Sizzlin’ SEO with Amber Bracegirdle & Joshua Unseth | Mediavine Summer of Live

By | August 31, 2019

[MUSIC PLAYING] –body, welcome. We are back for another
Thursday with “Summer of Live” at Mediavine. I am here with
Amber Bracegirdle, on one of the co-hosts of the
Theory of Content podcast. Amber, can you say hi? Hi, everyone. Yay, we are so
excited, and we are working to get Josh Unseth in,
we have tried multiple browsers and we are struggling, we
are on the Struggle Bus, and it wouldn’t be a
Facebook Live if the Struggle Bus weren’t present. So– so we’ll just say
that to start with, and if Josh can’t join
us, Amber knows, Amber’s– Amber is saying
that I’m drinking. This is water. Water. I said it– I said
it should be vodka. Mm-hm. No, we’re gonna– we’re not
gonna add gasoline to this fire. We don’t– yeah, we don’t
know what’s in my cup, so– It’s all– it
could be anything– It could be anything. So we– we are so
excited to do this, we’re gonna talk all
things SEO today. We have a ton of questions
already in the pipe, and we are gonna take your
questions live as well. We’re so excited, I know we’ve
got Julie and Courtney and Sona and Marie, we’re so glad
that you guys are here. All right, so we’re gonna
go ahead and kick off and we’re gonna keep
our fingers crossed that we will have
Joshua joining us soon. OK Amber, let’s start out
with Michelle’s question. She had– she had many
questions, we love Michelle. Michelle said, “How do
I appropriately remove no-longer-related
content so Google sees me as appropriately niche? Meaning what steps do I take
for the posts that just need to go away altogether,
and also for the posts, like the one where my daughter
used to wear underwear on her head, that I
want to keep for me but not something
she necessarily wants to be searched or indexed by?” Right, well, so here’s the deal. For some reason there’s
this idea out there that Google niches
you, or they care– like, they want you to
remove content that’s not relative to your
niche, but the thing is you’re not, like,
a e-commerce site, you’re not a– you’re not
the same as old recipes, like, you are a blogger and
those lifestyle content posts are fine to have. There’s really no such
thing as crawl budget when it comes to a blogger, you
just don’t have enough content. I know that there was a podcast
out there that said, you know, “I have deleted a
third of my content and my SEO rose,” but they
don’t talk about the fact that the site they used– or when it’s talked about
in other places, the– it’s not put in
context to the site they used for that example
was an e-commerce site with thousands and
thousands of irrelevant or discontinued
items, right, which– that’s important
to Google, right, because if somebody
looks for something and they’re constantly
getting hits on a discontinued item, that’s
not valuable to the end user. There really is no reason to
remove this old content at all. Like, I’m just going
to put it out there, there’s no reason to remove it. It may drive you
crazy but just– Even they’re
underwear on the head, that’s what you’re saying. In fact, that means your site
more personable, like I don’t– I would never delete
stuff like that. You’re keeping it for yourself
because your blog is for you first and foremost,
and SEO shouldn’t get in the way of that, ever. And so my answer
is, don’t delete it. I realize that’s not the
answer you’re looking for. If there is a situation
where you absolutely want a post gone
from your site, first of all, the thing to
remember is that it’s never really gone on the Internet. There’s things like
the Wayback Machine that will still have a
copy of some of this stuff, so you have to kind of
internalize that and accept that that there’s nothing
ever gone on the Internet, but then the next thing
to do is to make sure that there are no– that there are no links
coming into that site. If you can’t really
figure that out, basically just unpublish the
post and watch your analytics to see if there are lots
of 404s coming from it, and if there are then you
can redirect that URL to– to something else that’s more
relevant, would be the way that I would do that. I wouldn’t actually
delete it from WordPress, though, I would
just unpublish it. So the answer is
don’t, essentially– Which Michelle
seems to love, yay. Aw, Sherry, I’m so jealous
you’re at the beach I know, I’m upset
too, it’s not cool. And Josh is still
struggling, he’s saying he can’t load from his
phone, so that’s happening too. So Michelle also
wants to understand the level of differentiation
between the old content and the new content. She says nicheing
isn’t really a thing. Yeah, it’s not. I mean, there are plenty– [LAUGHING] “You’re right.” –there are plenty of
bloggers that are successful and they have travel
and they have recipes and, you know, they have
all of this lifestyle stuff. Google sees you as lifestyle,
you don’t have to be food, you don’t have to be travel. Like, yes, there are some people
that have more success if they are niched down like–
you know, Pinch of Nom is a great example of this. They’re a site within Mediavine
that blogs about a British diet called Slimming
World, and I think the reason they’re
so successful is that there’s just simply a ton
of search around those topics anyway and they sort of provide
all of the information that’s being asked for, right? So that’s why they’re
successful with SEO but there’s no reason
that they couldn’t also be successful with
travel if they put it their site, et cetera. It’s about answering
the questions that people are asking Google,
that’s literally what this is. But yeah, That’s kind of
my opinion on that subject. I think– poor Josh. I know, this is terrible. So on– on that vein, Amber,
so you’re saying “–asking the questions that
Google is asking,” so we’ve got a question
from Andy McClung. He says, “Do you recommend using
tools like SEMrush or SpyFu for keywords?” He says, “I have
good rankings now, but is it needed to break
into the next level of traffic content?” So how do we find
out the questions that Google is asking? Well, I don’t think
it’s necessary until you reach a level where
you’ve completely exhausted Google Search Console. Google Search Console
is free, it shows you what you’re ranking for, and we
talked about this a little bit at the E of C podcast
that we did live. Basically what you should do
