Education is often turned down by internet marketing experts when confronted by the question … Is the conventional education necessary for an SEO professional? They’ll emphasize on learning it yourself, by means of internet surfing, going through articles, asking from experts and using your own website as a Guinea Pig for experimenting. Maybe, because that’s how they learned the ABC’s of Search Engine Optimization. Even though, my understanding and astuteness in this field also originates from the same (self-learning) process, my advice to newbies would be a little different. And that’s … if you have got the resources to avail yourself of some authentic internet marketing or SEO degree program, go for it. Just make sure, you are not enrolling into some bogus course, being offered by some phony character.

But all the information is freely available?

Yes, it is. But you need a solid foundation to benefit from this surfeit of information, most of which is either incorrect or outdated. For example, where’d you start from? Most probably, Google? Right … Now, unless you fiddle with search results by using advanced options, you will most probably get some pretty outdated info in the results, as Google has this penchant (or algorithm for that matter) to come up with relatively old stuff (long-standing WebPages are supposed to have more back links, hence more credibility in Google’s eyes). Now, an article that was written back in 2007 or even earlier is sure to have some obsolete information, no matter who’s the author or the person providing that information. For an entirely unacquainted person, it is incredibly hard to figure out the unsuitability of this information.

So, what are the benefits of proper education?

For me the biggest benefit will be … the confidence that comes with the knowledge and subsequently success that comes with the confidence. You cannot turn down the importance of education in any field, even if it is as prone to changes as SEO. Actually, the ever changing nature of SEO has made it obligatory to get your facts straight (for once) and furnish yourself with as much knowledge as you can. So that, when the change arrive (and it arrives quite often in this field), you’ll be better prepared to adopt. As compared to all those poor souls (self-learners) who’ll have to wait for some Gurus to put it on their blogs or discuss it explicitly, at some forum. Your confidence will help you in making independent decisions and getting the most out of that new development, while others have to bank on some undisputed expert to come out and put it down in clear words, all of this shilly-shallying will result in a lost initiative. And to tell the truth, in SEO world losing initiative means losing everything.

Which program to go for?

If possible, go for a recognized university or college with experienced faculty, otherwise some credible institute, which is widely acknowledged in SEO circles. Surprisingly (and sadly too), there’s a significant shortage of such institutes or colleges. Now how strange is this … an industry, which supposedly has the fastest growth rate among all marketing mediums and you can hardly find a university offering a proper, customized course for individuals keen to join this profession? Though there are some, but the number is far from being as much as necessary, especially if you are not residing in developed and technologically advanced regions like United States or UK. In this case, you are left with no other option but to settle on distance learning programs, which is no alternative to regular face-to-face learning. If you are going to choose one of these distant learning courses, you must put out all the stops to determine the authenticity for the course in question.