My name is Dave and I’m an SEO.
No-one ever follows this with “Hi Dave”. At best you get an awkward, vaguely sympathetic smile.
In a way the dislike of SEOs is strange. We * don’t pollute the planet, exploit children, chop-down rainforests or sell products that kill people.
But as an industry we’re responsible for a number of big uglies.
We pollute the internet. We’re the people who are responsible for the crap that you find, when you’re trying to search for information.
We’ve made it very difficult for new websites and businesses to get up and running. Google are wary, and that’s down to us.
And we also talk a lot of crap. We like to dazzle prospective/clients with all sorts of mumbo jumbo.
Oh and our business model is all too-often either “…if it doesn’t work after the first six months we’ll give you the seventh month for free…” or “…we can make no guarantees.”
A number of years ago our financial accounts were handled by a firm in London. They had nice offices in a desirable location, and so charged accordingly.
They also had an incredible knack of making anything and everything sound complicated.
When we eventually switched to a more local company, they had nice offices in an accessible location
Most importantly they had (and still have) an incredible knack of making anything and everything sound incredibly simple.
They don’t hide behind their industry’s complexities, but instead go to extraordinary lengths to simplify often complicated matters.
As an industry we’re not all bad. I recently attended the MozCon conference, and every single speaker came across as honest, open and genuinely decent.
I’ve attended other conferences that have made me feel embarrassed, even ashamed of our industry.
SEO has become a dirty word, and this is partly responsible for many businesses using different wording to describe what they do.
If you talk to us about SEO we won’t dazzle you with jargon or overwhelm you with technicalities.
We’ll talk in a language you understand, and we’ll make sure you understand everything we’re telling you.
Bruce Clay’s SEO Code of Ethics was a good start but it’s not enough.
SEOs need to stop talking crap.
* We doesn’t mean me. In the sense of collective responsibility, we means them. **
** I’m sure I could have made that clearer.