Growth Hacking Interview Series #25: Fili Wiese
Fili Wiese is a renowned international SEO expert, former member of the famed Google Search Quality team and is one of the select few former Googlers with extensive policy driving, webspam hunting, webmaster outreach and tool development expertise.
As part of SearchBrothers.com, he utilizes his expertise to recover websites from Google penalties and help his clients max out the potential of their websites in search engines.
Q&A with Fili Wiese, former Google Search Quality employee and SEO Expert at SearchBrothers.com
What is your main source of income? (ex: Client Servicing, Affiliate Marketing, Adsense)
Primarily, I run a successful SEO Consulting Agency, with Kaspar Szymanski, focused on resolving Google penalties, addressing clients' problems with organic Google Search and advising online businesses on their future growth strategies.
We also provide customized SEO workshops that enable clients to grow in-house SEO expertise among their staff.
How do you close a potential SEO client deal?
I first talk to the potential client to make sure we are all on the same page. Most of the time I do this through a video call.
Making a real difference for our clients is very important to me so I have a quick dive into the site signals.
If I believe Kaspar and I can help we offer the prospective client a formal estimate to consider.
Once the client accepts this and the legally required paperwork is out of the way, Kaspar and I proceed to work on the site’s SEO.
What SEO Tools do you have experience with and which ones do you prefer and why?
On top of that, I heavily utilize the Google Cloud platform for additional processing power.
I am also a keen Ubuntu user and can’t imagine a day without using Ubuntu Gnome. At the moment it is by far the superior OS for laptop and desktop available.
Have you ever been in charge or part of a campaign that was successful? If so, what was the result in the SERPs and how long did it last for and what was the term?
SearchBrothers guarantee 100% confidentiality to the clients. Which is why I never disclose any details about our work.
Have you ever been part of a campaign that ended badly, with the site being banned or losing its ranking, if so what happened?
I have worked successfully on mitigating the fallout of ill-advised SEO campaigns ran by other agencies.
Snake oil salesmanship often results in sites being negatively impacted or worse, including Google applying manual spam actions for Google Webmaster Guidelines violations.
I see this happen here and there, however there is a silver lining for any business affected by such a problem: I know every Google penalty can be fixed.
Have you ever done any blackhat SEO and if so were you penalized?
No, I commit to working abiding to white hat methods. Most of our clients are major brands and very conscious about their reputation.
However, I do not judge and work constantly with clients who did apply black hat methods at some point in time.
I am here to help my clients understand Google Webmaster Guidelines and the risks associated with their future strategies.
What are your best practices for on-site SEO?
Make sure you cover the basics. If you do not, then everything else will likely fail.
Make sure your website is crawlable, does not send mixed signals to search engines or users. Ensure both content and structure will be understood.
Take on-site optimization seriously otherwise any other efforts such as off-page will only a limited impact.
Below are two SEO scenarios, please explain in detail how you would go about both:
Scenario 1: A client has a new site that is not indexed and not ranking, he wants to rank quickly, his terms are mid-level about 25,000 searches a month, how would you go about this.
Make sure the basics are covered and find out where your audience can be found. Use other channels to support brand building.
Optimize for conversion. It is not about how many searches per month take place, but how many conversions you have as a result of the ranking.
Focus on creating the best user experience possible and target your audience through multiple channels, not limited to search only.
Scenario 2: A client has an old authority site, with 1000s of backlinks all relevant but is not ranking and is not banned, what would you do to get this client ranking?
Similar as the previous answer, optimize for the best user experience including the basics and grow your user base through additional channels other than search.
Although search is important, it is not the only way to get converting traffic to your website and to support additional brand building initiatives.
What niches you’d consider to be untouchable (hard to really rank on) and why?
Any niche can be conquered, but it is all about providing a better user experience than anyone else in the niche.
In addition, you need to make sure you really maximize the basics of on-page and off-page SEO.
If there’s one thing that you’d want me to buy from you using your website what is it and how would you go about it?
Our website is about explaining our approach towards sustainable SEO and establishing initial communication.
I encourage entrepreneurs interested in working together to take a look and seek their industry peers' opinion on our work ethics and results.
Word of mouth reputation is equally important in the online world as any testimonial. If they think our businesses may be a match, let’s talk!