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When we go through the verification process for an SEM company we are focusing primarily on their track record of previous success. We are also making sure that those results are not being attained by black hat tactics.
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from pageoneresults 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 10

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?




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from yoshimi 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I left my comment on the article. No one can claim to verify anything when they won't say who they are imo. It'll be interesting to see if it gets out of moderation.



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from andrewbleakley 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I left a "who are you" comment on the blog as well. After seeing them dodge you all week Edward I fully expect it to amount to nothing. I'm biting my tongue for a few days to see what they (he?) do next - they are off to an awful start - should we run   pool to see if they recover?



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from pageoneresults 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 4

I have some questions for Charles Preston. From the "Why We Exist" page on Verified SEO...

Verified SEO was created by search engine marketing industry veterans who want to provide a reliable way for consumers to know that they are dealing with reputable SEO/PPC vendors.

Since we're now in an open SEO discussion about Verified SEO, I'd like to ask one of my original questions (asked via Twitter) in regards to WHO the Search Engine Marketing Industry Veterans are?

It was also created so that credentialed SEO/PPC providers can prove to prospective clients that they are in fact qualified professionals.

I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion? In what way does paying you $99.00 per month prove to prospective clients that an SEO is in fact a Qualified Professional? I'm sure many reading this discussion are wondering the same thing.

One thing that has always plagued the search engine marketing industry is the lack of consumer trust due to the large number of shady or amateur SEM providers who have mishandled search engine marketing campaigns. As a result, the SEM industry has become stigmatized which makes it difficult for consumers to shop for SEM services and for SEM professionals to effectively procure clients.

There are many challenges that plague our industry. How does your service provide our industry with Trust? Who are you? Who are the Industry Veterans?

For SEM professionals it’s a large hurdle to convince prospects that they are in fact professionals who can help their clients achieve their business goals. Even with years of historical proof, customer testimonials and references most SEM prospects are skeptical and we can’t blame them.

I'm assuming the above statement is based on your personal experience? It must be, most of the SEOs I know face few hurdles in convincing prospects that they are what's printed on the tin, a Professional.

What is unique about the SEM as an industry is that it is a relatively new field and it is very technical.

Charles? Charles?! When did SEM become a relatively new field? It's been around for over a Decade. That's 10+ years which in Internet years is about a hundred! Where did you come from?

The problem is that there is no reliable way to know for sure that a SEM provider is competent and does not use “black hat” SEO that could get your business website banned from major search engines (not a place you want to be), that’s frustrating for consumers.

And I doubt very seriously that YOU, or the other Industry Veterans on your team will be able to verify that. In fact, I know you won't. You know why? Because the stuff you're discussing is usually not that easily found. And based on my research to date, you are nowhere near being qualified to detect this type of stuff. Now, that is not to say that the other Industry Veterans on your team are not.

On the other side of the coin if you are a professional SEM provider you also suffer from having to exist in an industry that has been tainted by so many bad apples. This atmosphere of uncertainty and mistrust makes things much harder than they need to be.

I'm going to remain calm, I promise.

Consumers should have an easier way to separate the wheat from the chaff and incompetent or unethical SEO providers should not be so easily able to prey on consumers.

They do, it is referred to as due diligence in hiring practices. We're fortunate in that the good outweigh the bad so the consumer will most likely find a good provider for what they need. Based on your website and your approach to our industry, you've set yourself up for immediate failure. If you manage to get one person signed up on this program who is a "Professional", I'd be really surprised. Seriously.

It is for all of these reasons that we created Verified SEO. We can’t do it alone though. Our intention here is to provide a framework by which professional SEM providers and consumers can work together to create a more trust based environment but it will take participation.

We get all of this for $99.00 per month huh? Young man, you've taken the wrong approach to the SEO Industry. I'm not sure who you are or who the Industry Veterans are behind Verified SEO but I do know one thing, it's not going to work. I'm almost certain that 99% of my Peers will agree with me in this instance, even those I've pissed off. :)



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from theGypsy 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 4

OK, one word - laughable. Either these guys are geniuses (ie; getting you client info and you pay for the privalege) or complete eedjits. This all kinda smacks of the same BS that 'standards' or 'certification' suffers from; if one is paying a FEE to get inclusion, then what real value is there? Pretty sure @ $99/month that not a lot of peeps would be turned down lol... there's a real insentive not to. And $99/month? Give me a friggen break, I could just as easily start a website like theirs, put some BS text and give myself a pretty badge and it would be worth the same... NOTHING.

Does it really matter WHO is behind this? Other than having a name to roast on it? Meh... silliness. Will make for a good SEOBS post methinks.



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from JVRudnick 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

What I wonder is if this guy is related to the doofus who tried to Trademark the SEO phrase...must be brothers, eh? And Dave...can't wait to read your take on SEO BS too!;-)Jim



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from Jill 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 4

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.



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from Feydakin 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Sidewiki comments actually have a use on their site.. I knew there would be some use for it at some point..



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from jonhenshaw 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 4

"Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!"



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Who is @VerfifiedSEO & will @CharlesPreston (Charles Preston) please introduce yourself to the SEO?SEM Community?



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from pageoneresults 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

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

That would be the next website to come under review. Seriously. I'm collecting data now and have been for quite some time.



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from theGypsy 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Here's Mr. Preston's site - http://www.charlespreston.com/ - he has a manifesto too! Wicked cool!!



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from scottclark 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Pretty much, any badge you can buy and put on your site is worthless - and possibly even harmful.  SEO will never have a certification program - it's too much of a mash-up between disciplines.  Even here in Lexington, the SEOs all have a very different business approach, client base, and success metrics.  Legitimacy comes from adding value and getting referals, and those with a stream of those referals can use that space on their site for a few more client logos.



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from Goosh 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I would safely say that no-one knows who I am (apart from the odd guest post here and there), but to get on a sandbox and set up a service for a verifiable SEO company when no-one knows who you are is just insane.


At least have the common decency to at socialise and get to know your peers and "veterans".  I will apologise if he whips out some big guns to back him up, but I am very sceptical at the moment.



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from pringlebrett 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

What benefit is there at the end of the day? Potential clients would not know who @VerifiedSEO is and why should they believe the verification in the first place. Boy they/he should have really known better than try take the p**s out of the SEO community

Perhaps i should look into getting a certified badge from the Pope, wouldn't that carry more weight ;)

Great way to finish up the week with a great chuckle



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from netmeg 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Hey, I have a former client who did very similar thing (in an entirely different, but service-oriented industry)  He took out a .org domain, told everyone he was the established certifying authority in that field (that's really all you have to do for credibility amongst those who don't know any better), and made a ton of money on "certifying" a particular type of tradesman.  Still is.


He appears to have a toll free number.  We could all call and ask for more information.



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from rishilakhani 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

His banner says he has been an SEM consultant since 1999 - but later on hwe says he has beein the SEM industry over 12 years...



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from netmeg 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Heh.  Yea, I wonder if he has any tips on optimizing for Alta Vista...



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from pageoneresults 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

April Fools'!

In April 2010 we will begin a lead generation service for all of our members. Leads will be captured via a Verified SEO lead capture site that assures consumers that their request for quote will be received by verified, professional SEO/PPC vendors.

I'm thinking one of our Peers is pulling an April Fool's Day prank on us, yes?

I've extracted these names from the CharlesPreston.com Bio page...

Partnered with Y2Marketing. Built and sold his own firm Click Response. Mentored under: Edward Earle, Rich Harshaw, Yanik Silver, Armand Morin, Mike Filsaime, Mark Joyner, Perry Marshall

Mark Joyner? Where have I heard that name before? Would that be the person involved with that darn AESOP Meta Tag years ago, like a Decade ago?

Charles's scholarly articles regarding search engine marketing have been published on hundreds of websites in addition to trade journals and magazines. He has achieved 1st page organic ranking for close to 3,000 business websites for some of the most competitive keyword markets.

WOW! You've performed SEO for 3,000 business websites? Dude, I'm truly impressed! 3,000? Really? Can you provide us with proof of that? I'd like to Verify those claims, I really would. That's a lot of websites!



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I would prefer Snap over AltaVista .. I can't get ranked in there at all anymore!



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from rishilakhani 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@netmeg I am still trying to crack dogpile.

Charles's scholarly articles regarding search engine marketing have been published on hundreds of websites in addition to trade journals and magazines.

Why havent I heard of you then?



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from anthonyverre 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@pageoneresults: 3000 websites for the most obscure and irrelevant keywords ever. Those claims are silly. No SEO worth his / her salt says, "Oh, yes, I've ranked hundreds of sites for top position keywords." Then they provide you a list, and it's all garbage terms that wouldn't induce a conversion if it were the last keyword on Earth.

Want verification? Others in the industry will help spread the word you are the "real deal". You don't have to be well known, but when you have the skills, people can see that. This company is a sham, period. If you paid for it, YOU ARE WRONG.

Cancel those checks, and run in the opposite direction. As for the client data you gave up, consider that a life lesson.



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from MelissaF 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I got an email from this guy last week. Want his email? Check out the "SEO" on his own site, he doesn't know what he is doing.



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from wrttnwrd 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

This pisses me off beyond belief, because

1: Some clients will go looking for this ridiculous seal.

2: It creates an impression that paying $99 makes you a legit SEO.



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from theGypsy 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

OK.... Tim (Nash) did a little homework - Peek a Boo I see you!

Oh and I sphunn it of course; http://sphinn.com/story/145906

Thanks for all the Friday fun Edward. wee haaa!



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from urbanwebkat 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

His tagline is: Consumer Protection for the SEM Industry

I had a thought, and it's a little scary. It's very possible this idiot is trying to setup a Ripoff Report style, watch dog group on the SEO industry. And that down the road, he's going to try blackmail SEOs to stay off his radar.




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from davidiwanow 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I think its a wonderful idea on how to set back the reputation of the industry as upstarts and clueless web developers can know tell clients they are verified and will be able to do the work because they are paying $99/month.

I also think its a great link bait campaign, you page $99 to put a backlink on your website back to theirs... i mean this could really catch on, getting paid for people to link to you...



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from DavidBlizzard 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

"small circle of SEM professionals and pundits" = Not many have heard of VerifiedSEO but those that have don't like the idea and have called me out.

Can you please publish your "generally agreed upon best practices are" list and make sure it includes best practices for link acquisition. That list should generate days if not weeks of debate. I'm sure your team is qualified to define that list for the entire industry, we just want to "verify" it ;)

P.S. can we get a list of the SEO-SEM companies that you have verified, we offer you a badge for that information and agree to wave the monthly fee.



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from kristinadee 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

tool



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

he also started SEOWatchDog.org a couple years ago and that apparently never got any traction



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from DrPete 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

The flipside of this is when they start telling clients that "non-verified" SEO companies, who aren't paying their $99/month in protection money (great choice of words on their part) are bad companies. There's a word for that: extortion.

I'll verify any of you for just $19.99/month. For $29.99, you can have a "Verified by Dr. Pete" T-shirt.



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from justinfreid 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I agree with most of the comments above - this is laughable. Paying for a badge does not make you an ethical and results proven SEM company.



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from Goosh 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I'll buy 2 Dr Pete - one for when I am washing the dirty one!



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from charlotteseo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Is there an affiliate link?



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from rishilakhani 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

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from Goosh 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Don't forget your Twibbon!  http://bit.ly/aPbIp8



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from ArnieK 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I think everyone needs to take notice of what pageoneresults said above about the TOPSEOs site that give you a little badge if you pay them enough. For some reason a bunch of SEOs and others are supporting that business model too.



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from mikevallano 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@seobullshit you should send him a Bullshit Badge.



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from robwatts 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I  feel that whilst its great to talk about this stuff generally, he's getting a lot of attention nonetheless.

Online marketing as a concept hasn't just happened, so it's hardly new. Most of those out there remotely interested in this stuff will take one look at this nonsense and laugh as is evident above

Looks like he's also spamming/automating links to the bs page on twitter too. :-0

http://twitter.com/AussieWebmaster/status/11094717419

Nice reply from Frank ;)

Ignore it and it will go away anyway...



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from verifiedseo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: -15

Hello everyone,Phew! wow, well let me see if I can wade through all the hatin' here and clarify a few things.

First of all I am still trying to wrap my head around all the maliciousness. Honestly people.

I can understand Ed's fear, as the founder of seoconsultants.com, I guess he sees us as a huge threat to his livelihood or perhaps he fancies himself as the king of SEO and was spurned by the fact that we did not petition for his permission to launch our company. Fear or not, what Ed has posted thus far, which is tantamount to cyberlibel, is in my opinion just a little sleazy.

Having said that I do acknowledge Ed's contribution to the SEM industry. Aside from a few revenge posts I found about him, I see nothing that indicates to me that he doesn't know what he is talking about in terms of SEO.

Again, it is just his initial knee-jerk response to our launch that I find repugnant. Given my initial impression about Ed's personality I have little doubt that he cares about my opinion and I would venture a guess and say, that in that respect, we are both a lot alike.

