I think this post will hardly come as a surprise to the more seasoned among us, but recently I've moved into picking up two client relationships with rather large companies. It's a first for me, as I still don't need the business, but several close colleagues/friends had direct connections to their marketing departments. These firms are spending between mid-seven figures and low 8 figures per year on online marketing. Honestly, their SEO markets are not only non-competitive, I'm absolutely appalled at the state of their reputation management. They regularly pay individuals between 17-30k/month to do "SEO tasks" individually, and as far as I can tell these people do absolutely nothing at all. Their organic traffic is appallingly bad, their lead generation practically doesn't exist, and their reputation management is in shambles, with highly negative articles showing up under all terms with their name. It's shocking. Something like 80% of their backlinks come from free, autoapprove link directories. It's amazing to me their sites rank at all and haven't been punished. Marketing directors for these firms are under the mistaken belief that by paying millions a year into Adwords, they will continue to rank well in Google indefinitely (keep in mind their management is so abysmal, and in such uncompetitive markets, that they should be dominating both local and organic results and it would be quite easy to do so). Neither company has any local listings showing on the first page of any branch, town, city, or anywhere at all for that matter. These clients are overwhelmingly stupid as well, and obviously know nothing about marketing this sort of thing at all, but I'm doing this as a favor to others on the side so he can get his foot in the door. Anyone experienced these sorts of issues? This is a first for me, and the incompetence is so overwhelming I'm finding it difficult to not create powerpoints displaying how they've spent 10s of millions of dollars for nothing but a ticking timebomb.