A summer interview with… Rishi Lakhani (@rishil): “Stop looking at SEO as a crack addiction”

A summer interview with… Rishi Lakhani (@rishil): “Stop looking at SEO as a crack addiction”

7th July 2010

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: One of the hard cores in the business, and someone who should be blogging here: Rishi Lakhani

1- Can you introduce yourself in one paragraph?

I used to be a Small Biz SEO, then moved up to a Search Consultant, and now work as an Online Marketing Strategist for Big Brands in the UK. I am a massive SEO enthusiast, and love to meet new SEOs worldwide!

2- What are you doing this summer?

Two things mostly, working on my series of Affiliate Sites and trying to monetise them better, and working on my series of Big Brand SEO posts on both my site, explicitly.me, and loads of others including Search Engine Journal and Blogstorm.

3- What is the most hottest subject in search at the moment, what should every SEO be looking into?

Personally I think the big topic for me is seeing Brand SEO ad domination in practice. The May day update blew away a number of long tail rankings from light weight sites, while on the other hand favoured others. This is definately a signal from Google, albeit a not perfected one, that a lot of small poorly built sites such as affiliate sites are going to be targetted. SEOs that rely on semi-blackhat techniques of auto generating content need to particularly be watchful.

4- What do you think is the “state of search” at the moment, is the industry doing good?

I think the industry is coming to a new peak and maturing a lot. Gooogle is what 10 years old? Well SEOs that specialise in Google optimisation are getting brighter, more experienced and more strategic. My personal experience in the board room has been great – the better you place your arguments for bigger, better resources and budgets, the more likely you are to get them. SEO is no longer seen as a geeks kingdom – it is coming of age and is slowly being discussed at board level. This for me is a matter of pride in my profession – I love the fact that we are not seen as snake skin oil salesmen anymore and being taken as serious marketeers.

5- What is your favorite website, apart from your own?

To be perfectly honest? For industry news I rely on twitter. If my network thinks a post is worth tweeting, I would consider it readinng. Outside twitter, I spend a lot of time on Reddit – these guys are a wonderful bunch and actually quite intelligent on many levels – there is loads to be learnt from spending time on the site.

6- Can “social marketing / media” and search survive apart from each other?

It depends. People talk about Social Media as a branding exercise, or a link building option, or a way to “talk” to people on behalf of a brand. On the other hand SEO is the aim of getting a site ranking for its target keywords. However both are Marketing Disciplines and both need to co-exist. And if Googles “social search” experiment comes to maturity, it will become even more crucial for the two disciplines to merge. Any SEO worth their salt will be keeping an eye on and learning a little about Social Media.

7- What’s your search tip for the summer?

Start planning campaigns like they are meant to last. Stop looking as SEO as a crack addiction, trying to find the next fix – look at the bigger picture and the rest will start falling into place.

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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