The Top SEOs of 2015 (Infographic)

One thing we struggle with as SEOs is measuring success.

What do you base success off?

What you rank for? How much you earn? What everyone thinks of you? or simply how much you care?

Its a tough one and its not really talked about much in the seo community.

In my opinion there are only 3 potential ways to even consider measuring how “good” of an SEO you are:

  • What others in the industry say about you (reputation)
  • What terms you actually rank for (effectiveness)
  • How successful financially you are (earnings)

And as Google is constantly changing and sometimes asking people directly about earnings can be a touchy issue, I decided to compile a list, written by SEOs, about SEOs, for SEOs.

I’ve compiled votes from 40+ SEOs who work in the industry, responding to 1 simple question:

Who are top 3 SEOs in the world.”

And who better than SEOs to vote on SEOs

I emailed over 150 SEOs across the globe. Around 40 responsed and here are the results.

SEO MEME

Results BELOW! In infographic form (obviously) – Pins Please!!

Top SEOs Infographic

Individual votes below:

Beware:

one does not simply rank SEOs

I’ll kick this off then

Tom Buckland

My votes are for: Bill Slawski, Steve Morgan and Jerry West.”

Steve Morgan

The seo nice guy goes with – Rand Fishkin, Dr Pete and Cyrus Shepard.

Mark Walters

Another difficult question! I don’t know the ins and outs of what most SEOs do, the site’s they’ve worked on, and the rankings they’ve achieved, so I’m going to base my decision on which SEOs consistently publish great content on their own sites. So, in no particular order…

– Brian Dean (https://backlinko.com) Why? The No.1 source for finding ways to get links to sites.

– Jason Acidre (https://kaiserthesage.com) Why? Regular comprehensive articles on a wide range of SEO techniques and strategies.

– Matthew Barby (https://www.matthewbarby.com) Why? Creative SEO ideas and how to get the most out of tools.

Andrew Isidoro:

I’d say @bill_slawski, @dr_pete and @aaronwall. At least for opinions I actually read/listen to.. :)”

Cyrus went with the classic:

I love all the SEOs, so sorry to say I can’t contribute to this one 🙂 Think of all the SEOs who I wouldn’t be able to pick! (valid point)

seo memes

Rand Fishkin

I’m not a big believer in ranking SEOs against one another. There’s so many folks I think are impressive in this field that calling out any three would feel like a disservice to the hundreds of other great ones.

If you could actually vote meme

Mike Friedman

I do not really have 3 SEOs that I would consider as the top SEOs. Three, of the many, that I pay attention to are Bill Slawski, Linda Buquet, and a member of several forums that goes by Godoveryou.

Jerry West

I wouldn’t be a good fit as we do all of our testing in house and don’t follow anyone. Plus, the best three SEOs in the world aren’t know. They are smart and stay underground. 🙂

Dan Petrovic

There is no such thing as the best SEO in the world. Search Engine Optimisation has reached a point where individuals specialise in certain disciplines such as technical SEO, outreach, strategy, mobile, internationalisation, localisation and content. On top of all that there’s your usual x-hat labelling. Instead, I’d like to highlight a few people who’ve recently inspired me in my own journey.

Michelle Robbins. SEO Level: Oracle. Third Door Media

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Michelle in Munich during SEOktoberfest and found her level of insight to be a step above most people I know. Her profound understanding of search technology and ability to predict future trends hasn’t happened overnight. I believe that after a decade of industry expertise one starts to develop a special kind of intuition and deeper understanding of current and future events. Best way to get in touch with Michelle is on Twitter.

Enrico Altavilla. SEO Level: Scholar. Search Brain, Italy. Enrico is a self-labelled “atypical search marketer”. Given his technical abilities and the profound understanding of information retrieval and search engine principles it’s hard to understand how this man doesn’t work for a search engine. I would argue he understands crawling, indexing and ranking process better than most Googlers given only a fraction of their engineers is involved with core search and search quality. Enrico is particularly active on Google+ so make sure you circle him after reading this.

Martin Reed. SEO Level: Wizard. Head of SEO, Dejan

Martin represents all the brilliant SEOs out there who quietly amaze those around themselves but prefer to stay out of public spotlight. I’ve worked with him since the inception of my company and he’s always been the one whose advice I seek when I find myself out of depth. In addition to technical SEO mastery, Martin’s strength is in the ability to see things from a different angle than most of us, which makes him an extraordinary problem solver, a rare and valuable talent in any organisation. Here’s more (or less) info about Martin.

