SEO Q&A Week #5

SEO Q&A Week #5

SEO Q&A Week #5

Episode 042

We’re answering listener SEO questions again this week (plus a few questions we stole from Reddit). We cover topics like what to do when a competitor steals your content, will AI replace SEO, how to structure an inhouse SEO team and more – enjoy!

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Michael 0:00
Hi guys, Michael here before we get into the show, if you’re a Twitter user head to at service scaling, I’m tweeting a bunch of stuff. I’ve learned scaling our digital marketing agency, and I think you’ll find it pretty interesting. All right, let’s get into the show.

Unknown Speaker 0:15
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 0:37
Hello, and welcome to another week of the SEO show. I am Michael Causton. And I am joined by Arthur fabric.

Arthur 0:43
Hello. Bit of a different intro this time normally you start off with Hello, hello, one Hello. This time I was just thrown off a little bit.

Michael 0:51
Yeah, sorry.

Arthur 0:52
That’s okay. Maybe next week,

Michael 0:54
I can get back to Hello. Hello. Hello. I like to keep you on your toes. You know why I wanted to keep it short.

Arthur 1:01
Because we have a good old fashioned q&a week podcast

Michael 1:05
q&a week five, we have got some juicy questions. Some of them sent in by listeners. Others we have pillaged from sites like Reddit, because we didn’t have enough listener questions this time?

Arthur 1:16
No, we encourage you to send in any question you have about SEO to

Michael 1:21
where the SEO is our website you can get we actually have a thing on there where you can submit a audio question. So you can record yourself and we’ll play it on the show. No one has ever done it. But it’s there. So if you are feeling brave, if you want to hear your voice on the FTO show, and feel that you’ve really reached the pinnacle of your, I guess, human existence, really wouldn’t it be having a voice on the SEO show? Then go on there and you’re waffling a little relishing a bit. That’s fun. Anyways, go to the SEO and submit your questions for the next episode.

Arthur 1:56
On a side note, I was meant to create a twitter and instagram page. Yeah. Which I’ll probably do it this week. See how we get the time?

Michael 2:03
I don’t know. I’ll do it. I don’t have high hopes for the people following and engaging with that page will just

Arthur 2:08
buy followers like most podcasts.

Michael 2:11
You know, it’s always if you ever see a business that has like 2000 3000 4000 followers just hover over one of the I think images I shared it will have like one light and you know

Arthur 2:21
20 20,000 is like the number that gets me suspicious because if someone has 20,001 21,200 and something followers, I assume that 20,000 is fake. Yeah, you hover over it on can you do it on mobile app? Or do you have to do it on desktop

Michael 2:37
desktop? Or if you click it? Yeah, if you click into a mobile, it doesn’t tell you the act. But if you hover over

Arthur 2:41
on the desktop app, you can see that they’ll have 21,000 followers and then two comments and seven likes. Yeah. Which is yeah, that’s just not the right ratio of likes to followers.

Michael 2:53
No at all. Like even in our world, the digital marketing world digital marketing agencies, there’s lots out there that have 2000 or 3000 or 5000 followers. We’ve got like 500, like five IDs, 600, something like that. After seven years, we run ads on Instagram, we get little dribs and drabs. Admittedly our contents not that amazing on their presence, but you’ve done our posts, we get a lot of engagement with it go on these people that have 5000 They have very little so

Arthur 3:21
unless you’re a client of ours, why would you follow a marketing agency?

Michael 3:27
Well, the reason you would you could talk into your mic a bit quiet there. Am I sorry, this is because you don’t wear headphones, because I

Arthur 3:32
was talking quietly? Yeah. Why would anyone follow a marketing agency?

Michael 3:36
I reckon they would have like the stories were cool. And it was showing off like different tactics and all that stuff was all stuff that we want to do but don’t. But otherwise, No, you wouldn’t. So

Arthur 3:46
maybe rather than wasting my energy on creating an SEO show, why don’t we just work on a local digital one, and everyone get our listeners to fill it out instead?

