Why I stopped Meet your SEO

Hey guys,

it’s been a while. I mean, you missed me right? I know. I miss you too.

I received some emails over the past days asking me a big question: “why did you stop publishing the weekly, awesome, amazing, incredible, super wow “Meet your SEO” series?” (I might just add some adjectives here, but I cannot tell you why).

Yeah, it’s true. I stopped. And here is why.

Girl in the rain

source: http://itsnobiggie.tumblr.com/

I had this idea (nothing new) about interviewing some cool SEOs out there. But I decided to do it by only asking to SEOs who I really admire, especially for being not only SEOs but even great marketer and great people.

The series was a success for me for two reasons: I learnt a lot of things from those interviews. And I had the chance to get to know more some people, not only SEO-wise.

So, why stop?

First : the series is not dead, I just decided to stop it for a while, to refresh my mind about it.

Secondly, after the first ones, I had the impression that SEOs were doing the interview just for the fuck of it, just to have their names among the others, because for a while many people were tweeting about it, commenting about it…so , why miss this opportunity? They spent exactly 5 minutes to do the interview, and you can totally feel it, and even the readers were seeing the same stuff, writing me bad comments in private.

Now, you can say to me: “hey, you know how busy am I ?” . Well, yeah. BUT just for your information, I’m busy too. You are not the only one working all day. And, you can always say no, it’s not that I was forcing you to do it. It was something fun and useful (for once), but if you were saying YES to me , I’m expecting you to act consequently.

I asked some people, and they were kind enough to get back to me saying “Hey Alessio, thanks a lot, but I don’t have time right now”. Simple eh?

boxing

source: http://well-fed.tumblr.com/

Then people were starting writing few words as answer, but enough words to put an awesome link. Now, my question is: A LINK FROM MY BLOG? are you kidding? are you so desperate? I’m not a linkbuilding lover I have to say, but come on…some things are just stupid to do.

At certain point, people started to ASK me if they could participate to the series. Problem is: who are you? have we ever talk? NO! but that’s fine, but PLEASE introduce yourself, tweet at me at least once, say I’m a jerk, that’s fine, but SAY SOMETHING. Because then if you are the same person doing link building for a company, I can understand why you are not successful.

I’m not the smartest guy on earth, but I decided to do a “thank you” video for all the people. Now, it was not a Hollywood thing, I get it, but was it really difficult to send a tweet saying: “I received your video, go fuck yourself” ? Better than nothing.

Another thing I noticed: many people, after I published the interview, just disappeared, they stopped following me on twitter, engaging with me. I’m not the most interesting SEO to follow for sure (that would be sad), but really? You can be the most interesting SEO in the world, but as person , you suck.

A girl and the light

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tangyauhoong/5839425337/in/set-72157627022827828/

I realize that there a lot of asskissers among SEOs (especially on twitter), but this kind of things hurt me , sort of. I mean, I know it’s not an ideal world, but it’s so simple to act like human beings rather than jerks.

This post was written listening to “The Optimist” by New Young Pony Club

  • Spook SEO

    You did your best Alessio. Some people are just not particular about relationship building. But you are one of those guys wanting to make a point and help others improve their Marketing and SEO strategy. I love your page. I hope to see your series sooner than later. Keep it up…

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com/ Alessio Madeyski

      Hey! thanks for the comment! Indeed I just did two new Meet your marketer interview :)
      Important thing to me is having fun while doing this.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.slavarybalka.com/ seoslava

    Hi Alessio.
    I have been reading lots of your posts in this series.

    Thank you for this post. At first I thought that this post is crap and it’s purpose is just to capitalize on the assets you already have built with your previous posts. Avinash Kaushik said: “Tweet only if it’s worth tweeting”, or something like that.

    Your posts have been really helpful, because SEO’s you interviewed gave valuable tips on link building, etc. So if you have a desire to continue, just continue one day, FYI, there are people like me who do SEO and read your posts and find them useful. Keep it on.

    PS I am not asking for an interview, I don’t have time for that.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com/ Alessio Madeyski

      I want to thank you SO much for this comment.
      It’s honest, it’s funny, it’s direct…I mean, I love you already!

      Please keep commenting on my interviews and posts!