Gael

1. Brian Dean (Backlinko.com)

He’s shown it time and time again, Brian doesn’t just get results (Backlinko.com is a DA 65 domain getting a ton of traffic from Google in less than 2 years), he also does an excellent job at teaching you how to do the same. His tactics changed my online businesses and We are seeing a real before and after Brian.

2. Jason Acidre (https://kaiserthesage.com/)
Love what Jason is doing over there, always practical, always illustrated and always innovative tutorials. A real hands on no BS SEO Blog

3. Nick Eubanks (https://www.seonick.net/)
He’s one of these guys you don’t see much because he’s running his businesses most of the time but when he gets out you always get blown away with the originality yet accuracy of what he shares.

Alessio Madeyski

1) Nick Eubanks. He is always available to discuss about things, and to teach (me) new things. People are saying that he is even handsome. Now, I’m not entirely sure, but he is a good looking guy for sure.

2) Chris Dyson. He is smart and I like the fact he goes straight to the point, no bullshit. Experience is talking, and I like when people is teaching me something because they tried, and not just because they read it.

3) Aleyda Solis. She is one of the first ‘SEO hero’ I met in real life in Italy. She is always ultra kind with me and I like her because she is an incredible always-in-motion person. And I tend to like people like her.

Bill Slawski

@theGypsy. @billsebald and @seo_theory

Alex Moss

Rishi Lakhani
Martin MacDonald
Julia Logan aka Irish Wonder

I have worked in the industry for a long time and out of everyone I’ve interacted with, Rishi, Martin and Julia understand most about the web and its relationship with search engines. They have all had years of experience working with large data and interpreting it to understand how they can use it to their advantage. From information architecture and content to spamming techniques and algorithm manipulation, all three I believe are the best at what they do.

Brent Csutoras

This is an extremely hard question to answer, as SEO as a phrase is really starting to mean Internet Marketing, and SEOs becoming more Digital Marketers.

As far as people actually still doing SEO, I would say I look to Loren Baker, Andrew Beckman and Tyler Shears when I have questions about traditional SEO.

Loren Baker has been in SEO, on all fronts, for about as long as anyone. Andrew Beckman also has a long time in SEO and is really knowledgeable in Paid and Local SEO. Tyler Shears is wicked smart but remains more behind the scenes, working in organic link building and reputation management through SEO.

John Rampton

Besides myself, i believe Matt Cutts is probably the top SEO in the world as he and his team are making the rules!  He who makes the rules is king.  In the normal world, I think there are many good choices.  Eric Enge, Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan, Ian Lurie, Brian Clark, Bruce Clay, Greg Boser, Jayson Demers and Loren Baker.

But again, these guys are the most vocal SEO’s in the world that talk about SEO openly.  I know there are better out there but they don’t share their secrets.

Matthew Woodward

Terry Kyle, Brian Dean & John (Limbocker), off the top of my head on a hazy sunday morning…

Aaron Wall

Many of  the best SEOs intentionally are not particularly public. For instance, my original mentor in the SEO industry was a guy nicknamed NFFC & most people only know him by his nickname. I’d certainly put him in the top 3 & a couple others who are a bit more publicly known would be Jim Boykin and Joe Sinkwitz (aka Cygnus)

Jeff Quipp

Best SEOs in the world … hmmmm. Depends how you define it? Best at securing rankings when a business doesn’t deserve those rankings? Best at creating a content system to help the company perform over the long term? My answers would differ for each.

A couple I really like and admire are:
1. Wisam Abdulaziz (he’s our head SEO) … both content and algorithm inner workings
2. Dave Naylor … not sure about being a great creator of content, but definitely knows a lot about the inner workings of the algorithm
3. Rand Fishkin … I think he’s done an amazing job creating a site with great enough content that it performs over the long term … it’s the Wikipedia of the search world

Modestos Siotos

Jim Boykin (Internet Marketing Ninjas CEO)
Jim has managed to remain in the forefront of SEO despite having been involved with SEO for about 15 years. His contributions to the industry after major algo update have been invaluable.

2. Ian Lurie (Portent CEO)
Ian has been involved for about 20 years and is one of the geekiest persons in the industry. Ian’s technical approach to SEO is incomparable. He’s one of very few SEOs still looking for scientific evidence before making sharing an opinion. He’s also a great creator and contributor of advanced SEO tools and processes and an excellent presenter.