is you should go into Search Console and you could– you– you can sort the
information that’s there by number of clicks
and how you are ranking. You don’t even want
to look at the stuff that you’re ranking top 3 for,
you want to look at the stuff where you’re ranking
like, 4 through 10, or maybe 4 through 12, and
for each of those topics, you then want to create at
least 3 more pieces of content around that subject. That literally is a
year’s worth of content right there if you
just go into it and get 15 topics that you need
to write 3 more pieces of them. You can– you can do this
a number of ways to– oh, look who it is. Joshua! [LAUGHING] It worked, huzzah. OK, we’ve done no– [MIC CUTTING OUT] We heard you for a second
and then you went quiet. Yeah, we heard you for a moment. Now I hear you, it
sounds like you’re far, far away in a galaxy– Yeah, it sounds like
the mic in front of you is not on but another mic is. Thank you, everyone,
for being patient. Amber, keep answering. Josh, just make like, a
low-level humming sound and then when I hear you,
I’ll do it thumbs-up. [VERY FAINT SPEECH] Yeah, there’s a
little bit of sound. OK, then can we disconnect
the [INAUDIBLE]?? Oh, there you are,
there you are. I think something– Guys, this is a
tech company, that’s what’s scary about all of this. Hi Josh. Welcome. Welcome, glad to be here. We’re so glad that you– we made it, it was a little bit
of a struggle but we got here and we’re excited about it all. All right, so Amber, continue
on that story about SEMrush. You were talking
about to refresh, what we’re asking is, how do you
find out what questions Google are asking? We’ll have Josh
weigh in a moment. We’re having people asking about
the value of SEMRush or SpyFu or other of those keyword
research or finding tools. Right, and so what
I was saying is that they should start
with Google Search Console. And I’ve sort of reiterated what
you said at EFC about creating at least three pieces of
content for all of these things that you’re ranking
for, like 4 through 10, 4 through 12, that you want
to bring up in ranking. And we were talking, I was in
my head, thinking about the fact that Alarm Grid has
sort of exhausted at this point what Google
Search Console has to offer. And so now you rely on SEMRush
for a lot of this stuff, right? No with Josh again. Can’t hear you, babe. Oh, I got it. Almost. You sound like you’re in
a hallway, but we hear ya. OK, let me let me talk
to the hallway for now, I’ll talk a little louder. It’s on a mic and it’s like
on the other side of the room, so I’ll do this. Oh, perfect. So Alarm Grid, it has, you’re
right, web master tools, there’s a lot of keywords
in it and we are, it’s not giving me tons
and tons more keywords that we can write for. So I do use SpyFu. Generally SpyFu is
going to give me results for things that
are PBC-related generally. And SEMRush, which has broader
search terms for a lot of, it’s not as specific. They’re not exact
Bench keywords. Whereas, Webmaster Tool
is giving you exact match, which I’ve always liked. But most people
aren’t going to need to move into those other
tools, because most of you have hundreds, if
not thousands of keywords that you can use
in Webmaster Tools. And not just that, Webmaster
Tools gives you sort of, they give you
smaller resolutions. So you can look day to day. So a long reaction actually
ranks a little bit differently for keywords, because
they’re searched differently on weekends as
opposed to weekdays. So actually for
weekend keywords, which are the keywords
that generally are searched for by probably
users rather than installers, and I use those so
that we can actually target keywords that are going
to be more consumer-specific. So you can look at
little tricks like that. But it’s really in
how you use the tools. The tools themselves
are just, I mean it’s like you can
buy a SEMRush– It’s Josh’s Slack. Yeah. You can That’s your Slack friends. You can buy a
SEMRush membership, but if you don’t really
know how to use it, you’re basically just carrying
around a hammer with no nails. And maybe you don’t know how
to use the hammer, you just pick it up and throw
it at the wall. I mean, I can come up
with uses for a hammer without nails, Josh. Yeah, I’m sure you could. I would just kind of look
at it and I don’t know, maybe drop drop it or something. On your foot. I’m going to plunge
into something that is very controversial. The one keyword tool researcher
that you were saying, is it SEMRush or S-E-M Rush? We’re going to need to, let’s
get the definitive answer here. Well, it’s– We go back and forth. With the name, that is. You cut back a little bit. [INTERPOSING VOICES] How you pronounce, is it
SEMRush or S-E-M Rush? Oh, I say SEMRush. Oh, I left the baby monitor on. I say S-E-M Rush when I refer
to it, but a lot of people– [AUDIO OUT] And now he’s gone completely. Cool. We’re just struggling, we’re
really, really struggling. Is this better? Yes. OK, finally, OK. Back off it a little, a little. There we go. Ay. OK, that’s done, wonderful. S-E-M Rush stands for
search engine marketing. Generally search engine
marketing in the industry refers to like PPC,
so pay per click, where people are
purchasing keywords. So these tools usually are
meant to be paid keyword tools. Webmaster Tools is, like my
Google’s a little different, because it’s actually made
for webmasters, particularly webmasters doing content. So you’re going to
be getting content that is maybe blog-related. It’s a little bit
more blog-specific. So I always recommend that
people focus on a Google Webmaster Tools until
they have exhausted Google and Google
Webmaster Tools, which very few people do. And in fact, I still haven’t. I’m just, like it’s
less useful for me than it was three years ago. But until you’ve exhausted
Google Webmaster Tools, and then you can kind of move
into these other tools, which are actually more catered to PPC
and paid keyword specific type searches. Awesome, awesome. OK, so let’s go ahead
and do a quick pause on all of the great
content that we’re sharing, and let’s introduce
ourselves briefly. I’ve got Amber and Josh, since
now that we’re all together, and talk to me a little bit
about the theory of content. So first introduce yourselves. Sure, I’m Joshua
Unseth, and I am a, I guess I own the company or one
