Opportunities Abound for Learning SEO Today
As the dog days of summer yield to the beginnings of fall, schools reopen and my mind turns to the classroom and thoughts on education and learning. I recently considered how the education and training of search marketers, particularly those of us who are SEO practitioners, has evolved. In the early 1990s when the Web was young, there were no established “best practices,” no body of knowledge to consult, and many more search engines to target with each vying for the supremacy now won by Google. In this environment, early search marketers essentially made it up as they went. There was a lot of experimentation, and numerous strategies and tactics both good and bad were developed and employed. Some were later decried; others became the basis of today’s best practices. SEOs learned from each other. Online publications and conferences like SES and PubCon were the lifeline for practitioners wanting to learn from their peers.
There were no colleges and universities teaching search engine marketing. These came later as digital marketing became a legitimate discipline, and search became a vital component of any digital marketing plan. The learning opportunities for SEO also grew hand-in-hand with the demand for skilled practitioners. Today, there exists a dizzying array of educational opportunities for those wanting to enter or segue into search and other areas of digital marketing. As a seasoned practitioner, read old-timer, I am sometimes asked: “Do I need actual training to be a search marketer?” Most who ask this question assume that because I never took any specialized training that I will suggest a do-it-yourself approach. On the contrary, an organized, well-thought out curriculum would have offered me a nice jump-start.
If I make the point that training is necessary, then the follow-up question is the difficult one: “Where, how and what should I take to become a search marketer?” As a former educator, I am convinced that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for education or training. Today, with so many educational opportunities available, the would-be SEO can easily find just the right level of training that will be needed to gain entrance or advancement. It is a matter of shopping and matching current skills and knowledge with desired skills and knowledge.
The purpose of this blog is to provide insights and tips for how to use search profitably. It will cut through the volumes of information that threaten to overwhelm the busy marketer and will focus on what is truly important for making search work.