I’ve been a news and information junkie my entire life.
I’ve always been fascinated by:
- Network effects
- Social network analysis
- How the world really works
- How social networks form and work
- How to apply secret spy techniques to research anything
- How data is collected about internet users to build a profile
So that led me to the world of SEO as a young pup out of college, I’ve been fascinated by figuring out the algorithm since 2011.
After starting out deep in technical SEO, I broadened out to broadly managing SEO strategies in-house at a public software company, I then went on to run all marketing for a small travel tour operator, since 2015 I’ve been on my own and Green Flag Digital was formed as an agency in 2017.
In recent years, I worked with my team to offer link building and then digital PR services. My perspective was that link building and PR acquisition was the hardest part of the process, so if we could focus on figuring that out, we can offer a lot of value to the client and differentiate.
In my discovery, I found out with my team that landing links from lower quality and smaller sites was 75% of the difficulty of building more robust digital PR campaign ideas and landing tier 1 and tier 2 media coverage. After all, the media wants to be pitched interesting stories all the time, and is accustomed to it. The idea of moving up the value chain to offer PR services, promoting top-tier content to publications, and landing interviews with top-tier outlets has been extremely gratifying.
Many historic SEOs feel that they’ve been working in the basement, looking for their big break, now the fields have been bridged and with the coming AI content deluge, there is a lot going on in the larger tech consciousness regarding SEO.
I like offering digital PR and link building services as our keystone offering because it allows us to offer a large amount of value, and operate in parallel with the client, without a ton of friction involved. This is the converse of working on technical SEO and internal content production, where there is a lot of dependency on internal teams and competing for resources.
That being said, putting your Flag in the ground and claiming your territory of content and topical expertise is key.
In this new era of AI content generation, I think it will become too easy for anyone to look like an expert. What will matter more and more is proof of humanity. Both Elon Musk and Sam Altman are obsessed with this concept, and they’re on the forefront of AI themselves. So what helps verify your humanity, and your company’s authenticity and deserving of praise, is getting external validation in the form of media mentions and link citations.
The ebb and flow of content, links, and AI models with their different weightings will only continue to get more interesting.
I believe blending principles that have stood the test of time with innovative strategies and experiments based on near-term predictions is the way to win in marketing and SEO in the coming years.