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But why is this quiz so wrong? Too many of the questions go beyond the science and into the art of SEO, where things are fluid and changing and open to interpretation. The quiz is more accurately a test of how much of your personal SEO philosophy matches that of SEOmoz. Like a match.com compatibility test. You and SEOmoz, sitting in a tree. Romantically optimizing title tags.
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from JohnWeb 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 4

I’m glad someone with the clout that Vanessa Fox carries addressed this issue.

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from SEOish 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Are you friggen serious John??? Vanessa - Completely wrong? Argghhh

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from Sebastian 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Pat, completely wrong is right because the authority claim is wrong. Without that I`d say it`s neat.

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from SEOish 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sebastian? Are you kidding me? Rand does have authority, here, much more than Vanessa. Let us do math. there are what 74 questions? Vanessa noted some stuff about like six of them. Where does completely come from?

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from Sebastian 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Pat, it’s the context. Nobody, not even Rand who I respect, can claim to have the ultimate answers to those 75 questions. Vanessa pointed out a few flaws and there are more questions where the absolute answer provided by SEOmoz is not "canonical", or debatable, or based on tests which just don’t allow to sell the test results as ultimate answer for any similar scenario. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just selling it as the ultimate proof of SEO knowledge is wrong, because a SEO not agreeing with particular claims may be right and able to prove it with a bank accounts balance. I’d think that not even Rand would be offended by respectful comments like that. I understand where you’re coming from, but there’s no reason to get upset. The quiz is neat, but needs fine tuning - can we agree on that?

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from g1smd 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 1

There were a few answers that I can’t agree on. The test presents some of them as if they are the ultimate truth, when many are up for debate or might well be true one week, but not the next. Some of the answers can’t be decided in isolation. The associated questions need more context about the surroundings and several related circumstances in order to be able to pick one answer. Overall it was a good idea, but it could do with a few tweaks. In any case, the link-bait factor is off the scale. Now what keywords is that cut and paste inbound link targetting? LOL.

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from g1smd 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Good post Vanessa. Even if some of the answers are "wrong" the quiz still might make some people think a bit more about what they know, and do further research to ascertain why Rand thinks one way, and they think another. It still might not change the outcome, but the more that people look into the wider aspects of SEO the more things they will find to improve their knowledge.

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from RobD 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I think the quiz was ultimately "conversation bait" Nobody has the answers to all this stuff, most of it is opinion based on experiential learning... good but not perfect.

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from graywolf 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 4

no matter how right or wrong the quiz is, there are many things to be learned from studying this quiz ... go contemplate grasshopper

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from beussery 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I agree that some of the answers are wrong (ie 410 not 404), that some of the ideas represented aren’t in keeping with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines (ie sitemaps should be for users) and that you don’t have to know Steve Krug to optimize a website. That said, from a linkbait and "controversial commentary" point of view, it does seem to be creating a "buzz". Oh well... off to ebay to see how much I can get for shiny new "DARK LORD" badge! : ) One more thing, I wonder how much the "average time on site" increased today at SEOmoz.org???? By the way, totally kidding about ebay above!

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from DanThies 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Right. Freakin. On. Vanessa. I want a triple-Sphinn button.

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from g1smd 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 1

The original post about the quiz is over there: http://sphinn.com/story/5196

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from Rhea 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yeah... I started taking the quiz and have yet to finish, it’s so frigging big. Regardless of the size I saw so many ethical calls presented as fact that I got really annoyed. I agree with graywolf that it’s worth it just to learn from the various areas and think about them, but I really hope newbies don’t use it as the SEO bible. I loved Vanessa’s comments about it being more of a SEOmoz compatibility test, though she mentioned Match.com rather than the far superior Mingle2.com. "Existence of a meta description tag doesn’t prevent other content to be used as the snippet instead when that would be more useful." - That was also killing me during the test. I think Rand’s approach came from a perfect world, but you have to be in the same frame of mind to answer some of those questions. If you’re a realist then there’s a lot of discrepancies. ps - Matt fixed the error code questions. pps - No matter what, this was a great piece of link bait and it’s always nice to see the community fired up about something whether they agree or disagree.

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from Rhea 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 0

ppps - I second the annoyance with not seeing the "correct" answer immediately after a question. After the first two wrong answers I realized my lack of regular SEOmoz readership was a serious hindrance.

