I was reading some guy’s promotional material today and noted he had ‘Done SEO for some BIG corporations‘. Like that was supposed to mean something. That is certainly NOT the case. If anything it merely means they’re strong in just that area. That they may not be as effective in a smaller SMB type situation.
It does though bring up an interesting topic that I haven’t seen a lot of chatter about; SEO is situational.
One of the bigger problems in teaching/learning SEO is that what works in some situations, won’t work in others. Each and every experience is likely, to some degree, unique. Consider for a moment some potential variants we can come across when doing SEO
- Site Age
- Size of site
- Link profile maturity
- Conversion goals
- Different markets
- Content programs? (on-site and off)
- Budgets to work with
- In-house experience
- Agency SEO
- Cross promotion resources (social, PR, offline)
Get the idea here? The main point is that even when working the same query space, each business listed in the top 10 can have very different situations. Thus we as SEOs are all experiencing the world of SEO from different perspectives.
Passing on the Art
This is what makes SEO not only interesting, but difficult to teach. With the members of my community we like to say; We’re all teachers and we’re all students. This is meant to bring into focus this very issue. None of us know it all.. and none of us have experienced each and every possible situation.
This is what makes the professional SEO. The ability to think outside of the box to get the job done in our own unique situations. There is no book, course, forum nor community that can teach it all. And as those that are seeking to teach, this concept simply MUST be kept in mind at all times. The Art of War; SEO Style.
Advanced SEO and Secrets
I’ve had more than a few conversations about what exactly constitutes ‘advanced SEO‘. We ultimately seemed to gravitate more towards the ability to deal with specific situations, niches, budgets and the like. This also plays into the concept of situational in that you will, over the course of your career, work in many markets, different client/employer types and more. The ‘advanced‘ SEO is likely your ability to adjust tactics and methods to maximize the effort given to the site. There aren’t really a lot of advanced tactics, it is more about your ability to adapt to the situation.
This is the same for ‘secrets’ as well. There are very few concepts that I get from my private circles that aren’t already out in the public, in some form or another. It all once more falls back to being able to deal with various situations. Knowing which tactics to use, how to max the effect of the budget and more. If you’re looking for the advanced secrets of SEO, look no further. That’s not really what’s important. It is HOW you use them.
And so my friends, it is important that we all understand that SEO is situational. The advice you read may or may not apply to you. The tactics you’ve used may not work in all markets. There really is no one-size-fits-all SEO approach. This thing of ours is all about the situation.