Jun 10

“Let Go” from my SEO Job

You’re deprecated.

Today I am really glad to blog at SMOBlogger.com. This place has become a true respot for me because I can come here and say whatever I want anonymously. No one knows who I am. No family members. No bloggers. No co-workers. No competitors or enemies. I feel totally free here.

Sure, I have a blog that I make posts to for public consumption. Everyone knows it’s me behind the wheel. I am careful about what I say in my public persona. But, SMO Blogger is my home away from home. It’s the one place I can go to truly speak my mind and not care about the consequences. Isn’t that more in line with the original concept of blogging as online diaries?

Today, I had my “annual review” at the search engine marketing agency where I work. I have been at this company for many years. I’d developed SEO strategies for fortune 500 clients there. I had helped build the SEO department from 1 client to 10. I had trained numerous staff in link building. I had built several sites that were performing well. In short, I got results. But, I was told…

“We’re eliminating the position”

I am a SEO Manager at the firm. The one who built the department, if I could be so bold as to pronounce. I asked why management wasn’t moving me to another position, given my talent and past contributions and more importantly proven track record of results. They’d moved others to new positions when the clients they’d worked on terminated their contracts.

Why didn’t my SEO company think I was valuable enough to keep? I have been thinking about this all day. The new VP has his own friends, his own platforms, etc. Sure, I understand my skills don’t exactly mesh with the new technologies my firm is using–basically what I mean here is going from:

  • PHP to .net
  • Linux to Microsoft
  • Apache to IIS

I was told I’d be laid off in 3 months. I was shocked to hear this. My pride was hurt. After all I’d contributed to my company, the long hours, the late hours, the working at home, the going the extra mile, not to mention the strategies responsible for the success in revenue growth–poof. No importa.

My new VP’s lack of faith and trust really hurt me. I listened to the words coming from his mouth today and realized that upper management’s opinion of me is pretty low. They think I’m a charity case.

“We’ll help you get another job. We’ll give you a reference. I feel terrible for having to do this.”

Yes, I was hurt, but hearing this made me pity them. Did they not know I could get another job if I wanted one? Did they not realize I could do contracting work if I so desired. I get asked to do SEO work all the time but I refuse because I’m too busy doing my day job tasks. Did they have no idea that I was a social media site (I won’t say which one) power user with a successful affiliate marketing business? Apparently not. They never bothered to ask or get to know that part of me. I guess they thought I went home each night and faded into prime time television or something. They didn’t realize that I live and breath SEO and SMO and SEM all day long from morning to night. When I get home I log on and start investigating and testing new strategies for dominating my competitors in the SERPs. Why won’t upper management listen? Take an interest. Ask questions. Get to know your employees.

I left work early today after my “annual review.” Tomorrow I am turning in my 2 week notice even though they have given me months before my “lay off.”

“You nice guys finish… well… usually not first.”

“What makes you think it’s finished?”

My brothers, I don’t want to sound pessimistic. I’m actually optimistic about the future. I’m going to finally have a chance to devote 100% of my time to implementing strategies for my own campaigns. This thrills me. I’m emotional at the moment but actually really happy to be free.

Apr 10

Twollow Sucks

Twollow Home Page

As the title indicates, this post is going to outline why Twollow sucks. You can choose to use Twollow if you want. You shouldn’t be ashamed. I certainly use services that suck. But, just set your expectations from the beginning. If you would like to further investigate Twollow, you can do so at Twollow.com.

First, what is Twollow? It’s one of the first services that allowed automated Twitter following. At one time, it seemed all of the A-List Twitter bloggers were using it and promoting it. Apparently, a large number of Twitter users still employ the service today. In Twollow’s on words:

Find & Follow People On Twitter by Keywords. Gain targeted followers!

Screen Shot of Twollow Price Points

Oh and I bet they won’t include www.smoblogger.com on this list that appears on twollow.com:

As seen on Mashable, KillerStartups, and AskDaveTaylor!

I fell for the Twollow “Bronze” service which as you can see from the price points above, it’s the cheapest. I foolishly paid the annual price of 79.99 thinking I would be saving money. I just happily went along with all of the A-Listers and trusted them.

Quickly, I received about 2000 followers related to my keywords. I was loving it. Then, something happened and everything just went dead. I was stuck at 2000. Why could I no longer get followers? I contacted Twollow support over and over and over and received one response initially, but then radio silence afterwards.

I made this final plea:

Final request. Twollow has not been working for me on my account [removed for privacy]. The info was sent. The transfer has not been made. I’ve sent numerous requests to support asking for help. No response. Please let me know something by tomorrow or I’m out.

Normally, when I purchase a product or service that fails to deliver as advertised, I dispute it with my card company and usually get a refund. I kept holding out for Twollow because of those darn A-Listers, I guess. Still want to believe this product works. But, it doesn’t.

Here’s my satire of the Twollow features:

  • Potentially Find & Follow people based on keywords
  • Interact with Twollow customer support – increase your social life
  • Track what people are saying about your website or products if you can log in.
  • 20th Century Networking.
  • 40,000 Users Can be Wrong!
  • Pay money to a service endorsed by A-List Twitterers!
  • Tweet how great Twollow is!
  • For reference:
    Twollow Twitter page: @twollow (nofollowed)

    Does Twollow suck for you too?