Barry Schwartz Interview

Barry Schwartz Interview

Barry Schwartz Interview

Episode 034

Barry Schwartz is a man who needs no introduction in the SEO world, but we’ll give him one anyway.

He’s the founder and chief contributor to the industry news site Search Engine Roundtable where he has published north of 50,000 articles on the topic of search & SEO over the past 2 decades.

As one of the leading voices in the SEO industry globally, Barry has seen it all in his time reporting on the space. It was great to chat to him and learn more about how he got started with SEO, Search Engine Roundtable and his thoughts on the SEO industry, and of course, Google.

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Unknown Speaker  0:02
It’s time for the SEO show where a couple of nerds talk search engine optimization, so you can learn to compete in Google and grow your business online. Now, here’s your hosts, Michael and Arthur.

Michael  0:24
Welcome to a very, very special episode of the SEO show this week. And Arthur free episode, you’ve just got me out, they got a really bad backlink on a website. He’s taking a little bit of time out from work. No, just kidding, just kidding. He wasn’t able to make it to join me for this interview with our guests this week. So I flew solo. But luckily, I was joined by quite a big name in the SEO industry was Barry Schwartz. So he almost needs no introduction in the space. He is the founder, and then the main contributor at Search Engine roundtable, which is basically a blogger website that’s been covering the SEO industry for a long, long time, you know, longer than I’ve even been doing SEO. So it was great to have him on the show just to chat all things SEO, was a really good conversation. We chatted about how he found SEO, you know, the early days when he was dealing with search engines like Lycos and Alta Vista, and then all the way through to the launch of search engine roundtable. And his thoughts on the SEO industry on how Google engages with the SEO industry. And of course, we asked him at the end our three favourite questions. So without further ado, let’s jump into this week’s episode and interview with Barry Schwartz. Hi, Barry, welcome to the show. For people that might not have heard of you. If you could just let our audience know a little bit about yourself and who you are, and we can get going from there.

Unknown Speaker  1:45
Awesome. I’m Barry Schwartz. Thanks for having me. The president of rusty burka software development company in New York. But you have me on the show because I write a lot about search and SEO, writing about search and SEO since around 2003 on search engine roundtable a little later on Search Engine Land before that Search Engine Watch with Danny Sullivan. Help with SMX conferences. I do a lot of blogging YouTube being podcasting on it’s all about SEO. So I love Seo. That’s that’s me.

Michael  2:13
Awesome. Awesome. Well, you’re the perfect person to have on the SEO show. You know, you’ve been in the game for a long time, and you’re pretty much one of the most well known voices in the industry. You know, I’ve been in this space since 2009. And I’ve read your publications since then. So I was kind of interested in how did you personally discover SEO, what got you into this world?

Unknown Speaker  2:35
Yeah, um, so I first got into SEO, but with a client of ours that was interested in learning about how they could get their website to rank in like Alta Vista or dogpile, or one of those old search engines. So I started to, I found some like online discussion forums, where people were talking about it, it was super, like abstract and like a lot of text and a lot of keyword density type of stuff. And I started doing my research, I bought a couple books, I read a bunch of white papers, some really technical stuff, some more abstract stuff, went to some conferences early on that Danny Sullivan LED. So it was really from like, you know, client asking like, what, how does this work? And then I just got hooked, I just couldn’t stop, you know, blocking this stuff was pretty amazing.

Michael  3:28
Awesome. And I imagine it was much easier to get results back in the day. You know, if you’re talking like us, Alta Vista, you just changing text on pages, or what sort of stuff were you doing in those early days?

