Get Optimized – 8 SEO Experts from the Philippines Answer 8 of the Hottest Industry Questions Today

By On July 24, 2012 • Inbound Marketing Strategies Comments (25)

This is the very first Get Optimized Series on SEOteky, and I am happy to tell you that we got 8 of the best SEO in the Philippines to answer 8 of the hottest industry questions on a one rock solid post. Panda, Penguin, Link Building, SEO strategies, Inbound, Social Media – all we can ask, get optimized!

Without further adieu

Let’s meet your dream team, our dream team:

seo philippines experts

Profile Bio:

Benj Arriola is a San Diego CA, based Filipino, who is currently the SEO Director at Internet Marketing Inc. Has spoken at conferences in the US such as WebmasterWorld’s Pubcon, Search Marketing Expo (SMX), San Diego eCommerce Summit, Online Marketing Summit (OMS) and also in the Philippines at Search Engine Marketing Conference (SEMCon), and various events of SEO Organization Philippines like Mastering Online Rankings Conference (MORCon) and the Bataan Bootcamp series. Benj is also known for winning several SEO contest such as the UK Webmaster World’s SEO Contest 2008, - Promote Your Business and GetUpdated’s SEO World Championship where he won a brand new car. Benj has ran SEO campaigns for small and medium businesses as well as very large, publicly traded Fortune 500 companies. If given the time to blog on his personal sites, most probably that would be on

Jason Acidre is the Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, an SEO Consulting Firm based in the Philippines. He’s the author of Kaiserthesage, an SEO blog, and also a marketing consultant for Affilorama for the past 2 years. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre

Zaldy Dalisay is the adviser of SEO Organization Philippines and the owner of He was first noticed in the local seo scene after grabbing the 4th position in the isulong seoph contest in 2006 out of nowhere. Today, he is one of the owners of the leading travel agency in the country – Go Travel Philippines and has been a steady seo consultant for a number of local politicians.

Jon Edward Santillan is the founder of He is currently working as an SEO Manager in the world’s leading airline – Etihad Airways. He also worked for Abu Dhabi Media as an SEO Manager in 2009.

Ed Pudol is the Director and Founder of, a web development and link building services company from Bataan Philippines. He is also the President of the largest SEO organization in the Philippines - SEO.ORG.PH - Known for his quote “Don’t Work Hard, Work Smart”

Sean Patrick Si is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker and God and You. Check out his SEO School and SEO services and connect on with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Google+

Mark Acsay is the Director of Search and the resident technical SEO expert of Xight Interactive. He also blogs at and you can follow him on Twitter @markacsay

Floyd Gumpal Buenavente or Mr. Brown SEO Philippines is a Philippine SEO/SEM Specialist that hails from Manila. He graduated from the University of the Philippines Cebu College.


1. How is your link building campaign(s) doing? Knowing that link building last year is different than this year due to recent google updates like Panda & Penguin.

Benj Arriola:

Penguin was all about links. Panda is all about content. Some may think Panda does not affect link building efforts but it actually does since you can be getting links from sites affected by Panda making the link less effective.

Majority of our link building methods did not change before and after Panda and Penguin, probably because even before these updates rolled out, we were already preparing a better link building strategy, based more on inbound marketing. We do a large number of link building methods but they mostly revolved around different ways to link bait people, whether it’s a blog post, an infographic, a video, and then come up with creative ways to distribute it to real people that will take the next step to naturally distribute it. Somewhere along the way, someone will link to it naturally.

Jason Acidre:

Our mindset, approach and methodologies when it comes to link building haven’t change that much, though we’ve been continuously adding more firepower to our campaigns as well as internal processes by integrating other aspects and marketing principles to it.

I think the recent algorithmic updates have just proven how effective our processes were, so instead of changing how we do things, we just focused on empowering it.

Zaldy Dalisay:

Sorry I’m not affected by the updates.

I used to be a heavy link builder, but with consistency. One of my main strategies is to apply a certain amount of links that I can sustain on a regular basis. For example, if I applied an ‘X’ amount of links for this month, then I should have the same amount or more the following month. During those years, many fail due to inconsistency. But that’s the past.

Before the updates were made, I already adapted myself into having a much solid marketing plan. In my years in the business, I learned that SEO is not just about getting more links, this is a whole advertising platform in a digital format that needs to be planned carefully. So from being a heavy linker, I combined it with several other linking strategies that made me stand against the recent updates.

Jon Edward Santillan:

I should say that all my link building activities are just right as it still provide the impact that I need. In fact, I have not changed any of my strategy since last year aside from diversifying the link profiles that I am getting.

Ed Pudol:

So far our link building strategies works well. To be honest I didn’t feel negative effect of penguin and panda update to my link building strategies, instead Google loves them more.

Sean Patrick Si:

Thus far, our linkbuilding campaigns are doing pretty well. We are focusing on future-proof linkbuilding strategies and they have been virtually unaffected by the Google algorithm Updates

Mark Acsay:

Nothing much has changed if you’re doing the right stuff. The only thing that has a big impact is the overly optimized anchor text. You need to get a good mix of branded, generic and exact match anchor text. Another is an emphasis of a good match content marketing strategy and niche community outreach. 

Floyd Gumpal Buenavente:

Practically you just need to follow Googles’ guidelines but in my opinion Google has many flaws in its system that we can take advantage of.

