SEO Job Titles: The Curator

An SEO by any other name would still have a splitting headache. I stole my job title from Wil Reynolds from SEER Interactive, who calls himself “Founder & SEO” (a play on Founder & CEO). I’ve also always loved Rand Fishkin‘s title as “The Wizard of Moz”. I just never found a fun title of my own, one that felt right, until now.

Nice to meet you, I’m the Curator. Yesterday I got a call from an old client who was migrating their website using a new website designer (don’t get ahead of me now!). They wanted access to their Rackspace hosting so they could point their domain name to their new hosting. If you possess any knowledge of DNS you’d know that a service like GoDaddy or Network Solutions is where you go to point the domain, not to the websites host, and if you’d pointed the domain through Rackspace’s DNS and then closed that hosting account after the move, the DNS record would likely also be deleted.

Doctor Who The Curator Tom Baker Matt Smith

This was not my circus, and they were not my monkeys, but they called me and so I had to help. I’d set things up correctly the first time (including non-indexed vanity URLs that are now being indexed and dorking their SEO) and I consider it a point of professional pride that it not get screwed up.

While on the phone with their new web designer, an older gentleman by even Doctor Who’s standards, I asked his level of comfort with DNS (he said 7 out of 10) as what he was asking didn’t make sense to me. He got frustrated and told me that he had been doing this since before Google existed and I shouldn’t doubt him. I couldn’t help myself, I snarkily asked if perhaps that is why he’d gotten it so wrong?

I’ve been a consultant, and a mentor, an SEO and a creative director, yet I still get asked “so what exactly do you do?” Well now I have an answer: I’m the Curator, notice I didn’t say “a curator” I am THE Curator. Like a museums goalie it’s my job to keep the crap out and through careful curation ensure that everything is done correctly.

It sounds cocky, and I certainly am a little cocky, but at the end of the day I can only fight the truth for so long. Businesses need their own curator. A curator protects a business from busy work, and busy work is when “we need to do something” is followed up by doing anything, without strategy, without context, and without consideration of what might get screwed up in the process. The worst kind of busy work, the work done for the sake of doing something, is the busywork that just has zero impact, and it happens every day. Like a car stuck in the mud, burning fuel to go nowhere.

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Our newest team member Simon, who comes to us from Clear Channel, told me how clients would gripe about font choices and colors and be the client from hell. He didn’t have the say to override their wishes, even for their own good. That isn’t how I operate. I’ve often said that we act as the marketing director for companies who don’t have one, and that’s still the best description I can think of.

You need a curator. A good one. You need one in your personal finances, often in your dating life, and ALWAYS when it comes to marketing your business. There is simply too much that could go wrong, such as your vanity URL getting indexed in Google resulting in a duplicate content penalty, or your e-mail becoming disconnected because the designer didn’t do a whois to see that it was hosted through Google Aps and not the web host.

Find a marketer that you trust, whether in-house or a third party like us, and let them be the curator of your success. The alternative is busy work, and friends don’t let friends waste their time spinning their wheels in that mud.