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from Rhea 2600 Days ago #
Votes: 1

And lastly, I agree with David Mihm’s point about no other quiz like this existing, so SEOmoz is the pioneer and deserves props. Hopefully, this will open the door for a more analytic, qualitative quiz from SEMPO or another organization. I also second Danny’s comments about client recommendations speaking for themselves. I think this whole thing falls into the category of semantic issues... a quiz should be testing one’s knowledge of educational materials and processes, it is NOT a diploma! Tests can be and often are flawed. SATs have wrong answers, but they are a strong indicator of competency in a particular field. With that in mind, SEOmoz did a good job, but by no means a perfect job and those answers should be taken with a grain of salt if you’re new or don’t hold the same beliefs as Rand. And, please keep in mind that SEOmoz is a business not a certified university, so of course their answers are going to match their business model! Just my .12 cents. =)

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from cre8pc 2599 Days ago #
Votes: 1

For those here and Vanessa’s site that questioned education... Tests and quizzes and eventually certification on SEO/M have been part of the curriculum at the Search Engine College for years. (www.searchenginecollege.com) That said, I bet every leading SEO would create a different test, with different answers. I’d love to see one from Fantomaster, to see the differences in practices. I think the bigger question is which certification is going to count the most? SEMPO? SECollege? SEOMoz? Other?

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from Sebastian 2599 Days ago #
Votes: 0

> That said, I bet every leading SEO would create a different test, with different answers. I’d love to see one from Fantomaster, to see the differences in practices. Go Ralph, go! ;)

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from fantomaster 2599 Days ago #
Votes: 0

LOL - you must be kidding! Haven’t even found a minute to read this one... But ok, if you can send me a pound or two of time, I might actually enjoy doing it, yeah. So: Maybe next year. :)

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from Sebastian 2599 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sounds reasonable. Sphinned, stumbled, digged, delicioused and whatnot in advance. ;)

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from BenjArriola 2599 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I took the test... My score was low... I said... this sucks. LOL

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from pittfall 2598 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I didn’t score as low as I thought I would on the the SEO politics quiz, but it was never a true test, just another Rand inspired linkbait. Call it what it is!

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from johnandrews 2598 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I took the test and made a few mistakes with the user interface. It’s too easy to click that ajaxy stuff... oops. I didn’t like a few questions, some were wrong, and a few I didn’t care about (most popular SE in japan, where is Ask important... "on the moon" wasn’t one of the choice) but overall it wasn’t bad. I thought it was seomozzy, for sure. But it *is* seomoz’s, isn’t it? I linked to it. I posted comments on the question about trailing slash... I’ve seen clues that suggest there’s more to the story. I put it onto www.seoquiz.com since it seemed so appropriate.

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from g1smd 2598 Days ago #
Votes: 0

The trailing / has been discussed on Matt Cutts blog a few days ago. I answered your points about it on Vanessa Fox’s blog too. http://www.vanessafoxnude.com/2007/09/11/why-the-seomoz-seo-quiz-is-completely-wrong/#comment-1294 Jeez. All this site hopping for one conversation... :-)

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from Halfdeck 2598 Days ago #
Votes: 0

SEO is about strategy and execution, not about knowing a bunch of facts (like who wrote a book titled X). Passing the English SATs with flying colors don’t make you Shakespeare, does it? And when it comes to strategy, it depends on the scenario you’re given. Contrary to what SEOmoz’ quiz might suggest, more than one approach will work. An expert SEO outshines an SEO novice when there are no clear answers and when a solution cannot be summed up in one sentence.

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from g1smd 2597 Days ago #
Votes: 0

There are some bits of SEO work that are very clear cut. Some of the things that are very important now, may not have been quite so important a few years ago, but would have always helped. SEO has evolved and search engines have evolved with it, and vice versa. Many of the things that are vital to do now (like different title and meta description on every page, 301 redirect from non-www to www, etc) have always been there in some form or another. It is just that now they are vital things to do, not optional. Those that were already doing them have been at an advantage for quite a while. Only recently (last few years) is the information properly filtering down to everyone. The trick now, is to tap into the best practices and implement them way before the rest of the pack has stepped back from stuffing the meta keywords tag and spamming thousands of forums and blogs for links - and there are a great many people out there still doing that, and still believing that (1) they are real SEOs, and (2) that what they are doing actually helps. So, a quiz is a good way to get people thinking about stuff that they have never have thought about before, and promote discussion about some of the finer points of getting things done. I believe that some of the answers were seriously flawed, but one must look to see why Rand would think the way he did for some of them. He obviously believes them, until proven otherwise. As for the book, I hear it recommended by many people as very much worth a read.

