piss on whitehatsAfter finishing my show, I was reading about MangoMatter Media which happens to be one of the best web hosting services and  I wanted to get the writeup done cause I had a video editor coming to do some work on the elite retreat san fransisco promo video so I was in a hurry then oilman messaged me and asked me what I said about onpage seo and if I said it was trash. I told him I did not think it was trash but rather thought people put WAY WAY to much emphasis on on page SEO. He asked me to call in and talk to him and Greg so I did 😉

I did not know what to expect… honestly these guys have been doing SEO since before I was on the internet so I expected to get owned… and I did not know what had been discussed on the air. They asked me if I said onpage SEO was Garbage on my show the previous week with Quadzilla. I said I would not say it was “Garbage” but I would say that people place far to much emphasis on onpage seo and not enough in the domain/url/anchortext/authority/ageofdomain. For example I said I could make a page rank just by using domain and url (for instance ringtone.com/ringtone.html) and have ZERO onpage content but it would rank for ringtone yet I could not have a new domain with excellent seo’d out on page content rank anywhere close.

I also explained that I thought that 95% of SEO was super simple but the remaining 5% is where the real secret sauce is that guys like Greg Boser and Todd Friesen know because they have been pushing limits and experimenting in the dark arts for a long time they can apply what they learned to the corporate area.

It seemed like they agreed with me for the most part. They just wanted to make sure I was not saying that onpage seo meant nothing.

I come from a really different background then these guys do… I built a service oriented website that spread virally like fire and I knew nothing about SEO really but what I did made since and I was and still rank tops for some of the most competitive terms on the net.

I am not saying SEO companies are bullshit but I do understand why someone like Jason Calacanis would say something like that. He also built a successful community while knowing very little about SEO and was able to dominate the serps.

I just feel like whitehat SEO’s are like 21st century car salesmen. Lets cut the bullshit for a minute. I find it funny when a whitehat seo tries to engage me in a debate about seo morals and there website is like http://whitehat-seo-company.com/seo-company-search-engine-optimization.html …. umm seriously. I dont even need to see your onpage content. If blackhat seo is trying to alter the search engines ranking of your website from what would naturally be then your spammy ass urls are definatly not whitehat. Now I am not saying this is wrong but I am saying in my opinion its suspect gray area.

Anyway if you want a real SEO ask them how many blackhat forums or sites they read. If they tell you none then move on. They at least need to be educated in the dark arts even if not practicing.

People are so scared to talk about this in the open for fear they will be associated with “black hats”. Its really interesting because from my years as a security administrator attending all the security conferences the “black hats” are the most respected members there are. Just like SEO it was not always like that. Back in the day if you would associate yourself with hackers or “black hats” then people were scared you would be on the FBI watch list (or now the matt cutts watch list for seo) but NOW in the security world guess who speaks at all the conferences and authors all the books? Its not the whitehat security dumbasses its all the legendary blackhats.

I really feel that the Search industry will be like that in a few years. The blackhats will be respected for not only there mastery of how the whitehat world works but there comprehension of how the other side works…

I mean do people really just not comprehend that blackhat is NOT about clickfraud or cracking or XSS or BREAKING THE LAW its about educating yourself and mastering how all aspects of SEO work and why… the right way AND the wrong way. Seriously im not joking when I say 95% of whitehat is so easy its stupid easy basic stuff. What do you do when you master that. Me, I always try to learn more.

Maybe I just have a different definition of “blackhat” then most.

If you wonder who I would use for a SEO you can check my recommended list.

Wow I wrote way to much.

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

47 thoughts on “OnPage SEO Is Garbage Clarification On Rockstars”
  1. Yeah, you wrote a bigun’. In fact, it almost sounds like a rant 🙂

    I think the distinguishing factor is that you own your own site. You do as you wish. Theres no law prohibiting that. IF the search engines ELECT to crawl your site, it falls to THEM to sort out the dross. No laws broken.

    On the flip side of the coin, you have people taking risks with attempts at hacking etc, and yes, that would be called blackhat because of the risk involved.

    The whole blackhat whitehat issue is and always has been a misnomer arising from ‘seo infants’ with little or no business knowledge. At the end of the day, you rank. How you do it is called business intelligence. If its legal its legal. The more time anyone spends worrying about it (or the perspectives of other popular voices), the less time they have to do business.

    As for on-page vs off page SEO. Few people have the luxury of a non-complex .com TLD any more (what you described above). It’s competitive – you leverage what you can.

