We are sitting in a cafe in Kazan IT-Park, both arrived at the SeoConference. An interview with Sasha for our blog was arranged by his PR man Viktor Fomin. But, it is clear that no interview would have happened if I didn’t know who Alaich was in the SEO bloggers party. I read it for a long time, it was interesting to talk with him. That's what happened after our hour-long dialogue with Sasha.
- Well, let's probably start from the very, very beginning: how did you get into the SEO industry?
It has long been business ... It all began in 2004. I then finished school and went to college, in honor of which my parents gave me a Siemens M65 mobile phone. Then "mobiles" were not very common. And so I began to "pick" it in every way - I tried to update the firmware, somehow I upgraded it. And somehow you need to look for information. And then I came across one forum on mobile phones, where there was a lot of different information. At first I asked more questions, and then I discovered that I myself already spread huge manuals on him on certain issues related to mobile phones. And somehow six months later I look at it all and think - this is how much my work I invested in the development of someone else's project, but what is the point in all this? And now I got the idea to make my own forum - yes, I started from a mobile forum. It was already 2005 - when we and a friend made a project together on our own domain. Well, I had to slowly sink into the subject of SEO - because the project had to be moved. I started chasing him from catalogs and so on ...
- Has the monetization of projects already started?
Rather, tried. The standard situation for newcomers is moneymaking - they hanged Adsense, tried to wind up transitions, got a ban and that's it. Then I stopped working on this site and switched to a new project dedicated to winter sports. Since my childhood I love biathlon, I myself have been diligently involved in cross-country skiing for several years, I ran for the institute in competitions. This project has already paid a lot of attention - instead of preparing for the session, he created this website. He was on the old and long-forgotten engine, all full of holes, hollow. I started copying news and articles on skis, I saved a lot of them - many of those articles are still in the top. Directories still taxied at the time - and so I began to drive this site through directories. And little by little, I slowly gathered my base of my own, hand-picked, catalogs. It even happened that for 20 bucks I drove sites according to catalogs for third-party customers.
- Yes, at that time I also had my own database of directories, as I petted and cherished it! But I didn’t do it with my hands, but with Allsubmitter.
ABOUT! Allsubmitter is generally my first purchased program in my life for money :) Until now, the license key on my computer is ... Well, in general, I started registering sites in directories. The TIC grew at a frantic pace, then the updates of the TIC were every other week. Each update gave plus one hundred to the TCI. I generally brought my website on winter sports to TCI 850. But TCI was alright, it was not much appreciated then, in general, I brought it to the top due to catalog references for almost all thematic RF queries, such as "racing skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding, etc. - and kept these requests for a long time in the top.
- And what traffic was at its peak? And what about monetization?
Well, I never knew how to monetize traffic, and now, I think, I do not know how. The traffic was at the peak of 30 thousand - it was in the days when the broadcast of biathlon competitions took place. The context hung, but in general brought a little - twenty thousand. Then Sape appeared, and by adding the site there, I began to earn about $ 800 more. In short, for a student - generally chic. But this period did not last long. The "engine" was full of holes, the site was constantly hacked, and I decided to transfer to DLE. He moved, but did not think about preserving the hierarchy of URLs, eventually lost all his earnings in Sape, and he didn’t manage to get the same income later with this project.
- In general, you yourself passed the stage of riveting sites under the "Sapa"? Many went through this in due time ...
No, never did it. I do everything with the project, only if I, indeed, the topic is interesting. That is, if I do for myself, if I try to create a community, then in the end everything turns out. For example, I did the following my own website — I made the community one computer game, because I myself got carried away with this game.
- Well, from what stage do you start identifying yourself with a SEO? And generally, do you identify yourself with a SEO?
Yes of course. And it turned out like this. I had two friends in Irkutsk, from my institute, we went to play volleyball together. I shared my successes with one of them - here, they say, I took the tops for all the "ski" requests. And he answers me - and here we are just opening a web studio, we are doing websites, come to us - you will be engaged in promotion. Well, in general, I thought and agreed. Then it was time - catalogs could be moved to the top of anything. The first clients appeared, and I became a SEO.
- Where have you been and what did you do when the era of Matrixnet began?
Well, by this time I had already graduated from the institute, moved to Ekaterinburg and worked in the Internet agency alone. It did not have enough stars from the sky, but it lived, in general, not bad for those times. By the era of "Matriksneta" catalogs have long been "dead", so it moved exclusively "Sapa", she then taxied.
- How many projects led simultaneously, working in this agency?
Well, in different periods in different ways, but on average there were 20-30 projects.
- Did everything yourself? And the collection of semantics, and the purchase of links? And pumping text relevancy?
