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Banning SEMPO Members and their Client Websites

Effective today I am banning any SEMPO member company and every website they promote (SEMPO client websites) from any site on any of my networks, including this blog. I suppose I can file this is the “continuing to make friends in the SEO/SEM Community” category, but I’ve had enough of the garbage that is being promoted as “Search marketing” by these companies.

A SEMPO banner company driving by and dropping a “nice post, thanks for that!” comment with a link back to a SEMPO client website is spam, plain and simple. Comments like “Great post! I was looking for this!” and “I agree… could not have said it better!” with links back to various unrelatd URLs are SPAM, plain and simple. To pass that off as “SEO/SEM” is a virtual crime, and to see that from SEMPO member companies is gross.

Yes I know the SEMPO people run the conferences, determine the agendas, pick the speakers, set out the party invitations,  blah blah blah but someone has to stand up to this SEO/SEM pollution and today that’s me. Organizations that promote themselves as leaders of my industry (SEO and Search marketing), yet act like spammers, deserve less than zero support.


  1. Joost de Valk wrote:

    Sorry to hear you think that way John, I’d rather you give names than ban all SEMPO members, like ehm, me :)

    @Joost: I suppose that makes it your burden to voice an opinion within that organization you support, eh? I’d hate to see an RBL for webmarketing companies, and I’d hate to see a lump sum dropping of SEMPO’s membership roster onto such a list…

    Monday, June 2, 2008 at 2:00 pm | Permalink
  2. Why not just out the specific jack asses doing it?

    @Jaan: Well, if they were individual companies acting as search marketers, then I would not have been offended.  But when I click thru and see a big, prominant SEMPO logo proudly displayed (membership which I understand requires little more than a significant donation of cash), and said organization proclaims itself as representative of the SEO/SEM world, I get offended by SEMPO more than the individual spammer.  If you claim to represent me and my colleagues, you deserve to be held to a higher standard than some private club, coalition, or cabal.

    Monday, June 2, 2008 at 8:31 pm | Permalink
  3. Josh Garner wrote:

    Actually, I couldn’t agree more. I was one step from becoming a member myself. Then I thought, it’s really just a paid link. I doubt it would provide my potential clients with any security in my validity (they barely know what SEO is; SEMPO wouldn’t mean a thing).

    Then, going through the other members, I could spot a few apples I didn’t really want to sit side-by-side with. I don’t want that association.

    There are a lot of great people and companies that are members, but as I started looking into it more, I heard a lot of horror stories. Perhaps John is right with his anger on this one. And perhaps those members that consider themselves as higher than spammers should indeed speak up.

    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 8:40 am | Permalink
  4. SEO wrote:

    Great post! I was looking for this!

    @SEO: yeah yeah, everybody’s a comedian (he dropped that comment from sempo with a sempo link)  ;-)

    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 8:54 am | Permalink
  5. Alex Tsatkin wrote:

    I am so sick of justifying SEO during every new client engagement as to why it is not SPAM, thanks for standing up to the big boys John.

    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 11:16 am | Permalink
  6. Andy Beard wrote:

    Just flag it all as spam – I have sent an number of personal warnings to people over this, and subscribe to comments makes excellent radar to detect SEOs and Marketers abusing the system.
    It is always interesting who crops up leaving comments on 1 year old posts that just happen to have some juice, and where they originate from.

    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Permalink