Interview with David Amerland: From hidden keywords to Trust and Authority
I had the chance to meet David Amerland in person at Sofia. David, author of SEO Help and other books about SEO and Semantic search, was the main speaker at the SEO Conference 2015 – Sofia. I thank David for his cooperation about this interview, and I thank Ognian Mladenov /SEOM/ also, who made this event possible.
Ok, who is David Amerland? 🙂
Ah, Sometimes I ask myself the same question. In my head I am still that surfie kid growing up in Queensland hoping to see the world some day and do something worthwhile. Depending on the day and what I am doing I can be either the author, speaker or analyst that’s my job description.
How did you get into Seo, Semantics and IT as a whole?
I sort of slipped into it by accident. I had been working as a journalist reporting on the tech field for The European, a British newspaper, and I found that I was good at optimizing websites back in 1995 because I knew what I had to do (pixel-height letters, keywords hidden in colour background, all the Black Hat stuff that we now know not to do). From that I went into corporate communications for a large bluechip company and, at the same time, expanded my involvement in the web search and online business field.
Your books are about serious and complicated topics. How do you write them in so simple and understandable manner?
When I am writing I try to think of the people I usually present to. They tend to ask very direct questions and need quick, direct answers.
Fake G plus accounts, purchased followers – Google knows everything, right?
Unfortunately yes. Google sees all our activity, engagement and interactions on G+ and develops a certain amount of confidence (or not) in who we are and what we do, from that activity.
How do you explain, as simple as possible, what means semantic layer?
The semantic layer we see in search and across the web is a layer of meaning that is created by the activities we engage in (content creation, content, social media interactions, engagement, social sharing, mentions and citations). This allows us to understand better what is important and what isn’t in a particular context.
So … you are world famous, why you are not acting as a heavy rock star? Only people, met you in person, know how real and funny you are!
I take what I do very seriously but not myself. I think as people we are all very similar and very real and equally important. We just happen to do different things. But that does not make us ‘better’ in any way from each other.
Outside the work – how you keep yourself so fit and fresh? What sport teach you?
I have been doing martial arts since I was 13 and I competed nationally in the UK for almost ten years in Tae Kwon Do. I still train most days, it helps to remind me that no matter how far we come we can all very easily fall.
Speaking about Trust and Authority – do we have a lack of trust nowadays?
I think we have a greater awareness of the elements of Trust and Authority than before plus, for the first time, we are in a position to have to establish Trust and Authority outside our own locations, via remote activity. That is a real challenge and one we are only now getting to grips with. How we manage to deal with it will determine many of the things we will see in the very near future.
Do you like the shopska salad? 🙂 Last words to me and your SEO friends in Bulgaria?
The Shopska salad was awesome. Over the last eighteen months I have been to many parts of the world. Bulgaria struck me with its energy and focus and passion plus I was made so incredibly welcome there I never once felt there was a cultural barrier to overcome and that is down to each one of you I met while there. I am really grateful to you all.
Thank you, David!