A summer interview with… Virginia Nussey (@virginianussey): “I’m of the search-and-social-are-intertwined camp.”
There are many great search-experts out there. We decided we wanted to give some extra attention to some of them. Therefore we will be interviewing some of these experts. During the entire summer you will be served with short interviews with influential people in the industry. You will be seeing interviews with the likes of Joost de Valk, Marcus Tandler, Chris Sherman, Mike Grehan and Danny Sullivan, and off course our bloggers! Be aware that some interviews will be published in the newsletter!
Today: She blogs like no other, princess of live blogging: Virginia Nussey
1- Can you introduce yourself in one paragraph?
I’m a blogger who stumbled into SEO quite fortuitously. I went to school for journalism, and when it came time to find my dream job at a newspaper, I found that few were hiring. I freelanced for a Filipino community paper for a while but ultimately I was looking for something more stable in an industry that was growing. I lucked out when the doors at Bruce Clay, Inc. opened for me. They were looking for a writer to help with assorted content and PR projects, and I was excited to be immersed in a burgeoning industry that’s gaining in visibility, innovation and vitality every day. Today my title is “Journalist/Media Producer” — I’m one of the bloggers at Bruce Clay, Inc. as well as the director of the company’s weekly radio show and podcast, SEM Synergy.
2- What are you doing this summer?
So far this summer I’ve celebrated my 26th birthday (yippee!) and I’m eager to do a bit of camping before summer’s out. On a professional note, I attended the BlueGlass LA conference and in the coming weeks I’m looking to introduce more video to our SEO blog (I got a handful of awesome video interviews at the conference so expect those soon).
3- What is the most hottest subject in search at the moment, what should every SEO be looking into
Savvy SEOs who keep up on search news know the major issues that affects our industry, like Google Caffeine, the Yahoo-Microsoft search partnership, the new Ask.com, the rise of mobile, and the power of social media. I could talk about any of those topics here because they’re all crucial to an SEO’s decision making. Though, as a content specialist, I feel that my hot topic is the diminishing quality of content on the Web. There’s mounting evidence that the Web is getting dumber (pdf).
As SEOs, it’s our objective to make quality, rank-worthy websites. But sometimes an SEO strategy entails mass generation of theme-related content (whatever the quality). I’m not pointing fingers — I’m probably guilty of this myself. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt found it convenient to call the Web a cesspool, but as the driving force of made-for-AdSense sites, I say Google’s guilty, too. The industry has made gains to shed its snakeoil-salesman skin, so I hope we can continue to improve our reputation by letting spammier tactics fall by the wayside.
4- What do you think is the “state of search” at the moment, is the industry doing good?
I don’t have experience from the early days to compare to, but it feels like the search marketing industry has really hit its stride. There are high ethical standards and maturity mixed with an unrelenting drive to innovate. Despite the highly competitive environment that results in creative breakthroughs and progress, there’s a strong sense of community sharing, encouragement and camaraderie among SEOs.
5- What is your favorite website, apart from your own?
At the moment, I’m digging Hacker News because it’s perceptive and thoughtful content curated from across the Web. Apparently hackers and developers find all the best stuff. Sure I can only understand a fraction of it, but super smart people have wide and varied interests and I always find something enriching and enlightening. It’s like Reddit, but with purpose.
6- Can “social marketing / media” and search survive apart from each other?
I’m of the search-and-social-are-intertwined camp. Halo media and marketing synergy is where it’s at. Search marketing and social media marketing are distinct specialties requiring different skill sets and tactics for unique environments. However, social media is an invaluable resource for search marketing goals, including reputation management, building SERP real estate, driving links and popularity, and in light of Caffeine’s ability to draw connections across domains, enhancing Web-wide brand engagement. At the same time, search informs social media marketing by providing insight into trending topics and tools for conversation tracking.
7- What’s your search tip for the summer?
I say make 2010 the summer of love. It’s more and more clear every day that online marketing, be it search or social or mobile or other, is all about connections. Attend a conference and make the most of networking opportunities. Organize a tweetup with people you’ve been chatting with in your area. Try to reach out even when you’re shy or busy or stressed. In school, when I was learning to interview, I was given the advice that when you think you’re done gathering info, always ask one more question or interview one more person for a story. Oftentimes you’ll find that the one extra question or interview subject presents a gem you never would have had if you didn’t push a little farther. I think the same is true for creating meaningful relationships. Even though you feel content and maybe not in the mood, force yourself outside your comfort zone and you’ll reap big rewards.
Thanks, Bas, for the opportunity to do something I might not have if left to my own devices. Thinking through these questions was a lot of fun and helped me to crystallize some ideas that have been floating around in my head. See, my tip worked already!