February 23, 2022, is a regular Wednesday for Ukrainian marketers and SEO specialists.
We had morning coffee and conducted a technology audit, built some links, and changed some landing pages.
We strive for better visibility and conversions, work hard to maintain deadlines, and hope to achieve our KPIs.
Then, on February 24, the whole of Ukraine woke up in a fragile and scary new world.
Our plans, aspirations, and priorities changed.
From that day on, the only thing that matters is to save our family lives, help those who need to survive the turmoil of war, and defend our right to live freely on our own earth.
For this column, my team reached out to eight Ukrainian SEO and marketing specialists and asked them to share their experiences over the time since our world turned upside down.
Apparently they all have one thing in common: in a world that is broken full of painful uncertainty, they have drawn the power of helping others and contributing to the future prosperity of Ukraine.
- 1 Bringing Accurate News To Russian People
- 2 Volunteering 24/7 To Help Those In Need
- 3 Helping Ukrainian SEOs Find New Jobs
- 4 Saving Ukrainian Four-Legged Cuties
- 5 Protecting Ukrainian Land In The Armed Forces
- 6 Fighting A Cyberwar Via SEO Community Chat
- 7 Helping Ukrainian Families In Need
- 8 Building A Strong Community Of Marketing Heroes For Mutual Support
- 9 How You Can Help Colleagues In Ukraine
Bringing Accurate News To Russian People
Artem Pylypets is Head of SEO at SEO7, lecturer, and founder of the educational YouTube channel “кола SEO” (School of SEO).
Before the war began, Artem’s life was all about doing his SEO and sharing his knowledge with others.
He heads the SEO department at SEO7, runs his YouTube channel called “кола SEO” (“SEO School), and conducts online training on SEO issues.
Now, Artem does all the same things, but to the sound of artillery shots.
The war caused many challenges to his work. SEO7 team members are now spread across Europe since many people had to flee their homes.
They try to facilitate its operation, but it is not easy.
Besides that, many SEO7 customers seized their operations, which left the team struggling to stay afloat with some clients who targeted the US and European markets.
Artem himself lives on the outskirts of Kiev. He admitted that he used to listen to artillery fire and added that it was “not heavy.”
The surrounding community has set up roadblocks, and people keep them on shift to control the situation.
Image source: Author. The photo on the left was taken three months before the war began. T -shirt Artem said, “Content becomes better if there are backlinks.” The photo on the right shows a road barrier with a bag of sand, one of Artem’s new workplaces.
“It’s very true I see how the war unites our fellow Ukrainians. The way we help each other, the way we fight for our land, is amazing.
At the same time, I must admit that I prefer to have a peaceful sky above my head.
Like many other SEO specialists, Artem decided to use his SEO skills to help Ukraine win the informational war.
The goal was to help Russian search engine users see the true story of the war and not false official propaganda. For this to happen, he has been working on increasing international media visibility in the Russian SERPs.
When the war ended, Artem planned to continue building his business and hoped to launch all the projects he wanted but never had the time.
He hopes to read some good news – not reporting a rise in casualties and damage in Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, Mariupol, and other cities.
All he dreams of is to celebrate the victory of Ukraine with his closest friends.
Volunteering 24/7 To Help Those In Need
Andrey Kapeltsov is the founder of SEO.Capital and a keynote speaker at the leading SEO, Affiliate, and iGaming conferences in Ukraine. He has mastered SEO for the past 18 years and is constantly looking for new ways to keep search algorithms updated.
Since 2015, he is interested in the iGaming industry, working as CMO at a major gaming and betting company.
Due to the specific nature of Ecological iGaming, SEO has always been at the core of every marketing strategy Andrey developed.
Today, Andrey tries to serve the country and its people in every way possible.
Some of his company’s employees lived in cities that were destroyed by the Russian army – Andrey helped them escape to a safer place.
Today, he continues to help evacuate people from coral cities in the front lines to settlements in the central and western parts of Ukraine.
With employees moved to a safer place, Andrey decided to restore his company’s operations to support the Ukrainian economy – an effort to provide donations to the Ukrainian armed forces.
Also, they have established a charitable foundation to support families and volunteers who have gone missing.
In addition to helping financially, Andrey and his colleagues spent the afternoon at the humanitarian aid center to unload the goods.
Andrey says that such physical activities can work and go to the gym.
Image source: Author. Portraits of Andrey in peaceful times and photos of current volunteer activities.
“What interests me is how war forces us to quickly make the process complicated – seemingly unattainable in times of peace.
