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Em(powered) by Search: My First Attempt at Understanding the SEO World

As Powered by Search‘s newest contributor I’d like to preface my blogging by magnifying some fine print, some fine print that many would not want to draw attention to: I am new to the SEO world. While I’d heard the term thrown around in my Media, Information and Technoculture courses, it was a static, lifeless, and abstract term. I thought about it to the extent that most of us think about the key terms that are listed in our course outlines, which is exactly two ways: 1) how does this term relate to the other material and 2) how likely is it that this will be on my final?

That mindset prevented me from understanding the SEO analyst and the unpredictable online beasts they face each day which include search engines, hijackers, poor website design, and changing interfaces.

Before heading to my interview I did my homework by reading my first ever whitepapers and SEO-for-dummies guides. I got the gig (for my background in marketing and communications not for my knowledge of SEO Alex reminds me), but I was starting to feel a little uneasy. The more information I found the more I realized there was to know. I believe my Communication Studies Prof. deemed it “information overload,” but it felt like an information overdose to me. My heart and mind were racing and still I read on: Best practices change daily? Websites can be penalized for low quality links? Google doesn’t have to list your page if it doesn’t like it?

Learning about Search Engines 300x199 Em(powered) by Search: My First Attempt at Understanding the SEO World

Wading through waves of jargon, I convinced myself, as we often do, that my first day at Powered by Search was going to be a nightmare. In such a demanding high stakes industry my coworkers were bound to be nearing the edge of their sanity. The workplace would be a mess of SEO analysts shouting into phones and pulling their hair as they wrangled the Wild Wild Web.

You already know I was wrong. Fortunately my team happens to consist of several incredibly focused, ridiculously tech-savvy guys that are ahead of the game leading on SEO knowledge rather than chasing their competitors. Instead of copying ideas they seem to be coming up with their own. They work tirelessly improving company profiles, but they never seem stressed. The kind of personalities that dig complex stats and soar under pressure surround me… and some of that attitude is already seeping over to me from my deskmate Zain. Glancing over my shoulder at his dual monitors I see that he is tackling yet another challenge. This time my rising heartbeat signals a new rush, a jolt of excitement to conquer the SEO or die trying.

SEO 101 reading a book 300x200 Em(powered) by Search: My First Attempt at Understanding the SEO World

Yes, I am going to have to do more reading (although I’m hoping to stumble upon some catchy infographics or jazzy vlogs too). Yes, I can share with you what I find. Yes, I want you to share with me if I am overlooking something that I should be exploring. But no, I promise I will do whatever I can to make sure that it’s more interesting than a College or University course pack.

Photo credit: Megapixx and woodleywonderworks

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About the Author

Lauren Waters is an avid marketer and communicator. MA in Communication and New Media at McMaster University with a BA from Western in Media, Information, and Technoculture. Interested in education, social media, and environmentalism.
  • csabour

    Nicely written! Look forward to moar blog posts from you :) I learned a lot from stomperNET courses… Fundamental stuff!

    I’m really digging the new site Powered By Search!

    • Lauren Waters

      Thanks! I will definitely check those out! I’m also creating a list of blogs to follow if you have any ideas?

      • csabour

        SEOmoz is the #1 source. They actually know what they are talking about :)