When I was in Paris earlier this month, I met the SEO Director of NetBooster, Stéphanie Sallée. We went to a typical French café and talked about the search market in France. (more…)
When I was in Paris earlier this month, I met the SEO Director of NetBooster, Stéphanie Sallée. We went to a typical French café and talked about the search market in France. (more…)
Jo Turnbull has been traveling Europe this summer doing interviews for State of Search in her Euro 2012 SEO Roadshow. The trip was a success and Jo agreed to stay on doing more interviews with SEOs around the globe for State of Search. Today you can find her first talk after the trip.
When I was in Sweden last month, I interviewed Johannes Eriksson, SEO Manager at Jajja Communications in central Stockholm. I wanted to find out what the search market was like in Sweden and asked Johannes a few questions about SEO in his native country for State of Search. (more…)
In the past month Jo Turnbull has been traveling through Europe trying to meet up with SEO’s around Europe. Jo reported on her trip right here on State of Search and on our Facebook page. She interviewed people from different countries and showed us with a lot of great pictures how “Search in Europe” looks in real life.
When I was in Rome I was fortunate to meet Giuseppe Pastore, an Italian SEO specialist working in Italy’s capital. We had some delicious typical Roman food and then talked about the search market in Giuseppe’s home country. (more…)
Last week I met up with six people in Florence who all work in SEO. I met Elena Farinelli, Stefano Romeo, Lourdes Flores, Niccolo Villiger, Katia Baroncelli and Andrea Cardelli. We went out to a fantastic restaurant in Florence and had a traditional Italian lunch. It was great to meet so many SEOs in one place, thanks to Elena for organising the lunch meeting with the other SEOs in Florence. (more…)
When I was in Berlin, I met Alessio Madeyski, SEO Manager of Zalando. He is an Italian with a Polish ancestory living in Berlin (since Jan 2011)– a true International SEO professional. Alessio has also spent some time in Paris, Barcelona and Denmark.
I have been in an SEO role for more than one year. But previously to this, I had been creating websites, mobile versions of sites and some social media stuff. I actually started work as a molecular biologist but I did not like it as much as SEO and therefore I changed career.
It is an ecommerce site which is now becoming the first portal for fashion and lifestyle in Europe. We have launched it in Germany in 2008, currently making it in 10 countries in EU.
The two countries are very different. I was also in different roles in both countries. I was working as a biologist in Italy when I decided to come to Berlin for an experience. I worked for few months as freelancer for an UK startup, and then I saw that Zalando was looking for an SEO manager for taking care of the Italian market. I applied and all went well. Now I am in charge even of the Scandinavian market, and this is a real challenge for me. You know, different mentality, different language. This is the real difference between Italy and Germany: here every day is a challenge, in Italy all the things are more calm and quiet, and I don’t like that lifestyle.
Moreover, in Italy there are less opportunities for young people. If you are young, you cannot get senior positions or have the ability to climb the corporate ladder as quickly as you can do so here. I have not been in SEO for a long time but I have a passion for it, and Zalando is very good to recognise it in people and builds on it. That’s the beauty of working here: they invest in you because they believe in you.
Neither the German nor Italian market (which I work on) has been affected by the Panda and Penguin update. We have not seen a drop in traffic or rankings and we are still beating our competitors.
The reason we have not been affected may be due to the fact that we practice all white hat SEO work. To me, it’s not matter of what color is the hat you wear, but to do something for the user. I strongly believe that the brand belongs to the user, not to the company. So we, as Zalando, are trying to do all we can to listen to what the user wants.
I do not like the term “link building”. I prefer to build relationships with blogs and portals, true relations that can lead to a link because of them. I also believe that great content depending on the type of the site you are working on can bring link in a natural way. Spam tactis, or black hat SEO has worked for some sites, but I don’t like it for the simple reason that there is nothing authentic in it. That’s why I prefer talking about “idea building” , because when you have a really good idea and you use your creativity, good links will follow.
I attend search events, but many of the ones in Germany are in German obviously and I do not speak fluent German yet. I’ve been to “Be Wizard” in Rimini and I will attend “WebReevolution” in Rome in june, for being more involved in the Italian SEO scene. I hope to go to SearchLove in London in October. I like conferences to so that I can build relationships and meet my SEO heroes.
It is really important, and you feel this because we are evolving every day and this is amazing. We evolve with the user, in order to be able to answer their queries in the best way possible.
Sweden is more advanced compared to Italy. In Italy, people search for “Nike”, but in Sweden they search for “Nike clothes”, “Nike shoes”, they know more specifically what they want. Moreover, Sweden, like all Scandinavian countries I suppose, is more accustomed to buying goods used online.
We use two main tools – Searchmetrics and Sistrix. Then of course we use all “classic” tools for keyword research, trends, insights, what’s hot and so on.
We adjust a report for each country. We tend to talk about difficulties in our reports to our head of SEO Norman Nielsen, because of our goal is not to be static, but to evolve and solve any problems we may have.
It will keep on developing. The key is to evolve. In my opinion, SEOs have to be more open-minded, like collaborating with social media guys, PRs, developers, graphic designers… SEO to me is how to answer to what people wants. And you cannot do it as only SEO.