What I don't understand is everyone else chiming in with Ed. I have never met these people and I am being slandered. Hard to believe. Hard to believe. At any rate...

I certainly do not feel compelled to explain myself to anyone. I do however want to address Ed's primary thesis about what Verified SEO is doing, as it is categorically false and may cause some people to draw the wrong conclusions.

I have never been much for popularity contests and have kept to myself in terms of involvement with the SEM community at large. It's no surprise to me that many of you have never heard of me. That being the case I will share a little of my history as it does relate directly to the subject at hand.

I have been a student of SEO since 1998. In 2000 I started practicing SEO professionally for a company I managed a web development department for. I created an SEO services division while at this company to augment the web development they were already offering.

After 2 years of being with this company I was laid off, and it was just as well as they ended up going into bankruptcy for shady business practices.

This being the 3rd time I had been laid off (the tech industry, go figure) I decided to take my fate into my own hands and start my own company. I started www.clickresponse.net in 2003 offering web development and SEO. After a while I decided to focus just on SEO.

In 2008 I sold Click Response. At that point in my career I had personally achieved 1st page results for over 3,000 clients. Now, I don't know how other SEM providers judge their acumen but I feel confident at this point in saying that I am an expert at SEM after having built and successfully sold a company doing it.

How do I compare to other SEM providers? I don't know and I don't care. I have proven to myself that I know how to get results with SEM and results are the true measure of any professed skill.Since then I have been investing in and launching new ventures, one of which is Verified SEO.

Now, to address Ed's primary argument. It seems that Ed contends that I am not "qualified" to operate a service such as Verified SEO. In fact I am over qualified - and here's why...

Verified SEO is not so much about verifying any aspect of the vast technical nuance in tactics available within the practice of SEM. As we all know there is more than one way to skin a cat and due to the nature of this trade we are obliged to continually refine and hone tactics.

What Verified SEO's core service is about is verifying past results. After having sat on the phone with thousands of prospective SEM clients, I know from experience that the only thing they care about is whether or not  they will get results. The next thing they care about is price. If you can prove the first point the second point isn't such a huge concern.

I remember having reached a point in my business where I had oodles of case studies and testimonials and I still had a hard time trying to convince clients that their money would be well spent. I remember losing clients to companies who were selling snake oil and wished that there had been some way for the consumer to know the difference.

The biggest problem is that consumers, a large population of consumers, STILL, do not quite understand SEM. They do not understand what to look for when hiring an SEM company. Sure there is tons of information online geared towards educating the consumer but what I found is that most businesses decisions makers are too busy to read it and still can't tell most of the time if it is coming from a trusted source.

I surveyed 100 of my clients just prior to selling my previous SEM company and asked them what the number one frustration was with the SEM industry and over 80% of them cited confusion and frustration about knowing who was telling the truth.

You gotta put yourselves in their shoes. We live in this world, they don't. They just want leads. They don't care about the mechanics of how it happens, they don't want to hear all the jargon. My sales conversion rate went through the roof when I finally got that. I stopped geeking out with my sales prospects and sold them on the business case, the ROI. That is what they want to hear about.

So, in a nutshell Verified SEO doesn't exist to be an authority on SEM or to scrutinize how you perform SEM or to be some kind of SEM police. All we are doing is verifying the past success of an SEM company. Talking to their current and past clients. We verify results - that is what the consumer wants to see.

It is so much more meaningful to a prospective client that a 3rd party, who understands SEM better than them, has actually confirmed past success stories. How many testimonials on websites are real? Can we ever know? How can the consumer know?

So by this definition of what we are actually doing, I am more than qualified and probably most of you are as well. I am not special because I am doing this nor need I be. The people who work with me, most of them are former employees and SEM colleagues that you probably wouldn't know either, are not special nor need they be.

We are, however, most certainly qualified to verify an SEM vendor's past success record. Actually anybody could do that, it just helps that we have worked in the SEM industry for a long time.The idea for Verified SEO came from what I saw a while back as an industry that provides a very valuable business service, maybe one of the most crucial services to the success of a small business and it was filled with conflicting information, and consumers who had been burned too many times. They know they need it, they know it's worth paying for, they just don't know how to make sense of it in a lot of cases and it's hard for them to discern who is getting results or not. Some of them do know what's up but from my experience these do not comprise the majority of the market.

This isn't something that we decided to do on a whim. The first iteration of Verified SEO was called SEO Watchdog which was launched about a year or so ago. We shut it down as we had not quite worked out the total service offering and we just had too much on our plate with other ventures. Just not the right time.

Verified SEO is here for the consumer first. We just want to make it easier for them to know that they are dealing with a provider who has a proven record of successful results. Results is the only thing that matters.

We are here for SEM providers second. To give SEM providers a way to PROVE to a prospective client that they are able to get the job done.

If you have a long list of past success in SEM why wouldn't you want that to be verified by a 3rd party so that consumers can trust you more than the next guy? You will get more clients as we have already proven in our market testing.

Why wouldn't you want real time, exclusive leads coming from clients who, by the time they talk to you they already know that you have been independently audited and have a proven track record of success?

Why on Earth wouldn't any good SEM company not want to increase their market share using these tools?The economy has affected us all. We all know that it's even tougher to sell SEM now than it was 3 years ago. I am an entrepreneur and all I have done is identify a need in the market for both consumers and for struggling SEM providers who are doing good work and who DESERVE more clients.

That is what we deliver to you, more clients who are easier to sell to because they already trust you. For the consumers we deliver SEM vendors who have documented and proven successful track records.So, there it is. I hope I have given you all enough information to be able to come to your own conclusions about what we are doing. We invite any and all of you to get Verified if you feel it would be valuable to your practice, if not we wish you the best of success - even you Ed :)Best Regards,Charles Preston



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from nickfb76 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Im being a little lazy this morning... anyone check out his backlinks to see if anyone is displaying his "badge"?  I would assume this guy is using alt text within the image too... what a twirp.



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from netmeg 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Yea? Good luck with that.  You'll need it.

(I suspect that SEM is only a tougher sell for the people who don't know what they're doing.  The people who *do* know what they're doing don't have to advertise, or cold call.  They have a waiting list.  Mine's about two years long at the moment, and I'm barely on the map)



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from nickfb76 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Verfied SEO - Let's say everything you mention is true and that you are truly an SEO expert. (Which by the way i don't think any SEO should make that claim).  Why should anyone pay for your stamp of approval?  You talk as if you are SEOMoz or SearchEngineLand... you know a company with a well known and trusted SEO image.

I applaud you for you SEO/SEM experience and success.  I can't imagine any of my clients believing im the real deal just because i have a stamp on my site that claims that varifiedseo (whom nobody has heard about) says I use "good" SEO practices.



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from NickWilsdon 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 6

@verifiedseo

It says an awful lot about your claim to be 'industry veterans' that you (a) don't know who Edward is without Googling his name and (b) you just called him Ed.

We are, however, most certainly qualified to verify an SEM vendor's past success record. Actually anybody could do that, it just helps that we have worked in the SEM industry for a long time.

What absolute BS. So you're saying you don't need to be qualified to investigate the work of another professional? You can grab someone off the street to verify the work of an accountant, lawyer or doctor? The body that certifies professionals has to have some kind of credibility within that profession.



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from mikevallano 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

"That is what we deliver to you, more clients who are easier to sell to because they already trust you."

Dear prospective client, you can trust me becuase I paid some random guy $99/month to vouch for me.





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from Biggles4000 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

“I am an entrepreneur and all I have done is identify a need in the market for SEM providers who are gullible to pay me money for nothing.”



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from StalkerB 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@Nick, Haha, brilliant. Didn't even notice the Ed thing. Looking forward to the response even more now.



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from verifiedseo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: -5

@nickfb76

As far as the word "expert" is concerned, yeh I know it's a little subjective. I guess I like to use Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule which is equal to about 10 years. The contention is that after 10 years of practicing anything one is what one "might" call an expert.

Again I am not claiming to be anbody special. At this point, yeh, some clients might not be impressed by the seal but our intention is not to remain as something nobody has ever heard of.



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from charlotteseo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Charles the only person who should be qualifying SEO/SEMs is Rhea Drysdale.


P.s. Edward loves to be called Ed



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Charles - why would anyone claim to have pioneered guaranteed first page rankings ... I mean are you serious??? Is that what your business model has been over the years? It is those types of tactics that have tarnished the SEM industry and you are claiming to have started it.

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35291

If you are as WhiteHat as you say, then you are already promising things Google has even stated website owners should avoid with SEO Consultants/Agencies

No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.

Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google....



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from pageoneresults 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I can understand Edward's fear, as the founder of http://www.SEOConsultants.com/ I guess he sees us as a huge threat to his livelihood or perhaps he fancies himself as the king of SEO and was spurned by the fact that we did not petition for his permission to launch our company.

Fear? Huge threat? King of SEO? Dude, what crack did you crawl out of? I don't compete with anyone, we have a unique little gig going, ask around.

Fear or not, what Edward has posted thus far, which is tantamount to cyberlibel, is in my opinion just a little sleazy.

Okay, here we go, down the litigation path. Young man, let us begin the journey, shall we?

I see nothing that indicates to me that he doesn't know what he is talking about in terms of SEO.

Apparently you didn't research hard enough, did you? I just started doing SEO not long ago.

Given my initial impression about Edward's personality I have little doubt that he cares about my opinion and I would venture a guess and say, that in that respect, we are both a lot alike.

Oh boy, the Psychology approach. Gotta a couch I can lie on while we discuss this? By the way, you have used Ed more than enough times in this post to be on my hit list for life. ;)

What I don't understand is everyone else chiming in with Edward. I have never met these people and I am being slandered.

Oh give it a break. You're being called out, no one is slandering you.

I do however want to address Edward's primary thesis about what Verified SEO is doing, as it is categorically false and may cause some people to draw the wrong conclusions.

I've done nothing but paraphrase your website and have asked questions. I asked you who the Industry Veterans were at least twice on Twitter and you skirted both questions.

It's no surprise to me that many of you have never heard of me.

Then you'll fully understand and it should be no surprise as to why the industry has responded like it has.

After 2 years of being with this company I was laid off, and it was just as well as they ended up going into bankruptcy for shady business practices.

Ummm, are you referring to Y2Marketing?

The people who work with me, most of them are former employees and SEM colleagues that you probably wouldn't know either, are not special nor need they be.

So, you've started an organization where you wish to Verify SEOs and that org is made up of people who have absolutely no visibility in the most popular Internet marketing communities out there? Where did you get the idea that our industry would be willing to provide you with the information you are asking for and at the same time pay you $99.00 per month for your badge?

We are, however, most certainly qualified to verify an SEM vendor's past success record. Actually anybody could do that, it just helps that we have worked in the SEM industry for a long time.

What is that smell? It is rather odiferous in here. ;)

This isn't something that we decided to do on a whim. The first iteration of Verified SEO was called SEO Watchdog which was launched about a year or so ago. We shut it down as we had not quite worked out the total service offering and we just had too much on our plate with other ventures. Just not the right time.

I foresee this one taking the same route of the previous iteration, I really do.

Verified SEO is here for the consumer first. We just want to make it easier for them to know that they are dealing with a provider who has a proven record of successful results. Results is the only thing that matters.

I can predict what is going to happen. YOU will be the only provider listed and of course all leads are going to go to you. That is pure genius if you ask me.

If you have a long list of past success in SEM why wouldn't you want that to be verified by a 3rd party so that consumers can trust you more than the next guy?

Because it doesn't work that way Charley. I'm really surprised you didn't know that too.

We invite any and all of you to get Verified if you feel it would be valuable to your practice, if not we wish you the best of success.

That was a painful read to say the least. I'll be looking for your Verified Pro SEO badge(s) during our SEO Reviews. I sure hope I don't come across one. ;)



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from sphinnbadger 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Hysterical, all that has been said has made my Friday afternoon most amusing, I can confirm that my amusement has been fully verified by a "veteran" that I do not know but have paid $99 to.









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from robwatts 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Seriously, if through keeping a straight face whilst being outrageous gets you *this* much attention, then I'm going to go and create a 'verified poker provider' page and get all the casinos and affiliates to link to me.

Runs off to identify prospective agitant who is a vocal niche player w/ lots of time on their hands to point at me and laugh ;0)



Avatar Moderator
from toddmintz 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 5

In 2008 I sold Click Response. At that point in my career I had personally achieved 1st page results for over 3,000 clients. Now, I don't know how other SEM providers judge their acumen but I feel confident at this point in saying that I am an expert at SEM after having built and successfully sold a company doing it.

You personally generated first page rankings for 3,000 unique clients?

I don't care what you know or don't know about SEO...I would be interested in hearing the type and quantity of pharmaceuticals that allowed you to stay online long enough to work for 3,000 unique clients.

Also, not putting your name on your website?  Would anyone feel comfortable purchasing your services if they can't "verify" who you are?



