The “Bad Boy” of SEO?
Well that’s just the question I asked this month’s Merchant Spotlight winner, Jerry West of SEORevolution.com.
The answer he gave shows that it takes a relentless pursuit of what really works right now and the willingness to boldly state the truth, no matter what others might think or say.
Reverse Engineered SEO Success:
As a software tester with WordPerfect in 1996, Jerry says that he basically “fell into” SEO.
But with the methodical nature of a tester, he was able to reverse engineer the algorithms of the day for the 8 major search engines popular at the time through the process of lot’s trial and error.
“Basically by testing what worked and doing it over and over again until it stopped working we really discovered the key of how to do SEO.”
As Jerry learned what worked and put it into practice, he’s also taken the time to teach others along the way, as a way of giving back.
When we say “teaching others” this is not just a euphemism for “creating an info product of the month and just hoping to hook people into buying the next product.”
No, the fact is that Jerry absolutely hates that is business model used by so many marketers.
Jerry’s philosophy is that to figure out what’s working, you have to follow the money. You have to find out who’s actually experiencing success using particular techniques, and then test those methods yourself.
Jerry also strongly recommends that when it comes to learning new methods and strategies, you should avoid anyone who wants to sell you information, rather than truly teaching you how to succeed. He says that there’s too much great information out there for free these days, but always do your own testing.
What Jerry Says About Black Hat SEO:
Jerry tell us that there are a lot of misconceptions about so-called black hat and white hat SEO techniques. The main differentiator between the two as he sees it, is that black hat SEO is automated SEO, while white hat SEO is a manual process that can take days or weeks even to implement fully.
Fortunately for Jerry and his students, one of the things he quickly mastered was how to use “black hat” techniques to uncover weaknesses in the search engine algorithms that could then be used to rank any website.
Going Against Conventional Wisdom:
Jerry has a known reputation for giving SEO advice that directly contradicts what many other self-appointed SEO gurus claim when selling their products, and he’s not shy about saying so.
In fact, his brazenness in this regard is almost legendary in the SEO community. This is no where more evident than to those who regular attend the annual Pubcon conference where Jerry often is a featured speaker.
Because much of his work and research in SEO used to be behind the scenes, many people attending Pubcon had no idea who this guy “Jerry West” was, and as a result his first speaking engagements were nearly empty.
However, that changed quickly as word spread throughout the conference about this “underground black hat guy who’s laying it all out.”
Subsequently, each year the crowd grew, and grew until Jerry regularly drew standing-room-only audiences.
These crowds were growing in spite of or perhaps because of the fact that he was calling out some of the most popular SEO gurus and publicly calling them liars!
But for Jerry it wasn’t about creating a controversy, or getting attention. It was about helping to make sure that people didn’t get taken advantage of or lead down the wrong path and waste months, or even years doing things that don’t work just because some “guru” said it would.
Calling People Out:
Jerry has some pretty strong words about a growing trend in the affiliate marketing world of merchants cheating their affiliates out of legitimate earnings. “Merchants are using various tricks and even software to cheat affiliates every single day and it needs to stop,” says Jerry.
No matter the method, Jerry speaks very harshly about those who attempt to defraud affiliates of legitimately earned commissions. He says, “There is no greater enemy you can create than by cheating an affiliate, and it happens all the time.”
Never Sour the Affiliate Relationship:
The issue of affiliate marketing is definitely an important one for Jerry, and he mentioned how it was one of the key reasons he really appreciates the services provided by 1AutomationWiz.
“With 1AutomationWiz, all of your services are integrated – your email marketing, your shopping cart, and your affiliate program. You don’t have to go with multiple systems or multiple vendors, because everything works well together.”
Integration like this is this is very important when it comes to affiliate marketing, says Jerry. “It ensures that there aren’t any technical glitches that might affect affiliate payouts and damaging that important relationship of trust that you have with them.”
About Jerry West:
Jerry West teaches on a variety of topics related to SEO and affiliate marketing. He’s a sought after speaker, particularly among audiences who want to cut through the fluff and learn how to get real results.
To learn more about Jerry and his products, visit Jerry at SEORevolution.com and pick up his excellent book on Google Best Practices here.