Top 11 SEO Questions Answered:Interview with Marie Haynes

Hey You bloggers we are back again with another brilliant interview.

As part of our BloggersIdeas interview series, today we have Marie Haynes from,  who is extremely obsessed with learning everything there is to know about successfully marketing your website online whether it is via SEO, Facebook, Twitter or via a PPC campaign. She will be answering various questions related to Digital Media, SEO  & other Internet Marketing stuffs . So lets start with the interview.

Marie from hiswebmarketing

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.

What many people don’t know about me is that I am actually a veterinarian!  I joined about five years ago to learn a little bit more about how to help my husband’s real estate site rank better on Google.  At first it was just a fun hobby, but as I learned more and more about how to do SEO, I got hooked.  I would be in the middle of a cat spay and all I could think about was the next type of link bait I was going to create and how I was going to promote it.

Two years ago, while I was on bed rest during my pregnancy, I started to take an interest in Google Penalties.  It started off as reading as much as I could, which lead to contributing on forums, which eventually lead to me doing a little bit of consulting and has now grown into a huge company with 10 employees.  We primarily do manual penalty removal at this point although we do have some SEO campaigns on our roster as well.

Niche site vs Authority Site. Which is best and why? What are the pros and cons of both?

Authority.  I think that niche sites could do well in the days where you could build links easily.  But now, as Google is trying to make it so that the only links that truly affect your rankings are naturally earned links, it’s important to be able to earn links rather than create them.  If you don’t have an authority site, then earning links is going to be much more difficult.

Is the future for link building dark or is link building dead already? If it’s alive, then your 2 cents on the best link building practices?

Keep in mind, as I answer this question, that what I do for the majority of my day is analyze the backlink profiles of sites that have been penalized or demoted because of their poor linking practices.  I do believe that there are some links that can be built, but not many.

The types of “built links” that can still help your rankings are relevant high quality directories (but be careful not to cross the line into links built just for the sake of getting a link) and getting industry mentions from related business partners.  But, the old belief that “any link is a good link” is no longer a good one!

 If you can figure out how to earn links, then an earned link is going to be worth so much more than self-made links.

How important is the ratio between followed and nofollowed links?

I don’t think it matters at all.  I know that there is a belief that if you are building links that it will look more natural to Google if they see a good ratio of followed and nofollowed links as this is what you would expect to see in a completely natural backlink profile.  I don’t think that it is that simple though.

I don’t think you can build hundreds of followed links and then have Google ignore them because you’ve built the optimal number of nofollowed links as well.

How does Google see backlinks from guest posts?

I’m sure you’ve seen Matt Cutt’s blog post about the decline of guest posting as a method of getting links (

Several months prior to Matt writing this, I wrote a post on experiences that I had with sites getting penalized because of widespread guest posting, even when they were posting on high quality sites.  You can read the post here –  Does this mean that guest posting is dead?

No.  I still guest post for high quality, relevant sites such as Moz and Search Engine Watch.  But, my main reason for doing these guest posts is to increase my brand awareness and to bring qualified traffic to my site.  I don’t do it as a link building tactic.

You might say, “Well, how would Google know if you are guest posting for link building purposes or not?”  Believe me, the patterns are quite obvious.

Sites that are being penalized for guest posts generally have HUGE numbers of guest posts and a good number of keyword anchored links.  Also, the majority of the guest posts are on sites that mostly consist of guest post content.

If you’re deciding to guest post, ask yourself whether you would still write this post even if you didn’t get a link from it, or if you got a nofollowed link from it.  If the answer is truly yes, then it is probably ok in Google’s eyes.

With increased volatility in the search engine landscape, how do you see SEO future shape up in the time to come? Does it still remain competitive to Paid Search Marketing?

I think that a lot of people who are currently calling themselves an SEO are going to be in a different profession soon.  For many people who call themselves SEO, 90% of their job description used to be link building.

And the majority of the tactics used are ones that no longer work.  But, if you are someone who has the brainpower to be able to create content that Google loves, maximize a site’s on page SEO, reduce a site’s crawl errors and other things that would confuse search engine crawlers, and be able to find ways to attract links naturally, then you have a bright future ahead of you!

I predict that the number of people in the SEO field is going to decline greatly.  But this means that the value of the remaining SEOs is going to increase.

Can organic SEO compete with paid search?

It depends on your market.  If you are trying to rank in a competitive niche, paid search may be the only way to get your client decent visibility.  But, for most local businesses, creating top organic rankings is not extremely difficult and can be very lucrative.

Where do you share your blog posts ? Any best sites you would recommend.

As mentioned before, I only guest blog if I feel that it is going to be good exposure for my brand and potentially bring me traffic.  Most of my guest posting is done on and Search Engine Watch.

What suggestions you would like to give in 2014 to all webmasters ?

