Of late, I am witnessing this raging debate on the internet over the need of technical knowledge for an SEO executive. There are some pundits out there who feel that SEO professionals do not have to be completely in the sync when it comes to technical knowhow. For example, an important part of the job of search engine optimization is the use of HTML or CSS codes. Can we say for sure that anyone with zero or little knowledge of these languages actually qualifies as a thoroughbred pro in this field? Some are of the opinion that this kind of technical knowledge is not mandatory.
Importance of Knowing Codes
Personally, I feel that the knowledge of coding is a very important add-on for SEO personnel. Knowing the codes may not lend you wings but it certainly teaches you how to fly right. At the same time, if you do not know it, it does not take away from your claim to be in this field. There are a ton of online guides to help you get the coding right. You do not have to be an expert technician. All you need to know is a working idea of what to do with the codes.
Ranking of Sites: Technical and Otherwise
The second bone of contention is the use of technical knowledge about web designing and building, especially optimization. SEO experts know that the makeup of a website has a lot to do with how it performs on the yardstick of search engines like Google. What they often gloss over is the fact that more than these technical issues, the usability of the website has a direct influence on its rank in the algorithms. Even when you get the on-page or off-page SEO correct, the website may be terrible when it comes to user experience. What hopes do you have of getting to the ranking summit with such a website? Similarly, if your website is quite awesome to users but lack in basic SEO tweaks, it can pull you down. Both need to feed off each other.
Beyond the Reams of Technicality
This may seem a little weird but if you are in this field for as long as I am, you will surely get the point. Imagine a situation. You are doing everything correct (at least, that’s what you think!) and still a problem continues to bother your chances at the elusive rank. Suddenly, it is almost like a flash of lightning, realization dawns on you and you fix something that did not even look like a problem on the surface! You did not consult any guide or technical knowhow book to find out the nagging issue. You simply relied on your experience of looking at a properly optimized website. So, when you came across a site that was not so, you could quickly identify what was wrong.
The Content Question
Some aspects of SEO are there that are beyond the reams of technical knowledge. One is this and the other is content. The draft that you write for your website may have all the right keywords and maintain a proper density and all, but even then it does not click. Why? The reason is usually that you got so caught up in technical matters that you failed to put some soul into the writing. Content is not science. It is art. Keywords and their density is important to make it more viable as SEO fodder, but when real readers come along (not algorithms), you have to pass the test of readability. Technical knowledge cannot get you that pie.
The Final Word
There cannot be a final word on this primarily because this is a grey area. This is why the debate rages on! The best way out is to strike a middle path. You can make use of technical knowledge to fine-tune the SEO program, without making this knowhow the be-all of it. At the same time, if you rush in with emotion and little knowhow, you are bound to be on the losing side.
I have thrown my hat into the ring of this debate through this post! It’s your chance now. What do you think of this issue?