Some were amused by Google’s plan to provide digital marketing certification, which covers search engine optimization (SEO). Others were perplexed.
Meanwhile, other people are hurrying to get certified. Should you, however?
Unfortunately, many SEO experts have been unhappy with the certification training thus far. Google’s professors, for example, were preaching garbage about keyword density and word count. (Once the erroneous slide was identified, Google swiftly removed it.)
Whether you’re considering Google certification or employing someone with certification, here are some key questions to consider and factors to consider.
Does the person receive SEO certification or course completion?
In many circumstances, certification implies that a person or user enrolls in and attends a number of courses.
After completing each course, many certification programs issue a Certificate of Completion. Alternatively, a Certificate of Completion is awarded after completing a series of courses. At the very least, this incentive system demonstrates progress toward an apparently bigger goal: certification in a topic or specialty.
Attendees in certain certification programs must pass an exam in order to gain certification. Some of these examinations are rather simple to pass. Some are more difficult since instructors are attempting to determine whether a participant has the true aptitude to be certified.
There are several forms of certification available, including but not limited to:
- Usability/UX (user experience)
- Interaction design (IxD)
- Human/computer interfaces (HCI)
- User interfaces (UI)
- And so forth
In certain situations, classes may consist of a series of continuing education courses. Because the education looks to be supported by a college or institution, this certification procedure may generate higher trust value.
The most sophisticated path to “certification” is perhaps the least common: earning a degree in the field or discipline. This path is not for everyone since it is time-consuming and costly, especially when paying out-of-state or out-of-country tuition. Furthermore, one must apply for and be accepted for an undergraduate or graduate school.
This is the greatest option for really die-hard, ardent enthusiasts of the topic or field. Those who go this road, however, frequently become the greatest certified teachers.
After completing all of the courses, practice, assignments, and examinations, a person is issued a certificate and, in most cases, a stamp indicating that they completed the whole certification process.
The image-formatted stamp is intended to convey trustworthiness, authority, and reliability. When assessing an SEO certification program, keep the following in mind:
- Quality of teachers: Look for instructors who are experienced, well-educated, and well-trained. Simply having a brand name next to a person’s name does not suggest that the individual is an expert. The classes should be taught by subject-matter experts.
- Course quality: Examine the certification agenda to determine what is covered. Are you learning how to utilize a tool or collection of tools provided by a certifying organization? This isn’t always SEO certification. SEO professionals employ a range of tools. Make certain that the course quality is objective.
- Completion vs. certification: Will you receive a completion or a certification? Certification programs that involve passing a test or tests for aptitude may be superior to those that do not. Completing a series of courses for a Certificate of Completion, on the other hand, maybe as authoritative and trustworthy as long as the subject-matter experts are superb.
- Continuing education and training Understand that SEO certification is not the same as SEO experience. Algorithm updates, the appearance of search engine results pages (SERPs), fluctuating search traffic, new technology, and other factors make SEO a continuing (iterative) process.
So, if you want to engage or contract a qualified search engine optimizer, don’t only look at certification. Please bear in mind the importance of continued education, training, and experience.
What about unethical SEO and ethical SEO?
This is a topic that Google has ignored. Anyone may currently obtain Google‘s SEO certification. As a result, SEO certification does not guarantee that an SEO professional adheres to all of Google’s rules and best practices.
I understand. Many SEO specialists wish to move on from this subject. Many SEO experts say we have gone passed this point. The issue over ethical vs. unethical behavior is the proverbial elephant in the room.
Ethical SEO entails adhering to all of the regulations established by search engines. This sort of SEO professional is regarded as ethical.
Unethical SEO entails a variety of tactics that do not adhere to the norms and criteria established by search engines. These unethical practices are typically used to achieve higher ranks more quickly than ethical approaches. Companies who use illegal SEO strategies may believe that the risk of search engine spam is worthwhile.
The categorization does not follow a rigid hierarchy. There are frequently several colors of gray.
An ethical SEO, for example, will not spam search engines but will adhere to a usability/UX norm that differs from what search engines prescribe. An unethical SEO may obey the majority of the rules yet really disagree with and disregard one or two of them. Finally, ethical SEO is frequently in the eye of the beholder.
As previously said, I believe Google’s certification procedure was not thoroughly thought out. If Google genuinely wants its SEO Certification program to convey trust, reliability, and authority, it should have taken into account the many sorts of SEO approaches. Speaking with the “Spam Department” and the Search Quality Raters may have been beneficial.
Can Google succeed with SEO certification?
Google may benefit from getting SEO certification. Search and evaluation of search listings is not currently taught in schools from elementary to university level. Individuals continue to assume that search engine optimization is simply about optimizing for search engines, rather than optimizing for people who use search engines.
As long as these conditions hold, I believe Google will have some success.
Why not give equivalent certification for utilizing existing Google search tools if Google can issue seals of approval for Google Analytics and Google Ads? What can SEOs and other professionals learn from these search engines? How can users effectively integrate Google search tools to other products like Google Analytics?
How about image searching? What about video search? How can novices and professionals alike create an image XML sitemap? Is there a video XML sitemap? In the course agendas, I observe a lot of how-to things that lead to hands-on activities and exam questions.
This form of accreditation may be significantly more beneficial for SEO newcomers and pros, as well as other types of online specialists.
What am I going to do as an SEO professional?
I’m likely to take the certification classes for a variety of reasons.
In terms of credibility? Obviously.
However, I will also assess the quality of the material supplied. After all, Google is not the only search engine available. I’d rather have a broader SEO view than just one search engine.
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