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  • http://twitter.com/seoteky jayson bagio

    I feel you Alessio in the engagement part, I love your meet your SEO series and can’t believe that there are people who throw crap on you for doing such great work. Oh well I always stick on this quote “Don’t be an ass because you know you can”. I hope that this is a TO BE CONTINUED…series, there are people waiting :)

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com/ Alessio Madeyski

      and it’s on again, as “Meet your marketer”!

      thanks for the support anyway!

      • http://twitter.com/seoteky jayson bagio

        Wow!

  • Doc Sheldon

    Alessio- Damn! Here I just found you (thanks to a friend’s recommendation), and was really enjoying reading through your Meet your SEO interviews… about a dozen or so in, something at the bottom of the page caught my eye, about you ending the series. WTF! Am I a jynx? A Typhoid Mary? I think i need a drink!

    I understand your frustration, though. A couple of years ago I did an ebook, interviewing about 30 SEOs in a similar format to what you did here. The vast majority of those that I approached were gracious and willing… only a couple were jerks about it. One accused me of only doing it so that I could sell the book because they were in it (to be fair, they didn’t know yet that the proceeds were going to charity).

    The point is, every industry has its sweethearts and its jerks. I was really hyped about writing that book and getting some great opinions on some burning questions from a lot of folks that were WAY smarter than I was. But it was the jerks that affected me the most. At least until I decided that they were a minority, and if that was their attitude toward sharing opinions, I probably didn’t want them in my book anyway.

    Shake it off, bud… kick the series off again with a bang. It’s good for you, it’s good for the SEOs you interview and it’s good for the readers to hear from some respected SEOs on different items.

    Like knowing that Joe enjoys his whiskey while doing some late night SEO… I always liked him… now I know why! ;)

    Great stuff ya got here, Alessio… I hope you start the series up again soon.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com/ Alessio Madeyski

      Thanks a lot for the comment and the reading Doc! You know the good part of this part is that the different reactions (including yours) of people taught me a lot, through experience and thoughts. So it was really a good thing to share this with all of you!

  • http://twitter.com/s_rvll Se▲n

    Dude, apologies for being late. I’m glad that you wrote this post and that it generally has had positive feedback. Onto the next project :)

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com/ Alessio Madeyski

      never late man! thanks for the comment! I think I’m going to come up with some new interview with people I somewhat admire for different reason.

      • http://twitter.com/s_rvll Se▲n

        Do it. Would be good to see some musicians or smart business owners on here.

        • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com/ Alessio Madeyski

          yeah, that’s the idea! :)
          thanks Sean!

  • http://www.polepositionmarketing.com/ Annalisa Hilliard

    Thanks Alessio, for the series and for your honesty. I happened onto this series a few months ago and have formed connections and learned a lot because of it.

    Some people suck, it’s a fact! I would just encourage you to keep your head up. It’s good to share your feelings, and they are valid – but don’t forget all the great things you learned from doing it (and of course meeting the people who don’t suck). Take it and make it even better! Thanks for your creativity and transparency.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      thanks Annalisa for the comment!
      glad the series helps you to find new people to follow!

  • http://www.seoportugalia.com/ Fernando

    Small world, big egos. And this industry is full of them. Hope you create something new and cool as these series. Cheers.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      Thanks Fernando!
      first time I receive a comment from Portugal!

      cheers!

  • http://stokedseo.co.uk Gaz Copeland

    Hey Man,

    First of all like those before me I’d like to say that it was a great honour for me to be part of the series, in fact I think I was the first right? It’s been a badge of honour that I’ve carried with me since that day, and probably until the day I die. People who ever dare talk back at me or criticize my posts I’m just like “Don’t you know who I am?”, “I’m like that guy who did the first in the MY SEO series that’s now canned, what’s up with that?” and they’re all like, “Oh man, I didn’t relise. forget I said anything.” and I’m like “Yeah, you knows it.” True story.

    Anyway.

    I’ve definitely been wondering why you’ve been doing less interaction over the past month or two and I’m guessing this is one of the reasons? I certainly think you’re right to can it for the time being if you think it lost it’s sparkle.

    I can’t say I’m surprised that the series has been high jacked by those who see a bit of self publicity, and a free link, are you? I mean, this is what “we” do for a living, “we” are masters at finding opportunities, faking relationships, getting the link/exposure/traffic. It’s how “we” roll. It’s like I said to you a while ago, all this personas, outreach, ego bait, the whole thing is about manipulation. We don’t see it that way when we’re watching the latest WBF, but that’s what it is right?

