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amc1978
12-19-2006, 02:15 PM
There was recently a commentary in Clickz regarding the lack of curriculeum devoted to online marketing, of which SEM is a large part. Many of us have learned via first hand experince. That being said, there is always room to grow our skills and abilities.

Has anyone participated in any programs they would recommend, either graduate degree (eg NYU's Masters Program) or certification ( eg WAA's programs via UBC). Were they helpful? Are they worth the money and time?

Thoughts?

sportsguy
12-19-2006, 03:02 PM
OK, I'm going to agree that there is a distinct lack of recognized education in this field - but take a look at universities in general - they don't exactly teach leading edge stuff - even today. :(

I recently spoke at a local university to the Marketing & Commerce students there. When I met with the prof, we reviewed the marketing text book they were using - it was printed in February of 2006.

I skipped to the table of contents to see where online marketing was listed. Not finding it, I tried the index. Found the page and this is the exact copy that appeared on the page:

"Due to the inability to accurately track marketing campaigns in the online environment, many firms choose not to advertise in this medium at this time."

Naturally, I laughed.

Clearly the writers - two marketing profs - have zero clue about the real world...yet this is the level of thinking being put into the text books being used to educate these students. Basically, this program is still telling students to ignore the Internet - no wonder today's marketing managers are lost when handed the keys to the corporate website...

Now, most recognized institutions cannot react fast enough to get programs in place - plus, who's going to take time off from making money DOING this stuff to actually teach the courses?

I mean, it's not like it's lucrative enough to make top sems jump ship and begin teaching careers.

Sadly, this leaves a major hole in the future of search marketing, IMO.

Now, groups like SEMPO are stepping up - their Institute is offering educational programs starting in January targeting the need to grow folks from the most nascent level through the more advanced techniques in both SEO and paid search marketing.

They are not the only ones, either - there are a few other programs like this. IMO, THEY are the best way to educate future search marketers. These programs (collectively) are built by those current in the industry and include the latest info. Unlike a textbook that cannot be rewritten and requires time between updates, these courses can, and are, molded on the fly to incorporate the latest changes.

Now, as full disclosure for those who don't know, I'm a member of SEMPO, a Co-Chair for their In-House SEM Committee and I'm involved (slightly) with the Institute program as a peer reviewer.

NewKidOnTheBlock
12-19-2006, 05:32 PM
Clearly the writers - two marketing profs - have zero clue about the real world...yet

Uhhh I hate college, Im so glad I could take a year off (more or less voluntarily).....

I know chances are I have to go back to college and finish some degree...just for the sake of having something, that says 'degree' so companies might be interested in hiring me for Internet Marketing/SEO, even if it's completely useless......

Might sound like an exaggeration, but I'm in Germany where we cant take a marketing degree, but have to take base courses for 3 years before you could specialize in marketing...theoretical duration of studies: 8 semesters = 4 years, average duration of studies: 11,6 semesters or almost 6 years...did I mention the drop-out rate of 50% because of telephone-book like studying?;-(

and now I see myself forced to go back to college in 10 months to waste like another 4 years of my life, just so I have a degree (in a 90% unrelated field) just so I can get a job in SEO/Internet Marketing b/c Ill be able to say 'I have a degree'?;-(

Needless to say it'd be a lot more effective to put that time into learning something

Has anybody pulled off getting a SEO-related job with a company, w/o a degree b/c they could demonstrate their skills and knowledge in the field...?

(im a bit curious, because SEO would be one of the few fields where i could imagine this, as there are absolutely no proper degrees, as ppl probably think about SEOs as computer-geeks and the results can be quantified perfectly)

evilgreenmonkey
12-19-2006, 06:07 PM
I've never been to University and have never needed a degree. I walked into a well paid job at an internet company a week or two after leaving school and haven't looked back since. I earn more then my friends who went to uni and am higher up the corporate ladder. Experience, knowledge and natural ability is worth more then any degree in this industry - companies who do not recognise this are probably not worth working for.

Of course this is the UK I'm talking about, I know that other parts of Europe (such as Austria) have a different culture and attitude around paper qualifications. I was also born a marketer, starting my first company at 14 and running other marketing/business projects before that.

I personally recommend teaching yourself with books, e-books and websites like SEW, it will beat any qualification or course. Practising, testing and self-analysis is the real learning curve. Most of these "Certified SEO" courses which are popping up all over the place aren't worth the paper they're written on, and should not be taken seriously by any knowledgeable employer. Being able to demonstrate ability, initiative and creativity in an interview is what will get you a good job in search. I've interviewed a number of people for search positions and there's a clear difference between the people with natural ability and the people who can remember facts/answers from a book.