    Sorry pal, but the easy days are gone (whew – what a comment !) 😀

  2. Ya I guess I just dont think of hackers as blackhats. The guys I know and think of as blackhats… like my friend David Naylor he doesnt hack anything but he has an amazing knowledge of how search engines work. The corporate world respects his knowledge too 😉

    Also re:rant it was kind of a rant. I have been meaning to post something like that for a long time. So many whitehats now a days just piss me off trying to sell me seo services when most of them dont know their head from their asses.

  3. When I said “That stuff is mostly trash” I was reffering more to people who charge significant money for doing nothing but Old School White hat and on Page SEO.

  4. SEO is easy.

    Getting traffic to your site is hard.

    Getting the right traffic to your site is harder.

    2007 is the year of the “Social”, SMO or SMM or whatever you wanna call it.

    If you have the quality content and can get your ass on the front page of digg twice a month then you can forget on page SEO, the links that come with that will sort you out.

    Problem is you have to be a brilliant writer.

    You have to know the words to inspire someone to make the humongous effort to Digg you.

    It’s like trying to get the sexiest girl in the room to go home with you, if you’re a guy, or a lesbian.

    It aint easy and most guys find it difficult.

  5. Quite a post there Shoe, and I gotta say I agree for the most part. I worked for a firm that would make all sorts of promises to their potential clients, and when it came down to it didn’t know a dam thing about real SEO. Boy did it show!

    Classic that Oilman/Greg pulled you up about the show 😉

  6. I absolutely agree. Content blows away SEO. That said, you could be missing out on a lot of traffic by having all of your pages supplemental because your content is so far down in the HTML of your page that Google thinks its all duplicate.

  7. Boser said it shortest and best at one SES: You gotta be bad to be good.

    One part of white hat SEO that isn’t trash is hardcore keyword research done by experienced marketers who can spot the coming search trends and get on them early. The real pissing contest in SEO should be ‘Who’s got the biggest dataset’? 😉

    One thing that kills me about Calacanis is that the successful Weblogs sites DO care about SEO. Engadget pays attention to title tags, links and architecting the site into categories it can grab big traffic for (ipod, hdtv, etc). Gizmodo does not and it gets its ass handed to it in the serps. So Doofus should just be thankful someone at his former company’s best blogs paid attention to SEO.

  8. Beautiful post Shoe; I’m pleased that you included the last paragraph to clarify once again the differences between BH and fraud/hacking. And Andrew is correct; I really don’t see how someone can charge so much money to say something like “create an unique title tag with some original content” — yes, there are some server setup tweaks to help ensure the domain will less likely be hijacked in the SERPs or blown out due to scraped dupe content, but even still, I rarely see WH gurus spouting how to take care of those issues…it is once again the BH crowd that spots it first.

  9. I agree completely… While people would say i am more of a white hat the more and more i get into it there really isn’t much of any white hat, black hat it is more of people doing SEO basics or people on the cutting edge of ranking in SE’s. Why should bots see ads… they don’t click or produce income for you. Personnally i have found as you stated 95% of SEO ranking is Basic. I just built a site last week, and already is in the top 5 for a competitive keword i was targeting.

  10. Hey Jeremy… Great post 🙂

    I noticed in your ‘recommended list’ that the link to Greg is broken. There’s a ‘g’ in webguerrilla 🙂

  11. Yes 95% of SEO is as easy as pie, TO US!

    But you’ll notice, 95% of the sites on the web can’t even get on page SEO correct. Why? because they don’t know what they are doing and the web is filled with misinformation. Shoe, your job is easy, my job is easy, everybody’s job is easy for the most part if they are good at what they do.

    You should hear the crap that comes out of my clients mouths all day long about what they read or heard is good on or off page SEO. Complete crap.

    Is SEO easy? To me it is. Can most websites improve their ROI by hiring a GOOD SEO? Hell yea.

  12. Honestly, I don’t think of tagging as a big deal… certainly not SEO. I think that is the issue… many folks consider the very simple website design stuff SEO, and many of those same folks think of SEO as the blackhat stuff.

    If SEO means tagging your posts, designing a clean page, and making great content then I’m guilty of loving SEO.

    However, to me SEO is the link farm, gaming, and blackhat stuff. That stuff is short term and a waste of time. You build a great site with great content and you win… that’s the bottom line. The money you would pay to an SEO firm to do the blackhat stuff is better off spent making better, more helpful content.

    Hey, but the hell do I know… 🙂

    best j

  13. Jason,

    Sorry I called you doofus. You’re not a doofus. I think…

    All those things you mentioned are part of great SEO. And the best practices are easy to find and follow. No l33t seekrets there.

