Technical SEO. What is it?

by Jim August 15, 2017

Welcome back Rankers! I want to talk to you today about a thing called ‘non-technical SEO’. But before I get on to that, this show has been going for thirteen years now and I’d like to thank everyone for subscribing. If you haven’t subscribed, the easiest way is to go to my channel at and simply click on the subscribe button. If you are watching this on an embedded video somewhere you can just click on the video itself and it will take you directly to YouTube.

Non-Technical SEO

Now, non-technical SEO. I’d only heard of this phrase over the past twelve to eighteen months. You can see below that in Google Trends we have ‘technical SEO’ as a search term. I’ve never said ‘technical SEO’ because to me it seemed redundant. To me, SEO by definition is technical. So I was a little confused about what this ‘non-technical SEO’ that I was hearing about actually was. A couple of years ago, somebody came out and said that you don’t need to do technical SEO, which only further confused me!

Technical SEO
Technical SEO growth

So I asked the question last week, “What is non-technical SEO?” We received a bunch of responses, many of which were quite interesting. Most people’s responses were pretty funny. We also had some serious answers. Now Michelle, from Washington state I believe, responded, “Putting your human visitors before (sic) the worrying about the Gods of Google.” I like that, even though I’m not sure I’d call that non-technical SEO.

What is non technical SEO
What is non technical SEO?

If you are a brand manager, product manager, or business owner, when people are talking about non-technical SEO, this is the sort of thing they are talking about. It confused me for a while as well. Myles basically said that anything that involves doing anything that could be construed as being SEO that doesn’t require anything technical. That’s a big one-two. Brett Tabke said it is link building, but he is also right when he says that every couple of years someone pitches something old and calls it new again. Brett has been running Pubcon for many years and says that every year we get a new phrase coming out, but a lot of people do appear to be talking about non-technical SEO and I think it could be confusing to business owners and brand managers.

Brett Tabke on non-technical SEO
Brett Tabke on non-technical SEO

So What Is It?

For me, when people are talking about non-technical SEO they are actually talking about marketing. When we check out the definition of marketing it says, “The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.” Wikipedia states, “The American Marketing Association has defined marketing as, ‘the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

Many of the non-technical elements were content that people were discussing. Some people mentioned titles and those sorts of things. To me, if you are changing titles, that is technical if you are a non-technical person. The majority of non-technical people will give you a blank (and often frightened) look if you ask them to go change the title on a post. For me, that’s at the very least semi-technical by definition.

Things like backlinking, as Brett mentioned, is a marketing exercise, and that’s why I encourage people to treat it as such, not as an SEO exercise. What are you going to be doing if you do marketing backlinking? You’ll be doing press releases, you’ll be trying to get guest posts on blogger’s sites, cross-promotions with other sites, but overall it is a marketing exercise. If you look at backlinking as a marketing exercise as it is simply a product of the very marketing that you are doing. They fall into the arena of promoting your brand or product.

Creation of content was mentioned in the non-technical category. Once again, that’s a marketing exercise. Even though we try to get most of our clients to think about content and create their own content, they simply don’t have the time and therefore we end up doing much of that for them. Essentially it is a marketing exercise. If you are publishing something, that is a marketing exercise. You are getting your brand out in the marketplace. We used to have content marketing, but it’s really just marketing. If you had your own magazine, which is essentially your own website if you like, and it had say 50,000 visitors per month, you would have a strong focus of including quality content in that magazine or website every month. That is a marketing exercise.

I think it’s important to understand that because our industry is such a fluid one, in so much as Google is constantly changing the algorithm daily and other changes are constantly happening, I thought it was important to understand some of the terminology that you may hear out there. If you don’t understand what people are talking about when you hear phrases such as ‘non-technical SEO,’ as I didn’t. I had to ask. The general consensus appears to be that it reflects a marketing exercise. When you consider backlinking and content, don’t think about them as SEO exercises, start thinking of them as marketing exercises.

Hopefully that’s helpful. I’ll see you all next week. Thanks very much. Don’t forget to subscribe and tell your friends! Bye.

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