My Name is Miami Attorneys (and now SEO must die)

// // December 03rd 2010 // Humor + Rant + SEO

The other day I followed a ping back to Elsewhere. There I found a fantastic blog commenting policy.

I’ve turned “nofollow” back on for links in comments. If I can find a good WordPress plugin that allows me to disable this on a per-comment basis, I will manually remove that on comments I think deserve it.

Use your name, nickname, pseudonym, handle, or other personally-relevant identifier in the “Name” field. Your name is not “Miami Attorneys” or “Solar Panels” or “Bingo Games”. If you use a product or site name as your own name and it makes it through the spam filters, I will manually delete it. This applies to obvious keyword linking, too. The keyword you’re trying to boost is not your name. If you use it as your name, I will remove your comment. Use your own name, or something reasonably name-like.

Linking to the site you’re promoting is fine, as long as it’s relevant to the post or other comments in the thread. If I feel it is spammy, I may delete the link or the whole comment, depending on my mood. Your link will have rel=”nofollow” applied, unless I think it deserves otherwise.

If you are not a spammer or SEO practitioner, you probably don’t know what any of that meant. Don’t worry about it; it doesn’t apply to you.

This is why so many people hate SEO and you really can’t blame them either. The sad truth is that most people lump SEO in with this obnoxious form of blog commenting spam. This is what they see, despite the reality. Which got me thinking.

Dread Pirate SEO

Most people probably think of SEO as the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Dread Pirate SEO

If you’re familiar with The Princess Bride (and you should!) then you know that the Dread Pirate Roberts was thought to be an incredible villain. What they didn’t know (among other things) was that the Dread Pirate Roberts wasn’t just one person.

So you can think of the Dread Pirate SEO declaring that his name is Miami Attorneys on blog after blog, taking no prisoners in his quest for keyword anchor text.

SEO Must Die

Of course this provokes a rather normal reaction.

SEO Must Die

Yes, a phalanx of Inigo Montoyas rise up to call for the head of the Dread Pirate SEO. They seek to battle him at every turn, not knowing the truth behind the mask.


The problem is what most people see looks like (and often is) trickery. Yes, many in our profession are true Dread Pirate SEO. Compounding this is the fact that every good SEO does know some tricks. Not only that, but many like to poke and prod the algorithm in an effort to understand what will really work.

SEO Trickery

SEOs enjoy this battle of wits. And we like to win. However, it may give many the wrong impression of our true purpose.

We’re Westley

Dread Pirate SEO is actually … a good guy!

SEO Good Guy

Good SEO is simply ensuring that your content finds the right audience. It would be nice if a good site or great content would immediately rank for the right queries. But that’s not what happens, despite the Google dogma. Instead, SEO is there to storm the castle and ensure that your time and effort is rewarded with the right traffic. That your site and content are seen by the right people.

Will most people ever think of SEO as their ally? Probably not. That just happens in the movies.

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Comments About My Name is Miami Attorneys (and now SEO must die)

// 4 comments so far.

  1. Rick Bucich // December 03rd 2010

    I love this post, seriously. That comment spam policy is brilliant.

  2. Bill Rowland // December 05th 2010

    I was waiting for a reference to Fezzik (Andre the Giant), but alas it never came.

    Regardless, I enjoyed the post as I’ve struggled finding a balance between awarding those that leave worthwhile comments versus those that don’t. Ultimately, I’ve chosen to hand select the comments which is painful but required.

    Will anyone ever really consider SEO as an ally? Maybe not, but Miracle Max brought Westley back from the dead, didn’t he?

  3. aj // December 10th 2010

    Yes! I was thinking I might try to use Fezzik in my analogy but … I just couldn’t get it to fit. Perhaps Fezzik is the big bad Google Web Spam team. Fezzik is Matt Cutts.

    Miracle Max certainly did bring Westley back from the dead, so perhaps SEO does have a chance.

    Thanks for the comment – always great to hear from another Princess Bride fan.

  4. The Walrus // February 20th 2011

    It makes an interesting change to see intelligence and SEO in the same place. And you like one of my favourite films as well!

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