I still sometimes face difficulty finding special military equipment, but my friends and new acquaintances always help me out.
I enjoyed meeting a lot of great people in the last few weeks.
Andrey notes that his life before the war started seems very distant and fuzzy. He has a feeling that war lasts forever but has found a role that works for him and is ready to continue.
When it is completed, Andrey plans to continue to develop his business and actively assist in helping Ukraine recover.
He hopes to spend time living on the sea side, where only the sound of the sea waves. But first, Ukraine must win.
Helping Ukrainian SEOs Find New Jobs
Olesia Korobka is an SEO entrepreneur who ran several projects before the war started. He offers guidance and consulting to businesses and runs several projects alone that are sponsored by third parties.
Unfortunately, he had to stop working with many sponsors because of his home country.
That left her with most consultants. He can now accompany his duties, but temporarily cannot work because the internet connection is slow.
Olesia, his son, and his mother are among the 4 million Ukrainians who must flee to earth.
First, they move to Poland and then to the Netherlands, where he can awfully re -work, which he admits is difficult.
“My brain is reluctant to focus on complex technical tasks.
After operating in survival mode for a while, the first time I looked into coding, I spent a few hours for a task that took me 5 to 15 minutes in advance, and I was still not sure if I was right.
At the same time, working on his projects is something he needs a lot. That’s the only thing that helps Olesia feel that he’s okay and make a positive impact.
Image source: Author. Selfie made of life ‘before’ on the left, another selfie made on the bus to Amsterdam (right), and a photo taken at the refugee center.
What inspired her was a new project she organized to support the Ukrainian SEO community. Since the war began, many people have approached Olesia to ask for help finding a new job. Many Ukrainian SEO specialists lose their only source of income and feel desperate.
This is how Olesia got the idea to create a list of Ukrainian SEOs who briefly describe their skills and areas of expertise.
He contacted Aleyda Solis with a request to share the list on his Twitter and in the #SEOFOMO newsletter, and Aleyda kindly supported the initiative.
Then, Olesia began to receive messages from different companies that opened to hire Ukrainians, so he compiled a list of job vacancies.
As more and more experts and businesses accompanied the initiative, the spreadsheet became a mess. So, Olesia is currently working on creating several web sites that target entrepreneurs in Australia, the US, and European countries specifically.
Once its site is up and running, the job search and employment process should be easier.
Olesia dreams the war will end so she can go home.
He misses normal life with people.
Olesia adds that many Ukrainians have to deal with PTSD after the war and will not live a normal life anytime soon.
However, he was determined to keep his chin and continue his projects. Olesia also called on all who supported him in the past few weeks.
“Soooooo many people are helping me. It’s amazing and kind of even uncomfortable. I’ve never experienced that in my life and never expected that.
I kind of felt guilty, but also very calling. Thank you all for your support and input.
I can’t find the right words to thank you all, but I call a lot for all.
Saving Ukrainian Four-Legged Cuties
Anton Shulke is Head of Influencer marketing at Duda.co and livestream production manager.
Since 2015, Anton has hosted live events, webinars, and podcasts for leading companies in the SEO industry, such as Duda, Semrush, and Kalicube.
Duda – Anton’s latest employer – is not a Ukrainian company and is not directly affected (although the company has about a dozen employees in Ukraine).
Anton offered paid time when the war started, but he preferred to keep working, so he still did a webinar a week.
On top of that, Anton joins the Ukrainian SEO community to help people affected by trying to arrange accommodation, seek job opportunities, or provide direct financial assistance.
Anton was amazed by the reaction of the Ukrainian SEO community. He always believed there were many good people but did not expect to see such overwhelming support for the less fortunate.
Anton added that he felt honored to be a part of that.
He also started a small charity project to raise funds for cat and dog shelters, which you can learn and support here.
“I decided to help small shelters because I thought they could be on the radar of large charities, which tend to help children, refugees, and soldiers.
I receive messages from people who run shelters, and they seem surprised and call a lot for the assistance that I provide, which gives me motivation to continue.
The difficult part is that when initially the reaction from people is very positive and giving, donations have dried up in time.
But, I understand that people are tired, and I can’t blame them.
Image source: Author. Anton and his cat and drank traditional morning coffee
Anton hopes to keep his job at Duda, but he also considers more effort into charitable initiatives.
He will likely maintain a cat and dog shelter project, although the format may change.
The other thing he hopes is coffee with all the attractive people who message him on Facebook.
