Jacob Stoops

#41: Jason White

Episode Summary

Interview

In this episode, we chat with Jason White, Director of SEO at PMG, a digital marketing agency based in Fort Worth, TX (but with offices in Austin, Dallas, New York, and London).

We discuss:

  • His passion for cycling and how he went from working at a bike shop to SEO.
  • His time both in-house and at agencies
  • Why he believes his best fit is within the agency environment
  • Doing SEO on eBay
  • Local search
  • Being a jack of all trades
  • And so much more!

News

In the news we talk about:

Deep Dive

  • We have a deep dive biggest SEO challenges. To paraphrase Frank Costanza of Seinfeld, we got a lot of problems, and now you’re gonna hear about them!

#40: Garrett Mehrguth

Episode Summary

Background

In this episode, we chat with Garrett Mehrguth, Founder and CEO of Directive, a search marketing agency for mid-market and enterprise brands.

We discuss:

  • How he went from college soccer star to Fiverr hustler to SEO
  • The founding of his business
  • His advice on how SEOs can begin to speak executive-level language
  • What it’s like to scale and run an agency and the pressure of being responsible for so many people
  • How he works to empower those within his organization
  • What it’s like to have to deliver bad news to an employee

And so much more.

News

In the news we talk about:

Deep Dive

Finally, we have a deep dive into why discoverability (not traffic, keywords, and links) needs to be put on an SEO pedestal.

#39: Carolyn Lyden

Episode Summary

In this episode, we chat with Carolyn Lyden, President and Lead SEO at Search Hermit.

Topics covered

Articles referenced

#38: Andrew Cock-Starkey

Episode Summary

In this episode, we talk with Andrew Cock-Starkey (better know as “Optimisey”). Andrew runs an SEO consultancy out of Cambridge, England working with clients all over the globe. He also runs one of the most popular SEO meet-ups in the UK.

Andrew's background

We talk about:

  • How Andrew’s career began 20 years ago as a broadcast journalist working at the BBC with a focus on cricket and fut ball
  • How the emphasis placed on creating fresh and timely content around the sports stories of the day really opened his eyes to the power of building traffic online
  • His time as Web Editor as Newsworks
  • His management of the website for the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)
  • How it all led him to found his own SEO consultancy Optimisey
  • What it’s like running the Optimisey SEO meeting
  • His Optimisey YouTube video series
  • And more.

SEO news

This episode's deep dive

And last but not least, we dive into a few overlooked SEO fundamentals including:

  • How often simple analytics configurations seem to be overlooked
  •  The use of site monitoring tools and how they can help businesses

#37: Martha van Berkel

Episode Summary

In today’s episode, we talk with Martha van Berkel, CEO and Co-Founder of SchemaApp, a service that empowers the Digital Marketer to own their schema markup strategy through to implementation without ever writing code or engaging with IT.

We talk about her background in mathematics and engineering (she also attended the MIT Sloan school of management). We also discuss how she spent almost 14 years at Cisco, what it’s like to be an innovator at an otherwise slow-moving, highly-bureaucratic company, and the circumstances that led to her going out on her own and eventually forming her own company with her husband.

In the news, we talk about Google’s recent broad core algorithm update and share our thoughts on how the industry reacts to algo updates as well as our own approaches.

And finally, we deep dive into structured data, how brands can use it, as well as what challenges SEOs face with schema and getting it implemented.

Also, follow Schema App on Twitter.

#36: Ian Howells

Episode Summary

We talk with Ian Howells, long-time SEO and one of the partners at Traffic Think Tank, which is one of the best private SEO communities in the world.

We discuss:

  • How he began building websites in high school as part of a class project
  • How his early experience led him to building affiliate websites and making money online at a very young age
  • We discuss his foray into marketing and optimization in the adult and online poker industries
  • How a federal law forced him to change his career arc, which eventually led on to various agency and in-house roles
  • The founding of Traffic Think Tank
  • What it’s like to run one of the most well-known and reputable private SEO communities
  • Coordinating the Traffic Think Tank Live conference
  • The news that Bing says 2020 will be the year where keyword research becomes obsolete (while Google says it isn’t)
  • The rise of DuckDuckGo
  • Deep dive into Affiliate Sites

And much more.

Episode Transcript

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Jacob Stoops: All right, everybody. Welcome to the Page 2 Podcast I am your host Jacob stoops and I am here with Mr. Jeff, Louella Jeff. How’s it going?

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Jeff Louella: Going well how’s everyone doing out there.

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Jacob Stoops: They can’t answer you, Jeff.

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Jeff Louella: Ah, I was trying this time.

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Jacob Stoops: No.

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Jeff Louella: Not respond on Twitter. How you doing,

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Jacob Stoops: Yes, please respond on Twitter and we are joined by Mr Ian Howells. Ian, how are you doing?

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Ian Howells: Good man, Jacob. Jeff, thanks for thanks for having me on. We

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Jeff Louella: Are very

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Jacob Stoops: Very excited and I don’t want to bury the lead. But if you don’t know, Ian. He is the one of the partners at Traffic Think Tank. And we’ve already had one of his counterparts on I think about 10 months ago, Nick Eubanks who also

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Jacob Stoops: Founded Traffic Think Tank. They’ve got a lot of really awesome stuff going on there, which I’m sure that we’ll get into and then he and I believe you. You’re also, you also have a day job at a soft landing tree.

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Ian Howells: So I did previously. Up until the end of August of 2019 I was leading the the SEO team at lending tree.

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Ian Howells: Yep. Now just affiliate stuff consulting and Traffic Think Tank are kind of the three legs of the stool and

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Jacob Stoops: I had that in my notes and I completely glossed over it. We do take notes here.

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Ian Howells: Before we

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Jacob Stoops: Find people and then I just get on and I just messed them mess them all up or

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Jacob Stoops: In one case I butchered

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Jacob Stoops: Somebody somebody’s name.

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Jacob Stoops: Almost immediately, I believe that was Jamie, I called her out Jericho. It’s Alba Rico and she definitely called me on that.

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Jacob Stoops: Yet Lee, which was a little embarrassing.

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Ian Howells: I mean, it’s better to call better to call a name mispronunciation out early. Right.

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Ian Howells: Rather than it happening over and over and over again.

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Jacob Stoops: The whole thing. It’s like that episode of Friends were Chandler gets called Toby at his workplace and he never corrects them and then you Toby from there on for like six years.

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Jacob Stoops: And he anyways. So in today’s episode. For those of you that have listened, you’ll kind of know what’s coming for any first time listeners. Let me just tell you kind of what we’re going to do.

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Jacob Stoops: The hallmark of this show is kind of the origin stories of great SEOs SEO is not a very old industry and in our experience, nobody tends to get into

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Jacob Stoops: Especially if you’ve been in it for a while, into SEO on purpose. A lot of people come from other places. And we’re interested in figuring out

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Jacob Stoops: What are those other places, and how, how did how did people get into SEO in the first place, and what are their

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Jacob Stoops: What are their backgrounds and even more importantly, we’d like to talk about

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Jacob Stoops: Successes failures, what it’s like to be an SEO day to day. It’s kind of it can be kind of a grind and we like to kind of get deep on

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Jacob Stoops: What people experience on a day to day basis. So that’s kind of part one. Part two. And this is something that we’ve added in Season two is we like to

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Jacob Stoops: We like to talk about what’s what’s in the news kind of current events in the SEO world, which usually ends up with me just yelling about various SEO topics and ranting and complaining, but that’s it. That’s okay.

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Jacob Stoops: Jeff kind of runs runs that section and he kind of balances ME OUT HE’S KIND OF THE even keeled person and I just go off.

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Jeff Louella: Sometimes, AND I KNOW HOW TO TOSS THINGS UP TO YOU, TOO.

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Jacob Stoops: Well, Jeff, I want to, I want to hear just for one wants me being maybe the even keeled person and just being cool and you just

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Jacob Stoops: I want to know what you want to rant about at some point I want to see that.

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Jeff Louella: So all right, I will do some topics, the data Jeff will ramp.

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Jacob Stoops: And then the third, the third leg of the stool in our, in our episodes is typically a deep dive and today’s deep dive is going to be on affiliate sites.

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Jacob Stoops: Which we’re excited to talk about. So if you’re in the affiliate game or if you’re not in the affiliate game and you’re thinking about it. We’re going to deep dive into that topic at the towards the end of the episode so

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Jacob Stoops: Ian

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Jacob Stoops: Let’s jump into kind of the first phase, who are you, how did you get into SEO, what, what’s your story.

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Ian Howells: Cool. So, like you mentioned up top. Ian howls co founder and partner at trek think tank which the short version of that is a 700 plus now person community.

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Ian Howells: Community portion happens in Slack all of the educational kind of training material and resources are all within Traffic Think Tank calm. So think of like distilled you accept not five years out of date now.

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Ian Howells: Is the website portion and then the community. I think is really one of the the big strong

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Ian Howells: Assets for it because folks can ask questions get feedback on campaign ideas that they’re going to have more if you just get stuck on something that’s a good way to

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Ian Howells: Just kind of stop smashing your head against the wall, have a problem and get feedback from from other folks, kind of in real time. But in terms of

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Ian Howells: Getting started in the the industry. I built a website when I was in high school, my cousin and I actually started

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Ian Howells: What would be now called a blog, but then was not called a blog because at that point blogs were literally just

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Ian Howells: Like an online Diary of like what your day was about. So at that point we hated the word blog like rebelled against it completely because that sounded like

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Ian Howells: Stuff that like children, but would do. Right. And we were all a 15 at that point. So like we were obviously, way, way too cool for that.

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Ian Howells: So today would be called a blog started that in December of 99 when I was, I think, a freshman in high school. So, you know, like all cool kids in high school I was sitting around learning HTML.

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Ian Howells: So that was, that was fun, really good for your social life being the kid that you know is figuring out how to build websites but worked out long term so

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Ian Howells: That’s all right.

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Jeff Louella: I was the kid with the Commodore 64 so myself a little bit more, but we would trigger games on the bus.

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Ian Howells: So what’s funny is like I wish I went back that far. We didn’t have a computer in the house until 98 my parents got a gateway and they make splurged and went crazy and got like the six gig hard drive and the 64 Meg’s around like it was

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Ian Howells: It was a dream at that

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Ian Howells: But I built the site with my cousin as a hobby really because other guys in high school, so I took art.

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Ian Howells: In high school, and there were juniors and seniors in my class because like art was just an elective it wasn’t part of a track or whatever.

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Ian Howells: And these guys had built their own website and they were hilarious and it was basically like online short skit type things written out

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Ian Howells: And I wanted to be a part of it. But I was this like dumb freshman. So I was like, well, screw it like we can just make our own. So we built a website and just run it as a hobby for like two years and then I was in

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Ian Howells: Some webmaster forum. I can’t, I can’t remember which one it was. But one of the guys that were on there. This guy, Aaron.

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Ian Howells: He has since legally changed his name to sunshine Megatron he he built t shirt hell calm.

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Ian Howells: And T shirt hell had an affiliate program. And so he painted a bunch of people from the forum and was like, hey, do you want to join my affiliate program.

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Ian Howells: Was like, I have no idea what that is, but maybe so he gave me like the 92nd elevator pitch of what affiliate marketing was. It was basically like just make an account. I’ll give you a wink.

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Ian Howells: Put the link out to your website, if somebody clicks through that and buys a t shirt. I’ll give you five bucks for each shirt that they buy it was like, well, you can make money on the internet like i can i can make money for my website. Tell me more.

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Ian Howells: Well,

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Jacob Stoops: Not only could you make money, you basically had a person with the name of a transformer

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Ian Howells: Not yet. But he was still just Aaron at that point he is a crazy person. I don’t know if he’s like in a bunker somewhere if he is still accessible that you’d be

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Ian Howells: Talk to him but interesting life story, I’m sure. But this was in 2001 so like for two years just built a website as a hobby and

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Ian Howells: That was kind of it and then 2001 was introduced to this whole affiliate thing. And I was like, Okay, this will be great. So put some banners on the site.

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Ian Howells: First month sell like 30 T shirts and make 150 bucks. And I was like, Oh damn, this is amazing because at this point I’m 17 right so the option is either work every Saturday for the like.

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Ian Howells: $5 and 25 cents an hour. I think that minimum wage was at that point, or just screw around on the internet and make the same amount of money each month. I was like, this is beautiful.

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Ian Howells: And then the second month hats and we sell like three t shirts. And then the third month hits and we don’t sell any news like ah shit.

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Ian Howells: Okay, so turn. Turns out we have like the same hundred to 200 visitors to the website every single day. So by month three of promoting literally one thing everyone saw it already. So like if they were going to buy one of those T shirts, they already bought it and we were done.

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Ian Howells: So then it was like okay well I need a lot of traffic and I need a lot of new traffic. And if you ask any 17 year old guy on the internet. What gets a lot of traffic on the web is answers probably going to be the same. It was an adult websites will will say to use the

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Jacob Stoops: Horn, it’s for

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Ian Howells: Clean important. Yeah, yeah, it’s probably part

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Bronze

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Ian Howells: So that it was like Okay, so here’s how dumb. I was, I had a shared hosting account that was running me like 20 or 30 bucks a month at that point because hosting this still pricey.

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Ian Howells: And I go to one adult site, they don’t even I think they still exist, but they’re not really a thing anymore. They were called T GPS thumbnail gallery posts.

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Ian Howells: Which was basically a big just text list and every day, there’d be like 50 or 100 new links and it’d be like an eight word description and you would click through.

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Ian Howells: And then all of the most of the listings were like third party external people sites and you would build a single page photo gallery with like

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Ian Howells: 10 to 15 thumbnails and then two or three calls to action to try and push people to a pay site to get them to sign up is that the short version of how it worked.

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Ian Howells: Here’s how idiotic. I was, I went to one tip there were two big ones that I knew about through, you know, recreational internet usage, let’s say,

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Ian Howells: I went to the first big one that I know about click through to one of the galleries downloaded all the photos built my own gallery and submitted it to the second

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Ian Howells: Big tip site that I knew about. And instead of pushing an adult site with adult content. I tried to sell them offensive T shirts from t shirt health so

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Ian Howells: Total copyright infringement, because I just stole, I had no right to use those images whatsoever just downloaded them and through them back up on a new page.

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Ian Howells: And then took people that were looking for pictures of naked women, and then said, hey, want to buy a t shirt. So that was about as well as you would expect.

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Ian Howells: To go

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Jacob Stoops: It’s a logical jump, I guess.

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Ian Howells: Right. Because, because I didn’t even like it had not even occurred to me yet that like affiliate programs existed for other things I just knew about this one. So when you only have a hammer.

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Ian Howells: Everything looks like a nail. So I was like, well, okay, I’ll just get a bunch of traffic to look at this banner and surely someone will buy a t shirt.

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Ian Howells: Turns out, no and turns out a small shared hosting account cannot withstand like 70,000 visits in a 24 hour period, at least at that point.

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Ian Howells: So my hosting crashes, the host wasn’t a huge host. So I have the actual guy who owns the company emailing me basically saying like, what the hell are you doing

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Ian Howells: So that was great. A nice bandwidth overcharged that I’ve been had to come up with. But that was my first kind of exposure to

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Ian Howells: Holy crap. There’s way more traffic than, like, I realized, one could get to there were like 70,000 people in a day before the hosting crash. So like it could have been over 100 for all I know.

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Ian Howells: And then, you know, kind of the head smacking like maybe I should try and sell somebody. The thing that they are very clearly looking for not trying to divert them to another. So it was a good lesson, even though it was like a $200 bandwidth bill that I had to

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Jeff Louella: Pay for

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Ian Howells: Which one, you’re 17 is not, you know, super, super fun.

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Jacob Stoops: I think the question that I wanted. So how long did you stay in the in the porn game in terms of, like, working, working on the those types of sites.

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Ian Howells: Until I met my now wife in 2005 okay so that’s so almost four years, four years, yep.

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Jacob Stoops: So you’re 17 at the time and you

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Ended

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Jacob Stoops: The

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Jacob Stoops: The only thing I can imagine is a lot of giggling

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Jacob Stoops: And not only that,

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Ian Howells: The novelty wears off pretty quick.

