SEO Certification and Standards: Do They Exist?

SEO Certification and Standards: Do They Exist?

Summary: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) certification is increasingly becoming a hot topic and a credential many universities and establishments are looking to offer, but there are many variables which prove detrimental to SEO certification. This post puts into perspective the prospect of SEO certification and standards.

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As business entities and Internet-savvy individuals become more aware of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and its importance, the question of standards and certification becomes much more prevalent. In short, the truth is that there are currently no industry-recognized standards or certifications that qualify an individual or entity as an "SEO Certified Professional."

Despite that fact, there are still well-credentialed establishments who are offering their own flavor of SEO certification. For instance, Bruce Clay, Inc. -- an upstanding and very popular SEO firm -- offers a costly-yet-informative course on SEO which places ethics at the forefront of the discussion. Upon completion of their course, you get a certificate, a badge to add to your Web site, and placement on a roster in which prospective clients can verify your credentials with them.

On the standards end, perhaps the closest thing the industry has to representing a central body is SEMPO. They also offer various levels of certification separated by cost and extensibility. Additionally, several universities (online, especially) and SEO agencies the world over are offering up certification programs like hot cakes. The main conundrum is that -- because there are no standards -- there is no real way to qualify someone to teach SEO to the extent that they can certify others in a manner recognized by one industry-governing body.

Additionally, where standards are concerned, part of the difficulty in defining them can be exemplified by the recent implementation of Google Instant. It alone would have undoubtedly caused a slight shift in the SEO curriculum predating its implementation (once the ramifications of it are fully understood in such a manner that standards could be created based on it), so that right there may have just made re-certification a necessity.

So, while certification is not an industry-recognized credential (or even truly a necessity, for that matter), it can still be a very structured and beneficial approach to learning SEO. Though I'm not confident that we will ever see a true resolution to this, there will always exist the desire to standardize SEO and make it a certifiable entity. Until then, all we have are the bodies of work produced by the most trusted businesses and entities in this industry. Luckily, they aren't too hard to find once you find yourself involved in communities like this blog.

To close, here is a video that Matt Cutts from Google put up on YouTube just the other day addressing an SEO certification question. He fills in some of the gaps not covered within this post and may very well answer questions you may have at this point: Are there any SEO certification programs you are aware of?

Topic: Browser

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  • RE: SEO Certification and Standards: Do They Exist?

    The industry does need some way of judging the quality of an SEO Consultant or Agency, but as Matt says Google have their guidlines which basically say "stay ethical" so any examination from G's side would be pretty straightforward and easy to pass. Plus they would probably charge through the nose for it.
    seo.co.uk
    • RE: SEO Certification and Standards: Do They Exist?

      @seo.co.uk Thank you for your feedback. I totally agree that Google would probably charge an exorbitant amount of money if they ever agreed to an SEO certification course -- especially with how easy the course would be for any seasoned or passionately upcoming SEO. Either way, it's always an interesting space to keep up with!
      StephenChapman
    • RE: SEO Certification and Standards: Do They Exist?

      @seo.co.uk & Stephen - I truly agree with you. As I heard their are institutions which provides Search Engine Optimization certification but they are not authentic.
      <a href ="http://www.pensamedia.com/">Google India</a>
      Kinny87
    • RE: SEO Certification and Standards: Do They Exist?

      @seo.co.uk & Stephen - I truly agree with you. As I heard their are institutions which provides Search Engine Optimization certification but they are not authentic.
      <a href ="http://www.pensamedia.com/">Google India</a>
      Kinny87
    • RE: SEO Certification and Standards: Do They Exist?

      there is no company can Guaranteed seo !
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  • RE: SEO Certification and Standards: Do They Exist?

    while there are no clear standards or Certifications that are recognized industry wide there are a few places that offer course for "certification". One is http://www.expertrating.com/ who at least is an ISO certified training company. The course looks good from the stand point it covers Google's ethnics concerns and pretty good basics on what is involved in SEO. I am sure there are some others that deserve mention that I am unfamilar with.
    rwt.thai@...
  • RE: SEO Certification and Standards: Do They Exist?

    While I am not new to SEO, I am new to the business in a formal sense. On one hand, I would have to say that a formalized certification process would help give me some legitimacy. But I have a concern that it could become the source of a lot of jokes, similar to the whole Microsoft certification process during the late 1990's. It seemed back then that everyone was Microsoft certified and eventually devalued the certs (in my opinion).

    Just my two cents,

    Johnny
    http://www.johnzseoguide.com
    jrogers1@...
  • RE: SEO Certification and Standards: Do They Exist?

    i have 3 cert. <a href="http://www.top10google.it">SEO</a>
    hotelsudtirol
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  • RE: SEO Certification and Standards: Do They Exist?

    Both exits as SEO is becoming popular all over the world.
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