Expert Experts: A New Breed of SEO Scammers
Ah, take a look at that quote above. It’s understanding, it’s motivational, it offers hope… It tells you exactly what you want to hear, but not what you need to hear, and that’s why there’s a new type SEO scammers gaining traction.
Now, who are these SEO scammers I’m referring to? You see, a couple of years ago, I posted an article on this website titled, “Beware Of The SEO Guru: 10 Signs Of A Fraud“. At the time, I thought SEO gurus were the biggest problem in the SEO industry. However, there’s a variant of these SEO gurus that often goes unnoticed by the majority of people.
These guru variants, which I’ll refer to as “expert experts” for the sake of differentiating the two, are people who engage in fictitious personal branding on forums in order to run a scam operation. These people usually show up on SEO forums knowing absolutely nothing, but then a month or two later, BAM; they’re SEO experts with an attitude!
An Example of Why Expert Expert SEO Scammers Are Dangerous
All right, so maybe you’re not convinced that expert experts are dangerous. Fair enough, but allow me to show you exactly why they’re worse than SEO gurus.
Kevin Muldoon, a former member of Warrior Forum, wrote an article about why he deleted his Warrior Forum account, although in the comments section, he actually describes the expert expert problem that’s happening both on Warrior Forum and nearly every other SEO forum out there.
No problem Lou. 99% of the products being offered on WarriorForum are garbage. Most of the information should be given away for free. For example, say I start a small website and it makes a few hundred dollars within a few weeks. I think it’s better to just share this knowledge with all my readers. On WarriorForum, people would package this information up and then promote it as if it’s the best, quickest and easiest way to make money online. Then charge $9.99 for that information. The person would then make a few hundred dollars. All of a sudden…they are now calling themselves experts. Their second special offer is how to make money through Warrior Forum. This goes on and one and on.
However, something more interesting about his article is the number of users who mention a former Warrior Forum member named Alexa Smith. You’ve probably heard of her (or him) at one time or another, but Alexa Smith serves as a good example of how and why these SEO scammers gain traction.
You see, the comments section of his article also highlights another problem associated with expert experts, and it’s that once they’ve built up a reputation, they become harder to take down. Going through the rest of the comments section, you’ll notice a disturbing trend of people who were banned from the forum for trying to call out Alexa Smith, and this, ladies and gentlemen, is why expert experts are dangerous. Even once they get caught, too many people are in denial about the situation that they choose to do nothing or punish the person who pointed the fraud out.
How To Find Identify These SEO Scammers
These people typically follow the same pattern: they’ll build up a rapport based on an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, regurgitate SEO advice for a while, and then they’ll surprise everyone with an overpriced service. Though there’s a bit more to it than that. Expert experts can usually be identified by the following traits.
- The “IDGAF” Attitude. They often pretend to not to care what others think, and may even go as far as convincing themselves that this is true.
- Scapegoating SEO Gurus. This one is pretty funny. In order to look legitimate, they often bash SEO gurus who use their real identities as a brand.
- The “Hard Truth, Yet Understanding” Tone. See the quote above. They almost always write in a This is how it is, I’ve been there, get over it” order.
- Stating The Obvious; Offering No Real Solutions. They usually do this in the form of long posts with an expletive or two and a silly phrase.
- No Personally Identifiable Information. They don’t use their real name, link to anything that can identify who they are, and they’re essentially nobodies.
Since these people are on SEO forums, searching through their older posts can provide some insight into who they are. For example, if you notice that they joined in January 2016 asking how to do SEO, and then started dishing out SEO advice in February, that’s a pretty big red flag.
If you see someone who fits this pattern, do everyone a favour and call them out as soon as you can. It doesn’t matter if they seem nice, they’ve got to go.