SEO dreams

I’m not always great about leaving work at work, but I’ve never had SEO dreams before. A few days ago, I dreamt that I was surveying the landscape of domains in our index. There was hardly any spam at all, except for one blip on the landscape, so I zoomed in on it and saw that one lone dental plan site had gotten through our algorithms; all the other spam was down in the noise. For some reason, Oilman was working on a computer to my right. He looked happy.

“What are you so happy about?” I asked.
“My spammy dental plan site is doing really well!” Oilman replied.
“Ah.” I sat for a few seconds and stared at the dental plan domain name that I saw on my screen. Then I turned to him and asked “Is your site named”
Oilman got a perplexed look on his face. “Yeah, how did you know the name of the site?”
I smiled as I turned back to my computer and hit the delete key. A second later, a loud wail started from just to my right.

Weird dream, huh? Here’s what I think it means: I shouldn’t eat pepperoni pizza and then go to bed after listening to SEO podcasts on Webmaster Radio.

Has anyone else here had search engine or SEO-related dreams?

66 Responses to SEO dreams (Leave a comment)

  1. Hahahaha… scarily enough my only SEO dreams are about you Matt. πŸ™‚

  2. Maybe you should look for porn instead of spammers before you go to bed πŸ˜‰

  3. Oilman wanta be?

    Thank God some of us are not well known like the poor Oilman!

    And the guy (SEO I assume) that is dreaming about you (Matt) is not having a dream — they are called nightmares.

  4. Oilman wanta be?

    Whoops…. I forgot….. changing IP address again…. don’t want to become famous…

  5. Yikes Shawn. Matt and Paris Hilton dreams?
    …. if there’s a video online…please DON’T tell us about it.
    Matt it might be more than the pizza – Breger’s Functional Dream Hypothesis says dreams are ways of resolving day to day problems. This is more likely, but less fun, than the Freudian interpretation which …. would get you back into Shawn’s dreams with Paris Hilton.

  6. Hatin’ on Canada? WUSSUPWITDAT? πŸ™‚

    Dude…that’s just wrong on so many levels. You should be dreaming about the naked women you can find from Google…all wearing white hats with the word “SEO” written on them and absolutely nothing else.

  7. well, at least Oilman can say he was the last man standing.

    How bout you change the plain text mentions of “dental plan site” and “” above to anchor text and i’ll go snap up the domain?

    I think it means you’re getting pretty close to the enemy!

  8. LOL… I like the part about the delete key and the scream. You just keep doing what you do Matt and we will keep listening and learning. Much appreciated really, I am starting to make sense of it all now, anyone else?

  9. Matt. Try tuning in some late night Cinemax shows before call it a night.

  10. I had a dream the other day that my two front teeth fell out, and I had to clean them and put then back in, before a presentation… the dream tooth incident took place in Toronto, where i was last month doing a SEO consult for a client.

    wierd dental/canada simularities..


  11. That’s a freaky weird coincidence, Matt. I had a dream 3-4 days ago where Jim Boykin (sans beard) was helping to clean up some kind of toxic spill at my middle school (which had been transformed into a strange mix of an industrial plant and a campus for kids).

    Must be something in the water.

  12. Sounds vaguely similar to a dream I had last night, cept in my dream when I did a search at Google the only results I saw are from AOL. :p

  13. Not exactly, but, my wife was snickering the other morning that I woke half way up and screamed at her, “Why did you link to them! You known they are spammers! I am so getting fired!” I then rolled back over and went back to sleep apparently. I need a vacation or I need to quit reading your blog. πŸ˜‰

  14. Good morning Matt

    You refer to Oilman and I saw him talking about Wikipedia both on his blog, and on TW.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Wikipedia site which you deleted in your dream. “Looks like Google has taken notice of β€˜pedia’s explosive growth.”

    May your dream come true πŸ™‚

    Have a great day. Its raining here, Matt. How is the weather were you are?

  15. Ya, I had a similar type dream the other night but it was a very white hat type of dream (OK – what else did you expect from a candy-assed WFH Mom-type SEO person?)..

    I was asleep (really was, I don’t do mornings any more) and the phone was ringing in the other room. It actually was, but in the dream it was ringing out with the names of the /subdirectories/ of one of my sites, one by one – by full keyword phrases.