I have actually started interviewing SEOs in my post “Meet your SEO” , so I was really pleased to be interviewed for “State of Search”. Thank you for interviewing me and hope to see you when I come to London for Search Love.
Andre Alpar is one Partner of an international SEO company AKM3, based in Berlin. Andre has been very busy in the search industry, he has published a number of open source SEO software (www.seerobots.com), is a speaker at key events, podcasts (www.omreport.com), runs a cigar shop (www.noblego.de) and has a book coming out. When I was in Berlin, I caught up with Andre and asked him a few questions about search in Berlin.
I started to build websites in 1996 back when there was just search engine watch.
In 1997/98, I had an internship in a yacht charter company in Hawaii. They wanted to rank for the products and I did get them ranking. Once the internship had finished, I went I back to Germany. The search landscape became more competitive and I thought I could offer SEO as a service. However, I was met with resistance to SEO back then as people thought that as they had a website, they would not need any SEO. I built my own website, I was number one for the term “games” in German. I received a lot of traffic and then when Google appeared, I was still number one.
In 2001, when the dot com bubble burst, I moved away from online. I lost belief in it and I went to do my PhD.
AKM3 – has different meanings. We wanted something short and easy to remember.
1) Our USP is our unique approach. All of the MDs and myself have worked client side so we all put a lot of thought into how an SEO agency should be run so that clients will want to work with us.
Many SEO companies in the market in Germany have in their contract agreement with their clients that the links they develop for their clients are only valid as long as they stay with that agency. Clients are afraid to go elsewhere as it would mean losing their links and rankings.
Therefore from the beginning, we set up our company so that the client is free to leave our agency services should they so wish at any time. If we build links for them, which we call “link marketing” they will still have these links if they leave.
This has proved to be successful as the company grew from 0 to 60 employees in 2.5 years.
We are very open to our clients, as demonstrated e.g. by how we report our link marketing results.
We can help with SEO in 20 countries, something other companies may not be able to do. We employ native speakers for each of the different markets. But we have everybody working closely togeather from our Berlin office for these different countries.
Our clients are mostly German and they have a certain idea how they want their SEO agency to be run such as the reporting, the on page optimisation and the link marketing. They have problems finding agencies abroad when they want to take their product into different countries. For us it is really easy to service German clients when they develop their product or service abroad. We help them to get an SEO presence in every market they want to enter.
Germany is one of the most competitive markets. There is a reason why there are a lot of good SEO in Germany. There are lot of people all round the world, who want to live in Berlin. We employ them to work in their native language and the fixed costs of living are much cheaper then if we were to have this office in London.
We have the same KPIs as many agencies.
CPC, CPL (cost per lead) if fixed fee, CPS (cost per sale) (CPA) – not used CPA in Germany.
Visibility index – aggregated ranking usually evaluated via different German SEO tools.
I am unable to disclose the clients we have at this company. However, before I was working at AKM3, I was at Rocket Internet (eDarling, Wimdu, Groupon, Zalando, etc.) servicing more than 30 of its companies with SEO consulting and other services.
They definitely understand PPC over SEO. We give a lot of strategic advice, where as not much is need for PPC. There is a higher tendency of doing PPC in house but outsourcing SEO to an agency. I have just written an article about In House SEO.
They have all increased in rankings –mostly affiliates got killed. If your client is a legitimate site and a big brand, then it has not been affected.
There has been a shift more on the quality of links which has an effect on cost. It is more important to have less links which are of higher quality than many low quality links. We also help clients to set up internal process to acquire links.
Yes I attend SMX and this past year have spoken at 20 different conferences throughout Europe. I set up and run OMCap (www.omcap.de) which is partnering with SES. It takes places in October in Berlin. From this year on we will have some English presentations as well and hope to attract some international online marketing people as well.
We offer on page optimisation and link marketing.
Reporting is included in all the services. If use the sophisticated tools, then there is no a lot of reporting needed. Sometimes we even teach the clients how to use the reporting tools.
I mostly use Sistrix – my colleagues at AKM3 like Searchmetrics and SEOlytics as well.
We use one of the SEO tools mentioned above for reports – what we have been doing, what links able to acquire, information about the links, where we get them from etc.
I think it is will be more strongly interlinked with regular marketing. SEO will be more about relationships and the relationship it has between PR, marketing and social media.
Jo Turnbull is traveling through Europe this month. The same month as in which Euro 2012 takes place. Jo therefore decided to go and watch the games with local SEO’s and meanwhile talk to them about search. About the differences within Europe, but also about the recent developments in search. Find below the interview she did with Marcus Tober of Searchmetrics.
How long have you been in search for?
In 2001, I started working for a small agency in Berlin where I developed sites as a PHP developer and I also had to optimise the sites I built. Later, while I was studying computer science, I worked at idealo.de in SEO. I started Searchmetrics in 2005 and in 2007, a venture capital company invested in the company where we together rebranded and renamed the organisation. Now we have a team of about 100 people which is great.
Have you been affected by Penguin and Panda update?
