The first guest who is more overexcited and enthusiastic than I am. You can almost hear his arms waving. Very fun conversation, and Patrick is super-smart. The importance of Alexa is overestimated. There are so many devices that we will soon be talking to. All fun for us, but it is still too early to make it the focus of our strategy. Patrick sees a world where we no longer actively search as assistant devices like fridges, stoves, Bose glasses, necklaces, contact lenses become so much part of our environment that search and discovery are delivered to us as part of our everyday interactions. To get the biggest slice of this cake, Google is acquiring access through partnerships with Samsung et al. Google needs the manufacturers more than the manufacturers need Google and so it pays them, not the other way around, which surprised me. But Amazon are going to give Google a run for their money if only because of generational bias. We are soooo Google, but the youth of today are more Amazon.
I start by overdoing his surname in the song. Then he tells me that he did 152 events last year. Then onto featured snippets – and SEMrush’s study of 80,000,000 featured snippets (with hints as to how to get them). I link the 20th March update with the big uptick in featured snippets on that date. Fernando gives me the lowdown on how featured snippets are evolving. Fernando sees beauty in featured snippets and tells me about the most beautiful tabular featured snippet he has seen (Australian). Featured snippets are for brand awareness and consideration – embrace them, and you will flourish. Don’t ignore preposition keywords – that is how people research the purpose of a product. Apparently the results for queries around iPhone are very, very different accross countries – and that becomes very obvious (and important) for the latter stages of the purchase process. Onto the factors for ranking as the featured snippet. Then 55% of featured snippets have a ‘people also ask’, as do results with images, carousels and videos – this is the start of predictive search and Google preempting our needs. Loads of countries don’t have featured snippets in their language – and that is an amazing opportunity (unless Google gets really good at translation). Then onto the number of words in different languages and the ensuing ambiguity and the need for context… I push things too far (as usual) and get over-theoretical about Polish, Russian, Hebrew… Finally, Fernando tells us that ranking factors will no longer be a factor in our thinking in the near future. Finally, if you can solve the users’ question or problem quickly, then you will win the game.
I am very curious about his name, given that he is from Ukraine (I think). He cites Arnold Schwarz-a-thingy. The onto more serious matters – starting with a definition of ‘Long tail keyword’ (we mostly get the definition wrong, by the way). Long tail does not refer to the number of words in a query, and Tim proves it. Interestingly, some one word queries have very small search volume. Which ones? In short ‘if the query is long it doesn’t necessarily have low search volume and vice versa’. Then, 90% of content on the web gets no traffic from Google. We are producing a lot of content for no payback. Another misconception is that the page ranking #1 in Google for a given keyword gets most organic traffic. Not true. Tim gives a brilliant explanation. I then ask a brilliant question (Tim’s words , not mine :) This encourages him to give an amazing example of content for ranking, clicks and conversions (the dream !) Tim then states that user signals are super influential on ranking, whatever Google says. Finally, we exchange quotes about simplicity in writing… and Tim wins with the best ever quote from a French philosopher.
We discuss Alina’s name and how much we both learn from our respective podcasts before getting down to the nitty gritty. Content and strategy for voice search. Voice search saves time and time is our currency. Brilliant. Dan Shure suggests is a fan of providing multiple formats for content so that you have the right format at the right time for users. Text and audio, perhaps video… then I get predictably overexcited by Dan Shure’s name. Speakable content, accessibility (where I do a terrible Simon Cox impersonation), images, then APIs (companies will need to develop them to feed these devices). Lastly, we swerve into push notifications, specifically on voice. Warning – I talk too much in this episode. Poor Alina is very polite about it.
I start singing lower than ever before (you can almost hear the hangover in my voice). Anton then tells me ‘you could do the song better’ (which I could). He also tells me he worked more than he drunk at SEMrushLive. I didn’t. He tells me how he got where he is today. Then onto webinars… first off, ask yourself why you are doing it. Just because you can? Or you have a good reason? Jo Pulitzer suggests not trying to sell anything. Building your audience in three stages : people get used to you, then build that to trust (by giving value), then you to loyalty. That loyalty and trust is then extended to your brand. Brilliant. And always remember that people are investing their time in your webinar. At the end, they need to feel that invested their time wisely. We often forget that conversation has a value… and he agrees that if it doesn’t, my podcast is dead ;) We then get onto 70% of the quality of the answer is in the question. Then back to webinars. Sexy titles and descriptions are vital – often more important than faces. And SEO is not your principal question for the announcement landing page. Make it for people, and reach out to them. Then I get over-analytical about entities, so-occurrence, relatedness, semantic triples… And Anton brings me back to earth very politely. What is his point of view on volume vs quality? We end with the part about influencer marketing – Anton doesn’t know a better tool for influencer marketing. I suggest podcasts. Guess what he replies. Then he quotes President Kennedy at me to make his point. Finally, Anton gives me a lesson in business (which I need). It isn’t rocket science (and yet I didn’t spot the trick).
A lovely companion to my conversation with Gianluca Fiorelli’s International SEO podcast appearance, since this looks at international expansion in digital from a business strategy perspective (beyond the website).
She starts by wonderfully singing thank you (turns out Sarah is Welsh and therefore can sing like a bird). She admits that talking is her favourite hobby. Onto the business at hand, she tells me that the six steps: Get Aware, Get Ready, Get Started, Get Strategic, Get Building, Get Performing. Businesses try to run before they can walk (Sarah uses the term ‘fools rush in’, but that is a song and thus dangerous territory), and too often skip steps. In SEO we are very much working in the ‘get performing’ stage, but many of our clients have skipped one or more steps and are not truly ready. But when they do faithfully follow the 6 steps, unstoppable international growth ‘simply requires nailing one territory before expanding by replicating to the others.
- Links are like nuclear waste.
- Links have less value than before penguin.
- PBNs no longer work.
- Mentions have no value.
- Relevant links are gold
Google are simply sending us a red herring by saying that we should stop focussing on links, so says James Brockbank. In this really enjoyable conversation, James shares some great examples of linkbuilding and gives his 6 point list for creating content that will get those valuable links.
Oh, and apparently, Kim Kardashian works less than a day to earn what the average Brit earns in a year !
Régine gives us a great view of how to measure brand (or personal brand) reputation over time. She then enthusiastically encourages us NOT to stick our head in the sand and face up to the realities of our reputation. then goes further and suggest that we share our reputation score (?!) and maintain an ongoing brand reputation strategy that accounts for all the important stakeholders (and not just the clients).
Lastly, she insists that we manage our reputation proactively so that we are safe when the paw paw hits the fan :)