3. Dan Petrovic (Dejan SEO Director)
Another brilliant technically-minded SEO. Non-stop innovator and researcher with a very practical and actionable approach to getting things done. His ability to spot new Google trends, changes and updates is one of his biggest skills.

Lee Allen

It’s an interesting question you pose and I can guess most of the names that will bubble to the top of your list. Ultimately, these will be the people discussing and theorising about SEO – mainly known around the industry through self-promotion at events – rather than those at the coalface.

I’m a big believer in those that are hands-on, doing SEO on a daily basis, are typically more up to speed than the majority of the “big names”, therefore my top 3 is based on people I know can both implement and deliver results and not just converse about it.

·         Jonny Artis
·         Mike McDougall
·         Matthew Barnes (a very talented up and comer!)

If you get any other votes for any of these I will be massively surprised J.

Marcus Taylor 

Brian Dean – His link building ideas are always on point, thinks outside the box and I often find myself lost in his site for hours.

Jon Cooper – Another great link builder, his link building guide (https://pointblankseo.com/link-building-strategies) has helped me out tons of times.

Rand Fishkin – He’s no doubt going to be at the top of the list, and as much as he does frustrate me on times. He knows his stuff and Moz is a damn good resource.

Lewis Sellers

I don’t have an opinion on who the top 3 SEOs are in the world, but there are certainly people in the industry who I have a lot of time for. If I had to pick three, I’d probably recommend the following:

– Eric Ward – Eric has a subscription called LinkMoses Private. For $8.00 per month, you’ll get 1 or 2 emails which containing link building opportunities, updates on what is happening in the industry and loads more. Whilst the link building opportunities are usually fairly niche, they open your eyes to new ways of acquiring links and they can be transitioned for your clients projects. It’s well worth the $8!

– Barry Schwartz – As most people will know, Barry is the founder of Search Engine Roundtable, a brilliant blog that keeps you up to date on the changes Google are making. There are regularly case studies to show what does and doesn’t work, along with articles all about updates that Google look to be making, before Google announce them.

– Aleyda Solis – If you’re not already following Aleyda on Twitter, you should be (@aleyda). She regularly posts updates to new tools available on the market, along with posting out lots of articles that are well worth a read for keeping up to date with SEO, new tactics etc!

Chris Fielden

Rand Fishkin, although I suppose he’s more of a digital marketer than an SEO. Then again, I think all SEOs are digital marketeers now. Interesting how buzz words and phrases come and go… The Moz blog and Rand’s personal blog speak for themselves really, but it boils down to being THE thought leader and pioneer in the field and running an agency that constantly pushes the boundaries for knowledge and sets the bar when it comes to best practice.

Will Critchlow and his Distilled team. Distilled U is an amazing resource for new comers and seasoned SEO professionals alike. There is always something new to learn in SEO and Distilled help with this massively.

Kath Dawson, who I have the pleasure of working with at Strategy Digital (and Alexei Lee who is our Head of Social & Promo). Kath is an expert in Google + strategies and I’ve learned heaps from her, and Alexei supports our social team. His expertise is amazing. Together they form an SEO Social Media Strategizing Monster, a little like Zaphod Beeblebrox but with more internet knowledge. admittedly, I’m biased because I work with them, but then part of the joy of working in digital marketing is being able to work directly with innovators like this that you can learn so much from.

Ruth BURR Ready

1.) I suspect that many of the people doing the best SEO in the world are people we’ve never heard of, who are just doing great work for their clients and not talking about it much to the larger industry. I also think there are a lot of people all over the world doing great search marketing in different ways. That said, here are three people whose work I trust absolutely, and who I think are doing a lot to further the state of SEO in the world today:

Marshall Simmonds (@mdsimmonds): Marshall is the number 1 person I would go to if I had an SEO problem I couldn’t solve. He’s incredibly smart and has a ton of experience with large, difficult websites. He really understands the business side of SEO and how it integrates with larger marketing programs.
Mike King (@ipullrank): I think Mike’s contributions to the field of SEO are some of the most important ones happening today. There are a ton of people out there attempting to be “thought leaders” and pulling it off to various degrees, but Mike is consistently testing new methods and using data in new ways, and sharing his results with the industry. He’s invested in improving SEO as a craft and as a business.
Annie Cushing (@anniecushing): Annie really understands how to measure and sell SEO. Her work in data visualization for SEO contributes to an industry focused on meaningful change and marketing practices, rather than on shortcuts or vanity metrics. Her audit checklist is an amazing resource that I point new SEOs to all the time as an example of the proper time and care that should go into a full website audit.
This isn’t a perfect list of top 3 SEOs in the world by any means – they’re all Americans, for one thing – but it’s certainly a list of top SEOs whose work is important and influential to me. There are other people who are making huge contributions to the industry (Dr. Pete would be a close 4th for me).

