What is SEO; Beginners and Newbie’s Guide

“All I know is (that) I know nothing”

                                                -Socrates

We’ll pick up on that later…

I can easily spend an entire article explaining in detail the meaning and the value of Search Engine Marketing in today’s world; its practices, its purpose, approaches, tactics; all regardless of the fact that I’m an apprentice and an admirer of the industry itself. I can be completely ignorant on the subject, and teach you everything you might think there is to know about SEO. How? Well Google of course! …And yes, I can’t deny it, Wikipedia as well; but the truth is, at this specific moment in time, I can’t really give you complete thorough answers or explanations to either the market nor the practice of SEO. I believe no one really can. Not even the “experts” themselves.

Search Engine Marketing is a necessity not only to businesses but also to the World Wide Web as a whole. Good SEO makes for a well established, well crafted, organized, informative, useful, and reliable web site; am I right? However, to understand SEO, one must also understand and see SEO as an ever-changing and ever-growing set of elements. What worked and benefited a web site a year ago, may no longer have the same effect today.

The first day I stepped into the office, I walked in with much confidence… I had read a few articles online, got a book and researched certain things about SEO. I figured “let’s impress my new co-workers”. Well, it most definitely did not go the way I had foreseen;, on the contrary, turns out I knew nothing! … Literally Nothing. I spent the next three weeks learning the basics, the way we work, the way we practice SEO.  I was the Newbie and I AM the newbie, I will forever be…regardless of how much expertise I may gather as we speak and in the future.

SEO is ever changing and ever growing, so my best advice to all of you learning about Search Engine Marketing for the first time and wish to be a part of it is: Come to terms with reality. I don’t care how much of a tech wiz you think you are. To really keep up with the world of SEO, you need to know that what’s important is not necessarily what you already know, but what you will learn along the way. You will never stop learning; now put that concept on steroids.

After you’ve come to terms with your ignorance, it is obvious that your brain needs to be filled with something. Yes, terms and acronyms like PPC, SEM, AdWords, WordPress, Volusion, will become part of your daily life, but fear not; like everything in life, it is just a matter of learning and practice.  There is a practicality as there are approaches when it comes to good SEO. First and foremost, no client and no web site is the same. Much like no two people are perfectly alike, Web Sites have “personalities” of their own. The difference comes in pre planning, designing, executing, and implementing content. Most importantly, just how is it done?

Detail is a key, so from the first couple of things you will learn to larger research projects, you will see that every little detail matters in SEO. In no time, you will be implementing, syndicating, even writing content; researching, doing all sorts of stuff, with almost a robot-like precision! Now, that is a problem. The moment you start to use repetition to your benefit of getting more work done, it is the same moment that you start to lose track of the big picture. As to why you’re doing what you’re doing, what are the end results? What’s expected? What is your purpose as an SEO newbie? The commanders delegate, yes, but at the end of it all, it is the privates that do the dirty work, that do the fighting…without speculation, planning, and delegation, there cannot be victory in any business or situation. However, the execution is what makes it all happen, and that is where I come in, where all of you fellow newbie’s may be coming in.

It is important to understand that what makes an SEO expert  an expert, is not only his/her experience in the industry alone, but also the capacity to adapt and own the on-going changes and progress the internet industry undergoes on a daily basis. This capacity needs to be engrained into each and every one of us and every aspect of our work in order for successful practice of Search Engine Optimization.

So what is SEO? And this question isn’t directed to any of you experts… but the opposite side of the ladder. It is a service that is high in demand, an industry that is barely in its adolescence, I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s a life style, but it most definitely changes the way you live your life; taking into consideration that we spend most of our day on the internet. Gear up newbie; prepare your brain, ideas, and expectations, because all are a necessary part of successful SEO. You will be overwhelmed …no doubt about that, … information is more likely to be pouring out your ears, and the notes you took yesterday might just be useless today. That is the world of SEO, and that is why only about 10,000 out of the 300,000,000 (That’s roughly 0.003%) people living in this country can truly say they understand and practice this form of art.

Now we can relate to Socrates, can’t we all? One may even find Socrates as one of the first SEO experts in this world. He optimized minds, the search engine wasn’t Google but human curiosity, and the backlinks were inspiration and that same curiosity for knowledge and wonder that inspired the rest of humanity into progress. Rest assured, even Socrates (though he might have not found himself frustrated in front of a computer screen) must have definitely reached a point of feeling overwhelmed by the infinite opportunities, endless amounts of information and possibility that which the human mind is capable of producing, retaining, and spreading. So next time you find yourself doing research, implementing content, even doing simple implementations, know that you’re feeding the root of knowledge of the 21st century. You’re not only benefitting your client’s pocket but the Internet in its entirety, in turn, the biggest encyclopedia and database humanity has ever seen. You’re now a part of it.

August 23, 2011

Written by Jose Vera

Jose Vera is an SEO Marketing Specialist in charge of analysis, development, and execution of Optimum7's Search Engine Optimization strategies. With a passion for learning and the determination to grow for and with his clients. His attention to detail, creativity, drive, and emphasis on improvement have made him an important asset to the Optimum7 team.

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2 Comments

  1. asom
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    Well said. i myself also thought that what i knew was more than enough, that’s until i knew what i knew was old info, internet marketers must really be updated with such knowledge.

  2. Posted August 28, 2011 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    An in-depth article on a tricky subject. I think that every Internet Marketer, whether newbie or experienced needs to reflect on SEO form time to time. The way Google is moving, is increasingly going to penalise difficult to navigate, low quality websites. Therefore, having a strong SEO strategy goes a long way to simply improving the visitor experience, which is surely a good thing.

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