SEO: Can Your Website Provider Tell His ALT Tag from His Anchor Text?

by Jennifer Beever

SEO KnowledgeAs a marketing consultant who learned the details about SEO as early as 1998, I’ve observed the birth and the growth of an industry that I’m not sure I like that much. Here’s why.

When I learned SEO it was at a time when you had to optimize for six or eight (or more) search engines. It was technical, it was fun, and there was clear information being shared on the Internet about how to do it. And, not many people were doing it – only early adopters.[1] I spoke on search engine optimization in the early 2000’s, and people enthusiastically nodded their heads. They just didn’t do much.

[1] Please note: “early adopters,” “early majority” and “late majority” are all stages in Regis McKenna’s Technology Adoption Life Cycle, from the book, Crossing the Chasm. Other posts about Crossing the Chasm include New Buying Paradigm Not So New for High Tech Marketing, What Does Social Media Have to Do with Crossing the Chasm?, and Marketing Technology: Cross the Chasm with the Right Beta Customer.


Gradually as businesses saw results from SEO and Pay Per Click ads online, more and more (the early majority) began to pay for this service, and the search engine industry consolidated. The information online about how-to do SEO got muddier as things changed. What was true? What was no longer true?

I’d say it was around 2004-2005 when Big Business decided there was money to be made here. Since then, it’s only gotten worse.In the past few years as the SEO market matured and “the late majority” started buying SEO services, refugees from the traditional marketing, entertainment, telecommunications and publishing industries picked themselves up and said, “Hmmm, how can I make some big bucks fast? …. I know, I will go into SEO!” These SEO newbies grasped onto anything they could find – sometimes the tricks of black hat SEO, like keyword stuffing – and put it out as their SEO gospel and themselves out as SEO experts.

I’m sick of it! My clients come to me asking if they’re getting a fair price on SEO proposals from vendors. It’s shocking what some SEO companies charge, especially for services that are obsolete with new changes in web and online marketing technology.

Stay tuned, everyone, I will be blogging a lot more in months to come about SEO. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some truths and provide you with more clarity about what to do regarding SEO.




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