What they don’t know about SEO


I spend around 10 hours a day thinking about, talking about and reading about Internet marketing. I cannot get enough of it. I enjoy waking up on a Sunday morning and reading the all the good articles going around Twitter about SEO or link building. I love what I do.

But every now and then I’ll get knocked out of my little SEO bubble by the real world and I must say….it’s refreshing. When you spend your afternoons studying the percentage of queries displaying authorship markup and spend your nights building new keyword research tools you lose something very valuable: perspective.

Because I’m in the trenches with SEO every day, I tend to look at everything in our industry at a microscopic level. The same is probably true for most industry professionals.

That sort of in-depth analysis is important for us to better understand how search works, but our time is better served trying to solve bigger issues with SEO and Internet marketing.

While we’re debating about how quickly SEO figureheads respond to tweets, the masses still have no clue about SEO. That is an actual problem worth debating.

We talk about granular topics like disavowing links with exact match anchor text when 99% of web users and website owners have no idea about:

– Structured markup. Go outside of the tech/media/marketing industries and it’s rare to see sites implementing any of the advanced markup that we think is common sense.

– Link building. For all of the talking and research we’ve done, nobody really has any clue what link building is, how it impacts SEO or why its important.

– Google paranoia. I’ve been beating the “Google is now evil” drum for a while. So are a lot of others who study Google. The general public, however, is very apathetic.

– Social media ROI. There are small businesses wasting time/money publishing hourly social media updates that nobody is reading. Social media might be one of the most misunderstood marketing channels ever.

– Negative perception of SEO. Most everybody thinks SEOs are full of it. I did before I started working in the industry. This is the biggest problem of all.

The SEO bubble is a nice little place to hang out in but it’s a lot different than the real world. Talking to people outside of the industry is extraordinarily valuable. Talk to your parents. Talk to your barber. Talk to your nephew. Talk to your neighbor.

If you are really passionate about SEO, learn what people don’t know and then do something about it.

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