My job was to twist the Title key here, add the key to the title, make a link, and buy links here. In short, everything is usually standard. But at the same time, it should be noted that this was done for a small number of projects, because at that time, not all customers gave access to projects, or rather, gave them a few. Well, what they did was send tasks to the customer: right here to change the Title, right here to add this kind of text. Some customers have implemented changes, some are not. And time was such that the density of the key in the text ruled, and the total number of keys, too. And here I remember, we are writing to one client - add some text with keys to such a page. He adds. An update has passed, we are monitoring - nothing has changed, again we ask you to add more text with keys. Passed the update - pop! - plus ten positions. Again we write: we still need to add text with keys. As a result, before the appearance of the “port filter”, we had a sheet of unintelligible, but overlaid text with 50 thousand characters. Well, and then everything went under the filter, of course. That's how it all moved - links and texts. Well, all sorts of "gray" methods are also practiced, so that there are hidden texts and so on. At that time, it all worked - and therefore used. In addition, then everyone paid only for the position. Honestly, I was a little worried about the client’s business, like everyone else. If he pays only for positions - what's the point for me to dive into his specifics? About usability or quality of content in general, no one steamed.
“Such a classic old school SEO ...”
Well yes. The task was how to set up a project in Sape, to buy some content on the stock exchanges, that's all. I was the only person in the company who used the Wink plugin, for example, in order to somehow optimize costs. In the end, I spent only a few hours a week to support all the projects that I led. The rest of the time I was free. Well, it was boring to dangle around the office like this, and in 2010 I just started my blog.
“So let's move on to your SEO blogger career.”
Well, I started a blog of boredom. But due to what he shot? By that time I had a lot of developments already - for example, on working in Sape. I had planned to write it all down long ago - at least for myself. "Attic" is not infinite, new knowledge has come, the old has been forgotten. And all the new blog posts I just started writing about "Sapa" - these were such voluminous and useful manuals. And my blog was shot precisely because of them, because then nobody in RuNet wrote about it in such detail and distinctly.
- Do you even like this activity? Or do you approach her as a necessity?
Being an SEO blogger is awesome. If there is a response from the audience, it is inspiring. I have readers and commentators who read me from the very first post. I rarely write now - simply because of lack of time. But I really like this activity.
- Does a party of SEO bloggers really exist?
It really exists. To some extent, it is virtual, of course, but just such events as this conference allow to be virtualized. A developmental need. Misha Shakin, for example (perhaps the country's most famous SEO blogger is note by Denis Saveliev), generally for the first time an SEO conference is attending. And when you personally get acquainted with people with whom you have communicated only virtually for a long time, this takes communication to a completely different level.
- How did it happen that you now began to develop your own agency?
Yes, a month ago I left all my works. And that's how it turned out. Quite by chance I moved from Yekaterinburg to Krasnodar. In Yekaterinburg, I - this was after the web-studio was - I worked for a long time as an SEO-optimizer at SKB-Kontur. I worked there on corporate sites, I had about seven sites in operation. I worked there for three years, and in one autumn evening of 2013 I went to the headhunter and saw the job of a seoshnik in Krasnodar with a salary of 150 thousand. This was no longer an Internet agency, but a rental service. I think so - is it possible? Well, I prepared a resume (I prepared it for three days, by the way), and they called me back - let's come, get settled. I flew for reconnaissance, then moved, rented an apartment and ... Well, to be honest with you, I did not like it there. My experience in SKB-Kontur “spoiled me a little” - there is a very good team, very enthusiastic people, I felt sad before the weekend, because for two days I was excommunicated from work - in general, such a “good corporation”. Immediately it was all exactly the opposite. Yes, the salary is good, but people are not mine. The head of the department is a rotten man with whom reluctance to communicate ...
- Can I write about this?
Yes, you can, write. He won't read it anyway. In short, this whole situation terribly depressed me. I came to work, sat until 18-00, struck only six hours, and immediately went home. I met every Friday as a holiday - finally I will rest from this situation.
- And how to deal with a project in such conditions?
Well, at first everything was fine. There were certain goals and objectives, there were results. The site with me has grown greatly, the search traffic has grown 18 times, and the total - seven or eight times.
- Due to what such growth could be obtained?
Due to the deep processing of the structure and serious internal optimization. When I arrived, technically everything was bad - the page titles were not optimized, a large number of duplicate pages, and so on. I began to work on all this, for the first few months I was engaged only in what I wrote to TZ for programmers and introduced changes that made it possible to correct technical errors. After in-depth correction of the site structure and elimination of technical errors, I started serious analytics. I watched the results, analyzed and again proceeded to the alterations. Constructed hypotheses, checked them, in the end, now looking back, I can say that four times we altered the entire site globally. Later, at some point I stopped, because there was no place to develop especially. Start getting bored. He began to pay more attention to the situation. The authorities began to walk and twitch: what are you doing and what are the results? All this began to unnerve and unbalance. I left there spontaneously. There was some last drop, I come home on Friday and I tell my wife: everything, there is no more urine, I don’t want to go to work for more than a day. She says: OK, let's look for the office. Over the weekend we found an office, and on Monday I went to work only to resign.
- parted for good?
Well, in general, yes, parted in an amicable way. Now this is my client on the "remote". Taking into account the fact that I had several other clients for promotion, one can say that I didn’t start completely from scratch. In general, we rented an office, bought furniture, hired the first person involved in SEO. A little later, a man appeared who started PR of our service - just Vitya Fomin. As a result, now we are sitting in three (including me), quietly we want to grow further.
