The Dwight Schrute of SEO: Have You Fallen Prey to This Guy?

I recently wrote a blog post recapping a LinkedIn group discussion about where to start SEO from scratch. I thought that thread was wrapped up pretty nicely with genuinely helpful comments.

Then a commenter, who I refer to as a “Dwight Schrute of SEO” chimed in with this gem of a comment:

I do agree with some of what he has to say…but all this? Come on. Reading it made me roll my eyes. “Read Google patents?” No thanks. “Understand Bayes theorem?” Not going to happen. SEO scare tactics like this suck.

Unfortunately, the Internet is ripe with these Dwight Schrutes of SEO. You know the type, and I’m sure you’ve seen him online…the guy who makes things more difficult than they need to be, who overanalyzes, who is not a team player, who acts superior and who takes himself waaayyyy too seriously.

If you want to be an SEO professional, sure, you may want to follow some of his recommendations. But, the typical small business owner, service provider or digital marketing professional who provides basic SEO services to clients does not need to go through this.

How do I know? Because there are countless business owners, myself included, who have succeeded in SEO without going to such lengthy measures.

And what about this comment that came soon after from another Dwight Schrute?

Obviously, if the group member who asked the original question could afford to outsource, he would not have invested so much time into his own education or application of SEO. Don’t listen to these Dwight Schrutes who say, “Don’t try SEO yourself.” Sure, go into SEO with your eyes open and understand realistically what you can and can’t accomplish. But, don’t be scared off.

What do you think? Am I being too harsh on these guys? Or do you agree with me that they’re full of themselves?

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Jenny Munn

Jenny Munn is an SEO Strategist who helps organizations get more leads from their website and integrate SEO into their marketing mix. She consults with in-house marketing managers, agencies, and small businesses. Jenny has taught SEO at WordCamp Atlanta, Digital Atlanta, Solo PR Summit, Business Marketing Association, Atlanta Tech Village, and various content marketing and social media organizations.
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2 Comments

  • Josh Squires says:

    I see these guys on forums and in comment sections a lot. I feel like their goal is to scare small business owners and other would-be DIY-ers away from attempting SEO themselves so they can lure the business owners into paying high fees for SEO services they “couldn’t possible employ themselves”. As an SEO provider and web copywriter, I make my services affordable because I’m aware that with a little bit of effort, most anyone can handle this themselves. I’m just here to get them out of the tight spots and answer advanced-user questions haha.

    The doctor comparison always makes me laugh. It’s more like baking a cake (I can bake a cake and so can you. I can do it better and remove the stress of you doing it yourself, so you pay me to make you a cake). And bakers very often bake cakes for themselves. Mmmmmm…cake.

  • Jen says:

    Josh,

    Thanks for the great comment, and I LOVE the baking a cake analogy. I agree that many SEO professionals make SEO appear to be way more complicated than necessary. Now I’m ready for some cake too. 🙂 darn it!

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