SEO Pros: Anton Surov @ Sportsbet

SEO Pros: Anton Surov @ Sportsbet

SEO Pros: Anton Surov @ Sportsbet

Episode 058

Gambling is one of the more difficult spaces to do SEO in. That’s why I invited Anton Surov, SEO Manager at Sportsbet to come on the show this week for another edition of our SEO Pros series.

We spoke about his background in SEO, and how he made his way to work at Sportsbet via working agency-side in Moscow and London. Our chat delved into some interesting technical and tactical tidbits on the Sportsbet approach to SEO.


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Unknown Speaker 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.

Unknown Speaker 0:37
Good eye. G’day, how’re you going? Michael Causton here and it’s time for another episode of the SEO Show. This week, we’re doing another SEO pros episode. That’s where we bring on someone who works in SEO, maybe in house or at a big brand. And talk to them about their journeys in SEO, how they found it, how they learnt it, and what they do day to day in their role. So this week’s episode, we’re talking to Anton Seraph. Anton is the head of SEO SEO manager at sports bet the Australian online betting company. Now I thought it would be cool to bring Anton on because online betting gambling is a really difficult space when it comes to SEO, trying to get links in that space is difficult. The competitors are aggressive. There’s affiliate marketers out there competing for certain terms. So I wanted to chat to him about some of the stuff he does on the sports bet site. And we had a pretty good chat, we’re not pretty good. It was a really good chat. I really enjoyed it because we covered all sorts of different topics. You know, we spoke about AI content generation project that he had in place to to programmatically create a lot of content for the site that’s had great results. We spoke about how he set up server side rendering for what was a heavy, react based website. We spoke about how his team structured their at sports betting how they structured their events, pages, and their betting pages and a whole bunch of stuff that I thought was really cool and interesting. So if you’re an SEO nerd like me, you’re going to enjoy this chat with Anton Seraph. Let’s jump over to over to it now. I bring you an answer of SEO manager at sports

Unknown Speaker 2:12
Hi, Anton, thanks for joining us on the show for people who may not have heard of you. If you could please let us know a bit about yourself and your background. We’ll get going from there.

Unknown Speaker 2:23
Hi, Michael. Yeah, thanks for having me. My name is Anton. At the moment. I’m a co manager at sports bet. Been doing SEO for about 10 years. Being in Australia for five years before but I worked in London for about three to four years and originally from Russia from Moscow. And that’s where I can just start started my soccer. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 2:45
Awesome. So the reason I brought you on is you are the FCA manager there at sports fit. And I thought it would be cool to have a chat to you for a number of reasons, you know, one being how competitive that space is from an SEO sense. And some of the challenges involved particularly on the the link building side of things, at least from my understanding of it. But before we get into chatting about what you do day to day, I’d like to have a bit of a chat about your journey with SEO, you know how you discovered it and sort of how you got into this world how you built your career and SEO? So maybe if we could go back to the start. Do you remember how you’ve came across SEO and those early days? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 3:20
Sure. Yeah. Um, I think it’s always interesting to learn about diverse careers. And so it’s always so different. For me, in uni in Moscow, I was studying marketing, but over time, I was kind of obsessed with photography, I was actually applying to be to be part of the university, which no digits photographers in Russia. But I find out that there is no money in this industry. And I thought, Okay, I need to find a job. And I had really no skill, no skills. So I got an internship in one of the companies in Moscow. It was kind of a digital studio. And I was really mentioned vcms and had a chance to learn a little bit about AdWords, Yandex Direct. And also I kind of touched on SEO, and SEO became passionate for me. Start reading originally a lot. I read a lot in in English and Russian as well. And that’s where I can start working on it. After one year, I got invited, I got lucky. I got invited to media co Moscow colophon agency, my main client was Procter and Gamble, which was a very strange client because they had zero. Interest in performance over catabolic was just a warmness and you know, awareness. And so it’s kind of an instant mix. But that’s the place I kind of learn more about the agency side of SEO after the client invited me to London. I was part of Mediacom, London, which was a massive team about maybe 50 to 60 SEO specialists, probably the biggest SEO team at this point at this point in time. In London. It was very good experience. I worked on a range of clients again, Procter and Gamble was my main client but I also had Nico and and others

