Q: I am a new student who wants to break into SEO studies. Can you offer any guidance on best programs, associations, certifications, etc…?
A: The SEO industry doesn’t have a clear learning path for the newcomer, and there are no SEO degrees or certifications that I would consider must-have. Most SEOs learn by doing, usually by having their own website(s) that they work on and experiment with.
That said, there are some trustworthy sources of information for students of SEO online:
- Moz.com has a learning center that provides a good starting point for new SEOs as well as those with more experience. Rand Fishkin’s “whiteboard Fridays” are a perennial favorite for those in the industry.
- Blogs from credible marketing agencies can be very useful (like ours, of course!). Distilled is a marketing firm that offers some learning information on their site: https://www.distilled.net/u/.
- We’re familiar with several of the Lynda.com SEO presenters and we think they can be trusted to provide good SEO information. Just make sure that the video is recent!
- Anything by Danny Sullivan will be reliable as he’s a pillar of the industry. Follow Danny on Twitter while you’re at it!
Google offers some certifications, but unfortunately none for SEO. As an employer, I can say for certain that Google Analytics or Google AdWords certification can be very beneficial in making you a desirable employee, if that’s a direction you want to go.
Also direct from the source (Google) are webmaster hangouts with John Mueller: https://plus.google.com/+JohnMueller. The timezone is for Switzerland, so pour yourself some coffee and enjoy a generally technical SEO chat with Johnmu and other webmasters.
Readers, where do you go for SEO learning?