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from kristinadee 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

this whole thing makes me LOL


are you the new BBB? pay for your rating?


Do you fully disclose on the badge that it's been paid for?


Does the badge link back to your site? If so, Are you reporting your paid links to Google? You know, cause you're all about white hat



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from NickWilsdon 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

As far as the word "expert" is concerned, yeh I know it's a little subjective. I guess I like to use Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule which is equal to about 10 years. The contention is that after 10 years of practicing anything one is what one "might" call an expert.

A lot of us have worked in this industry for 10 yrs now, the point is that no-one seems to know who you are? Maybe you should let us know your clients or verify yourself with actual industry veterans? That way you'll get some credibility.

In order to verify others in a skilled profession, you need to have proven expertise. This is probably why so many people are railing against you right now.





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from verifiedseo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: -7

@scottpolk

Yes, now guaranteeing 1st page rankings is no longer a smart thing to do. At the time we did it however it was something that consumers wanted. No, we were not able to guarantee a specific keyword at a specific position but we were able to guarantee a certain number of 1st page rankings across the top 3 search engines. Not "leprechaun repellent" keywords either. It actually had value. I know some people did it for meaningless keywords across 20 search engines, 17 of which never got traffic and so that was a bit different. We were trying to provide the consumer with something that promised results or a refund, which is what we did until it became unpopular.



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from streko 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I own the trademark on SEO - everyone pay me monies.




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from imjuk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

onsite response @ http://www.verifiedseo.com/clearing-the-air-on-verified-seo/. Edward you've caused a ruccus :)




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from imjuk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

lol - pre-emptive response before this thread!




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from yoshimi 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@pageoneresults how much do you need? I'm sure we can all use the $199 we would have spent getting verified to bail you out.



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from TheMadHat 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 4

VerifiedSEO™ - I just filed for TM, he can use that name now for $98 dollars per client. Streko, we can split it.


@VerifiedSEO - you've lost this argument, move along now and get a new idea.



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from philippe 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I just found that there was a Charles Preston president of Clickresponse.net, an Austin Based SEO/SEM company. It must be the same person: http://clickresponse.net/long-tail/



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from streko 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@thmadhat damn straight - thats beer money right there.


its times like this i wish i had 1/8th of Edwards free time. :-)



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from NickWilsdon 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Since 2000, the ClickResponse team of website usability engineers, SEO experts, marketing experts, and programmers, has worked to perfect our proprietary system of search engine optimization to make it both powerful and affordable.

The domain name clickresponse.net was first registered on July 30, 2003.

Hmmm...



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from shark 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I for one welcome our new overlord.



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from Jill 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Here's some examples of VerifiedSEO's proven results:

http://web.archive.org/web/20070701152056/www.clickresponse.net/website_marketing_success.htm

Enjoy!




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from DanaLookadoo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 5

#NoVerifiedSEO - the movement begins



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

@Charles -

"Yes, now guaranteeing 1st page rankings is no longer a smart thing to do. At the time we did it however it was something that consumers wanted."

When was it ever a good thing to do? .. again you are one of the people that tarnished the industry and you have it on your site as a claim to fame. This will be a business fail for you .. again



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from TheMadHat 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 6

Totally white hat...

Co-Promotion Requirements -

  • A monthly press release or blog post referencing your membership in VerifiedSEO (this actually works out to your benefit as well).
  • A do-follow link back to www.verifiedseo.com from either your homepage or a secondary page directly linked to from your homepage.



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 5

@VerifiedSEO - I think the industry is speaking loud and clear here - http://www.justsaynotoverifiedseo.com/



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from verifiedseo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: -9

Had I expected the "Spanish Inquisition" I would have posted more about myself at verifiedseo.com. I was certainly not trying to hide the fact, maybe it appears that way to people who immediately took offense to what we are trying to do.

When I first discovered the twitter page via Edward Lewis I immediately agreed with him that I was in fact a part of Verified SEO. No, big cover up there.

No, you cant just pay for the seal. You have to meet the criteria and I don't think the criteria is all that shocking. It's just a human with SEM experience checking references and case studies, talking with past clients, etc. Again the main reason we are doing this is as a service to the business community at large. It's just one level of assurance to them that they are dealing with a vendor who has been successful in the past. It doesn't take any special authority to check someone's references. Since SEM is a highly specialized field it should require that the people doing the checking understand that field. I have already shown that I have at least the experience required to perform this service.

Most consumers don't know who any of us are. Some do but most don't. It really shouldnt matter if nobody from the SEM community has heard of you or not. If you do good work then you do good work period. Im not claiming to be the final authority on SEO and how it should be done nor am I not without a qualfiying level of experience.

We have a set of criteria to get verified. If you meet the criteria you can apply for verification. If not or if you simply think it's not of value then you don't. End of story - why all the stone throwing?

It's not a governing body or certification. It's a service that you can choose to use or not use. It's certainly not a blackmail scheme or paying protection money...lol...

Seriously, I really am surprised at the reaction here.



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 9

VerifySEO said:

Not "leprechaun repellent" keywords either.

You mean like:

consumer debt collection software

debt collection management system

online debt collection software

According to Google's keyword research tool, even now, a few years later when there's more competition, there are exactly NO searches at Google for those keywords.

Sorry, but I don't think you can in good conscience verify yourself as a decent SEO. #fail

The only decent keywords for which you were getting rankings were in Yahoo and MSN. It appears that you were mostly a failure when it came to Google SEO.

Don't know about your clients, but mine prefer to show up in Google, and they like to show up for words that are actually searched on by people.




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from StalkerB 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 5

@verifiedseo Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisiton!



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from AlanBleiweiss 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Don't want to pay the money this scum charges for the badge?  How about like-kind services?  So he figures he can buy his way to top organic ranking.  Dude is a major douchebag right there along with Stompernet

  • A monthly press release or blog post referencing your membership in VerifiedSEO (this actually works out to your benefit as well).
  • A do-follow link back to www.verifiedseo.com from either your homepage or a secondary page directly linked to from your homepage.



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from theGypsy 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 4

"Seriously, I really am surprised at the reaction here." - don't that just say it all.



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from TheMadHat 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 4

I find your lack of clue disturbing.

http://kl.am/9vTx



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from verifiedseo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: -5

@ StalkerB

yep, I hoped someone would catch that, maybe a little levity would be good



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@VerifiedSEO .. so why don't you do it for free then ... seriously, someone with your experience can easily determine who is a good SEO and who isn't ... right?



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from charlotteseo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Why in the world would I let ANY other SEO speak to my clients?

Seriously....is this an early April Fool's joke?





Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 4

Verified SEO:

Seriously, I really am surprised at the reaction here.


Which unequivocally shows how less than smart, you are.



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

LOL - yes it is! April Fools everyone



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from verifiedseo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: -5

@AlanBleiweiss

Scum? pretty harsh.

So how is it that co-promoting a service is scummy? As a new venture of course we would want links. For a vendor who gets verified why would they not want to announce the fact? It's a mutually beneficial arrangement. Not seeing where the scum comes into play??



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@VerifiedSEO

Not harsh at at .. it does violate Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Are you sure you know what SEO is?



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from pageoneresults 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I would have posted more about myself at verifiedseo.com.

There wasn't a need to do that, most of us are SEOs and were able to connect the dots in a short period of time, we do that you know.

I was certainly was not trying to hide the fact, it appears that way to people who immediately took offense to what we are trying to do.

Could have fooled all of us. The site has no feel of trust, authority, etc. There are no bio pages for the Industry Veterans behind Verified SEO, that in itself sunk your ship.

No, you cant just pay for the seal. You have to meet the criteria and I don't think the criteria is all that shocking.

Do you really believe for one minute that any Professional SEO is going to release the type of information you're asking for? Come on Charlie, get with the program, our program, not yours.

Again the main reason we are doing this is as a service to the business community at large.

Well, with your company listed and maybe one other, that is a service that attracts the business community at large, doesn't it?

It's just one level of assurance to them that they are dealing with a vendor who has been successful in the past. It doesn't take any special authority to check someone's references. Since SEM is a highly specialized field it should require that the people doing the checking understand that field. I have already shown that I have at least the experience required to perform this service.

Are you serious Charlie? I mean, one look at your websites and it is clearly evident that you are not qualified to perform this service, not in the least bit qualified. Dude, you're talking to the SEO Community at large, we'll call you out in a heartbeat, obviously. Shall we do an SEO Review of your websites and Verify you? Yes, I say we do a public review of the CharlesPreston.com and VerifiedSEO.com websites, agreed? I need something to do.

If not or if you simply think it's not of value then you don't. End of story - why all the stone throwing?

No stone throwing. We're just nipping it in the bud as they say. You might as well just put a Going Out of Business sign on the site right now.

Seriously, I really am surprised at the reaction here.

Don't be, it's just started. There are parts of the world that are just waking up. I don't know if you've seen the newsvine or not but Verified SEO is Trending right now on Google!



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from verifiedseo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: -2

@scottpolk

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769

where in Google's webmaster guideline's do you see a violation?



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from yoshimi 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@verifiedseo how many of the people who have commented on this have you googled? I would suggest you start, you might be surprised. You seem to have got the attention of most of the industry veterans out there...one way to introduce yourself to the community I suppose, at least you'll be remembered



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@VerifiedSEO

Linking back to your site with followable links from your badge ... just because you are not paying for th link yourself doesn't mean its not a "paid link" .. so, please revaluate your defense here



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from seowoman 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 5

@VerifiedSEO

Try reading Google's guidelines on choosing a reputable SEO, for starters.

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35291

"You should never have to link to an SEO."



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 5

RT @toddmintz Anyone thinking of using the Verified SEO services, please donate your money to @Rhea instead.



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from netmeg 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Dude.  There are a few dozen forks in you.  You're done.

Try Googling "verified SEO" about now.



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from rishilakhani 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Hey Verified SEO - I WILL pay your fee, IF you prove to me who these "evaluators" are. http://seobullshit.com/verified-seo-open-challenge/If its tedster, I will pay 10 times the fee btw.



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from mikevallano 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

No, really Mr. Prospective Client, you can trust me.

Some guy in Texas verified my services.



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from urbanwebkat 1673 Days ago #
Votes: -4

Any business owner thinking about using Verified SEO services to find a vendor might want to check out http://www.semvendor.com/. Cause it's run by someone that's recognized by the industry. ;)



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

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from WilliamC 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

All I can say is... Wow... sunk before he even got started.  :)



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from netmeg 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

vilifiedseo.com



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from matthewdiehl 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Anyone else notice that the former company - http://www.clickresponse.net - won't even sport the badge?

Figured they would at the very least help support their founder in new endevours ... or not



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from Stuartpt 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Best SEO bickering ever.

In all seriousness though, @VerifiedSEO - if you wanted to start a lead generation company targeted at SEO/SEM agencies, that is not what you have done.

"It really shouldnt matter if nobody from the SEM community has heard of you or not."

It doesn't, it's just we all talk to each other and do what's called 'self regulation'. Kind of like what's happening now...







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from pageoneresults 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I just wanted to make the 100th Comment, this thread is more exciting than my Twitter Timeline right now!

It doesn't, it's just we all talk to each other and do what's called 'self regulation'. Kind of like what's happening now.

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



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from robwoods 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Charles's scholarly articles regarding search engine marketing have been published on hundreds of websites in addition to trade journals and magazines.

I'm sure he has published lots of articles... on the same article submission sites where hundreds of thousands of other crap articles have been published. Charles, care to tell us WHERE your articles have been published? I thought not...

The only verification I trust for SEOs (or any other professional I hire) is testing them to see if they actually know their stuff, and checking real live references before hiring them. This guy is laughable BUT he isn't attempting to do what hasn't been done in hundreds of industries before. As Netmeg mentions above, tons of people start "certification" services to extract money from professionals while providing very little in return. He doesn't actually need to convince SEOs that his service is worthwhile, he just has to convince our customers. It may sound far fetched but I've seen it happen in other industries...

Kudos to Edward for shining a light on this and being steadfast in continuing to debunk crap like this.

SEOs are fortunate to have people like Edward Lewis and Rhea Drysdale in our industry, looking out for all of us.



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from RonKrause 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 0

After reading your comments I visted their website, posted the following:

So, you are going to charge my $1200.00 a year to give me your (who ever you are) seal. Of course I have to meet a certain criteria and keep it up by proofing it to you. There seems to be something wrong here I do the work, I pay the fees and you sit back and collect. I believe this is more cost than the BBB and at least they have a list of their members. Of course you have your new program getting set up where you get $75.00 per lead by giving out 3 leads at $25.00 per lead to your "verified SEO's". As an SEO  company I should probably start my own SEO/SEM certification program at half the cost and still do well. With all these fees in place do you guarantee the certified companies results. All this being said I do believe that some type of SEO/SEM Company monitoring should be going on as most of my clients have been burned in the past.  Maybe it is time for a group of SEO's to start an accountability group. If you would be interested in this please contact me: ron@mallmedia.org

Ron Krause                      Will you post this??

