Like thousands of other SEO practitioners, I have been quietly monitoring a raging debate that has crossed several SEO/SEM related forums over the past week. While this debate rears its head from time to time, it remains unsettled and as it continues to unfold becomes more and more unsettling. Given that they differ in tone from forum to forum, there are actually several debates taking place but all seem to have one thing in common, a lack of civility towards other views and a decreasing level of common sense.
These forums have largely remained out of the limelight lately when it comes to black hat/white hat SEO, though we've had some rollicking, and notably civil discussions here in the past.
It does seem to be more fun to visit the other forums and sites that mud wrestle anyone who has a different perspective, or just has a strong view and expresses it with naked abandon. It's like driving by a car wreck and looking to see if someone was injured.
Maybe because I've seen and participated in so many client or corporate adventures but I can't remember ever hating any of my peers for how they do their jobs. This is because the people whom I consider peers in the industry know what the hell they're doing and more importantly, they have the skills and courage to do what they determine is the correct action for their client.
Those folks are nothing like the ding bats who intentionally wreak havoc by knowingly applying methods that they know don't work and put their client's investment at risk.
Jim's feelings are likely similar to many of you. I think that though the SEO industry is growing whacky, there are some interesting developments .
Many of you are expanding your services to provide things clients want, such as help with copywriting and offering usability testing. Many of you are traffic log heros who understand that stuff and can translate it into something understandable for your clients' benefit.
Perhaps groups like SEMPO and the various SMA initiatives, along with moderators of each of the various forums represent the collective leadership of the industry. If that is so, that leadership needs to learn to work together to pull the various ends of the horseshoe into the powerful marketing industry we should all feel proud and privileged to work in.
Do you agree or disagree with Jim? Has the industry tanked or is this just what being an SEO/SEM is all about?