    I know you’re a Knicks fan, so you follow hoops. Ever watched your team shoot better than 50% from the field and lose? Or play great D and get beat in a 56-55 nailbiter? Butchering this analogy even further, that team had a great site and great content but LOST. But I agree it starts with what you’re saying. Then there’s more.

    But real SEO is people who understand the game well enough to get the *right* network of links. I’m sure the people you call black hat are the people that understood *first* how the link power of social media could be harnessed in the serps. When it comes to gaming those links, I get your point about that being bad for most legit companies. But it’s not too many steps towards center before you get into the perfect SEO zone. It’s not black or white. It’s a radiant grey ultraviolet.

  14. […] Jeremy makes some very good points about what SEO really is. […]

  15. Total agreeance with everything you have said in the post ShoeMoney. The fact of the matter is that on-page optimization is simply not enough and you need an off-page strategy so that your on-page optimization can compete.

    The point is that you need to become an authority in your particulary industry before your content SEO kicks in. How does one become an authority? It’s based on quality links from other good authoritive sources.

    Content SEO is always needed but you don’t will need to emphasize the point on it, until ‘your the man’ in your industry.

  16. Total agreeance with everything you have said in the post ShoeMoney. The fact of the matter is that on-page optimization is simply not enough and you need an off-page strategy so that your on-page optimization can compete.

    The point is that you need to become an authority in your particulary industry before your content SEO kicks in. How does one become an authority? It’s based on quality links from other good authoritive sources.

    Content SEO is always needed but you don’t really need to put so much emphasis on it, until ‘your the man’ in your industry.

  17. It’s always fun to see how riled up people get about the black hat/white hat debate. There are no hats – only goals. Hats are just sweeping generalizations that cloud rational judgement. My goal is mainly finding good sources of qualified sustainable traffic that I can monetize heavily. I accomplish this mainly by staying out of ethical debates and finding new and creative ways to create exceptional content and attract the right kind of links. Maybe as quadzilla recently said – I’ve just turned more ceo than seo lately.

    Good seo is pulling out the playbook, and knowing all the plays to apply to any given situation.

    Certain aspects of onpage seo DO go a long ways on big old sites, but I’d much rather own that big old site than have someone onboard that knew onpage seo inside and out:)

  18. […] Until now, I have never had a reason to post about Jeremy over at Shoemoney.com. I poked some fun early on, of course, on the SEO Secrets page, but nothing Jermey posted every caused me to write. I even had a conversation with an “SEO Loser” about meeting people at PubCon, where I said I had plenty of opportunity to introduce myself to Jeremy especially this year (he was generously accessible) but I had absolutely nothing I wanted to speak to him about. Lots of “fans” flock to these guys, but I am not a fan. But now Jeremy posted this: Anyway if you want a real SEO ask them how many blackhat forums or sites they read. If they tell you none then move on. They at least need to be educated in the dark arts even if not practicing. […]

  19. […] In response to some of the recent comments about SEO being “bullshit” and “95% super simple,” Oilman felt that it was time to set a few things straight. […]

  20. I know this has been said before but isn’t any changes to a site (on page or off) for the purpose of improving rankings “black hat”? Its all to get better rankings, its just the ones closer to the darker side are better.

    In Matts (googles) perfect world there would be no seo’s, juts a bunch of sites with natural content so awesome everyone would choose to link to it using the sites top keywords in the links 🙂

  21. Changing your site to suite a search engine sucks, though everyone does it – and most people stick to the “rules� that they set. Why should webmasters be restricted to making their sites how they want, because Google tells them they shouldn’t? I have a site that uses hidden text for popups with css – does Google see this as “black Hat�, even though the text becomes fully visible “on hover�. Search engines should be made to suite the webmaster, not vice versa. Black hat, white hat, it shouldn’t make any difference to results, they need a new method of listing sites.

  22. Sob. I don’t like paying taxes. I wish I didn’t have to.

    Search engines can do whatever the eff they want and so can you.

  23. I have to largely agree with you Shoemoney. SEO can get you so far, but if you want to have a really successful website you need great content that users want, and if you have that, you don’t really need to worry about advanced SEO, as long as you have the basics right.

