Alberto Alcocer: “The future does not speak of individual experts, but of teams or agencies that help their clients to generate business on the Internet, designing effective digital strategies”
For all those who start a project, it is always a pleasure to have the collaboration of those who have been in the industry longer than you. In my case I have the facility to work in SEO which, unlike others, is a very grateful sector where it doesn’t matter if you are big or small, everyone collaborates with you.
It is a pleasure to have Alberto Alcocer, expert in internet strategy, communication 2.0 and online marketing. Trainer and speaker on business strategy and internet communication, entrepreneurship and competitive development of companies.
If this is not enough for you, he is also online marketing consultant and advisor to companies in monitoring and mentoring projects related to brand positioning and operational strategy on the Internet.
We could be here much longer explaining much more about him, he is a teacher, he does webinars… in short, an all-rounder of the internet world that we want him to help us to know more about SEO and the internet world.
Yes, we bring you 15 questions to find out more about you and hopefully give us more information about the present and future of SEO and SEO.
Question: The first question is a must, everything has a beginning. How or why did you decide to dedicate yourself to SEO? What was your motivation?
Answer: The truth is that it was for work needs. Many years ago I worked in a great company of which I keep a great memory, Barrabes Internet, and that was where I started working on SEO for clients and to inform in many of the talks I did.
Subsequently, I was doing several courses until when I set up my company, SocieTIC Business Online, SEO became a strategic area. I also tell you that this is where I learned the most, because with each client you come across situations and cases that otherwise you would never get to see, know and solve.
P: The world of SEO is a difficult world, but luckily we have professionals who are also good colleagues and great mentors. Have you met more enemies or more friends in SEO? Among the friends, who would you single out?
R: A lot of friends, as you say on the internet there are always references to which you follow regularly and from which you learn a lot.
And enemies, too. Fewer but there are, and almost all by unfair competition, pirates with capital letters. From web development companies that ask you what a Nofollow link is, to nutritionists who at the same time are the “SEO experts” of the company and in the end make you lose the client, to computer scientists who to get more sales in their company, have duplicated the entire online store in another domain and tell you that this is not a problem for Google.
Of these, certainly a few and I fear that as things stand, in the coming years we are going to find more and more.
P: S SEO is a lot of SEO, not always things go as expected and other times you get to touch the sky What project would you highlight among all those you have done? And of course, can you take the worst one out of the drawer of oblivion? The one that even your closest friends don’t know about…
R: I would especially highlight a project we are doing at the moment with a brand that marketed Fashion for wine lovers. Complex as you can guess, but at the same time one of the most beautiful we have ever done.
The worst? … ha ha ha … maybe the one I told you about earlier. A company that did not get sales or climb in Google. After doing audits of all kinds, working on SEO at all levels and 6 months of intensive work, in the last month we found out that the computer, 2 YEARS AGO, had duplicated the entire online store (+ 4,000 products) in another domain with a different name so that the products were more visible, so obviously the Google penalty was of ordago. And of course, no one in the company knew this.
We lost the client because we never got to know this in time, and the IT guy lost it too as soon as he found out management…. Anyway…
I know some hotel chain that has been left without web by very aggressive Black Hat techniques, imagine what it’s like to disappear from Google for your sales.
P: Customers in SEO are hard to get along with, a tip for dealing with them?
R: Working with someone who is looking to do SEO because he is in a delicate moment in the company is the worst situation, because he is going against the clock and in SEO we already know that the short term does not exist. He will demand 150%, he will bargain everything and he will never see results, especially if he believes that his product and service is good, with the right price, etc. and he will not give in.
Best advice. Transparency. Continuous reporting of activity and results, fluid communication with the client and building mutual trust.
P: And let’s stop being serious for a moment, I would like to know any anecdote with colleagues, students or clients that every time you remember makes you smile, of all of them, which one do you choose?
R: This is going to get my goat, but oh well. In April, in one of the Masters where I teach, a * wrongly placed in the Robots.txt file made Google deindex almost a third of the pages of our website (the one we were using as an example), which made us lose a lot of traffic and a significant SEO downturn.
At least, the students learned what to NEVER touch or do in this file ;-))
P: Every SEO has his infallible technique, the one he uses the most because it always (or almost always) works. Which technique do you use the most? Where can we read about it?
