Why does Page Zero have a “VP, Findability”?

As a term to describe the many tasks involved in paying attention to your organic (unpaid) search engine rankings – and more importantly, the relevant referral traffic that comes from Google, Bing, and other search engines – “SEO” never seemed quite right. My dear friend Mike Grehan always hated the term, saying: “I’ve never seen anyone optimize a search engine.” Whatever that means! (Which may be his point.)

cory-kleinschmidtLet’s be real: “SEO” was a term invented by the early practitioners of the dark arts of our industry (circa 1997) to gussy up the real point of many of their doings: spamming the shit out of the search engines (SSOSE?). It sounds more official to say “SEO,” much as “subprime mortgages” sounded a bit more dignified than “liar loans.”

Organic search referral traffic is the lifeblood of many businesses. And although we didn’t begin our agency life trying to sell a service around it (SSOSE), we’ve always paid a lot of attention to all the ways clients can be found online, and on the related practice of information architecture (how users find their way around websites). Our clients kept asking for us to launch a service in this area, so we did so in 2006, about the time Cory Kleinschmidt joined our team full time.

Cory and I go way back, to our hobbyist days on our industry commentary blog, Traffick (launched in 1999, now not a big thing for us).

Cory worked for Page Zero as Director of SEO and Web Development for three years, and then got a higher-paying health-insurance-providing VP-level job with a large firm in the Midwest so he could, to use G.W. Bush’s term, “put food on his family.”

By 2012, we were getting more and more sophisticated inquiries for integrated PPC, SEO, social, and content strategies. Happily, Cory also returned to Page Zero in 2012. We decided to update that service to be fully integrated with today’s search and social environment. Since we did, it’s been a growth area for Page Zero.

We’ve always pushed for an integrated view of content strategies and technical SEO. We’re now working in this arena feeling comforted that the “white hat,” “produce great content” emphasis is now accepted as the dominant trend in the field. No more disjointed “link building price lists” for services that would trick Google’s algos for a few months, or a couple of years, but with no great long term benefit to the user or the business owner.  A few dinosaurs are still working away on such boondoggles, but the rest of us have real marketing work to do.

“Findability” is a nice way to sum up the whole package, we think. Although doesn’t use it in the exact same vein, we greatly respect one of the key coiners of this term: Peter Morville, the noted information science expert.

Cory now oversees a team of content and social strategists, while continuing to take the lead on technical SEO. Traditional SEO is dead. Long live Findability.

And that, friends, is why we have a VP, Findability, at Page Zero Media. And a more seasoned one you could not find.

We also just added a highly experienced Director, SEO, reporting to Cory and myself. Because that SEO stuff isn’t going away, because we at Page Zero do not do the black hat (SSOSE) kind, and because we need great talent to help our clients succeed. More on this soon!