Michael 3:54
Do a story. He’s takeout, is it? What’s at local digital Cove? There you go. Yep. So follow that. Let’s move into the questions because this is a q&a episode. And we’ve been going a few minutes now without saying any questions. We’re going to start off today with one from Peter. So Peter asked us if you find your site has somehow been targeted by lots of spammy backlinks, but not hacked. How do you get rid or disavow these links? How does the site get targeted by spammy links in the first place? What do you have to say about that one author?

Arthur 4:28
Well, I think every site eventually will get targeted by spammy backlinks. It’s inevitable. The longer you’ve had your site, the older the domain, the more crap you’re going to find in your backlink profile servers, just scrapers out there that will build rubbish spammy links. And to be honest, they’re not going to harm your backlink profile. They’re not going to harm your SEO. Yep. So I guess it depends on what those links are. You need to be able to identify like a harmless spammy link and also need to identify what a day Dangerous, intentional link that a competitor might have built to try negative SEO site. So if you’re talking about those general spammy links, then you probably don’t need to do anything at all. In fact, Google has come out and said, unless you are 100%, certain this link is going to harm you. They recommend not disavow anything. It’ll could also draw attention to your backlink profile, potentially. I don’t know maybe if they’ve got someone disavowing links, they might manually review it. Maybe

Michael 5:30
Yeah, we don’t know what they’re looking at. Inside the walls. Google says use the word targeted here. Your Site probably hasn’t been targeted to begin with? No. Like every site gets so spammy ones. Yeah, just ignore them. But I just if you’re if you’re trying to figure out if you have been targeted, so to speak, it would be looking at things like the anchor text. Are you getting 1000s of links for your keyword, your main keyword? Well, that could say, or indicate that someone is trying to take you down? Because that is a sign of negative SEO. But if you’re just getting random links from like, a random scraper site where they’ve put a photo that is from your site with a link back to you, yeah, that stuff just happens to every site?

Arthur 6:12
Yeah. You also said as well, if they’re using your keyword if they’re using a keyword that is completely irrelevant to your business, or something like, I guess the most typical one would be, you know, Viagra, Cialis, those types of medications, and, yep, chances are you have been hacked. Potentially, someone’s injected stuff onto your site without you knowing and,

Michael 6:33
yeah, but uh, we were that would be links away from your site, to those like, like, let’s say, like, I’ve

Arthur 6:40
seen, I’ve seen on other sites linking, I agree. Yeah, yeah, I have seen them linking back because they’re trying to capitalise off that those injected pages of put on the site.

Michael 6:50
Yeah, maybe. And also, I think if you have a lot of those types of links, like a blast of them, it can be just a bad quality signal to Google for your site like that.

Arthur 6:59
Well, yeah, true. That’s why you targeting your insurance and then Viagra.

Michael 7:05
Yep. That’s that. So the general answer is you probably most people might think people tend to think they’re being targeted or like competitive or taking them down or there’s negative SEO. A lot of the time. It’s not that it’s just scraper sites. They can be safely ignored because Google ignores them. Don’t frantically rush to disavowing unless you really, really need to save the disavow tool for the big ticket backlink removal. Let’s move on to Celeste. What is she said?

Arthur 7:39
She said, Can you have too many headings? Yes. And no,

Michael 7:45
f&i Yep. Which I guess you can have. Like let’s say you have 10 h1 headings on your page, that’s bad, yes, should only have one h1 heading for every page. Correct. Then, of course, like in your body content throughout the page, you might have H twos, threes, fours, fives, so on and so forth down the page. Generally, we’d recommend just do it as necessary to cover the topic properly. So your H twos and threes and fours will give ad sense and structure to the page. Go with what makes sense when you’re writing your articles. And really best practice is to go and look at the top rank pages in your space and keep your content in a similar vein. So if the top two or three pages for a keyword, have 20 headings and you’ve gone with 60, then that might be a problem. It probably won’t be but it might be if you’ve if you’ve really gone under and you don’t have enough content you page, you only have a couple of headings, and you probably need to expand on it and give Google what it’s already saying it likes to see by those top rank pages.

