3 Kings of SEO Webcast

By | August 23, 2019

Byron White: Maybe while waiting for a couple
of more minutes, we could chime in with a few questions that–that we have not scheduled
to–to even talk about today. If you guys want to talk a little bit about your companies
while we’re waiting for Rand to come in and what’s going on, the latest and greatest? Mike Roberts: Sure. Go ahead. Chase, why don’t
you start? Chase Granberry: So Authority Labs, I mean
basically we’re a web-based rank checker and so we go out and, you know, find out where
people rank on Google, Yahoo, Bing for how many keywords, they’re interested in data
on and we do that every day and give them some nice tools to chart and graph and group
and segment and report on–on that to clients and/or, you know, if they’re in-housed to
their bosses or to CEOs or CMOs or whatever. And then we also have an API that lets people
kind of do some of the stuff that scale. If they really want access to the raw data and
kind of want to really–really want to process a lot of it. So that suggests to what Authority
Labs is right now and we’ve got some cool stuff on the horizon but I’ll let my Mike
talk about SpyFu a little bit. Mike Roberts: Sure. I mean I think a lot of
the custom people on–on–on–on the Webinar here are SpyFu customers. We–we have a rank
checking service that’s–today, we’re–we’re going to talk about the–the Raven Tool thing
and a lot of people have been coming to us lately, “Hey. Do you guys have any rank checking?”
And I would like to just, you know, say that–that–that Chase at Authority Labs, these guys specialize
in rank checking. They do the daily rank checking and–and we have sort of the light version
of–of actual–actual rank checking. We do Google and–Google, Yahoo and Bing on the
PPC and the SEO side and–but its not–it’s not the focus of our SEO offering. We have
SpyFu Recon files that are designed to sort of get to the dollar value of the opportunity
and a lot of customers that are probably Chase’s customers and Raven Tool’s customers’ use
Recon files to–to–to help them sell their services. We try to capture the–the dollar
value especially at the point of the presales and the retention side. So–so I think that
there’s complementary things going on. Byron White: And maybe you–and Chase, chime
me in a little bit. You’re sort of a gentle giant as far as your marketing is–is concerned
and–and–and Authority certainly in the industry no pun intended know your name but what kind
of client base do you–do you have, Chase? Could you tell the audience a little bit about
that? You know, what… Chase Granberry: Yeah. I mean it really varies.
We serve small businesses. You know, you can sign up for Authority Labs for anywhere from
49 to 99 to, you know, 450 a month straight to the site but we have a number of Fortune
500 clients that use our data, use our interface, you know, to track anywhere from 50,000 to
100,000 keywords and, you know, our interface scales pretty well. When you actually want
to pull inside–when you actually want to pull insides out of data on 50 to 100,000
keywords and a lot of that comes from the, you know, tagging and grouping, segmenting
ability. So it really varies and then we also, through our API, have a lot of other software
companies. We have kind of in-house people that have developed tools using our API that–that
just uses data in-house for other clients or bosses but then we also have other software
companies that have wanted to integrate special ranking data into their software that–who
use our API to do that scale. Raven was one of those customers and, you know, that’s one
of the reasons we’re working up to have them, you know, send their customers to us for a
web-based kind of version of rank checking and that was a really great partnership and
we’re sad to see that end but, you know, we kind of understand their decision on that
for various reasons. I’m sure we’ll get into that in this webinar but–but, yeah, I mean
that’s one of the examples of kind of the other software companies that use our–our
data. Byron White: So, Chase, let’s just go ahead
and chime in with your opinions on the latest–you know, your reaction to what’s happened with
Raven Tools. They were a big customer of yours I’m sure. A–a–a painful post that their–their
CEO left, you know, what–what was your feeling on that when that–when that happened? How
did you–was that– Chase Granberry: Well, it was–it was a little
confusing at first and yeah, I mean ultimately it’s just one more–you know, when you do
anything with Google, you know, just kind of another year of drama around certain things.
I mean they’ve–they’ve been very confusing in terms of the messaging and actions, you
know, from them around ranking data specifically. You know, at first it was, you know, you should
just look at traffic and conversions and then, you know, a year or two, or however many,
2-1/2, whatever it was, they started giving people ranking data inside Google Webmaster
Tools, how accurate that is, I don’t know but–but the fact that they’re, you know,
took the time to develop that and offer it willingly to the Webmaster Tools, you know,
some of the very conflicting message to the industry. And now, it’s in Google Analytics
kind of VO Google Webmaster Tools. So, you know, and now, what’s the whole AdWord API
thing, I mean I’m not sure if people are really clear on what exactly happened with that.
Essentially, Raven and–and other people in the industry, you know, who are using the
Google AdWords API, you know, they–if you use a Google AdWords API, you get a yearly
audit essentially from them and, you know, if you’re not complying in certain ways of
their terms of service then they have the right to–to revoke your API key. In their
terms of service now is, you know, you’re not allowed to offer scrape data either, you
know, by doing it yourself or getting it from a third-party. Basically, they don’t want
you to provide ranking data or any sort of scrape Google data alongside the data you
get from the AdWords API and so, you know, essentially everybody that was using the AdWords
API, they Google on to them and said, you know, you’re using scrape data, you essentially
have to pick, you know, do you want to continue to offer ranking data or do you want to, you
know, continue to offer the features that you’re currently offering via the AdWords
API and in this case, you know, Raven chose the AdWords API … Rand Fishkin: Hello. Chase Granberry: –and–hello. Rand Fishkin: Hey. It’s Rand. Chase Granberry: There we go. Byron White: Rand. Rand Fishkin: I’m so sorry you guys. Byron White: No–no problem. I’m sure you
haven’t lost some fans, Rand. Rand Fishkin: I–I feel terrible. My apologies.
Just took some time getting the hardware setup here. Byron White: No problem. Glad you could join
us. It’s a pleasure. Rand Fishkin: Thanks for having me. Byron White: So let’s begin and–and Chase,
you were doing a really good job of summarizing things there. So I don’t want to cut you off.
If you want to finish up that summary or … Chase Granberry: Yeah. I mean basically Google
gave, you know, everybody that was offering their–whatever tools they’re offering, be
the AdWords API and ranking data or, you know, scrape data from Google. Basically, they–they
gave those people ultimatum, you need to pick one. If, you know, if you pick ranking data,
we’re–you’re–we’re going to pull your API keys. So that was essentially it and Raven
chose to, you know, to–to continue using the AdWords API and–and it gets from overall
move to–for them to try and kind of diversify some of their offerings for the long term
so I think that’s really where they’re trying to go and I don’t think it’s necessarily a
bad thing in–just in the act of doing it or, you know, Google is not really trying
to crack down. I mean they’re just saying that this is one way for them to kind of leverage
some of the things that they’re doing and control the industry, control the relationships
a little bit more. So, you know, it is where it is and–but, you know, it’s data that people
want and it’s data that people need so, you know, they’re going to get it somehow. Byron White: Well said. Hey, Rand. Rand Fishkin: Hey again. Byron White: How are you doing? Rand Fishkin: That’s–it’s–it’s going–it’s
going good. Yeah. I–I–yeah, Chase, I think you did a great job sort of giving a background
and introduction to that and I–I agree, I think that, you know, it’s Raven’s choice.