While others may call it blackhat I call it intelligent work.


Technically anything that means influencing Google’s algorithm would mean “blackhat” to Google’s eyes, to do SEO (linkbuilding) is against their guidelines (if we are going by the book) ergo they have to come up with different algorithmic updates every now and then to put into place SEO’s who game the system. The way I do linkbuilding is still the same you just have to be invisible meaning you have to cover your tracks. I hope I am not sending the wrong signal to young SEO’s but its just me being an SEO for me would mean knowing everything from the dark side to the legal side of things. Just like being in a war.

2. What is your best SEO strategy as of today? Share at least one useful tip that readers can try.

Benj Arriola:

That’s a good question since our strategy is really based on doing a number of things, and what is best for client may not be the best for another. So to really pin point on what is best overall is a bit difficult. But if I would try to narrow it down into a single thing that seems to work in all clients that do it, this is going to sound cliché and you may hate me for it, but it is coming up with quality content.

The people that get me will agree, and those that don’t will say it’s one of the most stupid things to say. And to those that don’t get it, it may not be that easy to explain to you since you still do not get it up to now. But if I would try to attempt to explain it, it would go this way: Quality content is not about writing well since a minimum number of words. It is not about keyword density or count. It is not about being grammatically correct. Although you can look at all of these and help guide you, but the main thing is quality content is a reason for your target audience to actually like you, to love you, to talk about you, to attract them, to surprise them, to amuse them. To make people realize something like an aha moment, or to compel them to take some specific action. It is all about how compelling your content is to keep readers very interested and to compel them to share that interest to others naturally.

With these methods we have experienced getting links naturally for our clients from a variety of sources. .edu and .gov sites, TechCrunch, AllTop, Business Insider, LA Times, Washington Post, NBC, ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and just recently, for one client, we got a link from National Geographic.

And the moment you get the right links, you will be amazed how few links you really need to make a different in ranking. You really do not need much. I know that there are many submission services out there targeting 100+, to 1000+ links per month. We are no longer looking at links that way. We have one client that just got 10 links in a month and organic search traffic increased by 20,000+. Rankings for tons of keywords jumped from nowhere to page 1. But there was tons of time and resources spent into making the content that people would link too.

One of the challenges here is we still have old clients that are stuck in the old ways and look at links more as a specific number per month. Which is not how link building should be. Some people are still stuck in the days of quantity and not looking at quality.

Jason Acidre:

Strategic integration – that’s the best SEO strategy that everyone should at least try doing these days. Search engine optimization is not just all about optimizing pages and building links to them, it’ll take more than that, as search engines are constantly improving how they assess rightful pages – that should be ranking well on their results – knowing that they are also evaluating websites’ authenticity, popularity, relevance and authoritativeness through other metrics from social and usage data.

Knowing how to utilize and appropriately merge other marketing practices such as content marketing, social media, UX, conversion optimization, lead generation (email/lead nurturing) and analytics to amplify your overall SEO strategy, the more you’ll be able to get more targeted traffic from different channels and possible customers to your website.

Because at the end of the day, it’s all about how you can generate more revenue or spread awareness about your cause.

Zaldy Dalisay:

From a heavy link builder, I started to train myself to learn the art of viral campaigns and produce informative contents.

A viral campaign will make you the talk of the town while an informative content will make you the resource person. Isn’t it nice to have a campaign wherein the resource person is the talk of the town? Try mastering both.

Jon Edward Santillan:

As of now, it is a multi-signal approach. This is where I amplify my campaign with an engaging content. The point of these is for the users to share and naturally proliferate the content, tweet it, like it, pin it dependant on the platform. To do this I have spent a lot of time engaging with and building a community and list of followers for different vertical and leverage it

Ed Pudol:

Be NATURAL. After the recent update, I believe that name of the game these days is being natural. Anchor text, source of traffic, and dofollow and nofollow must be diversified.

This days you cannot use your target keyword  100%, you need to use different variation like  “keyword”, “brand + keyword” , “related keywords” ,”garbage keywords ”(click here, more info),”domain or url” , or “Sentence where your keyword in included”.  Same with back link source, don’t focus on blog comment only or blog posting only they don’t look natural.  Before the update many SEO gurus believes  and preaching that getting back links from nofollow sites are useless which I didn’t believe ever since, now  they are suggesting that do not focus on dofollow back links only.

In terms of getting back links, link baiting is very effective for long term link building strategies.

Sean Patrick Si:

I would say that the very best SEO strategy I am implementing today is creating cornerstone content that attracts word of mouth links.

  • Cornerstone Content would be the best of the best of your content. These are the few brilliant articles that you would come up with and that would hit a grand promotional scheme that will propel it up the search results in its proper target keywords. And because of all the relevant searches coming in, it would attract social signals, attention, and consequently, Word of mouth links.
  • Word of mouth links are the purest of organically built links – they are driven by passion and value that your readers indisputably find in your content and website. 

Mark Acsay:

One tip I can share is learn how to leverage the author rank.

Floyd Gumpal Buenavente:

Focus on onsite optimization it works wonders! Especially after the updates in Google.

