Are Coding Skills Important for Being a Successful SEO Expert?

Matjaž
Hey SEO users! Looking to start a debate. Do you feel like knowledge of coding is important for being a successful SEO expert?
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Afifi
Yes 🤭2

Matjaž✍️ » Afifi
thanks Afifi! Would you care to elaborate?
Afifi » Matjaž
the base of any web work is in code, plugins and content management systems (CMSs) are just a workaround for less knowledgeable users who need to optimize their content on the onsite side of optimization. 👍🏽1
Mice » Afifi
You mean you design sites from the ground up?
Afifi » Mice
used to, and even now I switch to code mode to assure quality, old school 😉 👍🏽1
Matjaž✍️ » Afifi
I agree with you – It can be extremely helpful to know code for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – especially if you are a one man band and don't feel like paying for SEO tasks that require coding.
Mice » Afifi
Do you extend WordPress's core functionality with custom templates or wp url rewrites?

Kumar
Yes it is important too much important because without knowing this you can't understand the algorithm updates 👍🏽🤭3

Cadman » Kumar
that's rubbish 👍🏽1
Kumar » Cadman
how it can be rubbish?
Cadman
Explain how you can understand the algorithm updates by coding 👍🏽2
Kumar » Cadman
let me give some reports whom made by Dean the founder of Backlinko 🤭1
Cadman
I don't need reports I want your reason for understanding code for the algorithm updates. It's simply not the case at all. 👍🏽1
Kumar » Cadman
https://backlinko.com/SEO-jobs-report
The 2020 SEO Jobs Report 🤭1
Kumar
That's the reason men. Algorithm working in codes and if you have some coding knowledge then you can analyze your website very well. Technical SEO and other aspect need some coding knowledge 👍🏽1
Cadman » Kumar
Mate I know HTML, CSS and this has never helped me understand the algorithm code because there isn't one!
No one understands the Google algorithms and certainly being a coder won't help in the slightest.
This is so complex and spread over multiple systems.
Your article you sent me basically says you'll get a higher salary if you can code and do Search Engine Optimization (SEO), however this is not needed at all. I agree if you have coding knowledge you don't need to outsource this but it won't help you with the algorithm because it's too complex. 👍🏽2
Kumar » Cadman
also agreed with you what you said in the last but when you try to analyze the website for technical purpose then you need that's kind of things brother
Cadman » Kumar
as I said knowing coding will not help you understand the algorithm updates. No one can, only Google, that's why a lot of SEO is guesswork and testing.
John » Cadman
how do you understand it?
Kafka
This sounds like propaganda. I can't think of any recent algorithm update that required any level of code skill. Updates are complex, but not impossible understand. Yes, skills help, but again, completely unnecessary to create relationships and follow webmaster guidelines so algo updates don't hurt. 👍🏽1
Cadman » John
I don't. Over twenty years there's been a lot of changes, it's all guesswork and testing my friend. When we started, links were the main ranking criteria, exchanging links was normal and anchor text links got you to the top quote quickly. Heading tags worked well with Yahoo to storm the rankings, together with keyword-stuffing. We use to build thousands of doorway pages for Google as it loved them years ago.
Now it's all seen as black-hat and a game changer. Nowadays its content, usability, speed, link popularity and of course direct click, social media plays a huge part too. We're learning everyday from testing and testing and testing.
Cadman » Kafka
correct 👍🏽1
Kafka » Cadman
don't forget "content sharing with relevant sites that also link back to you and include canonical tags on shared content pages"
Cadman » Kafka
yep
Kafka » Cadman
i just bought a great domain I'm looking forward to building out on this exact topic. All algo updates moving forward are Fred.
Cadman » Kafka
as in black-hat?
Kumar » Kafka
canonical tags on shared content pages? I didn't get it? What you said can you elaborate please?
Kafka » Cadman
I'm in too many threads right now, you lost me. Lol.
Fred came out in 2017. Gary suggested that all future updates will be called Fred. This was to further censor what changes to prevent us from exploiting those holes.
So, when a core updates comes out, it's best to get back to basics and fundamentals.
My rule of thumb is, if you got smacked, you know what you did wrong. If you don't, you need to get to know Fred.
Kumar » Kafka
i didn't lost you i gotcha ya so please answer my questions please!
canonical tags on shared content pages? I didn't get it? What you said can you elaborate please?
Cadman
Yes Fred targeted ads and low content I remember. I stopped when the Google dance finished lol 🤭1
Kafka » Kumar
look up canonical tags. Then pair that with guest posts, but not on shitty Private Blog Network sites (PBNs). Apply that to 2 dentists sharing each other's content. Or a realtor and a bank, a plumber and a roofer…etc.
Sharing content on relevant sites that are also established businesses, is exactly what we do and more effective than all the junk i see in groups online.
Cadman » Kafka
How many times have we gone back to basics?
I used to have tons of saved copies when making changes and then reverted back again after the update if it was negative.
Kumar » Kafka
oh you mean if shared other websites like completely duplicate then we should them website canonical tag.
Am I right?
Kafka » Cadman
Fred 1 targeted some stuff, but every core updates since then has been a Fred. They stopped coming up with cute animal names to stop telling us what to fix.
Again, back to basics, check yo ish, and don't freak out. Lol. You should never forget basics.
Kafka » Kumar
I think you're on the right path there.
Kumar
Yes i said we should put them canonical tag on our website? Which we took?
Kafka » Kumar
if you are not the original publisher, send the canonical to the author's published url for the content.
If you publish content to be shared, make sure they send canonical back to your url.
Kumar » Kafka
Gotcha thanks a lot, i know that but want to make sure what you said.. 👍🏽1
Kafka » Kumar
that's scratching the surface. Where your content gets shared is obviously more important.
Kumar » Kafka
Kindly add me in your id or you can share your Linkedin profile, because people like you i don't want to lose so please add me in your profile or on Linkedin.
Kafka » Kumar
lol… thank you. I'm flattered.
We are in this group which means if we both follow the rules, we'll always be a tag away.
What kind of projects / clients do you work with?
Kumar » Kafka
you asked those which i can't answer here that's why i asked Linkedin profile so we can connect each and share some great knowledge.

