Fake SEO Experts Abound Online

Ken CookMarketing is Broken, SEO, Small Business

One of the things that I talk about all the time is that marketing is broken. One way that it’s broken is that there is a proliferation of fake experts.  Let me tell you a quick story.

LinkedIn Fake Expert Request

Once upon a time, there was a man named Jared. Jared started his own company doing internet marketing SEO. Jared wanted clients. Jared was good at what he did, but his business wasn’t growing fast enough so he decided that he would pad his resume a little. He reasoned that given that he did good work for people it was an ok thing to do.  So he added some “certifications” to his LinkedIn profile and began identifying with these new credentials.  His LinkedIn Profile looked like this when he sent a request to people to join his network…

So why take the time to write about this? Well, two reasons I suppose. First, it is dishonesty. I hate dishonesty. I think that it negatively impacts not only the person who is dishonest but all those who aren’t who purport to do the same thing.  There are no ‘Google Certified SEO Experts’ because Google doesn’t certify people in SEO.

David Mihm LinkedIn ProfileHowever, there are honest to goodness SEO experts out there. Let’s take David Mihm for example. He is widely considered the top expert on the planet for local search optimization. He’s the guy behind sites like GetListed.org and MozLocal. This is his LinkedIn profile to the left. Notice how he isn’t saying,” I’m the Greatest at Local Search ever” because he doesn’t need to, we already know…

Second, I guess I’m writing about this because it needs to stop. Fake Experts hurt small businesses who hire them. Forbes offers 7 useful tips to spotting fake experts, most notably, “Real experts demonstrate intellectual honesty.They can put their own expertise in perspective – in terms of its importance in the world, and the quality of the evidence supporting their points of view. Crucially, real experts aren’t afraid of evidence that contradicts their beliefs or their work.” They may be good at what they do and just padding their resumes, or they could be very bad at what they do. We don’t know, we have no way of knowing. Fake Experts contribute to the commoditization of the service we call marketing, and that hurts all of us who do marketing. Ultimately, it hurts the small business community.


Marketing Is Broken, but together we can fix it.