Eric Enge, a well known search marketer on the conference circuit from Stone Temple, did an interview with everybodyâ€™s favorite Googler, Matt Cutts.Â While Iâ€™m not going to get into the commentary of he said he said, Eric brings up something that has been bothering me for a while. And what is that?Â The fact that so many people are wasting their time on the George Lackeys of the world, when they should be paying attention to the Susie Powers instead.
While Eric is talking specifically on interview targets, and why it is important you put your energy into landing the really important interviewees rather than the lesser-known ones, this analogy applies in so many ways to the world of SEO.
So who are the George Lackeys?Â Well, you can probably think of them right off the top your head. They are the ones who try to ride on everyoneâ€™s coattails, to try and engage the well-known SEOs on forums, on Twitter, on Google+, on Facebook. They try to write guest articles and blog posts for every well-known SEO related site out there, but more often than not they are simply a regurgitation of something that has already been posted on Search Engine Journal or some place similar. They also try to make everyone think they are the God of SEO – and that they are actually doing you a favor by talking to you rather than vice versa.
But the biggest giveaway?Â If you really look into them, you see that not only are they only mimicking what other better-known people say, they usually never add anything new to a discussion and they donâ€™t have any significant experience under their belt to show off that they are even worth listening to, other than their hustling skills of course.
Shoemoney has often said fake it till you make it. But what Shoe really meant is that yeah, sure, they can pretend you know everything but in the meantime you should be working your fucking ass off until you get that experience and knowledge behind you.Â It is not unusual to hear tales of people who work a full-time day job, but spend all their free time learning and experimenting with SEO, and that includes sleeping only a few hours a night, skipping Friday nights at the bar, so that they can make it in the SEO world.Â Those are the people everyone loves to see succeed, the ones who pour their blood, sweat and tears into making themselves a better SEO.
The George Lackeys?Â They are doing absolutely little as possible.Â Sure, they will read blog posts, will follow the tweets of certain industry celebrities, read forums. Â Â But when it comes to doing the actual work?Â Therein lies the problem, there are far too many Georges out there who expect to be handed their celebrity status on a silver platter simply because they convince a well-known blog to post something of theirs and they troll the conference circuit implying they are hot shit.Â But do they have any successful websites that rank well and make money?Â Do they have a list of coveted clients they are working with?Â If you asked them a detailed SEO question and could they even answer it without parroting something theyâ€™ve heard or read somewhere else that doesnâ€™t really exactly answer what youâ€™re asking anyway?Â Chances are good that they canâ€™t because they havenâ€™t actually done the work themselves, they only read about it.
Now, Iâ€™m not saying that anyone who starts off as Joe Nobody in this industry canâ€™t become a celebrity themselves. Actually, itâ€™s the complete opposite.Â But in order for people to really pay attention to you, do the fucking work yourself donâ€™t be the George Lackey riding coattails.Â Be the person that other George Lackeys want to parrot, instead of doing the parroting yourself.Â Experiment with SEO and write about it with concrete examples.Â Plunk down some cash for a PPC budget to test whatever the latest Google AdWords speculation is.Â Be one of the 3 guys on Pinterest and write about how easy or hard it is to get predominately guy themed product areas noticed and shared.Â But do something. That is the kind of stuff that can get you noticed, not just regurgitating something that Rand or Barry has said.
Always strive to work with and become the Susie Powers of the SEO world, unless you are just content to be the George Lackey that everyone knows you probably are.