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SEO: Sending Everyone Out to look for a new name


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#1 JimZim

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Posted 10 December 2002 - 05:22 PM

Was suggested in another thread that SEO's are about SOOOO much more than just optimizing for search engine placement. And I agree whole heartedly.

So, I am now, of course, very curious as to what others here might think this industry's professionals might be able to label themselves that would truly be more descriptive of the roles/hats that are worn.

Online Marketing Professional :?:
Website Promotions Expert :?:
Wag The (SE) Dog :wink:

Your thoughts?

#2 sanity

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Posted 10 December 2002 - 05:29 PM

Hmm tough call.

Personally I combine SEO with web design, usability, internet marketing, consulting etc. I'd love to come up with a more appropriate description.

I guess part of it depends on what you actually do.

#3 Guest_PhilC_*

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Posted 10 December 2002 - 05:36 PM

SEOs are not about anything but getting high rankings. Some SEOs do more than that.

The term "Search Engine Optimizer" means one thing - search engine optimizer. Yes it could mean that SEOs optimize search engines, but everyone understands that they don't. But they DO optimize FOR search engines, and they do it in order to get high rankings. Anything more than that is more than search engine optimization. Technically, the words in the term means that it doesn't even include submiting to directories, although SEOs normally include that.

So if you want a term that includes the various forms of marketing, including search engine optimization, you need to find a term that suits. Those of us that don't do marketing can stick with SEO.

Phil.

#4 sanity

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Posted 10 December 2002 - 05:38 PM

So if you want a term that includes the various forms of marketing, including search engine optimization, you need to find a term that suits. Those of us that don't do marketing can stick with SEO.

Phil.

Exactly - that's why we're discussing it Phil. :wink:

Soph

#5 bragadocchio

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Posted 11 December 2002 - 01:47 AM

So these Web Site Optimizers (WSO), what should we call them?

I'll have to think about it.

#6 peter_d

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Posted 11 December 2002 - 03:12 AM

SEO's should call themselves "spammers". Joke. Just a joke :(

It's unlikely any name will encapsulate all aspects of the role. If you call yourself an seo, and your customers call you an seo, you quite probably are an seo. Why fight perception?

In terms of function, however, it's a subset of online marketing.

#7 Web Diversity

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Posted 11 December 2002 - 05:53 AM

I was reading a magazine called Growing Business. it's a good magazine in that the target eyeballs are senior decision makers in small to medium sized companies (I think I must have got someone elses subscription ).

In the latest issue there is a "10 top tips" to get seen on the web. The tips were supplied by Kevin Kerrigan who is the COO of BT Openworld.

Although out of the ten there was the usual yada yada type tips, one that made me look was one where he suggests :

Use a targeted search marketing company - Link your site to keywords typed into search engine. Choose words and phrases that are associated with your business sector, products or services. This ensures you will only receive targeted visitors


Now for a COO of an ISP that's not bad, but it was interesting that he called "us" targeted search marketing companies.

I always go back to my old sales/marketing days and try to see "their problem through their eyes" and talk in "their langauage", jargon is an absolute killer, but if you over-simplify it you make yourself look dumb.

I tried it once with a bunch of friends, but because you have to explain the gist, invariable you end up putting words in their mouth.

Jim Banks
Web Diversity Limited
http://www.webdiversity.co.uk
Don't let your web site kill your business

#8 JimZim

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Posted 11 December 2002 - 08:42 AM

Now for a COO of an ISP that's not bad, but it was interesting that he called "us" targeted search marketing companies


Hmmmm, Targeted Search Marketing Professionals :?:

I like that, as long as we are not wearing one :splat:

Here's a link to that mag online; unfortunately they don't put any of their content from the mag online :cry:
http://www.growingbusinessmag.co.uk/

Thanks.

#9 glyn

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Posted 12 December 2002 - 06:33 AM

Regardless of the title you could never go to a client and tell it to them "Hi I'm an SEO how's it going". They'd probably tell you the Jim Henson workshop is down the road!

