SEO Services For Serious ROI. Blog Posts For Serious SEOs.

Insightful Interview With Ex Googler + New Tool

James Norquay did a fascinating interview with a former member of the search quality team. There’s some FUD, of course, but much more honesty than we’re accustomed to from Google.

A sweet highlight of the interview: Formerly Google-only internal data is being made available via the new NetComber tool. It combines lots of data points to try and show networks of sites – something Google obviously uses to fight Blackhats. I had a try on the tool and while some of the results are interesting, others are underwhelming and make you wonder how accurate the results are… though there’s still self-doubt if it’s not your own incredulity that’s at fault. I.e. That the tool is right and your skepticism is wrong. Should be interesting to see how it evolves and if/when SEOmoz buy it.

Explaining Metrics of Google Analytics on Steroids (GAS) by dp6 and Cardinal Path

Via, we recently installed Google Analytics on Steroids (GAS) for a client, and observed some unknown metrics. I emailed the developers at Brazil’s dp6 and they explained what was going on.

For those unfamiliar with GAS, it’s got a Site App (or standalone version from Git) that enhances what your installation tracks, giving you tracking for PDF downloads, video views and more.

I asked André Mafei and Daniel Focas Carrer of Brazil’s dp6 some questions and they graciously provided clarification. (more…)

Ryan Kent of Vitopian Teaches SEO Consulting

Ryan Kent of VitopianRyan Kent runs an SEO shop (find him also on LinkedIn and G+) growing exclusively based on word of mouth, and has also dominated SEOmoz Q&A to become SEOmoz’s top member in what seems a rather short time. I interviewed this rising star of the SEO scene and he shared his knowledge of the business very generously… (more…)

Aleyda Solis On Spanish SEO, Networking Tools & International SEO Project Management

Aleyda Solis, Spanish SEO ConsultantGab: Aleyda Solis is one of the savviest SEO experts in Spain and even in international SEO, which fact is obvious from her role managing an SEO team in the highly competitive field of Forex, or Foreign Exchange trading. We recently chatted over email about her

In addition, she runs a SEO consultancy called Orainti, and is prominent in the search space, writing at State of Search and her SEO blog; co-organizing the SEO+You meetup in Madrid; speaking at SEO conferences and tweeting SEO news and resources SEO blog.

I’m from Montreal Quebec, where a large percentage of people only speak French, and this slows the transfer of technology there. To what extent is that an international problem? Do Spaniards also lag behind the English-speaking world in technology?

Yes, in general that is an international problem and that happens for the Spanish speaking world too.

I think it’s always like that in technology: new products and services are usually launched first for the US market in English and later for the rest of the world.

You can also see that with online marketing and SEO related news, for example, Google updates are almost always launched first in English for the US and the latest information is usually in English.

At the end of the day this makes that for SEO it is fundamental to speak English in order to be updated in our field.

Who are the top Spanish-language bloggers you read?

Most of the blogs I read are in English –because of what we talked before-, nonetheless in Spanish I highly enjoy blogs like:

And of course the posts shared by Spanish SEO colleagues and friends, such as Lakil (, SEOcom (, Lino (, Jose Llinares (, Iñaki (, Fernando Muñoz (, Jose Moreno (, MJ Cachon ( and Christian (

Share some social media networking secrets. What do you do for successful outreach?

1. Identify and connect

Who do I share interests with? Who can I learn from? Who and where are the leaders of my sector? Connect with them!

A great tool for this is

2. Observe and Listen

Learn from what is shared. Take a look of what is successful within your audience. Analyze and understand its behavior. A useful tool to do it is

3. Interact nicely and create value

Be honest, provide relevant feedback in a nice way. Share useful information to your audience according to what you have identified.

You’re speaking soon at SEOmoz’s MozCon. What’s the topic of your presentation and what will people take away from it?

My presentation at MozCon will be about Successful SEO Project Management, where I will be sharing best practices and tools to effectively managing SEO projects.