The only thing I might add to that is I think that some of the messaging that you mentioned
coming from Raven would be messaging that I–I don’t–I don’t know that I would have
taken away the same takeaways that they did and I–obviously, I’m not, you know, in their
offices, didn’t get on the phone with the people from AdWords or from Google that they
might have spoken to but it definitely seemed like they took away a much stronger message
than what we did or what any of the other so I got to talk to … Chase Granberry: Oh, in terms of their–what
they–the message to them from Google or to them, their message in general… Rand Fishkin: Well, their message back–yeah,
their message back to the rest of the industry, sort of say like, “Hey, you know what, we–we
think everyone’s going to have to choose a side and that Google is going to crack on–on–in
different ways with different sorts of things.” So, you know, obviously I mean I sort of look
at the other big players in the space. So HubShout, right, which tracks Google rankings
which Google–Google Ventures is an investor in HubShout and they’re tracking data that
their AdWords shut off but they were sort of like, “Yeah, that’s not as important and
let’s keep rankings data” or, you know, Conductor, Covario, BrightEdge, all the big enterprise
ones, Ginsemetrix, right. Matt cuts himself as an investor in Ginsemetrix and later, they’re
still doing rank tracking so doesn’t seem–I don’t know, doesn’t seem quite as precipitous
as what’s being suggested. Mike Roberts: Yeah. And let me–let me just
throw in what–what we’re actually hearing specifically from John–Raven, John–John
Henshaw at–at Raven Tools. We haven’t actually gone into that yet but basically what you
said is that SERP Trackers are probably going to be out of business in 6 to 12 months because
of that model and quote, “We–we really do believe that before the end of 2013, you’re
going to have to pick a side. You’re either going to be in compliance and innovate your
way out of this or you’re going to be defiant and go your own way.” That to me strikes me
as–as–as–as dooms day stuff. I’ve been– Rand Fishkin: Well–so–and like I said, I
mean John may have been on the phone with different folks, you know, from Google. He
may have heard something different from what the rest of us heard but I’ve–I’ve been in
touch with, you know, CEOs from those other companies, not all of them, but some of those
other companies and they feel pretty good, you know, that–that this is not a–this is
not something where Google is going to go be broad in the attack but rather that this
was a targeted thing just by the AdWords, TOS enforcement team and they could–I have
a suspicion like my–my personal guess is AdWords’ API folks went to the Google hardware
team and basically said, “Hey. We need a lot more hardware like we want to ramp up a lot
of the things we’re doing. We want to provide a lot more data via API.” And the Google hardware
team basically said, “Hey. We’ve got a ton of people who need lots and lots of hardware
and lots of, you know, disk cycles and bandwidth and all this stuff from us, you guys are going
to have to take some of it from your existing bandwidth.” And because they were bandwidth
constrained, they went back to their team, sat down in a meeting. This is all speculation
on my part, okay? So total opinion, just a guess based on what I know about Google that
they sat down as a team and said, “Hey. Why don’t we go through and just be really picky
about the TOS violations, cut off everyone who’s, you know, not super TOS compliant so
that we can get some more bandwidth back to do some of these other cool things we want
to do in the next 6 months, 12 months. That way we won’t have to ask hardware for as much
band, you know, as much of their stuff and I think that’s what happened. You know, HubShout
got cut off. We got cut off. Raven Tools obviously got cut off. What’s the other one? WordStream,
a bunch of people, right? So that’s … Mike Roberts: Yeah. That’s an interesting–that’s
an interesting perspective. From my–from my perspective and sort of on the AdWords
site a bit, we have a lot of AdWords clients and I know personally a lot of the guys that
did management like I’ve run big management companies. And for me this has always sort
of been the case, I’ve never been on the illusion that I could start a big management company
and thought of SpyFu. It seems to me that there’s two cultures inside of Google. There’s–there’s
pretty much the one that we know and love which is–which is pretty much a research
and development driven company, lots of engineers, lots of, you know, grumpy, evil stuff and
then on the other side, it’s the money people and there’s like this whole AdWords team and–and
they’re just kind of the business guys. And the guy that has the–that whole unit is pretty
much like, “Well, we’re going to enforce contracts.” Because that’s what business do. Rand Fishkin: Right. Mike Roberts: And so I think that they actually
always done this with the average API. They’ve always been fairly like, you’re going to use
it the way we want you to use it and I definitely get that impression talking–you know, I mean
I’m talking to guys that are managing hundreds of millions of dollars in AdWords band and
they get exchange for those random contact. You know, they don’t have I guess a special
point of contact at Google, it is, “Oh, you are in violation. We’re going to shut off
your entire, you know, your entire account.” You know, this is just how they operate on
that side. And when Raven just started doing good management and WordStream did management
and like all these companies doing good management, you know, pretty much, Google is not going
to let you do good management in particular specifically good management but probably,
you know, they’re going to apply their AdWords’ API, do it very strictly and in my opinion,
they’ve always have. Rand Fishkin: Yeah. I think that’s … Mike Roberts: But because Raven is like an
SEO tool, everyone thinks that they’re shutting down scraping but I don’t see that. Rand Fishkin: I mean … Mike Roberts: This is an API thing. Rand: Yeah. So you–you guys have probably
seen the same thing we saw which was that about, you know, between 18 and 24 months
ago, the ability to get rankings data directly from Google became somewhat easier. You know,
it was like they were–they blocked less IPs. They banned less of them. They weren’t as
aggressive. So … Chase Granberry: So my–my feeling on that,
I mean honestly like–and I really don’t think they’re trying that hard. Rand Fishkin: Nope. Chase Granberry: Like what’s the–you know,
I think they–and I don’t know what–for whatever reason, I mean I think they like the fact
that people scrape them. I think it improves their numbers in certain ways. I think it,
you know, it keeps their data in front of other–more people easier. I mean Google’s
a really, really smart company. Rand Fishkin: As long as– Chase Granberry: And– Rand Fishkin: –we’re all focusing on their
rankings. Chase Granberry: Right. Rand Fishkin: You know, we’re not focusing
on how we’re doing on Facebook or Bing or whatever other competitor X. Chase Granberry: Right. And, you know, I think
kind of deep down–I mean I think–I think they want to–I think they want people to
be able to get this info and this data. I think that they can’t just make it, you know,
as easy–like just super easy to get. I think they need to, you know, just really for hardware
purposes, they need their rate limit obviously. Rand Fishkin: Yup. Chase Granberry: But, you know, but they also
at the same time can’t officially offer anything, you know, without a conflict of interest being
there in terms of organics versus–the organic side versus the paid side. Rand Fishkin: Well, I think the referral … Chase Granberry: Right? Rand Fishkin: The referral string is how they
are doing it in a more, whatever you want to call it, official fashion, right. So referral
string via the–the URL parameters. The problem is keyword not provided is getting into all
of that. And so … Chase Granberry: Yeah. Yeah. And then there’s
that. So again, there’s more conflicting behavior and information from them really. Rand Fishkin: It’s–it’s very complex. Absolute,
very, very complex. Well, I–you know, I mean the–the thing–my broad prospective on the
subject is I feel for Raven Tools. I’m very empathetic to them. I think if I were in their
business, maybe I would have made the same decision, sort of having all of the variables
that they have in the business that we’re in today and given what our customers want
and those kinds of things, we’re not planning on making changes and we’re looking for substitutes
for the AdWords data, not looking for substitutes for rankings data right now. Mike Roberts: I–I–I agree with you. I’m
actually extremely sympathetic. I had a bad feeling in my gut the entire day for them.
