A bit of a personal post today folks.
Let’s be honest. The last few months have been ROUGH on SEO. We’ve had Penguin to deal with, the iAcquire deal seemed to polarize the industry in unforeseen ways, and there’s been some seeming ill-will around the industry blogs. There’s been a shift towards content marketing and of course we’ve had the “SEO is dead” posts that won’t seem to…die. Pardon me, I couldn’t resist.
Through all of this, I’ve had some good friends who have declared that they are leaving SEO. First it was my (now old) boss Tom Critchlow, who left Distilled in favor of greener pastures at the Google Creative Lab. I’m happy for him, but his departure leaves a void in the SEO thought leadership space.
Next came my buddy Jonathon Colman from REI, who announced that he’s leaving SEO in favor of doing UX/IA at REI. While he’s phasing out of SEO, and will always be tangentially involved with SEO/inbound marketing because UX touches so much of what we do, he’s another voice lost.
Then last week came my buddy Gary Magnone, who announced his departure in favor of a Director of Marketing role at Code Relevant. Once again, an awesome opportunity, but another trusted peer in the industry lost.
Oh yeah, let’s not forget Scott Cowley who announced a few months ago that he also is leaving SEO to pursue a PhD and then to be a professor. Good for you Scott, but I’ll miss your voice in the industry, buddy.
I’m Not Leaving
All of these guys have left SEO for other opportunities. That happens, and you can’t expect everyone to stay in the same industry, even when they have created a good name for themselves. SEO is a tough industry, and sometimes you reach the point where you can’t move up any higher in your organization. Most SEOs are incredibly curious individuals (it’s actually a requirement to work at Distilled), and we’re all driven. We all want to learn new things and tackle new challenges.
But I’m not going anywhere. I’ve had a tough few weeks and I desperately need a vacation right now, but I’m committed to staying in our industry.
The SEO industry is maddening, to be sure, from time to time and I hate the name that has been given to it. But at the end of the day, it’s a wonderful industry with wonderful people who are trying to do wonderful things. Why would I leave that?
I’ve taken some shots on the chin recently. I’ve gotten beaten up in ways that I hadn’t anticipated. I feel tired right now.
SEO Energizes Me
Change within boundaries energizes me. I love that Google is a moving target and that we constantly have to keep altering tactics, but also that the time-tested truths of SEO stay the same (great content, engaged users, quality links). Some days I have to deal with how we produce content for 2500 or more pages. The next day I’m thinking about how to reorganize a client’s team to help them get things done and see SEO success. Then that afternoon maybe I’ll be hacking apart and back together a tool to use a crazy API to get data for a client who needs it the next morning. Then I’ll go home and write a blog post about it all.
This is fun.
You know what else is exciting and energizing?
Seeing traffic like this:
And seeing clients who got slammed by Google get back in their good graces:
And showing up to work and getting to work with these people:
Some days are rough. Some weeks are rough. But when times are good, they’re really good:
That’s it. I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to keep writing, keep blogging, keep client Analytics and conversions going up and to the right, keep teaching, keep learning, keep wrangling data, keep making friends.