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Hi, I'm Michael Torbert, lead developer of All in One SEO Pack

Apr. 28, 2016

Most of you know me as the lead developer for All in One SEO Pack, but to my wife I’m just a Star Trek geek. I currently live in North Carolina, but am originally from Virginia. I’ve had a variety of work experiences before WordPress, including a network operations center engineer, working for a SAAS forms company (before there was Gravity Forms), and then my own Semper Fi Web Design (http://semperfiwebdesign.com), before I launched a variety of commercial plugins, most of which are on semperplugins.com (some are hosted elsewhere, and others were sold).

I started playing with WordPress in 2007, but really got into the community in 2008. I started traveling all over to go to WordCamps, and have been organizing the Raleigh WordPress meetup group and WordCamp Raleigh since 2009 and 2010, respectively. You’ll find me often in the .org forums, helping out where I can.
I’ve even gotten my wife into the WordPress world lately. She’s a project translation editor for Tibetan and Chinese on translate.wordpress.org.

Feel free to ask me any questions you have about WordPress stuff, but there is a lot more to me than just WordPress. Outside the office, I love to travel, fly my DJI quadcopters, eat foods from all over, Audis, college football, my Nikon, and so much more.

Comment
26 votes   Flag
Aca

Hello Michael, and Welcome!

Do you have a secret plan to release a new plugin or will the All in one SEO remain the flagship in your plugin fleet?

Kind Regards

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Michael Torbert

Hi Alek,

At the moment, All in One SEO is going to remain the flagship. We have a handful of other plugins (not all are related to SEO), and will be coming out with more in the not too distant future, in addition to some more for SEO.

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Vova Feldman

Hi Michael, was great chatting with you at PressNomics! I didn't have the chance to ask you how did you start with All in One SEO. What's the story behind the plugin?

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Michael Torbert

Hi Vova,

It was great talking to you at PressNomics this year as well. That’s what I love about that conference, meeting smart people doing innovative things. :)

The first developer of All in one SEO Pack was a developer who went by the name of Uberdose, launched in early 2007. About a year later I took the project over, and eventually built a team and community around it. The Pro version launched in late 2009, and helped paved the way for the commercial plugin industry. Then in 2011, we launched semperplugins.com as its new home.

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Vova Feldman

Thanks for the details. I'll hit you with another two if you don't mind :)

- What is your favorite thing in running a product in the WP ecosystem vs. other environments?
- On the contrary, what you don't like in running a WP product?

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Michael Torbert

We have an awesome community. In some way's the community has a small-town feel to it, even though there are so many of us and we're spread out all over the world. Most everyone is approachable. Whether you want to contact me about AIOSEOP, or a core WP dev, you can do it easily. I'd say that's pretty amazing. If you use Photoshop on a Mac, good luck contacting Tim Cook, the developers of OS X, or the developers of Photoshop for OS X.


.org isn't really set up to be commercial plugin-friendly.

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Omaar Osmaan

Hello Michael, nice meeting you- :)

What is your biggest pain points, if any, for running All in one SEO Pack that may bother you time to time?

Thank you.

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Michael Torbert

Hi Omaar,

Supporting for a plugin with millions of free users can be difficult. We get a lot of phone calls, emails, social media messages, support forum requests (on both .org and our own site) every day. It can be overwhelming. We actually had to get a second phone line at the office and hire someone new to answer the phones.
We're constantly improving our methods and getting more efficient though, and hopefully will learn how to better encourage people seeking support to becoming paying customers. :)

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Omaar Osmaan

Thanks Michael for the insight- :)

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Vladimir Prelovac

Hi Michael

Glad to have you here.

Top WP plugin space (1+ mn active installs) is certainly very interesting. Is it all fair game and best product will win or you need to work hard to maintain this position? Can you tell us a bit more how this looks from your perspective?

Second question, can you imagine a conference one day around the topic of WordPress SEO?

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Michael Torbert

Hi Vladimir,

1) I'd say a little of both, and the latter can feed the former. The SEO plugin space has changed a lot over the years. I've seen others come and go. I could write an entire blog post on this topic. :)

2) That would be awesome! Most WordCamps and some Meetups will have an SEO topic, but to have an entire conference dedicated to SEO for WordPress would be great.

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Rebecca Gill

I would so LOVE a conference about WordPress SEO. Bring it!

Reply
Michael Torbert

So... put you down as my co-organizer? ;)

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Rebecca Gill

I think you could. Not only do I love the concept, I like you so it's a double win. =)

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Michael Torbert

Ditto!

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Nemanja Aleksic

Thank you for being on our AMA, Michael!

You're a Marine Corps veteran. How did you go from that to WordPress? Did any of the skills you picked up in the Marines prove handy in your entrepreneurial career?

Reply
Michael Torbert

Hi Nemanja,

Thank you for having me!

I actually didn't learn any practical skills that apply to this field. My expertise with the M240G, .50 Cal, or MK19 machine guns rarely come in handy these days. ;)
I'd say I got a great work ethic, etc... but I've been working hard since I was a teenager, and was fortunate to have great bosses early on.

After I got out of the USMC, I started school and worked as a network operations center engineer, and started doing dev on the side. Eventually I discovered WordPress and fell in love.

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Nemanja Aleksic

Kirk, Picard, Sisco or Janeway?

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Michael Torbert

Great question.l I've given this a lot of thought over the years. My favorite is a toss-up between Picard and Sisko, probably leaning toward Picard. Janeway has grown on me over the years though. This may upset a lot of people, but the best thing Kirk has going for him is that he came first. Don't forget Archer. I actually liked him. :)

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Nemanja Aleksic

I already feel dirty for putting Janeway next to the rest, don't push it with Archer :D

If Federation crumbled, which major player would you like to see in charge?

Reply
Michael Torbert

Nobody. I'm a voluntaryist. :)

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Lena Waryńska

Wow, this SEO pack seems absolutely amazing. I can see that you have a lot of knowledge about that. Thank you for sharing with us!

Reply
Michael Torbert

Thanks Lena! :)

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Ilan Lagnado

Aloha Michael. Ilan is here with www.myparadisemassage.com doing SEO on my website. Right now I am optimizing my site for better ranking, therefore choosing keywords to focus on. I hope my question is in the right place :)

How do I incorporate a keyword that is not proper English in the body text of a page? For example, let's assume "massage maui" is a great keyword with more demand and less supply, therefore, I want to optimize my page for it. How do I incorporate "massage maui" in the text body, titles, headers of my page, especially since it is not a proper way of speaking English?

Second question: will "massage in maui" keyword optimize my page for "massage maui" or "maui massage" as well as "massage in maui"?

Thank you so much :)

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