  16. Luis Alberto Barandiaran

    A little off topic, but I’ve always wanted to ask this. How do I know if Google considers a web to be a link farm, or a do-not-link-to-it kind of web? Based on PR? If so, is it safe to assume that if a page has any PR greater than 0, it is safe to be linked to? Thanks for any replies!

  17. Hi Matt

    I had a dream that Google didn’t maually alter the results.

  18. Hmm is there a double meaning to this?

    That not only can Google readily detect spam, that it can manually delete sites from within the SERPS?

  19. In the old monthly updates I used to dream about the google dance and the dreams were rarely nice. It would be a reoccuring dream of our sites gone down the google plughole. Now we only have to deal with that anxiety 2 to 3 times a year.

  20. It means:

    Your only focus is spam
    You hate spam sites but like the spammers at the same time (you respect their technical skills)
    You desperately need a vacation
    Italian food has special properties

  21. Oh and I forgot,

    You probably need to go to the dentist,. πŸ™‚

  22. Dude .. you dream of OILMAN … ewwww

    for many many years .. I used to wake in the middle of the night, after dreaming about search algos and linking patterns … I always kept a notepad by my bed and jotted down the dreams and specs… sometimes if the dream was really really hot .. I would go into my home office and work until the sun came up !! ..


  23. Hi Matt

    Would you be kind to tell us, if possible, whether a PR and backlinks update is underway?

    Thanks a bunch.

  24. Harith why did you dream it last night HAHAHA

  25. I think I dreamt about the test results on as they seemed to have disappeared πŸ˜‰

  26. Dreams about SEO?

    Nightmares! Monsters!

    After killing some 302-Monsters I saw them duplicating again as I went supplemental and lost my index sword. I started crying for help whilst standing knee deep in spam: “matt, matt… send me an update, matt, where are you…” (fading out)

  27. sadly enough, i’ve dreamt about ctrs and conversion rates after preparing seo training decks

  28. I had a dream that beautiful new landscape (index) was propagating down through out googles datacenters blessing every body who visits πŸ˜‰

    Im glad things are getting back to normal and settling down.

  29. Darrell

    “Im glad things are getting back to normal and settling down”

    “back to normal” means everflux πŸ™‚

  30. Darrell

    Sounds like a similar dream to me.

    Alas – the test DC does not have the beautiful new landscape (index) at the moment.

    Matt – any weather reports (I know you dont like give timescales) but are things progressing – not seen the live test data for a while πŸ™

  31. Speaking of SPAM–I hereby offer you a challenge!

    I was at the Chicago SES, and relentlessly pointed out this white-text-on-white-background spam result that has been making a mockery of the Google SERP’s:

    (They are polluting the SERP’s for every state’s web developers–just highlight the page to see.)

    It has just now entered MSN’s index and is also drawing shame to MSN search’s SERP’s, too. I am going to email their search engine developers today, who were at the Chicago SES. Whoever gets this mother-of-all-spam sites out of their index first wins!


    Thanks (for about the fourth time I am reporting this),

    Ben Fremer

  32. I got dream not exactly about SEO but about my site. One big company is paying my travel expense and inviting me to discuss about possibilities of buying my site for huge sum.

  33. I wondered why I woke up screaming in a cold sweat the other night….must be some weird psychic connection between spammers and those so inclined as to derive joy from our pain πŸ˜‰

  34. Dang near nightly. My poor wife hates it when I start mumbling ideas for link text in my dreams. It really gets bad when I wake up thinking I have the Google algo all figured out only to realize that its just a recipe for Chicken Parmesian. I must get hungry in my dreams a lot…

  35. I had a great dream that google solved all canonical issues without requiring everybody to do 301’s from to it was weird….

  36. Hey Ben. The worst part of that site is, they’re doing the same crap for all of their clients:

    Look at all the hidden text near teh bottom. These people probably have no idea it’s there, paid all this money for web design, and are going to get banned from google for it.

    Having once worked at a web design company, that’s terrible.

  37. sometimes if the dream was really really hot

    wow Dave; define “hot”. πŸ˜‰

  38. now I know I’m going to have nightmares – they’ve already started and It’s nowhere near bedtime :(((

    seriously – do I need to go back and change all my page titles?

