Google Job Ad Demonstrates Data Focus

A new job posting by Google shows the growing – and important – connection between SEO and big data.

Google’s SEO program manager will work with marketing, sales, product development and engineering teams to drive organic growth, in addition to taking part in website development, improving code hygiene, and shaping Google’s blog and social strategy. The ad calls for a standard background in computer science, SEO and web development, as well as a familiarity with the search giant’s product suite. Another requirement is “excellent problem solving and analytical skills, with the ability to dig extensively into metrics and analytics.”

Shreya Kushari, senior vice president of search marketing at Digitas LBi, isn’t surprised by that requirement. She says this focus on data has been building up for about a year, and that SEO is no longer just about metatags and metadata.

“Data is a big part of how the algorithms are giving you relevance,” Kushari says. “This is now a requirement; this is how we view the growth of search.”

Ken Lyons, co-founder of search marketing consultancy Measured SEM, agrees that this “seems like a natural progression.” According to Lyons, everything SEOs do has a data component, including allocating resources, and determining what is and isn’t working.

“Clients who come to us and say they were hit with a penalty, it’s all going into their data and figuring out why they were hit,” he adds. “Even content marketing, it’s all data-driven and if it’s not, you might want to be rethinking your strategy. I can’t think of a single action I would take on a client side, or even on our portfolio side, that isn’t totally data-driven.”

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