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Jacob Stoops: Well, that’s what I was gonna ask one. What’s it

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Jacob Stoops: What is it like having never like done work for a porn site. I know that there are

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Jacob Stoops: People that do that. And then, especially being that young, how the hell did you explain that to your parents or did you

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Ian Howells: So they knew I was running websites because at the time. I still had to literally like use my mom’s credit card to buy domains.

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Ian Howells: Because I’m 70 like I didn’t

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Ian Howells: So I would literally give her cash and then she would punch her credit card number into I.

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Ian Howells: I can’t remember in my domain GoDaddy. I can’t remember the first place I bought a domain.

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Ian Howells: But they were like $30 a year at the time, like when I first bought a domain, like now it’s a joke it like there’s

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Ian Howells: Some deal. These are like a buck 99 or 99 cents. It’s not ones you want, but still

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Ian Howells: Like at that point 30 bucks a year for your domain plus 20 or 30 bucks a month for hosting like kind of bar was was a lot higher.

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Ian Howells: And so they knew that like this was a thing. And mostly about the hobby site that was that I was running with my cousin until check started showing up at the house and then it was like, what, what the hell is this

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Ian Howells: Yeah, about that. So I think they were thankfully they were super cool about it. They were

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Ian Howells: I guess a good point of context here when I was 17 my parents were 35 and 36 they were 18 and 19 when they had me

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Ian Howells: So they were my age now basically so me having a 17 year old kid. So they still remembered I guess the point is they still remembered kind of being a 17 or 18 year old because

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Ian Howells: They were like 15 months away from accidentally getting pregnant with yours truly. So of all the things that I could be getting into, I think, was their

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Ian Howells: Perspective. This was like that that big of a deal like okay if you turn a 17 year old kid loose with a cable internet connection. He’s probably going to look at porn. Anyway, like screw and if he’s going to make money off of it like it’s not illegal, like what the hell.

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Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: So where did you go from there.

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Ian Howells: So did the adult thing for a while. A big regret is that I did not push harder on that front. Right. Because once I got to the point where I was making a few hundred dollars a month.

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Ian Howells: I then just got super lazy like being a kid still at that point, like I didn’t have a concept of hey, if you work really hard.

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Ian Howells: And do a lot of effort into this like this can become like a big, full time income level type situation.

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Ian Howells: Like I just had no awareness of the fact that that was even possible, right. I’m like 18 months removed from. Oh my god, you can make money on the internet.

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Ian Howells: So the fact that, like this could be the way somebody supports themselves full time.

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Ian Howells: Just didn’t even seem like a plausible thing. So I would work to the point where I was making like six or 800 bucks a month.

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Ian Howells: And then we’re just kind of let it coast and then if like if money started falling off, I’d build a couple more pages or free sites at that time they were called

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Ian Howells: And get it back to the point where it was up in that six $800 range again and then like repeat just over and over and over again because

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Ian Howells: You know, as long as I was buying video games. And then in college like beer money like

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Ian Howells: It didn’t, you know, it didn’t seem like a pressing thing to you know forgo going out for the night to sit at home and you know Peck away and dream Weaver and make new new pages look. What is the quote night in

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Jacob Stoops: The movie The Social Network. I feel like it’s Justin Timberlake character that that says something to the effect of, you know, what’s cool you think or something like you think a million dollars is cool. Let me tell you what’s really cool a billion dollars.

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Jacob Stoops: If you needed that mindset.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah, I

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Ian Howells: Did not did not have that, I guess, unfortunately, so

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Ian Howells: I kind of plugged away on that for you know, while until 2005 when I met my wife ended up selling the the few sites that I had that were worth selling at that point.

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Ian Howells: The ones that had kind of their own traffic and wasn’t just the hamster wheel of like submit a page get listed get traffic. Three days later, it’s gone. And you just kind of repeat

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Ian Howells: And moved from the adult industry into online poker. So, you know, again, just sticking with like vice marketing, I guess, and going with stuff that

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Ian Howells: I knew from my own internet usage, let’s say, and stuff that had attractive payouts right because the

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Ian Howells: The attractive thing about the adult industry was a a sign up, it’d be worth anywhere from 30 to $50 one time CPA and there was just

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Ian Howells: an absurd abundance of traffic to be had. Right. So, like, getting to the point where you’re doing like I said that six $800 a month level was not hard, like I did not know anything, and was doing that as like a 17 1819 year old kid.

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Ian Howells: So went from that to online poker only really pushed an online poker for like a year because in I think it was October of 2006 the safe port act passes and online gambling in the US, almost disappears overnight.

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Ian Howells: Because all the major credit card processors lose the ability to

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Ian Howells: Run charges for these gambling sites. So I had a good year primarily promoting poker room calm the big draw. There was, it was now $100 like if you got a real money.

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Ian Howells: Verified deposit player you get 100 bucks so started out really simple and kind of scam me were like the weekly poker game that me and my friends did on Tuesday.

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Ian Howells: I just got the other nine guys to sign up through my affiliate link and then it was like, okay, sign up

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Ian Howells: And then get on aim and let me know your name in poker room, and then we’ll start a heads up match and I will just intentionally lose $50 to you.

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Ian Howells: And we’ll call it. Even so, like you sign up for me. I got 100 bucks. I’ll purposely dump 50 bucks to you in game because we can just talk on AIM about like

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Ian Howells: What cards we have and figure out how to how to make this work. So like a a in incentivize traffic, I guess, through real life and then just started building out

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Ian Howells: Fairly simple sites through recounting what I actually did was just word count games that I would actually play online and made like a online poker blog basically just talking about playing online and then having poker room calm ads all the hell over the place.

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Ian Howells: But only got to do that for like a year, which is unfortunate because hundred dollar payouts were really good and in like 2005 2004 or five, six, like right after

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Ian Howells: Chris moneymaker basically made online poker exploded in popularity, there was kind of lots of traffic and referrals to go around.

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Ian Howells: But then it all disappears overnight because of a bill that the Senate passes so I’m near the tail end of college. At this point, I was on the five year plan.

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Ian Howells: I majored in graphic design and I figured like, hey, I can just like I’m already building websites for myself, like maybe I can just get a job building websites for other people. So that’s how I ended up picking graphic design as my

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Ian Howells: As my major. Again, it did not occur to me that, like, oh, I could just work for myself or I can just build sites that that earn money.

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Ian Howells: And so I’m in what was supposed to be my last year of college turned out to be year year four of five.

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Ian Howells: And it just, you know, the bottom falls out, like the all the sites I have are now completely worthless. Nobody will want to buy them because they can’t monetize the traffic either

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Ian Howells: So that kind of reinforced for me that, like, yeah, maybe this whole

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Ian Howells: You know, trying to make money on the internet thing, definitely. It’s not a thing that you should do as your attempt at full time income because

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Ian Howells: Stuff like this could happen where one day you just wake up and because of something that has nothing to do with you all your money is just gone.

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Ian Howells: So the following year in 2007 I am getting ready to

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Ian Howells: Coming into college and as a graphic design, Major, you have to do a senior show with like your art portfolio. Right, so I need a printer.

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Ian Howells: Locally to print all my stuff. And so I pull out the Yellow Book, like the physical Yellow Book. I don’t know if you’re our younger listeners here. Oh remember what the hell it was but there used to be these books that were like 300 pages and had phone numbers for everybody.

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Oh, yeah.

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Ian Howells: So I’m flipping through the Yellow Pages looking for a printer and I come across a listing for pepper jam Internet marketing in Wilkes barre Pennsylvania and I’m 20 minutes north of Wilkes barre in Scranton PA at this point.

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Ian Howells: And I was like, What the hell, there’s an internet marketing company in Wilkes Barre, so then that leads me to their website, it was hilarious. The bad. It’s a super like 19th looking website if you go through the Internet Archive and look at what pepper jam calm, but I think it was

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Ian Howells: Pepper jam search

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Ian Howells: Com. At that point, looks like in like 2007 but

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Ian Howells: I ended up emailing the VP of search can moan with just like, hey,

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Ian Howells: I mean, how’s here’s some stuff that I’ve done, and just talk about like selling subscriptions to porn sites and poker online, not even thinking for a minute that like, hey, maybe this is kind of weird and like that and not the way to get a response from like an actual company doing

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Ian Howells: Internet marketing.

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Ian Howells: Turns out, though it was a great idea because they later told me like that was the reason that he answered the cold.

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Ian Howells: Email was like, Oh, somebody has built affiliate websites before and like gotten traffic through search and monetized it

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Ian Howells: And so had I not mentioned it, and was just like, oh, I’m a local college student at Mary, would I was wondering if there were internships or whatever he probably would have completely ignored me

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Ian Howells: But that got me a phone interview in person interview then internship my last semester of college and then college graduation was a Sunday that Monday I started at pepper jam full time.

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Ian Howells: Six months later I was running the SEO team at pepper jam in fairness, it didn’t even really exist when I got there was basically can the BP in one writer.

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Ian Howells: So he looked at it, it’s like, Okay, great. Here’s somebody that knows SEO like let me just dump this chunk of work off on him and he can run with it.

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Ian Howells: Short version three years later pepper jam cells to gtsi commerce down in Philadelphia. That’s where I meet Mr. The Willa. And my boss for like the nine minutes that he stuck around

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Jeff Louella: And though that was interesting times. I mean, Pepper jam. When we we bought

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Jeff Louella: We bought pepper jam for its affiliate network. Yep. And then it was interesting. And then like learning when we peel back some of the skins on the onion, see what’s behind there there was some fun things we found, but

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Ian Howells: Oh, it was garbage.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah, I think they had, like, once they got in there like crap.

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Jeff Louella: We bought, but it’s still around today and it seems like it’s it’s gotten better. But I remember just getting I come into the office and my boss at the time was just like

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Jeff Louella: Hey, we bought a company and they have an SEO team just drive up there and meet them and see see who you want to you know who you like up there and things like that so

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Jeff Louella: Me and Bill Sebald drove up there. I don’t know if you remember that day, but it was kind of it was fun. I think it was meet you, Eric and Todd.

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Jeff Louella: I think that was really the three they might have been someone else or two, but no, it was, it was interesting time and right there. Like, I think we all got kind of got along really well and

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Jeff Louella: And after that, you kind of taught me some things about affiliates and I think we use some or at least I used I’ll say some auto blogging tools that

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Jeff Louella: Got me a little bit of money that I learned I was because I always want to learn to kind of the

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Jeff Louella: The darker side of SEO. And at that time I was I was still somewhat newer I was a developer who moved into SEO when I was at Razorfish, and then right my second job was at GSA and you will learn that a deal size network. He couldn’t do much on

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Jeff Louella: The and every time I would go to a client. So you have to fix this, this and this and they’re like, well, we can’t because our platform is bad.

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Ian Howells: And by the way, our platforms you

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Jeff Louella: Yeah, exactly.

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Ian Howells: slightly awkward.

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Jeff Louella: So that that was always an issue there. But we, but yeah. When I got to meet you at that point it was, it was awesome. And then

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Jeff Louella: I just, you know, was hitting my head against the wall bunch of times there and you had some falling outs between me and some of the

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Jeff Louella: I’ll say I was in a weird position because I wasn’t leadership, but I reported all to the like the major leadership there.

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Jeff Louella: But then with the people in my life I was the only one who wasn’t like a VP or director level with all in all, the VP meetings. And then when I would go back to everyone who was like the same level as me. They wouldn’t want to talk to me because I thought I was a snitch.

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Ian Howells: The plant the leadership.

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Jeff Louella: It.

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Jeff Louella: Was I was caught out that one time in a meeting. They said, like when I was in there like they thought I was the leadership, like a snitch on the leadership. And I’m like, I’m the opposite of that. Like, I’ll tell you everything they’re doing

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Jeff Louella: It but uh

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Awkward.

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Ian Howells: Guys, don’t get me wrong, I’m a terrible employee. I’m not helping them.

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Jeff Louella: And those meetings were just all insane anyway. But, so I would go through things and eventually I just told Bill as I go. I had to leave.

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Jeff Louella: And at that point, they decided that they were going to make be part of the leadership and like, Well, no, that’s not like I’m already made my decision.

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Jeff Louella: But the fun part was I had to the person who was in charge of the platform come to me because I always complained him about how bad the platform was

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Jeff Louella: So like they were coming out with like platform 11 or something and he they tried to get me to stay and become part of the platform team to make the platform or SEO friendly.

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Jeff Louella: Because that was always my plan was like you make the platform better every client, we have on it is better. Why are we trying to sell our clients SEO when we can fix our platform. And we got a percentage of all sales. We could have made it better.

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Jeff Louella: Than I heard like that platform didn’t really do very well and then eBay bought everybody and then it became like, then it was like an interesting I saw how they merge everything packaged it like fanatics com came out from that and then

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Ian Howells: Man, Michael Rubin is like, just like God damn. I don’t know how the hell he talked a bay and the letting him keep fanatics and the official league stores out of that deal and still walked away with two two or two 4 billion.

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Ian Howells: Amazing.

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Jeff Louella: And I see, I’m a big Sixers fan.

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Jeff Louella: And I see him sitting on the sidelines and next to like Allen Iverson and Meek Mill’s and I’m just like,

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Jeff Louella: Not bad. Not a bad job because, I mean, I’ve got, I had a couple meetings with him, where I got the pitch and he was

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Jeff Louella: He’s a smart dude. He was very energetic, you know, and I was great. But it was interesting time where it’s like, once he sold them like

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Jeff Louella: Hey, you started some sneakers out of the back of his mom’s car is kind of like a Amazon story in a way, you know, not as big, right. He’s not millionaire, but at the same time.

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Ian Howells: Thanks. All right, I think.

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Jeff Louella: For billions. Not too bad.

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Jeff Louella: You know and and become a minority owner of the Sixers and running.

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Ian Howells: fanatics and still

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Ian Howells: crushing it just that even if he had nothing else in the past. Just that alone like he’s

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Jeff Louella: Good at anything by rue La La are also some of those others flash sale site.

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Ian Howells: Yeah, real law was rolled in.

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Ian Howells: Mostly for the the email. We bought we being gtsi while I was there CLEAR SAILING so order attribution company out of Ohio. I think in like

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Jeff Louella: I was

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Ian Howells: Out in a lemon

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Jeff Louella: I was the person to introduce them all.

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Jeff Louella: Because I was a I was friends with some people over CLEAR SAILING and they asked me to introduce them to the analytics team.

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Jeff Louella: I was hoping I got a kick, but

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Jeff Louella: I left before that even like fully materialized but

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Ian Howells: But no, that was I guess just to complete kind of the, the career arc overview here gtsi

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Ian Howells: Jeff left very shortly after I got there, Bill Sebald was running the team. Start of 2011 bill Sebald decides he’s had enough. And he gets out of there. So then the hot potato goes to me run the SEO team inside there.

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Ian Howells: Jeff and I were talking before we started recording here. It had like 19 names because they kept hired new creative directors and day one every creative director wanted to rebrand the agency.

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Ian Howells: Eventually eBay buys the thing I lose interest pretty rapidly after we become part of eBay, like HR turned into, literally, here’s a phone number for a call center in Utah.

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Ian Howells: Call them if you need anything, right, like when you have that many employees, like, yeah, you’re not going to have big HR teams in each office, it would be crazy. So it makes sense, but

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Ian Howells: Wasn’t wasn’t for me and to 2012 end up going moving down to Charlotte, North Carolina, where I still am to work at Red ventures.

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Ian Howells: Ran, one of the the SEO teams in there until 2016 left RV in 2016 to head up the SEO team at lending tree and did that from 16 until

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Ian Howells: August of 2019 like I like I mentioned briefly before and now in the meantime affiliate stuff consulting launch Traffic Think Tank two years in a couple months ago now.

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Ian Howells: So always had kind of stuff going on outside of the main full time job. But that’s kind of the

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Ian Howells: The rough shape of the full time work with small agency with pepper jam get bought by a bigger agency in the form of gtsi eBay nine other different names.

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Ian Howells: In house to red ventures, which was a really interesting blend of in house and agency, because at that point.

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Ian Howells: RV didn’t really own their own website properties. It was licensed like it would be branded domains for DirecTV or ADT

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Ian Howells: So it was in partnership with large companies. So we were kind of an affiliate, but kind of in house because all the dev and tech and everything happened internally.

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Ian Howells: And then in house at back to a public company in house a lending tree and kind of getting reacquainted with the pros and cons of being at a large public co with, you know, the pros being most things comp related and the cons being the general speed at which things can get done.

