I was honored to be interviewed by Ilana from Teach Traffic on her Podcast.
In the podcast:
01:32 – Guest Intro
07:39 – Basic Foundations of SEO
11:25 – How Does SEO Affect a Website Structure
20:10 – Concept of “Silo” Based in the Website Structure for SEO
25:47 – What Keywords to Rank in Pillar Types of Content
30:55 – SEO-Friendly Essentials in terms of Content
35:54 – Thoughts on Link Building – Is it Dead?
39:12 – Utilizing SEM RUSH Tool for SEO
42:22 – How the SEO Landscape Changed Since
47:38 – Learn More About Gert Mellak
Welcome back to today’s episode. Today we’re shifting gears a little bit and instead of talking about paid traffic strategies, and that’s all the kind of stuff that I personally love. We’re going to shift gears a little bit and talk about SEO and I’ve interviewed SEO expert because I am by no means an SEO expert to talk about really What does one need to do to be successful in SEO in your 2019-2020 year range that we are in now.
And what are some essential elements that you need on your website, etc. So I interview a guy called Gert and Gert covers a lot of information that you can apply to your own business. So don’t worry about taking notes, we’ve prepared some show notes for you, which are available at teachtraffic.com so be sure to download those show notes.
And it’s like a summary of the episode so that you can apply it to your own business. And if you want to help with Google ads, and Facebook ads and Google Analytics and all that kind of paid traffic stuff, you can check out our online community at teach traffic.com slash training where I will personally help you get better results with your ad campaigns.
And I will I also record audit videos that you can peer over my shoulder and watch me analyze an audit existing accounts that you can learn from Apply into your own ad accounts. All right, so check it out and we’ll get stuck in today’s episode.
Welcome to today’s episode of Teach Traffic. Today I’m shifting gears a little bit. And I’m talking about SEO, which is definitely not in my sphere of expertise. I but I do think that the intersection of SEO and pay per click marketing is an interesting one. So I thought I would invite a guy called Gert Mellak on today’s show, and I’ve known Gert online for some years. And so it’s real pleasure to actually talk to you in person Gert. So welcome to today’s show.
Thank you very much Ilana. Thank you so much for having me. It’s a real pleasure to be on the show.
Before we sort of get stuck into the nitty gritty of of today’s episode. I’m always interested in people’s journey. I know I’ve certainly had an interesting journey and not a typical one. So do you want to spend maybe just one or two minutes telling us a little bit about who you are and how you got where you are today?
Yeah, absolutely. I’m originally from Austrian Europe, moved to Spain to about 10 years ago. And in Austria, I attended some sort of Technical High School where I learned programming all the technical stuff, fundamentals of it, networks, etc.
Basically, at this time, it was at the age of 16. Probably, I thought writing code and and programming would be my whole life. I didn’t want to do anything else. But then over the years, I kind of found some sort of preference for language learning and then moved on studying translations and interpreting for English, Spanish and German.
And in this context, in order to improve my English, I spent a summer in New York City, which was around you 2000, I believe, and there are Literally discovered something called SEO on Craigslist. So I had to really Craigslist because I was looking for a job.
I like New York City I was thinking, really thinking about moving there and and looking for jobs that might be a good fit. So I literally googled SEO had no idea what it stood for. But at that time, I was already doing some web projects in order to earn some money apart from my studies.
And SEO seemed to be a great addition, like an add on service I could provide to my clients because obviously there were more and more websites out there. And I wanted those web my websites to really rank on Google, right.
So yeah, basically, I got stuck with SEO more and more marketing less and less programming. But I mean, I’m still doing some web development more into project management and key account management part of it but Obviously with tendencies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc, coming up, to technically background is really a big asset for me.
And this period with my language knowledge is in English, German and Spanish turned out to be a very positive for international SEO projects.
Interesting. So you mentioned that was back in 2000. So here we are in 2019. At the time of this recording, that’s 19 years in the SEO game, is that right?
Absolutely. We’ve been through quite a few algorithm updates and and huge changes starting out from from adding text just for the sake of having it on there and maybe in white font color on white background just to hide it so that Google will pick it up with keyword stuffing. times where people still thought and didn’t really know work but still thought about meta keywords.