3. What are your criteria for a quality link?

Benj Arriola:

At a high-level view, it has to be authoritative and relevant. Going down to the dirty details, you can use whatever metrics you want to use for authority or a combination of metrics, from Google PageRank, SEOMoz’ Authority Rank, Cemper’s Trust Rank, Majestics’ ACRank, whatever you want to use. Or you can use a combination of several. The more consistent the numbers are with different tools, then higher the probability of it to actually be value. If PageRank is high and MozRank is low, that may mean something bad is going on, like a fake Google PR by doing 301 tricks.

As for relevance, all you need is commonsense. If the page is relevant, then good, if the whole site is relevant, then better.

Jason Acidre:

Over the 2 years working as an SEO (and majority of it on link building), my beliefs/principles in link building hasn’t changed that much, though the metrics that I personally use in identifying how valuable a link would be for a campaign has slowly evolved (from links that will just pass value for rankings to links that will pass ranking, branding and business value).

On one of my recent posts (developing conversion-oriented link building) I discussed how you can easily build metrics to focus on when building links. Metrics that will not just result to yielding traffic and rankings, but will also help assist visitors to convert into leads/sales. Some of the metrics that I mentioned there that do pass higher value were:

  • Visibility of the link (if the link can be placed on the first sentence or paragraph of the content)
  • The destination page of the link (from the linking page) resonates with their audience.
  • The intent of the linking page’s content speaks positively of the link’s destination page. And longer string of text (for the link’s anchor text) also attracts more people to clicking it.
  • The link should be from an authority site that has a strong readership/follower base, and the authoritativeness of the domain should also be able to influence the linking page to obtain higher search visibility (for it to constantly send/refer traffic to the destination site).

Though, in prospecting sites for link building opportunities, we usually look into these metrics:

  • Web design and quality of their content – to assure the longevity of the link that we will try to acquire
  • Search share – to see if we’ll have chances of getting constant traffic from the sites we’ll try to get links from (especially in making the linking pages from their domain rank for highly searched terms). You can use SEMrush to know if a site has good search visibility.
  • Social presence – to absorb more value from the links that will be acquired from them (based on subscribers, followers, etc…).

Zaldy Dalisay:

A quality link for me is something that came out of nowhere. It is something that I didn’t:

  • Purchased
  • Steal
  • Ask for

That is the time that you will know that you have created something informative and discoverable.

Jon Edward Santillan:

I still use the basic metrics as a litmus test such as MozRank, PageRank, Domain and Page Authority. Once I selected all the prospected links, I dive into analysis that is more detailed and identify whether these websites are right for my campaign.

Ed Pudol:

For me quality links are links from sites that are related to my site, especially if the site is considered as an authority site.

Sean Patrick Si:

My criteria for a quality link are derived from the following:

Mark Acsay:

  • Anchor text
  • Relevance
  • Age of the content
  • Social signals from where the link is coming from.
  • Domain authority where the link is coming from

Floyd Gumpal Buenavente:

A link is a quality link as long as it is indexed by Google. Now links are also like food they spoil fast so you have to find the link that does not spoil fast and maintains its freshness all the time.

4. How valuable is Social Media for your Internet Marketing Campaign, why SEO’s should not ignore Social Media Optimization, Evangelism etc.

Benj Arriola:

Social Media is very valuable. In the world of Panda and Penguin, SMO helps in a lot of ways. If users like your site or page and they share it naturally, that is like a personal gauge that you do have good quality content. And the more you reach out to in social media, the higher the possibility of gaining links in a natural way from other sites. And if your content is really really good, that users love, just sharing that to one person and they love it; birds of the same feather flock together. Often people network with each other with the same interest. There are friends that become friends even outside of social media because of a common interest. And if someone is interested in what you have to share, there is some high amount of likelihood that the friends of that person may be interested also. And when you create this natural buzz, this natural popularity, then you just gain links naturally also and improves ranking.

Jason Acidre:

Search engines are relying on social data to identify what users want and what they find useful/popular, so it somehow shows significance. But I personally think that it shouldn’t be the center of an internet marketing campaign, since there are still plenty of verticals that can’t really be forced to be “social” or turn to social media as their main approach for marketing.

However, SEOs shouldn’t ignore social media, as they can learn so many things from it, especially on how their target audience behaves and consumes web-based content (which is pretty important when you want to be linkable and when you want people to buy from you).

Zaldy Dalisay:

Social media optimization is the next big thing in the internet marketing since SEO and PPC. I use social media to gather a unique audience for certain product and services, not to mention that it will tell Big Daddy G how popular we are to let him think that we should be given importance.

If you’re not doing SMO, then you’re not fit to handle an online marketing campaign nowadays.

Jon Edward Santillan:

CRITICAL! As it plays a big factor not only from personalized search result but also from other online-marketing channel such as online reputation management and search engine marketing in general. When I am running full-size campaigns, I tend to look on an overall strategy that has a domino effect.

Ed Pudol:

There are many evidence and experiment already made by me and others to prove that Google loves social media.  Every SEO practitioner must not ignore the power of social media in terms of getting juicy links and reaching target audience via social media channels. Social signal is the future of search.