It seems like that would be an easy decision to make and quite honestly, I think that for
them, it’s probably a pretty smart decision, certainly calculated. I do think that they
may have been basing it on–I mean they–basically talking about what–what John was saying again.
I mean you’re saying, let’s see, the writings on the wall–some writings on the wall, “It
was strange that AdWords is being used to get to remove something that was unrelated
and so we took them–took that as a pretty good hint.” He then said, “All it takes is
a copy and paste of the terms–of the terms and service to enforce that across the board
and that’s what’s going to happen very soon.” So it’s an educated guess. Rand Fishkin: Yup. Mike Roberts: Which–which sucks because you’re
making a huge–if you’re making a decision about your business that you built, you know,
over years that you’re kind of using hints and guesses and the thing is, that actually
happens to even bigger companies. Rand Fishkin: Absolutely. Mike Roberts: Everybody has to kind of make
these–these guesses. I just–I have some sort of first-hand account of other people
making these calls and even in your–your company, right, you guys had to make that
choice? Rand Fishkin: I’m sorry. Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Mike Roberts: I mean you guys got–got letter
in? And how–what did that letter look like? Wasn’t it pretty much just like–it wasn’t
like a personal letter, it was one of the letters like if you get like an ad shut down
on–on AdWords– Rand Fishkin: No. It’s just an automated–I
think it’s exactly the same thing everybody got. I mean–anyway, I compared–I compared
ours with–Yeah. It was just an automated message. I mean in the past, we’ve had specific
outreach where, you know, some individual person at Google, on the search quality team
has asked like, “Hey. Can you stop doing this?” “Hey. We don’t like this.” And we’ve sort
of been like, “Yeah. We can do that. Sure.” You know, so they’ll–I think that’s a very
different type of conversation. That’s not how this one went down. Chase Granberry: There’s a startup I know.
They’re–well, fairly new. I’m completely blanking on their name right now but they
were–they’re doing some stuff with AdWords API, completely legit and they got–they got
shut off from it. And it turned out, I got an e-mail. They asked me, you know, kind of
if I had seen anything or heard anything or whatever. And I’m like yeah, I heard some
people, you know, are kind of getting these–these same deals and–and there was this literally
completely on accident, he e-mailed me like three weeks later, he’s like, “Yeah. It was–it
was a mistake from the AdWords’ team but, you know, and they completely–they completely
shut off their API access.” And they didn’t have it for three weeks before it got turned
back on. I thought that was kind of shocking and that, you know, I mean their business
was based on that, the–the AdWords API and, you know, it was shut off for three weeks
until it got turned back on again. Mike Roberts: Well, we had ours … Chase Granberry: Then they weren’t–they weren’t
… Mike Roberts: We had ours turned off probably
three or four times and that it was always–it was always like, “Oh, oh, sorry about that.
Yeah. Sorry about that.” And then they turned it back on. Chase Granberry: Yeah. Mike Roberts: I don’t think they are going
to turn it back on this time but–but that’s not uncommon. Chase Granberry: Right. Byron White: Yeah. Just … Mike Roberts: I was reading the–the Raven
blog about the–the new AdWords API that just came out. It’s sort of actually an upbeat
e-mail because they got an update upbeat blog post, they had their AdWords API shut off
or something or they didn’t have this–this functionality and they brought it back up
but the thing is, is that the AdWords API is sort of a side note. By the way, the AdWords–the
new AdWords API provides data for exact keywords only, not broader phrase. Chase Granberry: Right. Mike Roberts: It’s a new API change across
the board and it applies to any developer like, you know, you’d almost expect that that
would be sort of–that those things would be consistent, right. It’s like you’ve–you’ve
signed up for the API and you’re like, well, now I’m going to be able to base my business
on this but it’s really not good. It–it hasn’t been the case that that–the API data has
been like really consistent or better than anything else really ever as far as I can
tell. You guys–you guys think about that. Byron White: Yeah. I just wanted to–to chime
in and, you know, you guys–I almost want to get out of your way but at the same time
I just want to introduce the–the–the attendees actually who are pouring in with some questions
and we’re going to get to that later. But in the interest of just going through, first
of all, just maybe a super quick, fast introduction with who I am and why everybody’s here and
more importantly just a little bit of research that I wanted everybody to understand that
went in to the gathering of this group. It was really pretty remarkable. Mike came to
me a little while ago and said, “Hey. This is a hot topic. You know, we should jump on
this.” And I’ve done joint webinars with Mike for many years now actually and it’s been
great to chime in and talk about the hot topics but, you know, I also reached out to some
of the companies that you can see here and–and most every CEO that I reached out to of–of
all of these companies that are focused on–on SERP tracking reached back out to me and you
can actually take a look at the IdeaLaunch blog where I’ve tried to throw out some questions
to all of them that I thought would be interesting that we’ve looked at together as a group here
internally and got some really good answers. And what I think everyone should understand
is the camaraderie around this particular topic and almost, you know, protecting what’s
happening with–with the–the right to–to scrape Google for–for positions is really
overwhelming and I don’t think this community would–would stand for that data to not be
available and nor do I think Google would ever shut that down. It just–it’s impossible
to imagine that. So as we frame this, I think everybody by now understands the situation
but there are a lot of content marketing people from my group, a couple of hundred on this
webinar and, you know, you should certainly hear the situation is, you know, SERP–SERP
tracking is–is–is–is a critical element basically to search engine optimization and
the complexity of courses, you know, your scraping the search engines, does it violate
any terms and conditions? That’s question number–number one. Question number two: does
it tarnish any data, you know, when we’re scraping Google for rental car in Boston?
You know, does that go into search volume? And are we tarnishing the very data that we’re
trying to get by–by–by feeding in that scrape? So that’s–that’s the complexity that we all
have to think about. And, of course, there is a divide, you know, compliance versus scraping
hence the fireside chat. So we talked about John Henshaw’s thoughts last week. Mike read–read
most of these quotes, you know. And–and as like Mike liked to frame all of this, is the
sky falling when it comes to SERP? Do you guys want to chime in there? Is the sky falling
as this–are we going to see ramifications? Are we going to see other SERP providers,
trackers get out of that business now as a result of this? What’s your take on that? Rand Fishkin: This is Rand. I wouldn’t be
totally shocked to see a few other people potentially leave the field. You know, AA
Trust obviously was one of the ones that did but at the same time, I–you know, there’s–I
think we have a list that we maintain internally at MOZ that our product team looks at of people
offering, you know, rank tracking data and there’s over 200 companies on that list right
now. There’s a good, you know, 100 sort of Fortune 1000 companies who do it in-house
themselves, you know, built their own–their own trackers. There’s–most of them are pretty
quiet about that but you can imagine some of them are obvious ones would be some of
the consumer basing ones that, you know, in the travel or e-commerce industries like the
Giants and they all have their own internal software to track this stuff. I don’t think
they are turning it off and Steve, Google getting more with this. If they do, they have
to–other solution–businesses. A lot of businesses are Google customers. Chase Granberry: Man, you’re breaking up.
