“If clients ask you for links, hit them with a wet kipper” says SEO expert

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Posted on May 16, 2014

Rhizome PR’s newest client is an SEO expert.

Except he’d kill me for calling him that, because he thinks ‘SEO’ is a vulgar term that misrepresents his industry. In fact, I’ve never met a client with such decided opinions on search as Brett Dixon. Hats off.

Brett believes part of the reason everyone gets SEO wrong is because people assume that SEO = link building. But, he argues, link building is a last resort for those who don’t know how (or don’t have the patience) to produce fantastic content worth talking about.

Links should be viewed as a reward for producing content of value. Links must be earned, not bought – or you risk the full force of Google’s penalties.

So those brave few attempting to right the wrongs of the SEO industry, like Brett, are in desperate need of PR.

We see Brett as Robin Hood and his team as a band of Merry Men. We’re Maid Marian – the strong woman behind every great man (a bit of 90s anti-feminism for you there). Here he is, looking like a right idiot.

Brett Dixon, the anti SEO hero

Brett Dixon, the anti SEO hero

We’ve lost count of the clients who’ve asked us for links from articles we’ve secured for them. But we stand firm on this – and will not be swayed. Pestering the press for links does us, and our clients, no favours at all.

It narks time-poor journos and, for that reason alone, some online news publications have stopped linking altogether. If you get a link, bonus, if you don’t, tough.

But there really is nothing like a mention on a national news website, which gets serious eyeballs, to boost a brand’s credibility – and it seems that Google has started to realise this too.

The good news for small businesses, and for the PR industry, is that Google recently tested a version of its search engine without links and the search giant has announced that links will become less and less important as it looks at other signals, such as citations.

If you want to read more – head on over to Brett’s blog where he “says it like it is” – yeah.

By Emily Garnham

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