Is SEO a Dirty Word?

Search Engine Optimization.



It’s one of those terms that seems to mean something different to everyone who uses it.

Like pizza. It means very different things if you’re in New York, Chicago, my kitchen, or the frozen food aisle of your grocery store.

SEO is often talked about as being an art and a science, which is true, but that definition can also seem elusive. The trouble with SEO being defined so differently by different people is that it has allowed people to charge money for “SEO” when they should really be calling their services “Take Your Money & Run.”

We have a client in Nashville and a client in Manhattan who have both been harmed by short-sighted, spammy SEO tactics. We’re slowly working them out of their respective snares, but it takes time: quality SEO is a long-term, strategic, business-level set of practices.

As frustrating as that can be (to you and me both!), it shouldn’t cause us to throw the e-baby out with the digital bathwater. In a world as unregulated as the internet, there are always going to be people in the “Take Your Money & Run” camp.

Thankfully, there are also people who do things the right way: carrying out SEO with integrity, and caring as much about the long-term success of your business as you do.

Here are some ways to distinguish between the bad and the good SEO guys (and gals).

Bad SEO vs. Quality SEO

  • Quality SEO can move the needle for your business.

  • Bad SEO can bury you under a mountain of ill-will from Google’s algorithms.

  • Quality SEO requires a thoughtful understanding of your business, your customers, your competitors.

  • Bad SEO promises things that sound too good to be true.

  • Quality SEO turns an eye toward the long-term health of your online presence, even while digging through the day-to-day dirty work.

  • Bad SEO can turn your brand presence into an utter mess.

  • Quality SEO can enhance and protect your brand.

We’re based in Nashville, and many of our clients are based in this area, but we have also worked with clients whose reach stretches across the nation. And we’re well-equipped to handle either situation, because location has little-to-no bearing on the SEO health of your site.

Maybe you’re just getting your feet wet in the SEO world, or maybe you’ve been burned in the past by someone who did a poor job. Either way, give us a chance to prove to you that SEO doesn’t have to be a dirty word.