As an SEO myself and having worked with lots of other people in the IT industry as well as other search engine optimisers I’ve come to notice that IT people tend to be a little bit introverted and shy.

Let’s face it, how many times have you — as an SEO/IT person, emailed a colleague who’s sat next to you because you didn’t want to interact with them or communicate with them vocally? You know what I’m talking about right?

Yeah, we can be an anti-social bunch who know everything about everything because after all we do — or so we believe we take the right too.

Okay, admittedly we might be a little bad at spelling and grammar, even dyslexia, but that just makes us better coders.

We’re not just SEO and IT people; we’re geeks and what’s more; we’re proud of it.

There are however certain things we should never do simply because we were not designed to do them. God designated greater plans for us.

We’re human but we’re just missing a slice of the pie; the slice which would make up the social skills we’re unfortunately deficient in, except online of course.

Read on to find the 10 things an SEO or IT person should never, ever do.

1. SEOs Should Not Get Wasted

Do not get exceptionally intoxicated. I have seen more than one of my ex-colleagues drunk, one, in particular, lying on their back completely and utterly shitfaced after a Portsmouth SEO conference.

It was a laugh in the office to see him in such a state with his picture plastered all over Twitter but I bet he felt like a right plonker.

As an SEO we’re not used to pickling our livers like the normal social crowd. From experience too, I myself have been hospitalised for consuming too much alcohol. I can assure you: vomiting blood is not good.

Geeks and alcohol don’t mix, geeks and Red Bull do.

2. Don’t Mingle With The Normal Populace

Don’t try to mingle in normal social situations. When I say normal social situations, I mean amongst people who go to pubs, clubs (a big no-no because you might try to dance), house parties and general gatherings that involve popular people socialising.

What you might get away with is festivals as everyone is wasted and the odd illegal rave is a go-go. However, I’d say it’s best to stick to LAN parties with our own kind.

And drink lots of energy drinks.

3. Don’t Try to Eat Your Date

We struggle enough in social events so as you know, going on dates can pose a fastidious problem to an SEO.

What do you wear?

Where do you take your date?

What do you speak about?

Well for rule number 3 what you should not speak about is canonicalisation issues. Talking about how duplicate content is a pain in the backside will not get you brownie points.

And I can tell you what you should most definitely never chat to your date about; cannibalisation problems because I can guarantee you this will freak him or her out like a meeting in a dark alleyway with Dennis Nilsen.

4. Grow Your Head Stuff Wisely

Don’t ever get a haircut.

As an SEO/IT person, it’s your duty and responsibility to maintain the look; the look being the geek look.

As you’re probably aware there are several levels of nerdiness from those that walk around with utility belts on at work in case there’s an emergency and you need a magnetic grabber, Allen key or magnifying glass to those that are too shy to even eat in front of other people.

I’ve been told by former girlfriends that I’m a not-your-usual-geek. They tell me not to be offended because it’s “endearing”.

5. It’s Easier to Be Celibate

This kind of ties in with rule number 3 and it’s about chatting up lines. Do not use any of the following chat up lines ever:

  • Hi, my name’s Windows can I crash at your place tonight?
  • Roses are #FF0000, Violets are #0000FF no female in the world is > than you.
  • Any chance I can beam you up so I can inject my warp core into your plasma manifold?
  • Hey, baby, tonight’s the night when 10 become 01.
  • Get your coat honey, your coming!
  • Hey hot stuff why don’t you and I get together and Excel between the spreadsheets?
  • Shall we leave for ~ now so I can / you hard?

I say don’t use them ever but you might get away with it at an SEO conference.

Once I tried it in a normal social gathering place aka the pub when I was drunk and got a slap across the chops.

Seems the old lady in question knew enough about Star Trek to know what a warp core and a plasma manifold were.

Again trying to tap with the much older women is another reason not to get exceptionally drunk when you’re a geek — see rule number 1.

