SEM – ARRGGHHHH!!!

So I’ve been thinking for a while about why I got into search. And my answer much like everyone else I meet is I just sort of fell into it. And later decided that I actually liked what I did.

Now my story involves being drunk, an elevator, a pizza and a series of chance happenings that eventually resulted in me winding up at Blueclaw and specialising in gambling. There was no plan involved, just a series of seemingly random events culminating in a career in online marketing.

This is what’s wrong with Search Marketing. Maybe 1 in 1000 people get into it because they really want to, the guys in social do it because they want to, designers because they want to, us search guys…. Well it just sort of happens. I’ve been asking this question for years at every conference I go to, and to everyone I meet in search and only 1 person has ever answered “because I wanted to be an SEO” and I have my suspicions as to whether or not that was actually true.

A love for SEM is like love for a wife in an arranged marriage, you find that you enjoy it later. But, the inherent problem with that is that we’re left in an industry full of lack lustre professionals who really have no business being here. And here in lies the problem. Those that are good at what they do move up the ladder so fast you’d think that they’d had a rocket shoved up their rear, and those that aren’t languish at the mid-level for their whole career. That leaves nobody at the bottom of the ladder that is any good.

You find me anyone who says that finding and experienced “link builder” (or “off site expert” or “outreach specialist” or “ninja” or “link pirate” or “director of making a website go up in the bloody SERPs via acquiring links” or whatever other garbage title the company wants to give them) is easy then I’ll show you a liar or a rubbish/expensive link builder.

So it’s not that I believe SEO is dead or that all my colleagues suck, I just believe that there is something fundamentally wrong in an industry where we either have to hire people “so green that they can’t tie their own shoe laces” – not my quote – or people so expensive they want more than my salary to work under me. And that issue is that those that are good know it because most of the others just “fall into it” and there is no real drive in a good 70% of the industry. It’s a sad reality and I’m not saying I know how to fix it, but this post really is just a way for me to vent my frustrations and not actually to offer insight or a solution unless anyone has one and then I’m all ears.

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