106 - Cross-Channel SEO with Stephan Spencer


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This conversation of Gert with Stephan Spencer in this episode is kind of different from other episodes because of the inspiration and soul included in it. Aside from Stephan Spencer's expertise in SEO, he delved deeper into the morality of how AI is quickly integrating into the works of content creators, thus taking away the credit from the originators who created their works intuitively. 

For Stephan AI can be used for generating ideas for your content, but to have AI write your articles is like crossing a slippery slope.

Listen to this episode and be inspired by the perspectives on the best use of cross-channel SEO.

Podcast Highlights:

00:00 Prologue

00:48 Podcast Intro

00:48 Introduction of the guest, Stephan Spencer

02:54 How does Stephan leverage intentionality in the work that he does?

04:11 What brought about Spencer's change from being agnostic to being intentional?

06:27 The challenges of working with six or seven-figure brands or organizations vs billion dollar brands.

09:47 Why does Stephan like to work with small, nimble, hungry companies and leverage social platforms that actually yield SEO benefits?

13:32 How does the involvement of influencers in social media create intrigue and stir among people, and how does this impact SEO?

19:21 Google seems to not penalize links anymore - how do they even know when a penalty or algorithmic adjustments are even happening? 

21:44 Link building is going to be important again with the onset of AI getting more advanced.

24:38 How is Google going to respond to AI generated content?  (..Where is the credit to the originators who actually created their content intuitively?) 

27:08 Expectations with Chat GPT and other AI tools. (...The thin line of inspiration and theft.)

29:11 What Stephan thinks about the future of AI, the dead internet theory which means that most of the internet is fake.

33:03 Who are the three audiences that you write for? (...What is a curiosity gap and why is this style of writing hard to accomplish?)

37:50 Balancing quality and quantity: How to tap into that universal intelligence and create an article that is remarkable?

39:17 Why does Stephan not spend time on Facebook and even deleted the app from his phone? (...Why does he think that FOMO is part of an illusion?)

41:27 Where to connect with Stephan Spencer?

41:55 End


Past episode - Episode 96


Connect with Stephan Spencer: 

Website - https://www.stephanspencer.com/

Marketing Speak Podcast - https://www.marketingspeak.com/

Get Yourself Optimized Podcast - https://www.getyourselfoptimized.com/

Connect with Gert Mellak:

Website: https://seoleverage.com/

Email: [email protected]

Cross-Channel SEO with Stephan Spencer

Cross-channel SEO is a strategy that uses multiple channels to improve a website’s ranking in search results. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has played a huge part in optimizing content as it can be a valuable tool for content creators. However, this should not be used to replace human creativity.

In this episode, Stephan Spencer, an expert in SEO, will share his insights on how to use cross-channel SEO. Plus, he will discuss the use of AI and its morality.

Stephan Spencer’s Intentional Approach

Intention is the key to achieving the goals. Stephan defines strong intentionality as more likely to manifest the results you desire. This is because intention creates a powerful energy that attracts the right people and opportunities into your life.

For example, let’s say you want to reconnect with a family member at a reunion. If you simply show up without any intention, you may or may not have a meaningful conversation. However, if you show up with the intention of reconnecting, you are more likely to find the time and opportunity to do so. You may even find that the other person is also open to reconnecting.

Of course, intention is not the only factor that determines success. You also need to take action. However, intention is the foundation of all success.

The Different Challenges of Working with Large Brands

Stephan Spencer, an SEO expert, shares his experience working with six- or seven-figure and billion-dollar brands. 

Here are some of the challenges of working with billion-dollar brands:

  • They are often slow to make decisions.
  • They are resistant to change.
  • They may be more focused on short-term results.
  • They may be more concerned with protecting their brand reputation than taking risks.

Overall, working with billion-dollar brands can be risky, but it can also be very rewarding. Brands with a strong mission that is making a positive impact on the world are more likely to be a good fit for SEO experts looking for meaningful work.

