Just a quick backstory on what I want to talk about in this post.
There was a story written by Troy Hunt on his site about not taking security advice from SEO experts and psychics.
I urge you to read it…it’s fascinating. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry.
But also shows what is wrong with the SEO industry.
Troy Hunt is an online security expert, a clever one at that, and an influential figure in the industry.
Troy wrote about how an “SEO expert” Neil Patel did a Facebook video about not requiring SSL certificate (to make your site HTTPS) on your site.
Because of Neil’s reach, it will hit tens of thousands of people who will follow that advice.
And that’s dangerous, particularly if the information he has provided is wrong.
And in this case, it is wrong.
Just plain damn wrong.
I’m not going to go in-depth about the importance of HTTPS, not just for SEO but also for security and even user experience.
In short, HTTPS is useful and important, so get it installed on your site.
But when Troy commented on Neil’s Facebook page to contradict his argument, it got ignored and then deleted.
I was surprised, but then I thought I shouldn’t be surprised.
Supposedly because Neil doesn’t like it when someone who knows more than him about a subject is contradicting him.
Thankfully, Troy took a screenshot of his superb comment:
All I can say is that I know Troy’s comment is spot on and I wholly agree with him.
Okay, maybe I am not the most well-known individual in the SEO world, so perhaps you don’t want to respect my opinion.
But how about other people who know more than me? Surely we can’t ignore them too?
— Barry Adams (@badams) 10 August 2017
Troy Hunt: Don’t Take Security Advice from SEO Experts or Psychics
… I’m an seo expert and I agree!! https://t.co/v0QrYb9SHl
— Gerry White ⁉️ (@dergal) August 10, 2017
Troy has admitted that he is not an SEO expert.
But you know what Troy? That is okay.
I am an SEO with a huge interest in online security and privacy.
I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about when it comes to following the best practices in online security.
— Ahmed Khalifa (@IamAhmedKhalifa) April 4, 2017
I mean, people make fun of me when I have to access my phone to use 2-factor authenticator before I can log in to a site.
As I said, I am passionate about online security. But I will never call myself an online security expert…just like Troy would not admit to being an SEO expert.
I listen to you for online security advice.
What I do respect is that Troy is very open-minded and a good listener when it comes the subject of SEO.
For example, there was a comment by a well-known figure in the SEO industry, Marie Haynes, on the subject of moving from HTTP to HTTPS:
You know why? It’s because of the SEO community.
You probably don’t know much about the community Troy, but it is one of the most humble, sociable, exciting and most importantly, helpful communities to be a part of.
I’m sure you have received hundreds of tweets from real SEO expert. And that’s because they got your back.
The fact that Neil has deleted the Facebook post and video on YouTube, and ignored your comment…well, that’s not what we do.
To his credit, Neil is excellent at marketing himself. That’s partly how he got to where he is today.
But I ask of you and everyone else reading, please do not place Neil Patel as a representative of the SEO community. He is most definitely not.
Neil Patel is the Donald Trump of the SEO world. Please don’t judge an entire industry by one guy. https://t.co/PWnQyy2Xw8
— Paul Shapiro (@fighto) August 10, 2017
To Troy’s credit, I know he is not…
I didn’t (unless you also wear pajamas while giving security advice and pretending to be psychic)
— Troy Hunt (@troyhunt) August 11, 2017
…but I felt like I had to say it again.
The fact that he disregarded your comment, shares tips that the majority of us are against, and uses ghost writers to create dozens of articles across multiple sites for him tells you quite a bit about him.
Even in the past, he used a female’s comment and sexualised it to promote his own service on his own site.
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) April 21, 2016
And I can’t condone that.
Correction…none of us can, regardless of whether you are an SEO or not.
And this is the problem that we still face in SEO, which is the way it could be portrayed by those outside the industry.
There are people who provide information and help others primarily to help themselves.
But then there are others, the real helpers.
There are so many people within SEO that I look up to and it is just impossible to list them all.
But when I do reach out to them, they reached back to me because they wanted to help.
THAT is what makes this community awesome.
TroyHunt.com is a site that I follow closely, not only because the content is of interest to me, but also because of a client, who is in the online security industry, and their link to Troy himself.
But I know that I found myself with more respect for Troy because of how he handled this situation.
And at least you’ve learnt something new:
Something I’ve learned in the last day: SEO people call someone that does SEO, an “SEO”. I honestly did not know that. https://t.co/A2xF1GSlfo
— Troy Hunt (@troyhunt) August 10, 2017
It’s not his fault that there are so many fakers out there who spread dangerous advice.
It’s a problem we all face in every industry. The question is how we handle it and what we are doing about it.
I guess there is one way of doing that…
Ahhhh that’s better. pic.twitter.com/2B7wbWxI51
— John Doherty (@dohertyjf) August 10, 2017
…but we all have our own ways.
In this case, we (or at the very least, I) got your back Troy.
Because you know, SEO and all that.
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