crazy-seo-guyI was speaking with an in-house SEO recently about a conversation he had had with his boss.  His boss, flustered and irate from a few issues with supposedly needy customers, had told the SEO something along the lines of “man, your job is so stress-free.  You don’t have to work with the clients, you don’t have to rely on others in the office to do their work on time, and then have their work be accurate when it is done.  You just gotta work on what you do and don’t have to deal with the other drama in the office”.

At first I thought this was actually a fair assessment, and left it at that for a while.  But after thinking about it and putting myself in the SEO’s shoes,  I was definitely able to reflect on a bunch of things that would make an in-house SEO completely lose it.  Below, I’ve put together a long list of “things that could definitely ruin your day/week/month as an SEO” and why the position may not appear that crazy to an outsider, but could indeed be almost nuclear under the right (wrong, really) conditions:

  • A brutal competitor decides to send a couple thousand casino/porn related links to your home page.  You’re either hit with a penalty, stuck disavowing links for the better part of a weekend, or both.
  • Your web designer actually got a pirated copy of your WordPress theme, leaving it completely exposed to the right hacker.  They end up putting a few malicious scripts, de-indexing 90% of your site due to a security breach.
  • You’re performing a periodic plagiarism check on your website, and find that in the past 3 months, 12 different websites have lifted the content off of different parts of your website without altering a word.
  • A couple competitors decide to go black hat hard for a high traffic keyword you’ve been perched on nicely at 1, which had been giving you about 10% of your traffic and 20% of your leads, knocking you down to 3 and effectively reducing those numbers by 4/5ths.  You have to either wait for their efforts to recede, or fight fire with fire…
  • Google My Business decided to create two more listings for a listing you already had, and had been positioned nicely for in 4 geo-specific keywords.  Now that you have three listings and they appear incomplete and/or bogus, you don’t show up for any of them.
  •  You use the name of a University on a landing page and receive a cease and desist letter in the mail 3 days later from a 1000 lawyer-strong law firm.
  • You get nasty Yelp/Google+ reviews from people your business never worked with, knocking your beautiful 5 stars down to 3 and 1/2.
  • Your third party that hosts the mobile version of your site bugs out and only serves infinite redirect loops to visitors, eventually killing every single mobile ranking and eliminating 30% of your traffic.

Brutal huh?  Half of these have happened to me personally and the other half have happened to SEOs I know.  Well, all jobs are stressful one way or another…

Have something awful happen to you SEO-wise, or maybe just marketing-wise in general?  Comment it below.  Like the list and want to see other things that make us lose sleep at night?  Maybe I’ll do another one.