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The only people who truly know how the SE algorithms work are those who design them - and they are obviously under a NDA
Without this information, I see little chance of correlating SEO practices accurately with real world results. It is always going to be a matter of "try different approaches to see what works best"
So my advice would be that if you see anyone offering SEO certifications, they are likely to be at best useless, and at worst a scam.
Web design certificate or degree is no problem to find.
SEO on the other hand is always changing so how to develope a complete course outline is the question.
IMHO 75% of SEO is sound fundamentals the other 25% is maximizing the changes in the algo.
It will take a veteran SEO (over 5 years in the biz) who also knows how to develope and market a "proposed course" to get a major college or university to consider the idea.
I have a few people in mind who are at that high of a level (no at this point I am not one of them not Yet) But they are all busy making $$ paying the electric ect.
It will be interesting to see which major school comes out with the first degree in SEO.
So, you want to be certified eh? Many newcomers to the industry commonly ask this question. Unfortunately there is no governing body (just yet) for the SEO/SEM industry. Actually, our governing bodies are the search engines.
There are a few courses available out there. You can even get an official looking seal after completing one. Does that mean you are Certified? No, it just means you took a course to learn SEO, you were certified to someone's standard but, it wasn't an official governing organization that has been recognized by the industry or the public.
A few have tried to come up with standards for our industry. It hasn't worked yet. There are too many "sides" or "clicks" and it has been very difficult to get all sides to come to an agreement on standards.
Certifications look nice on paper and you get to sport little icons on your site promoting your certification. Does the general public care? Heck, most don't even know what we do, let alone know anything about a certification. ;)
Its akin to asking the Steelers' quarterback for QB Certification, when stats and wins are all that matters.
when stats and wins are all that matters.That's what BMW Germany thought until recently. Ethics and standards are only as good as those who practice them. As a licensed realtor I have seen my share of those who took the oath yet break it for the almighty dollar. This can be true of any industry that is said to be governed by a set of standards and codes of ethics.
I can set up a foundation course ie 80-90% of the must do stuff, I always thought of building sites like building a house you start with a strong foundation and work up.
Not a bad idea for a masters thesis if anyone is in school (and can still afford it ) Aaron from the seobook could do it if anyone could.
Yes there are others JB, DS, SM, ect.
Oh dam now you got me thinking of going back to school lol.
Certifying people for those will be tricky as they are judgemental. Good HTML can be present in billions of sites, they might not be usable or likable though!
SEO is even more tricky. If you follow Brett's guidelines you are probably doing the right things, but, you still might not succeed. It depends upon the marketplace and competitors.
Right now a good SEO can only be judged by their results. They may change from year to year.....so long-term certification isn't really practical.
People could become Hwy2hel Certified Search Engine Professionals. Colleges are not likely to be interested - until it becomes a great success.
The question is: is there enough of a market to make the effort of establishing yourself as a certifying authority profitable?
If you think there is, decide on the delivery format, write some courseware and an exam, get some certificate paper, and market, market, market, market, market.
I maintain there are many people here who have the skills to do this - you don't have to be the best SEO'er in the world, but you must have marketing skills and capital to invest. Certainly the most well-known SEOs would have an advantage here as they have a head-start on the marketing and already have professional clout.
Personally, I don't think there is enough of a market for a certification, but it is interesting.
It is strange how you get so caught up in the new issues of SEO that you often forget the basics. Going back year after year has really helped my career.
Unlike other posters on this topic, I see a clear need for it as I have seen the direct benefits. There is no way I would be where I am if I tried doing everything on my own.