I have had the chance to wear many hats in very different scenarios as SEO that have given me the chance to learn the importance of good project management.

First as an SEO specialist, then as Head of the SEO department in an Online Marketing agency, later as an In-House SEO and now I’m a mix, of an Independent SEO consultant with my own company and also a Global SEO manager working remotely for an online company.

At the moment I work with people who are in Moscow, Madrid, Berlin, Podgorica and New York parallely so an effective management and workflow for the SEO process is fundamental to make things happen as initially defined.

Unfortunately I’ve seen SEO processes fail not due to he lack of SEO capacity or understanding but because of aspects that are more related to the coordination of a multidisciplinary, multidepartment project.

My goal is that after the presentation even highly experienced SEOs that will be attending to MozCon can have a much more specific criteria and roadmaps to follow when facing diverse SEO project scenarios that can be sometimes complex to manage.

What advice would you give to beginning, Spanish-focused SEOs?

Keep updated
Twitter is a great platform not only to interact with more experienced SEO specialists you can learn from but also an excellent way to keep updated with the latest SEO news and identify new SEO resources to use.

Develop your own tests
If you don’t apply what you read or think might work you will never develop a real advantage over your competitors. Besides validating what is shared you also need to create your own hypotheses and check if they work. Like this you will also gain experience, which is very important if someone is starting.

Connect with others

Attend to local SEO events. For example you can attend for free in Madrid to SEO+You)  -an event that I organize with other SEO colleagues-, there’s also another great event called Evento SEO and in Barcelona there’s Clinic SEO. ??You also have local SEO conferences, like Congreso SEO Profesional , where you will have the opportunity to learn from and network with experienced SEO specialists.

Identify your USP

There are already a lot of SEOs out there, so what can you offer that they don’t? What is your USP (unique selling proposition)? Usually you can find this when you have already developed a bit of experience, see what are you the best at and what you love the most in SEO. Maybe it’s link-building or technical SEO, the important thing is to identify it and make the most out of it to provide a unique value to your clients and have an advantage over your competitors.

Have fun

If you’ve started doing SEO because you’ve been told is great but you’re not enjoying it really… you should ask yourself if this is really what you want. Remember: you should always love what you do and have fun!


Chris Dyson On The Business of SEO Consulting: Learning, Prospecting, Partnering, Client Expectations and more!

Chris DysonI recently sat down with Chris Dyson over email and we got to chat about a topic many SEOs regularly ask about: how do you run an SEO consulting business?? Of course, our interview ranged wider and addressed topics such as, but even those essentially are tangents of our main discussion.

Interview With Jon Rognerud On Advanced SEO

Did a little interview you might find interesting with Jon Rognerud. We talk about advanced SEO, trends and so forth. If you want a condensed class in advanced SEO, go listen in. (The transscription is so-so.)


BookCrossing – Marketing Insights From A Unique Online/Offline Community is a unique book giving community where people label their books, give them to other members to read and then those members pass them on further to others. In 11 years it’s grown to over 1M members, with 9M books in circulation.


How BookCrossing Works
How BookCrossing Works: Label your books, share them with others, and follow its travel worldwide!

Heather Mehra PedersenIn this unique interview, Co-Founder & Director of Finance Heather Mehra-Pedersen shares what has helped grow their community, motivate their members and ultimately build the business. (more…)

Consulting vs Building An Agency: How I Made My Choice

My friend Andrew Breem of Outshine Online Marketing asked:

“As far as I can tell, you’ve built your business as a sole consultant as opposed to say building out a big team. Was this a conscious decision or did it just evolve? I’m at a cross roads now where I’m trying to decide exactly what route to take and I’m considering both approaches. I’d love to hear your opinion on why you made the choice you did, if you don’t mind sharing. ”

A: It’s not been my conscious decision, it’s just been a product of circumstances, really. I started consulting when I was turning 19 (started SEO 6 months before ;) ) and I couldn’t build an agency while being in university. So that was 2006-2010.

