A summer interview with… Andrew Girdwood: “too many SEOs who’re betting their clients’ financial future…”
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: If he talks, we listen: Andrew Girdwood from Bigmouthmedia
1- Can you introduce yourself in one paragraph?
I’m Andrew Girdwood. I’m Head of Strategy at bigmouthmedia which means I look at new and improved techniques in SEO, PPC, affiliates, social media, display and other sexy new channels like mobile and gaming and either simply introduce clients and our teams to them or show how they can be added together for the greatest effect.
2- What are you doing this summer?
Being busy. Bigmouthmedia is merging with an outstanding company called LBi. This means we’ll have even more offices and staff around the world (so many people to forget; I swear I’m at risk of forgetting my own name) and lots of really exciting clients to work with.
3- What is the most hottest subject in search at the moment, what should every SEO be looking into?
Relationships. It’s relationships with content producers – like blogs – which allow SEOs to grow the sort of trusted, organic, editorial link that Google wants to value. SEOs should be looking at ways they can do this, escaping from the button pushing and lever pulling processes of last year.
4- What do you think is the “state of search” at the moment, is the industry doing good?
I’m pleased that the bigger, more traditional, marketing agencies are taking search more seriously. I’m yet to see any of them do anything impressive though.
Actually, I’m a little depressed about the state of search at the minute. There are still too many SEOs who’re betting their clients’ financial future on their ability to fool Google in the long run. I’m talking about black hat SEO here. It just won’t go away. I worry that the reputation of the industry is being harmed by charlatans and cheats.
5- What is your favorite website, apart from your own?
That website I’m going to discover tomorrow which implements something clever I’ve not seen before.
6- Can “social marketing / media” and search survive apart from each other?
Can you tell them apart? To answer my own question; it depends on how you define social media. If your view of social media boils down to getting people and sites discussing your product, services or site then isn’t that just SEO? If your view of social media is building widgets then search can live without that. Most views of social media are somewhere in between those two points.
7- What’s your search tip for the summer?
Worry less about rankings – after all, with personalised search becoming more and more influential each month, rankings are less and less absolute each month. Worry more about maximising those click throughs from the SERPs. Look at rich snippets, onebox options, real-time search and geo-tagging. These days there’s no point having a link that (often) ranks well for a term if no one clicks on it.