All posts by Sean


How Google Hummingbird Affected SEO

Good day,

Google Hummingbird rolled out Somewhere September 2013. It has affected search engine results page in a minute way. Generally, SEO Hacker’s clients have NOT been affected.

However there were some keywords that were ‘fixed’ by Google in terms of creating relevance for their users. Most of these are pages with very few content or little relevance to the target keyword.

Look at it this way

Just like when you buy your brand new Mustang GT and you didn’t read the manual – you’d have to still test everything out. Google’s new engine is something unfamiliar – yet it shook the search results page quite hard. The interesting thing is: we didn’t hear complaints whatsoever – at least not from the end users.

Perhaps the changes from Hummingbird is a positive one. Refining the search results to be more relevant. That is, after all, what Google really wants. A user-centric search engine.

The good thing is, users are indeed happy. Google is making the search results more relevant.

What does it mean for us?

It means that we have to shape up. That the keywords we want to rank for should provide webpages that are ultimately helpful and relevant to that keyword.

For example: SEO Hacker is ranking for the keyphrase “SEO Philippines” – we made it relevant by writing an extensive article about SEO in the Philippines. We are not directly selling our services (but of course we did a little plug in the article) but it is ranking really well today – even when Hummingbird came along.

Pro Tip

We need to make all our pages – yes including our homepage – more relevant to our users. We also need to start thickening our content. Good thing for us, we’ve already created tons of content for you so our rankings are minimally (if not at all) affected.


The keyword ‘Foam’ by Uratex in has been affected. The reason behind it is that it is supposedly ranking our homepage: “,ph” which gives off NOTHING about foam or its uses or anything in relation to it. What Google simply did is take us off and de-rank us because our homepage is irrelevant to the single keyword ‘Foam’.

I did try to rank us and keep us up. However, when Hummingbird rolled out, it caught the ‘magic’ I tried to instill. In effect, we’ve just been hanging on too long. We really deserve to be de-ranked because our homepage does not provide any relevance or value to the keyword.


Create a new homepage that will still give an awesome navigation to B2B and B2C users. It won’t be as ‘grand’ as what we have now – just 2 links in the homepage and nothing else – but it will still be useful and easily understood by the users.

There are design studies as to how we can do this.

My main suggestion is to centralize the website on B2C customers – since this makes up most of our visitors. It has been proven that B2B websites have much less traffic because of the nature of business.

Take a look at how we do it at SEO Hacker.

Our B2B site is – this is linked from the navigation bar of the blog and the sidebar of the blog (

The blog is our B2C site. It still drives in a huge amount of traffic to the B2B site but it does not sacrifice its own rankings and user-friendly experience for the B2B site.

It works powerfully for us. We know it will work for you too. Site architecture and user friendliness will be a priority while not affecting the design negatively.

What are your thoughts?


What do I need to know before hiring an SEO company in the Philippines?

We welcomed the digital age and all that it has to offer – both the good and the bad. One of the most important innovations with the internet is the emergence of SEO – arguably the best way to make or break a business. Precisely because everything is connected to the internet, integrating SEO into your business is now more crucial than ever. This important decision could either make you a lot of money or lose you your traffic which is equal to losing money – a lot of it. So the debacle for the modern entrepreneur is being able to ascertain which SEO company is the right fit for your company.

I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to choose the right SEO Company. This could be one of the most crucial business decisions that you can make and it can be a little intimidating or overwhelming. Fear not, however, as I’ll give you all the questions that you need to ask and why you should ask them.

Do note that asking all of these questions is important, however, it’s also good to go with a company that you enjoy working with. So use these questions and trust your guts, you’re sure to find the right fit for your company sooner or later.

Three Different SEO Specialists:

There are mainly three different types of SEO specialists and most of the questions here are for the first and second types only. So please keep that in mind. Without further ado, here are the different types of SEO specialists

  • SEO Consultant – These are mostly freelance SEO specialists who offer their specialty of their own accord. They are usually unaffiliated with companies because they work individually and sometimes, on a per case basis.
  • SEO Agencies – These are the SEO specialists that you see online, offering you their services. More often than not, these agencies work for a company that works alongside yours albeit remotely. A good example of an SEO Agency is SEO Hacker. These agencies usually cost more because they dedicate entire teams to your business and interests.
  • In-House SEO Specialists – Usually, a bigger organization will want their own in-house SEO team. What you can do here is that you can either hire people by yourself or hire an SEO consultant who can do the heavy lifting for you. All in all, this is essentially a combination of the first and second option and is a good choice if you have a larger than average organization – or if you’re growing your business really well.

Of course, hiring a competent SEO Specialist (or Agency) will cost you some money – but that money is worth every penny provided that you’re talking to a competent agency. I took the liberty of collating standard SEO industry pricing for specific service packages and directly compare them with SEO Hacker’s pricing of similar packages. Do note that these aren’t exact numbers as the pricing for every service will most definitely differ depending on the scope, duration and other agreement that you may have with your SEO Specialist.

Here’s a simple graph comparing the prices:


Does this mean that more expensive packages are better than more affordable packages? The answer is no. SEO Specialists, especially the good ones, will never charge low prices for their services. Looking for an overly inexpensive SEO Specialist will more often than not cost you more in the long run. The reason for this is because these “low cost SEO specialists” will rely on Black Hat SEO techniques; at the very least, they could simply be not as good as industry known agencies such as SEO Hacker.

On the other hand, it isn’t necessarily good to trust an agency simply because they’re charging for their services at a premium. The thing about SEO is that it takes a specialist to know how to apply it to a business. Chances are, the average consumer will know only the basics with regards to SEO and many agencies take advantage of this fact. They then increase their prices significantly to take advantage of businessmen who are looking to hook their company up with SEO so they could take advantage of people who can’t accurately evaluate SEO work.

The average website owner will fall for their tricks but you’re not the average Joe. You’re someone who’s taking the initiative to learn all about SEO and how it can affect your business. The only skill that you need to know on looking for the perfect SEO Agency for your business is knowing how to ask the right question – and I’ll be guiding you every step of the way.

Let’s get started then!

