Or get it on:
In this episode, you will hear Mark Williams-Cook talking about:
AI content that ranks: Thoughts on a new breed of sites that are churning out AI generated pages that rank
Title woes: E-commerce sites that are tanking due to the Google title update
SEO Q&A: Listener SEO Q&A
Brighton SEO: https://www.brightonseo.com/
Welcome to episode 128 of the Search With Candour podcast, recorded on Friday the 10th of September. My name is Mark Williams-Cook and today we're going to mainly be diving into listener Q&A. I was going to do it as I have done before, at the end of the episode, but we've got loads of really good questions so I'm just going to dive straight into them. I know a lot of you are going to be at Brighton SEO today, as I'm recording this, and probably making it back over the weekend. Brighton SEO is available online at the end of the month so after I've caught up with everyone's talks, I unfortunately didn't get to go this time around. We might do a roundup of some of the best talks that you've all seen at Brighton SEO. Before we kick off this episode, as usual, I'd love to introduce you to our sponsor Sitebulb, which is a desktop based SEO auditing tool for windows and Mac.
You can get an extended 60 day trial as a Search With Candour listener by going to sitebulb.com/swc. Now, normally I go through some kind of feature that Sitebulb is offering, but they have some bigger news that I would love to share with you, which is Sitebulb have launched a climate positive SEO auditing initiative. And what this does is they say every month we invest in projects to offset the carbon footprint of the Sitebulb team and the energy used by our users’ computers when running SEO audits, we also plant trees for every person. It takes a free Sitebulb trial or subscribe to our newsletter. So basically if you try Sitebulb, they plant a tree. If you subscribe to their newsletter, they plant a tree. And if you purchase Sitebulb, they offset any user auditing with these carbon initiatives as well. They're currently doing a tree planting bonus, which means if you register for this trial before the 31st of October, they will plant not one but five trees. This is the kind of stuff that really makes me love Sitebulb, apart from their tool being brilliant. If you haven't tried it, you don't need a credit card. You've got two months, a 60 day trial, go to sitebulb.com/SWC. It will make your SEO life much easier.
We'll start this episode with a little bit of miscellany. We're still seeing Google's title update rolling out around the web with much pushback, certainly from journalists and those that spend a lot of time crafting their titles and certainly the SEO community. Probably the most damning example I've seen this week was posted two days ago by Lily Ray, who says this is a subfolder of an e-commerce site that had all of its SERP title switched from the title to the less helpful H1 for this subfolder. From that change to now, compared to previous periods, she's posted a screenshot from Google Search Console. And this range that Lily's giving is over 1.9 million clicks and 95.8 million impressions. So a lot of traffic, and they've seen a 0.7% decline in the average click through rate. And I don't mean it's reduced by 0.7%. I mean, it was around 3% and it's been reduced by 0.7% because that means they've had a 32% decline in organic revenue with a 34% decline in transactions.
And that appears to be from the data and what Lily's suggesting that the rankings have stayed stable. It's just that their click through rate has been absolutely massacred by this switch around. I'm still very interested as to whether Google will just reverse this, change this rollout at some point, because I think they do need to do something drastic. I've been watching the discussions that various members of the community have been having with, especially Danny Sullivan, the Search Liaison for Google, who I think personally has been quite defensive over the changes. Another example Lily gave, I think this is her hobby at the moment, finding these examples, is a New York Times article where the original title was ‘Coronavirus and beaches: Can I safely enjoy the sun, surf and sand? New York times’ And this title had been replaced with ‘The beach is open: Should I go? The New York Times’.
Now that ‘The beach is open: Should I go?’ was the H1, the header on the page, when you visited it. So if you click that title, you would go and visit, and it would say the beach is open. Lily tweeted this example and said: “Because these two headlines clearly convey the same message🤦”, obviously sarcastically. And Danny Sullivan from Google's responded: “There's only one headline in that article. It's what we're showing now.” Now, what's happened there is obviously, Lily said, these two headlines and Danny pointed out that Google is using the only headline on the page. But this feels like a bit of a technicality because obviously what Lily was saying was; the title has been replaced by this headline. And I think it's a really good example where Google is getting it wrong in the nuance.