Arthur 8:47
Yeah, I was gonna say that. So I guess that works when you’re looking at a page which is like a blog post for example, what if you’re looking at like a homepage or any other page on the site where they’ve gone and used and styled different elements using H tags. So let’s just say homepage where you have your regular h1, h2, whatever in the content and then you also have it styled in like you know, different categories, different things, so you end up having 70 Also different headings.

Michael 9:17
I would say that’s less than ideal from a pure sci fi Yes. Because like a lot of those headings will just be navigational in the text just

Arthur 9:25
random words which have no relevance to anything really. Yeah.

Michael 9:29
So again, look at look at the top rank sites use tools like use on Page Tools like surfer or assuming a page optimizer pro SEO minion overlay I just looked at a plugin

Arthur 9:41
that’s a plugin Sorry, I just to see you can pull the code and see all the headings on a page rank them you can sort them by I guess order or the type of heading like importance. Use it to compare different sites. Yeah, at a glance. Yep. At a glance. Everything’s good at a glance

Michael 9:58
it is until you dig into it with Surfing says you need to get rid of like half of them. We’re not saying what surfer or page optimizer Pro, se should be gospel, but they help analyse what the site’s already ranking well are doing. So if you get it in that ballpark, and you’re addressing the content, well, then generally that’s going to be right. So can you have too many headings? The answer is yes and no, it depends. That’s the old FBI. What would you say mean, I guess in terms of answers, but I guess it’s true in this case. So we’re gonna move on here to one that we have unashamedly stolen from Reddit. And it is up is going to answer this one really well, because he did it before off air.

Arthur 10:39
I’m really looking forward to this concerning if I didn’t know what it was, it

Michael 10:43
would be. But I gotta ask you anyway, what is a canonical tag? And is it needed to be set for every page? Is it needed to be? Does that make sense? Anyway? What is the canonical tag? Do you need it on every page?

Arthur 10:56
So basically, a canonical tag is just a bit of HTML code that’s placed on pages. And it refers what is supposed to be the original page. So for example, if you’ve got an e commerce website that has duplicate pages, duplicate categories, you’d be using a canonical tag with, I guess, referencing the URL that is the original page. And what that does is it tells Google to basically ignore all these duplicates, and focus on that original page. I guess all the SEO value is passed on to that original page, it prevents those duplicate pages from getting indexed. And just essentially, it’s best best practice for ser. Does every page needed a canonical tag? I mean, essentially, it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. You can have self canonicals on most pages,

Michael 11:44
sometimes, it depends often how the CMS is set up. Yeah. Some might just, you know, if you only have one page you don’t need. So let’s say ECAM, it might have a product page, and then all the different colour variants are its own URL. So in that case, you will want to have it on all those pages. Yeah, all of them refer back to the main product page, not any colour variant. But if you just have a, you know, commercial lawyer, Sydnee page and no other similar pages, you don’t need canonicals, because there is no duplicates of it.

Arthur 12:13
Exactly. So really, you just need it on any page that is going to be duplicated.

Michael 12:17
Yeah, pretty much. But some CMS is will set them automatically, and they just do a self referencing one on a page where there is no duplicates. So that’s like, it’s saying to Google, hey, here’s this page. And it is the canonical of itself, which isn’t a big deal. It’s not going to be redundant. But yeah. So it’s such a cool one, I feel. We’ve also stolen this one from Reddit. We’re crying out for people to submit real questions here. But anyway, with AI now writing content, do you think SEO will be replaced by AI? That’s a big one. That’s a very sobering, sombre question for people that are SEOs. But really, my answer is no. SEO that like the profession will not be replaced. But definitely, aspects of it will be, but they’re generally going to be the aspects that take a lot of human time for not that much value being added. Yeah. So an example would be, let’s say, a blog post for purely for link building purposes, that takes a human writer, however long to write, that could potentially be done by an AI copywriting tool in half the time or a quarter of the time. Yeah, definitely. So that’s one thing that will definitely be replaced. Things like, copy for FAQs, you know, embedded in a page, add a bit more context. Yep, that will probably be done. But the overarching strategy and execute execution of an SEO campaign across all the pillars, so thinking about, you know, what are the goals of a business? And how do you get there and strategizing all of that and executing on it? AI is not coming in and doing that because the AI tools aren’t that amazing at the moment right now,

Arthur 13:59
they are pretty amazing, but never going to replace, I guess, the attention to detail that a real person can provide. Yep. I think it’s good for scaling content. I think it’s good for copywriters, if they want to speed up the process if they want to. I mean, if they have writer’s block, I found when I was using some is it just been our karma, what it’s called Javis Jessica definate. It’s just for now, but I’ve been using it for meta descriptions just to I guess, get ideas. You know, most of the time, I’ll need to make tweaks but it’s useful for that.

