JasonD Interview

Incoming…… and this time in the guise of an interview with JasonD, who is known for treading both sides of the line. So without further fannying around, here we go.


You are versed in the art of getting publicity, be it crazy Spam Man or the offering of the support of the link analysis tool. For Stangelogic is any publicity good?

Hi Gimpy,
Let me start off by saying thanks for asking me to do this interview, I hope my answers live up to the great standard your previous interviewees have set.

As to getting publicity, I don’t know if I am versed in it but I don’t shy away from it either. As to whether all publicity is good then my answer has to be a resounding no, just ask George Galloway!

Partnerships. Good or is it a case of going it alone and keeping the spoils to yourself?

Partnerships are VERY good, but there has to be a two way street. I get lots of requests to partner with Strange Logic and all of them I investigate but sometimes I have to politely decline the offers. For a partnership to work the 2 (or more) organisations not only need to get a “win” from working with others, but they also need to deliver “more than the sum of the individual parts”

If a partnership is some people working together but the value added by the parties isn’t equal then it is doomed to failure. Just for the record, value isn’t always knowledge, ability, software or money though, It can be a million other things.

Go on share a nugget with us, you may piss off a few people, but if you pick a declining technique you wont get too much heat, or is secrecy the name of the game?

Hmmmmm. Nuggets huh?

How about a Chicken Nugget. Personally I think the best nuggets there are out there are Birds Eye’s Chicken Dippers – Oh, you mean SEO nuggets. OK, let me think.

How about a really simply one that is 99% common and business sense rather than technical. The web using world is greater than the UK and US and outside of those countries they speak languages that aren’t English. Look and investigate those lingual differences in the SERPs.

In fact here is one more. 3rd level PPC companies are a good thing for a certain search engine!

Data mining, is that a big part of what you do, do you do it personally and does it provide real insight. In most cases unless you can analyse the data properly, even the best is virtually useless.

I do a LOT of data gathering and research and yes, for me it shows some VERY REAL insights as to what is happening out there. I do think you’re right though, data without analysis is like Roast Beef without horseradish. It just aint worth bothering with!

Do you think your offer to help out the engines and software providers (link here) will ever been taken up? Why do you think they have declined so far, it has to be a pride thing, no?

I sure hope so. I’m sure the guys at the big engines will get there without me or someone like me eventually, but I am very aware of the problem from all 3 sides (Engine, CMS owner and Spammer) and I believe I have the problem solved algorithmically meaning it can be culled in one clean sweep rather than trying to enforce a non standard that has shown to not work (Link Condoms)

It’s definitely a lot better than the engines have in place at the moment.

As to why they have declined so far, I guess it is partly political. I’m an SEO that hasn’t denounced the dark side. I’m a Brit that doesn’t really want to travel for the fun of it. Could there well be more reasons. I’m pretty sure there are and if I had made private, rather than public contact I guess the response may have been different.

Who knows what the future holds though and the offer is still open 

If you were running the show, what would you do, clearly the results are not that good on all three, and don’t even mention arbing and overture. How would you clean up this town?

I have some answers to some problems but personally I wouldn’t want to run the show nor do I have answers to all the questions. I’m happier working as a side act to the main event  my SEO to the big boys’ search engines.

Arbing, specifically PPC arbing is a double headed sword for the engines. Commercial, money making interests –v- public perception of search quality. Google rule the roost in this area. Keep your own results pretty clean and abuse the competition. Thankfully it’s still possible to abuse Google and just for the fun of it I like to assist Yahoo in earning some money from it. I see it as my small way of redressing the balance 

What is the ratio of clean to dirty within Strangelogic and how do you ensure you don’t get a good shoeing on your clean stuff?

Most of what we do is so clean it could be used as soap, even by Doug. At the same time there is still a large quantity of sites that we control that could be seen as dirty. Just for the record, I do get dumped on clean stuff as well as dirty, but over the last year or 2 more clean gets dumped than dirty, but a lot of that is probably down to making my dirty stuff look cleaner rather than my clean becoming dirtier.

I fell really sorry for the guys n gals and that have all their eggs in one or two clean sites but at the end of the day we must all recognise that this is a business that is controlled by 3 boys and if you don’t prepare for the worst then you will die a speedy death when the inevitable happens.

What is your technical preference, in terms of platform, hardware etc. I know you like perl (grrrrrr) but what else do you use. Tell us about your ideal box.

I love Perl. I always have and with Perl6 coming out I think it will continue. For me, there is not a more flexible and robust language for rapid development. We generally code in Perl, prove the systems and processes and if necessary for speed we recode in C.

Our platforms are 100% Linux with our own clustered distribution, employing hundreds of nodes, that we have number & data crunching all day long. We keep saying that Widget Nix will be released to the world but so many things get in the way and enhancements occur to the OS that it hasn’t happened yet. Watch this space

What is the biggest seo/coding type mistake you have made and what lessons were learned.

I have never made an SEO mistake, I simply have SEO learning experiences that the engines deliver to me! LOL

My biggest coding mistake was the Church of Heil fiasco and what I learnt is there are times to shut up rather than respond.

I asked DaveN if he looked for flaws in the search engines. So I feel it is only fair to ask you the same thing. Being a good SEO is about being aware of changes, even trying to predict. Pushing the boundaries it about taking it that step further, do you go out looking for flaws, do you share them with mates, do you experiment, what is your angle?

I try as many different scenarios as I can hypothetically cover (which is quite a few thousand at any one time). I try to look at what might be happening and pre-empt the engines deploying it. I look for problems, because once I understand that, the system simply has to be deployed to counter it.

When there is an algo change, I go back to my previous work and hope the answer is there. So far it always has been, though not always perfect, but what many of us forget is we don’t need to beat the engines. We simply need to beat the guy at #2
I share quite a bit with mates but not everything and the main reason is a spark of inspiration can come back (and often does) in return. I know some amazing guys n gals in this industry (You’re one of them Rich) and sometimes a question someone else has, for totally obscure reasons, can start a chain of events that lead to some great ideas. Only yesterday someone said something that has my mind racing with possibilities. Because of that, unrelated question, I have new software that is being built right now that will dramatically change one area of my work – Thank you Adam!

My overall angle is actually quite simple 1.61803399 degrees

My parting comment will have to be if you want to learn about search engines then build one and make it one that has to encounter the same problems as the big boys. You may choice to keep your search engine in house only, but once you’ve seen the shit the likes of Matt and Tim have to deal with algorithmically then you’ll respect the problems they have to deliver answers to and learn how to deal with their answers yourself.


Jason, thanks for taking the time to do this little Q&A, I know I found it interesting and it was appreciated.

Any interested in finding out more about JasonD, can go to his site StrangeLogic or catch him around the forums.

ukgimp out

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