11 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Job in Search Engine Marketing
By Kalena Jordan
Are you currently seeking employment? Looking
for a new profession? Considering a career
change? Then a job in the field of Search Engine
Marketing should be at the top of your list.
Here are 10 reasons why:
1) The Search Industry is HOT
The first dot-com bubble may have burst 6 years
ago, but the current bubble is getting bigger
and stronger every day. One of the main reasons
for the current dot-com boom is the skyrocketing
growth of the search engine industry. No longer
the territory of geekdom, search has exploded
into the mainstream over the past few years and
businesses are falling over themselves to get
seen by online searchers. And they'll pay big
bucks to search engines for the privilege.
Have you noticed that Google shares recently hit
USD 500 EACH? It's not a coincidence. Search
giants like Google, Yahoo and AOL can't fail to
make money because everybody wants a bit of the
search action. There's no denying, search is
HOT, HOT, HOT.
2) It's Considered one of Four Jobs on the
Entry level SEO/SEM position = $30-45K
Three to five years experience / online account
managers = $50-75K
Five + years / organic SEO specialists =
Senior management level = $70-120K
SEM Director = $95-150K
VP Level = $100-315K
According to a recent
article on MSN Careers, the position of
Search Engine Optimizer is considered one of
four jobs on the cutting edge right now. Who
gave it this title? A representative from the
world's largest specialized recruitment firm -
Robert Half International Inc.
Search Engine Optimization is considered a
sub-set of Search Engine Marketing. If you're
unsure what a Search Engine Optimizer (SEO)
does, below is a definition provided by MSN Careers:
"Search engine optimizers (SEOs) increase a
firm's Web site traffic by improving its
search-engine page rankings. This is an
especially important task in today's
Internet-driven world, where many customers
first learn of an organization and its products
or services through the Web. Because of a
shortage of experts in this relatively new area,
many top SEOs receive multiple job offers. SEOs
typically supplement their knowledge of how
various search engines operate and determine
page rankings with strong marketing skills, as
well as the ability to communicate effectively
and program using HTML."
Wikipedia also defines Search Engine Optimizers here.
3) The Pay is Fantastic
A job in the search industry can be unbelievably
lucrative. As noted
recently by Jennifer Laycock of Search
Engine Guide, "There are quite literally more
there are skilled marketers and salaries can
skyrocket to almost embarrassing levels."
Have you seen the type of salaries that search
engine marketing and search engine optimization
consultants are currently commanding in the US?
Clearly, the search industry is making some
people rich. Here are some typical salaries in USD:
Additional Salary information:
Search Engine Watch Forums
4) You Don't Need a College Degree
Because the search industry is relatively young,
there are only a handful of online courses and
certifications offered in the field of Search
Engine Marketing (Search
Engine College being one such training
Most search engine marketing practitioners are
self-taught, learning the trade by experimenting
with their own sites, researching trends,
attending conferences and participating in
discussion forums and so employers don't
generally require SEO / SEM certification or a
tertiary qualification as a pre-requisite for a
position in the industry.
However, candidates who hold a marketing degree
or specific industry certification in Search
Engine Marketing may well have an edge over
their fellow applicants when it comes to
5) You Can Learn it all Online
Everything you need to know to become a Search
Engine Marketer, you can learn online. All the
information is out there, you just have to find
it. To become an expert in SEO / SEM, you need
to do research, research and more research. Read
everything you can get your hands on relating to
search on a daily basis, including articles,
forums, ebooks, blogs and newsfeeds. Then you
need to put this knowledge into practice by
experimenting with your own sites, or finding
guinea pig sites to practice on such as those of
friends, family or charity sites until you find
the methods that give you the best results.
Programming knowledge is not a pre-requisite for
SEO / SEM jobs, but it does help to learn basic
HTML. There are plenty of free HTML tutorials
If you don't fancy years of research or are in a
hurry to jump-start your career in search,
consider taking an online Certification course
in one of the many Search Engine Marketing
disciplines such as the Certification
Pathways provided by Search Engine College.
These type of courses are usually tutor-led and
designed to fast-track your training and ensure
you gain the right type of skills to make you
immediately employable within the search industry.
6) You Can Be Your Own Boss
Because most of the work you'll be doing is
online, Search Engine Optimizers and Search
Engine Marketers often have the freedom of
choice to work for an employer, work from home
and/or freelance. Many SEO / SEM freelancers end
up hiring workers and starting their own company
due to the massive demand. This gives search
engine marketing experts the work from home
lifestyle that others can only dream of.
7) Search Marketing Has the WOW Factor
Once they know what they're doing, it's very
easy for a Search Engine Marketer to wow their
clients. The difference that a successful SEO or
PPC campaign can make to a client's bottom line
is substantial. I've seen online conversion
rates for a client zoom from 1% to a massive 5%
after just two small tweaks to their web site.