Unknown Speaker 5:00
It was cool. But I was thinking I want to maybe step up and find a change. I had this offer to go to Canada or Australia, Canada felt like it’s a little bit too cold. I had enough snow in my life. So

Unknown Speaker 5:14
I decided to go to Melbourne. I spent one year here in iProspect.

Unknown Speaker 5:19
It was good experience. That was my first manager experience. And it taught me a lot.

Unknown Speaker 5:25
But then opportunity popped off of sports bet. And I felt like Yeah, but I want to try it in house. And as you said, betting is very competitive. So that was my kind of main reason for me to try betting industry. And the website itself was very interesting. A lot of issues by the website is big. But what I guess most interesting about this website, it has about 100,000 pages going in and out every week. So it’s very dynamic. It’s a lot of movement, and it’s a lot of issues of credibility. Yeah, awesome. Okay. Well, we’ll talk about sports fit in a minute. But out of interest, you know, you when you started off in Russia working on SEO, were you working on Google, or Yandex or both? You know, the agency don’t? Yeah, that’s good question. I was working on both.

Unknown Speaker 6:14
Yandex probably was kind of a bit more, more a bit more of my focus. It’s actually quite instinct search engine to optimise for, they have their own product. And they have their own updates their own system and tools, which are pretty good, too.

Unknown Speaker 6:29
But Google was always kind of

Unknown Speaker 6:31
more interested for me, because all the new updates, all the new trends always happens at Google first. Yeah. Well said, What would you say the main like, does it work very similarly, in terms of the, you know, links content technical for both search engines? Or are there sort of big differences between the two that you noticed?

Unknown Speaker 6:49
Yeah, I think younger, pays more attention to behavioural factors. So bounce rate, and know how user interactive website actually matters. They do have, they do have their own kind of tracking software called Yandex metrica, which provides them with enough enough data to understand how people in Russia really use the internet, and the heavy on browser as well. So they actually have a lot of data about the Russian population. So we know pretty well, what people like and what we don’t don’t like. Yeah, great. Okay. All right. Well, um,

Unknown Speaker 7:18
along the way, they’re like when you’re working agency side, did you learn on the job? Or did you you said, you sort of got interested in SEO? Did you have places that you went to learn people that you followed? How did you go about educating yourself in this world?

Unknown Speaker 7:31
Yeah, um, I think I took a few SEO courses, but I don’t remember any of them. I never thought they were quite useful to be honest. Like every time you took an SEO course, if you’re just like, okay with courses two years behind, like,

Unknown Speaker 7:45
and it seems to be a very similar situation right now. Yeah, it was written a lot.

Unknown Speaker 7:50
One of my big inspirations was Dan, from Dejan, you know, Dejan. So he’s actually Australian SEO, and I’m lucky enough that we are partnering with his agency at the moment. So it was kind of full circle. For me. It was interesting. I was reading him a lot. He’s experiments, especially CTR experiments, and now have a chance to work with his team. So it’s amazing. Great, awesome. That’s great. Okay, well, let’s have a chat about the sports side of things. Because you know, you’ve worked agency side and you came over to work client side on a big site like that. Maybe after not there. What would you say the pros and cons are of working agency pros and cons of client side? Yeah. It’s always a very good question, right?

Unknown Speaker 8:32
I’d say the main Pro for me was that you can feel the impact of your work. And you can think long term. A lot of time with clients, I found that you produce a lot of recommendations, but we’re not getting implemented. Or like you’re not, you don’t have a say in the strategy as well.

