The company that I have recently become a director of, Online Ventures Group, last-week presented our thoughts to an audience of invited guests at Steelcase in Manchester, which largely included local ‘decision makers’. The tag line of the presentation was purposely provocative. Maybe too provocative
The intention was to bring attention to the scourge of the industry, not the better search agencies of Manchester including I-Com, The E Word, LakeStar and so on (apologies to the good, local agencies that I have not mentioned – contact me for a mention).
Whilst I am not at all a fan of speaking on behalf of anyone else (I hate it, in fact – who am I to do so?), I thought that this statement was the best way to cause a stir and hopefully try and start to rid Manchester of the truly bad agencies out there (including web design agencies that say that they can do SEO) that steal a living in the search industry from either lack of morals, lack of knowledge, lack of effort, or smoke and mirror tactics – or all four.
Whatever anyone from the search industry may think about our event, if they are stupid enough to close their eyes to a constant stream of ripped-off clients from incorrect selling techniques to atrociously negligent link buying tactics (the worst atrocity in my opinion), then they are ignoring something that desperately needs to be cleaned up, so that the whole local industry benefits – but more importantly, clients benefit. Surely you cannot deny this? If anyone from the search industry believes that there are NOT agencies out there that are like this, please get in touch with me as I have got it all wrong and almost every client that has ever got in touch with me were all incorrect.
One thing that we did of course expect was attacks from those that feel threatened by the message of our event. ’Keyboard warriors’ exist in all walks of life and no controversial news story is immune from this type of presence. What those ‘keyboard warriors’ don’t know is that the people at the event – to a man/woman – understood why they were responding negatively. I would say that in this respect alone, the event was a true success.
Having spoken with around half of the people that attended (35ish, not 12 as reported by a keyboard warrior), it was very clear that they now have the ‘power’ to make decisions about their search strategies without having to sift through the dross, incorrect and purposely misleading information that IS given in SEO proposals and meetings by poor companies.
All I wanted to do was to give the power to those people in the room – and I believe that this is the case. All I want them to do is to know a good search agency from a bad one. If I take flack in the meantime for it, that is just what it takes, but I can sleep at night knowing that I have just helped 30 or so people to not get fooled again.
I didn’t receive any negative press personally, because you know what, every client that I have worked with in the past few years is extremely happy with the results of my work. It has usually put them in a much stronger financial situation than they were prior to my meeting them. Some have given me shares in their own businesses. I may not be the best businessman in the world, or the best at choosing topic titles for events , but I know how to make clients happy – and that is by placing power and control in to their hands. I wonder if this is the same for the keyboard warriors? However, some of the people within my business did receive negative press.
The content of my talk shall remain with those people that came to the event, but it was very simple, I did not sell anything, I did not cloud their judgement or confuse them, I simply showed them how the mathematics of nature unequivocally applied to search engines (specifically Google) and this was the basis of how any website becomes successful - or how any website that ever was successful, became successful. It was done in simple, plain english, and many circles were drawn on the funky whiteboard. There was no theory, just mathematical facts about nature. If you think this is BS, then you really need to brush up on your maths. Those that attended would not agree with you – now.
It only lasted for an hour, but should give a part of the Manchester business world a great understanding of what they need to do for future success. Now, they will start to use companies like I-Com, The E Word, LakeStar etc and me and my own team, rather than the extremely poor SEO companies that really do exist in Manchester.
It may further irk some warriors to know that 9 different businesses came back to our offices after the event to talk, with two large brands (one extremely large) verbally telling us (we had not asked) that they were moving all online activity to us and many of the others showing great interest. Any of you that have ever done a show like this knows that businesses – especially not 25% of them – come back to your offices in such a way, straight after an event.
This was for a few reasons, I believe:
- We didn’t sell anything, just gave information
- We gave the attendees the power to make much better decisions
- The keyboard warriors genuinely helped us greatly – it made sense to the attendees “why they are threatened” – an attendees words, not mine
So, my apology on behalf of the digital industry is exactly that…if you, too, consider yourself a part of the digital industry and consider that those poor, cheating, truly rubbish, and/or inept search agencies are NOT a part of the digital industry, then I hope you understand my sentiments.