If you've taken the plunge and are now half way through your degree, I'd recommend finishing it off unless something unbelievable comes along. If you haven't made the decision yet and have natural ability, take a serious look at the job market as you may be surprised at what's already open to you.

:cool:

Rob

clickagent75
12-19-2006, 06:31 PM
As a person new to the field, I'm currently contemplating pursuing my SEO/SEM career via consulting or through a small agency.

(I'll let you know if I get the SEO job without a related degree ;) )

But my observations of the industry & job market in my area is that:

- Employers don't know what to do with SEO. They know they need it but don't know what skill sets are needed to be successful at it. Currently job descriptions ask for a minimum 2yrs experience...which sounds plenty in a growing field.

- Pure SEO/SEM firms are out there; but are small in size (under 5-10 ppl)

- SEO is being taken in-house by internet related business. As demonstrated by job ads.

- Web design firms do a bit of SEO to meet market demand; but do not focus on it as they have other revenue streams

- The US is a great market to tap for SEO work as they have the demand (i.e. jobs & clients) and the agencies to service the demand

I think that all of this illustrates that, IMHO, it sounds like SEO/SEM is on the cusp of widespread acceptance. However, I'm with sportsguy on this one; the educational curriculum in colleges and universities are nowhere near catching up. The best resource for learning materials are still self-taught resources and websites like this. Only issue is that to demonstrate expertise in this field is challenging since there's no official document saying "I"m a qualified SEO"...must demonstrate it via know-how and portfolio.

On a positive note, that means there's plenty of opportunity for those in related fields to jump into the industry and work hard at achieving success without having to take a Bachelors of Science in SEO :)

NewKidOnTheBlock
12-19-2006, 08:48 PM
@evilgreenmarket:

Can I ask you what sort of company you started at 14? I never started a company but I guess im kind of like this, too...in elementary school for like 2-3 years I basically came home after school programmed small computer games all day long had to go to sleep..woke up went on programming..went to school...came home...continued programming (were talking about small jump & run, adventure games and such ;-)) and from 14-17 I basically did the same thing with the stock market (my dad bought the shares for/with me), where i actually made quite some money for my age and the little money I could invest (mostly b/c I happened to invest in internet companies which at the time were booming...but I think it showed that im a bit of an entrepreneur, too hehe). Then my hobby were languages..I learned English and French and wanted to go into international business..but the more I asked people questions the more I had to find out, that foreign languages (other than English which is expected anyways) are nothing but a 'plus'..and if you dont like business this plus of knowing a foreign language or two wont make u happy either...

I really liked marketing and statistics, though...but i really wanted to do something a bit more technical in nature (but not purely technical)...and that way I found out that something like econometrics/ business statistics or E-Commerce might be for me...and then realized that Id probably love the whole E-Commerce / Online marketing / SEO - thing as on the one hand you have to have a lot of technical skills...sort of your foundation to build on...but youre not limited to coding for other people..but sort of have unlimited upside (in theory ;-)). So thats what Im trying to pursue now (Needless to say I'm EXTREMELY HAPPY I seem to have found something finally, because the thought of doing something for the rest of my life, that I'd not enjoy was really killing me..)

I dont know about Austria, but your statement would definitely apply to Germany bureaucracy is KING here ;-(...However Ive already seen internship offers by a company called ciao..i guess u know ciao.co.uk for example who pay their interns decent salaries and mention how you dont have to have any knowledge in advance other than hopefully knowing a bit of HTMl and how Online marketing is a field for which there's no real education, yet...so Im hoping that maybe there are some young and dynamic companies here who think a bit differently (even if they say in their offers 'degree in business or marketing')

I dont know if I could do it right now but one of the reasons why Id prefer not to go to college again for some more years is b/c Im far from satisfied with my life situation right now and I want to move out to possibly a foreign country. ..definitely to a sunnier and nicer place than here in Germany (maybe southern France as I speak enough French already)...and if I continue going to college Ill be stuck here for some more years...

plus its a bit more complicated and Im unfortunately not mid-way through my studies...I started studying 2.5 years ago but had a thyroid disease (im fine again, though) and didnt go there for 1 whole year...and now Ill ahve to go to a different college (thats possible in Germany), where basically I would start in the first or second semester all over again...

- You said you started 1 or 2 weeks after graduating from high school..how long had you been doing SEO at that time, if you dont mind me asking?