    I’ve been thinking of writing a post “opening up” a few of my feelings on the topic, you may have just pushed me to actually doing something with it, so thanks. Again.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      Hey Gaz,
      I totally get your story. You can imagine what happen to me every time I’m saying “hey, I am the curator of the Meet your SEO series”. I have fans worldwide, and even Obama called me to do “Meet your US president”, but I decline because I was writing this post. You have to prioritize.

      anyway.

      thanks a lot for the comment, and for what you added. I really appreciate your comment, and yes…do the post, because I will be there to read it IMMEDIATELY.

      I think our industry needs more of this “personal” post.

  • http://cesspadilla.wordpress.com Cess Padilla

    Sad to think that it has come to that. Although I can’t blame you for having a break. There are a lot of SEOs that really think they are the most busiest person in the world. It’s a hard shell to crack. Eventhough you’re just being polite and asking just the tiniest bit of favor. Sometimes you’ll ask yourself why the hell am I wasting my time talking to this people who don’t have time talking to someone like us who are really not that popular in the SEO world?

    Actually there are a lot of asskissers in twitter but you can’t blame them for asskissing but eventhough their most commonly used skill is asskissing they aren’t being kissed and this make them go through extremes like asking if they can participate in your awesome series. Just so they can promote their ass.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      thanks Cess for reading it and the comment!

  • http://perfectlyplausible.com Iain

    I’m saddened by what you say but not surprised, which makes me a little more sad. I think you are absolutely right to take this position and I pretty sure you’ll have another great idea in fairly short order.

    I think sometimes people put on their SEO hat and forget to be a person first and foremost. You’re not one of those guys and there are plenty others amongst us who are not one of those guys (not me though, I’m just here for the lovely, lovely dofollows).

    If something isn’t satisfying for you any more, or has become a chore it’s time to find an alternative because nobody is going to produce their best when they are working on something they’d rather not be doing.

    All the best.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      Thanks Iain.
      Though I really have difficulties when it comes to imagine how to pronounce your name, I really appreciate your comment! :)

      have an awesome day!

      • http://perfectlyplausible.com Iain

        Cheers.

        It’s pronounced Ee-in

  • http://pegasuswebservices.co.uk Alan Grainger

    Hi Alessio,
    A really good post about one of the unspoken truths of the SEO “community”. Unfortunately, for most people this community only exists as a way of selling themselves, making a name in the industry and getting links rather than working with people and exchanging ideas.

    It’s the difference between networking and a blind, egotistic dash for the top. I guess it’s a personal choice, but I certainly get more out of working with people rather than using them for what I can get :-)

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      thanks Alan for your comment! :)

  • Patrick Hathaway

    Hi Alessio, this is a refreshingly honest post. It is totally shit to put your heart and soul into something and to then feel like people are taking advantage of the situation. So I feel your pain.

    It is probably good that you stopped, however. Similar to Anthony’s post on The Saloon earlier (thanks for the link by the way!) it is a great thing to be able to take a step back and analyse your work and figure what is good/bad about it.

    As an outsider, and being brutally honest, the only thing I didn’t like about the series was its frequency. The posts came too often. Every week I was reading the same questions (with often similar answers). So it got a bit stale. But if they were less frequent but with more in-depth questions and more personal intent then it would certainly appeal more to me.

    One of the bits I liked the most was the introductions you did. The mock arrogance in your broken English was entirely self-effacing and immediately brought a smile to my face. Not many people can write with genuine humility, it is a rare talent that you should nurture. I’d love to read more stuff from you yourself. So chin-up, mate, put the ice cream pot down and get back in the saddle.

    P.S. I wasn’t having a go with ‘broken English’. Your English is very good just clearly not your mother tongue. You should hear my Italian, it is not pretty. Grazie, my friend.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      I appreciate your honesty, my dear Patrick, but honestly….it’s NOT nice saying to me I have a “broken English”.

      KIDDING!
      you right! I’m trying to improve it day by day, night by night, and even afternoon by afternoon.
      Thanks a lot for your comment, means a lot.

