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Professional Organization


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18 replies to this topic

#1 Randy

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 09:24 PM

The question seems to come up all the time about how one tells a Qualified SEO vs those who simply calls themselves an SEO. While driving today I was listening to a talk radio program regarding home buying and one of the speakers came up with a really good point as to the difference between a Real Estate Agent and Realtor®

The gist of it is that Realtor is a registered trademark of the National Association of Realtors. They provide some training and such, but there's not necessarily a separate test Agents have to take in order to become Realtors. The trick is that the Association (there are local chapters, state chapters and the national association) also serves as an Arbitration body. If someone has an issue with a Realtor, they can take the complaint to the association who will review the facts recommend a settlement. The way he explained it, the Realtor is bound by their agreement with the association to accept what the association says in these arbitration actions. The client of course isn't. They can still reject the arbitration and sue in court.

As an added bonus this Arbitration function of the association allows them to weed out the bad apples. If they see the same person/people coming through because they've not treated someone right they have not only the right, but duty to pull their membership from the association. Those folks can still be Real Estate Agents, however they cannot bill themselves as Realtors if they don't have an active membership.

The other sort of neat thing that fits with the SEO model is that the association does not in any way certify Agencies. Only individual Agents. An agency can have a bunch of Realtors, but the agency itself cannot hold any such certification. Only individual agents can receive such certification.

And the assocition is apparently very proactive in protecting their Registered Trademark. If they find an Agent billing themselves as a Realtor and they're not, they take 'em to court. Period, end of story.

Therefore, if you're a home buyer or seller you can sort of rely on your agent having a certain degree of professionalism based upon whether they're part of the association or not. And because the Association controls their own guidelines, they can put stuff in there like morality clauses, fairness clauses, etc.

It struck me as I'm listening to this show that this is probably the type of Professional Organization that the SEO industry needs and will eventually support. Not necessarily a training organization, and not really a certification organization. But one that provides an easy, consistent way for SEO consumers and other fine upstanding SEO use in addressing the bad apples. And a way for the association to weed out these same bad apples so that eventually whatever trademarked moniker ends up being used can be relied upon as a indicator of Quality.

Just a thought. wink1.gif

#2 Jill

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:17 PM

Sounds like a job for SEMPO!

#3 Ahmed

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:45 PM

Sounds like a huge responsibility but someone has to step up smile.gif It would be nice to have something like this because there are a million and one SEOs out there and they can just re-brand and start over if their black-hat techniques are discovered.. its kinda sad.

#4 Randy

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 12:05 AM

I agree up to a point Jill. Though SEMPO kind of already screwed the pooch by allowing Businesses/Offices to register instead of making each person to register, if I understand their process that is. I'm not a member since I'm not an SEO.

Except for making it a personal registration they'd also need to put some sort of professional arbitration system in place. And be willing to kick people out even if it costs SEMPO a registration fee.

I do agree that they're best positioned to do something along these lines.

#5 Hyperformance

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 12:10 AM


Sorta like the White Hat that comes with the type of work you choose to do or the tactics you will use... versus the black one.

Mine sometimes struggles with color though - searchme.gif mayeb it's age... but sometimes (in the wrong light) it may appear gray.

Really good separation Randy and a great way to explain what seems needed in a growing and diverse Industry.

- Scott

#6 purplebear

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 02:55 PM

QUOTE(Hyperformance @ Nov 25 2007, 01:10 AM) View Post
Sorta like the White Hat that comes with the type of work you choose to do or the tactics you will use... versus the black one.

Mine sometimes struggles with color though - searchme.gif mayeb it's age... but sometimes (in the wrong light) it may appear gray.

Really good separation Randy and a great way to explain what seems needed in a growing and diverse Industry.

- Scott



I wish the whole internet in general had some type of standards and they were enforced. For a person who has just gotten online and has a business.....if they would want to hire somebody for their seo (altho not even sure most of them would realize they needed to even know about seo or even what it was) heaven help the poor soul.

I don't think the average person would have any clue how to go about finding a good and ethical one. They probably wouldn't know anything about the black hat stuff, so not sure how they're supposed to know who's the right person for them. sad.gif There are sites that are very popular, but that doesn't mean they're doing things the ethical way....so how would an average person know.?

My husband's always telling me the internet's the wild west and am beginning to agree, just not sure how to fix it.

As seo experts, are you guys opposed to having some type of an organization that would set standards somehow for the seo industry?? I think that's a good idea since it would give people a general idea at least to start with but I know when similar discussions online have started about other online industries.....people get upset when anything related to standards is mentioned. So...how do you guys feel about it?

ooops, I forgot to say. lol smile.gif Randy I agree with ya and think it's a great idea.smile.gif I'm not a seo expert, tho so my opinion doesn't really mean anything. lol smile.gif but think it's a great idea speaking as a consumer type person. smile.gif

#7 Jill

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 04:10 PM

QUOTE
As seo experts, are you guys opposed to having some type of an organization that would set standards somehow for the seo industry??


Any organization like that would set standards for their members, not necessarily the industry as a whole. Unless there became some law that in order to practice SEO you were a member of that particular organization. Sort of like the bar is to attorneys.

#8 Randy

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 09:31 PM

Well, oddly enough Google does have some certifications. Just not for normal SEO.

