James Welch is an British SEO expert from Stoke-on-Trent. A very visual SEO that spends hours on whiteboards drawing circles and talking about network science.
Born: 1976 in Stoke on Trent.
Started with SEO: 2004.
What are you best known for?
Drawing circles and creating web tools.
Do you have any motto?
The harder something is to do, the more impact it has on Google.
Family background: Can you please tell us some of the qualities that you attribute to your family that later shaped your career at Online Ventures Group?
My background was pretty average, and I didn’t take anything from my childhood in to SEO, other than my love for computers.
Professional Background: Can you tell us a bit about how you started with search marketing?
I started out as an search engine specialist after inventing a non-related product which gave me time to research internet marketing. I have since worked for large companies such as Regus, Microsoft as well as owning and part-owning many web-based start-ups.
Computers/SEO: Have you always been into computers and SEO? If not, how did your interest start? Which was you first computer?
My first computer was a Oric 1 (proper geeky) and followed by a Commodore 64 where I wrote my own version of teletext! I was then a Unix consultant for years until I fell in love with SEO!
How to stay up to date? How do you stay up to date with Google and SEO in general?
I make sure I read every day from a curated list of people that actually make sense, and I surround myself with good people who do the same.
How do you find SEO in Great Britain compared to other markets?
Having worked in the States and in Europe, I can say that SEO in the UK is far less location-centric than in places such as Dallas or New York.
What do you work with on a daily basis? How does a normal working day look like for you?
My day is filled by inspiring my search and social teams to greatness as well as working with directors of companies within the group. I also spend some of my time inventing new search-related products.
How is it to work with James Welch?
If you work hard, you will feel inspired to work harder and enjoy your job more. If you don’t work hard, don’t bother coming in to work.
Tips for beginners: Do you have any advice for people new to SEO? What should they focus to learn firstly?
Do not listen to most of what you read from search engine bloggers – the vast majority is not very good at all. Learn to filter out the bad stuff. Don’t use companies that sell you 500 directory links!
Can you describe Online Ventures Group?
We are not a ‘full service agency’ (i hate that term), and we are not just search either. Online Ventures Group are a group of companies under one roof that independently provide excellent internet marketing-related services. We have created several products recently of which one is proving to be very successful. We are just very honest and blunt with who we speak to and pretty much everyone that we meet is signing up with us because of this. Read more about Online Ventures Group here.
Goals: Do you have any personal goals to complete 2012?
To grow the search team at Online Ventures to triple from when I started and to acquire 3 more web-related businesses from the Manchester area within 12 months.
Future SEO: Can you name a few things website owners/SEOs should look out for the coming two years? Can you tell us about some of the main issues you see today that Google have a problem to tackle?
It’s the same as it ever was – great content gets great links and shares. Sites with the greatest content usually win out. In the long term, they definitely win. Produce amazing content and I will get you amazing search positions. I think Google is doing a good job recently punishing bad links techniques, so the future is bright.
QDo you use Google or Bing when searching for images?AGoogle
QAre you spending most time on Facebook or Twitter?ATwitter
QDo you prefer working on Apple or PC?AApple
QDo you rather go skiing or take a holiday to the sun?AHoliday
QWhich keyword would you like to be #1 for in Google.com?AViagra
QDo you use Blekko or any other alternative search engine?AYes, Blekko.
QIf you couldn’t work with SEO/web related things; what would u do?AI would be an inventor