- Do you think being able to do internet marketing/SEO in German (as a native speaker) would make getting a job in the UK easier? Im wondering, that b/c my sister's first job offer happened to come from a UK company based in London, too, and excellent German (+ English of course) was a necessary qualification b/c she would have dealt with the German market

(and I was thinking maybe this would also apply to SEO, as Germany is one of the major markets in Europe and there are probably not too many people out there in English-speaking countries who are good SEOs + can do it in German....which I can hopefully do in a few years from now..).

sportsguy
12-20-2006, 09:08 AM
Hope you don't mind if I pick on a few point, EGM...I promise to be polite...

I've never been to University and have never needed a degree. I walked into a well paid job at an internet company a week or two after leaving school and haven't looked back since. I earn more then my friends who went to uni and am higher up the corporate ladder. Experience, knowledge and natural ability is worth more then any degree in this industry - companies who do not recognise this are probably not worth working for.

Bingo - couldn't agree more - talent talks, bu11$h1t walks. I left uni with a focus in Hospitality Administration. I started when the local casinos opened - as a bartender (fun, fun, fun!). Moved into marketing a year later, moved up the ladder, then got tired of the politics.

I started as the #11 person in my current company - title was Marketing Manager, but with 11 people in the office, you wear many hats. I did everything from seo, ppc, ad buying, budgeting, ran contests, handled prizing fulfillment, e-mail campaigns, community building, designed ad creative, worked content partnership deals, dealt with advertisers, built the affiliate program, etc.

Now, we're 170+ people, one office in Ireland, another in Las Vegas plus our main office in Canada, we partner with all the biggest daily newspapers in North America and things are good. I run my own department handling search exclusively for our properties. In less than 6 years I've more than doubled my original salary.

...and none of this knowledge came from school - I'm totally self-taught or bug-taught (learned things by bugging others for advice. ;) ).

Of course this is the UK I'm talking about, I know that other parts of Europe (such as Austria) have a different culture and attitude around paper qualifications. I was also born a marketer, starting my first company at 14 and running other marketing/business projects before that.

North America is caught up in the idea that a degree means something. Sure, if you're a bank you want folks with commerce degrees - but in our little world of search, having a degree counts far less than being the right fit for the job and the company. Judged against those standards, having a degree is the easy part.

I personally recommend teaching yourself with books, e-books and websites like SEW, it will beat any qualification or course. Practising, testing and self-analysis is the real learning curve. Most of these "Certified SEO" courses which are popping up all over the place aren't worth the paper they're written on, and should not be taken seriously by any knowledgeable employer. Being able to demonstrate ability, initiative and creativity in an interview is what will get you a good job in search. I've interviewed a number of people for search positions and there's a clear difference between the people with natural ability and the people who can remember facts/answers from a book.

I'll second the self-taught route - read places like this (and searchengineforums.com), buy a Dummies guide to SEO to read the basics. Sign up with Planet Ocean and download a copy of their Search Engine Guide - it's got loads of good info.

YOU will need to invest in YOURSELF to grow these skills - start your own blog or website - play, tinker, fail, succeed. In the end it's the experience that companies will want. Being able to recite the words doesn't mean you can look at a dynamic website, understand the road-blocks, talk to the programmers and work together to build a solution that meets both needs - no book will teach you THAT.

I will say, however, that there are some online courses coming out soon or just released that are, IMO, the best yet. They take an honest look at search marketing from a beginner's perspective and walk you through the small stuff. You can follow this basic intro up with more advanced courses if you want to learn more. Some courses teach you their own tools - I"m personally not a fan of this as you're then tied directly to those tools - if it works for ya, great, but I prefer a more theoretical learning approach. Teach a man to fish, kind of stuff.

I'll make a plug for the SEMPO Institute here - they have courses starting in early January that have been written by folks who work in the industry. In fact, since I'm involved, I'm reviewing the material right now - IMO, it's good. I'm not going to link to it, but you can find it easy enough through Google or SEMPO's website. (the point it to discuss that there are options, not overtly plug one in particular.)

If you've taken the plunge and are now half way through your degree, I'd recommend finishing it off unless something unbelievable comes along. If you haven't made the decision yet and have natural ability, take a serious look at the job market as you may be surprised at what's already open to you.

Rob


I agree with Rob on this one - it takes a special/different sort of individual to cozy up to this living. There is lots of opportunity, but try to explain to a bank what you do for a living when applying for a mortgage.

After you have a degree, you are, in fact, more broadly employable, so there's value in "learning the phonebook" as you eluded to. ;)

In the meantime, start your own site about a topic you enjoy and get the learning going hands on.

