Hey You bloggers we are back again with awesome interview. As part of our BloggersIdeas interview series, today we have Rohit Palit from Techtage.com who have Over 1.5 years experience in affiliate, SEO, search, social and content marketing for small businesses. He will be answering various questions related to Digital Media & other Internet Marketing stuffs .
So lets start with the interview with geeky Rohit.
First of all thanks a lot for accepting my interview proposal. I and my readers are very pretty glad to have you . Please tell us about yourself and your educational background.
I thank you for the invitation as well. So, I’m Rohit, 16 years of age, a high school Science student based out of Kolkata, India. I’ve been interested in SEO since a long time, and started taking up client works as well more out of a hobby than anything else from the second quarter of 2013.
What are your favorite social media tools ? Which tools do you prefer to use to increase user engagement?
Some of my favorite social media tools are Buffer, FollowerWonk, and Hootsuite.
I use FollowerWonk a lot to reach out to influential people in any industry to increase the exposure of recently produced ‘great enough’ content pieces, be it textual content, infographics, gifographics, videos or presentations.
These days I can see that many well established blogs and websites loosing their rankings? Why this is happening. Is SEO dead ?
No, SEO is definitely not dead, no matter how many times self-proclaimed ‘gurus’ tell you it is. There are a lot of factors that come into play altogether while being ranked on a sophisticated search engine like Google. So, there could be varying reasons behind a site getting suddenly penalized or loosing rankings.
As Google is fighting spam, spammers are using more advanced spamming techniques. In the end, my opinion is that bots can never outperform their human counterparts. So, there’ll always be some way to manipulate rankings using backlinks, as long as backlinks remain within the core list of factors that affect rankings.
For example, if I bribe a writer on a reputed blog and get a link to my own site from that site, and that link is blended well with the rest of the content, there’ll practically be now way for even a human to tell that it’s a paid link, let alone a bot.
The ones that are constantly losing their rankings today either didn’t play it safe in the past thinking they’ll get away with it, or they lack quality. Site and content quality is becoming more important as Google keeps on following its goal of delivering truly beneficial search results to its users.
Is there any benefit of doing SEO on copied content, as some experts are ranking copied content high on SERP?
In my opinion, it’s largely a waste of time. I also don’t support it from a moral standpoint.
Suppose, I have a more established website than you that already ranks a lot better for its primary keywords than yours. More often than not, I can copy a piece of content or two from your site and manage to rank it higher on my site, getting your content pages out of the first few pages in the process. So, yes, if you do it right, you can be successful.
But, like anything else that’s outright ‘bad’ from a neutral standpoint, it’s something, when done purposely, will make Google really pissed off about the bad site.
Like they are able to handle low-quality spamming now, I expect them to tweak their algorithms even further to identifying the original source of content more accurately.
How does Google know if one blog is a sponsored blog vs guest blog? We only do guest blogs, because we don’t want to buy links, but many blogs these days ask for money.
If both posts are written by professionals and seem completely natural to human eyes, there’s no way an algorithm can detect the unnatural one out of those two. Google does advise webmasters again and again to not buy links.
First of all, buying links while not knowing what you’re actually doing can get your site penalized faster than you can think of. Secondly, if you do it really smartly (like most big so-called ‘brands’ and corporations with tons of cash do these days), it’s really impossible to tell which links out of your tons of other backlinks were paid for.
It’s not easy at all, for an algorithm to do the job. That’s why black-hat SEO practitioners are going more towards quality content (relative to their traditional spun content), good-looking sites (compared to their traditional sites with default WordPress theme), fake contact pages, and anything else they can do easily to make their network sites look more legitimate.
The trick to a good affiliate partnership is finding quality marketers. What are the best tricks to find it?
The trick is definitely choosing a good product or affiliate network that can satisfy your needs without draining out all your energy or making you feel pathetic. I always suggest upcoming affiliate marketers to only go with a product they have genuine interest in. Otherwise, it’s really hard to succeed in the affiliate game, especially with possible affiliate-specific Google penalties being in the works.
The only possible alternative is to find profitable but ridiculously easy niches, which (the processs) again is very hard to begin with.
What are the Secrets of Affiliate Marketing and are you associated with any kind of affiliates.
There’s no ‘secret’. The whole damn thing should be kept secret because the moment your entire neighbourhood knows about your affiliate sites and they create theirs, it’s just more competition, unnecessarily created by your own stupid actions.
