Ammon Johns - The Search Community Honors You

Dec 8, 2017 - 7:35 am 9 by
Filed Under Honor An SEO/SEM

Ammon Johns

This is part of the say something nice about an SEO/SEM series - feel free to nominate someone over here.

Ammon Johns, 51 years old, lives in the southwest part of England. He has been working in the Internet space since the early 90s and has been someone in our industry how has been though of as a thought leader since the late 90s. In fact, I've written about Ammon and his contributions here countless times - he is a true leader.

Ammon Johns has been a mentor and advisor to so many in our industry mostly through his contributions in online forums and social media but also on video hangouts, at search events and within agencies as well. His alias back in the day was Black Knight and it still honestly suits him well because of his deep technical understanding and ethical manner in which he delivers his advice.

Ammon was nominated by two legends in their own right.

Doc Sheldon had this to say about Ammon:

Besides the obvious fact that Ammon Johns (known by those who've been around long enough as Black Knight) has been around since long before SEO had a name? He's worked in the toughest niche markets and has probably forgotten more than most of us will ever know about SEO. Moreover, he is more than willing to share his knowledge with those willing to learn.

Nick Wilsdon said:

Ammon has always given so much time back to the SEO/SEM community. He's someone who loves to teach and help people. I found this out for myself when I met him in 1998 for a session of SEO instruction. He inspired me with his understanding of landing pages and conversion pathways beyond the simple journey via the home page. I still remember the diagrams he drew to illustrate the theory, which was well ahead of it's time. Ammon is one the great thinkers in the industry, who has helped to build up the library of knowledge that we are now lucky enough to work from. As we enter into a new professional and scientific age for search, driven by data - we should thank the life's work of SEOs like Ammon Johns for making that possible.

I personally learned a tremendous amount from Ammon, like Kim and some of the others we mentioned already, he is one of the reasons this site is exists today.

Ammon Johns Bio: Ammon Johns was born in London, UK, in 1966. Higher powers, worried at showing so much favouritism to the UK, took away England's ability to win another World Cup in soccer to compensate. Given that he had a couple of decades to wait before the Web was even invented, he had a wide variety of jobs without ever quite finding something to make a career of. When Ammon finally began working with the Internet in the 90s, he came with a very broad range of skills and experience. By 1996 he had stopped building sites as a webmaster for clients and switched to fulfill their demand for more customers, and called himself a specialist Web Marketing Consultant.

What is remarkable about Ammon is not just that he's had a long career in a field not particularly known for long careers. Nor is it just that he has somehow always seemed to be years ahead of the curve. It isn't even the oft spoken of generosity, and the fact that he helped so many of the most famous names in our industry get started, or develop their careers acting as a mentor for so many. It is that he has retained so much humility - still blushing when people call him an expert, or even a legend, (despite both labels being frequently applied).

Affectionately termed 'The SEOs SEO', Ammon is one of the trusted sources that other SEOs will go to for advice or a second opinion. The testimonials on his site's pages read like a "Who's Who" of the Search Marketing industry.

On a more personal side, Ammon is an avid movie buff, loves pizza enough to fight ninja turtles for it, and (and I can't believe he submitted this) is an amazing lover who is currently single ... sheesh.

If you didn't know, Ammon is well known for a wicked sense of humour, whether it is his fast one-liners, or doing a Q&A with Google folks with a dancing panda in his background.

Check out the weekly video-streamed hangouts with Bill Slawski and others, known as "Bill and Ammon's Bogus Hangout" on Google+ and YouTube.

Favorite thing about the SEO community? The diversity, and the acceptance of that diversity. Sure, it has it's downsides, like the fact that organising SEOs is like trying to herd cats, and also that something that has all types has *all* types, including the bad. However, there's an amazing level of acceptance and tolerance in the main. Perhaps it is simply because SEOs had to learn from other SEOs, and as such there's a true 'society' aspect of individuals collaborating for mutual wellbeing, but whatever the cause, there is a genuine camaraderie that I've never truly found elsewhere. I'm enough of a socialist to really appreciate that.

One piece of advice to the SEOs out there? If I had to give only *one* piece of advice then it would absolutely have to be this: NEVER settle for one piece of advice! :) Seriously, almost every possible aspect of SEO has so many variables, so many options and conditions to weigh up to find what is optimal for you, in the precise moment and circumstance, that you absolutely need to consider as many options as possible. Always. The more information you have, and the more perspectives, the better informed and enabled your decisions and approaches will be.

You know how 'one size fits all' is always a lie, in that it is never a true 'fit'? I mean, sure, it'll go on most things, but its a lot different to something that is truly fitted and made to measure. Well, that's as true with SEO as most other things. More so, even, when you consider what the O stands for. To be optimal, something has to be truly tailored specifically to the individual case and circumstance. One size fits all will never cut it in any competition. There's no technique, tactic, or approach that is always optimal - so never settle for only one piece of advice, one item meant to fit all.

Favorite things in general? I already mentioned pizza, and I'll overlook asking a guy known as *Black* Knight what his favourite colour might be... Let's be bluntly honest here, my absolute favourite thing to do involves someone a lot prettier and more female than you, Barry. But a very close second is learning. I love to learn new things, and always have. I always want to know more, to have even more options to consider. When you stop learning, fall down - you're dead.

What you want to be known for in the SEO space? Whatever I've contributed. There's no particular 'title' or 'persona' I've ever tried for, or am ever likely to. I just do what I do and am content for people to know, remember and judge me on that. For some, who knew me back in the really early, pioneering years, that's what they know me for - pioneering and trailblazing. For some, including yourself, Rand, and others, they know me as a generous teacher and mentor, of the kind that never sets himself as superior to those he helps. Some always commented on the sheer breadth and depth of knowledge, especially when they followed me over considerable time, and saw how I could just answer almost anything from the top of my head. That was always remarked on a lot during the years when I was an admin at Cre8asite Forums and giving help on a huge variety of things in real-time. More than a few quite well-known SEOs insist on referring to me as a 'legend' - I think because I've simply always been someone they heard stories about. Many others have commented on my insistence on the big picture, and the broader spectrum of marketing when fitting SEO into that bigger picture seamlessly. And some just know me as Ammon, a friend, and with all the simplicity (and complexity) of that.

Ultimately, I don't mind what I'm known for, as long as I earned and deserved it. :)

You can learn a bit more about Ammon on his personal site, on Twitter or LinkedIn or by just Googling his name.

Thank you Ammon for everything you have given to the community, we are in debt to your contributions!

This is part of the say something nice about an SEO/SEM series - feel free to nominate someone over here.


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