And signed up with sphinn so I could post a comment. Have to get back to work now.

Ron Krause



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from TheMadHat 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

This made me post something on my blog. First post since 2008. Not that it has many words though.


http://www.themadhat.com/retarded/verified-seo-scam/



Avatar Moderator
from Realicity 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

For anyone who is interested, here is a link to information on donating to Rhea Drysdale:

http://searchengineland.com/meet-the-25-year-old-who-saved-seo-from-being-trademarked-38066

Thanks again Rhea!



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from netmeg 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Right, and see, here's the thing.  Enough people with 'juice' (in TheMadHat's case, it's actually barbecue sauce) are posting about this that pretty soon anyone doing any kind of search on this guy is going to see his lonely little SERP surrounded by an awful lot of.. well, we'll be mild and call it "healthy skepticism."

Now, if you can dig your way out of THIS one, then you will in fact be one honking effective SEO.

(Personally, I still think it's an April Fool's joke)



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from streko 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

http://bombmatt.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/beating_a_dead_horse.jpg


this dude is treating you all like a SMX Calcanis keynote. Just don't pay attention.



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from TheMadHat 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

shut it streko.


I'm already 4th for [verified seo] - Does that qualify me for a badge?



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from NateSchubert 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Here's the real question: Would this be okay to do if Verified SEO was actually run by a big name in the industry, or is it the idea of someone else telling the entire industry who is and who isn't worthy of acknowledgement?

This reminds me a lot like those download sites that offer seals of approval, or 4 cows, or whatever. It looks like some kind of award but you know it's nothing special. I think where this guy went wrong is charging up front in order to levy down his expert referral. These download sites don't make you pay them a fee so that they can tell their visitors your product is good. Plenty of them find their revenue streams in advertising and affiliate marketing. That's where this guy shoulda gone.

Sure, recommend people if you want. But do it for FREE and fill out your site, show us your expertise. If you've written all of these amazing articles about the very things we eat, sleep and breathe, we'd kinda like to see it at least.



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from safcblogger 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@verifiedseo did you just open a whole new tin of worms? or was it an attempt at linkbait? either way you made me post something on my site grrr

Thank you Edward for bringing this to the fore it`s rounded my week off nicely.



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from safcblogger 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

9th for verified seo, dam i ain`t getting a badge



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from AlanBleiweiss 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Check out this crap article from @CharlesPreston pushing his now defunct SEO Watchdog service http://bit.ly/bJfFci



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 4

Well, Charles talks a good talk. He wrote an article on keyword research:

http://www.ideamarketers.com/?SEO_Consultant_Keyword_Knowledge&articleid=890922

In it, he talked about the fact that one needs to optimize for keywords that "get a decent amount of traffic."

It's too bad he forgot to follow his own advice with his clients back with the company he sold. Even sillier is that he publicly posted his results for clients that were for keywords nobody searches for! Why is it not surprising that the person who wants to police the rest of SEOs is doing exactly the things that he recommends against? He's certainly an expert at that.




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from AlanBleiweiss 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

well that's the beauty of it Jill.  He can't make an honest living actually working in the field of SEO.  And so with at least two companies now (SEO Watchdog in 2008, and now Verified SEO), he's trying to get rich in an industry that he can at least pretend he knows something about.  It's how all great liers do their thing - by sprinkling a little truth into the lie, it seems more believable.



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from youfoundjake 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 4

I'm really finding this all laughable..

I have never been much for popularity contests and have kept to myself in terms of involvement with the SEM community at large. It's no surprise to me that many of you have never heard of me

"Charles Preston is well known around the planet as one of the greatest SEO experts."

source:http://bit.ly/dmh9fz

'nuff said.



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Happy April Fools Day?



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from scottpolk 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Happy April Fools Day? ... well, im not sure it is actually over .. but the site has changed

http://www.verifiedseo.com



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from charlotteseo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

i doubt it was an april fools joke


that's the only way he could save his rep by claiming it was



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from identity 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Could someone just let me know when the class action suit is filed on behalf of the "real" SEO industry for the loss of valuable time?

The only thing "verified" here is a "waste of time." Oh well, I haven't quite worked with 3,000 clients yet so I better get back to real work if I'm ever going to be able to afford a badge.



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from streko 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

played like a fiddle at a ho down.




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from charlotteseo 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

So is it true that @PageTwoResults is behind this?



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from AlanBleiweiss 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Read my two updates on why Verified SEO was not a prank http://bit.ly/dDh8pB



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from seowoman 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

http://www.shoemoney.com/2010/03/01/you-have-30-days/

Quote: "Its like when you were in high school and you have your best friend ask some girl on a date for you and when she says no you say, 'Oh just joking'."



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from safcblogger 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 3

verified seo was not a prank, why go to all that trouble and change the site when you realize they are on to you? you can still grab the last cache from Jan 30th before he figures out how to erm well you know ;)

Even going to the lengths of grabbing trustguard seals lol



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from joshuatitsworth 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

verifiedseo.com is now redirecting to google. The 'april fools joke' is over.



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from identity 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@joshuatitsworth


With a meta refresh...



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from Alysson 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

It's so wrong, and yet so right, how hysterically funny all of this truly is.  If good ol' Charles didn't anticipate the backlash and see all of this coming, well...that's proof enough that the "industry veteran" he'd have people believe doesn't exactly reflect reality.

Even those who aren't active in the community and fly under the radar, simply doing their jobs well without letting the loudmouths like us know they exist know that this kind of bullshit is like chumming the shark-infested waters off the coast of South Africa.

I'd like to feel bad for him and believe he's just a well-intentioned soul who's out to protect consumers, but I can't...this is hilarious.  He should have seen it coming a mile away.  So how long before there's an official call for all of us to write a post targeting his "brand" and show him how bad things can really get for this monumental level of douchebaggary?



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from joshuatitsworth 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@identity lol



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from Orphee 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 1

poor guy

he should launch verifiedstupid.com

he obviously got the authority is this field :p



Avatar Moderator
from Sebastian 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 4

Since the original page was pulled and redirected to Google, I've edited things so show the copy of the page as recorded by the Google cache. That won't last forever, but at least people can read what was there. Original URL was this: http://www.verifiedseo.com/clearing-the-air-on-verified-seo/



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from AlanBleiweiss 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Well now he's got a bit more of a rep mgmt problem: http://bit.ly/9GfPoG  and the first page of Google isn't kind to Charles directly anymore now either http://bit.ly/bUAm7s



Avatar Moderator
from Sebastian 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Permalink for Google's cache: verifiedseo.com/clearing-the-air-on-verified-seo



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from AlanBleiweiss 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

And now, we can take Charles' comment here where he says:


So, in a nutshell Verified SEO doesn't exist to be an authority on SEM or to scrutinize how you perform SEM or to be some kind of SEM police.

and change that to now read


So, in a nutshell Verified SEO doesn't exist.  Anymore. Except in the form of cold, hard cache.  Thank God.



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from johnandrews 1673 Days ago #
Votes: 2

You can easily "serve" 3000 SEO clients if you have an online SEO tool or automated SEO auditer or some such. I see SEO firms claim Fortune 100 clients all the time (showing their logos etc) when in fact they merely know that someone in that corporate network downloaded a PDF whitepaper, or signed on to use an online keyword tool with a corporate email address.

I'm surprised no one tracked down the responsible party... it was up for long enough. What hosting company? Server? Saved code to look for fotprints etc?






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from pageoneresults 1672 Days ago #
Votes: 3

135 Comments! First I'd like to thank everyone for their participation in this topic. If I would have known to expect this type of response, I would have prepared a little differently. :)

As I had predicted in one of my Tweets, the Verified SEO website would be Out of Business soon. Well, it was a little sooner than I expected. I was hoping Charles would get more involved in the discussion here. Now that I see the actions he took, I tend to agree with the general consensus, this was possibly a scam. ;)

Now, I wonder how long before the CharlesPreston.com domain shuts down? Surely Charles can't show his face anytime soon? I'm guessing with his Leads business, he'll do just fine, even after being laid off three times in the past 7 years.

Again, a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who supported this effort. And, thank you to Sphinn for having a platform to support this type of activity even though this topic broke something behind the scenes! We went from a base of 30 HTML Errors to 822 Errors and 35 warnings prior to this reply.

135 Comments?! I think we almost Trended on Twitter. :)



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from g1smd 1671 Days ago #
Votes: 2

* I say we do a public review of the CharlesPreston.com *


Duplicate *Splutter* Content galore. Shocking!



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from GSEO 1668 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Just talking about this guy good or bad is promoting him. Is his site worthy of mention? The site looks pretty ordinary to me!



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from johnandrews 1667 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I'm embarassed to be part of the community that created and fostered this comment stream (and the related ones). Not because I think Charles Preston did a stellar job... but because of the mob mentality and the quite evident thrill enjoyed by many of you who apparently feel qualified to trash someone personally, as well as professionally, after he takes a shot at a venture.

From these threads, as a reader, I can note the character of the leadership (Edward Lewis, Jill Whalen, et al.) and make a list of the jump-on-the-bandwagon followers. In the followers I can see clues of who probably just isn't being considerate, or isn't paying enough attention to the facts, or is eager to see a criteria-based program like this fail quickly (i have to wonder why?).

Of those who I am surprised to see participating, I know a few are very busy and some are bored... but there are also some whom I don't know but can safely assume (based on overall social media activity) just don't have enough to do in this economy. I won't presume why that is.

I think you were trolled by an event... not a person (since Charles Preston didn't intentionally troll you). But his efforts, defined as an event definitely trolled you.

It trolled the defenders of the status quo to defend their positions from scrutiny. It trolled you wanna be juniors to jump in and kiss some ass as "part of the IN crowd", and it even trolled some of you veterans to have a laugh at some thought-to-be disposable character's expense. Classic SEO industry stuff.

That same propensity-to-be trolled is exploited annually by the likes of Calcanis and his ilk, at significant cost to the SEO community.

Some better hope that Charles Preston folds his cards and walks away with his tail between his legs. If he's actually got some chops he hasn't revealed (which seems to be the bet many of you have placed against), the fun may just be beginning. He may just come out with a "Verified Professional Character" badge next, and start with the SEO industry where it may represent Elite Status.




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from NickWilsdon 1667 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@John Andrews

And of course, it wouldn't be classic SEO industry stuff without you coming in at the end to make a post exactly like that. ;-)





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from pageoneresults 1666 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I'm embarrassed to be part of the community that created and fostered this comment stream (and the related ones). Not because I think Charles Preston did a stellar job... but because of the mob mentality and the quite evident thrill enjoyed by many of you who apparently feel qualified to trash someone personally, as well as professionally, after he takes a shot at a venture.

Mob mentality? I'd say it was more of a get together of like minds looking out for the best interests of our industry, the one you're embarrassed to be a part of.

From these threads, as a reader, I can note the character of the leadership (Edward Lewis, Jill Whalen, et al.) and make a list of the jump-on-the-bandwagon followers.

John, I'm sure we could note similar qualities in yourself. Did you mention Jill? I thought you and Jill were down?

Or is eager to see a criteria-based program like this fail quickly (i have to wonder why?).

There's your answer. Our industry doesn't need a criteria based program, not anymore. It did years ago but the SEs themselves have done a pretty good job of weeding out a good portion of the less than satisfactory stuff. The rest is up to us as individuals and as small groups to do what we can to keep things in order. If you don't wish to participate in that facet of our industry, that's your choice. But, don't start making character calls because we don't fit into your ideology.

I think you were trolled by an event... not a person (since Charles Preston didn't intentionally troll you). But his efforts, defined as an event definitely trolled you.

You know what I think? I think you're trolling and want to start something similar like VerifiedSEO. I've followed your comments in regards to this, I've seen a couple of hints from your side in regards to that particular venture. It won't go anywhere. And not because it's you behind it but because this industry as a whole WILL NOT support it. It could be Danny Sullivan, it could be any one of the BIG names in this industry, there will NEVER be enough support to make it happen. And again, we don't need it at this point. It was said during all that discussion that our industry is self-regulating and it does a pretty good job of doing so.

Some better hope that Charles Preston folds his cards and walks away with his tail between his legs. If he's actually got some chops he hasn't revealed (which seems to be the bet many of you have placed against), the fun may just be beginning. He may just come out with a "Verified Professional Character" badge next, and start with the SEO industry where it may represent Elite Status.

Ya, okay John. And if he does, I think we could safely guess that someone such as yourself coached him along. It still won't go anywhere. Our industry can forget about any such nonsense. That's what it is too, utter nonsense.

If you feel you need a babysitter, then by all means, go ahead and hire one. I think I can safely speak for the majority here and tell you that we'll fire the babysitter in a heartbeat. We can watch ourselves, we're old enough now John. ;)



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from johnandrews 1666 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@NickWilsdon I followed along elsewhere but wasn't aware that the issue was re-represented (a few times) on Sphinn until most of this slugfest was passed. Funny how it is hyped in one place as if based on one agenda, and then re-hyped in another place, with a subtle variation of agenda.... I guess not surprising. But still, it should just stand here unchallenged. Or should it?