They do however have a certification program for Adwords/PPC and also have certified partners for their Website Optimizer conversion testing software.

I guess they just don't see any advantage to themselves or the market to dip their toe into the organic SEO quagmire.

#9 Nueromancer

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 03:25 AM

QUOTE(Randy @ Nov 25 2007, 03:24 AM) View Post
The question seems to come up all the time about how one tells a Qualified SEO vs those who simply calls themselves an SEO. While driving today I was listening to a talk radio program regarding home buying and one of the speakers came up with a really good point as to the difference between a Real Estate Agent and Realtor®

It struck me as I'm listening to this show that this is probably the type of Professional Organization that the SEO industry needs and will eventually support. Not necessarily a training organization, and not really a certification organization. But one that provides an easy, consistent way for SEO consumers and other fine upstanding SEO use in addressing the bad apples. And a way for the association to weed out these same bad apples so that eventually whatever trademarked moniker ends up being used can be relied upon as a indicator of Quality.

Just a thought. wink1.gif


you are some what jummping to the conclusion that the rest of the world is just like the USA cept we speek funny :-) so a model which "works" in one country might not suit another.

And organisations like this can (or appear to give) the impression of a cartel or a good ol boys club look at the way the Texas PI association is trying to freezeout non PI security professionals (say a CCIE) from acting as expert witnesses. And as people comment its very hard to get a PI licence without being an EX cop – if you know what I meen *nudge*

#10 1dmf

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 04:12 AM

Randy,

Do you really think because a trades man is Corgi registered you aren't going to get a dodgy gas man?

Or if a travel agent is ABTA / ATOL registered you're gonna get a good holiday or rep.

Do you think because the FSA regulates the finance industry, that one of the leading high street banks isn't going to go bust (how is fanny mai - lol) and let's not forget UK's Northern Rock!

Or if a doctor is qualifed and registered with the medical council they aren't going to kill nearly 300 people over a 20+ year period

Don't get me wrong, i'm all for SEO having standards, professional accreditations, associations etc... IT would be nice to see SEO heading in that direction, crickey most SEO still seem to think it's OK to write invalid code! wink1.gif

I just not sure someone having some dodgy emblem stuck to their headed paper from a body they've probably had to pay to be a part of is going to eliminate all the dodgy SEO's out there or ensure a consumer is adequately protected.

But it's step in the right direction, so are you offering to set one up Randy? fancy being SEO CEO ?



#11 MakeMeTop

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 04:40 AM

It's a nightmare to try and arrange (I know - I tried in the UK). The general lethargy of SEO/SEM people in wishing to get involved (and by involved, I mean helping in setting up standards, contributing, setting up arbitration methods, setting qualification criteria and spending time on doing these things out of their busy schedules) is the thing that has pretty much killed all attempts to do this. I even suggested that you employ non-partisan people to run the standards body (i.e. not professional SEOs - though monitored by a committee of peers) - but no-one wanted to put their hands in their pockets to pay them.

Until there is a willingness from within the industry to push for this - then you will get a lot of people saying what a good idea it is - but actually doing nothing (apart from joining and sticking a logo on their site implying that they are part of whatever organisation).

The only way I see it happening is through organisations like the IAB perhaps.

#12 Narcotic

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 03:03 PM

I'm new to this SEO game but I have read somewhere there is no real course to become qualified in SEO. The course I did with Lynda.Com I got a certificate for but it wouldn't stand up to make me qualified. I have also seen a course with seo expert services (which I'd love to do) where you are also granted a certificate but again it wouldn't be a qualification that stands up.

Is there really no professional course in SEO? I guess the best place to ask is here.

#13 Jill

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 03:19 PM

Most SEO courses will provide you with some sort of certificate, but I don't know what that would really be worth other than saying you received it.

You can come to our SEO training class and you'll receive a "certificate of attendance" for instance.

SEMPO offers online classes where they provide some sort of certificate as well, as does Search Engine College.

#14 Narcotic

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 03:25 PM

There is no other course I would like to do better than yours there really isn't I keep reading and wishing you guys was in the U.K.

#15 Michael Martinez

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 06:27 PM

I am a huge critic of SEO certifications but there are many SEO training courses (like Jill's) where you can obtain a good basic knowledge of the way things work, what you need to do for a client.

Except for a few possible sham certification courses (I would rather not go into detail on them), I think the cause for any assessment of SEO certifications is that our industry lacks a coherent foundation for those certifications. We don't have uniform standards and standards advocates like me often leap upon the SEO certificates to illustrate our concerns.

A LOT of people are offering SEO training. Some of them have been teaching SEO for 10 years or more. Some just put out their shingles this year.

How long you've been teaching people, how popular you are, etc. really don't address the core issue.

I would say that if you take an SEO training course and they teach you to do keyword research, provide some tools and guidance on HOW to do it, cover on-page optimization, monitoring and analytics, and at least discuss basic strategies, then you're better off learning in that kind of environment than trying to pick it up off of blogs and forums -- even if they are good blogs and forums.

You want to be in an environment where you can ask questions and where (hopefully) your instructor(s) offer concrete examples of how to do things.

If you can confirm in advance that an SEO training program you're looking at offers at least that much, then it is probably worth considering.




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