Interview with Philip Blomsterberg

philip blomsterberg
Philip started his first Internet venture in 1996 and has never looked back ever since. For the bulk of his long career as an affiliate marketer and Internet marketing professional, he specialised in English language websites and promotions. Now, he is branching out into the Swedish market with Swedish language SEO and content marketing services. He recently acquired the premium domain sökmotoroptimering.se [search-engine-optimization.se for you non Swedes] where he is setting up a new blog on the subject.


Occupation: Internet Marketing Rocket Surgeon
Location: Malmo, Sweden
Status: Engaged
Age: 38, born 1976, over the hill and went to school with Gandalf.

Started with SEO?

During the late 90s I had several exclusive projects dealing with web products. The first, Update, which sold financial information and trading software, I sold in 1998. After that I’ve been involved with a large variety of projects involving ecommerce, outsourcing, emailing, SEO – you name it.

When did I really get started with SEO?

Well, even if I had no idea what SEO was back then, I guess I was doing SEO when I set the metatags for my first site back in 1996-97.

I remember me and my employees were astounded by the fact that you could enter “sdfjaoqqq” in Altavista and actually get a direct hit. People would use software like Webposition Gold to generate 100s of pages (yeah, bandwidth and server space was scarce back then) and then submit them to search engines with Topdog. Oh yeah, “sdfjaoqqq” of course lead to some porn site, and I assume the affiliate in question retired long, long ago.

Oddly enough, I actually remember the first time used Google. I believe it was a year or two before 9-11, and you (the founder of this site) called me from your computer desk saying “Hey Phil, you need to see this Google thing – it finds EVERYTHING”. I remember correcting you saying “dude, its Goggle as in Goggles, not Goooogle”.

The rest is history, and I can´t even start to say how many good, and BAD, internet marketing related projects I have participated in. Well, I guess you would know since we sometimes sailed the same ship.

Education

Dropped out of different university programs – I couldn’t just sit there when there was so much else (business) to do. Finally though, I ended up with a bunch of credits in economics, web dev and computer science.

What is Philip Blomsterberg best known for:

Being a jovial and perhaps a bit odd character that rarely, if ever, gives up. With that said I think people living by the old adage “never give up” are fools. Cut your losses short I say.

Do you have any motto?

I could come up with a bunch, but on top of my head – “Cultiver sa folie est un devoir”. Yeah, Google it – by all means :)

Family Background?

My father, my fathers father and my mothers father, were all entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries – household goods, real estate and the hotel business. I guess this is why there is an unlimited supply of ideas inside my head.

How to stay up to date? How do you stay up to date with Google and SEO in general?

Well you know, I take lots of morning coffee (as well as using the Firefox plugin) and tobacco to read as much as I can. I check Inbound.org and many other sites a few times a day and save most posts to Evernote for later reading. I also have an assistant doing research for me once and then. She will also be managing the articles at our coming news aggregation site – Interwe.bs.

I had a double sabbatical between 2011 and early 2013 which meant I was totally out of the loop. During my time off I noticed the sobbing and whining on sites like Blackhatworld regarding the Panda and Penguin.. The sky has fallen every year since the birth of Webmastering, and it has always been the same story – kinda anyway. After this I had to do quite a bit of research and studying to get back on track.
Like everything else. SEO is about trial and error-which I welcome. You have to try lots of stuff and do heavy research. Yahoo shutting down Yahoo Search Explorer was a catastrophe when it happened, but it also gave life to awesome research tools like Majestic and LRT.

SEO in Sweden vs other countries?

Well, thing is I don’t know much (don’t know much opposed to “know little) about SEO in Sweden. I have observed whats going on, on boards like Seo-forum and WN.se, but thats about it. I have been checking Nikke Lindqvist, Håkan Persson and Urbalill which all seem to have a grip on the subject.

With regards to ranking I would say, along the lines of most I guess, that its easier to rank here, in the Swedish serps, than in english counterparts. But yeah, what else is new?

Any advice how to handle negative SEO after Google’s latest update? Have they solved it all now?

I never understood all the fuzz about negative SEO. Negative SEO has been around since forever and, instead of choking on their coffee, people should now be happy. I mean, we now have an effective weapon to fight this nuisance – do your best with the disavow tool and move on. (Although I should add that it’s a pain when you go through chains of 301 redirects and so on…)

Oh yeah, I would want to say hi to the guys who 301:d me a bunch of expired vietnamese domains – I found the whole thing quite amusing :D

Tips for beginners: Do you have any advice for people new to SEO? What should they focus to learn firstly?

Read, read, and read. Did I mention read? Frequent the boards, real webmaster ones, to get the whole picture. Don’t isolate yourself to SEO because there are tons more you need to know – especially now. Then read the rest of the beginners yadayada. Trust, backlinks and content are the most important things, though content isn’t actually king. Nice rhyme huh?

I would also like to add, though it has already been heavily regurgitated, that there is yet to be any direct correlation between good ranking and social media presence/activities. People have made that there is an indirect effect but that’s just the standard outreach behind a solid SEO campaign. Study, observe, and keep yourself updated on the subject, but don’t neglect anything already working because of the stuff your research turns up. Finally, keep an eye on G+….

What is it like to work with Philip Blomsterberg?

I guess mostly quite fun. I always have a lot of ideas and get a kick out of solving the most intricate of problems which inspired my colleagues. I work closely with my American partner Gene who weed out my bad ideas, tries to stop the rocket from exploding and so on.

I used to be quite authoritative when it came to employees, but after having worked in outsourcing for more than 10 years I am more of a Dalai Llama. Nowadays, I have a pink belt in patience. Previously, you’d would hear my roaring thunder thousands of miles away when things went wrong.

Now, if somebody lost three weeks of work just because they didn’t have backups, I would advice them to takeoff for a few hours, come back – get a nose burn, and then start fixing the problem. Today, I am more pragmatic which I guess comes with age. I´d rather just solve a problem than crying over spilled milk. After all, there is only so much you could do without fixing it yourself.

What are your goals this year?

Lots of things, but first and foremost I want to launch my site sökmotoroptimering.se before the end of summer. After that we will see – there are always a few projects in the pipe. Philip tweets good stuff all the time – follow him on @pblomsterberg.

So I take the subject as given, but is this supposed to be a competitor to seo-forum etc?

By no means. Seo-forum is a great site, though I think Sweden need more internet marketing blogs.

Spare time

I am a cinematic and hispanophile. I love old movies and try to take my GF to visit Spain 2-3 weeks every year. My vices would be the four C:s – cigarettes, cava/champagne, (diet) coke and coffee(taken with lots of milk)

7 quick general questions

1
QDo you use Google or Bing when searching for images?AGoogle
2
QAre you spending most time on Facebook or Twitter?ALately Twitter – currently doing a lot of networking.
3
QDo you prefer working on Apple or PC?APC
4
QDo you rather go skiing or take a holiday in the sun?AI prefer the sun, though I really miss skiing.
5
QWhich keyword would you like to be #1 for in Google.com?AMatt Cutts
6
QDo you use Blekko or any other alternative search engine?A Lately less and less.
7
QIf you couldn’t work with SEO/web related things; what would u do?A Music producer, voluntary worker or forex trader, in that order.

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