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search engine optimization

Knowing SEO doesn’t Make you an SEO Expert

23rd January 2015

I see myself as someone without proper job title/descriptions. My official title is “Owner” or “Founder” because I do own websites, and I do start up websites. But then, I am also a blogger, influencer, web marketer, and so on and so forth.

But of all names and titles I have, the one that always bother me is the title of “SEO expert.” Obviously, I never see myself as one.

However, for some reasons, people consider me as one of those SEO pros. Just have a look at my Top Skills:

SEO: 16 LinkedIn members endorsed me for this.
Blogging: 12 member endorsements.

If you use LinkedIn long enough, you will understand that “Top Skills” are the skills you add in your profile that get more “endorsements” and “votes” than your other listed skills.

I’m thankful if LinkedIn members view that SEO is one of my top skills – thus suggesting me that I’m somewhat an expert in SEO, but I’m a bit uneasy with that. I’m fine with blogging, as I see myself as a business blogger, but again, SEO? Me, an SEO expert? Umm, I’m not sure.

SEO expert fail - first world problems meme

I’m Not an SEO Expert – I’m an SEO Practitioner

I do know SEO. I read many, many articles on SEO, and practice the tips offered in what I read.

The thing is, I have my ups and downs in SEO – numerous times – to a point that I don’t care what keywords my websites are ranked for. Seriously.

I’ve tried numerous things, but most of them don’t work.  The little successes have lead most of my sites to recovery (yes, some of my sites are recovering from Google slaps.)

With my little successes, I can’t be considered as an SEO expert; but yes, I’m an SEO practitioner. Yes, that’s pretty much an accurate ‘title’ for me.

Okay – what’s the point here?

Sharing you the above leads to this point: So many people claiming that they are SEO experts, yet only a few who are truly experts.  Mostly, just like me, are practitioner.  And a few other are still noobs.

You see, I’m not against any SEO noobs, practitioners or experts out there. But some of them are simply misleading people into believing that they are the expert in their field – and they feel that they have the right to sell their service to others.

I’ve received too many emails offering – even guaranteeing – me to get my sites ranked on top of Google search engine result pages. Hilarious. It sounds easy, but it’s not. Even the best won’t make such ridiculous offer.

It’s. Not. Easy. At all.

I was appalled to a point that when someone says, “I’m the SEO specialist of XYZ Company,” I quickly run the other way.

Success kid meme on Google ranking

SEO “experts” – If you claim that you are an SEO expert, show me proofs: Have you well-SEO’d your own site? Is your own site ranks on top of search engine result pages for many keywords? If so, for how long? Have you survived Google algorithm updates? Have recovered from those if you are hit? Have done so for your clients? Have your SEO results in an increase of leads and sales?

Hiring SEO? If you want to hire someone to do SEO for you, it’s simple: Choose the one with strong track records. (respect, Dan Petrovic and the guys at Dejan SEO – and the Wizard of Moz, too!)

SEO and I? I know I can’t show results to you. Some of my sites rocks the search engine result pages, but most don’t. Those have made me an SEO practitioner, but definitely not an expert.

Claiming for something you don’t have is misleading. As SEO is all about results, you gotta show ’em if you claim you have ’em.


Ivan Widjaya is the owner of, as well as the founder of several online businesses:, and He runs his business from anywhere, anytime he wants.

Cute business woman

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  • Naomi Dinsmore
    Posted at 5:24 am January 29, 2015
    Naomi Dinsmore

    Hi Ivan,

    I guess when you know more about a topic than another person and that person needs to also know the information you know… It’s easy to claim yourself as an expert because everything you tell them is new knowledge.

    I’m like you, a 100% practitioner and not an expert. I consider myself to know more than the average person but I know I still have a lot to learn. I’m always doubtful when I see Ebooks that say… SEO top methods blah, blah, blah. I always think… “I bet I know it all already!”. I’m always receiving emails from companies stating they can get me on Google’s top pages.. yea right!