What makes an SEO Expert?

Lots of business people call themselves experts, but what really makes an expert in SEO?

SEO is not one of those practices that has an industry certification or state licensing like doctors and lawyers do.  Even real estate agents have to take a state authorized test to get a license to sell real estate.  Plumbers, electricians, builders, they all need licenses.  Most SEOs don’t even have a business license as they may work from home.   They just put up a website, get visitors to the site and hopefully, earn a client from the process.   So how do you know that you are actually getting an expert when you hire an SEO guru?

It has been said that you need at least a commitment of 10,000 hours to become a true expert at something.  Normal business hours of 40 hours per week means that this will take 250 weeks or almost 5 years.  If you are hiring a 23 year old, it is highly unlikely they have 10000 hours of experience in anything but video games and classroom time.

Can you find an expert at an ad agency?  Unlikely.  That ad agency needs an employee that fits in with their budgetary requirements for the post.  You won’t get someone with 10,000 hours of experience for that kind of money.  Experts usually are a one-or-two man shop, or woman shop, and ad agencies usually hire them on the side for significant jobs.
Here’s one way to find an expert. This really only works for SEOs and you will soon see why. A good SEO can rank any site for any term given the budget, the time and the desire on the part of their client. So what kinds of firms would you expect to see on the first page of results for a term such as “SEO expert” in their city or town? You’d expect to see the best SEOs because they are competing against all the other SEOs in town for those terms. It’s like the world series of SEO every day…only the best are in the playoffs and the playoffs are the first page.

Chicago SEO Expert Video

Or you can view the video here.