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Tawnya Sutherland

From Your Forum Moderator Ian Scott - PLEASE READ FIRST!

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Ian Scott's Background:


Ian Scott landed in the Internet web development and SEO business almost by accident. Indeed, up until about late 1996, he'd never touched a computer in his life other than a few very expensive calculators that cost a couple of hundred dollars when he was in high school, and could do some (at that time) advanced mathematical functions - but they were too complicated for Ian to figure out.


Ian decided on a career in the law enforcement field, working for almost 20 years in what was called "social policing." Although he enjoyed it, he also had a dream of owning his own full time business; at that time it was in the fishing and custom fishing rod building field. Along side his "social policing" career, he operated a part time custom rod building business that he grew into a well known and respected business over some years.


In 1996, Ian purchased his first computer. The purpose of it was to help him track his business inventory. But as luck would have it, he was introduced to the Internet by a local service provider who preached about "being connected" to the rest of the world and using that as a means to increase and market business. As a result of many conversations, Ian was convinced to lay out $800.00 for what would be considered today, a very basic website and then began to learn how to use this new medium to market his business. In those days, "newsgroups" were a popular method of connecting with others, and Scott learned the "ins and outs" of marketing properly, spending time locating appropriate newsgroups he could participate in and offer help and assistance to others while gently letting visitors know about his own business.


Amazingly, Scott began receiving inquiries from a number of different individuals across North America and even the United Kingdom about his services and products. He had new customers and made acquaintances that he never would have had if not for the Internet, and became convinced of the efficacy of the "world wide web" as a marketing tool.


Personal issues forced Ian to abandon his dream at that time of growing his custom rod building business (today, links to his original website still exist though!), but being a part of a full time business still was a major motivator for him. Subsequently, he met his business partner who had skills in HTML and graphics, and he made her a deal: "Teach me everything you know and I'll get you some clients."


Ian called up associates and as an "Internet Evangelist," managed to persuade people who were still quite suspicious of the internet into having websites created for them. The results were astonising for many of them, and this resulted in Ian and his present business partner forming the business partnership that still remains to this day, more than 15 years later. We're proud to say that the majority of clients that we took on in the late 1990's are STILL our clients!


But for Ian, it was not good enough that they just created websites for businesses. He wanted his clients to have a real "web presence" and realized that in order to be found, you needed to have decent rankings in the search engines that existed back in those days. By learning all he could, he helped many of those clients get traffic - and as a result, new business they would have not otherwise had. In 1999, Ian and his team created their first "E-Commerce website" - SSL certificate and all - for another business and will never forget the day the site went live, and while talking to the proprietor of the business that owned the website, the very first ecommerce order was placed, the very day it went live.


Pretty exciting stuff! Especially for a guy that had never touched a computer in his life before the year before, and in those days, there was nothing like the automation, the WordPress plugins, understanding of MySQL databases - everything was hand coded by Ian and his partner.


Those were the days when a decent scanner cost over $500.00 and required a SCSI connection. USB was unheard of. It was a big investment to spend that kind of money on a scanner but was required; clients sent big packages and envelopes stuffed with photos that they wanted on their websites.


But.. to be found! The internet was growing.. how to make sure our clients had traffic - this is what really fascinated Ian.


In the meantime, Ian met Tawnya Sutherland, the founder of VAnetworking.com (prior to her founding this network in 1996) and the two of them, as pioneers, collaborated on some projects together and learned from each other. It was obvious that they both had a similar fascination for this new medium, which even most of their friends did not even understand, and that it would become an amazing way to market businesses and learn as well.


Over the years, Tawnya and Ian went off in their own directions of interest, but sometimes still calling upon each other for consulting. In the meantime, Ian spent a great deal of time watching how search engines worked, experimenting with his own personal web properties before making recommendations and providing SEO services to clients. It was with a lot of admiration that Ian watched Tawnya forge a business, learning herself, passing on what she had learned to others, and do so well.


Today, Ian is still fascinated with search engine algorithm changes, (of course, Google is the main subject of study these days), and helping others get the rankings their high quality sites deserve.


Ian's philosophy is that in order to obtain and then maintain good search engine rankings, you need a good foundation; that starts with your own site, despite what others say. His record speaks for itself, with dozens of websites - some of his business' properties along with clients that have been with him for over a decade, constantly maintaining Page 1 rankings in whatever the major search engine of the time was, or is. Sure, there have been times when rankings have dropped... with over 200 ranking factors alone that are highly secret as far as Google is concerned, and Google's engineers constantly manipulating, tweaking and changing, there will always be movement - but a good foundation will always help in whatever adjustments are needed.


And with all that said, Ian is very proud to be once again working closely with Tawnya, to help her own clients and YOU, our forum members, by providing tips, observations, and interpretations of new updates, researching them, sifting through data, and.. seeing results!


With 15 years of experience in dealing with search engines, their algorythm changes, Ian's motto is "slow and steady" along with "do no harm." He has seen websites suddenly jump to Page 1 after some aggressive SEO, and then sink way further back - and he's been asked to help solve that situation.


His attitude probably comes from the days when he'd run long distance races; sure, you can jump way out ahead and seem to be the person no one can beat...but so often, the slow and steady person ends up getting the gold. And in fact, the person that consisitently takes silver or bronze is far better off than the one that comes out of nowhere, takes gold in a spectacular manner, and then are never to be seen again because their energy was extinguished.


With web properties he has managed for SEO, Ian's attitude is, "It's better to be on Page 1 for years and years, rather than suddenly jump to Page 1 #1, and then just as quickly, never be seen again."


We all want to be #1..
and there is nothing wrong with that. Ben Johnson wanted to be #1 as well, and indeed, he accomplished that! His methods though, were such that being #1 was such a short time, and in the end, he vanished completely. Far better to be consistently at the top, near the top, over time - than a dazzling fireworks, that as quickly as it gets there, disappears for the rest of time.


That is Ian's philosophy, it's worked out for his clients, and for his business' web properties, for over a decade. It's worked across a variety of niches; Ian's business has provided services to medical journals, to those involved in the sporting goods industries, home businesses, local business, children's book authors (including Elizabeth Winthrop and Michael Coleman), and includes Online Reputation Management services.


Ian won't give you fluff. Indeed, after the first Penguin update in April 2012, Ian even suspended some of his clients' monthly billing in order to study and get a good grasp of the bigggest and most challenging algorithmic update Google had ever made in its history. There is no one person, there is no one organization - not even Google - that truly knows scientifically what you need to do in order to rank #1 where you would like to.


Ian knows that somethings that folk swear are dead as far as SEO is not dead. It works on some sites. On other sites and niches though, it does not work at all, and that is the danger of listening to some so called "SEO Expert" that thinks they have it all down; when in fact they have only looked at a very small subset of information. At the same time, no individual or organization has the ability to look at or know the entire subset of information of Google's algorithms. That is where the art comes in, and the motto, "Do no harm."


Ian will answer questions to the best of his ability and time; and also provide some insights, but please excuse him if he is not available right away. But he's very committed to providing tips and help to Tawnya's people, and is honored to do so!


Visit Ian's websites:


PairoWoodies - Web Consulting and Development Company specializing in site design, e-commerce and online visibility.


Ianism Blog - Not Another Sequel!


All About Fly Fishing - Ian's favourite hobby!

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