SEO SEM Training & Certification

October 21, 2006

SEM SEO Certification Close Up – Search Engine College – Part II

Filed under: SEM SEO Certification,SEM SEO Training — David Temple @ 4:48 pm

This is the second part of a closer look at Search Engine College’s sem seo certification program with Kalena Jordan , Director of Studies at Search Engine College and owner and CEO of Web Rank.

 Q: What levels of certification do you offer?  Students who take a Certification course under tutor-supervision must receive at least a 70% pass on their quizzes and final exam AND complete set assignments to the satisfaction of their tutor in order to qualify for Search Engine College certification. We offer all students who successfully pass our Certification courses receive the Search Engine College Seal of Certification to display on their web sites and a hard copy Certificate of Training via post to display on their office wall or in their resume. The seal and certificate indicate a student’s successful completion of one of our online college courses and proficiency in the latest search engine marketing methodologies taught in our curriculum. Students who take a course via self-study do not receive tutor-supervision or have assignments graded and therefore do not qualify for SEC Certification.

Q: Who are some of the instructors? I teach the SEO and PPC courses (Kalena Jordan) and we have other industry experts, well known in their fields: Karon Thackston teaches web site copywriting, Kim Krause-Berg teaches web site usability, Bob Gladstein teaches link building and others are listed here. Google any of our instructors to see their online reputation.

Q: How has certification helped those that have received it? Some of our students have mentioned that when they apply for a SEO role with some companies, having this training certificate has given them the edge over other applicants because it is a tangible representation of their knowledge. The other applicants may have the same knowledge, but because they don’t have the visible “proof” of subjects studied, they are at a slight disadvantage. So having the hard-copy certification has value in this instance. One student claimed that the SEO job she applied for actually required formal training and that was why she took our courses! Unusual, but I guess becoming less so.

Q: How are you different that others that offer certification? I guess the biggest difference is in our delivery method and choice of study options. We don’t currently offer our courses via face-to-face training. All our courses are delivered online via Moodle (open source academic software) and include downloadable lessons, online interactive quizzes for each lesson, virtual AND downloadable resources, online chat and forums plus an online interactive final exam. Each course can be studied under tutor-supervision (with compulsory assignments uploaded by students for grading by their tutor) OR via self-study (with self-graded assignments and no tutor involvement). Also, all our courses take a holistic approach to web site promotion, focusing on the importance of web site design, functionality and usability as well as search engine compatibility. No risky search engine optimization techniques or “spamdexing” methods are taught in our online classes. Only ethical and acceptable methodologies are taught, based on the webmaster guidelines published by the search engines themselves.

Q: What one thing would you like to tell people who are planning to get certified? We are very conscious of our growing industry reputation and very proud of our SEC Certification and the quality of our course material. Students who choose to study with us benefit from our standing in the industry in terms of teaching only professional SEO and SEM best practices as promoted by the search engines. As SEC graduates, we also provide them with ongoing support and lifetime access to our SEC Lounge.

Q: What are the costs involved? Our course fees range from USD 145 to 295 each, depending on the course type and the preferred study method (Certification or Self Study). The lesson material for both course styles is exactly the same. All course fees are listed here.

Thanks Kalena, excellent answers not only for Search Engine College but for search engine marketing certification and training in general. Best wishes!

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SEM SEO Certification Close Up – Search Engine College – Part I

Filed under: SEM SEO Certification,SEM SEO Training — David Temple @ 3:41 pm

I blogged about a few search engine marketing certification programs earlier and grabbed some info from their respective web pages. I thought it would be a good idea to get a closer look at of some of those and ask a few questions that might not be answered on the website and okay, some that were answered. SEM SEO certification and training closeup willl be a regular feature on this blog and I  decided to start with Search Engine College. I sent a few questions to Kalena Jordan , Director of Studies at Search Engine College and Web Rank CEO and here’s what she said. (I broke it up into two parts).

Q: When did you start Search Engine College?
In May 2004. You can read our press release about the launch.
 

Q:Why did you start Search Engine College?
We recognized a gap in the market for an online training facility where persons could learn search engine optimization techniques and other search engine marketing subjects from experts in the industry. The concept of SEC was initially thought of by my husband, (now SEC’s Director of IT and Course Development), who noticed how often I was receiving and answering the same questions from confused webmasters about how to make their sites search engine friendly. My husband suggested that I make my replies available to everyone by creating an online course for newbies about search engine marketing. He introduced me to Moodle Open Source course management software as a way of delivering the material (moodle.org).Over the years, I had also been asked regularly if I knew of any online institutions that offered courses in search engine optimization. I didn’t, so I got together with some industry colleagues and Search Engine College was born. Now anyone with a PC and an Internet connection can go and learn this stuff for themselves, no matter where they are in the world.

Q: Why did you choose to offer a certification?
There has been debate within the search industry for nearly 10 years about the lack of industry-regcognized certification for search engine optimization and related skills. We have watched with concern as hundreds of inexperienced or dodgy SEM companies start up each year and dupe unsuspecting clients out of thousands of dollars and devalue the reputation of the search industry due to their unethical and unprofessional tactics. There are many unscrupulous SEO firms in operation that rely on the ignorance of webmasters and simply spam the search engines for short-term results, take the money and run before the spammy tactics catch up to the client. Associations like SEMPO (SEMPO.org) offer an industry and trade organization for professionals in the search industry, but not accreditation for SEM firms. Although they do display a code of conduct for members, as they state on their home page, membership in SEMPO is not a guarantee of a particular firm’s capabilities, nor does it signify industry approval or disapproval of their practices. Apart from the recent efforts made by SEOPros.org there is still no widely recognized industry Certification for search engine experts!

I would say a large percentage of SEM start-ups or in-house SEO/SEMs make genuine mistakes, have a lack of experience and use out-dated retro spam techniques to optimize web sites, not realizing the penalties they could attract for their employers/clients. THEY are a major target market for Search Engine College. We feel it is the rampant lack of education in the industry that is the most damaging and the most preventable, not the SEOs using black-hat methods or the unethical SEM firms. Those type of companies will always exist. But ignorance can be curbed via education. That’s why we started SEC. No risky search engine optimization techniques or “spamdexing” methods are taught in our online classes. Only ethical and acceptable methodologies are taught, based on the webmaster guidelines published by the search engines themselves. Although it is still early days, we would love to see Search Engine College certification recognized industry-wide in the near future.

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