Posted March 30, 2007 12:30 pm by with 13 comments

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Over at SEO Refugee, “Skitzzo” posts a bold proclamation that “SEO is Dead” (linkbait anyone?), and I agree, to an extent.

While at Search Summit Australia, I was asked to name the winners and losers for 2007. I chose the title “search engine marketer” as a loser – not for the skills, just the name. You see, search marketers have grown their talents tremendously over the past few years, and to say that we focus just on the “search engines” is a misnomer.

I for one, refer to myself simply as an “internet marketing consultant”, because I believe so much that I do, cannot be labeled as being just search engine related. With the rise of social media, web analytics, blogging, reputation management and linkbait – among just a few new skills – search marketers are leading the way, when it comes to online marketing.

So, while I don’t necessarily agree with all of the points listed in Skitzzo’s post, I agree it’s time to find ourselves a new title.

  • This article IMO was just looking for attention and link bait. To name this article SEO is dead really isn’t even what its about, that is a ridiculous statement in itself. One facet of SEO that surely isn’t dead is manipulating on page factors for an already established domain to increase its reach and rankings. What Patel is doing for that guy you posted about a few days ago for example. This guy was obv. buying for attention to his article by making that statement in his title.

    Aside from all that the title obv. did its job 😉

  • Hey, don’t blame skitzzo for this one it was me (his pop).

    And, Brian, as far as “manipulating on page factors for an already established domain to increase its reach and rankings,” I’m not sure what you mean by reach (it doesn’t sound search engine related to me). And, yes you may improve the rankings, but part of the point was that much of the on-page manipulating you’re talking about should be done anyway whether your trying to manipulate rankings or not.

  • “And, yes you may improve the rankings, but part of the point was that much of the on-page manipulating you’re talking about should be done anyway whether your trying to manipulate rankings or not.”

    Not sure if I agree here. Lets take a very, very basic example, lets say your title tag is the following: “ – SEO Forum”. Why would I change this for the user to the following that we know will help rankings. “SEO Forum –” If this didn’t have a chance of helping your ranking why would I do that for the user?

    To a degree I see what your saying. The article has some great points. But to say SEO is dead, is a far stretch from reality. If I were to name that article I would have named it “SEO – The game is changing” or something along those lines.

  • @James, my bad, I forgot there was a Skitzzo pop on the site. 🙂

  • “ – SEO Forum” vs. “SEO Forum –” is a valid point (and I admit there are additional examples). And, sure, “Dead” is a bit of hyperbole. But “SEO – The game is changing” misses the point. I wouldn’t use the headline “Soccer – The game is changing” for an article about (American) Football because soccer like SEO didn’t just change it’s became something completely different.

  • Re: titles…

    “Search marketer” has worked well for me for some time now, because even when you get into PR and social media, the element of search (and discovery) is still basic to the equation.

  • Andy, I was also at Search Summit Australia and can clearly remember you saying that we need to take back the mantle of “Internet marketer”.

    The skill set has definitely widened past concentrating on solely on generating search traffic…. But do we really want to associate ourselves with those that have claimed “Internet marketer” as their professional job title.

    For some reason those who build massive mailing lists and have cheesy Web sites with the long sales pitch have been referred to as “Internet marketers” for some time now.

    I think in the long run we are much better off identifying ourselves as “Internet marketers — Specialising in Search” etc etc.

  • @Brian and James – Actually, from a usability standpoint it would seem that the search-friendly format makes sense. With several windows open, it is more helpful (to me, at least) for the window titles to display the subject or function of the page I have open than the name of the site. If I’m jumping around windows and want to get back to the article I was reading, I’m most cognizant of what the article was about, not whose site it’s on.

    Per the posted topic, I am having all kinds of trouble trying to figure out what to call myself. “Web consultant” makes people think web developer, “internet marketing consultant” makes people think advertising, and “interactive marketing consultant ” just confuses people.

    Maybe this will get easier once I’ve figured out where to specialize…

  • Hello Andy,

    My name is Karel and I from the Netherlands. I really like your blog! I’m also an internet marketer and I blog about it (in Dutch).

    So you have an identity crisis ;-).. Lol. I face the same “problem”.

    Maybe I have I proper name for people like us. What do we do? We deliver free traffic to websites.. Our goal is to deliver free traffic. So what is our name:

    Free Traffic Manager!

    Keep blogging!

    The Netherlands

  • I agree. A new title is needed. Explaining my title to people is often funny because I find it changes fairly often. It depends on what types of marketing I’m doing at that particular month – or have been recently involved in. I guess if you specialize in one thing it becomes easier though. For those of us who work with multi-faceted projects or marketing mediums, maybe there is a ‘mashup’ name for us.

    The definition of Mashup is: “a website or application that combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience.”

    So if mashup was defining a job title (since we combine marketing skills from multiple sources), perhaps “Internet Mashup Marketers” might fit well 🙂

  • Marketing Mashketeers?

  • I have found myself saying “web marketing consultant” more and more lately…. but my clients – and potential clients – are still looking for “SEO.” So there’s no way I’m abandoning that term yet!

    I’ve learned to take my own advice and always try to use terminology that is meaningful to my target audience. In this case, I believe SEO is (unfortunately!) the winner.


  • I couldn’t agree more about the title of search engine marketer – too many are claiming this title anymore. Besides, the best SEO consultants out there do so much more than just focus on search engines. An internet marketing consultant is more broad and covers the entire scope of marketing online: SEO, SMO, blogging, etc. I like Brian Gilley’s idea: “Internet Mashup Marketers” – it’s like a combo of many facets.