Unknown Speaker  3:39
Yeah, so back then, before Google, it was mostly just text, text text, getting as much text on the page as possible for the keywords and we’ll see what happens. But the early days of Google is super interesting, because it was not it was also about text. It was very text driven. But there was this like Google Dan’s period, where Google would update their data centres every 30 days or so. With the new was mostly PageRank scores, like I guess, anybody’s watching this now. PageRank is basically Google’s algorithm to say, How important are specific pages on your website based off of a link graph? I know Moz has their metrics that everybody talks about now with Da and stuff like that. Not Google metric. So back then PageRank was super important. Like if you had a page rank 8789 10, you could rank for whatever you want, no matter keyword density are not. So SEOs are literally just sit there. Like wait and track the data centres refresh, like their browsers and different IP address and see what am I PageRank score is this month going to be and that can literally make or break your rankings for that month. So if you had a high PageRank score, you can literally rank for any whatever you want, and make a crazy amount of money back in the old days. So that was pretty interesting. In terms of how things were back in the super old days of Google.

Michael  4:59
Yeah. Very much so awesome. And so what? What sort of period was that? And how long were you doing SEO before you sort of segwayed into launching search engine roundtable, we working on different publication first, and then you went into search engine roundtable?

Unknown Speaker  5:13
No. Um, so I was always had rusty Berg, we always built custom web stuff. So early on, before there were any content management systems, we built, you know, content management systems for early, you know, companies and so forth. And as you know, content like WordPress will, before that it was like Movable Type and different platforms came out, we stopped doing basic stuff. And we started doing more software development stuff, mobile apps, more software applications for ER departments is all like that. So my company really specialises in building out software. The SEO thing is not a job. We don’t do SEO. I just write about it. But obviously, we have our own websites, there’s roundtables on your land, my own websites, they all have to rank fairly well to drive business. So yeah, obviously, I know SEO pretty well, I get my hands dirty. But we don’t I don’t do SEO on a day to day basis, because, or at all, really, because one is I write about it a lot. And I want it’s hard to get the trust of both sides. So you have like Google over here. You have the SEO is over here at SEO stinked. I’m gonna Google’s pocket Google thinks I’m an SEO pocket and Google hates me. SEOs hate me, everybody hates me equally. So it’s pretty interesting. So I really like got into SEO, probably like, early 2000s, like 2000, or 2001 was very into participating in the forums and online discussions trolling a lot and, you know, chatting it up with people. And then in 2003, I decided to start catalogue. You know, cataloguing what the most interesting discussions were in the search community. That’s what the search engine roundtable is all about. And it’s basically cataloguing. You know, this is what the search community is talking about. This is why it’s important. This is what they’re finding. It was more it was interesting around Google dances, obviously, because, oh, Google dance is coming, get prepared here, the data centres you should look at. And then it was more about features, and, you know, ranking updates and so forth. So I kind of like like that aspect of it.

Michael  7:10
Yeah, awesome. Awesome. So I guess its early role was to let people know, when these big updates were happening, be that sort of voice? Has that changed over the years? Like where do you sort of see your, I guess, your goal, your vision or your place in the industry at the moment with search engine roundtable.

Unknown Speaker  7:28
Such a such a roundtable really has not changed in terms of that core principle of highlighting what the search community cares about and talking about, it’s changed a little bit in that it used to be all in forums like WebmasterWorld gyms were old SEO chat, stuff like that. Now, it’s kind of more on social media, with Twitter, and so forth, because people have moved from old fashioned forums, to social media and stuff. So maybe the sources on the information have changed. There’s a lot more people talking about Google these days, Google’s on much bigger companies. Now public, it has Android it has, you know, tonnes and tonnes of businesses. But I tried to focus in on really just search, and that involves, obviously organic and paid search, and also highlighting what the search marketers really care about, for the most part by sourcing that information from the search marketers from those discussions, though.

Michael  8:17
Yeah, cool. On that note, what sort of content do you find performs best or is most popular on the site? What do people like to hear about?

