The Tipping Point for SEO

I think SEO has to be considered mainstream at this point. The media writes about it, many media companies have bought my ebook, government regulated monopolies have bought my ebook, and now there is even a college course on SEO at Rice University.

Published: March 7, 2007 by Aaron Wall in marketing


March 16, 2007 - 6:26am

I first reported this right before you did so I would have to assume you found out by reading my blog and would appreciate you giving me credit. Bloggers should not post things they find on other blogs without siting where they found it. I happen to know the guy teaching the course so I know that I was the first to ever mention this.

March 16, 2007 - 9:12am

Hi David
In this case your assumption would be incorrect. I get over a hundred emails a day, and that is how I found out about the course.

March 8, 2007 - 2:52am

Most online marketing tactics and strategies in general are considered mainstream as the internet has matured from being a geek haven to a geek haven mixed with all levels of regular folks and business professionals.

Now, the term itself 'SEO' is definitely becoming more mainstream, but I wouldn't say it's mainstream as of now. When I talk to most people on the street, random individuals with jobs like insurance sales, customer service, banker, apartment manager etc, the majority do not associate SEO with the term Search Engine Optimization and even when presented with the full term, they only have a vague understanding of what that could possibly mean, which they interpreted incorrectly from the words themselves.

Common real responses include (get ready for a chuckle):
Is that dong something with search engines? Optimization sounds complicated are you a programmer? Sound technical did you have to go to school for that? What do you mean optimization, are you a spammer?

March 8, 2007 - 3:39am

Hey Aaron,

SEO is mainstream amongst SEO dudes, Web analytics chicks, and some copywriting people. But it's still a buzzword in the air. Although it has true value and is of utmost importance for Web sites to deliver results, most traditional marketing people don't have a clue what it means, even when spelled out and explained through numerous PowerPoints.

I'd say SEO is as mainstream as LInux: lots of people are talking about it, but most of them don't have a clue what they're talking about! :)

Nice reading you, again.


March 8, 2007 - 12:10pm

"traditional marketing people don't have a clue what it means"

I agree, I know a traditional marketer and they know I am an SEO, they understand the purpose of it, but have no idea about the maketing potential SEO has. I usually get the standard "oh your good with computers then, my AOL keeps crashing, can you fix it" lol

March 8, 2007 - 5:01pm

Indeed SEO is mainstream in the sense that marketers now know how important it is. BUT, those who actually know how to implement good SEO are still far and few between, and as such, the SEO Services are not at the tipping point. The buzz of SEO certainly is.

Great post.

March 8, 2007 - 9:05pm

I think it is hitting the masses now. One example is the amount of classes that folks are doing on the topic. In any space once the experts reach a point where they can make more teaching then doing then the market gets flooded with 'make money doing blah' classes.

Look at what happened with ebay, folks made a lot of money selling stuff, then the big boys came in and the ebay experts left actual selling and started to teach others how to make money on old techniques that they once used to make money that don't currently work...but once did.

Ah, it all comes back to mine the miners. Did I mention I have a treasure hunting business in case the internet blows up ;)

March 8, 2007 - 9:15pm


Great point. It won't be long before they create a university course for spammers, imagine what that would be like: University Course For Spammers

March 9, 2007 - 12:20am

apologies for going off-topic, but i looked at the course description, and it immediately made me question whether a university will ever be in a position to teach a truly valuable course on SEO given the speed at which the industry changes.

if you enroll in this course at Rice, you'll be spending your money to get educated on hot, timely topics related to SEO including:

# Submitting pages to search engines

# Developing a reciprocal links list

yahtzee!!! ahhh, the joys of higher education.....

March 9, 2007 - 6:47pm

SEO is mainstream. Even those small businesses who don't do SEO and even might be still considering whether to invest in a website have a vague notion of the importance of search engine traffic (just when MySpace is eclipsing Google, ironically) and needing to do more than just post a pretty website.

The problem is that these people are easy prey for scammers, and with Google's new personalized search, there are more scam opportunities (which I just blogged about at ).

March 11, 2007 - 4:55am

how funny. i don't think it's there yet either. i have a white oval with black letters 'SEO' window decal on my Jeep and no one has responed to it without asking, 'what's that?' maybe in a few years...

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