Are you dialed in? Are you on like the View IP thing or what’s up? Can you hear us? It
was breaking up for you right, Byron? Byron: Yes. I think he’s not only breaking
up, he’s broke. Chase Granberry: Okay. Well, I mean I’ll just
kind of continue with that because I think–I mean honestly, the people that do this, the
software companies that do this, I think if you look at, you know, those–whatever ones
who are on Rand’s spreadsheet, I’ll give you take the Oral–I mean I think that honestly
if you look at everything worldwide, we’re actually probably a very small percentage
of all of that happened. I mean, you know, they–they got automated queries from everywhere
all the time. So … Mike Roberts: I mean the state of the industry
is–is there’s a lot of companies that are incorporated like off–offshore in third-world
countries, in countries that are sort of outside of, you know, Google’s legal reach. I mean
honestly, its kind of–it’s–it’s straight up rare for SpyFu–for a company like SpyFu.
We’re the actually only one that are based in the US and like I mean Keyword Spy is based
in like Singapore/an offshore shell and SEMS is Russia. And, you know, like–well, [indiscernible]
[00:29:42] is actually based in San Jose. So legally, it’s kind of tough to shut that
down. You’re not going to probably get rid of SERP tracking really ever because people
need to know this information and they’ll get it whatever way they have to. Even if
they go back to back in the day, you know, you just download something off of download.com,
run it on your own machine and you get the data that you wanted which is not as powerful
as the tools that we have available now but it certainly accomplishes the very basic task
that–that–that people need to report to their clients on–on, you know, SERP ranking
or stuff like that. So there’s kind of no way it’s going to go away and I just don’t
see it in Google’s legal best interest to start, you know, basically pursuing those
things. Google, you know, does a lot of access. It accesses a lot of websites very often and
there is a precedent of–of–I don’t know–or like if they build a legal precedent around
building out the channel and stuff, I don’t think that’s in their best interest in the
long term strategically for search engines in general. I really think that they–they
actually come down on the opposite side of that in pretty much every legal case that
they ever get into which I think is good. I think Google is actually a good company.
I actually like them and admire them and I don’t think that they’re doing evil things
here. I actually think that they’re just being in business quite honestly and trying to protect
the–the …the core business that is–I mean all of their money comes from Google AdWords
so you–you kind of expect them to–to be a little bit more litigious or contractee
around this certain set of data. Chase Granberry: So I know they–they can’t–they
don’t want scraping to stop–stop in general because that’s all they do all day long. Mike Roberts: No. SpyFu and, you know, Authority
Labs and everybody that does this stuff ultimately drives revenue. If you can figure out what
your competitors–which–which keywords your competitors are profitable on, ultimately,
you spend more money on AdWords. If you make more money in your SEO, you’re more likely
to start testing that stuff in AdWords. I think that ultimately, we all feed into the
value chain that is the $30 billion enterprise that makes Google’s, you know, AdWords. Chase. I thought they were like 40 billion
now. I don’t even know. Mike Roberts: Yeah. Saying it for a long time. Byron White: Let’s slide to another question.
Why don’t you think Google or Bing is providing SERP tracking services? And the image you’re
seeing on the screen is kind of interesting with WriterAccess as API into Getty Images–9
million Getty Images that we’re watching in January for two bucks a pop too. It’s pretty
interesting. Chase Granberry: Cool. Byron White: And if you do search in Getty
Images for Google, check out the results from like the first couple of pages, you get SEO–SEO,
look at all the keyword phrases of SEO. Why isn’t Google or Bing providing SERP tracking
service and–and having SEO providers pay for that? Chase Granberry: I think–well, I mean I was
kind of thinking of it earlier. I mean I think it’s–it’s kind of the similar–the same thing
you get when talking about newspapers or I mean its editorial–like editorial content
versus like ads. Mike Roberts: Totally agree. Chase Granberry: On the web, you know, like
paid content is that line is much more gray and much more broad and it’s really hard to–it’s
much more difficult to distinguish on the web, you know, the paid stuff versus the organic
stuff anywhere you look., whether it’s an ad somewhere or I mean–and that–that–that
becomes even more difficult when you talk about Google and I just think that, you know,
I mean sometimes you see Google making moves or testing things where, you know, they’re
doing some stuff to push the organic stuff down. And–but, you know, I think it’s a very
fine line for them and I think that officially offering really detailed data about how brands
are exposed on the organic side of, you know, their search engine is–is just crossing the
line for them especially on the organic side and especially when you look at competitive
data like if you look–in the Webmaster Tools, you know, they’re giving you data around where
you rank, how many impressions you’re getting for a certain query and–and you’re average
rank for those impressions but they won’t give you data on your competitors. They won’t
give you that data on your competitors and, you know, there’s a good reason for that.
I think they just–you know, if they start giving people data–if they start giving people
more and more about the stuff, it’s just–it will be a slippery slope for them I think
especially on the organic side. On the paid side, they can justify it all day long. I
mean they need people to spend money with them. They need advertisers to spend money
with them. And so making that as easy as possible to do is–is in their best–best interest.
It’s their business model but on the organic side, you know, they do everything they can
to get Webmaster to do stuff for them to make it easy for them and in terms of, you know,
the crawling stuff and RDF data, and things like that, you know, they’re–they’re getting
Webmasters to help structure data so it’s easier for Google to interpret. And, you know,
they–they just don’t want to give people those kinds of tools. They don’t want people
access–to have easy access to those kinds of tools to manipulate the organic side so
it’s–there’s always going to be like, you know, Google organic versus–you know, people
are trying to optimize for that but if you’re really doing a job that you should be doing,
you know, you’re trying to be the best resource on the web for whatever niche you’re targeting,
if you can do that, you can do it right, you know, Google should want you to rank and they
should rank you if that’s legitimately who you are and–and what you’re doing but at
the same time, you should be able to track those efforts, right, so … Byron White: We know Google is hungry for
dollars and they’ve got a lot of–a lot of growth plans to–to–in–in there–in there
and I’m sure in their portfolio and their vision but they know they’re getting the data,
right, from you–from both of you, right, and–and Rand if he’s back on the call. Rand,
are you back by the way? Rand Fishkin: Yep. I think I’m here. Byron White: So–so they know that–that–that–that
people are getting the data, why not just sell it? I don’t–I don’t really–I still
don’t understand. Rand Fishkin: I mean I’ll give my brief two
cents which is I think that Google evaluates lots of business units and they look at ones
that can please Wall Street and their investors. They look at ones that can please their bottom
line. Right now, they’re probably most interested in the ones that can make the Street happy
because they just have such a cash hoard that–that dollars for dollars sake is just not a huge
interest–of huge interest to them. And so I would guess that, you know, if I were sitting
in Larry and Sergey’s office, I’m sort of analyzing this, I’d be like, well, you know
what, in terms of strategic like I see a lot of potential criticism that could come to
us from this because it’s a little bit like the New York Times saying, “Hey. We’ll provide
data on what all of our reporters are researching and, you know, which stories we think we might
publish and–and won’t and which ones we’re putting on the front page and not which is
a little, you know, pushing it in the line in terms of editorial versus–versus PR focus
stuff.” So I can understand that not wanting to do it because of that criticism and I can
also understand not wanting to do it because they might look and say, “All right, you know
what, maybe this max is out at around, I don’t know, a billion dollars in revenue a year
or maybe even a tiny bit more but it’s completely, you know, it–it could give our competitors
an advantage because it gives them a way into Google’s services in an automated way. You
know what, this just doesn’t make strategic sense compared to all the other places we
could be investing.” There’s–you know, if you’re Google, there’s a million places, there’s
probably 40 proposals on Larry’s desk at any given quarter that are $10 billion plus businesses
in 10 years. I don’t know that SERP tracking–selling SERP tracking data is one of them. That’s–that’s
my two cents. Byron White: Mike, you want to chime in on
that? Mike Roberts: I also don’t think that it’s
in their interest. I mean I’ve always taken the approach that I’d rather than not give
API access to that data just because I–I think that it’s in–it’s in–it’s in particularly
advertiser’s best interest to have a third-party actually tracking that stuff. You know, you
kind of want to validate and not just trust that Google is telling you the truth and actually,
I think that’s in their economic best interest. I mean that’s–that–that’s third party validation
plus that, you know, Google doesn’t know, you know, where, where–how we’re getting
it and doesn’t give us specific access and doesn’t seed us. They think that we want to
hear– Rand Fishkin: These slides are killing me. Byron White: What’s that? Rand Fishkin: The slides are killing me. Byron White: Well–well, good. That was the
little point. Rand Fishkin: Oh, man. Byron White: Gathering before the holidays,
right? Rand Fishkin: Oh, brother. Byron White: Here’s–here’s the question.
