30 Oct 2008

Light Behind The Changes At We Build Pages

Bear with me for a moment, okay? I have to go backwards to go forward. I swear I have a point.

While the rest of the SEO community was buzzing about SES San Jose and the crazy trapeze people they met at SearchBash, Jim Boykin was quietly planning an industry coup. The man literally went on a hiring spree and began tricking SEO types into trading in their December flip flops for the charm of “historic Troy, NY”.
And it worked! One by one they moved to historic Troy from Hawaii, Florida and Southern California.

Who did he hire in his happy delirium?

  • Pat Sexton: An all-around good guy and a Google Quality Guide champion.
  • Rhea Drysdale: A white hat SEO who thinks free links are the way to go.
  • Lisa Barone (me!): That damn blogger known for preaching white hat, calling for SEO standards, and for blasting people who cross the line.

If we’re being honest, there were some eyebrows raised when Pat, Rhea and I all announced we had joined We Build Pages. I know because I got emails and the others did, too. People wanted to know why I’d leave Bruce Clay, Inc. to join Jim. Why Pat Sexton, someone who believes smart sites shouldn’t have to rely on search engines, would join a company notorious for buying links. Why Rhea Drysdale would trade her white hat for one a few shades darker.

I think it’s important to let people know that we haven’t changed hats. We joined a thriving company that is evolving into something even more powerful. A company that’s adding on new services because we love our clients and know that this will benefit them, both in the short term and the long term.

If that sounds like nothing but marketing, it’s not. I wouldn’t be here if it was. I have no interest in engaging in behavior that could hurt our clients. And neither does anyone else at We Build Pages. They never have.

Let’s be honest, though. In years past, We Build Pages was a link building company. The tactics used were very effective and helped clients to rank amazingly well and earn a lot of money for their targeted phrases. And the tactics used continue to work and continue to provide value for our clients. However, we know that the search engines are getting smarter and that there is much more to Internet marketing than just links. The future of search and Internet Marketing is evolving and so must we. To address that, we’re excited to announce a whole new line of services to help our clients.

While we’re not ready to divulge everything just yet, we can tell you that Pat Sexton is here as We Build Pages’ SEM Manager, and along with Rhea Drysdale, is strengthening the SEO department to compete with the best in the world. Bringing on Pat, also gives us a leader in the wonderful world of widget creation. We believe these types of tactics help make the Web more useful and drive relevant traffic to relevant resources, even if you don’t put links in them! And of course, we’ll be diving in social media and building out a menu of services for our clients there, as well.

With me, Jim gets a never-ending headache, the brand new We Build Pages blog and a new way to communicate what we’re working on to a community that we love. I’ve also been tasked with doing some community building and that’s something I can’t wait to jump into.

If you haven’t been able to tell, we’re all really excited about the stuff going on over here in historic Troy, NY. It’s why we’re all running around giggling and giving each other high-fives. It’s why Pat and Rhea are Twittering from the office at 2am. There are no chains on the desk here. We’re just excited. Everyone on the We Build Pages team is working their butts off to build something amazingly great…and we couldn’t be more stoked to do it.

Of course, I don’t expect you to take my word on that. I don’t expect this measly blog post to change your mind or to rewrite history. Instead, we’re going to prove it. And this blog is the first step in doing that. I know Jim has missed being part of the community, so hopefully this will be his return, as well. [I asked if I could put him on a blogging scheduled. He said YES€¦as long as he didn’t have to follow it. Don’t worry, folks, I’ll get him!]

So again, we hope you’ll stick around for awhile. Jim didn’t get three of this industry’s most dedicated white hats to move from various corners of the country for nothing. There’s something big going on here in historic Troy, NY and we can’t wait to tell you about it.

[I heard that if you keep saying the phrase [historic Troy, NY] it makes the seven months of winter here more bearable. And you become less angry that the entire town shuts down on Sundays at 3pm. I’ll keep you posted.]


  1. Megan Slick October 30, 2008 at 8:22 AM

    Lisa, I especially liked the explanation of your excessive usage of the phrase “historic Troy, NY”. Ha! I think you’ll love the weather to begin with. Living in nasty winter weather starts to suck in February & March & April & May & June, then just as you think that winter will never end… Very nice post that explains a lot. I’m excited to see what you’ll be rolling out. You’re great at telling it like it is. Hope you’ve bought yourself a pair of Sorel Boots – they’re the best!

  2. paisley October 30, 2008 at 8:51 AM

    nice meeting all you guys @ ScarySEo… we all expect you guys to do ridiculously cool things.. you know that…

  3. Mike | PlanetChiro October 30, 2008 at 8:54 AM

    Well Jim has undoubtedly put together an incredible team. Those in the industry that know you guys can see that, and your clients that have yet to work with you, are likely to discover that too. Been pretty exciting seeing how everything to come together for you all. Wishing everyone the best!

