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SEO Reputation Is Changing Hated Profession

With us now being almost half way through 2024, I’ve noticed the attitude and perception of SEO professionals is changing. And I think it’s only going to get worse as time goes on. You see, if you’re in SEO you’re starting to get a bad rap right now.

I recently told someone I do SEO for a living, and they responded with “oh, you’re one of those people…great.” This was something I never experienced before, but it turns out I’m not the only one who has been responded to in this way. You see, after talking to a lot of SEOs it turns out that people are beginning to dislike us…and as it turns out, for a super valid reason.

Why People Dislike SEO Professionals

Let’s face it: blackhat SEO exists. Because of our profession, there are people that pollute the Google search results with respun content that doesn’t help anyone. More and more people seem to think that search results are getting worse, and there’s data to back this up.

The WAN show on Google search results getting worse

One of the biggest tech YouTubers, Linus Sebastian talked about this in detail in his video podcast the WAN show. 

YouTuber referring to SEO as “SEO hell” (Mutahar)

Mutuhar, one of the most popular YouTubers in the gaming community talks about why you don’t want to use Google to find a Linux download link.

AI Will Make It Worse

Remember how I mentioned respun articles earlier? Well, AI has been making this a lot worse. So many people are using ChatGPT and other tools to try to automate content creation, you know…blog posts. I think this is because nobody has ever viewed writing blog posts as exciting or fun.

I think that’s why there’s an obsession over SEO tools, because these things are exciting to people. (And I’ve talked about why I dislike SEO tools on this blog before.) But people just don’t want to write content, even though that’s what moves the needle.

And because of this, people are doing everything they can to not write them. 

A Lot Of Professions Get Stereotyped

I don’t think this is going to come as a surprise to you, but SEO isn’t the only profession that gets stereotyped. Yes, we’ve been stereotyped for a long time. People who aren’t very tech savvy assume you’re some kind of uber hacker when you try to explain what you do. But now it’s getting worse.

But we’re not alone in this. I have a friend who works in HR, and they get a lot of slack from people for “being corporate police.” Also earlier today I walked by a used car sales lot on my way to the store and it made me remember that nobody trusts car salesmen…or politicians either, haha.

Sometimes it’s worth dealing with a negative perception by some if you’re earning your bread. Plus if you’re a business owner reading this, you know you can’t listen to what people say. You do you, and be a rockstar at it. Don’t let what others say affect your passion for marketing and SEO.

I Bet You’re Feeling Stressed About The Future

I’ve talked to a lot of SEOs who are nervous about the future of this field. It seems like a lot of people feel like AI is going to completely destroy their careers. While the landscape of search may change, I think marketing will always exist as a thing that businesses need help with. Granted, we may have to be willing to adapt and evolve as the field does but that’s just part of doing the same job as technology advances.

What Can You Do About This…?

So that brings us to our point: “What can I do about this?” Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do. At the very least, you can be one of the SEO guys who doesn’t pollute search. You can be someone that actually tries to provide value to your clients, and people that are searching the web at the same time. 

This is a lot easier to do when you’re doing local SEO, because most small businesses believe in their products and services. These are people that do have good solutions for what people are looking for.

Sure, they may not be the only ones in your area. But at least you’re doing things in a way that’s ethical. 

Now, as for online SEO where we’re not talking about a business that relies on location relevance, this is a little tricky. Honestly, the SEO landscape has changed significantly from when I started creating courses on it. But the fundamentals still apply.

But anyways, that’s where I draw the imaginary line. If your product is genuinely the best solution for people’s problems, you are doing something ethical. You’re helping people overcome a challenge or solve a problem. 


Despite what people may think about search engine optimization, what matters is how you are using your SEO skills. If you’re connecting people to the best product for them, then who cares what people think…? That’s ethical marketing, and that’s something you should be proud of.

Not every SEO is a spammer, and this is a common misconception about what we do we just need to deal with. There are many different types of SEO, and helping small businesses does not make you some sort of evil villain twirling a mustache in a secret layer somewhere.

There’s a quote I really love from Mark Twain, and it goes like this:

“Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions.” 

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bad reputation, seo, seo bad reputation, seo reputation

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