I mean, even 20 years ago, it didn’t work. But people are still today very often insisting in adding meta keywords to their articles to make them rank this never work. But obviously, we went through quite a few phases, quite a few search engines disappearing, being coming up, which now has like 20% in the States, I believe in terms of market share.
And Google obviously getting better and better through our constant algorithm updates. So we we have been seeing basically the whole SEO evolution right from its beginning.
Basic Foundations of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Interesting. So before we kind of touch on how SEO has changed and sort of what it looks like now, can we just take a bit of a step back? And for our listeners who don’t really have a basic understanding of the foundations of SEO, what would you say are the basics of what is like a couple of things that if someone is, let’s say, building a brand new website, what are some of the things that they need to have on their website to get the foundations right?
Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a great question because I always state like two main concepts, right. The first concept is that Google equals attention in the right moment. I’m sure you know this from the from the Google AdWords game.
There is a different difference between Facebook advertising and green advertising because in on Google advertising, you’re just in the right moment there with your offer with your brand with your marketing with your message.
While in Facebook, you kind of need to do some, pursue some tactics to see when might be the exact moment when someone might be ready to decide or have some email marketing automation in place or something to keep them close to the brand right?
Basically in Google you’re just there when they are ready to to get informed about the topic, right? It’s just the exact moment.
Yeah, I often say to business owners, you know, Google search is such an amazing advertising opportunity. You’re sliding your business card under the noses, someone at literally the instant that they have searched whatever it is you offer.
Yeah. Anyway, sorry.
I mean, it’s like it’s exactly what what you’re saying. It’s like being on that. at an event. For example, you collect like 20,50 business cards, and there is no way right now I would need someone who can organize a life event or has the sound equipment I need or does video editing, if I already have a video editor.
But there might be a moment coming up where I don’t have this business card anymore. And I’m going to do a search in Google because then it’s the moment when I’m ready to decide and this is also the moment when I’m most receptive for any marketing messages that might be relevant at this time.
So Google is just really the, for me, the king of the moment whenever this is, right. And then the second concept I think people need to understand is what Google really wants.
We have this this image of Google being the big evil guy, which they might be don’t argue that. But we also need to see that Google really wants to serve their users, they need to serve their users. So they come back to have been tons of many, many search engines are disappearing in the last 19 years when I met in this game that did not manage to serve the users, they they put too much advertising on there.
They didn’t have the quality of search results, etc. And Google is where they are because they have been doing the best job among all search engines in surfing gay users. So when I’m building a new website, Need to exactly understand who are my users? And what are their needs, their pain points, what are they going to be searching for.
And then afterwards, build a website 99% of people and agencies and web designers do it the other way around to build a nice website, then see it doesn’t rank and then need an SEO to fix their stuff.
And that’s kind of where I was going with my question. Right? So if you were building a brand new website, you mentioned, you know, you think you think about who the customer is, what do they need, what their pain points, but how does that affect how you build the website?
Because, as I understand it, and as I said, I am no SEO expert, which is what you’re here today. But my very, very basic understanding of SEO is that there’s what’s called on page SEO, which is the build part of your website, the structure. So how does what use it of who they are and what they need affect the structure?
How Does SEO Affect a Website Structure
Did structure is basically affected by initial research you do about the market? So you might go into forums, you might use a huge variety of tools out there to see how people communicate how people in your market, do their own research, what vocabulary they they use, what type of questions they ask, and what intentions they have when they go online and and research about your product or service.
Google is really big about this, what they call the search intent.
So this is basically the reason why someone would open Google and and execute a search query. And your site structure must take into account that there are many different intentions. Some might be navigational, some might be informational, some might be transactional, which wouldn’t transactional would mean they want to buy a product, or purchase or service.
While navigational would mean they just want to get informed about certain topic. So this needs to be clarified we usually do in SEO projects and initially keyword research, market research, keyword research, maybe do some tests, Google Ads campaigns to further find out how people are really searching in for different combinations of keywords or key terms key topics.
And then create what we call something like a content map, where we would map different keywords to different search intent, and the content we want to put behind there, which would be in our point of view, the best possible answer to what the users are looking for at this special moment.
So if you have the funnel, for example, a general funnel in mind, you know that when in the awareness stage, they probably search for different things then just right before the conversion stage.
So they made just search for commerce and comparisons and pricing and etc, when they are about to convert, and maybe have very general questions and doubts about the product or service, when they start to get into the stage of researching.