Why It’s Best to Work with Smaller Companies

Stephan Spencer prefers to work with small, nimble, and hungry companies because of these reasons:

  • They are more nimble and flexible.
  • They are more likely to be open to new ideas and changes.
  • They may be more focused on long-term goals.
  • They may be more willing to take risks.

Spencer believes that social media can still be a valuable tool for SEO, especially when used in conjunction with other channels. He enjoys the challenge of figuring out how to leverage social platforms to achieve SEO goals. Spencer also notes that social media platforms can be a valuable source of backlinks. However, he cautions that not all social media links are created equal.

The Impact of Influencer Marketing on SEO

Stephan Spencer talks about how influencers can create intrigue and stir among people on social media and how this can impact SEO.

He uses the example of Justin Bieber’s promotion of his song “What Do You Mean?”, which involved getting a bunch of famous celebrities to post countdowns on social media leading up to the song’s release. Each celebrity held a piece of paper with the day number and the hashtag “#WhatDoYouMean?”. In some cases, the celebrities would also sing a snippet or do something else to intrigue their followers.

Spencer argues that this type of social media campaign can effectively generate buzz and drive traffic to a website. He also believes that it can positively impact SEO, as the links from the influencers’ social media accounts can help improve the website’s ranking in search results.

Spencer concluded by saying that SEO is not just about tactics but also about strategy. He believes that businesses should focus on developing long-term strategies to help them achieve their SEO goals. 

Is Google Still Penalizing Links?

Google’s link penalty policy and how it has evolved over time. Stephan believes that Google’s algorithm is now so sophisticated that it is essentially a penalty in itself. This is because the algorithm is constantly learning and evolving, and it is difficult for websites to keep up with the changes. As a result, websites may find themselves demoted in search results without knowing why.

Spencer also discusses the EEAT and human reviewers who are responsible for rating websites according to Google’s guidelines. He believes that the EEAT team is no longer as important as it once was, as Google’s algorithm now has enough training data to make its own decisions. In episode 96, Gert and Jonathan Gilliam from Originality AI discuss everything about AI and the tool to use for detection.

Link building is also likely to become more important again as AI becomes more advanced. This is because AI can detect unnatural patterns in links, such as those that are bought or exchanged. This will make it more important for websites to build natural links, such as those that come from other high-quality websites.

Is it Better to Use AI?

Stephan argues that AI-generated content will eventually be able to fool Google’s algorithms but that it will still lack the “soul” that is present in human-generated content. Additionally, AI-generated content is often plagiarized from other sources. This lacks credit to the originators and is unethical.

The future of AI is uncertain, but he is concerned that it could lead to a “dead internet” where most of the content is fake. Nowadays, AI-generated content is becoming difficult to distinguish from human-generated content. This could lead to a situation where people are increasingly being swayed by fake content, which could have a negative impact.

Who Does Stephan Spencer Write for?

Stephan Spencer writes for three audiences:

  1. The Linkerati: These are influencers who have a lot of authority, trust, and importance in the eyes of Google.
  2. Core audience: The ideal client avatar, which is the target audience for the business.
  3. Search: This is content to rank well in Google search results.

These three audiences can have competing interests. For example, Spencer may want to use keyword-rich headlines to appeal to Google. But this could make the headlines less interesting to the Linkerati.

Spencer also recommends creating a funnel or multi-phase process for writing content. This process starts with brainstorming a topic, then moving on to creating a headline, an outline, and viral images. AI can also be used in the first part of this process to help brainstorm topics.

Stephan Spencer believes that quality is more important than quantity in content creation. He defines quality as “remarkable” content, which is content that is “worthy of remark.”


By merging SEO efforts with social media strategies, you can achieve your shared goal. This approach allows for the leveraging of various platforms and channels to their fullest potential. 

While the impact of social media on SEO may vary due to factors, it’s best to think outside the box to yield tangible SEO benefits. An SEO agency like SEOLeverage can help you do that!

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