Exhibit A

Okay so first up on my list of SEO’ers I would like you to be upstanding for the man, the myth, the legend….Mr David Naylor.

Dave has been selected as a candiadate for outing of others both directly and indirectly for link buying whilst being a proflific link buyer himself.

If this was 1945 and he was a French woman who had a German boyfriend, this would be his head shaving moment. 

So to stay in theme, Mr Naylor does more speeches than Winston Churchill, generally about his favourite subject himself SEO and also renowned as being proud of his Northern Heritage (hear hear) oh and he likes a beer apparently.

Dave is definitely from the SEO old school (if that’s possible in a 10 year old industry). I have spoken to him a quite a few times and he is a pleasant enough bloke to be fair. (ok ill stop being fair right now).

So, DaveN, as his internet moniker is known (not likely to get into MI6) has built a business around himself. He is the brand. Very much like Virgin is synonyms with Richard Branson, David is synonyms with Naylor in SEOland. That’s kinda where the similarities between Dick and Dave stop though if I’m honest.

In the UK there are a handful of SEO firms with billings over £5m pa. The rest of the industry is made up of smaller companies like Daves’, which is no bad thing. They do tend to exaggerate their size and this is amply demonstrated by Daves’ about us page having more information than any other page on his site! The 15 or so staff members bios come with pictures. Every single one of them is wearing black. Someone said it would look better? It’s a uniform? You are in mourning? I would love to know.

So to recap, he does SEO. From a website.

Oh and at the bottom of his site it says “you can’t beat a good rank”.

I’ll do the jokes Dave.

Okay he doesn’t have any of his clients listed so it’s difficult to find them (for normal humans) but has the usual “we have been doing SEO since 1987”. The operation is based in Ripon which is very much like Silicon Valley just without the sunshine. And the positivity. Oh and the hugely successful web companies. However it compensates well with a neat little market that some would call bustling. Listen, I like Ripon before you all start rip in into me….

Work with me people.

Anyway he has a blog and people go there and jovially discuss SEO. Dave moderates it hard and in the past any comment which sways the argument or doesn’t fit will not get through. Trust me, over the years I’ve tried.

He has a relationship with Matt Cutts, and they tweet a bit here an there in a flirty “we are almost mates” kinda way, but like all of those types, its a one way affair.

Okay so for Mr Naylor I have picked his client: www.virginholidaycruises.co.uk

Cruises I hear you say. A niche holiday vertical, of reasonable difficulty, though quite a decent brand to work with.

Here are his current rankings:

Cruises 8th
Cruise 9th
Luxury cruises page 3 somewhere
Im bored of looking now, sorry.

Anyway I am not sure how long he has had this client but looking at the links at least 4 months. Talking of links, you wanna see some? Here ya go:

Lets  start with this little beauty. A bird watching site with a page dedicated, yes you guessed it, to cruises.
Now we have a lovely little blog, in context and absolutely not paid for. Just talking about you know virgin cunard.
One of my personal favourites is his own blog post where after a lengthy but boring post on Google credit card comparison he gets a sneaky in at the end.
Oh actually I do like this one; the old free blog spam from the Independent Newspaper link. Obviously that wasn’t Dave or his team. He wouldn’t do that….
K one more and I’m stopping as this is boring…..a beautifully crafted box for Virgin in his own website on Ripon. Beautiful work Dave.

So there you have it. Not a bad client, doing, well not that great if we’re honest. Link buying galore, nothing that clever and I can see why he doesn’t show his clients off.

Judy

Next week I am reviewing a slightly bigger firm, again based in the UK with some very interesting tactics indeed! I may come back to Dave at some point as he some much more interesting clients to gawk at. But we can do that another time.

Oh also reader I do take requests, so if you have a company or individual who likes to out others or says one thing and does the other, let me know and ill give them the Judy treatment.

Disclosure: My way of making income from this blog is by selling links. Dave you owe me £20 (per month) for the ones above, plus you can change the anchor text if you like mate.

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The court is now in session

So a few words from me your host before we get started on this journey of discovery. 

I have wanted for some time now to write an anonymous blog about SEO. Not the bullshit SEO stuff you read everywhere built on what Matt Cutts had for breakfast, but more of a real down and dirty look at what people are doing and how they are doing it. 

My targets for this mission will be selected from the SEO brigade who have the high profiles and are often found at the opening of an envelope the SEO conferences and publically talk about SEO on their blogs. However I will be mainly selecting the SEO’s who either “out” other SEO’s for bad practice or say one thing and do another. 

I know what you’re thinking – I’m gonna be busy. 

One of the things that is remarkable in the SEO market is the amount of SEO companies and individuals who just don’t have a clue. I don’t know of an industry on this planet (other than boxing) where absolutely every company involved claims to be the best. Or the Number 1. Or the Industry Experts. You get the picture. That’s because with one term top of Google for the longest term in the world, they are SEO Gurus. 

I spotted a company not so long ago (sitevisibilty I think) showing off their Number 1 spot for the term “stair lifts” for their prized client “Stannah Stairlifts”. I mean seriously name me another stairlift company in the UK please? 

Exactly. 

That’s the sort of bullshit that makes every SEO company say they are #1 and get away with it. 

Okay so before we start with our first victim candidate. I would like you all to have some background reading and know a bit about where I am coming from. 

So let’s start with the people I rate. So in reverse chronological, confused alphabetical order:  

Michael Gray or Graywolf or Mr Wolf depending on how you know him – this guy is straight up funny and he gets it. He stands out in particular for the way in which he is one of the very few public SEO’s who doesnt kiss Matt Cutts arse. Here is an example from his twitter from April 2010: hey @mattcutts is google giving out any free products for links today  #paidlinks #hypocrites #potmeetkettle #doasisaynotasido 

Shaun Anderson of Hobo Web – Although he resides in Sweaty Sockland he has turned into a fan favourite. He is another guy who is a true SEO and not just a big firm with a good sales team. He would definately be in my SEO Dream Team. I liked his article on outing people from last week. 

Rand Fishkin – Yes he looks a little geeky and his haircut is only one gust of wind a way from a famous WW2 German Dictator but you gotta love his work. Switched on cookie. In the dream team 100%.

Shoemoney – Ok, not an SEO, more of a “don’t you wish you were me, I’m so great, pay me some dollars and ill show (sell) you how” kinda guy. But good nonetheless and I like the way he puts SEO into perspective. Plus he used to be the size of Rik Waller and then dropped like 4 stone. Good man. 

Matt Cutts – I like the guy, I really do. Clearly a engineering genius who has now been burdened with celebrity and more arse kissing than David Beckam. If you do read his blog and manage to stay awake through the pictures of his cats, his favourite plug configurations and what he is giving up this week you can often get some great misinformation. I have noticed over the years that as Matt has lost weight, cut his hair and become a politician the comments on his blog have definitely turned from the “you are the greatest ever” to a bit more of “Why should we all jump when you say so – but I love frozen Yogurt too”. 

Okay so thanks for sticking with me new reader. I will be posting weekly, probably on a Friday afternoon but if not it could be a Wednesday. Or a Tuesday. Ill tweet you. Or call you. Or if not ill just drop you a text. 

No scrap that, could you just come back and visit periodically instead please?

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