After actively doing SEO since the mid 1990s, and not just talking and speaking about SEO but actually doing it, I consider myself to be an SEO Expert. But, I have to admit that there are times when even this search engine optimization expert needs some advice. Back when SEO was “easy” (was it ever really easy?), one could use more of a formulaic approach to SEO and be fairly successful with any website that you were optimizing. But, as the search engines have become smarter, and those programming the algorithms have cracked down on spam more and more, there are times where you’re at a loss as to why a website is not ranking as well as it should. It’s in these times when only a truly professional SEO expert can “suck it up” and admit that you need help.
This past week, I’ve come into two such situations. In the first situation, another SEO that I respect has come to me and asked for another opinion about what’s going on with their client site. They’ve exhausted all of their resources internally and need another third party opinion. In this case, looking at the website and what appears to be going on, some log file analysis is needed. And since that’s one thing that I’m very proficient at, I’m happy to help a fellow SEO with this analysis. And since I find it challenging to figure out what is going on with a “broken” website, I know I will learn something by doing the additional work. I consider it to be a learning experience, and this experience will help me in my future work as an SEO expert.
I won’t get into details about this first situation, as it’s not appropriate to do so here. But it’s interesting to note that as websites, redirects, IPs, server certificates, affiliates, search engine rankings, and even now mobile versions of sites come into play, I find that many SEO experts are carving out a niche. Many specialize in certain types of SEO or SEO for certain types of websites. And there are some, like me, who have more of a technical background when it comes to search engine marketing. I’ve been a webmaster, intranet webmaster, technical writer, and an SEO, so sometimes I have to rely on my technical expertise a bit more.
The second situation, though, is more a challenge for me personally. I’ve been working with one particular client for nearly 10 years. And know their website intimately (probably more than the client knows their website, in fact). And there comes a time when you realize that you’ve plateaued. Not that the website doesn’t gaining traffic, but because the site just won’t “rank” or show up in the search results for certain keyword phrases. Yet others the site does very well, and always has for 10 years or more. So, this week, I’m actually reaching out to a few trusted SEOs in the industry and ask for help. I’ve done it before, and won’t hesitate to do it again. Because in order to get better as an SEO expert, one has to realize when you’ve reached your limit–and ask for help.
Which would you rather have as your physician? A doctor who is very good at what he does (the best, in fact!), but in those times when you’re sick and he really can’t figure out what’s wrong with you, reaches out to one or of his colleagues for a second or third opinion? That doctor has your best interests in mind, and he’s not just there to run more tests on you to “make a buck”. In this case, I feel as though I’m a doctor: a professional SEO expert who, sometimes, just needs another opinion.
I will certainly be reaching out to a few select SEO experts this week to help me with a difficult SEO project. Those are the “best of breed” SEO experts who truly deserve an SEO challenge, and I’m happy to give them the additional consulting work.
Sometimes an SEO expert needs to be thrown a life preserver. Sometimes every good SEO needs some help.