I had a long flight out the West Coast this week that gave me some time to think. One thing that popped into my mind is how all of us feel additional pressure when we know someone is watching us. That’s why we drive the speed limit when the State Trooper is behind us on the highway.
In the strange world of SEO, most companies hide the fact that they are involved with an SEO agency. What got me thinking about is was watching my friend Mike King on Twitter. Mike is a constant presence on social media and is connected to a lot of people.
Mike is a well-respected SEO working for a well-respected SEO agency. They have well-respected clients, although they are no doubt under NDA with most if not all of them. Why?
I understand that in the bad-old-days that there were SEO agencies that did things to help their clients that went against Google’s guidelines, but all of the good agencies are now more aligned with the guidelines.
Am I being Naive?
If I hired Mike I would constantly be telling people. I would make it as public as I could so that Mike would feel that extra social pressure to prove he’s as good as his reputation is. I would do a press release the day I signed on with iAcquire laying out our agreed upon expectations.
I respect the opinion of others in the SEO industry like Russ Jones and Michael Gray that remind me that Google should not be trusted. Like the line from the 2006 movie The Departed about how the Boston PD felt about the FBI, “they’re like mushrooms, feed ’em shit and keep ’em in the dark”.
I think of all the goodwill I’ve tried to build up in the years I’ve been helping organize the Raleigh SEO Meetup. If a friend from that group asks for my help, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure they are satisfied. I would hate to be the guy who talks a good game but can’t actually move the needle.
It’s too bad that most SEO agencies have to hide in the shadows. It is starting to change and I hope that I can find allies to help me make this change happen even quicker.