Friday, February 15, 2013

What is the five year plan for your SEO business?

Most small businesses fail. But sometimes I wonder if SEO businesses fail more quickly than others.

In the process of searching for a post in which I wrote my "qualtiy" story, I ran across this June 2010 post. It talked about an ad that I saw which read as follows:

Hire Me Dennis Crowley

Dennis Crowley, please hire David Gokhshtein to work for foursquare.

But Gokhshtein didn't want to work as an employee at Foursquare. He wanted to provide services:

Your Lane Media, founded by David E. Gokhshtein, is an Internet Marketing company dedicated to bringing your vision to life. It is comprised of a team of experts who have a wide and concrete background in internet marketing and web design. Our company offers a variety of services, each of which are mastered by professionals. We possess the tools and skills required to make a business grow and succeed. Dealing with companies that range from every day moms and pops shops to big corporations, looking to advertise their products and services via the Internet, Your Lane Media has what it takes to stay ahead of its competition. We work rapidly, efficiently and professionally.

And I for one would be willing to admit that Gokhshtein's advertising methods were effective. Some might quibble that the original ad was somewhat misleading, but I don't think so.

You might have noticed, however, that this 2013 post does not link to Your Lane Media's website. That's because the website no longer exists. And perhaps his marketing skills aren't as good as I thought; has 0 connections.

So which existing 2013 SEO business will become SOL by 2016? There's one candidate that several people are talking about. is a Kentucky-based (or perhaps North Carolina-based) SEO firm. The company recently shared a post with the title "@MarkTraphagen Has Eric Scmidt Really Just Confirmed Author Rank?" After referring to Traphagen's article, notes:

Google Employees have what they refer to as a privacy act. They're not suppose to publicly discuss algorithm factors, unless otherwise given permission. So, it's fiesable to say that it's been a while since a Google employee has made a public statement, concerning the Google algorithm, up until now that is.
Has Eric Scmidt Just Confirmed Author Rank? - Mark Traphagen

(Remember how I started this post, talking about my "qualtiy" story? So it's not fiesable for me to discuss the qualtiy of RxSEO's statements about Scmidt.)

The author of the RxSEO post, Gregory Smith, is not the first to cite another person's work. Obviously I'm doing that right now by citing Smith's work. But when Smith cited Mark Traphagen's work, he received a comment from Traphagen himself:

I just left a comment on your post +gregory smith. It's in moderation because I linked you to my post where I say THE EXACT OPPOSITE TO WHAT YOU ARE ASSOCIATING MY NAME WITH. Please immediately correct your post or remove my name from it. Author Rank is NOT yet a factor in search, and Eric Schmidt is NOT saying it is (at present). I you'd bothered to read my original post ( you'd know what I really said, but of course, you just scraped pieces of quotes from a forum, so you didn't actually research anything.

If I don't have notice that you have removed my name from your post in the next 30 minutes, I am sharing what you are doing to my 30,000 followers here on Google+

Traphagen left his comment on Google+ on Thursday morning. As of Friday morning, I see no approved comment on Smith's post.

For the record, Traphagen's post wasn't sure whether an Eric Schmidt comment in a general purpose book necessarily indicated a peek into Google's specific strategies.

Would you build your business strategy off a fortune cookie? This quote is not from a Google technical document. It’s from a book of visionary speculation about possible futures. It doesn’t sound like it’s intended to be a tell-all of insider Google strategy for the coming years. While it’s true that as former president and now chairman of Google, Schmidt is obviously privy to information not available to the rest of us, that doesn’t mean that he’s guaranteeing anything. He could just be saying, “Look, this is where we’d like to head, or think search should head.” But it’s possible that these plans may still be visionary, and not actually on the launch pad waiting for lift-off.

But Gregory Smith and his RxSEO company received a lot of attention from Traphagen and others, who began looking at Smith's two Google+ accounts (one for Gregory Smith, and one for Greg Smith), the Google+ account for Lynette Helton, the two Google+ accounts for itself (neither of which have any public posts), the Twitter account...and the MrPowerHouse SEO YouTube account.

This is where you can see this video:

If you are going to talk about "PowerHouse SEO," do you really want to post a video that starts with a shot of the ground, includes a handheld camera, and is marred by the sound of wind another other items interfering with the sound?

There is a more informative video that talks about's services:

But before you sign up for that $599/month Standard SEO Plan or the $1999/month Power SEO Plan, consider that neither this video nor the other video - nor any of Smith's five videos - has received more than 50 views as of this morning.

Why is no one viewing the videos of an SEO service?

I started a Google+ thread about the first video, and Steven Streight (who provides legitimate social media advice in the Peoria, Illinois area) offered the following comment:

It's incredibly stupid to do a video outside with car sounds and wind blowing on the microphone. This video sucks.

This prompted the following response:

I am forced to conclude that Greg Smith not only has a lot to learn about SEO, but also has a lot to learn about computer security. It's obvious that Smith's Google+ account has been hacked, since an SEO expert would never write an online comment such as "You suck you old ass fart.. Lame!"

After all, if you put it online, someone might find it.

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