  1. What will you do to improve our Search Engine Rankings?
    You won’t get anywhere by throwing out keywords and building links – these might help you out in the short run but you won’t get anything consistent out of that. Trust me. Like any decent self-respecting business, a good SEO agency will have a detailed process or an SOP, if you will.Obviously, they won’t tell you the nitty gritty detail on how their process works but they will tell you the gist of what they’re going to do from the start to the end of the SEO process. They might say something like:“Yeah, we’re going to check out your website and we’re going to evaluate your website – just so we can find anything we can fix. We’ll then move on to analysing your keywords and then we can start finding the best keywords we can target.”Of course, results won’t come instantly but you’re already off to a great start.Another thing worth considering is inquiring about links: One of the most important aspects of SEO are backlinks. They were important before and they will continue to serve an important purpose for the foreseeable future. Competent SEOs will definitely try to create links to your website and this is done to try and improve your rankings.You might think that creating numerous links is a good idea – but let me stop you there. Focusing on quantity instead of quality will most definitely be a futile effort. One good link is worth a couple thousand low-quality backlinks – and this isn’t an exaggeration.Some agencies create a gimmick out of selling hundreds of good links for a low cost. These links are the automated spammy links that you may see all over the internet and these will amount to around $10.00 or so. A single quality backlink would net you around $25.00 but that’s a quality investment in itself.

    Pro tip: If someone is offering you an absurd amount of links for a very low cost, the best response is to politely say no and move on.

  2. How will you keep me updated on changes and updates to our website?This is a good question because typically, you’re going to have to contact your SEO agency a couple of times a month. Standard agencies will send you a monthly report and that’s that. When you do find an SEO agency that fits your needs, the first thing that you’re going to need to do is give them access to your website. This includes admin access and the like – and this is precisely the reason why you have to find an agency that you can trust.Many SEO Specialists will agree with me when I say that giving your agency admin access is the best and most efficient way to go about things. This gives them the window to make changes with regards to optimization or problem solving instantly. You can try to control these risks by having your in-house developers maintain your website but that will defeat the purpose of hiring an SEO agency to help boost your site. Like I said earlier, there needs to be a certain amount of trust between you and the agency that you will hire.If the agency that you’re hiring is saying that all changes to your website will be done internally then that’s a red flag. These agencies need to be wholly transparent with you through each and every change that they will make to your website.One of the most important things that you should keep in mind is that each and every change made has to be tracked and reported to you. That’s not only your right as the consumer, that’s the SEO Agency’s obligation as the service provider. The reason for this is that if something goes wrong, both you and the agency should be able to pinpoint exactly what happened so you could fix it as soon as possible.  The gist is that if anything goes wrong or if any changes were made, the SEO agency must be ready to send you a report. Every. Single. Time.
  3. Can you tell me about your past clients? How did you do with them?Going back to transparency, one of the most important things you should ask about are your SEO agency’s past clients. Testimonials and the like make a good measuring stick with regards to their working relationship with the SEO agency. If a client is willing to stake their name by writing a testimonial or a review of the agency’s services, then they must be doing something right.Of course, to protect their clients’ privacy, they won’t necessarily hand over data and the like. They will, however, be happy to show you a couple of testimonials, either written or in video form from their most loyal of clients.If the agency that you’re considering refuses to share some examples of their clients with you, then that’s definitely a red flag.The next big thing to ask is who their longest client is at the moment. If you’re working with a supposedly established SEO agency whose biggest client has only been with them for less than a year then that’s a big red flag. SEO is one of the best ways of growing a business and as sure as the rising and the setting of the sun, a smart company will only stay with an SEO agency for a prolonged period of they’re really good. What this means is that if an SEO company doesn’t have a list of loyal clients who’ve been with them for years, then that means their other clients have been leaving them which could indicate bad things.
  4. Do you adhere to Google’s standards for best practice?Google, as well as the other search engine giants have standards to which SEO specialists adhere to. If they don’t then they will be penalized or they won’t even rank at all. Google constantly updates its algorithm in order for them to provide the best user experience that they can provide – and SEO specialists do their best to abide by these best practices.If you don’t play by the rules then Google will most definitely be upset with you and when that happens, your website will not grow its SEO and by extension, their rankings as well as their potential to convert potential customers is culled.When Google is upset with you, your website is penalized and this could happen for a number of reasons. When you are penalized, the traffic that is driven to your website will be directed to better websites that adhere to Google’s standards; This means that you will potentially be helping your competitors – and that’s never good for your business.It takes a lot of work to constantly optimize a website to abide by Google’s ever-changing set of rules; however, simply abiding by these rules will help you grow your website. It takes a severely long period of time and effort to help your website recover from a penalty – and that time could be used for something more productive such as converting potential customers or driving more traffic into your website.
  5. What kind of SEO can you do for my website?This is one of the most important questions that you can ask because this will determine what type of service you can get from your SEO agency. One of the things you should look out for is when they mention technical SEO. One of the most basic things that an SEO specialist should do for you is for them to do a basic technical SEO audit done for your website – and this should happen as soon as you hire them for their services.Technical SEO is everything that works behind the scenes of your website. From performance to everything that Google and the other search engines care about. The crux of the matter is that technical SEO is all about fixing or optimizing 404 pages, problems with redirects and these are only the most basic aspects of technical SEO.
  6. Will we really rank 1 for our keywords?A confident SEO specialist will smile and say “definitely”, a competent SEO specialist, however, will honestly tell you that they can’t guarantee anything precisely because no one outside of Google know how the algorithm works. Google’s search algorithm is one of their most guarded secrets. It can be argued that their search engine algorithm is large source of their revenue so it is only natural that they’d keep it a secret.Another point worth remembering is that Google will erratically update their algorithm. It doesn’t matter when and it doesn’t matter how, but Google will definitely make some changes. This is another good reason why decent SEO Agencies will NEVER guarantee you a number one ranking.Finally, penalties are a natural occurrence in SEO. It can be because of a deliberate change from Google’s side or it could be an element in your website that is making Google upset but the fact of the matter is that your website can be penalized at any given time. The best way or preventing this from happening is by hiring the right SEO agency.Again, an SEO agency that really knows their stuff will NEVER guarantee you a rank 1 for your keyword because there are many elements that are working against them at any given time. Anyway, while they can’t guarantee you a rank 1 keyword, SEO agencies will at least help you rank your keywords up. It will take dedication and hard work to get your targeted keyword to that number one spot but it’s not impossible. This is the reason why most decent SEO agencies include “Keyword Research’ in their service packages – it’s done just so they know the scope of their work, the difficulty and of course, the feasibility.
  7. How do you handle payments?SEO companies will most likely have different approaches with regards to payments – that’s only natural. The reason you’re asking this question is because it’s only natural that you know what you’re getting into, how much you need to pay and how you should allocate your budget. SEO is not an exact science so people do it in many different ways. Some people want to be paid by the hour and some other people prefer to be paid on a project-based pricing.When you’ve settled how you’re going to make payments, determine when you’re going to have make them. It’s important that you know every when so often that you have to pay especially after an invoice. Also, ask if there are penalties or interest fees for late payments. It doesn’t hurt to cover all of your bases especially when it comes to your finances.
  8. How and when should we contact you?The thing about SEO is that it’s a kind of job where you don’t need to be in contact with your SEO specialists at all times. The problem, though, is that you need to be able to contact your SEO team the moment something goes wrong or if you have something important that you need to discuss. Typically speaking, SEO agencies will normally contact you and give you an update once a month. It can be done per week or every two weeks; it depends on your arrangement with your SEO agency.The important thing to remember is that you need to ascertain the modes of communication that your SEO agency prefers and that they should know yours. Another important question to ask is how you can contact your SEO team in case of an emergency. These are the important communication issues that you need to solve before settling with the right SEO agency for your business.
  9. How will your SEO work with our marketing efforts?SEO and marketing are no longer two separate things – in fact, SEO and marketing should be one fluid system that coexists with one another. That’s not necessarily the reality of things at the moment but that’s what your SEO should become is precisely because of this goal that many SEO agencies have taken to calling themselves something like a “digital marketing company” or something similar so don’t be surprised if you try to look up an SEO company and find many “digital marketing company” entries on the SERP.Does this mean that there are no longer any “pure” SEO specialists out there? On the contrary, no. What this means is that the SEO specialists of before have grown and have acquired new skillsets which could prove to be beneficial to your business in the long run.
  10. What should we expect to happen if we terminate the contract?Decent SEO companies will offer you a minimum lock-in period of a couple of months upon your initial contract signing. The reason for this is that SEO is a long-term business and any changes made by your SEO agency of choice will not happen overnight. It’s a long process that takes months and months of work.However, if something happens to your company and you find yourself unable to pay for your SEO agency’s services then you need to know how to move forward. You need to understand what your options are. There could also be other reasons for your intent to cancel the contract prematurely such as dissatisfaction with their services or what have you. The important thing to know is if there are clauses or fees in the contract that you need to know about. Make some changes if necessary but the important thing that you know your options.
  11. Do you keep yourself updated with Google’s algorithm changes?Now this is an important question that you need to ask because this question will determine whether an SEO agency is good or not. The thing about Google is that they update their algorithm at least 500 times a year. There are many minor changes and there also a number of significant changes that SEO specialists should definitely know about. It’s okay for them to not know about the dozens of minor changes but the major algorithm updates such as Hummingbird or Penguin are a definite must-know for every SEO specialist.Keep a list of Google’s most recent major update and ask your SEO agency questions about the updates. Verify their familiarity with the updates and if they can pass your test, then it means they really know their is important for an SEO specialist to keep himself in the know with regards to Google’s algorithm changes because this is the bread and butter of SEO. These changes are what determines what is good and what is bad for SEO. By extension, these changes will determine the state of your website. If your website is good and conforming to Google’s requirements then your SEO is good. If your website is being penalized, then that’s something you should have your SEO agency look into.
  12. Can you adapt your agency to my industry?The thing about SEO is that everyone needs it. From fashion designers to computer parts stores, many different businesses from all walks of life will eventually approach an SEO agency for their services. So the crux of the matter is will your SEO agency be able to adapt to your industry? Any decent SEO agency will have an SEO strategy that they use. Most decent SEO agencies will have the know-how to make their strategy work for any business in any industry.This is also another reason why you should ask them about their current clients. If you see that their current clients are happy and that they are actually in different industries, then clearly, that’s a good sign of adaptability.
  13. The crème de la crème: Why should we hire you as our SEO Agency?Typically speaking, most SEO agencies will respond with something like they’re cheaper, they can create more backlinks or they can outright lie by telling you that they can get you instant results. If the SEO agency you’re interviewing tells you these things, then the best course of action for you is to politely smile and move on to your next candidate.Good SEO will not come cheap but it doesn’t come without its benefits. Good SEO is an investment that will cost you a considerable sum, however the returns that you will gain will far outweigh your expenses – that is if you choose a competent SEO agency.The ideal answer to this question is proof of their past successes, their track record with their clients and their reputation in the market. Basically speaking, it’s their results that they should be talking about, not what they can do with your website – and that’s something that not many SEO specialists can care to admit.

