SEO Bestiary

Story Text:

heh. i wrote this almost two years ago. don't laugh too hard at me. i post it here because of the other thread about the anti-threadwatch guy spouting off about mushroom farmers or some such garbage. ;)


thought I would share with you my recent observations while travelling in the distant land of WidgetWorld. In this foreign land it was a
perilous strange time that I encountered the inhabitants. A storm they had dubbed Dominic was hovering over the whole kingdom.

Some said it was a good thing, that a little rain wouldn't hurt (even if it disrupted *some* parades). Others disagreed, sending out town criers to let it be known that the end of WidgetWorld was at hand.

One of the first actual people I ran into was one of many I would meet. I termed them newbs.


Experience: Played around with a Geocities site in the mid 90s. Girlfriend/boyfriend mentioned blog a while back and it sounded intriguing.

Typical post on SEO Forum: "I was in Google, but now I'm out!", "Hey, check out my [URL removed...]", "Longtime lurker, first time poster..."

Weaknesses: Lack of knowledge.

Strengths: Motivation. Fascination. Inspiration.

In WidgetWorld they had this method of communicating very similar to ours in that they posted messages back and forth daily on a
big board in the middle of each town.

Some liked to play havoc with the system, though, using deceptive techniques to get their message out. These I called Spammers off that cheap mixture meat we have back here in our realm.


Experience: Dark, mean men and women with warts! Well, some of them anyway. Others blended in with the rest of society while practicing their dark arts in basements across the land.

Typical post: Although spammers more often than not only lurk in habitats such as WebmasterWorld, when they do speak out, it's usually in justification of what they do. As in, "Hey, if it wasn't me doing it, someone else would. I gotta feed my eight kids!"

Weaknesses: The dark side is dark for a reason.

Strengths: Brute force.

When I finally got to some of the towns in the interior of the kingdom, I noticed a slight variation of the newbie existed, a Jitterbug.


Experience: These people were just newbies with a little more knowledge, which is indeed sometimes a dangerous thing.

Typical Post(s): "I'm up on www2!", "i'm down 2 on -sj. Google sucks!", "Whoo! I'm page 1 SERP for all my phrases. Google rules! Check
out my site at ... [edited - don't post URLs please...]"

Weaknesses: Rashness. Lack of patience and discipline. Calm down, grasshopper, you have much to learn.

Strengths: Sometimes in all the running around virtually they stumble onto something.

Although not as numerous as Jitterbugs or Newbs, the White Knights I saw in all the towns were a sight to behold. Being well-off they were able to park themselves in front of the town boards every
day, gaining more and more knowledge. They occasionally liked to share their wealth of knowledge, though. These I called the White Knights.

White Knight

Experience: BBS. Pre-ARPA perhaps. Lots of *NIX experience. Although some white knights were younger, the majority were in the mid to late stages of their life.

Typical posts(s): Hrm. In my experience, signing that many guestbooks would be a bad idea. Here, check this thread and this thread.

Weaknesses: Time is money.

Strengths: Knowledge. Experience. Good reputation.

In the hills surrounding the outskirts of WidgetWorld, I came upon a lot of these odd, eccentric characters. During the time of
the Dominic storm while I was over there, they were always telling me they had whipped up a method to quell the damage of the storm.
Of course, at the same time, they promised to increase the benificial factors of Dominic. Some were just plain illusionists,
making others see things. As a group I called them wizards.


Experience: Younger. Been around computers since they were little. Some have the same set of knowledge as a white knight, but the key to the wizards are the scripts they write.

Typical posts(s): I've found the key to the algo. No, I'm not sharing.

Weaknesses: Sometimes being tempted to use powers for dark things.

Strengths: Adept. Virtuoso. Coder poet. Little need for sleep with drinks that contain substance that allows them to go for long
periods poring over their large tomes and searching for pieces to put a new script together.

From north to south in WidgetWorld, the forests were populated with a great bunch of people who were connected with the land. They worked it. They're like crazy commune farmers in our realm.


Typical post: It's all about the content. Make sure you have good content. Throw some seeds and watch them grow. Won't be fast, but it is the best way.

Weaknesses: Time is money. Takes patience to learn and tend to websites, nurturing them to PR heights previously unknown in your niche/order.

Strengths: Dominic rarely rains on your parade and gives you enough juice to operate very well.

The southern swamps of WidgetWorld were a dark place I'd rather not think about for a while. I will share with you briefly, though, what I came upon in this foggy bog of monstrosities.


Experience: Been around a while, but still think they can use old stuff that's long since been dead.

Typical Post(s): I just designed this cool script that is kinda like a doorway page only it isn't. What it does is scour the web for
content about widgets, scrape some of the content, rearrange it, filter it, add a couple stop words, reproduce itself with (ing s misspellings etc) and then back out spit it as HTML with redirects javascript for the SEs. Ha!

Weaknesses: Using old parts and old ideas.

Strengths: Sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks. Sometimes. Very rarely.

In the town centers, close to the action, the goldsmiths tried to corner the market on KWs. They were an odd lot. Usually from upperclass families with a good credit rating.

Goldsmith Fortune Hunters

Experience:The goldsmith SEO calculates the odds. He has the fanciest virtual calculators to calculate and predict and interject highly honed and currently popular search terms. The goldsmith is an SEO day trader if you will.

Typical post: (Not very likely to post on public boards. They lurk, though.)

Weaknesses: Need for lots of currency. Always a gamble, no matter how calculated.

Strengths: Instant results sometimes.

Some of the inhabitants of this realm tried outrageous stunts, jumping this way and that, trying to balance a hundred feet in the air on a couple two-keyword phrases. I call them the daredevils.


Experience: Been in the game long enough to know what it's all about. Decide on their own to live dangerously, though.

Typical post: widget domains are the key, imho. don't tell anyone, but i'm running this xperment right now involving mutiple sub-domains and some hightech Chinese cloaking software. dude. later.

Weaknesses: Needless risk taking.

Strengths: When they pull it off, it's usually spectacular for a short while. Fifteen minutes of fame kind of thing in our world, I guess.

The bounty hunters existed throughout the land in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They were forever lurking in off-theme towns, gleaning their town boards for information. They always seemed
to be hot on the trail of spammers and necromancers. Some were nastier than others.


Experience: Enough to get the job done.

Typical post: Got another one today. Emailed a Google rep and now he's gone. Very competive KW, too, btw. Fair warning, I'm looking
into that Westcoast Widgets thing this very second.

Weaknesses: Tough, dangerous job to go after those who use the dark side.

Strengths: Knowledge. Ability to blend in with both sides, white and black, good and bad.

In every town I saw a small SEO shop setup. The
proprieters of these establishments came in all shapes and sizes. Some were strictly mercenaries, usually offering combination rates for multiple keywords and specific ranking schemes.

Others were opportunists, latching onto the fad of signing a little note outside people's homes. Selling their services to disperse hundreds of thousands of these messages in private space.

It was an interesting journey, though, to say the least. I just hope some of my observations will help you on your way toward SEO perfection.



Great stuff, thanks for that! Made my day.

kinda reminds me of...

... a Discworld book :) Very nice.


i did it after my portrait of a blogger piece for K5. i didn't spend as much time on this one, though ;)

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