I moved to Israel December 30 2010 and then was back in school studying Hebrew for 5 hours/day for the next 5 months. Then I got engaged and was busy planning the wedding with my then-fiance (now wife). Around the same time I also finally launched my book and obviously that took a fair amount of effort.

The closest I came to running an agency was doing a decent volume of guest posting where I subcontracted with up to 12 bloggers at a time. Problem was that with monthly-renewal contracts you don’t have the stability to hire people full time so you’re limited in what you can build.

That’s for circumstances.

For my personal intentions, I did want to build a shiny big agency when I was new and starting out. SEOmoz’s high rates and cool work really motivated me to imitate them … until, like them, I realized that SEO services have limited scale.

I’m pretty ambitious in terms of the size of the business I want to build. When I see brilliant SEOs like my friends at NVI, Distilled, SEER Interactive, Portent and elsewhere “only” growing organically as opposed to the growth of a Facebook or a Twitter, it just makes it painfully obvious to me that the way to go for mega-success is to be the market owner – the Walmart, eBay, Odesk – instead of the guy owning a stall in the market. I have some ideas on that and hopefully I’ll get around to building a startup eventually.

For the time being, circumstances are such that am going to continue offering consulting services for the foreseeable future. I’m still having fun with SEO, with my book, and I’ve also got a stint in the Israeli army coming up – I just got my first summons as a draft-eligible 24 year old. Consulting and book sales give me the flexibility I need in my work.

Brian Wallace On Redesigns And Usability

Brian Wallace runs NowSourcing, an infographics-specialist consulting shop :). They recently redesigned and Brian was kind enough to tell me why and what the process was!

Sphinnterview With David Wallace

This interview with David Wallace of SEM Firm SearchRank was part of a series of interviews I ran with prominent members of Sphinn. Note that these were carried out a couple of years ago, and thus are partly dated – but also interesting to see what still holds true and what predictions have come true.

See the full list of previous interviews at the end of this post, for more interviews. David Wallace

1) What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn?


Ted Ulle aka Tedster On Information Architecture

Ted UlleTed Ulle is a veteran member of WebmasterWorld, where he’s better known as Tedster. He moderates the HTML and Google SEO forums there, as well as serving as an Administrator. He’s on Pubcon’s advisory board, the chief search strategist at Converseon, a global online marketing agency for enterprise-level companies, and is on Twitter as TedUlle. You can find out more about Converseon and Ted’s professional affiliations at the end of the post.

I saw Ted give a remarkable and controversial presentation at Pubcon Las Vegas 2010, where he notably criticized most implementations of dropdown navigation as overstuffed. We spoke afterwards and Ted consented to give me the following interview. For answers that required clarification, I inserted an asterisk at the appropriate spot and added the clarification question and answer immediately after.

1) Shari Thurow criticizes SEOs who organize information architecture (IA) around keywords. ( ) Assuming you have content that matches those keywords, what is the problem with that practice? Isn’t that “siloing” or “theming” your navigation?

How Fastcase’s Innovative Thinking Is Revolutionizing Legal Search

Ed Walters

Ed Walters, Fastcase CEO

Fastcase is a new legal research tool that is bringing cool lateral thinking to the traditional problem of serving up legal search results. The results are some highly impressive innovations both in the algorithms that sort and rank the results, as well as in how the results are presented.

Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase, gave me an interview to describe their process.

1) You found that legal research has a three way tension between cases with the most citations, cases from the highest courts, and recency of the decision. How does your algorithm solve that problem?

Sphinnterview With Tad Chef

Recently, Sphinn has changed from a vote-driven (read:clique) system to editor-driven (read:non-social) system. This explains any things that seem out of place. Besides that, this continues our Sphinn Interview series, which previously featured Pat Altoft, Sebastian, and Dave Harry, Bob Gladstein, Bill Hartzer and Wiep Knol.

Tad ChefTadeusz Szewcyk, aka Tad Chef for short, does German SEO and writes the longstanding and successful SEO 2.0 blog.