Sean Patrick Si:

Social media is a powerful support to back-up your SEO campaign. First and foremost, social media has the direct ability to influence the virality of your content – whatever content that is. Social media is also a powerful platform in direct online promotion – which will help get the word out to target authoritative people who can get the word out some more.
Social Signals are also not a thing to be taken for granted. I’ve seen sites with good social engagement in a span of a few minutes go up the ranks together with Google’s freshness algorithm factor. Getting up the ranks that fast means that it would be much easier to sustain it over time as you gain links for that piece of content.

Mark Acsay:

SMO is powerful when used in a right way especially in your branding.

Floyd Gumpal Buenavente:

Social Media is only valuable depending on the niche that you’re in otherwise it is a waste of time. Websites are like people too different strokes for different folks. But I see a great future for SMO if only for its added value in influencing search rankings (there goes again the influencing word)

:::Let’s Take an Ice Breaker First :D – Matt Cutts, Rank #1 on Google:::

5. Penguin Proof, Panda Proof link building – Do those things exist? (I’ve been seeing link builders package or talk about this one on their services offered)

Benj Arriola:

Yes of course. I am not aware of the link building companies that use this as a selling point, but any company can say anything anyway. If they are actually doing it or not, I don’t know, we still have to figure that out. But if it is possible, yes. But I do imagine link building today has a larger time investment to come up with something creative. It is also a larger time investment in building relationships. That being said, I can see link building and SEO in general should be increasing in price in the future. And for those that do not increase and still do link building of the ancient times, like article spinning, submitting in various places, multiple directory submissions, even in low quality directories, spamming forums and blog comments, using social bookmarking even on spammy ones, will just not work anymore. Now people that are doing this that can testify their life on it saying it does work, probably they are not lying. It just so happens that it works for them. Like if they are not in a competitive industry, or they are going super long tail. And for those that still experience success in these methods will make this continue to exist.

I guess my example in explaining this is if there are 1,000,000 sites ranking for a keyword and many went down in ranking due to Panda and Penguin, the ones that went up were the ones that had less spammy links. Now if another case if there are 20 sites ranking for a keyword and all 20 have spammy links. Someone still has to be #1 and 9 more others should still fill up page 1. And for these people, they would say spammy links work.

Jason Acidre:

Authenticity is – for sure – an algorithmic change-proof strategy, because when people really see the need/importance of your brand (your products, services as well as the information you provide), then no algorithm update can stop you from being visible to your market.

Think of how you want to be really seen as a brand in your industry by your audience, before you start building links. You don’t want to be seen as spam, right? Then that’s how you attack.

Zaldy Dalisay:

Bullet Proof as what my friend Kim Tyrone coined it once is a better word for me. Penguin and Panda are two different things, what if Google will release another animal from their growing zoo? If you’re not prepared for it, then it’s more likely that your business will be gunned down so why not bullet proof it to stand any other updates that will happen.

Jon Edward Santillan:

I haven’t tried it but if you’ve seen it then maybe it exist.. However, In my opinion I doubt that this will work especially if they’re offering it as a service.

Ed Pudol:

Many of these packages are just riding on the issue to get the attention of their prospect customers. They know that many online marketers are afraid or hit by the latest update, by promising that their link building technique is penguin proof or panda proof they will get customers.

Sean Patrick Si:

Yes this exists but not in ‘packages’ as most linkbuilders would put it. It exists in the core of ethical, white-hat linkbuilding which is organic, word of mouth inbound links towards cornerstone content. This is the only future-proof linkbuilding strategy that is going to exist in decades to come.

Mark Acsay:

There’s no such thing. Even the most “whitehat” are being affected. SEO is not about template strategy. It’s all about your adaptability in different market terrain with your strategies and marketing efforts to bring home the bacon.

Floyd Gumpal Buenavente:

This is funny, because those algorithms target the page value of a website and not just the backlinks perhaps it is doable but we can never really tell as there has been no empirical study that supports these approaches in link building. But I do believe that it could exist we just don’t know the paramaters to measure it.

6. Can Link Building Be Scalable? Yes / No Why?

Benj Arriola:

Different people define this in different ways. I know Jason Acidre has been talking about link building scalability in terms of continuously adding more links over time with minimal work. When you say scalable link building to me, it is more from the business side on operational product, about the capacity to accept more clients. Now whatever we are talking about, my answer to both is yes.

Yes – Adding links over time with minimal work:

If you really have great content, very compelling to link to, you make it so easy to share to others, and your topic is a good one that stands the test of time, you will gain links continuously over time.

Yes – Capacity to take in more clients/handle more websites:

Once you start to tap out and cannot handle it anymore, then add in more people. I may say you can add in more tools, but not like the link automation/submission/spamming kind of tools, but something more for internal management of projects and people. If what you are doing does not seem to be cost- effective, then learn how you can make it cost effective. Maybe you do not have the right people, the right tools, or even the right business location? Have you tried managing an offshore staff?

Jason Acidre:

Yes, definitely. The real key to achieve a scalable link building process is based on a solid content strategy, but it seems that so many people don’t get this stuff easily, since many are being pushed to the idea of “just to create great content”.

What people are really missing is to “create great content specifically tailored to linkers”. Creating useful stuff is good, especially if your content is targeting your potential customers. But creating content for links is a different story. Because in this arena, you have to know what content resonates with the “linkeratis”, and it’s not just useful stuff, these are mostly things that can really compel and educate the people in your industry who’re in the “advanced segment”. People who basically write about the things in your industry too.

