I met Andre Alpar who is one Partner of an international SEO company AKM3, when I was in Berlin. Andre is well known in the search industry and quite rightly so. He is a speaker at search events, has his own podcasts www.omreport.com and has published an open source SEO software www.seerobots.com.
I went to Andre’s office in Berlin (a short train ride from the East Side Gallery) and spoke to him about search and what he thought of the German search market and what he sees as the future of SEO.
Andre has been involved with the internet since 1996 when he built his first website. He got his first taste of SEO in 1997/1998 when he took an internship for a yacht charter company in Hawaii who wanted help with rankings. When he returned to Germany he came up with the idea of offering SEO as a service but even back then there was resistance as people did not fully understand the value of SEO.
Moving away from SEO
Andre has spend some time away from the search seen, back in 2001, when the dot com bubble burst, he started a PHD. But he has since come back stronger than ever and is one partner of AKM3.
The search market in Germany
Most of AKM3’s clients are German and they have a specific idea of what they want from their SEO agency. Therefore when they go international, AKM3 helps them with their SEO as they have native speakers for each market. The German market is very competitive and there is no shortage of people who work in SEO coming to Berlin to work.
Do clients understand SEO?
They understand PPC over SEO. AKM3 gives a lot of strategic advice for SEO, it tends to be more common to outsource SEO to an agency and going PPC in house. Andre wrote an article about In House SEO.
Search marketing events in Germany
Andre attends SMX and has spoken at 20 different conferences throughout Europe this year. He also set up and run OMCap (www.omcap.de) which is partnering with SES and takes place in October in Berlin.
SEO Tools and reports
AKM3 use three main tools, Sistrix, Searchmetrics and SEOlytics as well. They report to their client the work the agency has completed that month which includes any on page optimisation and information about the links they have acquired that month. Reporting is included in all AKM3’s services, however if they use some of the sophisticated tools, then they may not need to do a lot of reporting.
The Future of SEO
I asked Andre what he thought would be the future of SEO and he said going forward, there will be a stronger link between SEO and regular marketing. SEO will be more about building relationships between PR, marketing and social media.