Until now, I have never had a reason to post about Jeremy over at Shoemoney.com. I poked some fun early on, of course, on the SEO Secrets page, but nothing Jermey posted every caused me to write. I even had a conversation with an “SEO Loser” about meeting people at PubCon, where I said I had plenty of opportunity to introduce myself to Jeremy especially this year (he was generously accessible) but I had absolutely nothing I wanted to speak to him about. Lots of “fans” flock to these guys, but I am not a fan.
But now Jeremy posted this:
Anyway if you want a real SEO ask them how many blackhat forums or sites they read. If they tell you none then move on. They at least need to be educated in the dark arts even if not practicing.
Now I have something to say. I have read Shoemoney here and there since he arrived on the scene, and I listened to him before and after he attended his first DEFCON. Now he’s saying the Black Hat forums are where the real info is, like the real security info is at black hat security meetings like DEFCON.
Well, that’s okay in spirit but not accurate in practice. I am no security guru but I have been to a few DEFCONs *before* Dark Tangent et al discovered it was a moneymaker. Before they began to actually market it to corporate and government customers as Black Hat whatever. Back when it was just a bunch of less than fit or extremely fit, overly fair-skinned geeks wearing black T’s and cargo pants in the Nevada desert (in August), spending the entire first day on the cash-only registration line. Yes, that was the place to learn the shit on security. But today? By the time it is presented at DEFCON (or Black Hat), it’s been talked about behind the scenes for a long time. Yes guys like Dan Kaminsky are now sought after speakers and consultants, but guys like Dan have been smart, outgoing, hard-working guys with real jobs and positive outlooks all along. They push the envelope and always have. This is news?
Now are the “Black Hat SEO Forums” the place for real SEO knowledge? I think not. I think so-called Black Hat forums are, like Black Hat Briefings and other security conferences, marketing vehicles: mechanisms for trading knowledge for coin, exploiting audiences that have coin and want knowledge. WhomperNet for $800 month looks like a ticket to participate in a forum of your peers, with some guidance. Why do I need top pay those guys to do that? I can sponsor a lot of beer for $800/month. Shoemoney’s own CantBeatRetreat looks like a… you guessed it… a very expensive opportunity to congregate with your peers (ok..with some guidance) for that hefty $5000 plus price tag. At leasts Quadzilla kept things reasonable with Black Hat SEO forum at what, a hundred or so bucks a month? No matter how you slice it, these so-called “black hat forums” are basically a shrewd marketer’s version of USER GENERATED CONTENT.
It’s not whats inside that’s good, it’s the packaging. And as a producer of CantBeatRetreat Jeremy is guilty of the same thing, although he may believe his own scriptures. I am an competitive
aggressive SEO but I don’t belong to any Black Hat SEO forums. That doesn’t make me a White Hat Evangelist (puhleeeze!) and it certainly doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s up with state of the art SEO. Trust me, Jeremy, you don’t need to pay the Black Hat Forum hawkers to get the low-down on aggressive SEO tactics. I check in once in a while (via friends) and it’s pretty clear I know that of which I speak.
What you really want to know but don’t know, is expensive. But zero day knowledge is not expensive; it’s priceless.