What It's Like to Be a First-Year SEO
Kyle Place joins the SEO Rant Podcast as he reflects back on what it's like to be a first-year SEO:
The challenge of getting bad information as a new SEO
Why the lack of SEO standards makes being a new SEO hard
The role the community plays in the life of a new SEO
Being a new SEO is not easy. From learning the craft to finding strong SEO resources, being a first-year SEO is challenging. To the latter, new SEOs often end up reading top-level content and feeling like they have mastery over a topic when really SEO is a never-ending learning cycle.
Compound this with a heap of other difficulties and it's easy to see why being a first-year SEO is not the easiest thing on the planet... which is exactly what Kyle and I get into on this episode.
Here's a summary of what we chatted about!
What Is SEO Like for New SEOs?
What is it like to be a new SEO? It's a funny sort of question but I think a really good one. If we want to maintain the health of our industry understanding how new search marketers think and feel is extremely pertinent. If we don't fully appreciate the experience of being a new SEO from the content they consume to the myths they believe we end up doing SEO as a whole a bit of harm.
The Lag Effect: Bad SEO Information Is Being Consumed by New SEOs
There seems to be a certain amount of lag in the SEO industry. For some reason, bad practices linger on. So while the "core community" has moved past a certain practice and in fact now deems that practice to be harmful to sites, there is still content being generated that supports these outdated tactics. Worse, new SEOs, for some inexplicable reason, seem to be the ones who find such content. As they start their journey, a lot of the authors and content new SEOs are being exposed to espouse really bad SEO practices. The net result is that it can take a new SEO a good deal of time to figure out that what they're reading isn't9 entirely inaccurate!
Compounding this is the fact that a lot of the SEO content is fluff. So even when it's not inaccurate, it's not really helpful. A good amount of the content being generated around SEO is the same thing regurgitated over and over again. It's the same examples making the same points - none of which really offer actual insights but rather speak in vague generalizations. Top-level content is great - to a point. If the market is flooded with it then practitioners looking to learn more about their craft are quickly left with nothing to grab onto.
A Lack of SEO Standardization
One thing that can make SEO hard for newcomers is the lack of standardization. Not only is there a lack of standards around the craft of SEO there's also a lack of "structure" when it comes to finding good SEO information. The community is all over the place. You have SEO Twitter, SEO Facebook, SEOs on Reddit and LinkedIn - the list goes on. Some of these places are better than others for consuming information. The problem is, as a new SEO it can take a good deal of time to find the right communities and resources.
For example, there are a lot of big data studies out there. However, there isn't a lot of deep-dives into case studies and qualitative analysis. If you're a new SEO and want to get into the mind of Google or dive deep into a specific case, it's really hard to find that information. The information out there is all over the place and since the industry has very little " structure" as a whole it makes it hard to find the deeper and more pertinent pieces of information and content.