About Aaron Wall
My good friend Aaron Wall of SEO Book has gotten big. Next to Danny Sullivan, he’s probably the most well known SEO on the Internet today. And he’s one of the few people I personally swear by. He has character. He is honest, and he’s driven by his principles.
No, I’m not talking him up. He doesn’t need me to do that. I just can’t not talk him up. He never ceases to amaze me. He’s a brilliant SEO and an awesome friend. You can get to know his character a little better by reading his personal blog, AaronWall.com
John Scott: Hi Aaron and thanks for taking the time to talk with your humble admirers. Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your peanut butter fetish and your possibly abnormal sexual orientation?
Aaron Wall: Peanut butter is high in trytophan and yummieness . That is a two for the price of one. The only thing that sucks is a typical jar has 2000 – 4000 calories. Anyone thought of making snack sized jars? Or maybe peanut butter flavored bubble gum?
Look how sad these search results are. The second worst SERPs I have ever seen.
John Scott: Are you currently involved romantically with a member of either gender?
Aaron Wall: Either sounds so limiting. Don’t forget hermaphrodites . But to your question no is the answer.
John Scott: So the rumors linking you to Matt Cutts are false? I did hear that you were caught dining together in a restaurant.
Aaron Wall: That was a pretty fun night…it was like hearing the light side and dark side banter back and forth with DaveN and Matt talking search. To top it all off someone spammed Matt with this tomato dish. When the waiter came up to suggest a dish the tomato one sounded like he was keyword stuffing. The exchange went something like this:
Would you like to try out tomatoe ______? (I don’t know the other word…but it may as well have been spam)
What’s in it?
The tomato dish? Well finely sliced tomato slices, drenched in our savory tomato juice, with diced sun ripened tomato bits, and a savory tomato puree. It also comes with our delicious fresh tomato bread.
John Scott: So after your unfortunate event with tomato spam, I’ll assume you retired to different rooms.
Moving on, can you tell us about the little Aaron Wall. The Aaron Wall that resides inside the big Aaron Wall, and by “Big Aaron Wall”, I’m not referring to any bodily appendages. Tell us where you’re from and what makes you tick.
Aaron Wall: Well the little Aaron Wall weighed about 60 pounds less than this one does, but alas I passed along the curse of my weight loss blog to my mother (http://www.fattyweightloss.com/ ). She ranks #1 in Google for “fatty” so I can joke with her about that. If I ever get into a solid workout routine I may get in better shape. I really need to. Andy Hagans hired a personal trainer and I want to do the same. If for nothing else it would provide much needed structure to my life.
As far as social settings go I am usually not in many of them. I have always been a bit of an outlier and am quiet. Especially around people I do not know well or groups of more than 2 or 3 people.
I am probably a rather boring individual, but I am usually actively engaged in something most of the time. So when in large groups it is harder to stay engaged so I usually just sit quietly. I usually fall asleep when watching movies or doing other things where I am just a consumer and not a participant.
I like conferences because I have many friends at them. I like concerts because there is a bunch of energy there.
Beyond that I would say I tend to thrive on controversy a bit and I root for the small guy / underdog / individual, because that is who I most relate to. I think the current corporate, political, and religious settings in the US are absolutely corrupt.
I think I would like to move to Spain or New Zealand, but it takes a lot of courage, time, money, and effort to do that.
John Scott: If that “peanut butter gum” is the secord worst SERPs, what is the single worst SERP you’ve seen?
Aaron Wall: http://images.google.cn/images?q=tiananmen
John Scott: Which is your favorite Care Bear, and why?
Aaron Wall: For a long time I thought it was lucky bear…but then someone corrected me for my sinful ignorance and reminded me that the proper name is Good Luck Bear.
As to why I initially liked Good Luck Bear I can’t say for sure. Just always did. A couple years ago, right as I was moving away from where I lived, I met a girl who had a Good Luck Bear who was really fun to hang out with. Although her hair was not blue I still thought she was really cool.
John Scott: I believe you once said in one of our telephone chats that SEO is links, and Links are SEO. How would you say that linking has changed in the last two year? What kind of links do you prefer?
Aaron Wall: I think the raw 1,000,000 spam links idea is dying away in effectiveness. There are active portions of the web where people come back and read daily or resources people regularly link at. If you are cited in those areas you are golden. Conversation and exposure leads to more conversation and more exposure.
My favorite links are those that drive targeted traffic and sales. If they do both of those then any search factor is a bonus.
Mike Grehan, an all around swell chap, recently mentioned my ebook in one of his Clickz columns. My sales were no doubt higher that day.
If an influential channel mentions any of your products, services, or sites then typically it will also lead to many secondary citations.
When Chris Sherman mentioned Myriad Search it also garnered many links from other people who either liked it or felt that they should mention it because it was mentioned on SearchEngineWatch.
John Scott: Where do you see yourself in ten years? Is Aaron Wall going to be Mr Corporate America?
Aaron Wall: I think I am going corporate. As I type. Each letter is one letter closer to the new corporate Aaron Wall. <--- $ell Out
I have no idea what I want to do. I am not one who looks too far ahead.
Eventually I will probably look back and be pissed about that, but oh well.
Keep in mind I do have a couple clients, but I have never tried to have too many for fear of burnout and because I was/am bad at pricing.
John Scott: If you could give one piece of advice to a novice SEO, what would it be?
Aaron Wall: Even if you do not know much about algorithms you can still do well if you understand people, network, and are interested in your topic.
John Scott: Thanks for your time Aaron!