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Gaurav
It's a huge positive to know coding as an SEO as at least you can sort out the basic issues of the websites, but it shouldn't be a deal breaker. Sort of like how a designer who knows coding is a great find, but that's not why I am hiring one. It's for his design skills. Similarly, getting SEO right is a science in itself. If you can add coding, analytics, web development on it, you are essentially a one-man Marketing company. But then again, how good are you with those skills also matters.
If you are a 3/5 in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and you want to learn coding, that's just being Jack of all Trades. Get to at least 4, before you start adding more to your arsenal. Otherwise you are simply gunning to be a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) way off down the line. 👍🏽1

Matjaž✍️ » Gaurav
Very interesting thinking! I agree that if you want to be a jack of all trades – the depth of those skills may suffer. Thanks for opening up this topic – I would be interested to know what other people in this group feel about specialization vs. diversification of skills.

Kafka
No. It's helpful but I have plenty of successful reps selling SEO that have no clue what they're doing. Confidence trumps skill. 💟1

Cadman » Kafka
yep a lot of link sellers out there
Kafka » Cadman
link, content, dev, social, reputation, email, branding, Google My Business (GMB)… etc. If your business doesn't include a guy dialing for you, are you even in business?
Cadman » Kafka
👌 👍🏽1

Jay
Not really. You just have to understand the logic of technical optimization and you pay a guy who can take care of it. That's it. What you have to master is marketing strategy since SEO is a technical marketing

Cadman » Jay
yep 👍🏽1

Phil
Important? No. Useful? Yes to some extent.
Like writing, and other things, it’s a complimentary skill. 👍🏽3
Abbott
Right now, I think it gives you a competitive advantage but it's not essential.
However, I think in a few years not knowing any code will put you at a significant disadvantage.
I'm slowing adding python to my skillset. Very very slowly 😤 👍🏽4
Leigh
Having experienced work by SEO peeps who have NFI what they are doing I think it's important to have a basic working knowledge as an owner AND SEO.
As an owner it means you can recognize the charlatans, as an SEO you can fix the minor stuff and have an idea who to employ for the bigger jobs.
Maybe I'm off track 🤷‍♀️

Cadman » Leigh
definitely or else you incur extra little costs you could go without. There's always fiverr. 😉

Mike
I don't think you can be a very good SEO without being at least mildly competent in HTML/CSS. 👍🏽5

Kafka
totally agree if you are shooting to be the practitioner.
Mike » Kafka
Well, the OP did not ask about running an SEO business. They asked about being an SEO, so I'm assuming that is what they meant. 👍🏽1