So how do you attract these people to link to you? Write the things that they read and learn from, and then let them know about it! Continuously provide the things that they read and mostly link out to, because that will lead you to the road to a scalable link building process.

I’ve stopped doing link building for my blog, when I figured this out.

Zaldy Dalisay:

Yes in two ways.

  • Scalable as a product – as what distilled mentioned, link building can be scaled into a product which resulted in the mass use of it. Massive directory submission, social bookmarking, article syndications and many uses for their campaigns.
  • Scalable link building strategy – the process of building links that your competitors can’t just duplicate easily. For me, this is more of using creativity to find links that only you can have.

Jon Edward Santillan:

If you will do it on a proper and right way especially if you have budget to play around. A bit of push into Social Media with a right message for a perfect product on a quality website. – Yes it can be scalable. I have done it in the past.

Ed Pudol:

Yes – We need to implement a link building strategies that have capabilities to adopt any changes on search engine algorithm. That is the reason why link bait is so famous to other internet marketers. Writing high quality content then broad cast to forums, social media, and their subscriber is sure hit.  Guest blogging is another way, also product give away are all scalable link building techniques.

This is the fruit of hard labored link building strategies, typically done through manual process.

Sean Patrick Si:

Yes. Measuring the quantity of your links is easy – use a backlink checking tool likeCognitive SEO. Measuring the quality is, of course, much more difficult – but not impossible.Cognitive SEO also shows you the quality of your links in terms of the list I’ve mentioned in #3. Putting all your link’s quality measurements in an excel file means you’ve just scaled your linkbuilding efforts both in quality and quantity. The only thing that remains is, how long did it take you to attain those links – which is measured by your own time tracking.

Mark Acsay:

It’s a tricky question but I believe so. It depends on your link building process. If you can scale up your process, it scales the results as well.

Floyd Gumpal Buenavente:

Yes, if we are talking about being able to handle an increased load (in our case pages or keywords, etc.) are added but it would all depend on the crativity of the SEO and the technology being handled as well. One can only create as many links per day we have to realize our limitations so I would say yes and no.

7. Let’s talk about Disavowing links and let the commentaries go long. What is your take on this method of Google – giving power to webmasters/SEO to disavow links.

Benj Arriola:

First is, at this point in time, when this interview was made, this was only mentioned once by Matt Cutts. And it was still in the tone of a MAYBE we may add this in a month or two or three, which was mentioned in an interview by Danny Sullivan in SMX Advanced this year. Again this is still a maybe, am I for it or against it? I would say either way, I can deal with it, but if I would prefer to have it or not, I would choose not to have it. It is good for me that Panda and Penguin update happened. That does not mean all my sites were not affected. I have a few sites (mostly personal) that were affected and I expected them to be affected, thus I have complains about it. And I have many clients that were not affected, if ever they were, it was not all done by me or anyone on my team. It was also partly the client’s previous SEO efforts either by another agency or the client themselves. And for those that are affected, it is good that they feel the consequences of their own spammy link building. And they should face the consequences and not given an easy way out. If they made their backlink profile dirty, then make them do all the work to clean it up. Of course there are pros and cons to this, and the con to it is negative SEO may happen where competitors link bomb you with the spammiest of the spammiest links possible to push you down. Now is where the power of the good links should fight back, and there is no easy way to do that. And the best way to do it is to get many people to rally for you by linking to you naturally. And that can only be achieved by great viral content that many people will link to. And when that happens, it decreases the players on the playing field. It will annoy many others, but it will make others happy also, and I believe the people that will be annoyed are the ones we want to weed out anyway. And the ones that are happy are really the ones that are providing good value.

Jason Acidre:

Not really sure with what would be my take on this possible feature on Google Webmaster Tools. It can be gamed but it can also help people. Just like what I usually say to my colleagues at Xight Interactive, test it and let’s see the results for ourselves!

Zaldy Dalisay:

Bing made a joke on it by releasing their version first! However, I can’t wait to test the one from Google.

This is a much awaited release but I was thinking, what if I have a competitor who disguised himself perfectly and has acquired a link from my website in some ways, and later on disavowed the link. Will Google consider my site as something of a lower value? Nobody knows yet.

Jon Edward Santillan:

I think it’s great idea but of course, it has a lot of work needed to control your profile links. In the end, I think this will be useful for the search engine to tweak their algo which will help them to automate the process.

Ed Pudol:

Well, the purpose is really great. But the question is why they are now introducing this tool? Are they admitting now that Negative SEO is really exist?  It’s a clear evidence that their algorithm have no capabilities to recognized if the link was made natural or artificial. According to them they are not showing all your site back links. What if someone send 100,000 back links to your site over night? Do you have enough time to find all those links and submit to the tool? Why don’t they stick to their words, when they said that there is no way in off page SEO to discredit your site?

Sean Patrick Si:

Disavowing links is an end-product of Google Penguin’s effect on Negative SEO. I think that this is a temporary fix because sooner or later, all the bad sites where negative SEO links can come from will be totally disregarded by Google. By then the link disavow tool will be a minutely used tool.

Mark Acsay:

I will give my two concerns about it. First, if the disavow links tool  will be available, who will stop the spammers to blast thousands of links to their site and get on top page and steal traffic for a week on Black Saturday and Cyber-Monday then tell Google that they don’t want to get associated those kinds of links? Second, it will create massive outing in the SEO community. When you disavow your own links, it will create a domino effect on other webmasters that are associated with same link sources and it’s automated free tool from Google.