So, the title, in my opinion, displayed in the search result, the original title, which was ‘Coronavirus and beaches: Can I safely enjoy the sun, surf and sand? New York Times’, that tells you what the whole article is going to be about. When you click on it, you have this big heading that says ‘The beach is open. Should I go?’ which to me is more the tone of voice at the New York Times and it's a friendly lead-in to the article. It's not as good as a title for the search result because it's not telling you what the article is about or what it covers. And I would say that vice versa doesn't apply. So that title, ‘Coronavirus and beaches: Can I safely enjoy the sun, surf and sand?’ I keep repeating it because I'm aware of people listening and not looking at the transcript, can't see it, but that title wouldn't be appropriate to try and fit on the little, if you were looking at a mobile page for New York times, right? It would just look weird. And this is really where it comes down to nuance, tone of voice, how these publications want to present themselves and understanding that user journey, which is what Google should be doing, right of the, okay, as a user, I can see what this article is about and then I'm kind of into the New York Times way of doing things. Now, you could argue Google's tested it and the machine learning says, well, more people click on this heading as a title, which is ‘The beach is open. Should I go?’ but I'm not sure personally, whether that's a good metric to use, because we're just pushing ourselves down towards almost this ‘optimizing for clickbait’, which is, you know, I know lots of people have opinions about this as well.
There's almost this Buzzfeed style of article, which is, you know, there's all the classics like ‘Doctors hate him!’ and things like this and ‘Here's 10 of this and number 11, you won't believe!’ these are all things that have objectively been proven to get people to click, but it's no guarantee what you're going to get at the other end is good, it's usually trash a lot of the time. Whereas these publications are high quality and they're allowed that nuance. And I think that's something that this machine learning led approach is really, really missing. So, this debate rages on very interesting to see what's going to happen. Drop me a line if you've been massively, positively or negatively impacted. I’d always be really interested to speak to people about that. The only other thing I wanted to add into the little miscellany chat, before we dive into Q&A, was a really interesting tweet by a chap going by the name of Jake, his Twitter handle is JSVXC, I’ll link him in the show notes, and he tweeted: “Discovered this site pumping out AI content at serious scale. Won't reveal the site owner out of respect and they're targeting low competition, informational keywords. They have approximately 550,000 indexed pages ranking for 4.3 million organic keywords, according to ahrefs, and they have an average of 790 words per article.” and he's posted the ahrefs screenshot, which shows that, it looks like they're getting over a million visitors a month in organic traffic, 1.2 million, and the site it looks like only kind of hit the web in June and May. It looks like, from this graph and it's sort of 45 degree angled up to approaching 1.5 million visitors. The domain does have 40,000 backlinks from 600 domains. This may well be, as we'll cover later, because it was a drop domain or a purchased the main that had existing backlinks.
But I think it's really, really interesting. We've spoken previously before about GPT3 in generating content and how that's going to fit into the SEO world. We've got platforms now, like copy.ai and Jarvis, which can help us write content. Both of those use the GPT3 API, which is, of course, restricted in how much text it, give you back in one go because they want to stop people doing stuff like this, and just filling up the web with this type of content. But have a go at them because they are really, really interesting tools to play with and can generate seriously impressive snippets that they can do everything from generating introductions to blog posts. They can caption Instagram pictures, they can write ad copy for you, they can do titles, they can surmise an article to bullet points, they can write an article from bullet points.