  39. Hi Matt,

    Is it true that keyword focusd dashed domain name sites
    will get zapped in the next google update.

    Should webmasters change their domain names now.








  41. Matt,

    What shows do you like on WebmasterRadio?

  42. speaking of SEO dreams, I dreampt last nite that Yahoo was going IPO and I was buying.

    Talk about weird. No clue what that dream means.

  43. I wonder how many have had wet dreams of hitting number one on their favorite search phrase on Google :-). (no, not me :-))

    It is interesting and telling, however, that even in your wildest dreams the Google-Algorithm (tm?) can’t cover all spammer sites and still requires “manual labor”. heh heh, I guess that means that we’ll be seeing spammy sites for quite a long time to come – at least until you can dream of a world where The Algorithm knows all, perhaps next year.

    Matt, what are your dreams for next year? πŸ™‚

  44. Hmmm, time to start wearing the tinfoil hat to bed, too… πŸ™‚

  45. you mean you’re not already #1 for your terms?

    j/k I’m only #2 for mine :'( Damn Wikipedia

  46. I’m NOT weird! πŸ™‚
    You guys have SEO & problem solving dreams too! I knew I wasnt the only one. I just have to get that SEO CLOWN out of my dreams. He’s scary.

  47. Hahahahaha, I am not that into SEO to dream about it πŸ˜€

  48. Sure, all the time.

    I keep dreaming my sad little eZine gets even in the top 1000 in Google for those articles that effortlessly pull #1 on Yahoo and MSN.

    Dream on. Sigh.

  49. Hi Matt, You’re gonna have to press that delete key alot to get rid of the massive amount of spammy sites in the system today. I think it would probably be best to put it down to the pizza, they always give me pathologically egotistical dreams too. All the best … colin_h

  50. Next time you guys need to go to my wife’s site and have your dreams interpreted by a real Dreamologist !

  51. Matt, I had a weird one last night and worryingly you were in it.

    I found myself in a big group of noisy 20/30 somethings, heading down some sunny road in a place called San Jose. We were enroute to a pub somewhere. When we got to this pub you bought everyone a beer, with the exception of me. I remember saying to some bod, in quite a put out kinda way, ‘That tight git, he didn’t buy me a beer’ I went to the bar muttering at the ignominity of it all, only to be charged $40 for a pint.

    My interpretation.

    The pub was Google. All those who got drinks were ranking well and doing well. I can’t rank for jack, so I didn’t get a drink.The barman was the PPC representative.

    Merry xmas πŸ™‚

  52. Hey Matt,

    So now you’ve finally become a WebmasterRadio.FM fan? No way!
    So since Yahoo has finally gotten their show on the air, when can I expect your show? Your adoring fans want to put a voice with that great Halloween costume and good looks you stud!

    Come on man…Bring it!

    WebmasterRadio Wants You!

  53. Daron, why don’t you contact me sometime to be a guest for a SEO Rockstars show?

  54. You know you’re in SEO and Google too long when you start dream about it! :p

  55. Matt,

    Never knew you were that interested…expect a phone call later in the week.
    I’m out sailing all day tomorrow.

    She’s a 37 foot Jeanneau and Bisquayne Bay has my name all over her for tomorrow. My kids are in from the midwest for a vist so we’ll be sleeping on the boat tomorrow night, but once back in the saddle…I’ll rattle your cage and we’ll see what we can’t work out schedule.

    I’m sure the boys would love to have ya on the show. Its one of the top downloaded shows next to Danny’s Daily Searchcast! So you can bet everyone would love to have ya on the show and in the loop!

    Question is…can ya handle it? Talk to David now or whomever and get it “PR” cleared. We believe in getting it cocked, locked and ready to rock!
    You do your end, I’ll do mine. πŸ™‚


  56. Well, I had my first “Google Search” dream a few days ago–I was keying in some kind of search into Google…

    I think if this happens again, I’ll try to remind myself that I’m actually dreaming (that is create a “lucid dream”) and so some “testing” of how Google performs during the dream state…if I can remember what occurs…I’ll report back here…

    (As an occasional lucid dreamer, I’ve done other kinds of “tests” in my conscious dreams, such as look up my name in a phonebook, test hot water to see if it feels hot, break a mirror, etc. to test “dream state physics and reality”–will be interesting to try a search too…maybe next stop: Wikipedia!)