Key Takeaway:

SEO is an investment that will only bloom in the long-term. It’s not something that should be rushed. The questions that I wrote here are questions that you should ask in order to ascertain whether or not that SEO agency that you’re talking to is a good one or a bad egg. That other questions were structured so that you’d be able to find out if their way of doing business is compatible with the way you handle your business.

I recommend using all of these questions when you talk to an SEO agency that you like. Also, if I may be so forward, why not give SEO Hacker a shot? I’ll answer all of your questions and then some. Send me an email and let’s set a date.

Do you have questions? Comments? Stories that you want to share? Let’s talk in the comments section below!

SEO, ,

From Annual Evaluation to Fast Feedback Loops

fast feedback loop

The annual evaluation is an exciting time for individuals in the team mostly because of the chances of knowing their points of improvements. You may not know it, since the team now is a fresh, new team, but it has been doubly exciting for the first people who worked in SEO Hacker because of the surety of a financial raise.

Needless to say that it was not a wise decision and culture because along the way we have rewarded people who were lazy, tardy, disloyal and downright stagnant in their career growth – not to mention that it was also not financially sustainable for the company. Thankfully, because of our mechanisms with teeth, this is no longer the case.

The evaluation period for an individual in our team comes in the 6th month and then in November – which is the supposed end of our internal fiscal year. This is now going to change.

We are now going to disregard evaluations in terms of ‘the day’ of feedback. Instead, we will (and should) give feedback at least each month. And we will give it right before the salary day so that everyone will remember that it has to be given.

It doesn’t have to be long. In fact, it must not be long. It has to be summarized to up to three points of improvement which will be addressed in the following format:

  1. What are one to two things that you are having difficulty with in your work?
  2. How can I help you out with those?
  3. Okay, here is where I think you can improve as a (job description)

This should be emailed by the team leader to each of the team members in order for them to hone each other with their work. Likewise, I will email this to each of the team leads who report directly to me. I believe that fast feedback loops will help us iterate and improve at least twelve more times than our annual evaluation (which is the current system).

I know that it means more work for the team leads and that is also why I request each of the team members to try and carry the burden of the team leaders so that your team leaders could help you become better team players.

As good as it sounds, I’m afraid that we as a team would ask these three questions and not act upon it. So I’m going to put this as a project in our Teamwork and we’ll be able to see the momentum of this new implementation as-we-go.

SEO Hacker Team

Mechanisms with Teeth

Mechanisms with Teeth

“Set the bar so high that we have to jump to reach it.”