It's really interesting seeing where this is going and where the fit's going to be between people writing content being assisted by AI and AI just actually writing it. What this case study proves is, what we've been saying now for a few months, which is all of these latest Google updates over the last couple of days from BERT from MuM, from Domain Diversity, from Passage Indexing are improving their capability to find this long tail of search demand content from different sites and rank it, meaning that more of that long-tail stuff is being picked up/hoovered up by search engines. Meaning, if you can produce it at scale, there is definitely, a bigger ‘in’, I think, than there used to be. It's less about head terms. It's less about links. It's really that the pendulum has swung. And I think that's a really good case study of this. I’veI linked to his tweet, have a look at it. I might do an episode specifically on those tools as well, because I do find them really interesting, especially talking to affiliate marketers and what they're doing with them.
We're at the midpoint in the show. So, I want to give you an update from our podcast sponsor Wix. You can now customize your structured data markup on Wix sites even more than before. Here's some of the new features brought to you by the Wix SEO team: Add multiple markups to pages, create the perfect dynamic structured data markup and apply it to all pages of the same type by adding custom markups from your favorite schema generator tools or modify templates by choosing from an extensive list of variables, easily switch between article subtype presets in blog posts and add quick link for structured data validation in Google's Rich Results Test tool. Plus, all this is on top of the default settings. Wix automatically adds to dynamic pages like product event, forum posts, and more. There's just so much more you can do with Wix, from understanding how bots are crawling your site with built-in bot log reports, to customize your URL prefixes and flat URL structures on all product and blog pages. You can also get instant indexing of your homepage on Google while a direct partnership with Google My Business lets you manage new and existing businesses things right from the Wix dashboard, visit wix.com/SEO to learn more.
Okay, we're going to do some listener Q&A. I asked you what your SEO questions were. And I said, I would do my best to try and answer them for you. So I'll caveat that some of these things may just be my own opinion, but I'll do my best to give you kind of factual answers where possible. I've got loads of really good questions back as well, so I'm just going to kind of go through these top to bottom and see if I can help you.
So the first question was from Alfredo who asked: What paid tools do you frequently use for SEO?
Well, it's probably really obvious from the podcast, obviously that we use Sitebulb regularly. Sitebulb, of course, came after Screaming Frog, which is another really great bit of crawling software. I actually paid for them both and use them both for different things. So, Screaming Frog tends to be a little bit quicker in terms of crawling because they don't have the analysis engine part that Sitebulb does. So sometimes if I'm just doing something really simple, like checking for 404s, I might use Screaming Frog instead of Sitebulb. I use a couple of cloud-based tools as well. So, depending which sites I'm working on, Little Warden, Content King or a mix of both. So, Little Warden and I mentioned a few times before on the podcast, we actually did an interview with Dom Hodges, otherwise known as The Hodge, who actually made Little Warden. So I’ll link to that in the show notes at search.withcandour.co.uk if you want to hear a bit more about Little Warden and where it came from.
Little Warden’s a really great tool for patrolling and automating the boring stuff, which is, you know, domain expiries, SSL stuff and recently they've put in there as well, Core Web Vitals monitoring. So it does loads of things that otherwise get missed. And actually, I had I quite, my most popular kind of tweet this week was actually about Little Warden that they saved Hacker News from going down. So, if you don't use it, Hacker News is a really popular site and their SSL certificate was about to expire, the renewals were going to somebody's email address that they weren't monitoring, that had left, and Dom had been smart enough to set up monitoring, he kind of monitors just a load of big sites, and he monitored Hacker News and then got them to, well, made them aware of it and got them to renew their cert. And they did a little thank you post, which is brilliant advertising for him. And I think they actually ended up with a subscription as well. So, Little Warden, a really vital tool for the kind of SEO toolkit.
Content King, I’ve mentioned as well. I've mentioned it before. That's more of a kind of ongoing content SEO change monitoring tool that we use on specific clients, especially like using Content King on sites that are using dynamic rendering. So, they might be serving different versions of pages to bots and to users because if the bot version breaks, it can take a long time for that to be discovered, if users and general people using the site are never seeing that version. Normally you only become aware that there's a problem when you start losing ranking or traffic and by then, obviously, it's too late. So, the emphasis with Content King really is that prevention is cheaper than cure, very much like Little Warden as well. From the link side of things, I tend to lean quite heavily on Majestic. We spoke about them last week in the podcast, and their new link labeling, unique link labeling, duplicate link, labeling feature, and ahrefs and SEMrush as well. SEMrush, I actually didn't use previously that much for links, but they have massively upgraded their links database, so, between the three of them Majestic, ahrefs and SEMrush, they're what I use to get a good overview of backlinks. Whether it's prospecting or doing link audits, that kind of thing.
