Seven Deadly Sins of SEO

Recently, the Catholic church decided to update the 7 deadly sins with a new set to reflect it’s new socially conscious agenda.  Sweeping away the obvious historical issues we could raise here, I thought it would be fun to look at what these might be in SEO/M

These are meant in fun only. LAUGH AT THEM – do not take them seriously

Gluttony
Based firmly in the realm of food, gluttony can be seen in the SEO community among those who consume too much chocolate – errrr- food.  Gluttony, unlike greed, specifically relates to the consumption of food.  In SEO Terms, it can be seen in the constant desire and obsession over keywords.  Wanting more constantly, this SEO scrapes content, reworks it and tries to have a page dedicated to every term imaginable, no matter how odd or obscure.  Wondering what that page ranking for asdfg is?  A desire to rank for anything and everything – a glutton for keywords.  Since gluttony is really about obsession over food, I thought I’d pop in here a fun site about SEO Foods

Lust
Dante asserted that this was defined as the “excessive love of others”.  I think this could be typified as the type of SEO that chases after other rankings constantly trying to beat them.  Lusting after keywords that have nothing to do with their website, this SEO chases every keyword that catches their eye.  This SEO also chases after people at conferences and online, constantly trying to chat with them.  This ‘lustful’ individual then tries to friend and follow them on every system they can, comments excessively on their blog and if spurned, starts their own blog about how awful the previous object of their lust was.  This may also manifest as extreme excessive assertion of love/lust/desire for the target in public and online, resulting in making them look phenomenally pathetic.

Avarice
One of the worst of the SEO sins, this type of behaviour will get you thrown out of the community.  Relating to behaviours like disloyalty, deliberate betrayal, or theft, especially by means of trickery, or manipulation, I’m sure many SEOs can think of numerous examples of this type of sin.  The SEO who scrapes/steals content to run their affiliate sites, deliberately betraying confidences and secret techniques to try and achieve material/personal gain.  This SEO is driven by nothing other than personal profit and is willing to hack a site and change affiliate links and add hidden links.  This SEO is the worst of the bunch, betraying the code of SEO Fight Club.

Sloth
I’m sure by now you can picture this SEO – sitting at a computer, head in hand, clicking away on things sooooo sloooooowly.  More traditionally, sloth actually represented the failure to utilize one’s talents so it would be having the talent and ability to do really stunning SEO but failing to work beyond what is required.  Sloth is a sin of laziness or indifference; chasing the SEO easy wins and none of the more finesse SEO.  It manifests as an unwillingness to act in the face of falling rankings.  Perhaps it could be an unwillingness to care as hackers infiltrate your client site.  This SEO is going to only ever pick the low hanging fruit.  They may make SEO sound much harder and less possible for the client to achieve.  They extend the length of time to achieve changes and then results, charging excessively high fees for little, if any, work.

Wrath
Interestingly, wrath just happens to be the only sin not really associated wholly with the self.  Wrath could lead out of envy, lust, avarice or even pride.  It is the desire to do evil on others for a perceived transgression against the self or others – including society.  In the SEO, this could easily be a malicious link-buying campaign or Google bombing.  It is hacking a site to place a competitors hidden links on page to try and get them removed from the SERPs.  The SEO actively ignores the truth and aggressively targets the site they have chosen.  This may also result with fist fights at conferences or assertions of a negative sort made over multiple blog posts and other public forums in order to harm the target/victim.

Envy
I think most SEOs who do not have top rankings for their chosen keywords have occasionally fallen victim to this.  In fact, I’m sure the day someone else ranks for ‘SEO chocolate‘ I will be filled with envy (though not to the extent it is a sin).  I think I may be envious of those chosen as sexy female SEOs considering my new pole dancing abilities :)   However, as opposed to simply being a desire for what you do not have, envy is the desire to deprive others of their good fortune/pleasure/etc or to delight in the misfortune of others.  In the SEO world, this could be the perverse pleasure at seeing a competitors’ rankings fall for a highly desirable keyword.  It could also be withholding information about bad SEO practice from them which causes their sites harm.  Mind, it depends if the person deserves it whether it qualifies as envy or a service to the community.

Pride
Given the immediate drop in rankings experienced by more than one prideful boasting SEO, this is one of the most deadly of the sins.  It is also possibly the one sin SEOs strive to avoid as much as possible in order to avoid invoking ‘envy’ and the possible ‘wrath’ – especially by Google.  Pride is taking excessive pleasure in your top 10 ranking for a certain call to purchase a certain pharmaceutical and boasting about it or mocking Google for being unable to detect your undetectable linking network.  This most deadly of SEO sins can result in lost rankings and possible partial or total loss of income.  Of all the SEO sins, this one has the potential to cause the most damage.

Of course, this has been a humorous look at the seven deadly SEO sins and should be taken as such.  It was written with a light heart, free of envy, pride, lust, wrath or avarice.  There was no gluttonous chocolate-munching and no sloth (giant ground or other kinds).  I hope you have enjoyed it in the spirit of a good giggle as it was intended.  :D

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10 Responses to “Seven Deadly Sins of SEO”

  1. Natasha says:

    lol… That was pretty funny. Unfortunately I think many of us might be going to SEO hell:)

  2. I wonder if we could buy SEO indulgences like the church used to do in the past… “Get out of the sandbox free” cards from Google *laughs*

    But who do you confess your sins to? Ask at Ask for absolution? *teeheehee*

    I suppose like all sins though, we’re all guilty of at least one or more and it won’t condemn us for eternity – only for a short while til we can wriggle our way out of Go(d)ogle’s wrath
    ;)

  3. Malte says:

    I would put “sloth” or laziness at the top of the most common SEO mistakes.

  4. Todd Moss says:

    We would confess our sins to Matt Cutts of course.

  5. @Malte – *laughs* I was thinking gluttony but from a food point of view (if we’re looking at my habits *laughs*) but sloth is a common one as is pride. Envy could be said to be common in competitive verticals as is lust *grins*

    @Todd Moss – *BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA* That is brilliant!

  6. Angela says:

    OK.. if I comment, can I start off by saying that I am not stalking you :) .

    Very funny, I got some giggles out of this. Especially the bits about everything that I’ve done in the past… I have been a very bad monkey. I’ll give you all chocolate if you don’t tell anyone.

  7. [...] we shouldn’t be doing as SEOs. Judith ‘deCabbit’ Lewis from SEOchicks nominated The Seven Deadly Sins of SEO as her most successful SEO [...]

  8. Love this post! I hope I don’t feel your wrath if I do happen to compete with you for ‘SEO chocolate’ … ;) ‘Envious’ of your #1 spot, but ‘proud’ of my rank for ‘search engine chocolate’!

  9. *teeheehee* I love this post!
    But seriously – who is going to be searching for “seo chocolate” anyway? but search engine chocolate I’ll bet has lots more search volume – we should do the keyword research for it!

  10. [...] you enjoyed this post, you may want to scoot over to the SEOchicks version of the 7 Deadly Sins written by Judith… Share and [...]

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