R: The truth is that there is no single technique that gives us success by itself, because right now everything we do on the Internet, influences the positioning. On the other hand, there are very good techniques but that suppose a very high cost for the clients, and not everyone can work them.
In our case, the combination that is working best for us is quality content optimized for SEO. It has to provide high value and be very focused on the usefulness for the user, so we can spread it through social networks and use subsequent retargeting techniques to increase leads and sales. And of course, combine it with a good link acquisition or linkbuiding.
This way, we get quality links and natural links or linkbating very much to Google’s liking, so that the site to be positioned grows quickly without risk of penalties.
P: SEO, Social Media, Digital Marketing, are words that go very close together but are different, something that not everyone knows. How can we unite them to take advantage of the best of each one? Do you think we should know a little of everything or is it better to surround yourself with specialists in each sector?
R: In 80% of our clients, we use social SEO strategies, which is what we mentioned before. Quality content that provides value, highly optimized for SEO, disseminated through social networks and combined with email marketing.
To this we add link acquisition and we find a very complete and effective strategy. Depending on the type of client and its product or service, it may be necessary to work paid advertising actions on Google or Facebook, mainly.
There is no doubt that specialization is a degree, however, teamwork is necessary to achieve success. A manager doesn’t have to know or understand SEO, but a web programmer should know a minimum of SEO, an SEO expert the same of social networks, etc…
Under my point of view, I believe that the future does not speak of individual experts, but of teams or agencies that help their clients to generate business on the Internet, designing effective digital strategies.
P: In SEO there is also a dark side known as Black Hat SEO. A priori all of us who are dedicated to positioning web pages are against it. What is your opinion about this type of techniques?
R: There are many SEOs who work with Black Hat SEO techniques. The differential point is if they really communicate to their clients what they are doing, because the risk can be very high if they get penalized. I know a hotel chain that has been left without web by very aggressive Black Hat techniques, imagine what it is to disappear from Google for your sales.
I personally do not recommend it nor do we work it, if you do a clean and natural SEO, the growth will be progressive and lasting in the long term. If for the type of client, you need to grow very fast, it is better a good investment in controlled and well worked actions than doing Black Hat.
P: As of today, what SEO technique is the present? I bet on PBNs, is there any more effective on its own?
R: The present is all…. jas jas jas jas …PBNs are undoubtedly something new and that offers good results, but they have two points against them:
- You have to do it very well so that Google does not identify your blog network, if it does it will penalize you and you’ll be lost
- The cost for the client company starts to be high.
Of course, if you can set up a PBN to generate links to your clients’ websites and do it well, you will get quality links that you will manage yourself without outside interference.
The “problem” also for those who have their PBN is that, periodically, you must create new blogs for your network, because many ends up burning out, so sometimes you end up evolving into pyramid networks of blogs or TIERS, something that is more dangerous because it borders on Black Hat.
For me, the best SEO technique starts with quality content, because from there and depending on the sales funnel you draw for your customers, you can do everything in SEO, but always the perspective that the user is the one who will buy. That’s why you have to reach him directly, with an offer of value.
As you can see, although we work a lot on SEO, our differential point is to design a good digital strategy for our clients, personalized and focused on conversion, but multichannel.
P: Still in the present, now the idea that linkbuilding is in its last hour of life is strong and the idea of linkbaiting is born. They are similar but not the same and quality versus quantity would be a quick explanation. Which one do you prefer?
R: Linkbuilding has always been Google’s pretty girl, but its evolution is undoubtedly naturalness. And that naturalness again is provided by the content, when it is shared through social networks especially, because it provides much more natural links.
Google is increasingly evolving towards naturalness as a premise to offer quality at the highest level. In this sense, Linkbaiting allows you to get quality links from content, so it will undoubtedly be one of the points to work from this coming 2017.
Which one do I choose? … well, both are very important for SEO. At 70% with the content as a link generator, but you should also work on quality linkbuilding
P: As an SEO with years of experience, among other things, you will have some hidden tricks, right? Maybe today is a good time to tell it… Tell us one?
R: Well, tricks as such the justos…. and if I told you they would cease to be tricks… jes jes…. But I will tell you that the best way to do SEO is to understand your client, their product or service, and have a lot of left hand to establish a long term relationship, based on good results and profitability.