Unknown Speaker 8:50
So you kind of left on a tactical level, you only can provide reports, audits. But in terms of the strategy ACLR was always kind of in my experience overlooked, especially for a big enterprise enterprise clients I was working with, like Procter and Gamble.

Unknown Speaker 9:07

Unknown Speaker 9:08
sometimes we would come to you with a question, do we need a website? So yeah, it was easy to kind of upsell ACL for them and provide a bit more innovative approaches. But for client side, definitely I like that. It’s more strategic, you can make an impact, you can think long term.

Unknown Speaker 9:29
And you also can influence where a CEO could see it in the company as well.

Unknown Speaker 9:35
Great. Okay. Well, um, you mentioned when you came over to sports that, you know, the betting world is very competitive. You also mentioned, there are some challenges with the website.

Unknown Speaker 9:47
Before we jumped on the show, I had a look on your LinkedIn, I thought that you were you did some work with server side rendering. And you know, it was like a sort of a one page site essentially or a one page app. Can you tell us a bit about that? Maybe some of the other technical

Unknown Speaker 10:00
stuff that you had to maybe work on first, when you when you came to the site, maybe the state of the site when you first got to it maybe where it’s gotten to today in terms of traffic as a result.

Unknown Speaker 10:13
Yeah, website is betting websites in general, very JavaScript heavy. Our website used React framework.

Unknown Speaker 10:22
And it’s kind of very, a lot of different feature teams and our developer teams were working on this website, and we’re not always communicate to each other. That’s why at some parts of website would have server side rendering, ours would not have it. And it kind of presents a major issue for ASR. Because what do we find out a lot of elements on the website, like, let’s say, left menu, left navigation menu was not visible for Google bots, which is a major issue for crawling.

Unknown Speaker 10:49
So we had to do a lot of storytelling, a lot of communicating with developers to find the solution,

Unknown Speaker 10:54
and kind of start implementing server side rendering.

Unknown Speaker 10:59
It was a positive culture change. I feel like now I talked to developers, we already think about server side rendering by default. And we know it’s good for SEO.

Unknown Speaker 11:08
So it’s definitely a big win for us. And now, when we see new products being released, or new pages been released, we always come to them and say, like, Hey, guys, can you turn on the server side rendering? And they tell us Oh, it’s already turned on. So it’s, it definitely helps with performance as well. Graham, were you the first SEO hire? And you were sort of coming in and setting that culture of thinking about SEO and having to sell the value of it to everyone? Or was there other people there before? You

Unknown Speaker 11:36
know, I was not the first to hire, I think it’s your team has a pretty long history. But

Unknown Speaker 11:43
I think when we first it’s your team was created, it was the previous kind of setup, it was not react based setup, then a few things changed. And there was a massive migration from the old kind of code base to the new code base. And the when I just joined the migration finished, and the team was only two people and 100%, were focused on migration.

Unknown Speaker 12:05
And we ended up with a new website, not super optimised for SEO and also been part of a marketing team. It was hard to talk to developers like you know, it’s hard for them to understand why a marketing person comes to a developing team asking for some requests. So yeah, we kind of ended up doing a massive storytelling cron trying to present to anyone, anyone we can try to, you know, position a CEO and ask for empathy. So understand what they saw cannot work without the proper tech support.

Unknown Speaker 12:36
So yeah, we spent a few years just focusing a lot on storytelling.

Unknown Speaker 12:41
Well, on the topic of storytelling, you know, if you’re trying to get something like that, across the line, are you coming out at you know, purely from a technical angle, you know, like, there’s no visibility here. If we do this, there will be visibility, or you’re going as far as looking at traffic opportunities and trying to tell the story of what that uplift would be, you’re getting that in depth?

Unknown Speaker 13:02
Yeah, depends on your audience. When I talk to my growth and marketing peers, try to package a product, I’m always trying to get to the dollar value, because that’s the language marketing team operates CPA indoor value.

