SEO is all about time. Optimizing a site properly takes time. Getting good quality links takes time. Getting your links to “count” takes time. Tweaking to improve rankings takes time. Improving conversions takes time. Becoming a good SEO also takes time.
But the difference with becoming a good SEO isn’t just about calendar time, but clock time as well. The clock time is time spent getting the education, performing the research and doing the work. It’s time spent gaining the knowledge and the experience necessary to succeed. Only after that comes the calendar time which is where the SEO is proven.
Without discounting any in the industry who are relatively new, there is something to be said about SEOs and SEO/M firms that have been around for five years or more. Many have come and gone in that time, even SEO companies that were at one time very well known and considered leaders in the industry. Many of those adapted or changed their business models in some way, some have merged with other companies, while others simply disappeared.
Very few SEOers withstand the test of time–especially the junk providers who really don’t know much about SEO at all. There are many of those junk providers out there today and there will still be many of those out there in two years, but they probably wont’ be the same ones, and if they are, they’ll be using a new business name to hide the fact.
In any case, there is something to be said about those that have been in the industry, shown their strength through time, and continue to remain relevant.