@pageoneresults last thing I want to do is argue with you all over the web. Isn't it the web big enough for people to have different opinions? Maybe it's a turf thing.. maybe Cre8pc and Sphinn are your turf now? I'll concede the former.

Lessons learned: I recognize you don't see any need for third party validation of you or your friends. Got it. I also see you pledge to battle such attempts until they are defeated... got it. Not sure why, but I honestly don't care either. It's immaterial.

I'm not currently building a third party SEO verification service as you seem to fear, but I assure you I got the message that if I do, I should prioritize being accurate with evidence right from the start. Details, details, details. Got it.




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from MelissaF 1666 Days ago #
Votes: 1

OK, i don't want to get an argument in any way, but John, you said

@pageoneresults last thing I want to do is argue with you all over the web. Isn't it the web big enough for people to have different opinions?

Isn't this entire thread a collection of opinions? Does it have to be an attack or mob mentality?



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from charlespreston 1658 Days ago #
Votes: -4

Over the past weeks I have spoken with many of the people involved in this event. Lots of cool people met.  Posts have been removed or edited to reflect the truth. As it turns out, Verified SEO was not a scam and I was wrongly attacked. I said "wrongly attacked" - did I need some feedback? yes I did,  and it would have been welcomed had it come in the form of a phone call or an email, which could have easily been accomplished. Read that last sentence one more time because it is the foundation of this post.

Why didn't someone call me or email me and offer some feedback? A real one-on-one dialog. Real leaders do things like that. Leaders do not look for opportunities to flog people in public based on assumptions and hearsay. Tyrants do that. It is how they create the facade of power which gives meaning to their existence. I ignored Edward's little paging game after I learned he was the founder of seoconsultants.com because I figured he was just a competitor doing the old reptilian brained, defending turf thing. So, I took the liberty of ignoring him. Now, had he been a real leader he might have picked up the phone to call me, alone, in person, like a man, and ask me what it was I was doing and find out the facts before lighting the fires for his witch hunt.


As I "opined" over at another forum, "presumption of innocence" is a cornerstone of most modern democracies. The burden of proof is on the prosecution and one is innocent until PROVEN guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. It is a cornerstone because it is meant to prevent things like witch hunts, lynchings, etc. Things that "ethical" people do not condone. That's all fine and well but one must also consider human nature. Sometimes ethical people act in less than ethical ways given the right push, lack of information and typical human herd behavior takes care of the rest. I therefore do not so much blame any of those who merely followed Edward's ego fueled, impetuous cavalry charge last month, after all nobody knew who I was, everyone knew who Edward was.

Edward said,

"Mob mentality? I'd say it was more of a get together of like minds looking out for the best interests of our industry, the one you're embarrassed to be a part of."

Hrmm...ever read Orwell? Is that truthspeak? Let's call a spade a spade. Here is a pretty clear definition of what is referred to as "mob mentality" - http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-mob-mentality.htm

"the term “mob” typically conjures up an image of a disorganized, aggressive, panicked group of people"

I'd say that pretty much sums it up. So, yes, Edward it was a mob, primarily "led" by you.

Edward also said, that the SEO community does a good job of policing itself. Edward seems to be speaking for ALL SEO providers these days. Who has given him this right? Is this true? Does he actually speak for all of you? All of us, I should say. I don't think he does, given the "opines" I read and heard after the dust settled about our little Lord Farquaad.

I digress. The point is this. This event should give pause to anyone who actually believes that the "community" is doing a good job of policing itself. It should also give rise to speculation about who we are all allowing to speak for the community. Was Edward's actions really the kind of behavior that we as a community of professionals could ever actually approve of? Is that really our brand of "self-regulation"? Does that really look to the outside business community at large like, "We can watch ourselves, we're old enough now" ?

Look how easily many people were led to believe by a supposed authority that someone was running a scam and then after the blood was already dry on the pitchforks it turns out that there was no scam after all. Don't we all lose a little more respect for the police when we hear about an incident of police brutality. What makes us angry about that is that these are people who are entrusted to uphold the law. Someone is beaten or wrongly accused or not given due process. There are some who are called to law enforcement because they have an honest desire to promote order and justice. There are others who join the force because it appeals to an inflated ego and gives them carte blanche to satiate their sadistic need to exert power over others to compensate for a lack of real self esteem. That's called corruption. It's everywhere we look these days isn't it? We need not look very far do we?

I'm not trolling here. This is something I absolutely had to say. I don't care if it's not well received, I don't care if I get link bombed again. It makes no difference to me at this point. There are those of you who will see the truth of what I am saying and you are the ones who need to be the voice of reason and true ethics and prevent something like this from happening again. I am not saying this as a member of the SEO industry I am saying this as a human being.

Edward can admit that he was wrong about the way he handled this situation or he can cling to his carefully crafted public image and ego. Every attempt beyond this point by Edward to defend his position and try to discredit me as an SEO consultant will be seen for what it is - denial of the truth, that he made a mistake and wrongfully abused his so called power in the community. Again, this post isn't about SEO or standards compliance - it's about how to tell the difference between a real leader and a tyrant. It's not just about power, it's how you use that power.

over and out.



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from WilliamC 1658 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This is not a court of law folks, there is no innocent til proven guilty.

Sorry Charles, but face it, you thinking you were going to get our client lists, you thinking any of us cared who you thought you were, you thinking any of us were going to let you decide who was good, better, best, that was as scammy looking as it gets. So the outcome was natural. This is a small community, the entire community, it is not a small clique here, everyone knows everyone. Nobody knew you.



Avatar Moderator
from kerimorgret 1658 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Charles, I can't help but point out the very first comment on this thread, by Edward. "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."



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from Feydakin 1658 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Heh.. I think someone needs a training course in reputation management.. I doubt that this post of yours would have been a recommended solution or response..

If you had been SEMPO, or someone "anyone" had heard of, this might have gone differently, but as William noted, no one knew you and the "industry leaders" tend to all be known people..



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1658 Days ago #
Votes: 4

While I think that pretty much any organization or company that gives away seals of approval--especially if one has to pay for it--(including the BBB and others) are pretty much a scam, Charles does have some valid points in this last post.

Calling people out through Twitter and Sphinn just by mentioning their name and expecting them to respond doesn't seem like the best way to get answers to the questions one might have.

Can you imagine if that was how 60 Minutes or other news agencies got to the bottom of the things they investigate? It seems that the same thing is being done in the TopSEOs scandal. I do hope that Pageoneresults actually tries to contact someone from there personally (as I said in my comment in that Sphinn thread) rather than just waiting for them to respond to the idle chatter about them. It would certainly be the more professional way to go.



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from charlespreston 1658 Days ago #
Votes: 0


@William

Uh, right, it's not a court of law, however I would hope the same ethical standards would apply or do you prefer something different?

You obviously have not kept up. I wasn't trying to get anyone's client lists....lol..c'mon that just makes no sense. What was I going to do with those client lists after having signed an NDA? Do you think I was going to call them up and say, "hey! have you thought about switching to Geiko?" I wasn't telling anyone who was better or best, please go read my comments on Kim's blog so you can discuss the issue with more intelligence. There was nothing scammy about it. It was not a perfect model and I made some mistakes in the implementation but it was not a scam. Hey, I am glad it blew up, not in the way that it did but it wasn't as good of an idea as I had first thought it was. No, I don't think everybody knows everybody. There are tens of thousands of SEO people all over the planet. Not all of them are going to be known by you. Can you judge anyone of them just because you don't know them? That would be pretty arrogant and elitist me thinks.

@kerimorgret

Yes I addressed that very issue in my previous post. I thought Edward was just a competitor slinging mud so I ignored him. I had no idea who the guy was. Not sure why you felt that was important to repost? Pinging someone on your Twitter stream isn't how you start a discussion in the grown up world. You pick up the phone and you call them or email them directly. It was condescending and indicates a high level of arrogance that he thought I was "supposed" to have responded as if I had received a summons from the Queen or something, lol.

@Feydakin

By lesson in "reputation management" do you mean shutting my mouth and not expressing how I really felt about what happened? And what reputation are you referring to? LOL. Again, there are a large number of people on the planet practicing SEM. Just because they don't seek industry recognition doesn't mean they don't know what they are doing or are not worth listening to. Geez man listen to how elitist that sounds, it's arrogant to think that because someone isn't glad handing around with the community that they are somehow less of a professional because YOU don't know who they are. Being popular has nothing to do with being a leader or having skill. How many well known people do we know about in government and big business who were presented as leaders but turned out to be sociopaths? How exactly do you define "industry leader"?




Avatar Moderator
from kerimorgret 1658 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Both Jill and Edward have points about methods of contacting. Edward might have used Twitter as a way to timestamp and record his attempts at contacting. Perhaps Charles could have responded on Twitter with a comment about if Edward did truly want to discuss things, to give him a call. I can't remember if the contact information was immediately available for Charles, as his website changed multiple times in a short time period, and had conflicting information.

Charles, Twitter can be used in grown up ways. I've personally used it as a way to hire someone, get a job interview, and find gigs. I just paid an invoice today for someone who is working on ecommerce integration to my website who I found via Twitter, communicated with in email, and have never once spoken to on the phone.



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from WilliamC 1658 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Jill, while I agree in essence, the fact that the verifiedseo.com website changed almost immediately after the sphinn post was posted says something else. Obviously charles did indeed see the post rather fast. Edward also stated he tried 'for days' to contact charles via other means, and sorry, but twitter has quickly become the easiest way to get in touch with many people. They seem to read it long before emails get replied to, IMO.




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from Feydakin 1658 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Charles, responding is fine.. It was your method of response that doesn't help you at all..



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from charlespreston 1658 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@ kerimorgret

Ok, I should have clarified my statement, it wasn't the way to start "that" kind of discussion. I agree with you that Twitter can be a very useful communication tool. A phone number was printed on the header of the Verified SEO website and there was also a way to contact via email. Edward never used any of those methods. I even called Edward myself and left a message for him to call me back but he never did. It's just so easy to slander people from a keyboard from 1,400 miles away, sort of like bombing a village with a predator drone. Yes the info changed on Verified a few times prior to the attack. Keep in mind that this thing was a work in progress when it was chosen as a target by Edward. The info changed again during the actual attack because I freaked out and tried to play the whole thing off as a joke. The point is that I answered Edward's first page by admitting that I was in fact involved with the venture. My contact info was readily available however Edward chose not to go that route. Why?

Will the real industry "leaders" please stand up. Here is the question at hand - who are the industry "leaders" really? What qualifications do they need to have? Not just technically but also character wise? Is this arbitrary witch hunt and public slandering thing the way we really want to go about regulating the community? Has anybody called TOPSEOs? Email? So they are running a "pay-to-play" model? What are they doing exactly? Does anybody actually know? What is Edward doing with his directory? Is he really the one who should be doing the calling out? I heard that there was some kind of "revolution" going in the SEO industry. A revolution? Really? What I see is a disorganized attempt at slandering people and businesses who didn't ask for permission from certain self appointed people in the industry to launch their ventures. I am not defending TOPSEOs nor am I saying that I am qualified or have the desire to devise an alternative. What I am saying is that it appears that there is no industry regulation really because if there was I would have never attempted to launch Verified SEO and TOPSEOs would not exist. In an industry that suffers from the lack of regulation and there are no clear industry leaders what do you expect? Rather than attacking people why not get together and figure out a way to create a solution to the actual problem? Even if TOPSEOs went under tomorrow - guess what? The problem is still there. It would only be a matter of time before something similar popped up.

Perhaps if there was a concerted effort to push SEMPO into doing something or if SEMPO isn't the solution, then something new is created that has buy in from everyone. It seems as if everyone's ego gets in the way of any real cooperation on this front. Why do think it is that Rhea had to do what she did alone? Where was the community then? Maybe that is the mirror in which we all need to take a good long hard look into. That would be revolutionary imo.



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1658 Days ago #
Votes: 0

WilliamC said:

Obviously charles did indeed see the post rather fast.


So what? Why does he have to respond to public posts? I saw Edward calling me out before too publicly and I chose not to respond. Why would I? He's NOT the Queen--as Charles so aptly put it in his last comment! Nor is he the arbiter of all that is SEO.



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from charlespreston 1658 Days ago #
Votes: -1

@ Feydakin

What was it about my "method of response" that you disagree with? Were you applying that same rationale to yourself 15 days ago?



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from WilliamC 1658 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Jill:  You took that bit the wrong way, however I can see where I should have been more clear. What I meant by it was simply that he did in fact have time to explain things here. Instead he chose to spit out the same verbiage really that was on the verifiedseo site. He then chose to change the sites verbiage to not come across as some here pointed out, and then, he finally redirected it to google and went into hiding. Now he comes out half a month later saying, oh it was all a misunderstanding, etc. etc... He did not then answer any of the questions pointed to him, nor did he give any meaningful response to edwards calling out, regardless if it was correct or not correct, and I still do not see him doing so. I still have yet to see anything that says it was incorrect, except for Charles whoever-the-heck-he-is calling edward out in ,from all appearances, an attempt to make him look self-serving to CYA in an attempt at rep management.