It’s time to switch our mindset from one of link building to one of “how can I create a website that Google would want to rank higher than others.”  This is hard.  It is very frustrating when Google gives SEO advice that says, “Simply create a fantastic website.”, because there is so much more to SEO than this.

Yes, it is important to create a fantastic website, but it’s equally important to find creative ways to promote the site and still stay within the Google guidelines.

Also, links are not everything!  Check out the top sites in your city for real estate agents, lawyers and plumbers.  In many cases, the top sites have very few links.  The number one organic listing for “plumbers” in my city has zero backlinks!  Does this mean that backlinks are worthless?

No…it probably means that the sites that were previously taking the top rankings are now suffering under Penguin and this was the best result that Google could give.  I bet you that a decent plumbing site with just a couple of earned links could easily outrank the #1 position in my city.

Right now it is very difficult to rank in competitive verticals, however, because in many cases, the sites at the top are ones that are still getting away with spam tactics.  However, keep in mind that Google’s ultimate goal is to make it so that spam tactics no longer work.  I believe that we’re in the early days of these efforts.

Penguin is still young.  Don’t fall into the temptation of doing a linkbuilding tactic that is unnatural, but is currently not being penalized.  At some point Google is probably going to find a way to stop that tactic from working.

You’ve got to learn to think outside the box.  It will probably be hard to get ahead of cheating competitors, but eventually, I do believe that Google will catch 99% of self-made link tactics.

Which of the following factors have an impact on the Google PageRank?

a. The total number of inbound links to a page of a website

b. The subject matter of the site providing the inbound link to a

page of a website

c. The text used to describe the inbound link to a page of a web


d. The number of outbound links on the page that contains the

inbound link to a page of a website .

PageRank is primarily about the authority of the sites that link to you. There’s a good description of PageRank here:  It’s important to note that PageRank is just one of many factors that Google uses when determining where a site sits in the search engine results.

Mention some SEO myths you know and what the actual facts are ?

The answer to this question could be a whole blog post in itself.  Here are a few misconceptions that I can think of right now:

-The disavow file is not used against sites that are being disavowed.  When I am asking sites for link removal I will often have site owners write back begging me not to add them to our disavow file.

John Mueller has said several times in Webmaster Central hangouts that they do not use the disavow information against sites being disavowed.  For example, at 20:35

Google does not have a brand bias.  Many people feel that Google gives preference to brands when deciding upon a ranking.  The truth is that people prefer brands and Google wants to rank what people prefer.

 Think about this.  If you wanted to buy a book on lawn mower repair, which of the following sites would you be most likely to make your purchase from:





I’m not likely to buy from site #4.  In the past, site #4 could spam its way to the top via unnatural link building, but now Google works hard to put the sites that I want to see at the top of that list.

Sites that have been penalized by Google do not have a black mark on them in Google’s eyes.  Many people believe that a penalized site will always be stigmatized in Google’s eyes.  The reason for this belief is because many sites who have gotten their manual penalty removed do not show any sign of recovery.

The main reason for this is that the previous rankings were only propped up by unnatural links.  If there are very few truly natural links then the site is not going to rank well.

I could probably continue to answer this question for the rest of the day, but we’ve got to stop somewhere! Thank you for the opportunity to take part in this interview. I hope you enjoy this mind blowing interview session with Marie , she had given her best in this session.

If you have any questions or doubts please do ask in the comments below !

Dont forget to share this awesome interview in social media. I will be pleased if you share this now !!! Cheers!!! Join BloggersIdeas on FacebookGoogle+ & Twitter .

Jitendra Vaswani
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Jitendra Vaswani is a Digital Marketing Practitioner and renowned international keynote speaker who has embraced the digital nomad lifestyle as he travels around the world. He founded two successful websites, & Digital Marketing Agency DigiExe of which his success stories have expanded to authoring "Inside A Hustler's Brain : In Pursuit of Financial Freedom” (20,000 copies sold worldwide) and contributing to “International Best Selling Author of Growth Hacking Book 2". Jitendra designed workshops for over 10000+ professionals in Digital marketing across continents; with intentions ultimately anchored towards creating an impactable difference by helping people build their dream business online. Jitendra Vaswani is a high-powered investor with an impressive portfolio that includes Imagestation. To learn more about his investments, Find him on Linkedin, Twitter, & Facebook.

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Comments (2)

  1. Hi Jitendra,
    Its pretty helpful having Marie Haynes in this interview episode. She readily exudes the confidence of an SEO expert. The insights she has shared are thought-provoking. I love her response to the question :

    “Is the future for link building dark or is link building dead already? If it’s alive, then your 2 cents on the best link building practices?”

    • Hi Sunday, Thanks again for commenting on this post. Marie haynes is very skilled professionals. She understand SEO in depth. It was my honor to interview her for my blog.

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