Seeing how it is nearly Thanksgiving here in the States, what better time to take a look at the SEO industry and give a little thought for some of the things that I give thanks for.
First and foremost would have to be search engines themselves, since without them, SEO would not be as important as it is. This isn't to say that SEO's value is only tied to the existence of search engines. SEO has really become much more encompassing than the acronym it is as SEO continues to evolve more as an extension of traditional marketing.
Ability to Rank
While every client and site owner feels challenged when it comes to ranking... let's face it, even when rankings are good, we all want to rank higher or for more terms or for more competitive terms. But, that aside, every site has an opportunity to rank well in the search engines.
Some rankings are obviously far more competitive than others and achieving a top rank may not always be possible for every search phrase we want or for the keyword phrases that we feel are most important, but with realistic expectations and some effort, page-1 rankings are often achievable.
What's amazing is that this opportunity exists for anyone, from international corporate giant to local mom-and-pop. And at this scale, this opportunity is nearly unmatched by any other form of media, such as TV, radio, magazine, and newspaper.
Sure there are tools for pay and tools that have been custom built, but how many industries provide as many tools and options for tools for free? In fact, one of the challenges of the industry is that there are so many tools that one could spend much of their time just trying to keep up to date on what is out there and the best ways to put them to use.
Here are just 5 that I'm thankful for and use nearly every day:
- Web Developer Toolbar - probably at the top of my list of tools that get used every day, and provides considerable as well
- Keyword Discovery
- SEO for Firefox toolbar
- Rex Swain Http Viewer
Access to Information & Ideas
We are in an age of information, and this industry excels, or at least tries to, at providing unprecedented access to information. From blogs to forums to websites, information abounds.
Here are just 10 of the countless many that keep me with an endless amount of reading:
- Search Engine Land
- Stephan Spencer's Scatterings
- Search Engine Watch
- Natural Search Blog
- Matt Cutts
- Official Google Blog & Webmaster Central Blog
- Yahoo! Search Blog
- Live Search Blog
Evolution of Search
Perhaps one of the most exciting things to be thankful for is the evolution of the online space. How many industries have you ever been exposed to where you could watch such a dramatic evolution over such a short period of time? Or that you could walk into work everyday and learn something new?
And with that in mind, where anyone could play a role in that evolution? The search industry is so flat that there isn't much keeping anyone from connecting with or interacting with key players, experts, and leaders from search engines to search marketing firms. Search... it's a beautiful thing.
P.S. And for another interesting and somewhat cheeky spin on searchy thankfulness on such important things as PageRank, search engine algorithms, and the wonders of blended search, then you won't want to miss Thankful for PageRank Updates, Blended Search from P.J. Fusco.