Top SEO Expert Stephen Noton Interview

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Stephen Noton Interviewed by Gordon Choi

Stephen Noton, SEO expert originally from Canada, started his SEO & marketing career in 1997 when he first built his eCommerce site. He sold racing car parts and made a big profit (30% markup) out of his website (where he SEO’ed the site for Google ranking & organic traffic). During his many years of SEO consulting career, Stephen has worked in many different industries including travel (e.g. Tripadvisor & a few hotel booking websites), affiliate marketing, B2B (including Global Sources & Alibaba), and more.

Questions from Gordon Choi and Answers from Stephen Noton – Let’s get started.

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Q1. How long have you been in the SEO or online marketing industry?

Stephen, “I started my 1st ecommerce company in 1997, so it’s been over 20 years in the industry for me.”

Q2. For what reasons did you start your first SEO or online marketing project?

Stephen, “I love cars. I built racing cars and sourced all the parts and supply chains for my cars. Taking all that data and product catalogs, I put them online with a 30% markup, and surprisingly sold a lot of products via the WWW.”

Q3. What industries or niches have you worked with for SEO or online marketing?

“1st – Company was in auto parts.
2nd – Affiliate marketing.
3rd – A large hotel booking site in Asia.
4th – Built a search engine to find music files rather than html content.
5th – Arbitrage buy/selling traffic.
6th – Into B2B world, 1st handling SEO at Global Sources then moving into the SEO team at Alibaba.
7th – Agency world based in Switzerland
8th – Back into travel handling TripAdvisor international growth
9th – Building another hotel booking company in Asia
10th – Back to consulting with focus in travel clients: AirAsia, Priceline, Anantara, SixSenses, Sofitel, Exotissimo, GetYourGuide”

Q4. In your experience, which industry or niche you have found easier than others to work with for SEO? Why?

Stephen, “Travel. There is just so much money in that space and the buyers/users are okay with using 3rd parties to buy from.”

Q5. In your opinion, which industry or niche is the hardest for doing SEO?

Stephen, “Casino/gambling, as the people in this space will do anything to rank even if just short term rankings.”

Q6. How is SEO in 2020 different to SEO in the past years?

Stephen, “Now most of the SEO algorithm is known so it’s much easier to structure a high ranking website. There isn’t as many testing/guessing anymore. This is nice as now can focus on the MARKETING side of SEO growth.”

Q7. For online marketing newcomers, what resources do you recommend them for learning online marketing and SEO?

Stephen, “Read and absorb the fundamentals in the book called Don’t Make Me Think. Its available in almost every language worldwide and is the only book I give my teams to read.”

Q8. Please give us one tip for improving local SEO?

Stephen, “Make sure you have the name of your cities and major neighborhoods used on every page of your site. Can be a footer piece of text or menu items, but just make sure you rank for everything local to your offering.”

Q9. Please give us one tip for improving international SEO?

Stephen, “Use the right domain for the market. Don’t try to build an international SEO site using a .com. You can rank much faster by using local .** domains with the same content compared to using a .com and folders or subdomains.”


Regarding Stephen Noton’s interview, this article is the Chinese version.

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