Software

Could you have a career in Search Engine Optimization?

Is being an expert at SEO the career option of the future? Or is it the career most likely to have the rug pulled out from under it when Google decides to change its ranking algorithm?

I have spoken in the past about my infatuation with search engines. They have made my life so much easier. (And that of my father, who is the person I used to call with questions involving anything from how long to cook a steak to how to sand my hard wood floors.)

As most addicts, I try to push aside the nagging thought that I'm not really in control of the experience. Although I think I'm getting a world of information at my fingertips, I'm actually only getting that portion of information whose "handlers" happen to know how to get on Google's first pages.

Those of us in the click rate business know how important Google attention is. We flirt with Google by sprinkling our blogs with what it claims are the most popular search terms. (Although, I must say, you have to work pretty hard to work "Dancing with the Stars" into a piece about SQL Server data types.)

And then we create whole careers around the science of Search Engine Optimization. (That's SEO if you're hip.) Companies have begun hiring people to tweak their sites for search engines or they're grooming internal folks for the challenge.

For IT, the roles are known as-what else?--search engine optimizers. They deal with the technical side of things-coding and engineering and cracking the ranking algorithms. This gets as granular as urls for individual website pages.

Although I've seen a few articles that recommend this line as a new career possibility, I can't go that far. The "science" of SEO strikes me as a little like cloud seeding, like changing the natural order of things.

It also seems very temporary to me. What if you become the Supreme Tsar Of All That Is Google and then Google figures out a way to prevent everyone from defeating their algorithms? And, really, it's Google, so they are going to do that.

I think SEO is a good side expertise to have, but I wouldn't devote myself solely to it.

Are any of you becoming search engine optimizers out of necessity? Would you pursue it as a career?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

9 comments
robert0123
robert0123

Now mostly organization wants online business by Google, Yahoo or MSN search engines but it can be possible by SEO or SEM Only. seo service India

robert0123
robert0123

seo job is jointed with online marketing

robert0123
robert0123

Now mostly organization wants online business by Google, Yahoo or MSN search engines but it can be possible by SEO or SEM. seo service India

tj
tj

My last boss took her operation to Michigain and nixed development in favor of pure SEO management strategies. She is now a millionaire. I've stuck with development... I am not a millionaire. Case closed.

marjohns
marjohns

Well I have been doing it for 12 years,and ended up with several successfull business's. Its a myth that google's algo change the authority and high ranking sites. If you really know your SEO there is a fortune in it. Paterson

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Sites are uploaded but to where?All ISP's have search engines that access these sites.I'm thinking that the Government just might have something to do with search engines.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

National Search Administration. :D Hmmm... afterthought. Nefarious Search Administration. All better now.

pros
pros

Not only is a career possible in SEO, it is a demanding one. I have been doing SEO since 1999, and it is not at all like "cloud seeding." SEO is neither "science" nor "magic". It is a specific way of understanding how the search engines classify websites, and how best to make website visible to them. In order to do SEO, one must keep up to date on all the changes inherent in search engines and be able to change strategies at a moment's notice. Google is NOT the only search engine out there, either. If, as you say, you "flirt" with Google by putting in key terms in your blog, then you are doing it incorrectly. I suggest you start by reading The SEO Book by Aaron Wall, and then checking out some of the SEO websites like Search Engine Land. SEO has been a career since almost the beginning of the Web, and many of us enjoy what we do. It is a challenge and a joy to be able to see a client's website showing up under their specific keywords high in the search engine rankings. I recommend that you do more research before writing a column such as this.

gunakeshparmar
gunakeshparmar

SEO is now a world wide career. its a wide field.

Editor's Picks