Hello, and welcome to “Meet your SEO“…The Takeover!! For those of you who don’t know (where have you been??) my good buddy Alessio Madeyski (twitter) has been running a fantastic series of interviews featuring great SEO’s from all over the world. I had the honour of being the first person to be featured in the series and have been hooked ever since. It’s not that often that I read SEO interviews but I never miss one of these.
Alessio is dedicated to becoming a famous and well respected SEO. Don’t believe me? Well check out the yellow background AND facial hair! Remind you of anybody?
Alessio is a scientist (molecular biologist know less!) turned SEO coming out of his beautiful homeland of Italy, he is well travelled and has lived across Europe, finally settleing (for the moment) in Berlin, Germany. Currently he is the SEO Manager for well know eCom company Zalando looking after their Scandinavian and Italian operation.
When did you enter the SEO world, and why ?
I entered as SEO in 2011. I came to Berlin looking for a job and I found one as social media strategist (I know they call this type of job this way, so I’m using it). After few months, people told me that a big fashion ecommerce was looking for an SEO manager for the italian market, I applied and it went well. Basically I was looking for an excuse to go away from the laboratory environments (I am a molecular biologist), because I was sick of dissecting mice or working with yeast. I mean, have you ever tried to talk to yeast at 10pm in an empty lab?
A great tip about onpage optimization?
Be awesome. Be creative. That’s what I’m saying every day to my onpage team. I really care about user experience in the page. Maybe nobody is gonna read that text, but still I know we can create something cool. Write what you first would like to read in a site.
The most stupid thing people believe about onpage optimization?
Keyword density. Really I heard too many things about this KW density bullshit. Do you really think it’s nice to see something with the same word repeated over and over and over? are you out of your mind? Get rid of that!
A great tip on how you build links?
Relationship. I know it’s unpopular, but I really try to create good relationships with bloggers and webmasters. It requires time, but it’s amazing. First of all because you get to know new people in the world, with different minds, with different culture. Second, because the links are simple to have when you create this. You start with a link, and then usually they are gonna link to you over and over, because of the good impression you gave.
The most stupid thing you heard about linkbuilding?
I never paid for a link. Bullshit. I mean, it depends what you mean. I think that if you are selling book, and you send a book for a review, you have paid for that link. Maybe you didn’t give money, but you paid for it. Don’t be afraid of saying you pay for link, because it’s not always bad in my opinion (for example, reviews).
If you have to explain what you do at a 10 year-old kid , what are you gonna say?
You know when you search something on Google and you find what you need? It’s me that makes this possible. After that, I think I’d walk away because 10 year-old kids smell like candies and they are usually dirty.
What do you drink when seoing?
Red Bull when I can, but I have to find a deli nearby. Otherwise water and coffee in the morning. I strongly believe that beers help you out, especially at the end of the day.
What do you think about SEO community?
I think it’s great. Like all community there are people I admire, people who are total jerks. I receive a lot of good vibes and help from other SEOs and I’m really great to be part of this community. I don’t like when SEOs are talking only about SEO and marketing, I prefer to know people beyond that and that’s why I did the “Now! That’s what SEOs call music” post and I’m interviewing SEOs in a relaxed way.
Usually at this point Alessio asks the interviewer to ask themselves a question, but this is the takeover, and it’s my rules! So I’m going to ask one of my own.
How do you find SEO’ing in a foreign country in what is not your first language? Does it make the job more difficult?
I’m responsible for SEO in Italy, so to this I have no problem. I have a fantastic team working with me, all of them are italian. Now I am responsible even for SEO for some scandinavian countries (ad interim) and that is a challenge. I don’t know danish or finnish, so it’s really hard to have control of the quality of the content for example. But once again, I’m lucky enough to have awesome people from these countries working with me, and the best think you can do is motivate them and then TRUST them. What I often see is that people don’t trust each other. In my case, trust is all. And till now, it went all really good. Then there is the German part: unfortunately I don’t know german, I tried twice, but I don’t get it. I think I’m lazy, and probably a little bit dumb even. In the office we can talk in English with no problems, but then often they comment in german, and they think I don’t get it. Wrong! I have a simultaneous translator implanted in my brain, you silly.
Who is your biggest SEO influence?
There are many actually, but basically the ones who are cool enough to help me and interact with me on twitter, even if I am a newbie. My SEO influences, and people I admire in general, are the ones who are humble despite the fact they are like god in what they’re doing.
If you weren’t an SEO, what would you like to do ?
I would like to go in tour with some big bands, like Iron Maiden, or Nine Inch Nails as manager or something like that. Wouldn’t it be cool? Or even be the man inside Iron Maiden’s Eddie. I like SEO to be honest, and I was in danger to be a molecular biologist all my life!
I’d just like to say a huge “Thanks” to Alessio for letting me basically hijack his idea for my blog Cheers! If you want to ask him your own questions just drop it in the comments section and we’ll see if he’s good enough to answer…
Post by Gaz Copeland