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15 Ways to Be a SEO Conference Douchebag

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 13 years and 100 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

I love SEO conferences and meetups. I’ve met most of my favorite people on the planet at them. There’s also lots of douchebags, who really don’t get what an incredible community of people it is most of the time. I sat down with Mike McDonald and talked a little bit about what to do, and what not to do at SEO Conferences (if for some reason you’d like to download the video – you can use the download youtube videos firefox plugin. I thought I’d do a written version for the things I forgot as well. So here is what you should do if you really want to be a total outcast douchebag at an SEO Conference:

1. Spam people with lots of business cards.
We definitely all need more business cards. I’m not a filthy prius driving hippy, but fer’ cryin’ out loud, save a tree, and don’t hand everyone in the group a card the moment you join the conversation. Double jerk points for acting like you’re an escort affiliate in vegas and handing out stickers or cards at the exit at the end of sessions.

2. Be the pushy salesguy
ABC – Always be cobbling (vid). Yes, the new company you’re with is awesome. Give me a good pitch in the morning after three days of hangovers, and interest me in thirty seconds or less and we’ll talk. Put that cocoa down Shelly Levine. Cocoa is for cobblers only. I’m sure you’ll do well selling Rio Rancho and your rank checker software on your next batch of cold calls.

3. The guy with LOTS of “awesome ideas”
It’s very likely that cookie stuffing users with games that are pogo-clones is a profitable business model. It doesn’t mean anyone will want to do your SEO for half of your big bucks. We get it, your ideas are incredible, and you’re going to be rich, and we should absolutely be your slave for 6 years doing the grunt work on your pyramid bingo scheme. Praise Jeebus for your miraculous ingenuity and lack of startup capital.

  • The guy soliciting people to write for free
    You have a blog. We get it…you need content and links, and long for acceptance on sphinn. It will be the best – most unique content ever, because there’s definitely not enough SEO blogs on the web.

    5. The guy that drinks to much
    Before you know anyone, act like Neil when he learns hitting the top of beer bottles makes carbonated beverages explode. It IS funny to see someone’s beer spray all over them, and you should be the one to prove it to everybody. Try to go shot for shot with Rae, Boser, or Dave, because they’re lightweights and can’t drink much. Disregard the rules of SEO club, and proceed to make an ass of yourself (see number 6). Blab about all your sites and great ideas – be sure to tell everyone the best most secret (and spammiest) ones. Wake up with no revenue streams, respect, and a headache when you realize you missed the first 4 hours of a conference that you paid over two grand to attend. Those last 6 shots of petrone were totally worth it, and and offering to pay the thousand dollar bar tab on your bosses expense account was an excellent idea. Nothing says professionalism like binge drinking to the point of blacking out and vomiting.

    6. Don’t have a mint and be a close talker
    Nothing quite as wonderful and pleasant as the fragrant smell of ass breath with someone standing uncomfortably close blabbing about how cool they are.

    7. Ask 17 questions that have been answered already during Q and A
    Hi, I’m Peter K… from – I have a site where I try to bleed people out of all the money I can in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have one question I’d like to ask in 17 parts (credit Matt for the joke). I will be certain to tell everyone my domain in every session that I attend where I grab the mic from the moderator and ask questions that pertain to no one but myself.

    8. Barge in on conversations
    There is no business done at these events, and people rarely know each other. They are all there to meet YOU. After all – it’s all about you.

    9. Stalk a Femozzer (or any other female in the industry)
    Girls love it when you email them lots of times after getting their card. Text and facebook messages work well too. Then be sure to write a blog post about them, and add them on every single social network site as your friend. It’s probably a good idea to try to get laid at an industry event (or the opposite), and no one will ever find out that you’re a creep and talk about you behind your back. As a backup plan, you can follow googlers everywhere asking to speak to Matt Cutts, and wondering why your payday loan site with blog spam links got banned from the index.

    10. Ask SEO questions first
    Why SHOULDN’T Todd Freisen write all your sites .htaccess 301 redirects for your site migration the first time he meets you? Michael Gray OWES you at least a dozen good linkbait ideas for your dental practice because after all, he posts his picture on the internet and talks about marketing on his blog. Just like David Hasselhoff owes you a ride in kit because you watched Knight Rider re-runs for 17 years (as well as that painfully commercial knock off mini movie). Don’t forget to ask Brent to create three or four linkbaits from you. He loves giving away free social media consulting.

    11. Ask people what they do in the first 10 seconds you meet them
    Don’t forget to ask how much money they make, their religious and political beliefs, and if their significant other enjoys a little butt play by the end of the first minute.

