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Thursday, April 25, 2013

What's in a Title?

Alice from Dilbertverse performs SEO and mocks her boss.

After nearly three years in this role, my title changed from "Web Effectiveness Analyst", which was deemed slightly cryptic, to "SEO Specialist", which I hope will not be associated with too many negative connotations (it doesn't, internally to my employer, at least). Those familiar with the fundamentals of SEO would know that the prominence and density of a targeted keyword matters in titles; be they in HTML files, PDFs, videos, or indeed, LinkedIn taglines.
So far this year, however, my deliverables have shifted from traditional consultancy - which implicitly involves knowledge transfer - to more of a training role, which has meant explicitly and convincingly conveying SEO best practices to clients. As early as 2011 I'd begun to co-author best practices guidebooks for an external client (primarily operating as a B2C entity), and this month I used the second of such to create a customized curriculum in the form of a presentation and series of live demonstrative investigations. This I covered over two days last week at one of my client sites.
In March I trained an internal team in similar principles, but with emphasis on B2B, and in Japanese. This necessitated acquiring a greater IT and topic related vocabulary than I'd naturally developed and maintained thanks to my association of the language with comfort and cultural ties, rather than professional goals.
Search engine optimization has been, in my view, a bit of a misnomer, unless one talks about optimizing an internal (site specific implementation) of a search engine.
In a nutshell, one could claim that implementing SEO means making web sites and its collateral conducive to being crawled and indexed by search engines, so the changes are applied to online content, not to search engines. Their algorithms have of course evolved, but more to mimic human language processing, and to address so-labeled "black hat" practices that become too pervasive or too effective to ignore: cf. the infographics of SEO Evolution, courtesy of Greenlight.
Thus, regardless of what I call my role, the language I use, my audience, or medium of communication, my message remains the same - striving to create easily find-able content online requires an understanding of one's desired audience, and the willingness to continually streamline, update, and manage one's web-based presence.

About Mayo

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Professional: As "Senior Enterprise SEO Strategist" in IBM's Digital Marketing division, I provide consulting and training services for both internal and external clients. Formerly I was involved in Natural Language Processing, software localization, quality assurance and documentation authoring.
Personal: INTJ Nikkei Nisei ex-patriated Canadian who takes photographs and enjoys Baroque through late Classical music. The G+ page shares some of the "best of" photos.