My Moment of 2012: Yoast, Mel Carson, Jonathan Allen and Barry Schwartz

My Moment of 2012: Yoast, Mel Carson, Jonathan Allen and Barry Schwartz

19th December 2012

The end of 2012 is approaching rapidly, and yes, you are seeing ‘predictions for 2013’ or ‘what happened in 2012’ posts probably pop up everywhere. Here on State of Search we try and do things differently, but to be honest we also like to listen to what other people think and we like to let our friends talk.

So this year we went for another approach: we asked our friends and bloggers what their moment for 2012 was and what their wishes for 2013 are. Going up to the New Year we will tell you what the best moments of our friends were and around the New Year we will show you what they wished for. Not all at once, we have too many friends ;-), but in groups. Towards the end you will hear from our bloggers.

Today it is time for the first group! In this group some big names from within the industry: WordPress SEO celeb Joost de Valk (for some better known as “Yoast”), former Microsoft hero, now author and Self Employed Mel Carson, The Director of Searchenginewatch Jonathan Allen and the editor at Searchengineland and Founder at SEROundtable Barry Schwartz tell us what they’re best moments for 2012 were. Enjoy!


Joost de Valk, CEO at

“My moment of 2012 was definitely the moment that I signed the contract to hire Michiel as a full-time employee. He’d been working with me for quite a while as a freelancer but we decided it was time to hire him and get an office. That was in february, since then we’ve added 3 more colleagues and an intern, which means I’m typing this in an office with 4 other people… I honestly hadn’t seen that coming at the beginning of the year.


Our website review business grew exponentially because of the several Google updates this year, as more and more people had a need for a second opinion about their website. So I guess I can thank Google for growing my business in a non-standard way 🙂 Next to that, our Video SEO plugin, which you reviewed, is doing exceptionally well, which is making the year all the more succesful.” 





Mel Carson, Founder at Delightful Communications LLC

“Getting laid off from my job at Microsoft, publishing my first book and starting my own company all happened within three months for me in 2012. They were certainly three moments rolled into one I will never forget.”



Jonathan Allen, Director, at Incisive Media

“This year, I was really happy when SEW won the Gold AZBEE national award from the American Society of Business Press Editors for best new or relaunched web site but my biggest moment of 2012 was SES San Francisco was when Mike Grehan, Matt Cutts, Danny Sullivan and Brett Tabke were all on stage for an early morning keynote panel. This impromptu meeting of minds was like the Jedi Council of SEOs meeting again after 6 years and it hit me that they are all pioneers of not just SEO but the internet in general. All are early adopters of blogging, writing ebooks, combating spam and setting up conferences – each doing a little bit of what the other did but also dedicated to their particular speciality. It struck me that we were watching a combined experience of over 40 years of guts, willpower and determination to get their voices out there so early in the game and now we were watching these industry heroes return to the stage together.


I was between shell shocked and euphoric the during session but it was the words of Kristjan Mar Haukkson which came back to me and took the realization to a whole other level. At the Webmaster Radio SearchBash the night before he said to me, “We are ALL pioneers. We are building a new industry. We cannot imagine what this industry will become over the next 20 years and we are all playing a part.” In a moment of admiration and honour at being in the company of heroes, that gigantic viking’s words invoked a sense of total fearlessness and respect for life. His comment simultaneously brought home the scale of the entire transformation that search and social media has played in modern life and reminded me of how much more room there is for this industry to grow. The realization utterly dwarfed any worries I had reserved for Panda and Penguin, or any other update that Google might get throw at us in the future. “



Barry Schwartz, News Editor at Search Engine Land, Executive Editor at Search Engine Roundtable

“I’d have to say my moment in the search news I cover was finding the nugget about Google creating the Penguin algorithm and it first being called the “over optimization” penalty back in March. It didn’t go live for 5 week after that but it was the first time webmasters had such advanced notice of a major algorithm update and I was the first to break it.


That was fun but also important because no other warnings came outside of Matt Cutts mentioning it in front of a lot of people who don’t practice SEO daily. It wasn’t until then that the SEO community took notice and began preparing for the Penguin update.”

Stay tuned in the next days for more moments of 2012!


Written By
Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.
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