  57. Don’t get me wrong, I utterly hate search engine spam, it makes me furious to see a site selling only Red Hat hosting come up when I specifically typed in “Slackware dedicated server” but that has less to do with the usage of black hat techniques than the keywords the Search Engine Spammer chose.

    As a search engine user, however, I could care less about hidden keywords on a page as long as the page returned is relevant. I’ve switched over to Yahoo because Google’s results have become decidedly inferior. I think Google are shooting themselves in the foot with overzealous anti-spam techniques because all I see now when I look for products and services are news articles. Great ploy to sell adwords space, but it does make your search engine suck.

    The real enemy are not SEO practitioners who use ‘black hat’ techniques per se, it is SEO practitioners who optimize for keywords and search terms that do not apply to the site or page they are optimizing for.

    This whole blog has become nothing but a religious pulpit to scare black hat practitioners into dropping their tools of trade. Whether or not Google’s algorithms can really successfully fight such techniques without inadvertently penalizing website designers who have unwittingly adopted techniques similar to what black hat practitioners use (such as mirror sites) is hardly ever the center of discussion.

    At the end of the day, it should be all about returning the kind of page or site the user had in mind when he typed in a particular search term, but apparently this principle has been forgotten and it is now more about hating those who hide keywords on a page.

    DON’T FORGET: the ONLY thing the search engine user hates is WRONG results. He does not give a sh_t about the presence or non-presence hidden text.

    Frankly, the more nice sites like that Google bans, the less useful its search engine service is going to become.

  58. Seo dreams hahah what a funy topic. I hope i see a good dream these days. I working hard on SEO. Come my dreams i waitin for you πŸ™‚

  59. Your blog template rocks.. i love it. do u design it?

  60. Hello Matt,

    i’v heared a lot about you. Matt…i have a heared a lot of tips, tricks, so many confusing tips, but i left my site just so simple, simple for search engines and simple for users, I dont want so wasteful hits on my site. i Just want visitors, users, related to what i provide, and i want to offer them useful information and services, so i dont go for just stuffing, i think there is some rules by that we can be top by not ruining the business sense and page quality.

    as i see your blog is not stuffed, content is neat, no keyword stuffing no keyword tag but still you are searchable, is it by heavy page ranking link building of something special?

    well one more thing. i wanted to ask. why do people do Reverse SEO?.

    kind regards.

  61. I am new to SEO, but its amazing to have SEO dream, can we build dynamic spam filter or Anti SEP Spam filter to keep the bugs out :)…i think that will be the future of SEO…

    Dose any one thought about future of SEO and life after SEO..pls comment



  62. I am a complete blind person to SEO, & never thought SEO could be that important to your website. There are lot more up’s & down’s going around the SEO world nowdays, surviving in such field is really a competitive thing to do. By the way your SEO dream topic was quite goood 7 funny too.

  63. Dear Matt,

    I topic is excellent of the highest information against spammers, G have to play a major database check against it.

    They should be teached a lesson on it to avoid them doing that and making “White hat optimizer’s happy”.

    After this comment I believe i will have many support from optimizers, Your dream should become true πŸ˜‰

    Am waiting for a dream like your’s πŸ™‚

  64. Well, this articles helped me some what and also i took reference from many other blogs and now i have used those on my own blog and also on my site for SEO. I am happy that both of them are now indexed on google. Now i have to work so that i can get listed in top positions. and i think i have to focus on the main keywords and i found out that there is huge competition in those keywords. any ways thanks for the info. the link of my blog is already there for reference. but i am also giving you the link of my website. you have to type the full, or else mods will think i am spamming.

  65. i guess seo is a very nice thing to do and the most amazing or rather enjoying thing is when you get results after a long wait. it really feels nice when the results come out.

    i did seo for a site of my company and when i started comming in the google search result i was very happy. it felt like i achieved something.

  66. Hi Matt,

    How about the person having very good content on site and all relavent but dont know about seo and link building will come up.’

    Was planning to aware some villaggers in India. about agro products export. and they are also eager to get promoted.. but adwords is quite costly.. as you know..

    so what you would suggest any good promotional plan.