Certified Certified SEO - Review of SEO Certifications

How does one go about reviewing all the various claimed SEO Certifications out there? It wasn't an easy task and I'm nowhere near close to being finished. I focused on the top 20 results in all of my searches. There really are only a handful of certifications that are being touted in the SEO industry. The rest of them are self serving certifications that have little to no meaning in the overall scheme of things.

Based on my research to date, which is minimal, I'm a firm believer that our industry is far from having any certifying authority. In fact, I don't think it will ever happen, not at the current pace.

We've reviewed thousands of websites over the years. We've picked websites apart byte by byte and have provided full blown reviews in some instances. I do believe a majority of those who touted SEO Certification did not make it into our directory. It wasn't because they promoted their Certified SEO status. It was because one look at their websites and you know that they have no business passing themselves off as being SEO Certified.

The same applies for those providing the SEO Certifications. All of them failed our tests for what we feel a Certifying Authority should represent. If you are going to position yourself as an authority on a particular subject such as SEO, you need to clean up your own act first. Not one of the unofficial certifying bodies we reviewed could pass our muster.

So, where does that leave us? It's still the Wild West out there. And now we have a new breed of "beginner marketer" who is falling prey to the whole SEO Certification myth. I reviewed over 50 marketers claiming SEO Certification in the past week. Only a handful would pass our stringent review process. The rest of them are just like any other SEO coming into the marketplace. They are inexperienced and don't have the "field knowledge" yet to pass themselves off as being a Certified SEO.

We even found multiple instances of marketers who just got their SEO Certification and now they are offering training in their local communities. I don't see how that works. How can someone just coming out of one of these SEO Certification programs instantly become a teacher, mentor, trainer, etc. That doesn't add up to me.

I've listed a few resources below that showed up consistently amongst my research initiatives. I've included my own "personal comments" about each of those resources. I welcome anyone to challenge my findings here in writing at which time I will be happy to opine.

Reviews Last Modified: 2009-01-23

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  1. Search Engine Workshops Certification SealsSearch Engine Workshops

    5 Day Workshop: $2,495.00 USD

    Onsite search engine workshops offer personalized SEO training and certification in search engine marketing strategies.


    Admin Note: Search Engine Workshops is at the top of the list as this particular SEO Certification is the one I see most frequently. It is also one that I personally do not lend too much credibility to based on actions being taken by some of those sporting these certification seals.

    I am very familiar with both Robin and John's reputation in our industry and have a good deal of respect for both. But, when it comes to this whole certification thing, I've got to put that aside and let you know how I personally feel. It's not working for me and apparently it isn't working for some of your Certified SEOs.

    Remember, there are no official certifying authorities in the SEO Industry.

  2. ExpertRating Certified ProfessionalExpertRating Search Engine Optimization Certification

    Cost: $49.00 USD

    ExpertRating SEO CertificateThe ExpertRating Search Engine Optimization Certification is being offered at a time limited special offer price. You can make the most of the $49.99 offer pricing as it is due for revision shortly.

    ExpertRating is one of the world's only ISO 9001:2000 Certified companies (from TUV America) offering an Online Search Engine Optimization Certification.

    Attention http://www.expertrating.com/Search-Engine-Optimization-Certification.asp

    Admin Note: The $49.00 price tag should be enough to tell you that this particular certification is worthless. Here's another example where someone is using misleading nomenclature to "reel in" the unsuspecting beginner SEO, check the ISO 9001:2000 name drop. You do not get an education in this industry for $49.00 and you surely don't get certified for that amount.

    You'd be much better off taking that $49.00 and using it towards the purchase of SEO Book by Aaron Wall and, Search Engine Visibility by Shari Thurow.

    WebmasterWorldYou may even want to consider purchasing a Subscription to WebmasterWorld and join the rest of us in our daily trek to furthering our SEO studies (referred to as Continuing Education) in a real time peer environment!

    ExpertRating.com is registered to a company in India.

    Artex Computers Pvt Ltd
    Harinder Saundh, 316, Sector 33-A, Chandigarh, UT, 160020 IN

    Remember, there are no official certifying authorities in the SEO Industry.

  3. SEOcertification.orgSEOcertification.org

    Limited Time Offer: SEO Certified Professional for only $89.00 USD
    Includes: Annual Membership, Study Guide, and Exam fees.

    The pre-eminent source of information, education, and certification assessment for the constantly evolving Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry worldwide, SEOcertification.org is the industry's first vendor-neutral certification developed by professionals for professionals.

    SEOcertification.org works with experts and industry leaders from the private and public sectors, including training programs, academia and government, to develop broad-based, foundational exams that validate an individual's search engine marketing skill set.

    Attention http://www.seocertification.org/

    Admin Note: $89.00? Please be advised that all you are paying for here is the ability to take an online course that has been developed by someone, we don't know who either as there are no names mentioned, and that you are obtaining what is officially referred to as a "Certificate of Completion" and not an "SEO Certification".

