Commentary

SEO Experts Rebrand Themselves

"Content marketer," "Web|digital|internet marketing manager|specialist," "growth hacker," "content strategist" and "Web site optimization specialist" are some of the new job titles that come to mind when Tylor Hermanson, manager, search strategy, Intouch Solutions, thinks about the changing role of search engine optimization professionals.

It's not surprising, since this group of search professionals have — at least the past five years — educated themselves to take on responsibilities related to social and video as cross- and omni-channel marketing stepped up and more media integrated into the company's search strategy. Then mobile stepped in to become the preferred choice to reach consumers on the go.

"I thought it was very telling when SEOmoz rebranded to Moz but has since doubled-down once again on SEO," Hermanson wrote in an email to SearchBlog. "While many of the reasons they have shifted are specifically related to their business, I think in a lot of ways the changes are in response to what the collective industry thought would happen with SEO."

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Jonathan Kagan, senior director of search and biddable media at MARC USE | Results:Digital, hasn't seen a change in titles, but he has seen the job being merged more often with content development and UX teams. Kagan said responsibilities have not disappeared, but they are making more of a contribution to content on sites, and YouTube optimization.

In a post published Wednesday, Hermanson mentioned that SEO jobs are slowly being renamed, so I reached out to him to get some of rebranding alternative. It wasn't part of the initial data he pulled, but rather what he is seeing anecdotally.  

Even with companies like RankScience, whose founder believes companies will replace their SEO staff with technology and software, SEO professionals must also focus on the user interface, Web development, creative pieces, analytics, public relations and social advertising.

"It's forced the industry to be filled with t-shaped marketers, where we have deep knowledge in core SEO subjects but have at least a high-level breadth of knowledge around overlapping disciplines," Hermanson said.

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