Google’s decision to offer digital marketing certifications that include search engine optimization (SEO) surprised some. Others were confused.
On the other hand, some people are rushing to obtain certification. But should you?
Sadly, many SEO professionals are disappointed with what they’ve seen in certification training so far. For example, Google instructors taught nonsense about keyword density and word count. (Google removed it immediately after the offending slide was called out.)
Whether you’re considering getting certified from Google or hiring someone with a certification, there are some important questions to answer and things to evaluate.
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Does the person have an SEO certification or course completion?
In many cases, accreditation generally means that an individual or user has enrolled in and attended many courses.
Many certification programs provide a certificate of completion for each course taken. Alternatively, a certificate of completion is issued after completing a series of courses. This reward system at least represents progress towards the larger goal of topic or discipline certification.
Some certification programs require participants to pass a test in order to be certified. Some of these tests are relatively easy to pass. Instructors are trying to gauge whether participants have a true aptitude for certification, so some things are not so easy.
There are many types of certifications, including but not limited to:
- Usability/UX (User Experience)
- Interaction Design (IxD)
- Human/Computer Interface (HCI)
- User Interface (UI)
In some cases, a class may be a series of continuing education classes. This accreditation process can provide more credibility value as the coursework appears to be approved by the college or university.
The most advanced route to “certification” is probably the least common route. To get a degree in a topic or field. This route tends to be time consuming and expensive, especially for out-of-state or out-of-country tuition, so it may not be suitable for everyone. I have.
This route is perfect for true die-hard fans of a topic or discipline. Nonetheless, people who choose this route can often become the best instructors for certification.
At the end of all these routes, after all coursework, exercises, homework, and tests, a person is awarded a certificate, usually with a stamp indicating that the person has gone through the entire certification process. .
Image format stamps are supposed to convey trust, authority, and credibility. As you evaluate SEO certification programs, keep the following in mind:
- Instructor Quality: You should look for experienced, well-educated and well-trained instructors. Just having a brand name next to a person’s name does not automatically mean that the instructor is an expert. I want my classes to be taught by subject matter experts.
- Course quality: Take a look at our certification agenda to see what we’re teaching. Are you taught how to use a certification authority’s tool or set of tools? This is not necessarily SEO certification. SEO professionals use a variety of tools. Make sure the course quality is objective.
- Completion and Certification: Have you completed or been accredited? Certification programs that require you to pass an aptitude test may be better than those that don’t. On the other hand, completing a series of courses on a Certificate of Completion is equally prestigious and credible, as long as the subject matter expert is good.
- Ongoing education and training. Please understand that SEO certification is not the same as SEO experience. Algorithm changes, search engine result page (SERP) appearance, search traffic fluctuations, and technology evolution make SEO an ongoing (and iterative) process.
So if you want to hire or contract a qualified search engine optimizer, don’t just use certification as a qualification factor. Keep in mind continuing education, training and experience.
What about unethical SEO and ethical SEO?
This is a problem that Google overlooks. Anyone can get a Google SEO certification today. Therefore, SEO certification does not guarantee that an SEO professional will follow all of his Google guidelines and best practices.
know. Many SEO professionals would like to move beyond this topic. Many SEO professionals Have Moved this topic to the past. The ethical vs. unethical argument is the proverbial elephant in the room.
Ethical SEO It means following all the rules laid down by web search engines. This type of his SEO pro is considered an ethical SEO pro.
unethical SEO It includes several methods that do not follow the rules and guidelines set by web search engines. These unethical methods are usually used to get higher ranks faster than ethical methods. Companies implementing unethical SEO methods may feel it is worth the risk of search engine spam.
Classification is not a strict division. It usually has a gray tint.
Ethical SEO, for example, does not spam search engines, but follows usability/UX rules that differ from those recommended by search engines. An unethical SEO may follow most rules, but truly disagree and ignore a guideline or two. Ultimately, ethical SEO often catches the eye of the beholder.
As mentioned above, I don’t think Google representatives have thought through this certification process completely. If Google really wanted to convey trust, credibility and authority with his SEO certification program, it had to consider different kinds of her SEO methodologies. Talking to the “spam department” and search quality raters may have helped.
Can Google succeed with SEO certification?
Google could get some benefit from being SEO certified. Currently, searching and evaluating search lists is not commonly taught in schools from grade school through college. People still believe that search engine optimization is about optimizing search engines only, not optimizing for people who use search engines.
As long as this situation continues, I believe Google will have some success.
what would be better? If Google provided certification on how to get the most out of its arsenal of search tools.
If Google can issue a seal of approval for Google Analytics and Google Ads, why not issue a similar certificate for using the available Google search tools? What can we learn from each of our search tools? How can we best connect our Google search tools to different products like Google Analytics?
What about image search? video search? How do both beginners and experts create image XML sitemaps? XML sitemaps for videos? The course agenda is full of how-to items that lead to hands-on exercises and test questions.
This type of certification can be much more useful for SEO newbies, experts, and other types of web professionals.
What are you going to do as an SEO expert?
You will probably take a certification course for a number of reasons.
for credit? of course.
But I also appreciate the quality of the information presented. After all, Google is not the only search engine. We want to have a broader view of SEO than just focusing on one search engine.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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