The “SEO Bro” is a particular kind of SEO practitioner who might not be the best person to work on your business.
He (and it typically is a guy) is wicked smart, with good skills, a social following which lends him credibility and proven results in the field of bending Google to his will.
The problem is, his way is not necessarily the best way for real businesses looking to be around in a few years.
Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t have a problem with people working out how to game rankings in Google.
Google doesn’t care about us except to the extent that they can monetise us.
What I have a problem with is the bros selling services to real businesses that don’t understand that their rankings may be ephemeral at best.
Here's how to spot an SEO bro.
# 1 The SEO Bro is typically younger than you
Now, I’m not some cranky Gen X complaining about the rise of Millenials.
But most SEO Bros tend to be young guys who have grown up with the internet and learned early on, the required skills to beat Google.
Because many of them are early in their careers, they often haven't had a chance to work for bigger corporate clients who are looking for more than the ability to nail #1 rankings for web hosting keywords and make bank off affiliate commissions.
Which is why they so often work in affiliate marketing, site flipping, selling links, and unfortunately selling SEO services to small local businesses who don’t know any better.
#2 The SEO Bro has no respect for experienced old school marketers
Because the SEO Bro is so good at using spam, PBN’s and sneaky tactics to get rankings, he loves to make smart-arse comments to marketers he perceives to be “old school” or whitey tighty white hats.
They call out marketers with longevity, history, and real social followings simply because they have philosophical differences, not realising that the clients of said old school marketer don’t give a damn about the young fella's ability to hack the engine.
Just look at the crap that Rand Fishkin has to put up with on Twitter and you’ll know I’m talking about.
#3 The SEO Bro has his own language that you will never understand
Like any good tribe, they have their own language. They use phrases like PBN’s, contextual links, money site, tier 1, 2 and 3 links, SAPE links, GSA, Xrumer, SENuke X.
For most business owners it may as well be Dutch. But that's how you can spot an SEO Bro when heopens his mouth.
#4 The SEO Bro is all about beating Google
In recent times they have recognised that they need to transition to better quality content and links if they want their personal sites to survive.
But for anything or anyone else, all of the talk is about how to beat the machine.
How to use the authority of expired websites, to use fake links on PBN’s and low-quality content that is “good enough” to trick Google, in order to rank.
All of the discussions they have, the case studies they publish, are all about how they create the appearance of a "real website" using these techniques.
There is very little discussion about how to build a real site worth ranking in Google.
#5 They have a Tribe of Raving Fans
The Facebook groups are packed with their adoring fans who hang on their every word; who pronounce their statements as fact and who mercilessly troll any naysayers.
Often these fans are Johhny come lately’s to the online marketing game, all looking for their golden bullet and happy to feast on the crumbs the SEO Bro’s drop.
You'd better watch your ass if you dare question one of these guys in front of their fans.
# 6 They are often based in exotic locations
Often, many SEO Bro's have built their business and lifestyle from an idyllic overseas destination replete with sunny skies, beach views, and low-cost living.
Part of their appeal to their audience is the whole digital nomad schtick which is just more proof that their "approach to online marketing" is the best way.
You, the business owner are the patsy who is financing this lifestyle with your bought manufactured links.
#7 Unfortunately, many of them own the Local SEO rankings
And here is my biggest beef with the SEO Bros and their acolytes.
Many of the SEO rankings for phrases like SEO Brisbane, SEO Sydney, SEO Melbourne, and any other major city you might care to check, are filled providers who got there using SEO Bro strategies, links or tools.
And while their websites proclaim “White hat sustainable strategies”, the reality is, they are anything but.
Many business owners will go to Google looking for SEO help and have no idea what they are getting into.
They will deal with the page 1 SEO providers because that’s how the rankings work.
And rather than getting advice on how to build something of value that deserves to be ranked and how to create valuable content, they are signed onto a recurring link building campaign of fake, spammy links that will eventually lose their effectiveness or get them penalised.
I mean seriously, what do any of these links have to do with furniture?
You have been warned.