SEO Encompasses more than You Think it Does

KS Vetter

Kristine S. Vetter

By Sara Gabriella

Las Vegas Informer

The saturation of the internet with commerce, journalism, blogging, social media, social causes, entertainment and more fighting for the eyeballs of distracted, overwhelmed viewers makes online marketing a daunting business. The first step in winning the prized attention of potential consumers and fans is being accessible. If they can’t find you—and today that means being ranked on the first page of google for the keywords that people search when looking for your product or service—then you’ve lost before the game has even begun. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process that puts your business or brand front and center for audiences to discover, which is why some of the most sought-after digital marketing pros are those with the expertise to transform complicated, constantly morphing algorithms into the holy grail of a high google ranking.  This is where The Vetters enters the story. Kristine Schachinger, CEO of The Vetters, tells how SEO companies manage to serve their clients in the wild west of SEO.

What does an SEO whiz study in college? “Sociology and Art, of course”, jokes Kristine, who graduated with that degree. Actually, there is no set course that most follow. In a constantly changing industry the skills most needed are not something you can pick up in a book, because by the time a book is published it’s almost obsolete. From the first graphic web design job Kristine landed to her current position as CEO, published writer, speaker, and industry leader, she has never stopped learning and adapting at the breakneck pace of technological innovation. While working on sites for clients like Reba Macintyre and Martha Stewart, the dotcom crash took the industry down. Again, it was the ability to adapt, strategize, keep learning and never stop innovating that separated those who survived to live another day from those who crashed and burned—never to return. After a stint doing design and coding work on a government contract that provided accessibility for the disabled, Kristine decided she was going to focus on arguably the most critical aspect of online marketing, the gateway to online success, SEO.

When I inquired if job security is ever a concern—after all, with every new algorithm update some blogger declares,” SEO is dead”—she flashes an amused smile. “Dying?  It’s not dying. People just don’t know what to call it anymore. Search marketing is the new term because SEO has expanded to encompass website visibility, multiple platforms, online and offline, including social media. As long as there is an algorithm for search and people are using search engines to find what they want and need, it won’t go away.”

With updates being unleashed every time search marketers get a firm handle on the current algorithm, it’s no wonder what keeps Kristine excited about her job is “things are always changing, I never get bored. I don’t have the chance”. And the type of people who thrive in such a turbulent atmosphere? “The people are the most interesting, generous, and supportive you could hope to work with. It’s a tight knit community because one thing you can count on is you will run into a hard job at some point and you will need to collaborate and exchange information. It’s such a voluminous amount of information to keep up on, and it doesn’t slow down, that you can’t possibly know everything. We all help one another out behind the scenes at conferences in discussion groups, that kind of thing”. The fact these computer geek types come from all walks of life adds to the lack of convention and boredom in her industry. “They have all types of backgrounds and paths that brought them to it. It’s a wonderful, diverse set of interests and a unique combination of geek and artist that makes everyone quite interesting.”

As a local entrepreneur Kristine enjoys the flexibility and freedom most. Sure, she clocks in more hours per day than most 9-to-5ers, but those hours are “scheduled the way I want, so it usually doesn’t feel like I’m overloaded”. Like many small business owners, Kristine proudly trades what would no doubt be less stress and more stability working in a corporate setting for the opportunity to work on her own terms—which includes making time to speak at conferences and to write for about the endless changes and challenges in her industry.

What does an experienced professional want small businesses to know about SEO? “When you hire an SEO company, you’re hiring a vast knowledge base and not just a service. SEO firms that are new or fail to keep up with the constant influx of industry changes are inexpensive because they don’t have the knowledge they should. There is no way they can because things change almost every day. You have to pay for positive results, for someone with the right relationships to get the information they need when they need it.”

In parting, I asked Kristine about the most troubling trend in search right now. Without hesitation, she named site scrapping by Google. Site scrapping is when information is taken off a website and shown in the search results of Google, eliminating the need for the person searching to actually click on the website link. Site scrapping will only become more prevalent in the near future as part of Google’s endgame to become a portal site. A recent example is the World Cup, FIFA usually experiences an explosion of traffic every 4 years during the championship games. But this year Google scraped information from their site, such as game times and scores, so people who searched got what they needed from Google’s results and the FIFA page never saw the influx of traffic they should have gotten as the original content creators. As part of the Google knowledge graph, site scraping has become a common practice, a very lucrative one for Google, who reaps the benefits through ad profits, but harmful to everyone else on the web because their traffic is effectively cut off—resulting in a loss of profit. Coming up with strategies to counter tactics like these that can threaten the survival of small businesses is part of what Kristine does on a daily basis. If you are interested in finding out more about The Vetters and what they do, contact Kristine. You can follow her writing at

Sara GabriellaSara Gabriella

Sara is a published writer, marketing professional and TV Host. Her writing career has taken her from corporate copywriting in San Francisco to creating content for top network TV shows in Los Angeles, and finally to online and print media in Las Vegas.

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