Like I already said, you need to choose a product that you’re interested in. You should also try to diversify traffic sources as much as possible. For example, setup a site and leverage SEO. Create a video and upload it on YouTube and then utilize video SEO to try to rank it on Google as well. Advertise on social sites depending on the nature of the product.
If it’s too profitable, you might as well try AdWords. The main thing is diversification. Don’t just rely on a single platform of traffic generation for the most important affiliate-driven site of yours.
I am personally what you’d call a ‘enthusiast’ about web hosting services. So, I tend to recommend a few of my personal favorite companies to people who approach me. Apart from that, I don’t really do affiliate marketing on a serious scale at this point. There are a couple of reviews on my site that contain affiliate links, but that’s pretty much all and I earn a very small amount of money from them.
What is your Take On Affiliate Programs? People misuse affiliates to increase revenues of their business. Is it true
I wouldn’t really call that a ‘mis-use’. Some people, especially a lot Indian bloggers I’ve encountered, go a bit overboard with their efforts. They end up cluttering their blogs with more affiliate links than they can count. The end result is a really poor user experience. This does work for some, as the average internet user doesn’t even know what an affiliate link means.
What things do you see your best affiliates doing that other affiliates don’t do?
I see the best ones focusing on quality, and relationship building – something that’s more of a long-term strategy, that most newbies simply don’t have time for. If you want to stay in the game, focus on quality. Instead of putting up a generic review of something, really test it and write your honest opinion down.
Affiliate links also tend to do better on normal blogs these days than blogs with the focus of selling people affiliate products. They also seem more natural and are less likely to get penalized by search engines.
In case of reviews and advice related sites, the better the user experience is, the more visitors are likely to convert. It’s that simple. So, instead of creating traditional sales pitches, my advice would be to create truly helpful content, infographics, online tools, anything you can do to help a new incoming visitor.
What are the best wordpress Mobile plugins ? What kind of plugin you have used ?
I really prefer responsive themes over converting a fixed theme to a mobile theme using a plugin and delivering two different versions of a website to mobile and desktop users.
I have the official WordPress app on my Android phone that helps me with casual posting needs on my personal blog (anything short of a non-laggy laptop isn’t suitable for serious content production in my opinion).
Did you think Page Rank Update is the only way to determine authority of website ? What other tools are there to determine authority?
PageRank is by no means a way to determine neither the actual authority nor popularity of a website. Otherwise, porn sites would have high PageRank values (but they don’t, because people seldom link to them). PageRank is just how popular a page is compared to the rest of the internet, determined only by the quantity and quality of links pointing to it. So, it still doesn’t give us any idea about its actual popularity in terms of viewers count.
For example, my personal site has a PageRank of 5 but it’s nowhere as popular, being a personal site, as some of the more well known PR5 sites you may know of.
What kind of tools you use for competitor analysis ?
Ahrefs (the best in my arsenal), SEMRush, RankCracker (by Matthew Woodward), Alexa, Archive.org, some other tools like Moz (includes all of their tools) depending on the project.
What kind of tools you use for keyword research.
- Raven Tools
Mobile SEO is key factor in 2014. What are the best techniques to perform best practices.
Ensuring top-notch mobile viewing experience, preferably with a responsive theme. Minor things like load times tend to matter more in case of mobile searches, because internet speeds are generally lower on mobile devices. I’d focus on a clear UX that makes navigation across the site easy and reading text easy on mobile devices.
What are the top suggestions you would give to increase authortiy of domain ?
Focus on your content and branding, promote your good stuff seriously and on a consistent basis, try to build up relationships with the top bloggers / influencers in your industry, leverage ‘high-quality’ guest posting to build relevant high-quality contextual links to your site.
I actually wrote a gigantic post that also includes an infographic on this very same topic. You can find it here, it’s over 11K words.
How do you conduct an SEO experiment , what is your SEO superpower ?
I consider my personal interest towards SEO as my superpower. But an average SEO project has a few steps that it needs to go through. I have to take a look at a site well before creating an action plan for it. Even then, I proceed methodically. In the end, it comes down to Science, personal experience, knowledge, creativity, and intuition.
I hope you enjoy this mind blowing interview session with Rohit , he had given his best.
If you have any questions or doubts please do ask in the comments below !