Mark
Yep. Technical SEO is very important if you're a true SEO but obviously you can be successfully without it because alot of clients know nothing about Google My Business (SEO) at all.
Joshua
It depends… on what level you are operating at. I've been paid $2000 a month to VA for a guy who was getting paid $4000 a month to rank one law firm.
He essentially told me where to get links, citations, content, etc. Paid for all the tools. I just sent directions and content to the law firm's "webmaster."
I doubt the dude who hired me can code a lick.
The real funny part? There was a guy above the guy who was paying me. He was making $9000 a month. One law firm. With like 3 lawyers. In a 200K metro. 👍🏽💟🤭3

Kafka
All depends on who's buying your service and what role you play in getting the job done. Legal is soooo lucrative.
Joshua
And before anyone jumps to conclusions, I actually learned a lot about Google My Business (SEO) concepts and shortcuts from the guy who hired me. 👍🏽1

Mehta
Define success, please. 👍🏽1

Kafka
Success is a measure of satisfaction one perceives within themselves, based on what they have accomplished/acquired, at the time of measurement.

Maher
the only knowledge being SEO guy you need about code is how to remove bloat, remove unnecessary code thus improving the site's speed and helping Google to crawl your webpage better though some additional knowledge of HTML/CSS won't hurt (when you need to copy specific style/element such as table from any other site you will be able to do it yourself instead of hiring someone else).

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Mew 👑
Anyone who says no isn’t making real money. All major SEO users know JS, HTML, CSS and probably a bit of Python. 👍🏽10

Malhi » Mew
totally agree. Anyway it's not everybody's cup of tea hahah..
Aridj
Yes I can relate to your comment

Mayank
One must be aware of Major elements of HTML and CSS and also Js. Without understanding optimization is incomplete. Content could lead the things only when you are fortunate enough to have clean backend. 👍🏽3
John
I think it’s a chicken and egg. How can you not learn some coding during projects? then of course that’s makes new projects better because you know some coding.
נתן
Yes. If you use a CMS or bad code Googlebot won't know what is what from example span h1 via attribute vs h1 tag…
If anyone says you don't need coding skills to do SEO well I am the one who is probably making tons of money by building sitemaps for websites that have thousands posts on a blog with a noindex tag
Jesus christ people are stupid…
So yes, Sure!!
Do SEO with no skills in coding
It's good for developers like me that moved to SEO to make easy money
I am not even gonna go into Schema & tags
Jeff
I've ranked dozens of sites (locally) and know nothing about code
Screaming frog is my best friend
If it is non indexable I got a guy for that 😁

Mew 👑 » Jeff
– Then sir you ranked nothing, your guy did.
If my client tells me to rank a page with a keyword he didn’t rank anything just because he provided the strategy. That’s a silly notion 👍🏽1
Jeff » Mew
to you I've ranked nothing, to my bank account I've ranked dozens.
Mew 👑 » Jeff
– Your bank account has nothing to do with SEO. Weird flex 💪 👍🏽1
Jeff » Mew
👍

Lera
At least some basic PHP/html is definitely a plus if you want to get somewhere with WordPress. But I do think that with so many options available now and even premium themes including optimization options for page speed etc, it's becoming more doable to get around not knowing how to code… if you happen to stumble upon a really lightweight theme that just happens to score pretty well for page speed etc, you can still rank with good content optimization etc.
The key is to know what is and isn't lightweight though haha.
Although I can make those basic edits in functions.php etc/css/speed improvements etc as needed, I'm by no means an expert at coding. I'm just really good at learning and reverse engineering just about anything and got sucked into it because 10 yrs ago my cousin used to send me nulled themes that had links inserted in footer so we had to manually remove them lol (good times, don't ask lol). I do less manual coding now than I used to cause I want convenience more these days. 👍🏽1
Alex
1. Editing html tags isn’t coding – so you don’t need to know how to code to edit meta tags or add alt tags to images, or check a plug-in-generated XML sitemap or structured data for errors. You just need patience.
2. It depends on the type of platform – if you’re just doing SEO for sites using WordPress or some other pre-built platform, that’s different from doing SEO for a large platform itself. For the latter it’s very important to write code, otherwise you’ll need to explain how to write the code to the coder.
In my experiencing managing tech teams – it’s MUCH better to hire a developer who knows SEO than a product manager who knows SEO + a developer who doesn’t. 👍🏽1

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