There is NO Such Thing as Free SEO

by Matthew Diehl on October 29, 2009


I swear, if hear or see one more person from the SEO industry use the words “free” and “SEO” in this format – “SEO is Free” – I am going to lose it (Actually, I think I am losing it right now).

Lets get this straight: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREE SEO!

Can I make it any more clear?

SEO is not free and never will be free. There are these two things called time and money that make it not free. These are the costs of SEO for every single website whether you hire an SEO consultant or if you are going diy.

The phrase “SEO is Free” just makes you sound like an asshat. This is what gets our industry in trouble. This is why Danny Sullivan has to defend SEO against morons who call us spammers, evildoers and opportunitsts.

So this is me saying – Knock it off already. Don’t make me pull this blog over, come back there and seperate you from the idea that saying “SEO is Free” is acceptable.


Also, don’t give me this bullshit about what you actually mean is that SEO is free in that fact that you can get better ROI over the long run. Then just say that and don’t say SEO is Free!

The value of SEO as a high ROI online marketing method has been proven again and again. Companies would not be buying it if it was not delivering them value. We do not ever need to pitch an organization for SEO saying that it is Free. We are so beyond this and it is time to wipe it from our vernacular.

In closing, just stop. Seriously, stop.


Mike Stewart October 29, 2009 at 12:56 pm


I love your enthusiasm, and I AGREE with you to some extent…. but to some degree it is FREE if you DIY. Simply put: Folks who build his/her own business website with sound on-page SEO theories, and then work aggressively on distribution of the site….

Technically would that be “considered” FREE?

Not attempting to split hairs. Maybe I am not understanding what you are trying to point out.

Mike Stewart

Mike Stewart October 29, 2009 at 12:58 pm

I guess for those folks that are “unemployed” time and money can be considered FREE…. right?

.-= Mike Stewart´s last blog ..New Dallas Business Phone Numbers: Google Voice is sending out invites…the future of advertising call tracking =-.

Mary Rabalais October 29, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Ahh yes. Those who ‘think’ they’ll read up on SEO and do it, and those who actually ‘do it’ are 2 different animals. But do they do it right? Very seldom! It’s extremely time-consuming, and although it is not rocket-science, there is a science to it.

Most of it isn’t fun, but when you’re successful at it, its very rewarding. Its amazing how the referrals start coming in.

Amen I say to you! Over the years I’ve learned to quickly end conversations with prospects who ask tons of questions with the intent of ‘getting the recipe for free’. I’ve got bills to pay and that’s not going to happen!


matthewdiehl October 29, 2009 at 1:18 pm

@Mike IMHO, I think of time spent on anything as a cost. What else could you have spent that time on? That cost is different for everyone, even the unemployed. They could have used that time to search for job or follow-up on an already submitted resume. So, cost = not free.

@Mary Oh boy, if I had a nickle for everytime someone has said “well… we tried it ourselves”. *POOF* There goes more time spent on something you should not have been spending time on in the first place. It can even come back and cost you more money in lost revenue because of potential damages. Word of caution: Before adventuring into SEO weigh ALL the costs.

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