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Being an SEO – Can We Start SEO 2.0?

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 15 years and 68 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

We’ve already discussed SEO generations, how some folks entered the industry at different times and learned from others. Outside of the SEO sphere, however, SEO seems to elicit a much different response from folks based on their different (often negative) experiences with those claiming to be an SEO.

To me, SEO has been a very positive experience to which I ascribe a lot of appreciation and respect. When I call someone a “good SEO”, “veteran SEO” or even admit to them being “a SEO” I consider I am giving them a compliment, even if their knowledge and expertise reaches far past simple search engine optimization. It is a much different idea to me for someone to “be an SEO” than it is to many other folks. It seems in other circles that same respect doesn’t apply to someone “being a SEO”. It’s sometimes frustrating to have the industry shut off to its’ own little world, but as many have mentioned, it’s probably a good thing that most folks don’t “get it”. I tell most folks I am an “internet marketing consultant”, but in my heart I am an “SEO”.

I have a somewhat bad habit of encompassing all knowledge of the internet into “being an SEO”. I think being an SEO is being a “meta-webmaster”, project manager, or internet marketing engineer. It may even be more than that. It is a way of thinking. SEO’s are resourceful soldiers of fortune. It is fundamental understanding of all opportunities available and applying the best solution for a given situation, and prioritizing goals into an actionable plan that considers business principles of scaling cash flow and other important concepts. Perhaps my view is wrong and I give “SEO’s” too much credit. Perhaps someone with these qualities needs a new flashy moniker to seperate them from those who have just started to do meta tags and search engine submissions.

Part of the problem may be the fact that there is a definitive life cycle to SEO’s. Most folks will be drawn in at some point as part of a job our their own business. They will proceed to grow their understanding to use it to help others, grow their own business, or do consulting. Most of the stellar SEO folks will end up doing affiliate marketing or starting their own non-SEO business models. They grow increasingly frustrated with the information gap between themselves and the prospects seeking services. I truly enjoy the education process myself most the time, and have learned ways to filter folks that I can’t help in a reasonable amount of time, and try to provide them with some resources to educate themselves. Those starting to the game a bit later have the added benefit of an abundance of QUALITY information once they manage to find it.

This life cycle of SEO’s has caused a shortage and high demand for in-house SEO’s that are willing to be trained, as well as consultants who can help do so, or provide more value than in house resources. The increased demand only serves to drive many new folks to claim to provide SEO services (I was guilty of this myself about 4+ years ago). The new faces with little experience combined with hucksters trying to make a few quick bucks in a fledgling field has helped to sully the reputation associated with SEO in the eyes of many who still just view SEO as a one-dimensional discipline.

If the web as a whole can enter a second bubble with Web 2.0’s excessive gradients, nice round corners, mirror effects, and other nice graphics and social networking ideas, can’t SEO’s come up with a new way to market their services? I’ve already tried to disavow SEO once, but I was drawn back with it’s sauve siren-song seductiveness. Isn’t there some other way that we can differentiate ourselves and retain the positive history behind the title?

A Modest Proposal – SEO 2.0
I think it’s time to rebrand SEO a little bit as SEO 2.0. SEO 2.0 will never over-hype expectations, make false promises, or sell services without discussing risks or educating clients. SEO 2.0 will have a fundamental understanding of design, conversion, technology, webservers, business, psychology, PPC, shopping feeds, affiliate marketing, economics, and other broad principles to apply to more than just higher search rankings, but to making businesses better. SEO 2.0 will continue to learn beyond the normal realm of meta tags and on-page tweaks to understand social networking, marketing, business, and anything else that may impact the success of a website. SEO 2.0 will be pretty, shiny, maintain a stellar reputation and will be well funded. Step up your game and jump on for SEO 2.0. Your services and knowledgebase will evolve or you’ll be obsolete and your luck will run out when the bubble bursts.

More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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  • Mark

    SEO 2.0 – off page optimization?

  • ray

    What would you consider a veteran? Somebody who was active during the Florida update?

  • Andy Hagans

    The ‘good people’ have been on SEO 2.0 for quite some time already though, right?

  • Cameron Olthuis

    You beat me to it. I’m acually in the middle of writing a white paper called “SEO 2.0″. It’s more or less about the way SEO has changed over the years.

    I like your proposal, especially this line…

    “I think it’s time to rebrand SEO a little bit as SEO 2.0. SEO 2.0 will never over-hype expectations, make false promises, or sell services without discussing risks or educating clients.”

  • TallTroll

    When I joined Webmasterworld, I could read every post, every day….

    Does that make me a “veteran”? I tell you, I *still* feel like a n00b. I’d concede that anyone who wears the “banned from SEF” badge is a vet though :)

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  • seoforumz

    Many people got into the SEO industry due to the money making potential and the “chance” that they could make it big in a short amount of time. I find a lot of the best SEO’s are not money motivated and originally got into the industry for the love of marketing, sales, technical development, consulting and all the other aspects that surround search engine marketing and SEO.

    I know some very good optimizers who have never serviced a client that deserve to be called “SEO’s” a lot more than some who “claim” to be good at driving traffic and sales.

  • Ephricon

    I’m all for any initiative that will help lend more credibility to an industry which has some of the same vibes associated with it as that of a used car salesman stereotype. Educating clients and wholistic thinking is never a bad thing.

  • Shimon Sandler

    SEO 2.0 is a great branding for something that’s already happening. I like the name. Count me in:-)

  • Jason

    We have been working with a similar concept of differentiation using a
    generational nomenclature: 2nd Generation SEO, etc.

  • Bill Kelm

    SEO 2.0 is a great buzz-catch phrase which I am all in favor of promoting
    as long as the definition is as ethical and value driven as yours, Todd

    People should become SEO’s first, IMO, because they want to help their
    client’s customers, their clients company, and the competent, valued
    employees that work there have a more secure future. A sincere belief in
    that, or not, does come across eventually.

    Actions (or lack of actions) speak louder than words, and those results
    will define the reputation of the search marketing industry more than
    anything, IMO. At the risk of shameless self promotion (even though I’m
    not trying to financially sell anything), I think you’ll find my “SEO Seller &
    Buyer Performance Evaluations” post based on traditional ad agency
    criteria interesting =

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    Yes, I like the idea of SEO 2.0, we need rebranding, a white wash, a complete make over. Time to take SEO to a new level.

  • Tadeusz Szewczyk

    Well, I just started SEO 2.0, with all the white wash needed. I will kick some major ass!
    Check it out.

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