How many times have you seen a search engine marketer cringe at a business talking about how our industry is nothing but smoke and mirrors run by slimey practioners? I know I've seen it (and done the cringing) more than a few times in my life. What many in the industry seem to forget is that we often do the same type of generalizations and mud-slinging at other industries. That's exactly the line of thinking Miriam Ellis at SEO Igloo Blog explored yesterday.
Miriam's post comes in response to a Search Marketing Standard interview that featured Bill Slawski and Kim Krause Berg talking about trying to work with designers that don't understanding search marketing.
In the post, Search Marketing Standard's Joe Whyte comments:
It seems that designers typically have a hard time working with SEOs. They do not realize that things like Flash simply don't work for SEO reasons.
Ironically, Joe falls prey to the type of stereotyping that good search marketers find themselves battling every day. In this case, Joe assumes that designers (as a whole) have a hard time workign with SEOs because they're more in love with fancy graphics than creating a visually appealing, yet usable interface.
I agree with Joe that this is typical...but I also want to point out that this is a generalization of the same nature as, "SEOs typically spam search engines". Do some Google searches for SEOs or web designers, and chances are, you will be overwhelmed with the atrociously bad options in both fields. SEOs who submit your site to 5000 search engines and web designers who think design means building splash pages. Yuck, on both counts.
It's a good point.
The search marketing world has come a long way in the fight to legitimize our industry. Mainstream marketers are starting to understand that search marketing goes beyond simple manipulation and actually focuses on building relevant, usable content. Part of that progress has come from the work search marketers have done to educate people about our industry. Part of it has also come from the willingness of those outside the industry to stop and take an honest look at who we are and what we do.
Affording those in other industries the same time and respect seems only fair.
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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