Welcome to the team; Annabel Hodges

I’m so excited to welcome the wonderful Annabel Hodges aka Search Panda to the SEO-Chicks blogging crew. We’ve been eyeing her up for ages thinking she is probably crazy enough to become one of the SEO Chicks, and turns out she is. Yay!


We asked Annabel a few questions before “hiring” her into the crew of course, some very qualifying, difficult and important questions:

1. How did you get into SEO?
I was a translator back in the day and getting very very bored of it. I started trying to learn a little more about search and analytics in my spare time as my housemate got me interested in it and I got hooked. I then got a job with a small design/development agency who had just won some multinational clients and had a choice: train linguists up in search or train search marketers to speak other languages. Simple decision!

2. What makes your SEO heart tick? Two things mainly: 1. Data. And by that I mean those times when you really manage to get some juicy findings that suddenly change the way you look at what you’ve been doing.

2. Direct input/output of work. Over the years I’ve realised it’s pretty rare to be in a job where you have that satisfaction. On your own sites, if not your clients. You always get to tweak and learn and change and see, monitoring the direct impact of what you do and inputting back into that cycle. So many people work in a job where their day-to-day efforts get lost in a bigger machine.

3. Do you like Adam Ant or even know who he is? (only Julie cares about this)
Anyone who gave us Stand and Deliver deserves to be liked. That and his cameo in Northern Exposure.

4. Rock or Pop?
Hmm tough one. I’d have to go rock. Give me a good dose of guitar fuzz anyday. (Having said that, I’m never one to turn down a well produced pop song. Where would the world be without it?!)

5. What does feminism mean to you?
Oddly, quite a lot although I hate it when people bang on about it all the time. I’ve never been a particularly girly girl but I have dealt with a fair amount of stereotyping and pre-conceptions over the years, which have made me a feminist at heart. One thing I would say is ‘never judge a book by its cover’. I may like fashion and own too many shoes, it doesn’t mean I can’t hold my own. I also have a solid knowledge of Marvel comic book characters and Bruce Lee movies – what does that signify? You can wear makeup and a skirt while still being a technical/analytical person – despite some common beliefs, the two are not mutually exclusive.

6. Robot dance or ballet?
Robot dance every time. That and I do a great foot shuffle. It’s my main party trick. I’m far too clumsy for the likes of ballet.

7. Why the Pandas?
I’m half Chinese but don’t really look it which has always been a source of slight bemusement to my family. When I was about 5 one of my aunts gave me a porcelain panda and we went to Beijing Zoo to see them. It made a lasting impression as a way of feeling more part of my Asian culture somehow! That and they’re totally ridiculous. I have a love of ridiculous, clumsy animals. I empathise.

8. What did you want to be when you were little?
Janet Jackson’s backing dancer. It would have been a dream come true. Then until I was 18 or so, a vet. But I realised the amount of time and money it would take to achieve were pretty ridiculous, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to have my hand up a cow’s arse for the rest of my working life.

9. Who’s your Obi Wan Kenobi?
Erm Obi Wan Kenobi himself would do. Other than that (and all the SEO Chicks of course ), I’d say people like some of the women who’ve made it at Google – Vanessa Fox, Marissa Mayer et al. Simply because it’s a tough place to be and they proved themselves. Oh and my Mum. I’m pretty sure she’d take Obi Wan down in a fight.

10. What do you think of becoming an SEO Chick?
I’m an SEO. I’m a Chick. And I’m pretty damn proud to be both of those things so hell, seems like a natural conclusion!

So there you have it, the proof is in the pudding (or the questions in this case). Annabel is an awesome panda rocking, robot dancing, cartoon loving, translating SEO – who will ‘stand and deliver’ the SEO awesomeness to a screen near you. Wilkommen, beinvenue, WELCOME!