And although rankings are not as important as
actual conversions, clients still get very
excited to see their site listed in the top 10
search results for certain keywords. It's the
WOW factor in action.
8) The Demand is Strong and Growing
As mentioned in relation to search engine
salaries, there are literally many more jobs
than there are skilled marketers to fill them.
This extreme demand means Search Engine
Marketers can pick and choose their jobs and/or
clients. The more skilled marketers are
head-hunted regularly. For Search Engine
Optimization firms, there are more than enough
clients to go around and rarely a need to
advertise for new business. That's why you often
find SEOs turning away clients or recommending
their competitors during extremely busy periods.
Experts in select specialties such as Pay Per
Click Advertising (a sub-set of Search Engine
Marketing) are currently enjoying even higher
demand than usual, as advertisers out-bid each
other to have their site shown for popular
keyword searches on Google, Yahoo! and MSN.
Another indicator of high demand is the sheer
number of search-related job postings seen on
employment sites such as those listed here.
9) The Industry is Hip and Groovy
There's something very trendy about people in
search that I can't quite put my finger on.
There's a constant buzz around them. If you've
ever been to a search engine conference or to
Google's headquarters you'll know what I mean.
Maybe it's the fact that they've come from so
many different professions. Or that the age
range of search marketers varies from teens to
Baby Boomers. Or their whacky dress sense. Maybe
it's the smell of money and happiness that they
give off. Maybe it's the fact that they are
constantly in the media. I don't know. All I
know is that it's no longer uncool to be a geek.
In fact it's downright hip to be square.
10) The Skills Are Portable and Global
Skills in search engine marketing are portable
and global. You don't need to be at a desk, in
an office or on the phone all day. You don't
even need to meet your clients. Of all my
clients, I've probably only met 20 percent of
them and spoken to half of them on the phone or
via chat. You can be on vacation for six months
out of the year in various locations and still
conduct business. You literally only need a
computer and an Internet connection. The
Internet is the universal equalizer. You can
service clients in any country in the world, in
many different languages. You can compete with
one man operations and Fortune 500 companies on
the same level playing field. The flexibility
of the search industry is a huge advantage over
other career options. Have laptop, will travel!
11) Job Satisfaction is High
Search is a fascinating industry. With all the
hype, daily gossip, corporate take-overs,
start-ups and geek toys, I can guarantee that
you won't get bored. This combined with the
flexible work hours, low start-up costs, ability
to be your own boss and the excellent income
keeps job satisfaction high for Search Engine
Marketers. So what are you waiting for? Go get a
job in search!
The above article may be re-published as long as
the following paragraph is included at the end
of the article and as long as you link to the
URL mentioned below:
About the Author
Article by Kalena Jordan, one of the first
search engine optimization experts in Australia,
who is well known and respected in the industry,
particularly in the U.S. As well as running her
own SEO business, Kalena manages Search
Engine College, an online training
institution offering instructor-led short
courses and downloadable self-study courses in
Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine
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Meanwhile, another Christmas is over and 2007
arrives in just a few hours. Did you have any
time off over the holidays? I can't believe how
busy the search industry always seems between
Christmas and New Year. Now the analysts are
talking up a merger between Yahoo and AOL as a
way to topple Google from the throne. I'll
believe it when I see it.
Have you decided on your New Year's resolutions
yet? I think my main one is going to be to take
a holiday. It's been nearly a year since I've
taken time off and I
know I deserve it. All work and no play, yadda
yadda. The New Year is also a time people think
making important life changes such as moving
house or finding a new career.
If you've ever thought about gaining employment
fast-paced search industry, this month's feature
article might convince you to take the plunge.
It contains 11 reasons why you should consider
Search Engine Marketing as a career choice.
Enjoy this issue and remember to visit the daily
Search Engine Advice Column to check out
my answers to frequently asked search engine
questions or submit one of your own.
Till next time - wishing you clicks and
|FAQ1: Is there a practical limit for Alt Img text?|
Is there a limit to how many words are practical
within alt image text? I'm not talking about
stuffing it with junk but having a text of maybe
There is no hard and fast rule about this, but I
would recommend no more than say 3 or 4 words.
The text should also be an accurate description
of the image itself, not just a bunch of
unrelated keywords. This is to ensure it passes
spam filters and also makes sense to visually
impaired visitors. I would also avoid using more
than 2 or 3 alt tags on a single page if you can
|FAQ2: Have we been penalised by Google?|
Hi, what a useful website you have.
