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Old 8th May 2006, 04:32 PM   #1
thejenn
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Default Certify Me – Two Emerging SEO Certification Programs

Authored by: Jim Hedger

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/hedger/007482.html

A Snippet:

From a business and consumer’s point of view, the lack of professional oversight or certification in the search engine optimization field can present problems when deciding with whom to risk advertising dollars. Without an industry-wide certification program, the only protection consumers can expect comes from the due-diligence process they exercise themselves.

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Old 9th May 2006, 05:46 AM   #2
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Default Certification

sipgroup.org seems to have a hefty price just to join $1000 to $25000. Makes me kind of wonder if they are just in it for the money and not care about weeding out the bad seo's.

Then again, the price would weed out a lot of bad seo's, but a lot of the good ones too. I don't see sipgroup.org as being recognized enough in the industry to put forth such a hefty price.

seopros.org has some excellent trainers in the seo realm that ARE well known. I have learned under their teachers before and they DO know their stuff!

I have already taken one of Dan Theis's courses and was impressed with the knowledge, listened to Scottie at a seminar, etc. I emailed them for further information because it was unclear to me just what you had to do exactly in order to be considered for certification.

There was a seo certification offered through one of the software programs I use that cost a couple of hundred bucks that I thought would be basic and used just to promote their product. To my surprise though it was worth every penny and had accurate information about the industry.

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Old 9th May 2006, 12:57 PM   #3
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Interesting, but I'm not sure how important it will be. It hasn't mattered much in web design. I think what will always separate the good seo companies from the bad is the results they get, especially the long term results. If you can help a client get traffic and revenue I doubt they would ever care what certifcation you have received along the way.

There is a lot of concern though with seo companies at the moment and what kind of seo they practice so maybe it will mean something to some people. Chances are though if business owners look for certification it will spring a new industry of seo cetification and as most people outside the industry won't know one certificate from the next it would be kind of back to where we are now.

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Old 9th May 2006, 03:02 PM   #4
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It really depends on what industry you want results for. The gambling and porn industry do much more agressive work that I do not think anyone would ever certify.

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Old 9th May 2006, 04:44 PM   #5
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Can't say I've ever been asked if I'm certified, or if my employer is certified to SEO/SEM/WebDev, etc. Either you know your stuff, or you don't.

Anyone ever been asked about certification by a client or prospect?

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Old 10th May 2006, 12:39 PM   #6
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I've never been asked about certification for any aspect of my business. I think the hard part with certification is unless those outside the industry are well aware of the existence of the certificate it's kind of meaningless.

We all (or I hope all) know that you need to be licensed to practice law or medicine and so we will want to make sure our doctors and lawyers have been licensed.

For someone working in the IT industry there are plenty of certificates that an employer would be concerned about because those certificates tell something about what skills you most likely have and can differentiate you from other candidates for the job. Take that same IT person though and put them in their own business and their clients may not know what it means to be a certifed as a Red Hat engineer or an MSCE. So for the clients the certificate makes little to know difference.

It can become an issue of the majority of people in an industry have similar certificates. If 90% of all seo consultants displayed the 'seo certified' logo on their site the 10% who didn't might have to work a little harder to convince someone they know their stuff even if the client has no idea what 'seo certified' really means.

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Old 10th May 2006, 02:37 PM   #7
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One major problem I see with certification is that we are shooting at a moving target. What was normal, white hat, SEO practices a year ago may be useless to improving my clients ranking today. One of the SE’s decided it was no longer relevant. The individuals responsible for developing the certification criteria would have a full time job just tracking what is working today, since the SE’s do not seem to want to give away there secrets. By the time the testing was disseminated, someone at one of the big three would decide to change everything…, again.

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Old 10th May 2006, 09:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph
One major problem I see with certification is that we are shooting at a moving target. What was normal, white hat, SEO practices a year ago may be useless to improving my clients ranking today.
Exactly. It just changes far too quickly for anyone to develop any sort of testing/certification program that would cover anything above and beyond the absolute basics.

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Old 10th May 2006, 10:36 PM   #9
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The only SEO certification I will remotely believe as trustworthy is when it comes from a "real" college like any other skill and that is likely not to happen anytime in the near future. Even then it is not always a good gauge to know who is good or bad. Their are plenty of great web designers, programmers, ecommerce managers, marketing managers, business owners, etc that never went to college.

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Old 11th May 2006, 06:22 PM   #10
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Ralph and Matt I hadn't even thought of the changing nature of the industry when I came down on seo certificates. You're both right of course. A certificate from 2 years ago would be pretty worthless given how things have changed.

Incredible I'm not even sure a certificate from a college would even be meaningful. I have a couple from a major university in web design and the truth is I'm still self taught. The only real requirement for getting the certificate was showing up for some percentage of all the classes. I'm sure there are other universities and colleges with better programs, but you can't trust them on name alone. By the way welcome. We've briefly chatted on WebProWorld so I thought I'd say hello.

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