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!

  • Hahaha… I love it!! I get those similar questions often. I hate when I have to explain what I do because I know that it will be wasted energy and they will still not understand what it is that I do for a living. I love your new approach…. just lie. Perfection!! 🙂


  • OhCrap

    Shit, I told some people the second one at a party I went to and today my boss fired me.

    Great advice. Btw

  • Casie

    @Shana – thanks for the comment…it seems like it’ll just be easier!

    @OhCrap – hahaha! I guess we’ll just have to be careful who is around

  • Very nice, Casie! 🙂

  • This is what I’m going to start telling everyone at my knitting circle.

    Everything you ever suspected about the Internet is true.

    I have a secret network of databases that gather private information from everyone on the Internet. I use the information to create marketing strategy. Marketing strategy? Yes, Virginia, I’m talking about spamming.

    Web design? Who does web design? Buy my CS and get ten free Internet businesses a week.

  • Oops, meant to say CD.

  • None of those answers are lies. It’s call “sanity preservation”. Cause sometimes, it’s just easier to let people think the wrong thing.

  • This is my approach to the subject when it comes to business networking. I would go to business mixer… Meet people… in about 2 minutes after I begin to explain what I do there eyes glass over. Now, I sit there with my lap top kinda out of the way. Without fail I quietly sit there and the curios are drawn to me! Now, it becomes show and tell time. The ones that stick around know in 5 minutes what I do and that I know what I’m talking about. I can show search results in real time.

    Really you should consider giving it a try… It turned my business into a growth rocket. It lead to a chance meeting with a local reporter for the daily newspaper, remember them! Which lead to a big write up in the business section… Did I say it was an e-commerce feature and that I was quoted as an expert on the subject. Did I also mention the the city has a population of a million! My life hasn’t been the same.

    Now, when someone asks me what I do and the laptop isn’t fired up… Well, I tell them “I’m a problem solver, I fix broken websites.” and let it go at that! Otherwise, I have found it’s a big waste of time.

  • Very funny indeed!

  • Lid

    I LOVE it!

    You are so right!

    Everyone is convinced I work for Goog; despite my trying to explain – maybe it’s just easier to say yes

    And, it’s not just, design, program, optimize – it is Web Guru thank you very much 😉

    Thanks for the smile

  • I totally understand this situation. People I’ve meet always ask me about my job and when I said something about SEO they would just look at me with blank faces. So I have to explain over and over again but still they don’t get it.

    ANyways thanks for the good laugh…hahaha..this is really a good read..^^

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  • what a great post!

    Very funny.

  • I go with Marketing Analyst or Marketing consultant. Sounds cool. Until they ask more in depth questions. Then I go with I play on the internet and get paid. People either think that is a dream job or move on.

    I think I might try these out to see what response I get.

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  • Интересно написано. А это все на основе личного опыта?Позвольте поинтересоваться 🙂

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