Meet your SEO: Anthony Pensabene

Today I have the huge pleasure to chat with Anthony Pensabene, an SEO and writer at WebiMax and at his own blog, Content Muse. Anthony is a great guy, and moreover I like the fact is commenting a lot to posts I read, giving great insights, adding value. 

Since I was criticized for my “too long” introduction, I stop here ūüôā

Let’s talk with Anthony ThinkGood (translation of Pensabene in english).


When did you enter the SEO world, and why ?

I was in-between English teaching assignments. ¬†I was spotted de-constructing SEO algorithms on a blackboard, watching Good Will Hunting, while doing janitorial work for a marketing company in 2006. I was soon hired. ¬†That could of happened… A friend of mine was working for an SEO startup. ¬†I did some writing for them the prior summer. ¬†It started as a ‘stop’ until my next teaching gig.. I loved being a student and saw the industry as a place to teach as well. ¬†I’m still here with no plans on leaving…buy my rookie card now…

A great tip about onpage optimization?

People, please take the ‘look how great we are’ sentiment out of your copy. ¬†That’s for us (the consumers) to say about you (if we so choose). ¬†I want to see more resourceful, outgoing links, ones that add to the content. ¬†Hey, there are scores of great minds and insights for your readers out there. ¬†Not all the minds and insights are native to your brand or content. ¬†The content is for helping the reader. ¬†It’s about being a better ‘match maker’ for them. ¬†Lace on-page content with out-of-brand resources.. ¬†I don’t care if the ‘competition’ wrote it. ¬†You’re helping your reader..

The most stupid thing people believe about onpage optimization?

I think not enough people consider the amount of time browsers spend on a page… ¬†Dr. Pete wrote a great piece on Moz months ago that I regularly reference. ¬†It has to do with sites that rank well but have horrible bounce rates.. ¬†Stop marketing for engines; they’re not buying anything from you; they’re not telling other engines to buy from you; they’re not actively discussing you online… ¬†Market your pages toward people…

A great tip on how you build links?

I’m a big believer in people relations. ¬†PR was one of the first elements of marketing I got into. I think because relating to people makes sense to me. ¬†There is a lot of great info out there related to how to ‘find’ link-building opportunities. ¬†However, I think the best links involve forming and maintaining relations with peers, professionals, clients, etc. ¬†PR involves a lot of genuineness and honesty. ¬†People respect and respond to good character. If yours is a good fit with another brand, be a person about it. ¬†It’s not a game. ¬†It shouldn’t be. ¬†It’s about creating a better resource for the customers. ¬†Forming relations with germane and professionally credible entities makes sense. ¬†Be a person with potential peers. ¬†They’re your peers, not a means to an end; ensure you treat them accordingly.

The most stupid thing you heard about linkbuilding?

I think the most unsettling thing I hear about is services that promise a particular number of links per month, campaign, etc… ¬†That’s really creepy and general… ¬†Are these services explaining the process and importance of links to their clients? ¬†I believe a large number of clients don’t really even understand the process… They leave it up to providers.. ¬†As with content generation, I want to see a strategy and client-provider synergy involved. ¬†Clients, do you know where your links are coming from? ¬†You really should take interest…what your provider does is a reflection on you!

If you have to explain what you do at a 10 year-old kid , what are you gonna say?

I think kids are pretty savvy these days. I would not try to water it down, just make it highly simple. I would say its the process of aligning people with products and service that address a need… that could be a need to buy concert tickets, find a t-shirt, or get information on an educational subject. If the younger person is a Jon Cooper, they’ll be telling me about SEO…

What do you drink when seoing?

I’m a Johnnie Walker Black (on the rocks) fan when discussing SEO with young women at bars..No, don’t do that. ¬†It’s about them…just like in marketing..but I digress.. ¬†I am a big advocate of coffee and tea; the sipping process helps me think.

What do you think about SEO community?

I really can’t say enough good things about the community. ¬†The more minds and personalities I meet, the more pleased and appreciative I become. ¬†I’ve been lucky to start making more solid connections of late. ¬†It helps me with my learning since I presently work remotely among the rocky mounts of Colorado. ¬†I’ve never been a huge fan of communicating through the computer; but, for me it’s a necessity; and, a habit I wouldn’t want to break these days. ¬†I honestly look forward to meeting a lot of people I admire in person in the near future.

Make yourself a question and give an answer: Why do you think peer relations are so important?

Peer relations are a testament to your passion and efficiency. ¬†Some people are turned off, thinking peer relations is a nonsensical popularity contest or not professionally beneficial… They are so, so misguided. ¬†I learn so much from others in my industry. ¬†Additionally, there are methods and initiatives, which some people are more stoked about and concentrate upon as compared to others. ¬†For instance, I’m a creative soul and writer. ¬†I think I can help my peers in those manners best at present. ¬†It’s important to be recognized and utilized. ¬†It makes the community the special entity it is. ¬†Additionally, from an intrinsic perspective, my sense of encouragement is fueled by peer feedback. ¬†I truly care about the thoughts and actions of my peers. ¬†We all should to move forward positively.

Who is your biggest SEO influence?

Wow, I draw inspiration from a lot of you dudes and dudettes; most peers probably don’t realize how much I admire their thoughts and motions. ¬†There is one gentleman in particular who sure has been ineffably helpful, a great source of inspiration and encouragement. ¬†I’ll never forget his selflessness and willingness to guide. ¬†It inspires me to always look for opportunities to pay it forward.

If you weren’t an SEO, what would you like to do?

When I was younger, I had aspirations to be a surf bum/counselor, hanging on the beach, surfing all day while ‘talking with and inspiring thoughts’ in others. ¬†Psychology, “the why of people,” has always been a fascination of mine and was one of my college majors. In my shallowest moments, I thought about being the pool boy at the Playboy Mansion; but, those girls would probably just gawk at me…not appreciating my beautiful insides… ¬†As I’m getting older (33! ¬†Man, wasn’t I just reading Shakespeare during high school Math class a little while ago?), I’m learning it all starts inside you. ¬†I just want to be someone better than the dude yesterday in the mirror each morning…I think the ‘what’ is not as important as the ‘who.’