SEO's Split on Importance of Specialization in Industry Sectors

Mar 18, 2009 • 9:09 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEM / SEO Companies

SEOs Split on Specialization NeedsTwo days ago, I asked our readers to vote on how important it is for an SEO to specialize within a specific industry. For example, you have doctors who only work with kids (pediatricians) or doctors who specialize on the brain (neurologists). You also have web developers who specialize in industries as well. I asked if SEOs should specialize and with over a hundred votes in already, I can tell you, SEOs are split on the decision.

I asked "Should SEOs Specialize in Industry Sectors?" and 50% said "no," while 47% said "yes." The other responses were mostly "yes" but iffy on that response.

The pie chart above shows the results.

Personally, I think there is a lot of knowledge to gain by focusing on an industry or two. Learning the history, the keywords, the way the industry works and how the trends impact Google's search results, can give you an edge. But yet, not SEOs can specialize nor do they want to, due to boredom. In addition, SEOs can be missing knowledge by focusing on a specific industry.

Remember Yahoo's Tim Mayer's famous SEO quote?

You don't bring a sword to a gun fight

He said that when talking about a specific industry that uses very dark techniques to rank well. Tactics from industry to industry differ in some search engines and specialization does make a difference in some cases.

Forum discussion continued at Sphinn.

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James Matthews

03/18/2009 05:35 pm

You can look at the issue two ways. 1. The niche companies know where to link etc.. 2. Non-niche companies can find these places. I think because of content creation that it's better to take the niche..

KJ Rodgers

03/18/2009 08:33 pm

It is hard for me to become die hard on either side. Like everyone else has said having an industry specific target may give you an edge, you maybe missing out on new ideas and info. That is of course in the world of freelance Seo's. Other SEO's focus on what the company they work for focuses on as their target markets.

Melt du Plooy

03/19/2009 06:21 am

Many SEO's are probably not focusing on one or two niche's only, but rather on multiple markets at the same time. For me this depends on where these marketers are in the world and what the current trends are in their specific region and also the level of SEO experience that they have. I think you'll find that the more experience an SEO has the more he will move into a certain niche, the less experience SEO's will probably move in multiple niches. would you agree?


03/19/2009 09:42 am

I think better to be specialist in all industry from where we are getting business unless we have to struggle for food.

Ammon Johns

03/19/2009 10:02 am

Who would argue that experience is better than lack of experience? Nobody? Then why even wonder if someone with experience in 5 industries is better or not than someone with experience in just 2. It is a side issue. What matters is the amount of RELEVANT experience. Personally, I always want an SEO who can demonstrate success in multiple sectors. Not one who simply has one powerful site to link from on a particular niche. Just like a sport player benefits from cross-training, so will any professional benefit from insight and experience they would not get in their normal field. SEO specialists are often just a little too focused in one direction, which acts like blinkers for seeing wider opportunities, or learning lessons from other fields. I do encourage people to specialise their skills, for sure, but never, EVER to the exclusion of all else. Check they are a specialist by choice, and not just because they can only succeed at all in one vertical.

No Name

03/20/2009 04:35 am

Industry experience always have advantage because if one have more experience in a specific industry he will know all the techniques to get better rank

Terry Van Horne

03/20/2009 10:48 pm

Better question is whether you need to understand the business/industry. In that case it likely is a huge advantage. It's no accident I can do well in RE where I was an agent, property manager and have built houses from literally from the ground up. Someone with actual experience and understanding of the business/industry, no matter the SEO skill level, has a distinct advantage in their familiarity with the lingo, buyer needs and sale triggers. SEO is SEO. There isn't much SEO that is industry specific. Every industry has niches how you find them doesn't change much from industry to industry.


08/23/2010 05:53 am

I'm agree with Melt du Plooy, people gets usually lost trying to get on everything. It is very important to focuse on the right one, even when that means slower results. But slower is better when succesful than fast if results are goin' away same fast.

Faisal Jamal

03/30/2014 12:05 am

Specialization in specific industry but not specific to SEO techniques would be much more benefit to any individual. While going for specialization, select the industry as a whole rather going into the depth of that industry...

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