Michael 14:37
Content that shouldn’t necessarily be read by humans, like let’s say like, as we said before, FAQ buried on a page just to get more read more content. Yeah, that sort

Arthur 14:46
of hold off help your page rank. Yeah. But again, using that point, you’re still going to need to optimise that content if you want to rank for it. So yeah, unless the AI is smart enough to know what Google wants on that page. Ah, what like, I guess keyword densities and different variations and everything that you would normally do to optimise copy, you’re going to need someone to do that. Yeah.

Michael 15:08
And it’s not good enough, like we play around with Jasper quite a bit. As the other tool surfer surfer will try and look at top ranked sites and get an idea for what needs to be done on a page. And then you can plug those tools together and like, in theory have just been create content that addresses what needs to be done on a page based on what you’re surfacing. But it’s Yeah, needs a lot of human oversight and editing and human touch for it to make sense. Yeah. And for it to hit all of the sort of optimization factors that you search for saying you can’t just hit a button, and it just goes, year ends up content. And so I feel it’s a long way off being able to do that.

Arthur 15:44
What it does well, is it rewrites content. Well, yeah. So if you give the actual, I guess, context and the actual content, it can rewrite it. So it’s not having to actually create itself. So I think it’s a lot easier for the AI to be able to change words around and yeah, learn that way and provide better copy.

Michael 16:04
Yeah, so what a lot of people will do is just take a copy from like a Wikipedia or elsewhere on the web, chuck it into one of these tools, spin up a new version, and then sort of build on that. You can generally pretty quickly put together an article if it’s not going to be the most engaging like that. Like let’s say a human is writing an article and they’re trying to be a bit witty a bit funny use puns and that jokes or whatever, like, include memes get to that in

Arthur 16:30
just spa allows you to turn to turn you can set to like witty Joe Rogan. Yeah. Like this.

Michael 16:37
It’s not the same as it won’t be the same.

Arthur 16:40
It’s a fun little feature. Yeah.

Michael 16:42
So the content ultimately is going to be wine and length. I would call it

Arthur 16:50
the No, I don’t think AI is going to replace us here.

Michael 16:52
Well, the other thing I want to say on this one is like, if you think about deep fakes, I was listening to a podcast on AI A while ago, and

Arthur 17:04
not even deep fakes. But daily, too to the

Michael 17:08
deplorable. I’d know about that. But with deep fakes the AI there’s teams of people working on the AI to make deep fakes better and better and better and better, but deep fakes of people. Yep. As people working on deep fake detection AI, yeah, to detect when there’s been a deep fake. Yeah. And it’s a bit of an arms race. Yeah. So like one will have a sort of, I guess, a technological breakthrough or advancement, but then the other side, that catches up. So it’s a game of cat and mouse. And I think Google will probably want to go after total AI content if they can try and detect it. So all of these AI tools use GPT. Three, like the open AI, I guess they plug into that. They’re just like a shiny marketing front end on that, Google will probably try and come up with ways of using its AI to detect when content is being created by those GPT, three base tools. And you know, my gamma cat mouth, that’s not saying that’s happening at the moment, and I could see that happening.