Simon Dalley

My top 3 SEOs is a really difficult one. Naming the top 3 SEOs in the world is impossible really, as no-one really knows much about what anyone else is up to and although we’re all global marketers we are all limited networks of one kind or another.

In many ways it also depends on what you mean by top SEOs, for example there are those SEOs who rank well for terms like SEO, SEO Consultant, Freelance SEO Consultant etc – they obviously know what they’re doing and are demonstrating it in the results they get for themselves. Others concentrate their efforts locally and that’s harder to work out. There are those who speak a lot on SEO and are incredibly knowledgeable but I sometimes wonder how much opportunity they have to actually carry it out! and there are those others who have done very well from carrying out SEO who work in house or who wouldn’t normally consider themselves SEOs – so we just don’t know about them.

It’s always hard to say how good an seo actually is, therefore I thought I’d look at those people I respect (and a list of 3 is nowhere near enough!). The content from these three always makes me sit up and take note:

Michael Gray from https://graywolfseo.com/ – he’s been blogging on SEO since 2004 (and probably earlier) and is a go to authority – longevity counts for something in SEO. I’ve been involved in SEO for about 10 years ago and in that time I’ve seen a lot of people come, in the past 5 / 6 years I’ve used the domain GrowTraffic.co.uk and so have been much more focussed on what other SEOs are doing and it’s always surprising how many people pop up and drop off.

Likewise I rate Barry Schwartz of https://www.rustybrick.com he’s had a similar amount of longevity and generally puts out some pretty useful and topical posts, plus he’s really active on social media – and I often get seo news in my twitter stream first from him.

I’d also choose Gianluca Fiorelli of https://iloveseo.net – I find his insights fascinating and coming at it from an international perspective (he’s a native Spanish speaker) Gianluca often provides a different take on things.

Bill Sebald:

This is an extremely hard question. There are some super brilliant SEOs out there – people like Dan Shure, Mike King, Dr. Pete, Cyrus Shepard, John-Henry Scherck, Jon Cooper, Sha Menz, and Matt Brown have provided a lot of amazing pieces (or presentations) that inspired me this year.  There’s a bunch more, but you asked for three…

So if I have to make a top 3, my list is for SEOs who produced stuff I bookmarked, and re-visited the most this year (in no particular order):

1.       Bill Slawski – breaks down so much great patent stuff and really helped me think about engines differently.
2.       Annie Cushing – picked up a lot about technical auditing, excel, and how to make deliverables look better.
3.       AJ  Kohn – I never miss AJ’s stuff.  It’s fantastic, larger picture stuff that always resonates with me.

Kane Jamison

Jimmy Wales and Jeff Bezos. Barring those, I’m always impressed by Justin Briggs, Ross Hudgens, and AJ Kohn.

Giuseppe Pastore

It’s hard to say who are the top SEOs since being expert and being visible are different things, often. I’ll name three SEOs I esteem a lot:

Enrico Altavilla
Dan Petrovic
Justin Briggs

Michael Smith

Ryan O’Connor. Ryan is an expert at ecommerce SEO and is knowledgeable about actual techniques to use to get results instead of just theory.

Kevin Bland.  This is one of the foremost experts in the carpet niche and has a brilliant twitter feed.

John-Henry Scherck .  JH is an expert in working with big brands and tweets great little tips all day.

Tim Grice

David Mihm –  his local knowledge is unparalleled

Bill Slawski –  algo knowledge and Google patents

Justin Briggs – link building and content marketing / old school turned new school

Jacob King:

Matt Cutts, The dude currently ranking all the big pharma keywords. Or one of the dude(s) ranking Louis, cheap uggs, payday loans, etc, Jacob King

Peter Cambell

Paddy Moogan, Backlinko and Wil Reynolds

Adam H

Ill name a couple of guys which you probably haven’t heard of before who ive considered over the years to be worth listening too but they are by no means “the best” or “guru’s” , just guys which know what they are talking about ( or did ).

