SEOmoz Hype Machine Strikes Again

by Ben Cook on June 7, 2011

SEOmoz Hype Machine

Update: This post is several months old but given recent events I figured it would be worth reposting just in case anyone missed it 😀

Remember my SEOmoz Decision Making Flowchart? Well it seems the SEOmoz hype machine (is that what their robot actually is?) is at it again.

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And the pièce de résistance…

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Wow! That’s got to be one hell of a tool right? I mean those are some incredible statements being made there.

Unfortunately, the subject of that hype was SEOmoz’s new LDA tool that, in Rand Fishkin’s own words

“is not us “reversing the algorithm.” We may have built a great tool for improving the relevancy of your pages”

As usual there’s quite a bit of debate about whether SEOmoz’s conclusions are statistically sound or not, but I’m no where near qualified enough to weigh in on that. One must consider, though, the financial incentives acting as built in biases for SEOmoz’s studies.

However, it doesn’t take a mathematician to see that a familiar pattern of SEOmoz behavior playing itself out once again.

  • Ridiculous amounts of hype? Check (see tweets above).
  • Criticism? Check.
  • Attempted clarification? Check.
  • Praising any influential people offering criticism and apologize for unintended consequences? Check and check.

By my best assessment we’re only missing “SEOmoz throwing themselves on the mercy of the court, promising to do better next time after having learned yet another valuable lesson” to complete the cycle. I can’t wait…

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Terry Van Horne September 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

Ummm… re: the throwing of themselves on the mercy of the court” Skitzo no one has actually figured out that a random number generator would provide as much actionable data. ie: a real tool tells you what is needed to raise the relevancy… but they skipped that feature as that is some real work to do. This simply uses some free code to generate a number. As to reverse engineering Google… lol… ummm webposition did that in the 90’s… no need to do that again!


Ben Cook September 13, 2010 at 11:42 am

@Terry, yeah, there are scripts out there that do LDA analysis but I have no idea how similar Moz’s is to those.

@Andy, I really don’t have a problem with them using scarcity pricing.

However, it has been mentioned that I should add in another step in the chart which I have seen occur a couple of times recently. I think I’m going to wait to see it a 3rd time before including it. I’d hate to introduce bad data in my flow chart 🙂


Andy Beard September 13, 2010 at 11:27 am

You missed out the scarcity pricing pitch between tweets.


Mert Sahinoglu September 16, 2010 at 7:56 am

Just wanted to say, that was a heck of a fight you put in the Moz blog post. You have my respect.


Ben Cook September 16, 2010 at 10:43 am

@Mert, thanks, hopefully I got through to a few people even if most will still blindly follow.

@Matt, I would love it if they did, but as per Rand’s comments on their latest post (where they admit they were wrong yet again), I wouldn’t hold my breath on a change any time soon.


Matt September 16, 2010 at 10:34 am

The question is, will they change their tactics after reading your post?


Spanishgringo September 28, 2010 at 9:05 am

Due to the error pointed out to them, I think they have satisfied, at least partially, your last point about “mercy of the court….” because now they
promise to work more with outside statisticians.

Reading the comments it looks like they probably had a company wide effort to thumb up their supporters and give thumbs down to critics (is this an unmentioned tactic in the troll defense?).


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