Do We Have Opinions or Do We Have Facts?

Last Update: January 31, 2018

I have been wondering about this a little bit lately, as it has come up more than once.

Everyone has an opininon, and that is perfectly fine, but there are some things that I think of as fact, not opinion. For the most part, I think SEO should be one of them.

When I started here, I really knew nothing about SEO at all, and I was a bit concerned about my ability to learn it because it seemd that different people had different view on what was effective. I resolved myself to simpl yfollow what is presented in the lessons here. That seems the most logical thing. I mean, I pay to learn this stuff here, right? So I should be following these lessons.And frankly, I trust the information presented here.

So it seems strange to me that there should be conflicting views on SEO. Shouldn't it be facts more than anything else?

As I have written a couple of times, I am now being paid to do blogs for various sites. The company that I do this for provides me with topics, as wel as keywords from the SEO company they work with. But some of the keywords and the things they present to me don't match up with what I am learning here.

I keep looking at it the same way I would if someone said "Well, in my opinion, 2+2 equals 6."

How can you have an opinion on that?

Well, my opinion is that the lessons here at Wealthy Affiliate offer the best information, and so that is what I am going to follow. To me, something works, or it does not. There really isn't too much room for opinions.

What do you all think?

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AlanJE Premium
Hi Craig
The thing I like about the training at WA is that you can get it from numerous sources, and find exactly the problem you are trying to solve. I havent found anything else comparable. Best Alan
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Flash4 Premium
Good one Craig,
I am happy to hear you state this. I wanna follow the best, so to
hear you say this is pure gold.
Ta, Jae
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CraigW315 Premium
Well, I think that you are definitely in the right place if you want the best!
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DebbieRose Premium
Facts change all the time. New information is discovered, conditions change. What works today, doesn't tomorrow. So we have to be open to new ideas. But, we choose the facts that we are comfortable with and believe in based on our experience. WA is definitely a good starting point.
Debbie
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CraigW315 Premium
True enough. How many times, for example, have scientists stated one thing only to state the opposite a few years later? So, yes, facts do change as things are uncovered.

I do think that some things are fairly absolute, though, like using correct grammar in your titles.
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DebbieRose Premium
Agree....
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VeronicasLuv Premium
This is an interesting topic, Craig.

People can state facts, as is given throughout the training on this platform, but in the end, people will have to make a decision if they will embrace the training as facts or simply Kyle's opinions.
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CraigW315 Premium
Well, I tend to look at it from a "what actually works" standpoint, but then again, I suppose that what works for me, may not always work for someone else...
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Nadja3 Premium
Facts usually are based on some quantitative measurement/assessment..
Regarding opinion - it is related to qualitative assessment which might be based on facts but it is not a fact, rather analysis of the fact or interpretation.
and the opinion is subjective, facts - objective
Our lessons in WA are facts, our perception of these facts - can be treated as an opinion.
Ha-ha... it is getting too complex...
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Armlemt Premium
I would do as you are doing and stick to the training, for the most part. That being said, most of Kyle's training was done years ago and some things have changed since he did it. I think that is where some of the issues come in. I also think this is where we should look to the additional weekly webinars to keep up to date on these things.

Anita
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CraigW315 Premium
True enough. I know that some training could stand to be updated, but I also think that certain things will probably continue to be true for the foreseeable future.
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sheikave Premium
a mix of both.
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MarkBa Premium
I agree with you Craig, 'something works, or it does not' and when something does you keep doing it. It really does not matter what anybody else thinks about it. ~Mark
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CraigW315 Premium
Well, it does matter a bit if they are paying! Ha ha!
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TaniaHersel Premium
Craig it is brilliant that you have something to compare with and Wealthy Affiliate comes out tops. We can get badly side tracked by considering other opinions. Sticking to the Wealthy Affiliate way not only saves time but we will succeed!
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CraigW315 Premium
Agreed!
Kyle and Carson didn't get where they are by not knowing what they are doing, or by giving false information.
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IvyT Premium
Hey, I feel your pain. I'm a researcher. I'm paid to provide expert, evidence based opinion. But take care not to confuse the difference between a fact (Earth gravity: 9.807 m/s²; the Queen of England has two eyes), and an expert opinion that is grounded in fact.

And remember that while the best SMEs are forming their advice based on defensible evidence, there is still, among SMEs, room to differ on the final analysis of complicated, in-depth matters. And that's OK - the discussion that arises from peer review is valuable, and improves everybody's understanding as it progresses.

You're right - facts are important, but researchers aren't just machines for spitting out shopping lists of facts. They are subject matter experts, adding value, synthesising ideas into new insights, and providing expert opinion, based on their understanding of the significance (or not) of the subject matter they read.

To that end, subject matter expertise is important to recognise and respect. Facts alone don't come with labels that tell us how significant they are to our understanding of a topic.

