Where my SEO and web strategy head is at the moment – and has been in the past

Posted: February 16th, 2012
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2012 SEO Strategies

I wanted to create a simple chart/graph/infographic of the kinds of SEO strategies that I have been talking about and thinking about recently.

Initially I just wanted something for myself, just so I could see a visual representation of what was ‘up there’ and what was coming out of my mouth. I used the excellent Google Charts, and used my favourite tool, the free, online Google Chart creator from James B. Allen.

I then had the idea of recalling what I was thinking about last year and the year before, and even what I was first thinking back when I started my first SEO company in 2002.

What this showed me is how my own knowledge has progressed over that time, and how I think that I have helped to keep my own sites and my client sites ahead of the curve by the tactics that I have used. Did I move ahead of the curve, did I see what was coming, or did I just adapt? Who knows, but the results have been more than very good for all that I have worked with.

I have given a brief explanation of where my head was at for each chart below:


2012, The year of Network Science

2012 SEO Strategies

2012 SEO Strategies

This is my year of rediscovering network science and although it has always been there and always will be the most important aspect of any website, it is now that I am only just starting to use it directly, rather than as an accidental and incidental part of my strategies.

Network science put very simply is the study of how networks actually work and my take on how search engines (well, Google) determine which sites should be listed well and which should not. If you do not understand network science – whether knowingly or unknowingly – then you are NOT an SEO and should do something else.

IP link building is my terminology for linking strategies that are not gained from network science and content strategies (i.e. gained for generally wholesome reasons). Still, in my opinion, a wealth of links from unique IP addresses is required to compliment an already excellent link profile from powerful, relevant and ‘hub’ sites.

SEO/Architecture relates to all things on-page SEO, architecture of websites, keyword placement and so on – the stuff we should have all done correctly in 2005.

Social Media – still a raw subject for me. My dalliances with social media are from a very different viewpoint from most social media evangelists and mainly includes the creation of signals to help Google to determine the size of a company, helping it to understand just how big or small a company is.  I’m very sure that Google doesn’t want a guy in a bedroom at the top of the rankings, when a 200-person business is on page 2. More on this at a later date.

Content Strategies covers a wealth of strategies including how to correctly leverage content to attract hubs within an industry to take a site seriously and link to it. Again, more to come on this as it is beyond the scope of this article.

So, that is 2012. I think it will be a very good year for my own SEO strategies, no matter what happens career-wise.


2011 – A good mixture, amazing results

Google Chart

2011 was probably my finest year in SEO in terms of technical success. It culminated in successful strategies for a wealth of new clients, but also the continued robustness of existing client sites (and my own sites).  I would put this down to years of fine-tuning my own content algorithms, alongside several discoveries of some rather excellent linking techniques that I had created or helped to create.  I had also created a good social media strategy that helped several clients to not just ‘tweet’ or ‘ping’, but to actually help Google to determine that they were actual companies, with real people – which Google likes to know.  This helps Google to determine just where it should be listing a website.


2010 – The year of the mega directory

Google Chart

In 2010, alongside the finest PHP developer of his generation (having hired 50+ developers, I think I have a good angle on this), we created several extremely large, powerful directory websites, filled with literally millions of pages of content – unique content at that. This will be unbelievable to some, which I do understand, but it is the case.  These sites are still amazingly successful and the mixture of my content algorithms and wonderful programming made some people very rich indeed. Maybe I will be one day? Not if I keep giving this information away :-)


2009 – Content Algorithms!

Google Chart

In 2009, I created what I think is the best content algorithm on the planet. I know it is, in fact, because I have seen all others come and go since, and mine is still powering at least 5 sites that earn in excess of $1m per year for their owners.  It is a truly amazing piece of ‘kit’.  It is not just a piece of code, it is a hybrid of code and journalistic influence.  It is strong, and it works wonderfully.  It came in a dream, and it has kept many people in shoes, shall we say.


2002 – I was a learning, please forgive me

Google Chart

Back in 2001/2002 when I started in the game of SEO, like 99.9% of others, I concentrated on on-page factors, did keywords to death, lots of link spam (lots of it unknowingly) and very little content, but probably more than most at the time.  The very, very sad thing about this chart is that I know of several so-called SEO ‘names’ that still have these methods as their main bag of tricks to this day. Poor them, but it’s good for me that they still do so, I suppose. In fact, pretty much all people that I have come in to contact with in the past 3 years, from entrepreneurs to friends, know more than a lot of SEO people. How strange is that?

I hope that you enjoyed seeing what is inside my head and how it has progressed over the years, from the humble beginnings.  I am very proud of what is inside my head right at this minute and I am looking to help many more people to success in the years to come as the elements of my pie chart change yet again.

James Welch

James Welch is an marketer, network scientist and SEO helping businesses understand the power of networks to increase sales performance online and offline. He also is director and CTO of Online Ventures, a progressive inbound marketing agency from Manchester, UK.

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