Growth Hacking Interview Series #23: Geoff Kenyon
Geoff Kenyon is a seasoned online marketing consultant at Distilled who works with established brands and funded startups to help develop and execute online marketing strategies.
He has contributed to several industry blogs such as Moz, Search Engine Journal, and Marketing Profs.
You can follow him on Twitter at @geoffkenyon.
There has been reports of Google not being moral see: seroundtable.com for penalizing webmasters what is your view on this?
Google is doing what’s in their best interest by revising their rules and algorithms to be more stringent, just as we do what’s in our best interest by optimizing our sites.
Though Google controls search, at least in the US, and is a life source for many businesses, it’s not a public service and it’s understandable that we have to play by their rules to be included in the index.
They have the right to do whatever they want.
That said, I think a lot of problems would be mitigated if Google simply used their algorithms to make links ineffective rather than penalizing sites.
This would also alleviate concerns about negative SEO.
If you were given the chance to create a search engine like Google how would you approach it?
I’d find people a lot smarter than me to work on it.
It would seem that nowadays businesses that has a bigger budget has more chances of ranking in Google based on the recent link building survey of Skyrocket in Moz. How do you think businesses with very small budgets approach this dilemma?
When you’re small, or have small budgets, you have to be scrappy and you have to be very niche.
Initially, you need to focus your efforts on a very niche market and performing well there.
Once you have grown the strength of your site, you can expand horizontally to other niches or vertically to a broader term.
More tactically, you need to figure out where the gaps are in your niche (in terms of term targeting and content) and start your efforts in these gaps.
Further, you can focus on creating content that will do well in long tail search rather than focusing on head terms.
If you were given the chance to head the spam team of Google what would you change or improve upon?
I would change link based algorithms to prevent “bad” links from passing value rather than penalizing them.
What is the fastest way to earn in SEO that works 100% all the time? (ex: affiliate marketing, CPA, Service provider)
There isn’t one best way to make money that works all the time. What you should do really depends on your skill set and resources.
If you have a lot of great business connections, consulting is probably a good path for you.
If you have a lot of time to write content, or the resources to have content written, affiliate might be a good route. And nothing works all the time.
Sooner or later, there will always be clients who leave and algorithms that impact you.
What is the major flaw of SEO’s nowadays?
I don’t know if I’d call this a flaw, but it seems as if SEO’s don’t tend to perform their own tests as much these days.
I am a really big fan and advocate of testing SEO best practices to see what works and what doesn’t.
If we’re testing, we’ll be able to better understand how Google is interacting with our sites and have knowledge that goes beyond best practices.
Google is leaning more towards Mobile SEO with the disappearance of author photos in searches, how should SEO’s nowadays approach SEO given its more competitive nature to begin with?
Though Google is focusing on mobile, as we all should be, it doesn’t mean that anything necessarily changes for SEO.
We still need to make our sites relevant and authoritative.
The transition to mobile does mean that we need to give added thought to the mobile experience. Are you going to do responsive design?
Does inherently being on a mobile device imply any different intent or desires? Should the content be different for mobile and desktop experiences?
Can you suggest any book, video, person, website that keeps you inspired in doing SEO?
There are a lot of great and knowledgeable folks in the online marketing industry. Some of the ones I follow are:
With regards to Social Media just how much power do you think it has to replace traditional link-building techniques?
I don’t think that social media will replace link building as a way to impact search engines’ algorithms for the foreseeable future.
Social is great for connecting with users and for getting your content in front of an audience (who will hopefully link to it), but at least for the near future, I don’t think that social will replace links as a better way to determine the value of content.
Could you give me a list of SEO tools that you can’t live without?
Search Metrics, Moz, ahrefs, screaming frog, authority labs, Google Keyword Planner, and Excel.