Okay, so if I can recap a little bit, just to be sure I understand it this correctly. Let’s put, let’s use an example because often I find it easier to learn with an example say, I’m going to say if I’ve got a business where I’m a chiropractor, okay, so obviously very local type business.
And as a chiropractor, I’m looking to get more patients and find people with back problems. So is this correct in my understanding that I would do run some AdWords traffic, and also keyword research to find the type of words and phrases that my target audience would be using?
Exactly. What’s that? What’s in front But also content in general. So they made research about posture about how to improve your posture in the office when you have a job where you’re sitting eight hours a day in front of the computer.
And also, maybe they might be researching about general health topics. So not only directly certain keywords is also a little bit there surrounding context and surrounding topics.
Okay. First of all, as an aside, I love the fact that you as an SEO person, you do run Google Ad traffic. So many times I come across business owners who do one or the other and not both, but as you and I both know, like they play in hand so tightly together.
And anyway, that’s probably Absolutely. So we run Google Ad traffic to find would imagine the search volume and the intent based nature of the target audience and the characteristics and kind of what’s going on in their head.
Keyword research tool, other tools as well, where we’ve got that information, as my understanding goes, you then map it through a content map and structured in in such a way that it makes it is that correct?
Exactly. When it comes on down to a local SEO project or a local service, geographically locally based service, we would probably also take into account the surrounding areas tourism, authority, institutions, suburbs, etc.
To really add this to the content because for great for local projects, it’s very important that you provide this local context you get links, we might be talking about link building a little bit later.
You might get links from local authorities or other local services which would would further enhance your positioning in your area.
Okay. Is it merely just okay just to meet so with the chiropractor example, is it merely Okay, just to mention the suburb?
Let’s say somewhere in the content? Or does that mention of the location need to be in some other kind of form via a map or a headline? Or does that matter,
we really usually try to to give Google multiple hints about the location of the service. So this is for on one side, you have the Google My Business listing.
So every local business on this is really a must have, they must get registered as a Google My Business company, where they send your letter to your home with a pin code test to identify and confirm you’re really at this physical dress available.
And then Google already knows basically where you are. But apart from this very often regional phone numbers And links from other regional businesses mentioning your hometown once in a while in your content in your blog, some maybe neighbor towns or other regions, other shops, stores, etc.
All those are hints to Google, that your geographic, your location is really irrelevant.
There might be other businesses where this isn’t the case at all. I don’t know online courses or whatever, for example, or our SEO business is really irrelevant of our clients location. But if you have a local business, you absolutely need to give Google a huge variety of clues where you are.
okay. I’ve seen some websites that have tried to do that, I think using pretty bad SEO techniques and in the footer of their website, they had probably about 50 different suburbs. Stuffed in the footer.
Right. This is something that you To work, I mean there are many things unfortunately used to work right it used to work to do with a car repair store in Sydney and the characters or in Melbourne and the car repair.
So out of nowhere test to get this traffic and be maybe you only have as a story and character shopping in Sydney, right? But you just read the traffic from other other sites just in case, there was a chance to maybe hand this lead over to some, some other car repair shop in the area, right.
So people would like be like madly grabbing content, duplicating pages and just changing the city name or their city address. If anything, if you want to do this today, you really need relevant content to back it up and ideally also a physical address.
So if you want to rank for Melbourne and Sydney, you would probably have to have at least a virtual office or a virtual location. Which you can register in Google My Business to really give some sort of proof at least, that your business is really operating from that location as well.
Concept of “Silo” Based in the Website Structure for SEO
Okay. So you’re you mentioned the content map on the content map. Is it correct that the, I guess the structure and the way the content map would fit in with that is that it needs to be quite siloed based.
I remember a few years ago, I read an interesting article by a guy called Bruce clay who also does SEO.
And he talked about the concepts of like, you know, you don’t want a jar full of multicolored bowls. You have to separate into silos of each bowl being a different color and sort of, is that still relevant?
It’s absolutely relevant. They call it content silos to call it content clusters. There are different terms to talk or pillar contents. There are different terms to About basically the same concept concept is that you have one huge, very big article usually which is like an in depth, this is the central piece you want to rank. And then you have like supporting articles that link to this content.
