Do you have SEOitus?

Posted on 10. Oct, 2011 by in Digital Marketing, Thoughts

SEOitus 1. An abnormal obsession or fixation with search engine optimisation 2. Compulsive preoccupation with anything related to search. Related terms: SEO narcissism

The other day I rang my colleague Andrew about some settings on our blog. I had been checking if one of my posts that day had been indexed yet by Google. I was surprised that it hadn’t been yet and started looking at some other posts that day as well as earlier ones. This was around midnight.

During this exchange with Andy he used the words “people obsessed with SEO” and “checking things at all hours”. Now I am not going to admit or deny that I might have an SEO affliction but it did get me thinking – what are the signs of a person with an SEO obsession? How prevalent is it? I looked around the room (I was at work by this point) and starting thinking about my colleagues. Maybe there are some cases of addiction here….so how can I tell who is afflicted? (and “Man I gotta coin this!”)

I realised there are some common symptoms so if you want to check if you have caught the SEO bug read on:

-          You check in at a hotel and get room 404 and ask “Are you sure that room still exists?”

-          Searches you perform in Google often have nothing to do with finding websites with answers and have everything to do with how that specific SERP looks at that point in time

-          Your ToDo lists often get usurped when Google / Yahoo! / Bing / Apple / Microsoft / Twitter / Facebook etc. make a news announcement

-           You screengrab Google results for any number of reasons and email/post them round to your equally afflicted colleagues, friends and “friends” on various social network

-          You wake up, you check Twitter

-          At any moment in time you know the # of Twitter followers you have (Also related to SEO narcissism)

-          You are saddened when your number of followers have dropped (see related affliction above)

-          When people that are not part of the digital marketing community (some might class as “normal”) use a search engine you can’t help but stare, study and wonder at each of their searches and decisions

-          You have taken part in some form of an SEO contest (this could be personal goals as well)

-          In conversations you have said or heard “No more SEO chat” but it always ends up going in a circle

-          You check analytics often, at home, and for your clients, and even for clients that aren’t your clients, and of course your own stats :)

-          For some reason you aren’t bored by ASA regulations

-          When you see a telephone number that ends in 302, you just wish it were 301

-          You have so many add-ons on Firefox that the actual screen is just about half size

-          You scoff in disgust when you see an underscore in a URL

-          You think about domains you want to buy just to have them

-          You get annoyed with a site takes more than 2 seconds to load, so you run a page speed check over it even though its not your site

-          At parties when you meet new people and they bring up their website you automatically go into “SEO Mode”

-          You check if icons on a site are CSS sprites or individual images

-          Relative links being used instead of absolute links really upset you

-          You can’t watch TV without thinking about the keyword possibilities or search surges being produced by the episode

-          You watch TV while simultaneously watching the Twitter feed for that #tag

-          You catch yourself checking your pockets for the API to your flat; before remembering the word you actually wanted was “keys”

-          You tend to check the robots.txt when you find a new site

-          You find yourself using Google+ just to get things indexed

-          You fear that other SEO’s are going to catch you out for doing something “SE-Oh-no!” like use an image with text in it

-          You have way too much fun writing blog posts like this

If any of the above resonates with you I’m afraid there is a very good chance you suffer from SEOitus. Don’t worry there is help! It’s much easier to manage if you work amongst the similarly stricken. So if you don’t already work in SEO you should check out our careers page.

And remember if you don’t sort out your SEO addiction, watch out! You might suffer from SEOverdose.

Did I miss any signs? If you can think of any that need added, please enter them in the comments!

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  • John Meffen

    Guilty, your honour! Especially the whole robots.txt thing ……. :-(

    • marielslater

      I think many people reading this will realise they have all kinds of habits, not saying if they are good or bad of course!

  • Asaad Dookhy

    Love it!  Great article Mariel :)

    • marielslater

      Thanks Asaad! Hope you are well! :)  

  • Ross Tavendale

    As the great Ray Charles put it: “I don’t need no doctor for my prescription to be filled, all I need is some website link metrics to take away these chills.” 

    I must admit I did laugh a little t0o hard at some of these; especially the room 404 point. 

    • marielslater

      Sounds like you have….hehe :)  

  • Sean Rvll

    Hey Mariel, awesome post and a great way of attracting new staff members :-)

    Checking ranking results on weekends, Writing client strategies at 2am and turning on my computer at midnight to check out the new Google Webmaster Tools are all recent symptoms. My doctor has advised that I make 3 bing searches daily for the next 2 weeks to ween me off my habit…

    • marielslater

      Hi Sean thanks! I do hope that this post attracts rather than repels :)

      oooo SEOdoctor – interesting indeed :)

      • Paul McDonald

        Ok did anyone else just perform a Google search for SEOdoctor??

  • Scott W

    How about you read a newspaper and wish the article titles were better optimised for SEO ;)

    • marielslater

       Then you go to that newspaper site and see if their online content is in fact optimised but 9 times out of 10 you are disappointed