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Can I learn SEO for myself?

Posted on March 23, 2010

 

It’s fair to say that there are a lot of websites on the Internet claiming to offer SEO tips and suggestions to help with the optimisation of your website. Generally speaking, most of the information that you could need to perform basic SEO already exists online – all you need to do is Google it, read it, understand it and action it.

Of course, the trick is distinguishing between the fact and the fiction, the knowledge and the myth about what actually works in search engine optimisation, and what doesn’t (and will often have swift and negative consequences).

But what if you have found a good website, or a good blog, a good poster on a forum, that always offers quality, sound advice? Can you learn SEO from them? Maybe you’ve found a company that offers to teach SEO, then you can be ‘relatively’ certain that what they’re preaching is accurate.

In these instances then it is fairly safe to assume that you can learn some of the SEO basics. You can learn how to optimise title tags, whether to use meta descriptions or not (that’s already a bit contentious because some SEOs will always use them, some will use them sparingly), how to build links, how to find the right keywords to use, that content is important etc… The SEO basics are fairly standard (though as we’ve already shown with the meta description tags, even the basics can be disputed).

All of this you can learn. It’s not rocket science, although it is a science. Actually – that’s very accurate. SEO isn’t rocket science. Rocket science obeys the laws of physics, and those laws don’t change. SEO obeys the laws of Google, and Google changes its laws on a daily (actually hourly) basis.

You can learn SEO, but like chess it takes years to master – and just when you think you’ve mastered it, the rules change. Learning the basics of SEO is fine, it helps you understand what should be done to your website in order to improve your rankings. You’ll even find it interesting as you make subtle changes, only to see your results improve in the SERPs (search engine results pages)… however, when you want to make that next step and turn your ‘adequate’ rankings into first page winners, you’ll need to speak an SEO professional (a grand master if you will) about what advanced SEO techniques you can deploy on your website.

This sort of SEO you can’t learn. You have to live it and breathe it – as you do to be the best in any industry.

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