Is it time for SEO to get a new image?
Posted by mandyf on March 27, 2012
Being an SEO isn’t the easiest job in the world. A lot of that has to do with the image that SEOs have. Ask 20 people that call them self an SEO what it is that they do exactly. They may explain it 20 different ways, but in the end they all come back to the same theme – I help get sites and/or content ranked so my client has better visibility and more opportunities to convert. At the end of the day, that is the bottom line. That is not the problem. The problem is a matter of perception as to what an SEO does from outside the community.
There are enough people out there that view SEOs like some sort of creepy magician selling mystical inexplicable services that SEOs get a bum rap far more often than they should. To be sure, there are some that deserve to be bashed over the head because what they are selling is garbage. For the most part though, SEOs do an effective job. It is people misunderstanding how they do their job or putting roadblocks in their way that makes SEOs look like snake oil salesmen coming through town with magic bottles of ranking elixir.
Here are a few reasons that SEOs get a bum rap:
1. There are some bad ones, like any profession, and the negative attention they get drowns out the positive of many others. It’s natural – we as a society have car wreck mentality. People are drawn to the negative more so than the positive.
2. People don’t understand how SEO works.
3. Too many self proclaimed SEOs can’t explain how SEO works.
4. Too many claims about SEO being scam or nothing more than gaming the system go unchallenged by legitimate SEOs.
5. There are few people that ever give positive reviews of their SEOs performance versus those giving negative reviews. Again, this goes back to people being drawn to engaging in the negative more than the positive.
6. There is too much garbage that is outdated or just flat out wrong floating around about SEO written by people that couldn’t tell you the first thing about something as basic as the last algorithm update or possibly even when it rolled out.
The question is – what does SEO do to “grow up” and cultivate a more refined, professional image than what most people think of when they hear the term SEO? Is it a matter of forming some sort of trust alliance among SEOs? Likely not. That would do nothing more than be one vouching for the other and become a matter of doling out favors eventually. Should SEOs collaborate on a massive guide explaining what SEO is and how and why it works? Again, no. SEO changes too fast. By the time anything was finished, two volumes of revisions would need to be in place.
What is the answer then?
I hate to be a major letdown – but I don’t have it. It’s a question I’ve pondered a long time. Is it a matter of more years passing and SEOs slowly gaining a better reputation over time? That is possible. Would a sleek and sexy SEO spokesperson that goes out and lays all the arguments against to rest be the answer? Possibly. I think Alyssa Milano would be great at and I’m willing to tutor her as long as it takes to get up to speed. Maybe the real answer lies in doing a better job of explaining to clients the how, what and why of SEO in a proactive nature than always having to explain it in bits and pieces when they have questions.
Talk to me – tell me what you think the answer is!