By Evan Carmichael on May 27th, 2010
As part of SES Toronto 2010, I’m doing a series of interviews with some of the expert panelists to get some insider advice to help improve your SEO efforts.
Up first is Jeff Quipp. Jeff is founder and CEO of Search Engine People Inc. He has been engaged in the search industry for more than a decade, and was one of the first people in Canada to recognize the Internet as an emerging marketing channel.
He’s going to be talking at SES Toronto about a popular topic: Link Building.
Here are my questions for Jeff and his answers.
1) What’s your personal favorite method of building links?
“My favourite method of building links is creating and distributing widgets. We often create portable versions, so that others can copy and paste the widget onto their site. With great content in hand, it’s a much more pleasant process to reach out to target businesses to ask if they’d like the put the widget on their site … you’ve got something of real value to offer them. Its also a very effective means of link building.”
2) What link are you most proud of and how did you get it?
“I can’t go into too much detail because it’s a client site, but one piece of content we created and promoted, generated 100’s of links from .edu’s in the U.S. It was an exceptional piece, that generated exceptional results for a hyper competitive term. Watching that piece take off amongst the .edu community was one of the highlights of last year for me.”
“If I could only choose one, it would depend on the competitiveness of the term(s) being targeted. For relatively uncompetitive terms, I would be more inclined to link build by reaching out to suppliers, clients, complementary businesses, and the like. This would permit me to better control the anchor text of the links, which as you know is very important. If the term(s) being targeted however were much more competitive, then I’d likely employ either a widget or badge (or combination) approach.”
http://caaneo.ca/about/blog/blood-alcohol-calculator is an example of a widget Jeff’s company built for a client.
4) Twitter: Can linking to your website from your tweets help improve your organic search rankings?
“Yes, but not for the reason you might think. Twitter links are NoFollowed, meaning they’re not supposed to pass on any real rankings value. That said, some people take tweets, and display them on their own sites, in which case the link maybe search engine friendly and help rank. The link itself though doesn’t use good anchor text, so the majority of the value is lost.
I am an advocate that good content is a numbers game though … the more people that see it, the more people will link to it. Accordingly, if posting it to Twitter means more people will see it, and potentially share it, then definitely Tweet it.”
5) What session are you most excited about attending at SES Toronto this year?
“I’m most excited about the Session on Augmented Reality on Thursday. The concept is relatively new, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it will overlap with search engines of the future.”
To view details about this session visit SES Toronto 2010.
Back in 2001, Jeff Quipp, in his role as head of traffic acquisition for Bell Sympatico, hired an SEO company to help increase traffic and meet corporate objectives. It was a fantastic idea – you could actually increase your visibility in search engines, and this would help drive people to the website. It was a radically new and exciting thought!
The only problem was, it didn’t work.
Being a smart guy, Jeff figured out for himself how this “SEO” actually worked. He then thought to himself that if he was having trouble sourcing an SEO company which could actually deliver reliable results, then surely other companies out there were having the same problem. It was time to do something about it.
“The strategy has paid off as Jeff’s company hit the PROFIT 100 list last year as one of the fastest growing companies in Canada.”
Jeff bought HTML for dummies, spent the first month learning HTML and SEO, and forging relationships with business owners online through forums. Early on he recognized that the technical work was not his strength so his first hire was a programmer. Jeff’s first client was X Copper and he continued finding clients mostly through networking and referrals. The strategy has paid off as Jeff’s company hit the PROFIT 100 list last year as one of the fastest growing companies in Canada.
Packages to start working with Search Engine People start at $500 / month for 3-5 key terms that are not too competitive.
Is there anything else you would like to learn from Jeff? How are you building links to your website?
I’ve love to hear your thoughts if you leave a comment below!
Tags: anchor text, Canada, ceo, choose one, competitiveness, complementary businesses, decade, expert panelists, insider advice, marketing channel, quipp, search engine, search industry, SES Toronto, tactic, Toronto, widget, widgets