Published: 14 November 2014 The world of SEO is a constantly changing one. The irregularly regular updating of search engine algorithms means that techniques that delivered easy results in the past probably no longer work and this process will continue on in to the future. As a relative newcomer to the industry, I wanted to learn everything and become an expert, but this is not easy when everything changes so rapidly. Even in my time SEO has changed its focus almost beyond recognition.

The SEO industry is quite unique. No one grows up planning, let alone dreaming of working as an SEO, most people find themselves working in it or develop an interest in it as a result of past work, be that through broader marketing or through running your own website and wondering why you’re not No. 1 on Google.

So how do you learn to be an SEO? Despite the huge number of blogs and articles available on the internet, the industry is notoriously secretive in its sharing of tips and techniques, most preferring to strike a balance between sharing knowledge and trying to keep a step ahead of their commercial competitors.  They are a great place to start, however as they give a good indication of the basic techniques others are using.

Talking is another great source of information. Going to SEO events means being in a room with possibly hundreds of other SEOs. Despite the usual secrecy, there’s nothing SEOs like doing more than talking about SEO, the chances to do so usually being few and far between. 

The main lessons ultimately come from actively doing SEO. After sifting through the online content (and ignoring the clearly out dated ‘advice’ – there’s no such thing as quick and easy backlinking), combine this with building a picture in your mind of what search engines are ultimately looking for – honest, natural, popular websites that provide a valuable service, be that providing information or a product.

Experimentation is key. Sometimes trying something different will bring results, sometimes not. Trying to second guess what the next round of algorithm updates will bring is useful in avoiding potential penalties in the future. One thing I have learnt though, is that in both learning SEO and carrying it out, there is no such thing as a quick fix.


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Nick Steele

Digital Marketing Consultant


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