Chapter 3. Standards, Philosophies, and Finances

People often have commented to me about their dislike for the lack of transparency from search professionals they’ve worked with. Unfortunately, a proliferation of shady tools and consultants were sucked into the vacuum many years ago. It has always bothered me that SEO has a less-than-sterling image. By not employing any kind of agreed upon standards, SEO has unnecessarily experienced some very bad publicity. Many industry leaders took it as a changing of the tide when SEO consulting firm SEO Moz became just Moz, dropping the “SEO.” The name change was likened to a symbolic tightening things up. It’s like when Justin Timberlake’s character in the movie The Social Network movie suggests going from “The Facebook” to just “Facebook.” It’s cleaner and represents maturation.

To ensure that SEO provides the value that it’s absolutely capable of delivering, search marketers can learn from and adapt the established standards, controls, and practices of the accounting, IT, and public relations industries.

Establishing Program Standards

Many people believe that W3C, Web Standards, and SEMPO are the governing bodies covering SEO practices, but that’s not necessarily true. Those organizations only create guidelines that are not mandatory. Standards are different than rules. Standards exist so that there’s a process to ensure that what’s supposed to happen is really happening. With the rise of mega-conglomerates in tech, our standards and ...

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