Interview with Jan-Willem Bobbink on SEO
With less than a week until SMX Munich one of the final speakers to be interviewed was Utrecht based marketer Jan-Willem Bobbink. Jan-Willem is a well known European marketer who focuses on international search campaigns but also a MajesticSEO brand ambassador. I reached out to Jan-Willem via email with some questions about his views on SEO but also some insights into some topics that he will be covering during his two presentations at SMX Munich next Wednesday 26th March 2014. 1. Do you mind giving us a short background on yourself and what your current role is? In 2004 I got addicted with online marketing since I build my first international webshop. During the years I have developed hundreds of websites and had numerous affiliate concepts running. In 2011 I made the step towards the agency side. After three years working at Internet Advantage I just decided to leave the company and have a look around and search for a new challenge.2. Your session touches on Microdata, Schema & Rich Snippets but which do you love more? The first thing I want to make clear is the following: there are websites with data points, there is data markup on your website and there are websites wanting to use that data. Because every website is different, there have been developed standardized formats how to markup your data. You can do this by using Schema, RDFa, Open Graph etc. for example. Rich snippets on the other hand, are a way of presenting the crawled data, in a functional way. By using Open Graph tags in your HTML, will make it more easy for Facebook and Google+ to display the right information about your website. Back to your question, you cannot say there is a favourite markup language, since everyone is making use of different data structures. Google can proces GoodRelations, Microdata, Microformats and RDFa. For Facebook you have to use OpenGraph markup.The implementations that I like the most, are the situations which create the best results as fast as possible. I would advise every website to add Schema markup of your reviews, which can be picked up by Google fast and this results in an increase of your Click Through Rates from the search engine result pages.3. What Google Knowledge graph widget do you think will have the biggest impact in 2014? Google giving direct answers based on common questions! (for a fun example, check this).Websites that get most of their traffic because the solve problems based on people searching for answers, will definitely lose traffic. Have a look at "Google’s Knowledge Graph Boxes: killing Wikipedia?" which will not only have an impact on Wikipedia type sites, but Google is increasing the number of queries in which they add additional information rapidly. 4. Based on MajesticSEO data what link tactics do you think are being over-used still? Link exchanges, directory linking and blog networks. With the help of MajesticSEO data is not that difficult to detect networks, let alone Google can't figure that out. Once Google declared the war on spam, directories are used less and less so the market moved towards setting up private blog networks, just to create content (co-occurrence) around links but that's not the way you want to do marketing for your company. 5. What EU business do you think is leading the charge in Schema and Rich snippet implementations? I do not have specific companies, but what you see happening in the market once there are new opportunities to increase results, are affiliate websites that are always the first websites to start testing with the additional possibilities. Besides that, for companies like Google, Yandex et al, it requires flexibility to implement the changes in their systems. Especially with new techniques, there is always a risk that people are going to use it in a way it was not meant to be used. After the launch of rich snippets in Google, lot of people spammed Google with the yellow stars. I actually was one of the first to implement review snippets without having actual reviews on my website.6. Who are your favourite people to follow on Twitter to stay current with Schema & Rich snippets? I'm not really following specific people, but some websites you should definitely add to your feeds are:@Jbobbink and on Google+ and you can read some articles I publish on my personal blog (Not provided)Thank you Jan-Willem for your time in answering these questions and I hope everyone enjoys your SMX presentations which is on day two in panel 2 from 1:30pm "Microdata & Schema to Rich Snippets" and also in Panel 5 from 2:35pm "The 10 most important SEO patents".So if you want to catch Jan-Willem Bobbink speak and save €€€ on tickets for SMX Munich 2014 you can use our discount code LOSTPRESSSMX and you can register and find out more here.