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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist Crusader's Avatar
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    What makes a SEO Expert

    I've been thinking about this for quite a while now. What makes a person a "SEO Expert". Is there any formal qualifications you need to have?

    Obviously experience counts a lot. I've got 3 years experience in running websites and I know all the best practices for optimizing web pages, how to do site promotion etc. However I don't consider myself a SEO expert.

    Where do you cross the line from being knowledgeable in SEO, to actually becoming a SEO specialist who can sell their services?

  2. #2
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    Well, another measurement would be how well you rank sites, as well as having satisfied customers.

  3. #3
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    it's all about can you get rank 1 on google for a competitive keywords


  4. #4
    is craving 'the potato' slayerment's Avatar
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    What makes a pro athlete, what makes an expert on art, what makes an expert on physics? It's all relative and there is really no way to say. Whichever metric you choose is the metric in which they will be judged.

  5. #5
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Education, experience and public recognition for your achievements and accomplishments. The first two are relatively easy to get (though the second will take a lot longer than the first). The hard one to get is the latter.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard cpvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    Education, experience and public recognition for your achievements and accomplishments. The first two are relatively easy to get (though the second will take a lot longer than the first). The hard one to get is the latter.
    Public recognition meaning what exactly? Being talked about by other webmasters as well?
    Love pets? Why not discuss virtual pets?
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  7. #7
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Being recognized for your achievements in the industry. You don't have to be Chris Aspen, Aaron Wall, Rand Fishkin or John Conde to be an "expert" but you do need to have other people recognize that you know what you're talking about (or make them think you do) on a consistent basis.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    The biggest factor would be results. If your portfolio shows consistent results and happy customers, then it would go without saying that you are an expert.
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
    Singapore Web Designer

  9. #9
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    No, it just shows that you can get results. It doesn't mean that you're an expert.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    And how can you get consistent results without being an expert?
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
    Singapore Web Designer

  11. #11
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Because you don't have to be an expert to get consistent results. You just have to be good at what you do. If only experts could get consistent results, then we'd all be in trouble.

  12. #12
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo_dk View Post
    And how can you get consistent results without being an expert?
    Most sites that rank well did it without even knowing what SEO is.

  13. #13
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    ^^ that too

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    I see your point(s), but what exactly is the difference between someone who's 'really good at what they do' and an 'expert'?
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
    Singapore Web Designer

  15. #15
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Experts are widely considered by their peers and contemporaries to be the best at their craft.

    Take me and CSS for example. On my own, someone would probably feel comfortable asking me for help. Put me in the same room as Eric Meyer on the other hand, and I'll suddenly find myself with plenty of time to catch up on my reading (or work). And let's face it, I'm pretty darn good with CSS, able to do things with it that can make peoples' jaws drop. But do I have the recognition that Eric Meyer does? No. Which means I'm a relative unknown in the grand scheme of things. I may be a big fish in a small pond, but he's the big fish in the ocean.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    I agree with you Dan, but I was talking in the context of the OP's question. I don't think he meant 'expert' to be the range of Eric Meyers rock star status. But yeah, I get your point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
    Where do you cross the line from being knowledgeable in SEO, to actually becoming a SEO specialist who can sell their services?
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
    Singapore Web Designer

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
    What makes a person a "SEO Expert".
    Read and understand the sticky.
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  18. #18
    SitePoint Evangelist Crusader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm View Post
    Read and understand the sticky.
    Already done, and I do understand it. My question was basically aimed at how to differentiate between the so called "experts" who are big on promises, but more talk than anything else. And secondly on how to start out in the SEO world so I can start out on the road of selling my services. There are loads of people over here that are supposedly experts, but I can definitely do everything they do at much more affordable prices.

    I guess the proof is indeed in the pudding, and that there's no established qualifications to look at. Guess I'll have to start building my SEO portfolio then...

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
    My question was basically aimed at how to differentiate between the so called "experts" who are big on promises, but more talk than anything else.
    Right, quiz them on the sticky using loaded questions.
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  20. #20
    SitePoint Evangelist MrCat's Avatar
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    SEO is changing rapidly and for a person to claim he is an expert at such is somewhat improbable. IMO, no one can be an expert in an everchanging field - that's just me

    What matters is knowledge, experience, proof of work and how well an SEO provider can adapt to new trends
    ClickXposure.com - PPC Management

  21. #21
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    Most sites that rank well did it without even knowing what SEO is.
    Agreed. They found something that many people liked in some way, and then things happened naturally.

    SEO is only a small part of having a successful site, and I think sometimes it is overrated.

  22. #22
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    *laughs* SOMETIMES?

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    Somewhere down the line actual people (a.k.a. users) seem to have been forgotten.
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
    Singapore Web Designer

  24. #24
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCat View Post
    SEO is changing rapidly ...
    Actually it really isn't changing rapidly at all. All that is changing is how they weed out spam and trickery. The basics for ranking a page hasn't changed much in a while. Sites that stick to the basics don't really need to keep up on SEO.

  25. #25
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo_dk View Post
    Somewhere down the line actual people (a.k.a. users) seem to have been forgotten.
    Which is a shame because making users happy is the best way to get to the top of the SERPs.


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