15 fake SEO gurus you shouldn’t follow

I decided to write this article after a certain author named John Rampton published an article on Forbes entitled “15 SEO Gurus That You Should Know for 2015,” which is a great piece…for a new blog started by a teenager back in 2007. It consists of a lot of great information, and a nice way to get to know people that are involved in the SEO community – if you never heard of SEO before.

Unfortunately, writing that article and actually having it approved by editors and posted on Forbes in 2015 is a humiliation for the publication and its standards.  I would never, ever approve that on my little blog. Never. Not because I am not in the list, but because this piece was clearly written by someone who is either:

  1. VA – virtual assistant
  2. Freelance one-size-fit-all writer

I will now cut the article in small pieces and show you why you shouldn’t read this piece of drivel (or any SEO-related article posted on sites like Forbes, Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur), nor follow those fake Gurus. Let alone have John Rampton advise you on SEO.


OK, let’s start with the introduction of this foolish article. John Rambo writes:”SEO best practices are constantly changing.

Wow, what a shocker…actually you got that wrong, John. SEO best practices are not changing. What’s in fact changing is Google algorithm. Best practices are always the same and they consist of pretty much two things:

  1. On-page SEO done properly
  2. Great links

That’s it, that’s SEO. Best practices. Nothing more to talk about.

Let’s continue: the first guru that you should follow, according to Rambo, is Matt Cutts?!

Why? What? Care to explain? OK, here is his explanation:

matt cutts best seo practies

The reason that we should follow him in 2015, says Rambo, is because he has 500 short videos, which were published in the past. The last time he “talked” about SEO on his blog was back in the summer of 2014. So, tell us Rambo, why would we follow him in 2015 when he is not updating his blog? Besides this, he is working for Google, which means he is not going to tell you anything secretive or new about ways to rank your site.

rand fishkin

Do I even have to say anything about this guru? If you still get excited reading his boring posts, you should go to rehab. Nothing new or groundbreaking has come out of his kitchen for a long time. And reading comments under his posts?  That hurts like hell.

links dying

Anyway, let’s continue with this unbelievable list of fake gurus. Damn, John, you really chose the “best of the best.”

The third on the list is :

arron seo

I won’t bash and bad mouth Aaron, since I was reading his site a few years ago as it looked like a great compilation of SEO knowledge. It is 2015 and his site is just a self-promotion web portal: how to get more money from sheep.

Update: In 2017 he wrote a great post I suggest you read – It is called Grist for the Machine

danny salivan

Danny Sullivan is the editor at SEL, which is currently the best SEO news site, in my opinion. However, that’s a news site so there’s no need to follow him and nothing new to see there. They report on things that already happened. For instance, the time when I published the article about something-something and then they reported a few weeks later about that. What’s to follow there? It is pretty much a piece of a great promotional tool for their conferences, where they pay unscrupulous professionals to talk about …hmm, nothing new…and you pay four figures to listen to their nonsense and bragging.

And then when you come back home and you want to submit an article to some minute SEO blog, you start with: “Last week, when I attended SMX 2015… head of Google spam team confirmed that Content will continue to be King…” .

Well, let’s continue, shall we?


Barry Schwartz is our No.5guru that you don’t have to follow in 2015. He is doing pretty much the same thing as our previous “guru,” so just insert his name in the previous paragraph. There’s really nothing to add.

andy who

Andy Who?It looks like the entire article was written so this inadequate software (Trackur) could get a mention. Where do I actually follow Andy? I did go to their company site and noticed that their blog talks about customer support. There is no SEO content to peruse.

John, did you make a mistake when you wrote this article? Let’s take a look at this “ORM specialist” Twitter profile. Ever heard of this fake smile Guru? Not me. Oh wait, I did visit his crappy blog (that screams self-promotion, by the way) and nothing about SEO there either.

fake smile

Nothing to see at Andy’s place so let’s move on.

The next fake Guru is our old friend, Link Farm Visibility. I must say that they contacted me (someone claiming that they represent them) to buy links on Forbes. I’m not sure why they would buy this from me, but they were probably spying or something.

higher visibility

Anyway, there’s nothing to read in his articles because their blog isn’t really pleasing, and their Inc./HuffPo/Forbes articles are there simply for promotion. Again, there’s nothing new or groundbreaking. In other words, there’s just a lot of fluff left and right.


Dave Naylor is the owner of Bronco Agency (not related with wild horses), and this agency posts no articles on their site. So no, you cannot follow Bronco dude. Maybe you should see what he is up to at questionable meetings (SMX,ClickZ), but I wouldn’t waste my time with him. As you can already see in the screenshot above, he is a Guru with no tricks up his sleeve. They do search for a couple of new employees at the time. So why not apply if you’re from the United Kingdom? They look like a proper hipster agency, taking a lot of money from their clients.

ward guy

Guru No.8 is Eric Ward, and, according to his biography, he won an award…back in 1995? Wow, so we should follow him now because he was awarded in 1995? OK,OK, maybe he is a legitimate guru…but why is his site designed in the spirit of 1995? Let me guess:”Content is King,” right? OK. And he uses a 1995 profile image because…he looks pretty? So sweet.

neil patel

I won’t bash Neil just because of his contact page. I know that all the newbies drool when they see it. On the other hand, I would like him to tell us how many writers he has on his team. He seems to be publishing 1,001 articles each month on dozens of different sites. I’m not sure if he wrote anything recently.

seo by the sea

OK, so here is guru No.11 and his name is Bill Slawski. He is an old school guy that still thinks that links are good. Just because of this you can actually jump to his blog and read his boring articles. This is what he says about links (I agree):

Link Building Strategies

A smart link building strategy means finding ways to promote your pages on other sites on the Web in a manner that can drive direct traffic to your pages as well as show the search engines that your sites are filled with quality content. The right approach to building links can vary from one site to another and an intelligent approach to linking can help bring visitors to your pages who are interested in what you offer.


Bruce Clay knows his stuff and he knows that you need on-page SEO and links…and he is not afraid to say it. But should we call him a guru because of this? No. He is using huge authority on his site or blog to gain new clients and I bet he is milking that cow hard, really hard. Good job, Bruce.


Have you ever visited Google Webmaster Central and got an answer that solved your problem? No? Well, you can thank Vanessa Fox for that. She is listed in the top 15 gurus so the writer of this Forbes article (John Rambo) is not called a female hater.  She does have an attractive surname combo, though.

500 companies

Lee Oden is yet another SEO Guru that works with Fortune 500 companies.Sometimes I think that there must be 50,000 Fortune 500 companies because every fake SEO Guru uses this line for their biography.

“Hey, look at me; I work for a Fortune 500 Company….” Oh please.

For a No. 15 Guru, I won’t even bother taking a screenshot from the Forbes article because I decided to screenshot these two men on their blog. Just take a look at this boring blog and now look at this image.

boring guys

Why would I won’t to follow them? They seem like a bunch of old guys talking about something that could be interesting only to yet-to-become-mommy-blogger. Oh yes, they have a video of Matt Cutts in the sidebar of their site. Need I say more?

Did you have a great time? No? You can badmouth me in the comment area; I won’t publish the comments, though. Actually I will.