Let’s learn from his experience and start the interview.
Sure… I got my start in life as an IT guy who eventually branched off into SEO and affiliate marketing. I’ve been in this business for over 8 years now and certainly don’t miss my “day job”. For fun I’m really into SCUBA diving, playing tennis, and travelling .
I was first introduced to WordPress in early 2009 when we were building a news site that was a perfect fit for WordPress. We had spent nearly 3 months building a custom system when a new employee, who was familiar with WordPress, told me he could do it from scratch over the weekend. At the time I thought that was impossible and was shocked when he came in Monday morning with a totally functional site built on WordPress. We’ve build every site on WordPress since then.
WPHub is actually an interesting story. I got started buy purchasing WordPressThemes.com, but realized pretty quickly I wanted to be more than just a site about WordPress Themes. So, I started evolving the site to have information about WordPress Hosting, Plugins, Tutorials, News, and Information. The end result is what you see today – WPHub.com.
Google Panda has had a big impact on my company overall, but not with WPHub.com. Luckily in the case of WPHub.com I’ve never needed to purchase any links because there is so much high quality content on the site. It’s in an industry where it’s easy to get people to work with you. Unfortunately in other industries I work in that isn’t the case and some of those sites got hit with the Panda update. The best advice I can give is this:
1) Only post content on your site that is AMAZING. All your content should meet the following standard: “The person reading the content will find it to be useful and take something away from it they didn’t know going in. The content is so good they feel compelled to like, tweet, or link to it”.
2) Never ever buy a link and stay away from link directories.
3) If you’ve been hit by Panda go check out ahrefs.com or SEOMoz.org and start emailing all the trashy sites that link to you and work on getting the bad links removed. Matt Cutts himself came out and said that no penalty lasts forever and with each update these algorithm type penalties can reset. I’ve already personally had success in getting a few sites ranking again and there are a couple great case studies out there you can find with a simple Google search that can guide you on how to fix things.
4) If you got hit by Panda it’s because you cheated and / or are lazy. It’s that simple. Stop trying to cut corners and work on building a quality site. If you do that you won’t need to worry about Google updates, but look forward to them. Google sits in a room everyday and tries to figure out how to get quality sites to rank higher. Focus on building a quality site with a great user experience and you’ll be happy in the end.
I’ve honestly been traditionally pretty bad at this, since I’ve been primarily an SEO business in the past. However, social marketing has changed the playing field and the two have really converged now. So, I’ve been working hard at social marketing and building a network of industry expert content writers.
We actually just launched a bunch of new features including a faceted search in our WordPress Themes section and a new coupons section that just went live this week. So, I don’t have anything in the pipeline that is of particular interest. The only thing I can really say is that my biggest priority is to expand the number of content writers on the site, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see as many as 20 new writers on the site by year’s end.
Since I’ve been in the business for so many years this is one of the few instances where I think I got things right the first time. There isn’t much I would change about WPHub.com. It’s been a lot of work, but I’m very proud of the site. There are a lot of things I wish I could go back and change in other aspects of my life, but so far so good with WPHub!
Well, it almost seems like WordPress is the Borg As I’m sure most of your readers know, WordPress now powers 22% of the Internet and it seems like that number continues to grow. If you look at Google trends it seems like WordPress’ popularity is comparable to Apple’s stock price: http://www.google.com/trends/?q=wordpress. I really think we’re in the early chapters of WordPress and over the next 5 years I think the industry will mature a bit more – ok a lot more.
As an SEO company that’s where we spend most of our money on monthly services. I subscribe to SEOMoz.org, ahrefs.com, and RavenTools.com. I’m also very happy with my sproutsocial.com and mailchimp.com subscriptions.
Don’t forget to follow Michael Jackness on Twitter. His twitter handle is @mjackness