Why the high bar? Because I believe that we don’t reward mediocrity. I believe that if we’re simply ‘doing what’s required of us‘ then that’s already taken cared of by our salaries.

Salary = Requirement.

But if you’re looking for a pay raise then that requires going the extra mile. Going for more than what’s required of you. Developing yourself.

Being a fun team does not mean that we have to let our performance suffer. On the contrary, we will have a lot more fun and fulfillment at work when we push ourselves to grow and exemplify that to each other.

Pay Raise = Personal and Professional Growth.

The goal of these mechanisms is not just to give everyone transparency in achieving a raise, rather the ultimate goal of these mechanisms is to develop everyone in the team to become a leader.

These mechanisms apply to all regular employees 6 months and up.

All of the factors in play is consistent to our team’s creed. It is important that we support and uphold our values in the team and one way to live and breathe it is by incorporating it into the individual evaluation of everyone in the team.

1) Hubstaff Cohorts

We have a monthly pull of data from Hubstaff. When the Average Hours based on Activity Rate is 5.0 and above, that person gets a +1 provided that he/she has at least 160 hours rendered on average per month and has no sign of stealing time from working hours through the form of unrelated websites in a span of 1 year.

2) Punctuality

When a person does not have any absences without pay, improperly announced vacation leaves, never forgets to log his or her time-in, and is never late for work (whether coming from home, lunch break or 15min break), that person receives a +1.

3) Innovations

When a person has contributed to the growth of his or her team, affecting the efficiency and output of the company as a whole by at least 50% in the form of testing and implementing a new tool, process, tactic or strategy, that person gets a +1

4) Growth

When a person has finished at least four books in the span of one year and has written one or multiple reviews of the book in his/her blog, that person will receive a +1. There are specific books that will be counted in this category. Not all books are considered as a catalyst to the individual’s growth in the aspect of digital marketing.

An individual can submit a book to be included as long as it is a book about leadership, personal growth, digital marketing, and teamwork. Sales books are only counted for people in accounts management or sales.

If a book is lost, that is equivalent to a -1. If a book stays with a person for more than a quarter (3 months) that is considered as a -1.

5) Trust

The team will each vote on all of their other teammates (on a company level) on their level of trust towards the company. This will be done twice before the annual review. The top 20% most trusting gets a +1 and the lower 10% gets a -1.

The reason being: The team knows who trusts the company most and who trusts the company least so they should have the responsibility to vote on each other and be transparent to the company about their own opinion of each other. Individuals cannot vote for themselves.

6) Respect to the Company and Peers

The team will again vote on all of their other teammates (on a team level) on their level of respect towards the company and each other. They can name special names if they think that a person is especially disrespectful even if he/she is on another team.

Respecting the company includes following rules and values – not using social media and other unrelated sites during company hours, turning off Hubstaff on breaks, coming in early, is always present and follows instructions.

The top 20% will get a +1 and the bottom 10% gets a -1

7) No supervision

This is the most subjective factor as team leaders will be the ones who will give a score on this one. The person who takes completely no supervision (supervision is different from guidance and spoonfeeding, and mentorship) will get a +1. The person who takes a lot of supervision (the most supervision) in the team, gets a -1.

8) Client Save

If the person took lead of saving a client from churning (assuming they have given word that they are about to churn because of operational reasons), either talking to the client, producing output that made a major difference in putting the client’s main keywords on the first page, or defending our company’s efforts via email and the client was persuaded – it will be considered as goodwill and that person will receive a +1.

So far there are 8 things you can get a +1 from. If you are able to bag at least 5, that will include you on the people to be financially raised list. The top 20% of the people in that list will get evaluated for a raise.

The bottom 10%, provided that they don’t get at least a score of 3, will be listed as low-level performers. They will be issued a non-performer warning. Two consecutive non-performer warnings or three overall non-performer warnings and they are out.

There are 4 main teams in our company today who will be evaluated with these 8 criterias:

  1. Creatives team (Web Development and Design)
  2. Blog Management Team
  3. Social Media Team
  4. Linkbuilding Team

Two ‘baby’ teams in our company – people in these teams will be evaluated slightly differently:

  1. Accounts Management Team – consists of me and Vince
  2. Marketing Team – consists of me and Pam

Causes for Warnings and Termination

We need to make the company grow. That is our main goal as a team. If it wasn’t, it’s better that we just close shop. Along with that comes protecting the best interests of the company through moderating unwanted behavior by individuals in the team. Here are some causes for Warnings and Termination.

Excessive leaves – when you have consumed all your leaves and need to take another one, that is your first warning. When you need to take another one, that will be the next warning. So you could take up to three excessive leaves and then that will be a cause for termination.

Gossip – it’s just bad. We all know it. The company will find out the source, the aggravator and everyone else who is negatively involved. We are working to make this a cause of immediate termination.

Lying – we don’t want lying to be part of the company culture. As such, lying will be set as a major offense and will be a cause of immediate termination.

Three consecutive lates or coming in very late– we all have to know when the train will arrive and when it will leave. Having everyone in the office inside the proper time (and grace period) should be observed. Three consecutive lates or coming in at 10am onwards will equate to a warning.

Failing to meet a deadline – we take work seriously and when we set deadlines, we mean them. Failing to meet a deadline can equate to a warning if there are no requests for extension made or there are no eventual justifications.

Leaking out company information – we are protective of our processes and systems as all companies should be when they are a thought leader in their industry. Leaking out information is a cause for immediate termination and can be a cause for litigation in intellectual property damages.


SEO Hacker Team
SEO Hacker Creed

The SEO Hacker Creed: ACHTUNG

SEO Hacker Creed

The reason I came up with ACHTUNG is that I believe that the SEO Hacker team needs a guiding light to propel the company to success.

And in order to achieve true success, the teams and individuals working in the company has to have instilled values. Principles that the team lives and breathes as we work together in pushing the company forward.

Just to be clear, ACHTUNG is not, in any way final. I believe that values has to be shaped from a company’s past, present and future. And as with all futures, there are things that are unforeseen and uncertain.

So here goes.

Accountability in Freedom

Accountability in Freedom

We believe in a working culture that is not stemmed on bureaucracy, strict rules and corporate red tape. Our company deals a lot with art and creativity. And art is quite unbridled in nature. This does not mean, however, that we can do anything we damn well please with our work.

For freedom to be a tool for success, it has to come hand-in-hand with accountability. We believe that in order for an individual in our company to have true freedom that will result to the success of the team and ultimately, the company, it has to be in the bounds of accountability.