    SEOcertification.org Certificate of Completion

    Search Engines BannerSEOcertification.org CertificateThis is what the SEOcertification.org certificate of completion looks like and it is mislabeled as an SEO Certification. Don't be misled by the improper use of nomenclature. This is a piece of paper that states you've successfully completed a Search Engine Optimization Exam.

    With banners like the one shown at left appearing on the SEOcertification.org website, we have to wonder how up to date the search engine optimization exam criteria may be. Check out the Google logo (at bottom of banner), that is some mighty fine last minute graphics work.

    There is no contact information on this site, no names, no nothing. They are using a Private Whois. Exactly what type of certification authority hides their identities like that? None that I'm aware of. In fact, I would think that would be the first thing to promote, those who are behind the certification process, wouldn't you?

    My personal opinion? This was set up as a revenue generating system. The online courses are probably just fine as far as basic information goes but I surely wouldn't lend one bit of credibility to a Certification and/or a Certificate of Completion from this resource solely based on the fact that "they are in hiding".

    You'd be much better off taking that $89.00 (hurry, because their offer expires on 2009-**-**) and using it towards the purchase of SEO Book by Aaron Wall and, Search Engine Visibility by Shari Thurow.

    WebmasterWorldYou may even want to consider purchasing a Subscription to WebmasterWorld and join the rest of us in our daily trek to furthering our SEO studies (referred to as Continuing Education) in a real time peer environment!

    Remember, there are no official certifying authorities in the SEO Industry.

  4. Web CEO University CertifiedWeb CEO University

    Basic: $97.00 USD
    Advanced: $295.00 USD
    Hard Copy Certificate: $59.00 USD

    Web CEO University CertifiedWelcome to Web CEO University, the ultimate source of education, information and certification in the quickly growing field of Internet Marketing.


    Admin Note: $97.00 and $295.00. Exactly what type of training would you expect for that amount of money? And then, you have to pay an additional $59.00 USD for a hard copy certificate. So, for $156.00 USD or $354.00 USD, you can be a Certified SEO by Web CEO. Would you be willing to risk your Internet marketing campaign in the hands of someone who paid $156.00 USD for an SEO Certification? Would you really?

    Web CEO CertificateWeb CEO confirms that the holder of the certificate is competent to provide expertise, consulting, and services in the following fields of Internet Marketing:

    The above is a pretty bold statement from Web CEO. If I'm a client of someone who is touting a Web CEO Certification and my SEO campaign fails, I may want to seek compensatory damages against my SEO. They will then tell me that they are "Certified by Web CEO" at which time my legal team may be coming your way for a bit of discussion. Are you prepared to take on that responsibility?

    Remember, there are no official certifying authorities in the SEO Industry.

Quotes from Certified SEOs

Later after the creation of several successful Internet Marketing companies, we became one of the first Google certified SEO firms in the industry.

Admin Note: Google has its own challenges to deal with in regards to its Google Advertising Professionals program. Many marketers are using nomenclature that is misleading and may have the consumer believing that they are a Google Certified SEO when in fact they are not. They are Qualified Google Advertising Professionals (either Individual and/or Company), plain and simple, bottom line. Where does it say "Google Certified SEO" in the GAP documentation?

Foo Foo is a certified SEO professional, and a leading search engine optimization expert.

Admin Note: "Certified SEO Professional". Where did that title come from? And, how does one determine if they are a "leading search engine optimization expert"? I'd like to know, maybe you or I fall in that category? Can we get an official looking seal?

Bruce Clay's SEO certification course, established in January of 2005, is the oldest and most rigorous of the few SEO certification programs currently available. Foo joins only eleven other SEO professionals to successfully complete the highest level of certified SEO training available in the world.

Admin Note: Bruce Clay's SEO Certification is a certification in regards to the use of the Bruce Clay SEOToolSet™. It means you have been Certified by Bruce Clay, Inc. to utilize their SEOToolSet™ and that is it.

The highest level of certified SEO training available in the world.

Come on now, I think we all know better. I'm telling you, the advertising and marketing of these certifications is rather misleading, wouldn't you say so?

The title of Certified Advanced Search Engine Optimization Strategist from the Academy of Web Specialists Search Engine Workshops is your assurance that Foo's expert Search Engine Optimization (SEO) incorporates highly effective, ethical and proven methods of gaining you top positioning.

Admin Note: I see it coming! The year 2008 is going to be an eye opener for some. I think we are going to see more and more potential litigation issues in this particular area. Robin and John, are you prepared to go to battle for your Certified Advanced Search Engine Optimization Strategists? Can you vouch for every single one of your graduates?

Define Certify

Let's take a look at the definition of the word Certify...

To confirm formally as true, accurate, or genuine. To attest, testify, or vouch for.
To assume responsibility for the quality, worth, or durability of.
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