  • http://twitter.com/Fearless_Shultz Mike

    Not the most insightful comment but I absolutely love that last picture on your post! Thanks for introducing me to a new artist! :)

    Also I really enjoyed the series. It sometimes keeps me awake at night that I never had an interview but they folks you picked were great! :)

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      thank YOU Mike! and I’m proud of those pictures too!

  • http://michaelkovis.com Michael J. Kovis

    Alessio, my friend, I am so happy you FINALLY wrote about this. It needed to be said and I hope this helped to vent some of the emotion you have kept inside. I have realized how badly this troubled you over the last few months from several of our conversations. I am still quite thankful that you asked me to be a part of the series and I believe you know this. Your “thank you” video still makes me smile too.

    You continue to be one of the most honest people I know. Sometimes people that become recognized as an honest person tend to draw attention to themselves because they want to take advantage of it. I hate that mentality.

    Looking forward to win the series picks back up again buddy. Cheers!

    Disclaimer: I only posted this comment to get a “dofollow” link.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      Hey Michael,
      talking to you over the past weeks made me write this post (one of the reason at least).
      so thanks so much for listening to my complains, I really appreciate it!

      and yeah, DOFOLLOW LINKS for everyone! :D

  • http://www.eppie.net Eppie

    Alessio — you made the right call. I enjoyed reading some of these interviews, but if people aren’t willing to put forth effort to give value, then it becomes a nuisance for you to filter through the responses (and solicitations).

    Also, sorry for not getting back to you with answers when you emailed me about participating. I had the best intentions of getting to it but I messed up and eventually forgot. Hope you don’t hold it against me. You’re a good guy and I’d hate to be on your bad side. :)

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      Yo Eppie!

      thanks for stopping by! no problem at all! I’m not a good guy :D

      cheers!

  • http://www.viperchill.com Glen Allsopp

    I guess I’ll be the odd one out and say that I think you sound really egotistical here.

    So what that people put in a link to their interviews? Or did you just want them to answer your questions and teach you SEO (you said you learned a lot) for “free”?

    Also, people asking if they can take part but they’re not cool enough to be on your radar?

    Why not just do a variation of your own advice:

    ““Hey Alessio, thanks a lot, but I don’t have time right now”. Simple eh?”

    Hey, Thanks for being interested in doing an interview, but I don’t think you’re the right fit at this moment in the series.

    Simple.

    Sorry for the rant. I just get asked for interviews a lot and actually try to answer them in style, but sometimes I will just give short answers because as you say yourself, we’re busy. If you didn’t like the answers, you don’t have to post them.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      Hey Glen,
      thanks for the comment. You’re not odd, I need other views about my stuff in order to grow.
      about me being egoistic: 1) it’s my blog and my feelings so REALLY it’s your opinion, but I’m not gonna do nothing to change it, because I’m not the right person. 2) you right about me saying “hey, I’m not gonna publish this” but I was so happy about the series that I needed some times to realize something was wrong. And that’s why I wrote this.

      Moreover, everyone is busy….but really, when I’m busy, I’m just saying “hey, I’m busy”. that’s it. I get it. I’m not dumb, even because I work hard myself so I know how it is.

      thanks again for the comment.

  • Ryan OConnor

    I definitely understand your point but let me play devils advocate here. How much did your traffic and readership increase after you started this series? You might have given a link but you were also leveraging the reputation of other SEO’s to drive traffic to your blog. I know that personally I landed on your blog the first time when one of the people you interviewed tweeted about it.

    From reading the comments it’s also clear that you did come away with genuine relationships as a results of the series. So…. not everyone keeps tweeting at you? That’s life and business, there is no 100% success rate. There is a limited amount of time and mind share in a given day and I don’t think anyone owes you a relationship just because you interviewed them.

    If the short answers bothered you then tell those people you won’t post the interview unless they want to redo the answers with more substantial information. IMO a better article would have been about how you evolved and changed the series as a reaction to the fact that some SEO’s were trying to take advantage of the article and link.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      Hey Ryan,
      thanks so much for the comment.
      As for the visit part of your answer: well, not that much. not more than 250 visits AT BEST the day I publish.
      I appreciate your thoughts about it and I will take in consideration the thing on how to evolve, because as I said, I’m not gonna end the series, but I need some times to think on how to do it better, because the most important thing to me it’s ME BEING PROUD of what I’m creating :) beyond traffic and links.

      thanks again for stopping by.