6. Search Engine Optimiser versus Web Developer

The web designer or web developer; oh dear in my experience web developers and SEOs do not get on. For this reason, an SEO should never trust a web developer as web developers don’t trust us and our dark arts.

Even when they work within the same company (but different departments) there often seems to be some heavy friction between them. I think the problem arises from the fact that as an SEO you have to criticise a web developer’s work.

A lot of web developers seem to know very little about SEO so often when an SEO doesn’t have access to a website to carry out any onsite work, they have to tell the web designers to do it for them.

That’s like saying:

Oi mate, can you change that H3 tag to an H2 tag because it’s wrong and you’re getting soft 404’s because you messed up so can you sort that out too?

This actually happened to me once when I was working in a digital agency and the web developer I was communicating with proxy an account manager just couldn’t grasp the fact that even though they had a page saying “Error page not found” that the server response for the error page was 200 and not 404!

I got there eventually but it took a lot of hassle and snarky remarks through email from the client’s web dev.

7. Don’t Do the Mad Dance

SEOs and IT people should never dance in a public place. By all means, dance at LAN parties or in the office with each other even take it in turns to robot dance — you know body bop and stuff but make sure the blinds are closed. If you try any of this in public you’ll probably get sectioned and I have been sectioned under the mental health act and the only fun part was feeling high after forcefully being injected with diazepam into the right-hand side of my gluteus maximus; all that just because I was trying to do some robot dancing on the bridge of the Eastgate Clock, Eastgate Street in Chester.

8. Don’t Play With Robots

If you’re bored, working late and have a nasty, passive-aggressive boss who couldn’t manage a piss-up in a brewery like I suffered from twice and you’re looking for something to do you might decide to have a little scribble in robots.txt; may be a funny sentence or some ASCII art or slate your boss to dear death.

Well, don’t!

If you get caught slating your boss with comments in robots.txt that would end you up in the gutter with a poor reference.

To summarise; don’t slag your evil boss off with comments or enter the first couple of lines “User-agent: * Disallow: /” in robots.txt unless it’s your last day.

9. Those Damn Pesky Charlatans

True story: I was out in Guildford with a girl I was seeing and I got chatting to this guy who worked in IT.

I asked him what he did he said he’s a Visual Basic developer from Guildford. I replied “Oh I’m from Guildford too, I’m an SEO” he laughed and said “Charlatans game!”; that coming from a Visual Basic developer…

Don’t get disheartened when or if some other IT know-it-all person tells you that search engine optimisation is a charlatans game.

These people tend to be complete a-holes who think brand awareness online mysteriously occurs by itself.

You can tell they haven’t got the slightest clue because they clearly think that content magically materialises out of thin air with the aid of Paul Daniels and ends up on other related sites all by itself.

Paul Daniels as an SEO hey? They say content is king but it’s not; user engagement is king, okay they engage with content but either way doesn’t get put down by some tech pencil pusher who doesn’t know how to find his own pair.

10. Don’t Forget To Hide Behind the Screen

Okay, we’ve already established in the first few paragraphs that we’re introverted but cool geeks and we exist on certain, different plateaus of geekiness.

We’re not good with people, probably a bit better with our own kind but we can come across quite anti-social to normal humans. However, we’re also awesome and we can hide behind our computers and use our powerful intellects for social media.

So for rule number 10 don’t forget to use your skills to build great online bonds with your website visitors.

Use all the well known social channels to socially engineer and collect as many relevant followers as possible. It’s a bit like brainwashing people (evil laugh!).

That concludes this post — it turned out much longer than I anticipated. Remember you’re an SEO/IT person and you have the power to do or not to do the things above and although you’re missing a slice of the pie, you still function as a human but at an increased rate of an intellectual quotient.

Thinking outside the box is what we do.

Naturally born problem solvers we are. We’re geeks not freaks, keep the SEO clean guys and take care.



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