Unknown Speaker  8:25
That’s it, that’s a tough one, you never know what is going to perform best. It’s, it’s sometimes surprised me what, you know, what actually performs best like? I don’t know. I mean, it’s basically sometimes like, I enjoy covering the Google algorithm update stories I enjoy, you know, saying, Oh, that SEO Chatter is out there. People are talking about an update. Google hasn’t confirmed it yet. Maybe later, Google, confirm it that always enjoy, I always enjoy that. Because updates tend to make a difference immediately to people. I just like to spot new features. That’s always fun. So I enjoy like finding new features and covering those types of things. And also covering some news, I search Atlanta cover, news, search around cover a lot of news. But often it’s finding things that just are brand new that Google hasn’t talked about, finding things that Google’s not talking about is the most interesting thing for me. What will be most popular, it’s always involved. It’s really hard for me to say people think I know because I’ve been writing I wrote over, I think I wrote close to 40,000 stories on search over the past, you know, almost 20 years. And I still can’t tell you if I publish something that this will be a success, or not a success. People think I do and people think I’m crazy for saying that. But some things just blow up and some things just are duds. And honestly, there’s no real formula to that. It’s not word count. It’s not what keywords you put in the thing. It’s just sometimes it’s who knows. I mean, I can give you a story about like, I wrote a story about how a girlfriend was upset with their boyfriend. And what the girlfriend did. This is like probably 10 years ago with the girl friended was spam, Google image search with memes of the boyfriends boyfriends photo class photo with all these different memes. And I want to buy like I’m like, oh my god, this is great standard like high school couple, his girlfriend uses Google to go ahead and get back at at the boyfriend. I thought it was like an SEO funny thing to talk about. All of a sudden I see it got picked up by like TMZ. And all these like gossip magazines, and a blew through the roof. And then I got a phone call from like the parents of one of them how the they’re so upset, they’re crying. I’m like, I didn’t even think I’ll go past the small little SEO community. So I kind of like that’s the only page probably no robots at robot txt out my ad on my website. But you never know, you never really know what will explode and what will not be honest.

Michael  10:48
I wonder if she’s running an SEO agency? 10 years later, she should be. You touched on before you wear two hats? Are you sort of I guess you’ve got two camps? You know, you’ve got the SEO world reading your articles, you’ve got the Google side of things. What’s Google’s, I guess stance towards? I guess yourself and the website? Like, are they feeding you information? Are they sort of pretty friendly with you? Or do they try and I guess the perception in the SEO world is that Google might deliberately be a bit vague with things to try and throw people off the scent. How do you find dealing with them? Are they are they giving you good information?

Unknown Speaker  11:27
It’s hard, it’s a hard one to say. Because whenever Google gives us information, me or anybody in the search community, it’s always we always want more. And we always feel like they’re hiding something from us when they give us anything. Or in the old days, they would tell us nothing that they know. And we would just try to figure out ourselves, which I loved. But now if Google tells us, this is something or this is an update that we want to know what type of update what sites were hit, know how big of an update it was. And we always ask for more and more and more if it’ll give us something we’re like, what do I need? Why do I need that information? Why do you hate us? So I think that definitely more transparent than they used to be. But by far, especially if you go back 20 years, you know, and I think the things have changed over the past, you know, 10 years or so with Matt Cutts, leaving that gaming solvent getting on board. It’s been interesting to watch how Google has changed over the years. But I think it’s like a lose lose situation, the more transparent Google is, the more we think they’re hiding stuff from us. And I’m not sure if that’s fair of us to do that, of course, SEO stick to consider it of Google’s things, but I’m trying to put myself in their shoes as well. Like, it’s easy for us to complain. But I think if you understand their perspective, also, it makes you better at what you need to do. Think about why Google’s making these changes why they aren’t telling us something, or why they’re telling us a little bit of information. And then maybe if you understood that there’s a reason they’re not telling us everything, maybe that will make you better at what you said Google feeding us everything. That was our reason behind

Michael  12:59
all of this. For sure. I guess, a big part of SEO is doing your own testing and figuring out what works. And even if they are telling you one thing going out there and doing it and seeing for yourself. So I definitely agree with that you sort of should always be testing. So with your with your, you know, your search engine roundtable, you mentioned you’ve got rusty brick, you’re doing a lot of software development, you’ve got this site, you’re publishing 40,000 articles over the year for you, you’re putting up a lot of content. What does the day look like for you in that regard? Like how much of your time do you dedicate to writing an article publishing it, or how many articles you’re doing per day, and I guess the business? Is it a full blown business in and of itself.