Arthur 18:07
But it’s like that dolly, dolly to Delhi one, you know, that image AI so basically, you chuck in whatever you can think of like Joe Biden riding a tricycle with a penguin sit on that basically, I’ll just create that image. Yes, so the first Dally, there’s like versions of it open source that people can now go on and just create the images and all that good. still fun to play around with. But the one the daily two, which is the more recent one is insane. And I’ve watched your videos where you can literally put whatever you can think of, and it will create that image like to varying degrees of like accuracy button, super accurate. It’s awesome and scary. At the same time, I

Michael 18:52
thought it would be interesting to make like a purely API created website, like your featured image and all the images in the post created by Dally, all the content created by Jasper yet or similar. I’m sure someone’s already done this out there. But um, you know, and then if you had a human doing the SEO strategy at the top of it, so sort of deciding what content is being created and making sure the internal linking is done in the ref and then just see how easy it is to rank and then if it just randomly gets taken down one day, have

Arthur 19:20
you watched the daily to staff have a little bit

Michael 19:22
a little bit? It’s just I’ve sort of seen like, you know, I haven’t gotten to watch videos about like, specific creation of an image, but I’ve seen the results of what it does. Yes, you can find some of them a bit like weird, like a mishmash of styles and stuff. Okay, but

Arthur 19:39
I mean, a good example would be let’s just say you had a photo of yourself wearing a blue shirt and then you could just say this photo of a red shirt and then the AI will change the colour of your shirt. So using it for that those purposes, rather than just like generating random images from scratch. Like remove the background. Yeah, pretty much exactly that Oh, like of course, if you can see it on here, I know go and slightly off topic, but, you know, enhancing images or changing, you know,

Michael 20:04
yeah, different variation of this image. Yeah. So this image and like Andy Warhol style,

Arthur 20:09
correct? Yeah. Well, like an astronaut in the desert, like just stuff that is.

Michael 20:13
Yeah. Yeah. It’s very cool. Yeah. You won’t be able to know what’s real and what’s not in like, a couple of years. That’s the scary part. Yeah, well, yeah, it is. Because I, in this podcast, I was listening to the potential for like deep fakes to lead to like, cataclysmic political,

Arthur 20:32
you know, there was like, maybe going very off topic. But during the election, people were suggesting that there are deep fakes of Trump, Trump, Trump and Biden at the same time, because of the videos that they were being released on, like, put on and, like calling out things like I kissed you know, where the shirt meets his neck would glitch over and things like that, or just a natural movements of the body compared to the face. And

Michael 20:59
I wonder how much of that is a deep fakes or be just like, dodgy, like, bandwidth or something on the video, where hooks and whatever anyway, but like, it’s interesting, because it’s not far off. Like them having a video of like, Putin doing something horrific. Or they could do that now. Yes, people believing it, and it could start all sorts of, you know, problems. So it was, that’s why they need the deep fake detector AI. Anyway, we’ve gone way off topic, what was what was the topic that AI will AI replace FDA? Well, we’ve got it ending the world. So it could potentially replace SEO, but I don’t think so. Cool. The profession won’t be replaced.

Arthur 21:39
She certainly ought to question five.

Michael 21:41
We only got seven. Yeah. Do we have seven? Yeah, seven. So five. Another one from Reddit. Another favourite question. This is an interesting one. These people are saying we want to build an in house SEO team? How should we structure it? This is an interesting one, like, do you do outsource? Do you go in house? Do you use agencies? Do you try and do it all with your own team? And this is very much based on variables. There’s a lot of variables that go in there. So at the start, what does your business do? How big is your business? How big is it? What is the lifetime value of a customer? And I know that doesn’t justify building a team in house? Yeah. What’s the budget, basically? And what’s the traffic opportunity in your niche to go all in and build a team in house, because building a team in house, you have to employ them, you have to pay super, you have to have all the tools and all that. And then once they are employed, you can’t just get rid of them if the SEO campaign stops working. So it’s a big, you know, totally different value proposition to hiring an agent saying an agency fails to

Arthur 22:44
benefit like, is it cheaper or more economical for you to hire an agency? Or have you reached that stage where it makes sense for you to hire someone in house? Hi, attainment house?