Every day, Anton posts ‘Good Morning’ with #coffeeshot on his Facebook page. In response, many people said that they would like to have a coffee with him.
Protecting Ukrainian Land In The Armed Forces
Eugene Lata is the CMO at Lemon.io and an experienced marketer who has spent the past seven years building a marketing team and developing a growth strategy.
Until January 2022, he was CMO at SerpStat, an SEO tools company based in Odessa.
He had started a new job in the Lemon.io market shortly before the war began.
In the early days of the war, Eugene decided to join the defense forces covered by Odesa, and now he is a member of the 122nd brigade.
Because of Eugene’s prior experience, he became a paramedic administrator on the material supply squadron.
This means he is responsible for training other paramedics and forming special evacuation and emergency brigades.
Such a brigade consisted of one paramedic and four attacking soldiers. They worked at the front lines to evacuate wounded soldiers and civilians.
Luckily, right now, there is no need to evacuate civilians in the area where Eugene is located.
In addition to training paramedics, he trained various military units on NATO methodology for providing first aid.
Image source: Author. Eugene served in the area defense forces and photographed him and his labrador dog before the war began
This is not the first time Eugene decided to join the army. Back in 2014, after returning home from the UK, he spent six months in the Donbas region fighting the enemy and other volunteers who joined the Dnipro-1 battalion.
This is when he began helping injured people as a paramedic.
Eight years from then, his previous experience allows Eugene to teach other officers to save lives.
“What inspires me is the progress of the men that I train to show.
People who joined just three weeks ago without relevant experience and no medical background are now trained well enough to provide qualified help. These people have already evacuated people and saved many lives in the Mykolaiv and Odesa areas.
Seeing this gave me a sense of achievement. ”
Eugene admits that he prefers a regular job, living under a peaceful sky when the biggest worry is the marketing budget that wasted or the spread of the coronavirus.
But until the war ended, he could not imagine himself doing anything other than his current occupation.
When Ukraine won, Eugene could not wait to embrace his family, now spread across the country.
His wife and sister volunteered in Odesa, to supply the military ammunition needed for the Eugene brigade.
He wants to walk with his labrador dog.
As an avid traveler, he will definitely take on new adventures.
First, he would go to the Carpathian mountains. Eugene hopes Ukraine wins before spring ends – and then he will enjoy spring greenery while watching the sunrise.
He will also work a lot because rebuilding the country takes a lot of resources.
Finally, he wanted to be a father – he and his wife had planned to start a family before the war.
Fighting A Cyberwar Via SEO Community Chat
Igor Shulezhko is CEO & amp; Founder of rankUP and co-owner of Shmeo.Link. He has been in business for over ten years as Head of SEO for several major Ukrainian brands.
Before the war began, he was interested in building his SEO agency, RankUp.
The business is pretty good and celebrates a varied customer profile that includes startups with SaaS companies, e-commerce projects, and news portals.
All these customers come from Ukraine, which means the institution is not affected such as other companies that have ties with Russia.
Still, the war forced many businesses to withhold marketing spending. Now Igor strives to save his agency.
The team is now spread throughout Ukraine and works long distance.
Igor stated that he can feel how anxious everyone is on the team right now.
“Continuing to monitor the news was very tiring. Besides that, air raid sirens keep people awake at night — often there are two to four sirens per night with short interruptions.
All this makes it difficult to concentrate on your task. It’s easier to do SEO when all you need to focus on is employment.
Image source: Author. Igor headed to the border and ate at the refugee center
One of Igor’s projects is the SEO community at Telegram, a very famous messenger in Ukraine. Currently, the community unites around 5,000 people.
Previously, it had more participants, but many Russians were up when the community began to spread messages related to the war.
Igor regretfully notes that many Russians in the group vocally supported Putin and denied any war crimes.
“When the war started, we restricted comments in the community and publication rights to admins only,” he said.
The idea is to use community conversations to deliver the initiatives that matter most to its customers. They share links to verified charities with details of evacuation opportunities, post a list of Russian sites whose operations they are going to disrupt, and links to communities that spread false news so community members can block them.
Igor believes that he and his team contributed to winning the cyber war against Russia by doing this.
Igor admits that he misses his peaceful life.
When the war ended, the first thing he did was visit his mother, who lived in the Sumy area.
Luckily, the city was not on the front line, but with Russian troops around, it was short of supply. Evacuation is now too dangerous.
Telecommunications is still operating, so Igor can still regularly call his mother.
