12 Signs Your “SEO Guru” Sucks

  • July 16th 2013
  • by Marvin Russell
12 Signs Your “SEO Guru” Sucks

I have to admit that I’m a bit behind on blogging so I thought I’d release what I call a “fun post” even though I think it should still be taken seriously. I’ve been performing SEO for my own websites and my client’s websites for 10+ years. In that time I’ve seen and experienced many things, including self-proclaimed “SEO Gurus” that really suck. So, if your “SEO Guru” exhibits some of the following characteristics you may want to think about finding an SEO professional, SEO expert or SEO specialist.

Without further ado, here are 12 signs your “SEO Guru” sucks:

1. Your SEO Guru calls themself an “SEO Guru”

I’m not a fan of calling yourself a “Guru” of anything, especially when it’s self-proclaimed. However, I suppose if someone else refers to you as an “SEO Guru” it’s ok. Just don’t call yourself an “SEO Guru”. It’s unprofessional and could be a sure sign that you suck.

2. Your SEO Guru never talks about revenue

All praise to Neil Patel for this one. He opened my eyes to the bottom line. Your customers may think and say they want higher rankings, but we all know that they really want more revenue. Neil doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to this. This image was taken from his personal SEO consulting website. So, if your “SEO Guru” isn’t talking revenue, he or she may suck.

Neil Patel

3. Your SEO Guru states how many articles they’ll give you per month

Nothing annoys the crap out of me more at our SEO company in Chicago than when a client says something like, “XYZ SEO Company is writing X amount of articles for us, How many articles will you write?”. First of all, any “SEO Guru” who focuses on the number of articles he or she is writing for you really sucks. Quality over quantity. I would take one well written, informative, and sharable article over 10 crap articles that no one reads or shares.

4. Your SEO Guru sends you SEO reports that are exported from Google Analytics

One of my clients asked me if our reports were custom or exported from Google Analytics. Of course I assured him that ours is custom but may include data or PDFs from Google Analytics. He then explained how unhappy he was with his previous SEO company for only providing them with exported PDFs from Google Analytics. Don’t get me wrong, you should include those PDF’s with your custom report; however, they shouldn’t be the only thing you provide your clients.


5. Your SEO Guru‘s website is not ranked very well

Does your “SEO Guru‘s” site suck? Is it ranked very poorly? That’s probably a sign that your “SEO Guru” sucks. I just find it hard to believe that your “SEO Guru” can’t or doesn’t have time to optimize or properly design their own site.

6. Your SEO Guru never mentions conversions


As an SEO consultant, I always discuss CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) because many of our competitors do not. Prospective clients sign with us all the time because our competition only discussed SEO. We not only discuss how performing SEO will increase traffic, but how performing SEO and CRO with increase revenue. I’ve warned many clients that getting them ranked on page #1 won’t necessarily generate more revenue for them. If your site has a high bounce rate you’re missing out on sales.

One more thing. Want to impress your client by doubling their leads and sales? Do some A/B testing and improve their conversion rate from 2% to 4%. Boom! You just doubled their leads and sales. So don’t be an “SEO Guru” and talk about traffic all day. Be an SEO professional and talk about how to increase revenue through SEO and CRO.

7. Your SEO Guru doesn’t audit your website

There are two type of SEO audits an SEO professional will give you. The first is a preliminary SEO Audit that is given during the initial sales meetings. This type of SEO audit can be performed using an SEO audit tool like the one on seogroup.com. It’s fast, instant, and does a good job communicating some initial SEO concerns.

Free SEO Audit

The second type of SEO audit is a much more in-depth audit that can be done manually and with many SEO tools. This should be provided post sale, during the strategy phase of your project. It provides a much more in-depth analysis of your code, analytics, and level of optimization.

8. Your SEO Guru doesn’t return phone calls

SEO Guru HidingAsk anyone in our office what bugs me the most about contractors. Going MIA! I have a one strike policy. If I can’t get a hold of you and you don’t return calls in a reasonable amount time – you are history. Good communication is the corner-stone of every successful project.

9. Your SEO Guru doesn’t talk “local”

About 25% of searches in Google are local according to Chitaka and 75% of those local searches are performed on mobile phones according to Google. Has your “SEO Guru” mentioned this? If not, it may be time to go with an SEO Professional.

Percent of Local Search on Google

10. Your SEO Guru is your kid

Little Billy sucks. Enough said.

11. Your SEO Guru references “Star Wars” in his bio way too much

SEO Jedi DeskWe’ve all seen the Star Wars references. Gotta admit I’m a huge fan (of the original three). But I don’t mention it in my bio. I’m not an SEO Jedi here to save you from lower rankings. That’s just weird.

12. Your SEO Guru “builds” links instead of “earning” them

We all know how important links are, so it’s important to see the bigger picture. “Link Earning” as opposed to “Link Building” implies something different in your strategy and execution. It says that you develop, create, and write wonderful content that people enjoy and naturally want to too. Link building has a slightly negative implication. It implies that you are buying, paying or trolling for links.

I heard the phrase “link earning” somewhere about a year ago. Anyone know who coined it first? Answer below (with proof) and I will set you up with a Free 90 day trial to seogroup.com.

