Can you tell me how to deal with people on the forum who are really dumb but who think they are the smartest person in the world?
I thought this was a good thing to discuss in the open forum as I know it's often an issue for people. Not so much because one person really is dumb and another smart, but because of the perception that this is so.
The "problem" with SEO and SEM is that it's really not an exact science.
If you are technically and mathematically inclined, you may feel that SEO can be completely figured out through formulas and the like.
If you're more creatively inclined, or perhaps marketing-inclined, you may be able to do great SEO work through these methods and formulas never enter into it.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, there's more than one way to skin the SEO cat. There's really no right or no wrong way, just opinions of what is right and wrong. If something works for you, and you know it does, you may feel like that's what SEO is all about, and the other ways of doing things are wrong, dumb, spam, or whatever.
And yes, I do this too. All I can speak about are my experiences. Much like Scottie's signature says, "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."
That said, there are many times when people post things here that are just plain wrong, including me! Certainly, if someone posts something that you know to be wrong, then you should post a rebuttal. Post why you believe it's wrong, and what you believe the right answer is. But just remember that just because YOU believe what they said was wrong, doesn't mean it actually was wrong. It may very well just be wrong in your eyes.
All anyone can do is give the facts as they know them. If you post something that is just a feeling, as opposed to a proven fact, then it's definitely helpful to say that in your post. A lot of what I post is based on a hunch, or a feeling, but these feelings come from my many years of doing and reading about SEO.
It's very easy for someone new to SEO (1 year or less experience) to have read a lot about it, and even gotten some sites ranked highly to think they know it all. The fact is that nobody knows it all in SEO. Not me, not you, not even Barry Lloyd (although he's close! ).
The important thing to remember when there's a disagreement is to not make any of it personal. You are completely free to attack someone's idea, but you will be slapped silly if you attack them personally. That might seem like an easy distinction to make, but it's not easy for many people.
In fact, we recently had to suspend a member here who had hundreds of posts because he simply couldn't make that distinction, despite numerous warnings about it.
We want this to be a place with lots of spirited debate. We have many, many different personality types and levels of experience here. There will always be differences of opinion, and maybe even some differences in fact. That's okay.
My advice to those who get very frustrated with someone they believe to be wrong more than they're right is to simply correct them, give the facts as you know them to be and move on.
I know that's easier said than done.
Many of you have probably seen me in other forums beating a dead horse because I can't always let things go. We humans have a tendancy to want to have the last word, because if we don't it feels like the other person wins. I know I've felt that way a lot in some heavy debates. When that happens, I remember what my friend Chris Ridings once told me. It was something like this:
Just say what needs to be said and then leave. If you continue the discussion, you only give more weight to the other person's argument than it really deserves.