Unknown Speaker 13:16
But when I talk to developers that don’t care that much, were more care about the traffic. So if we see a lot of people are using the end of a feature built or product they build, it gets them excited. And another breach we found, which is kind of useful for us. It’s called vitals and performance optimisation. Like the seems like developers will love performance optimization with a laugh, core vitals, but we never have time to do it. And we never have a good reason to do it. Really. Right. So we came in, and we just give him a reason to actually focus on performance optimization. So yeah, depends on the audience. Yeah. So you’re finding what gets them motivated and speaking that language to get what you want to Exactly, yeah, yeah. And so you mentioned the team, the SEO team was sort of a couple of people before you and maybe Could you walk us through what the team is like now in terms of numbers, and I guess, roles that you have in the team at the moment? Sure, sure. The team essentially, the structure changed a little bit. Now I have two senior specialists have a tech lead and the contact lead. And they have all remits, will look after different parts of website. So tech specialists, he’s kind of leads the relationship with developers. He also works closely with martec. Now we also have martec, which kind of facilitates his

Unknown Speaker 14:29
relationship with technology. And also we’re likely to have our own developer so develop essentially reports to the tech lead. We also have a contact lead, kind of lead lead looks after the event pages and a few other projects we’re working on and they have a coordinator. So she is kind of specialising on supporting the leads

Unknown Speaker 14:51
and she can step in and know if Elissa one lead goes on holidays. She can step step in and help to, you know, continue with business as usual.

Unknown Speaker 15:00
work for him.

Unknown Speaker 15:02
So yeah, right now it’s your team sits in marketing. It’s we have a search team, which part of media and part of marketing.

Unknown Speaker 15:09
So yeah, let’s set up. Okay, so and with you being the SEO manager, what would a typical day and week look like for you? So what sort of big ticket items are you working on throughout the

Unknown Speaker 15:21
year right now, probably only 30%. Hands on 70% are mostly strategy and communication work.

Unknown Speaker 15:30
Typical day of work for me starts to stand up, we’re trying to run agile, so they have sprints to explain to the work on, it’s kind of it’s not real agile, but you know, it helps us to

Unknown Speaker 15:43
kind of keep this ritual going rituals going. So it helps us to stay disciplined. So we’ve started with stand up, our spend time with my team, have a lot of meetings, I talk a lot to the head of search.

Unknown Speaker 15:56
And depends on the year, on the time of the year, I might focus on strategy, I might focus on reporting, I might focus on, you know, running conversation of different teams and making sure you know, we’re building a network.

Unknown Speaker 16:08
So yeah, and when I have free time, I like data like data, I’m actually

Unknown Speaker 16:14
going to be using Power BI. So we’re trying to transform and convert all our SEO reports to Power BI right now. Okay, cool. Very good. So, um, I had a bit of a look at the site before we jumped on this call very quickly. But um, from what I can see, it look like

Unknown Speaker 16:32
a bit of a structure where you might have events, pages around events. So it might be, let’s say, the Tour de France as an events page. And then within that, it’s got internal linking to betting pages. So cycling betting pages, and it looks like maybe any link acquisition efforts are going to those events pages,

Unknown Speaker 16:50
is that the general strategy, and we’ll talk about links in a minute, because I know that’s a very tricky part of betting SEO, but is that the general approach, you’re trying to like build out these events, pages with content on them, and funnel traffic from them through to the betting pages

Unknown Speaker 17:07
is definitely one part of our strategy.

Unknown Speaker 17:10
For issue have that, as I said, a lot of pages come in and go out from our website. So we have about 100 500,000 pages weekly being created, and when decommissioned, so it’s a lot of you know,

Unknown Speaker 17:23
indexing the indexing.