Floyd Gumpal Buenavente:

This could either be dangerous or pure nonesense. It just proves that Google can’t control its algorithm that it needs the help of webmasters to help them find links they despise. The issue is not about the existence of the “Disavowing links” program but the motivation behind it that bothers me.

8. What is your best advice for young SEO’s who are just starting to learn Search Engine Optimization.

Benj Arriola:

  • Do not believe everyone that talks SEO. It is nice to take note of things, but try to get a second, third, forth, nth opinion. The more people saying the same thing, most probably it’s true.
  • You will learn SEO from someone or several people, look into their background. Whether it is some mentorship, official certification training, reading a book, an ebook, blog post, watching videos, interacting in forums, pay attention to the background of the person speaking, the author, the teacher, the speaker… because SEO may be done differently by different people. Affiliate marketers may be doing link building in a different way compared to the SEO director of a Fortune 500 company. A blogger may write content different from a New York Times journalist. And this does not mean one person is right or one person is wrong. This just means in different situations, different things may work and not work.
  • Learn from your own test, it is one of the best teachers. But be sure you are observing and reading your test results correctly. You can do multiple things all at the same time and when ranking increases, since you did multiple things, you may not really be sure what has been working and what is not working since you did not isolate each possible ranking factor.
  • Pay attention to how old the things you are reading, watching or listening too. If you are reading a blog post, a forum thread, a book or ebook, pay attention to the published date. SEO has been changing so rapidly, you may be learning things that are new to you but no longer work, or worse, do more harm than help. If you are paying for some super training program, some great amazing tool, or whatever that is on a loooong sales page, some are good, some are not so good, some are really bad. Again check the dates on when this started. If they are a certification program running on autopilot with videos, some course material and test at the end but seems to be that way for several years and was never updated, then it might be useless.
  • Start learning where you are weak at. SEO is a combination of technical talent so you know the code, server settings, and optimizing them. Also writing talent, know how to write something that is good for search engines, but even better for users. And lastly marketing talent. Learn what makes things spread online and how to market products and services to their target markets, be creative. If you are weak in one of these areas, start learning how to gain more knowledge it in.

Jason Acidre:

Have a blog or a laboratory where you can test things for yourselves. Because once you’re in the big battlefield, you can’t easily rely on things that you read, but you can definitely trust the things that you’ve seen work for yourself or your own tests.

And never stop learning! That’s the key to achieve success in this industry.

Zaldy Dalisay:

Read, test, apply, read, test, apply, join, meet and greet fellow seo. You will be surprised that one day, the next generation of seo will learn things from you.

Remember, seo is an art and we are the artists. We always find ways to create an artwork

Jon Edward Santillan:

Start now, read, learn and implement, ask questions. Join SEO Philippines community and ADOPT EARLY!

Ed Pudol:

Read and implement what you learned.  Be patient, you cannot learn everything over night.  The best way to find out if certain strategy works is to test, don’t just believe what your idol’s said. Trial And Error is you best teacher.

Sean Patrick Si:

My best advice would be – stick with the basics. Know the fundamentals and apply them to each and every page. There is no real short-cut that will take you as far as the real thing.
Practicing some advanced strategies and tinkering with SEO experiments won’t hurt – so long as you’ve got the fundamentals in place. We teach all the fundamentals with an easy, concise, and smack-down approach in our SEO Hacker School – where you can enroll for free!

Mark Acsay:

Learn to the marketing principles and the technical aspect of SEO. They are a great mix. Never forget that SEO does not end in rankings but in conversions, so add value in the search results.

Floyd Gumpal Buenavente:

Suck your pride, learn from others, be humble and help other SEO’s, and for goodness sake invest in knowledge and a website and last but not the least feel free to email me and ask me anything I might not be the best but I guess being old in the business might give you an idea or two

SUPER THANK YOU TO THE PEOPLE ON THIS POST: Sir Benj Arriola, Jason Acidre, Sir Ed Pudol, Zaldy Dalisay, Sean Si, Jon Santillan, Floyd Buenavente and Mark Acsay.


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Jayson Bagio is the lead strategist of SEOteky. A digital marketing team from Manila, Ph who specializes in content marketing and link building. Get in touch with him using the contact form on the side or by visiting the about page. You can also follow him on twitter & google+.

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25 Responses to Get Optimized – 8 SEO Experts from the Philippines Answer 8 of the Hottest Industry Questions Today

  1. Travs Output says:

    Jayson,this article is a brilliant beast! Kudos for taking the time to round-up points of view from top-caliber big dogs of SEO in the Philippines
    Travs Output recently posted..Forex Trading and Stock Trading Demystified

    • SEOteky says:

      Thanks Travs,

      Indeed a super experience to put these peeps in one solid post. Was so amazed when I was able to put all this on a doc format, seeing 6,543 words :) So enjoy it!

