I’ve been succeeding at SEO since 1996 so obviously I have understood the nature of the game as it changed over time. Actually, I never really participated much in the “hard core” SEO of the late nineties, where small technical tweaks earned temporary top ranks. I always played the long term SEO game, where thematic associations (achieved hrough links, yes, but also significantly influenced by semantics), content, and relationships between web pages worked the SERPs.
Lately I have been enaged in discussions with more advertising and PR people. In the past, they did their own thing and hired SEOs when they needed technical web site work or link love. Nowadays they seem to agree that what-has-become-known-as-seo is critically important to their disciplines. Is SEO part of Public Relations? Not in the old SEO sense (technical web page factors) but yes for the modern SEO where words, content, and relationships rule. I think people’s perception of SEO is quite different from actual SEO. As usual, though, we have to deal with perceptions when we deal with clients, customers, and audiences.
There is definitely room for PR people (public relations firms) in the modern SEO world. True, I get a backlink in minutes where a relationship manager might take a week of client massaging (and spend some change on drinks or lunches), but those slow links are valuable as well. If the SEO guides the PR guy to
buy obtain those links from the right places, in the proper SEO form, an SEO-PR Guy team could be quite powerful.
If you are a PR guy and interested in exploring PR-SEO relationships, let’s talk. I’m in Seattle and Vancouver quite a bit, and New York and Denver every few months (so you can buy me lunches). Otherwise, I am very comfortable working from home over the web. Let’s do it your way to start. Your way seems like more fun.