1) What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn?

A name and reputation in the global SEO industry. Ability to discuss virtually with industry leaders. Being bookmarked, stumbled and mixxed by people who notice me on Sphinn. Getting authority, topical links. Ego massage.

2) Share 3 – 5 key elements of your success with Sphinn.

Avatar, networking with other Sphinn users on many different platforms, catchy titles, being provocative without harming people, voting for others.

3) What other social networks do you participate in? Can you share your usernames there, and what type of content you’d consider sharing with the other members of those sites as well what you wouldn’t pass on?

StumbleUpon – onreact-com, Mixx –, Pownce, Blogcatalog

4) What features (besides those announced, like “Mark as spam/Bury”) would you like to see on Sphinn?

Submissions and votes per URL view, report shady SEO directly to Matt Cutts, Sphinn member of the day Entrecard like rotation on Search Engine Land.

5) Are you a socialist or a medium? [A weak attempt at playing on 'social media' that no one I asked this of understood. = bad joke]


6) Define the term: “Sphinn doctor.” [Ditto, except Tad got this hehe.]
I don’t like postmodern puns. Done them when postmodernism was en vogue and I wanted to be a linguist 15 years ago.

7) Besides only submitting their own stuff or only sphinning their own stuff, what are some common mistakes people make with social media?

Focusing on quantity not quality. Focusing on traffic not people. Focusing on traffic not reputation. Being too much about business.

8 ) Tell us a minimum 3 non-Sphinn items about yourself that people could use to catch your eye on Sphinn (i.e. to Sphinnbait you).

Art, design, politics.

9) Which of Cialdini’s 6 principles do you feel most important to gaining influence and why? Can you share some anecdotes?

Reciprocation, liking, authority: I had a really tough time on Sphinn to get noticed, none of my first 20 posts went hot.

Only after getting linked, stumbled and being voted for by me people started noticing me. Then they liked me so much I was submitted and voted up on Sphinn with everything, even stuff that was mediocre.

Now this phase is over but I already gained the authority to make people read my stuff at least. So if my submission rocks it will still get hot.

10) What is the future of social media?

Social media will go mainstream for real while the audiences will get scattered around many interconnected platforms.

[Ed: Astonishingly accurate prediction!]

For more awesome interviews, add my rss feed to your reader or get my latest posts by email!

Sphinnterview With Bill Hartzer

Recently, Sphinn has changed from a vote-driven (read:clique) system to editor-driven (read:non-social) system. This explains any things that seem out of place. Besides that, this continues our Sphinn Interview series, which previously featured Pat Altoft, Sebastian, and Dave Harry, Bob Gladstein and Wiep Knol.

Bill HartzerBill Hartzer is an expert SEO who also engages in corporate B2B website marketing.

1) What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn?

As an online marketer, it’s important to have a presence in the industry. (more…)

Sphinnterview With Wiep Knol

Recently, Sphinn has changed from a vote-driven (read:clique) system to editor-driven (read:non-social) system. This explains any things that seem out of place, as well as Twitter not being mentioned). Besides that, this continues our Sphinn Interview series, which previously featured Bob Gladstein, Pat Altoft, Sebastian, and Dave Harry.

Wiep Knol Wiep runs the popular Link Building Blog aka, and co-founded which you’ll agree is pretty self-explanatory. (It’s part of the inspiration for me to get off my ass and do something with …)

1) What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn?

Sphinn turned out to be not only a great networking tool, but also the perfect place to find outstanding SEO related info. (more…)

Sphinnterview With Bob Gladstein

Recently, Sphinn has changed from a vote-driven (read:clique) system to editor-driven (read:non-social) system. This explains any things that seem out of place. Besides that, this continues our Sphinn Interview series, which previously featured Pat Altoft, Sebastian, and Dave Harry.

Bob GladsteinBob Gladstein is the chief boss man (my words) at Raise My Rank, which offers SEO services in Somerville, MA. To thank him for his kindness with this interview, I’ve hotlinked the picture on his about page. ;D

1) What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn?

