What Scares an SEO? BCI Goes All Out for Halloween

It’s Halloween and everybody’s feeling festive, including BCI. Skilled as he is at wrangling the search industry’s most famous Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird, it only made sense that Bruce Clay dress up as a circus ringmaster — that and that fact that “someone has to wrangle all of these clowns,” he said (joked?).

Happy Halloween!

“Halloween has been a part of our company culture since its inception. It’s an opportunity to do what you don’t normally do and be creative outside of the box, and to just have fun with the people you work with.” — Bruce Clay

The people at BCI are, indeed, having fun. Costumes around the office include a life-size taco, Princess Leia, Pocahontas, Gumbie, a terrifying clown, a giant baby, a cruise director, a gaucho, Indiana Jones and even the PBS painter, Bob Ross.

Check out all the costumes in our Flickr set:

What Scares an SEO?

In keeping with the Halloween spirit, I asked the BCI team “What scares an SEO?” This is what they had to say:

“Google.” – Maryann Robbins

“The disappearance of analytics.” – Matthew Young

“Automated/spun content. Purchased links. Rapidly approaching deadlines. And spiders – real spiders, not the search engine types.” – John Alexander

“A client who is not yet converted to the BCI methodology.” – Luke Bowen

“Waking up one morning to find all the rankings have tanked and not knowing why.” – Paula Allen

“Manual action penalty from Google causing rankings and organic traffic to vaporize.” – Ty Carson

“I’d think a swarm of Cuttletts would be pretty frightening. You’ll know what this means if you’ve ever been to a search marketing conference.” — Virginia Nussey

“Negative SEO – that’s kind of frightening, because no matter what you do, there could be negative forces out there working against you.” – David Vasquez

“Having a client tank in the rankings.” – Robert Meinke

“The most frightening thing for an SEO is finding all your clients top keywords sandboxed to page three.” — Bradley Leese

“Manual penalties.” — Michael Shore

“Not getting a client to rank when they think they should.” – Gary Luke

“The inability to implement due to technology constraints” — Robert Esparza

“Bad developers and splogs” — Micah Albert

“Link pruning.” — Nagmeh Jafazadeh

“Clients who make changes to their websites without consulting with us. Especially dramatic changes like a homepage redesign.” — Rob Ramirez

“A sudden newsflash across the Internet that Google has made a significant update.” — Justin Moreau

What Scares Bruce?

“The future of search can be scary when you start to wonder if Google will just take over and cause no one to ever need a website again. Clients that don’t understand SEO can often be pretty scary,” Bruce said.

SEJ Bruce as Sub-Mariner
Bruce was featured as the “Sub-Mariner” in Search Engine Journal’s “SEOs Halloween Assemble: The League of Extraordinary SEO.”

But SEO itself? Bruce isn’t intimidated: “I personally don’t find SEO itself scary – Hummingbird wasn’t scary, Penguin wasn’t scary, Panda wasn’t scary. Those things don’t scare BCI.

Bruce’s fearlessness is in part, no doubt, why he was listed as one of Search Engine Journal’s “SEOs Halloween Assemble: The League of Extraordinary SEO.” SEJ chose Bruce for the role of “Sub-Mariner” due to his status as an SEO founding father, his myriad speaking engagements and his thought-leadership (documented in countless magazines, newspapers and books).

What scares you? Share your worst SEO nightmare in the comments!

Kristi Kellogg is a journalist, news hound, professional copywriter, and social (media) butterfly. Currently, she is a senior SEO content writer for Conde Nast. Her articles appear in newspapers, magazines, across the Internet and in books such as "Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals" and "The Media Relations Guidebook." Formerly, she was the social media editor at Bruce Clay Inc.

See Kristi's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (8)
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8 Replies to “What Scares an SEO? BCI Goes All Out for Halloween”

grace morris

so the laziest award did not go to Shawn this year by Ty? :-p
what wins the scariest award 2 years in a row with a scary clown and man dressed as woman award? Bradley.

Very funny! I love people who know how to have fun. Parties are fun. Hope you all had a happy Halloween.

That is great! Let people have some fun! After a day of work, is fun to party with your colleagues. We get to know each other better this way! I look forward to Christmas party at the office!

Kandarp, Teona and Aditya — thanks for sharing! And Emanuel, yes, we had a great party ;)

Very funny! I love those parties at the office. I have so funny colleagues, we all love to party, and also to work …..I’m happy to see that also other working people have fun. Regards!

There are still some grey and black areas in SEO which scares me a lot. Sometimes they really work and that hurts.

I believe SEo is scary for those not knowing what is it about. There are people that talk about SEO without a good understanding of this concept. Sometimes, they scare other people. I believe fear comes from not Knowing. That is why analysis and documenting are two things really necessary.

“Hummingbird wasn’t scary, Penguin wasn’t scary, Panda wasn’t scary.” i agree with this sentence if you make user friendly and high quality website as per the guideline then nothing will hurt you.


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