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Thursday, December 9, 2004

Michael Pedone Interviewed

Michael Pedone is the President of Search Engine Optimization company eTrafficJams*. I sent him my questions via email.

*Note I settled a deal with eTrafficJams regarding a right-hand side ad, whereas this interview was my idea and is completely non-commercial.

You are the President of In a nut-shell, what does your company do, and since when? Also, why is it called “ “?

Our company specializes in search engine optimization, which means we help other businesses get top natural search engine rankings when the keyword phrases they are targeting are searched on most search engines, specifically the top four – Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL. This drives targeted consumers to their site and will increase their online sales. has been operating since 2000, and we got our name because we deal with “e-commerce” and specialize in guiding consumers out of “traffic jams” on the Information Highway to our clients’ websites.

I saw you are in the Google top 30 for the highly competitive phrase “Search Engine Optimization”. How hard was it to get there?

Getting good rankings for that term took persistence. That’s basically a “Level 4” keyword phrase (we rate all keywords as being Level 1, 2, 3, or 4 with 1 being the least competitive and 4 being the most competitive), and we treated it just like any other “level 4” keyword phrase. We made our website very rich in content. Once word got around about us, other sites started linking to us as well (and we appreciate that). Getting great rankings for that phrase took several months, but that’s definitely to be expected with a Level 4 phrase because there’s no “magic bullet" optimization technique that’s going to get you rankings on a competitive phrase like that overnight, it just takes proper “non-spam” SEO, strong content, quality link popularity and time.

Do you think it’s possible for to get an even higher ranking for “Search Engine Optimization”, and how are you trying to achieve that? Do you think getting a good result for this phrase is very important to your business?

Can we get even higher? Absolutely. As we increase the information on our website with keyword rich content, proper SEO coding and increase our internal and external link popularity, we will be able to get higher rankings on this phrase over time, but I don’t think getting high rankings on a phrase like “search engine optimization” is as important as getting high rankings on phrases like “search engine optimization company “ or “search engine optimization marketing company” because with those phrases we are more likely to get visitors who are specifically looking to hire an SEO company to help with their website.

If you would have to wrap up the key to effective SEO in one sentence, what would it be?

The key to effective SEO is focusing on using proper SEO tactics like coding, strong, keyword rich content, and proper internal and external link popularity, all of which take skill and patience – having a flexible budget facilitates that as well.

What changed the most in Search Engine Optimization in the last years?

The ability to manipulate the search engines with spam tactics like keyword stuffing is mostly gone. Their intelligence to detect bad SEO practices has really increased, but that’s great for us since our SEO practices are ethical.

What do you think is the biggest difference between Google and Yahoo when it comes to SEO?

How well each detects spam techniques is one difference. Yahoo is sometimes not as effective as Google at websites that are using unethical SEO practices, so I think Google is usually the better authority on their natural results.

Do you feel there are some parts of Search Engine Optimization which might boost the ranking in one engine while decreasing the ranking in another?

Sure, I think that it’s possible to get great rankings on some of the less popular search engines by using spam tactics (such as cloaking, keyword stuffing, doorway pages etc), but that would potentially kill your ranking on any of the big four engines – Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL. Besides, why use those tactics and run the risk of being booted from a search engine, when it isn’t necessary? Quality SEO work will reap huge profits. Just ask our some of our clients like or

What are the places you advertise and what do you think has the most impact?

We basically rely on our high natural rankings for the keyword phrases we target like “search engine optimization companies” on searches on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL. We get the most traffic from Google.

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I can’t get this to work anymore. Did Google change something?


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