Recently Stoney made the decision (and a wise decision it was), to hire an SEO Apprentice. Having been the sole SEO here at PPM I knew that this would be a bit of an adjustment for me, but one that is very much welcome.
SEO, especially technical Second Generation SEO can be a very isolating craft. IR Dorks are simply in short supply and I rarely have anyone to talk shop with. Sure I spend a good deal of time collaborating on marketing issues, discussing industry trends and such, but when it comes to the really technical stuff (the part I really enjoy), I am an island unto myself. Not that my co-workers are uninterested, but as soon as I start to speak to my colleagues in “searchengineese” their eyes glaze over and a distant expression occupies their faces. Like I said an isolating craft.
At the beginning of this week however I began sharing my corner of the office with “Rob the Apprentice” who now divides his time between general work tasks assigned by Stoney and working through the training program that I developed for him. The program is a curriculum of sorts packed with a mountain of learning and practical application exercises (fortunately before I was an SEO I was a curriculum designer and classroom facilitator). The learning program is very thorough and should equip him with the basic skills and experience required to apply the principles of our unique SEO methodology. Of course he has the tremendous benefit of one-on-one guidance from the resident Search Ninja to assist his quest for excellence.
I anticipate that my padawan learner will soon be a very capable SEO, well versed in searchengineese and then maybe I can have a real discussion about the pro’s and con’s of singular value decomposition or stratified hierarchic cluster methods. Perhaps I could even take a little vacation too.
As an encouraging side note, Rob “the apprentice” and I were discussing some client tasks this morning and when I glanced at his monitor I noticed that the wiki for Zipf’s Law was open;
I’m not afraid to admit that I got a little choked up.