of the owners of the company. So I work at Alarm Grid. I call myself the
director of marketing, but I could take
any title I want. I could be the pilot
of the Alarm Grid. But I’ll call myself the
director of marketing for the purpose of this. And I basically do direct
our marketing efforts here, particularly with
regard to search. And that’s really what
we focus on actually, is search and search marketing. Cool. Amber Bracegirdle, just
left the frame, she’s back. Sorry, I’m back. I was just turning on the light. I felt like that
might be a good idea. My name is Amber
Bracegirdle, and I’m one of the co-founders
of Mediavine. And yeah, I started
doing SEO stuff when I started working with the
guys on Food Fanatic, our food site. And one of these days
about probably a year ago, Josh was like, hey,
I want to do a podcast, but I tried to do it by
myself and it was terrible. It was awful. OK. It was so boring. He was like, will
you come on the show, will you come do a show with me? And I was like, yeah, sure. And Theory of Content was born. Yeah. And it basically– Sorry, Amber. Yeah, go ahead, Josh. I was running over. This is a perpetual
problem for us. You like to interrupt
me, it’s cool. Yeah, I do. Well, I mean, our focus really
is, we love or I love content. That’s my love. And Amber has a similar passion. And in fact, I think most
of the people at Mediavine have a pretty similar
passion for content. So content is a weird thing. It’s this like amorphous entity. It’s art, and you get to
create it however you want. So you can be out there. With the internet, there’s
no barriers to entry. Right. You can put stupid content
out, you can put good content, you can put bad content out. It doesn’t really matter. You get to try and it’s free. So what I really
wanted to do with Amber was basically put
a show together that talked about the
problems that people encounter creating content. How to think about content. And how to create content
that you’re proud of. I don’t really care if it’s
good content or bad content. I want to help
people [INAUDIBLE] create content that they’re
proud of and that’s unique. Yeah, and for me, the aspect
of helping our publishers was huge. Like, they’d been
asking for SEO advice, and we didn’t have sort
of a grand scale way to help each person. And this was an
easy way to do that. To give them access to
people who are knowledgeable and who have grown sites
using these techniques, and have proof positive
that they work. And sort of debunk stuff that
comes out and takes groups by storm and that– Right. Kind of thing is huge for me. Incidentally, I don’t
think that we meant to make it an SEO podcast. And I don’t really
want it to be. And I, so we do some SEO,
because I think that we have a lot of SEO knowledge. So it’s very difficult not to
end up in the realm of SEO. But I think for the
most part, my goal is to just talk about the
process of creating content. And online,
incidentally, that means that you talk a lot about
search engine optimization or you talk about pay
per click, depending on what industry you’re in. But the Theory of
Content really, I mean we named it that,
because it literally is supposed to be about the
theory of creating content. My theory, Amber’s
theory, everyone’s kind of got an approach to content. So what is your
approach to content? How do you continue
to make it better? How do you continue
to attract eyeballs? How do you make the
people that are already reading it continually happy? I mean, I don’t think that,
I think though that it’s interesting that you did it. And it’s become identified
as an SEO podcast, and I think that’s because
any longer, which we deal with at Mediavine, quite
frequently, is having SEO is just that
word that everyone says it all the time. Yeah. Everywhere you are. And it’s just a random, like
it’s taken on like Voldemort, mythic proportions of SEO. But I’ve got to work on my SEO. Yeah. And it feels like a
very overwhelming thing that I think that
you guys have managed to break into these chunks
that people can actually do something, as opposed
to just wandering around constantly
feeling like you’re SEO or you’re five pounds too
heavy is not good enough. I feel like that’s
kind of thing. I think that’s fair. And I think I think
the thing with SEO is that people view it as a
barrier to creating content. They get very afraid
of how to make content. They get very afraid of
writing, because they’re writing perfectly, they’re
not writing the way that Google wants them
to or the way that they themselves, the standards that
they’ve set for themselves. I mean, the reason that we
end up delving a lot into SEO is because we want to remove the
barrier to doing that content. And right now, that’s
kind of the big barrier. So if we can demystify
that, make SEO not magical and help people realize
that they can do it just by, that it’s incidental
to the content. That they are doing as
SEO just by writing. And that what the
majority of SEO is, is just creating more content. That is the goal of Google. Creating more, creating better. That is the goal of Google,
is to get people to get more relevant content up. If that is what
people take away, that is absolutely I think
the most valuable thing that we could do for bloggers. So more is better
in terms of content. It’s more is more is more. Yes. Well, quality is better. Quality more. And it’s, like I think that you
can have a 10,000 piece blog post that’s just crap. And I would say that’s
a crappy blog post. But if you write 500
words and they’re really informative, really
useful wonderful words that you’ve now added to the
library of human knowledge, like that’s great content. And more of that
is better, always. So, guys, I want you
to, as you’re writing, really just think about the
library of human content. And I want you to
just pat yourself on the back continuously
for the amazing work that you’re doing in the
library of humankind. So I’m going to bounce
back to Search Console. Nicole wants to know,
and this is another thing I think we all get wrapped up
in and it’s easy, the rankings. So she’s saying, if you’re
already in spot two or three, do you take if it ain’t
broke, don’t fix it approach? Yeah. You can’t really, you
can’t really do much. I mean like, Google is– Fickle. She’s a fickle woman. And it’s very difficult.