I'd probably choose something around the word brand. Maybe online brand manager, I'm fairly sure BK would agree with me. Bottom line is that all these titles do very little in the real world if no-one understands them. Even if it sounds boring, which I don't think it does, it gives a sense of the whole spectrum of online marketing and also the angle at which you come in, IE giving importance to the brand and not the type of service you offer.

Of course the backup to a job title like this is being able to deliver and bring online promotion inline with a clients the offline comms strategy (where this is an objective), deliver project plans for campaigns, show how to make their site a good measurement tool for marketing strategies, and to be able to sit down in a room and give a solid presentation to the CEO of multinational and have him not to leave the meeting thinking he's just spoken to a Dalek (E.T. for those outside the UK).

I tend to explain my job at the most elementary level, goto Yahoo and type in shoes, my client comes in number 1. But for those discussions that go beyond the pub a little more clarity is a requisite.

Anyway, I think I am going to give up on names. I remember back in the 90s I'd speak to grads out of uni who were doing "marketing" when in fact all they were doing was memo's and taking calls.

There is a lot of bu****** in this world I think I am going to give up on names and just explain what I do depending on the target audience!

#10 Black_Knight

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Posted 14 December 2002 - 05:46 PM

I'd probably choose something around the word brand. Maybe online brand manager, I'm fairly sure BK would agree with me. Bottom line is that all these titles do very little in the real world if no-one understands them.


When I went to work 'in-house' for a company for a while they eventually labelled me their "Head of Trade Marketing" - which makes as much sense as most titles I guess. Let's face it, there are hundreds of titles in use in companies now that don't really tell you anything except that the person has a title. Sometimes it seems as if everything between CEO and Sales is made up on the spot. :D

These days, more and more ebusinesses are aware of SEO, and have at least heard the term, even if not necessarily understood the role (but since the role varies with the provider, that's not so surprising).

Personally, I chose my title because I dealt additionally with other aspects of promotion and marketing that had no connection with search engines. I've worked with product development, market research, CRM, viral marketing, building partnerships and affiliates, and even banner advertising. The only common denomination was the marketing connection, and that I deal primarily (and solely, by preference) with online marketing opportunities - Internet Marketing.

I agree with Glyn that the title is really just a trimming - secondary to what you actually say to clients. It is the presentation you make, both on your site, business advertising, and of course in your business proposals and negotiations that matter most.

#11 JimZim

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 03:22 PM

I agree with Glyn that the title is really just a trimming - secondary to what you actually say to clients.  It is the presentation you make, both on your site, business advertising, and of course in your business proposals and negotiations that matter most.


I would generally agree with that, as well. However, if you deal with other web development professionals, then I suppose we have to make sure we are communicating to them just what we do, as they are the ones out there talking with the end clients. (I do this right now, as it is a viable way for me to get SEO work in the door, without having to do any marketing of my own.)

Thanks for all the insight. I definitely find it valuable.

#12 enigma

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 01:17 PM

By way of example:

I've been holidaying in Cyprus, on-and-off, for 12 years. In the last 3 years, me and the Mrs have stayed at the same hotel, during which time my relationship with the manager has gone from guest, respected customer to friend - to which end I built him his site for free. Therefore SEO means Stupid English Optimist - or Sensible English Opportunist dependent on one's level of cynicism.

In that time I watched the transition to friendship take place. I saw an extremely competent professional hotelier who, when confronted with a situation where he was at a loss, learn from it, tuck it under his belt and alway, always ensure the customer (in many of our instances, the client) comes first. SEO is, I believe, not dissimilar: it is an exercise in perpetual learning and co-ordination.

