4 Lies to Tell Your Non-SEO Friends

As I have noted in previous posts, the majority of my friends and family don’t really have what I like to call a “firm grasp” of what I actually do for a living. I usually end up trying to explain it and when I am done, despite the “Oh yeah’s” and “I see’s”, they still really don’t understand.

So, for my New Year’s resolution I decided I would just start lying. No more explanations resulting in blank stares, I am just going to lie. I think it’ll be a fun experiment. In fact, I am pretty sure I will get much more positive responses.

Below I have outlined my responses to four of the most common questions I get. Please…feel free to use them.

“Yes, I do work for Google.”

As soon as I mention Google the first question is almost always, “You work for Google?”. My 2008 response will be “yes, yes i do”.

To really sell it, I am going to start wearing my Google shirt from SES, carrying around my Google pen and maybe even start giving out Google t-shirts as gifts.

“I DO work on porn sites!”

It really is a common question! Not so much by my grandparents but mainly guys in the 22-28 age bracket. I don’t know why it intrigues people so greatly or why the topic comes up so much, but it does.

My 2008 goal: convince at least 17 people that I not only work on adult sites but that my boss also pays for me to attend the adult industry’s national conference in Vegas.

“Yup, I design, program AND optimize websites”

When I say I work with websites, most people assume I design them. They also assume I am a computer programmer. This one I get. Both are common career fields and there are a great number of people in the search industry who are designers and programmers. Me, I went to school for advertising and public relations. There were no programming courses in that curriculum.

To make conversations flow more smoothly this year, I will start taking credit for all of those things. I envision the conversation going something like this:

Me: I work in search engine marketing. We help optimize websites.
Friend #2: Oh, so you design websites?
Me: Yes. Yes I do. I majored in website design but I also received minors in computer programming, business and astro-physics. Have you heard of Amazon.com? Well, I didn’t actually design it, but I did program the entire site myself.

(Don’t worry actual designers and programmers, I will try not to give you a bad name)

“Yes, we do pay Google and Yahoo to list our client’s sites”

Me: Well, when you search for something, those results come up for specific reasons.
Friend #1: Because you pay right?
Old Response: Well, yes and no. The results on the right side…
2008 Response: Exactly! Clients pay us and then we give a percentage to Google to make our clients number one. I am actually pretty lucky because I have a few friends who work at Google. So, that makes it a little easier. Also, a girl I went to school with, her dad is best friends with Bill Gates. Life is all about connections ya know?

Try ’em and let me know how it goes.  Unless you are uneasy about the whole “lying thing” of course.  Happy Monday!

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