We had the tremendous opportunity to interview Danny Dover, one of the top SEOs in America and author of the new book Search Engine Optimization Secrets.
Sparkplug Digital: Your first book, Search Engine Optimization Secrets, just hit shelves. What do you want readers of Search Engine Optimization Secrets to learn or come away with?
Danny Dover: My big goal with this book is to level the knowledge playing field in the SEO consulting industry. I’m sure you’ve heard, the idea that 90% of what you need to know about SEO is freely available online, the problem is finding it all in one place. I think SEOmoz does a good job of that but I think this book does it in an easier to consume way. I really hope to help the industry get on the same page and help create a more level playing field.
Sparkplug Digital: What advice would you give to tech companies who are starting to think about spending money and resources on SEO strategy and execution?
Danny Dover: The first thing they need to do is to research and find the right person. There’s a lot of people in the SEO industry who are providing bad or old information and I hate to see companies going with good intentions but following bad advice. A good place to start is the SEOMoz Marketplace.
If all else fails, reach out to your network and see which of your contacts have worked with SEOs who have earned them positive results.
Sparkplug Digital: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing tech companies in using SEO as a tool to grow their business?
Danny Dover: I think the biggest challenge in SEO is gaining the knowledge. SEO changes extremely fast and and trying to understand what SEO is can be difficult because even the definition often changes.
Sparkplug Digital: What should tech companies look for when hiring an SEO provider?
Danny Dover: Rand Fishkin wrote an excellent resource on questions for an SEO interview. If you Google the phrase “SEO Vendor”, you should find his article. It’s free and I think it answers the question a lot better than I would be able to (How to Choose the Right SEO Vendor).
Sparkplug Digital: SEO has a lot of negative associations due to unethical operators and spammers. What do you say to people who have a negative perception of SEO as a business practice?
Danny Dover: It’s a tricky conversation and I feel like I have it a lot. Generally the message I try to send is yes there is a lot of black hat SEOs and what you have heard is true in some instances but that is not majority of the industry. In fact, if you look at the people who are leading right now in SEO for most terms it is people who use organic SEO. If you want to get to the top of search results you need to use SEO and if you want to stay up there for a long time you need to use white hat SEO.
Sparkplug Digital: Can you tell us about your new role doing SEO at AT&T?
Danny Dover: I just recently started a a new job at AT&T as the Senior SEO Manger. I am working with John Cole, who I think is the most underrated SEO in the industry. He is brilliant, very effective, and extremely analytical. I really enjoy working with him. My primary focus at AT&T will be to do organic SEO for Yellowpages.com.