Spotlight on Search – Interview with Daron Babin of WebmasterRadio.FM
Photo courtesy Strikepoint Blog
There are many success stories on the web and one of the most interesting is WebmasterRadio.FM. The brainchild of Old, Old School SEO Daron Babin and his partner Brandy Shapiro, WebmasterRadio.FM has become the “go to” resource for live streaming radio and podcasts on all things related to search and interactive marketing.
After threatening Daron with sex, fame and a nice hangover, he succumbed to answering a few questions about how he got into the SEO game, what’s up with New Gen Media and his evil plan for a multi media search engine and delivery platform.
Tell us about your background, how did you get involved with search marketing?
I created a website back in ’96 with a partner who knew how to create a website and server management. He knew nothing of marketing, so that was my side of the deal. I dove into the web head first and realized that there had to be a way to get to the top of the search engines…and that was what I used to navigate the web. So it just made sense. I began reading SearchEngineWatch, Jimworld, Planet Ocean, and SearchEngineForums where I became a moderator with guys like Mikkel, Keith Peterson, Mike Mackin and many others. I cut my teeth with some of the best SEO’s who are read about today as if they are old legends…Dogboy, Bob Massa, GoSixtyGuy and so many more.
Back in 2003 at the San Jose Search Engine Strategies conference, I remember you and Brandy walking around the Google Dance with a microphone asking all the buzzed SEOs questions. That beginning has evolved into the success of WebmasterRadio.FM. What made you decide to start WebmasterRadio.FM?
I’ve done streaming radio in the past before podcasting came along and when Brandy and I became a couple…and she heard of my sordid streaming radio past…well, lets just say we both agreed it was a match made in heaven. Both personally and on the air! So we created RainMaker, and with its huge response and support from the community…it just made sense to create a platform so we could replicate the success of RainMakers formula.
Not to mention that our formula was a win/win for everyone involved. From the listeners to the advertisers and very gratifying for us to see this community flourish.
What have been some of the big learning experiences? Any advice for other podcasters?
Bandwidth, negotiate sick stupid low bandwidth prices if you expect to become half way popular in the way of downloads. Also, think about media management from the beginning…don’t wait until you’re up the road. It takes lots of man hours to turn back the clock to re-do alot of what’s already been done.
On more than one occasion you’ve mentioned that you’re developing a B2B podcast search engine. Can you tell more about that and what do you think of the business podcasting market? What’s in the future?
I have been in development of a multi-media search engine, and dev continues. It’s funny, I get up the road…look at what we’ve done…then want to add this, or change that. Needless to say, its been a long process for us that continues. I can say this, once I am done…I will be able to skin this engine to provide and back end new verticals in online streaming. I can help to build and support the vertical by providing a new and easy way for users to consume their content…on their own terms.
So you’re building both a search engine AND a new/updated delivery platform?
Yes. Two separate systems.
Content management and stitching with a hand-off to our CDN (Limelight Networks). Then the Search Engine. That is being built by my inhouse team and myself…consider her my baby. As to skinning her, a good example of this would be B2B.FM as one verticals in which someone could land in that search engine because they know they are looking for good B2B multi-media content. On the flip side, consumers looking to target themselves and get exposure at a newly branded Multimedia SE to be known as: Search.FM
Same backend, without all the fluff. In depth vertical search done right. Taking into account end user experience and knowing that we can white label this search is another opportunity for us to help grow the marketplace for multimedia search.
You’ve been in the SEO game a very long time. I first saw you speak at a Pubcon conference where you told some pretty interesting stories about marketing a little blue pill, about search engine algorithm hacking and things like contextual relevance for content optimization. You’ve seen many things change over the years – what do you think has been the biggest change this year regarding the practice of SEO?
Well, that’s simple. I think the big difference has been individual SEO’s using controversy and pulling no punches and being very verbal in both forums and blogs to gain notoriety and more business with such actions.
With broadband market penetration and accessibility, do you see rich media ads replacing textual search ads as the money generator for paid search advertising?
I think we’ll see an evolution in both still. I think both have their place. I think knowing how to properly leverage both for your companies bottom line is key.
I see WebasterRadio.FM listed as the official podcast sponsor of just about every conference related to search, interactive and new media. Besides taking over the new media world, what’s the plan for your company WebmasterRadio, Inc.?
Well, we will continue to evolve and grow our programming line-up while at the same time, spending some time at home on the website and the end user experience. We also continue to leverage our content in ways we’ve not yet maximized. We got great Mobile deals on the table and currently give users the ability to download podcasts from WebmasterRadio.FM to their cell phones.
We will grow our types of event coverage for live delivery and podcasts of exclusive events that only WMR have access to.
Couple this with some new content delivery mechanisms we’re working on…and we’ll be your definitive source for acquiring top notch relevant podcasts that are dynamically generated based upon user input…meaning what types of content you are looking for and how many segments you are interested in.
This makes stringing relevant content chuncks from 1 show to the next as easy as a few button clicks. Couple this with our new multimedia search, and we’ll have some pretty amazing vertical content production and management tools and properties.
What are your favorite search engines and what are some feature improvements you’d like to see?
I Like Yahoo first, Google 2nd. You don’t want my improvements list. lol
What are some of the resources you rely on for information on search? Best practices, news, industry information.
Ironically, I rely on the same sources I always have…with the exception of 1 addition to the mix….and that’s WebmasterRadio.FM. We have some of the top minds in SEO hosting programs on the station. Its easy to keep your finger on the pulse when you have the cream of the crop on the air! Ya just have to tune in.
Which is more fun, the little blue pill or absinthe?
Simply put…they go hand in hand my friend! The Green Fairy will always entertain thoughts induced by the Little Blue Pill!
Be sure to check out all of the streaming content and archived podcasts over at WebmasterRadio.FM.