Duane

NewKidOnTheBlock
12-20-2006, 01:15 PM
thx for the advice sportsguy, Ive already bought the SEOBook (first read it and most of it didnt make much sense but after contemplating my own ideas and reading it again..and important parts multiple times its really starting to make sense now :-D)..ive also read a thick book about copywriting, one about viral marketing (and am looking to buy/learn more books) and am now reading a book about internet marketing in general on the side.. started learning html and some css (and will learn some php so i can edit it a little soon)...but right now im really preoccupied with starting my own sites registering the domains and choosing a host (and basically reading up on internet law/law in my country and all the 'technical'/hardware stuff I need to know)...once ive put my ideas into sites and can work on them the whole cycle will sort of begin again and ill probably buy another couple of books to read up on internet marketing and will probably try to learn some graphics (i want to focus as much on SEO/Internet marketing as I can and not lose my focus, but I think knowing some graphics would really be useful)..So I hope im on the right way..

evilgreenmonkey
12-20-2006, 07:16 PM
Hi,

from 14-17 I basically did the same thing with the stock market (my dad bought the shares for/with me), where i actually made quite some money for my age and the little money I could invest (mostly b/c I happened to invest in internet companies which at the time were booming...but I think it showed that im a bit of an entrepreneur, too hehe).I think that entrepreneurs often make good SEMs, as they know in the back of their mind that everything they learn at the beginning of their career, can give them a very comfortable standard of living later down the track when they go it alone (consultancy/affiliate/e-biz). They also know how important it is to get the best traffic and lowest CPAs.
Then my hobby were languages..I learned English and French and wanted to go into international business..but the more I asked people questions the more I had to find out, that foreign languages (other than English which is expected anyways) are nothing but a 'plus'..and if you dont like business this plus of knowing a foreign language or two wont make u happy either...A good SEO who can work in multiple territories (not just translation, but local knowledge as well) can make a very good living for themselves. I think that specialising in a niche market can be even more profitable though.
so Im hoping that maybe there are some young and dynamic companies here who think a bit differently (even if they say in their offers 'degree in business or marketing')I know of many excellent companies in Germany which have notable SEO teams.

Draw up a list of companies that you'd like to work for, and make them be the ones begging you to join. For each company, you must know their market more then they do (before an interview) - form opinions on what they've done and what they need to improve. Who are their competitors, audience, suppliers and current/possible partners? Use market data to build a picture of the company's target audience and what appeals to them. The hardest part is getting an interview with them, the interview itself will be a breeze after your investigation work.
Do you think being able to do internet marketing/SEO in German (as a native speaker) would make getting a job in the UK easier? Im wondering, that b/c my sister's first job offer happened to come from a UK company based in London, too, and excellent German (+ English of course) was a necessary qualification b/c she would have dealt with the German marketIf you came to work in the UK (which you can as a EU citizen), the ability to speak French and German will be a strong advantage over other candidates in some cases. These cases are usually positions in companies which either have branches/clients through-out Europe or have a pan-european marketing strategy.

HTH,

Rob

Discovery
12-21-2006, 12:38 PM
Wow, what a great conversation. I love this topic. I know we're talking about SEM/SEO here, but I think this applies to almost all areas of education. Structured, classroom based learning is a dying model. No two people learn the same way, nor do we learn at the same pace with the same interests or enthusiasm. The internet is once again the great disruptor and this time it is shaking the foundation of traditional education - the university approach and teacher controlled learning.

Education and the Internet

I got my start in 94 - I was a finance guy at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. I had a coworker soon turned friend who was a mac consultant/ Intern there. Mr. Mac! He was NUTS about all things Macintosh, network computing and this new thing called the internet. He gave such enthusiastic speeches and demonstrations to the company about the advances on the internet (Graphics and sound WOW!). We all got hyped up.

One day while golfing with him I said I wish I could do what you did Michael, but I don’t have all that knowledge and experience that you do. He grinned widely and laughed. I don't he said. What do you mean, I asked. He says, "Discovery", I don’t know squat, when I get hit with a project or question I simply run out and learn the basics as fast as I can and run with it - Now I'm an expert. Don't get me wrong, Michael was and is not a fraud, he is a bright guy, however his philosophy was not to get bogged down in the intricacies of a programming language, a new technology or the like, but instead understand it well enough to know how to use it to build your business.
Move fast and efficiently, be the conductor not the player. Traditional learning does not provide this fluidity. It wants you to be a detailed expert in one area and that is too narrow and takes too long in SEM/SEO or in life.

