How High are You in the FUD Chain?

Updated April 28, 2011

Doc Sheldon

FUD Just Feels RightFrom impending terrorist attacks, to airborne clouds of radioactivity… insinuations of ineligibility of the President to rumors of widespread corruption… the death of article marketing to the death of SEO… we are constantly bombarded with various levels of FUD, usually on several simultaneous fronts.

Like villagers in The Boy That Cried Wolf, we become so accustomed to it, that after a while, it just doesn’t sink in anymore… why do people buy multi-million dollar homes perched precariously on sandstone cliffs overlooking Malibu? In part, surely, because it’s been okay so far.

Why were millions of people stocking up on potassium iodide as rumors were floated about Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi meltdown, yet now are taking their kids to the California beaches on the weekend? Same reason, I suspect.

And a number of similar questions could be asked about why those of us that work in various aspects of internet marketing continue to tilt at the Google windmill. Is it a matter of being blind to what is sometimes the futility of it? Or maybe it’s the joy of the chase?

Living on the edge could be a reason for some, too, I suppose. Although most of the SEOs I know work very hard to NOT put their clients near the edge.

I think the single greatest reason is probably just a love of it. It’s a challenge, to be sure… and there’s certainly satisfaction to be had in taking a client from page twelve to the top of page one. There’s also a great deal of pleasure in successfully foreseeing what might become more important in the future, and using it to your advantage.

Yet, for all that, we seem to be just as susceptible to FUD as John Q. Public. Not all of us, to be sure, but a disturbingly large majority. Don’t believe that? Go run a Google search for “SEO is dead” and you’ll see what I mean.

Calmer heads don’t leap onto such bandwagons, of course. Sure there’s a few old salts that take up the cry now and then, but I suspect it’s more of a case of the “old-style” SEO is dead… they have their own windmills at which they seem to enjoy tilting.

It’s primarily the younger, less experienced pups that tend to yap along behind the others, adding their cry to the rest of the pack’s. Unfortunately, the noise level is often enough to get some folk’s attention, and the pack-generated FUD becomes a reality, at least in their own minds.

Just a few observations:

  • Mankind has been a degenerate mess longer than recorded history. Yet we’re still here.
  • We’ve been destroying our environment for centuries. Yet it’s still here.
  • Teenagers have been hell-bound for self destruction forever. Yet they’re still here.
  • SEO has been declared sick, dying or dead for years. Yet it’s still here.

So if you want to be at the top of the FUD chain… the first step is to get over it.

And stay away from bandwagons!


  1. Wow doc! You sure are a hell raiser! I enjoyed reading your article because it makes people, me included, question our basic knowledge about SEO. But I’ve gotta tell ya’ money’s good, customers good, and I’m good-so, what else can I ask for?

  2. Doc Sheldon says:

    Hell raiser? Me? Nah! I just like to give things a little nudge in the general direction of sanity now and then. 😉

    Thanks for the comment, Karla. Hope you stick around.

  3. Oh, I’m stickin’ around all right! Got great stuff here! I wouldn’t miss more controversial issues for the world. Love the title, by the way. I was laughing my butt off at the reaction of my friend when I showed your post. They were like “WHAT?!” and I said, “hah! Figures! I told you, you should always read news or post about the stuff we’re doing! But did you listen? Noooooo. All you do is prance around like the world was perfect.”