What’s this about?

I love a good poll with insightful data and, well, insights.

This isn’t one of them, sadly.

If I wasn’t quite so trusting, I’d think venerable SEJ was doing a bit of shameless link-baiting, running a big poll, mentioning other biggish SEO brands. They wouldn’t do that to us, would they?

This is an extract from TWIS SEO News & Updates 29 Sept 2017. That’s worth a read as well.

#SEO #SEONews #MarketResearch #AccurateData #LinkBuilding

Yet Another Rubbish Poll from SEJ


  • Search Engine Journal used to be a decent read on search topics, but recently it has taken to posting tripe.
  • A couple of weeks ago there was a rubbish poll which I thought about commenting on, but this week’s “effort” takes the biscuit.
  • According to the geniuses at SEJ, “Most SEOs prefer unsing AHREFs to Monitor Competitor Backlinks” (59%).
  • Good headline, but truly rubbish “data” and unsustainable findings off the back of the “data”,
  • The “data” was formed from a Twitter poll with 280 responses from their 157,000 followers. That’s 0.18% of their followers. One tenth of one percent.

SEJ Yet Another Rubbish Poll

Actions to take:

  1. Always make sure results you publish are back by data which stands up to scrutiny. Otherwise it’s worthless.
  2. Stop reading rubbish surveys.
  3. Always track back to the data source, if you are able, sometimes it can be enlightening.
  4. If you construct a data set for a survey, you need to actually have a verifiable methodology for scaling that sample up to be representative and somewhat valid.
  5. Click here to contact me to discuss how to do market research properly for SEO.


I’ll happily admit I am not a quantitative market researcher by trade (although I did spend a while doing industrial market research, and know how to build a testable market model or two), but this kind of “research” gives the industry a bad name.

You can use 0.18% of a user base as a sample providing you accurately identify, segment and weight your numbers, but if you just blast a survey out on Twitter and imagine the results of 280 people who a) saw and b) acted upon the survey to be anywhere near representative then I have a bridge in Arizona to sell you.

The more concerning thing about this, is that it casts into doubt other research pieces, which may have been carried out using more robust research methodologies and that lessens the value that those research pieces may have. It also calls into question broader research pieces connected to the research and analysis our industry needs to undertake for each client.

In other news, in a recent survey of one webmaster, 100% reported laughing at the latest SEJ research.

More info:

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