  • http://seono.co.uk Steve

    Hi Alessio, very sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, given our industry especially, I’m not surprised if a couple of people took advantage, I’m sorry to say…

    I like Chris’ suggestion of #nolinksnecessary though. Personally I’d be honoured if I were considered and I’d happily be involved even if a link wasn’t included, or if it was just a link to my Twitter, G+, etc. I guess that would show the people who really do want to be interviewed and those who are only in it for the link juice.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      Yo Steve!
      thanks for the comment!
      every time I read “link juice” my heart stop beating for 2,4 seconds and then it starts again! :D
      cheers!

      • http://seono.co.uk Steve

        Hehe, I’ll have to remember not to say “link juice link juice link juice link juice link juice…” – could be fatal! ;-)

  • Nick

    Hey Man, this makes sense. I’m sorry to see it go, but I completely understand why.

    It can be frustrating when something that starts out so genuine starts to morph into nothing more than a promotional plug for so many. I too am honored to have been in the initial flush of SEO’s, and like both Anthony’s above, this series gave me the chance to learn about some new people I had not heard of before.

    I’m with Chris. I look forward to the resurrection, in whatever form that may be, and hope to again contribute in any capacity possible. Cheers mate.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      Hey Nick, always great to have you commenting!
      thanks for stopping by and the nice words! I salute you with “night and day” by Hot Chip.

  • Anthony D. Nelson

    Alessio-

    After reading this post, I think that you made the right decision to shut the series down momentarily.

    As mentioned by others above, I was truly honored to be interviewed. My favorite thing about the series were finding some new SEOs to connect with and it definitely helped me take the personalities of my online connections beyond 140 characters.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      Thanks Anthony!
      glad it helps to connect. this was one of the best things about this whole series.

  • andrea “gareth jax” scarpetta

    “The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.” (Harlan Ellison). There are a lot of asshat SEOs in the industry, people who believe they are so very important that can’t be bothered.

    And then, there are kind souls which make me proud to be an Seo: like Will Reynolds, He twitted about you and i followed his link, no question asked. We are both italians, but i’m writing in english in order to avoid confusion to the international readers :) (Yes Italian is a beautiful language, but it seems a confusing gibberish to most people).

    Take your break and remember to always have fun :)

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      Thanks Andrea! I agree with you!
      thanks for stopping by!

  • Chris

    Dude,

    I was really grateful to be one of the first & I’m glad I still hold the record for the most alcohol consumed per day by an SEO ;)

    I look forward to the resurrection & hopefully I get to share some of my other weird habits with everyone again #nolinksneccessary

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      thanks Chris! I really enjoyed your interview, and you know it!

  • Anthony Pensabene

    That last picture is awesome. Hey dude, as a publisher, you had an interesting, successful idea. Good job.

    I thought about not talking to you after my interview (shameless plug), but i enjoy your thoughts, writing, humor, and quite frankly your personality in totality (that rhymed). i sometimes talk to other people in the industry via email. it allows me more space for banter. i’ve come across a peer or two who is fond of ‘the Alessio.’ as well. it’s unfortunate some others have missed further ‘opportunities’ afforded by your friendship. fools.

    hey dude, we can’t change the world immediately, but we can start with our next action, right? :) see you around, my friend.

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      thanks Anthony! I’m a big fan of you , and you know it! it was super cool we talked a bit yesterday night! always nice!

      thanks again!

  • http://www.themediaflow.com Peter Handley

    Hey Mate,

    Totally get where you are coming from here, and I have to say, I was honoured when you asked me to be a part of this.

    Sometimes having a break (like you say, it isn’t over), working out the why and how of what and why you were doing it (this post) can give you a new perspective on it.

    I certainly hope you do some more in the future, and I hope you haven’t been too disheartened by this, but that it makes you come back to it again at some undetermined point in the future reinvigorated and excited by it again, rather than letting it roll on and it becoming a chore.

    And I LOVED that video… really made me smile… One day, good sir, we will meet :-D

    • http://www.alessiomadeyski.com Alessio

      thanks Peter for stopping by.
      having you in my series was one of the REAL thing for sure. You know I admire you!
      and yes, let’s meet soon!