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from charlespreston 1658 Days ago #
Votes: -1

@WilliamC

Now I understand where you are coming from. You were not aware that I confronted this whole issue over here http://cre8pc.com/2010/03/26/seo-expert-seo-expert/ just after the incident happened. I am not just all of sudden appearing here half a month later. For the record my friend, "who-the-heck-are-you?". Am I supposed to know who you are? I don't but that gives me no right to judge you. This here page is ground zero for me and after trying to keep my mouth shut about what happened I just couldn't so I took the liberty of returning to the scene of the crime to "opine" on what happened and on the state of the so called "industry regulation". I have no desire to cover my ass or perform "reputation management", I was already crucified dude and what you see here is a ghost just donating 2 cents to the discussion. No hard feelings man, you just judged me on hearsay and assumption which is precisely the problem with this whole affair. We all have a stake in what is going on and this discussion is relevant, imo.



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from pageoneresults 1658 Days ago #
Votes: 2

And it would have been welcomed had it come in the form of a phone call or an email, which could have easily been accomplished. Read that last sentence one more time because it is the foundation of this post.

Charles, I'm still trying to put my finger on what you're up to and now, who your coach is. Yes, I have this suspicion you now have someone directing you in these responses, that's just my opinion though. ;)

Why didn't someone call me or email me and offer some feedback?

WHAT? Why didn't you get that feedback prior to launch? [Shakes head...]

I ignored Edward's little paging game after I learned he was the founder of seoconsultants.com because I figured he was just a competitor doing the old reptilian brained, defending turf thing.

Unfortunately that was a bad assumption on your part.

So, I took the liberty of ignoring him. Now, had he been a real leader he might have picked up the phone to call me, alone, in person, like a man, and ask me what it was I was doing and find out the facts before lighting the fires for his witch hunt.

Charles, I'm going to suggest that you go back and read every single character I've written, apparently you are now accusing me of doing and saying things that are not true. I'll point those out here as we progress.

As I "opined" over at another forum, "presumption of innocence" is a cornerstone of most modern democracies.

What are you talking about? Cornerstone of democracy? Where was the democracy in VerifiedSEO.com or your previous venture that also failed? Charles, you've attempted to come in and provide some sort of verification body for the SEO Industry TWICE, and both attempts have failed. I really hope you don't plan a third one? Most people learn from their mistakes, especially when they make them twice like that.

I therefore do not so much blame any of those who merely followed Edward's ego fueled, impetuous cavalry charge last month, after all nobody knew who I was, everyone knew who Edward was.

Charles, you're trying to paint me as some sort of bully or something. I started a topic here at Sphinn and the community took it from there. I've been very diplomatic and up front in my approach for the most part. I may slip every now and then but I always come back to the topic at hand.

I'd say that pretty much sums it up. So, yes, Edward it was a mob, primarily "led" by you.

Led by me? I start a topic at Sphinn and the mob was led by me? Charles, did you know that 90% of the people who Sphunn this and/or commented would love to rake me over the coals? Yes, they would have easily sided with you if they thought there was even one chance in this world that what you were up to was right for this industry. I'm serious, most of these folks do not like me but they put that aside and surely showed their dislike for VerifiedSEO, I was surprised myself, I really was.

Edward seems to be speaking for ALL SEO providers these days.

Charles? How does 150+ comments turn into Edward speaking for ALL SEO Providers? You need to come down to earth and get with the program, you've seriously missed the point.

Who has given him this right? Is this true? Does he actually speak for all of you? All of us, I should say. I don't think he does, given the "opines" I read and heard after the dust settled about our little Lord Farquaad.

Charles, I kind of figured you start to resort to name calling, that's fine. I love being called names. You know why? It means that I really got under your milky white skin, didn't I? :)

Was Edward's actions really the kind of behavior that we as a community of professionals could ever actually approve of? Is that really our brand of "self-regulation"? Does that really look to the outside business community at large like, "We can watch ourselves, we're old enough now"?

Charles, I don't represent the SEO Industry and I don't know where you got that idea. I'm just one voice amongst many. I happen to be one of the few voices who will speak up in this industry which means when I speak, people hear me. And yes, I do believe most of us participating here are old enough now.

Look how easily many people were led to believe by a supposed authority that someone was running a scam and then after the blood was already dry on the pitchforks it turns out that there was no scam after all.

This is where I'm going to put my size 11 down! And, if you were close by, It would probably be half way up your trunk. If you find one reference to the word scam in reference to VerifiedSEO.com that came from me, you better get it, frame it, and link to it from this topic. If you can't, I suggest that word and my name never cross your lips again.

Edward can admit that he was wrong about the way he handled this situation or he can cling to his carefully crafted public image and ego.

Admit to what Charles? I've re-read every single reply to all of the topics that were spawned and I cannot see where I mishandled anything? I started a topic at Sphinn and the SEO Community saw the writing on the wall. Charles, let us not forget, this is your second attempt at this in 2 years correct? Are you planning a third?

Every attempt beyond this point by Edward to defend his position and try to discredit me as an SEO consultant will be seen for what it is - denial of the truth, that he made a mistake and wrongfully abused his so called power in the community.

Wow, Charles, you are as clueless as I originally thought you were. You've apparently melded the hundreds and thousands of comments into a misrepresentation of the facts. Unfortunately those coming in at this point will be totally lost and will most likely just ignore the topic.

It's about how to tell the difference between a real leader and a tyrant.

A tyrant? I'm a tyrant now? This is absolutely hilarious, those reading along are probably also giggling. I'm a pussycat Charles, I have no idea where you got the tyrant label. Again, I think you mistook the industry's responses and are now attempting to Sphinn this so I look like a tyrant. That's fine, I'll be the tyrant in this scenario. As long as that VerifiedSEO.com does not exist, you can call me whatever you want.

There was nothing scammy about it. It was not a perfect model and I made some mistakes in the implementation but it was not a scam. Hey, I am glad it blew up.

Second attempt, first attempt failed in a similar fashion, didn't it?

Pinging someone on your Twitter stream isn't how you start a discussion in the grown up world. You pick up the phone and you call them or email them directly.

Charles, what Internet do you surf? Do you actually think that people are going to call a phone number on a website that has no listing of who the people were behind it? Dude, you better start painting the correct picture. If you'd like, we'll dig up all the archived copies and show everyone again how you approached this.

It was condescending and indicates a high level of arrogance that he thought I was "supposed" to have responded as if I had received a summons from the Queen or something, lol.

The Queen? Did you just compare me to The Queen? Thank you Charles, I'm honored, I really am!

Edward never used any of those methods.

What for? You never bothered to approach the industry before launching VerifiedSEO, why should I attempt to call a phone number on a website that claimed to be run by industry veterans but yet there wasn't a single name on that site, not one. You came out of the gate with the word FAILURE stamped right across the site.

I even called Edward myself and left a message for him to call me back but he never did.

I'm glad I didn't either. I surely wouldn't want to listen to your whining. And that is what it has been, a bunch of whining.

It's just so easy to slander people from a keyboard from 1,400 miles away, sort of like bombing a village with a predator drone.

I suggest you watch your mouth young man. You should first go back and find any quotes I've made that were slanderous and then use them to back up the above statement. If you can't find them, I suggest that word, along with scam, and my name, never cross your lips again. That is the second warning.

Yes the info changed on Verified a few times prior to the attack. Keep in mind that this thing was a work in progress when it was chosen as a target by Edward.

We nipped it in the bud as they say.

What is Edward doing with his directory?

I think we're 100% transparent in our operations Charles, you're welcome to peel through the 1,000 pages and see for yourself.

Is he really the one who should be doing the calling out?

Absolutely! I'm probably one of the more seasoned veterans when it comes to calling people out. In fact, I just bought CalloutSpecialist.com the other day after seeing the title, I like that.

You were not aware that I confronted this whole issue over here.

Charles? Would you just stop whining please? If you confronted the whole issue over at Kims, why not just continue to confront it over there? Apparently you've found a few who have sympathy for you which is great, you need the support right now. I'm starting to see some signs that would lead me to believe there may be some challenges at hand. ;)

I therefore do not so much blame any of those who merely followed Edward's ego fueled, impetuous cavalry charge last month, after all nobody knew who I was, everyone knew who Edward was.

Charles? Not everyone knows who I am. In fact, most of the people who Sphunn and/or Commented here know very little about me. All they know is that they don't like me but they were willing to put that aside and speak up for what they are passionate about. That would a self-regulating industry that is currently in the process of cleaning up its own backyard. Services such as yours are the first to go.

I was already crucified dude and what you see here is a ghost just donating 2 cents to the discussion.

No Charles, you've not been crucified yet. All that has happened is your hands were smacked hard. If you wish to be crucified, just continue on with your whining, the rest of the SEO Industry will continue to crucify you, I promise. And, I won't have anything to do with it. ;)



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from charlespreston 1657 Days ago #
Votes: -3

@pageoneresults

Well, of course you would call it "whining". It's contradictory to what you say, so it must be whining. Just making a few points here man, no whining about it.

That's right Edward, I do have someone coaching me. Actually a small team of people. Wouldn't you love to know who?

I said, "Why didn't someone call me or email me and offer some feedback?"

You said, "WHAT? Why didn't you get that feedback prior to launch? [Shakes head...]"

ha ha ha, yeh that's a good one. You took that out of context. You seem to have a problem with context and perhaps comprehension of the English language in general. I was referring to you calling me in person to address your concerns about what you thought I was doing rather than expecting me to play your condescending little twitter game. Rather than appointing yourself judge, trial and jury over someone you don't even know. I know, it's a special need you have. It's ok.

I said, "So, I took the liberty of ignoring him. Now, had he been a real leader he might have picked up the phone to call me, alone, in person, like a man, and ask me what it was I was doing and find out the facts before lighting the fires for his witch hunt."

You said, "Charles, I'm going to suggest that you go back and read every single character I've written, apparently you are now accusing me of doing and saying things that are not true. I'll point those out here as we progress."

Huh? How is that a response to what I said? Wait, I thought you were the "caller outer dude"? sorta like the "Equalizer" right?. Now you are trying to say that wasn't what you were doing with Verified? You never contacted me personally, you just it took upon yourself to talk smack about me for several days and convince everyone that you know that I was up to no good.Yeh, I am accusing you of that, that is what you do. Here is a screenshot of two of your twitter posts leading up to the sphinn thread you started http://www.freeimagehosting.net/image.php?fd04823c23.gif

So, from 1400 miles away from your keyboard you began slandering someone who you never met before. Poser? Verified SEO is b@llshit? Now, technically that isn't the word "scam" but those comments infer the same meaning, so split hairs all you want, you knew exactly what you were doing. The question is are you really qualified to be doing it? Are your methods ethical? Are your methods what the SEO community as a whole wish to sanction? It's just not a very professional way to go about things. As it turned out, there was no scam and you were wrong. You won't ever admit that but that's ok I know you have special needs.

I said, "As I "opined" over at another forum, "presumption of innocence" is a cornerstone of most modern democracies."

You said, "What are you talking about? Cornerstone of democracy? Where was the democracy in VerifiedSEO.com or your previous venture that also failed? Charles, you've attempted to come in and provide some sort of verification body for the SEO Industry TWICE, and both attempts have failed. I really hope you don't plan a third one? Most people learn from their mistakes, especially when they make them twice like that."

Actually the idea behind Verified SEO was pretty democratic. I was trying to provide a service that would allow SEO providers to have their records of success speak for them. No tests, no certifications and no judgment coming from me. Just something that the average consumer who knows little about SEO would find comforting to know. Again, this was primarily for the consumer side of things. You keep mentioning that I tried the venture twice as if that means something. I already commented on why the first one fizzled out, I gave up on it because I got too busy with other stuff. Btw I had 5 SEO providers who were in the process of signing up. Can you imagine that? Even with the criteria I was suggesting, they must have been insane!

I said, "I therefore do not so much blame any of those who merely followed Edward's ego fueled, impetuous cavalry charge last month, after all nobody knew who I was, everyone knew who Edward was."

You said, "Charles, you're trying to paint me as some sort of bully or something. I started a topic here at Sphinn and the community took it from there. I've been very diplomatic and up front in my approach for the most part. I may slip every now and then but I always come back to the topic at hand."

You have painted yourself as a bully my friend not me. Why do you pretend to be so good natured all of a sudden? Remember you are the "quicker picker upper caller outer equalizer dude dot com". No, you didn't just nonchalantly start a topic here at sphinn..lol... that was just the tail end of a larger campaign. Diplomatic? I can't even respond to that it's so such an absurd thing for you to assert at this point.