Some of the guys which i liked to keep tabs on… “old welsh guy” from umbrella consultancy, I believe he’s still in the wales area but he’s slipped away from the lime light in recent years ( Spoke on the BBC news once upon a time but these were the days where directory submissions worked lol ), but still the guy knows what he’s talking about.

MOG Martin, ( Martin Mcdonald ) Also one of the old guys worth listening too and appears on some of the top blogs from time to time, he does alot of talks and SEO conferences but i believe he’s slipped off the map in recent years , he’s normally contracted to large company rather than being freelance so his insights and thoughts are less visible now days.

Wiep Knol, probably one of the best link builders of his day for link baiting and creative link building , again we are talking a couple of years ago now, ive not looked into whether any of these guys are still active.

David Naylor , another UK marketer who’s done very well for him self and his company is still one of the UK’s best i believe.

That’s it!

If you got this far, thanks for reading and why not share :).

Thanks to everyone who contributed. Maybe the next round up can be even bigger! Have a great 2015!

SEO in 2015 – The Future Ranking Signals of SEO

There has been a lot of talk recently on where Google can go next and generally on the future of SEO. Rolling out updates continuous is better for SEO in my opinion and will prevent any sudden dips of the disasters of Penguin. The death of pagerank (its been dead for ages), and spam slowly melting away all leads to new ideas floating around the heads of many SEOs, with the primary question being: SEO 2015

As we are just about to enter 2015, I thought I would do my own personal take on the future of SEO. I know SEland have done their round ups and its tough to compete with those big dogs, but looking back at this article upon completion, I think it’s the best on this blog (but that might not be saying much!)

Goodbye Pagerank (again).

We as SEOs have known for a while that tool bar PageRank means nothing. It hasn’t been updated in forever and Google has recently said it won’t be updating ever again (from our point of view anyway.)

Dan from seoblog and Bill from seo by the sea have both done articles explaining that PageRank is dead and more importantly what they think will be the next big thing Google looks at. So without further ado:

The Future of SEO

According to some guy….Me.

As SEOs if we can even slightly predict what Google is going to do next, we are ahead of 99% of other SEOs and SEO agencies.  This gives us a huge advantage over our competition. Which (lets not sugar coat it), can make us money by being more effective at what we do!

John Limbocker did a video on Matt’s blog talking about what he thinks will be the next big thing when it comes to SEO and also made an AMAZING point about Google’s past algorithm changes and how they adapted and evolved.

He talks about how all Google algorithms changes have followed roughly the same sort of style.

Which is:

A factor/idea—> Quantity of that factor —> Quality of that factor —> Next factor/idea.

Think about it….

Initially it was keywords. The factor was “keywords on a website means its about that keyword”. The idea “to reward websites with higher rankings in Google if they contain that keyword a lot”.

What people did: “keyword stuffing”.

What Google did: changed the factor to relevance (aka quality) not the sheer number of times a keyword appears on a page (aka quantity.)

What people did: We optimised title tags, headers, URLs and a few times throughout the article.

What did Google do next? They moved onto VALUING BACKLINKS. (Another factor/idea)

I’ve made a funky flow chart for you guys.

Evolution of Google Flow Chart

Flow chart created using: https://www.gliffy.com

Exactly the same thing happened with backlinks. The idea: “links as a vote of relevance and authority” – What SEOs did “get 1000s of low quality backlinks” — What Google did – “Gave more weight to quality authoritative backlinks” — As we learn how to get quality backlinks Google will/has evolve(d) to metrics that we cannot easily manipulate.

These are??

Well these according to Search metrics and pretty much every SEO are: user experience metrics.

Below is a chart that displays the ranking factors for 2014: Image from search metrics.

Ranking factors for 2014

The most important thing to take out of this is, Google is trying to move away from links/on page as much as possible. Don’t get me wrong they haven’t yet! But they are slowly getting away from it.

The purple bars display user signals and the orange ones are social signals.

Call me crazy but I call those the same thing!?!

Those are the signals for 2014 and most of them will not change throughout the entire 2015. Google would never rebuild their algorithm and why would they as well? It works so well!