I mean you can’t command Google to rank you number one. You can do everything that
you can to rank there. And one of the
approaches that SEOs will make in terms of
marketing themselves, is they’ll guarantee you
the number one positions. And just to give you
the trick, you can now understand what they’re
promising, is that what they do is they run 100,000 keywords. They find out which of
the similar keywords you’re ranking for. And then they’ll tell you that
they got you ranked for it. It’s an old trick and
it doesn’t matter. Like you, if your
number one, two, three, those are spots that
are all really good. Number one is clearly the best. But you can’t force
Google to rank you there. Right. I mean, and also that’s really
dependent on the person’s search history, as well. So we talk about this a lot with
our Food Fanatic contributors, like if someone has been
on Food Fanatic before, it’s likely that they will
see the food Fanatic results as number one or number two,
and the blogger as number three. Whereas, if they’ve
been on the blogger site before, or related
bloggers sites, they might see
the blogger first, unless they’re
searching incognito. Right? And stressing about
those positions over and over and over again
is just a waste of your energy. And to that end, I mean, I
think the message is stress about making good content. So like, if you’re wondering
should you do a lot of work to increase your
rankings, the answer is only yes, if it
means that you’re going to do a lot
of content creation in order to bolster
your rankings. And I think the best,
we talk all the time about the parboiled potatoes
example that Amber gives, where they wanted to rank– You should come up with
another one really. It’s a really good one though. It works. You had to rank better
for parboiled potatoes. [INTERPOSING VOICES] And what you did, is
you ended up ranking for parboil everything. Because the content
that you built to support the
parboiled potatoes post, added to the library of
human, of the human whatever I said. The library of human content. No, but you added to the
library of human content, you really did. Because like you made
five, six, seven posts that were unique and
new, and actually were helpful to people looking
for those other things, all in support of the potato. Yep, the humble potato
has never had it so good. The humble poisonous potato. It’s in nightshade. It is a nightshade,
like the eggplant. Things I learned
writing that stuff. We’ve got some
questions from Sherry. So Sherry wants to know, if
you’re starting a new site and don’t have the
content for Search Console to give you the results
about, would you start with a paid keyword tool? OK, so if you’re
starting a new site and you don’t have the content. Yeah, I mean, that’s,
so keywords come in different shades I guess. And to understand– Nightshades. Nightshades. And to understand the landscape
of keywords, it’s pretty good, I think, to kind
of understand how paid keyword research works. So paid keyword research splits
keywords into three types. You have exact match,
you have phrase match, and you have broad match. What you really need to worry
about, well, real simply, you basically have two
categories, that are broader, so like it’s related words. Keywords that are sort
of not the exact keyword. And then if you can find
a tool that gives you the exact match keyword, such
as like Google’s AdWords key planner, what is it? The Keyword Planner. Keyword Planner. I don’t know, they
keep changing it. Rebrand. The planning tool
that Google gives you. They give you some
exact match results. And you can compare those. But basically, the
broad matches are going to give you the
entire ecosystem of keywords that are about that topic. And the keyword, the
exact match keyword is going to tell you exactly
how many people are actually searching those
words specifically. That’s the potential
search volume if you were ranking
number one for that exact specific keyword. So a PPC tool is
actually pretty good, because it’s going
to generally give you broader matched keywords. And that will allow
you to start creating content that’s
going to drill down to that sort of
important keyword. And what’s going to
happen to Webmaster Tools, is as people search and as you
start ranking for those things, you’re going to start ranking
for the most important keyword in that set very
likely, particularly if you have a powerful blog. And you’ll start
seeing that creep up. But in the meantime,
you’re going to be capturing all the rankings
for the keywords that sort of surround that main topic. And you’ll be able to become,
sort of this niche expert that people dream of becoming. It’s authority. Mm-hmm. Yeah, yeah. And to answer your question,
Sherry, about whether you’d update existing content or write
new complementary, you can, it’s sort of a both. Make sure the existing
content is good and then you definitely,
you want to be writing new complementary content. And again, this is
something that we talk about a lot on the podcast. If you don’t have to necessarily
push that content out to your loyal audience
if you’re worried about people who
subscribe to your RSS feed or your newsletter being
bombarded about the 10 new posts you wrote
about blueberry muffins, you can sort of, Josh
hates when I say this, but the easiest way is
to just backdate it, so it doesn’t go out on your
RSS feed or on your home page. And makes sure that
you’re basically, you’re putting more content
about that subject out. And an important
piece of this is also making sure that
all of this content links around to each other. So with the parboil post,
as we wrote each one, we updated everything
that had been published so far with links
to the newest post, as well as all the other
posts in the series. And we updated the
original post with links to all of the new content. So you need to make
sure that it’s all interlinking to each other. That’s an extremely
important part of this that I got yelled
at [INAUDIBLE].. But I prefer that,
by the way, Amber. I just think it’s
not the best option. Yeah, but it is the easiest. It is. And if that’s, again, if that’s
your barrier, just do it. That’s fine. It’s not going to kill anything. I just favor being
honest to Google over lying to Google
about things like dates. Like I try, just because
Google likes honest content, but it’s not a big deal. That’s not going to be
the deciding factor. Google will still
rank you and it’ll show that as the creation date. So it’s not a bad option. Yeah, and Nicole, you’ve
got it exactly right. Nicole Burkholder’s statement
about where she should focus and all of that. You’ve got it exactly right. That’s exactly
what you should do. So I’m going to
jump, because we just started talking about
linking, a link strategy, and we’ve got a
question on what is the best internal and
external linking strategy. That’s a great question. OK, so we talked earlier
about those keywords and doing the keyword
research, and the big keywords you’re going after. You want to rank on descriptive
keywords very simply. So if you’re linking to a
blog post on your own site about, I don’t know,
mashed cauliflower, you probably want to link on
the words mashed cauliflower or mashed cauliflower recipe. Is that is thing? Is mashed cauliflower
a thing, Amber? It is. Good job. Sometimes I feel like words
are like, I pick a noun and then pick a food. Yeah. Only if it’s parboiled. Like a verb. Is the cauliflower parboiled?