I learned a lot about moving quickly and seeing the big picture early, regarding the internet. I soon quit my career in Finance and took a job as an "Internet Strategist" My interview was largely based on all I had read in a two week time frame! I only needed to know more than the next guy to be successful. Michael went on to create filez.com, but you probably don't remember that company until he purchased a more popular domain name for $1,500.. mp3.com

I will say that my background in finance has given me the ability to properly analyze large volumes of data and make sense of it. In that case my education has been a great benefit. It has also been a great benefit in planning and running a successful business. Michael’s background was in cognitive science and has no doubt helped him in his success.

Discovery

Discovery
12-21-2006, 01:39 PM
This is a great article that weighs a college education against a more "vocational" path. Do college grads make more than non grads? Is it a good investment? The results are backed up with US Census data.

The Biggest Gamble of Your Life (http://www.michaelrobertson.com/archive.php?minute_id=226)

Discovery

attak
12-21-2006, 02:21 PM
First off, I would have to strongly agree with Rob's opinion on this subject. What is very surprising to me is the fact that so many others seem to as well. Generally when this sort of topic is brought up all you hear is how vital it is to graduate from College/University to succeed.

I also believe that this subject indirectly coorelates with another thread on SEW discussing the current job market. I truly believe that companies are costing themselves the opportunity to employ some of the best people in the industry due to their default "4 year degree or better" requirements. The fact that they are so dedicated to hiring a college grad shows how little they understand the SEO/M industries as a whole IMO. Last I checked there wasn't a Bachelors of Search Marketing being offered...so what degree are they hoping a person has???

Personally, I'd take my 6-7 years of experience in the industry over an equivelant Degree in Marketing every time. It's too bad that a majority of the successful companies that can afford to pay a decent salary won't - and for some reason that even includes so-called "Top SEO Agencies".

Attak

NewKidOnTheBlock
12-21-2006, 04:24 PM
Wow, what a great conversation. I love this topic. I know we're talking about SEM/SEO here, but I think this applies to almost all areas of education.

I feel so, too...sometimes Im thinking about what a waste of resources this is..making everybody who wants to work go through 5 years of university over here where about 4 years are basically a waste of time...and time is money

Anybody know if there's a market for translators with an area of expertise in SEO/Internet Marketing? Im really wondering if maybe I should pursue a translation education in English and French (i wanted to do this years ago but then heard a couple of translators kind of whine about how they hardly cover their cost of living, though this is probably an exaggeration as translators earn about 40k in Germany on average) and use SEO/internet marketing as my area of expertise (with an area of expertise thats high in demand and that few people can translate income rises of course)...that way I could read a sh...load of stuff about SEO and internet marketing and continue to pursue my goal of becoming a SEO "on the side"...

..but then Id only do this if I see my SEO plans arent going where I want to I guess....but anyways i was wondering if theres a lot of work in this field i mean i doubt there are many translators who specialize in SEO. Plus, if I see those guys putting out all their internet marketing books Im wondering if there is (gonna be) some work in that field. But then again this is probably more of a bogus idea right now :-D

Michael went on to create filez.com, but you probably don't remember that company until he purchased a more popular domain name for $1,500.. mp3.com

Hehe this reminded me of some copywriter(exp?) who wrote an article about basketball..a former nba champion with the lakers (a bench guy) who ended up in Italy hating it there...at the end of the article he says some guy kept shooting fade-away jumpers over him and was a bit too fast for him..the coach took him out the game..but his teammate consoled him by saying:
"Dont worry man, that guy Ginobili is tough." (Ginobili has become one of the better players in the NBA by now)

NewKidOnTheBlock
12-22-2006, 07:07 PM
YOU MUST UNDERSTAND, THAT IM REFERRING TO DISCUSSIONS(hope this is the right expression), WHERE BOTH PARTICIPANTS ARE TOO STUBBORN TO ACCEPT THE OTHER PERSON'S OPINION - whether they hear it once or 100 times :-)

@Rob and everyone: thx for your advice and information.

@Discovery: Damn...I just read that article...and you wouldnt believe it, but a few days ago I was telling a friend how I was wondering, if SCHOOL + college is really a good investment lol.

In Germany college was free until this semester...and well have to pay 1000-1500$ a year..so for most people college would probably be a better investment than in the US (not for everyone though, I guess and hope deep down).

The thing is..I hope I dont get flamed for this, but I believe that a lot of discussions are often nothing but a waste of time. Not all of them of course, but it depends a lot on the people involved. But often times I notice, that discussions go down like this: 2 people have 2 opinions talk, have an argument and basically waste time and energy and in the end still havent convinced there counterpart a bit.