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from g1smd 2597 Days ago #
Votes: 0

There are some bits of SEO work that are very clear cut. Some of the things that are very important now, may not have been quite so important a few years ago, but would have always helped. SEO has evolved and search engines have evolved with it, and vice versa. Many of the things that are vital to do now (like different title and meta description on every page, 301 redirect from non-www to www, etc) have always been there in some form or another. It is just that now they are vital things to do, not optional. Those that were already doing them have been at an advantage for quite a while. Only recently (last few years) is the information properly filtering down to everyone. The trick now, is to tap into the best practices and implement them way before the rest of the pack has stepped back from stuffing the meta keywords tag and spamming thousands of forums and blogs for links - and there are a great many people out there still doing that, and still believing that (1) they are real SEOs, and (2) that what they are doing actually helps. So, a quiz is a good way to get people thinking about stuff that they have never have thought about before, and promote discussion about some of the finer points of getting things done. I believe that some of the answers were seriously flawed, but one must look to see why Rand would think the way he did for some of them. He obviously believes them, until proven otherwise. As for the book, I hear it recommended by many people as very much worth a read.

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from Halfdeck 2597 Days ago #
Votes: -1

"There are some bits of SEO work that are very clear cut." And those bits anyone can do. Does knowing things like 301 redirecting non-www to www or writing unique META descriptions make anyone an SEO guru? No - like you said, that stuff is common knowledge now. What can a SEO guru do that an SEO novice can’t? Can a novice SEO create an opportunity to propose to his fiance during the Superbowl? Rand has marketing skills that many SEOs can’t match - that by itself makes him a good SEO. Do I really need to know that Google, not Yahoo, now has a bigger marketshare in Japan? There are plenty of people out there who have way more factual knowledge about 9-ball or straight pool than I do, but get them on a pool table and I’ll eat them alive. There also sites like Myspace, YouTube, and Wikipedia that were build without having SEO in mind (did they even bother with link building? I doubt it) that outranks sites that spent thousands of bucks on SEO. Execution and results is the end all be all, not factual knowledge.

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from g1smd 2596 Days ago #
Votes: -1

*** And those bits anyone can do. ... that stuff is common knowledge now. *** I disagree. There are still many people asking questions like "do I put commas between the words in the meta keywpords tag?" out there, seemingly oblivious to most of the real issues.

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from KarlRibas 2570 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Like Rhea, I too took the quiz but have yet to finish it. I found some of the questions to have clear-cut answers, while others I found to have multiple answers (by my reasoning). I think Vanessa is dead on here: "Too many of the questions go beyond the science and into the art of SEO, where things are fluid and changing and open to interpretation."

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from FLSEO 2448 Days ago #
Votes: -2

That test does not generate an accurate portrayal of the abilities and qualifications of an experienced SEO. I worked for THE TOP company in search engine optimization for the legal industry in the world. I was a manager of the SEO division over 34 national web sites that generate 2.5 million in client revenues per year. A Boca Raton Florida SEO company tried to recruit me while I was working for my past employer ... when I arrived, they asked me what my qualifications were ... that was interesting. I was then asked to take the SEOMoz quiz ... okay ... sure ... so I did. I did fairly well, but to be totally honest here? There were questions about SEO in freaking Japan and China ... I don’t think many American SEO’s are familiar with ... Japanese marketing ... Don’t get me wrong ... I think Rand’s advice is excellent but that test .... it sucked.

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from emanuelh 2438 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Two arguments why most of those who pass SEOMoz’s Quiz with flying colors might turn out to be incompetent SEO workers:1. The Quiz tests factual knowledge, but as I have demonstrated in my article "Is SEO a Technical Profession" (http://www.senior-seo-analyst.com/) even the full SEO factual knowledge encompasses not more than a few percent of what we would like to know about the fine details of the ranking algorithms and the actual relevance scores of the pages listed in the SERPs. And most of all the relevance scores our own pages, so we can measure whether our optimizing actions are beneficial or harmful.2. Suppose there’s another major algorithm shift at Google and most top 10 listings fall to page 3 and below. In operational terms SEOMoz’s Quiz is now incompetent in determining what has become correct SEO knowledge - which formerly "correct" answers are still so and whether the new correct answers are included in the Quiz’s former optional answers.The SEO workers we’ve hired by testing with SEOMoz’s Quiz won’t know what to do now, unless they also possess those other useful abilities that were not tested on SEOMoz’s Quiz - being able to operate in a working environment characterized by conditions of minimal information (that is, closer to 0% than to 50%) free of debilitating self-esteem anguish; being able to invent and test new SEO techniques; and as Halfdeck wrote above - thinking in terms of "SEO is about strategy and execution, not about knowing a bunch of facts".

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from paisley 2389 Days ago #
Votes: 0

i liked the quiz... yes some of the answers were wrong or either too subjective. but realistically.. SEO experience is also subjective..

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