Are you SEO Certified?

by Sean A McAlister 22 replies
I am am the process of landing a new off line client.....
and they asked me about my SEO certifications.

Well, I said....it is self evident. Here's my work,
here's my sites...their results, earnings past clients
and testimonials etc.

What's you take on this?
Is this a bunch of hogwash?

I mean...I understand where they are coming from...but the
proof is in the pudding...right?

Does anyone have any idea's on the best SEO certification there is?

I have not searched much on this yet. I figured I would throw it
out to you all first.

Thanks
Sean
#main internet marketing discussion forum #certified #seo
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean A McAlister
    OK....

    so i just did a little search...and it seems that although this
    crazy certification bears some merit it is rediculous ....

    Seo comes in all shapes and forums is ever changing and there are no
    set "uniform" standards.

    So...how can organizations or companies even ask this question?

    The only companies that you would think would offer this "certification" would be Google, Yahoo, MSN etc...which they don't and probably do not ever plan on.

    I don't know....I never came across this, Hell I never even knew the concept existed.
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    • Profile picture of the author peteinoz
      The Simple answer is,

      Which SEO Certifications are you aware of?

      when he answers none, then the answer is, there are no global certs, only those provided by companies profit from releasing them.

      Heres my portfolio, phone my referees etc.

      Selling your SEO services is like talking to people from mars as they have absolutely no idea about the subject..

      pete
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      • Profile picture of the author John Rowe
        Or you could just say, of course I am.
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        • Profile picture of the author WebCoach
          I've seen SEO classes/schools that offer certification ranging from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. There is no governing body in this arena so anybody can offer certification.

          It is really no different than life or business coaching, which I do, in that there are many places to get "certified", but there are no government regulations in this area either.

          All in all, in my experience, potential clients really like to see that you have some legitimate training and endorsement; even if you know more than the certification school already.
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        • Profile picture of the author Sean A McAlister
          Originally Posted by John Rowe View Post

          Or you could just say, of course I am.
          Yes...that is true

          I guess my issue arises based on the fact that this company services fortune 500's.

          The have a marketing department complete with a CMO.

          This caught me off guard because you would think that a reputable organization would know some things....so I was cautious.
          My response to the Marketing Director was not as blunt and straight forward as above but that was the general idea.

          I suppose this is a case in point of why the company is looking for outside consulting.

          Sean
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          • Profile picture of the author sparrow
            here's the filp side to this

            think about what this client may turn out to be

            the client from hell

            I was doing some work for a Fortune 500 company never again, reminded me to much of a 9-5 job with this report to pass in and that report and presentation to do

            sometimes you just have to say no or quote them a number that says no I am not interested

            thats what I think of SEO cert

            Ed
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            • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
              How can there ever be any SEO certification?

              While only the Search Engines ever know their own algo's, which are proprietary, and change constantly.

              Best
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            • Profile picture of the author adamv
              Start your own "Certification School". Throw up a fancy looking website for your new school and print yourself out a fancy looking diploma.

              Seo "certification" is a joke. The algos are constantly changing. But if they want to see certification, give them what they want.
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              • Profile picture of the author peteinoz
                this has turned into one very cool thread

                pete
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              • Exactly. And no one really knows what the algorithm is. People are making very educated guesses, based on testing and seeing what works and what doesn't. But "certification"? Please...

                Originally Posted by adamv View Post

                Start your own "Certification School". Throw up a fancy looking website for your new school and print yourself out a fancy looking diploma.

                Seo "certification" is a joke. The algos are constantly changing. But if they want to see certification, give them what they want.
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                -----------------------------------------


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            • Profile picture of the author Sean A McAlister
              Originally Posted by sparrow View Post

              here's the filp side to this

              think about what this client may turn out to be

              the client from hell

              I was doing some work for a Fortune 500 company never again, reminded me to much of a 9-5 job with this report to pass in and that report and presentation to do

              sometimes you just have to say no or quote them a number that says no I am not interested

              thats what I think of SEO cert

              Ed
              Good Point Ed!!

              This is very true. It can also provide another flip side.
              By saying no and taking it away it can even help close the sale.

              You are right though...I have walked from several deals...and looking back
              that decision proved to be invaluable.
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              • Profile picture of the author ecoverartist
                I know that Google offers Adwords certification and I think Yahoo has something similar. There's a grueling test to take and you'd better know your stuff or else you've wasted time and money.

                I guess it's their way of separating the wheat from the chaff - which is good for the client too since they get someone who knows something about PPC and not someone passing themselves off as an "expert"
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                • Profile picture of the author jjpmarketing
                  Yep. It will turn into a 9 to 5 gig for sure. They will start with the basics... and then they will want to improve it... tweak it... etc... and then wonder why you aren't at their beckon call 24-7.

                  A company that size... you are simply a spoke on their corporate wheel. They will likely be demanding... and consume more of your time than it is worth. In the end they will want you to reduce your rates to help improve their bottom line.

                  We had a company that wanted us to reduce our rates by $30 per hour. Outsourced services or not... corporations are still corporations.
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                  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                    You have to remember who you're dealing with here. Most of the corporate types I've dealt with are mainly concerned with covering their own asses.