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lack thereof.

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Jacob Stoops: So let’s talk about Traffic Think Tank, you guys are two plus years into that. Now, what led to that. Like what’s behind the idea. What’s it like today in terms of running that

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Ian Howells: Yeah, I think what led to it really Eubanks So Nick, did traffic thing tag. The one I guess you would call it on his own. So it was

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Ian Howells: Similar and very different at the same time. So he limited to I think 12 people but higher price point. It was 500 bucks a month.

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Ian Howells: But you had to sign up for the year. So basically he got 12 people to sign on for six grand

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Ian Howells: And then it was a Facebook group at that point. So like a 13 person Facebook group. So these 12 people and Nick. So, a lot more

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Ian Howells: Kind of deeper one on one individual consultation, because there’s only 12 people right like that’s a decently manageable.

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Ian Howells: Number to kind of go more in depth with with every single person. And part of what he did was each month he would do one like guest webinar on zoom right basically just

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Ian Howells: People, he knew from the industry through his own network would just ask, like, Hey, would you, would you be cool with coming on and doing a webinar for these folks.

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Ian Howells: He bought me some really good mine in exchange for doing it, which I didn’t know what was gonna happen when I said yes but like was a very nice Park afterward.

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Ian Howells: So I had done a webinar for him. And then he was starting to kind of come to the end of the 12 months, I think it was in like month nine or something.

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Ian Howells: And I had just made like a very offhandedly like

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Ian Howells: Hey, if you’re going to do TGT again like let me know if you know there’s a way for me to get involved or whatever, like something benign and kind of off the cuff. I had no Nick at that point.

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Ian Howells: Nick and I met into late 2010 or early 2011 through the Philadelphia SEO meetup SEO grill, which was phenomenal and like

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Ian Howells: Just an absurd roster of people. So we can go into that in a minute to so I didn’t know Nick for several years at this point. So just kind of threw that offer out there like, hey, if you’re looking to do more with this thing. Let me know.

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Ian Howells: And he had gotten back and was like, actually. Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Like, I think the model makes sense.

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Ian Howells: If it scales up like I think we could scale up membership and bring down the price. So it’s not like you got to sign up for six grand for a year, right off the bat.

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Ian Howells: And kind of reach more people because at that point, you know, and I’m talking about like a history. It’s two years and four months ago, or whenever

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Ian Howells: You think about SEO book in that community kind of getting shuttered because Aaron had decided that he was going to kind of step back from doing that.

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Ian Howells: So that left kind of a void where. Okay, there was a paid SEO forum that ran. I think it was 99 bucks a month. So like not a in substantial price point, like a good gate to make sure that everybody in there was serious, so that it kind of left a void, and then

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Ian Howells: The mas community at that point was in a

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Ian Howells: Let’s call it a bit of turmoil. Right. Eventually, like they end up having to do layoffs and all that stuff that’s part of mothers history now that we don’t have to go into. But there was generally a

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Ian Howells: A lack of I think outside of Twitter but Twitter is very noisy and chaotic. There wasn’t a great like single point of community at least that I was aware of

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Ian Howells: So that felt like

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Ian Howells: To nick that felt like a big opportunity and I was less certain.

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Ian Howells: Matthew Howells-Barby, same kind of general opinion he did a big LinkedIn post about kind of the, the formation of traffic think tank where he says, much the same thing that like he wasn’t as confident as Nick was

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Ian Howells: You had Nick on already. I think one of the things that became probably very clear within the first few minutes of talking to him is that super high energy will make decisions quickly and then once he decides he’s going to do a thing like he’s he’s going to do the damn thing.

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Ian Howells: So he was kind of more bullish on it. I was like, maybe we’ll get 100 members like we can probably get 100 people that are serious enough that they’ll pay 99 bucks a month to join the thing

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Ian Howells: And I guess short story long. It went over a lot better than I initially thought. And it wasn’t until like month three where it was like oh shit like this could be

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Ian Howells: Like this could be a real thing. Like there is more appetite for this than I thought. I think what I discounted incorrectly. In the beginning was the

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Ian Howells: Amount of people that are individual affiliates and are just kind of like sitting in a home office by themselves all day grinding away doing their thing.

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Ian Howells: And people that are like the one online marketing person at their company right like digital is this one person and nobody else in the company knows what the hell they do.

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Ian Howells: They don’t have anybody to bounce ideas off of because again, nobody knows what the hell they’re doing all day and I think I just had a general lack of awareness of how many people find themselves in that situation. And I feel like that’s a need that we ended up filling

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Ian Howells: Hopefully, very well. So

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Jacob Stoops: One thing that occurred to me especially when you mentioned initially. Now, obviously, it’s much lower. Now it’s that initial $6,000 price point.

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Jacob Stoops: And I guess for for me thinking about like fine running that probably Nick being a more confident person than I would be like, Nope, I got this. Is that a lot of money to ask for people and it’s like

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Jacob Stoops: How do you bring enough value to justify somebody paying you that much money with with what you guys are doing that would feel like a lot of pressure.

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Jacob Stoops: Pressure to me. And I just wonder, how do you guys kind of manage that on ongoing in terms of making sure that the value is is there for the for the members.

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Ian Howells: So in the the first iteration. And again, this was 100% next on semi speculating here, but I’m fairly confident, how he basically positioned. It was like

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Ian Howells: Almost like your pre buying consulting time with him right so like it was the original 12 members if I’m remembering correctly. We’re all

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Ian Howells: people that own their own econ business or Legion business right like it wasn’t affiliates. It wasn’t the one full time marketing person at a company. It was the owner of a very small digital company.

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Ian Howells: That basically viewed this as I am purchasing $6,000 worth of strategy consulting from this person who knows what they’re doing.

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Ian Howells: I have a junior person or I can do like I have execution figured out what I need is guidance to make sure that I’m not shooting myself in the foot and that I’m doing smart things, I think, was basically the the rough

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Ian Howells: Outline of positioning there, which in that light, it makes sense, right, because if you think about an hourly SEO consulting right 500 bucks a month is a joke right so

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Ian Howells: I think with that angle it made sense. And then for him. I think attractive 12 people same 12 people, you get to go pretty deep with everybody. So you can kind of have more meaningful connections and results.

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Ian Howells: But now for us. I think the the responsibility part is interesting, I think, as the community has gotten bigger

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Ian Howells: We’ve gotten less and less reliant on me, Nick and Matt right because like first 50 members like

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Ian Howells: Munich and Matt one of us had to answer every single question that came in and slack. And I think as the community has grown

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Ian Howells: It’s now gotten to a point where, by the time I see a question come in, there’ll be three or four answers in a thread already from other people who

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Ian Howells: All know you know what they’re what they’re talking about every once in a while they’ll be like an idea for another whatever that will come in and be like, and maybe

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Ian Howells: Maybe don’t do that exactly but like Core Kernel of the idea is good. Like I would do XYZ

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Ian Howells: And so I think the the kind of self reinforcing aspect of the Community has been super exciting to watch kind of take take shape and continue to grow.

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Ian Howells: But it is. I think it is a responsibility on us to make sure that we continue to produce you know stuff that’s

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Ian Howells: Timely and useful in a variety of situations. I think that’s probably the hard part is trying to make sure that you’re creating guidance and resources that is

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Ian Howells: That are applicable to people in a variety of roles, because we have

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Ian Howells: Members in I think 21 of the 24 time zones working on every industry, you could imagine, right. So you have to try and make sure that you’re really hitting the, the core

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Ian Howells: Of a concept or idea and make sure that it’s actually useful for the community at large. And then the other piece is just ensuring that we continue to tap

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Ian Howells: Other experts in the community come on and talk about the stuff that they’re good at, right. So like having Hamlet. Come on.

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Ian Howells: And do a Python webinar was like extremely useful for a bunch of folks so we try and make sure that

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Ian Howells: You know we we keep our finger on the pulse of what what sort of stuff does the community want and then go out and see, okay, if that’s not like I can’t write Python to save my goddamn life. So when it’s something that like we can’t do go find somebody who can and bring him on so

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Jacob Stoops: Last question I want to ask in it’s not as much of a question is more of like, what’s it like in before we move on to the news.

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Jacob Stoops: You guys are. I think it’s your second event Traffic Think Tank live, which by the way it is. On May 16, it is not in Philadelphia. It’s in Miami.

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Jacob Stoops: For and I’m going to give you a quick promo for non members. It’s $349 for members traffic thing take members. It’s $149 for a ticket. So go bye bye bye attend attend attend, but I want to know. And I asked, Nick, the same question. What’s it like to put on an event.

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Ian Howells: Though was dumb. It was like it was so much more like when you talk like I’ve said a few times. Like my general lack of awareness like

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Ian Howells: I think all three of us were inflicted with that on this one. It was like, Oh, how much work. Can it be into a one day conference, like what could possibly be involved in this. Turns out there’s a dumb amount of work involved in running a conference we did the first one by ourselves.

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Ian Howells: Mistake. I don’t know. It was good that we did it because we realized very quickly. Like, how much is actually involved and how

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Ian Howells: Like, you should just hire a professional. If you’re gonna throw an event like just hire an event planner. And so we had

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Ian Howells: Yeah, it was hectic. So like literally 10 minutes before registration started the morning of the conference.

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Ian Howells: We were still working with the AV guy from the Hilton to try and get us to the point where slides would project onto the screen like

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Ian Howells: Everything was just going wrong like anything that could go wrong went wrong, like it was a good kind of intro, you know, kick in the face for

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Ian Howells: For running an event. But now, you know, thankfully, it still went over fine the presenters, all you know stepped up and delivered and talks were really good getting

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Ian Howells: I think the really great thing was getting all of these people that are used to interacting and slack together in person was awesome, right, because now all of a sudden

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Ian Howells: You have all these conversations happening where then light bulbs are going off, like, Oh, you’re a bubble. Like I recognize your, you know, Avatar and whatever, like you have all these folks who were talking online.

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Ian Howells: Now, getting to meet in person. So that was, that was awesome. And then this year.

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Ian Howells: Version we hired an event planning company they had done one of the earlier mas cons. So not only used to event planning, but also for our particular industry.

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Ian Howells: And that is worth every single penny that a good event planner will charge you because there’s so much stuff that we just had no idea about that she is just breezing through and it makes life a million times easier.

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Jacob Stoops: I feel like it probably gives you guys more of an opportunity to focus on the the content in the in the speakers and the and the quality and not worry about the minutia.

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Ian Howells: And that’s basically our only job this time around, which is great that we don’t have to get on the phone and talk about like Wi Fi connectivity in the room and chair covers and nonsense like that.

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Jacob Stoops: was awful. It’s like when you get married, you have to think about things like paying half people cut your cake for you or just

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Jacob Stoops: God

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Jeff Louella: It was a wedding planner.

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Jacob Stoops: Right, exactly.

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Ian Howells: Right, same, same idea you

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Jeff Louella: Know, I mean, it’s funny, thinking of the same way. So I used to run a homebrew club and we started off and it was

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Jeff Louella: Kind of out of just wanting to meet people in the industry. Next thing I know, we have like 300 members and like, I’m just, I ain’t got overwhelming for me to an extent, especially since I at that time recently had twins.

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Jeff Louella: Which, you know, adds a little, you know, cramped to going okay I’m going out drinking from a with a bunch of guys

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Jacob Stoops: With my kids.

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Jeff Louella: But, uh, but it was like everything they’re just setting it up. And that was just like one night a month and like I

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Jeff Louella: But I always did it kind of like this podcast right we we always wanted to have a good guest. So I was always trying to get like head brewers for all the local breweries and in Philadelphia, that time.

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Jeff Louella: Which there were a bunch and we would come in. We’ve talked about brewing have them like how that kind of like this podcast, how they got into it because

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Jeff Louella: As a home brewer, like a lot of people have dreams that open up their own brewery one day and real brewers will talk you out of it. They’re like, hey, do you want to be.

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Jeff Louella: Do you want to actually be a janitor because 99% where you are when you’re abroad because brewing beer is 5% of actually owning a brewery so

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Jeff Louella: But it was interesting that way. And I always want to being part of SEO grill.

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Jeff Louella: Like I kind of now being in Atlanta. Like, we really don’t have that close connection and I’d love to be able to like build one down here and I just know the amount of work. It’s going to take

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Jeff Louella: And, and, you know, I couldn’t imagine trying to actually have like 5000 people come in for a conference and how much work that actually takes

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Ian Howells: Yeah, it’s

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Ian Howells: It’s funny, like the

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Ian Howells: The finding good speakers and getting people to come and talk and like the logistics of that actually isn’t hard. The hardest part is when you get down to like we can have five

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Ian Howells: Who are the five people that we think are going to get on stage and like deliver something new that hasn’t been rehashed at 50 other conferences already right and so

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Ian Howells: And that’s the like the hard part on the, the speaker side, right, I think, thankfully, we’re in a community where like, generally, people are looking to

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Ian Howells: To share and talk about the stuff that they we, you know, have learned over the years, I think, you know, Nick Matt and I fortunate that we’re connected to

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Ian Howells: Folks like Jon Cooper, who generally don’t do the conference speaking thing like he’s not out there that’s an accent se es every season, you know, given it is same presentation over and over again.

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Ian Howells: But when we hit him up and we’re like, hey, we’re bringing a conference basically to your backyard, you’d like two hours away. Do you want to come speak like he’ll say yes and come to it.

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Ian Howells: So I think we’re

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Ian Howells: fortunate in that respect to it’s really just all the the minutia of like the actual logistical of event planning portion of it. That’s the hard part. And like I said, hiring a pro to take that weight off of our shoulders is

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Ian Howells: Amazing.

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It’s awesome.

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Jacob Stoops: So Jeff, what’s

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Jeff Louella: Cool. So it wasn’t really any major I’m going to say news is sweet, but there’s a bunch of little things. And a lot of times you know NEWS TODAY IS LIKE WHEN JOHN MUELLER says something

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Jeff Louella: So there was a lot of that because of his, his little town hall things that he runs, there were. So one of the big things.

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Jeff Louella: Was, you know, search engines get as search engines get better at intent, he basically said like keyword research is not going to go away, which

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Jeff Louella: You know, I look at it all as as much as Google comes out with Burt and all these different machine learnings. It is really based off the data that you’re giving it and that data is content.

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Jeff Louella: And, you know, knowing what search engines. You know what people are typing. It’s still always going to be important.

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Jeff Louella: And even I know like having different affiliate sites out there like and being very nice like

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Jeff Louella: Doing that keyword research are doing that, like research and gentleness, a keyword in an industry is ultra important to be able to

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Jeff Louella: Like if you’re going to start a site on something where no one is searching. There’s no nothing about it. Like, what’s the point of doing that right so so research is super important. I don’t know. I mean, I guess that it’s probably not much to go deeper into that one. But it seems like

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Jacob Stoops: This is where a yellow, yellow about things. So, so if you’re looking at. And this is an article on search engine roundtable THIS WEEK FROM WHAT IS IT THE 10th. It’s from yesterday. Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: This so John’s response didn’t just come out of the blue. Right. It came in response because it’s

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Jacob Stoops: Beginning of 2020 so everybody’s making their big 2020 predictions. I’m Rick debut. Debut I doubt i’m pronouncing his name wrong and I’m and I’m going to go on record as saying that

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Jacob Stoops: This guy is probably way smarter than me. So maybe I have no fucking clue what I’m talking about. But he is. He is the person in charge of beings overall course search team and he is has essentially predicted predicted that this is the year that keyword research becomes obsolete.

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Jeff Louella: Which it’s coming.

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Jacob Stoops: And it’s just funny. The difference between what people have been you’re saying what people Google are saying and I agree with Jeff and I will say there. I wish there would be more times where we have disagreements, but we seem to be like

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Jacob Stoops: I don’t understand how researching and understanding if the data is available, what people are searching for when that becomes obsolete, like, in what way just because search engines are better.

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Jacob Stoops: At surfacing up a matching content to the particular queries like, Why the hell, wouldn’t we want to know what people are searching for, like, that’s

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Jacob Stoops: Data. Like, why wouldn’t we want that data. Why would we stop looking for that data, all of a sudden, just because search engines are good at matching. It just doesn’t make any freakin sense and it makes me wonder where the

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Jacob Stoops: Where the hell is their head at on the big side that they’re like coming out and saying stupid stuff like this. So I don’t know.

