Martin Splitt – Google

Martin Splitt is a developer advocate at the Google Search Relations team in Zurich, Switzerland.
He works with SEOs and developers to make sure websites are built-in robust, successful ways.


WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN THE TECHNICAL SEO INDUSTRY AND HOW DID THIS LEAD YOU TO JOIN GOOGLE? 

I worked as a software engineer and did a lot of work on web projects. I always worked with SEOs and learned most of the things I know by listening, reading, doing, failing and doing better. Eventually, when Google reached out to me about this opportunity, I thought “This might be interesting!”. In a conversation with the team over lunch, they told me what it’d look like and I was excited… and here I am 🙂


WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU NOW?

What is a “typical day” these days? Most likely I get up, have breakfast, go for a bike ride or swim, then do a bunch of work and then either play video games or read in the evenings. Kinda boring, but hey – at least happy and healthy!


WHAT’S A PROBLEM THAT YOU’RE PASSIONATELY TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?

My absolute favorite is to figure out how to bridge the gap between developers and SEOs. I think there is a lot of interaction between the two fields, yet both sides act like the other side is a bunch of aliens from another planet. I’m exploring the misconceptions and misunderstandings and trying to shift the focus towards the common goals and common knowledge, so both professions get to benefit from each other’s strengths instead.


YOU RAN THE FIRST VIRTUAL WEBMASTER UNCONFERENCE A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, WOULD YOU MIND SHARING WITH US ANY KEY TAKEAWAYS AND YOUR PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS?

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Organising events is always absolutely frightening, let me tell you that! Especially, when it’s a new and very interactive format as we created with the Virtual Webmaster Unconference. My highlight was to work with Aurora Morales, who is absolutely amazing, smart, tough and magical. She helped me turn this wild idea into a successful event. The single biggest takeaway is that, despite all the terrible things that people do and say online, there are amazing, bright, friendly folks out there and having over 100 of them in the event was an inspiring and empowering moment. We see that we need to run these more often, across different time zones and with people from various teams at Google Search.


WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT RIGHT NOW IN TERMS OF INDUSTRY AND/PERSONAL PROJECTS OR INITIATIVES YOU’RE WORKING ON? – ON A SIDE NOTE, I LOVE THE WEATHER TWITTER BOT FOR SWITZERLAND YOU MADE USING EMOJIS, SO IF YOU TALKED ABOUT THAT TOO I WOULDN’T MIND EITHER 🙂

That’s something very unrelated – I’m on my way to becoming a PADI Divemaster and while I’m quite nervous about that decision, I’m also very happy to be on that path. The bot, by the way isn’t mine – that’s from Fabien Millet. It’s fun, isn’t it?


HOW DO YOU VIEW THE FUTURE OF TECHNICAL SEO AND THE BROADER SEARCH AND WEB ECOSYSTEM?

I think we’re going to see more work in terms of creating a well-lit path for people to create web content without making common mistakes. It’ll be important to provide people with tested, proven strategies as well as technologies to express themselves in the online ecosystem – a huge challenge, considering that folks with wildly varying skills, backgrounds and interests intersect here.

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