2013 has sparked serious debate (doesn’t ever year?) over the long term stability of SEO. You’ve all seen it; “SEO is dying”, “SEO has no future”, “SEO is Dead” (whoops). But do you know what that is? A lack of leadership, inconsistent challenges and few groundbreaking ideas to spark the mind. To me, it seems as though too many people in the industry just want to claim this as a paycheck and a way in to marketing, rather than see this as their career aspiration. There’s no leader that screams out “Be like me, this is awesome”, there’s no highly praised job telling the world how this has saved brands and made world history.
There’s none of that. What he have instead is “I bought 20,000 links and killed my business” or “SEO is boring” – I’m still undecided over which bugs me more. What we, SEO as a whole, needs more than anything now is a leader. I’m sorry Rand but this isn’t one you can take. They need an SEO company or individual who has turned a business around, brought new heights to marketing and shined a fresh new light on the world of Search Marketing.
There’s blame to point here. I’m not going to point it at anyone I’m afraid, but what I want to get across is:
— Passion works harder than ability —
Unfortunately, many companies and agencies both big & small tend to hire the worker who is right for this job here and now. This is great and I’m glad you can get more work done right now. But what happens in 6 months when something changes and they need to completely adapt their job? If this person has no passion will they want to put in the extra 5 hours a week to learn more? Will they want to go to 8 hours worth of conferences per month, outside of working hours to catch up on the industry?
What seems to be a disappointing occurence is the answer is no. Which is why we still have agencies, companies and individuals trying to do work that was out of date a long time ago. These “paycheck employees” that were suited to negotiation skills to buy links 3 years ago, don’t know any better and don’t have the desire to learn differently. They won’t adapt to your new strategies and they won’t put the hours in to make themselves, and SEO, a better service.
This might seem like a righteous rant, but it’s time SEO stop becomming a job and started becomming an industry, a career and an aspiration. People that are passionate will offer you more value in the long term than people that don’t care but can do the job cheaply or quickly. Chances are that longer term you’ll save money actually training these passionate careers because they’ll do it themselves.
When you’re building, expanding or just replacing your SEO team, it’s important to think about what they offer your company, as well as your client. It’s time to build an SEO industry and careers, not an SEO team.