SEO Mentioned Again on The Good Wife

Last year a search engine optimizer appeared as a witness on The Good Wife, as Search Engine Land reported.

History has repeated itself, as an SEO appeared again on The Good Wife last night, in an episode called “Two Girls, One Code”. It was portrayed by an actor named Harry Smith in what is apparently his first on-screen role.

This is what Hollywood (and now my Grandmother) thinks SEOs look like.

Unfortunately for our profession the mention was not exactly flattering, as the SEO on the stand guaranteed that his clients would be on the first page of the search engine’s results, which was deemed by the defense attorney and the judge as an attempt to “game” the system.

If your introduction to SEO is through the Good Wife, you may not realize that SEOs are not all bad, and that guaranteeing search engine rankings is something only the unethical ones do. The rest of us help make content more relevant, accessible and findable, which is something that Google benefits from as well.

Full transcript is below of the 50 second exchange is below, and you can watch the video here. Definitely entertaining for those of us who are in the industry, as it follows a trial of a Google-like business with a social name (“Chumhum”) and a founder with a Zuckerberg hoodie, as they are sued by two entrepreneurs for lost search engine rankings as a result of an alleged algorithmic bias. Even includes a video of how search works, similar to this one by Matt Cutts, but with a Gopher as Googlebot. 🙂

Scene starts at 15:04 in the video.

Witness: Thomas Giles. I work as a Search Engine Optimizer

Defense Attorney: And what is that?

Judge: Miss Walsh, I know what a search engine optimizer is

Defense Attorney:  Thank you your honor. Of course.

When you offer your services Mr Giles, what is it that you guarantee?

Witness: To get my clients onto the first page of a Chum Hum search engine result.

Defense Attorney: I see. And did the plaintiffs hire you to do just that?

Plaintiff’s Attorney Alicia Florrick: Objection, your honor. Relevance. This is a preliminary hearing to discuss the subpoena of Chumhum’s algorithm.

Defense Attorney: Yes but the question of damages must be established before the question of a subpoena

Judge: How many witnesses do you intend?

Defense Attorney: To establish the absence of damages? Two.

Judge: I will allow

Defense Attorney: And did the plaintiffs hire you to get their product on the first page of a Chumhum search?

Witness: Yes

Defense Attorney: In other words the plaintiffs hired you to game the system

Plaintiff’s Attorney Alicia Florrick: Objection!

Defense Attorney: And the Chumhum algorithm just countered that game.

Plaintiff’s Attorney Alicia Florrick: Objection!

Judge: Overruled

Defense Attorney: Thank you your honor

Disclaimer: CBS is a Resolution Media paid search client.

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