Unknown Speaker 17:26
And some events that only happen, like once a year, you have maybe like, let’s say, Melbourne Cup, it’s only happens once a year. And the try to accumulate value. And we try to still stay present in in index. With this event page, we explore in different tactics, sometimes we try to run a B test and look, if it’s boy, it’s better to redirect the van page to the market page. Or if it’s by probably going to work for us if we just keep an eye on internal links to market page. But the main purpose of this page is really to stay in this whole year and acquire customers from his pages. Okay, and so out of those 100,000 pages that come and go, is that across the events and the market pages, I assume are the bedding pages, right? Where you

Unknown Speaker 18:09
go to market pages here. So do you how do you control that is that you’re using some sort of like database that you put them into an publishes live? And then do you sort of take them down and redirect them? Or you leave all the bedding pages up? And what What’s your general approach to that? Yeah, I mean, we don’t control biting pages, fillers.

Unknown Speaker 18:28
It’s interesting set up like sport, but don’t really have back end. So back end is great. It was a tool called Open bath, which runs a back end. There’s a trading team of traders who like controls what markets going, what markets go out, then pages, they’re pretty much stay on all year, we have about maybe 100 event pages, but market pages, where it’s not much control, the best we can do is to create opportunities for Google bots to really discover if pages, you know, available on the website. And if it’s not available on the website, like, you know, we tried to create Sitemaps, which updates a few times a day.

Unknown Speaker 19:05
That helps, but they’re looking for our ways as well, like internal linking always seems to be a good opportunity. Yeah, cool. So from my understanding, most of your control would be over those events pages, they sort of sit in more in the SEO team, you can spin them up and try and capture that traffic, funnel it through using internal linking and hope that all the betting pages are crawled and indexed on the back of it. That the general is right. That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s, yeah, sometimes it’s a bit complicated for us because there is no back end, like yeah, there is a CMS but it’s pretty much its bare minimum. So to create any functionality even to change title tags, it required us to make you know create a business case doc, the developers themselves with this idea. They’re going to push back and you have to you know, find the novel reasons why need to do it. So it’s really even to do some simple things on scale on the website like this.

Unknown Speaker 20:00
acts takes effort. And so I take it when you do that, and you just try to template it up, you know, you come up with a structure for the title tags, and that’s it, or are you trying to control them on an individual page level?

Unknown Speaker 20:12
Yes, there’s a template.

Unknown Speaker 20:15
Now we have ability to edit meta tags, and we can Quicken control one individual level. And what they’re trying to do now is essentially run experiments. We’re trying to do a B test and find out what can we do to improve you know, CTR for keywords, especially for brand keywords in

Unknown Speaker 20:31
sport, it’s such a massive brand.

Unknown Speaker 20:34
Like it seems to be sometimes where there’s almost nothing left to rank for.

Unknown Speaker 20:39
Cool. What? On that note? Have you found anything that works well, on CTR and any little hacks that you’ve had success with?

Unknown Speaker 20:48
Um, that’s a good question. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 20:53
What we found is definitely, the length of title helps a lot. It’s don’t even matter how much what do we have in the title, sometimes for length with title, geometry, geometry, always snippet is a good approach. But it’s still ongoing work. For us. We have a number of experiments which you want to run.

Unknown Speaker 21:13
So let’s see. I know one thing we find out, for instance, that if you have duplicate kind of keywords, if you say, you know, Fuji, or AFL two times in the title, it’s not good. So it’s better without it. So yeah, there’s a lot of things which you wouldn’t find out as I was writing a test, like, as an ACL specialist, you will just think that’s good. It’s going to work out. But really, when you run a test, and you look at the data, just like probably it’s better to believe the data.

Unknown Speaker 21:43
Also, that can what’s your process for running these tests? Like, how do you? How do you ABX test it and check it all? Is it something that you built yourself or how you running it?

Unknown Speaker 21:54
Yeah, yeah, we’re on internally, for now. We just can’t compare before and after for a page. But still work in progress. To be honest. We rely on our insights team a lot for this.

Unknown Speaker 22:09
But they are looking forward to see what kind of approach they can we can do.