So you made this day with a car repair shop for example, you want to rank for car repair shop Sydney. And you will have surrounding articles talking about all kinds of of car repair stuff you want to talk about, right? This could be cartooning, this could be painting, cars, this could be I didn’t know different car brands in Sydney, etc. And every single one of those articles would link back to the car repair shop from irrelevant context.
So if you visualize this graphically, you have in the center you have this Main article and then you would have smaller articles usually around the main one but interlinked.
So the main one would link to the smaller ones and vice versa. And this basically gives Google an idea of the structure and of the importance and the ranking within the page of the different articles.
Right. And the purpose of inter-linking the smaller article pages to the pillar content is to use the ranking of the pillar content, is that correct?
That’s correct. But it also gives you an idea of what’s more important than the other one. What usually happens on on very on on many sites we do our site all is with is that they want to keep pushing out content, which is great.
But what happens if you have been writing for eight years we have multiple clients who have been with me at least eight years or more. When you have been writing about the same topic for eight years, you kind of get repetitive, right? You probably can come up with new topics about paid search for a year, but then you Probably will start repeating a little bit about along the same lines, right?
For Google, this is a really big problem, because maybe within your page, they might have 20 or 30 articles, which basically stayed the same thing. Yes. So how should How should google really know what to rank? What would you like to rank among your pages? And so internal links can give a great hint about what’s really important in which context.
Okay, so just in terms of a structure, if there are many pages linking to one single page with the keyword, car repair shop, or or car repairs, or car shop, or whatever terms, as an anchor text is made Google give Google a hint that among all your pages talking about basically the same thing, this is the most relevant one.
And then there there is another thing happening in this context and which is when you get a link from an extra Northside decide transmits what they call used to call PageRank or link tues or ranking potential or whatever, to your site.
So this enters maybe on your homepage, and then the homepage by the internal links distributes this link choose among the internet pages. So depending on where you place the links and how you place them, and how many of them you place two pages, you kind of can control up to a certain extent, how this link chooses distributed and which page gets more of it, and which page gets less of it. Does this make sense?
Yeah, it does. And I’ve some reason I’ve got a visual of like a skeleton where, you know, the head would be your homepage within connected to the head and the sub pages and then off the sub pages and more sub pages and that juice just sort of trickles through that way…
Absolutely after I’ve just been I’ve just been setting this skeleton with my daughter it got 206 bones in our body, I didn’t remember that one. But basically, it’s exactly like that. What’s important in terms of websites is that you don’t want to have too many layers.
So meaning layer, meaning one page, linking to the next and the next linking to a third layer and the third link into a fourth layer, because then the page rank or link juice gets diluted quite a bit. So you might have a lot of articles you just push out through social media, and you never intended them to be ranking on Google.
But those you want to rank on Google. You want to really check how you internally linked to them, and make sure it’s not going across too many layers.
What Keywords to Rank in Pillar Types of Content
I see. I see. And, like, how do you decide then? So let’s say you’ve got a pillar content. Right? And how do you say Okay, got your pillar content.
And let’s say you’ve got like three to five keywords that are related to each other, but somewhat different.
How do you decide what keyword you should rank your pillar content for?
Or is the idea if you want to rank for five keywords rather than focusing your five keywords into that one pillar content, you have five different pillar content?
It depends on on how related the keywords are. If they are kind of not related too much, I would probably go for five individual rankings.
But it really depends on on maybe some market research the search volume, the keyword research, the AdWords, Google Ads tests we did before, which would give us a hint on on where to focus our attention if I ever read now with a project of language site, for example, where we implement conversion tracking, just really for the sake of getting an idea on About what pages lead to signups for the newsletter.
And this may be this is basically the first step to know what topics and what keywords we might put most of our attention to. And many projects don’t really know that many projects in many site owners know they get like 50 hundred conversions in a period of time but they don’t know where they come from.
So by the time you know where they come from, you’re going to adjust your strategy. And if the five terms or bring in conversions, we can take where they are ranking right the given time, and then draw the plan on how to get those terms ranking individually or if they are very related.
We would probably try to rank them all in on one page.
And the pages Smaller pages that are linking to the main pillar content page.
Is there a minimum amount of link to the article lots of words that those linking pages need to have? Or doesn’t really matter?
It really only depends on the search intent. Right? The search intent, meaning what does this smaller article really give an answer to? If it’s the height of the Eiffel Tower? I really don’t need more than 80 words on this page. Right?