User experience / Social signals / User signals whatever you want to call them, are currently the most relevant ranking factor to Google.

Sidenote: Just because something is the most relevant, does not mean it is the only or even most effective. We all know that without links and on page you can’t do anything. So lets not pretend you can rank first for” car insurance” if your article says car a few times, has 1 million social signals and gets 10,000 UV a day…. It still wouldn’t rank!

Important: Do I believe Social signals themselves increase search engine rankings? NO! Google has said they don’t and Eric just finished an article on Forbes saying their a myth! But what they do do is increase visitors to your site, who then take on the user experience ranking factor and everything starts to snowball from there, and do snowballs increase SEO? Indeed they do!

Currently topping user signals and topping the entire rankings factors list is: CTR. But in my opinion if your site is optimised correctly, you have looked into conversion rate optimisation and you have catchy headlines and descriptions, this will take care of itself! (Its common sense for even the most basic SEO)

So what next?

Well following the normal process of Google rankings we should see 2 things happening, quantity being a ranking factor and then quality being the defining ranking factor of user experience.

But how can you rank user experience based on quality?

Well, this is where we go into the deep casums of SEO brains, filled with images of Matt Cutts, the Google logo and Rand with his funky facial hair. My creative wondering brain thinks the following, and I think most SEOs should/will/hopefully concur.

Its easier to explain my thoughts using an example, so let’s just use this article as the example.

If you didn’t like this article, your unlikely to have read this far and as a result you have probably already left this page. What does this tell Google? My article didn’t solve your problem :(, this equals high bounce rates and unhappy visitors. There not going to rank me highly if that’s happening!

That’s point 1 – High bounce rates (CTR included here too)

If you thought this article was okay, but not really that good. You probably read it all and then left to go back to Google. AKA you are still searching, you are not fully satisfied (sorry). This sends a signal to Google saying; well Tom’s article was okay, but not really that good,

That’s point 2 – Time on site and if the user continues searching for “the answer”.

If you loved this article you might leave a comment! That’s user interaction folks.

That’s point 3 – User interaction AKA user experience. 

If you super-loved it (that’s a thing) what do you do? Well you share it! And HERE IS THE KICKER: If you are an authority in your specific niche/industry, your shares are worth 100x what the average Joe’s are worth. Now currently Google might not be able to determine that directory but they most certainly can determine this indirectly as follows:

You tweet: “Just read an awesome article on SEO 2015 by Tom Buckland”. (Do that by the way and tag me: @theseoasis, like do this right now….I’ll wait.).

S0 that 1 tweet is a +1 to Google for user experience and social interaction.

But social signals aren’t actually ranking factors….

If you have 100,000 followers who are all SEOs too, likely some of them will click onto my page and read the article too. Lets say 0.2% = 200 extra visitors. That’s another +200 to Google for user experience, maybe more share and some comment. But its more than that, its telling Google that my article was good enough that Mr SEO authority thought it would be good to share/link.

Yes that’s basic SEO…. We have all been doing that for years….

But its not. My prediction is that in less than 1 year from now Google will establish without using social signals directly (because they can’t cease any control), how popular a specific piece of content is. Not from signals themselves BUT FROM THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO COME VIA Indvidual SIGNALS.

This is how you get an AUTHORITY user experience/signal and these will be 1000 times more effective than Joe Snow-bodies tweet.

Okay…

And in my opinion this is the only way to knock Mr backlink off his throne or to see links ever losing some of their value.

This is also where Google is going with nofollow links. I’m sick of people saying they have no value. Nofollow links have TONS of value. 

  1. They make a link profile look natural
  2. Individuals coming from no follow links usually come to read your site
  3. This leads to better user experience
  4. This leads to increased rankings from better user experience…..

keep-calm-and-breathe-19

 

 

Rant over…. Wow that was passionate. Whoever said SEO is boring…..

Important to remember

Google in itself is a business and I think as SEOs sometimes we forget that. We look at them as a marketing tool, but at their roots their a business just like any other, and what is a businesses main aim? Increase revenue. In Google’s case they do that by providing the most accurate results in the SERPs. And how can they do that?

Its easy:

“Find out what other people found useful, and display the same information to individuals searching for something similar.” – Tom Buckland 2014.

