SEtalks.com is a platform to talk about
SEO, Social and Inbound Marketing related topics.
We also offer SEO services to businesses.
My name is Moosa
Hemani, and I am a
search blogger, a
link builder, who
now offers highly
services, to help my
clients get better
Interview With The
Sharpest Brain In
Search, Bill SebaldA person who have over
13 years of SEO and
experience and music
He is the
Founder, Partner and
SEO at Greenlane
Search Marketing LLC.
He previously worked
but bigger brands like
In this interview I am asking some
important question about SEO related
problems and Mr. Bill Sebald answered
these question very properly, it’s very
helpful hope you like it. Here I
Before SEO I was a ratio presenter so I have an idea of
how sexy this music business is so my question is, what
makes you come back to web and SEO games?
I struck out as a rock star so I had to have a plan B.
The truth is, my time in the music business was the best
thing for my adult career. I got into the web just as
the music industry was accepting it as a real
medium, and in parallel, was working on a music
entertainment site. rollingstone.com wasn’t even a
thing yet. Just as I learned to play guitar to impress
women, I created the website to interview, meet, and
hang with celebrities. But the byproduct was being
introduced to SEO, which I took to more than web
design or coding. I really just enjoyed the work (and
Mobile Searches Are Increasing YOY, and Google is also
giving more importance to the websites that are
mobile friendly. Do you thing it is must for any website
to the mobile friendly or one can survive even without
i look at it as a matter of priority. some sites don’t
need a mobile site… yet. let’s say you have a car
accident. you’re standing on the highway frantically
using your iPhone to find contact information on your
insurance company’s website, and you’re looking for a
collision center to come tow your heap. It makes
perfect sense to create a mobile experience for what
most people would use your mobile site for –
quick, fast access to certain information. I just
worked on a collision center’s site where they had 15
locations. Analytics told us that contact information
and a mobile-friendly “store locator” were
have goals. If the data allowed, I might first
recommend for the paper clip manufacturer to put
their resources into achieving those marketing goals
before going down the “mobile-redesign” road. I meet
prospects all the time who think they should have a
mobile site and a social presence, simply because
they feel everyone has one. that’s a terrible
reason. The problem is, sometimes they have nothing
to promote or share, or any content strategy to
speak of. Sometimes these companies would be better
suited investing in marketing automation and
investing marketing dollars into collateral for
their business development department. Get to the
mobile site when it makes sense, and maybe after
achieving website goals or content initiatives. Unless
you’re using a blackberry from the 2008, most sites
are passable on a smart phone anyway. if it’s not, you
probably have bigger existing issues with your
What is the one thing you think is most important for
local business to implement and get most out of the
search engine channel?
Local businesses always have the privilege of getting
away with being really personal. I suggest
leveraging that. it’s fun and engaging for
searchers, but like any page, it won’t convert if it’s
not the right flavor (is warm and fuzzy a flavor?).
Right now I find it quite easy to rank for local
keywords due to much less competition (specific niche in
a specific region), but in my opinion, ranking and
converting are two separate things that should
always be in the same sentence. if you’re going to
really benefit from a local listing, be a personal
your ingredients, your videos, etc. Look like you have
money to invest in your website, and you’ll look
successful to visitors (neuromarketing for the
win, especially on the local front!). People want to
check out what they perceive to be the “most
successful / friendly / award winning pizza place on
the block!” Again, you choose your flavor.
don’t be a website that looks like nobody loves it. it’s
such an easy, fun thing a local company
can do for conversions. seems obvious, doesn’t
it? Yet, so many local sites are pure vanilla. I push
this on all my local clients. After all, I want the
traffic I bring them from search engines to
convert. that’s how i keep my job.
Talking about On-page Optimization, 3 areas that are
most important in 2014?
here’s the approach we’re taking at greenlane (i
asked Michael, Jon, and Keith on our team this question
for their input too! Super brilliant guys):
1. Authority – not the “authority” we generally tie to
backlinking, but content that proves you’re an
authority on your subject. Big brands win because
they’re seen as the best. the immutable laws of
marketing worked for them, and should be applied for
seo’s work. bring marketing to seo.
2. Entities and relationships – Google is clearlyContinue
3. Topics – Google has graduated to a 7th grade
education, and they’re comprehension is getting
better. So, our landing pages must play up to a
smarter Google. Our pages are going to rank even
better when they deserve to. The idea is to make them
a must-have asset for potential visitors. Using the
content to tell a story, answer a question or solve a
problem, etc., in order to take better advantage of
We all know that content is important and if the
content is powerful a little push of promotion can
take it a long way! But what exactly is the powerful
content? Some tips!
i’d say, don’t just make content that is nice. everyone is
making that content. Instead make content that
changes the way people think. An infographic that
someone will share, and maybe print out and put on
their cubicle wall is nice, but an article that makes
people say, “oh wow – I really need to relearn
everything i’ve been taught,” will really give your
website sticking power. don’t phone it in, don’t be lazy…
take a gamble.