Michael 22:53
Yeah. Yeah, budget comes into it. What I would say if you want to build an in house SEO team, you’re talking many, many, many hundreds of 1000s of dollars in salaries per year. Yep. Plus costs related to publishing like Link acquisition, content creation, that sort of stuff, all the tools. So pretty big budget? Yeah. So let’s assume you got the big budget, you want to build it in house? Really, like if you break SEO down into its pillars, you know, technical content, links UX? Are you going to find a guru that can sit there and handle all three all day? Maybe, but there’ll be super expensive, and then there’s not enough time in the day for them. Like if you’re really trying to do link building properly, and style content creation, they can’t be doing that. And then also handling the strategy and all the rest of it. So you do need to build a team. Of you’ve touched on in this question, I would say you need to go find like a senior strategist, someone that has experience running SEO and real websites, whether that’s at an agency, whether it’s for themselves or in, you know, client side. But if they have experienced across all of the pillars, they can sort of sit at the top and come up with the strategy, the approach that you’re going to take and the way you’re going to execute. But then you might make use of outsource partners for your link building and your content creation. Were super time consuming, it needs to be done. It needs to be done at scale. And you probably you couldn’t get one person doing all of that. But then if you did want to do it all in house, you have you’ll need that senior strategist that manages the whole process. You’d need at least one content writer, one full time Link Builder Prospector, and then one technical developer type person across those four people you would then have an SEO team to work on your site all day

Arthur 24:41
long. Oh said that’s gonna

Michael 24:45
be expensive. Yes. So well. Yeah. comes back to you your business goals. Most of the time. It doesn’t make sense to build a whole SEO team in house. That’s why agencies exist and people use it. Alright, let’s move on to Question from Anthony. I’ll let you type this one because I need to get my breath back here. Yeah, he

Arthur 25:03
kind of answered it very well. Well, thank you. It sounds a bit of a shorter question. From Anthony, what’s the best way to track keyword rankings. So there’s a number of ways you can do it, starting from manual checks or going to Google and incognito, and then just searching for your keyword and then having to go through all the pages to find where your page ranks for that keyword. So not ideal. There’s other ways you can do it, such as Chrome extensions. So the one that I use is called fat rank, by factor Assir. been using it for years since I’ve started. So basically, it’s just an extension where you can set your location search for a particular keyword on Sorry, I have to stop again. So you have to be on your domain on your site. When you’re on your site, you open up the extension search for the particular keyword that you’re looking for, and your location. And what it’ll do, it will show you where or what position you rank for, if you do rank, and then what page ranks for that. So again, good if you want to spot check keywords, maybe if you have like, you know, half a dozen to a dozen. But if you really want to track, you know, dozens to hundreds of keywords, I’m starting to ramble, like, you

Michael 26:19
know, you’re answering it comprehensively.

Arthur 26:21
Yeah, so, if you’re wanting to track, you know, a large number of keywords, then you’re probably going to have to look to a dedicated rank track doc Rank Tracker, or H refs, which also have a dedicated Rank Tracker built in. So the one that we use internally is Nightwatch, which I think having used a different number of different variations or different rank trackers from the stumble here. I find it’s the most accurate. Yeah, the best UI the easiest to use, you can link it with GA Search Console. They’ve got servers all around the world so that they you can track from different locations if you need to. So if you’ve got a client and you’re in Sydney and you’re in Perth, you can track from Perth if you’re in Perth, and your clients in Singapore, you can track from Singapore. So really handy. You can track competitors as well. So

Michael 27:10
you get nice little of the key like the setup might result at

Arthur 27:14
times they can average position of all the track keywords. Very accurate. Pretty accurate as far as these tools go. Yeah, so takes into consideration the local park, I guess site links and stuff, organic site links and things which can pop up in different I guess search results, position zero. Doing a sales pitch for these guys.

Michael 27:33
Let’s say some competitors of them are stat gets that actually rank I let pick your poison if

Arthur 27:41
they’re all going to do the same thing. I don’t know which one I want, in my opinion, unbiased opinion, which is the best but essentially that they’ll do the same thing. We’re not

Michael 27:49
really like, we’re not really testing other tools. Because we just use this one it works. I address I would say is a bit slow to update like it

Arthur 27:57
if you pay for the actual rank tracking. I think it’s about 24 hours, which is what Rank Tracker is Nightwatch. Sorry, they used to be called Rank Tracker. Yeah, not watches every 24 hours and midday our time is when it refreshes. So yeah, best way to track keywords is using rank tracking software.