With that said, here is my complete (very simple) ranking strategy for 2015, summed up in about 200 words…

Quick sidenote on HTTPS: I personally believe this is going to be huge in roughly 4 months time (quote me on it if you like), and as you know Cyrus did an awesome article on moz about this topic. Go and read that if you haven’t already as it’s pretty in depth!

Super quote below by Mike on SEland

“Great SEO is really no different than it was a few years ago. Terrible SEO is what’s changed drastically.”

Excuse my language but: A-Fucking-men to him!

 

My ranking strategy for 2015!

  1. Still links – quality over quantity and relevance over anything.
  2. Still on page – Keywords where they should be.
  3. On site user experience – CTR as high as possible! Time on site high, bounce rates low, staying on site to read other posts high!
  4. Quantity of “social” signals – When I say social signals I do not mean only facebook likes and tweets etc, I’m talking about exposure in the social networks, bookmarks that get likes themselves and tweets that get retweeted themselves….And the visitors that come from these retweets…
  5. Quality of “social” signals – Giving increased value, similar to what happened with links, to individuals with more authority to your industry or niche. If you’re a news site and “CNN” tweets your story, how can this hold the same value as if “plain old me” tweets it? The truth: It won’t and it doesn’t

That’s pretty much it. I hope you enjoyed that rant in the form of an article. I’m pretty proud of this one and I think its a kind of unique take on the future of SEO.

Shares, likes, tweets are SOOOO appreciated and if you’re an authority in SEO it’s doubly appreciated ;).

Would love some comments too.

Thanks for reading.

Tom.

The problem with white hat SEO blogs (and white hat link building)

Hi, google-god

Okay, I need to get this off my chest.

I love SEO, enjoy writing about it, reading it, discussing it, implementing it…You get the idea.

 

But when it comes to people who are 100% against anything even “cream hat“, that does annoy me, as it is usually the people who are already successful, which is where my problem lies. They weren’t preaching white hat seo when they weren’t successful…

When someone writes a post about why you shouldn’t buy links or why PBNs are satan. There main points are:

1.) There against Google’s T&Cs – Everything is, get over it.

2.) Long term they won’t work – Um, can you predict the future? But seriously no one knows if Google will ever be able to create an algorithm that can see a purchased link or a link from a PBN. Unless the hire an extra 1000 people all with the aim of manually reviewing every website on the internet, chances are they are a looooonnnggg way off this.

I will admit I have brought links and I actually love it! Its super effective and best of all its FAST. And I will continue to buy links as long as it works.

Sidenote: Why does Google ban/advice against these things? It’s because they freaking work! Why are drugs banned in sports? Because their super effective!

This brings me nicely on to my main problem with only white hat link building

time

“White hat” seo takes time, frankly, it takes too long. If you have just started out, you don’t want to wait 3 months for your first decent rankings, you want to be ranking in weeks not months.

99% of the white hat methods talked about on seo blogs are long term strategies, that yes do work over months, but they are also incredibly time consuming and aren’t instant.

Broken link building, guest posting, reach out, profile links and my personal favourite “create content that people will link to.” If that’s not a time consuming process I don’t know what is.

Before I get slated for this, I’d like to say one of my favourite SEOs is Brian from Backlinko, and his entire strategy is geared around creating amazing content and reaching out to individuals for links. But even the God of backlinks said its a slow and time consuming process in a recent podcast with the no hat digital team.

This is why I will always be a grey hat SEO.

Grey hat seo

The 1 HUGE difference between Bing and Google

If you didn’t know Mozilla firefox (my 2nd favourite internet browser) put out an update a few days ago.

Big deal????

y-u-make-big-deal

Usually not really.

I’d usually just let the giants (SEland / SEwatch / SEJ) you know the guys, take care of this as frankly I don’t really care.

BUT

This time is different, this is important (and relevant).

There have been some pretty good posts written so far about this topic by Albert and Matt Woodward, two very handy SEOs, but I wanted to give my own take on this.

Don’t know about anyone else but I check my rankings pretty regularly in Google (probably too much) but when it comes to bing/yahoo I don’t even include them in my ranking reports (that changed today).

The Old Bing

bing-deep-links

This is what bing used to be used for.

Just type in Google and get away from there as quickly as possible.

This was for 1 primary reason (from an SEO point of view)

Simply not enough people used it!

So why would we go out of our way to optimise for Bing? Well to be honest we didn’t, well I’ve never spoken to an SEO that was proud of a bing ranking….

