How to Hack Google SERPs: Interview with Alexandra Tachalova

After speaking at UnGagged London 2015, Alexandra Tachalova is returning to speak at UnGagged Las Vegas on “how to turn black hat and forbidden techniques into an ethical and non-forbidden approach.” Prior to her session, we reconnected with Alexandra to discuss all things SEO and UnGagged.

UnGagged: Tell us a bit about your background and how you got started in SEO

Alexandra Tachalova: I started as a traditional marketer in the automobile business. At the very beginning of my career, I used to work at a company that specialized in selling tires. That was dark times, when I realized that my work was never ending… At some point I was lucky enough to find a job that was related to digital marketing. At that position I was working with Salesforce CRM, helping a marketing department better understand how effectively they deliver their campaigns. And starting from that moment I’ve never worked in a company with traditional marketing objectives. All this allure of ‘digital’ has got me hooked, and that’s where I found my true passion. Currently I have 5+ years of digital marketing experience and I am an active member of this professional community.

After giving a try to various activities in SEO, — working with technical side of things, doing keyword research, acquiring links and etc., — I figured out that my strongest suite is to work at the cross section of disciplines: for instance, where SEO and PR meets, or where SEO collides with content marketing. So, as for now, I have a solid understanding of SEO, and I can help businesses to get the desirable results as quickly as possible and to keep up with the pace of market.

UnGagged: What will you be speaking about at UnGagged?

Alexandra: I want to talk about the strategies that various sites are using in order to rank high in a short period of time. During my presentation you’ll learn how to turn black hat and forbidden techniques into an ethical and non-forbidden approach. Of course, it’s a bit harsh to label SEO strategies as ‘white’ or ‘black’. But that is exactly the point I’m going to make: I’m going to consider some extreme cases to show that, actually, everything you do in SEO depends on implementation.

UnGagged: In your niche sector, what’s the most annoying SEO misconception?

Alexandra: Since I’m mostly dealing with clients from the digital marketing niche, I thought that people from this field must have a knack for staying away from misleading stereotypes. Yet, there’s a bunch of surprising things that I’ve never expected to face. For instance, there’s a common ‘bad habit’ people can’t break for quite a long time: many of us like to write useless articles that don’t bring any value not only for site’s visitors, but also for SEO. The only reason this deadly sin is still very much with us is because many believe that their websites can rank well without links. Another funny fact I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of digital marketers that do their outreach by spamming in comments (even on Inbound.org people do that).

UnGagged: What is your current favorite SEO tool or platform?

Alexandra: Right now I mostly use SimilarWeb and SEMrush for analyzing competitive landscape. Also, I can’t live without BuzzSumo and Ahrefs. These tools help me learn more about how content is performing in terms of social shares and backlinks.

UnGagged: What is the best thing about UnGagged?

Alexandra: I believe the best thing about UnGagged is the diversity of speakers and topics, and the opportunity to share ideas with like-minded folks. Not for the first time I’ll be speaking at UnGagged, so I know for sure that the crowd you gathered together for this upcoming conference is going to be very supportive. What I also love is that UnGagged allows its speakers to raise any topic of professional interest you may have, even a highly controversial one. This is a unique opportunity as well, since several events are likely to classify matters of such kind as irrelevant for their audience. So, I believe there’s no better place to talk about how to make users click more on your page from SERPs in order to make it rank higher;)