You know, what–what’s going to happen with SERP–SERP tracking in the next 12 months?
What are your thoughts on that guys? Rand Fishkin: So this is Rand. I–I would
love to see Google get much more detailed about passing the referral string information.
So much higher percentage of queries, you know, being sent out include first string
information and they–they give lots of detail. I don’t know if we’re going to see that. Chase Granberry: Well, they’re taking–they’re
pulling that away. Rand Fishkin: I know. I know. So …And oh,
iOS. My God, iOS 6 provides no referred data. Doesn’t even say it’s from Google. It makes
the traffic look like it’s direct. So, you know, you’re just–you’re just losing it left
and right, however, I’d love to see that, I’d love to see Google get around that. I
think they might try and fight Apple to get the referred data into the iOS 6 over the
next six months but if it were just me answering this, I’d say probably not very different
at all, probably really similar to what it does today. Chase Granberry: In the next 12 months, no.
I mean absolutely not. I think people–there’s, you know, there’s a lot–marketers are jumping
on to the term “big data” now but it’s true, there is a lot more data that is available
to people to–to analyze and look at what’s going on. If you look at–if you look at what
some of the analytics companies have been doing including Google Analytics, you know,
then you have Ginsemetrix and who’s the other one? But a lot of these analytics companies
are actually–they’re extending the funnel so, you know, the–your site doesn’t begin
and end at the conversion, right, and–and your relationship with your customer doesn’t
begin and end at the visit and then the conversion. I mean it really does start at, you know–it
starts even before the search and so I think you’re going to see a lot of people looking
at much more of the funnel instead of just, you know, paid views and uniques and conversions.
You know, some of these analytics companies–I mean they’re going into, okay, who are these
people after, you know, connecting the dots from the initial visit to the conversion to,
okay, they are now our customers–customer of ours, when do they come back, how often
they come back, how much they purchase, how much they purchased over two years, you know,
are they receiving our e-mail newsletter, you know, are they clicking on that e-mail
newsletter? I mean, you know, these–these companies are focusing on what people are
doing after the conversions and I think you see SERP data and where that–where that plays
in that, it’s above that. It’s–it’s–you know, after, they first–you know, it’s–it’s–well,
when they first search, probably after they first hear about you or after whatever, the
very, very top of the funnel. It’s kind of in the middle and, you know, if you can get
an understanding of really how your brand is–is being presented within that search
vertical, you can understand why that traffic is actually behaving the way that it is, terms
of the pages, terms of the uniques, terms of the of the search terms, terms of the actual
conversions because that matters. How you’re represented in that channel before they get
to your site absolutely affects the likelihood to–to–to buy something from you. Rand Fishkin: Couldn’t agree more. It’s essential
data. Chase Granberry: Yeah. And–and so I think
what you’re going to see in overall as far as what marketers are looking at and what
kind of data they’re looking at, I think they’re actually, you know, Google has been feeding
everybody in terms of ranking data. They’ve been feeding everybody this bullshit around,
you know, you need to look at traffic conversions, you need to look at traffic and rankings don’t
matter. You don’t look traffic and conversions and I don’t think anybody that was serious
bought that but I think that, you know, now that you’re–you’re starting to see a lot
more data points come out around the site, not on the site, but around the site, in terms
of Twitter and mentions on Twitter, how that’s–how that stuff affect, you know, your traffic
and conversions and–and the likelihood of somebody that actually convert from Twitter
as a channel. It absolutely affects it and people are looking at that data and people
are saying that data is valid and it’s the exact same thing as looking at where you rank
on Google for a certain search term. And so, you know, I–I think you’re just going to
get a lot more people looking at a lot more of the funnel, you know, that begins way before
they even searched for you and it ends way after they first convert with you, if it even
necessarily ends at all. So, you know, I–I think that that’s really where things are
going. It’s just, you know, trying to get an understanding of–using all this data that
we have now and all these tools that we have now to really get an understanding of, you
know, the–the full life cycle of, you know, your potential customer to your customer to,
you know, when your customer ultimately leaves you, if they ever do, that sort of thing. Rand Fishkin: I think that’s super smart.
I mean that’s–that’s the future of marketing analytics and marketing big data. Mike Roberts: Yeah, I agree. Byron White: There’s a diverse … Mike Roberts: We want to get some questions
from … Brandon: Yeah. We’ve got a ton of questions
coming in but I just want to–we have one quick follow-up to this question. What’s going
to happen with SERP? What’s everyone’s take on–on–on local–local versus universal?
