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Old 09-08-2004   #41
Anthony Parsons
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As the founder of seotesting.com and a current practising SEM, I will share my prospective on industry secrets. Industry secrets are not secret! The information is there, but the information is only one aspect of it, the practical experience to know what works where is the real secret too it, not the information.

SEO is no different from being a motor mechanic. All motor mechanics go to school, learn the same basic content, then go and practice that knowledge. From that practice, they gain experience and begin to experiment what works best between different engines. All motor engines are different, even though they work or same or similar basic principles. SEO is exactly the same. The knowledge is in every single forum, but the experience is the tricky part that takes time. You can not teach experience in a forum, you can only teach knowledge.

To further expand. To teach experience, you need to be sitting in a one on one personal experience, or even over phone or instant messenger. You both need to be looking at the same thing, then use your experience to apply the known knowledge to the job at hand. We all know that each search engine is different, though work of the same basic principles. The same applies to each website. They all contain the same basic fundamentals, though are individually unique. Applying the knowledge + experience is what makes a website effective. People come in to the forums, read read and read some more, then think they are just going to take that and well la, poof, wave the magic wand and it worked. Then they realize that everything "we" told them, did not work as expected. Why? Because they didn't have that experience behind them to apply the required aspects. They just applied everything, most likely over or under optimized, and achieve little or went backwards.

This is what stuffs this industry with people who do strike it lucky, get the right combination by luck, then think they can replicate it and open their own SEO business. Hence the industry gets tarnished and prospects all take a backward step towards even more caution.

You can read forums all day, you can write books about what you read, but without some deal of practical experience applying that knowledge, then your efforts are wasted. You can't teach, if you haven't done. I used to see it all the time within the electrical industry. Egg head engineers, all brains, no experience. They could mathematically condure just about any electrical circuitry, but couldn't get the theory to work in practice because they lacked that actual experience.

The moral to the story is, "There is no industry secrets as such, it is experience that is the secret, and people just tend to forget that and look for other excuses."
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Old 09-08-2004   #42
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"I get in the inner circle? Is it my clothes? Is it my knowledge? Is it my hat?"

Seriously, you can't be "shy" at these things. Intro yourself, don't do it while handing out your business card and never start the conversation off with "what industries are you in?" If that fails, a few beers in the hand is an invite not many can refuse .
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Old 09-08-2004   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddha
Having attended my first conference at Orlando, I found that the veteren SEOers already know eachother and tend to stay in cliques.

For someone that hasn't met all of you before, it can be a little intimidating approaching a group of veteren mods. How do I get in the inner circle? Is it my clothes? Is it my knowledge? Is it my hat?
I tend to sit away from everybody. the guy in the back of the room. the guy in the corner eating lunch by himself.

if you want to meet people don't be that guy.

sit in the front row. eat at a table right in the middle, etc.

that way you will likely run into people or people may just sit next to you...and since you were already there you do not need to do all the ice breaking.
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Old 09-08-2004   #44
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> intimidating

That's not the first time I've heard that. Can't understand why, exactly ...they're all nice guys/gals.

>how

First of all, understand that some of us have been posting together for quite a while, and across many forums. Oilman & I 'met' over on Wilson's board in '97 or '98, for example. Hell, we were even banned at the same time over there, hhh! So, yes, there is are some cliques that have developed.

It's not really the hat color, though that's part of it, because I know of solid whitehats that feel comfortable traveling and hanging out with the more results-oriented ('blackhat' seems to be such a negative term nowadays) group.

It's simply earning trust. For those I can speak for, this basically means you don't go tattling, bragging, whining, or fawning on boards. If you're given a tidbit in confidence, you KEEP it in confidence. Typically, you get to know someone and let them know more details about what you do --don't necessarily expect them to reciprocate. They might be impressed enough to bring up your nick ...that's how it starts.
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Old 09-08-2004   #45
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<laughs>Love it!

The best information about SEM isn't published on the internet. It comes over the telephone. It's face-to-face. One-to one. A trust thing.

The true demigods exist well below radar, or they are masters of disguise. Try catch 'em when they surface and plaster them with drinks.

Last edited by searchengineblog.com : 09-08-2004 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 09-08-2004   #46
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Originally Posted by searchengineblog.com
Try catch 'em when they surface and plaster them with drinks.
they are easy targets after 26 hour flights.
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Old 09-08-2004   #47
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There is also something nice about meeting forum members at these conferences. Its always very interesting to put a face and real voice (that you can hear) to the posts. People open up more, you can earn greater trust and even more so, you can earn a deeper respect.

This is based on my interactions at conferences. After meeting many people, I often chat with them in a private setting, sometimes on a daily basis.

I agree, that you learn a lot more from knowing people outside the forums.

And as Peter (searchengineblog) said, a few drinks don't hurt. But I don't take advantage of people's weaknesses.
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Old 09-08-2004   #48
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>It's simply earning trust.

New ideas are simply not shared in an open fora.
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Old 09-08-2004   #49
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Smaller conferences are a great place to get to know people... keep an eye on SEO forums for announcements of 'non-mainstream' gatherings. In most cases everyone is a little more relaxed and approachable in groups of less than 500+ people.

Also, be forward about getting to know people while you're online. That way, when you go to a conference and introduce yourself by nickname, they'll remember who you are and you'll have things to talk about.

Last edited by mivox : 09-08-2004 at 11:53 PM. Reason: punctuation, typo, god knows what else...
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Old 09-09-2004   #50
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Conferences

It can be difficult getting to know people at the larger conferences.

If there are too many people you can end up spreading yourself too thinly.

You will probably already have an idea of which people you are likely to 'get on with' from your activities on the forums - make a note of the nicks before you go and seek them out.

At some stage of the conference everyone needs a couple of hours away from the hubub, so get a group together and suggest going to eat somewhere away from the mob. Groups of 5-10 work really well. These smaller breakout groups are where the good stuff happens for me.
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Old 11-06-2004   #51
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A lot of trust is based on just plain gut-level instinct, and that's a pretty reliable barometer.
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Old 11-07-2004   #52
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Do People really share their secrets? YES

Everyone is going on the assumption that no one shares real information in order to keep the money-maiking secret to themselves... I say there is a higher goal.

Sure, you can keep a newfound technique to yourself and help whatever clients you can get ahold of making money for them or yourself.

But broadcasting your findings makes you a hero, a leader, someone who must know what they are doing and THAT attracts attention, links, clients and powerful friends who may also send you business.

There are social and financial benefits to be the first to find and publish a new technique or finding; just ask some of the esteemed members here how they became "so popular".
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