We do not believe in blocking social media sites and ‘fun’ sites like 9gag and tumblr because we believe it could be valuable sources of information, creativity, and not least of all, stress relief. We do believe, however, that we should not exploit these freedoms for our personal use or purposeless entertainment.

There lies the problem: These freedoms are so easily exploited during company hours. The thing about freedom is that if it is exploited by a teammate, it can be so easily justified to oneself to exploit it as well. The effect then turns into a vicious cycle.

So we have embraced systems to help avoid that pitfall. To be accountable.

One of them is our Skype login. This is to keep everyone in the team in the loop on each others whereabouts and availability. Another system is Hubstaff. We are all paid for our time spent making the company grow. Hubstaff enables us to check ourselves if we are taking care of our freedom by committing our time to the success and growth of the company.

Confront Indiscipline

Confront Indiscipline

One of the things we really believe in is that a leader is to lead from the front. People are used to having their leaders “on top” or “above” them. It is a common practice in our world today to let the leader or manager have special perks. Consequently, this drives people to shy away from telling them off whenever they find something wrong with the leadership or management style of the leader.

If there is one thing that we want to change in the way the leaders relate with the team and vice versa, it’s this: Confront indiscipline.

Whether it’s the new hire or the team lead, or even the CEO himself, if there is something wrong, tell him off. Be confrontational. We find that 99% of the time, if there’s something that’s wrong with the leadership or management style of a person, it leads to the detriment of the success of the company.

For the leaders, this means that you shouldn’t expect anything from your people unless you are also willing to undertake it yourselves. Lead from the front, don’t manage from behind.

When it comes to discipline, we are all at a level playing field. No one is above and no one is below. Everyone has to play by the company rules.

Hacker Innovation

Hacker Innovation

We believe that the moment we stop innovating is the moment we die – slowly. Like a battered old brontosaurus waiting for its own extinction.

A hacker is a good analogy for the kind of innovation we do. The moment a hacker stops innovating and settles for ‘just programming’ he will soon find himself at the back office of a non-IT company doing IT work that he doesn’t really like.

I know that it’s an exaggerated picture but it’s not really an impossibility. A hacker is only as good as when he is learning, innovating, and ultimately applying all of that – to what he really loves.

Learn, test, apply, repeat.

Trust in Difficult Times

Trust in Difficult Times

We believe it’s easy to trust a company and the people in it when everything’s well and good. The thing is, there’s nothing special about that. Everybody naturally does that.

The outliers are the people who are able to trust the company and the people in it when the going gets tough.We believe these people are the ones that are most loyal, driven and committed.

These people are extremely valuable.

They are the ones who will build the company and run with the ball when it’s their turn to make the game.

Without trust, the morale drops, gossip increases dramatically and the team chemistry goes haywire. Trust is the building block of an awesome team.

It is the stuff we are made of.

Unity in Diversity

Unity in Diversity

We believe in a team that accepts all forms of diversity – religion, race, discipline, family background, work ethics, and so on and so forth. Everyone has a fighting chance in making the team and playing big.

We believe in having one purpose, one goal and one company culture that is not mutually exclusive with our differences as individuals. Freedom and diversity thrives in the company but in order for it to be used positively, it has to be directed by unity and accountability towards one goal: To drive the company to success.

Our teams have very different people playing in their respective fields but the one thing that these people have in common is that at the end of the day, they have one big goal they are shooting for.

If there is no unity in our diversity, we might as all go solo – and miss the most exciting time of our lives doing great things with great people.

No Supervision

No Supervision

Imagine a team where everyone works because they are passionate about what they are doing. Where targets are always met. Clients are always happy. And everyone is growing in their career.

That is the kind of team we want to be. We believe this is possible through our team’s values.

Managers cost a lot of money. Managing a team cost a lot of time.

So the question is: Who needs managers?

Answer: People who lack the discipline to work, hit targets and finish things.

In short, people who are not passionate and driven about what they are doing.

We believe that passion should be the core driver of individuals in our team to eliminate the need for supervision. Whether an individual finds passion along the way, or already has the passion for the work to begin with.

It is a core essential of a driven and productive team player.

God Above All

God above All

This company quite literally started with God. It started with a blog about Christianity, dating, philosophy, apologetics, and so on and so forth. A blog that started with extremely few readers.

Stumbling upon SEO changed all that. Not soon after, by God’s great grace, readers came pouring in. Slowly at first, then it became an increasing drip and then grew into a steady stream. I was able to turn it into a service – and then into a business.

But this isn’t the reason why we should put God above all. The real reason is that, even if God didn’t start SEO Hacker with a blog, even if God didn’t even create SEO Hacker, He is still a good God. An awesome God.

And the fact that we’re alive and kicking is reason enough to thank Him.

This value encompasses each and every value we have in ACHTUNG. For most of us, this is where we derive our character, work ethics and the way we treat our teammates. We put a very heavy weight on faith because we believe that not everything in this world stems from knowledge – especially when there are lots of things still not known to mankind today.

Ultimately, without God in the center and core of our company, we would rather not have this company at all.

SEO Hacker Team, , , , ,

Coaching Program

– Choose a coach you want to learn from within the team
You are given an allowance of 300php each week to have a 1 on 1 time with each other.

– To show evidence, you have to take a photo with each other in your 1 on 1 session.

– You also need to submit the things you’ve learned from each other to’s journal.

– Topics do not necessarily need to be about SEO or work. It can branch out to management, leadership, faith, and/or personal advice.

– The goal of this program is to drive growth within our team from the coaches to the rest of the team – and perhaps vice versa.

– This can be done during lunch breaks or after office hours.

– Bringing a camera (phone or otherwise), a notebook, and a pen is encouraged.

SEO Hacker Team

SEO Hacker Creed

SEO Hacker Creed

I’ve been reading the book Built to Last and I couldn’t help but notice their founders having some kind of creed to live by for all the company’s employees. I realize now that this is one thing that we lack. We do not have direction in how we are supposed to behave. We do not have a code we are supposed to uphold.

I’m really quite ashamed that we are now almost three years and this is the very first time I’m taking a shot in conjuring a credo I truly believe in. A creed that will  be the guiding star of our company as a whole.

This is my first draft so forgive me for lacking any experience whatsoever in doing this.

I figured a creed will be most easily remembered if it’s arranged in some sort of acronym. I chose the word “Achtung” which, in German, means “Attention”. It’s also a word used by my favorite band, U2, in their 1991 album, “Achtung Baby!”.

This creed is not in any way final as I believe all creeds have to be tested in order to see if it is a creed that cohesively works with the company’s culture and DNA. So here goes.

