Review: SEO Training Masterclass

Author: Ethan Glover
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2022, 2:00 AM UTC
SEO Training Masterclass Course Page

Getting into the world of SEO is not a comfortable subject for most developers. Marketing in general feels slimy to people who don't have to work at impressing people. There are no white lies or tricking a computer into buying something from you with code. That's partly the reason why I believe when developers learn SEO the only thing they really learn is server side rendering and title tags. But I think it's important to get the full story and understand what work is actually needed to get top placement on search engines.

The first thing I want to address before getting to the course, however, is Alex Genadinik. This guy spams the same creepy, most untrustworthy profile picture I've ever seen everywhere. That awful plain red background doesn't exactly help either. When Alex is on camera in his videos he wears a suit jacket and constantly exposes the palms of his hands like he's trying to perform a Jedi mind trick. It's so obvious this guy has read way to many “how to public speaking” Forbes articles.

That being said, I think his SEO course is great. Before I got into web development, I was into SEO and web marketing. As I learned web development I was very disappointed to see the lack of attention SEO gets. It's just not something I see developers focus on. When they do it's more about mobility, speed and server side rendering to get plain HTML on the page. These things do help a lot. Mobility and speed arguably help the most. But it's still important to get into things like schema markup, internal linking, and site structure. I would even argue it's important for developers to understand backlink building even if that's not really a part of their job.

There is often a gap between developers and the people they work with, including marketing. So it's good to have as much overlap knowledge as possible. Link building may feel slimy and unethical. This courses section on getting edu links made me especially uncomfortable. If I knew my company was only hiring students to get University backlinks or targeting Wikipedia sources I would have a major issue. These are things that should always happen naturally. Do not try to trick or network your way into educational resources.

When learning about SEO you'll find people who make it their job to teach SEO. This is like coming across sales people who don't have a product to sell. So they sell selling. It comes across as awkward, out of touch, and simplistic. That's exactly how this course feels when it talks about outdated things like WordPress. Or using GTMetrix and Lighthouse as guides for performance.

As developers, we know to ignore these things. Later you'll learn how to properly use Chrome's performance tab in developer tools as well as Reacts flamegraph, bundle analyzers, and other great tools. If GTMetrix says you have unused JavaScript on a complex app, you can ignore it. In the course Alex complains about Walmart.com's Lighthouse scores, but the website loads very quickly. It is usable in very impressive time on a slow 3G connection.

I know from experience that if you load WordPress down with a bunch of performance plugins, you can improve your Lighthouse scores at the expense of user experience. You'll soon find yourself severely restricting features due to an obsession over basic, and under detailed performance tools. You may even find it necessary to use *shudders* AMP-HTML. Focus on learning how to balance CSR and SSR, learn cache invalidation, component memoization, database optimization and algorithms. Don't worry about GTMetrix.

I think the most key things to learn here are site structure, rich snippets and schema markup. You'll learn a lot about how marketing sees websites and what they're looking for in creating content. This is great knowledge to have as developers.

I think Alex Genadinik does a great job of presenting the information. He covers seemingly every detail. He is obviously deep in the world of SEO and his perspective is a good one to gain if you aren't familiar with that world. The technical knowledge presented isn't great. This isn't a course for developers, but my concern for presenting this course here is that Alex might mislead young developers down the wrong path. But it's an ambitious, huge course that covers things that others just don't which I very much appreciate. That's why I give Alex Genadinik's SEO Training Masterclass a 4 out of 5.