And it probably will come up in Google, which is also an interesting topic, it will be giving more and more direct answers within their their search results. But with subject search intent, there’s probably no need to write 2000 words because Google is going to see that the usability for for just this answer is just not there and will not give you the benefit of it.
So 80 words or 40 words will probably together with an image be enough for are for a small article. And then you might have topics where it really makes sense to elaborate them a little bit more.
But it really comes down to what do you think users expect when they when they execute a certain search, and then write up the article. I mean, the most important tool for SEO we have and it’s probably the most underused is Google itself.
So if I want to rank for car repair shop in Sydney, the first thing I would do is execute a search for car repair shop in Sydney. Right and then see what comes up because what’s coming up is what Google thinks is the best guess.
However, though, if you’re in Madrid, and I’m in Sydney, if you search for car repair Sydney and I searched for therapists in the you know, different locations, the search results are going to be different or let’s say in even the on the other side of Sydney, is that correct?
You can mean well, it used to be an bigger issue than it is today. You can Meanwhile, configure guru guru search in terms of language and location.
So the results should be pretty similar. We also use use some tools to get IP addresses for localized IP addresses just to eliminate an additional difference that might exist.
What always can be an issue is that your search history influences your search results when you’re locked in in gold cooling knows what you have been searching for lately.
And if you’re researching a lot for I don’t know, Seo In general, there might be some more SEO pages coming up you visited lately, then for me, for example, but I can certainly adjust my search settings to your local environment to pretty much get a similar result.
SEO-Friendly Essentials in terms of Content
Okay, interesting. One last question on the content side of things and then We can move on to maybe link, the concept of links and stuff.
Is there anything in particular that your content needs to have?
You know, certain? Does it need to have bullet points? Does it need to have, you know, h1 or h2 tags and all that kind of stuff? So I guess what are the essential if you’re creating content bit pillar content or the inner page content? Is there anything that that content absolutely needs to have?
Basically for me, what it needs to have is structure, right? We need to be aware of the fact that many users are not going to read it from the beginning to the end, they’re just going to skim through it. And what they are looking for basically, is for a confirmation to be in the right page.
Otherwise, they can go back and click on another search result. So what you want to achieve is when someone opens your page, they need to find as quickly as possible and enough information to get some sort of self affirmation or confirmation today have made the right choice clicking on the search result.
And then they can go deeper and really read the first paragraph, the second paragraph to get some additional confirmation. They’re still on the right page. Right?
What that means basically, is that you want to have different paragraphs you want to have lists you have you want to have main keywords, main topics in each paragraph in bold letters, probably, you want to have some questions in there, you want to have that the title, which should be inviting and and inside them to really read the first paragraph at least.
And then in terms of taking your markup, as you were asking about the h1, h2, etc. This used to be a little bit more important. It was just google representative
announcing a few weeks ago I think that they don’t really care about the age one, but it still helps Google to find out what’s the structure of the text. So in my point of view, and I’ve been talking about this with quite a few SEO professionals out there, I would still make sure there is one age one, indicating what the text is about.
And then at least two or three, age to subtitles for different paragraphs on this page, because it’s just also for the user the best, best way to find out where they can find the information they’re looking for. And for Google, it kind of structures the whole thing and should have them indexing it.
And then in terms of content, what’s really the most important element if you want to pick one is probably the page title. This is not the title of the article, but the title that shows up in the browser tab. So this is the in HTML, this is the title tag. And this is usually the best record commendation Google my changes sometimes, but it’s basically basically the recommendation for the title coming up in the search results.
And this is very important because it influences the click through rate you’re getting. So there are quite a few tricks, you can try to increase your click through rate from the search results. By basically changing adapting to title make it a little bit long, a little bit shorter. brackets work very well. The current year in brackets is like an eye catcher that might increase your click through rate.
So we have got quite a few, quite a few things we can try. They’re also with their so called meta description, the description that usually comes up also in the search results that basically should sell the click not the product, but at least the click to the website and give just enough information for a user to want to find out more.
Thoughts on Link Building – Is it Dead?
Yeah. Cool. Okay, that that is definitely very helpful. So the other component, as we both know, with ranking in Google is getting people to link to your website, otherwise known as link building.
I’ve heard bandied around the industry or link building is dead and all this kind of stuff. I’d love to hear your thoughts on on link building, if it’s still relevant now. And if so, what are some ways that you know, I guess sort of non techie people can go about doing link building?