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Ian Howells: Well, I mean what smart.

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Ian Howells: smart decisions on search from bang would be a whole new frontier for us right so I you know bad takes coming from the big team is not something that expands incredible surprising here. Enjoy your 3% market share and continue with your hot takes, I guess.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah now. And it’s funny because there’s another news article out there about being loses out to duck, duck, go.

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Jeff Louella: In Google’s new kind of Android.

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Jeff Louella: They came out of, like, a search ballot and asks countries in Europe, because they’ve

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Jeff Louella: They got sued. You know that because they promote Google on Android devices, you know, makes sense that they would do that but

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Jeff Louella: You know, it also makes sense that that’s kind of, you know, playing a little bit of monopoly, so they they put out a ballot to people in different countries through the EU or what search engines. They want listed

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Jeff Louella: At like that you can change to besides Google. So the idea is like Google is probably going to be default, but if you want to change it. What ones get listed on there. And for most of Europe DuckDuckGo is well actually DuckDuckGo is number two, and every you country.

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Jeff Louella: And being is only in a certain amount of info.com and Queen and privacy Waller all before being so the only one that being kind of beat out DuckDuckGo

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Jeff Louella: Or any of the other ones was in the United Kingdom and we know everything with Brexit. Now it’s a

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Jeff Louella: It’s one of those things where it’s like every other country, you know, Italy, Lithuania, Iceland, Greece, everyone picked up. Don’t go in there. I’m not saying there’s the writing on the wall for being or anything like that, because being is is

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Jeff Louella: It’s funny because we compare them to Google, which is like 90% of everything well being, is it can the rest of world is still a leader to some of that but

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Jeff Louella: It is an interesting approach. What’s going on these days and DuckDuckGo is really pushing privacy, which I think is

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Jeff Louella: It’s interesting. I tried to stop using Google and use duck, duck, go for a couple months and then when I switch back to Google. I was like,

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Jeff Louella: Oh, all these things like complain about as an SEO, like, as a user, I are actually really good. It’s like, you know, pushes my 10 blue links down to the bottom like I missed that. DuckDuckGo does not have that so

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Jacob Stoops: I will say I like what DuckDuckGoes trying to do. I like their style.

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Jeff Louella: But when a duck, duck go shirt on. Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: Right. Oh, you do have a duck, duck, go.

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Jacob Stoops: I don’t know where you would purchase such a thing. Maybe on affiliate site.

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Jeff Louella: On DuckDuckGo

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Jacob Stoops: But, um, I think the big advantage that being still has is their

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Jacob Stoops: inroads into other markets, similar to Google, like Google builds phones Google Now builds computers. Google does all kinds of shit. Well guess what, so does Microsoft. They have a massive browser with a lot of people still using it.

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Jacob Stoops: They do computers. They do all kinds of stuff. And guess what they’re going to make you use Bing on all of those things. It’s actually surprising, given the amount of users that they have that being isn’t representing representing more of a marketing share but that’s, I think,

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Jacob Stoops: Because Google has basically become so so big that they’re almost a verb. Now I don’t search something I Google it. I don’t DuckDuckGo it I don’t bring it I Google it. So,

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, that’s it’s, it’s interesting. I don’t know if DuckDuckGo can ever overcome. You know, the advantages that those other two big players have with respect to the business, but I do like their style and I like their tenacity.

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Jeff Louella: And I don’t think their goal is to be bigger than Google, right, because I’m guessing there. I feel they’re pulling stuff in from Google. I don’t know exactly how they get the result.

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Jacob Stoops: Like the anti Google

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Jeff Louella: Yes. And there’s gonna always be a group of people who will enjoy that. Right. So as Google gets bigger and, you know, evil or

402
00:57:31.830 –> 00:57:43.050
Jeff Louella: And like basically the benefits of them sharing all my data between all the tools is convenient to some things, but some people don’t want all that data shared so DuckDuckGo would be great for that. So,

403
00:57:44.580 –> 00:57:52.650
Jacob Stoops: We, who is Sundar Pichai is he basically Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies. Is that is that who he is now.

404
00:57:53.940 –> 00:57:54.810
That the

405
00:57:56.070 –> 00:57:57.210
Jacob Stoops: CEO of Google, I think.

406
00:57:57.210 –> 00:57:57.570
Jeff Louella: That

407
00:57:57.690 –> 00:58:08.340
Jacob Stoops: Those missions is don’t be evil, but I feel like increasingly they’re becoming they’re becoming a little bit more evil, just like Facebook. And I just wonder if maybe Dr. Evil running both of those.

408
00:58:10.170 –> 00:58:19.650
Jeff Louella: You know, I feel, Google. It’s when you have so much data. Right. It’s like, there are certain like they have more data than anyone probably in the whole world right now and it’s

409
00:58:20.070 –> 00:58:27.870
Jeff Louella: Just being able to make things more convenient kind of seems evil. I remember when they started running ads inside of Gmail and part of it was like

410
00:58:28.500 –> 00:58:34.080
Jeff Louella: There would be a something that would read your email. So that would give you an ad based off the content inside of your email.

411
00:58:34.440 –> 00:58:40.920
Jeff Louella: And the world flipped basically like you’re reading my emails and it’s, you know, just like, shut it off right now but Alexa

412
00:58:41.910 –> 00:58:55.680
Jeff Louella: You know, when we, you know, they’re always listening, but like, are they fully listening or they just listening for the word Alexa, I think some people jump on the evil thing very quickly does not necessarily. I don’t think they’re evil, but I also think that

413
00:58:57.030 –> 00:59:07.980
Jeff Louella: They can be very easily. Right, and I think they remove that whole, don’t be evil thing out of there. Yeah, so it’s those where we feel you’re not you’re not evil, but you’re also not

414
00:59:08.760 –> 00:59:17.190
Jeff Louella: You know it, you’re not planting trees where if you search that like other people are doing right and and things like that. So they are definitely a for profit company.

415
00:59:17.880 –> 00:59:21.420
Jacob Stoops: They start building a Death Star. Then I’m going to be really well.

416
00:59:21.420 –> 00:59:22.740
Ian Howells: Yeah face fours.

417
00:59:22.800 –> 00:59:23.550
It’s coming better

418
00:59:24.630 –> 00:59:29.550
Jeff Louella: Well, when they, when they bought Boston Dynamics right and it’s like they have AI and then they have robot.

419
00:59:30.630 –> 00:59:39.690
Jeff Louella: It would. That’s where I kind of got, like, oh, but then they sold off Boston Dynamics, but they still, it’s a little creepy, because their AI stuff and putting it in those robot dogs.

420
00:59:40.080 –> 00:59:44.190
Jeff Louella: Is like things in my dreams and I get like not my dreams my nightmares.

421
00:59:44.970 –> 00:59:45.990
Jacob Stoops: Jetsons or

422
00:59:46.650 –> 00:59:51.630
Jeff Louella: One of the two self driving cars like they’re everywhere. They’re doing a lot of things and it’s. To me, it’s

423
00:59:52.560 –> 01:00:02.310
Jeff Louella: Great because it’s pushing humanity forward to an extent it’s merging us with machines. So we all become cyborgs. But I just don’t want to, like, you know, have all my brain power, run by Google right now so

424
01:00:03.210 –> 01:00:07.620
Ian Howells: I don’t know, I’m ready to be a cyborg man my hairline is garbage, my eyes are trash.

425
01:00:07.620 –> 01:00:11.220
Ian Howells: Bring bring out and cybernetics. I am. I’m here for I’m. Let’s do this.

426
01:00:12.930 –> 01:00:21.600
Jeff Louella: I am also not the singularity is one of those things where it’s it’s coming. And, you know, if it can make me live. I always wanted to be bit by a vampire.

427
01:00:22.050 –> 01:00:35.190
Jeff Louella: So that can live forever and see like where technology goes. So if I can be on a cyborg. And the same thing happens. I think another way of doing it. The Vampire part like I’m old involved. Like, I don’t want to be a vampire forever right now.

428
01:00:36.990 –> 01:00:39.240
Ian Howells: I mean like a half here in the gym first before I

429
01:00:41.640 –> 01:00:43.050
Jeff Louella: Don’t want to be the old vampire at the

430
01:00:44.040 –> 01:00:46.920
Jacob Stoops: Subconscious and then by be. Oh my god.

431
01:00:48.090 –> 01:00:48.630
Jacob Stoops: Okay.

432
01:00:49.230 –> 01:00:58.200
Jacob Stoops: So I want to do a time check. Um, let’s move into phase three, and we’re going to deep dive into affiliate sites and I’m just gonna, I’m just going to

433
01:00:58.650 –> 01:01:06.030
Jacob Stoops: Caveat this by saying this is one of those places in SEO. It’s such a broad area that

434
01:01:06.750 –> 01:01:18.300
Jacob Stoops: You should have a base in everything but I feel like the longer that this in the older that this industry gets, the more opportunities that there are to specialize in the chances of you not

435
01:01:19.200 –> 01:01:33.240
Jacob Stoops: knowing everything is is is high, Python, that’s something I have no freakin clue what it is and I’m going to say affiliate sites, we’re going to talk about it, but I have. I’ve never done it. I have no clue. Not a damn clue.

436
01:01:33.870 –> 01:01:49.890
Jacob Stoops: What I’m, what I’m doing. So I’m going to rely on you as an expert and Jeff you as an expert to guide me through what’s it like what do you need to think about if you’re in 2020 and you’re trying to run an affiliate strategy.

437
01:01:51.600 –> 01:01:53.100
Ian Howells: So I think there’s

438
01:01:54.510 –> 01:02:01.830
Ian Howells: There’s probably two two different paths to to answering. This one is for folks that are maybe

439
01:02:02.520 –> 01:02:15.840
Ian Howells: Either newer in their career or have been in SEO or digital marketing PR bit in like an agency setting where you’re in, like you mentioned, a very specialized function and then there’s folks that are kind of

440
01:02:16.980 –> 01:02:25.260
Ian Howells: I guess further in their career, for lack of a better explanation and kind of deeper in their knowledge already for the new folks.

441
01:02:26.340 –> 01:02:32.550
Ian Howells: It’s great. And I recommend it for everybody that’s working at an SEO agency in that capacity.

442
01:02:33.150 –> 01:02:36.240
Ian Howells: Because you have to think about everything right like now.

443
01:02:36.540 –> 01:02:50.160
Ian Howells: The, the horseshit with oh the client will do this and like their pricing is higher, the content that competitors. So like, that’s why they’re not making money. And, you know, on and on and on and on every excuse is gone, right, like it’s just you.

444
01:02:50.700 –> 01:02:55.770
Ian Howells: And typically WordPress right like it’s you and a content management system and a domain.

445
01:02:56.160 –> 01:03:12.120
Ian Howells: And if it flops. It’s because of you. And if it does. Well, it’s because you did good things, right. So it kind of is a bit of a put up or shut up for for folks to put themselves into which is great because that’s when you learn stuff that you didn’t know

446
01:03:12.120 –> 01:03:12.840
Ian Howells: Before

447
01:03:12.900 –> 01:03:19.620
Ian Howells: Right, you have to get better at pre selling and copywriting otherwise you’re going to get traffic and it’s not going to convert

448
01:03:19.920 –> 01:03:22.830
Ian Howells: You have to get better at keyword research and planning.

449
01:03:23.130 –> 01:03:29.880
Ian Howells: Because you’re probably a small new site. So you’ve really got to pick your battles for what you’re going to try and go do

450
01:03:30.060 –> 01:03:38.820
Ian Howells: Because you’re not going to go outrank the wire cutter or credit cards calm for you know best, small business credit cards or something like that. Right.

451
01:03:39.210 –> 01:03:53.070
Ian Howells: So it kind of top to bottom through the process forces you to get better at each piece because everything has to work or the end result is not going to happen. Right. And again,

452
01:03:53.520 –> 01:04:03.360
Ian Howells: You’re the only reason right you you are the lever on every step of that process. So I think it’s a really good thing for for folks to do

453
01:04:03.780 –> 01:04:09.270
Ian Howells: And then even just taking the like you should want to learn and get better and do new things out of it.

454
01:04:09.720 –> 01:04:18.930
Ian Howells: It makes you absurdly employable. Right. Like if you are a junior SEO in your first gig and an agency and you’re 12 to 24 months out of school, call it

455
01:04:19.650 –> 01:04:30.510
Ian Howells: building your own site and putting that on your resume, like, hey, I made this website. It ranks for, you know, a few hundred keywords and gets 1000 visits a month and makes me some money.

456
01:04:30.810 –> 01:04:39.270
Ian Howells: Your resume is immediately at the top of the pile like as somebody who was a hiring manager at a large mid cap public company.

457
01:04:40.230 –> 01:04:53.730
Ian Howells: There are like so many resumes come in when we put out a job posting will get like 300 resumes. Right. And I had to get the recruiting team like three things to look for, like, if you see resumes with any of these three things.

458
01:04:54.840 –> 01:04:59.310
Ian Howells: shortlist like those are the resumes that I want to see in one is they built their own website.

459
01:04:59.850 –> 01:05:06.060
Ian Howells: Like that just immediately gets you through the hundreds of other resumes into the front of the line.

460
01:05:06.480 –> 01:05:11.610
Ian Howells: It’s going to get you on the phone. And then if you barf all over yourself on the phone like that’s the end of the road, but

461
01:05:11.940 –> 01:05:23.370
Ian Howells: You know, if nothing else, like if you’re applying for jobs and not getting a call back as an SEO and you haven’t built your own website and put it on your resume. That’s like the biggest lever. I think you can can pull

462
01:05:24.540 –> 01:05:26.280
Jeff Louella: It’s, it’s funny because I

463
01:05:27.540 –> 01:05:33.660
Jeff Louella: I totally the same beliefs and things like that and I you started off building websites myself started

464
01:05:34.470 –> 01:05:46.380
Jeff Louella: Yeah, I was a DJ went to promote promote myself as a DJ built websites doing that I learned how to use like real audio back then to do streaming. Unfortunately, everybody had like 14 four modem at that time and if

465
01:05:47.820 –> 01:05:48.660
Jeff Louella: I was a little early, and

466
01:05:49.680 –> 01:05:50.400
Ian Howells: Just early

467
01:05:50.820 –> 01:05:58.980
Jeff Louella: Exactly. And then, so things like that when great. But actually when I when I met you and we started, you know, I started learning more about affiliates self.

468
01:05:59.400 –> 01:06:09.510
Jeff Louella: I’m trying to start up those niche affiliate sites. I think I started one called like barbecue pit man calm and I was selling, you know, talking about barbecue grills on there and

469
01:06:09.900 –> 01:06:16.200
Jeff Louella: It actually I had a couple different ones. I had one about music, because I love music realized that music wasn’t a great affiliate

470
01:06:16.590 –> 01:06:32.190
Jeff Louella: You know area because CDs. At the time, like you would get like a nickel or dime off of it while an $800 barbecue grill, you know, and if you’re using Amazon affiliates, you’re getting like 7% so it’s like a, you know, same amount a lot more money and

471
01:06:33.330 –> 01:06:45.570
Jeff Louella: You know, and then of course you get a little greedy. Sometimes when you start getting some traffic and you start getting a little more spammy to get that more traffic and then eventually, Google, you know, get you get you get on their shortlist, and then they

472
01:06:46.650 –> 01:06:56.370
Jeff Louella: Then you get banned from it and I’ve learned a lot about that too. So actually, for me, kind of making affiliate site being a little more spammy on it learned a lot more about penalties.

473
01:06:56.610 –> 01:07:05.130
Jeff Louella: And I did learn a lot about things there. And I say that, you know, when I am interviewing somebody I always say, like, hey, you make a website, even people on my team.

474
01:07:05.550 –> 01:07:13.650
Jeff Louella: That don’t have like even if you don’t build the website from scratch. But just like the art of getting traffic to your site and natural is like is important and

475
01:07:15.330 –> 01:07:23.610
Jeff Louella: Doing it to incentivize like hey I I made money off of this now gives me more the incentive to actually try to make it even better.

