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Check out the transcript of our conversation with Dixon Jones.

Two weeks ago our owner and CEO, Dwight Zahringer headed to Las Vegas to attend one of the premier internet marketing conferences of the year, Pubcon. Las Vegas becomes an internet marketing utopia with many of the SEO heavyweights hosting sessions that are very informational for anyone that is trying to garnish an online presence. The topics are endless along with the amount of useful information that is delivered at each of these seminars.

Dixon JonesTM was lucky enough to sit down with one of the presenters, Dixon Jones, and give you your very own peek into some of the topics that were discussed at Pubcon. Dixon Jones is the managing director of the UK Internet Marketing Consultancy: Receptional LTD and has a decade of experience marketing online, primarily above the line. Dixon built Receptional up from a start-up in 1999 and has retained credibility as a search engine focused marketing company throughout the highs and lows in the industry to date. He is also the current marketing director for Majestic-SEO.

This is definitely not Dixon’s first appearance at an internet marketing conference. He has been on the circuit making appearances since 2002, primarily speaking on topics such as link building, pay-per click (PPC) management, and web analytics.

“Way before the Internet started I used to write and run murder mystery evenings. I’ve spent night after night being dead body and Inspector Cluedo and stuff. You get burnout doing that, and so the internet came along and I got a copy of Front Page ’92, and built a little website. I think the only thing that I did right with that was not to host it on the cheapest hosting company I could find.”

Dixon did not take the traditional route, if such one exists, into the SEO profession. He originally started running murder mystery games for company gatherings. Once his website was built, he wasn’t sure what was going to happen next. Not hosting it on the cheapest hosting company he could find allowed him to pick a company that had web trends, which was way ahead of its time. Soon he saw people were visiting his site from Ohio and all over the world and realized he would not be able to get his murder mystery actors our there.

He decided to build a site where anyone cold go and download the game and run it yourself, turning his murder mystery game into a web product. He then turned it into a company called Murder Mystery Games, Limited and hosted it on a site called murdermysterygames.co.uk.

“I think that Twitter is probably reaching its peak.  It’s going be, hasn’t it?  I mean, you sit there and look at it, and in our industry it’s turned into complete spam, I’m guilty as well. We just put our link out there.”

Dixon Jones QuoteThere has been a growing connection between SEO and social media and the two have in some ways become combined. We wanted to see what Dixon thought about social media and what is the next big thing to happen. Dealing with Twitter specifically the concern of sponsored tweets is something that has been making a buzz. It becomes a problem when people are posting information that they are paid for. There is no set way on how to monetize this action and it seems to becoming a trend. It has become so convoluted with Google picking up Twitter feeds and tweets and ranking them to the point where they show up in search results.

This could lead to Twitter being flooded with spam and anchor text to make sure results come back. Twitter has taken off fast and continues to become a major trend with the Internet and Internet marketing. Dixon believes, “Twitter, pure Twitter, will become pretty irrelevant. The real time search within other platforms I think could be a much more interesting and long-lasting situation.” This could potentially push Twitter as its own form of SEO where it is just a word and it talks about doing the searching. This also has the potential to jump over to Facebook. Facebook has recently updated their search preferences and that allow the user to cut out the stuff they don’t want. With modifications like these to limit the unwanted Facebook would appear to have much more longevity than any of its predecessors.

Dixon could go on for days with the amount of knowledge he has on Internet Marketing and SEO. He has been here since the beginning and continues to grow with the innovations that come upon within SEO. We would like to thank Dixon Jones, of Receptional, Majestic-SEO, and Murder Mystery Game, for taking time out of his busy trip at Pubcon to speak with us.

“The Majestic system, what Alex, the founder did was around about five years ago, is he went out and found people that were willing to download a program onto their PCs to start crawling the web. We’ve been collecting the data for five years or so, and we’re using web crawlers.”

By allowing people to download the program, Majestic-SEO started as a small server firm that was set up all by volunteers. This was downloaded and offered to thousands across the world. The way it worked was every time a user’s bandwitdth wasn’t in use the program would cut in and start using it for crawling the web. After all of that data was collected Majestic-SEO was launched about this time last year and has turned into a web product. Majestic SEO is set up to track links. Working strictly with external links users can know what links are going into a website. While you can use Yahoo’s data and say there is 300 links going back, or even 3,000 links, Majestic SEO tends to come back with ten times that number.