  2. I really love this article. All though I am not an SEO professional this tips are useful for bloggers.
    Pinoy Android recently posted..Samsung is testing Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on Galaxy S II and Galaxy S III will get the update soon

  3. Let me be the first to comment. I salute the gentlemen you post in fact they are my idols. I learn SEO from them way back year 2010 and I still keep learning from them. SEO basically is not a basic; it’s a matter of strategy, hard work and consistency on how you implement it. Honestly I didn’t read the entire post because I already heard it from them during drinking session. That’s why Jason, learn how to drink up to 3 bottles of beer to get the masters secret’s.

    SEO is now my main source of income even I’m now in the writing industry. I encounter this lot of trouble especially during Panda and Penguin updates but luckily it was a chilling effect from the people who are affected from this updates.

    Honestly, I’m using tool to optimize and just like a gun loading with quality bullets. Quality bullets like point blank has different trajectory compare to other ordinary bullets, with this effect it cause unique damages to the target and keep scratched by your quality hit. Having scar on your target will last long and this might be seen by others and realize for what happen.

    It’s just like spreading quality content, catchy and informative where people love to read and share. From that point you will hit a lot of links and audience that will benefit your mission to rank on.

    I remember when Jason Acidre mention it at UP during one of the event; that his more on quality and no wonder Jason is one of the top SEO because his very meticulous in quality.

    I also get a lot of tips from Zaldy, for me his the magician and the Tom Cruise of the Philippines doing Mission Imposible.

    Sir benj, for me his a LTK “Mentor of all SEO in the Philippines” / LSI – Internationally.

    Sir Ed, one of my idol who has the empire in Zambales. He has the ability like professor ex. And no one will argue with this, because it’s already proven that he has his spaceships and mutants.
    and the rest: Pogi silang lahat at magagaling and the other one is the Google version of the Philippines: Mark Cutts.

    Maybe I have a wrong grammar, but if your get my point, that’s the point LOL…

  4. Great compilation of top notch ideas from the experts Jayson! I think it would also be awesome if you have shared your personal thoughts about your questions too.
    Arwin Adriano recently posted..Get Featured For Free, Be Event Checklist Guest Blogger

    • SEOteky says:

      It’s a pleasure Arwin, okay, since many people are asking for my answers on the 8 questions. I’ll answer it:

      1. How is your link building campaign(s) doing? Knowing that link building last year is different than this year due to recent google updates like Panda & Penguin

      My link building methods changed a lot, since when? Not for the panda and penguin reason though. It changed when I met Jason Acidre, he is really one of those influences that I always look up to. Also with the guidance and help of the ever reliable Sir Benj Arriola. And of course the community of SEO Philippines.

      2. What is your best SEO strategy as of today, share at least one useful tip that readers can try.

      Giveaway – So easy, measurable and could really lift your brand (including your products and services). How?

      1st of course is to determine if you have something to give away, an ebook signup, a product sample, coupon discount, a test experience, a 1 month free access, 1 month free use – these offers are always worth it!

      2nd is identify those websites that can host your giveaways. Yes your site including your facebook page + other social media channels can host your giveaways, but there are number of websites that can host giveaways. Like the campaign that I made for this wedding flower product, there are high traffic sites that host DIY product giveaways – we launch it there and we were able to pick up leads and turn them into sales.

      3rd make sure that you maximize your product at it’s full. If it’s an ebook, then design your own template and have your website URL on every pages. Even if people don’t link to you, if someone has printed, mailed and shared your ebook to somebody like friends and family, you’ll get a traffic or two.

      3. What is your criteria for a quality link?

      Link Profile, if I see that the URL has too many ads above the fold and too much affiliate links, I won’t go for it. If I feel like the link was torched by the recent penguin update, don’t go for it.

      Metrics that I use: Google PR, Domain Authority, Relevant in Vertical and Horizontal Niche, there’s an existing conversation on blog posts comment section

      4. How valuable is Social Media for your Internet Marketing Campaign, why SEO’s should not ignore SMO.

      Super, since google and bing confirmed that they are using social media signals – Here’s a great post: The responsibilities of SEO have been updated

      5. Penguin Proof, Panda Proof link building – Do those things exist? (I’ve been seeing link builders package this one on their services page)

      YES, NO, YES, NO – darn, just be true to your work. We are on this world to help business owners, we are also responsible on being update PROOF So there’s no such mathematics for being penguin and panda proof, panda 3.9 just rolled, how are you now?

      6. Can Link Building Be Scalable? Yes / No – Why?

      YES, it can be scaled – especially when you got everything on target. Like the #of content that is going to Guest Posting, the date of publication, the # of support links etc.

      7. Let’s talk about Disavowing links and let the commentaries go long. What is your take on this method of Google – giving power to webmasters/seo to disavow links.

      A soon feature on webmater tool, probably looking forward to it. Some people say that it can be gameable, but others say LETS WAIT AND SEE – and I’m one of them. I’m just pretty intrigued on this for the ORM, let’s say one client got a bad review from a site, if disavowing links is devaluing links, then WOW, all I need is disavow that and it will not stick that much on the client’s brand.