476
01:07:24.030 –> 01:07:30.240
Jeff Louella: And that’s kind of where I feel like affiliates are at a lot. I mean, there’s a lot of good affiliates out there. There’s a lot of bad ones, and I think

477
01:07:31.080 –> 01:07:38.010
Jeff Louella: The bad affiliates especially what I did with that barbecue site was, you know, did a lot of spinning content and things like that that I’m not proud of but

478
01:07:38.940 –> 01:07:51.030
Jeff Louella: I think in affiliate world there are the good and bad and I, IT’S KIND OF WHAT I WANT YOU KNOW WHERE MY QUESTION IS GOING TO GO. It’s, um, do you think affiliates have a bad like SEO. In general, they might have a bad name and marketing industries because SEO.

479
01:07:51.120 –> 01:08:01.620
Jeff Louella: Or spam your overall, you know, not me, of course. But other people and in the SEO world there’s affiliates and affiliates kind of get that that more of the

480
01:08:02.220 –> 01:08:17.850
Jeff Louella: Black Hat aspect of things. So I think there was a lot of affiliate like black hat networks and syndicate and things like that. So where do you feel like with affiliates like as it getting better or is it actually still a world of spam and junk out there.

481
01:08:18.390 –> 01:08:21.720
Ian Howells: So I think it’s interesting. There are

482
01:08:22.980 –> 01:08:32.940
Ian Howells: There are obviously different perspective right on affiliates. I think now within the SEO community. I don’t think affiliate has a bad reputation because like

483
01:08:33.150 –> 01:08:49.620
Ian Howells: How the hell else are you making money, right, like for people that run their own sites like that’s kind of like, unless you’re just running AdSense or display ads like. And I would argue from the display of that I see they deserve a worse reputation than

484
01:08:49.680 –> 01:08:51.030
Ian Howells: A lot of affiliate marketing.

485
01:08:52.320 –> 01:08:59.700
Ian Howells: So I think within the industry, you know, pretty widely accepted. I think you’ll have very differing opinions from

486
01:09:00.120 –> 01:09:11.250
Ian Howells: When I think back to the GSA commerce days like folks that are in house at an e commerce store will have very different opinions about affiliates based on how their network has gone right so i think

487
01:09:11.670 –> 01:09:21.930
Ian Howells: Some will basically equate if you’re an in house at an E calm place and like digital marketing is not your thing. You’re a product merchandiser or something, an e commerce store.

488
01:09:22.410 –> 01:09:35.040
Ian Howells: Your exposure to affiliate marketing is probably heavily dominated by coupon sites. Right. And in that view like through that lens. You probably view them as a parasite right because

489
01:09:35.340 –> 01:09:42.990
Ian Howells: They just rank for my store name plus coupon or coupons and all these people that I would have gotten any way.

490
01:09:43.320 –> 01:09:51.090
Ian Howells: Are now clicking through here just to get a promo code to put in. So I’m losing money on the ARV because now they’re all using the 10% coupon.

491
01:09:51.540 –> 01:10:01.200
Ian Howells: And now I’m paying a whatever five 6% commission to this, you know, parasitic affiliate site at the same time, right. So I think there’s still pockets like that where

492
01:10:01.440 –> 01:10:09.630
Ian Howells: Because a lens that affiliate marketing to view through can be very specific to certain stuff you can come away with a bad taste in your mouth.

493
01:10:10.140 –> 01:10:21.450
Ian Howells: I think the the flip side to that would be seen stuff like wire cutter getting bought by the New York Times, right, like the name in the US for news, generally speaking.

494
01:10:21.900 –> 01:10:37.140
Ian Howells: Buying an Amazon affiliate website for almost 100 million dollars i think is a a good temperature read for life okay yeah affiliates, not a joke and like large companies recognize the value and potential that’s there.

495
01:10:39.300 –> 01:10:40.740
Jeff Louella: How do you go about and

496
01:10:40.950 –> 01:10:41.250
Like

497
01:10:42.840 –> 01:10:49.470
Jeff Louella: Not going to ask what your affiliates are or think that, but how do you go apart like and just figure out how to

498
01:10:50.160 –> 01:10:54.180
Jeff Louella: Pick an affiliate that you want. So you’re going to go, you want to start a new site.

499
01:10:54.780 –> 01:11:00.030
Jeff Louella: You go through the process of doing your research and things like that. Like, what are some of those steps in that process to

500
01:11:00.450 –> 01:11:08.520
Jeff Louella: Pick an industry or find out like information about that industry and whether it’s worth to. It’s a lot of work, you know, to build up a site so

501
01:11:08.880 –> 01:11:18.150
Jeff Louella: You know you don’t want to go into something like, like I said, with music and realize they have zero like even if someone buys something, you get a dime compared to where you get

502
01:11:19.590 –> 01:11:24.960
Jeff Louella: To ask yeah yeah right where your poker sites that like when you got $100 each one. Like, that’s awesome. I wish I get $100 a

503
01:11:26.070 –> 01:11:27.600
Jeff Louella: Click the link on my website right so

504
01:11:27.840 –> 01:11:38.640
Ian Howells: So there I think to two ways. Basically the framework that I use for picking affiliate spots three I line already and backtrack and so the first way would be

505
01:11:39.210 –> 01:11:46.080
Ian Howells: An industry that I already know is high volume and high dollar right so home security being a good example. I got

506
01:11:46.470 –> 01:11:54.690
Ian Howells: Cheated On that one because I got exposure to home security when I was at Red ventures. They were. And I think still are a very large ADT dealer.

507
01:11:55.470 –> 01:12:08.250
Ian Howells: So was able to see firsthand like the amount of volume available in the space and what home security companies are willing to pay out because they’re getting you know that 3040 $50 recurring monthly

508
01:12:09.390 –> 01:12:20.910
Ian Howells: Purchase with like a 24 month contract. In some cases, right. So, like they’re dealing with real money. So bringing them a customer, it can be very lucrative for you. So what are those kind of large industries.

509
01:12:21.270 –> 01:12:29.850
Ian Howells: That are going to be around for a long time payouts are really high right those are basically where I make my long term bets like

510
01:12:29.880 –> 01:12:33.120
Ian Howells: The site is not going to do anything. And it’s first 612

511
01:12:33.150 –> 01:12:48.780
Ian Howells: Maybe even 18 months, but it’s a iron in the fire that you know I just keep going and the plan is, I’m still going to have this website five years from now, right. So stuff like home security web hosting like those big industries with high dollar payouts

512
01:12:49.710 –> 01:13:00.630
Ian Howells: The second would be pockets where I see week competition that generally speaking funnel to Amazon, right. So basically anything you can buy on the internet you can buy on Amazon.

513
01:13:01.200 –> 01:13:06.600
Ian Howells: The Commission structures there. You know what it is, the tracking is there, like, there’s not a lot of unknowns.

514
01:13:07.020 –> 01:13:18.360
Ian Howells: All you really have to be able to do is the keyword and competitive research and you’re good to go. Like I farm out all the content production I farm on a lot of the link production. So at that point, it’s just like a capital.

515
01:13:20.490 –> 01:13:27.060
Ian Howells: Application game of, like, where am I going to put funding and you know how, how big of a bet. Am I going to make on each one.

516
01:13:27.870 –> 01:13:28.320
So,

517
01:13:29.580 –> 01:13:31.680
Jacob Stoops: You said keyword research is still relevant.

518
01:13:32.340 –> 01:13:49.860
Ian Howells: I did, I would venture to say for an affiliate, it is arguably the most important thing that you can do because you have to find keywords that not only have volume but have intent and have SERPs that you can crack with whatever site, you’re actually working with alright

519
01:13:50.040 –> 01:13:51.240
Jacob Stoops: So, suck it being

520
01:13:53.070 –> 01:13:54.990
Ian Howells: That they’ve been doing that for years already there.

521
01:13:57.870 –> 01:14:05.910
Ian Howells: And then the, the only other the, the kind of third that I backtracked my two part answer to, and turn it into a three parter.

522
01:14:06.420 –> 01:14:17.940
Ian Howells: Is just if I either get approached or see an auction for a domain where the price looks right. And then that kind of sends me down the rabbit hole of looking into that industry.

523
01:14:18.210 –> 01:14:28.140
Ian Howells: Trying to get the scope of how big can this be a trust is really like my go to tool like I’m, you know, aside from when it logs me out, which it does more than

524
01:14:28.950 –> 01:14:35.490
Ian Howells: I would like, but in general, there’s probably two or three hrs tabs open in my Chrome at all times.

525
01:14:36.240 –> 01:14:42.090
Ian Howells: Because it is the fastest way to go from like two or three seed keywords to a list of probably 50 keywords.

526
01:14:42.450 –> 01:14:47.610
Ian Howells: To filtering up. Who are the domains that are kind of owning this space.

527
01:14:47.910 –> 01:14:52.890
Ian Howells: And then being able to click through right to them and say, okay, they’ve got this many referring domains. They do this much traffic.

528
01:14:53.130 –> 01:15:03.450
Ian Howells: Let me see where those links come from. Can I replicate that like that becomes like a 20 minute process of being able to size up in industry and have a general gut feeling of

529
01:15:03.810 –> 01:15:09.660
Ian Howells: I’m way out of my league and there’s no way I’m getting in here. So, like this is either going to be a multi year bet or

530
01:15:10.050 –> 01:15:24.000
Ian Howells: Oh damn, this looks like there’s something here. There’s people all over, page one that are pretty weak that I feel like you know in six or eight months, I can replicate the mountain quality of content they have and the mountain quality of links that they have. Yeah.

531
01:15:26.100 –> 01:15:35.490
Jeff Louella: So when you get your, you know, your niche and you you build a site. I am guessing most of time. It’s a WordPress get there. I mean, because it’s just so simple.

532
01:15:36.150 –> 01:15:44.070
Jeff Louella: There is a lot of, you know, we need lots of content to be able to build that right so I’m guessing. The next kind of approach is

533
01:15:44.490 –> 01:15:58.110
Jeff Louella: Getting the site structure and start building out content. Is that something you’re writing yourself or is that something you’re kind of going not fiber. But, you know, some other place to get content written and then you just the editorial notes of that.

534
01:15:58.470 –> 01:16:05.700
Ian Howells: Yep. So thankfully, now I do less than, less than less myself. One of the things I focused on in 2019

535
01:16:06.510 –> 01:16:11.940
Ian Howells: Was bringing more part time folks on to help me with portions of it, right. So, now, thankfully.

536
01:16:12.240 –> 01:16:25.170
Ian Howells: I now have a reliable part time person who knows a trance knows how to do keyword research and they can basically build content maps for me. I give them an industry and two or three competitors to look at and they can just go

537
01:16:25.650 –> 01:16:35.610
Ian Howells: And then come back with a Google Sheet template that I made filled out with what keywords and then I know what pages. Do I need to make. What are the keywords that need to funnel into them.

538
01:16:36.180 –> 01:16:46.470
Ian Howells: I basically then take those Google Sheets and pass them over to word agents word agents calm and they right now all of my new affiliate content.

539
01:16:47.250 –> 01:16:48.660
Ian Howells: And so, it all goes to them.

540
01:16:49.110 –> 01:16:59.970
Ian Howells: The last missing piece I need to fill is then the, hey, we got a Google Drive folder, full of content from word agents, I need all of this in WordPress now and I need the internal links done and blah, blah, blah.

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Ian Howells: That’s the the piece that I’m still kind of rotating through some folks trying to find somebody that I really like that. I’ll continue to work with. But you can kind of

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01:17:10.770 –> 01:17:26.340
Ian Howells: D scale each individual portion of the process and have different folks fulfill each part, right, because I am not going to sit here and pick out 800 words about, you know, this camping tent.

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01:17:26.430 –> 01:17:37.710
Ian Howells: That and why it’s great. Right. Like there’s people who write for a living, that’s what they want to do. They do that from wherever the hell they want. That’s great word agents just takes care of the content for me now.

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01:17:38.430 –> 01:17:40.590
Jeff Louella: You just need Hamlet write you a script and play.

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01:17:43.140 –> 01:17:43.500
Ian Howells: Button.

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01:17:45.690 –> 01:17:51.570
Jacob Stoops: between him and jr folks to build a search engine or machine learning how to auto produce the content, I bet.

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01:17:54.510 –> 01:18:04.530
Jacob Stoops: So Ian on definitely want to thank you for, for your time. We always wrap up, or at least we tried to sometimes we forget and you’ve kind of alluded to, to it.

548
01:18:05.070 –> 01:18:12.120
Jacob Stoops: To building websites, being a good thing. So I’m going to ask you to maybe provide a different piece of advice, but we always end by saying

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01:18:13.020 –> 01:18:24.150
Jacob Stoops: If you were a new SEO you’re you’re fresh out of college or you’re thinking about getting into the industry literally today this moment, what would be the advice that you would give to that person.

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01:18:26.970 –> 01:18:33.510
Ian Howells: The, the biggie is building your own site. But you said that’s not that’s not an answer. I can do is I’ll take that off the table. I would

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01:18:34.560 –> 01:18:42.990
Ian Howells: If I was still in college. I would look to get an internship at an agency. And if I had just graduated, I would do.

552
01:18:43.920 –> 01:18:56.760
Ian Howells: Everything that I could to make myself marketable on paper to get an interview at an agency and get a junior level role I hate on the agency model a lot. And there’s a bunch there that I don’t like.

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01:18:57.240 –> 01:19:13.020
Ian Howells: But it is the fastest way to get in somewhere see a bunch of stuff happen and learn, kind of as you as you do. And I think starting out your career as a junior person in house somewhere.

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01:19:13.830 –> 01:19:22.260
Ian Howells: I think kind of insulate to a little too much into the specific tech stack and the specific goals and like how monetization happens

555
01:19:22.560 –> 01:19:26.460
Ian Howells: You get a little bit pigeonholed into one way of doing things.

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01:19:26.730 –> 01:19:35.460
Ian Howells: Whereas generally at an agency, you’re going to get exposed to multiple different CMS and platforms, you’re going to get exposed to different kinds of people. And if you’re going to be successful.

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01:19:35.730 –> 01:19:47.250
Ian Howells: Have to figure out how to talk to clients and other stakeholders to actually get work done. There are a lot of skills that you can hone working in an agency, and I think it’s a good

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01:19:47.700 –> 01:19:54.990
Ian Howells: Spot for somebody to spend their first call a two to three years in the digital marketing world doing that work.

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01:19:55.830 –> 01:20:06.960
Jacob Stoops: Speaking of agencies Jeff and I worked for one search discovery. So if you are one of those people looking and coming out of college we do college hires every single year.

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Jacob Stoops: And in Ian’s right it is really great experience. You get to work across multiple verticals with a lot of different people that know a lot of different things, especially at search discovery. So I don’t want this podcast to be just like a

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01:20:21.570 –> 01:20:25.650
Jacob Stoops: Major plug, but come work with us. We’d love to work with you and

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01:20:25.710 –> 01:20:26.490
Jeff Louella: Anyways, rent.

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01:20:26.970 –> 01:20:27.270
Right.

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01:20:28.530 –> 01:20:28.920
Ian Howells: Yes.

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01:20:28.950 –> 01:20:33.240
Jacob Stoops: Yes, let’s yell about things in person. So he and where can people find you.

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01:20:35.100 –> 01:20:50.310
Ian Howells: So on Twitter, just at Ian Howells Real original and creative with the Twitter handle there otherwise I don’t like I’m the worst solo SEO in the world. Like, I don’t have

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Ian Howells: A website that like advertises my service. I think I NH media com is literally a logo lucky pixel calm is the BBA that I do my consulting on it’s again a logo on on the homepage. And that’s it. There’s not even a contact form.

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Ian Howells: And so really Twitter and inside Traffic Think Tank are like the two places that I hang out and network with with people in the industry. So Traffic Think Tank calm and Twitter at Ian’s house would be the best bet.

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Jacob Stoops: Awesome. I’ll say it again if you want to go to one of the best conferences about building traffic that is going on right now. Go to Traffic Think Tank calm, forward slash live

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01:21:33.150 –> 01:21:46.320
Jacob Stoops: The event, again, is in Miami. So nice warm sunny place that most people want to go and it is on May 16 Ian I don’t know how many like if you guys restrict the number of tickets. But how many, how many tickets are left left at this moment.

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01:21:46.440 –> 01:21:58.170
Ian Howells: We are, I think, right now we’re 64 65% sold. So there’s like 120 spots left, something like that. Cool.