Accountability in Freedom

Accountability in Freedom

We are a team that is free. Our office attire does not require a uniform. We do not block off any website found on the internet during office hours. We allow anyone in the team to sleep over at the office to bond and grow as a team. And that is an awesome thing. A thing that most established companies do not have.

However this freedom has to be confined and defined in a fashion where there is accountability.

“Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.” – 1 Peter 2:16

God has freed us from a life of sin and fleshly “freedom”. And in doing so, we do not become just “free men”, no, we become “God’s slaves” because we now know the truth of God’s freedom. It comes with accountability and it comes with Jesus’ Lordship in our lives. He now becomes our Master – the one who calls the shots.

In the same way, I expect people who are given freedom in the office to be accountable for it.

This means that, whenever there are sleep-overs, there will be lights-out. There will be a proper segregation between the men’s and women’s quarters – and there will be no crossing of that boundary. This means that there will be no skimpy clothing found in any of us in the office. This means that office hours are going to be used for the company’s purposes and not our own.

To whom will we be accountable to?

First and foremost, to God. We know that He sees everything.

Secondly, to your peers. The people we work with are smart and respectable people. We are able to see when one is abusing the freedom given us – and the truth will surface over time.

Thirdly, to your leader(s). The company’s leaders are put in position by the Lord. I am grateful to be able to personally choose the  men and women who I know will be subservient to your needs and who will be able to resolve problems in the workplace.

If there are people who you think are not being responsible for the freedom the company has endowed to them, please be accountable for that knowledge and protect the company’s interests. They are your own interests as well, as you are part of the SEO Hacker family.

How can you be accountable for that knowledge?

Confront the person who is flaunting the freedom of the company. If he/she does not listen, report it to the concerned leader(s). A true leader will always act in behalf of the company’s best interests and protect the SEO Hacker family.

Confront Indiscipline

Confront Indiscipline

A huge divider between a person who is considered an ‘A Player’ and a person who is considered a ‘B Player’ is discipline. Naturally, this is also what separates an ‘A Company’ from a ‘B Company’. Apple’s downward spiral when Steve Jobs left was devastating. As a company, it was dying a slow, painful death. Jobs returned at 1997. Consider Jobs’ first move:

“What did Jobs first do to get Apple back on track? Not the iPod, not iTunes, not the iPhone, not the iPad. First, he increased discipline. That’s right, discipline, for without discipline there’d be no chance to do creative work. He brought in Tim Cook, a world-class supply chain expert, and together Jobs and Cook formed a perfect yin-yang team of creativity and discipline.

They cut perks, stopped funding the corporate sabbatical program, improved operating efficiency, lowered overall cost structure, and got people focused on the intense ‘work all day and all of the night’ ethos that’d characterized Apple in its early years. Overhead costs fell. The cash-to-current-liabilities doubled, and then tripled. Long-term debt shrunk by two thirds and the ratio of total liabilities to shareholders’ equity dropped by more than half from 1998 to 1999. Now, you might be thinking, ‘Well, all that financial improvement naturally follows breakthrough innovation.’

But in fact, Apple did all this before the iPod, iTunes, or the iPhone. Anything that didn’t help the company get back to creating great products that people loved would be tossed, cut, slashed, and ruthlessly eliminated.” (p. 83) 

Jim Collins, “Great by Choice”

The result? From 1997 – 2002, Apple outperformed the general stock market by a whopping 127%. 8 years later, Apple would go to become the world’s most valuable technology company.

It all started with discipline folks. I find the words of Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great’ a powerful mindset in driving us – the people of SEO Hacker as individuals.

“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”  – Jim Collins, “Good to Great”

“A culture of discipline is not a principle of business; it is a principle of greatness.” – Jim Collins, “Good to Great”

There are more than enough times that I find some of us lacking in discipline – in areas that involve personal growth, company tasks, short-term goals, perfectionism of output, cleanliness of workspace – even in simple things such as keeping the doors closed knowing the air-conditioning systems are open, and so on and so forth.

Discipline is vital in propelling a company to greatness. It has to be instilled in each and everyone of us. And like our first creed, everyone is accountable for his/her own discipline at work.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” – Proverbs 1:7

When you see someone who lacks discipline in specific areas of work, confront that person. More importantly, if you find yourself lacking discipline in areas of your own work, confront yourself and ask help from a leader in the team.

I’m not confining discipline in a box, stating that there’s only one way to be considered a person of discipline in our company. No, that’s not what I’m talking about. I understand that some people have the discipline to work better and focus at night, and some people have the discipline to let creativity flow during break times or informal collaboration.

What I’m trying to point out is for all of us to have the basic disciplines of a person driven to succeed in life. In most cases, it starts with the discipline of the body – sleeping at the right time, sleeping enough, exercising, eating right and healthy, etc. then it trickles down to working habits and in little, nitty-gritty obsessive compulsive mannerisms that shape a person’s creative differences.

In all, the result of discipline is a team player who will bring the ace in his/her game – always.

Hacker Innovation

Hacker Innovation

There are few things more fulfilling than growth in life. Knowing something new. Discovering something different. It doesn’t have to be a colossal, world-changing contribution to society. It can be as small as an awesome, free WordPress plugin that you discovered – and implementing it to some of our client’s blogsites.

At the heart and core of my work, I have pursued a hacker’s thirst for innovation compounded with an obsessed attitude towards problem-solving. What does all this amount to?

A hacker’s thirst for innovation is his driving force in life. Without it, he’s not really a hacker. He’s an old, worn-out guy who knows how to edit old code and work on banks as a maintenance programmer.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”Ecclesiastes 9:10

As much as I hate to admit it, there are people in the team who are stuck. Stuck with the knowledge they had since they started with the team. Stuck with the same set of tools, same set of tasks, and quite possibly, the same set of clients. This, for me, is a nightmare. One of the things I fear the most in life.

With innovation comes problems. Take this scenario:

A new plugin you want to install comes with some code-tinkering so you go to github or stackoverflow to learn how to make a workaround. You come across a good fix. You try it out – then your entire site stops working. There are three options:

  1. Stop there and quit.
  2. Ask for help.
  3. Suit up and find a fix for your website.

The first is the easiest thing to do. The widest road to tread. The second one takes a little bit of humility and patience. The third is the most exciting route to take. The hacker route.

The route that will propel you to greatness.

It’s easily one of the reasons why I am who I am today and why I know what I know. I’ve always taken the third option. The hacker option. Do note that I’m not a coder by heart or skill – I’m naturally a writer. However I pushed myself, perhaps to the furthest limits of my mind and will, to learn as much code as I can.

