I picked up on yet another “SEO is Dead” thread in Search Engine Watch. I’ve been hearing this cry for years now and it just ain’t happening. SEO has and will continue to evolve. However this thread got me thinking about the perception that SEO sometimes has. Overall SEO is easy, but at the same time, there is a lot of knowledge that must go into any effective SEO campaign. Here is what I wrote in the thread:
One thing that I’m starting to believe is that SEO is its own worst enemy. We come here on forums to dispense info, share tips and generally help out anybody who wants info. There is certainly nothing wrong with this approach but I think we often make SEO appear to be easier than it is. The base concepts certainly are as we offer advice, ebooks, blogs, etc. etc. outlining just about everything there is to know, but deep down SEO is more and more complex. Optimization is easy, marketing and besting competitors is not.
The end result, and this is where we hurt ourselves, is that any joe can set up shop as an SEO and start selling services which, ultimately, are not worth much. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen forum posts with someone saying like “I’m new to SEO, how much should I charge”. Or “I just started my SEO business, what’s the first thing I do to optimize my client’s site”. Sheesh, if you don’t know, don’t call yourself an SEO.
It’s these guys that a) sign people up who later feel burned and then don’t trust quality SEOs and b) make people feel they can get something decent on the cheap. 90% of SEO is knowledge and the rest is effective implementation of that knowledge. Knowledge is not cheap but many people don’t yet realize that that is what they should be paying for.