Question Regarding SEO Certification
Occasionally people ask us about qualifications and certifications for Internet Marketing (IM). The question of Google certifying IM professionals is one that we hear most often.
QUESTION: Is there a Google SEO Certification for Internet marketing professionals? If so, do you have a Certification?
ANSWER: The answer is NO, there is no Google SEO Certification. Google does offer certifications for AdWords, and other Google properties that bring them money. Essentially, Google offers certifications only where they either own the program, like AdWords or Google Apps, or where there is a service for which Google does charge users, again, like AdWords.
Google has never provided Certification. This video from Google explains why.
SEO Professional Certification – Is It A Good Idea?
It’s always an excellent concept to have some way to measure performance standards. In the world of Organic (aka Free) Google Search rankings, where any website theoretically has an opportunity to move to the top, creating a true certification would simply be impossible. The primary reason for this is that Google changes it’s Algorithms, the rules by which websites obtain rankings, so frequently that an SEO certification would be outdated almost immediately.
Gary Illyes, February 11, 2016, confirms Google will not offer SEO Certification.</br />
Continuing Education Is The Key To Quality SEO Services
So, if Google will not certify SEOs, how do they get the right training? Also, how do prospective clients know who to hire based on SEO practices? The best answer to that is “education” and lots of it. Since Google updates the Algorithms continuously and they often change their philosophy on what they require in assessing websites, the learning process for a true professional never ends.
Where do SEO professionals get their training? The best training comes in the form of paid online webinars provided by successful SEO professionals. The best webinar training programs are in-depth, based on continuous research, teach hands on techniques, and yes, depending on your point of view, they can be expensive.
To further answer the education question, the answer is YES we are constantly enrolled and active in continuing education. In fact, we spend many hours per week actively engaged in the training process. As a result, we do a lot of educating ourselves by offering free guest speaking services for business and civic organizations. Additionally, and more importantly, we take the time to explain our services to clients prior to beginning any services.
The Matter Of Ethical SEO
Another serious issue with Google Certification this; any SEO could become certified, then simply go ahead and violate the Google rules by performing what we in the industry call “Black Hat” SEO. Essentially, Google says that anyone who violates their rules is “unethical” and therefore a “Black Hat.” This is a really delicate topic because Google is, after all, a company created to earn income. The vast percentage of Google’s income (which is in the billions of dollars) is derived from AdWords and AdSense, which are not free and not organic SEO.
So, when an SEO professional does something that Google doesn’t like, for example, keyword stuffing, Google identifies this as unethical. In reality, the SEO pro is breaking the Google rules for their own benefit and/or their client. Using the word “unethical” in this instance is not necessarily accurate. This is especially true since many very ethical SEO professionals have seen their sites penalized in the past without knowing they had done something that Google didn’t like. Google rules change often, without warning, and without confirmation by Google, so it is often difficult to know exactly what the Google search engine is approving or not approving for website optimization.
How Can You Find The Best SEO?
The short answer is: Here! There are questions you can ask an SEO company prior to engaging their services and the following is a list of the most important questions.
- Q: Search Engine Optimization is based on results: How well are your clients ranking?
- Q: Do you guarantee rankings? Do you guarantee phone calls or clicks to my site?
- Q: Do you provide communications in terms of monthly reporting?
- Q: How do you determine your pricing?
- Q: Why should my business hire you?
Get The Answers You Need In A Conversation
The best way to get your questions answered is to fill out our Discovery Form, so we have important information about your Internet Marketing project, then we can schedule a time to have a conversation about the best approach to achieve your goals.
Short answers to the questions above:
- A: At the top of Google.
- A: No, no, and no because that would be unethical.
- A: Yes.
- A: We customize every client’s SEO and Internet Marketing campaign.
- A: We never give up; we have several years experience, and we have always been able to rank our clients very well.
First fill out the Discovery Form, then we’ll contact you to start the process of helping you get the results you want from your website.