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teresacuervo's avatar

What schools teach Search Engine Optimization_-I want to become an expert on this?

Asked by teresacuervo (30points) May 15th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

18 Answers

drClaw's avatar

To be perfectly honest there aren’t really any good SEO schools. If you want to become an expert your best bet is to learn like the rest of us… online research! Start reading the following blogs every day:
Matt Cutts

Other essentials you will need to learn are the history of SEO (link), HTML, CSS, some design experience is good, creative writing experience is helpful, start attending seminars like SMX, blogging, backlink strategies, learn about Google analytics as well as other tracking software, and start a site that you can practice your SEO techniques on.

Please stop looking for a school that teaches SEO, it is a huge mistake.I have yet to see a class that offers SEO certification that is really worth perusing and I have been doing SEO going on 7 years.

drClaw's avatar

Also I forgot to mention that you should set up a Twitter account, it is a great way to get the latest information from experts as long as you are following the right people. While your at it start a LinkedIn profile and any other social profiles you can think of.

dynamicduo's avatar

I haven’t heard of any, let alone would certification matter. You can find tons of techniques online. @drClaw‘s links are a great start.

cwilbur's avatar

SEO is basically voodoo where you try to guess what Google’s page rank algorithm is, while Google tries to tweak its page rank algorithm to ensure that valuable pages with good and relevant content appear early on in the listings.

The real techniques that worked last month still work: write clearly and concisely, provide content that people want to read, use clear semantic markup, and make sure your markup validates. That’s the core of good search engine optimization, and you didn’t need to go to school for it—it’s easy to do, but damn near impossible to explain to managers and vice presidents that want a magic bullet.

The voodoo techniques that worked last month won’t work this month, but might work next month. Is it better to separate words in URLs like-this or like_this? Different experts will tell you different things, and there’s a lot of money to be made in consulting by telling your clients to do one in January and the other in June. But this isn’t the sort of thing that you can learn in school, because it changes week to week if not month to month. And if you can sell this as a magic bullet, the managers and vice presidents who are looking for a magic bullet rather than elbow grease will be climbing all over you.

drClaw's avatar

@cwilbur You make some good points, but I disagree with your view of SEO being voodoo. SEO is part science, part art. What I mean by this is there are elements in SEO that are irrefutably beneficial and openly acknowledged as pieces of search engine algorithms, but there are also many things search engines don’t tell us which is why diligent research and testing separate a good SEO from an SEO selling a magic bullet. My problem with your statement is this any SEO selling their product as a “magic bullet” is liar. A true SEO worth their weight in salt will sell their product as a long term investment and will do their utmost to educate their client about the SEO process.

So is SEO voodoo? No, we may not know every factor in Google’s algorithm, but we do know many of them. We also know that educating our clients without confusing them is a must to retain our most valued interpersonal relationships. Education is also the way in which SEO will continue to grow as one of the most powerful web based industries.

In the late 90’s SEO was the wild west of the web, but today SEO is a powerful industry that is/has driven out wondering salesmen peddling magic bullets. I implore you to learn more about SEO as an industry and not just series of tasks.

cwilbur's avatar

@drClaw: I have yet to meet an SEO peddler who is anything but a snake oil salesman and con artist. It’s a “powerful industry” that’s based primarily on the desires of middle management to find the magic bullet that will allow them to avoid doing hard work.

drClaw's avatar

@cwilbur then you must have a limited experience with SEO. There is a reason that companies like Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Apple, Nordstrom, and Toyota all have internal SEO teams. Do you honestly believe that the largest companies in the world would dedicate resources to teams of con artists.

What about marketing agencies like Ascentium, Publicis, Glispa, and Razorfish? They must all be scam artists since they have SEO teams that work for their clients? If we are to believe your stunning argument this must be true, right?

I resent you calling me a con-artist. I have dedicated my professional career to Interactive Marketing and much of that has been SEO. I am sorry you didn’t do your research when getting in bed with an SEO and I am sorry that you have had bad experiences in the past, but to generalize an entire group of people is ignorant. You need to realize that every industry in the world has bad apples and the younger an industry the more people there are who try and take advantage of the system. Next time you want to bad mouth an entire group of people you might want to know what you are talking about.

cwilbur's avatar

@drClaw: I honestly believe that the largest companies in the world dedicate an awful lot of resources to an awful lot of stupid things, and yes, I count SEO among those stupid things. And yes, I think marketing agencies are for the most part composed of scam artists, and SEO is just one component of the scam.

