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Just the other day I came across a discussion regarding the The SEO Industry’s Reputation Problem on Sphinn.com.
After going through the discussion, I strongly feel that if the reputation of the SEO industry has been tarnished by people who call themselves SEOs despite not having any knowledge or experience in anything search-engines-related, then the responsibility of bringing back the reputation and making the industry more respect worthy is also on the shoulders of the knowledgeable SEOs.
Every industry has fly by night companies cropping up who making a fast buck by fooling some people. The SEO industry is not alone. It seems to be more prominent for our industry though as the clients themselves are unaware about what SEO is and what deliverables they should expect when they sign an SEO contract.
It is this lack of clarity in the minds of people which leads them to become more wary os SEOs as they feel cheated when they do not get the desired results.
We cannot generalize regarding the SEO reputation and say that all SEOs out there are just waiting to cheat their clients. Undoubtedly each and everyone of us, who has a website, wants their resource to be on page one of Google results as the quantum of regular potential business is actually very high if the site is optimized on ethical norms and as per the search engine algorithms. When I say search engines I do not only mean Google but Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com are also to be considered as we are talking about SEO .
10 years back – when SEO was merely about submissions and meta tags, the search options were also limited and the surfers were not net savvy – the SEO scene was very different and the web developers themselves managed SEO at home. Gradually with the search engine algorithms becoming more and more sophisticated and more search options being available and the surfers also becoming more specific with their searches, the SEO projects need to be handled by experts who have been focusing on upgrading their knowledge over the years with adequate experience and knowledge.
On the other side the clients too need to understand that SEO (though being a marketing strategy which in the long run gives you the benefits of stability) is very different from advertising. SEO results are not achieved instantly and the benefit of the SEO efforts can pay off only over a period of time (at least 6 to 12 months).
Educating your clients about SEO is the only key to gain the right reputation for this industry.
This approach can be brought about by the SEOs themselves by educating the client about what optimization is and by revealing and properly describing the on-page and off- page methods the SEO company is going apply. The companies which are secretive about their methods should not be trusted at all and companies which are open and honest about their methodologies usually expect a lot of co-operation from the client. If the client is cooperative enough and the SEO wins the faith and the confidence of the client, the results are surely achieved with a win-win situation for both the parties.
SEO is about putting SEO Is About Putting Your Best Foot Forward on The Web For Your Website and just like you establish your business and goodwill offline by working hard continuously over a period of time, the SEO helps you in establishing your online presence and gradually with the right web approach you start getting the value of added visibility and the high rankings on the search engines.
The optimization process is a specific task which needs the clear understanding o how search engine work and why it is a must to monitor and analyze the site’s performance on a regular basis. Oftentimes companies do not understand this and are not willing to allocate adequate budgets for SEO.
So, the change in attitude and approach has to come from both sides – from the SEOs as well as the companies who want to employ them for a quality web presence. Many times the client himself is SEO’s greatest enemy . If you want quality services, then you need to pay for that and if you need information, ask for it. The gap between the deliverables of an SEO project and the expectations of a client can be bridged only by educating the client about SEO method and processes.