Andrew Warner Interview (Mixergy Founder) is one of my new faourite sites, because it’s got a huge archive of high quality interviews with fascinating people! The guy making it happen first and foremost is Andrew Warner, whom I got to interview. Here’s what we discussed.

Interview W/ Pat Altoft On Sphinn

Patrick Altoft directs search for Branded3, a Leeds-based full service digital agency. He also runs the popular Blogstorm SEO blog and is a pretty interesting guy to chat to overall! Hit him up if you’re looking for search services in the UK! Patrickt Altoft

Interview W/ Sebastian, of Sebastian’s Pamphlets, on Sphinn

Sebastian is the technical genius and SEO behind Sebastian’s Pamphlets. This warm fellow’s well-known avatar is rather ironic – a crab! Sebastian the crab (more…)

Sphinn Interview Series: David ‘theGypsy’ Harry

A long, long time ago… almost 2 years to the month… I asked a bunch of cool Sphinners I was getting to know for their advice and insights on that great search marketing network we know as Sphinn. For various reasons, I never published those interviews – until now! (SEOptimise reminded me.) In light of Twitter and Facebook‘s exponential growth in the past 2 years, the changes in the link graph this has engendered, and related developments, these answers are pretty interesting.

Dave runs the seo training center known as the Dojo. He’s got some remarkable testimonials, not least of which because of who is giving them. I recognized 4-5 names.

David Harry

“Well sheee-it there monsieur Gabs, not sure what use this will be but I said I would give ‘er a go and I shall…. Right away I just wanted to say that while I appreciate your kind words and invitation to get social, I spend as much time playing the devil’s advocate in the world of Social Media Marketing as I do supporting it. I am certainly not a social media darling ( almost a Social Media Ninja though….)

Without further ado… let’s get into it;

What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn ?

Well, I suppose the real benefits have been;

1. Making new friends
2. Padding my address book
3. Maxing out my reader
4. Some increased visibility
5. And of course access to learning something new every day :) (more…)

Google Is Fine With Guest Posts

I recently read Rhys Wynne’s interpretation of John Mueller’s comment that it’s better to add content on your own site than to add it elsewhere. I disagree strongly that this is the right reading of John’s comment. There are numerous other readings of it:

- A bunch of links to a thin site (e.g. without valuable content) doesn’t make that site a positive user experience. So don’t guest post at the expense/neglect of your own site. (more…)

Inverse Document Frequency In Plain English – Dr E. Garcia

SEW Moderator OrionI recently had the opportunity to discuss some information retrieval theory with Dr Edel Garcia, who is a researcher and professor in the field, as well as a longtime SEW Forum moderator (aka Orion). He helped me understand what Inverse Document Frequency (IDF) is, and what it has been used for in the information retrieval field. Dr. Garcia generously agreed to let me publish our conversations on this blog.

(Update: Apparently Dr. Garcia is no longer active at SEW as a moderator.) (more…)

Ruud Hein: “How I Stay Ahead of The SEO Pack”

Ruud HeinRuud Hein and I conducted this interview by email, which is why some of the tantalizing bits he leaves off on don’t see a followup – it was a preset bunch of questions. In any case, the interview is about business, but gets personal too – all of which makes for a great read, imho. Enjoy! -Gab

You’re known as a technically savvy SEO, as seen via your Search Explained series. Does that interest come from your programming background? Either way, can you share some detail?

Sure. (more…)

Bruce Clay: “How I Built My SEO Business”

Bruce, how did you make the transition from being an SEO consultant to an SEO agency?

Photo credit: Jon Hochman of Hochman Internet Marketing Consultants (more…)

Susan Gunelius Shares Her Experience Writing Google Blogger For Dummies

Susan Gunelius recently published her third book, Google Blogger For Dummies (aff). Susan’s a friend, expert copywriter and marketing consultant, business and personal blogger (and weblogs guide), and she has graciously granted me this interview. You can download some free sample chapters she has courteously provided, with Wiley Publishing’s approval (and encouragement!). (more…)

How Do International Search Marketers Deal With Currency Fluctuations?