‘Cause that’s the question. Yeah, yeah. Frozen, something. Sometimes he makes up
food, and I’m like, no. Rewind. We got to edit that out. Gooseberry pate. What? No, no. I don’t know. It’s not a thing. What a pate is,
but I could do so. But maybe want to write
for gooseberry pate. So you’d want to link on
the keyword gooseberry pate, or gooseberry pate
recipe, depending on what it is. And the other thing
is, people are overly concerned with linking. Here’s the thing. When I was a baby, links were
really, really important. I remember that
clients would want to rank for something
like vacuum cleaner. So you’d call up The New York
Times, you’d bribe an author. And then they would give you
a link to vacuum cleaner. And now you would rank number
one for vacuum cleaner. And it was just like that
one link, that was it. You were done. You could go home,
you could sleep and you’d sell vacuum
cleaners or have people click on your vacuum
cleaner-based Google AdWords and it would just be, you’d be
rich, you’d be retired today. So we all regret not doing that. But then, most of us
didn’t have the money to bribe The New
York Times author. No, that didn’t actually. You didn’t need to bribe anyone. They– I definitely just, so I had a
connection to Huffington Post. A really good friend of mine
was with Arianna Huffington’s managing editor when
they first started. And so they gave Food Fanatic
a contributor account. And I very much regret not
posting there more often than I did. Yeah, but you have
to realize that links have been, over the years,
degraded as a linking signal. Or a ranking signal. It’s important,
it always will be. Links are a very simple way to
gain authority and tell Google that someone
important likes you. But they’re not,
they’re no longer, if you get a link from
The New York Times, it’s no longer going to
make or break your site. It’s a lot of other
[AUDIO OUT] you can do. And all of the things
that we talk about. So I think people spend a
little bit too much time, and I think it’s a legacy
mentality that says stuff like linking is the most
important thing you should spend your time on. So– Right. Yeah, so link on
strong keywords, that’s a good strategy. And in terms of– Descriptive. Yeah, descriptive keywords. And then in terms
of external linking, we do this on Food
Fanatic, and I think it’s important to
be a good net citizen. Google wants you to do that. So link out to content that
is helpful for your readers. Yeah. If you’ve got a friend
that’s written a post, Google doesn’t know they’re
your friend, so it’s OK. Don’t worry. Link out to [INAUDIBLE],,
I get questions about that all the time. Will they know that I’m, well
unless you’re linking to them– Yet. In every post. They don’t know yet. Right. Unless you were linking to
them in every single post, then no, they’re not
going to– they’re not going to be able– that’s your
friend, you have a link scheme. Right. That’s not how that works. So yes, and yes, Ali, it’s OK
to be link to other people’s similar posts. Because those are
helpful to your readers. If you’ve got a post about
different types of sugar and someone else has a post
about different types of flour, that might be helpful to
talk about in that post, and say if you’re
baking and you need to know about the different
types of flour too, here, go to my
friend, Sarah’s post. You know what I mean? There’s daisies. But link on the
word’s different– Lilies. Flowers. Joshua. OK, two things, one– Marigolds. One, gooseberry pate is a thing. Did you Google it? I did not. But I just had a colleague
who is monitoring questions, it is a thing and it
is sold on the market. We can provide links. Oh, man. I dare someone to rank for that. I’ll give them a bitcoin. No, I won’t. I don’t– [LAUGHTER] [INTERPOSING VOICES] –something from the
bitcoin world, guys. So here’s the thing. Yeah, real simple, also
it needs to be mentioned. If someone else is
talking about you. I am a fan of being
opportunistic when it comes to links. I think that if someone
talks about you, then that’s an appropriate time
to go email them and say hey, would you mind
linking to this page? That would be great. But other than
that, I honestly, I know companies that hire
entire groups of people who pick up the phone
and try to basically sell people on linking to them. And I don’t think that
that’s a really good strategy for long-term growth. I think that that’s
mostly wasted effort. So I tend to say,
when people link, or when you think that
there’s a blog that you have an opportunity to get
a link in, be opportunistic. Email them, be nice. And then leave it. And if they don’t link to
you, they don’t link to you. And if they do, it’s great. So Nicole is saying though,
but when you link externally to a similar recipe
or idea, aren’t you competing against yourself? You’re competing against
other blogs for rankings. I think that that’s
a fair point. But I mean, why are you
linking to a similar recipe? I mean, if you have all the
information in your recipe, you don’t necessarily need
to link to a similar recipe. The thing is, if someone
did some content that inspired you or is additional
supplemental content to your post, that’s
the kind of thing that you might want to link to. If it’s the same recipe,
or let’s say they maybe, let’s say in their recipe
they have a Q&A that you like, it might be time for you to
kind of not steal content, but incorporate that sort
of content in your own post. You look at what they
have that you don’t have, and you don’t take
it word for word. You don’t even look at
them and write sentence by sentence or
similar sentences. You look at the question
that they’re answering and then you answer
it in your own way. And now you don’t have
the need to link out to somebody in an instance
where they’re building content that’s the same as yours. But you want your content to
be better than your competitors in search. Which means that it’s
something that you need to do to
incorporate content that someone else creates. You need to incorporate
the sort of content. You do it in your own words. You do it in your own style. And then to make your content
more valuable than theirs. That’s how you compete. Right. I mean, so I know for
a fact that there’s a lot of this discussion
happening in Facebook groups right now. That it’s not nice to go
after each other’s keywords and things like that. But the thing is,
you’re content creators. You’re in the same niche. This isn’t like, it’s
business, it’s a competition, but it’s not about taking
down another person’s site. It’s about creating
the best content. You have no control over who
or how Google ranks someone. They are going to rank the
person with the best content. So if you suddenly get
outranked by someone, it’s not because they
did something or caused you to be downgraded. It’s because they
wrote better content. According to Google. Right? Yes, according to Google. And so improve your content and
you’ll get your ranking back, would be my thought. And I think it’s
important to say this. Like first of all, you’re
not owed those positions. And if your entire site is
built on the backs of a keyword that you get a million hits off
every month, you’re screwed, you’re done. Because, like– All your eggs are