    12. Give away secrets told in confidence
    Parlaying secret information, and giving it away in your next conversation is a great way to get more information (or get beat up and ostracized for eternity).

    13. Blog everything you hear in the bar
    This is a given. If people say something outloud, it should end up on the internet…right?

    14. Videotape people without permission
    Chicks dig this. Forget privacy. Make gratuitous use of backside and cleavage shots as well. Try to get candid vids where people don’t know you’re video taping their business transactions and post them on youtube that evening.

    15. Spam everyone that gave you a business card
    No sense in giving out lots of business cards if you don’t GET lots of them as well. Have your intern input all the names, and then send at least a dozen emails to everyone on the list (make sure to CC everyone too!) about a new blog you’re starting in a month that currently just has a default wordpress theme. Follow up with requests to help you tweak your template and ask for guest posters.
    And the NUMBER 1 way to be a conference douchebag – Act like you’re really cool – and do a video for the world to see, and act like an asshole:)

    Maybe I’m fickle, but so are a lot of others who have been to lots of shows. A while ago, I did offer some some more positive tips on things you SHOULD do at an SEO conference.

  • More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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    • SearchBuzz

      So…going drink for drink with Greg B. for about 1hr…does that count? ;) (I did make it to the first session at least!)

      Great post Todd!

    • evilgreenmonkey

      Half of that is me, although I love #5 for some reason…

    • Webwork

      Todd Malicoat’s alter ego: The Toddminator :-P

    • imnotadoctor

      #1 – SO true .. I saw some guys card on a table next to the elevator on every floor at the hotel I was staying at. How Lame!


      It was great to finally meet you and have a beer!

    • Stuntdubl SEO

      Yea – but you’re FUN when you drink too much Rob – 5 definitely doesn’t apply to you:). Had to go off on a rant – conferences are really a fun time, but I figured it was worth writing the guide for those that don’t “get it”.

      Was great to meet you as well Stephen.

    • Miguel Salcido

      That was awesome Todd! Stephen and I were commenting on many of these things during and after the show. Fortunately I came into SearchBuzz’s conversation (drinking with Boser) late enough to not get too slammed. Conferences are exhausting, which makes it even more difficult to drink at night. And getting up was so hard, especially when those beds were so damn comfy! Next show needs to provide lesser accommodations.

    • The Psycho ExWife

      Remember when Rae didn’t drink? Damn, I have to catch up.

    • Bill Hazelton

      I can’t get over how funny this is.

      And make sure after a conference session on SEO that you hog all of the panel moderator’s time whining about how badly you got toasted the last Google update.

      That will make everyone love you.

    • Mike

      dammit. im screwed.

    • Simon Heseltine

      Nice list. I remember one guy in Chicago in 2005 that was so wasted he kept giving the same people his business card every 5-10 minutes. I think the record was one guy who collected 8 of them from him… We saw the guy the next morning, not even a flicker of recognition. Not what I’d call great networking.

    • IncrediBILL

      Dang, I thought I’d at least get a mention in the drinking section.

      Oh well, guess Todd doesn’t know me that well and didn’t see me put people away in Vegas ;)

    • Xianhong

      thank you for sharing the list with me, i do not know any seo conference here.

    • Joshua Steimle

      Man, just one more…er, 15 more reasons to avoid conferences altogether.

    • Christopher Kata

      What a great list! I can add one more: Show up at the conference as a speaker only have prepared the night before and tell all the people who paid to listen to you that you only prepared the night before.

      I love that one!

    • Rae

      >>>Barge in on conversations

      I didn’t realize it was an interview! LMAO

    • Feydakin

      This is just one of the reasons I stopped drinking years ago.. There are two CES’ and an E3 that I simply don’t even remember going to :)

      And you might want to add the guy that starts trying to bum money from “friends” on day 2 of a show in Vegas because he blew every dime he had the night before playing Blackjack..

    • Tony Adam

      I wonder how high on the douchebaggery list I am!…I’m not a repeat offender though!…Guess I will just have to work harder at it!…lol…j/k

    • Cygnus

      I’m now thinking that spamming all my recent contacts with the SEO buttplay to ass breath survey was a bad idea.

      Actually, a lot of this stuff is why I rarely attend the SEO conferences.

    • Hawaii SEO

      Be a schwag hog! If Google is giving away yo-yos, go ahead and get three or four of every color. If someone’s giving away a book, grab a whole stack. Why grab one sticker when you can horde enough to wallpaper your entire office?

    • Hawaii SEO

      Get up on stage and tell everyone that “SEO is Bullshit”. ;^)

    • David Temple

      Great post Todd but why did you give away my reason for being an seo in the first place, #9. If it weren’t for that, why would I care about seo. Now that I’m half way across the world, I’ll go for #5. I’m sure there’s a Rae, Boser or Dave over here.