The future of SEO is undoubtedly heading towards Google’s much-loved naturalness, in all aspects
P: I’m sure readers will be thinking, all right, we know the present but in SEO, everything is moving so fast and I need to cover my back for the new, what is the future of SEO?
R: The future of SEO is undoubtedly heading towards Google’s much-loved naturalness, in all aspects. Any SEO knows that Google is not a friend of radical changes, but of a continuous evolution for the better. In my opinion, the main points to keep in mind for this 2017 in SEO are:
- Semantic searches. Increasingly SEO must prepare for the semantic searches that people do, that is: what we think is what we put into Google. Keywords will continue to be important to a certain extent, but it will no longer be necessary to work huge lists of Keywords, as Google already works and understands semantic niches.
- Voice searches. And perhaps the main factor why it will be necessary to work on semantic searches is because voice searches are going to take on a radical importance. Users increasingly use them from mobile devices, so the new SEO must be prepared to answer questions from these users … Where is a pharmacy open in Zaragoza?, where can I go to dinner today in Madrid?…. and know how to respond appropriately, and also in real time.
Will the keywords take a back seat? Maybe, if we get to a situation of such extreme naturalness, we will see major changes in SEO as we know it now.
- Linkbaiting. As you were saying before, linkbaiting is going to be another important evolution in the way of capturing links. While Linkbuilding will continue to have a real importance, Linkbaiting or links from content, will play a key role, as they are associated with another increasingly important factor for Google, such as social networks.
P: The SEO is Google, we know that he rules and it seems that he wants to forget about us through SEM and its payments. For the future, who will win the battle?
R: Who will win?… I don’t think it will be a fight between the two, but a battle of strategies that must complement each other. SEO is going to evolve and only those who do it well will be on the first page.
But SEM accounts for more than 90% of Google’s worldwide revenue and plays a key role in the sales of companies every day.
Neither one nor the other will disappear or prevail. Each one has its importance and moment in the online marketing strategy of companies.
Perhaps where there will be a battle in the medium term will be between Google and Facebook. PPC campaigns are more global and effective in Adwords, but the price difference between one and the other is abysmal… Google will have to work hard because although for now wins in the fight, Facebook comes stomping with its Facebook Ads.
P: Time makes us better professionals, it’s easy, but every day the new generations are interested in SEO. To them, those who are starting out, what would you say?
R: Three very important things.
- One. It’s all very well to study SEO, but above all you have to know about online marketing strategy, you have to understand how companies work with respect to processes and think that an SEO strategy is not unique, but must be complemented with other channels.
- Two. No matter how much you know about SEO, studying a course is not enough. You must be with professionals, work in expert companies where you will see cases and unique situations that make each client a world, and learn to work strategies, often complex, where the slightest mistake can mean failure.
- Three. Above all, try not to become a pirate in the sector. Doing an SEO course does not qualify you to set up a company or work as a freelancer “charging a lower price because I’m starting”. Unfortunately, in this time of crisis, I find many false SEOs who not only end up disappearing, but come to do much damage to their clients and to the reputation of a sector as specialized as SEO.
P: In conclusion, and after all these questions, I would like to end with a question that may alienate many of us. In SEO, is it necessary to study in official sites or on the contrary, we can find the way just with a training searched in Google?
R: To know SEO you need a broad background, both in terms of training and experience. In many cases it doesn’t just depend on where you take the course, but on whether the trainer who teaches it explains practices and techniques that you can also do yourself.
There are very good places in Spain where to study SEO, but as you may know they are not 20 hours courses, but intensive courses where you can work and study a complex level specialty.
On the other hand, keep in mind that you then have to put everything you learn into practice. If you don’t know how to do it yourself, you’ll never know if it can work on a client. If you haven’t tried it on yourself, it’s hard to guess all the variables at play.
Of course, taking a Google searched SEO course on the internet will give you the theory (if it does), but putting it into practice is another matter. To think that this way you can become a good SEO, is the biggest nightmare I can have… hah hah hah hah hah.
So far this nice time with Alberto Alcocer, of which we are sure in Blog SEO that from today, will be a great friend and with whom we can count, and of course, also with us.
Thank you for this interview and take some time for us.