in that basket. Right. And all I have to do
is, let’s say I find out about that keyword and
I start ranking for it, I’m going to take your users. And a million keywords,
that’s a lot of users. So I’m going to
find those keywords. I’m going to take them. Keywords that have
more search, they are going to have
more competition. That’s just the way it is. So count your
blessings when you’re ranking for a keyword
that has a lot of search. And then use the opportunity
to take that money and devote it to
spending your time– Creating more content. Making more content. Because that’s
just, it’s an index. Like when you put your
money in the stock market, you have a lot of risk if you
put it all into one stock. But if you put your money
into lots of different stocks, you spread out the risk. It’s the same thing
with keywords. And I find this so interesting,
because Josh doesn’t have any, like there are only certain
alarm model numbers. Right? Right, only certain ones. There’s not like,
it’s a competition, and it’s understood
that it’s a competition. And it’s the same with recipes,
and it’s the same with craft. It’s the same, guys. Like literally, your post
is an alarm model number. And you just need
to treat it like, I understand that food
and craft and travel is so passionate, because it is
your, it is your joy in life, and you’re doing the
thing that you love. But at the end of the
day, the content you’ve created as far as
Google is concerned, is just an item
number that they were trying to provide
at the best content about for the person who’s
searching for that item number. Right? So just create best
possible content you can. And one of the
things you can do, if you have people
creating content that you like, like your
friends, and they make a post and you realize that their
content is missing something, it’s not a bad thing to
say hey, I was really inspired by this
piece that’s such and such did, I wanted
to add some text and let them know that,
like answer a question that I ran into while
making their recipe or something like that. So there’s supplemental content,
and you’re not necessarily going to rank them
for the main keyword, but you might rank
for if you had a question while
baking a recipe, someone else might
have that question. And you’re going
to build content that allows you to build off
of other people’s content. Content is iterative,
which means basically that you have like, you
have a piece of paper and you start writing. And then the next sentence
follows from the previous. And that’s the same thing. If someone makes content
that inspires you, you’re going to make content
that is inspired and follows from their content. And it’s going to end
up competing in some of the same keywords spaces. That’s not mean,
that’s flattering. And that’s something that you
should be doing for each other. You should, if someone
outranks you, high five them and say, next year, next
year I’m going to beat you. Yeah. And then work your
butt off to do it. But then, don’t focus
just on that keyword. Build content for
other keywords. Right. I mean, I remember I had
this exact experience with Mary Youkin, who’s
one of our bloggers. She wrote about Rudy’s Creamed
Corn, which is something that my personal site has
ranked in the top three, four since 2008 when I
first published it. But I have not updated
my blog in two years. So she wrote about it,
and then she suddenly realized that she was right
behind me in rankings. And I was like,
that is so awesome. And she was like, what do
you mean that’s awesome? I’m taking that traffic
from you potentially. Like what if I start
to outrank you? And I was like, you’re
providing the better content because you’re still blogging. Like that’s what
Google’s going to do. They’re going to provide
the best content. And if someone else
has written about it three years after I
have and I haven’t touched my post in four years,
that’s the better content. It’s just that’s how it is. So we have to separate our
feelings from it, right? I saw that Michelle Price asked
a question about interlinking, about do I need to go back
to the old post linked from and link to them too? Or just when I update
those posts in general? In terms of interlinking,
I personally think it’s best to always
do that at the same time. When you write a new post where
you’re linking to an old post, if there’s an opportunity
to link from the old post to the new post, do
it at the same time. Just to make sure that you’re
covering both ends of that, so that Google
understands is the index that those are
related and you’re saying I’m an
expert in this topic and they’re linking
to each other because it’s the same stuff. Right. One of the things
that I like to do is, I like to use an old coast,
I’m having a stroke, old post. Old post as a
repository for links. So for example– We can’t help you,
you’re in Florida. You’ve got the number. Someone will call help. If you want, what
you can do is you can look through your old posts. So if you find a keyword that
you really want to rank for and you have a lot of old posts
that talk about things that are tangentially
related, you can actually search your site for the
times you’ve used that keyword and decide if those
times might be appropriate to that
update to the new post. And for me, we’re writing
about all this alarm equipment. So let’s say I need to rank
for Honeywell Alarm Systems, I have tons and
tons of old posts where we haven’t
linked to the page that I’m trying to get ranked
for the Honeywell alarm system, that talk about
Honeywell Alarm Systems. And that content that we now
have on Honeywell Alarm Systems is supplementary to
all that old stuff. So I’m able to use those
old posts basically as a repository for links. OK, guys, so we’ve
got a question here. It is from– We’ve got a lot of questions. We have a lot of questions. We should say if we
don’t, because we only have like 30 more minutes,
if we don’t get everything, Josh and I will take whatever
questions are on the live and we’ll cover them in another
Theory of Content episode. So I want to really
quickly, this is, it’s actually my sister-in-law,
and she has a question. My niece is watching. Hello Jacqueline. Nepotism. Yep, yep. But she wants to know if
adding tags to your posts is a good way to add
keywords to your post. Or is this a beginner’s mistake? So I think the tags
thing is a big question. And what, is it actually useful? Is it doing anything? Yeah, taps and categories. Tags don’t matter that much. Period. Let’s just tell her that. He’s done. Here’s what happens. So tags kind of replaced posts. What they do is, the best thing
they do is they create a page. Tags and categories are,
they’re not different. But if tag creates a new page. And that page might
rank for things, users might find it helpful. Yeah. You can, I know there’s another
question about cornerstone content. You can turn that tag page
into cornerstone content. Right. Which we can talk through. And there’s, there’s a
lot of uses for tags. Like for example, if you have
all sorts of gooseberry pates, maybe there’s more than one,
and you really like making them, maybe you make 10
gooseberry pates and maybe it’s a