    • Matt Cutts

      I can’t claim credit for the “one question in 27 parts.” It’s from the classic Rodney Dangerfield move, Back to School. The teacher says

      “I have only one question for you, Mr. Melon: in 27 parts.”

    • Stuntdubl SEO

      Ahh…that’s right Matt…couldn’t remember the original context…but you made it famous (okay in my mind anyhow).

      Classic movie.

      I’ve been working on my triple lindy for a few years now.

    • Jane

      Don’t forget to send creepy messages to girls on #9’s social networks, no matter whether they add you or not! We like that.

    • Will Critchlow

      Great to meet you at SMX, Todd. This post made me laugh out loud.

      The good point about Neil’s beer escapades was that no-one argued *too* much about him paying…

    • Stuntdubl SEO

      Yep – you can get away with a whole lot more fratboy type antics if your the one picking up the tab (or your name is Neil Patel and you’re a rockstar:)

    • Eddings

      WOW! I’m a little scared about going to my first conference now lol

    • chris boggs

      great post Todd and thank God for the clarification in your 5:30 comment earlier today. I will self label myself and claim rock star immunity.

      Lookin’ forward to some #5 next week buddy! ;)

    • Stuntdubl SEO

      I did also mention that the rockstar always gets the bill…I guess it will be better than usual to see you next week:)

    • Str0ud

      Dude #5 is totally harshing my buzz :)

    • Nate

      You forgot #16, write a blog post about how to be a douche bag at a conference (to keep the attention off yourself).

    • Judd Exley

      I’m told I’m an absolute HOOT when I drink too much, and hardly ever get called a douchebag. Ever.

      I’m with the rest, #5 isn’t just me, it’s bound to be my children and my children’s children, is how bad I am.

    • abhilash

      Don’t have a mint AND be a close talker. Does that mean it’s ok to be a CT as long as you have mints on hand? Bud. It’s NOT ok to be a conference close talker, I don’t care if your breath smells like roses. I hate those guys with a passion. lol.

    • Alex

      That is the funniest whoever most true article I have read in a while…!

      Great Job!

    • David Brown

      Drinking w/ Naylor can get you in trouble :D

      Now I’m nervous about my breath… although I’m not a close talker. Funny as hell Todd!

      @Hawaii SEO – schwag hogs are lamers ;)



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    • Kate Morris

      What’s more hilarious is I’ve been to ONE big show and seen examples of almost all of this. I can’t wait for June to sit back and giggle again.

      One comment that I loved, no seriously I’m not harping, was when I was leaving the Google Dance and a guy looked at me getting my coat and said “You’re one of like 10 women here and you’re LEAVING? That’s not fair.”

      Come on girls, we gotta represent at these shows. Maybe then the guys wouldn’t get a chance to be so creepy. :)

    • Mike

      Great and funny post. BTW, you spelled Patron wrong. Sorry, had to point it our since I love this stuff.

    • William Rock

      Great Post Todd, I must say very useful tips for people as they join the group at these events.

      One of the other ones I would like to add to your list would be badmouthing another SEO when you have had to many at the bar. Everyone really does know everyone at these events. It’s a small world after all, more than people realize.

      Word of mouth on a comment can spread in this community very fast! Sometimes it is just pure comedy to site back with a cold one and listen to some of the chatting during a session at the bar.

      Thx bud, see you again soon!

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    • Daniel Benton

      LOL – absolute Gold. This is perhaps the most accurate post I have read about conference ettiquette. I’m forwarding this to all my colleagues attending SMX (sydney) next week as “required reading”.

    • Russel

      Bravo. Bravo. Very funny.

    • SMOken

      I remember attending SES San Jose last year, and on the Google shuttle bus back to the hotel, there was this couple making out (very enthusiastically)in the front of the bus. They were definitely making a show of it as well. Later that evening, I saw the same woman crying because she couldn’t figure out why her husband (who was NOT the guy she was snogging)was so upset with her. It gave us a good laugh at the time, but in retrospect that was kind of sad. Anyway, if any of you guys head out to SMX Seattle, I’ll be sure to keep these 15 things in mind to ensure a jolly good time.

    • Chris Hooley

      My douchebaggery has been found out! Oh well, at least I *do* tend to pick up the tabs eh? Gotta love the corporate card!

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    • Nick Stamoulis

      This is way too funny! :o) I think we all have experienced these types of people for sure!

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    • Y8

      You’re a very persuasive author. How do you know? Since I am usually unwaivering if this involves my opinions.

    • Chris Sanfilippo


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