Unknown Speaker  13:41
So I don’t treat any of my search engine writing as a business, per se. As you can see, there’s been lots of search writers over the years, a lot of them are no longer around or not writing any more there may be consulting and doing things that pay better. I am in a lucky situation where I obviously have a company and make money on that company. I have a team of developers here we thankfully do well. And I could spend some of that time just writing the way I want to write. I never expected people to read it, they read it and it’s great. But I don’t spend that much time per day writing, I probably spend maybe an hour on search engine roundtable, maybe an hour in Search Engine Land today, maybe a little bit more, maybe a little less, it takes me probably like five to 10 minutes to write a blog post, maybe less. And I write probably somewhere from five to 10 blog posts per day. There’s obviously the research involved. I use obviously RSS feeds and Twitter feeds and so forth to find stuff as well as other mechanisms but it’s not like I am maybe I spend Max, you know, two to three hours per day on this stuff. It looks like they spend all day on it. I really don’t. But it’s I guess it’s a hobby. It’s a labour of passionate people.

Michael  14:57
Yes. Is that purely like after all these years and You’ve got a successful business, it’s just the passion that keeps you going with publishing content. Being so consistent, you know, doing five posts a day, a couple of hours a day, every day. That’s, you know, pretty impressive to keep it up for that long.

Unknown Speaker  15:13
Yeah, consistency runs through my veins, everything I do is consistent, you know, from my routine every day that everything is super consistent that I feel not only is to see important for your business for you know, how you run your day for your family, it’s also important for the readers to know what to expect when to expect it. Turn trust, I think that’s because consistency is very, very important. Also, for SEO purposes, you want to be consistent. Technically, with your website, you want to make sure your URL structures are consistent. You want to make sure your technical SEO is consistent, crawling all that type of stuff, but consistently, I think is super important. For from everything from business to personal life.

Michael  15:51
Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. Well, I’m with search engine roundtable, I just sort of wrapping up on it. It’s a passion. So hobby, do you sort of have any sort of business aspect to it? Or like, are you sort of, I guess, running ads, that sort of stuff to make money out of it and make it worthwhile doing and you spoke about consistency from an SEO point of view? How have your SEO for search engine roundtable? Have your organic traffic? They’ve they’ve?

Unknown Speaker  16:18
Yeah, um, first question is on the ad side, so yeah, we have ads, I have ads on the website, I have ads in our newsletter, those are all managed, actually, by the parent company off searching the land Thurber media, I stay out of that completely. I also have ads in my videos that I produce weekly, that I personally manage, because third, or media doesn’t want to do it. I feel I don’t need the I don’t need the money for it. I just feel like it’s, I appreciate people wanting to advertise. And it means means that it’s some value there. I don’t like look at the money, but like we will go into you know, it’s not that much money relative to what I make overall. But it’s just basically like a token of appreciation, some good Twitter just announced Twitter Follet super followers, and I have like a few you know, several people super follow me for $3 per month, as a Patreon, like, I have a couple of people, you know, donating, you know, every month and a few bucks, $200 per month, it’s not about the money. It’s like, oh, people actually value sometimes what you write, and that kind of, especially when people put money towards that, it means something, I guess it makes it worthwhile and makes you know, me, you know encourages me to do it just because I feel like people value it on some level. Of course, we will read it the traffic flow there. Google doesn’t value it as much because our SEO is not as good as you asked them. It’s something that I need to have a redesign that I need at launch, I are so busy with client work that I just, I feel bad pulling my team off of client works in torque to actually launch the new design. There’s tonnes of old legacy, technical debt and SEO issues that I have a list of stuff that I want to fix on the old site, outside of just design, just a lot of poor URL issues and duplicate content and old CMS custom built that really needs somebody needs some TLC to fix up so it could be better. My writing could be a little bit better as well. But I’m I get told you I write really fast. I publish fast, I’m sure I have tonnes of typos, maybe hire an editor. But again, it’s a hobby blog. So I don’t I don’t treat it as a business. And I think there is some appreciation from that where my writing is not biassed based off of me having an SEO consulting firm where, you know, maybe something Google says might persuade me to write it in a different angle, that might not be the full truth. Or maybe Google might not give me the full information that I need to to publish. Or maybe a sponsor might go ahead and, you know, do something that is bad, and I won’t be able to write about it. I don’t care. I mean, again, they can take their money, I could give him a refund, I couldn’t care less about the money. I do all this because I enjoy it. I enjoy, you know, sharing information about the search community enjoy what’s changing. So it’s I keep it as far as possible away from business, because I don’t want any business to influence the writing itself.