And Sergey by the way who I spent about three hours with him on the phone yesterday from
Keyword Search Rankings is–is betting the farm on–on local. So I just wanted your–your
take on that and whether you see that as a major play moving forward for–for SERP tracking. Rand Fishkin: Wait, you know, I think–I don’t
think it matters at all. I mean it’s not like I would go and buy a local search company
and try and integrate it with our software. That would be crazy. Now, yeah, I mean obviously
with the acquisition … Byron White: Rand just did that… Rand Fishkin: Yeah. Yeah. Byron White: I don’t know. Rand Fishkin: Yeah. Acquisition of get listed,
we’re–we’re huge believers in–in local and the importance of local. I think the interesting–the
only interesting thing that I might add is I think it will continue to be a different
market than what’s web focused and broad search focused companies. I think the–the who and
the what is different for local than it is for sort of classic web search. Mike Roberts: Got it. Yeah. I–with–I agree
with–I agree with that. I think that it tends to–it’s a different–it’s a different customer
that–that only focus on that local market and–and for those particular customers, it’s
actually a pretty easy decision. It’s like, you know, “Oh, well I want to rank in Scottsdale
Dentist.” And that makes a lot of sense from that perspective. From–from the perspective
of like trying to rank on across the board terms and knowing that you rank, you know,
number 9 in–in, you know, let’s say Sacramento versus number 15 in Phoenix is–well, I mean
at SpyFu, we focus pretty much all of what we do on trying to give you action and I’m
not 100% sure what the action is because there could be a lot of–a lot of different actions
in–in that–in that data. Byron White: I want to get to some–there’s–there’s
a couple of more questions and–and a couple of them are really important. Any–any quick
dear Santa list you’d like to see changes in the SEO industry in the next year or two? Rand Fishkin: More of us. Mike Roberts: More of us. I love that status
man. No. And seriously I think there needs to more dissemination of, you know, the knowledge
that the expert level folks have in the SEO field and I’d love to see that disseminated
further and wider because I think it means that when that knowledge gets disseminated,
there’s less fear, there’s less of this, you know, crap that you see like in the flashy
magazine article about what an SEO is or isn’t and how terrible they are. There’s more of
an understanding of–of what the field is about and what experts do and what you should
expect. There’s less ability for, you know, some other sleek oil salesman who make the
rest of us look bad to pull something over on, you know, unsuspecting clients. I would
love to see those things. Byron White: Nathan had a good comment from–from
Rank Ranger, “A true competitor to Google.” Do you think we’ll see that in the next few
years? Rand Fishkin: Nope. Chase Granberry: No. Rand Fishkin: I mean Bing’s a pretty true
competitor in the sense. I don’t know what you–what you want other than that. They’re
at least a 20% or something. They’re–they’re at number two but there’s not going to be
it. Chase Granberry: It’s–it’s really hard to
innovate within–within the search these days. I mean the–there’s very few things you can
do to improve search results as good as Google, you know, as good–there’s nothing that nobody
is going to come out like, “Oh, this is the way we should do it now.” And all of a sudden
you get these amazing results with US band and it’s–it’s difficult. Mike Roberts: Yeah. Byron White: So Raven customer is in need
SERP tracking and performance reports and probably a lot of other things. Can you one
by one sort of go through what onboarding plan you folks have? Chase, can we start with
you? Chase Granberry: Well, we have a thing going
with SpyFu. Mike … Mike Roberts: Yeah. That’s–that’s pretty
amazing. Byron White: Maybe you would both like to
talk about that? Mike Roberts: What is it? 25% off the first
year. Chase Granberry: Yeah. Let me explain that. Mike Roberts: We love SpyFu is the promo code. Chase Granberry: Yeah. All spelled out. Mike Roberts: We’ll send that out to all–to
all–to all the guests. We’ll send that out via e-mail. Byron White: Yeah. Well, just maybe you could
explain it a little bit particularly about how are you handling the onboarding effort,
you know, with back data for example? Can you guys talk about that because we actually
have quite a few questions about that as well and–and Rand … Chase Granberry: Well, you can give us Raven’s–you
can give us your API keys from Raven and there’s instructions to do that on our blog, Authoritylabs.com/blog
and–and we’ll hand you–handle you through essentially the process of importing your
domain and keywords. First and foremost, if you’re a Raven customer, you need to make
sure that your–you actually use their CSV exports. I’m not sure–I’ve asked and I haven’t
gotten an answer. I’m not sure if their API for pulling out historical data was going
to be up after January 2nd. Not even sure if you’re going to be able to get to use their
CSV exports for that after January 2nd. It seems as though–their messaging seems as
though you won’t. So get in there as soon as you can and make sure you get everything
out into a CSV and there’s instructions on their blog on how to do that. And so–and
once you have that, you can–you can import stuff, the domain, the keywords so it will
basically automate an account set up for us with their API key as long as that’s available
and then we’ll import your historical data via their CSV bundle. It’s a–you get a big
zip file and–and you just dump that to us and we’ll unzip it and, you know, basically
take all the different files that are in there and–and build up historical data for you
and–and if their–if their API does go away for that January 2nd then you’ll be able–you’ll
be able to do all automated domain keyword creation and build your CSVs too so… Mike Roberts: I wanted to offer one update
that I noticed and that wasn’t in the blog and it is in the site if you go to Raven and
like looking to export. Originally, in the blog it said that you had to sort of do for
each account or, you know, for each domain, you had to like export that domain and that’s
the only way that you could export your history. And it looks like now they’ve actually added
facility to export your entire account and that’s–that’s new. And they may have actually
updated their blog but the original post was you have to export in multiple different CSVs
if you have a bigger accounts but–but, yeah, you can now do it in one big account. Chase Granberry: Yeah. So that’s what–so
we’ll help you work through that and, you know, just make sure you get in touch with
us. There’s also a form on our site to give us API keys and all that. So if anybody has
any questions for us, you can always e-mail [email protected] and we’re–and we’re
here to help. Byron White: Rand. Rand Fishkin: Yeah. So I mean we–we offer
this functionality but we don’t have any sort of an import function from Raven right now.
You can, you know, you can upload keywords and that sort of stuff but we–we don’t take
back data so I’d probably urge anyone who is moving over from Raven specifically for
rank data to go with, you know, go with Chase and Mike and–and use their solution. I think
that’s a–that’s a good one. Byron White: Great. The … Mike Roberts: So–so–so our–we allow people
to import all of their back data. We do it on a concierge level so you can send us whatever
you have, whatever you download via CSV, we’ll figure out a way to get it in and basically,
we are–we’re also offering a–actually offering because everything seems so dire in the very
beginning, we put together this package that was three months free of SpyFu plus Recon
which is quite honestly we’ve never offered even a free trial of SpyFu but we’re like,
well, it’s Christmas and all these people are like getting shanked by this whole situation
so we wanted to put together something that seems like pretty cool. So you can actually
get SpyFu and SpyFu Recon and all this SERP tracking stuff through us for–for–basically
for free for three months and just hit us up on live chat. Actually, if you sign up,
we end up contacting you by e-mail and asking you to–if you–if you need some historical
data imported. We kind of do a–a white gloves onboarding process there which is–seems like
the–the right thing to do. Be good. Byron White: Let’s get to some important questions.
Is Rand using an IBM model and keyboard? That thing is loud. Rand Fishkin: It’s a Dell. It’s–yeah, it’s–this
is the computer that sits in my car webinar quiet room so it’s kind of old. Mike Roberts: Hey, Byron. Why don’t you switch
to the–to show my screen so we can see … Byron White: Sure. Mike Roberts: –each other’s–see our faces.
We don’t have random to hangout but at least we … Rand Fishkin: Oh, sorry guys. Mike Roberts: It’s all good. Chase Granberry: Please Rand. Rand Fishkin: Yeah. I know. So behind. Mike Roberts: Well, there’s–there’s–there’s
me and Chase. We’re actually in the same … Chase Granberry: There we go. Mike Roberts: Same room. Five State of Arizona.
We’re actually aren’t in the same company. We just happened to live in the same city
and are–are–are friends so worked out that way. Rand Fishkin: Cool. Mike Roberts: So what are the questions? Byron White: Okay. Rand Fishkin: We’re going to have to make
these quick. I apologize, guys. Maybe like, you know, one, two word, the answers because
I–I have to run at–in just a few minutes. Sorry. Byron White: No problem. Mike and Chase can
continue on and answer some questions. Rand Fishkin: Okay, great. Excellent. Byron White: Okay. Let’s see here. Mike Roberts: Let’s ask a thing that Rand
can answer then. Chase Granberry: Yeah. Let’s … Byron White: There’s a question about–let’s
see. Somebody had a question about challenging everybody on the whole AdWords issue just
so you know. How would their cash cow AdWords not be able to get more hardware bandwidth
on demand? Rand Fishkin: You would be shocked. My understanding
from talking to lots of people at Google and lots of departments including friends of mine
who work sort of with and inside the AdWords team is that–or the advertising teams is
that hardware constraints are massive problem at Google and the only team that really gets
unlimited hardware right now is Search and Google Plus and everybody else is–is still
constrained and they have to fight for budget and–and for bandwidth. It’s–yeah, it’s one
of their big advantages but it’s also, it’s still a–it’s still a fight despite all that
they’ve got. Chase Granberry: Well, it’s also one of their
biggest cost probably too, right? So it’s like but you still have to manage that. Rand Fishkin: Yeah. Byron White: Someone noted the problem is
building on rented land. Not sure what the reference is there. Anybody want to… Chase Granberry: Are you talking about API
keys or scraping? Byron White: Not sure what Peter had in mind.