I think somewhere along the way, we have conflated the idea of the value and dignity of a human being, with the idea that anything that a single person might think or want is significant. People ARE important. But my ideas on neurosurgery are not valuable, because I don't work in that space.

Also, importantly, although I might have authority in several other areas, this doesn't mean my authority is automatically transferable into other professional areas I don't work. E.g.:

- I recall seeing a meaning of life style doco once, where they included sound bytes from DR-so-and-so on quantum physics, who wasn't a DR in that field at all. Really misleading.

- And then I also recall a funny story about a medical physician who, having formed a few loose opinions on literature, thought writing a novel was a piece of cake, and then bombed in his attempt.

That's just the Dunning-Kruger effect all over. Right?

Absolutely agree on what this site has to offer so far as training goes. It's exemplary, and doesn't skimp on detail!
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CraigW315 Premium
This is a really great response and I appreciate the time you took to make it.

I understand your points and agree with them. My main issue as I tried to express above, came from having something presented to me as THE way to do it when it seemed rather illogical compared to what we are taught here.

To use the keywords as an example again, imagine being asked to write an article about the ten best dog foods on the market. You are then given told "use the keyword 'best food dog'."

You would probably look at that and think up various titles like "Top 10 Best Dog Foods" or maybe "Choosing the Best Food for Your Dog" because those make sense grammatically. Unfortunately, you are told to use the exact wording they gave you, because it "scores higher in SEO".

As a result, you end up writing an article titled "Choosing the Best Food Dog" and although it makes no sense, the client is happy with it because it matches what they asked for.

That is where I was having some difficulty.
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IvyT Premium
Hiya. You know, the timing and the content of your response coincides with a fab article I just got sent. Just a moment ago. It’s an account of someone’s dramatic hospital visit.

https://splinternews.com/how-to-not-die-in-america-1822555151

This writer, omg, she is extraordinarily talented. Mind the way she effortlessly leads the reader through vivid recollection and researched facts and figures. What a marvellous read. What talent.

Now check out the comments section beneath it. Note the conversation it triggers amongst doctors. Note the frustrated comments about patients who deign to tell the doctor how to treat them; what to give them.

That reminds me of your SEO story. ;)
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CraigW315 Premium
I'm getting ready to go to bed (2:18 AM here and I'm just about out of energy) but I will look forward to reading that in the morning!
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IvyT Premium
Nighty, night, then!
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skmorrow Premium
I am with you...and WA.
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FrankB44 Premium
I believe there might be as many different opinions about SEO as there are businesses selling "their" ideas. Just because your client prefers to listen to their own source doesn't mean they are correct.
Like you, Craig, I'm here at WA because I believe they know what they're doing. If I should ever decide that I don't believe that any more, then it's time for me to leave.
Over the years, I dealt with dozens of different advertising agencies, and every single one of them knew the best way to promote our business. Pretty incredible, huh? Lol
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CraigW315 Premium
I don't want to sound like I don't value opinions, or experience. I absolutely do. And there are definitely times where something might sound a bit odd, but it actually works, so I have no issue with things like that.

I won't go so far as to say that things cannot work unless they match what is taught here, but it seems to me that what we are learning at WA is a tried-and-true method, so having someone tell me to do things differently (and, in my opinion, illogically) just seems wrong.
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FrankB44 Premium
If your Primary Care Physician that you had been seeing for twenty years, and knew your medical history was telling you to do one thing, and renowned physician you never met told you to do something different, which one would you listen to?
In your case, your client chooses to believe the person or company they're paying to provide that information.
You can do whatever you think best, but if it were me, and my client wanted me to use a particular system or information, I would abide by their wishes, even if I thought there might be a better way.
The boss ain't always right, but he's always the boss. (Your client)
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CraigW315 Premium
Agreed. That is what I am doing. I just find it a bit frustrating, because even though it is their site, I feel that the work I do is reflecting upon me, so I want to be personally satisfied with it.
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FrankB44 Premium
Have you asked your client to allow you to try something different occasionally, just to see if it works better than what they do now?
If they agree, you switch it up, and get better results, then you proved your theory.
Remember "There is none so blind as he who WILL NOT see"
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JeffreyBrown Premium
I', with WA lessons.

Jeff
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CowboyJames Premium
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The training should be the manual.
Thank you for posting Craig. how's UNI treating you?
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CraigW315 Premium
Thanks. In the end, i will follow what the client wants (they are the ones paying....), but I feel things could be done much better.
But maybe that's just MY opinion. Ha ha!

