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Interview with Jason Acidre

Please give us your short bio.

I’m Jason Acidre, born and raised in the Philippines. I started out as a Pro-Counter strike Gamer and was an aspiring musician, before I entered the world of Search.

Now, I currently work as a Marketing Consultant for Doubledot Media Ltd., a New Zealand-based Web Development Company who serves more than 400,000 Internet professionals worldwide through brands such as Affilorama, Salehoo, Traffic Travis and many more.

I’m also the current Chief Link Development Specialist of SEO-Hacker, one of the leading providers of SEO services in the Philippines, and I do freelance consultation to clients who find me through my personal blog as well. Lastly, I’m a full-time father to an extremely lovable 2 year-old menace named Seth.

This year, I’m working on a few side projects that are still under construction like ShiftStream Media and GearUp Manila to name a few.

How did you start your journey as an SEO specialist, what prompted you to go down this path?

I experienced two unsuccessful startups (web content services and a local advertising agency) before I delved in deeper to Search Engine Optimization. Then after those failures, I was first hired by an Australian-based SEO firm last February 2010, where I was able to practice hardcore SEO. I believe that was the time that really triggered me to take this path, because I was really obsessed in learning almost everything about search marketing during that time.

I left that Company after a few months, but I was immediately hired by Simon Slade. He was the one who mentored me – indirectly by observing – with what really works in SEO, in which I was able to absorb and develop my own principles and strategies related to search marketing. This new working environment has eventually cultivated and driven me to constantly step up on my own game, seeing as I’m being surrounded by industry experts and for being part of something big.

Since then, I was consistently learning perhaps twice or thrice faster than what I’ve managed to do on my previous work, as I was no longer up for the experience, but rather more into the challenge of competing. The harder the goals were, the more I was enthusiastic about work and probably the smarter I was getting. I guess, that’s the main reason why I personally enjoy this profession – the never ending challenge.

This is kind of geeky, but I always have this strangely amused-happy feeling every time I discover something new related to SEO. Then of course, all those exciting knowledge were bound to pile up, which made me realize that I needed a place where I can store all the information I’m continuously acquiring. In late June 2010, I decided to put up a personal blog, since I needed a place (a lab rat) where I can try and do more thorough experiments and case studies concerning SEO, CRO, Social Media, and other stuff.

That’s when Kaiserthesage was born, a place where I can get to do more experiments, a journal where I can store all the knowledge I’ve acquired along the process as well as a channel where I can give back to the community by sharing the SEO strategies I’ve personally tested.

With a popular SEO blog, you might be a busy man. How does your day look like?

Chaotic, as I see how it really looks like. I don’t work in an office, I don’t have a secretary and I can pretty much work anywhere I would want to. But don’t be fooled, it’s in fact harder than what I’ve expected, especially in organizing and managing my own time. I don’t bring work home, because my work is everywhere, that’s actually the hardest part. Well, just to give an overview of my daily/weekly routine:

  • The first thing I do when I wake up is to check my email and to go online on Skype.
  • Almost 40% of my week is spent on thinking, research, planning, analyzing and conceptualizing – it’s the major part of my work, most of the time (for my clients, day job, side projects, experiments and my SEO blog). To be specific, I mostly strategize on content creation, on-site structuring, link development and overall online marketing campaign.
  • I require myself to search and read at least 2 solid articles each day (not necessarily related to SEO), just to generate fresh ideas and to keep myself up-to-date, but I usually get to read more than that.
  • I also assist in actual link prospecting/building for the sites’ I handle (clients, day job, and other side projects) by crafting canned emails/templates and interacting through emails, instant messaging, social media and blog comments.
  • I instruct and update the tasks of my team members as well as study their reports or proofread submitted content.
  • Talk with clients about updates, submissions of reports and analysis. I also draft monthly SEO action plans, wherein I track the campaign’s weekly progress, results and site auditing, as it’s important to know if the methods we have used are efficient or adapting to its industry’s search environment.
  • I write blog posts on my free time, mostly on weekends, and I do all the link building work and engagements for my blog when there’s a chance.
  • I religiously follow One Piece’s weekly update – a Japanese Manga (comics) – every Thursday. Thursday is my day.
  • And of course, I still get to spend time with my kid and my soon-to-be wife after those exhausting daily campaign executions. We routinely watch TV dramas together every night and I also have this playtime interlude with my son every afternoon.