The New Bing

The new bing which now has about 30% market share of search is worth targeting.

yahoo-search-share-618x387

So now that bing “gets some traffic” its worth us as SEOs optimising how they like….

But this is the kicker!

It’s a lot easier to rank in bing than Google.

There I said it!

If we take my site for example. (Ghost Marketing) – It’s my seo freelance page for client generation, very new site that I have been using a pretty aggressive ranking strategy, not risky just quicker than probably most SEOs would recommend.

The target keywords were: “seo freelancer” and “Seo Salisbury” (That’s my city). Current rankings in Google:  28th and 10th respectively. In Bing 13th and (a different 10th) but I will get on to that in a second.

Which seems like a useless fact to anyone reading this article, but in fact it has revealed a HUGE ranking factor that differs from bing to Google rankings. I don’t know if this was known before (probably) but I’ll explain it here:

KEYWORD IN URL (not domain)

In Google this is a pretty big ranking factor, Keyword in URL, we all know that and abide by it (for the most part).

In Bing, not so much!

Here is what I mean, using my site as an example:

SEO Salisbury

10th currently for one of my keywords, rankings themselves in this example aren’t really important, what’s important is this is the “seo-Salisbury” page. So the URL contains my primary keyword and this page ranks 10th. All good, happy days….

Now lets look at bing/yahoo.

Ghost Marketing p

Still 10th but the primary difference…. Its the homepage. No keyword in URL, keyword is broken in heading as well.

(Sorry for my paint skills, still haven’t got round to learning Photoshop haha!).

I checked this with 2 affiliate sites too.

Hugely surprised, one site that’s 7th in Google is 2nd in bing. Another that’s on page 6! Is 9th in Bing! Which is just crazy. These algorithms benefit us as SEOs.

Both are EMD’s (from the good old days with many exact match anchor links).

Important message to ALL SEOs

It’s easier to rank in BING and YAHOO than it is in Google.

Now they have more than 16% of all people searching online, going through there, do something about it!

Another important point that Matt had on his blog was that bing traffic has been 3x more valueable for him than Google! Which means he’s making 3x as much off this traffic.

Important Conclusion: 

  1. Over optimisation is a lot harder in Bing (I might write an entire article on this later on, as I have an amazing example in mind) But its true over optimisation, is difficult to achieve
  2. Anchor text itself is huge – More exact and partial match anchors needed
  3. Its simpler – The algorymth itself is a lot simpler and hence ranking high is easier too.
  4. Webmaster tools are actually helpful – They tell you if you’ve actually been penalised!

In short, its time to take action people.

Bing is here

Bing

Thanks for reading, remember to comment, share and all that good stuff :).

Cheers

Tom.

My Brief (and Sh*t) stint with freelancer.com

As you know, I recently set up my seo freelancer site over at ghost marketing. This was a pretty new site, and although I have been promoting it pretty hard, its still a few weeks from generating any real leads and as I’m still a broke student I would like some additional cash flow for the business. So to drum up some business and testimonials I took to freelancer.com

I also had a few technical things that needed doing on a few sites too, so I also posted a few projects which people could bid on themselves, but my main aim was going to be business, I didn’t mind going cheap but I wasn’t going to go free.

freelance_does_not_mean_free

I decided to buy a few “sponsored” or promoted bids and although I was brand new so 0/10 rating, I thought I could build trust through linking people to this blog, the seo freelancer site itself and generally by being a real seo and not someone who can’t speak English or whose best rankings was for “blue kitten mittens for dogs in California”, (competition is high for that one.)

Anyway about $50 later (I only mention the figure as it helps me to track how many jobs I applied to) not one deal. 2/3 replies, all looking for free/stupidly priced work.

Back to why this annoyed me more than it should have.

I thought as I was new the freelancer and although the blog and ghost marketing gives me some credibility its difficult to portray sometimes, so I individually wrote every message, talking about their site, and although not super in depth, it took about 5-10 mins per offer, I choose the offers well and about 30 applications later, not one contract.

Cool article on how to ask a freelancer for free work I’ll give you a clue…You don’t.

But the most annoying thing about the whole freelancer ordeal was easily the number of absolute spammy messages that get thrown into proposals. “Please include in your quote” X info….. 10 applications not 1 person included it, but I was told how good their communication skills were and how many happy clients they had…..Yeah okay…

Freelancer.com 

No thanks.