Michael  19:07
Yeah, they want to clouded keep it authentic. And I definitely think that comes across in, you know, I’ve been reading it for over a decade now. So it’s been very consistent in that regard, which is awesome.

Unknown Speaker  19:17
I apologise for all the typos.

Michael  19:20
Look, I guess let’s move on my chat a little bit about Google. Because I guess if there’s one person I can think of be yourself that seen at all, so to speak over the years, you know, you’ve been covering it for ages. Don’t maybe be cool to talk about the big ticket Google updates or sort of as I’m calling it, earth shattering events over the years. So algorithm updates, famous manual penalties, things that really shook things up in the SEO world. Do you have any that come to mind you know, big moments news, what were the things that stand out to you over the years?

Unknown Speaker  19:51
Sure. I mean, Google updates, always the biggest the biggest one obviously was the Florida update in 2003. That really was like, Whoa, SEOs need to think about diversifying or not putting all their eggs in one basket. After that, send them number two biggest updated like shock the SEO world try the Penguin update, more so than the Panda update, even though the pet Penguin update launched right after the Panda update, Penguin is more focused on links. It only had a 3%, I think, or something like that through a 3% impact on on the search queries at Google. Whereas Panda was like 12%, according to Google, but I think SEOs were more in the penguin bucket. So like, SEOs were really big into like links and manipulating links. And when penguin like was unleashed, or whatever you want to call it, it really shook up a lot of SEOs. And even when MIT some big SEO companies went bankrupt over it, and then obviously, that I think it depends on it was probably like one of the other bigger updates. I think everybody in the SEO community like Panda is very well known. That hits the massive content sites. And some really big businesses actually went out of business because of it. But nowadays is more about those core updates. And stuff like that, I think, in terms of other things like user experience changes and so forth, like, no Google launched, like the universal search results on a finger that is probably early 2010 2009, I forgot exactly, like found like Google was testing this new universal search results were not it wasn’t. It wasn’t only just web results, but it was also videos and images and maps all in one web search interface. Now you think about that. Now it’s like, of course, do a search for restaurants. You want to see your local pack, but back then it was just 10 blue links. It wasn’t a map. It wasn’t images. So Google called it universal search. And it was Marissa Meyer back when she was at Google, obviously. Then she went to Yahoo young failed. And now what she’s doing she probably something, you know, whenever but in any event, I found that if soda was testing and Brian Williams and NBC when he was before his scandal, when he was on NBC, he had me come to and be this the studio, there was a call something rock on my blanket anyway, in the city, New York City, so I’m not far from new cities. I went there. And I spoke to him for like an hour and a half about this Google feature. And I was on NBC channel like primetime, whatever. And I had about four seconds of airtime after sticking to him for an hour and a half. I’m sorry,

Michael  22:29
did he put you in a good light with those four seconds? I didn’t do anything bad in the end?

Unknown Speaker  22:32
I think so. Yeah, it was pretty cool. It wasn’t good. It was experience I’ve been on other you know, news things before but that was like, you know, Primetime that was pretty big. Signing a lot of these things are pretty cool. Yeah, like, a lot of big brands were, you know penalised in the old days with these links, spam targets. Those were pretty interesting. When Google first started winning after going after links and manipulative links. I think like overstock and E. Bay, and a bunch of big brands were actually hit by this. Ultimately, I think they came out to be fine. But it was always interesting to see Google go after these big companies, and they even big spenders on ads. You know, they went after the big companies, and they didn’t care. They’re like, we don’t care how much money you spend on Google ads. We’re gonna penalise you if you’re trying to manipulate our search results.

