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Are We Ignoring the New Golden Age of Technical SEO?

Most search engine optimisation professionals they either have a technical or creative bias, this is no bad thing and and agency or in-house team will need a mixture of both.

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I most certainly fall on the non-technical side of the fence, but like any passionate SEO I try to keep a close tab on the latest technical developments; but it’s really surprised me that the discourse in blogs and conferences really seem to be ignoring the renaissence technical SEO appears to be going through at the moment.

There are five areas of SEO which I’m following closely at the moment, micro-formats, video SEO, local, real time search and personalised search. In all these topics there seems technical implementation is really important and it that doesn’t seem to be getting the hoopla it deserves.

Microformats always seemed to me to be a bit of a trainspotter pursuit but over the last six months or so largely due to the increased use of Rich Snippets from Google it really should be on the top of any SEO to-do list.

So while some onsite SEO may be declining in influence, the rising importance of structured mark-up is really keeping onsite optimisers busy.

It’s a similar story with Video SEO, it may require a creative touch in production but without the implementation of protocols like MediaRss and Video Site Maps your attempts to build an audience are going to be much less effective.

Local SEO relies on a different but similar algorithm to the main search rankings, as a general rule many of the local factors are more off-site than on but that doesn’t mean that a technical SEO’s input isn’t required as it opens a pandora’s box of potential tracking concerns which require ingenuity and inventiveness that comes with a technical optimiser.

Both real time search and personalised search would initial appear to be the domain of the social creative SEO rather than the technician but both require a mixture of skills with plenty coming from the technical specialists.

Real-time succes will be helped tremendously by adopting technologies like PubSubHubBub, if your the kind of person who struggles to set up an RSS feed, you will struggle with the new technologies that will be a walk in the park for a lot of technically minded SEO’s, but you should ignore these developments at your peril.

I suppose what I’m getting at is at the moment the limelight might fall on the creative or search specialists with a social back ground but I still have plenty of time, respect and admiration for the search specialists with a more technical background.

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6 Comments
  • Pete Gronland on June 23, 2010

    Thanks for this Kelvin, another well thought out article.

    I have to agree with you that Technical SEO is often overlooked. I like you am more of a creative optimiser (or wordsmith) but like to include the technical too.

    I’ve always described this job as a bit techncial and a bit marketing & never has this been more true.

    Ignore either at your peril

  • Tim Aldiss on June 24, 2010

    Well said Kelvin! I agree. It’s something I’ve been meaning to put pen to paper about for some time.

    I, like you wouldn’t count myself as a deep techy SEO, but on top of your observations (rich snippets promising to change the SERPs forever) I am finding that there is a host of useful and reliable tools appearing online that allow more easy access into previously more technical areas, to gain greater insight that can inform strategy better.

    Google Webmaster Tools is a good example of a platform that allows much greater insight, as are the ever expanding range of tools behind the SEOMoz Pro membership.

    But i think crucially it’s a coming of age for SEO. Convergence culture is changing everything for most people who work in digital all the time, but rather than going away SEO is developing specific core disciplines which will see further fragmentation, but also herald a new era of agencies with clear USPs – I think benefitting us all.

  • Kelvin on June 24, 2010

    Thanks Tim & Pete, Glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks this is being seriously underplayed.

    Is it because the people dealing with these areas aren’t naturally the kind of people who enjoy blowing their own trumpet?

  • Pete Gronland on June 24, 2010

    I think you could be onto something there, I reckon the true Techies have little time or interest in this aspect of the industry.

  • Joseph Volcy on June 24, 2010

    Hi Kelvin, i totally agree with you. The technical part of SEO has always been undermined but i really think this is the core of SEO. For me SEO is like a tower that your’re constructing, and we need to get a good base before anything else. Without a ‘technically’ good website, no SEO campaign will go very far.. I also agree that the blend of technical and SEO people are getting rarer…

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