- I can not ask you this question. How are you looking for people, are you experiencing personnel hunger?
The SEO employee is our Krasnodar friend ...
- Isn't it scary to start a business with friends?
Well, many say that you should not do this, but no - not scary.
- Ok, let's go to your servicewe are supposed to do interviews about him.
Well, at first I spotted Sergey Devaka’s idea of assessing the trust of the site, he had a simple algorithm described in his blog. And so I decided - you need to write such a parser. First, we made a desktop program. I have been looking for a person for a long time who would have written it to me according to my technical specification. Found such a person as a result in Tver, and now we have been working with him for a year and a half. A very strange person, not at all communicative, we are still with him on "you." I give him a task in CRM, he performs the task and sends me a tsiferka to Skype, as I owe him. Everything, on it our communication is limited. But let me go to the essence of the program. The program's task is to parse data from various sources and accumulate into a certain value of "trust" - the level of trust in the site.
- Well, the concept of "trust" has long been discussed, there has been talk for a long time - there is a "trust", there is no "trust." I am a supporter of this concept - another question is that opinions differ on what affects the trust, what indicators. What data do you collect?
Well, first of all, we should say that our “trust”, most likely, has nothing to do with the “trust” of search engines ... And we collect incoming links, first of all. Moreover, we estimate not only the number of links, but also their quality.
- Do you use your instrument yourself?
Yes, I only use it. Moreover, I will say that I first did this service for myself, and only then the idea came to put it in public. It gives results, budgets save.
- Service will develop?
Well, I believe that the online service in general is still in some germ, it will necessarily develop. We have a million ideas to develop further. I will say more, the service is already working now, but I am not satisfied, I want to develop further, I want to go to the level of analytics, just a little data parser. We want to keep all the data in our home so that we can build a history of changes in parameters and monitor them over time. I am a physicist, and I know that there is plus zero and minus zero - this is all very important, monitoring data over time is what this service really needs. We have been developing the service for a year, and it has already reached its payback.
- OK got it. Let's talk about what. There is today, let's digress from it a bit and look into the future. Who do you see yourself in two or three years? Who are you - SEO blogger, director of the agency, head of services, or maybe you will hit your projects?
Well, my projects are not very interesting to me, to be honest. Somehow outgrown this stage. Service - yes, it is interesting. And not only the current, there are ideas for other services. I do not plan to leave blogging either, now, of course, there is not much time for it, but I will also develop in this direction. Blogging gives a lot - in addition to the audience, it is also dating. I am familiar with many top SEO bloggers, it all helps a lot in promoting my current service.
- Already talked to you for 45 minutes, let's move to the end. I usually ask everyone this question: how to develop a young website in the current environment? Here there is, let's say, an entrepreneur who is launching a new site. What steps need to be taken to start getting search traffic?
First of all, I recommend finding a competent specialist :) It will be just difficult for an entrepreneur to dive into all these nuances of search promotion, in my opinion. But I advise a competent specialist to start with a full technical project audit - you need to lick the project. Such a banal truth, but few follow it. There should not be duplicate pages, there should be normal meta tags, you need to deal with texts, do not forget about linking, etc. etc. The second point, or rather the first one, because you need to do this before creating the site, you need to collect semantics that are as wide and deep as possible, cluster it and create the structure of the site based on it. If you do everything under the semantics and taking into account the semantics at the very beginning - this solves a lot of problems in the future. Well, and the third tip: analyze! Constantly analyze: your site, your traffic, competitors, what they implement, what they have and so on.
- Ok, and the last question. Slept the most important SEO secret?
Ok, I burn - now the work on the site really "steers"! This is the most important secret. Work on the site, and the result will be.
Расшифровывая это интервью, мне пришла мысль, что АлаичЪ мог бы быть неплохим руководителем отдела продвижения. Ну, по крайней мере, попробовать его на эту роль, мне кажется, стоит. Я позвонил по скайпу Саше и предложил ему перебираться к нам. Читатели этого материала уже знают ответ, а я - пока еще нет. Но, Саш, я думаю, это может быть революционное решение для твоей жизни. Сегодня мы - самое быстро растущее агентство в рунете, и мы ставим себе цель - изменить рынок поискового маркетинга в стране. Эта цель круче, чем жизнь в теплом курортном городе. Итак, твой ответ:
Answer: This is a really interesting and cool proposal, and therefore the solution was not easy for me. Even sitting alone in the kitchen at night, writing on these lines, I’m a little worried ... As we have already discussed above, I decided to open my web studio while I’m small but sure, promising. It was also a difficult step and deserves a separate story. While this step is not passed for me. So far I can not give up the experience that awaits me on my own path. Denis went this way by himself, invites me to take not even a step, but a huge leap forward and become far from the last person in his company ... But ... I am a pass!
What else is there to add ...
P.S. Sash, thanks for the honest answer. Well, good luck to you, we will have to change this market without you.