Unknown Speaker 22:14
Thankfully, it seems to be it’s quite a number of tools right now available in the market, especially for SEO to do. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Well, I’m on the topic of the events pages. You know, I again, when I was having a look at your LinkedIn before, I thought, pretty interesting.

Unknown Speaker 22:31
function or comment that you made about your work, bear, in that you launched an AI content generation project. And with AI being a big thing in the SEO world at the moment, for various reasons, I thought it’d be cool to chat about that if you can, and let us know a bit about what you did there. And maybe some of the results that you’ve had using AI to generate content. So could you tell us, I guess what you did, why you did it, and maybe some of the results?

Unknown Speaker 22:56
Yeah, came to talk about it. Yeah, it was really kind of an MVP and a test project for us.

Unknown Speaker 23:02
We find out we have a lot of racetrack pages. So pretty much for every racetrack in Australia and the world where the page, but essentially, Google would see these pages as as a source for a full page. So we were not ranking super well.

Unknown Speaker 23:18
We wanted to do it on scale. And we were kind of pricing up how much it would cost us to write content for each page. And of course, was about 5060 grand to write content for each page, we were just like, Okay, is it really worth it? Is there an alternative? And before Okay, how about we go reach out to our data science team and they have pretty good data science team and ask them Hey, can you generate this code for us and we will like you as some people will really excited to work a little bit of, you know, natural language processing. And they build a model called Pegasus I think whatsoever it’s an algorithm they used which use the keyword when goes to search it’s craps the content from search from a from top to four top four websites and when it writes it

Unknown Speaker 24:01
and essentially have unique content

Unknown Speaker 24:05
and really like you know, when you talk about restrict pages How much can you say about them it’s so was saying like rights it’s really no Flemington racecourse, you know, beautiful racecourse, and so on, so forth.

Unknown Speaker 24:15
So, yeah, we created the give the gave a list of keywords to data science team, they created with descriptions for us. Then we had a feature team who updated the design of betas a little bit. So they include internal links, and those include this little piece of content, which, honestly pretty small, I think it’s only maybe,

Unknown Speaker 24:36
I don’t know, maybe less than 100 words, but we do it on scale. So we maybe did it for about 500 pages.

Unknown Speaker 24:44
And results are really good. Like

Unknown Speaker 24:48
especially after the helpful content update. I saw that. Now if you Google for you know racecourse name also bedding, like Flemington racecourse bedding we are pretty much now.

Unknown Speaker 25:00
One for almost always racecourse pages.

Unknown Speaker 25:04
So yeah, but the content is readable some of the piece of content we run them by copywriters just to make sure you know, they are readable and pretty much the model was okay.

Unknown Speaker 25:16
But I think it will get much better in the future as making me believe that AI generated content is really where to go.

Unknown Speaker 25:25
Because again, yeah, how much you can say about this race courses? Like, you know, the copywriter will produce the same kind of average looking piece of content? Yeah, look, I am a guy I used to work with. He started off his career writing articles about mattress covers, I think it was

Unknown Speaker 25:42
the same thing over and over so that where AI will shine is in that sort of stuff. Right? And I like the fact that you mentioned that you have copywriters look at it, were they were they tweaking it much? Because my understanding of the way that Google and other tools will detect AI is looking at how I guess predictable the languages and if a human is going through an editing of it, you probably bypassing that hence why maybe after the helpful content update, you did better out of it. Do they have much of an impact the copywriters? Yeah, for some piece of content very deep at a big impact.

Unknown Speaker 26:15
Just because of its kind of Nova Prime race courses for us like Flemington for hours, I believe I don’t really touch it very much.

Unknown Speaker 26:23
But yeah, for the security of a brand, we wanted to have a humanised run by it.

Unknown Speaker 26:29
So it’s happened. But now we’ve made a decision. But we’re going to try to scale with maybe two different pages as well. Let’s see how it goes.