And so I do realize that there are legitimate fears and problems that some of us in the team may face in the process:

1) You don’t know where to start

2) You don’t want to tamper with code – at all

3) You don’t want to break things

First-  you have to start with your own blog/website. There’s no better starting point than having your own baby. That way, you can empathize with a client freaking out whenever something’s wrong with their site. Having your own site gives you the opportunity to test things and break some stuff – all in a controlled platform.

Second-  you have to realize that coding is one of the skills in our world today that is considered a ‘superpower’. The good news is, it’s not really hard. If you are in the SEO Hacker team, it means you have the capability to learn how to code. You don’t have to be a whiz at it – the basics is more than enough to open a whole new world of innovation for you.

Third-  things break all the time. That’s actually how you learn to piece it all back together again. The more times you break something, the faster you can put it back next time. The more things you break, the more you learn about the fundamentals of putting things back. I’ve broken my blog more than a hundred times by now. And yet, it’s still there. No real harm done – and I’ve learned a world of things.

Innovate like a hacker.

Trust in Difficult Times

Trust in Difficult Times

Let’s be honest, there will seldom be days when we will sit back, relax, and tell ourselves, “Ah, what a life.”

Smooth sailing isn’t really one of our company’s mantras. Thus far in the two and a half years we’ve been pushing SEO Hacker’s flywheel, we have been grinding on all sorts of aspects of the business – financial, legal, accounts management, cashflow, marketing, client services, and so on and so forth. While these things may not be felt by all of us in the team, it is felt completely by the leaders of the company.

As early as we are existent as a business, we have experienced people who tried to bring our dream and vision down. People who malign and maliciously spread slander amongst ourselves in order to hasten some aspects of the business that are beneficial to themselves. While they may have their grounds for doing so, it has severely damaged something more important in our company’s values.


“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”Hebrews 13:17

I have always dreamed of a team who will trust each other completely – and I believe I have displayed this by my own actions. There are no CCTV cameras in the office. I rarely check up on what people are doing. I do not ask for a daily report from the team. I let my people sleep in the office to bond and grow together. And I do all of these things with joy hoping that it will be returned with enthusiasm.

For some people in the team, it is indeed a joy. However, for some… Well… They are not really as happy with the trust than with the supposed “benefits” they should be receiving. As ironic as it sounds, the Bible says that failing to ‘have confidence‘ or, in other words, failing to trust in your leaders will be “of no benefit to you.”

I want all of us to know that SEO Hacker did not start that way. It started as a family – with no real regard to: “But what do I get out of this?”, “What’s in it for me?”, “Why don’t I compare my salary with my peers and see where I’m at?”

It’s really saddening how the “I want my benefits now” mindset has plagued our team for quite a while now. And while me and the leaders in the company have been working ourselves on client work, marketing, revenue generation and client acquisition, I’ve also been working my ass off trying to make the benefits happen through the incorporation.

The truth is, I never thought that people in my own team would someday demand to hasten this process – which I believe should be implemented on a right and proper time in our company’s history.

At this, I want to be completely transparent with you in saying that my trust in the team has been damaged. Trust is first and foremost given, and then it is earned. But trust is very delicate. There are some things that would strike trust in its foundation and it will come crumbling down to ashes.

It is a saddening picture. And while I can remove that trust from the team and implement rules and regulations to make our current state of freedom void, I will choose not to. I believe that in order to incur trust, it has to first be given. So as a leader, that’s what I choose to do. I will be giving it again and again.

However for those individuals who violate my trust, I will be less forgiving. I’m not really the type of guy to just turn the other cheek when I deem it improper. That’s not being a good steward. That’s being an idiot. And I believe, as a company, we should not be that way. As with all things in our company’s DNA, I believe the example should start with me.

There will be a lot more difficult times to come than this, and as I’ve always done before, I will choose to continue doing – I will trust my team because I want the team to grow in trust with each other. It is and will always be my vision and dream to have a team that is strongly connected with a bond of trust.

Unity in Diversity

Unity in Diversity

You are unique. No one in this world will be exactly like you. God made your fingerprint to be yours and yours alone. And yet, SEO Hacker is a place where all of our uniqueness works together as a team. The perfect word in describing how we operate is “University” – Unity in Diversity.

This is an absolute truth that is realized in our team.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:12

There are people who are exceptional in writing, some in management, some in marketing, some in technical programming, some in analysis, and the list goes on. The talents in our family is diverse. Everyone has his/her own skill-set that is uniquely useful and powerful for work.

This is not to say that we want SEO Hacker to be autonomous in all aspects. There will be things in our company that will be absolute values whether you believe or agree with it or not. However we will respect opinions so long as it is not damaging nor slanderous. A person’s uniqueness is respected and upheld in our team.

We recognize that each has his own voice and that it should be heard. We also realize that taking those individual’s ideas and molding it to work for the team in driving the company forward is necessarily important.

This value works hand-in-hand with our Hacker Innovation – we learn from our diversity and we practice through our unity.

No Supervision

No Supervision

A team exists to fulfill a purpose bigger than themselves. As with all teams, it starts with the individuals that it is made up of. As a leader, I believe my team should be equipped and empowered to do meaningful and commendable work – without the supervision of managers.

With that, I believe that the common mindset of hierarchy should be abolished. Yes, there will be an organizational chart, but this chart does not need to dictate who has power over who, rather who is the subservient leader of which team.

And so me being the leader of the SEO Hacker team as a whole means that I am the subservient leader of everyone in the team. The fact of the matter is, I am at the beck and call of anyone who needs help, empowerment, equipping, coaching and guidance.

A person who can work without supervision is a person who has a high level of discipline. A person who can grow and innovate like a hacker is an unstoppable force in our team. If we all apply this then our company would be an unstoppable force in our world today.

Consider the opposite: each one of us needing supervision to work. It is a disaster! We would need to hire manpower just to supervise our work – and we would hate it. Who in his right mind would want to keep looking over his shoulders to see if he’s being watched?

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.” Colossians 3:22

So be disciplined in your work. I believe the best way to go about this is to have a raw passion for what you do. That is why we make sure to position you for the work you can be most passionate about in our team. Working remotely requires the highest level of discipline. It is something I want all of us to have, so that someday we may be able to go places knowing that we will still be able to accomplish the work set out for us – wherever we are.

It’s a beautiful world. Being kept up in an office for 5 days a week is not the best way to spend our lives.

God Above all

God above All

Ultimately, the reason why we live and breathe and work is because of our purpose in life – to glorify our God. Each and every value in this creed is reinforced with a biblical, absolute truth from the Word of God. And that’s because it is God’s truths that stands at the end of everything. At the end of every decision we make, every value we instill, every client we acquire, there is God to be acknowledge, and praised.