I think it depends on the 'emotional intelligence' of the people who are involved, but a lot of times I feel, the best way is to just break down one's opinion in a clear way, show one's point and then you usually see if the person who you're talking to seems to be interested in your point of view - or if you can repeat it 10 times and still your opinions wont have become any closer to each other :-).

Of course, this doesnt mean I think nobody should have a discussion, but most of the time it wont matter whether you just lay down your points and see how the other person reacts to it - or if you discuss it 10 hours (in public such discussions can influence other people so it can have an effect, but not if youre just trying to convince the guy who youre talking to). Yet 'discussing' is seen as one of the most intellectual things there is...even if it's often just a waste of time and some wanna-be-intellectual thing.

Anyways, to get back to the topic: Say you give a first-grader a job (that isnt more bothering than elementary and high school) and from the first grade to their college graduation have them work all the time they would spend in school. Im not talking about cuel children work(exp?) but doing something that doesnt put more stress on the mind and body than school does (its not like kids are enjoying, it right?).

Im really wondering how much money I would have made that way - even if i had set 10 hours per week aside to learn THE IMPORTANT/USEFUL stuff in school that DID contribute to my education. Say 30 hours a week. 40 weeks a year. 14 years of school (Germany: 3 different school systems, the 'best' graduation takes 13 years to complete and like myself half the people fail one year..some even 2) plus 5 years of university = 18 years. 30*40*18 = 21600 hours...say you get 10 Euros per hour for the job...that makes it 200,000 bucks. Okay okay it's 100,000 as Germany takes away half of your taxes.

Plus it might be better for some people to do 10 years of school to get a job. But that would still leave room for 8-9 years*40weeks*40 hours (after graduation you wont necessarily need the 10 hours aside for studying anymore ;-)) = 12,800 to 14,400 hours * 10 Euro = 128,000 - 144,400 Euros....D A M N. I assume for a lot of people starting to work straight away would actually really make them more money (though you have to factor in that some ppl need a degree to work in a field they really enjoy...such as girls I know who want to become an elementary teacher, as they like kids)


I think the reason why nobody realizes this must be, that people who start working after 10th grade (over here you can do something called 'Ausbildung' which takes only 2-3 years and where you already earn money, too, so I think I can get away considering it working hours) is that those people usually spend their money each month....whereas people who go for the higher school education + become college students are known to be broke and either live with their parents (or do some extra work on the side to pa their low-cost of living lifestyle :-)) until they finally have a job.

I think I should also mention, (no...not that I'm an obsessive writer LOL) that you could probably get a decent..not a ugly job that pays you 10dollars w/o working a job that puts crazy stress on your body like at a supermarket)

NewKidOnTheBlock
12-22-2006, 09:45 PM
...key to some companies who would turn down anybody who doesn't have a paper degree, but would then think 'oh wow he has all that self-taught knowledge, an impressive portfolio and he even passes our you-need-some-degree-thing-****-test' ? :)

I thought there was such a thread in this forum recently, but I can't see it anymore :confused: Anybody know where it is?

P.S.:@evilgreenmonkey: How come I believe your name is Rob, when it doesnt say that anywhere?lol did i mistake you for somebody else?If so, Im sorry for that..

richardv2
12-23-2006, 09:46 AM
After reading this thread, I have a question. What would you teach???
I am a college instructor (programming and electronics) who can see both sides of the "need a degree" argument. I have a degreed genius 40 year old child who is a broke hippie in San Francisco and a no-degree 35 year old child who makes about $350,000 per year. Go figure...

As an SEO newbie, say I wanted to be a guest speaker in a business degree class taught in my college for 1-3 hours. I'd like to hear an outline of what I might present to business students on this topic.

Two reasons - One, I'd like to learn myself what is actually most important to those of you actually doing it, and Two I'd really like to present a lecture like this.

David Temple
12-25-2006, 02:06 AM
An interesting thread from my viewpoint as I blog about this very thing, sem seo certification & training. Before I begin let me first say that I agree, everyone learns in different ways. The question is why would anyone want to take an sem seo certification or training course when they can learn on their own by reading books, going to forums like this and reading all the free information on the web?

IMHO its about having a strong foundation and avoiding gaps in knowledge or missing out on best practices. Addiitonaly employers are constantly looking for new talent and having a some type of training mixed with experience can be very helpful. Although some programs offer a certification, other than the PPC certifications Google, Yahoo and soon MSN, there is no such animal. What that certification refers to is in fact that you are certified to have completed their course of instruction.

These programs can be completed online as self study or instructor led, or in a classroom setting. Sem seo certification and training programs are offered by Search Engine Strategies, SEMPO, the Direct Marketing Association, Society of Internet Professionals, SEO Pros, Search Engine College, Search Engine Workshops, High Rankings SEO Seminars and others that are too numerous to list here.