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01:21:58.530 –> 01:22:04.740
Jacob Stoops: Alright, so you hear that there are spots left this episode is going to release on on the following Monday we record ahead so

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01:22:05.820 –> 01:22:10.980
Jacob Stoops: I believe that they might there might still be some spots left by that time, that’s only a couple of days from now. But, uh,

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, go and go and buy a ticket if you want to meet some really, really great people and attend to, really, really awesome about. But otherwise, em, thank you so much for coming on. We really appreciate your time. Really appreciate the candor candor candor. Yeah.

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01:22:27.930 –> 01:22:28.740
Jacob Stoops: That’s awkward. That’s

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01:22:29.820 –> 01:22:31.020
Jeff Louella: The Rings Kelly appreciate

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01:22:32.520 –> 01:22:33.390
Jacob Stoops: It was a great discussion.

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01:22:33.810 –> 01:22:37.740
Ian Howells: Now awesome I fun. Thanks for having me guess. Awesome. Thank you.running 

#35: Sarah McDowell

Episode Summary

In this episode, we talk with Sarah McDowell, SEO Specialist at LikeMind Media and Co-Host of the SEO SAS Podcast, a podcast that delves into individual SEO issues each week.

We discuss how she went from a background in dance to a digital marketing role focused on link building and then eventually into a career in SEO, her experiences going between agencies and in-house roles, founding her own business and eventually shutting it down, the challenges and psychology of getting stuff implemented, and more.

In addition, we cover and share our perspective on a recent SEO “kerfuffle” around the subject of hiring for SEO and interview questions which stems from a tweet put out by Bill Hartzer which caused a few side-eyes in the industry (here, here, here).

And to round out this episode, we dive deep into what went into founding her podcast, and we share our experiences on what it’s like to run an SEO podcast, as well as some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making a podcast come to life.

Episode Transcript

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Jacob Stoops: Hey everybody this is Jacob stoops and we are here for another episode of the Page 2 Podcast. Hi, Jeff. How’s it going?

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Jeff Louella: It’s going well. How you doing?

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Jacob Stoops: That’s, I feel like our bit, Jeff. You’ve got it. You’ve got to come like…

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Jeff Louella: I gotta come stronger.

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Jacob Stoops: Well no, you come the same way every week and I feel like you got

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Jacob Stoops: To like keep

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Jacob Stoops: me on my toes in terms of I’m not very good at figuring out a great way to introduce it’s you. Maybe I’ll just do the introductions and you introduce me

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Jeff Louella: We’ve got this. Come up with my own recorded drop and it’ll be like a mega like coming soon.

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Jacob Stoops: And we also have as a guest from across the pond Sarah McDowell, SEO specialist at LikeMind Media, and you might better know her as the host of the SEO SAS podcast. How’s it going, Sarah.

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Sarah McDowell: I am thrilled to be on your podcast. So things are going really well for me. How about you guys?

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Jacob Stoops: Pretty good, pretty good. It’s getting as my kids are reminded we’re about two weeks away from from Christmas and Christmas time and holiday time in agency world is. It’s crazy, man. It’s, it’s been crazy

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Jeff Louella: It’s crazy that it just dies. Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah. And everybody goes on PTO

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Sarah McDowell: See, for me it squeeze in the same amount of work that needs to be done, but in less time. So obviously, instead of I’ve only really got two and a half weeks to still do all the jobs that I need to do. So it’s a bit of a headache, but yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, it’s the life we live, it’s nice to have another podcaster on with us.

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Sarah McDowell: Likewise, it’s nice to talk to a fellow podcaster,

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Sarah McDowell: Is

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Jacob Stoops: Before we jumped on that this was the first podcast where you’ve actually been a guest.

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Sarah McDowell: Yes, so please be kind and please be gentle with me. Haha.

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Jacob Stoops: That’s what the that’s what the last people said, I’m wondering if we’re

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A reputation. That’s funny.

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Sarah McDowell: Cuz I’ve been listening to your podcasts and yeah, I’ve just got em. It’s a good one. So one night me as a guest. I want to do well. So, yes, but

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Sarah McDowell: It’s my first time and but after today we have been invited to be on another one. So I think so and but yeah it’s weird to not have control of the podcast, I’m not gonna lie.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, if you’re if you’re a can. And I’m not saying you’re a control freak. But if you are a control freak. This is probably really difficult.

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Sarah McDowell: Patient comfortable now. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.

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Jacob Stoops: So I especially with with your podcast. Obviously, I, I feel like the the way that we booked guests has been very, very organic in terms of like

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Jacob Stoops: There are people that are known. I feel like commodities and have been for some time in the industry and, and when I sat down, about a year ago and tried to figure out, okay, like what do I want to do with the podcast, who do I want on

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Jacob Stoops: In even this year there are definitely names that I feel like they come up and all the conferences like the you, you know, you can bet you could almost like

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Jacob Stoops: Put mug shots or whatever, whatever. And but one of the other things that has happened that I’ve noticed and why I say it’s very organic and not really

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Jacob Stoops: I don’t really think the way that we put guests is stale is if you’re if you’re following SEO on the on the Twitter. I feel like especially recently there been a lot of newer people that have come across my

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Jacob Stoops: Feed that I have found very interesting and when I find that to be the case. I say, I think I want to talk to them.

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Jacob Stoops: And you happen to be to be one of those people that I would say is a little bit and I don’t know how long you’ve been doing this. We’ll get into

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Jacob Stoops: Into that. But as far as it relates to me, noticing your presence on Twitter. Um, I would say that’s been more more recent and especially because you’re a fellow podcaster, I was like, I really think it would be great.

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Jacob Stoops: TO HAVE YOU ON so that’s that’s why you’re here and you were gracious enough to say yes and to to come on and I think we’re really interested to hear your story.

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Sarah McDowell: Okay, so, um, how do I start. That’s the question. And so, I mean, I, I sort of fell into SEO to be to be completely honest, so I sorry

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Jacob Stoops: Yes. Does everybody

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Sarah McDowell: Well, actually, I got a degree and dancing and realized that it was far too competitive and the best. I was better at African

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Sarah McDowell: And then any of the principal and then I couldn’t make a living. So I was like, right, what can I do

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Sarah McDowell: And I basically applied for a reception role as an SEO company that had been filled but they wanted to grow their link building team. So that’s where I started. And that was 2012, I believe. And so how many years ago. Is that, is that my six or seven. I’m not very good with math.

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Sarah McDowell: And so, so yes and i i was working in that agency for a good few years and I learned everything on the job. So I started from the bottom sort of link building

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Sarah McDowell: And and then I did content and content outreach and I just was there for about four years and I grew in the company sort of thing.

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Sarah McDowell: And then after been there for about four years. I then went to work in house because I was like, Okay, so I’ve got agency. I want to know what it’s like to work in house and how different that is obviously with agency, you’ve got the sort of

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Sarah McDowell: Different companies that you’re working for different industries different challenges. So I was like, Okay. Wonder if it’s less of a headache. If it’s just internal. And so, yes. So I did that for a bit.

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Sarah McDowell: And then I did that for a couple of companies and then I finally so I did have my own

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Sarah McDowell: Sort of marketing digital marketing agency for a bit and I got lonely. To be completely honest and and pull my boss.

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Sarah McDowell: I sort of knew like he was a friend and he was like, Oh, why don’t you just join like mind media and which is where I work. Now, and and he bought me in so

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Sarah McDowell: Whenever we hire someone he wants to hire someone that has a specialism in some sort. So obviously I came in with my SEO and and I sort of

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Sarah McDowell: Went with him, like all I’ve got an idea to do a podcast and i mean i don’t know if I’m like jumping ahead a bit ahead of myself better. And can I go in and talk about how the podcast came about is that, does that make sense. Let’s

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Jacob Stoops: Let’s leave that to the

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To the end because I

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Jacob Stoops: Questions for you and I definitely want to deep dive on the on the podcast, towards the end of the episode. So let’s let’s let’s wait on that one will get back to it and let’s talk about you outside of the podcast.

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Sarah McDowell: Okay well me as an individual in the SEO world.

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Sarah McDowell: Okay, well, yes. So I basically am so like I said, I fell into and I just love it because I mean this is the cliche, but we all know that Google is changing.

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Sarah McDowell: Like what worked 510 years ago. Doesn’t work now and i i can get quite bored as a person. I’m a bit flaky and friends reference there.

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Sarah McDowell: And so that so SEO kind of suits me because it’s always changing and you’ve got to sort of be ahead of the game, haven’t you, you’ve always got to

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Sarah McDowell: Be reading what’s what’s what’s going to industry events and stuff and and day to day activities. Wow, it’s like

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Sarah McDowell: Every day. So how I sort of work with my clients. So how clients come on board is like, Oh, I’ve got an issue with something

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Sarah McDowell: And they reach out and then they say, well, what, why is this. Can you help me. So then it’s finding what the reasons why basically behind if I if I’m making sense. And so I like to sort of diagnostic

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Sarah McDowell: And put in my sort of investigators hat on and also just trying stuff and

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Sarah McDowell: Like tried and tried and things on a client’s website and seeing if it works. If it doesn’t work, then we always transparent and say why we’ll try something new.

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Sarah McDowell: But at the same time, it’s great when you try something and it does work and they get an increase in traffic or they get an increase in rankings or the type of traffic is better for conversion sort of thing.

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Jacob Stoops: So I have to ask, you’ve been in what I call agency world three times, but you also dabbled in house which which do you like better, and why

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Sarah McDowell: Oh right, I’m going to say agency, just because and with agency, you get to work with lots of different industries.

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Sarah McDowell: And with different industries comes like different sort of challenges and problems. And so when I was working in house. Yes, you get really good and you can nation and industry.

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Sarah McDowell: However, and so when I was working for in house. It was for assistance firm and however I prefer more agency, because it’s more varied and you get to try new things out.

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Sarah McDowell: And and especially when it comes to SEO and things that I can dabble and try as agency. Where is if I’m just stuck in house working on one service, for example, and I don’t get to try new things as much

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Jeff Louella: Yeah, I feel sometimes. So I’ve always worked in agencies and never worked in house and

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Jeff Louella: Sometimes I do, I feel like I hit a limit on the agency side where

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Jeff Louella: You know, I’m giving recommendations to my client who either has a development team or has hired a separate development team.

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Jeff Louella: And sometimes they have different priorities right so now i don’t i’m always the outside person looking in. And a lot of my companies that I’m working for where I feel like if I went in house.

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Jeff Louella: I could be in there badgering them every day to get installed. But then once it’s implemented, you’re right. I think after a while you just like after working on the same site. And I think it’s why I’ve always stayed at agencies because

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Jeff Louella: Like I have a team and I can do a lot of in house people you’re one person.

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Jeff Louella: And you know you have a team we we actually get to definitely work on different things, all the times and and clients really like to mess up their sites, a lot and and we’re there to that we’re always there to be able to help and I feel like I get a lot more

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Jeff Louella: I get exposed to a lot more

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Jeff Louella: Being at the agency level, but sometimes I don’t feel like I get as deep as I want to get where you could probably get in house but

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I think yes.

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Sarah McDowell: Yeah, that’s a really good point, actually. So obviously, if you are in house. Then you’ve got sort of one focus and you can spend more time.

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Sarah McDowell: Because the one thing with agency and is you’ve only got a finite amount of time and we could all do with one more day and also it’s sort of juggling

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Sarah McDowell: What the client sees as a priority and what really is a priority. And so I have conversations with clients quite a lot of time where they deemed something more important.

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Sarah McDowell: Than something else that I want to work on and it’s the challenge of sort of proving okay what you want to work on is important, however, and

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Sarah McDowell: That, for example, when when when the medic update that was quite a while ago now as first day that I could think of the top of my head.

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Sarah McDowell: And there was quite, quite a few of my clients, where they needed to, especially the clients that we’re working in like given many advice medical advice there was work to be done there on sort of

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Sarah McDowell: On their about page and on the team page and getting the expertise across. And that’s what I wanted to work on, whereas they wanted to work on other things like the fluffier stuff that looks good to you. I mean, and

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Sarah McDowell: That’s the challenge really isn’t it is managing clients expectations and getting the point across that this is what needs to be worked on. And this is why

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Jacob Stoops: I always feel like, Well, I’ve said it, like many, many, many times. The hardest part of SEO is implementation, and I believe that that occurs.

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Jacob Stoops: Whether you’re in house or whether you’re at an agency.

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Jacob Stoops: I think the benefit of going in house and like sometimes when I’m at an agency, because I’ve jumped back and forth a couple of times you’re

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Jacob Stoops: You’re sometimes always yearning, a little bit for like the grass is grass is greener and sometimes when I’m when you know when you’re getting bombarded with a bunch of different industries, a bunch of different clients sometimes crazy work hours.

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Jacob Stoops: You’re always like, Man, I wish I could just for once, focus on one site for a finite amount of time and

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Sarah McDowell: See it

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Jacob Stoops: Through but then when I get there, I realized just like Jeff said, I’m the only one of my team. And at a certain point, like, especially if you’re having difficulty getting things implemented it gets quite

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Jacob Stoops: Boring. So I’ve found over the years that I just for in again in house SEOs are awesome. But I found for me.

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Jacob Stoops: The agency side tends to work a little bit more. But what I was getting to

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Jacob Stoops: Is the idea that sometimes implementation is really hard and it becomes an exercise in psychology. And what I mean by that is, how can I convince this third party to do

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Jacob Stoops: What they what I need them to do in order to make myself my agency their site successful and sometimes you really have to think about

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Jacob Stoops: Psychologically, what can you say to them to make them or what can you show them to make them want to change their minds which can be difficult because people don’t like

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Jacob Stoops: Change and there’s often egos involved in different priorities and that’s part of the fun, especially on in quote unquote agency world being kind of on the outside.

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Jacob Stoops: Looking in making the case to get your stuff implemented because you do have a short time window. It’s one of the greatest challenges we all face.

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Sarah McDowell: And it does at a date. Now, if you guys and what strictly Strictly Come Dancing or, you know, the UK strictly and but there was a judge on that she’s not anymore but darcey bussell so the

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Sarah McDowell: ballerina and this will be relevant, I promise. And when she was given feedback to dances. She’d always give the darcey bussell shit sandwich. And were you sort of

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Sarah McDowell: So you start with the positive, then you go with the negative and then you go with the positive again and I sort of. That’s how I sort of approach clients and stuff. So say for example, a client has just

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Sarah McDowell: They’ve got a new website and then they’ve come to you to SEO it. Yeah. And in that, and that’s what they actually say, oh, can you just SEO. This sign is that okay

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Sarah McDowell: Yeah, I’ve got issues with you to say that, but hey, I will will get over that. But yeah, but it’s sort of say, and you realize that the site isn’t

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Sarah McDowell: technically sound for SEO and that’s where the shit sandwich comes in. So I always try and find a positive to say. So if I can find something about user experience or page speed, for example, I’ll start with that.

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Sarah McDowell: And then I’ll say. However, this is not so good because this is the reasons why. And this is the opportunities and and yeah and then now end on a high as well. So there you go. The Darcy associate sandwich.

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Jacob Stoops: So I actually know more about dancing, then you might think

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Jacob Stoops: Said, I’m not a drama terrible dancer. My wife grew up as a as a dancer and why that’s relevant. Now it’s because you mentioned like one of the only dance shows that she probably doesn’t watch

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Jacob Stoops: But she watches literally every dance reality TV show. Well,

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Jacob Stoops: I’m sure that there are more than this, but like we have watched dancing with the stars like every season since we’ve been together, which is going on like over a decade.

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Jacob Stoops: Now, and also. So You Think You Can Dance. I’m pretty well versed in dance reality shows and I’m actually surprised that I did not know that one.

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Sarah McDowell: Straight king. I mean, yes, I mean it’s the UK one. I mean, it’s coming to an end. Now, but that’s been on everyone’s wow that’s what me and my girlfriend watch

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Jacob Stoops: favorite type of dance.

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Sarah McDowell: Oh,

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Sarah McDowell: Well, I’ve not dancing, very long time. But when I was at university studying it. I preferred African peoples dance. So my course was dancing culture. So you got to do five different principles.

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Sarah McDowell: So we did African Khattak which is a Indian style of dancing ballet. I was rubbish at ballet, because it was just too strict can get on that and contemporary and cartography so African peoples dance was the form that I enjoyed the most

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Jacob Stoops: So I would say I think contemporary is the one that always in and I, my wife is a major crier. And I’m like, I would say I’m a minor crier like I get. I get a little bit emotional and I feel like contemporary always kind of brings that brings that out.

