We continue our series of interviews within the special project SEOWork Hub, and this time we talked to the legend of Russian SEO Michael Shakin: about the differences between SEO in the English and Russian segment, the requirements for professionals and hiring.
Before we get to the main points, tell readers about your path in SEO: where did you start, what path did you follow and what are you doing now? How did you get involved in bourgeois projects?
I began promoting websites in 2006. In the same year I began to think that it was necessary to promote sites not only in Runet, but also in the English-speaking segment, and I began to study this. Along with the Russian-language sites I ran the first English-language projects, i.e. to promote in the bourgeoisie and in Russian I started at the same time.
And where did I start?
I used to be a gamer, played computer games. Gradually, I got tired of it, and I decided to do 3d-modeling and create game levels, ie, for example, take pictures of houses and then simulate these houses in the game. It is very interesting!
At some point, one of the sites that love to create games I was offered a free place for the site (this was in 2005, even before I came to the site promotion). It took me a month to learn html and css and started my first project.
My site came to about 50 people a day, and over time I realized that this is the ceiling. Subject area is very, very narrow and the potential attendance is small, and I wanted to achieve something more. After a while, I decided to create a project with tutorials on Photoshop, and after a few months of queries in Google and Yandex, my project was in first place. This site got more than 3 thousand visitors per day, and I realized that I had chosen an interesting topic, it had a great potential for visitors, and I became interested in attracting visitors – those were my first steps in SEO. I wanted to share their experience to attract visitors to their site from search engines, and I created a site shakin.ru and it began to share (and continue to share). their experiences and practical advice on promoting websites.
Now 80% of the sites that I work with are English-speaking – USA, UK, UAE, Australia and other countries, the rest – the Russian-speaking sites. Half of the projects that I do are mine, the other half are other people’s projects (i.e. client SEO).
Do you work in Russian-language SEO and bourgeois SEO – how different are they? If so, what are the main differences?
There are general principles in English-language promotion and in runet, but there are also differences. The general principles are that the content should be of high quality, the technical state of the site should be optimized and we should strive to ensure that the behavioral factors on the site were good, i.e. visitors browsed more pages, stayed longer on the site, etc.
Differences – primarily in the link promotion. In runet very few opportunities to get free links, look at directories of sites or article directories in runet – normal projects among them you can count on fingers! And in the English-speaking segment there are many of them.
In runet, it all comes down to buying links, but there are advantages: there are services where you can buy links from normal sites, there are convenient links exchangers, which simplify and speed up the process of buying links at times compared to the English-language segment.
What methods work great for the bourge, but unlikely to work at Ru?
There are such methods. One of them – the method of scholarship, when you create a page of scholarship on your site, offering students from various universities on a competitive basis to participate in your article contest and the winner pay from 200 to 1 thousand dollars (such contests are held, usually once a year). In the English-speaking education system it is so that third-party organizations, including websites, can offer such article contests, but in runet it is not developed and is unlikely to work in the coming years.
What are the expectations of SEO and SEO specialists in the Russian and Bourge segments?
Expectations from a specialist are to have experience, although I know companies that hire newcomers and teach them their principles, their approach – each option has its place.
I also try to hire newcomers, but it is important to me that the person was assiduous: there is a type of people who find it difficult to sit at a computer for more than 1-2 hours, and SEO-specialist must be a specialist who, if necessary, can spend 16 hours a day at the computer. And, of course, it is important to have a responsible approach and a desire to learn, and all the schemes and principles can be taught.