                    If an even higher muckety-muck doesn't get the results anticipated, your contact can always say that you made a good presentation and were certified. That way, the exec's busted pipe dream becomes your fault, and your contact keeps their job.

                    If you're going to work with Fortune 500 types, some sort of credential will make life much easier.

                    Or you could jack your fees so high they won't even question you...
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                    • Profile picture of the author Sarah Harvey
                      Of course there is such a thing as being certified. If someone wants you to work with their account and you are Google Adwords Certified then you can prove it. It costs quite a bit to get certified through Google. I know it costs £500.00 to spend on a campaign and then £75.00 for the test itself once you have proven you can run a campaign successfully.

                      Problem is that what companies mean is that you need some proper Marketing experience. Offline marketing... if you have ever had the time to study it, is quite complex. Essentially they want you to have a degree in marketing. Then coupled with experience in online marketing would place you in good standing.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Sean A McAlister
                        Originally Posted by Sarah Harvey View Post

                        Problem is that what companies mean is that you need some proper Marketing experience. Offline marketing... if you have ever had the time to study it, is quite complex. Essentially they want you to have a degree in marketing. Then coupled with experience in online marketing would place you in good standing.
                        I am with ya Sarah, I specialize in Integrated Marketing (IMC) and consult
                        with a lot of companies ...after many years of doing this I have never encountered this question....
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                        • Profile picture of the author Sarah Harvey
                          They are just giving you a hard time is what I think

                          I have studied normal marketing for a few years and then coupled with 5 years of knowledge in internet marketing... I could easily prove that. But I guess people still want to see some form of certification. Makes them feel like you are not taking them for a ride. In this world you have a lot of 'weird' people that apply for jobs and they have never even tried the job itself or do not even know what it entails. So I guess companies are getting more aggressive in establishing if the person is the right one for their company.

                          I would put it nicely and bluntly to them.

                          "No, there is no such thing as being SEO certified, however a person can get adwords certified through google. If a company claims they are SEO certified they are basically making claims that isn't true. I am not here to lie to you or to pretend otherwise, but realistically I have had (x amount) years of experience and the results speak for themselves. Coupled with (whatever degree you can mention) I have sufficient experience that can deliver results. I do understand that specific authority figures deliver courses on SEO, but in the end it isn't certified in terms of a government recognized certification."

                          That would be my asnwer.
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                          • Profile picture of the author jjpmarketing
                            This is a double edged sword client... On one side of the sword you could offer a guarantee of results... but then on the other side you could get those results, but then they would complain of poor sales and blame it on the SEO guy... even though it may be related to a poorly targeted market or poor product or something along those lines.

                            If I had a bachelors... I would go back to school and spend a year picking up an extra degree in marketing or ecommerce or something along those lines to present to them... if they are going to be a big fish client. If they are not, and are going to be more of a one shot deal client, then I would just move on... price yourself out of the deal... or politely let them know that you can deliver... but if they need further evidence of your skills to contact you at a later date when they are serious about this... as you have clearly already provided that with results from other clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean A McAlister
    Originally Posted by nmullett View Post

    hello i was a very hard worker but now i relax have a look how you can relax too

    Call me Crazy.....but I believe that what we have here is a bit of spam for our bread.....

    is that a affiliate ID I see....

    The Spam can may get thrown in the garbage....

    Interesting.
    I could be wrong but...
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    • Profile picture of the author Sean A McAlister
      So I made the call this morning to their Marketing Manager
      and indicated that although their are some certification programs available it would be bias to make a decision based on this certification alone....and that
      SEO evolves on a daily basis as the algio's change virtually daily.

      And that further more, while the certification represents some kind of formal coursework it does not guarantee results on the back end, nor does me simple speaking over the phone about it to you. What should matter is the proven results sitting on your desk in front of you illustrating my proven track record, other credentials and endorsements from previous clients.

      Pause.....put on hold.....

      Ok....when can we get together to discuss the parameters of the agreement.-end


      Hmmm.......
      Now I am meeting with the C-staff. Well, I guess this is where the part comes in that I hit them with a large figure.,

      Another point that
      1.This Certification is not necessary....now that I have gone through this
      2. Fundamental Sales principles are essential
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      • Profile picture of the author JeremyL
        I'm constantly amazed at how big business manage to stay in business. The lack of accountability and fundamental common sense is staggering!

        An SEO technician is not unlike a musician, "You're only as good as your last gig!"

        Good luck with this Sean
        Cheers
        Jeremy
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        • Profile picture of the author Sean A McAlister
          Originally Posted by JeremyL View Post

          I'm constantly amazed at how big business manage to stay in business. The lack of accountability and fundamental common sense is staggering!

          An SEO technician is not unlike a musician, "You're only as good as your last gig!"

          Good luck with this Sean
          Cheers
          Jeremy

          I hear you.

          I am amazed every day. Almost every company I deal with have systems that are inefficient, counter productive and so overly complex it is no wonder they have low retention, decreasing profits etc... and the HR Department who is in charge of locating the talent has no clue....9 out of 10 times it has been determined that their measurement analysis of the talent pool has been wrong, and thus recommending people to the hiring managers who should have never got as far as the first interview...and that the "Non Matches" were in fact in some cases the better choice.

          At the end of the day they wonder why?

          Sean
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