Meet The Real Search Engine Optimizer
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Back in 2000, Navneet Kaushal, straight out of college, got fascinated by how websites’ traffic flow on the Internet. His fascination made him among the pioneers in search engine optimization (SEO) space in India. 15 years later after he launched PageTraffic, Kaushal is quite an authority in SEO business and boasts of leading the market in India.
15 years is quite a time as a first-generation tech entrepreneur to be particularly in SEO business. Isn’t?
Not for me at least. The fundamental reason being it was my hobby to understand how online traffic flows, even before I started PageTraffic. That gradually became my passion which led me to starting the company in 2002 where as today and in future, I would continue to lead the SEO services for the clients. When you turn your passion into your work, it is the best thing for any entrepreneur. We are perhaps the only company in India that has continued to exist for so long in SEO category. So the experience that we bring to our clients in SEO is second to none. PageTraffic is the most recognized SEO company probably across Asia and that’s why perhaps I am regarded as India’s SEO ‘guru’.
How do you see these SEO agencies that have popped up everywhere?
There has to be extra caution as Google penalizes websites and often bans those which break SEO rules including using hidden links or texts, paid link building, unnecessary use of irrelevant keywords etc. Most of the companies prefer SEO agencies for perhaps cheaper costs, which don’t do much due diligence and hence companies find themselves at the receiving end. At PageTraffic, while the process of servicing the clients is uniform but the approach is unique as per the industry to which they belong. The SEO links or link building is unique.
So you can improve pretty much every website’s visibility in Google?
Not really. Despite the evolution that the SEO industry have gone through, at PageTraffic we have kept our approach pretty straightforward while picking clients. We categorically say no to companies whose websites we don’t think are SEO-ready or SEO friendly. Unlike agencies, we cannot do temporary fixes which in the long term come back to haunt us. This mindset helped us grow from ‘zero to one’ in the initial two years. After that, growth from ‘one to hundred’ was pretty rapid as lot of the agencies in the US reached out to us for outsourcing their work.
Any particular crisis that led to better things at PageTraffic?
From 2004-07, we had suffered heavy attrition as our competitors poached most of our talent. We were left to just around seven people who handled multiple clients simultaneously. This made me realize the significance of automating regular tasks by investing in technology. We developed our in-house project management software for managing clients’ reports on the cloud. This efficient management of data is what matters in SEO. It reduced our workload by around 30 per cent.
Do content and SEO go hand in hand?
Content is now a critical differentiator than anything else in SEO as Google’s algorithms are smart enough to differentiate between good and bad quality content particularly in terms of grammar. This is better than human understanding as it continuously improves itself with precision. Duplicate content is automatically banned. Long format, original, credible publishing platforms are recommended by Google. Also, content marketing is getting very relevant now.
But Indian businesses don’t understand content. Right?
I agree. Indian businesses don’t invest in good quality content neither understands its true value. They perceive content to be independent of SEO and that only SEO can help them with better search results. At PageTraffic, we have professional writers who are subject matter expertise for 30 different categories that encompasses 90 per cent of the industries in the world. Till date, we haven’t raised any external capital and have grown organically but now we are eyeing acquisitions in the content marketing space.