Shari Thurow - The Search Community Honors You

Mar 1, 2018 - 7:40 am 3 by
Filed Under Honor An SEO/SEM

Shari Thurow

This is part of the say something nice about an SEO/SEM series - feel free to nominate someone over here.

Shari Thurow lives in the Chicago, Illinois area and has been at the forefront of the SEO community since before it was named SEO. In fact, Shari's book was one of the first physical books I read on the topic of SEO. This was after I started writing about SEO but it was one of the first books I read on the topic and it has been updated since, but the principles I learned from it helped build the foundation of my understanding of how SEO works.

Shari has been a speaker on the SEO circuit since before most of us were even aware there was an SEO circuit. She has been doing SEO, site design, etc since 1995 - I was only 15 at that time. She has contributed countless pieces of content to the space, shared incredible amounts of advice, tips, and tactics over the years and has been someone who really has pushed people to think harder and smarter over the years.

She is quiet outspoken, always fighting for what she believes is true and right. But she has been in the space for 20+ years and she has seen more than most of us. Thus her experience and knowledge is something we should all respect and even more so, seek-out.

Shari has really devoted herself to the community, the industry and making for a better, more reputable and smarter community.

Someone nominated her, but I am not allowed to reveal the name, but she wrote:

Shari views SEO through a wide lens. Rather than optimizing predominantly for search engines, she is a proponent of optimizing for people who use search engines. As she puts it, search engines are designed to support the information seeking behavior of people. Shari is truly expert in explaining how the information seeking puzzle fits together, and the role we have as SEOs in serving both users and bots.

I've enjoyed her many articles, and appreciate that she doesn't shy from telling it like it is. Original, brilliant, and a little bit radical - an awesome SEO.

Shari Thurow Bio: Shari Thurow is the Founder of Omni Marketing Interactive, a full-service search engine optimization (SEO), website usability, information architecture (IA), and website design/development firm.

She has architected, designed, and optimized web interfaces since 1995.

She currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the ASLIB Journal of Information Management (AJIM). She also served on the Board of Directors of the Information Architecture Institute (IAI) and User Experience Professionals Organization (UXPA).

Shari is the co-author of When Search Meets Web Usability which shows how to bridge the gap between web search-engine results pages and your website. She is also the author of Search Engine Visibility, translated into 6 languages.

Clients include the National Cancer Institute, Huffington Post, ABC News, WebMD, Loyola Medicine, Encyclopedia Britannica, Expedia, Home Depot, Best Buy, Fisher Price, Angie's List, Sony Music, Facebook, and Microsoft.

Favorite thing about the SEO community? Because web search engines constantly evolve, the SEO community's knowledge also evolves. I love to see this passion for learning outside of an academic environment.

For many years, I have observed the academic industry gradually acknowledge the breadth and depth of the SEO community's knowledge. It's nice to finally see that validation.

One piece of advice to the SEOs out there? Never stop learning…but not because there are constant algorithm changes. (There are. I know.) Search evolves because searchers evolve.

Don't be afraid to take a class or a workshop. I am one of this industry's founders, and even I am constantly taking classes and workshops. It's okay to admit that you need or want to get more knowledge about a topic…or to ensure that you understand the principles of SEO/SEM.

You will often see me in a beginner's class as well as advanced classes. Understanding core SEO principles is incredibly important. Make sure you know them…and know them VERY well.

Favorite things in general?

Favorite color Green (specifically chlorophyll A, also known as "grass green"). I like to be surrounded by nature. Definitely my Dad's influence on me.

Favorite food Sushi. My master's degree is in Asian Studies/Japanese. I lived in Hawaii for many years and taught at University of Hawaii. I was able to eat authentic Japanese food every day. Thai food comes in a close second.

Favorite thing to do I love to read. I've been a voracious reader most of my life. I read about all types of topics, not only search topics (math, physics, microbiology, genetics, medicine, Asian literature, history, usability, etc.)

I am a true nerd.

I also love to swim. I learned how to swim before I learned to read. When I was a kid, my summers were spent doing those 2 things: swimming and reading.

Since I am a nature lover, I usually live close to a body of water.

What you want to be known for in the SEO space? I am an SEO pioneer. I pioneered search-engine friendly design and site architecture. I still specialize in those 2 areas.

I am also the first person to introduce usability and user experience (UX) to the SEO community. I co-authored the first book on this topic.

I'm still working on getting SEO pros to understand how important information architecture (IA) is for long-term SEO success. There is far too much focus on technical SEO, in my opinion. Information architecture should precede and inform technical architecture.

My life's goal is to get SEO recognized and taught at colleges and universities as part of a UX or Information Sciences curriculum. There are SEO principles that haven't changed in over 20 years. They are applicable to other academic disciplines.

"SEO pioneer" is fine as a historical fact. I'd rather my work be recognized and implemented than be an SEO personality.

You can learn more about Shari at her company site, check out her book at, connect with her on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter and see her articles on Search Engine Land.

This is part of the say something nice about an SEO/SEM series - feel free to nominate someone over here.


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