search engine academy certification seal from 2002

The Certification Seal that I Received in 2002

Search Engine Academy training is expanding into the Rocky Mountain West.  That’s where I come in, since I run the newly christened Rocky Mountain Search Engine Academy. I first encountered the Search Engine Academy in its original incarnation as Search Engine Workshops shortly after I started my Grand Junction, Colorado web development company FLEXISS.   Before meeting John Alexander and Robin Nobles, who conducted all the workshops back in those days, I belonged to that group of people who thought if you built it, they would come.

In fact that kind of easy success had been my introduction to websites when I first developed a website for my family business in 1996.  People found it, magically it seemed (and without Google, no less).  They even ordered, although the e-commerce mechanics were pretty crude.   So it seemed a natural projection, especially for someone who liked to mess about with code, to start building websites full time, which is why I launched FLEXISS in 2001.

Before I knew what was happening I was building websites and developing code for Realtors and e-commerce merchants, non-profits and professional organizations, individuals and businesses…but it soon became apparent that regardless of the type of website someone wanted to develop, there was one question that, even in the early years of the new millennium, was trumping everything else: “How do I get higher rankings on the search engines?”  Shortly that became simply “How do I show up on Google?”

Sorting out SEO Fact and Fiction

Like most other web devs, I read the odd bit here and there about the search engines and optimizing for them, but I had this sense that it was half rumor and half truth.  The problem was I didn’t know which half was which.

It was around that time that I noticed a couple of names that kept cropping up when I was searching for reliable information on search engine optimization: John Alexander and Robin Nobles.   So when later I saw that John was offering an SEO workshop in Denver, Colorado, I decided the best way to take my knowledge out of the realm of rumor and into the realm of fact was to sign up.  It was a good decision.  In 2004 I returned to one of John and Robin’s workshops for the advanced version of the training.  It was only at those SEO classes that I started to learn that Search Engine Optimization was neither snake oil nor voodoo magic, but a disciplined profession.

Wandering in the Wilderness of Web Development

Nevertheless, I didn’t commit completely to the world of SEO.  I strayed off the shining path and into the muddy waters of garden variety web development, business management, PHP programming, HTML and CSS, dabbling in Javascript, figuring out project management, hiring and firing staff…well, any of you who run a small business probably already know this drill.  As you might imagine, that wore me out.  Through it all I became increasingly frustrated at how many of my clients would hire me to build a nice website but then have no one visit it.  They would be invisible and wonder why.

Late in 2010 I became convinced that what business people and web developers need is not so much another website, or another website technology.  Instead they need coaching in the art and science of SEO and related fields of Inbound Marketing.  During the last 7 years I’ve kept my hand in the SEO game, teaching basic SEO workshops to my clients and working with a few favorite clients.  But it was only in November I made the decision to leave the world of web development behind completely and to plant my feet – and my focus – firmly in the field of Search Engine and Social Media consulting and teaching.

Ross Barefoot, SEO Instructor

I can't promise you an ocean setting, but I can give you the best SEO Instruction, thanks to the Search Engine Academy

A New Focus for Me: Search Engine Academy Trainer

My desire is to help business and web professionals achieve that elusive something without which the most compelling website is a waste of money: visibility.  After many years I got back in touch with John Alexander and got current on all the exciting developments at what had now become the Search Engine Academy.   Conversation led to negotiation, negotiation led to agreement, and now I’m pleased to be joining the Search Engine Academy as a full-time SEO trainer.  Although I’ve taught SEO Workshops in my region of Western Colorado for years, I’m thrilled with the level of research, insight, experience, and instruction I’ve encountered among the instructors of the current Search Engine Academy, and I’m excited to be able to bring that level of SEO training to the place I call home: the Rocky Mountain West.

So, if you happen to be in any of the states adjoining Colorado and Utah, come out some time and join me for the finest search engine optimization training to be found anywhere.  I’ll be looking forward to it.