Wil Reynolds, the founder of SEER Interactive, was kind enough to join me in this week’s interview. I could talk all day about how great Wil is at what he does, but I’ll let his answers speak for themselves. If you haven’t, make sure you subscribe to the SEER blog and follow him on Twitter.
I think Google has started on this for sure, and I for one am extremely glad. I never want to make it seem like Google can just snap a finger and “fix it” – but it’s great to see it’s a focus, you know? I do still think Google is going to have a LONG way to go though. Remember cleaning up a few MAJOR link networks just gets rid of some of the BIG crap that ranks well still. That doesn’t mean connecting with people on social and writing good content is still entirely the way to win, but at least the easy “buy links in a well known network” stuff is in focus first.
Not the same impact in the next 3-4 years, but after that it might be possible. Look at the Authorship Project for instance, Google is working on that and its great. The issue is with adoption, they need more people to adopt that. Ask someone who is not in SEO but is in marketing what rel=author is and they’ll likely look at you with 3 heads. So we can’t forget that we’re in the bubble a bit, but when most publications get on board, watch out. Social signals are the next logical progression IMHO. 11 years ago I shared everything I knew about SEO in forums, then 5 years ago blogs, and today most is shared on social channels. If Google doesn’t figure out social signals someone else will, in the same way that Altavista, Lycos, etc never seemed to get the “links as votes” thing, and lo and behold Google does and BOOM, Google’s the king and Altavista and Lycos are dust. Google knows it’s a threat because sharing patterns are changing. I think this is where Google+ Ripples helps all of us to understand which circles have influence and which ones don’t.
Hmmmm, Good question! Mining clients existing connections. I know it sounds basic, but so often we spend so much time coming up with new ideas, and not enough time saying to clients… “Can I have your LinkedIn account for 1 day” or “Can you export your LinkedIn followers?”. I have found that we even miss that at SEER all the time. Simply asking a client … hey, who do you know that could do you a favor if you asked for it, often shows a LOT of opportunity? This is also why I have been trumpeting time and time again exporting followers via followerwonk, looking at who is already interested in you / your company and scanning their bios is hands down one of the most overlooked opportunities.
Usually it’s getting them more on board and more invested in our ideas. It rarely happens because I think we do a great job of making sure we pick the right kind of clients. I do know though that sometimes they wish that we could just do some magic and get the rankings, and when we start asking a lot of questions and heavily involving them sometimes clients push back on the amount of time we are asking of them, but they get why.
I’ve been using Raven for a long time. Mostly for rank checking these days. I am planning on re-evaluating buzzstream for link tracking, really wish they had an API, ya know, but it does look like they are making a lot of improvements lately. I am also planning on taking a real look at sixtrix and ahrefs – after my trip to Europe several SEO friends recommended both, so I think its high time I take another look. I think we at SEER need a better way to evaluate the sites we are getting links from and how Google has valued them over time, you know?
We’re also big basecamp users as I just can’t imagine what I would do without that tool. It really keeps everyone on the same page.
It wasn’t me alone, actually it was Adam Melson’s (http://www.seerinteractive.com/team/adam) idea, I just helped with it. He decided to create a “national day” for one of our clients – hands down one of the most successful ideas I’ve ever seen come out of the SEER-plex. He’s also the brainchild behind our scholarship link building that so many people have heard me speak about on the road. So while I was a part of them he conceptualized that.