Our clients have not been affected. After such updates we see strong correlations on different types of sites like price comparison sites after Panda last year. Not all sites were affected, sites with a higer quality and “better” user signals can still rank extremely well, like Idealo.de and Billiger.de as they have more branded terms for their anchor text and a better brand.
Do you attend any search events in Germany?
I go to SMX Munich, there is also an SEO day in Cologne and SES Berlin. I just spoke at Webinale on June 5th and June 6th in Berlin. The German market is a strong market like the US and UK market and it is important to be present at search events not just in Germany but also round the world. We’re at the SMX in Paris next week and I’m also speaker on SMX New York, Pubcon Las Vegas, SEOkomm Salzburg etc.
What are the different SEO products you offer to your clients and why?
We built the largest database in combined SEO and Social data. In SEO we have more than 100 million keywords which we update regularly to calculate rankings, trends and a lot competitive data. This research capability is unique and we offer that in all the most important countries worldwide. Then we have an enterprise solution for larger clients where you can connect external data like web analytics (traffic, conversions) with your SEO data. You see recommendations for your site because we crawl your site automatically. So in the end you can use our research software (Searchmetrics Essentials) for deep SEO and Social signals analysis or the enterprise solution with user management, keyword management, site optimization, traffic integration and automated reporting engine.
Who are your clients?
We have three different clients:
1) Large Enterprise companies which have worldwide teams, (like GM or SIEMENS2) Small to Large Agencies
3) In house SEO teams
4) SEO specialists
We offer the Searchmetrics Essentials for the small SEOs and the specialists. They use this tool to analyse potential sites for link building. The prices starts at just is $99 USD which is very competitive. We offer the Searchmetrics Suite to the larger companies and in the marketing/seo agencies which they use to manage their clients and larger campaigns.
On June 29th we will be releasing a new Searchmetrics Suite based on a new architecture and new features.
How has Google affected your business?
It has shown SEO is more important to organisations and we have increased the number of partners working with us. SEO is becoming more complex and organisations want to understand this. The companies need Searchmetrics to measure their conversions, carry out audits on site and help them with the online reports.
How important is search in Germany?
Search is very important in Germany, but it really depends on the company. The small to medium sized businesses depend on Google organic traffic and therefore optimise their sites for this. Some of the bigger sites such as Mediamarkt (which is similar to BestBuy in the US) operate a local franchise system where they offer different prices for goods depending on the customer’s local area. In this case, search does not work in their favour as they have too many products with different prices which they cannot sell online.
What do you think is the future of search in Germany? and SEO in particular?
Search will evolve faster than you can imagine. Search engines will always deliver the best results possible which is why SEOs have to evolve as well. They need a good understanding of the user’s needs, usability, social and web analytics to create the best
SEO strategy. Technical SEO optimisation is history, now we have SEO focused on the user or “user focused SEO”.
Marcus’ team will be at SMX Paris on Tuesday and Wednesday the 12th and 13th of June, come to the stand and say hello. Marcus will also be at SMX New York and Pubcon Las Vegas as speaker.
It is again time for something new and special at State of Search! Next week is the start of Euro 2012, one of the biggest events in Europe. Football teams from around Europe will meet up, but State of Search meanwhile will do the same and let SEO’s meet up.
Jo Turnbull, a freelance SEO consultant and organiser of Search London which holds events every 4 to 6 weeks featuring key search professionals in the industry, will be traveling around Europe during Euro 2012. And while she is doing that she will be trying to meet up with SEO’s from around Europe, learning what triggers them and what makes them different from others. From all of this she will report back to us on State of Search.
Jo will be bringing her camera and notebook to make sure she captures how the different European countries ‘do their SEO’ and watch the games. This means she wants to talk to you. You could be the one interviewed on State of Search, so make sure you meet up with wherever Jo is.
Jo will be travelling during Euro 2012 and will be in Berlin for the Germany vs Portugal game on Saturday June 9th and will be in Prague for the Czech Rep vs Greece game on Tuesday the 12th of June. Find below the dates and cities Jo will be visiting in Europe.
“Europe’s State of Search Euro 2012 Roadshow” will take part between June 6th and July 6th 2012. Jo Turnbull will be visiting 11 cities in 31 days and would like to speak to those who work in search in some of these places. She would like to find out what search is like in these countries and will be blogging for State of Search during her time in Europe. Jo will also be uploading photos from her trip with fellow search professionals in the respective countries.
Jo will want to capture how the different countries are looking at Euro 2012 and wants to see the games, together with other SEOs. So can you help her out? Can you tell her where she should watch the games? Or even watch the games with her?
Please contact Jo Turnbull if you would like to have a chat with her about what search is like in your industry either via the State of Search Facebook page which she will be updating regularly or by getting in touch via the State of Search website.
Berlin – 6th of June to 10th of June
Prague – 10th of June to 13th of June
Budapest – 13th of June to 16th of June
Bratislava – 16th of June to 19th of June
Vienna – 19th of June to 21st of June
Salzburg – 21st of June to 24th of June
Verona – 24th of June to 26th of June
Florence – 26th of June to 28th of June
Pisa – 29th of June (day trips)
Siena – 30th of June (day trips)
Rome – 1st of July to 6th of July