Unknown Speaker 26:37
So out of those 500 How many of them would have been suffering before? And then now how many indexed and you know, ranking, getting traffic? I would say maybe 90% of sulphur force. And now I don’t have a percentage in my mind, but it’s much much much better. Yeah, okay. Awesome. That’s cool. Very cool. interested to hear how the, the next Tesco they’re so happy to hear that.

Unknown Speaker 27:04
I want to talk link building now. Cuz, you know, that’s always been a tough part of the betting world. You know, if I think of affiliate marketing and trying to rank affiliate offers and casino and gambling spaces always very difficult. What sort of value? Do you guys play some link building? I know sports bettors a brand would be attracting all sorts of good links to begin with, but what value are you placing on doing outreach and trying to supplement that with, you know, targeted link building to let’s say, your events pages or other parts of the site?

Unknown Speaker 27:37
Yeah, it’s a good call.

Unknown Speaker 27:41
Yeah, it’s stuff for bedding to do link building. Even when, you know, even menu link building providers who wants to work with you, if you want to get one, we’re lucky but we have very good relationships of different animal food teams of different stadiums across Australia. So we can rely on our PR team, we can rely on our digital media team to help us have links. And some of these links are very, very good.

Unknown Speaker 28:06
Our LinkedIn LinkedIn profile is, is massive. So we’re just not just would not just try to focus on acquiring clicks, we also try to focus on actually how can we grow more profile, what they can do have links, which will last.

Unknown Speaker 28:24
So I think that’s probably the main focus for us.

Unknown Speaker 28:27
But the acquiring new links can mostly rely on our PR team and you know, our colleagues in marketing. Okay. So your team, your internal SEO team, you’re not really doing much in terms of outreach or trying to acquire links at all. It’s more monitoring what you do have and maybe working on your internal linking, for example, to try and make the most of what you do have is that about, right? Exactly, exactly. We tried a few times to do an outreach.

Unknown Speaker 28:56
But yeah, it’s a website like this, when you just get additional 5060 links. It’s good. It’s good. It helps. But then it feels like now it’s it’s better to focus on what you have. And how do you manage your link to your link profile? Yeah, because brands do generate a lot of links. Yeah, absolutely. Definitely would. Okay, cool. Well, I guess would, you know, spoke before about how you learned SEO at the start working in house and you’ve got a team that, you know, you work with? How do you continue to learn now? Is it purely by, you know, thinking of ideas and testing it? Or are you tapped into any communities or places you go online to keep your skills sharp or come up with new ideas?

Unknown Speaker 29:38
Yeah, yeah, I’m,

Unknown Speaker 29:41
I’m focused a lot on data. Right now. I’m learning more about data and before what my focus was on, on kind of front end development and web development, because I wanted to understand our website more. And it helped me a lot with you know, technical aspect of SEO, especially when it comes to the JavaScript rendering.

Unknown Speaker 30:01
It’s, it’s a very big thing. So you’re testing is important. For me, optimization is important for me, in terms of people I follow.

Unknown Speaker 30:10
Like Kevin ending, you know, enterprise SEO, like enterprise SEO is interesting niche. And a lot of things which I learned in, you know, SEO Agency vague kind of applied for enterprise SEO, but it was very different, especially when it comes to storytelling and in all the presenting SEO as a product.

Unknown Speaker 30:33
And another thing has been a manager, I’ve been a leader.

Unknown Speaker 30:37
It’s really an advocate of different fields really need to learn empathy, emotional intelligence, how to lead people how to run, they know he processes.

Unknown Speaker 30:46
So yeah, I’m interested in agile as well, and how, you know, technology team, technology teams and all run themselves.

Unknown Speaker 30:55
Great. Okay. Well, look, it’s been really awesome chatting to you today, Anton, I really enjoyed chatting about the, I guess more ins and outs of the sports bit side of things, because I know that’s a massive site, millions of visits. So it’s really cool to see what you’re up to there. And I think our listeners are going to really enjoy this episode. But before we wrap things up, I have three questions that I always ask people that come on the show, it’s really cool to see the different ways people think about things. And I wanted to run the past year and see how you think about it. So the first one, the first cab off the rank is, you know, from your side, what do you think is the most underrated thing in SEO?

