Request for all SEOs out there (including me)

I happened to see this tweet. I know Giulia, and now she is a full time marketer at Macmillian Education.

Here you can see my answer too.

BUT, I understand perfectly what she is saying.

SEO community tends to be too close sometimes. SEOs talk about SEO and related stuff in a way only they can understand.

The real challenge here is to let people understand what we are doing, in simple words. It reminds me when I was a molecular biologist. How to explain science to common people? It’s a pity that all the cool stuff scientists are doing are not practically sharable with people, students, kids, parents…

SEO is the same. First of all it would be great to talk only about experiences in order to let people understand if it’s something they can use for their situation. Then, we should be able to explain it in simple words, not so nerdy. Third, please let’s do some cool presentations (too many times I was at conferences , workshops… and I was like…oh my! really?).

SEO is an amazing discipline everyone should understand it and enjoy it. So let’s begin!

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19 Comments Request for all SEOs out there (including me)

  1. Doc Sheldon

    All the differing opinions a person can find out there can certainly be confusing to the folks that are trying to learn. I think a lot of people tend to attach more credibility to information that comes from “prominent” names in the industry. Unfortunately, that prominence often comes more from prolific blogging than from actual practice. I think the folks that are most actively practicing what they know often have little time to talk about it 😉

    There are some, obviously, that do know what they’re talking about, and do a great job of sharing their knowledge in a way that can be understood by people that aren’t up on all the jargon. I know that when I was first starting to learn SEO, I read and listened to a lot of the “names”, and it took me a while to realize that I was being confused with a lot of conflicting noise. In the long run, I finally figured out that the only way to be able to sort the good stuff from all the noise was to start testing things myself.

    I was very fortunate that I got to know some great people that were willing to share what they’d already learned the hard way, in a fashion that a noob could understand. I think that when a person really want’s to communicate with someone, it’s not enough to simply SAY something… it’s their responsibility to ensure it was understood. Isn’t that what real teachers have always done?

    1. Alessio Madeyski

      Thanks for the comment Doc! and I agree in what you are saying! the power of teaching our discipline and make it understandable for ALL I think is one of the ultimate goal of a great communicator AND marketer (in this case).

  2. Fabrizio Di Carlo

    For me there were some “funny” situations:
    – one when I started to report some wrong things to a SEO agency, they correct my things but didn’t say thank you to me… and the Country Manager blocked me on Twitter… It was ridicoulus behaviour;
    – another thing: in a screening test I received some questions about Excel, I don’t like Excel I prefer OpenOffice or LibreOffice, but I prefer “technical” SEO, I sent a email where I explained my point of view but I didn’t receive answer…

  3. Anthony Pensabene

    this reminds me of a paper i graded from a very talented student. he used a lot of jargon in the paper. i asked him, “Are you reading me into circles to make me forget you didn’t spend enough time on this?” He looked me in the face, smiled, and nodded.

    For a lesser grade, I gave him the opportunity to do the work over, demonstrating to me he knew what he was writing. I’m not assuming any given SEO does/doesn’t know what they’re talking about, but those who do, are often comfortable relaying in terms of the listener.

  4. Michael J. Kovis

    Personally, I agree with Sean to a certain extent. I do believe that most SEOs views are based on opinions and beliefs that have been directly associated with their experiences or what they have learned through reading.

    However, and this is a big however, many of these beliefs and opinions are shaped on reading poor quality advice, terrible conjecture, and outdated information. I consider myself open-minded when it comes to listening to something new. I may agree or I may disagree, but I 9 times out of 10 I don’t take the advice given as the gospel. Many self-titled SEOs read an article and run with it, without ever testing the theory or attempting to use their brains to develop a solid hypothesis or opinion.

    SEO in general has NOT changed. Argue this if you must, but when you look at the its evolution throughout the years, basic practices are still the same. I think we tend to associate the change in strategy and the spammy tactics with general SEO practices all too often and this has led to a lot of confusion amongst the community.

    One other contributing cause to confusion is the constant evangelism of “white hat” techniques from thought leaders who rarely employ them. It gives me heart burn just thinking about the next conference presentations I have to sit through… Or maybe the next “White Board Friday” I watch… Or maybe the next “ground breaking” and “epic” post I read.

    Agree to disagree, but in debate if you cannot solidify your opinions and beliefs you should expect to proven wrong.

  5. Annalisa Hilliard

    I’ve done a few presentations for business owners, and I think for them it was important to water down the terminology (at least where I could) and define it, where I couldn’t. For the audience to understand online marketing, and embrace it for themselves it needed to be on their level.

    However, it really depends on your audience. The SEO community has a better understanding of the terminology and concepts. On the other hand, if you are just getting into SEO/Online Marketing it can be more difficult to learn when you don’t yet have all the basics.

    Knowing your primary audience and adjusting accordingly is probably the best solution.

  6. Bill Sebald

    Presenting above your audience’s head may get you admiration, but only from people who have no idea what you’re talking about (and wish they do).

    For the rest of the people who are kind enough to spend time reading you, listening to you, or being pitched by you, I think you owe it to them to help them understand.

    I had to teach my old company SEO, and heard from VPs several times that I did it in a way they appreciated. That was one of my favorite accolades.

    1. Alessio Madeyski

      Thanks Bill for stopping by and the comment!
      Yeah, I think audience is really important, and sometimes audience is not able to take something too nerdy.
      My example was more about people getting confused because everyone is saying different shit. And I’m seeing the same thing myself, and I got really confused.

  7. Se▲n

    Unfortunately I’m the same… Personally I think that every SEO’s views, opinions and ‘beliefs’ are shaped by their unique and specific environments, education, personalities and experiences. This in turn means that every SEO will have a unique take on what an SEO campaign means to them.

    p.s – Nice change to Discus, I might do it at some point.

    1. Alessio Madeyski

      thanks Sean for the comment!
      that’s the thing…I’m reading some posts that I’m sure have nothing to do with real experience but just to write something and jump on board on the latest cool topic out there…just to say, FIRST!

      But a thing is for sure: Giulia is someone who wrote this thing anyway, and I think it’s cool for me, as SEO, to stop and think about it and what I can do more to be more clear on my work.

      1. Se▲n

        We’d all be better SEO’s if there was a guidebook that everyone followed. However I like the fact that we are all different. Surely it makes the industry more ‘colourful’?

  8. Joel K

    I want to agree with you on this, but I honestly can’t. Not every SEO discussion – just like not every molecular biology discussion – lends itself to simple language or discourse. Sure, everyone should be able to understand the basic tenants of SEO and that is what resources like the “Beginner’s Guide to SEO” are for!

    But the industry is always in motion, always changing – and so speculation is almost a necessity (you can’t always experience something that is brand new and it still is worth asking questions about).

    I think it’s fine to write for a more technical or savvy audience; not everyone is an SEO and so not everyone needs to understand every concept of facet of the profession.

    My two cents.

    1. Alessio Madeyski

      Hey Joel,
      thanks for the comment. I’m not saying that every posts should be simple. For sure we need super tech stuff 🙂
      Just saying that I really don’t think that any ” how to survive Panda in 10 moves” or “10 cool tricks you can do to boost your site” are coming from experience. I’m pretty sure they don’t.

      Not everyone needs to understand every concept of facet of the profession, but if you are called as SEO for a company and two people who are called SEO experts say 2 totally different thing, I believe it’s not good for someone who are listening to those guys and has no real clue what SEO is.

      that’s it. and by the way, having more clear stuff around sometimes would help. always.

      thanks for your two cents, to me it’s always more like a dollar already 😀


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