  4. Christopher Hart October 30, 2008 at 9:06 AM

    Just because Lisa is at a new job in a new company, her core values will not change. She was one of the first to lead the charge after SMX Advanced and its turn to the dark side. So took hard comments from some but she held her ground.

    Lisa just wait till the summer and your hanging at the Saratoga Race track, then the winter gloom will melt away.

  5. Lisa Barone October 30, 2008 at 9:07 AM

    Megan: What are you talking about? Jim said it drops down to 50 degrees in November and December, and then it jumps up to 85 the rest of the year? That’s what you meant, right?

    Paisley, Chris & Mike: Thanks guys! The support from the industry has been amazing and I know everyone here appreciates it. We hope to see some of you guys at PubCon! 🙂

  6. Ninjajen October 30, 2008 at 9:18 AM

    And we’re excited on the inside too Lisa, having all of this brilliance in one place to learn from, makes WeBuildPages like the Harvard of SEO companies 🙂

  7. Patrick Sexton October 30, 2008 at 9:21 AM

    @paisley Thanks for commenting, Scary was great. We gotta talk soon…
    @Mike I am going into beta soon on what we spoke about at Word Camp. Let’s talk again soon 🙂

  8. Mitch October 30, 2008 at 9:25 AM

    You think Troy weather is bad? Come to the Syracuse area! Ask Chuck P about it. LOL Good luck to you all.

  9. Lydia Mazorol October 30, 2008 at 10:15 AM

    Now I get what was happening on the back couch during SES San Jose! I can’t wait to see how it all evolves for the We Build Pages group. You guys, go get ’em!

  10. Megan Slick October 30, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    Lisa – Jim tricked you. Did Jim hide the pictures of the snow drifts too?

  11. Lisa Barone October 30, 2008 at 1:31 PM

    Megan, I don’t even want to know what a snow drift is…

    [gets nervous]

  12. Jeremy Luebke October 30, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    This is the internet, if your not evolving, then you are dying. Good moves…

  13. Eddings October 30, 2008 at 7:05 PM

    Watching from the side, I’m almost creepy stalker excited for you guys and I can’t wait to see the greatness to come!

  14. NinjaTodd October 30, 2008 at 8:26 PM

    And what an attractive bunch, them ninjas! Especially NinjaEinstein…I love it!

  15. Rhea October 30, 2008 at 9:27 PM

    I look pregnant in that picture… grr.

    Einstein ninja definitely makes it though.

  16. David Temple October 31, 2008 at 1:54 AM

    Funny at SES San Jose I had the pleasure of listening to Pat eplain the whacky world of widgets to me(learned more than I ever knew) and Jim sat there and listened too, as if it was his first time. Little did I know he was already drinking the widget kool-aid. WBP was already a force to be reckoned with (whatever the hell that means) and adding you talented people only moved it to a new level, a new historic level. Can’t wait ’til you pull back the curtains.

  17. Vinny October 31, 2008 at 7:16 AM

    WBP is going to be one of the biggest stories to watch over the next 12 to 14 months.

    An All-Star SEO team for sure. Jim knows how to hire talent. Congratulations to all of you.

  18. NinjaTony October 31, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    Really excited to see what the future holds for WBP. There is a great staff here and all these additions just make We Build Pages that much better!

  19. john andrews October 31, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Congrats on having the guts to move and live around each other trying to build something. I made a joke a while ago to one of you that WBP the link company might become “We Build Pages, Again” but I wasn’t aware the plans were already well underway.

    My only concern is the use of the White Hat label. That’s a divisive strategy that doesn’t help the industry or it’s White Hat players. It does help the Black Hat practitioners.

  20. Terry Van Horne November 2, 2008 at 8:08 AM

    John, sorry but that is the way we all should go! Black hats don’t do what White hats do. Divisive, hmm, playing with the industry repuatation isn’t? A reputation that the industry let happen because we enabled these guys to come out from under the rock they belong under. There was a time when we knew when someone does that stuff it soils the whole industry. Now, the leaders of the industry just take their money and deflect the negatives for them just like the lobbyists do for the cigarette companies. It’s BS and why we need to differentiate ourselves. Preferably by dropping the SEO altogether in preference to something like web site positioning.

  21. Jim Boykin: Paid Links Aren’t Worth It To Me November 21, 2008 at 10:43 PM

    […] Light Behind The Changes At We Build Pages […]

  22. Looking Back on 2008 December 31, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    […] making some incredibly large changes this year.  Most notably, we stopped buying links and started transitioning into a full-scale Internet marketing company. And for awhile, that was kind of terrifying. It’s hard to leave a model that has been […]

  23. Vaughn Hansen January 10, 2009 at 10:16 AM

    good luck

Leave a Reply