It’s not secret that Canadian businesses are strongly affected by how the Canadian dollar fares against the US dollar. Search marketing businesses are like others in this respect, and here are some of the responses I got over Twitter when asking some Canadian and international friends about how they dealt with international currency fluctuations. (more…)

Cited by CNet’s Stephen Shankland

Stephen Shankland blogs for CNet on Digital Media, and he’s a reporter who learns fast and understands search marketing pretty well, especially for someone who’s not immersed in it 24/7 like many of us search geeks. Yesterday, he wrote a post highlighting some of the recent controversies (more…)

Domains Are NOT Real Estate, KW Research as I. Property: Internet Law Experts Speak Out!

Are domain names the internet’s real estate? Can keyword research be considered intellectual property? I put these and other questions to Eric Goldman and Mark J Rosenberg, both of whom are speaking on SES San Jose’s legal panel. (Clarification: This is an interview, not coverage of an SES session.)

550 Subscribers, Newspaper Article and other Milestones

Things have been absolutely incredible here lately, as I’ve achieved a variety of milestones.

1. Matt Cutts complimented me and by recognizing that I was one of the first two people (with Mike VanDeMar of the Smackdown blog) to notice Google indexing site searches. (more…)

The Triple Threat Interview: Stuntdubl, Graywolf and Sugarrae on Independent Webmastering

Todd Malicoat (Stuntdubl SEO Consulting and Clientside SEM), Michael Gray (Graywolf’s SEO blog) and Rae Hoffman (Sugarrae Website Audits & SEO) were lucky enough to kick back with me at SMX West, so in my infinite generosity I decided to let them school me on some of the finer points of being an independent webmaster. This is intermediate level stuff mostly (my fault for not having better questions; see the end of this post for your chance to followup with your own questions), but there are a few nuggets in here for those of you who pay attention. (more…)

Aaron Wall on Growth Areas, Independent Webmastering, Hiring and More (Interview)

Aaron Wall is a teacher, SEO, marketing expert and generally a very bright guy [obviously, he agreed to do an interview with me ;) ]. Beyond the site we all know and love, he’s also the man behind Search Engine History, Blackhat SEO and a variety of others. Most of you reading this probably know these things, so let’s just move on with the interview. As always, there’ll be free dofollow links in updates to the post for intelligent comments and particularly if you find the source for some of these questions…

1) Where do you think are the most promising areas for testing and experimenting, as far as discovering new, actionable SEO insights?

  • I think studying psychology and sociology are key areas for growth. (more…)

The Biggest, Baddest, Resource Bonanza Bar None!

Here’s my effort to share original resources that haven’t received wide attention/link love on other blogs. Hence I haven’t shared Aaron Wall’s tools (how useful would one more mention be?), Xenu Link Sleuth or SEOmoz’s tools (though I had to put them in the Friends section). Here is search marketing’s BIGGEST, BADDEST, RESOURCE BONANZA BAR NONE! (If you enjoy it, subscribe – there’s lots more where this came from ;) .)

The SEO Business

What makes Web sites credible?

Proposal layout and design

Five Simple Ways to Make Your Proposal More Competitive

Canada Business – Starting a Consulting Business – Interesting item for my fellow SEO consultants here (more…)

Online Community Moderation and Personal Networks with Kat French

Here’s a refreshing interview with Kat French, well known in the SEOmoz and Sphinn community and certainly a person to keep an eye out for in search marketing. We cover online community moderation, the strength of social media and of personal networks, and much more. (more…)

Mikkel deMib Svendsen on SEO Business Models

Mikkel deMib Svendsen is an expert SEM and he’s been kind enough to share his thoughts with me on SEO business models. Interestingly, he’s going against the popular grain (more…)