The point is you don't have to have any formal training to get a job but as associations incorporate and avdertise their training programs, the industry may want to see your "certification" or ask where you learned your skills. If your answer is on my own, that might not sit well. In the meantime why not take some training, you could learn a thing or two.

rajanblogs
12-28-2006, 05:57 AM
I agree to what you have said. Online Marketing is much better than our traditional jobs.

Here we are our own boss and more than any thing learning through e-books have made me a complete person

I've never been to University and have never needed a degree. I walked into a well paid job at an internet company a week or two after leaving school and haven't looked back since. I earn more then my friends who went to uni and am higher up the corporate ladder. Experience, knowledge and natural ability is worth more then any degree in this industry - companies who do not recognise this are probably not worth working for.

Of course this is the UK I'm talking about, I know that other parts of Europe (such as Austria) have a different culture and attitude around paper qualifications. I was also born a marketer, starting my first company at 14 and running other marketing/business projects before that.

I personally recommend teaching yourself with books, e-books and websites like SEW, it will beat any qualification or course. Practising, testing and self-analysis is the real learning curve. Most of these "Certified SEO" courses which are popping up all over the place aren't worth the paper they're written on, and should not be taken seriously by any knowledgeable employer. Being able to demonstrate ability, initiative and creativity in an interview is what will get you a good job in search. I've interviewed a number of people for search positions and there's a clear difference between the people with natural ability and the people who can remember facts/answers from a book.

If you've taken the plunge and are now half way through your degree, I'd recommend finishing it off unless something unbelievable comes along. If you haven't made the decision yet and have natural ability, take a serious look at the job market as you may be surprised at what's already open to you.

:cool:

Rob

Chatmaster
12-30-2006, 11:10 AM
"Due to the inability to accurately track marketing campaigns in the online environment, many firms choose not to advertise in this medium at this time."

Yah. Online marketing has much better tracking abilities than any landbased marketing campaign, they must have been very ignorant towards technology to make such a false statement.

I've never been to University and have never needed a degree. I walked into a well paid job at an internet company a week or two after leaving school and haven't looked back since. I earn more then my friends who went to uni and am higher up the corporate ladder. Experience, knowledge and natural ability is worth more then any degree in this industry - companies who do not recognise this are probably not worth working for.

True! Very true!

VERY good views. I just want to say this is a quality thread with some really good opinions.

Online Marketing is a different ballgame from traditional marketing (Landbased) in many ways. Being based in South Africa where until recently we were the black hole of the Internet, I meet with educational frustrations daily. I once had a discussion with a Marketing Manager (with an MBA from Harvard) about something very similar. He was heading the marketing team of a very successful online business and was exceptional in every aspect of advertising. He knew he needed SEO and SEM but didn’t know how to structure such a department as he had very little technical experience. He also seemed to view the online industry with a type of tunnel vision not understanding the value of copywriting, article publishing or even viral marketing! He seemed to think that it would be a waste of time to look into any other type of marketing and kept on pilling company money on banner adds and “SEO”. He left that company a while later and was replaced by a lady that in her vision is more restricted. Although she has no degree in marketing but a whole lot of years in marketing experience, (non-internet) she also has a drive that cannot be compared by any person I have met in my life, she lacks the ability to understand the Internet. What does work for her though is following other companies in the market. She gets most of her ideas from them but then lack the ability to fully understand the concept and execute them correctly. Despite all the conflicting information she must make sense of she wants to control all the departments in the company to accomplish success. Even technical departments must jump to her joy. The end result is a company running successfully but at 10% of what it can do.

I recently wrote an article about this experience with this company if you are interested you can read it here… http://www.digital-m.co.za/articles/online-marketing-management.html

This article imo was aimed at the big corporate companies that lack the skill to appoint correct online marketing managers. These managers are different, different in personality and even skill set. The issue here imo is not the qualification… Infact there is no qualification for this position! No university currently has training or provides a course that will instantly qualify a person for this position or any online marketing position. Personality and the ability to think creatively, fast and be decisive in your learning. Realizing that you will have to learn in future and most probably from people working for you, is part of it. Infact there are several issues here that will come together to qualify a person in online marketing. I laughed the other day when I saw the description of an Australian company in search for an Online Marketing Manager. Why I laughed? They placed emphasis on the person having a marketing degree. I am sure you understand the irony… This poor company will spend years before realizing that they spent all their money and focus on hiring the wrong person.