I said, "I'd say that pretty much sums it up. So, yes, Edward it was a mob, primarily "led" by you."

You said, "Led by me? I start a topic at Sphinn and the mob was led by me? Charles, did you know that 90% of the people who Sphunn this and/or commented would love to rake me over the coals? Yes, they would have easily sided with you if they thought there was even one chance in this world that what you were up to was right for this industry. I'm serious, most of these folks do not like me but they put that aside and surely showed their dislike for VerifiedSEO, I was surprised myself, I really was."

Yes led by you. You began your smear campaign before you dumped it on Sphinn. That is clear for all to see. It makes no difference if nobody likes you, they knew you and you knew they would eat up whatever it was you were saying about me otherwise why bother posting it all in your twitter stream instead of just calling me in person? You were the one who brought it to everyone's attention. You can't be two things at once Edward, you are either the "almighty caller outer equalizer nobody likes me specialist dude dot com" or you are the diplomat who meant no harm.

I said, "Was Edward's actions really the kind of behavior that we as a community of professionals could ever actually approve of? Is that really our brand of "self-regulation"? Does that really look to the outside business community at large like, "We can watch ourselves, we're old enough now"?"

You said, "Charles, I don't represent the SEO Industry and I don't know where you got that idea. I'm just one voice amongst many. I happen to be one of the few voices who will speak up in this industry which means when I speak, people hear me. And yes, I do believe most of us participating here are old enough now."

You don't think you represent the SEO Industry? Then how can you be the "special equalizer caller outer dude"?

I said, "Look how easily many people were led to believe by a supposed authority that someone was running a scam and then after the blood was already dry on the pitchforks it turns out that there was no scam after all."

You said, "This is where I'm going to put my size 11 down! And, if you were close by, It would probably be half way up your trunk. If you find one reference to the word scam in reference to VerifiedSEO.com that came from me, you better get it, frame it, and link to it from this topic. If you can't, I suggest that word and my name never cross your lips again."

Phew! that one got you pretty hot :) Who's getting under who's orange leathery skin? It stings because it's true. You never used the word "scam" but you asserted just the same. Anyone can read your twitter history leading up to this event and clearly see that. Anyone can see that it was you who started the discussion about Verified and then quickly assumed that it was b*llshit and that it was your job to put a stop to it by way of using your leverage as a known person in the community. The point is that it was not diplomatic in any shape or form, it was not ethical, it was not professional.

Now let me tell you something --- Where I come from when you talk about putting your foot halfway up someone's trunk you better know who you are talking to and you better be ready to back it up and not with your keyboard. You have no idea who you are talking to, remember? You keep talking like that and I will pull your card. That's my first and only warning. Let's stick to the topic at hand shall we?

I said, "Edward can admit that he was wrong about the way he handled this situation or he can cling to his carefully crafted public image and ego."

You said, "Admit to what Charles? I've re-read every single reply to all of the topics that were spawned and I cannot see where I mishandled anything? I started a topic at Sphinn and the SEO Community saw the writing on the wall. Charles, let us not forget, this is your second attempt at this in 2 years correct? Are you planning a third?"

You cannot see where you mishandled anything? The wonders never cease. You began a public smear campaign against someone you did not know using your community connections to propagate your meme to gratify your own arrogance. Your denial of that seems to indicate something of an identity crisis. You are either the "special seo prosecutor caller out specialist dude and oh did we mention special? dot com" or you are not. Again the point here is that you need to amend your M.O. - it is prone to error. Apparently this isn't the first time your methods may have been in error either - http://www.webworkshop.net/edward-lewis-scam.html.

I said, "Every attempt beyond this point by Edward to defend his position and try to discredit me as an SEO consultant will be seen for what it is - denial of the truth, that he made a mistake and wrongfully abused his so called power in the community."

You said, "Unfortunately those coming in at this point will be totally lost and will most likely just ignore the topic."

You hope that is the case.

I said, "There was nothing scammy about it. It was not a perfect model and I made some mistakes in the implementation but it was not a scam. Hey, I am glad it blew up."

You said, "Second attempt, first attempt failed in a similar fashion, didn't it?"

You can stop with the second attempt bit, it's not working anymore.

I said, "Pinging someone on your Twitter stream isn't how you start a discussion in the grown up world. You pick up the phone and you call them or email them directly."

You said, "Charles, what Internet do you surf? Do you actually think that people are going to call a phone number on a website that has no listing of who the people were behind it? Dude, you better start painting the correct picture. If you'd like, we'll dig up all the archived copies and show everyone again how you approached this."

Edward, please do dig up the archived copies. What internet do I surf? What world do you live in? If you were so effing curious about WHO the people were you could have picked up the phone and dialed the number that was clearly displayed on the website. You know, the diplomatic thing to do. Albeit, it just wouldn't have garnered you any attention from your twitter followers had you done it that way. That is why you didn't do it. Occam's razor.

I said, "Edward never used any of those methods."

You said, "What for? You never bothered to approach the industry before launching VerifiedSEO, why should I attempt to call a phone number on a website that claimed to be run by industry veterans but yet there wasn't a single name on that site, not one. You came out of the gate with the word FAILURE stamped right across the site."

What country do you live in? What entrepreneur do you know who seeks permission from an industry to launch a business? Are we in Communist China? This is a free country brother. Did you ask for permission to launch seoconsultants.com? Approach the industry? Who? You? The whole venture was still in beta, aside from the couple of colleagues I had working with me we were going to start approaching people in the industry to see if they would like to be on an advisory panel. We had not reached that stage yet therefore there were no names on the site. In retrospect I should have handled that differently. Mistake on my part.

I said, "It's just so easy to slander people from a keyboard from 1,400 miles away, sort of like bombing a village with a predator drone."

You said, "I suggest you watch your mouth young man. You should first go back and find any quotes I've made that were slanderous and then use them to back up the above statement. If you can't find them, I suggest that word, along with scam, and my name, never cross your lips again. That is the second warning."

Signed, sealed and delivered. What happens at the third warning? 10 yard penalty? Why do you keep issuing warnings as if you had any real authority over me. How big is your ego?

I said, "Is he really the one who should be doing the calling out?"

You said, "Absolutely! I'm probably one of the more seasoned veterans when it comes to calling people out. In fact, I just bought CalloutSpecialist.com the other day after seeing the title, I like that."

Seasoned veterans of calling people out? Is that a new occupation? You're not doing it in a professional way and that makes the industry look bad. You method is prone to error as has been shown.

I said, "You were not aware that I confronted this whole issue over here."

You said, "Charles? Would you just stop whining please? If you confronted the whole issue over at Kims, why not just continue to confront it over there? Apparently you've found a few who have sympathy for you which is great, you need the support right now. I'm starting to see some signs that would lead me to believe there may be some challenges at hand. ;)"

I already stated why I came back here. Are you sure it's sympathy Edward? Perhaps it's just simple acknowledgement?

I said, "I therefore do not so much blame any of those who merely followed Edward's ego fueled, impetuous cavalry charge last month, after all nobody knew who I was, everyone knew who Edward was."

You said, "Charles? Not everyone knows who I am. In fact, most of the people who Sphunn and/or Commented here know very little about me. All they know is that they don't like me but they were willing to put that aside and speak up for what they are passionate about. That would a self-regulating industry that is currently in the process of cleaning up its own backyard. Services such as yours are the first to go."

They know very little about you but enough to not like you? That doesn't speak very highly of you does it? They knew you, and they didn't know me - period. They believed your propaganda. I see that you have made quite a career out of being a veteran caller outer dude. Good for you. We all need things to make ourselves feel needed. What I am saying is that your way of going about it is wrong. You don't just take it upon yourself to smear someone in a public forum without doing due diligence and making sure that what you are saying is accurate. You play with people's lively hoods and that is a very dangerous game to be playing. I do not trust you to be the guy who is in charge of industry regulation as you have assumed yourself to be. I don't think anyone else should either.

I said, "I was already crucified dude and what you see here is a ghost just donating 2 cents to the discussion."

You said, "No Charles, you've not been crucified yet. All that has happened is your hands were smacked hard. If you wish to be crucified, just continue on with your whining, the rest of the SEO Industry will continue to crucify you, I promise. And, I won't have anything to do with it. ;)"

Why would anyone else want to attack me for speaking my mind about what happened which was a direct result of your actions. Don't try and push the blame over on to the rest of the community or indirectly threaten me with your alleged omnipotent power over the entire SEO community. I don't have an issue with anyone else in the community. Why would they go out of their way to crucify me? Again, you speak as if you speak for all of them. The people I have talked to since the event were good people who just had the wrong idea about what I was doing, in large part because you set them off in that direction.Nah man, it's just me and you here.

Guess what? The so called "whining" is over. I am done. I have said what I needed to say, specifically to you. Whatever else you need to say to me beyond this point is meaningless to me. I did learn from what happened, did you?

P.S. - Just to put your paranoid mind at ease, trust me, there will be no third time for me, I have already wasted too much time with all this nonsense, but who knows other people might be brewing something up. You just never know what's goin on out there, just beyond your reach.



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from pageoneresults 1657 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Where I come from when you talk about putting your foot halfway up someone's trunk you better know who you are talking to and you better be ready to back it up and not with your keyboard.

Same here Charles. I wouldn't have said it if I couldn't back it up whether we were 1,400 miles away or 14 feet away.

http://www.webworkshop.net/edward-lewis-scam.html - Oy, that was a good one too. You probably don't remember Traffic-Power do you? Nah, I didn't think so, you were too busy with those 3,000+ clients of yours. That might be something I'd expect you to do in response to all of this. ;)

The whole venture was still in beta, aside from the couple of colleagues I had working with me we were going to start approaching people in the industry to see if they would like to be on an advisory panel.

Maybe one day in the future those colleagues of yours will step forward and provide their side of the story? Oh, let us not forget the fictitious industry veterans that were involved too, be sure to have them come forward.

Still in Beta? Ya sure Charles. Why wasnt the word Beta displayed anywhere on the site? It's easy to insert all these untruths after the fact, isn't it?

What I am saying is that your way of going about it is wrong.

Actually my way of going about it is the absolute best way to nip this stuff in the bud before it blossoms. I thought it was rather effective. VerifiedSEO.com is no longer around, at least not in its previous incarnation, so it worked.

Just to put your paranoid mind at ease, trust me, there will be no third time for me, I have already wasted too much time with all this nonsense, but who knows other people might be brewing something up. You just never know what's goin on out there, just beyond your reach.

Good for them Charles. And, if they do one thing wrong in the process, they'll end up in the same position that you did because I'll call them out too. And you know what, so will the rest of the SEO industry.

On a side note, I really hope one of the people who have hinted at this are getting their venture ready, I do. You know who you are. ;)

That's right Edward, I do have someone coaching me. Actually a small team of people. Wouldn't you love to know who?

There you go again with your lack of transparency. Remember, that's what got you into this in the first place. And, we're still waiting for those previous Industry Veterans to step forward. You lied about those didn't you? There never were any Industry Veterans, correct?



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from charlespreston 1657 Days ago #
Votes: -5


@pageoneresults

Edward, Edward, Edward....[shakes head]. You either need to start taking Ginko Biloba or you need a vacation. Your last response was pretty weak and was comprised of a mish-mash of pabulum and repetition of points that I have already refuted had you the depth of intelligence to understand complex English vernacular. You also took a few jokes too literally. [sigh]...it's ok. That's the problem with debating an imbecile.

LOL, you are standing there with a hand full of straws, the lights are out and everyone has gone home. It's over, go home. In your line of work you should expect some "blowback" from time to time.



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from Feydakin 1657 Days ago #
Votes: 3

That's right Edward, I do have someone coaching me. Actually a small team of people. Wouldn't you love to know who?

I'd ask for a refund.. When I said your attempt at RM was being done poorly, I wasn't kidding.. There were far better ways to handle this than your current attempts..

As Edward said, I'd still love to know who your industry veterans were.. As an SEO and marketer, you should be aware the transparency is what wins, not obfuscation..



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from WilliamC 1657 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Steve (Feydakin) agreed.


Charkes: I might actually believe you except that you tried the same type of model in 2008 as well and failed, so you already KNEW what was going to be said and likely, done, this time as well, and did it anyway. Sorry, not biting. Had you not known from your prior attempt, it might be plausable, as it is, this attempt at rep mgmt. just a joke.



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from charlespreston 1657 Days ago #
Votes: -2



@Feydakin My post here directed specifically at Edward was not an attempt at RP. I appreciate the concern if that's really what it is. Again, as I explained above and in other places the project was just getting started and the only industry veterans were myself and a couple of colleagues I have worked closely with over the years that are not well known either, at this point as a courtesy to them I am not naming names, and besides it was primarily my idea so I stand alone. We had plans to start contacting other industry people to join an advisory board before Edward's attack. We wanted to have a proof of concept up and running before we did that. Again, I should have handled that differently. I'm not perfect, mistakes were made.