  24. […] Shoemoney has a great post regarding Blackhat SEO. I found the Post to be very enlightening but I believe he went a little off topic as well … Either way, the entire post is definitely a good read. […]

  25. […] Danny has come down on the IS side, defending SEO — as have the highly respected Greg Boser and Todd Friesen. There are others who disagree. […]

  26. […] Some people have great difficulty in charging their clients the right price for what they do. Ive certainly been guilty of it in the past as have lots of others no doubt. If you are one of these people who works alone, then you may well fall into some isolationist camp whereby you dont *really* appreciate what it is you actually know. Add to that mix people like shoemoney saying that 95% of SEO is super simple or worse still, others who say stuff like , SEO is Bullshit ( a headline people will grab hold of and use to sneer at you with) and you may find others beginning to question the value of what it is you do. Ok, Ive been a little unfair to Mr Shoe when I say that as he did actually go on to clarify a few of his points, but still I think its fair to say that throw away comments like that, don’t entirely help in any SEO is a winning strategy, worthy of high dollar investment in quaility people perception game! Detractors seize on such statements and use them to dis the entire concept. […]

  27. Hmmmmm
    you raise some good points but its a very well rounded industry and you seem very narrow minded on some aspects of it.
    Good post though.

  28. […] It’s the battle of the old-school SEO versus the no-school SEO. In one corner, Todd,  the Oilman, Friesen, the king of the blackhat thing, squaring off against Jeremy, Shoemoney, Shoemaker, the king of the ring…  tone. […]

  29. The real pissing contest in SEO should be ‘Who’s got the biggest dataset’? 😉

    Oh that it SOOOOO true. It applies to SEM in no short form as well. 😀

  30. I too thought the domain name was important. I own phentrazine.com and just recently put it up with a little content and some ads on it thinking it would rank #1 for phentrazine on google in no time. Well, the highest it got was #4 (that I know of) and it is currently, according to your SERP script “Not Found”. Earlier it was around 89 or something. So, it made the initial leap but is falling fast.

  31. I never got the chance to reply to this but you make some excellent points. I believe Off the page SEO is BY FAR the most important aspect of SEO, easily.

    I think too many Spammers have abused some approaches to Off the page SEO, and that has caused a lot of “generalizations” when it comes to these methods. But the simple fact is: If you’re putting less than 75% of your effort into ON THE PAGE SEO — You’re missing TOO MUCH traffic.

  32. I fully agree with you Jeremy. I am also scared when someone asks me for SEO on page optimization which in most cases may destroy the landing page usability and faster kick the visitor out (keywords and content stuffing especially). And knowing the black hat tricks is really usefull – its like knowing the eater eggs in some software maybe – not sure this is good example. But the on page SEO really sucks in most cases – it kills usability, it makes users mess and confused – its food for machines and dosn’t convert like good PPC landing page for example.

  33. […] So it seems that I stirred up a little storm last week with my post with my opinion on SEO stuff… So what do you think is most important? Its our question of the week for Jan 15th! […]

  34. […] SEM – OnPage SEO Is Garbage Clarification On Rockstars […]

  35. […] There are a number of folks in the industry who I read with some frequency who have weighed in including Shoemoney, Quadzilla of SEO Blackhat (Jason Calcanis), Michael Gray (AKA Graywolf) in his Jason Calcanis post, and many others. Perhaps my favorite is from Danny Sullivan, the godfather of SEO at Search Engine Land. […]

  36. […] start with Shoemoney clarifying his comments on OnPage SEO being garbage: “I would not say it was “Garbageâ€? but I would say that people place far to […]

  37. […] Shoemoney and many other people that already make tons of money from their sites – these 3 changes are second […]

  38. […] there are many unscrupulous SEOs that would like you to think otherwise, 95% of search engine optimization really is simple. Properly optimizing your website for search engines does take some effort and […]

  39. The biggest problem with ‘Black Hat’ techniques is that when you’re SEOing a clients site Black Hat techniques are more likely to put your cliens site at risk, thats the unethical thing.. Screwing your own domain over is one thing, but stuffing around someone elses business just to try and get quick ‘n easy results is an immoral practise… As for White Hat techniques being easy… Well, learning those techniques might be the simplest thing in the world, but the actual successful application of them is something else entirely, Black Hat is more technical, but at the end of the day its far easier to apply than White Hat…
    The attraction to Black Hat is a result of the risk involved….. Humans have always been attracted to the risk-takers…. its in our nature.. So yeah, when you refer to “Black Hat Heroes” I can understand… But its still bull.

  40. Joe "Cygnus" Sinkwitz o myśleniu lateralnym w SEO • Artykuły • SprawnyMarketing.pl says:

    […] siÄ™ ostatnio ciekawe wpisy w ramach ciÄ…gle powracajÄ…cej debaty dotyczÄ…cej white hat kontra black hat SEO, co również wpisuje siÄ™ w ogólniejszÄ… dyskusjÄ™ na temat tego, czy SEO jest Å‚atwe czy trudne. […]

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