In SEO Hacker, I want the ultimate reason and purpose for everything we do or decide to be God. Our freedom? God. Our discipline? God. Our unity? God. Our trust for each other? God. Our growth? God. He is the person that binds all of our efforts and values together.

When there are things that me as a leader fails to do or deal with, remember that there’s a bigger leader that towers anything and everything I do. If I have wronged anyone, remember that there’s someone who will remember your cause and who will tell me of my wrongdoings.

It is the fear and love of God that drives me as a leader, manager, friend, mentor, husband and father. I hope and pray that He will be your driving force as well.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”Romans 8:28

The only way we can work together is because God causes us to do so.


In light of the negative events happening in our team, I want this creed to be our guiding light. Our Bethlehem star. The one thing that would help us to realize who we were, where we are, and what we need to do. Perhaps it would be used by the Lord for other purposes than this. Perhaps not.

In any case, I want you all to put this in your heart. I will make a version of this that would be much shorter and that would be shown to each new team member before they are melded in the team chemistry.

So, until this creed is changed for the better… ACHTUNG!

SEO Hacker Team

SEO Hacker’s Growth and Future Projects

Sean and Leo SiOkay first thing’s first. I’m now a dad :)

And for you to be in the team as this happens means a whole lot to me. I haven’t worked my emails in three days time and I’m simply SWAMPED. The thing is, I don’t have  a lot of time on my hands as baby Leo is waking up almost every 2 hours to breastfeed. My role is to check his diapers, change if necessary, burp him and put him back to sleep. It’s a role I’m totally delighted to do. I have a very cute and adorable baby boy.

So there goes the 100+ emails (and more in spam) that I’ve received and yet to reply to. I’ve also gotten brilliant ideas I think I should implement for team on-boarding and growth during my time in the hospital and at home (yes we’re now home after just 2 days in the hospital – labor included).

You all know I’m in a ‘paternity leave’ for a month – but we all understand that it is superficial as I cannot really take a leave for a whole month. I’ll be online checking emails, answering them, writing for our blogs, replying to clients, etc. The usual.

I’m hearing about the new interviews (and possibility of a hire) for the linkbuilding team. These are very exciting times as the SEO Hacker team will be shaken with the exit of key players and entry of new hires. It’s even more exciting as I’m planning a comeback for SEO services at least with training as I realize there is a huge gap in knowledge and expertise in some of the teams.

So here are the plans for the near future:

The Classroom (name not final)

I plan to make the porch some sort of a classroom. I’ll need to rework the lighting because it’s dark for a classroom setting but the tables and chairs are underway. The whiteboard is not getting its deserved attention and use. SEO School is on pause and I’m planning to maximize the possible video sessions with an open office plan. You can check it out here.

The open office will invite other specialists to teach in our office – they don’t need to be SEO specialists. They could be copywriters, social media managers, project managers, etc. I’ll be the main ‘teacher’ here for sure – at least in the first few months.

More Clients

Yes, we’re not going to stop. SEO Hacker is still growing and we’re still getting a lot of inquiries online and offline. We have a strong growing brand and we’re very widely known in the Philippine SEO scene. I want you to know that whenever we have new clients, we do consider your workload and your extra time for growth.

Rest assured the management team tries to hire as soon as possible so that you’ll have time to read and experiment on your own while making sure that you are able to produce quality work.

SEO Summit 2015

We need to keep this ball rolling. It’s a project we want to undertake yearly and we have to keep it moving. We’re planning on publishing the website for the next SEO Summit but I’ll need someone to help me get sponsors and reserve venues and other event suppliers. If someone is willing to step up on this, please send me an email or chat and let’s collaborate.

Internal drip-feed email

This is one of the plans I have regarding on-boarding. I won’t get into details as of now. The plan is to simply have a schedule on what to do, what to read/learn, where to subscribe, etc., as the day goes by for new hires – so that managers don’t have to take time off to do this.

My Expectations

Fellas, I expect you to come out more responsible and mature as we grow. I know that our open forums back and forth have been really good in ironing out differences, misunderstandings and miscommunications. However I have identified one root problem of all this: People in the team prefer not to talk directly to the person they have a problem with – especially me.

The open forum is not an excuse to keep things to yourself. Communication should be our strong point as an ‘open door’ company. I’m simply an email away – I keep on repeating that.

As such, I want you to know that I am expecting you to do this from now on. Any uncommunicated issues will be considered your own misgivings from hereon out.

Again I am finite, and as you can see, I have a lot in mind and I am moving in this vision. I cannot remember everything that we may have talked about. I do try – that much I can promise you.

If you think I will forget things, please course it through Sandy and ask her to keep reminding me until it has been accomplished. That’s a lot of help for me.

For the office, I expect you to keep it clean and neat. It is as much yours as it is mine. You are the ones using it, so I expect you to be the ones cleaning it. For the times I’ve visited I noticed that it is not kept clean and it needs sweeping, mopping, etc. I expect this to change the next time I drop by.

The electricity bill is of concern to me. I am assigning the air conditioner’s controllers to be Pam’s and Sandy’s jurisdiction and no one else’s. It has to be set at 24-26 degrees. No more, no less. It also has to be set on auto otherwise it loses its purpose as an inverter type air conditioning system. We have bled Meralco bills from 15,000 when we started up to 32,000 just a few months ago. That could’ve been revenue – instead, we had to pay it to Meralco. I expect this to significantly decrease for July and August because of the new policy about the remotes.

This is the shortlist of what’s to happen and what I expect from the team. Changes will happen and I’m simply giving you a heads-up and a boost about the short term vision of the company.

Exciting times team. Keep up the good work.


New Blog Management Strategy: Cross-Linking

Hi Blog Management team,

Today we’re rolling out a new strategy that I believe we can test. We now own an estimate of 19 client blogs – including Isshogenki. From these blogs, we can draw links without the big G of search engines ever noticing it. We are not going to create a linkwheel or a blog network.

It’s going to be a simple cross-linking.

So here’s what you should do:

  1. Think of topics that will vertically hit some of our other clients
  2. From those topics, create blog entries and publish them in the proper client blog
  3. Link out to the other client’s already ranking landing pages from the blog entries
  4. Make sure to use either phrase match, or exact match keywords
  5. Include the keyword in the <title> tag of the article you are linking out from
  6. Make sure the link keyword (whether phrase match or exact match) is in the first paragraph as much as possible

This will make more efficient use of our blog articles for all our clients. It is not a strategy to be abused to use it wisely. My advise is to use this just once a week.


Start creating the vertically related topics for next month.

Publish the first articles the first week of August.

I expect this strategy implemented as soon as possible.