Maybe he can repost it. Chase Granberry: Yeah. That’s either way. Byron White: Can you see a time where there
would be a scraper–can you see a time where there would be a scraper certification where
companies would be given a specific access that allows them to grab the data without
tarnishing, skewing the keyword traffic data? Mike Roberts: Oh, oh, oh, I want to answer
this. There are–I mean that would be great. Byron White: Great question by the way. Mike Roberts: And I will say that–that there
are people that–that claim that they have this access but I don’t think that that’s
the case. Rand Fishkin: Yeah. Mike, there’s … Mike Roberts: I’ve heard specifically that
there are people that say that they have custom API for SERP data like–and I’m talking big
SEO firms and tool companies and I hear this from like very high–again, everybody is really
skeptic, everybody is really fish out about Bing, who they are and stuff like that but–and
I don’t want to call anybody out. Rand Fishkin: I–I can do that. Mike Roberts: I don’t think it has any– Byron White: Go for it Rand. Mike Roberts: You heard all that. Rand Fishkin: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I know–I mean
there’s a few companies. So there’s a good company out of–on the east coast, it’s like
a startup that does like name tracking, they do SERP like ranking stuff. They use the Google
custom search API which you can use, any of us can use, we looked into it. We would love
to use it. Unfortunately, rank tracking is against that product’s terms of service specifically.
So, you know, for example like Bruce Clay Tools uses the Google custom search API. They
have documentation around using it. But as far as I know, unless they have some special
deal with Google that’s not part of the public terms, they’re violating that product’s terms
of service and so it could be turned off at any time. When we looked into it, what we
were told is no keep rank tracking like … Chase Granberry: No. You mentioned who I heard. Rand Fishkin: Yes. Chase Granberry: And the point–the point
of the–I think the–the purpose of that product is not–is really to build your own search
engine with … Rand Fishkin: That’s right. Chase Granberry: A limited result set and
so with that product, you identify, you know, what kind of sites you want to be included
in results and, you know, so with–with maybe like a personal data tracker, you only want
to include Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, whatever so and that’s why it’s probably against their
terms of service because, you know, it’s not the purpose of the product. Rand Fishkin: Yeah. But I think I have seen,
you know, exactly what you’re talking about where there’s like this, you know, what you
said, Mike, where companies in the SEO space claim, “Oh, well, we have a relationship with
Google, we’re doing this through an API.” That’s almost always through the Google custom
search API. I–I’ve never seen anyone who’s not doing it that way but that is–that is
a violation of TOS and when we looked into it, it was not something that they would–they
would provide that. So it’s possible. You know, Bruce Clay might have a long, you know,
a long ago agreement with Google to be able to use this for some sort of rankings data
and maybe they’ve, you know, kept that up but certainly new companies can’t get on to
that. Mike Roberts: I’ve–I’ve heard this as the
case–I’ve heard that with the ad tracking companies also and … Rand Fishkin: Yeah. Mike Roberts: I’m very certain that that actually– Rand Fishkin: Yeah. Mike Roberts: –is not the case. Rand Fishkin: It’s definitely TOS violating
according to what they–what they say and they can shut you off for it and I know they
do shut you off for it so … Byron White: Someone asked, what about the
shrinking percentage of screen space between–I’m sorry. The–what about the shrinking percentage
of screen space above the fold to SEO versus paid? Rand Fishkin: Yeah. Well, I think that’s a,
you know, that’s a war that we have to fight against but this is why I would urge anyone
who’s doing SEO to makes sure you don’t just have a–had a demand curve strategy. You know,
you’ve got to–if you are in SEO, you’ve got to have a long tail, chunky middle strategy
too because it’s just–there’s just too much, you know, too much of that clicks in the head
of demand curve for being lost. I think Google wants a lot of that. Not just real estate
but they want a lot of those clicks for themselves if you look at what they’re doing with autos,
with–with air, you know, air fares, with travel, like they’re taking up a lot of that
themselves, with movie times, you know, with instant answers to sports scores, news stories,
all that stuff. They’re–they’re kind of eating up that real estate so I’d urge you to go
into the chunky middle and the long tail if you’re in SEO. Byron White: Peter got back to us with his
rented land comment. He’s referring to both API keys and scraping depend on a service
that can be taken away from you, rented land. Rand Fishkin: Yes. Well, so I would argue
and I think that the other folks in the call would probably argue that rank tracking data
would be extremely hard to take away. It’s as least as secure a data source as, you know,
most anything that–that most technology companies operate with today. Byron White: But Rand … Chase Granberry: I guess–and there’s–there’s
arguments where it’s actually more secure than an–an actual API key. I mean if you
look at Twitter and their stream– Rand Fishkin: Sure. Chase Granberry: –they’re–they’re full fire
host API. I think there’s only three to five– Rand Fishkin: Two. Chase Granberry: –people that have access
to that anymore and there was– Rand Fishkin: Just two. Chase Granberry: There’s only two now? Rand Fishkin: Yup. Just Gnip and Datasift. Chase Granberry: Who? Rand Fishkin: Gnip and Datasift. Chase Granberry: Gnip and Datasift. I wonder
who overviewed it … Rand Fishkin: You have to buy from one of
those two. Yeah. Chase Granberry: From one of those two? So
I mean Twitter had that allocated a lot to a lapse. I mean, you know, at least 25 to
50 people, you know, and then in the last six months, they’ve literally pulled all those
API keys. People browsers actually submitted an injunction to Twitter because they tried
to take their API key away and, you know, they’re now suing Twitter over the fact that,
you know, Twitter took their API key away and I mean it’s–it’s a pretty dramatic deal
over there and–and they’re screwing a lot of people and so I mean I would argue that–that
scraping is actually more reliable than … Mike Roberts: Speaking of due process, right,
like you can get an assist letter and, you in essence have the legal system to–to help
you decide whether or not you want to do that. If you have an API agreement then you have–it’s
a one side. These–these API agreements are one sided, right. It’s like you either pass
Google’s subjective audit or you fail it and you build your company on it and then one
day they decide that you fail then they immediately shut you off and just shut down your entire
business. Scraping you have, you know, good time. Byron White: That way you can leave the county,
right, Mike? Mike Roberts: Well, you can at least sell
your company to somebody else. Rand Fishkin: I was going to say if you’re
talking about the legal side, so there are–I’m sure, you know, many of you have seen like
lots of terms of service on other websites that say, “If you display this website anywhere
else, it must be at the top of the page.” And that’s specifically saying, “Google, if
you want to crawl my site and honor my terms of service, you have to show me at the top
of the results for every search query.” So Google is violating hundreds of websites,
its terms of service all the time. Violating a company’s terms of service on the web is
not a legal action. That is, you know, I mean that’s one of the reasons why SEOmoz which,
you know, we have a lawyer as our COO and we obviously have attorneys who review things,
we have investors who put a lot of money into the company and so they–you know, there was
a lot of due, you know, process to say, “Hey. Is anything you’re doing against–oh, okay,
well, what if Google changes their TOS to say that this is violating and da-da-da?”