well-searched term. Gooseberry pate recipes. Or what’s the best
gooseberry pate? And you could turn those
tag categories, tag, there’s the Minnesota in
me, you can tag categories into those sort of larger
subject-based pages, which is a great way to do it. But I would say on page. I don’t think Google’s
really using tags as a strong indicator for
how to rank any page, more than it is text, and the
text is less relevant because it’s surrounded by
tags, not by other good text. OK, we’ve got some people here. We’re getting so many
questions, but we’re not going to get to
them all, and I’ve got two more things
that I definitely want to segue to before we end. But we’ve got people
saying yes, talk about turning tag pages into
the cornerstone content. We’ve got people
talking about if you’re adding more pieces of content
for your top ranking keywords, do you use the same words? But before we go
far away, I want to for sure address
redirects and how those work. And then I also want
to get both of you guys’ best strategy
if you’re going to spend 30 minutes
to an hour a day on improving the SEO
on your site, what are those actionable items that
we can send people to go away with. So let’s talk about
redirects quickly, and why the 301 versus,
like how to do it and what, just so
address redirects. Sure. Cool. So there are two
kinds of redirects you should care about. There’s the 301 and the 302. And the only one that you really
need to care about usually is a 301. So a 301 redirect is
a permanent redirect. It says to Google,
when the search engine comes to the page, it says oh,
this page isn’t here anymore. It has forever moved
to this other place, this is its new home. It’s like the post
office forwarding mail address in some ways. And what that does is,
Google takes all of the links that you have to that page
and it redirects that equity to the new page. It says this is the new page. All of the links are credited
here instead of here. That’s really a
301’s only thing. A 302 is a temporary redirect. Let’s say you’re, I don’t
know, doing maintenance or I don’t know,
something on your site. Generally you don’t need
to worry about them. But that’s a temporary redirect. There are strange
little uses for them, but the 301’s really what
you got to worry about. And then there’s other
codes, like a 404 page is what happens if you remove
content from your site. But the 301 redirect, you just,
basically what you’re doing is, you’re telling Google that
stuff is permanently moved. And that’s what
you’re going to need to do if you
rebrand, if you maybe change the URL
structure on your site, and a number of other things. So yeah, it’s not like
301s are pretty simple. I try to recommend that people
don’t use them if they can. So if you screw up the
URL on your content, it’s not the end of the world. Just keep it the screwed up URL. It’s not a strong ranking
metric by any means. Yeah, and I think,
we’ve definitely Erik has very strong
opinions about this. We know that. His I think for technical
reasons more than– His is for technical reasons. So a lot of times you’ll see
me beg someone not to take dates out of their URLs. And the reason for that is that
site-wide redirects at a host level can really slow down your
site, depending on your host. And if you don’t have a
host that is definitely paying attention to site speed
or definitely paying attention to how this might load, like
make the page load slower, that can affect your
rankings over time. And that’s important, right? But it’s not something that is
immediately apparent to you. Unless you know what’s
going on under the hood, you see the drop in rankings,
but you don’t understand what what’s happened. And so we always recommend if
you can avoid it, don’t do it. Yeah. And it’s all for naught,
because if you’re ranking, if your URL is
pretty versus not pretty, and you’re in that
first position, you’re going to get 60% to 80%
of the click-throughs no matter what. No matter what your
URL looks like, yeah. And if anyone wants
proof, just go to YouTube and take a look at their URLs. It’s owned by Google and they
use a hash for their URLs. It’s not even readable,
human readable. So you don’t read pretty URLs. You don’t need perfect URLs. And you can get by with just
stupid, crappy, ugly URLs. Right. And in terms of the best way
to do it, to answer Michelle, I know that there are
plugins that’ll do it. But in terms of something
like this that’s sort of a permanent
thing that you’re changing about your
site, I would never rely on a plug-in to do
it, because plug-in makers, you don’t have control
over whether or not they stop supporting
themselves or whatever. And so the best way to do
it is at the server level with an HT access. Like you edit your HT access
file to do that redirect. It’s something that if
you don’t know how to do, you should be involving your
host and asking for their help, even if they charge a fee. This is something
that is important and that you should do
right the first time. So even if it costs you a
one-time fee or whatever, just pay it to make sure that
it’s done right by someone who has the technical know how. Yeah, and just– Also, don’t, oh, I’m
sorry, don’t rebrand. Please don’t. Don’t do that. Please don’t rebrand. Just don’t. Everyone, no one is
going to listen to you, but they’ll do it. Everyone always does. But the other thing that
people should know about is the rel=canonical tag. And that’s a little bit,
it’s a cool little tag that basically you can
put on pages that are, let’s say duplicate
content of another page. And you’re telling Google
that the original content is over here. It’s a really
wonderful little tag. It works just like
a 301 redirect, but it doesn’t change the URL
or the behavior of the content. So it’s in the header. No one sees it but Google. And it says rel=
quotation mark canonical. And then it has a
URL and the link to the actual original page. It’s a really useful
tool in some instances. And if you want more, I
mean if you want more info, you can email us the questions
at Theory of Content. If you have instances
where you think that would be more useful
than the 301 redirect. It’s not going to be necessarily
a good idea for branding. But if you’re
republishing posts, a rel canonical is actually
a pretty good option for making sure that any
new link [INAUDIBLE] page. Yeah. OK, I’m going to
have to jump in. Sure. [INAUDIBLE] So, we’ve
got someone asking, you guys are, you’re
wonderfully verbose. We are, we’ve got someone
asking about migrating their blog to a new platform. Yes, we do have an
article on that. We have a series on that. And we’re going to have an
additional post on that too. So that’s coming out. Right, but she’s talking about
moving from Wix, which we don’t have any information about. Oh, we don’t have,
no, not on that one. We can see if anyone’s
done it and [INAUDIBLE].. Yeah,we can definitely
ask on the Facebook group. That’s always a great place
to crowdsource questions like that. So we have just a
few more minutes. I want you guys to quickly give
your power-packed action items, and then we’re going to talk
about where we can find you. So Amber first. OK, so I would say when
