We had the great opportunity to interview Danny Dover, a thought leader in SEO and author of the new book Search Engine Optimization Secrets.
Cool Marketing Stuff: Your first book, Search Engine Optimization Secrets, just hit shelves. What do you want readers of Search Engine Optimization Secrets to learn or come away with?
Danny Dover: My big goal with this book is to level the knowledge playing field in the SEO consulting industry. I’m sure you’ve heard, the idea that 90% of what you need to know about SEO is freely available online, the problem is finding it all in one place. I think SEOmoz does a good job of that but I think this book does it in an easier to consume way. I really hope to help the industry get on the same page and help create a more level playing field.
Cool Marketing Stuff: SEO has a lot of negative associations due to unethical operators and spammers. What do you say to people who have a negative perception of SEO as a business practice?
Danny Dover: It’s a tricky conversation and I feel like I have it a lot. Generally the message I try to send is yes there is a lot of black hat SEOs and what you have heard is true in some instances but that is not majority of the industry. In fact, if you look at the people who are leading right now in SEO for most terms it is people who use organic SEO. If you want to get to the top of search results you need to use SEO and if you want to stay up there for a long time you need to use white hat SEO.
Cool Marketing Stuff: Can you tell us about your new role doing SEO at AT&T?
Danny Dover: I just recently started a a new job at AT&T as the Senior SEO Manger. I am working with John Cole, who I think is the most underrated SEO in the industry. He is brilliant, very effective, and extremely analytical. I really enjoy working with him. My primary focus at AT&T will be to do organic SEO for Yellowpages.com.
Cool Marketing Stuff: Why do you think that search engine optimization is a good career choice?
Danny Dover: I think that SEO is a good career choice because it is extremely portable. One of the many beautiful things about the Internet is that it allows me to do what I want to do wherever I want to do it.
Cool Marketing Stuff: Do you think there is a lot of potential for growth in the SEO industry, specifically for SEO consultants or service providers?
Danny Dover: Yes I do. This year has been the most exciting year for SEO that I have seen. As more and more people learn about it, I think more and more people are going to be looking for SEO consulting. The demand for even amateur SEO services is increasing and with that the opportunities are increasing.
Cool Marketing Stuff: What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Danny Dover: The best career advice I have ever received is actually very counterintuitive. I talked to people and they said that if you really want to learn something you are passionate about you have to be willing to do it for free. It started as an unpaid intern at SEOmoz. I came in and said I would work for free as long as they would teach me. As you can tell, this worked out great. SEO was something I was passionate about and looked forward to learning it everyday. Over the course of three years my job changed a lot as I took on more responsibilities. The experience was fantastic. That wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t offer to work for free.