Search engine optimization (SEO)—a concerted effort employing many strategies to enhance the ranking of a website in organic search results, thus the visibility—has come out of obscurity. For many years, critics and skeptics have labeled SEO as ephemeral field, which over time will cease to exist. The driving argument that peddled this notion among established publication giants is the ever-changing Google algorithms that govern the ranking of a website — Google has the biggest share in the search engine market. The argument, basically, is: if the rules of the game are varying, how the players would get accustomed to it and master the game. And, that, sooner or later, the varying rules will create a mortal vortex, bringing the industry to its knees.
However, all these simplistic arguments can be countered with a single figure: $65 billion; that is the current worth of the SEO industry, according to a study by Borrell Associates. This signifies that not only the industry is surviving the rule change but also thriving. The growth has surpassed all expectations by a great margin.
Gauging the importance of SEO, many conventional publishers, including the New York Times, have started their own SEO campaign and have hired SEO professionals at large scale.
However, most of the SEO professionals are self-taught, and learned the strategies through working experience, which makes finding competent individuals like finding a needle in a haystack.
Apparently, the main reason for the dearth of SEO professional is lack of technical universities to embrace SEO as a full-fledged subject. Just like the early day skeptics, universities consider SEO a fluid field, making it hard to teach—it is not totally untrue that the field is fluid, so are the every other field.
Here, we discuss three reasons, why subjects like SEO should be included in IT curriculum.
Changing Business Landscape
The expansion of Internet, contributing up to $2.2 trillion in retail salesat the world level, has upended the world trade and business. Whether it is business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), and consumer-to-consumer (C2C), all are supplanted by Internet-driven technologies. A number of elements make online business viable, including the safe and secure transaction, apt website, accessibility, and environment, and content. Among these elements, when it comes to accessibility of a website, barring the technological aspects, SEO plays a big role. In IT curriculum, students learn everything about the technological aspect of Internet, but are ignorant of how a website should be marketed or make more visible to wider audience. SEO can bridge that gap, since SEO is not just about link building or keyword research; it is as much about the technology as other courses taught at IT schools. The course can help students to be all round Internet technology professional, and in the process, add credibility to SEO.
The SEO growth has reached new heights, and with growth, there is a tremendous demand of talent in the field, and companies are increasing SEO budget handsomely. Many universities, gauging the demand, has started courses related to SEO; however, to be a competent SEO professional, the understanding of the Internet technology is necessary. Therefore, IT schools are better equipped to reap benefits from the demand than other alternatives. Students in the IT courses already understand how things work on the Internet, which make them better aspirants for the job created by the SEO industry. It is expected IT schools will heed the call of the time, and start academic courses that will focus on every element of SEO to fill the demand.
Digital Marketing Taken Over by SEO
With the advent of Panda and Penguin updates, a common argument is tossed around that creativity, as the quality of content is again the focus point, has overtaken SEO, where technological understanding plays a recessive role. However, the truth is opposite of that, as once the mainstream marketing was overtaken by digital marketing; similarly, SEO is overtaking digital marketing. This trend is a testimony that technological ingenuity associated with SEO is as important as creativity. No one can contend that creativity plays a significant role;however, that does not mean a techie cannot be creative. This is where IT schools can teach SEO students to add creative element to their thinking while doing SEO work. Case studies can be a great resource to provide a window into the real world SEO, which brings technological and creative element together while designing a SEP campaign.
Only the time will tell whether IT institutes and universities understand the demand and take active steps to serve the need. Until then, SEO professionals need to self-learn everything and be coveted employees of their respective organizations.