I used to read SEO blogs religiously and try and be as white hat as I could about 10 years ago. When I first got my first official 9-5 working in SEO (my first experience in SEO was back when I was 14 (16 years ago)). I worked at a small agency and tried to follow the rules however, pretty much all of my clients competitor websites were doing shady practices and getting away with it, which I was confused about and wanted to blame them for cheating.

Further in my career I was able to be inside one of the top 3 agencies in the world as well as work with the biggest agency in the world as a provider, I can tell you for a fact there were shady practices going on in all instances. But most shocking to me was when I worked client-side at a large retailer, and I came in after they had changed SEO agencies a few times and got to see the work of “famous” SEOs… Those ones that go on so much about being white hat and bla bla bla. I got an insider view to what was going on and I knew who exactly had done what.

The work done was shocking… None of them took their own advice. Either on the worst level buying terrible links or on a better level buying articles on large reputable websites. All done by the people peddling that this was the wrong thing to do and they’d never do it.

This is not to say that some of them didn’t follow their own advice as some did but with less results than ones that didn’t. The truth is that if something works in a world like SEO where having a slight upper hand makes a huge difference. People aren’t going to tell you how they do it.

I like to make the comparison that these “famous” SEOs are like gangster rappers. Sure, they all talk about dealing, killing, pimping etc… But that isn’t the reality of their own lives anymore (or maybe it never was). Of course, for some it still is.

Lesson being take everything with a pinch of salt. Use your own experience to see what works and what doesn’t.

Just so you know. I don’t sell SEO services or do them for anyone, anymore.


  1. I’ve seen a lot of talk about SEO “guru’s” and not much of it good. A lot of people in SEO seem jaded by it. Can I ask you why you left if you don’t mind? What advice would you give a newbie?

    • Hi Watson,

      I would say try things out for yourself. Make a few websites and see what you can do with them just messing around to see what works. I didn’t particulary leave the industry I just setup a company that is pretty much unrelated so I run that instead.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  2. Thank you William. Ahref lead me to your site. I’m learning SEO now and start with my personal site. I read some advice in my language but seem not enough and start to read by English. It’s hard to understand but i will try. Just added your site to my favorite bar. Hope to see more advice from you.

  3. I know this is a year old, but so relevant. However just stick to the basics, and you will do well. Everyone knows top factors to help your SEO. (page load speed, new Core Vitals, mobile first, great content) I think we would all agree.

    But, test the things you do for your clients. Every market is different. I TESTED FOR 6 MONTHS: Google My Business, post more, and make sure posts benefit users. “4 helpful post to every 1 post for promoting”. Add Schema to pages.

    Also, go beyond SEO! Offer clients online channels that their target audience uses. Social Media, video, e-mail, blogs. A great blog can provide a few key items. Others link to it. Each blog should be relevant to one main page on site, boost. The dictator known as ‘Google’, loves blogs, well updated content.

    Test, note, revise. Sort of like shampoo, wash, rinse, repeat.

    Be Different! Just some thoughts. And others who have ideas, I’m always interested.

  4. Spot on, man. The amount of nonsense I see people talking in SEO, especially on LinkedIn (because my clients love to send me status updates from their favourite SEO guru and ask “why aren’t we doing this?”) is insane.

    My personal favourite was an SEO guru who is ALWAYS ranting and angry about how other SEO’s are awful and bragging about how his way is so great and that he’d never buy links from places like Fiverr. I did a quick link analysis of his site and saw almost exclusively links from Fiverr vendors haha. Like you said, don’t believe a word anyone says in SEO. Not guru’s anyway.

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