In terms of outreach, we use Roxhill for prospecting. We use BuzzStream for managing emails and, and I think that's, that's kind of the dozen or so tools that we use across technical and content. Of course, there's loads of other stuff that we do pay for, things like Supermetrics to connect up various things to Google data studio for reporting. It really is the bane of at least agencies, which is the ‘death by a thousand cuts’ of different bits of software and SAAS subscriptions you need to do a good job, but they're the ones off the top of my head. I hope that was helpful for you, Alfredo.
Caleb says: What's the biggest SEO myth that drives you insane? Yes, you can only pick one.
Probably still bounce rate for me. And I saw this actually being talked about by SEMrush this week and I put my kind of opinion forward there and actually had a really good, really good discussion about this. So, I think there is at least some difference in how people understand actually what bounce rate is because, of course, bounce rate is simply someone goes to a page and they don't click on anything else or any other events aren't fired. And the reason I say universally, you can't say a low bounce rate is good, is because Google is targeting itself around this whole time to result in minimal user friction so if I do a Google search for, you know, ‘how to use your product’ or ‘how to change a battery in such and such’, Google finds me the right page. I go to that page, I spend five minutes reading information, get exactly what I need. And then I leave that's technically, with a default configuration at least, a bounce. But it represents an almost perfect user journey in that I search for something and I got the exact information I wanted. Now, the conversation I had was quite interesting on Twitter around this, as people were suggesting, well, you know, maybe then we should be setting up tracking to fire events, of course, when people scroll or when they've spent a certain amount of time on a site so that they're engaged and we don't count that as a bounce. And I think that's, that's great that, you know, that's really important to take that into consideration. I still don't think that's directly a ranking factor and that sometimes gets confused and mulched in with things like people bouncing back to the SERPs and redefining their queries. And I think that's the kind of information maybe that Google is using because it's a good indication they're not serving quite the correct search result or that they've misjudged the intent. But just plainly saying “low bounce rate equals better ranking” I don't think is true. And I find it quite frustrating that that gets perpetuated as something everyone should universally aim for. Cool.
Yanos asks: Which is the best way for a young marketer to start learning SEO?
So if you're not working in SEO, I don't think there's anything nowadays to stop you experimenting on your own sites. You can get stuff set up, whether it's on something like Wix or WordPress or whoever it is, it's very simple now to get a site up and running, to start doing your own experiments, to start blogging, to start an affiliate site. If anything, the problem you have is there's too much information out there and it's marketing information. So, a lot of it comes from marketers. Marketers are good at marketing themselves, and generally, they'll be more interested in extracting value from your intent to learn than they will be from helping you learn. So, you just have to be very careful that the thing you're reading, you're reading it because it has value and not just someone wants to get clicks. So, I'd recommend doing, asking around and maybe seeing if there's some free courses you could do, attending online, even things like Brighton SEO, there's some really good talks from some people that have been there, done that, and really know what they're talking about and just becoming involved in the community, a lot of the SEO communities are on Twitter, but there are great, slack groups as well. There's subreddits on Reddit, like bigSEO, that again, you can talk to people working, working day in, day out on it. But certainly start building your own sites, experimenting, getting that fundamental knowledge. There's also things like the Google Hangouts you can join. And you know, you can get information straight from the horse's mouth. Doing all those things should easily get you into a position where you can get a junior role and then start getting some real hands-on experience with clients.