Now, maybe it's because I am tired and it's 2:00 AM, but I am not sure what UNI is... Unless you are referring to our friend the Universe. Lol

If so, I am feeling a bit frustrated that my latest requests are going unanswered. But that's probably on me. I need to get back to a more positive, upbeat mindset again after a rough couple of weeks.
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CowboyJames Premium
Sorry I should have "dude". My bad. 2:45am here now. Get some sleep.
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GBridgart Premium
Totally agree, is it a matter of what works for you
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LisaY Premium
I couldn't agree with you more. The great SEO training that we receive here is spot on. They are trusted methods used by seasoned online marketers for years.
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CraigW315 Premium
That's how I feel. WA is teaching us what works, not what they feel *should* work.
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DrTad Premium
Excellent article. I wonder about "some of the keywords and the things they present to me don't match up.... can you please elaborate on this subject if possible.
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CraigW315 Premium
Sure.

I wrote this in another response to someone else, but will repeat it here.

So, we are taught to write in a natural, conversational manner. This includes keywords, which should make sense grammatically. If you were to write an article about the best food available for dogs, you would possibly write something similar to "The Ten Best Foods for Your Dog".

Now, imagine that you are told that this is incorrect because you need to use the keyword "best food dog". You are specifically told to use it as written, which means your title is incorrect. You also cannot write "Choosing the Best Food for Your Dog" because that, too is incorrect. They want you to match what they give you *exactly* so you end up with the title "How to Choose the Best Food Dog"

That doesn't make sense, does it? But that is what the client wants because it matches what they have chosen as the keyword.
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DrTad Premium
Thank you for the explanation.
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ToLiNoLi Premium
Maybe it depends on the Google country the keywords are mentioned for?

As we know keywords score different per country. Did you ask?

England / USA / Canada / Australia
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CraigW315 Premium
It's all here in Canada.
I mean, ultimately, it's not my site and I have to respect what the client wants, but it just seems weird to me.
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ToLiNoLi Premium
Perhaps you can add your proposals when your work is complete, when yours are better.

This way that company can at least compare and if they see you do a better job, they may ask you for the next SEO job too.

Just an idea, and yes you are right to look into this.
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CraigW315 Premium
Yeah, I might do that. I was actually debating whether or not to offer to do all the SEO myself, but while I feel that in some cases I could have done better than what was provided, I don't really feel confident enough to market myself as an expert.
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AMSOHN Premium
Excellent opinion & point Craig! I must agree with you;. Why would.you pay for training and not use it???
Blessings
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CraigW315 Premium
Absolutely.
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mgsmith Premium
I agree that SEO and how it works is fact rather than an opinion. The opinion comes in at determining the best keyword to target.
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CraigW315 Premium
I guess some things may be open to interpretation, at least to a degree, but overall I think that as I said, a thing either works, or does not.
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CarolMeador Premium
Very good point, Craig. I agree with you. However, with your paid blogs, do you have to use what they send you for keywords, etc.?
Carol
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CraigW315 Premium
Pretty much. And sometimes they send me awkward stuff. Like, imaging having to make a title with "Great Food New York".

Now, you might think you could just add "in" and make "Great Food in New York", but they don't want that. I can add words before or after, but I can't add the "in".

That may be a bad example, but it's just off the top of my head. They will give me things that don't make sense grammatically, but I cannot change them because they feel it will mess up the SEO...
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CarolMeador Premium
I can see what you're up against. Guess since they're paying you, ya gotta give 'em what they're asking for, even though you know it's not right.
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Internetgranny Premium
I agree with Carol. Use keywords that make sense, i.e. 'Great Food in New York' for your own sites, but use what they are asking you to since they are paying you and clearly think they know what they are doing. It's NOT your job to educate them.

But you are absolutely right - I know that from other sources too, not just WA. Putting in extra little words so that the whole thing makes sense is perfectly ok for SEO.

I wonder if they'd let you put in a full stop between 'Great Food' and 'New York'. If they do, you could write something like 'Our restaurant specializes in great food. New York has many restaurants, but [name of their restaurant] is not only renowned for.... but also...'

In another context on another blog I recently read the saying 'A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.' So I wouldn't waste energy on getting them to change their opinion.

Isabella
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CraigW315 Premium
Yes, I think I am just venting a little because of how it doesn't make sense to me. I would be tempted in the above example to do something similar to what you wrote. Perhaps something like "Who has great food? New York!"

I would have expected all SEO experts to have the same basic view, but evidently I am mistaken.
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Internetgranny Premium
I agree - it doesn't make sense, but the reason is probably that they learnt at a different time. Meanwhile SEO rules have changed and they want to stick to what they have learnt.
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CraigW315 Premium
Possibly. I hadn't really considered that possibility.
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CarolMeador Premium
I'm thinking either the person who is telling you what to use for keywords, etc. either took someone else's course, which was not nearly as succinct as WA's training, or they interpreted it their own way, or as Internetgranny suggested maybe the rules have changed, and they haven't kept up to speed.

I think we are all thankful to be blessed with such good training by such knowledgeable people.

Good luck, Craig!
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