At Greenlane we take ideas to our clients like typical
marketers. we’ve had clients tell us they’re surprised
always trying to think of how something cool can be
leveraged by our clients.
my favorite part of the question is “a little push of
promotion.” that’s the part that i feel gets too little
play. Part of creating this content should be
determining where the hell you’re going to release it.
Going back to music for a little analogy – if a rock
band plays in their garage, and never leaves their
garage, nobody hears them. If the same band sets up
their gear for an impromptu jam session on
i95, traffic will back up for miles. that’s a band
you’re going to pay attention to.
Say no to Guest Blogging, 2014 is a year without guest
blogging and more. These are few of the hot one line
news in 2014. What is your take on this?
i’d be surprised if guest posting went away. I think
there will be plenty of lazy SEOs still going down this
road (which is a shame, but hey, nobody beats a tactic
to death like an SEO). I wrote about guest posting in i’m
Not Afraid Of A Google Update Against Guest Posting.
Since I wrote it, Google came out with some statements
that sort of side with my take. they’ve also come out
with some absurd requests. truthfully i’m not actively
doing it for clients, but i think there’s perfectly valid
use for it in a content strategy. Authorship feeds
Any Link Generation tactics that you have used in the
past and got exponential results in terms of links and
Tons got SEO value and virtually no traffic value.
Google has since squashed them. But now I think about
link building – as often as I can – as a vehicle to get
SEO value and referral traffic. I really like building
the links that get clicked. The scholarship tactic for
example; it hasn’t been abused yet that i can see
(thought the SEO results appear to be softening), and
students get a chance to benefit from the link in terms
of receiving grants for their college education. Take
it a step or two deeper, and create something with the
same value specific to the niche of your clients. that’s
information people are seeking, and make sure you’re
where the traffic is to give directions. That takes
research i think a lot of seos don’t tackle.
Or, like a Wiki or Freebase editor who cares about the
quality and accuracy of information on the web, SEOs
are usually really good at find information that’s
outdated. We know the tricks – they can benefit us.
i’ve had tons of success in updating content on the web
with a link benefit to my clients’ expertise. we wrote
a post about the tactic and created a tool
called The Outdated Content Finder.
My best tip is to gather up the tactics (authored from
all the SEOs who are way more clever than me) and
figure out the non-lazy way to use them. But let me
point you to 2014 Edition of Link Building Secrets
You have Work With giant Brands like eBay, NFL and
more And now you are working with small and mid size
business. What is the basic difference you see other
than the fact that big brands got big dollars!!
usually there’s less red tape. the big brands and the
big dollars come with a lot of roadblocks. The
smaller companies are nimble. Sometimes these are
the companies of our actual point of contact (and not
just a pit stop in someone’s career path). when you’re
talking to the dude who actually owns the
company, you get a whole different level of
passion, support, and respect.
I still work with a couple big brands now, and I do
enjoy those challenges. Enterprise SEO is a whole
different beast. It keeps you sharp. I hate throwing
While doing SEO, 5 tools you use regularly and you
would like to recommend to others as well.
5 is tough! I have several.
1. Buzzstream – it’s a crm tool, a link manager and
prospecting tool, and data retrieval system in
one. i’m a huge fan of this tool.
2. Rank Ranger – I still care about rankings. I think
they’re a great directional metric. rank ranger
does daily rank tracking with a ton of different
metrics and white labeled reports. You pay for the
keywords, so we track our “vital” keywords here.
3. Advanced Web Rankings – for the big data
4. Screaming Frog – i’m in there on a weekly basis. this
tool can do so much. i’m excited to watch it grow.
5. Cognitive SEO – Awesome back link analysis. This
tool is really helpful (and visual).
6. I know you asked for 5, but I have to also say
SEMrush. i’m all about competitive research, and from
a SERP perspective, their core functionality is really
You are in this SEO game since a very long time, so how
do you explain your job to your family and friends who
have no idea of how this industry works?
my family has no idea what i do. i’m convinced they think
I run porn sites. Surprisingly though, more people have
heard of seo than i would have expected. it’s more
mainstream now than ever. if i’m at a party, and
someone doesn’t know what it is, i say, “basically i get
hired to help you rank #1 on google.” then they nod
politely and walk away. The SEO is not the most
popular guy at most parties.
Sir! Thank you very much for taking some time out of
your busy schedule and answering some of my
questions. I am sure your answers will help me and my
readers to better understand how SEO works!
Interview Of Bill Sebald
By Mossa Hemanihttp://www.setalks.com