Link Earning


If this article offended you than chances are you are an “SEO Guru”. But don’t just take my abuse. Fight back by becoming a better SEO professional for you and for your clients.

  • Haha, awesome post. I’m guilty of #1, but mainly because I needed to say “guru” somewhere on the content. But I think I make up for it by making it clear that there’s nothing more important than results.

  • We’ve all been guilty of on above the above items at one time or another :)

  • Steven Macdonald

      Well, Danny is the man.

      Thanks Steven

      • Steven Macdonald

        You’re welcome, Marvin.
        Are you still honoring your 90 day free trial for SEO group?

  • mamasboyleathergoods.com

    I know what you mean, I been taken by so called guru, before.


      Too many people know :(

  • Ha! Yes, we shouldn’t call ourselves SEO gurus, yet people clearly search Google for SEO gurus – which is why this post is optimized for “SEO guru.” (Which I probably just helped with this nicely stuffed comment :-))

    So should one call oneself something if people search for that something? Yes, probably. Because we want to make money. Do other professionals scorn it? Yes, probably. Does it matter? Clients want a guru, so you should optimize for guru- just as you have done with this post…albeit ingeniously subversively.

    Remember, to Google, a “guru” is a synonym for expert. So if I use the words interchangeably, that’s just good SEO. I’m using lots of synonyms.

    A joke:

    An SEO expert walks into a bar / pub / dive / club / lounge…


      Hi Chris,

      Guru has always turned me off, just like “jack of all trades” has as well. Most of the Gurus I’ve met are self proclaimed. I guess you have a good point about searches for SEO gurus. But if a prospective client searches for “SEO Guru” as opposed to seo consultant, company, agency, or firm, it may be because they are not very professional or have a serious business. Just my opinion :)

      BIG assumptions I know. But opinions are like you know what.

      Thank you for the comment. Great view point.


      • Hi Marvin-

        I don’t know why my name appears like that “M Christopher.”
        Anyway, I’m either number 2 or 3 in Google for “SEO guru”. And honestly, I bristle at the term myself… But when I scan Craig’s List, there are lots of people who want to hire “gurus” (even companies) and on the SEOmoz forums recently– where someone posted that they were in need of that very thing.

        Of course, every comment on the blog (except mine) shredded the guy for asking for a you-know-what… But I have to give the people what they want! Once you land on my page though, I don’t think I use the term very much. In Arizona, I rank for “consultant” “expert” or “guru.” I definitely want the people looking for an expert, but I’ll talk to somebody who wants a guru too.

        I’m just a 4 person company. I’m the only SEO. Sometimes, when people search for a “guru,” it’s because they want advice and guidance and they want to talk to their SEO and not a salesperson. So I talk to them. I teach them to meditate. Give them a mantra (om), and convert them to a vegetarian diet. You know, search engine stuff. :-)

        • SEO GROUP


          I apologize if I got your name wrong. I just did a quick search and you are ranked very well for SEO Guru. Congratulations. Great Job.

          Please don’t take offense to anything I said about SEO Guru, I have just seen the term abused so often that I felt like writing about it.

          Stay in contact, you have great opinions and I value your insight :)


  • David

    I have been taken by so called guru, before, i stumbled on a Post that was written for my site at 2:am in the morning. You think he was using software to produce links, i do.

  • I’d honestly rather get advice from a “guru” than from a “warrior.”

  • Marcus Giavanni

    Your only a guru if your work is found all over the world. Google Analytics may not be perfect..I would cation those who throw Google under the bus!!! Especially when one admits they use Google Analytics along with their custom platforms.

    Remember, numbers don’t lie and neither does search results and you people who say I got my guy working on getting you results he is the best.

    Well I still don’t see you on the first page.

    Furthermore, It is one thing to be a guru and another just to write about being a guru or not to guru.

    Nevertheless, one might have 100 of thousands of followers and have a million likes on face book.

    Google wants expert authority and if you have only done one thing in your entire life. Good for you! In the future it won’t be good enough for Google indexing…

    The end of the day, it’s about Revenue, Revenue, Revenue. Exposure, Exposure, Exposure and the person or entity following the future of Google!

    SMO Guru to Build Worldwide and it does not happen over night!

  • M S i N Lund

    Why THE FUCK does this POS site hide the scrollbar, and add a sluggish delay to page scrolling?

    What kind of FUCKING I D I OT actually goes out of his way to make all visitors to his site feel like they are using an POS underpowered toy-tablet or phone, even if they are at a real computer?

    Fuck you.
    And fuck your site.


  • M S i N Lund

    What the hell did you idiots do to the scroll-bar and the scroll-function on this POS site!

  • Well written! I totally agree with the word revenue since that’s the primary reason why businesses hire SEO services in the first place. It’s all about the leads too.


  • Hit the nail right on the head.-Shanda Lee

  • Nato

    We end up auditing the work of so many “Gurus”. The majority of the work is outsourced crap with zero marketing plan behind it https://plainenglish.io/monthly-marketing-audit/

  • sandra.vanscoy

    I usually make in the span of 6 thousand-8 thousand bucks monthly working from home on the internet. Everyone ready to do simple computer-based task for 2h-5h daily from your home and gain good benefit while doing it… Test this task http://korta.nu/NDe

  • Terry Tucker