you’re planning new content, plan more content
around a single idea. So if you are writing a recipe,
and this sort of answers a question that came in as
well, if you are writing a recipe about
blueberry muffins, plan more content around
blueberry muffins. Because it will help you
support your expertise as Google sees it in the long-term. And whether you publish
those all at once or over several
weeks or whatever, just makes sure they link
around to each other. And what I mean by
planning extra content, so you could also
do raspberry muffins or you could do lemon
blueberry muffins. You could do the best
quick blueberry muffins, the best I don’t know– Slow. Toaster oven blueberry muffins. There’s, yeah, muffins
always cook in 22 minutes. It’s not a thing. The Slowest muffins of all time. You could do a
blueberry muffin loaf. Like plan content
that is related, but isn’t necessarily
the same keyword. But is all supportive
of each other and so that you can
continue to link back to the blueberry
muffins post that you were trying to raise up. Erik in in here, guys. Oh, Erik– [INTERPOSING VOICES] You were wondering if
he was watching, he is. He will never not
hate 301 redirects. And they’re slow. So there you have it. Josh, can you jump in with your
power-packed advice please? Sure. Don’t care about SEO. [LAUGHTER] I mean, that’s the thing. We don’t care. We care about you
making content. Yeah. We don’t care about you making
sure your picture names are right. This is dumb, don’t
waste your time. I think the best advice that
I can give is just write more. Amber’s absolutely correct about
writing about a single subject matter for quite a bit. But just write more. Write what you love. And come up with content that
is going to make you continually want to blog. Don’t turn this into
a thing you hate. And if you’re making content
that you love to make, you’re going to continue
making really good content, and you’re not going
to lament the practice of having to write 600, 700,
800, maybe 1,000 word posts. So write content that you love. And become really
competent at the content that you’re writing. If you do desserts,
then just do– Bake your buns off. Right, get really
good at dessert stuff, and know everything
you can possibly know about the nitty gritty of it. And then as you learn,
inform everyone else about what you’ve learned. Because that’s, frankly,
what makes the best content. The things that
you’re learning about, someone else has taken
the same journey. One of my favorite posts
from my baking addiction is the first Instant Pot
cheesecake she wrote, she talked about the fact
that she didn’t realize she had to change the ring. So she ended up with pulled
pork Oreo cheesecake. Oh, god. Because the ring,
the ring takes, like gives whatever’s in the
pot, it can give the flavor. And so she ended up with pulled
pork cheesecake basically. She was like, nope. It was beautiful cheesecake,
like perfect texture and everything, but she’s like,
you would go to take a bite and you would just get– Pork. Pork essence. Yeah, and so that’s why Instant
Pots sells different rings. And that post to me is like
the epitome of great content. Because you’re
admitting, hey, here’s the thing I learned by the way. And she talks about it in her
latest one that she just wrote. Yes, Stephi, you do. She talks about it in her
latest one that she went ahead and she got a new
just desserts ring. And it’s so funny to me. And I think it’s great, great
content when you write that. And I think people relate to
it and they react to it more and you get more
engagement, which just makes everybody happy. And people can
sense your passion. That’s why everyone
reads everything I write about Beanie Babies. So, OK, I think
that’s it for now. And gooseberry pate. Just all the articles
about gooseberry pate. So, guys, when is
Theory of Content coming back with live episodes
and when can we find you where? We just released our
most recent live one. Oh, live, you mean
like we’re on stage? When you’re, no, well that’s
happening at Haven, right? Hapen. Yes. That’s happening now. They’ll find you
guys in Charleston. So they will be in Charleston
with us at at Hapen. They’re doing two live
Theory of Contents there, so if you have the
opportunity to be there, do that. Where can they find you for
your podcasts on the regs? Sure, so if you have
iTunes or any standard– Stitcher. Stitcher. You can search
Theory of Content, we should show right up for ya. also,
although it looks down for me, so I’m going to
go check that out. But If you have any
questions or you want to participate in Theory of
Content with questions,– If you want us to
answer your heart’s most burning desires questions
at, we will take a look at those
and we’ll get those out. We try to do one
about once a week. We’ve been sometimes a
little bit lackadaisical. Conference. Conference season’s
been rough on us. it’s Amber’s fault. It is. I personally hope that your
heart’s deepest desire is not centered around SEO. But if it is, they can help you. If it’s not, if it’s just a
question you’re curious about, definitely get in
touch with them. Uh oh, Ursula just said
that your site is down at Theory of Content. Yeah, it seems– He’ll fix it. He’ll fix it. He’ll fix it,
we’re going to fix. And we will, I
think at this point it’s been determined that we’re
going to need to have you guys back this summer on another. So we’ll look for another date. And, guys, so next week,
oh, Amber wants to talk. I just wondered if
we wanted Josh’s help to announce something
about our conference. Yeah, I was actually getting
ready to segue into that. Just making sure. So don’t worry, I
gotcha, I gotcha. I got it. Speed dating is happening at the
Mediavine conference coming up. Eric is one of the developers
building a dating app for Mediavine conferences. You heard it here first,
that’s not happening. What we were going to
say, is that next week we are going to have our live
conference announcements. And you heard me
say announcements, because there will
be two Mediavine conferences next year. What? Whoa. What? Two. What the heck. So we’re going to post some
information about that. We are going to have people
live and with sponsors I hope. Yes, there will
be sponsors there. This is a given. But we will have sponsors,
we’ll have of all the things. We’ll have information
about those next week, live announcements and
the conference locations. It’s a remote. This is exciting
stuff happening. One in Europe, says Ursula. We’re working on it. Thanks, Ursula, we’re
working on those things. So thank you guys
so much for coming. We will see you next week. Thank you to Josh and
Amber for being amazing. Thanks to Josh for
sticking in there and coming through no
matter what happened. Thanks for the patience. I apologize. Now that we’ve done this once,
I guarantee that it will never be a problem again. [INTERPOSING VOICES] That is a dangerous
guarantee to make, cowboy. Don’t do it. Guarantee. He guaranteed. So we will hold him to that. All right, you guys,
thank you so much. Thanks are attending
Summer of Live. We will see you next week. All right, bye guys. Thank you guys for having me.

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