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This Week in Search Marketing Staffing – 4/14/08

Once again, standards, was this week’s big topic of discussion. Some different faces jumped into the debate, and introduced some new ideas and new opinions. Although most of the writers acknowledged the benefits that could come from standards, the biggest concern is still creating standards that would be acceptable to everyone.

Slightly Shady SEO started out the week with a self described rant, SEO Standards: Are We Really Pretending These Will Work? He goes through the reasons why he feels standards wouldn’t benefit the industry, and how they would possibly hurt it. He starts with Chris Boggs’ idea of “risk ratings” and gives examples of how they wouldn’t be able to be applied across the board. Before concluding his rant, he points out that standard practices aren’t the most effective method for improving a search campaign, and proves this by showing 3 of the top 10 results for a search “search engine optimization” are shady services promising to “submit your website to 40+ search engines,” most likely not using anything near standard practices.

Graywolf, aka Michael Gray, kept the topic going the next day by comparing SEO standards to the No Child Left Behind Act. Graywolf’s comparison of SEO Standard to what he calls the “half baked, half assed, implementation” of the No Child Left Behind Act, shows his wariness towards developing standards. As part of his argument he brings up two really good questions to stress his POV:

“Do you think SEO standards are about creating superstars who challenge and force the industry to grow? Or do you think it’s about handicapping everyone and striving for a level playing field where third rate hacks get to play with the big dogs?”

Although he is against standards, Graywolf does mention he is supportive of a certification program that would weed out businesses whose results are limited to getting ranked for their own domain names.

William Flaiz rounded out the week with his own posting opposing standards, Standards? We Don’t Need No Stinking Standards. William shares many of the same views as other standards dissenters and sums up his opinion by saying “We don’t need SEO standards to define our operation for us; we simply need to hold ourselves to a higher standard of business.”

As many of you may know, a man named Jason Gambert has made it very deep into the process for trademarking the term SEO. Jason finally responded this week to the uprising he has created, and he did so by revealing he is interested in using to the trademark to create an approved SEO process. Apparently this unknown has been planning to be the leader of SEO standards. “I am helping the search engine marketing community establish an approved SEO process, which can be sold as an “SEO service.”

Stepping away from standards, Paul Bruemmer wrote a great article this week, 5 Steps To Develop In-house SEO Functionality. Paul’s 5 steps highlight the value and importance of proper planning when crafting an in-house strategy. Paul also includes a path for bringing SEO In-house and lists many of the ways a company can improve their search campaign.

I also found a really good article centered on hiring SEO professionals. The article, SEM Job Criteria of the Not so Distant Future, by Todd Mintz, goes through the numerous ways we are able to evaluate potential SEM employees without looking at a resume. Because the SEO community is completely online, it is easy to view a person’s work and their efforts just by bouncing around the web. After checking to see if there are any direct connections, Mintz describes he would evaluate a potential employee by looking at google, facebook, blogs, linkedin, twitter, and few other sites. This approach works for testing anyone who boasts they are the best, but traditional methods are still needed for those candidates looking to get started in the industry

This week eWeek posted the story, How to Recession Proof Your Business. The article is very supportive of the search marketing industry and suggests using blogs, social media and SEO as ways to maintain and grow market and mind share, even when you are facing budget cuts. These methods are cost effective ways to increase exposure across the internet and establish new communication channels with potential customers.
That’s it for this week, check back next week for another update.

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