Growth Hacking Interview Series #7: Ed Pudol

Ed Pudol is one of the most sought after SEO speakers in the Philippines and has been helpful in spreading the influence of SEO. In this interview he will highlight his background and techniques in doing SEO.

Hi Ed, great to meet you! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and how you became to be involved with the SEO industry?

Hi Floyd, happy to meet you too and thank you for the chance to be interviewed by you.

I am Ed Pudol from Balanga City, Bataan, Philippines. I am the owner of kumitasanet.com, where I am sharing some tips on how to become successful online.

I told my whole story on how I became successful online from one of my first blog posts there.

2002, I lost my computer programming teaching job and I was 101% broke, no savings and no money in my pocket.

A friend of mine who has a computer shop literally fed me for 2 years. In return, I helped them in their computer shop.

Early 2004 while I am in my friend’s computer shop, I started to study internet marketing using a very slow dial up connection.

I tried almost everything I read online, like affiliate marketing, ppc, cpa, cpm, networking, but the whole nine months I never made a cent from my first website that was given to me by a very kind Singaporean national whom I met online. 

October 2004, I accidentally found a forum where webmasters can sell their websites.

I tried to sell my first site in the said forum and someone offered to buy my site for $100 and the rest was history.  That $100 started my journey in internet marketing and SEO.

How do you personally keep up to date with the latest in SEO?  It’s an ever changing industry so SEO consultants by nature need to be on the ball – how do you achieve this?

I agree. If you want to become successful in SEO you need to continue learning. In my case, I am not the person who is waiting for things to happen.

I am not only basing what I am doing on what I read or hear.

I am a programmer by profession and programmers are problem solvers, we do a lot of trial and error based on our logical understanding of certain problems.

And this is my mindset in SEO.  Bottom line I continuously experiment new techniques. Existing SEO techniques that works today, may not work tomorrow.

If you wait until that technique’s effectiveness is gone before you act, then you’re going to be left behind by other SEO professionals.

There have been a lot of algorithm changes from Google over the last year.  I am sure that you’ve had many potential clients come to you with ranking issues due to past SEO practices they might have undertaken.  Do you have any top-level advice for people who have seen their websites take a dramatic hit recently, or incurred a penalty?

Actually this is not a top level SEO solution and advice for penalized website but more on a suggestion for faster recovery in terms of monetization or income.

If your site was manually penalized, I advise not to touch until the manual penalty is expired. You almost have nothing to do with manual penalty.

While waiting for the expiration of the manual penalty, I suggest to my clients to create a new site and focus their effort and money in the new site instead of wasting money and time trying to save their old penalized site.

When the manual penalty expired (usually 6 to 12 months), you can start working on it again. The advantage of this approach is that you now have two websites that may bring you more traffic from Google.

What sets your SEO practice apart from the competition?  Are there any unique aspects to your consultancy that gives you a competitive advantage?

LOL can I skip this question? I am not applying SEO practices for my clients that I have never proven to work for myself.

I always treat my clients’ websites as my website, this will ensure that I take the best care of my clients’ websites.

If you were talking to client in your local area who was unsure about the benefits that local SEO can bring to a business, what would be the key components of your pitch to them in order to convince them?

I will explain to them that “an existing site that no one knew that it exists is a liability of the business and useless garbage online”.

You need to tell them the advantage of having a site showing on top of a search engine result, when someone searches a term that may bring them additional income.

Never ever try to convince them to acquire your SEO service or tell them they need to apply SEO on their website, because if you do this you will push yourself to much to the point that your prospect client will not understand what you are talking about.

My approach: I ask my client if they are using search engines to search information, product, or business on the net, surely they will answer yes. 

Then I follow up the question with “Are you opening search results in second or third page?” Most of them will answer “NO”.

Next I will tell them that if I want to find their service or product I will type the following keyword (a related keyword to their product or service).

Then I will ask them again, is your site at the top 10 for this keyword? They will say “NO”.  Then I will tell them “then you lost me as new potential customer”.

This approach will slowly open their eyes to the importance of a site in top 10 of search results. 99% of them will ask you how to make their site appear in top 10 of search results. It’s time to close the “DEAL”.

For any beginners to SEO, what advice would you give them?  It could be anything from how to set the business up, to winning business, or just some plain motivational advice.

For beginners I suggest that you create a blog from free blog hosting sites. Then test things that you read or heard from other SEO people.

Don’t take their words 100% try them and if possible improve them. The only way to prove if those SEO advice and techniques you’ve learned works is to try them.

Patience is the name of the game; you cannot become an SEO expert overnight. Continue learning, try to experiment your own style and techniques.

Do not offer something to clients that you cannot provide or never tried before to work.

In this business reputation is the most important thing. If you want to become successful and stay long  in this field, build good reputation and always do an extra mile on what your client expecting from you. 

If you do this sooner or later your clients will find clients for you.

During your career as an SEO consultant what has been your favourite or most interesting project that you’ve worked on?

A UK client who is targeting the following keywords: “Buy Viagra Online in UK”, “Buy Cialis Online” and some related keywords.

They’re tough keywords that you may lose your rankings overnight. SEO black hatter is the number one headache in our campaign for these keywords.

After 6 months of on and off in top 5 we managed to keep them there until our two year contract ended with the company and I believe they are still in top 10 for some of those keywords.

Are there any other websites or online projects that you want to tell our readers about – or perhaps any social channels or things you are working on currently?

Sorry but I cannot reveal them, we sign NDA to our clients.

But right now I am in the middle of experimenting something, my goal is to find an SEO strategy that can out rank authority sites like Forbes, Wikipedia, and Wikihow in a short period of time.

How do you view content in SEO as a leverage in providing relevant search results and as a way of doing link-building in the advent of the recent changes in Googles Algorithm and penalization of Ann Smarty’s MyBlogGuest?

In my opinion, content marketing will continue to work as long as you do different from the bandwagon.  I believe that sooner or later brand or site mentioned will be another factor to rank a site.

You can continue doing content marketing to related sites and be natural, mention your brand or sites with or without link.

Become an authority in your niche, someday they may give you more waits to those sites or brand you mention in your articles. Because you’re already a reputable author in your niche.

What do you think of Google’s approach to SEO? Are they being helpful by launching the disavow tool or do you think that this only gives more credence to negative SEO?

Many SEO experts and known names in the industry suggest using this tool. But in my case I am not using it. I do not trust the tool.

What is the fastest way to generate backlinks?

Well it depends on the link you want to create.  If you want thousands of link over night used SEO software they were created to build tons of spammy links.

For quality backlinks it requires times and effort.  One of my favorite ways to get high quality and related backlink is creating blog/site from web 2.0 sites using unique and high quality articles.

I will then build the authority of this blog so that my money site will enjoy the link juice from these web 2.0 blogs.

But I always do this right. Quality, unique, long content, limit to 2 link to my money site and one or 2 links to related authority sites.

What is the best quick fix way in optimizing your website for SEO?

Before you go off page be sure that your on page SEO is properly done. Many new comers believe that SEO and ranking sites can be done by link building alone.

One of the most ignored on page SEO technique that really works is siloing.

How do you measure your SEO success for a particular campaign?

Besides from ranking the target keywords, you need also to consider the time and money you spent. And of course how much you made from that campaign.

What project that you’ve handled that gave you a hard time in optimizing yet you came out successful afterwards?

I guess the one I mentioned in question number 7.

And lastly can you suggest any book, video, person, website that keeps you inspired in doing SEO?

I love all books of Brian Tracy and the series of Dare to Fail by Billi Lim.  I suggest seoorg.ph forum.

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