I have a long question here and, for full transparency, this is actually from a client, but I will answer it as if it isn't. Because it's a very detailed question. And it says, this is from Lee, he says: I know I could just call you and ask, feel free to Lee, but I'm keen to know what you would say publicly. If you're a business with hundreds of potential products and a saturated market with massive players dominating, how would you approach carving out your own SEO strategy without breaking the bank in terms of actual activity, but also in terms of resource?
So there's a lot to unpick there. It’s a little bit, that question I feel, trying to have your cake and eat it because on one hand we're saying saturated market, lots of competitors, massive players domination, and we want to win, but we want to spend the minimum amount possible. So, those two things, normally aren't compatible. And that's one thing you need to, I guess, face early on, which is what are the facts of the situation. If you're in this kind of market people aren't ranking by mistake, they've got a headstart on you. They're probably making more money than you from the ranking, at least, which means even if you do start to eat their market share, they're going to fight back, right? They've fought to get those positions, now they're recuperating that investment they've made so they're not just going to let someone sail past them in the rankings. I think an interesting question before we get into the SEO stuff is actually just the business consideration of ‘Has intent shifted for the things you want to rank for?’ or those types of businesses, because you may have competitors, but they may be serving a slightly different slice of user intent. And I know Lee will know what I mean by this, but for everyone else, I think for instance, something like car insurance is a great example. Those search results have changed massively over the last decade with the rise of comparison engines, because comparison engines give users something that they really want, which is, you know, choice. They're trying to shop around. So, unless you are a comparison engine, you are going to have a very tough time ranking for those search terms. And that's because the intent is someone wants to maybe shop around and try and work out what the best deal is. And the best match for that intent is obviously a comparison engine. So you've got that probabilistic ranking of Google, trying to match intent coming to play in there. So, if we've underlined that and we know we are a realistic contender for what we want to rank for, so we can honestly say ‘Okay, here's at least our part of the market that we want to rank for.’ There's a really good book by a chap named Malcolm Gladwell which is called ‘David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants’. And I guess the summary of that very good book is that if you are a David and you're trying to fight a Goliath in a David Goliath scenario, 999 times out of a thousand, you're going to end up squashed into a red mist.
The book kind of highlights all these different situations, whether it's sports teams or businesses, where the underdog wins by essentially not playing the same game, or at least by the same rules and in its purest form, it's pretty much the disruption we mentioned before, say like with the comparison sites. So rather than enter that market and say ‘Okay, we're going to be another company trying to sell car insurance. They've played the David Goliath thing and said, well, we're not going to compete with the Goliath. We're going to be this thing called a comparison engine’. In it’s, I guess, lesser forms it's about using your strengths in these markets. So, I've worked with lots of very big companies that spend lots of money on SEO and quite happy to chuck, you know, five figures a month for SEO, but they still really struggle because these big companies cannot move quickly.
In general, everything needs to be signed off by six teams and it takes weeks or months dev QS take months and months to get stuff done. They will rarely do sign-off anything that's kind of in any way, daring or interesting because it's maybe “off-brand” or the way those companies work, everyone's got their own fight. Then they're trying to hit their own KPIs for their career progression. And they're missing the heart of marketing, which is about being, um, relevant and interesting. And on point, because we have to deal with the fact that consumers are quite apathetic nowadays, to a lot of brands and blind to a lot of marketing. So they regularly hamstring them, hamstring themselves. And even in smaller companies, we find they tie themselves up with meaningless KPIs because they don't trust the process of SEO. So, you know, we understand that we need to do these technical things and we understand that we need content and we need links. Okay, we want to quantify that. So we need you to deliver us 38 links a month or, or something like that. And I'm not saying all deliverable targets are bad, but what I'm saying to you is search engines aren't working on the basis that you need 38 links a month, or any number of links a month, or any type of link or any certain type of authority of link. It's a mesh of all these things. That's going to create the results. And if you target your SEO partner with 20 links a month, they will get you 20 links a month, even when it's not necessarily the best thing to do for your business. So you have to trust in that process and I think trust is a really big thing. Certainly I've experienced it personally. I've been hired by companies to help them with migrations and I've been sat in lots of meetings with developers, documented detailed advice, given them a plan, and it's been completely ignored after weeks of work and they've had a catastrophe and it leaves me scratching my head saying ‘Why would you pay a premium to talk to an expert and then completely disregard what they've told you?’