SEO was, at one time, a pretty elitist market involving taking a site to the top through as-best-possible an understanding of what the engines wanted. Those days are gone. Many of us know it is not simply getting to the top in the engines. We work hard with our clients to ensure we remain aufait with site promotion. Hitting the engine top 10 isn't difficult, it's the site cultivation which takes time. It's a knowledge of your market and the Internet marketing medium. As individuals (or corporates) we grow daily, expanding our skillsets to fulfil the desires and expectations of our clientèle. As such we monitor the prevailing marketing winds and gradually become accustomed to ill-fitting caps. We learn to offer a better client experience.

To continue the example. My friend was about to hit an ISP who offered this and that for X amount. X being infinitely more expensive than what I offered :D (tongue in cheek here). He knew I 'Did Internet sites' and Eseeyo, but more than that, he knew, as I stood on the debris and recent activity of his potential new business, he knew I did marketing. And as I stood under a clear blue sky he announced to his banker that I was his marketing manager. This, I can assure you, is where the phrase 'Out of the blue' comes from :)

Why did he drop me in the muck like that? Because in the course of our in-hotel dialogue, as I sat with notebook on lap, we built the site framework with a view to attracting the type guest he wanted at his hotel. The type of guest he knew would appreciate his business and wish to return.

#13 Guest_PhilC_*

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 01:31 PM

"Out of the blue", eh? Well, now we know where the expression comes from.

On origins of well-known expressions...

I know this is way off-topic for any thread anywhere in this forum but I'm gonna ask it anyway (the origin of "out of the blue" sparked it, so you can blame enigma - not me!).

We've all heard the multitude of songs that refer to a "blue moon", so...

Question: what is a blue moon?

I know the answer, but let's have some guesses if you don't know.

Phil.

#14 Nick

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 01:40 PM

Superbly put, Enigma. In my opinion it's probably best not to seek new names. Every title in an umbrella under which so many tasks fall, and although SEO may not be entirely accurate in it's definition, it's still suitable. Like calling a web developer a "webdesigner". He/she may shudder at the thought though :D

I think 'blue moons' occur when there is more than one full moon within the calendar month, the second being the 'blue' one, and, since it's so rare the expression exists. But, having a passion for geography I also recall that the moon can actually look blue after powerful volcanic eruptions or similar where dust is thrown into the higher levels of the atmosphere, discolouring our view of it. On the same basis, surely all the stars would look blue at this time too, no?

#15 enigma

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 01:51 PM

Phil, you bugger. You have a grasshopper mind. Respect.

#16 Guest_PhilC_*

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 01:54 PM

Oh bugger!

I've asked that question so many times, and nobody has known the answer. So how come the first person that reads the question here knows the answer??? :D

You are correct, of course, Nick - the 2nd full moon in the same calendar month. Good thing I didn't offer a prize, eh :)

Phil.

#17 Advisor

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 01:57 PM

If you look at the moon through your tinted car windshield, it can also look blue. :new-alien:

#18 Advisor

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 02:00 PM

Oh bugger!

I've asked that question so many times, and nobody has known the answer. So how come the first person that reads the question here knows the answer??? :)

Duh, Phil...ever hear of google? :D

#19 Nick

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 02:04 PM

D'oh - sorry Phil :D A great pub quiz question that - that's partly how I know it. The debate then continues to discuss the moon being made of cheese. Not blue cheese, obviously.

#20 Guest_PhilC_*

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 02:07 PM

Duh, Phil...ever hear of google?  :D

No. What's a google?

Phil.

#21 Guest_PhilC_*

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 02:08 PM

D'oh - sorry Phil :D A great pub quiz question that - that's partly how I know it. The debate then continues to discuss the moon being made of cheese. Not blue cheese, obviously.

But it is made of cheese. It's not even open to debate. Wallace and Grommit proved it, didn't they?

#22 Advisor

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 02:16 PM

It's not even open to debate.


Well, if it were open to debate, you can bet we'd debate it until the cow jumped over the blue cheese moon!

Jill

#23 Guest_PhilC_*

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 02:21 PM

:BIG:

Nice one Jill.



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