Due to our launch of SoloSEO and our foray into blogging, I have been more sensitive to the plight of all bloggers, and to the generally less than optimum reputation of bloggers. I knew about blogging before our launch, and I got a sense from the talking heads of TV land, and the faceless voices of radio land, that bloggers weren’t held in high regard in the media world, but who is? Personally I have never understood why a degree in Journalism gives a reporter more of a “right” to report about SEO, medicine, politics, marketing or anything, over someone who blogs and actually works or has earned degrees related to those industries, but this seems to be their indefensible attitude. For my view, reporters without “real-life” experience in the industries they are reporting about, aren’t worth the time it takes to drop off that printed media in the round file, or the effort one must expend to turn off the offending electronic device, but I digress.
During my non-blogging years, I didn’t read many blogs, and the ones I did read where scrutinized before I would buy in. I personally felt each author needed to be: 1. Formally Educated, 2. Obviously Knowledgeable (in the blogging topic), and 3. Successful (in the industry they were blogging about). If the blogger didn’t meet muster, I didn’t view them as a viable blogger or worth my reading time. My views on this have obviously changed slightly over time.
As I now I sit here… a blogger, somewhat educated (with a Bachelor in Economics, an MBA, and working on my dissertation for a Ph.D. in OM), but with no formal education in SEO. I don’t remember that class being offered at the university. So my formal knowledge on SEO is suspect I guess. It has come from a few popular SEO books, personal experience, attendance at PubCon, and blogs. Our success with SoloSEO, although steady, isn’t as earth shattering as I would liked it to be after only 3 “official” months, and yet here I am still blogging, pretty hypocritical huh? 🙂 I can now see Blog mountain from this side and my perspective is different. Before getting our first businesses online, I had no extensive knowledge into Internet Marketing or Do-It-Yourself SEO, as Internet Marketing wasn’t a course offered way back then. Nor did I have any idea there was such a wellspring of information on the SEO topic online. This abundance of info comes from some very intelligent, and trustworthy individuals. However, because of the three strict credentials listed above, I truly had a difficult time giving many “SEO blogging experts” much respect right out of the gate. While I have made my peace with many SEO blogs and are comfortable with their interpretation of SEO principles, others have fallen out of favor. I am still often dumbfounded by some of the speculation, and mind-numbingly simple deductions made by some considered most knowledgeable among us. Comments I read in blogs like “I think,” “my Spidey sense tells me,” or “based on my gut” followed by a claim concerning how search engine algorithms MAY work, cause me to gulp the Pepto. In the world of academic writing, any claim made by an author needs to be defended by statistically reliable results, or at least based on some long term research which indicates, within a statistically acceptable level, a strong possibility of fact. But in the world of blogging, anyone can claim to be an expert, run some unscientific, and even questionable tests (or not do anything at all), and then throw the results out there as probable truths. I believe it is this free wielding of ideas which causes many “offline” reporters/media sorts to question the credibility of bloggers. I’m not saying it’s right, and it is obviously stereotypical. Plus I don’t think many reporters have a sound footing from which to throw stones anyway, but with major market changes comes detractors, and due partly to woeful failings of mainstream media, bloggers have continually gained notoriety, and have found an increasingly important voice.
So, do we at SoloSEO consider ourselves to be SEO experts and qualified to blog. According to my narrow, academically weighted criteria, probably not. However, according to the general blogosphere criteria, yeah baby!! We are as qualified as anyone. It is not a position I am completely comfortable with, but we have learned a bunch over the years SEOing our own sites, using lots of other’s tools, and we have enjoyed good online success in the process. We learned more about SEO when creating Solo, and we will share what we think is important to those who care to read. I will say through our own research, and through discussions with leaders in the SEO field, we have been able to create and consolidate the most comprehensive set of SEO tools, all in an online environment, all in one place. That is something to which we are very proud. We feel we have contributed to make SEO more accessible to more folks trying to be more successful for themselves online, and that feels pretty great. These tools are as simple to use as any SEO tool out there, and they work one with another, and build upon each other, making SEO a smooth flowing process, much different from the segmented SEO tool parade that previously caused us much suffering.
Rest assured, we will continue to blog on topics we feel are important to our fellow Do-It-Youself army of SEOers. Our perspective is quite different as we are first small business owners, with our own business sites. And we too have struggled to learn SEO to better our business’ position online, as opposed to SEO professionals who earn their living assisting others SEO their sites. We see good SEO as a competitive advantage, and we focus on doing SEO better than our competitors, which increases our access to potential clients. We do appreciate the votes of confidence and support from you in the infancy of Solo, and we will not take this loyalty for granted. SoloSEO tools will continue to evolve and adjust to best provide you all with a powerful, yet simple solution for your SEO campaigns, and we will continue to use these tools for our own sites and blog when we learn something cool.
So, will the mainstream media ever give bloggers credit for the important work they attempt to do? Probably not. Do we care? Absolutely not.