This post is meant to be helpful for thosenew to SEO(Search Engine Optimization) and looking to learn more about fundamental best practices that will help your Website generate more qualified traffic from search engines. You can also find DIYSEO posts classified by level of expertise on the following pages:
- Posts for any SEO experience level
- Posts for beginner level SEO (those new to SEO)
- Posts for those with an intermediate level of SEO understanding
- Posts for those with an advanced level of SEO understanding
The short answer is no. Google does not offer any Search Engine Optimization certification programs or certificates. It also does not officially endorse any third-party providers of SEO certificates. Many prominent people in SEO feel this is a good thing, but regardless of your opinion it’s certainly the case.
For anyone who is interested in improving their search optimization rankings, it is not necessary to sign up for a program that offers certifications. Much of the advice and training that is provided by such programs can be found through a number of alternatives which are often much cheaper, including:
- Online Communities – Member communities such as the SEO Training Dojo offer the latest SEO industry news, expert advice, interactive training materials, and access to community forums where other members can answer each others’ questions. Our free trial and subscription come with just such a member forum as well.
- The Horse’s Mouth – While Google doesn’t offer any official courses or certifications, they do offer a Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (PDF). This is a 32 page downloadable PDF file which was initially created by Google for internal purposes, but was eventually released to the public in 2008 to help anyone interested in developing their SEO abilities. Recently updated in 2010 (see our list of things that have changed in SEO in 2011 for even newer SEO information) to include relevant changes in the field and more information, it offers a wealth of accessible expert advice on things like how to use anchor text more effectively, how to make the images on your websites more search engine friendly, improving the user’s experience with your site, how to write better meta tags, and more. It’s free, and written by the people who built today’s most important search engine.
- Guides & Blogs – For us the best best place to get started learning SEO is SEO Moz’s beginner’s guide to SEO, and there are a number of great blogging resources to stay up to date on the latest SEO trends, such as this one, SEO Moz’s, and many others. Since you’re likely busy running your business and your company’s marketing, we think something like Search Engine Land’s daily digest is a great way to stay up to date with the latest search marketing news with a simple daily Email (rather than having to follow a slew of different blogs!).
- Do Some Actual SEO - In the end, probably the best way to get better at optimizing websites and online content is to get your hands dirty and dig in. Try out different things, and see what gets your work to show up higher on search engine results. This can involve experimenting with different keyword densities, trying out different advertising techniques, playing around with your page titles and subheadings, and then finding out which combination of approaches work best.
Ultimately this last bullet is the most important, as you’ll want to have a customized, concise strategy that works for your site in a manageable amount of time for you to execute on it. Don’t worry about certifications and don’t get bogged down paying too much attention to “gurus” – get started optimizing your site and iterate from there!
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Categories: SEO Questions