I would say that there is an opportunity here, a business opportunity! These companies that are run by corporate people, MBA’s BA etc. all lack one thing, the understanding of who to hire for positions within online marketing. They need people that can identify the correct people that have the expertise to profile the requirements for certain job specs and to profile the people to fill these positions.

I have another approach to this whole discussion. Is all the different aspects of online marketing related? Is banner advertising related to SEO? Is copywriting related to brand building? How do you define the differences between these marketing strategies and how do you define the harmony of each of these strategies with one another? In my view the ideal person for a job in online marketing is the person that can identify the harmony. That person has the correct personality profile for the job. No degrees or marketing experience. Personality profile.

Flyback
12-30-2006, 06:45 PM
Greetings. This is a great forum, and I certainly hope someone can offer me some adivce.
Though I am new to online marketing, I have a pretty good background in direct-mail marketing. I once had a lucrative direct mail business in which I made and marketed my own products. But excelating postal rates put me out of business.The real key to direct mail is in buying good lists. I marketed an esoteric product to fly fishermen, so it was easy. The average return from direct mail is about 2%, and I always got between 12% and 15% because I knew my customers and where they shopped.
I have a new product now, a line of hair jigs, that I make and would like to market to bass fishermen over the internet, using much the same strategy. The first thing I need is a very professional web site that puts me at least on the first page for all key words. I'm sure I can buy books and study and learn how to do it, but since I'm not trying to develop a career in online marketing, and would probably create a couple of sites at most, I suspect it would be better for me to hire a real pro. Nevertheless, with so many people doing this, how do I find a real, experienced pro? I suspect, also, that some of the impressive people I've seen posting here are among those pros.
I also had a spiritual book published, titled A Higher Good, about a NDE I had, and I have started promoting it online by searching for lists of churches and sending them emails. Instead of creating my own web site for this book, I simply direct them to Amazon. I can't do better than Amazon.
Anyway, could some of you talented people suggest whether I should go to the trouble of learning to design my own web sites, or suggest some professionals who could probably do a better job than I, even if I studied for months? Also, when I was doing direct mail, I would go through list brokers to buy names. Are there companies like that online, or would I be better off contacting companies like Bass Pro Shops directly?
Respectfully,
Ron

Chatmaster
01-04-2007, 02:55 AM
Hi Flyback

Here is my summary of suggestions with your post.

The first thing I need is a very professional web site that puts me at least on the first page for all key words.
Although the keyword you are targeting is relatively easy, I would like to be sure that you do not expect quick results. This will take some time and allot of hard work, but will definitely be worthwhile. SEO provides high quality traffic that converts better than most online marketing campaigns, but also integrate into other online marketing strategies. Your entire site design will have to incorporate SEO as well as usability and conversion strategies. It also sounds like you will need an online shop or similar. Just do a search on your fav SE as there are online shops available that can make the setup of a website hassle free and quick. Payment methods will also be in place already and will save you allot of money on startup.
I'm sure I can buy books and study and learn how to do it, but since I'm not trying to develop a career in online marketing, and would probably create a couple of sites at most, I suspect it would be better for me to hire a real pro.
Nevertheless, with so many people doing this, how do I find a real, experienced pro?
Anyway, could some of you talented people suggest whether I should go to the trouble of learning to design my own web sites, or suggest some professionals who could probably do a better job than I, even if I studied for months?
I would suggest that you do some research to ensure that you know the basics. It will ensure better judgment when taking offers from professional SEO's and will ensure that do not get ripped off. I would also suggest that you read SEO Book by Aaron Wall. He has a unique way of not only discussing SEO but integrates it with the broader online marketing spectrum. You will be allot wiser after reading it and it will take at most 2 days to read. If you do decide to go with your own website please involve a professional SEO before the site is designed so a proper site plan can be done as on page factors are the foundation of SEO and this is where most fail when new to the internet.

Flyback
01-04-2007, 03:29 AM
Thank you Chatmaster. Your advice sounds most intelligent. I will get the book you suggest, and I really appreciate your help.

NewKidOnTheBlock
05-17-2007, 02:18 PM
"Due to the inability to accurately track marketing campaigns in the online environment, many firms choose not to advertise in this medium at this time."

I can only grasp the complete irony of this, now, a couple of months later. After speaking with a web analytics consultant, who told me he usually always proved to his clients how effective web analytics were by testing different price points for products, as it is extremely lucrative and less complicated to do than in the offline-world

PerfectMoney
02-24-2009, 12:18 PM
PPC classroom is worth buying worth waiting.the other is SEObook and Stompernet University or Formula 5.hit your search engine with them and Start your searching faster about them,good luck