that though, do they ;-)

I don't want to hear it

I'm also a bit suspicious that there's far fewer secrets out there and that the old timers' success is just based on hard work rather than an ongoing stream of algo tricks. But that doesn't leave me much to look forward to as I learn more about SEO. What if there isn't life beyond SEObook?

The algo 'lottery system - find a trick make a million' is so much more fun and exciting to look forward to rather than more of the current work I do :).

things happen

take the Sandbox effect .. twas the oldtimers that got round that very very quickly lol..

sometimes I think that The SE's bring out an update out just to slow down the BH wannabe army. They know it will slow the brighest of us down a bit, and if the bright ones aren't talking ... it's slows the thickos right down.

I mean look at the last update .. how noticed what they changed ... well in some offices the discussion go like this,,, well if i was google i would do this.. and if they did it would look like this... :)

In other offices people say something just happened in google quick get onto SEW, WMW and DG .. they will know



slipped by without much notice

That's the best fun of the forums now; maybe always was. Dropping little items inside of larger threads and seeing if anyone picks up on 'em. 9 out of 10 times, not. Still fun though.

Bit off topic Dave but did

Bit off topic Dave but did you see officially that Yorshire blokes are the fattest of them all?:

http://www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=55&ArticleID=1814735 . Maybe spending too much time eating instead of posting.

I remember when Oilman stood

I remember when Oilman stood up at WMW and showed pictures of his bedroom, with affiliate checks laid out over the bed. The message was (if I recall correctly) "it's real, folks. You really do get checks". That was not as long ago as it should have been. I was already experienced, but still it made an impression... I thought to myself, I could get a freakin' bed full if I wanted, or plaster my walls with them.

The thing is, it was the game that was attractive. I didn't care how big his checks were. Like playing poker with matchsticks. You still want to win.

As for SEO secrets, the only time I don't discover secrets is when I'm not working. As soon as you tell a secret, it's not a secret anymore, is it? There's a big one revealed right here in this thread.

checks on the bed...

the picture of all the checks was actually Chris_R. I showed pics of the House That Phentermine Built ;)

I guess my memory of Orlando

I guess my memory of Orlando '04 is foggy.

I have been wacked for years

People have gotten on me for being "vague" in my posts in forums for years.
It is the old "looking at the finger, and not what it is pointing to" thingy.
I have also purposely sidetracked threads for various reasons, by making controversial responses.
No one owes anyone anything, find a close group of buds for real core information

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