“I think it’s important for the publishers to start thinking about how they’re writing their content, because, these we’re already established. Bruce Clay said today that, a link in the main body of the text is much more valuable than a link in the menu structure of a website.”

With various audiences it is important to think about links form a traffic perspective. This way you are building a customer up point of view. This forces your content as a publisher to become much more important. People have to want to read the copy on your site to influence them to click those links. Also, your audience as a publisher becomes more important and so does that link to a person that wants to benefit out of using the link. Dixon believes, “ If your content is crap, then actually that’s not good for me at all. I think everybody’s got to pay attention to that link and the quality of it in some different ways.” It is key for publishers to look at the whole online marketing business to try to monetize their website in many different ways.

“Is it SEO?  Is it SEM?  Is it Internet marketing?  I think that it’s going to be harder and harder for somebody to say, “I am an SEO.”  It already is.  You’re not an SEO because you’re social media and your Twittering.”

Dixon Jones QuoteOne thing obvious is that the SEO industry as a whole is traveling down many different paths. It is hard to clearly classify someone as an SEO professional with the ever-growing aspects that brand from it. People begin to recognize these new trends with Twitter and Facebook and don’t want to be left out. Small and local businesses are in this group too trying to figure out the best way to gain presences on the Internet. It is hard to know exactly who can do what for your business when the titles are so convoluted. For smaller businesses it would be best to narrow their focus. “You need to listen to people you trust,” is what Dixon believes is the best way to ensure you get what you want from an SEO.

“I think a core question for any small company is the content management system or the web system that you use, when you host that website, in the very first place, you don’t have to use anything expensive.”

There are all sorts of systems, WordPress is one recommended by Dixon. The important thing here is that you pay close attention to those basics in the very early stages. You have to make sure you have a system that has URLs that mean something to the people using your site. If you don’t have something that makes sure that there’s some kind of taxonomy on the website then you will always be playing catch up. “This is a real problem. Some of the most expensive sites in the world have missed the basics of the start, and we have it all the time,” explains Dixon. People generally decide to build websites off of impulse and launch the website to soon. For small businesses or even some bigger ones, the resources are out there and they are not always as expensive as you would think.

“Yeah, well, Receptional and Majestic, and my murder mystery games. Also Receptional is breaking into new ground as well.  We’re looking at developing a few new technologies that we think will be good in the industry.  We’re looking, for example, at a system that is for mom and pop sites.”

The idea is that most mom and pop sites are using a content management system. This system could be WordPress or any other system offered but this causes a problem because mom and pops have no idea how to back this up. The just assume their hosting company is saving this and all of the changes they may make to their content. What Dixon plans to do is, “set up a system that says you’re hosting on Company A.  You want to backup on a company that is anything but Company A. So you get another hosting plan with another company, and we’re going to backup from Company A to Company B, and it’ll backup your database and files as well. It’ll do it at midnight every night or every week or whatever.” Dixon plans on trying to get some of the hosting companies involved as well. It is not as easy as it sounds because people are hosting with different sources. However, if the big hosting companies buy into it than it would be good for the hosting industry because it will raise the volume of hosting.

“There’s a lot less on page content stuff now than there was.  It’s a lot more about links and a lot more with social media. It has just taken off in the last 18 months big time.  Universal search used to be really big 12 months ago. I mean it’s still really big, but it’s kind of like being absorbed into our psyche now.”

As a veteran in the SEO speaking circuit, the topics over the years have seen changes with the continuing development of SEO and Internet Marketing. Dixon has seen these changes and continues to speak on the relevant topics in the SEO industry at these events. Things that aren’t getting talked about are any other search engines besides Google. Dixon believes, “That’s the biggest threat to our industry. It’s like having only one Telephone Company that you’ve got to use, or only one utility, because it’s essentially a utility now. If you’ve, only got one utility and they’re charging somebody, then it’s dangerous.” Now Google may not be charging user to use their utility, but because of the market share they can charge somebody completely different.

Dixon could go on for days with the amount of knowledge he has on Internet Marketing and SEO. He has been here since the beginning and continues to grow with the innovations that come upon within SEO. We would like to thank Dixon Jones, of Receptional, Majestic-SEO, and Murder Mystery Game, for taking time out of his busy trip at Pubcon to speak with us.

One Response to Dixon Jones: Online Marketing Expert

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    FeedBack Reviews | March 24, 2012at 5:11 pm

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