The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.”
The SEO Intelligence Agency (S.I.A.) is a small group of SEO professionals dedicated to testing SEO methods in a controlled environment and either "Busting or Confirming" each SEO variable and tactic, thereby creating a new set of "SEO Best Practices" based on science rather than theory.
How it started..
It was October, 2015 at my (Dori Friend) 4th SEORockstars Summit (where the best of the best underground SEO’ers come together and share their ninja SEO tactics) and Kyle Roof took to the stage. It was a slow start as he pulled out his laptop, thanked us for having him and plugged it into the projector, but…
What happened next had all our mouths open in awe and craving for more!
What Kyle did was simply show us how he tested single variables on Google and then gave us the results of some of these tests. (Which, by the way, had most of the SEO professionals in the room perplexed as we assumed the opposite to be true in at least 1 of his studies) Huge eye-opener!
It was SO simple yet SO powerful. It made complete sense and reminded me of the time ‘I’ was a fanatical tester and the HUGE benefit that came from that.
You see, most SEO professionals know they should be testing, but it is expensive and horribly time consuming. Thus, 99% of the SEO industry gets their SEO knowledge from reading forums and articles on MOZ, and then think they ‘know’ what works, when in fact, most of the time, it doesn’t.
A quote from Kyle in that same SEORockstar presentation:
The difference between an SEO professional and an SEO practitioner is that the SEO professional informs himself by testing and the SEO practitioner informs themselves by reading an article on MOZ.
The SEO industry, to say the least, is plagued by SEO myth and theory that spreads like wildfire from the ignition of Google’s propaganda machine that keeps the SEO industry at mediocre at best.
The mere notion of SEO (which is to try to manipulate the search rankings) is against Google’s terms and conditions making ANY type of SEO forbidden and has scared most small time players out of the practice and INTO Google’s advertising platform for traffic. (But that’s another story for another day.)
The larger companies that are still in the game declare they only perform ‘White Hat’ SEO are misleading their clients that there ‘is’ such a thing and are most likely on Google’s payroll* in some shape or form and continue to mislead the masses (small business) with toxic misinformation.**
But, to the credit of a small group of individual SEO’ers (namely Kyle in this instance) that have turned a deaf ear to the misrepresentation of the craft, have come out ahead by secluding themselves (not listening to the so-called gurus in the industry) and using scientific methodology for testing of each search engine variable one at a time.
Back to Kyle’s jaw dropping presentation. By the end, every SEO Professional in the room was BEGGING him to sell his ongoing test results. I was begging him for them! I knew how hard it is to test! I knew how valuable testing is!!
At that moment, I knew THIS was where I was going to go back to. Back to my roots and start testing again AND was going to pull some of my best SEO associates in and create a “testing club” of sorts so we could divide and conquer in our testing.
And, that is exactly what I did.
Starting with getting Kyle on board to lead up the group of testing and testers, the “SEO Testing Club” was born.
My staff, on the other, hand came up with the “SEO Intelligence Agency” (S.I.A.) as a clever play on the C.I.A. (Central Intelligence Agency) the United States core undercover spy type equivalent to the U.K.’s James Bond.
And even though it is a mouthful for me to say, (I even have a blooper video of myself trying to say the name correctly over and over again) it stuck. We created a fancy logo and came up with a clever name and the “SEO Intelligence Agency” (S.I.A.) was born!
Click Here to Find Out More About Dori +
The short version of my Bio that my staff wrote:Dori Friend has been in the SEO industry since 2001, pioneering the SEO mini-net (now called a PBN: personal blog network) and Google algorithm reverse engineering technologies, creating and releasing software tools and education products to manage both. She has owned, developed and utilized over 22,000 websites in her own networks. She has spoken at many industry events and is considered a no-bullshit, down-to-earth industry leader.
But who am I really?
I am a self-proclaimed ‘reclusive geek.’ An introvert at heart. But you would never know it when you meet me at an event. And I have done enough personal growth workshop to know I have a personal life mission statement that doesn’t have anything to do with the technicalities of SEO, but is how I generally live my life and run my business. My mission is to “Empower people to accept themselves and each other.”
I think another way to say it, is just, “peace man” let’s all get along.
My father taught me the Golden Rule when I was 3 and that has, in turned, played the largest factor in my decision making in life and created the foundation of my personal mission statement that, again, runs into my business ethics.
Now, for the LONG VERSION of who I am as written by my staff: J
After graduating from the University of Berkeley with an Art degree, she landed a job setting up audio equipment in hotels in and around the San Francisco Bay Area with her sights on going back to school and getting a masters in Film the following year.
However, the Macintosh had just come out and would inadvertently change her life forever.
She desperately wanted one and took on a second job at the City of San Francisco’s “Reproduction Bureau” running copy machines a couple hours a day so she could afford to get one.
And, she still has it:
(insert image of Dori’s first Mac)
(And for the record, Dori still refers to them as Macintosh even though most of us now know them as just “Mac” 😉
She would take this “Mac” to and from work each day on the bus and used the Mac to create systems and processes for the City of San Francisco to prove that she could save them money if they kept their graphic art ‘in-house,’ thus creating the first Art Department for the City of San Francisco. That earned her an Employee of the Year for Innovation award from then mayor Diane Feinstein.