So resource, going t oLee's question here specifically about things like resource, I think it's fairly straightforward because it comes down to two things, which is basically: ‘How much budget have you got for resource?’ whether resources, people, or outsourcing whatever. And ‘Is that resource internal or external? And it's just how much of these things can you buy? I tend to start with targets and work backwards. I, this strategy, this target requires X. So you work back from there. So if you haven't got X cause your budget isn't that much, you go back in terms of targets.
There's an interesting discussion that I think any business or any agency would have about in-house versus outsource because there are advantages and disadvantages to both, you know, one agency day doesn't mean one person. It means you've got a day of that agency's time. So, you know, people working with Candour doing SEO might be for a few hours, having the help of a technical SEO expert or a developer, someone that's really experienced with on-page content and content optimisation. They might be speaking someone who does outreach or analytics, and it's impossible to hire one person to do all these things and have that skill. As well with agencies, of course, you get much wider experience because they're working, apart from just doing SEO five days a week, they're working on this cross-section of clients. So, they get a very good unbiased view of how the landscape’s looking.
In-house, of course, you get more hours. Apart from everything we've mentioned above, there is an opportunity cost, of course, to hours because time is a resource too. Generally, it works one of two ways, I’ve found, which is there is the, I guess it probably works out, at least in cost-wise, more expensive. Maybe not in terms of return, but one option is the agency essentially leads the strategy for the SEO and they say “Okay, this is what needs to be done.” and then they help you divide up based on what resource you've got, how to implement that. And they will lead that. The other option, which generally tends to be larger companies, is you have a team in-house that understands SEO, has experience, and you create and you lead that strategy and the agency implements it. So, you might approach an agency and say “Okay, we're doing this and this with our content. We want you to help us with, you know, maybe this technical stuff and we want you to help us with prospecting and outreach or campaign ideas.” but you're holding all the keys there as to what needs to be done. I think it's important to choose one of these and commit to it. Otherwise, both parties sort of end up vying for control, things fall through the gaps as to, well, who's responsible for that. It becomes a little bit of a crap shoot as to what happens and what results you get. So, I won't go on for too much longer, but I think that's a, that's a fair enough answer to what is quite a big question. And I hope everyone got something valuable from that insight.
And the next question is from Floris, who says: How can you figure out which type of structured data works best for your page? And do you think that implementing the actual structureddata markup should be the responsibility of an SEO marketer or a web developer?
So, great question. What type of structured data works best? It will, for me, be whatever is valid for that page. So you won't have an option in that, you know, all webpage articles should have webpage article schema then they should be defining the author. If you've got FAQs, they should have FAQ page schema. It's very specific. If you check out schema.org, I would be looking at what schema is listed on there versus what kind of information is on our website. And that's, that's essentially going to define what schema you can use. What's also worth being aware of is which types of structured data will give you special or rich results. And if you just Google something like “Google rich results schema”, you'll find there's a list of about a dozen types of structured markup data that will give you, like the how to schema, like the FAQ schema, that will give you slightly enhanced or different search results, which can be beneficial in terms of visibility and clicks is worth noting though.
Google has said a few times they do use unsupported schema to try and understand what's going on with pages as well. So it's not just the dozen or so types that they list.
Okay, the next question is from Abdullah and he says: Are auction websites still helpful, direct, fast, or should be buying new domains and work on that?