Michael  23:19
Yeah, well, they sort of, I guess, there are those big, big sort of big ticket takedowns you know, like the JC Penney and BMW had one back in the day, and I think Rap Genius and other brands,

Unknown Speaker  23:32
even Google, even penalise themselves number chrome ads, and they bought links and stuff, and they went ahead and penalised themselves. So it’s funny, they don’t hold back. If Google sees they’re doing something that they shouldn’t be doing, or any big company, they’ll go after them. They don’t care not so much these days, because they just ignore the links with the newer Penguin update. It’s just ignored. They don’t really count the links. But more back then in the old days, when we actually penalised links, it was a big deal, huh? Yeah.

Michael  23:59
Well, we anecdotally just we used to see, you know, maybe five years ago, so it’s getting manual penalties all the time. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a manual penalty. You know, so yeah,

Unknown Speaker  24:09
especially for links. You don’t really see it anymore. I’m

Michael  24:11
not. So I guess, you know, we’ve touched on it before, like, over the years Google, I would say they’ve sort of changed a bit between confirming updates on what they target, and then being deliberately vague about it. So like, in the early days, didn’t say anything. Then they went through a period of sort of announcing, you know, like penguin panda like they had names and all that. Then now they’ve they’ve they say they’re sometimes confirmed, there’s a core algorithm update, but they don’t really say what it addresses. What do you what do you think’s a better approach from you’re dealing with them over the years and sort of, I guess, being the mouthpiece in a way for the industry?

Unknown Speaker  24:48
I guess me for this it’s a lose lose situation. So they still don’t confirm most of these updates. I mean, I cover a lot of unconfirmed updates. Google, look for updates. They do confirm at least the big ones, the core updates, only confirm it like the day it’s gonna roll out. And then the smaller updates that they give us months and months of notice about, like, I don’t know, like the page experience, update, mobile, mobile first update, HBS, etc. All those updates are super lightweight. They go live, nobody notices any ranking changes from them. So they give us all this time, months and months to prepare, sometimes years to prepare for it. We spend so much money and effort, you know, getting our sites ready for this stuff. And they’re important. They’re not, but they’re not important for rankings. So we’re the updates that are the most important for the rankings. There’s no real heads up that it’s coming until it’s too late. Yeah, what’s bad? I mean, I don’t know. I mean, should Google give us a lot? What would we change? That’s Google’s point. What would we do different month a month or update to update? If Google will give us a heads up that accordingly? It’s going to happen? We don’t call it that it’s gonna happen. Google does core updates every, you know, three to six to 12 months. So what would we do different? Just keep, you know, making your website better. And that’s what Google says. And that’s, there’s truth to that. The question is, should Google prefer more of the smaller updates? It’s good to know from an SEO perspective that, yes, Google had an update. Google didn’t confirm it. But everybody else is saying as Google update. So maybe it’s like, it’s not you. It’s me or that thing? Do I have to make any changes? It wasn’t a technical problem with my website? Or was it something that Google changed? So those are the types of things that would be useful to know, as an SEO to say, is it something that I need to change? Technically, with my website? Did I mess something up? They put an index on my site? Or was there some type of bug on my website? Or was it something that Google just doesn’t like on my website anymore? And the core update actually hit it? And then I know, I have to take a longer, deeper look on their websites. I think there are pros and cons to Google confirming these things. But it’s hard for Google to confirm everything, I guess, because they’re such a massive company. I know they read it when I write these blog posts, but they don’t they barely confirm anything anymore. Yeah. Which is kind of sad.

Michael  27:03
Yeah. Well, on that note of, you know, when, when a big core algorithm update happens, and things are really shook up, there can be a tendency for people to want to jump in and immediately fix their site and change things and tweak things. From your experience. Is this the best approach for dealing these major updates? Or do you reckon people should let the dust settle a little before going in and trying to address big changes? Big updates?

