Mike Grehan Spanks Mr Angry


It looks like Mike Grehan did not want to let UK Gimp have all the fun! Mike Grehan replied to the criticisms of his recent ClickZ article and spanked Andy Hagans in the process.

From this day forward Andy will be known as:

Mr Angry, the aggressive guy


I tried to read the whole thing.

Very interestzzzzzzzzz........

Longest.Blog.Post.Ever. But at least I learned something from it. And that's that readers won't read long posts.


Just scolled down to see how long it was and hurt my finger spinning the scroll button.

I'm suing.


Blogging about people is such a soap opera. Nick was write... target bloggers. They never run out of things to say, and every conversation is a potential ad-infinitum of one-way "dialogues".

Isn't blogging a load of

Isn't blogging a load of shit? I can't believe this is the future

Long it may be, but old

Long it may be, but old school SEO,is dying fast. Those of us who do not morph into a re-definition of what we do, how we do it and who we do it to, will face an ever steepening uphill battle. That part is nothing new and what all profesional SEO's have done all along.

True, the changes we're seeing now are a little different in the respect that they are more about human behaviour than spiders, (at least from our point of view), but all-in-all it's the same thing, just different data sets. That means a shift to a new paradigm --- hence, long posts, mis-communicated emotions, misunderstood intentions and heated debates. Such is the way of the internet in 2006.

There will still be great demand for content generation, link acquisition, custom scripts, stats analysis, customer profiling, ad copy and even things like building blogs for no other purpose than to manipulate links, (I've heard there are people doing that :)

One thing I'm pretty sure of though is this internet thing-a-ma-bob ain't goin' away and everyone of us is going to be fine. Unless we die of course.

I was realizing that you

I was realizing that you have to be quite the SEO industry insider to have even a remote idea what's going on with Mike's post, what it references, etc. There must be a bunch of people out there scratching their heads...

And Andy's comments weren't nearly as inflammatory as my initial post (before it was edited to reflect the thoughts of a sane person). I'm the one who should be taking the brunt of this, not Andy.

Eeek too much to read. When

Eeek too much to read. When people are too lazy to keep posts short than i just skip to last paragraph and hope they’ve summarised.

Isn't blogging a load of shit?


to be fair rand, mine were

to be fair rand, mine were pretty inflammatory too :-) truth be told, I DID want someone with decent readership to call out MG on that issue.

either way, I did find his reply / followup to be interesting, if you don't mind the length. I agree w/him that user data is quickly becoming much more important in Google, and may well be one of the components one needs to break out of the 'box.

Now we're back to square one with the mom and pop's though -- we can probably get them some decent links to their new site, but how do we build user data for them on the cheap?

Worth the read

Good stuff guys. I'm hoping I'm around if and when Mr. Angry and Mike get to have a great discussion. Being able to disagree publically without it being a personal thing is one of the things that are fun about discussions within the SEO industry. These are two great minds at work. One who's been well proven, and quite difficult to find a hint of weakness despite volumes of industry articles, and the other who is young, intelligent and hungry and willing to call out even an expert when they make a statement that deserves to be questioned. It took balls to stand up and ask some important questions, and it took a lot of dignity and respect for the industry to craft a well written response.

Rand, your original comments were straight off the head, and almost exactly on par with my thoughts when I read that the sandbox didn't exist. It is good to let stuff simmer a bit sometimes before replying, but makes for interesting reading when you don't;)

Thanks for a great back and forth conversation that we were all privy to read, and thanks for keeping it civil, respectful, and informative.

One way dialogue, arguments, discussions...

all just sound like lovely forms of content generation.


different flavors

Algo busting is not a marketing plan.

market inefficiencies

"algo bustng is not a marketing plan"

No, but "exploiting market inefficiencies" is indeed a business plan. Wall Street thrives on it.

When did it become possible for some remote Mom & Pop "store" to compete internationally with an established full brand product distributor? In the late 1990's, when the Web took over consumer mindshare. The major SEs validated those Mom&Pop stores (and continue to do so), and the users enoyed the refreshing change. Slowly, the SE's are invading those same markets to take the profits for themselves. Poor Mom & Pop!

How did some of those Mom &Pop's resist the ramping up of those very same powerful traditional distribution channels as they finally hit the web? Partly by exploiting market inefficiencies - including SEO.

How far has it now gone? One can argue that things have been stagnant for too long. When PageRank was so exploited that link exploits grew to comical proportions, something should have taken its place. When on-page exploits turned the travel sector into a comical demonstration of excess (e.g. TripAdvisor), something should have shaken the sector up. But that hasn't happened yet...and IMHO some otherwise-undeserving players are winning the SERPs war. It is only a matter of time before those same SERPs get shaken up as a means of wringing out the untapped commercial potential.

Some say "information wants to be free" but I also think "value wants to be discovered" and "money wants to be spent". The consumers have been left out of the picture for now as the players chase ad money. Duh.

Now one can argue forever about the current state of the web:

  • will big players lock down industries, blocking Mom&Pops?
  • will big technologies price smallplayers out?
  • will the SEs over-manipulate the markets they helped create?
  • will user's turn their backs on the small M&P over credit and privacy issues?
  • will big business be able to lock distribution channels once again?
  • will the user take control of the web through "community" aspects, tagging, blogs, etc?
  • will consumers tire of the Ad middlemen and find another way to reach their destinations?

and on the flip side:

  • will the speed of innovation continue to grant advantage to smaller players?
  • will disruptive technologies continue to plague the efforts of the large industry groups seeking channel control?
  • will SEO's continue to innovate in ways that disrupt the efforts described above?

Some of you may view SEO as PimplyFacedGeek vs. Google, but it has never been that except for in some very specific situations. It has always been SEO vs. TheMarket or perhaps even more interesting SEO vs. TheVoid (where an SEO innovates in a new space to meet a latent demand, with plans to monetize later). Go ahead and argue marketing vs. AlgoBusting, or Community vs. SiteFactors, or whatever. Those discussions are less and less relevant to SEO because they are moving away from the goal-oriented nature of SEO (and some SEM). Sometimes I think that reflects the marketer's (or blogger's) move away from client success metrics, towards personal (or SEM firm) success metrics. Other times it just seems many former SEO's are lost right now. That's fine.

I think the market is poised for change, and SEOs need to be ready. I think Mike Grehan's sugestion that a Fortune 1000 firm might incentivise it's users to search a query in Google as a way of manipulating the SERPs is not a big new idea, but an example that competitive commerce is about exploiting market inefficiencies. The rest of this SEO community blabber is about labeling and critiquing such efforts. One contributes to the client's bottom line, and one does not.

I hope everybody continues to drink the KoolAde because if so it will be alot easier to exploit market inefficiencies.

Algo busting is not a

Algo busting is not a marketing plan

and if you are good at it is there typically any better way to monetize those services than using affiliate, lead generation, or contextual ad sites?


Just to clarify I'm not saying you can't run, operate, and be profitable running sites that derive traffic purely from algo busting efforts. Just that algo busting revenue stream leaves you vulnerable to algo changes (ie sandbox implementation), that traditional and more conventional marketing activities don't. Not saying algo is bad either it's just a part of the game that played differently.

The skills that make someone a good center fielder are pretty different than the skills that make you a good catcher, but you're both playing the same game of baseball.

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