Take it Easy Nacho Libre

Image Credit: Nacho Libre

It’s a known fact that Google’s heavy crackdown on search spam in the recent years led to a drastic change in the SEO industry. Google’s algorithmic penalties in the form of Panda and Penguin and its massive manual penalty drive not only affected the SEO community (largely those who had adopted spammy or questionable practices that violated Google’s guidelines), but also the blogging/publishers’ community.

A Quick recall

Many blogs/content publishing websites had got affected due to Google’s crackdown on spam primarily because they had literally turned into content farms and link suppliers to the SEO community. These blogs needed articles which were contributed by the SEO community and in return the SEOs needed mentions, traffic and links ( primarily links ) – it was a fair deal after all and everything was hunky dory until the crackdown happened – suddenly things changed and the blogging community had become cynical, cautious and averse to guest blogging. Ah, guest blogging, one of the favorite activities of the SEO community came under the scanner – adding fuel to fire, Google had issued specific warnings regarding guest blogging and the misuse of it to gain manipulative links.

What followed after this painful phase is a series of steps taken by the blogging/publishers’ community, some good and some bad – let’s discuss both.

Gary Vaynerchuk - Vayner MediaSocial media has been amazingly effective for personal branding. If you aspire to become a thought leader in your field or if you are an author, consultant or a professional service provider – personal branding is very important to achieve high personal growth because the market place is crowded. If you cannot stand apart, you can never achieve high growth – you’ll remain average.

Apart from genuine thought leaders, authors, consultants, professionals out there, social media platforms have presence of many who label themselves as ‘experts’ who are actually pseudo-experts who keep trying to sell their half-baked skills. They make the already crowded market place even more crowded.

You need to stand apart in the crowded market place if you want establish yourself as a personal brand and even after reaching the top, you’ll be competing with the best in class – so, you need to carve a niche for yourself – ultimate personal branding is all about that.

Since 2013, we had been doing SEO surveys annually (Check out the surveys we conducted in 2013, 2014 & 2015). The objective had been to take the pulse of the SEO community and also to enlighten our readers about the key developments happening in the SEO landscape. Expert opinions are important because they help the industry to speculate less and strategize better for the future.

This year, instead of conducting a survey, we decided to approach some of the top SEO experts in the industry with some specific questions very relevant to the developments happening in the SEO landscape. We thought their answers/opinions would help our readers understand the currently changing SEO scenario and also the key changes we can possibly expect to happen in 2017. We hope this post will help you to take some proactive measures to be prepared to adapt to the upcoming key changes in 2017.

Below are the questions we asked them and the respective answers given by them. Here we go…

Andrew Shotland, Founder - LocalSEOGuideAndrew Shotland is one of the top local search consultants in the world. He is the CEO and Founder of LocalSEOGuide, a boutique SEO agency that offers SEO, search engine advertising, website strategy and local search consulting with a specialty in yellow pages and local directories SEO. He is also the editor of the popular Local SEO Guide Blog.

Andrew has over 20 years of experience in the Internet and has consulted with several brands like,,, The Los Angeles Times, Cox Communications, The New York Daily News, The Yellow Pages Group Co. Of Candada, Ingenio/AT & T, D & B & Sequoia Capital, NBC, Insider Pages and many more.

Andrew is also a contributing author at the reputable Search Engine Land and he is also often invited to speak at various industry events including SMX, MNSearch, Rocks Digital, Yext on Tour and State of Search – Dallas.

In this interview, Andrew talks about his career, his agency localseoguide, Google, local SEO, the latest possum update and he also shares his experience working the NBC and lot more. Read on.