Unknown Speaker  27:29
Yeah, no, I think it’s always best to wait a little bit, because again, when these core updates are released, it’s not like you could make a quick change and expect it to reverse itself, you have to usually wait, usually usually wait for another core update to roll out. Like I said, that’s at least three months, usually six months for the core updates to roll out. So you do have time to plan. So if you saw you hit by core update, and you would know, if you got hit by a quarter, you would see 30% of your traffic pretty much drop the day off the day after a core update was announced. You know, you have to go ahead, and it’s a long term fix, you can’t just run and make changes. It’s not a quick technical fix, changing your URL structures or whatever, it’s not going to make a big difference. You know, in terms of things, these are not quick, quick technical fixes. These are long term, SEO strategies around content and usability and making sure your users are happy. So these things take time rushing is not going to solve this. Any court date issues?

Michael  28:24
Yeah. Awesome. I can. I will like moving on from Google. Let’s talk about the SEO industry as a whole. You know, you’ve you’ve seen it all over the years. What state would you say the SEO industry or world is in at the moment right now?

Unknown Speaker  28:39
I think we’re in a pretty I mean, we’re in better shape than we ever were, I think back we still have a bit of a black guy. I think on some level, still people don’t understand what we do, what the industry is about. But I think it’s way better than it used to be. I mean, corporations now enterprises have large SEO teams, I just spoke recently to somebody who has a VP status of SEO, you’ve never heard of vice president of SEO on incorporations. Before and there are, that’s just like legitimising what SEO is about so I think overall, I think, you know, the SEO industry is much more, you know, creditable than it used to be, especially, you know, 510, definitely 20 years ago, where it was like some type of, you know, mystical black art or something where, you know, it was like not, it was just, you know, people thought it was like crazy. So, I think we’re in a much better position now than we used to be of course, there’s a lot of people a lot of misinformation out there. And it’s pretty bad in terms of misinformation, but I think is much better than it used to be.

Michael  29:38
Yeah, awesome. I can. So that being the state now, pulling out your crystal ball, where do you see sei evolving over the next five years?

Unknown Speaker  29:48
So SEO is going to be dead in exactly four and a half years. Okay. Good to know I mean, SEO. Cool thing about SEO is always it’s as long as there’s people searching for something. Anyway, it doesn’t have to be on their phones and on their desktop, talking to their devices, whatever it might be, there will still be SEOs trying to optimise for that. We’re trying to rank for that. So, SEOs are amazing. And adapting, that’s one thing. So I think SEO will be strong and five years from now. I think the industry will become more mature over the years, and I think more people will still continue to respect and continue to, you know, value what SEO is do?

Michael  30:23
Yeah, absolutely. Okay. And I guess, on that note, you know, sort of valuing what SEO is doing and sort of, you know, you touched on misinformation before. An important thing is obviously to stay educated, particularly if you’re engaging with an SEO agency or working on it yourself. Obviously, they can follow yourself and your publication, but outside of what you get up to with your site. Is there any other people in the industry that you follow or publication podcasts, you listen to that sort of stuff to stay abreast of what’s going on?

Unknown Speaker  30:54
So that’s hard, I follow every almost I think almost everything, I’m sure I miss a lot of stuff. The cool thing is, if you want to see everything that I follow, I have a newsletter that includes probably like 3040 links per day, to not just the stories that I wrote on or the surgeons land row, but also two tweets that I found interesting from different people in the industry, including John Mueller, which I say a lot but also tonnes of other people like like Gabe and a bunch of other people. Plus I have tonnes of links to articles that I think are useful on a daily basis every single day I pride like analytics stories, SEO, PPC, mobile voice, business related stuff. So if you are a crazy search, not like me, or search speak like me, and you want to follow everything, just subscribe to the newsletter, or just subscribe to the RSS feed. I have a pretty much every day I have a very, very detailed and you know some what’s on the what I found for the day. So if you want to see what I’m following, just check there. Yes.

Michael  31:55
Yeah. Awesome. So for our listeners, they just had to search engine roundtable to sign up for that newsletter them.

Unknown Speaker  32:01
Yeah, search engine roundtable everyday on 4pm, eastern New York time. I post that newsletter, the email goes out in about 15 minutes later and takes about an hour to go out if you want subscribe to an email, otherwise, just get on the website. It’s up to you.