Our site has dropped from the first page of
results in google to page 5 and upwards,
resulting in thousands of pounds worth of
business lost per month. Have we been penalised
Thanks for the backslap! I've taken a look at
the site and checked it using Google's
Site Status Tool. I don't see a penalty of
1) You've got a healthy Google Toolbar ranking of
4000 pages from your site have been
indexed by Googlebot.
3) Googlebot last indexed your page on 1st December.
When you say your site has dropped to page five
of search results - is that for a particular
search term? Or for all of your major search
terms? If it is only for a single search phrase,
that is a fairly common occurence as Google
changes their algorithm and adds more and more
Your site is in the highly competitive adult
industry, where search rankings change much more
often than in other industries. You simply have
to optimize the site for a wider range of
keywords and phrases (the
If you are seeing your site drop consistently
for ALL your major search terms, then that may
indicate the site has been sandboxed.
done a major design overall or content change
recently? Sometimes this can trigger a site to
be placed in the sandbox.
My advice is to keep optimizing, build quality
links and start concentrating on your exposure
on other search engines so you don't sweat
Google's algorithm changes.
PS - you're not the only adult site to suffer
in Google lately. See here.
|FAQ3: Does the definition of hidden text include different shades of the same color?|
I have a question about this which I read on a site:
"The most common spam I see is accidental. A
webmaster innocently does something such as
using white font in a colored table, when he
happens to also have a page with a white
background. From a search engine's point of view
this is spamming because he has hidden text. You
aren't allowed to have text the same color as
your page background."
I understand her point about white and white. I
have changed my background to pale blue but some
of my text and all of my links are two dark
shades of blue. Does she include different
shades of the same shade of one color? I hope it
would consider hidden text only as an identical
color and shade of that color.
The author of that quote is correct. It can be a
problem for webmasters using tables, where if
they have a white page background and a colored
table, any white text in that table may trip a
spam filter on a search engine on the look out
for font the same color as the overall page
But I think search engine robots are getting
more sophisticated these days and can probably
detect if a table is being used within the code.
To be on the safe side, I would avoid using text
in a table on your site that is the exact same
color as your page background. A shade or two
difference should be fine as I believe the
spider would be looking for an exact color code
match, not similar shades of the same color.
|FAQ4: Why doesn't Google index my client's site any more?|
My client's site (www.coaching.uk.net ) has been
recently converted to Joomla (around 6 months
ago). The content is the same as previously.
However Google no longer indexes the site.
The other search engines pick it up with no
problems, and all my other Joomla sites are
picked up by Google. Can you suggest any reasons
why this one should be an exception??!
I've taken a look at the site and here's what I see:
1) You've got a Google Toolbar PageRank of zero.
2) You've got zero backward links listed on Google.
3) Google last cached your site on 7th November.
4) According to their Site
Status Tool, Google
does not know about all your site pages.
Seeing this, I doubt that Joomla that is causing
the problem, it is more than likely that the
re-design has triggered the site to get stuck in
Aging Delay. This delay can impact new
or existing sites and can last up to 9 months.
You're not the only one with
a Joomla site facing similar problems.
Something to keep in mind when working with
dynamic technologies and CMS's like Joomla:
Google has stated in the past that they
don't index pages containing session ids.
such sites indexed before, so perhaps Google is
getting better at this. But why take the risk?
Make sure that your site either doesn't use
session ids or contains a way for searchbots to
grab the data via a parameter-clean URL. You can
check how a search engine robot would see your
site by downloading a text-based browser like Lynx
running your URLs through it.
post for advice on what to do while
you're waiting in Google aging limbo.
|FAQ5: How can I attract more visitors to my site?|
I have a web site www.millerandzois.com that has
been doing very well. The purpose of our site is
to provide information both to injury victims
and to other Maryland lawyers. We are first on
key search terms such as "Maryland Personal
Injury Lawyer" and other key phrases the injury
victims and other personal injury lawyers might
use. But in terms of overall number of visits,
we have been flat lining in recent months. What
can we do to make a good site like this even better?
You have a niche target market, but that doesn't
mean you have to limit your target keywords. It
seems to me that you are casting your net too
shallow. Have you performed more detailed
keyword research into your market? There are
probably hundreds, if not thousands of keyword
search combinations that people would use to
search for your services. You need to utilize a
reliable keyword research tool or two (such as
Discovery or WordTracker
to discover the widest combination of search
Once you have your search terms, you need to
integrate them into your web site pages and/or
develop new content around them. You should also
commence a link building campaign to attract
more traffic from related sites. If you can
secure more incoming links to your site from
highly trafficked sites, you can leverage that
traffic to the advantage of your own site.
Another tactic to consider is the use of Pay Per
Click campaigns such as Google
AdWords and Yahoo
Search Marketing to bring in more traffic. Good
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