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Where in the World is the SEO Talent? Part 2

by admin on Jul 29, 2008

in Economy/Recession

Following my last post, Where in the World is the SEO Talent?, I received some great feedback.  One of the biggest questions that was raised was whether or not SEMPO’s membership list provided an accurate representation of the SEO industry.  Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz, suggested using the data from the SEO Survey his team conducted in February 2008.  The information from SEOmoz’s survey has two big advantages over SEMPO’s membership list; a larger sample size (3000+ responses vs 700+ members) and fewer barriers to entry (free vs membership fees of $299 – $5000).

Using the two data sets I compared the following:

  • States with the highest percentages of SEO professionals
  • States with the highest SEOs per capita1
  • Countries with the highest percentages of SEO professionals
  • Countries with the highest SEOs per capita1

US SEO Professionals

According to SEOmoz’s data, California is still king and as with the SEMPO data had the largest number of SEO professionals within the United States.  However, SEOmoz had three states in the top 10 — Washington, North Carolina, and Minnesota — in place of SEMPO’s New Jersey, Virginia, and Arizona.  The remaining seven states were the same.  Although I was surprised when Washington didn’t make the SEMPO top 10 given it is a fast-growing market, you can see it did make the SEOMoz list.  I expect SEOmoz being headquartered in Seattle probably gave the state a boost.

States with the highest % SEO Professionals

States with the most SEOs Per Capita

SEOmoz

SEMPO

SEOmoz

SEMPO

1

California

California

Vermont

Colorado

2

Texas

New York

Washington

New York

3

Illinois

Florida

Oregon

Massachusetts

4

New York

Illinois

Utah

Arizona

5

Washington

Texas

Massachusetts

Connecticut

6

Florida

Massachusetts

Nevada

Vermont

7

Massachusets

New Jersey

Minnesota

New Hamshire

8

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

Colorado

Minnesota

9

North Carolina

Virginia

Idaho

Virginia

10

Minnesota

Arizona

Maine

California

For a visual representation here is a heat map of distributions within the United States.  One of the biggest things to notice with the heat map is that the SEOmoz sample definitely has better coverage throughout the US with representation in every state.  Also while the distribution of SEO professionals is fairly similar, the concentration / per capita maps are very different.  SEOmoz shows that the Western states have more SEOs per capita than the Eastern states, whereas SEMPO, which doesn’t have representation in every state, shows states in the Northeast with a more SEOs per capita.

Global SEO Professionals

When comparing information on a global level the two data sets show similar results.   While in both cases it is no surprise that the United States has the highest percentage of the world’s SEO professionals, this also has a lot to do with SEMPO and SEOmoz being headquartered in the United States.  Globally SEOmoz received responses from more areas of the world and gives us a truer representation of where SEO talent is located globally.  SEOmoz shows that Canada, Lithuania and the United States have the highest SEOs per capita (respectively), compared to the SEMPO data which shows the United States, Sweden, and Canada as the top three.

Countries with the highest % SEO Professionals

Countries with the most SEOs Per Capita

SEOmoz

SEMPO

SEOmoz2

SEMPO3

1

US

US

Canada

United States

2

UK

Canada

Lithuania

Sweden

3

Canada

UK

United States

canada

4

Australia

Spain

New Zealand

Singapore

5

India

Australia

Ireland

Australia

6

France

Sweden

Costa Rica

The United Kingdom

7

Italy

Italy

Croatia

New Zealand

8

Netherlands

Poland

Singapore

The Netherlands

9

Germany

Netherlands

Norway

Spain

10

Spain

India

Slovakia

Belgium

For the heat map I didn’t include the United States in the percentage maps because they completely overwhelmed the rest of the map.   When comparing SEOs per capita, the United States is on par with many other countries heavily involved in SEO; Canada, Australia, and the UK.

All in all the two data sets show two different pictures.  While the percentages of where SEO talent is distributed are similar, the concentrations of SEO talent are very different.  SEOmoz definitely has the better representation of where SEO talent is.  Their data came from a much larger sample size, and they received responses from all 50 US states (SEMPO only 41) as well as more countries (36% vs 16% of the World’s nations).  I still don’t believe these data sets are the end-all/be-all of where SEO talent is, but, I do believe that by using SEOmoz’s data we have a better representation of where SEOs are located globally.

I’d love to hear your feedback and if you know of any other data sources that might have a better representation than SEOmoz and SEMPO.

1 – Per capita was calulated by dividing the number of survey respondents (SEOmoz) or members (SEMPO) in a region by the population of that region

2 – Only countries with more than 3 survey reponses and a population greater than 3.5 million were listed

3 – Only countries with more than 1 SEMPO member and a population greater than 3.5 million were listed

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