Michael  32:15
Yeah, awesome. Okay. All right. Well, um, I did I did have one question about the misinformation in the SEO world. Because there’s a topic that comes up about regulation in the industry, like there is in other industries, you know, financial services, or some sort of way that people can prove that they’re, I guess up to they’re not up to no good. What’s your thoughts on that? Do you think there’s a, I guess, scope or need for that in the SEO world?

Unknown Speaker  32:40
So a question. Um, I think it has been tried before, like, I think people tried to make like best practices or regulation or certification before for SEO, and it didn’t work. There were different organisations that tried it. There were different companies that tried it. The question of who’s going to govern it? Who’s going to nobody? I mean, you can, SEOs can agree on anything. So who’s going to agree on on the set of like certification or rules or regulations, there’s obviously the Google Webmaster Guidelines, and half the SEOs don’t even comply by it. So who’s gonna who’s gonna go ahead and govern it? And it’s just impossible. It’s been tried so many times, I’d be shocked if it ever happened.

Michael  33:18
Yeah. Yeah, I can sort of agree on that, like, no government’s going to step in there and do it, there’s not that much of a need for it. Like there is in financial services left to the industry to try and do the right thing. Which happens to varying it. Yeah, I guess. So. Look, it’s been great chatting to you. I just wanted to sort of finish up with some quickfire questions that we like to ask at the end. So there’s just three of them. The first one is what would you say is the most underrated SEO tactic?

Unknown Speaker  33:50
Not the hard one. Every site is different. Obviously, saying it depends is the classic SEO term but I mean, if you don’t have title tags, and you launch the website, everything says like page title goes here. That’s super easy. And that’s like something you could win big with. But yeah, I mean, it’s hard to say what’s the most underrated SEO tactic you know, obviously writing good content blog block top you know, answer. But title tags, you know, is something that I think people who are have no clue about SEO, really don’t even think about. And understanding what we’re just putting your title tags is probably the most important thing outside of the content itself.

Michael  34:28
Awesome. I can on the other side of the coin, what would you say is the biggest myth in the SEO world?

Unknown Speaker  34:36
Just so many, there’s so many to name one. A lot of right now is the biggest thing right now is page experience update is huge. You have to go ahead and spend countless money and resources on page experience update to improve your vitals. I think that’s a huge myth right now. Um, other things like ads help you rank better and organically again, it’s not true. As a so many domain name registered as a domain name registration is important. It’s not. There’s just so many depends on what business you’re in what you’re selling, you know, could be anything.

Michael  35:06
Yeah, absolutely not. Yeah, I definitely agree with those. All right, well the last one in the SEO world we’re all nerds we love our SEO software, our tools if you had to only use three to get the job done what what three bits of software or tools would you favour

Unknown Speaker  35:28
so I’m a content guy. So I would say Feedly to track what’s going on. So I know what to write about to Google Analytics to see what people are accessing my website what they’re doing there so I can make it better hopefully. And then Google Search Console it’s basic, it’s free and it tells you why pretty much what you need to know I’m not going to mention any real sorry paid free like basically paid tools. I’m going to feel the second paid but not going to mention like you know the big tools out there. There’s so many of them. And obviously sighs some sponsor me. So I don’t want to like name any.

Michael  36:00
Yeah, that’s cool. That’s cool. Awesome. Okay, well, look man it’s been really great chatting to you today and getting to know a bit more about your backstory and everything. For people that are interested you know, if they want to go follow you to get your newsletter, where can they have at the end of the show?

Unknown Speaker  36:14
I’m super active on Twitter. So it’s at rusty brick. My company is rusty but I that’s the Twitter handle I use is rusty brick. Back in the old days, we never used the names we use aliases. Check out searches round tables are general and you can subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to brick. Just following Hope you enjoy. Thank you.

Michael  36:33
Awesome. Thanks, Barry.

Unknown Speaker  36:35
Thanks for listening to the SEO show. If you like what you heard, don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. It will really help the show. We’ll see you in the next episode.

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