I was tagged by Eduard BlacquiÃ¨re, to write a post about my business highlights for the last year. I’ll use a broad angle, talking about my work at Onetomarket, my blogs joostdevalk.nl and css3.info, and my web design company AlthA, as all are somehow interlinked.
My year started as a normal SEO, but got kicked in to high gear when I went on a trip to SEOdays, a Search Engine Optimisation conference organized by Jennifer Slegg and Dave Naylor. I loved every single minute of it, sharing tips and tricks with other, mostly English, SEO’s. I made some new friends there, most importantly Dave himself. We started chatting on IM after the conference, and have been doing that on a regular basis since. At that time, hardly anybody had noticed me in the SEO world yet, but that would soon change…
SEOmoz ranking factors
Just a few weeks before I actually went to SEOdays, Rand invited me to join in the SEOmoz ranking factors research, which was released on the 3rd of april. At that point, people started noticing me and my blog, and I got in contact with more and more internationally renowned SEO’s, learning from them and sharing with them.
In february, I had released my first WordPress plugin ever, a simple contact form with some added benefits, and over the year, I’ve been writing more and more WordPress plugins, getting great feedback from quite a few great people.
Due to my work at Onetomarket, I got involved with and interested in Google Analytics more and more, I wrote a WordPress plugin, and published some hacks. This instigated some contacts from Avinash Kaushik and Justin Cutroni, and both of them have been inspiring my Analytics work greatly since.
A4UExpo and SMX Stockholm
In October, I went to two conferences, A4UExpo in London, and SMX Stockholm. There was a difference though with the SEOdays conference… These conferences were quite a bit bigger, and I went there as… a speaker. To be honest, I’d said to my colleague Roy half way through the year, that I wanted to speak on an international SEO conference within a year, at that time thinking that that was a tough goal to set. It turned out that it was a lot easier than I expected.
I had some great fun at both conferences. In London, I met up with loads of cool people: Marcus Tandler, Kris Jones and Aaron Baker from Pepperjam Search, my good friends from Conversion-Rate-Experts Karl and Ben, Jason Duke, Kevin Ryan, Dixon Jones and loads and loads more. This made the conference into much more than I could have ever imagined it to be… (and ow yeah, the Q&A session I was in was a blast)
In Stockholm I was in a few more sessions, and I finally got the chance to meet Rand Fishkin face to face, along with quite a few other nice blokes whom I made friends with, like Mel Carson and Mikkel deMib Svendsen. That conference too was great, and it seemed Chris Sherman, the conference host, thought I did a good job too, as I’ve already been invited to come speak at SMX Munich next year too.
My other blog, css3.info, which has nothing to do with search and a LOT to do with web standards, grew immensely too this year. For most of that I have to thank Peter Gasston and David Storey, both now regular writers on that blog. We’ve now started officially partnering with the W3 to aid in the further development of CSS, and we’ve had the chance to interview loads of “big names” in the CSS world last year.
Well, need I say more than this:
Though this was the year my first teacher into the SEO world, Remco Westerik, left Onetomarket, many, many exciting things have happened there. Our SEO team grew into what I now sincerely believe to be the best SEO team in the Netherlands, with great colleagues, new and old, keeping me focussed at all times. Working with clients like KLM, Wegener, Amadeus, Emagister, BookIt and many others is a privilege, and I really, really enjoyed it this year.
Our Spanish offices grew exponentially this year, and I’ve been there a few times and had numerous contacts with colleagues there, and I can honestly say that these guys have come up to our standards in a speed I would not have expected. It’s great to be working in a multinational team with so many great people.
In all, I can say that 2007 was a wonderful year, and that my expectations for 2008 are even higher. I wish you all the very, very best for 2008, in your business life’s but also in your personal life. I hope to see a lot of you, both in the real world and on this blog!
All that rests me now is tag another person to talk about his 2007 business highlights, and there’s one person who immediately came to mind, as he has reached a lot this year, both with his blog and with the Dutch section of the IAB: Marco Derksen. But well, it turns out he already took part in this blog tag game… Sigh :)