Um, link building is by no means that there wasn’t an experiment. I think you use a goal where guru thought, yeah, we were going to stop this link building trust by by removing links as a ranking factor altogether. And they had to admit there is no way to do this.
Links are still some something called a some vote of confidence, right? It’s like another side expressing their confidence and giving you Some sort of authority in your field.
Right side said a linking to said be is is telling everybody that side B is relevant for the topic and question. So links are important. And then we have to understand that not all links are created equal, there are better links and worse links.
And there’s also certain kind of risk involved. So let’s, let’s start with the differences in links. You want links from authority sites. So this means if there is a business association, if there is the Town Hall, having their own website and you’ll have a local business, Town Hall would probably be one of the best authority sites you can get.
If you can contribute to a blog in your industry. This blog probably carries a certain authority in your niche and would transmit a part of this authority to your domain to your blog to your article. You want to Get ranking.
So just think about who could be an authority in your niche this very often, this is our these are providers for your providers where you purchase your material your raw material or from they might have websites, they might have a possibility to publish articles there or place a logo of their clients, which would carry a link to your site. And very often the main providers in a nice industry are authority sites themselves.
Okay, so as somebody who does SEO for other people, what are some ways in which you can I mean, not everyone can get a link from their Town Hall, right.
So what are some ways that you can get links to your site? I’d probably a whole episode on this, I’m sure but maybe just one or two strategies that people could could use.
Yeah. Absolutely, I would first really see what are the associations in my niche? What are business magazines?
What are representative organizations, meetup groups, etc in my niche that carry a certain relevance we have some tools basic tools like SEM RUSH, which is probably the main tool anybody doing anything with online marketing mad, might want to look at, which can quickly give you an idea of who are the players in a certain niche that come up in the first.
Let’s say, 5 to 10 pages of Google when you do a quick search and see what could be an interesting aspect for them or an interesting reason for them to link to your site. Then you can look at, at your your clients, for example, your clients might have websites themselves, and if they are relevant, they might be happy to publish an article on their blog.
They call it we call this guest Posting or guest blogging, which is still a very big, big topic in SEO, because it allows you to provide the context where a link comes in completely natural. Right.
Utilizing SEM RUSH Tool for SEO
So you mentioned SEM RUSH. So what’s the way that you would use that tool? You do to maybe touch on that quickly?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, SEM RUSH is is just very quickly to, to get gives you an idea on who is playing in a certain niche in a more important and then one important rankings. So you basically can put in a keyword there, which is relevant for your niche and check out who is ranking who is advertising.
And this quickly gives you an idea of the most important sites and then you can go a little bit deeper and click on one of those sites and see what keywords are bringing them the most traffic is basically gives you Gives you an additional idea on on further sites might be ranking for this term. So it goes a little bit across different levels.
But you come up quickly with a list of probably 3050 pages that could be very interesting. Representative so authorities in your niche that might be good link opportunities.
And then another thing is really to reaching reach out directly to bloggers in your field. And see if they would be willing to either write something about your brand or present something, present your product or you send them a sample, and they do something, some testing around this or write something up or you send them a prepared article, they are tested a little bit to their style, and then you get it published.
This is a really a manual approach. It’s probably in terms of time out of out of reach for smaller websites is more something we would do as an agency for our clients. But definitely I mean, you probably know three five blogs in your niche that could be pretty relevant.
And it really doesn’t cost anything to send them an email present your introduce yourself and see if there’s some sort of collaboration possible.
How receptive Do you find those people and obviously it depends on the industry you’re in but bloggers and people like that generally pretty receptive to, to have someone guest post or get them to linked to you or something?
It depends some some that are publicly announced. They are looking for contributors, right and and they’re more than happy to publish your content because if you have a blog and you want to maintain it, you want to keep it current.
There’s quite a bit of work involved to come up with new content. So the many really appreciating external contributions and others. either directly don’t respond or ask you for money asked you for sometimes very important amounts of money.
Just to get Something published on their blog and and then it really comes down to your idea and your pitch of of the content you want to publish their if they really see great value for the audience in the article you want to, to publish on their site, they might be more than happy to, to get it published and give you the link as well.
How the SEO Landscape Changed Since
Okay, I mentioned at the start of this episode, you’ve been doing this for an amazing 19 years, which is quite an achievement well done.
