This morning, in a post over @ SearchEngineWatch Blog, you’ll find my set-up coining the phrase “IT fiedom.” Here’s the frightening back-story. 🙂

1: The It Manager handles hundreds of thousands of PPC dollars, is in charge of SEO (organic optimization) and has a three person staff who don’t have job titles, can’t explain what they do, and double as Microsoft Word Install-artists on 347 company computers that break. They do whatever they do between stints on the help desk and make paper brochures in Microsoft Publisher and PhotoShop.

2: There is no commitment to continuing education in a field which changes by the second. There is no conference schedule for ANYONE let alone the CTO/IT Manager/Belly-Crawler. Nobody’s going to SES NYC, SMX West, or PubCon THIS year…again. Let me tell ya Virginia you have to study much more. There’s GrayWolf and Rand, & Danny. You need to read everything you can every day and supplant by hanging out in true SEM communities, replete with passionate dialog among peers that summarize it for you.

3: The Chief IT Elf does not have a StumbleUpon account, doesn’t research appropriate micro-communities and the corporate site gets no social media traffic, let alone conversion. They’ve barely heard of Digg, never gotten to hang out and watch Jenifer Laycock and still buy links. A walk on the wild side is Panama Advanced Match- if they even know what it is.

4: There are KILLER systems in place with homemade conversion tracking. The IT Emperor ordered Lyris but doesn’t think ClickTracks analytics is important so he didn’t get it. This in itself shows a serious lack of clothes.

5: Track this: department of 4, product in the 16-34 demographic and Mr. Green Jeans has NO idea how to even think about organic or paid Facebook ads, let alone YouTube. Ms. IT Goddess thinks social media means AIM and once read TopRank. Hell she once got a date on Yahoo personals.

6: The in-house Internet Marketing staff is just migrated to a “gonna be delivered next week” CMS and the homepage HTML Title Tag reads “Welcome to Our Business | Home.” At the same time the staff scratches their chin on the desk and wonders why the hell that PPC costs are rising and there are no organic conversions whatsoever.

7: When the SEM firm comes at the invitation of the VP he forgets to send the memo. The fiefdom thinks that the SEM firm is coming to RECEIVE SEM advice. The VP forgot to tell them that the meeting was to discuss to pros and cons of dismantling the department. (Yes, this actually happened).

8: 3 out of 4 people in the department never heard Barry Schwartz and ask if he pitches for the Yankees. Danny Sullivan …isn’t that some Irish song? 🙂 Even Mr. IT Vunderbar never heard of DoFollow or Andy Beard
9: The IT Czar does not respect what it means to be a top Sphinn user. That’s a no-brainer. They don’t know the pleasure of a 1020 post. Tamar needs to give these monkeys a good talking-to!

10: This creepy feeling has set in that 220K in salaries & benefits for your little in-house IT-SEM department on TOP of the wasted cash for utter lack of organic prominence is pouring salt after iodine into a rapidly dwindling market share wound. There goes your bonus Roy Rogers.

Has Your Company Created an IT SEM Feifdom?
Do you secretly wish you had someone to help who has full time to devote to SEM? Consider whether your company is finally big enough to have an SEM manager to work with the IT manager. Get them together in a room and consider hiring an outside SEM firm to bring research and methodology to the table.

  • Ian

    Marty, have you been spying on my meetings?

    I think you just described every Fortune 500 company in America…

  • Marty Weintraub

    @Ian: That’s funny…and yes, I was spying on your meeting.

  • Local SEO Guide

    Marty you are the Lester Bangs of SEM blogging.

  • Marty Weintraub

    @ local: I had to Google Lester Bangs. I am speechless.

  • Lee Odden

    Re: Lester Bangs – that is quite a compliment and this post is warranted. BTW, Marty, you really should see “Almost Famous”

  • Marty Weintraub

    @ Lee: Thanks, I’m looking for the movie now. 🙂

  • Dharmesh Shah

    Great article. I have a bunch of companies I know where this hits close to home.

    By the way, FYI the link to Rand is incorrectly not pointing to SEOmoz as was probably intended (it’s a duplicate of the link to Gray Wolf).

  • John Santangelo

    Love this post. Having worked in giant insurance company trying to make changes, I’ve witnessed some real *smart* decisions. Tried my hardest to make improvements, and I did quite a bit, but in the end, a year and a half of that place was all I could stand. Sometimes it’s just better to work with companies/clients/people who are willing to learn and change than to dragging the unwilling along.

  • Marty Weintraub

    @John Santangelo: The most important thing is for clients or in-house brass, to make a full commitment to doing the level best they can. Literally, some rigs can’t pull some things off. I just wanna’ know they’re trying. Thanks for stopping by.