A situation that I’ve encountered frequently when working in SEO is being confronted with more tasks and projects that demand attention than I physically have time to dedicate to them. This isn’t necessarily specific to any one role either, I’ve encountered it when being a link developer and a team leader as well as when I’ve been responsible for project management and account management, although it does tend to be amplified the more responsibility you have. This makes sense – when you’re in roles of greater responsibility your tasks are generally more crucial and your workload is less prescriptive and more changeable.

Of course, this isn’t a problem exclusive to SEO project management, it’s a common conundrum across most businesses and any situation where you have a number of tasks and a finite amount of time to complete them. It’s also rarely something that you can avoid ever happening through advanced planning. You can certainly mitigate the risk and minimise the potential for it to occur with good planning and proactive work ethics but there will always be factors outside of your control which result in critical tasks clustering together and unexpected tasks suddenly appearing on your to-do lists that weren’t originally accounted for.

The danger here is of tasks running over deadline which may result in missed opportunities, disappointed clients or terminal knock-on effects of a wider project, so it’s important to know how to effectively deal with the situation when it arises.

So what do you do when you’re faced with more to-dos than you can complete? As it’s something I’ve frequently encountered, I’ve developed some simple rules for dealing with the situation when it does arise and when I’m over-subscribed with tasks I employ three tactics for prioritising and dealing with them which are Delegate, Relegate and Communicate.

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I read this article on Econsultancy last month with some amusement.

Econsultancy is a widely respected and professional online marketing site who publish content from some of the biggest names in online marketing, SEO, PPC and Web Development and are certainly considered a trusted source in the field. Most of us would jump at the chance to get an article published by Econsultancy, never mind a link back to our site. The idea that people would want to get links removed from Econsultancy just sounds silly.

My initial assumption was that the SEOs involved in sending the link removal requests were using some method of automatically categorising backlinks to mark for removal. I figured Econsultancy had been erroneously placed in a bucket labelled “Sites with SEO in the page title” meant for spammy directories and nobody had bothered to sense-check their outreach list before sending out a templated email.

But then the blog post linked above also notes that their guest bloggers had been receiving suspicious link emails from Google which included signature links on the Econsultancy blog amongst the examples. This in itself seems odd as the signature links on Econsultancy generally aren’t what you’d consider a ‘spammy’ link – I haven’t noticed any with optimised anchor text for example, usually just brand names and links to social media profiles.

So I filed the affair as a slip up or maybe some isolated cases where the guest bloggers got greedy with their signature links and used excessive, deliberately manipulative anchor text and I went about my business. But then I was doing a backlink review for a client this week and noticed something interesting. They also have a link from the Econsultancy blog. Actually, they have around 20 links from the Econsultancy blog. All from the same article, but not from the same URL…

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