Unknown Speaker 31:33
Yeah, it’s a good question. I think if I put my enterprise lens on, I would say storytelling is very underrated. Understanding what your audience, you know, focus on what they care about. And speaking of language, they understand is very important. Even when I think about myself, like three or four years ago, I would care a lot about the craft a lot about the Google rankings. But really, when you talk to the, you know, senior leaders, you need to put $1 value to your ideas. Absolutely. I very much agree with that, you know, in our agency, with our team, we have to often remind people, you know, clients don’t necessarily care about their impression share in Google ads, or, you know, click through rate, they care about the outcome. So are you painting the story? In those terms? You know, why is the impression share? Why does that matter? You know, in the in terms of customers, for them, and trying to get people to think in those terms is just so important, and a really powerful skill for I think, any SEO person to develop as part of their career in SEO. So I agree with that.

Unknown Speaker 32:38
All right. Well, on the flip side of that, there’s a lot of myths in SEO, what would you say the biggest myth is?

Unknown Speaker 32:47
A Yeah, that’s a lot of news. I agree.

Unknown Speaker 32:50
Maybe controversial point. But I think on page optimization, I don’t think it’s works anymore. To be honest, when RankBrain kind of entered in this entered the scene, I think on page optimization.

Unknown Speaker 33:02
I don’t really think you know, I think keywords or optimising your headers with major change in position of the headers really makes a big impact. Okay, cool. Cool, cool. And then when it comes to tools, there’s all sorts of software in your world, I imagine you might be using a bit different software to what someone ranking a little local website would be using. But if you had three tools to get the job done, what would you pick? What are your favourite tools? Day to day?

Unknown Speaker 33:30
Yeah, love tools, definitely would pick one crawler.

Unknown Speaker 33:35
No surprise, probably going to be Screaming Frog.

Unknown Speaker 33:39
I would pick something for analysis, I would probably go with Python. Because you can do anything you want with Python. And something to you know, again, for managing the data and analysis. Problem goes spreadsheets, probably get

Unknown Speaker 33:54
Google Spreadsheets, I like them, because you can write your own scripts, with JavaScript. So it’s quite useful. So on that topic of Python, is that something that you’ve sort of taught yourself as an SEO? Because I know, you know that it’s not really something I’ve dabbled in that much. But it is very useful. So maybe can you tell us a bit more before we wrap up about your travels in that space?

Unknown Speaker 34:18
Yes, sure. Mostly, I use Python for data analysis. I use pandas to work with data. And it helps a lot because when you use Excel or when you use Google Sheets, if you have a lot of log files to analyse, for instance, you’re going to hit you’re going to hit a wall. Like if you have 1 million lines, it’s going to be hard to run any, any commands or any calculations to them. So that’s a Python kind of come in. And a lot of tools I use right now, because they can afford it. We can get good tools, but really any crawling

Unknown Speaker 34:53
any optimization, any automatization can be done in Python, and yeah, it’s a lot of people in the industry already explore

Unknown Speaker 35:00

Unknown Speaker 35:01
So I think it’s very useful to. Yeah, awesome. Okay, great. Well, it’s been really fun chatting to you. And maybe some listeners that want to go connect with you say hello after listening in. So if people do want to do that, where’s the best place for them to head?

Unknown Speaker 35:16
Yeah, just Google on sort of. I have LinkedIn. I have a website as well, sometimes trying to publish articles. But yeah, probably LinkedIn is the best place. Great. All right. Well, Anton, thank you for coming on the show. It’s been great chatting, and have a great afternoon. Thank you, Michael.

Unknown Speaker 35:33
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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Michael Costin


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