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Three Reasons an SEO Should Learn Programming Languages

June 13, 2011  

In a post at Conversation Marketing, Ian Lurie argues that every SEO should learn at least two programming languages. And if you think you already meet that standard, consider this: "HTML doesn't count as a programming language," he says. "Javascript might, but not if you're using it to create popup windows." So why should your knowledge go above and beyond the basics?

Lurie supports his two-language rule with arguments like these:

You don't gain much insight from fluency in only one programming language. "You can easily learn one language and have no grasp of programming," he notes. "Learn two, though, and you learn some of the stuff that all programming languages have in common. You have to focus on the method as much as the syntax."

You make smarter requests when you understand the challenges faced by developers. Until you've experienced the frustration of trying to implement what sounds like a minor change—but isn't—you won't grasp a developer's hostile reaction. "Programming is hard. I don't care what the elite say," Lurie insists. "You're probably asking them to do something ridiculous like change every third instance of 'car' to 'automobile.' If they're going to suffer ... they'd rather be building the next Twitter."

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