Michael 28:16
If you’re serious about it, if you’re serious about it. Yeah, if you’ve got a little bit of budget, they’re not super expensive. usually

Arthur 28:21
pay per keyword. Yeah, pay per block for keywords. So I don’t know how much not what should be not. Not much if you wanted to track 100 pages,

Michael 28:29
so we pay heaps, but we’re tracking 1000s Oh, yeah, that’s right. Like some if you’re just tracking it for one site, like you’re talking probably less than 50 bucks a month. Yeah. 10s of dollars. Yeah. 10s of dollars,

Arthur 28:39
doubles, double digits.

Michael 28:42
All right. Let’s move on from that one. Just the last one. Yeah, this is the last one I didn’t even know. I think this is stolen from Jeff uncredited this one. I was so fired up by this question, because we have quite a lot. This was for a minute. Yeah.

Arthur 28:53
It’s one I found which set you off. So I’m gonna read it out. And you can answer it. Yes. Okay, cool. So let’s just say hypothetically, a competitor is copying your site design and content. What can you do?

Michael 29:08
Now the reason this sets me off is we have had this happen a tonne over the years. Some examples, you know, we we had a website. We had like a footer sub brand of our agency running PPC. So this is we had copy like I slaved away on the copy for that site, put it on the site, and then

Arthur 29:29
slaved away slavery very emotive language. Yeah, that isn’t

Michael 29:32
my favourite I’ve sent them wrote some copy for a while. But it was my work and it was on the site. And this other business inquired with us about us running Google ads for them, like sort of outsourcing to us. We didn’t work together but then not long later on their website, almost word for word. I saw our copy from the page at the top. That’s one example. I’ve seen other websites where they’ve pretty much copied and pasted the entire local digital websites copy and put it on their site

Arthur 29:59
that was like the The original website, wasn’t it? I think when Yeah, the 2016 website where we you found someone that basically copied the sections E. VA

Michael 30:08
edits happened with all of our sites? Yeah, it’s just common. And I’m sure it’s not just in the digital marketing space, no in other spaces, of course, for the first, we’ve even had people write like, and I want to

Arthur 30:19
chime in quickly, I’ll be very short, we had a client that was a furniture retailer pretty big. Their SEO agency literally stole copy from a furniture retailer in the United States and didn’t even bother changing the brand name. So I think the company was called Space furniture. So you’d go into the client site, it would be like space furniture, stock, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, I blatantly just copied and pasted the copy from that sent it to the client. I don’t even I don’t know how they managed to approve it. But I think the client might have just not cared and just to do whatever. Yeah, but we went to that extent they’d let just went to a different region copied and pasted it without even changing the brain. Yeah.

Michael 30:54
So it’s rampant? Yeah, isn’t it? Oh, because like a lot of people don’t want to do the work, basically.

Arthur 31:01
Which is why the CDI copyright stuff is really handy, because you can probably do that.

Michael 31:06
And, yeah, next time you’re copying content, just AI rewrite. Yes, that’s different. So anyway, I’m gonna give you a few options from easiest to hardest. Number one, be flooded, and do nothing. Because ultimately, if they’re copying content wholesale of your site, it already means I just said behind you, you know, they’re not, they’re not coming up with this stuff themselves, or bettering themselves or improving themselves. They’re just copying what you’re doing. So just be filed it and do nothing about it, because they’re probably not a true competitor to saying flutter is the imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That’s the one. That’s the one. The next one would be to reach out to the website owner. So track down who owns up, and then politely ask them not to do that lightly. Yeah, politely stop politely. So I’ll give you an example. Our business is called Local digital. Someone in our industry has come and credit a business called Local, digital, and then another word. And when I saw that happen, it only happened like, a few months ago, I reached out to the guy and LinkedIn politely asked him like, why would you create a business that has the exact same name as us when we’ve been around seven years, and we’re very established. And he said that he searched the brand name and didn’t see us. But if you search his brand name, we were ranking. We were ranking organically, we were in the ads. He just didn’t care, whatever. And at the end of the day, could potentially try and get lawyers involved and all that stuff. But is it really worth the headache? Probably not like it’s a small business, that’s me just starting out. I just can’t be bothered. But sometimes, if you reach out politely and ask them not to, they might not realise that they’ve made that mistake, or, you know, maybe they know full well, they did. But once they’ve been caught out, they’re going to change it because they don’t want any problems. So just start with a polite, ask,

Arthur 32:58
try and scare them with legal action. If

Michael 33:00
you can trend, everyone always threatens I’ll have my lawyers or whatever.

