Fools The SEM Industry?

Mar 29, 2010 • 7:15 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Engine Industry News

Late last week, a site named came under scrutiny of the SEO community. In short, they wanted to know who and how can one person claim to be equipped to verify all the SEOs out there in the world. People were insulted and taken back by such a claim.

Just scan through some of the early comments about this at a Sphinn thread:

Charles Preston. An SEO out of Austin, Texas have decided that he along with other Industry Veterans are going to start a Verified SEO service. You the SEO will pay them $99.00 per month, it was $199.00 when first launched, to give them most of your client information. They in turn will do who knows what with that information and then give you a dynamic Verified Pro SEO Badge for your website.

I've been pinging this young man on Twitter for a few days now to find out who the Industry Veterans are behind this new organization. He has not answered. Most of you know I've had my ear to the ground in this industry for quite some time, why have I not heard of Charles Preston? And, who are the Industry Veterans behind Verified SEO?

The sad thing is, there are SEO companies that will pay that, and it will be those that suck.

Just like that ridiculous TOPSEOs site that give you a little badge if you pay them enough.

The thread goes on and gets interesting, where Charles Preston himself supposedly replied to all the questions about this service.

On Friday afternoon, the site was transformed as a April Fools joke. The content was pulled, Rickroll videos were posted and the industry laughed. The question was, was this legit and the guy running it decided to act like it was a joke or was this an early April Fools joke?

All in all, Edward summed up this experience well:

That's the bottom line. Our industry is self-regulating. Kudos for that discussion insight, I liked that. :)

Oh, and be prepared for April Fools Day this Thursday, be prepared.

Forum discussion at Sphinn.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: March 26, 2010


Alex Moss

03/29/2010 11:37 am

IMO this was never supposed to be a joke, but told us all it was in order to save face. I like how the SEO and SEM community are policing their own industry so potential clients cannot be groomed into thinking that they are getting a good deal from established people. Two things tell me this isn't a joke - firstly, no established SEO will charge $99 per month. Secondly, if this was a joke, then this means that Charles is spending too much time forming web sites for a "one-day joke" than he is forming business relationships


03/29/2010 12:17 pm

Keep up :P


03/30/2010 05:08 pm

In some ways it formalizes what we do at our SEO and SEMPO Colorado meetups. We have formed an referral network of folks. and when something or someone does something "off color", word spreads fast. No one wants to have their name associated with a referral who may not provide a good service. Our world is way to small and as SEO'ers we have a lot of internet marketing power. SEO companies could also use services like the better business bureau...

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