• Alan Bleiweiss

    And this article alone, is the perfect reason why someone like Chris Le needs to be in charge of projects involving SEOs and developers. Or teach a class in how both sides need to get out of their own myopic ways.

  • Koozai_Mike

    Good post, although as an SEO I’d never pick Ken! We’d be more M Bison…

    Plus it looks like we’re taking a beating and are about to be fireballed.

  • Norcross

    Even though I technically “suck”, I agree 100% with this :)

    But in regards to the specific quote of mine, it goes back to the idea of education. I can (and want) to make it so everyone is happy with the work I’ve done, which includes making money. My beef is that when an SEO gives me a blind task (i.e. the chewy meta data), they often don’t indicate what it’s supposed to do or how it’s relevant to the site. I have no way of knowing if (a) it even works (b) if it’s being done properly and (c) if it conflicts with anything else. If I know the WHY of the task at hand, I may be able to work through something that is positive for both parties.

  • Ruth Burr

    Hooraaay for user education!

  • Chris Le

    Thanks so much. Things work so much better when we actually work together. Ya?

  • Steven Ferrino

    Great article. I haven’t been on both sides of the fence I am both sides mashed into one.. a long time developer that started doing SEO a few years ago and now do both, imagine the evil :).

    These days I just have problems with designers who question why the phone number has to be in the most visible spot and covering his perfectly transitioned gradient.

  • Michelle Lowery

    So, will this be a presentation at a conference anytime soon? Because it should be! ;-)

  • 5ubliminal

    My 2-Cents for your BONUS:
    $code = 301; $status = “Moved”;
    header(“Status: {$code} {$status}”);
    header(“{$_SERVER['SERVER_PROTOCOL']} {$code} {$status}”);
    header(“Location: /somewhere/over/the/rainbow”);

    To be more specific.

    PS: JS minifcation/CSS/HTML does not count as developing. Dynamic stuff makes developers, compiled binaries makes real developers.

  • Chris Le

    @norcross Dude, I totally agree with you.

    I think the main point really is that both sides ends up using the other like a black box. And we all know what it’s like to work with black boxes. I’ve schooled some peeps here in the office on the technical stuff… but I get school’ed when I talk about SEO. I’ve learned a lot since I got here only to learn, I know so little compared to my coworkers.

    Now… if I could only explain “algorithms” and “machine learning” is in laymen’s terms….. :)

  • Chris Le

    @steven They’re artists. They’re another breed of human altogether! LOL!

  • Chris Le

    @michelle Wow.. great idea!! I will keep that one in mind!

  • Chris Le

    @5ubliminal: Thanks! Love how you put it: “HTML does not count as developing.” For those who are actually using the code above: 5ubliminal’s code is the more technically correct.

    I simply wanted to point out that by default, servers will redirect using 302 unless explicitly told. I’ve seen it with our clients. After a round of SEO/Client back and forth I’m called in to check things out and it’s painfully obvious: The developer just thrww the header() method out there without specifying 301 in the arguments.

  • 5ubliminal

    Any developer can learn SEO while it’s a whole different thing for SEO’s to learn programming. I learned SEO back in 2005 and coding (C, C++) in 1998 and PHP in 2002. And I do SEO feeling a bit sick to my stomach and bored to death. But I feel awesome, free and always in the loop writing code [C++ but PHP will also do :)].

    Developers RULE! (Thumbs Up if you agree)

  • 5ubliminal

    There another breed of developers. Those who “learn” online, from pseudo-tutorials and never read a book. Those are a danger to themselves and others. Those who download data from an URL by output buffering an include(INSERT URL HERE).

    Those are ticking bombs, shame to developers, the “online” educated generation of so-called coders. May God protect SEOs from them… :) Because they need to be educated in both coding and SEO.

  • Jody Raines

    Chris, Great points, and almost becomes a marketing perspective. The only things missing from your formula are the social media manager and Conversions or Sales manager… Unless there are reasons to convert, the best optimized site in the world is only bringing traffic. How that converts into leads and sales is the other (and equally important) part of the story.

  • John andrews

    Everyone’s been “winging it” for years. Now, those who know what they’re doing can win. Simple, really.

    If you’re a “developer” and you don’t know server response codes, you suck. Take the blame. If you’re an seo and ask for a “redirect” but not a “301 redirect”, you suck,too. And if you are a developer but need to be told more than that or you’ll choose to substitute in a 302 on your own, you suck the worst (because you don’t read/ learn/ pay attention).

    I’m an seo and I don’t need to educate my developers… they need to listen carefully and I need to communicate clearly. Then we will all know who sucks.

  • Chris Le

    @5ubliminal *thumbs up*
    I only agree with you half way. I think both people can learn either one. But there are people who have the talent for one vs the other. I do technology. I’m pretty good with people. I will probably be a better with technology than I’ll ever be at really building relationships. Link building is probably not in my future :)

  • Jon D.

    As a developer who also walks both sides of the fence with the SEM crowd (plus I love SEO & PPC), I applaud this post. Too often my dev friends turn a blind eye to the reason a request is made. A favorite question of mine when approached with a new dev task is “Why?”, because it starts a conversation that gets to the heart of the matter.

    PS – I agree whole heartedly that one cannot learn by tutorials alone. Those are fine, but books, mentors, peer code reviews, and even auditing/attending a class at a local college are all things that can and should be done by developers who want to stretch their wings and actually learn.

    PPS – As a bonus to the original bonus, it has mixed quotes and should be fixed:

    Which is why I generally prefer to use single quotes in PHP so I won’t be caught in a case like the above. Also, single quotes vs. double generally provide faster performance since the interpreter doesn’t have to parse the single quoted content.

  • Jon D.

    I totally messed that up… the original PHP example is what I was referring to:

    <?php header(‘Location:”, TRUE, 301); ?>

  • Adrian Drysdale

    These days most companies pretty much expect you to be a developer, seo, sem, genie in a bottle all rolled into one.

  • Adrian Drysdale

    Where the hell is throwdown friday! I’m going to demand this every week until there is an explanation.

  • Jason Pamental

    Great article Chris! It illustrates a point I’ve tried to make too many times – it’s not what you know, but how you can communicate what you know (and why it’s important)! The whole key between designers, developers, SEM’s, clients and everyone else is communicating the intent/importance of what is being requested – not necessarily how it should be executed. We all have our expertise (some have more overlapping skills, some less) so what we have to focus on is for the client: communicate what you are trying to accomplish or what problem you want to solve; for the designer or SEM: communicate how/why you want to solve those problems in this particular way; for the developer: if there is a different/more efficient/more productive way of doing something, be able to explain why and what implications that has for the solution/approach being implemented.

    Thanks again -