@WilliamC

It's really ok to just believe me...lol. I wouldn't be here if I had something to hide. As I explained before, yes I tried a "similar" model in 2008. It was not exactly the same as the Verified model, it was very rough and the branding was wrong. I published 1 press release and then got tied up with other projects. It didn't fail, where do you see proof of that? I gave up on it. Who cares right? Again, my posting here was not an attempt at reputation management. I needed to get some things off my chest. Take it or leave it. Look, it just doesn't make sense that a guy who has an online footprint clearly showing a career working as an SEO consultant for many years and having built and sold a profitable business doing it (Click Response), with zero negative feedback from anyone prior to this event just all of a sudden decides to become a scam artist. If I really was running a scam I would not have showed up over at Kim's blog to explain myself. I admitted my mistakes and took full responsibility. The primary issue here is that Edward falsely accused me of something that was not true then led a public smear campaign against me which led to a whole bunch of people who did not have the facts about the situation slandering my name all of the interwebs.

I honestly thought it was a good idea however if the majority of the SEO community is against it then why bother. If enough people in the community wanted to participate in putting something together then I might want to be a part of that. I certainly agree that there should be some other solution other than Edward's meat head approach to arbitrarily flaming people without first investigating for himself what is really going on. That does not look like an intelligent, professional way of conducting business.

If you look at the psychology of what happened here it might explain a few things. Right before the attack on me, the community was kicking itself in the ass for not having had helped Rhea more. Then, someone known in the community for being the professional "caller outer" starts making noise about someone who he deemed as up to no good. Since I was not well known in the community there was nobody there to represent me at the trial. Perhaps a lot of shame over the Rhea situation was channeled on to me, I don't know, just a theory. Many people commented on their surprise at the veracity of the attack, including myself. Taken completely by surprise by a large group of peers who I had never met before all of sudden link bombing my name with all sorts of libel and with not a friend in the bunch, I freaked out and tried to play the whole thing off as joke to save my ass. Bad idea. I then went to Kim's blog and explained in detail what I was really up to. Fast forward to now. That's about the length and width of it.



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from WilliamC 1657 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Charles: please understand something. I argue 'against' Edward more often that I take his side of things.


I saw the original verbiage on the verifiedSEO site, it was not in beta, it was not being proofed, it was live and being marketed.

So please, take a break from trying to tell me what you were REALLY trying to do already.

Plain and simple, one question, who were the industry leaders that were behind verified SEO?




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from charlespreston 1656 Days ago #
Votes: -2

@WilliamC

Well I appreciate your tenacity but I already answered that question in the post right above the one you posted. Yes, the whole Verified SEO venture was in beta. I didn't have the word "beta" on the website, I guess that would have been more "web 2.0" of me to do that...lol

Yes it was live and being marketed as I stated before we wanted to build a proof of concept before we approached more people in the industry. As far as this "Who were the industry leaders?" mantra you all keep screaming about - READ UP



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from WilliamC 1656 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Ok, so it was all bullsh*t then, as many of us surmised. Thanks for clearing that up Charles.



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from charlespreston 1656 Days ago #
Votes: -3

@WilliamC

:) You are certainly entitled to "your" opinion. It could have been done better and several people liked the idea once they understood what it actually was outside of Edward's propaganda. The actual bullsh*t part of the whole thing was the unprofessional, unwarranted smear campaign and subsequent public attack on me personally. You are very welcome.






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from pageoneresults 1656 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Charles, I called it like I saw it. And you know what, after seeing the SEO Industry's response, I'd say my initial impressions were correct.

It could have been done better and several people liked the idea once they understood what it actually was outside of Edward's propaganda.

I say those folks step forward and let us know why they liked the idea. I know who one of those people may be, I've written their name down on a piece of paper, put it in a sealed envelope, and have it in a lockbox. I'm almost that certain. :)

I have a question for you Charles, what type of SEO did you do for those 3,000 clients that you worked with? And, would you say your current site is SEOd to your skill levels? I just want to clear up a few things before we proceed further.

You really need to stop whining because it is getting old. I've actually enjoyed the discussion so I'll be here for you, through thick and thin. That's the way I am. I'll provide a shoulder for you to weep upon. I can't speak for ALL of the others though, they may not be as forgiving as I am. ;)

Oh, these several people you refer to SHOULD step forward and not let you take the heat yourself. What type of folks are you working with? :(



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from AlanBleiweiss 1655 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Time to chime in again since I thought this thread died ages ago....


Charles - for the record, I too am one who routinely battles with Edward, and by no means do I consider him to be the voice of leadership for our industry.  Just check out my article over at SearchEngineJournal.com from March 9th entitled "W3C Validation for SEO - Myth and Reality" for proof of that.

I will also say here for the record that I personally am one who was guilty of crossing the line in terms of how thoroughly I was convinced that your offering was pure scam - no prompting from Edward or anyone else in this industry brought me there.  I got there of my own accord, through my own assessment of the VerifiedSEO offering, and my own research into your background.

And yes, as you know, after I had the opportunity to hear you out in your comments here and at Kim's site, I chose to remove my article completely rather than edit it out to the point of complete confusion.  I did so not because I had a change of heart in terms of agreeing with your attempt, but because I myself recognized how completely over the top my own judgement had been.

But let's not make any mistake here Charles - when I first got involved, Edward had not labeled the service as a scam - he simply had reasonable and valid questions about the premise and validity of the offering.  To attack him here as some sort of vigilante instigator is way out of line and far from reality.




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from AlanBleiweiss 1655 Days ago #
Votes: 3

JohnAndrews


I can only speak for myself on this particular thread and my related article.  As I explained in my last comment to Charles, I'm happy to own the fact that I personally went over the top in calling his service a scam without first having gotten his side of things.  The truth however, is that the content Charles posted on that site was pure marketing hype, full of craptastic BS.  I know this to be true because I've been around the block enough to smell BS when I see it.

Marketing hype not backed by facts nor confirmed by subsequent details is pure marketing hype.  And with all the responses Charles has provided to date, he has not once provided the facts nor the details to back up the claims made in that offering.

Was it a scam?  Not technically, no.  At least from my current understanding.  Was it border-line almost a scam?  I absolutely believe so from a semantics perspective.  Because I'm of the belief that any offering that's pure marketing hype and makes outrageous claims, is, by nature, an attempt to make itself out to be much more than it is.  Business owners were supposed to believe that VerifiedSEOs was a trusted industry watchdog group.  That alone is BS, because the only person who trusted VerifiedSEOs was Charles.

SO maybe instead of scam, we (I) need to find an alternative word or phrase for such BS.  But I guarantee you - I will NOT stop crying out when it comes to services marketed to our industry or to the people we market to when I personally believe they fit that pure BS model based on my own criteria.

Why?  Because we do NOt have an industry watchdog organization at this point.  Maybe one day when we live in utopia, we'll have one.  But as I pointed out in my SEJ article in January "Cleaning Up the SEO Cesspool", I don't believe there will ever be a time when we can have such an organization because of a plethora of reasons.

So until such time as that becomes a reality, I'll continue to speak out and I sincerely hope the rest of the industry does so as well...



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from AlanBleiweiss 1655 Days ago #
Votes: 5

Jill,


I agree that we need to reach out sooner in the process.  To this end regarding TOPSEOs, on March 31st I upgraded my LinkedIn account for the sole purpose of sending a private direct email to Jeev.  He has not responded to that contact.  As such, tomorrow I will personally call TOPSEOs on the phone and attempt to get someone from the company to discuss the issue of their service offering.

I'll let you know how that works out.



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from DavidBlizzard 1655 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Thanks Alan, I didn't know this was still alive either!

Charles, like I said at http://www.robweatherhead.co.uk/search-engine-optimisation/verified-seo-scam/, you can't "prove" it WAS NOT going to be a scam. But, in your defense, nobody can prove it WAS going to be a scam either.

I wouldn't be so inclined to respond if you would just quit talking about what you "were" going to do and if you would please stop making the claim that you PROVED it wasn't a scam. You have had plenty of time to think it over and build a fantasy revolving around verified SEO. Anything you claim now is just as easily seen as a fabrication as it is taken for the truth. Seriously, now we are supposed to believe in a fantasy panel of expert advisors because you say so? Maybe we will, maybe we won't but there is no proof. Let's see what you can prove:

What was I going to do with those client lists after having signed an NDA? (we'll never know)

I wasn't trying to get anyone's client lists (that's not what your website said, you were requiring a partial list for initial verification and then quarterly reviews)

I wasn't telling anyone who was better or best (Yes you were, implying that hiring a badged SEO is better than a non-badged SEO. Otherwise how were you any benefit to a prospect seeking a verified SEO?)

There was nothing scammy about it (open to debate because of the use of the word scammy, see Alan's comment)

I thought Edward was just a competitor slinging mud so I ignored him (you can't prove why you ignored him, only that you did ignore him)

Pinging someone on your Twitter stream isn't how you start a discussion in the grown up world (Wrong, it happened, in the grown up world. We can only debate if it should happen)

It was condescending and indicates a high level of arrogance (your opinion and debatable)

this thing was a work in progress when it was chosen as a target (so you say)

The info changed again during the actual attack because I freaked out (Freaked out? Lied? Joked? All open for debate)

I had 5 SEO providers who were in the process of signing up (might be provable but you haven't proved it)

the couple of colleagues I had working with me (might be provable but you never named your SEM industry veterans)

We had plans to start contacting other industry people to join an advisory board (could be fantasy but that's opinion and unprovable)

there will be no third time for me (yet to be seen and "I will never" can only be proved by death, sadly that's how it works)

I wouldn't be here if I had something to hide (why not? I don't get it, seems like you would regardless)

If I really was running a scam I would not have showed up over at Kim's blog (why not? There is no logic in that statement at all)

We had not reached that stage yet therefore there were no names on the site (Once again, plenty of reasons why sites go nameless)

Edward falsely accused me of something that was not true (What? That your business idea was bulls--t? That's debatable and subjective to the definition of bulls--t, which is also debatable)

I freaked out and tried to play the whole thing off as joke to save my ass (We don't know if you freaked out but we do know you tried to April Fools it)

Once again, I understand protecting your image and I'm not saying I don't believe your stated motives. I just hate that you keep claiming you proved things that you simply cannot prove.

One more thing. That was pretty slick how you tied the Rhea ordeal to this, very stealthy, the hand is quicker than the eye isn't it :)



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from charlespreston 1655 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@AlanBleiweiss

You are a stand up guy in my book. I respect your opinions on this.

I think the lead you are taking with TOPSEOs is a much better approach and I will be interested to see how that turns out myself.

Good luck.



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from charlespreston 1655 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@David

"Charles, like I said at http://www.robweatherhead.co.uk/search-engine-optimisation/verified-seo-scam/, you can't "prove" it WAS NOT going to be a scam. But, in your defense, nobody can prove it WAS going to be a scam either."

That is an accurate statement. It's true that there is a lot that can't be proven or disproved. I have my opinion about how it went down and everyone else has theirs. Fair enough. It is a very dead horse I suppose. What I needed to say is said.



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from charlespreston 1655 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@David

Actually the Rhea reference was in regards to this article http://nickwilsdon.com/sem-industry-revolt-topseos-com/



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from DavidBlizzard 1655 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@Charles,

I missed that: http://nickwilsdon.com/sem-industry-revolt-topseos-com/

Sorry. It doesn't look like a hat trick now :)



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from charlespreston 1655 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@pageoneresults

Edward, you are a very peculiar dude.

"I have a question for you Charles, what type of SEO did you do for those 3,000 clients that you worked with? And, would you say your current site is SEOd to your skill levels? I just want to clear up a few things before we proceed further."

ok, what the hell, why not?

What do you mean by "what type of SEO"?

I can't honestly say that my site is the best example of my skill level whatever that is. My current site is something I put up after I sold Click Response and since I have been working on other programming projects and misc other ventures I have not put 100% effort into it. I am currently, lazily trying to rank for "seo consultant".

Question: what got you so insane about validation? Does it really even make that big of a difference in ranking? Have you tested non validating sites vs validated ones and found it to be a huge factor in ranking?




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from charlespreston 1655 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@pageoneresults

Edward, you are a very peculiar dude.

"I have a question for you Charles, what type of SEO did you do for those 3,000 clients that you worked with? And, would you say your current site is SEOd to your skill levels? I just want to clear up a few things before we proceed further."

ok, what the heck, why not?

What do you mean by "what type of SEO"?

I can't honestly say that my site is the best example of my skill level whatever that is. My current site is something I put up after I sold Click Response and since I have been working on other programming projects and misc other ventures I have not put 100% effort into it. I am currently, lazily trying to rank for "seo consultant".

Question: what got you so insane about validation? Does it really even make that big of a difference in ranking? Have you tested non validating sites vs validated ones and found it to be a huge factor in ranking?




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from g1smd 1654 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I had to pinch myself to convince me that this isn't actually slashdot or fark in disguise.


Someone just post the ha-ha guy already.    :)



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