Let’s talk about some link strategies. What are some basic strategies that you do regularly? Do you have your favorite?

The methods I regularly use and implement are actually the ones that go to my list of favorites:

  • Generating content-driven links from link baits and from developing a strong brand through content (guest blogging or own content) to attract and acquire natural in-content citations and editorial links from other websites.
  • Networking and building relationships with relevant bloggers through blog comments, communicative blogging, social networking and email outreach, in order to generate more high quality links in the future. It’s easier to request for links or for them to share your content once you have established a solid foundation and its returns are long term, given that it heavily indicates trust to a site/brand.
  • Information-based link building, wherein I use the site’s resourceful content in insight fully contributing to forums, Q&A sites and blog discussions and referring back to the content as the resource of my answers, as it contains more in-depth information about the certain topic.
  • Constant link search or to continuously find link opportunities all throughout the campaign.

What are your best 3 SEO tips ever?

  • Search engine optimization is all about trust! I’ve written several posts regarding this principle in the past. You can check them out here, here and here.  Build trust, not links.
  • Search rankings have 2 core principles – the relevance of the page and the popularity of the page – just stick with those two and you’ll certainly do fine. By popularity, I mean people genuinely/naturally linking to the page or if the page has managed to acquire authority incoming links, recommending it as a reliable source because of the quality and relevance of the content. Having popular pages on your site will improve your domain’s trust scores, which can predominantly help boost any of your site’s pages search rankings.
  • Learn, implement and observe. Once you have perfected your system, find more ways to improve it, and never stop learning, implementing and observing.

What are you thoughts about Black hat SEO? Is it as bad as portrayed by many SEO professionals?

There will always be a game as long as there’s a system that we are all ought to follow. I have nothing against black hat practitioners, knowing that we can actually learn from them, particularly with their mistakes once they get penalized. What I really like about them is that they are so inventive each time Google makes major changes on their algorithms, not really sure if it’s just because they are too lazy to do the monotonous SEO work, unlike persistent white-hats.

Personally, I don’t practice black hat, mainly because it’s against my principles, though I have tried using some of its techniques for one of my past clients (for a good cause actually). The project was for reputation management, where I had to pull negative reviews and defamatory/offensive pages off the search results to protect their image (but I have no plans of resorting to it again, I hope). So I guess I can still say that not everything in black is bad, since some of the techniques there can still be used for decent purposes.

What SEO blogs do you follow?

I read a lot of SEO blog entries from different online marketing blogs each week, but the ones that I habitually follow are Rand Fishkin’s posts on Moz and Ross Hudgen’s blog.

Any final thought you would like to offer to our readers something that can help them out achieve their online goals?

I was asked with this very same question last month on a group interview, but I’ll just share and quote my answer here:

“Not being able to compete in this industry is a sin. I believe that there are only 3 steps on how to truly achieve success in this industry: to constantly learn, to enthusiastically act as well as implement what you’ve learned and to thoroughly analyze your actions’ results. Basically, when you decide to stop learning, that’s where you start failing.

Success is a temporary state when it comes to online marketing, seeing as it is consistently growing (in terms of market, competition, algorithm, approach, demands, etc…). However, if you are really in love and passionate with your online business, then winning is not an option, it’s a definite direction.”

My call to action:

You can follow me on my new twitter account @jasonacidre or visit my SEO blog – Kaiserthesage. If you found this interview interesting please do subscribe

Thanks Anil

This concludes my Interview with Jason Acidre. Please follow Jason on your SEO journey, you will not regret it.

Anil Valvi

Hi, I’m Anil Valvi – I optimize websites and decision-making processes. I’ve spent about 60 hours a week testing and optimizing websites to gain a deeper understanding of what really works in Online Marketing and Conversion Rate Optimization. Digital Marketing Consultant, Product Designer, Technologist & Inventor. Passionate about Online Advertising and Social Media.

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