(insert picture of her with Mayor Diane Feinstein)
It’s that same innovation that she has used over and over again. She has been online since 1993 (was a hired gun for Apple Computer) and marketing with her own websites since 2000. Which is forever in Internet Marketing years, she knows all the gurus and have been their SEO go-to-girl for eons.
Dori has been doing SEO since 2001 and building automated blog networks since 2003 with the software she created with Jeff Johnson – TrafficKingPro, that sold for $10,000 an installation.
She also spoke at Yanik Silver’s prestigious Underground Marketers Seminar in 2007 and was saying even back then: “YOU MUST be in control of your OWN NETWORK! The only good link is a link you control!”
PICTURE OF THAT SLIDE AND PIC OF HER SPEAKING
Dori continues to speak onstage and just spoke at the last two ASM conferences in front of more than 4,000 attendees and got standing ovations both times!
But Dori is best known for being down-to-earth, no-bullshit, will-tell-you-when-she-sucks-and-when-she-knows-she-on-to-something type of attitude.
And not to brag too much about here or anything (LOL). If you owned a MAC prior to 2000, then you have seen her work. Hell, ok. Turn on any smart phone and check out ANY area that is transparent. She says “I just happened to be at the right place and the right time and said, no, no. It can’t be solid, it HAS to be transparent!”
That was in 1996 and there is STILL a patent on it! And no, she exclaims, “I don’t get any $ for it! I was just a young hired gun at the time.” Well, that was enough to be called on by the International Trade Commission to testify of her creations to help Apple ward off patent infringements of HTC (and others) in 2013.
So turn on your phone and when you see this, think of Dori.
You can still see her icons and interfaces show up from time to time on new stuff. To give you an example of the scope of her work at Apple and other valley technology companies, here is a demo reel from those days.
It is pretty creative and goes by fast but was a pretty huge feat to even create with the technology in 1999 when it was created.
(A demo reel is a video that spotlights your work, so all the things you see in here are things that she worked on. She then pulled some commentary off the television (no YouTube in those days) with some fast paced music to give it some entertainment value and to show off her creativity.)
But it was the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” that she read that same year that changed her life forever. She realized that even though she was doing really well, she was trading her time for money.
So, after completing a 3-month bicycle journey across the United States in 2000, (another story all together) she quit all her contracts at Apple and headed ONLINE and again, never looked back.
She got hooked on SEO (as it was the only way to get traffic back then besides buying banner ads) and automated the site building and linking process, and in 2003 with a piece of cloaking software that ultimately became the most powerful link network building software of its time.
She started selling access to her link networks (called PBNs now lol) she had created in 2007, started teaching how to build them in 2010, and by 2012 had amassed the largest portfolio of them with over twenty thousand PBN websites in brands such as SEONitro, SEOLinkVineElite, BackLinkBuddy and SEOLinkMonster just to name a few of the services that she was responsible for building and managing the PBNs for.
At the same time, Dori was running a full-service SEO company and was able to compete and WIN every single monster keywords for her customers of both her full-service SEO and in her networks.
She, also, is lucky enough to hang out with some of the most well-known marketers on the Internet and some of them she can call very good friends and have on speed dial.
And, (this part makes me, her assistant, really jealous) she is even lucky enough to go to places and hang out with the rich and famous! But she insists “I can’t call any of these guys friends though lol but who cares? I will be able to show these pics off until I am living in a nursing home and smiling with no teeth as I wheel myself back to my bed at 3pm! lol 😉 “
And just in case you don’t know, the lineup is Dori and Whoopie Goldberg, Steven Tyler with her and her best friend Debbie, Smokey Robinson and Adam Lambert!
She then set her sights on becoming a member of what was then “Maverick Business Adventures” that had a yearly income requirement of 1 Million. As she tells it, “I feel like I slowly clawed my way into becoming a Maverick1000 member as eating THAT whale was absolutely one bite at a time!” Referring to her not-so-overnight success on the internet to encourage others to just keep doing it one step at a time.
And even though they look a bit crazy (pictured below), she affirms “These guys are the best and I feel honored to be a part of them!”
(Can you pick her out in the pic?)
But, also a self-proclaimed hermit, she spends most of her time in her lab tinkering like a mad scientist on all sorts of web projects (She is currently waiting on a link patent to come through.) She recently got married (February 29th 2016, yes- Leap Year) and when not at home you can find her traveling with her spouse or fellow Maverick 1000 members.J
Dori also hosts the annual SEORockstars which is where she met Kyle!
The first year Kyle spoke on testing, it sparked a flame and after the second year of him easily being the best speaker with the most simple message, Dori could not wait to bring his tests to the SEO world, thus the SEO Intelligence Agency was born.
Click Here to Find Out More About Kyle +
Kyle Roof is an SEO researcher and analyst. Tired of SEO based on opinion and unorganized experimentation on live sites, Kyle began developing techniques that apply analytical reasoning and scientific methods in an effort to find SEO that actually works.
The testing principles that Kyle has developed started with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, focusing on experiments and research and continuing through the rigors of earning a Juris Doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University. In the pursuit of test-based SEO, Kyle has developed a keyword strength algorithm, an on-page optimization rate, and a WordPress SEO plugin.
Kyle is an avid world traveler, living in South Korea for five years. When Kyle isn’t developing SEO tests, he spends time with his family in Phoenix, Arizona.