      8. What is your best advice for young SEO’s who are just starting to learn Search Engine Optimization

      1st – I’m still young

      One thing that I notice on link builders is that many of them are contented sitting on the office, waiting for the tasks, completing x number of links, going home, watching tv, sleep, go to the office, work, fuck that routine. Okay, I’m not assuming that everybody is like me, your or Jason acidre, Sir Benj, Zalds, Eds, us.. But please, be more responsible to your own growth. Do not just sit your ass and party :D Read, experiment, test

      One more thing – many entry level link builders thought of one simple thing, we need links in order to improve our ranking. So make as much as you can. BS! Links are votes yes! But nobody told you to spam the hell out of the internet just to build links. Be more creative, link builders are there to build high quality links that skyrockets businesses. Not skyrocket my spam folder on the email. Be true to yourself, we are marketing, we are creative, we are SEO’s / Link Builders / Inbound Marketers

      There is no shortcut on building links. Don’t ask for tools when you’re intention is to just spam it quick! #KEEPITCLEAN

  5. sanjay says:

    Cool! I didn’t know that there are SEO experts in Manila. Maybe we can have a meet up or Word Camp for future generation of SEO. Thanks for the article!
    sanjay recently posted..Collection of Responsive Web Design Frameworks

    • SEOteky says:

      Thanks Sanjay! We always have one, just join and meet some of the finest SEO pro’s in Manila by attending some of our events like MORCON, SEO Assembly and more :)

  6. JC Carlos says:

    Superb tips from the SEO experts and great job Jason for this one. It would be awesome if you will share your own thoughts about your questions like what Arwin Adriano said.

  7. NoypiGeeks says:

    Great post and interview to the top Filipino SEO specialists. The ideas shared in this post is great for aspiring people who want to try out the world of internet marketing.
    NoypiGeeks recently posted..Asus Transformer Pad Infinity and Transformer Pad 300 Price and Specs – Launched in the Philippines

  8. Herbert says:

    This is one intense write up Jayson. Collaboration of top SEO minds in the Philippines :)
    Herbert recently posted..Facts and Benefits of Content Syndication

  9. Love your answers Jayson and I think this compilation is now perfectly complete. I like the humility that everyone showed here sharing their personal thoughts about the industry :)
    Arwin Adriano recently posted..Get Featured For Free, Be Event Checklist Guest Blogger

  10. Mhel Garcia says:

    These are some interesting facts about Panda and Penguin. Though I have another question that will be highly appreciated if you have the time to answer it. What can you guys say about recipe sites? they have the same contents, but ranked differently by Google. Ranking is acceptable, but what about duplicate contents, pictures, ingredients? I’ve seen many recipe websites with the same contents almost a mirror of another but they are not penalized or even experienced decreased in ranking. Are not spamming? Why Google is not getting them penalized?

    • Google treats and sees these types of content (lyrics, recipes, bible entries, quotes, movie lines?) differently. After all, you can’t “uniquefy” recipes and bible entries. You can alter legends and fables. You can’t make them unique for the sake of it for obvious reasons. You can’t replace “vinegar” on a recipe with “Worcestershire sauce” or replace “turtle” with “chicken” on the old turtle vs hare/rabbit story.

      Making recipes “unique” would result to another recipe, making bible quotes “unique” would change the meaning of it – references, spiritual bearing etc.

      Just remember that Google’s algorithm tries it so hard to think and behave like a human, and they are getting closer to that goal each day – with that, the algo will not behave like a blind totally objective decision body. There will always be room for considerations, subjectivity and case to case basis.

      P.S. Thanks to Zaldy for the mention. :D
      Kim Tyrone Agapito recently posted..SEO Articles Friday Roundup | Click Here, Not Defined, Disavow Links, Authority, IM Fail, Boring Niches and Pokemon

  11. [...] I’ve mentioned on a recent group interview, creating content for links is a different story, though the process I’ve shared in this post [...]

  12. Benj Arriola says:

    As I have mentioned above:

    I guess my example in explaining this is if there are 1,000,000 sites ranking for a keyword and many went down in ranking due to Panda and Penguin, the ones that went up were the ones that had less spammy links. Now if another case if there are 20 sites ranking for a keyword and all 20 have spammy links. Someone still has to be #1 and 9 more others should still fill up page 1. And for these people, they would say spammy links work.

    Now I know sometimes my words sound confusing since I myself am confused with what I said. Recipe sites are very similar to lyrics sites. All can be hit by Panda. Although the nature of the site is to really have duplicate stuff, so penalty or no penalty, someone has to be on page 1. So if there is only 20 sites that have the recipe for Adobong Kang Kong, and all are duplicate, no matter what penalty you give them, no other site is going to take their place and go above them. Now how are they ranked then… with all other ranking factors.

    Penguin and Panda are not penalties. They are algorithm changes. And when the algorithm changes, some sites just dip down so much in ranking, but that does not mean it will not rank anymore. A penalty is different, Google will really remove you, deindex you.

    If all recipe sites deserve to be hit by the Panda update, then they do. Then all of them again are at the same standing compared to each other. So time to look at other ranking factors.
    Benj Arriola recently posted..Offshore SEO Outsourcing from Dead People

  13. Mark Benalla says:

    This people is my idol and im proud that i am pilipino SEO .

  14. Thank you for writing this article very informative and lots of good information about SEO but honestly I’m new to the SEO world although I’m into the IT technology for more than 15years but never tried to understand or study the SEO world. Maybe I need to get tips from this master or get enrolled in one of their SEO schools and get educated about SEO. I would love to talk about this article on my new blog.

  15. Jayson Bagio says:

    Thanks Jess, appreciate that I was able to help you…

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