In my experience, auctioned websites, that specifically means basically domains with lots of links already, do tend to be a lot easier or at least a lot faster to rank than ‘fresh out of the box’ new domains. There's a couple of caveats there. It does need to be related. So you can't buy say like a car domain and then try and start a Magic: The Gathering website or something completely different. It has to have relevant links and it had to have relevant content and relevant ranking for the same topic. And I've seen people use this in all kinds of ways. I've seen people buy old domains that have expired and then actually use various tools to resurrect the content from the web archive and they go back to ranking very well. So there's definitely merit in that as to whether it's a good idea. You need to be very careful about the history of that domain as well. Normally there's a reason why domains get dropped so they can get burnt. They can get penalties. There can be other issues that you're maybe not aware of. So you do need to do your due diligence. And of course I wouldn't sacrifice the kind of long-term branding of a company just because there was a domain that was appealing, but it was kind of very off-brand. So, as I said, that's why you especially tend to see people using them for things like affiliate sites, where people aren't normally so worried about brand, they just want to get rankings for the best price possible and turn around those affiliate commissions. New websites do tend to take a little bit longer to build up that trust with search engines. So again, hopefully that's been helpful for you Abdullah.
And a question from Nada is: Does social sharing really help with SEO? And then in brackets on keyword finder, I see the Facebook Sharon column in SERP checker, but I'm not sure how valuable it is.
My personal answer for this is no, absolutely not. You know, getting something posted on Facebook and getting likes on it and stuff doesn't directly impact your ranking in any way. I mean, it's maybe a good metric that the content is good. And certainly if you have more people seeing your content, then it's more likely to generate links or earn links, I should say naturally, which is a good thing and good for SEO, but then you could apply the same to any similar logic and say, well, okay, I'm going to do some content and then just pay for some ads to drive people to it because more people will see it and therefore this ups the probability, someone will link to it and it will rank naturally. And actually, that's actually a completely fine strategy. We do that sometimes as well. So, if we've invested a lot of time and energy in a piece of content that's brilliant, but if nobody sees it, it's not going to be a success. And sometimes it can be very cost-effective to use some paid promotion to see that article. So again, it's not, it's not uncommon for us to produce some content, do our prospecting, our outreach, to try to get people to cover it, but then also actually seed it on somewhere like Facebook to get that initial sharing and that initial traffic through, which will hopefully get us some links. So the short answer is no, I don't think it directly helps. I don't think it really makes sense to, but like with many things, it's certainly not a bad thing. So, it’s a positive thing, if you are seeing your content shared, well, I would expect it to rank better, but not as the, the, the cause of that.
The last question I've got here is from Maz, who says: After reading all available online material and actively doing it, where should you turn? If you still have questions about SEO?
Well, well, firstly, Maz, I think you would have done really well if you've read all available online content on SEO, you probably won't have come to many solid conclusions. I think there's a lot to be said for actually doing it and seeing results yourself. Personally, I turn to my colleagues, I turn to some Slack groups that I'm in and I turn to Twitter when I have questions. John Mueller, Martin Splitt from Google particularly are quite forthcoming and spend a lot of their time answering questions.
So, if you have specific questions about how something at Google works, then normally the best type of questions to ask Googlers, because you can get a response. You know, the type of question you don't want to be asking a Googler is something really vague, like, you know, “How do I make my website rank number one for this?” because that's a very big question that has a lot of variables. And it's a strategic question, and it's just not the right question to be asking them. So, asking the right question in the right place is important. I mentioned earlier Google Hangouts or the other place you can bring up these types of specific questions. If they're more strategic questions, perhaps you can talk to people you've built relationships up with on Twitter and I mentioned about Reddit as well, has a couple of bigger SEO communities and certainly there are Slack groups that you can get involved with. If all else fails and you still have big questions and there's nothing wrong with actually just engaging with an SEO and SEO agency or freelancer, if you need big bits of help to get that second opinion.
But if you are working in SEO, do communicate with the community. Generally, there'll be very helpful. Certainly, I've had people that I've reached out to for specific questions before and in return, anytime I can help them out, I'll do that as well.
And that's it, that is the episode. I'll be back in one week's time on Monday, the 20th of September with another episode. I hope everyone that went to Brighton SEO had a wonderful time, really looking forward to being able to catch up with some of the decks and talks that I missed. And apart from that, I hope you have a lovely week.
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