Free Advice Can Be Dangerous – In SEO and Law

Derek at CapeCodSEO writes about the dangers of “free advice” in the SEO world. People tend to obsess over minor details and narrow tactics about what they think their site needs to rank competitively. If you give a tip on one of these tactics, you may be inadvertently misdirecting them to focus on a trivial point to the exclusion of the larger goals. And when it all comes crashing down, you may face blame for that failure.

This should be obvious to criminal defense lawyers if you consider the following analogy: Would you give legal advice to someone about a DUI charge, based only on their interpretation of the events? Of course not.

Criminal defense attorneys know that a client’s notion of what happened when they were arrested is often grossly misleading, and ultimately not relevant to the goal of a proper legal defense. You need to review the police report and any other evidence before you can hope to offer useful legal advice. Clients who focus on how a cop was “mean” to them need to understand that aggressively taking on a police officer in court is usually not going to win your case.

Expert Advice Depends on Asking the Right Questions and Understanding Your Goals

SEO itself is only a tactic to get web traffic in service to the goal of getting more business. Yet, I’ve seen a lot of smart attorneys who know a little bit about SEO techniques do some absolutely crazy and dangerous things with their web sites.

Some criminal lawyer sites use on-page tactics that even if they work for rankings improvement, are almost certainly killing conversions and self defeating. And it’s no surprise when the site traffic and rankings plummet.

The bottom line is find an expert you trust, in law or SEO, to do a comprehensive assessment of your situation, and understands your goals for big picture.

Posted by dave on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008 at 9:43 am and is filed under seo. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

User Comments:

Posted by Derek Edmond, July 8th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Thanks very much for the reference. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with all of the SEO competition. For business owners interested in hiring an “expert” (in any field) – its important to do the research first to make an informed decision.