Q and A: Is it normal for SEO/SEM firms to disclose their process to clients?

QuestionDear Kalena…

Is it unusual for a SEO/SEM firm to NOT disclose to their clients what their process for SEO/SEM is?  Isn’t it the client’s right to know exactly what is being done on their behalf??


Dear Susan

I certainly advocate education between SEO and client, but I do know of many SEO operators that prefer not to reveal their process. By the same token, some clients will be very interested in learning what is being done to their site, while others will have no interest at all.

I particularly hate it when SEO/SEM operators claim that what they are doing is “proprietry” or “secret” – really there is no secret sauce for SEO – just acquired knowledge, experience, trial and error!

Search Industry Job of the Week: SEO Strategist

Job Title: SEO Strategist
Job Reference #: 14743
Position Type: full time
Name of employer: Yahoo! Media Group
Location: Santa Monica, USA
Date Posted: 27-May-2008
Position description:

The Internet is a big, busy place, and Yahoo! are proud to stand out in the crowd. As the world’s number one Internet brand, servicing over a half billion people, they’re determined to maintain their commitment to delivering news, entertainment, information and fun… each and every day.

In order to maintain their position as one of the world’s most trafficked Internet destinations, they’re always on the lookout for people with big ideas and big talent to help them provide their visitors with the innovative products and services they’ve come to expect from Yahoo!. They’re looking for people like you.

How Big Can You Think?


This SEO Strategist position will work closely with designated Media properties’ product teams to help identify SEO opportunity and implement it. Working closely with the Product Managers (PMs), lead User Experience Designers, and lead Engineer(s) is required. The SEO Strategist should be deeply involved with PMs and product planners to provide competitive SEO product strategies to be baked into SEO Research Documents and/or Product Requirements Documents. They will also work closely with design leads to give wireframe recommendations and assist in crafting targeted on-page wording for optimal SEO, and with lead engineers to provide development SEO specs and enter bugs on the product for which the lead engineers and QA teams attend to and manage. The SEO Strategist may also work with editorial teams and/or product marketing on partner linking campaigns and press release optimization if necessary.

The SEO Strategist must understand and practice keyword & competitor research for upfront product planning. This position also requires an understanding and experience with content layout and design best practices for SEO, and an intimate understanding of advanced developer codes and techniques, including HTML, CSS, Flash ActionScript, JavaScript/AJAX implementations and dynamic content loading, and be able to look at various, often complicated code structures to identify and solve SEO issues that may arise within them.

The SEO Strategist will work SEO into designated property projects from initial product planning and strategy through to launch. It is imperative that the SEO strategist has an understanding of how to determine SEO opportunities and what to look for in SEO reporting to determine if SEO efforts are fruitful. The SEO Strategist will work closely with the SEO Specialist and the team in determining what to measure based on what was implemented, and how to communicate SEO results to Yahoo executives.

The ideal person for this position knows and understands all aspects of SEO (especially engineering-heavy), has corporate political finesse, can multi-task and prioritize with ease, and is able to find SEO opportunity and communicate results on a corporate level.

SEO Strategist is expected to:

  • Modify meta tags and titles if/when the tools to do so are available.
  • Produce SEO Research Documents (SRDs) for products/projects in planning stage.
  • Enter and support SEO bugs on designated products.
  • Work exclusively with Search Strategy Team designated properties; assist other additional properties only if all goals and needs for designated properties are met within the means of job limitations.
  • Stay up-to-date on SEO industry trends.
  • Use internal and/or team-designated reporting and tracking tools for documents and reports published by the team.
  • Follow Yahoo SEO best practices as defined by Yahoo! Search and Media SEO.
  • Have the ability and means to travel on a flexible schedule as needed, at least once a quarter and sometimes as often as twice a week.
  • Meet or exceed specified team SEO goals as best possible within means of job limitations.
  • Follow Yahoo employee guidelines for vacation and time off.
  • Participate in annual Search Strategy and Media Marketing team offsites and focal reviews.
  • Attend (physically or by webcast) all team and division all-hands meetings.
  • Provide weekly status reports.
  • Prioritize multiple projects based on what will potentially have the best results.


