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SEO Does Have A Future

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Now Shoemoney is a friend of mine, but regarding his post SEO Has No Future today, I am forced to disagree with him. Not only does SEO have a future but judging by the number of SEO clients I am turning away, and the number of job offers I am receiving on weekly basis to take on in house positions, all during a shrinking economy and a recession, the future is looking pretty bright for SEO …

Until web designers learn proper semantic markup, like H1, H2, are structural tags first and foremost, and visual elements second, an SEO is always going to have to come in and clean up the mess. Until designers learn how to use a CMS properly and separate content from context, an SEO is always going to have fix the nightmare they have created. Want to solve that problem require your designer read Designing With Web Standards before they give you a single markup or deck.

Until programmers and developers learn that cool widgety, pop-up, slide-out, spinning flaming skull javascript based mystery meat navigation is completely uncrawlable, and renders your website invisible to every search engine, and an SEO has to come in design a flat text based alternative navigation, SEO is alive and well. Until your programmers and developers learn that no matter how sexy the UI is, if your users and customers cant figure out what to do, SEO’s with a firm grasp on usability will always have a job. Want to solve that problem give everyone on your team a copy of Don’t make me Think by Steve Krug still relevant after 8 years.

Until CEO’s learn that flash websites with lots of eye candy and sizzle are great for entertainment, but don’t work because they break basic web functionality like the back button, an SEO is always going to be needed to bring things back down to earth. Want to help them really get the point, show him the flash website on an iPhone, then get them to read Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed and Designing Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen.

Until old school marketing people like Peter Sealey stop thinking of search engines and the company website as an afterthought and SEO is always going to need to convince executives this interweb thing isn’t just a flash in the pan. Until companies start to realize they are slowly losing the ability to control the message and need to embrace that customers can control what the internet says about you, an SEO is always going to have to use techniques to address reputation management problems. Want to fix that problem start handing out copies of Small Is the New Big by Seth Godin.

Until Advertising and Copyrighting departments learn that the medium is shifting from a top down model to a more conversational one to one model, an SEO is going to have talk about content. Until companies start to understand you have to be more than brochure ware and solve someone’s problem if you want people to use and link to your site, and SEO is going have direct content creation. Want to solve that problem reread the Cluetrain Manifesto.

Until Public Relations departments understand that a press release isn’t exciting or useful to anyone except journalists and reporters, an SEO is going to have to explain viral marketing. Until clueless people like Clive Thompson realize that fame, ego, and cold hard cash can motivate people, you are going to need an SEO aware social media consultant to keep you from shooting yourself in the foot. Want to fix the problem read Tipping Point, Made to Stick and Trendsspotting.

Until your legal department realizes being politically incorrect is really an asset, an SEO is going to have to explain the concept of appealing to the linkerati. Want to fix the problem get them to read The Big Moo.

Until Web 2.0 startup companies and Venture Capitalists start considering SEO as part of their business plan from the start, an SEO is going to have to save a company from shooting itself in the foot at every turn. Want to fix the problem get everyone to read the Dip.

Until everyone realizes that a good SEO is also part marketer and all they have to do is push the right buttons we are going to have these debates about SEO being dead or not. Until people realize just like good lawyers and bad lawyers there are good SEO’s and bad SEO’s it’s really just a semantics debate.

The question is are you learning anything from the debate? Are you learning how to get links from it, how to get attention, and how to turn them into billable accounts and hours? If you aren’t, and you are just in it for the drama, then you really aren’t an SEO, you’re an SEOFakester (&tm; sugarrae).

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