Why Grayhats & Blackhats Aren’t the Problem With SEO

This is a guest post from Jarrod Wright

I’ve had the following rant percolating in my mind for some time now.  It is a familiar gripe that rings as true in me as any.  It can be summarized as:

Pure white hat marketers need to shut the hell up and stop pretending their shit does not stink.

It has felt to me for a long time that Google, whether consciously or not, has been effective at turning the SEO community against itself.   Hearing “thought leaders” side in favor of outing, and casually characterizing, large groups of marketers as “spammers” feels treasonous to me. Not just because I wholeheartedly disagree, but also because their focus seems completely misdirected.


To my thinking, there are only three sides in the SEO game.  This is how I break it down.

#1. The Search Engines

Despite what has been said, search engines view ALL SEOs as the enemy. That is because the entire industry is a force aligned in direct opposition to their interests.

Not only does the persistent  onslaught of SEO strategizing put immense strain on their algorithms, but SEO’s compete directly for the exact same marketing dollars.

The gesture’s faux transparency and aura of servility are a ruse.  It is merely an instance of keeping their enemies closer.


If Google could get every SEO in a room and use that flashy thing from Men In Black to erase our memories… they would. And trust me, once Rand and Danny had gotten everyone’s attention and had them focus on the light, their minds too would be similarly disposed.   Continue reading

Want My Link? Learn to Carry a Fishbowl Between Your Legs

Below is a guest post from my good friend Chris Gilchrist who runs an SEO and Web development agency in Dundee, Scotland. He is one of the co-founders of Link Club a Link Building community and monthly newsletter.

Want more links and a higher response rate from your outreach?

Are you prepared to carry a fishbowl between your legs anytime you’re out in public?

A little background

You probably already know that when you meet someone for the first time you make your mind up about them in the first 7 seconds.

Not in 7 minutes. Which is enough time to convince them you’re nice. 7 seconds.

We meet. 1…2…3…4…5…6…7 seconds. That’s it. Time’s up.

My mind’s made up if I like you and trust you enough to believe or even listen to what’s going to come out your mouth next time you open it. Possibly even forever more.

Back in my first job when I sold Gas & Electricity door to door for a local electricity company I took great care to make sure that 7 seconds counted.

No one likes sales people. No one likes people knocking on their doors. Uninvited. Especially at dinner time. After a long day at work. It can bring out the worst in some people.

Which is why we dressed in the same outfits as the meter readers, because who hates the humble meter reader?

For me this meant more than just wearing the same jumper, trousers and jacket.


It meant scuffing my brand new shoes. Wearing a meter key and tools on a chain.

I probably looked more like a meter reader than half the meter readers did. And it worked. Very very well.  around my neck. Having my tie poorly tied and slightly squint. A cheap bic pen behind my ear rather than a favourite expensive one. A pair of trousers just slightly on the short side. I didn’t look up from my notes when I first talked to them, because I wasn’t caring about a sale. I was just a bored meter reader letting them know about some savings they could make on their Gas and Electric. And I certainly wasn’t interested in commission so there was no excitement in my voice.

So the good news is you can influence people very quickly with a first impression.

But here’s the bad news.

Whilst it takes someone 7 seconds to judge you, it takes them just 50ms to judge your entire homepage.

So how long do you think it takes them to judge your short and to the point outreach email? Continue reading

What I’ve Learned Auditing and Removing Unnatural Links


The past year has meant I have spent a lot of time doing something I’ve never had to do before, and something only a small number of SEO’s specialised in before April 2012. Over the past year I have worked with at least one site per month that has received a link penalty of a manual or algorithmic nature.

When should you clean up?

If you’ve received an unnatural link warning or you have seen a significant decrease in rankings around the time of a penguin update then you need to take action as soon as possible.

google link warning message

If however your site is ranking fine but you are sat on a site with a number of shady links in your link profile then it all depends upon your niche and your risk profile. In these situations I would rather build some more high quality links than start a major link cleanup exercise.

Get as much Link Data as you can

The mistake too many people make is just relying on one or two soruces of data for their Link Audits. Personally I will try to obtain as much data as possible from ahrefs, Majestic, OSE, Google Webmaster Tools and any reports the client might have from past SEO agencies. Continue reading