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Search Engine Optimization Certification
 3 Observations for the future SEO

John Alexander

When it comes to search engine optimization certification, it's a topic that is becoming quite popular. To the active public and business owner in general, there is a very real need for skilled SEO professional people. Now Webmasters that I speak to on the phone or in general conversation, often seem to have the feeling that they already have good SEO skills or there is nothing else they could possibly learn. 

Many are trying to rely on a software program or a number of SEO related tools 
(thinking that there are tools that will do the job for them.) 

Only a few by comparison have actually ever completed a comprehensive course of SEO study. 

One of the obvious challenges to the business public is the question of where does one go in order to find people who have a proven track record for delivering results? But let's first talk about why the topic of search engine optimization certification, seems to shake some Webmasters, Web developers and Web designers up?

1. Observations concerning the "public's awareness" of SEO training and the value of having a certification of skills.

As the business community becomes more and more aware that some people really have studied search engine optimization in depth, the work climate will begin to change for the positive. As business owners and the public in general become more aware that there are genuine SEO services that deliver a return on investment, then a much clearer division will be made between the trained SEO professional and all the others, who simply use "SEO talk" as a gimmick to sell more Web sites. Or how about the age old search engine submission scams.  

The importance of having a trained SEO professional, who can demonstrate proven results and a return on investment to the client will take on a whole new factor in importance. But watch and see if the same standards as they become more prevalent in the future, don't also shake up those Webmasters who just "talk the talk" but don't actually know how to deliver the actual results. You will recognize these voices often as those who speak out against SEO training and proclaiming that "SEO certification" means nothing. 

The idea of SEO certification is particularly frightening to some people out there. It's connected to a reflection of their own fears that the public and/or general business owner will be soon becoming much wiser and may even someday ask them about their own education or qualifications someday. 

The trained SEO professional though has no worries about higher standards coming into play or more public awareness towards SEO skills training, because they have their projects and success stories to prove that they're qualified. In short, you can find them ranked at the top for those competitive phrases.

2. Why SEO certification will contribute to a better business climate for business owners regarding SEO services.

How many businesses do you know who have already been burned by some fast talking Webmaster who promised top positions in all the major search engines? Then once their money was taken, they realized zero return on investment?
You can probably answer that question for sure. There are stories from just about everywhere on the globe from Canadian people  to American people which have been at some point taken advantage of. Made big promises and ultimately presented with a big bill to pay but no results in the end.

I spoke to one Webmaster on the phone who told me that he had taken a $60,000 dollar technology contract from a client for his "so called" SEO services, but the Webmaster had no idea how to help the client once he had taken their money. Now he was scrambling to ask about training because he desperately needed to learn the skills. However, he never did attend the training because the one thing we've noticed, is that very seldom will this type of person ever invest in building their skills. The bottom line is that they are more focused on making a fast buck rather than building genuine skills and building "clients for life." Probably you have heard at least a half a dozen stories like this yourself right? The business owner paying for something based on "SEO talk" but with no results following. A lot of these incidents have hurt the industry on the whole.

But once the essence of "search engine optimization certification" training becomes more mainstream and the public's awareness and alert is brought to the forefront, then it will actually benefit both the business owner as well as the SEO professional (who has built their reputation based on delivering genuine results) and by producing quality content. 
By all statistical accounts, everyone should be much happier by that time, except maybe the advertiser who is still looking for ways to trick or fool the search engines (real old thinking - or they don't want to do any work.)

3. SEO certification of the future will not JUST be about "being certified" or "completing a study."

As we all know, the truly successful SEO professional cannot rest on old training completed 2 or 3 years ago. In this industry there is no single person that can ever know it all. In this industry, things continually change and the SEO professional absolutely needs to keep their skills on the cutting edge. 

I can see business owners requiring some system of SEO re-certification in the future. Many of our SEO Mastery Workshop students come back for a refresher workshop every 12 to 18 months. But watch and see if search engine re-certification does not also become more important to people in the future too. To those who have taken the time to develop top search engine skills, there is certainly no shortage of work or career options.

Where can one learn to build solid SEO skills based on the truth of what is working "in the now?" 

There are a variety of options for learning SEO skills. One of the places you can start is actually one of the very first comprehensive search engine optimization training programs that was ever developed. This online study course was developed by Robin Nobles back in 1998 and was the very first certification in SEO training to the industry. Many of the top SEO industry experts today, such as Dave Barry, SEO researcher Ginette Degner, SEO researcher Jerry West, LSI expert Michael Marshall among many others, all started their training as a student of Robin Nobles at Online Web Training. She's been updating these courses ever since.

One of the most popular options for people who are serious about building their SEO skills very quickly, is the Ultimate SEO Mastery Workshop which is a live, hands-on 5-Day SEO Workshop delivered by top industry talent. You study the full scope of search engine skills and it includes 3 months of access to resources as well as a 6 month mentoring program which is all included with your tuition.

Workshop Details

Upcoming Live Workshop Dates 

Another option is through our new associated educators 
at the 
Search Engine Academy

In Summary:

As we move into the future, I expect that we'll hear more and more opinions about the importance of SEO certification.
Many of our own SEO Workshop students express their opinions about their workshop training on this page. 

But with respect to the topic of a standard SEO certification in general being adopted and whether comments are positive or negative, will depend on the view of the individual. You can read many people's opinions, but at the end of it all, what really matters is whether or not the SEO professional have had enough training to ensure that their work on articles or page content will have two important things: 

1. Does the SEO professional have the know-how to get ranked for those important competitive keyword phrases relating to the ideal buying audiences search behavior? Will their page or pages rank based on the merit of true relevancy?

2. Does the SEO professional understand and possess the skills to compel a visitor to respond right now. Remember, we are not just talking about being ranked, but also the skill of copywriting itself and creating content that truly merits enough true value to satisfy the reader's original search and compel a response.

Then of course there is the topic of pay per click PPC marketing, but that is more under the topic of paid advertising.

There are many more entries that go into education and skills mix, but the two things above must be there present for most online businesses to experience any firm impact from their strategic SEO engineering.

How long will it take for search engine optimization certification to come more into the future public's mind?

It may come about faster than many people are expecting. As firmer standards become more commonplace, it will only mean good news for both the business owner who is seeking competent, qualified SEO help, as well as to the trained SEO professional who has built their skills wisely and are committed to keeping their skills consistently up to date.

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About John Alexander

John Alexander is the Co-Director of Training of Search Engine Workshops with Robin Nobles. Together, they teach 2-day beginner, 3-day advanced, and 5-day all-inclusive "hands on" search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe. John also teaches online search engine marketing courses through, and he’s a member of Wordtracker’s official question support team. 

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