The rumor is that SEO is dead. I agree… well, not really. I think SEO is dead for everyone in the industry looking for a quick fix.

It wasn’t long ago that so called SEOs were able to tweak a few aspects of a website on-page, send a few links your way, and make their client’s happy. Now it seems that everyone is blaming Google, or just saying that SEO is dead. Not true.

The real problem is that people who claim to know SEO (short for search engine optimization), haven’t kept up with the times and are still using techniques that became antiquated in 2003. They haven’t continued to educate themselves in an industry that is constantly changing and evolving.

These SEOs have simply gotten away with this lack of knowhow by throwing around jargon that most business owners and marketing teams have only read about in the news. Most are essentially frauds and they know it.

Bold claim?

I know this because my team and I get approached regularly by agencies and firms that claim to offer SEO, but really just want to resell our services. That’s fine with us, but the sad fact is the client ends up paying for the additional markup and typically we have to scrap all the “work” the firm had done in the past – many times things they’ve been doing for years (and for what the client has been paying for).

Today, as I write this quick post, there are 219,922 results for the search “Search Engine Optimization” in LinkedIn under skills that people possess. That number jumps to 9,019,959 people who claim to have skills in “Social Media”. This must mean they have their own Facebook page because that’s almost 3 times the total population of the state of Oregon. Crazy!

So how can SEO be dead, or be so difficult, if so many people have this amazing skill? Well, odds are they don’t really have those skills. I painted in 5th grade, but that hardly makes me a painter.

The best tool, the game changer, in search engine optimization is education. Not really a secret, but in the age of instant gratification, it seems to be forgotten.

The most advanced SEO conference is Mozcon – a three day international conference where the top SEO’s from the major corporations from around the world gather, learn from one another, connect, and share ideas. It’s highly technical and perhaps that’s why out of the small sample size of 219,922 I found on LinkedIn, there are only 1,300 people at Mozcon. That’s less than 1%; and remember, we’re only comparing this number against the small population listed on LinkedIn. The actual number of “SEOs” is dramatically higher.

I assume that the number of attendees is so low because most people don’t study their craft. This isn’t just in Internet marketing, but in other areas as well. A true artist or expert never stops studying their craft and you should expect the same out of your marketing company.

With that said, my team and I are off to Mozcon. We’ll be bringing back with us the latest tricks and techniques that will help you and your business not only grow today, but also in the years to come.

We don’t think of this as an expense as much as an investment – for us and for our clients. One that proved pivotal in 2013 when we were able to predict changes in search results before the competition, thus allowing our clients to position themselves strategically. Nothing shady, just solid business and marketing strategy based on experience and continued education.

Education has always, and will always, be the greatest tool and will always be the Game Changer.

It’s time to go get my nerd on… I’ll see you when I get back from Seattle.

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