  • No less than 3 years of practicing SEO expertise within a large corporation.
  • Experience working with each of the following teams: product managers, editorial, engineering (developers), design, and marketing.
  • Experience setting tangible SEO goals and meeting them on time.
  • Experience providing SEO workarounds for Flash, CSS, JavaScript/AJAX and image-heavy implementations.
  • Experience in executing SEO research to provide a competitive product SEO plan outlining the opportunities and capabilities of outranking rivals.
  • Experience in writing effective meta information on individual pages as well as batch meta templates.
  • A well-rounded knowledge of all advanced SEO techniques is a must.
  • Experience in measuring and communicating search traffic results.

Yahoo! Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. For more information or to search all of their openings, please visit http://careers.yahoo.com.

Salary range: Unknown
Closing date: Unknown
More info from: http://careers.yahoo.com
Contact: Send resumes via online form: http://careers.yahoo.com

For more search industry job vacancies visit: Search Engine College Jobs Board

SEO Training Workshop in Sydney

City Desktop TrainingIf you’re based in Australia and have been looking for face-to-face SEO training, you might want to keep the dates of 23/24 June free. Why? Because I’ll be in Sydney to present a 2 day SEO Workshop in conjunction with City Desktop Training.

The SEO Workshop will cover the main topics of our SEO 101 and SEO 201 online training courses that we offer at Search Engine College, but in a tutor-led, interactive format, with PCs. The cost of the 2 day workshop is only AUD 1,295 and includes a textbook (Shari Thurow’s Search Engine Visibility) and a 1 GB Flash drive containing all lesson materials, SEO resources and reference links.

Maybe you’ve considered taking one of our SEO courses at Search Engine College, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet? Or maybe you’re the type of person that prefers in-person training? Or maybe you just want to use the opportunity to have me critique your web site for search engine compatibility or answer a tricky question about search engines? Whatever your motivation, you’d better sign up quick as spaces are apparently filling up fast.

If you ask nicely when booking, you might even be able to take advantage of the AUD 400 discount that City Desktop Training are offering my blog or newsletter subscribers. See you in Sydney!

Congratulations Search Engine College Graduates

happy SEC graduateOn behalf of the staff and tutors at Search Engine College, I’d like to offer congratulations to our most recent graduates:

Search Engine Optimization 101

  • Johnnie Kazija
  • Luis Valadas
  • Fabian Marks
  • Amanda Woodrum
  • Kimberly De Lutis
  • Steve Brettler
  • Nancy Rohrer
  • Derek Hines
  • Susan Freeberg
  • Susan Bloom
  • Patrick Cummings

Search Engine Optimization 201

  • Chris Azzari
  • Amanda Woodrum
  • Monica Rabanillo
  • Fabian Marks
  • Lamees Abourahma
  • Nancy Rohrer
  • Patrick Cummings

Pay Per Click Advertising 101

  • Kevin Teers
  • Nathalie Whisnant
  • Patrick Cummings

Web Site Copywriting 101

  • Amanda Woodrum
  • Micky Stuivenberg

Web Site Usability 101

  • Star Bradshaw
  • Micky Stuivenberg
  • Marcia Wasik

Link Building 101

  • Laura Paradise

Certified Search Engine Optimizer

  • Amanda Woodrum
  • Micky Stuivenberg

Certified Search Engine Marketer

  • Jeffrey Wieland

Congratulations to you all. Please contact your tutor if you haven’t yet received your hard copy certificate, Status Page or certification seal.

Please stop by Search Engine College from time to time to download updated lesson material, contribute to Search Engine Wiki or check our Search Engine Marketing Jobs Board to use your certification to find a job in the industry.

As always, we love to hear from our graduates and learn what they’re up to and who they’re working with so shoot us an email anytime.