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Jacob Stoops: But then I would say in terms of like just really cool to watch. Um, it’s called POP POP locking

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Jacob Stoops: I can’t remember the name

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Sarah McDowell: But it took a night sweet so

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Jacob Stoops: Walking like quick robotic movements. I always find that fascinating.

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To watch

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Jacob Stoops: Jeff, can you pop luck.

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Jeff Louella: I could do the robot like it’s like

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Sarah McDowell: Me you

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Jeff Louella: Know, I am not a good dancer whatsoever. I do like to dance to embarrass my kids.

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What’s a good

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Sarah McDowell: One.

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Jacob Stoops: Fact in the, the only other dance thing that I’m that I’m going to talk about if you search YouTube for Jake and Gina wedding dance.

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Jacob Stoops: I’m all over that we actually did a choreographed dance at our wedding with

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Jacob Stoops: Something like 18 total bridesmaids and groomsmen

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Jacob Stoops: flippin oh yeah it was it was crazy.

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Sarah McDowell: I’ll be checking that out straight after this podcast.

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Jeff Louella: Check it out right now while we’re on it.

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Sarah McDowell: Multitasking is fine.

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Jacob Stoops: Fun. Cool.

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Jacob Stoops: Awesome, man.

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Jeff Louella: No, I don’t know much about dancing, but

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Jeff Louella: No, I mean, I

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Jeff Louella: I’m kind of been going through some of these new things and wanted to think we should jump into one of those or

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Jacob Stoops: Hold on, I wanted to ask, I wanted to ask about link building and what it’s like, because we’ve had. I feel like a lot of the people that we have on tend to lean technical

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Jacob Stoops: More so than more so than anything. And we’ve had a few that have come on from the content and link building

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Jacob Stoops: Side of the house. And as somebody that’s been doing that for a long time. I guess I would ask you, Sarah, what’s, what is that like, and how do you feel like that has shaped your

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Jacob Stoops: Perspective on the available, I would say the available options to you as an SEO because I feel like there are some people that just don’t do link building because they either think it’s bad or risky or just not something they’re comfortable doing so, like, how is

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Jeff Louella: None of them.

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Sarah McDowell: Oh really, well, I mean, so obviously when I, when I first got into SEO and I was doing link building. I am going to put my hands up and say that I did.

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Sarah McDowell: And I mean I don’t do it anymore. But I did tend to do more with the

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Sarah McDowell: The bad, sort of, well, not the bad but like them, you know, the more spammy ways of lie on a forum and you get like a link and somehow or you just go on that directories and and you know like back in the day, sort of,

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Sarah McDowell: link building that worked. Where is now. And Google has sort of Google is prioritizing sort of quality and value of the link and relevancy as well.

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Sarah McDowell: And so I have found so obviously because of that link building nowadays. It takes a lot more time and a lot more effort needs to

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Sarah McDowell: Go into it, but you do get rewarded and link links are always going to be the bread and butter, because that’s you hear that a lot of data that or you don’t need to link build anymore.

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Sarah McDowell: That’s not SEO. You don’t need to. But you still do, it’s still going to be one of those fundamentals, it’s still going to be one of the things that Google looks at

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Sarah McDowell: And and there’s different ways that you can go about link building. And so, for example,

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Sarah McDowell: One way that I will always do is I always do competitive research at first. So using tools to find out where where competitors have got links and seeing where I can

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Sarah McDowell: My right like opportunities for my clients. And I also think of content. So obviously, and creating high value content that shareable and it’s not just like a boring.

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Sarah McDowell: Boring Stuff, but things like content that’s actually going to make someone stop and read and think, Okay, this is going to help me so I don’t know you doing original research or doing something that that’s emotional. So whether it’s funny. If it’s and makes you cry sort of thing.

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Sarah McDowell: And so obviously when you’ve put your time aside to put together this content. It’s then reaching out and to then get people to link to it. Also, there’s another way. So say you’re doing an expert piece and you could invite

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Sarah McDowell: Seven experts in your industry and to contribute to a piece you then outreach to them and let them know because they’ll link back to you sort of thing. And I mean, I do think

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Sarah McDowell: There is a tendency that some companies will think, oh, if I make content that is really valuable and really good links will just come to me.

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Sarah McDowell: Where is is as idealistic as that is, you do need some work. And you do need to put it in front of people and tell people about it.

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Sarah McDowell: And but yeah so but you could also do something that’s a bit PR and so Brighton SEO and there was a talk by Oliver Brett who works at Screaming Frog.

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Sarah McDowell: And and he was like showing how you can sort of use fake news. Now I know fake news sort of gets a bit of a bad rap. But there is times where you can

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Sarah McDowell: Buy fake news as. Okay. So, for example, and like, I don’t know. And there was a football game and championship game or something and

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Sarah McDowell: And it was a it was England vs FRANCE, IT WAS THIS T shirt that would have the England flag. But then when you’re around people from France In France supporters, it would turn into a French flag.

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Sarah McDowell: And they put this product on the website, obviously it wasn’t a real product. It was just something fun.

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Sarah McDowell: And and yeah they got that into the news and people wanted to link build to it and another good example that I’ve seen. And so, Carrie Rose, who heads up an agency link building agency and who has been a

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Sarah McDowell: guest on our show. And so there’s game in the UK and they came up together they came up with a Christmas, Christmas dinner so is Christmas dinner.

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Sarah McDowell: All in a can, for gamers and and then I optimize the site for that and did a vegan and veggie virgin version and then reached out to

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Sarah McDowell: The PR and newspapers and stuff like that and like the genome or large Bible and again they so I don’t know, I feel like I’m blabbing but I don’t know if that’s given some insight that yeah

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Jacob Stoops: I think the key is in today’s world, like the the easy stuff. It just doesn’t work. It’s the stuff that you had that it’s hard and link building shouldn’t be hard in in any links that you’re building should be hard one. And you should have to be creative and I think

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Jacob Stoops: Those tend to be the ones that at least Google says that they value, more so than the ones that are a little bit more artificial in spammy. But one thing I wanted to say is when people talk about link building a lot of folks really think about it from an external

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Jacob Stoops: Standpoint, in terms of third party site linking to your website. And when I I think about link building. I think one of the most underrated aspects of link building is internal links.

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Sarah McDowell: Yes.

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Jacob Stoops: Or no link building right

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Sarah McDowell: A lot of

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Jacob Stoops: I’m dealing with a situation right now where we’ve got on one of my clients. We went from not having a lot of pages that talked about their product to over the course of this year, building those out.

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Jacob Stoops: The problem exist is exists is that they talk about their product on their on their blog quite a lot, but because these product pages are so new, they don’t have a lot of links within the site.

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Jeff Louella: Yes.

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Jeff Louella: Okay, let’s take this these

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Jacob Stoops: thousand or so blog pages because you’re not putting these product links in your navigation yet so they’re not site wide. Well, let’s increase the importance by

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Jacob Stoops: Looking at any time you’re mentioning the product in your blog post, but it’s not linked and you can pretty easily use screening frogs not

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Sarah McDowell: Interaction search feature to go and look

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Jacob Stoops: For any instances of where you’re mentioning a specific word or phrase across your website and boom, those are unlinked dimensions within your own website easy and there’s

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Jeff Louella: A there’s actually WordPress plugins that would actually if these were

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Jeff Louella: Just as your blog that would, you would automatically just say these are the terms link here and it anytime a blog post was written.

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Jeff Louella: It would do that at Zappos actually used to do that internally when foot product reviews.

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Jeff Louella: Anytime. If you would say like these Nike sneakers are awesome and they would just highlight Nike automatically in a review like as a reviewer. I’m not linking to that page.

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Jeff Louella: I think they recently stopped doing that probably little spammy but but it was internal so there was one of those where they weren’t linking out there, creating internal links that way. So,

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Jacob Stoops: Let’s go. Oh, go ahead. Sarah.

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Sarah McDowell: No, I was just gonna say, I think a lot of businesses, Miss, miss a big opportunity with their homepage with internal linking

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Sarah McDowell: And especially like seasonal and opportunities. So if you’ve got a Christmas promotion or Christmas products that over the Christmas season, for example, or that’s all the way around, or maybe

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Sarah McDowell: You’ve put together this really good bit of content that is adding value. It’s got research. It’s got experts and people just forget to use the homepage to link to it because

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Sarah McDowell: And so, Hannah co host of the SEO SAS podcast came up with a really nice analogy. So when you’re thinking of like internal linking. You got to think of the homepage is the trunk. So that’s the core. And that’s the structure

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Sarah McDowell: And then you’ve got the branches. The first lots of branches and that’s sort of like your first

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Sarah McDowell: Two pages that are coming off that and then you’ve got a leaves as well, which you child pages. And I thought that was a nice way to think of how like how you sigh in the sort of how you can use it sort of thing.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, and and it that actually as you were saying that reminded me of some of the newer visualization tools that some of the crawlers have come out with. And I’ve never thought of it as like an actual tree, but

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Jacob Stoops: Start thinking about it.

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Jacob Stoops: That way.

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Sarah McDowell: It just makes sense because like your home. I think people forget and I mean this is a bugbear of mine is when people don’t like we don’t need much text on the homepage. That’s just have like put your pictures and it’s just like now.

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Sarah McDowell: That is just a missed opportunity there. And yeah, so I mean

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Jacob Stoops: Most powerful page people

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Jacob Stoops: What people can’t see is me shaking

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Jacob Stoops: Not actually shaking myself but shaking up a fake client.

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Sarah McDowell: And one more. One more point on this is some people. I did have a conversation with a client. And they were just like they didn’t. They were worried that

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Sarah McDowell: Their homepage was going to be too long, like scrolling wise and it was like that is the that’s the wrong point here that it wasn’t even that long at all. But yeah.

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Jeff Louella: It was funny. A check our website that had like this gigantic like look like an HTML site map at the bottom of their homepage.

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Jeff Louella: With like every link to their whole site. I just went to go pulled up the kind of talk about it, and it seemed like they remove that it might have been just for the holidays. They put that in there so

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Jeff Louella: It was a company off of Amazon own called eating. I like to go in Amazon’s footer and look at all the companies they list every company, they kind of own or work with at the bottom and

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Jeff Louella: It was one. I was like, I never heard of this one. And I clicked on it and it, it literally was a hero image and then like an HTML site map underneath it for every single like category product page they had

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Jeff Louella: Which I kind of liked because it got me through the site as quick as I could.

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Sarah McDowell: Again, no point in being

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Jeff Louella: You and I think that’s probably why they did it. So it was interesting. It’s not there now.

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Jacob Stoops: Jeff, I, I, I’ve got one more question, because I know you’re chomping at the bit to get to the news and I know that I also have a rant. So I want to get to that.

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Jacob Stoops: But Sarah, you mentioned you were, you were at an agency, not at you created an agency and then you decided not to do it anymore. Like what, what went into into that.

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Sarah McDowell: Okay, so basically I’m always up for trying something new, which is why I do a podcast. That’s how I got into roller derby. And so I’m always if someone says. Also, why don’t you try. I’m gonna try basically so

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Sarah McDowell: It was after a conversation. So when I went at my last service in house. For this list, as I mentioned earlier,

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Sarah McDowell: And they were mentioning that they were going to get rid of internal marketing and outsource at all. So obviously I had to go and find myself for the job and I, my boss at the time, not the boss now, but he was really

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Sarah McDowell: It was just quite an inspirational because he he was just like Sarah, you’ve got so I obviously had some connections still

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Sarah McDowell: And with the clients from that business because even though. Yes, I worked internally for DHL we also had like another branch which offered external marketing services.

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Sarah McDowell: And I saw and I had good relationships with the clients and and my boss at the time, just like you should try going on your own.

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Sarah McDowell: When you go on your own. It’s not like you have to start from scratch. You’ve already got it was about three or four clients to start with.

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Sarah McDowell: And when I approached them and said look, and the company is closing but I decided to go on my own. And would you

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Sarah McDowell: If I, if that’s the case, which would be happy if I carried on. And everyone was supportive and they’re like, Yes. And so, yeah, I did that for a bit and

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Sarah McDowell: The company, may I made profit which I’m told in your first year, not many businesses do

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Sarah McDowell: But because it was digital. I didn’t really have that many costs, overhead costs. So it was quite lucrative isn’t it is the word is

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Sarah McDowell: And and yeah and it just got to a point where yes, I was making money and I could pay the bills and I had this flexibility. I just got lonely and I because I’m

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Sarah McDowell: I like being part of a team and I just felt like I missed having conversations with that because obviously I could have conversations

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Sarah McDowell: online or at live events and stuff but I missed the live internal conversations where you also have

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Sarah McDowell: You care about this one thing that you’re working towards, and it was if something bad happened and which is part and parcel of owning a business that failed on me something good happened. It was like a one person party.

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Sarah McDowell: And yeah, it just got to a point where I just decided that being a savvy business, business woman wasn’t for me and and yeah decided to but and I did speak to. So when I was going through that and running my business.

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Sarah McDowell: I did know my boss now at my my media Paul and I was always honest with him. And that’s when he was like, well,

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Sarah McDowell: You can come and work for, for me, and you still have the flexibility but you have the support and you’ll be working with a team and and that, so. So yes, I can say that I’ve tried it, but it wasn’t for me basically

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Jeff Louella: It’s, it’s tough. I mean, even just running a team can be tough, but let alone having to

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Jeff Louella: Deal with people live people’s livelihood and things like that. It’s I it’s funny. I always had the in my head, I’m like, I always want to start a business.

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Jeff Louella: And then I get to positions where I need to like I’m in charge of someone like whether they have a paycheck.

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Jeff Louella: And things like that and it gets a little scary sometimes and I realized like, you know, I, I’m really great at solving problems and solving like

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Jeff Louella: Technical issues on SEOs for SEO and things like that. I’m not great at HR, that is the one thing that you really need to be to

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Jeff Louella: To to run a company right it’s more you have to be a people person and and sometimes I just don’t have that empathy and me when the little I’m just like, Is your work done know and it’s like, well, I don’t care about anything else. And it’s not the right way to do it because

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Jeff Louella: I know like I need to connect a little bit better with my co workers, let alone if I was actually the one in charge of everything in there so it. I totally get wanting to go back and being part of part of the team and

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Jeff Louella: There’s a special breed, to be able to run it all.

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Sarah McDowell: And it’s like when because when you’re in a team. You can you can stay up to date with stuff that’s happening more because you have conversations date. Yeah. And or say you want to try some new

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Sarah McDowell: I’m always like, I always think it’s good to get a second opinion or just wouldn’t do ideas with someone else or get get someone’s the perspective or the point of view. And I just felt like I didn’t really have that when I was on on my own. I mean, get your small violin out for me.

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Sarah McDowell: I’m much better.

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Sarah McDowell: Rather than yeah I’m about to be in part of a team and having security of not being my own boss.

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Jeff Louella: Right. I think my part of my issue is I treat everyone equally. And he can when you’re in equally as in like mean you can do the same amount of work or same everything and

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Jeff Louella: When you’re the CEO, I would expect everyone to be CEO.

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Jeff Louella: So that’s it for part

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Sarah McDowell: One of our one of our clients and that they one of their things that they say is that they don’t have a business hierarchy, which I think is

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Sarah McDowell: Quite interesting so it’s like a flat structure. I think it’s a trend that businesses. Try and know how it’s like over the pond sort of thing.

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Sarah McDowell: And this idea that everyone is the same and, naturally, you do get leaders, don’t you, but the fact is that everyone is sort of treated equally, as it were, and and yeah I thought that was really interesting to have his case, we

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Jeff Louella: Were in a fairly flat organization Jake and I, and it has its pluses and minuses. And you know, I think when it comes down to if everyone is equal, then yeah, you need to have those natural leaders come out to to be able to run things and

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Jeff Louella: Though I think when your natural leader at that point. It’s like, you like to be crammed a leader in a way and edify the organization. You’re not so it’s

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Jeff Louella: I think there are some people who are definitely we have different titles and different levels.

