If you have never seen the Optimize This series of interviews, done by Chris Gilchrist’s HitReach, there’s really great bits and pieces of tips and tidbits from various well-known SEOs and marketing “celebrities”. This week, the subject was the Almighty Rand Fishkin. And boy, if you had any question about how much he thinks of himself, this interview leaves very little doubt, because as he claims everybody who knows him personally or interacts with him personally loves him.  Yep, everybody loves Rand, or so he believes. randfishkinseochick

And now, you have to give Chris credit for asking random pretty ballsy questions that I’m pretty sure no one has EVER put to Rand while under the hot seat before.  Part of me likes to think Chris sat there during the interview thinking “do I dare ask him this?”  Well, many of us are sure happy he did, because it is entertainment!  I think this is just become my new favorite mini interview series in the entire industry, especially if he continues to push the envelope with asking the kinds of questions that most people want to ask but are too chicken shit to actually come out and ask.

Rand was asked specifically about what he thinks of people who are part of an anti-Moz movement or bandwagon. Now, when Rand specifically says anonymous online handles, either pretty good guess that I’m probably lumped in with group, along with all the trolls a Moz employee told me spam his blog (drunk Mozzers are a great source of info!)

“I haven’t seen us be specifically more targeted or hated or received criticism that well-known companies and other industries received, so I don’t think it’s unusual or unnatural,” Rand says.  Okay, I’ll give him points there, when you compare Moz to the Walmarts or the Exxons of the world, by comparison he is as much beloved as Apple or Coca-Cola.  But of course, he doesn’t leave it at there, because, you know, the ego thing.

“I think when we won people over or change people’s minds that maybe previously disliked the company, it’s usually the result of them getting to know us personally. I think it’s very easy to have a strong dislike or hatred for someone that you don’t really know, it’s much tougher if you actually get to meet and know that person, and I think that’s why there’s so incredibly few people that we’ve actually spent time with, that I have, that someone from our community team, or people that work at Moz, who really really dislike the company, I think it tends to be folks who either have anonymous Internet handles or haven’t had personal relationships with the company, so I take that as generally a good sign.”

For those wondering, I have spent time with Rand and many members of his team over the years, including multiple drinks, dinners and a multitude of industry parties.  And I know many non-MozZombies feel the same way I do.

But what about outing people for spamming or blackhat techniques?  Well, it hasn’t stopped Rand from outing people when he thinks he can get page views – although he loses a lot of credibility and insider tips on what is and isn’t working.

“I like the idea that […] the world of SEO or the world of marketing is not some mafia where we try to keep each other’s secrets from law enforcement or from Google or there’s some idea that we have a code of omerta or silence and we have to aggressively shame each other into staying quiet. I think that all those are generally evil and wrong things in the real world and they apply equally online.”

Pro tip Rand, this is precisely why people refuse to share cutting edge tips with you.

He continues on, “I’m also not of the belief that some people would take a different tack on this that Google is this evil superpower that is sort of pushing down either on our intellectual or economic freedoms and therefore we need to adopt this code of silence in order to defend ourselves.  I think the world of marketing and the world of SEO is so big and so broad that that is not really consideration yet even though I do think Google is doing plenty of evil things.”

Tsk tsk Rand.  Maybe it’s comments like this why Matt Cutts didn’t offer to help you on a Google+ ranking study like he did Eric Enge.

Here are all the videos in the Optimize This series.

By seobitch

Seobitch is a pen name for a well known female expert in the SEO industry that most of you likely already follow. She has more than a dozen years experience and is a very respected expert in the field. Seobitch can be controversial but writes about issues that most people are afraid to talk about due to their employers, clients or friends. She also loves to tackle industry issues from a different point of view than what you normally see the "complainers" of the industry complaining about. She is also open to suggestions for future topics you would like to see the SEObitch tackle.

21 thoughts on “Rand Fishkin believes everyone loves him, oh and outing is great!”
  1. Rand is about as far from ‘cutting edge’ as it gets, way to call him out on his king of the castle mentality.

  2. Moz and Rand just need to have a civil ceremony and run off into the sunset together all ready. There’s clearly a lot of butt humping going on there.

  3. So what you’re saying is that you once drank the Moz koolaid but have suddenly awoken to find you were in a cult and ran screaming in the other direction.

  4. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you? So you don’t like Rand, a good looking fellow that properly not touch you with a 50 foot pole. This is a man who has built a larger business that offers tools many people need and want and he treats everyone nicely. Sure a lot to hate about that, right?

    I have spent time with Rand three times and he has been beyond gracious and kind. All you look like is a jealous woman with no class. Grow the fuck up already. Please! People like you make out industry look like shit. Write something of value that can help someone instead of this lame crap.

  5. Oh so you can dish it out, but not take it when someone calls you out on a comment? Deleting a comment that goes against you? Classy.

    1. Joanne, Shoe rarely deletes posts unless it’s obvious bot spam. As a mechanism, he manually approves comments. So not only did he not delete your comment, he actually approved it.

      Moderation takes time… you’ll see your own comments immediately during the same session so you know that you successfully left a comment. But if you leave and come back the comment won’t be there until is has been manually approved. Then it will be there permanently.

      Disclaimer: I’ve posted here before. No relation to Shoemoney or his business.

  6. Many of the alleged & self-proclaimed white hats are black hats who need to use the white hat label to get away with their own transgressions against Google.

    Doesn’t Moz run a commercial rank tracking service which scrapes Google’s search results, in violation of their TOS and webmaster guidelines? Didn’t Google penalize WebPosition Gold for that in the past and warn against using such automated rank trackers in their official guidelines?

    Don’t look for Rand to comment on that black hat behavior anytime soon.

  7. It’s such a niche post. I believe Moz and Rand just need to have a civil ceremony and run off into the sunset together all ready.

  8. It’s such a niche post. I believe Moz and Rand just need to have a civil ceremony and run off into the sunset together all ready.

  9. I have always been neutral on Rand however I do enjoy watching some of his videos at times. You have to admit his “energy” that he puts out is inspiring just on its own.

  10. Let us put all this hoopla and energy to good use.

    Perhaps the world needs saving and you can start by educating your children, the future generation, on the growing pollution problems: earth, electricity, biological, and nuclear.

    The food we eat, the air we breath, the water we drink.

    All of this nonsense about SEO tactics will be irrelevant in the future, and people will laugh at our attempts to use an antiquated language.

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