He dreamed of seeing her in person and giving him a big hug.
Helping Ukrainian Families In Need
Max Karmazin is a Digital Marketing Specialist, Country Manager (Germany) at SE Rank. He returned to Ukraine in November 2021 after living in Switzerland for seven years.
Max is working on a Master’s degree in Sociology and Media Studies, doing different jobs, and traveling.
As an expatriate, he always felt that he had working hours, income, employment, and social opportunities.
Feeling separated, he cannot completely grasp the new mentality and social rules.
So, he decided to return to Kyiv, and three months later, the war began.
The first days after the invasion were tough. Max could not continue working because he was constantly distracted by the news.
When he escorted Kyiv on the third day of the war to farther from danger, he felt saving a life and escorting citizens to themselves alone was not in accordance with his values.
Doing regular work also felt wrong at the time.
Max decided he would join the army and fight the enemy again or start volunteering.
This led him to join the regional defense forces, a volunteer military unit that guards the citizens of the city.
He spent about a week keeping one of the few gas stations open, managing incoming traffic, and maintaining order.
Image source: Author. Max (left) and his friend, a 65 -year veteran of the war in the Donbas.
“I have the desire to prove to myself that I have the courage to join the army and potentially sacrifice my life for the country I loved (and want to go back to). I guess many men feel the same way in time of war.
Then the unit was played and Max joined one of his comrades who was evacuating his family to western Ukraine and Poland a few days later.
Max’s new acquaintance had lost his job a few months before and the family spent a week’s money into the war.
So, Max decided to support them at least financially.
Max was lucky to have good and caring friends from Switzerland and Germany who were eager to help.
They decided that the best option was to send money directly to Max’s account so that he could give assistance to people in dire need that he knew personally.
“So far, we have helped six families in need, a total of 15 people, and the army. It was thought not much, but it was quality assistance that provided enough money for a month or two.
Now, Max and his family. He believes that the most important thing that he can do now is to support them. He continues to work for SE Ranking from his home office.
Max will continue to work for SE Ranking, and would like to see it all back in the office after his colleagues return to earth when the war is over.
He hopes the war ends before the summer to start a new hobby: canoeing and paddling.
He dreams of rediscovering Ukraine and its beautiful rivers with his friends on camping and canoeing trips.
Max also plans to start training voice actors because he likes listening to audio books and having a suitable voice. He already plans to start training on March 6th.
Max admits that he misses the small things of his prior life, such as going to the movies with friends, having a coriander omelet for breakfast, working out at the gym, and a long hot shower.
While the future remains unclear, he is confident that he will be able to carry out his dreams, from buying a car and traveling with friends to starting a family.
And he believes that all his dreams can come true here, in Ukraine.
Building A Strong Community Of Marketing Heroes For Mutual Support
Yurii Lazaruk, is the founder of several well -known Ukrainian SEO communities, such as SEO Club UA, SalesHero, CPC Real Talk, and Marketing Club UA, and a community development expert.
Before the war began, he used his community to connect Ukrainian experts. Yurii helps them share experiences and receive renowned career development.
Image source: Author. Yurii wears a sweatshirt with his brand logo.
After the first day of the war, Yurii set aside all his previous initiatives. He decided to unite all active members from many of his communities into a group called Help Heroes of Ukraine.
The goal of the new community was to bring together Ukrainian SEO people to support each other, share vital information, and help the army and the entire country.
Yurii herself needs help finding a job to support her family.
And he found one thanks to David Spinks, co-founder of CMX, the world’s largest network for community professionals.
Yurii currently works as a part -time consultant, providing guidance on community building for Cultivate, an AI -powered training platform.
Yurii values the opportunity to use his skills to make the U.S. community flourish.
But because it’s not a full -time job, he still seeks more opportunities.
Yurii also tries to help fellow community members by collecting requests from SEO, PPC, marketing, and sales experts, and looking for employment with the help of an international community of experts and great people at it.
So, if by any chance you are currently looking for a digital marketing specialist and willing to help Ukrainians, you can contact Yurii, who will be happy to share contact with you.
All Yurii dreams of is the war will be over.
He aims to create a stronger digital community in Ukraine, find more international clients to work with, make more money, and rebuild the country!
How You Can Help Colleagues In Ukraine
Search Engine Journal has shared a collection of causes in the SEO Support Community For Ukraine & amp; How You Can Help.
The SE Ranking team has resources about how you can help Ukrainians here, as well, that we will keep updated.
Image source: Created by the author, 2022.