We taked with Dave Schneider about SEO and his successful online projects. Dave is a self made businessman who writes high quality case studies. He has started numerous businesses and has been involved in SEO for the last years. I’ll let Dave tell you more about him and his experience.
1. Dave, please introduce yourself. How did you start doing SEO and what do you do now?
I am 27 years old from Boston Massachusetts. I graduated from Harvard with a degree in mathematics and worked at Capital One as a business analyst for two years.
Afterwards I left my job and went backpacking around the world for two years with my girlfriend. During that time we started numerous businesses such as buying and selling websites, advertising, and SEO, and were able to replace our previous full time income. For the last four years I have been developing my skills as a digital marketer, and in June 2014 I partnered with two other digital entrepreneurs and began developing and marketing NinjaOutreach.
NinjaOutreach is a blogger outreach software for digital marketers and small businesses interested in growing their presence online.
2. Where is SEO heading? How do you see SEO 5 years from now?
Well I’ve never been much for predictions but I do think SEO will be just as important as it is now, if not more important in the next 5 years.
3. Will backlinks continue to be the main ranking factor for SEO?
I still think backlinks will play a vital role in everyone’s SEO strategy. Yes, it is not a perfect system, there are ways to game backlinks and buy them, etc, but I think that is really the case for just about anything else (social shares, etc), that you could imagine.
In general, I think backlinks do a fair job of indicating what is important.
4. What’s your favourite technique to do email outreach?
To be honest it’s just personalization. If you personalize your pitch, you’ll have a lot more success.
By this I mean including their name and referencing some of their work, as well as defining the relationship between the two of you.
5. Link building or link earning, what do you prefer? How would you do link building in competitive niches?
Personally I try a healthy mix of both. I do a bit of link building (though always white hat), and link earning.
For link building, I’ll often target resource pages and see if I can get my website or article listed there.
For link earning, I focus on writing quality content that people would actually want to link to organically. I combine that with effective outreach to get it noticed.
6. Your favourite link building technique?
Definitely it’s resource page link building.
I’ve described my approach in more depth via this video:
The short answer is that I identify resource pages in my target market in an extremely efficient and scalable way, and then reach out to the admin and ask them to add my site. I combine this with an affiliate offer and it has a fair rate of success. It can also often lead to other things like a guest post or a product review too.
7. What backlinks are good and which ones are bad?
The ones I would avoid are basically any that are easily manipulated, like directories, etc. You want quality in context links from authoritative sites.
I don’t bother to try to build links on static websites either, but focus on dynamic websites, which are growing their authority overtime (like resource pages on blogs).
8. What’s your biggest SEO accomplishment?
Most of my campaigns have been on my own websites. I’ve successfully increased the organic traffic by 3x on my girlfriend’s food blog AvocadoPesto. I would even say we recovered from a minor Panda penalty. It has continued over the last year.
It’s a very long story as to how we were able to do that and to be honest I don’t really remember all of it, but the gist of it was:
Improving old posts by rewriting the content. She had a lot of old original posts that really were thin content, since she didn’t know at the time what to be doing.
Changing the linking structure of the categories to make it more user friendly and to get the link juice flowing in the right direction.
Reaching out to bloggers in the space via social media to get them involved in the blog.
Improving the internal link of the posts and pages with some auto linking plugins focusing on keywords
Changing titles, meta descriptions, etc
It was a whole campaign for one site – but it worked!
9. Ever had a website penalized by Google?
Oh yeah I’ve had a bunch of websites penalized, and in all but the one which I mentioned above, I never recovered.
Though I can’t say I put a ton of effort into it. Usually I removed the spammy links and resubmitted – but it didn’t work.
This is why I don’t really bother with anything black hat so to speak. It’s just a waiting game to get penalized in my opinion.