Do SEOs Need To Know Coding To Be SEOs?

Apr 10, 2009 • 7:15 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

A heated Sphinn thread started some controversy in the SEO industry over who is an SEO and who is not an SEO.

In short, Edward Lewis wrote a piece named HTML 4 SEO Best Practices for HTML Authoring. The article goes through many HTML attributes that can come in handy when coding your pages. The article is a very useful resource to hold on to and bookmark, if you need to look up the various elements. So where is the controversy?

Well, when the thread was submitted to Sphinn, Harith titled it "You're not an SEO if you don't know these by heart!" That is where the controversy came in.

Well known SEO, Jill Whalen, said:

Guess I'm not an SEO then because I don't see how most of those have anything to do with SEO.

Now if you're a developer, then yeah--good stuff.

Do you really need to know all these HTML elements to be considered an SEO? I know many people who consider themselves SEO, but know very limited HTML and coding. Of course, it helps a lot to be fully skilled in HTML, and other web languages, but is it necessary?

Here is a poll, do you need coding skills to be considered an SEO?

Forum discussion at Sphinn.

This article was written earlier this week and scheduled to go live April 10th.

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04/11/2009 02:37 am

oh, you don't need to know coding to be called a SEO. SEO is so simple that lobotomized chimps could do the job. the ultimate proof of this is that you people argue about "coding" over an HTML-article. so don't be mad at each other! it doesn't matter if you know html or not - in both cases you are not what is called a coder. learn some proper languages ... maybe then you could SEO the apple appstore. lol

Jim Gaudet

04/11/2009 02:16 pm

I think you need to understand the process of designing a website, which includes coding, in order to process SEO on the site. Remember to try and think of SEO in the beginning so you do not have make hard structure changes later. To be honest though, I am not sure if having valid code on your site helps or not. If not, then most people can use WP or Joomla and get pretty decent SEO, as long as they understand Title and H1 tags and all that

Michael Martinez

04/13/2009 05:15 pm

A more well-rounded SEO who understands HTML has an advantage over a specialist such as a copywriter or a link builder who doesn't learn any other aspects of SEO. But I feel that all specialists should understand how markup affects whatever they do.

No Name

04/13/2009 07:13 pm

Of course you need some skill else you will just have dirty code and us inline CSS ... which is naughty and wasteful of the time of a search engine! SEO is more than just baiting

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