Posted by Nick Gerner

We’ve been working pretty hard on pulling together the numbers from 3000+ responses to the SEO Industry Survey, graphing the results, and writing up some thoughts in an article on the SEO Industry Survey.  We also picked a winner for the iPhone and will be contacting this person privately to notify him or her.  Being the new guy at SEOmoz, the gang thought it would be a good idea for me to pull myself out of the networking closet and introduce myself while I introduce the results of the survey.

I joined the engineering team with Jeff and the gang a couple of months ago, and I’ve been working on some slick new tools, as well as improving existing ones.  In addition to software architecture, I also have an interest in data, so I spent most of last couple of weeks (and weekends) digging through the (many) survey results.  I won’t go into too many details here (check out the article!), but I did want to call out a couple of interesting points.  If you have any comments about the article, feel free to drop them here.

Before I dig in, let me give you an IANAL-like disclaimer: I am not a statistician.  Correlation is not causation, so we’re not trying to call out cause-and-effect for any of these trends.  If you are a statistician, please point out any mistakes I have made, or feel free to make any other observations you might have.  We did not compute the margins of error for these results, or do any other statistical wizardry.  Rather, we’re hoping to release the results to you so you can dig in and find the interesting results.  I’ll include more about that near the end of the post.

First, I wonder from time to time what it is successful people do that I do not.  I know income and success can be two very different things, but since I have income data here, that’ll have to do.  One thing I did notice was an interesting trend in income compared to number of daily blog feeds consumed:

SEO income by number of daily blog feeds

What you can (or hopefully can) see is that to the left of the chart, near the $30k/year level, the percentage of respondents with 100+ daily blog feeds is less than the average: for the $30k group, the tan bar is less than the average of the other bars.  But once you get to the $150k/year or even $250k+/year level, the percentage with 100+ daily feeds is above average: the tan bar for the $150k-250k group is way above the average of the others.  Hmm… sounds like you better add SEOmoz to your feed reader.

Ok that one’s a little tongue-in-cheek, as well as being statistically tenuous (correlation != causation).  Check out a more serious look at income in the article.  But for now, how about this data:

do webmasters believe verifying with Webmaster Central has negative effects?

This one’s a little more revealing.  Only a small percentage (~12%) of respondents to our survey believe that verifying with Webmaster Central has negative consequences, which will make Google happy.  However, nearly 42% are unsure about this issue!  That’s a lot of confused webmasters.

I promised just a taste here and that’s what you’ve gotten.  There’s plenty more discussion in the article.  For instance, in addition to what I’ve already discussed, we’ve got information about monthly PPC spending (that surprised me!), as well as all the results from lots of questions about demographics, getting started in the industry, occupations, employers, tools, media, and, my favorite, SEO speculation.  So go check it out.

If you’re interested in playing with the data in a more in-depth way, you can download the data (be sure to right-click and save as) in csv or sql formats.  The csv has enough rows that importing it crashes OpenOffice, so your best bet might be something like SQLite.  The schema is pretty straightforward… well, somewhat.  If you need some tips, feel free to comment below or private message me and I’ll try to get you squared away.

It’s been a pleasure to sit on the other side of the blog, and I’m looking forward to sitting on the other side of the screen around here some more.  Cheers!

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