But how it’s changed in in those 19 years? And I would imagine it’s, it’s a completely different landscape now.
So can we just spend a couple of minutes touching on on how the SEO landscape what what it is looking like for business owners now and Is it is it really, really difficult is it you know, how hard is it for some business owners?
Yeah, sure. I mean, it was definitely much easier, like 10,15 years ago. But at the same time, we have to admit that we didn’t have the same tools nor the same experience, nor the same strategies or tactics in place, which we have today. I mean, like 10,15 years ago, when I started out with this, it was really all about keywords today, we talked about entities, but then we really talked about keywords, which was it, individual words, we sometime at some point figured out, you have to have them on the page to get them ranking.
And we got client calls about why we waited in rank for certain terms, which we aren’t even on their site. So we had to do some quite some education in terms of of what Google really can and can’t do in the around the year 2000.
Today, they can do much more, but it was like very scalable way I remember for example, someone calling me they had like 8000 websites build up for all kinds of different exact match domains they call it so like clamber or cheapest plumber sydney.com and they’re very, very cheapest, Colombo Sydney comment and clamber for companies sydney.com etc.
Or what I mean so they had like, like really eight literally they sent me the list it was like literally 8000 domains, they had a whole group of of editors writing up very, very quick and bad content just to justify that there was a site and they had an advertising based business model, which really worked. So the funny thing is, this was really working for them.
Until in 2011 panda came around Panda was one of the very first quality pays they algorithm updates for Google where they completely fought against what they call think content or like basically useless articles as I like to like to call them. So we had some just tons of of websites around they had like, paragraph about difficult topics, but the head maybe hundred 200 words explaining this topic.
Many times really copied and pasted or, or spin articles where they just changed a few words and basically reuse the same article changing three words. So the panda algorithm was really good for the for Google’s quality, because it got rid of many, many of those content farms and, and agencies that wanted to do SEO as it was back then that scale. So I mean, this this company, I remember the phone call.
This guy said, Yeah, we’ve got 8000 users websites, I can purchase them for $5 $10 whatever amount I’m telling him is going to sell because they basically ran out of business. They had to kick out like 2030 editors and and SEOs if you want to call them like that, because they, I mean, Panda really ended a lot of businesses. I believe it was great for the SEO industry, and great to for recovery projects, etc. But basically, Panda was the first thing that really ended low quality content at scale.
1000 domains, I mean, that’s $80,000 a year interesting domain renewals.
Yeah, absolutely. But their business model was advertising and impression based and Google gave them the rankings and the impressions. So they didn’t really care that the nobody spent on this website more than a minute or two.
They didn’t care about it. It was just a very small, tiny website that was ranking for one term, and for each search, generating one or two impressions, and this at scale. was was profitable enough to run their business.
I mean, this is one example. But we’ve we’ve seen this on on every local business website back then where they had, like you mentioned earlier, then the 2030 location based pages, which were basically the same page. It just changed the name and the title to make it rank for different cities and different combinations.
And this was also something where, where Panda Panda was the first algorithm update that kind of broke this tendency or forced sites to be a little bit more creative.
Learn More About Gert Mellak
I’m sure we can. We got lots of stories that we could share in the years that we’ve been in this industry. Cool, alrighty.
So thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. I really appreciate you coming on today show.
Where can people find out more information about you and your agency And how you could possibly help them if they need help with SEO?
Yeah, absolutely the best would be to enter into my personal website, which is gertmellak.com going to spell my name is not the easiest and English, it’s gertmellak.com.
And you basically find out about my SEO consulting service. We, as an external consultant, I tried to kind of guide marketing departments or site owners directly on their path through SEO, and also advise them on what could be a possible link building strategy to site audits, etc.
Yeah, I was I would imagine it as site board, it would probably be really useful before someone inbox on on doing link building, I would imagine that would be the first port of call.
Absolutely is the first starting point.
Well, thank you so much for coming on today. Show I really appreciate you taking time out of your day or evening. I think it is for you right now.
So you may think thank you very much for this opportunity. I’ve been listening to your podcast for quite a while and looking forward to the next episodes about paid traffic.
There are tons of connections between SEO and paid strategies. So learning quite a bit, and it was really a pleasure to be here.
Thank you so much. Alrighty, I’ll talk to you soon.