May 26 2018

Look Who’s Talking: AJ Aviado

Posted by Charisma Felix , ,

It’s that time of the week again! We’re now turning the spotlight to one of OOm’s heroes (or maybe a villain, depends on what he likes) of Search Engine Optimization. He is the most tenure member of OOm Philippines in terms length of stay (and age). For some, he may look like an average introvert geek on the street, but in reality… he’s more than that.

World Wide Web, please welcome our Senior Strategist, AJ Aviado

Describe your role at OOm.

I’m the team lead for our SP department. I’m also one of three strategists in the team that guides our link builders to meet the goals of each campaign. Together with my strategists, I do mostly onsite file preparations and various recommendations that are needed to be passed to the clients via our awesome AM team. I have extra tasks too like assigning accounts to us all, and do my best that the number of accounts are equal. Maybe it’s a Libra thing. But also I don’t want to overload one or two members. I plan to spread the workload equally. SEO together, die together. Y’know what I’m sayin’?


In a nutshell, tell us why Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is important for any brand that has an online presence?

SEO is in a lot of ways like a more modern advertising made for websites. And let’s be honest, every business that thrives in this day and age has a website. Or two, if you’re a clinic that has a lot of services. Old school advertising is still here but it isn’t as effective in making brands explode, like when the Internet still wasn’t a thing. Today, everyone is plugged in and on the Internet. That’s the new environment now, and businesses and large brands that know how to adapt will live on. That’s where SEO comes in. It’s not really a super specialized thing. If for example you know how to use tags and how to write a good title and description for your blog post or even on a YouTube video, and that post or video has content that’s actually informative or better, entertaining, it is already a form of optimization for search engines.
Tell us something about the toughest and the easiest account you’ve handled.

There was one where the site only had one page. And all the other parts of a normal website are all just on it. It doesn’t go to other pages because well… it didn’t have any. Man that sucked. Rankings sucked too, but no matter how much I recommend to add more pages they just wouldn’t do it. Which is a normal thing. Sometimes we can’t do certain things on certain websites. It instead had product pages. Which is okay, but you really need to have all that basic parts like an About Us or Contact Us page.
Then the easiest one was this airplane events site. I actually forgot. But, dude, that was so long ago, I think that’s 2013 or 2014. It was a really popular event so the rankings was always on first page. A little link building was enough to keep their rankings up. I think that’s kind of cheating for me.
If you were to be in the shoes of a popular superhero for a day, who would it be and what would you do?

I waited 30 years of my life for this question. Lol. I like heroes, but I’m more of a villain guy. But to answer the question first, I really like anything that’s got limits to their power. Like for example:


Kamen Rider Black (1987)


Superheroes that have unlimited power bore me. Plus they easily beat villains which isn’t fair. Which brings us to the villains. It’s not that I’m a bad person, but for some reason I relate to them more. Their struggles sometimes mirror mine like:
The Joker

Darth Vader


Kylo Ren
And I’ll stop there before this article turns into a geekfest.


What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

I vlog, occasionally? And I say that because YouTube’s policies and algorithm is so damn weird lately that it’s not really that satisfying. You film a lot of material, edit it for hours, make it really funny as best you can and get excited, but when you post it no one watches it, lol. (*mumbles “pls subscribe”)


Where else do you usually spend time hanging out, if you’re not in the office or at home?

This might sound sad but I don’t hang out outside! Haha. Though I ride my bike during Sundays. I’m more of a hermit. I used to hang out with my friends in coffee shops, but they all have work and families now.
Cat or Dog? Why?

What an evil question. I like them both. But I did started out as a Cat person. Then we adopted our dog Charly and blew away all my doubts and fears about dogs. I did get chased by a scary black dog when I was younger, hence the trauma.
What’s your guilty pleasure?

Other than answering questionnaires about me which feeds my inner narcissist, it’s mostly listening to music other than rock or metal. I mean, I know people will classify me immediately because I wear my hair long (and wear black all the time). But a little 80’s synthwave, Industrial, film OST’s, Joji, Ghostemane, Rich Brian, or Childish Gambino wouldn’t hurt. Music is just music. There shouldn’t be like a barrier separating people. But yeah, on my band we play Rock music. I also just don’t want to listen to the same thing all the time.
How do you see the Search industry in the next 5 years?

I’m actually wondering why there still isn’t any courses in college for SEO. It’s a thing that can be taught in schools, honestly. But in the coming years, I see it moving towards optimizing performance more on devices. It already started, but it’s not that wide spread, in my opinion. Mobile devices are evolving fast too, and websites need to be optimized wherever device they might appear on. A lot of sites still aren’t adapting themselves for mobile use. But that will change in the coming years. Then there’s the part where A.I. will be incorporated in all of this one day soon. Which makes me wish that we all still have jobs by that time.


What do you love about OOm?

I’ve been here since 2013. And it’s interesting for me to witness how it grows and evolves like a living entity together with all the people in it. You see and discover traits you never knew people had. And it is still happening even after all these years. Their resilience and hidden talents are like those hidden extra pages of a book you never had a chance to turn. On my side here in the Philippines, it’s definitely the same. When you get to go and eat out with them and have a few drinks, they become like an extension of my life. I have very few friends. And though I’d rather stay home, spending time with them is deeply rewarding. So to answer what I love about OOm, it’s the people that make it run.
Did that sound too long and dramatic? lol


And…. here’s an artistic representation of OOm’s Strategic Planning Team. (Illustration by AJ Aviado)