Just because rich and powerful people do a stupid thing does not make it any less of a stupid thing; in fact, rich and powerful people are more likely to do a stupid thing if they see their competitors and rivals doing it and are afraid it will give them a competitive advantage.

And it is truly unfortunate that you have chosen to dedicate your career to what is, at its heart, a scam; but the fact that you have done so does not compel me to respect your choice.

drClaw's avatar

@cwilbur You obviously have nothing more than a basic understanding of what is referred to as on-page optimization. You have taken this very basic understanding and combined it with your negative experiences with 3rd party SEOs, which I venture is more of a commentary on your ability to choose a quality SEO than it is of SEO as an industry. You have been left with a strong prejudice against a growing industry that over the last ten years has strived to remove any and all so-called snake oil salesmen from their midst.

Not only have you insulted SEOs with your prejudice, but now you have expanded your disdain to include all agencies that market any service!?!?! In your comments you expose yourself as someone that holds a grudge. If all marketing is a scam or at very least performed by scam artists then how do you propose companies in a capitalist society promote their goods and services?

SEO is one of the purest forms of marketing. It utilizes quality content, creativity, and superior (noninvasive) devices for delivery into the consumers life. As an SEO my job is to understand the consumers needs, write or create content that is relevant to those needs, and present it in a way that is both friendly for the user and the search engine. To do this it takes creativity, knowledge of the consumer, and technical skill. Please tell me how this is a scam?

I do not disagree that there are some folks out there that will change some tags on a page and submit a site to an engine for an unfair price. There are even people that will aggressively sell these ridiculous offers, but since the late 90s these “snake oil” salesmen have become few and far between and on the occasion that one is discovered SEO as an industry does their best to drive them out of business (link).

Once again I implore you to refrain from commenting on things you really do not have a grasp of. If you want a transparent education in what an honest SEO does I would be happy to give it to you, but stop the bad mouthing until you fully understand the subject matter.

ktown3d's avatar

Clearly cwilbur is either trolling here or has been scammed by some SEO scam outfit. While it’s true that those companies exist (unfortunately), they prey on the ignorant who know nothing and are easily sold by a cold-caller who knows how to work the phones.

If SEO was a scam, I think it would have been outed a long time ago don’t you?

And jeez, if you are right then I guess I need to find a new career. How could I have been so misguided? </sarcasm>

cwilbur's avatar

@drClaw: for me to have an education in what an honest SEO marketer does, I would first have to find an honest SEO marketer. And since SEO is a scam in the first place, that’s not likely to happen, now is it?

teresacuervo's avatar

Boy, every time a ask a question here, there is a this snappy attitude. One thing is to disagree and the other is to be on ones throats. They don’t name you drClaw for nothing do they?

drClaw's avatar

@cwilbur essentially your argument is “because I say it is”

My apologies to @teresacuervo for deviating from the subject, but I take it very personally when I am, without provocation, referred to as a scam artist for something that I have dedicated over one fifth of my life to. Again my apologies.

teresacuervo's avatar

No apologies necessary, you were provoked and clearly for no reason. You were merely answeing my question.

cwilbur's avatar

@drClaw: And your argument is “Because big companies do it, it’s not a scam!”

As far as I’m concerned, you’ve dedicated one fifth of your life to a scam. If you value my opinion, well, there it is. If you don’t value my opinion, why are you trying to convince me to change it?

drClaw's avatar

This will be my last post. I am trying to change your opinion because it is unfair, just as if a friend had said something racist I would try and change their opinion. In my previous arguments I have tried to illustrate to you that your view of SEO is misguided and your description of it as a scam is hurtful.

You are right it is your opinion, but the truth is your opinion is not based on fact and the result is you have posted comments that are offensive. Again I will offer to give you an education of the SEO process. If you still find it a dishonest practice then and only then I will give up on you and this subject.

cwilbur's avatar

You’d better give up. I’ve worked with four different SEO firms. It’s a scam, through and through. You’re insulted because you’re complicit in the scam, and I’m calling it what it is. Scam artists ought to be insulted and ashamed.

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