Arthur 33:04
Well, I mean, if you’re a small business just starting out, it’s probably not something you want to read nice thing in the morning and have an angry email. So that would be enough for me personally, to potentially just change it.

Michael 33:15
Yeah. Well, that that was where I was gonna go. Next, you can start going down the legal path. So the first one is filing a DMCA takedown. Now, I don’t know how well this will always work. Let’s say you’re in Australia, it may not work. But DMCA takedown. DMCA is a website where you can go on there. And if you are the original, I guess, copyright holder of content or the original creator of content, you can go on there and submit an infringing URL and what your URL is, and give them a whole bunch of information about how you created it. And then DMCA can do takedowns. So I don’t know how successful they are. And I think it’s more a US thing. But that might be something that you could do to again, try and spook them into doing what you want, which is not copying your content. That goes on to the next level of sending a cease and desist letter to them. Where you basically starting to go legal there, you’re starting to say my lawyers will be in touch, you know, or you might even do it through your lawyers to try and take it down further section 250 of a more legal way of asking them politely to not do it anymore. After that, the only option left is to actually engage lawyers and sue them. So I guess it depends on how egregious their offending if and how much you want to spend. Because once you engage lawyers, you’re committing to spending many, many hundreds or 1000s Not even $100,000 Yes, be serious. Yeah. 1000s of dollars trying to take this down. So is it commercial? Does it commercially make sense to do this? Probably not.

Arthur 34:48
I think if it’s impacting your business and potentially but if it’s some small backyard operation somewhere else far away that of you know, probably probably not, unless they actually did become a actual threat. Yeah, well, in which case you’d hope that probably try to build their own brand identity and stop. You think piggybacking of other agencies?

Michael 35:07
Yeah. So using a name of a business is definitely a case where that can happen. Yeah, it might happen in our case, because I’ve seen that now they’re starting to rank close to our brand. Those are

Arthur 35:17
the ones that was don’t want to say their name out loud. Can I know I probably won’t, but it was something local, digital as well. Yeah. There’s a couple of them. And then there was a time of those the guy building websites where everyone thought that he was yes. And I don’t know, I can’t remember what name he used. But yeah, close enough for them to start reaching out to

Michael 35:36
us. Yeah, he used local digital code. That’s it. And then did websites really cheap did a really bad job of it. And then we would have angry clients calling us to threatening, we got a bad review left on our Google profile for business had nothing to do with us. So that one, I went pretty nuclear to try to take it down and get the end result I was looking for. If someone has just copied content of your site lately, the first example I gave where people copied our wording, pretty much word for word. I just can’t be bothered, like, yeah, let him do it. And then you just focus on you and your business and improving things and getting better and better and your business and then not normally going to be no concern to you. Yeah, depends on the level of offending, let’s say,

Arthur 36:18
yeah, if people are starting to call your business confusing you with them? That’s especially if they’re doing dodgy work, then then that’s probably when you can start worrying about it a little bit.

Michael 36:28
Yeah. Cool. Well, that, that that I was gonna say? Yeah, it was, what do we got here? About 35 minutes or so? That’s pretty good. Pretty good. We’ve gone past our contractually obligated. 30 minutes per week.

Arthur 36:44
Yeah. I’m gonna need a free lunch for this.

Michael 36:48
Yeah, it’s almost lunchtime. So on that note, now, Tommy’s a rambling, so we’re gonna go eat. In the meantime, not even the meantime, until next time, happy SEO ing hope those questions help. Go to our website and ask your question. If you have any. We’d love to answer it for you. And we’ll see you next week. See ya, like.

Unknown Speaker 37:06
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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