Okay. TOS violation is not a legal issue, therefore, this is not a–a litigation concern.
It’s merely a data access concern. Mike Roberts: And it’s–and it’s definitely
not in Google. I mean Google–Google like I said is–is–is sort of in the–from their
intellectual property, you know, arguments. It’s definitely not in their best interest
to … Rand Fishkin: Oh no. I mean what they would
want if–if this case ever went to court, they would want it to be thrown out and say
anyone can go scrape anything on the web because that’s how Google’s business operates. That’s
how they make … Byron White: Any truth to the rumor that Google
Places is going to go with paid positionings for up to three spots? Chase Granberry: I never–I never heard that
rumor but I mean I believe Google Shopping is now paid inclusion, period. So–and–and
the local stuff is the long tail for Google. I mean, you know, local businesses, there’s
hundreds of thousands of those and they all spend few hundred bucks a month. That’s a
lot of money, millions even so … Mike Roberts: Sounds possible to me but I’ve
never heard of it. Byron White: Ever heard of Google Place? Did
anybody have any–any additional theories on the AA Trust thing? We know that–we know
that AA Trust… that Majestic put this–put on their blog, AA Trust is doing this. They
sort of called them out a lot a little bit. Well, kind of a lot because it’s a direct
competitor and–and then the next day–the very next day, AA Trust said, “Well, we–we
won’t have any–any keyword data, any scrape data on our site. We’re out of that business.
We’re stretched out.” Mike Roberts: My theory to put forth was that– Rand Fishkin: You guys, I’m sorry. Chase Granberry: –and AA trust are the same.
Does anyone know–have any other theories? Rand Fishkin: That could very well be possible.
I’ve never met or known anyone who knows anyone who’s at AA Trust like … Chase Granberry: Yeah. Rand Fishkin: –Bing wise but I apologize
you guys, I actually have to–to run. I have a one-on-one with one of my big data engineers
and this was great. I–I’m sorry I was gone for those like 10 minutes at the beginning
and then 5 minutes in the middle there. Thank you so much for having me and–and for hosting
this. And, yeah, thanks to all the people who–who came too. Enjoy … Byron White: Thanks a lot. Mike Roberts: I’m sorry. Sorry, the … Rand Fishkin: And have a great holiday I guess,
holiday too. Byron White: Happy holiday to you. Rand Fishkin: All right. Byron White: If–if you need–any if you need
any of the King’s shot, Rand, just let me know for your … Rand Fishkin: You’re very, very kind. If I
need bad photo shopping on top of images, I’ll also call you. Byron White: Perfect. Rand Fishkin: Take care. Bye-bye. Byron White: Thanks. Mike Roberts: Take it easy. Byron White: I mean Chase, do you want to
throw in your two cents or anything on that? Chase Granberry: I mean I think their–their
products are very similar and I–I think that they could be the same company. I think that
I–I highly doubt that AA trust even had an API key. I think they were just trying to
capitalize on the trend of the time and most of the people use AA Trust is for–is for
link data. So, you know, I think they’re like–you know, we’re going to–we’re completely focused
on link data. We don’t even want to be involved in this. So we’re just going to drop, make
it less confusing for people and maybe get a little traffic at the same time and call
it a day. I guess that’s what it was. Byron White: Chase, question for you. Does–does
Authority Labs replace the rank checker that Raven is losing? Chase Granberry: Yes. Byron White: Perfect. Chase Granberry: Yeah. We do … Byron White: Is there anything … Chase Granberry: We do more than what theirs
did also so … Mike Roberts: You did daily. Is there anything
else other than the fact that you guys run daily instead of–I think when they were doing
weekly, is there anything … Byron White: Yeah. They were doing weekly
so we did daily. All the same engines are supported and, you know, we have some more
robust features around grouping and tagging. I think our interface is a little bit better.
The graphing capabilities I think are a little bit better, comparing data from today versus
a week ago, a month ago, three months ago, beginning of time sort of thing is pretty
important for people and comparing where they were today versus, you know, where they started.
So, yeah. I mean it’s–it’s more robust and there’s more data in there but it’s all straight
forward enough I think that if you are using Raven’s rank tracker then, you know, the–the
transition should be fairly easy. Byron White: Is there any plan to integrate
PPT–PPC and SEO data in these tools? Kent asked that question. I’m not sure which tools
he’s referring to but … Mike Roberts: So SpyFu, if you’re talking
about like SERP–SERP tracking, we do–we do SERP tracking for SEO and PPC and, of course,
everything that we have has pretty much cost per click data, cost per day, search volume,
we even have I think clicks per rate. Anything that you can get, you know, through the AdWords
interface, we pretty much include. And, Chase, you guys have search volume and PPC? Chase Granberry: No. We just–we have a volume
metric that we get from Word Stream. We’re actually working out, we’ll have–we’ll have
AdWords stuff, search volume stuff fairly soon but in terms of–I mean, I want–I like
to ask that guy what ultimately the end goal? I mean is it just for his own analysis? I
think a lot of people use various tools for various reasons whether it’s analysis or whether
its generating reports for others to see, whether it’s a client or, you know, a boss
or a co-worker or whatever. So in terms of integrating other data into these tools, what
is the end goal I guess? Because that kind of effects all that. Byron White: Any comments or insights to share
about advancedwebranking.com? I don’t know anything about them. Does anyone? Chase Granberry: Well, they’re a desktop tool
and we’re both web based. So, you know, it’s–you know, some people prefer desktop tools and
people prefer a web based tool. You know, I think at this point, that’s really the major
difference. Mike Roberts: I’ve seen some people making
recommendations that you use AWR for smaller clients and something staff based for larger
clients. That’s–just trolling around on like the CFO book and stuff like that but sort
of my–my take on how to differentiate them. I mean obviously, against web ranking as the
desktop tool. Byron White: Cool. Well, I think we’ve–we’ve
gone through the questions quite a bit here and feel like we’re at a good ending point. Mike Roberts: Yeah. Byron White: And so I want to thank you guys
for–for being on and thank all the guests for being on today’s presentation. Chase Granberry: Thanks for having us. Mike Roberts: Thank you guys. Byron White: Yeah. This was fun. We should
do it, you know, two or three times a week but we probably don’t have time but you can
tell there’s a real thirst out there to understand what’s happening in the industry and this
was really an eye-opener I think for a lot of people to understand the complexities. Mike Roberts: Yeah. Awesome. Thanks a lot
guys. Chase Granberry: All right. Thanks. Byron White: All right everyone. Thanks for
tuning in. Until next month. The–the next webinar Mike and I pull off together, we’ll
… Mike Roberts: Yeah. Byron White: We look forward to tuning in
with everyone again. Thanks for listening everybody. We’ll see you another time I’m
sure. Thanks. Chase Granberry: Night. Mike Roberts: Later. Byron White: Thanks guys.

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