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Jeff Louella: But when it comes to like reporting, we have two major departments with two major department heads and they kind of are in charge of all the direct you know raises and promotions and things like that everyone else is pretty much equal underneath there, even though there are levels of

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Jeff Louella: Positions, it really comes down to, like, what kind of work, you’ll be doing and

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Jeff Louella: But when it comes down to the HR type of stuff. You are all equal. So

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Jacob Stoops: How much scratch you’re making. Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: And let me tell you in flat companies like don’t let anybody fool you, everybody’s not equal.

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Jacob Stoops: The CEO and the upper level people like they’re making the most scratch. All right, they’re making the most money. So I’ve got my. I’m not going to go on a rant. Here I’ve got my problems with flat organizations like

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Jacob Stoops: I don’t have a problem with search discovery and their, their format. It’s much more hierarchical than the last place I came from, in which I had a real real big problem.

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Jacob Stoops: With the level of flatness in the organization and the lack of advancement and money advancement opportunities. So anyways, yeah. Let’s go to the news.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah, and I’ve kind of flows right into this. You kind of HR owning an agency being in charge of hiring.

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Jeff Louella: I don’t know if everyone’s seen, but Bill hearts are kind of put out a question on Twitter yesterday.

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Jeff Louella: Basically saying if I was hiring someone for an SEO position. What questions what I asked him, and then he goes and says he’ll start and his first question would be,

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Jeff Louella: What is the Google Florida update and why was it so significant part of the SEO history and basically says if they can answer that he’ll hire the wrong spot and followed by a million responses about how he’s old school and a boomer

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Jeff Louella: And different things in there, but I guess question would have, like, you know, if it’s a good question. In general, and I think we all have different ways of of hiring and you know me personally when it comes to

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Jeff Louella: When I am kind of in charge of hiring and when I’ve had positions where I was.

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Jeff Louella: Solely in charge of hiring I’m, I’m a very

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Jeff Louella: Like I say bad, but I am. I’m not gonna say thorough either but I make people do presentations.

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Jeff Louella: I like to give them a site and say whether it’s your first SEO job or you’re coming in as a director. I like to give you

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Jeff Louella: A project and basically say, because I’m going to learn. Way more than your resume shows me

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Jeff Louella: When you sit down and tell me what’s wrong with the site and I’m never saying like, give me a two hour presentation. It’s always like 30 minutes

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Jeff Louella: If you are for the brand new in SEO. Maybe it’s give me you know presentation on five reasons why contents. Good.

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Jeff Louella: Another one, like if you were coming in more advanced, I will give you a site that I know not only ever use my own clients, cuz I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to get free work.

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Jeff Louella: But I’ll pick a site out there and just say, Hey, here’s a website, you know, give me a quick audit and then present me your findings and that way I can see your thinking behind everything

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Jeff Louella: So I actually before even as questions that I like to have a good presentation. Like, I’m like client, because then I know if I could stick someone in front of a client.

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Jeff Louella: But when it comes to questions like, What kind of questions do you all ask

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Sarah McDowell: Oh, is it is it me fast.

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Jeff Louella: There you go. We’ll go you first, sir.

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Sarah McDowell: Hey, I am so, so just confirm the question. So what so

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Jeff Louella: You know, if you were when you were hiring someone what kind of questions would you ask them.

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Sarah McDowell: Okay, so I would ask and first and foremost there. So if life experiences.

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Sarah McDowell: And and what what they’ve done in in SEO sort of thing. And what what what what are the challenges that they’ve found just just talk to them and have a conversation, because I think

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Sarah McDowell: When you have a honest face to face conversation with someone, it’s quite obvious straight away, whether they know what they’re talking about, or not.

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Sarah McDowell: And so a thing. And then I also am so depending when the conversations happened I might bring up like the latest updates that have happened.

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Sarah McDowell: Because obviously, Google is always updating its algorithm. And it’s constantly changing and the times where an update will be given a name is because it’s affected or this is my understanding, though.

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Sarah McDowell: But it’s affected enough sites that there’s been enough chatter chatter in the industry.

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Sarah McDowell: And then all of a sudden, we’ve got a name for it sort of thing. So, so I’ll have that conversation and see. Okay. Because if you are passionate about SEO. And one thing that you’re going to be on the lookout for is how it’s changing you I mean

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Sarah McDowell: And and other things as well. So not just Google’s core algorithm, but other things. So, for example, bet and how

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Sarah McDowell: How Google can now use that to better understand and users intent and keywords and stuff like that. So having conversations like that.

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Sarah McDowell: And I’d also ask them sort of their, their goals and their aspirations sort of thing and where they want to be and what they want to do.

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Sarah McDowell: And I’d like some proof like some. I don’t know if they could come to the interview and sort of say, this is what I’m really proud of this is, this is what I did for a client.

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Sarah McDowell: And this was the results. And this is why it’s so good sort of thing. Because I think if you’ve got proof of what they’ve done. And because there’s a lot of people who can talk the talk isn’t there.

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Sarah McDowell: But when it actually comes to doing it. So it’d be good to actually see some proof of that. And, and I don’t know. I mean, maybe check them out a bit before so I see if they’ve got like a Twitter profile or a LinkedIn profile or and just see what sort of

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Sarah McDowell: If they’re getting involved in SEO to to chatter or and things like that.

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Sarah McDowell: And I don’t know, and

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Jeff Louella: No, that’s great. I think

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Jeff Louella: It’s funny, I take an approach like that to an extent where I get to try to just know the person because I know if I am working with them. I need to at least like them so they might have all the answers.

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Jeff Louella: And might be an amazing at that. But if we just don’t click. It’s not going to be fun for everybody. Right, so

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Sarah McDowell: No date you straight off, whether you’re going to click with someone

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Sarah McDowell: Or not.

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Jeff Louella: And within

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Sarah McDowell: A few jokes now.

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Jeff Louella: Time for bed dad jokes to so

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Jacob Stoops: The thing about interviews is like, I find it really difficult to assess somebody’s quality.

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Jacob Stoops: In a 30 minute interview or even an hour interview right you often don’t know somebody real true quality in terms of how they’re going to perform at work.

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Jacob Stoops: So you’ve worked with them for quite a while. So the for me. The, the basis of a, of an interview is do they seem to know what they’re talking about. Do they click in terms of their, their fit within both the role as well as where they’re going to be working

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Jacob Stoops: Are they, and I think this one’s really important are they naturally curious, do they want to learn more.

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Jacob Stoops: Do they have ambition. Are they competitive. Do they have Dr. Sarah. I also think, is it, it’s really important that they show

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Jacob Stoops: In this is what I find missing from most resumes that I look at actual tangible examples that prove out the results that you’ve actually driven results because you’re right.

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Jacob Stoops: Some people do talk a big game and then you get them in and you find that they’ve just got no clue. And they’re just faking it until they

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Sarah McDowell: Take it.

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Right.

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Jacob Stoops: I will say that this um so this tweet from Bill. I don’t know if he meant to like set off.

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Jacob Stoops: Set off the the Twitter swarm that can sometimes

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Jacob Stoops: Eat its own eat its own younger. Sometimes you have to watch out for SEO Twitter, man. If you say the wrong thing. They will

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Jacob Stoops: They will come after you. And so I want to be very clear. I don’t want to be

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Jacob Stoops: Perceived as like coming after Bill BC. So I’ve never met him, but he seems like a nice guy.

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Jacob Stoops: The question. So what is the Google Florida update and why was it such a significant part of SEO history to me in 2019 it’s like asking

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Jacob Stoops: A high schooler about a rotary phone like and why it’s so important to cell phones today and it’s just like, Okay, like I love history. I’m a huge history buff and and I’m a believer that if you don’t, if you aren’t aware of history, you’re not going to recognize it when it is

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Jacob Stoops: Coming back around in today’s age. However, this is not the same thing. This is apples to oranges in the Google Florida update. Not only has never played a role.

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Jacob Stoops: In in terms of my SEO work. I will say that it’s kind of like what is it back to the future with the timeline. So like if Google Florida update doesn’t happen then Google Panda in Google Penguin and all of these other

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Jacob Stoops: Needs never happen. Right. So it had to happen. And I’m glad it happened. But this thing happened in like the early 2000s before like 95% of the people that work in SEO are were even even thinking about SEO.

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Jacob Stoops: It was barely a thing. So like to ask somebody

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Jacob Stoops: If they remember that it’s like, Well, no, because I was in college or high school like no no not relevant, how they do their job today.

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Sarah McDowell: Show me. It’s better if someone can demonstrate like things that are happening now, or kitty chatter about what’s going to happen in the future and being hung up, and I think it’s a bit like traditionalist, isn’t it, I suppose, if that’s the right word to use.

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Sarah McDowell: But I do think some SEO is do you get a bit caught up on. I don’t know, like knowing your stuff and

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Sarah McDowell: I mean, I couldn’t sit and tell you, like all the updates that have happened you know i mean like

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Sarah McDowell: I do understand that and I’ve looked into me search how Google has an search engines and the internet has evolved because I find that interesting and but getting hung up on putting someone on the spot and being like, Tommy, what this is right now. Do you know what I mean, it’s just

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Sarah McDowell: It doesn’t feel. Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: The last thing I’ll say, and I do want to move into the, into talking about the podcast is like

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Jacob Stoops: It’s not a freakin pop quiz. Right, we’re doing SEO, and for the most part, like, very few of my clients have ever been significantly impacted by

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Jacob Stoops: An algorithm update. And not only that, like my clients their problems tend to be way, way, way, way, way more basic and way more fundamental than

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Jacob Stoops: All of this stuff, especially Google Florida in which one no client has ever asked me about that and to I’ve only ever heard one other SEO outside of maybe SEO Twitter a few times actually mentioned it to me in an office setting.

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Jacob Stoops: And he mentioned it to me because he was reminiscing about the old days.

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Sarah McDowell: It just

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Sarah McDowell: It just fine today.

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Jacob Stoops: And that was it.

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Jeff Louella: So neither of you are getting hired just telling you because

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, suggested that they would walk out at the interview and I don’t think that I would do that but

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Jeff Louella: I mean, I honestly I think the answer is, hey, there’s been a million of them. I’d have to look that one back up but i mean i i was in the business that time but I I’m lucky I haven’t gotten hit by a couple algorithm updates, but only a couple over the last, you know, 1015 years so

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Jeff Louella: Nothing there was

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Jeff Louella: Nothing was irreversible and you know it’s like a lot of times it’s like hey your site’s not the quality like i mean i

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Jeff Louella: Don’t I didn’t even look up, Florida, but I can tell you, like that. It’s probably something to do with your site was not great quality or the links pointing seems like that’s what it is about

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Jeff Louella: So,

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Sarah McDowell: I do, I do have to believe them. And that same figure. So every time that Google was out a new update or changes the algorithm or do something different is all about make it better in the experience for the user.

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Sarah McDowell: As long as you’re doing that with your website. And that’s your goal, you should be all right with like penalties and stuff like, don’t get me wrong, you

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Sarah McDowell: People do get hit, and it’s completely unintentional because yeah like just happens, isn’t it, and the SEO world. But if you’re there, providing value.

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Sarah McDowell: Your website is accessible. You’re not deceiving Googled you know i mean like the key things if you’re always doing those those sort of things, then you should you should be okay.

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Sarah McDowell: You should. I mean, it’s a big should lie, but yeah.

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Sarah McDowell: So,

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Jacob Stoops: Tell us about your podcast, because I want to make sure we’ve got about 17 minutes left. And I’m going to apologize to the audience. I have a hard stop and that was bad planning on my part, but I want to make sure we talked about the SEO, SEM podcast.

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Sarah McDowell: I’m okay. Okay, well, yes. And so the SEO SAS podcast. And so it came on, it was born. And because me and my friend Hannah and I actually worked with her. So I know her.

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Sarah McDowell: And but we, it was a couple of years ago, and we were at Brighton SEO and like the big conference in the UK. And we saw that the SEO so of so attendees and speakers at the time.

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Sarah McDowell: Tend to be like male orientated. And that seemed to be like if you look to the ratio between male speakers and FEMALE SPEAKERS mayo.

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Sarah McDowell: Attendees and female attendees. It was more. So the males, it was, it seemed to be a male dominated industry at the time, obviously it’s getting better and better as time time is going on.

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Sarah McDowell: And but at the same time, you also saw a niche for a female lead SEO podcast and because we because after

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Sarah McDowell: After we went to Brighton SEO and we had this conversation. And then when I looked into podcasts. I had a conversation with Hannah was just like we’ve got an opportunity here.

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Sarah McDowell: And there’s there’s not that much female lead SEO really like just SEO podcast. And I think this is an opportunity and and I was quite passionate about it because

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Sarah McDowell: I wanted to like showcase other amazing females in the SEO community. And I also wanted to I think SEO gets a bad rap for being boring. And that’s the joke in our office anyway.

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Sarah McDowell: But yeah, and I wanted to sort of be like, no, it can actually be some sort of furnace in inspiring and yeah and it doesn’t, it’s not boring at all.

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Sarah McDowell: And and yes and what and why why outs, I think, Well, yes, we just thought we needed. We just needed to do it and we love to talk about SEO as well. So we thought why don’t we put together a podcast. And yeah, as I explained it enough that

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Jacob Stoops: It’s kind of like what I think is interesting about SEO podcasts if if clients or if if you’re somebody that needs SEO. If you want to know like how the SEOs talk if you were

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Jacob Stoops: If you wanted to be like a fly on the wall and you want to know how does an SEO talk about SEO to another SEO. That’s one reason I would think to listen to Sarah’s podcast, as well as to ours, because of

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Jacob Stoops: What we really think when and when that sometimes comes comes through to you as a as a client or in house to whoever we’re delivering the recommendations to it’s kind of a filtered version of that. And this is a little bit more on filtered, I would say.

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Sarah McDowell: Transparent we

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Sarah McDowell: Transparency and yeah and I mean it’s just about having a bit of fun and educating people because as well and as a lot of businesses, small businesses that don’t have the budget to have a marketing team or high marketing. So

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Sarah McDowell: There are some things that you can do like nine times out of 10 leave SEO.

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Sarah McDowell: And SEM professional likes you don’t want to break stuff, but there are, if we can at least be educating businesses and they can start thinking about it because

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Sarah McDowell: There’s a lot of businesses that have thought about all or they’ve heard of the term SEO or they know that they need to do it, but they don’t really quite understand it. They don’t quite get it. So we like to sort of present it in a way

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Sarah McDowell: That is accessible and it’s all I could do that or that makes sense to me or no that is a priority, I need to prioritize this for my website.

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Sarah McDowell: And and we’ve had some really awesome conversations. And don’t get me wrong. We do I know I said about like getting it was a female lead wanted to showcase females, but we do invite and males on as well. Don’t worry.

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Sarah McDowell: Just had amazing people on who are just the people that we get on just want to share knowledge or share their experiences and that is so priceless in this industry and we’ve had

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Sarah McDowell: So today I actually recorded a podcast with a lady Claire Carlisle who helps her thing is helping small businesses grow by making the most out of local SEO.

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Sarah McDowell: And and it was just so just having a conversation about the possibilities of local SEO and Google my business pages and stuff. We spoke to carry Rose who

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Sarah McDowell: Is awesome at she’s a creative SEO agency and their thing is about getting links by doing awesome creative content and some of the things that night talking to her was just amazing as well. We’ve had Sophie Cali on who

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Sarah McDowell: Talk to us about search listening. So the idea behind not getting caught up on keywords and search volumes, but more. What is it, what is it that people are

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Sarah McDowell: Wanting to know about what are the topics sort of thing and and biting content that sort of answers those questions. We’ve also had a lady on who talked about gamification and how

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Sarah McDowell: How that can help with links to your site. And another way of creating really good content. And then we had the lady merely king who came on, who gave talks obviously site speed Page Speed is a big factor with SEO.

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Sarah McDowell: And she came on with life. So she wrote for search engine watch a piece with practical tips and tools to how to do it. So,

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Sarah McDowell: We’re all about like inviting people on to talk about stuff. And we don’t. Sometimes it’s just me and Hannah, who will debate stuff. So, for example, or debate, the

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Sarah McDowell: ongoing debate of what’s better long short long or short content sort of thing. And we’ll talk about internal linking we’ll talk about competitive research. So it’s a bit of a generalist podcast where we just discussed. And yeah, basically.

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Jeff Louella: That’s awesome. So I’m kind of lucky that I came in on season two. Because Jacob really did a lot of the getting things off the ground and and just starting from zero, right. So I got I got the come in and

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Jeff Louella: All that stuff was already set so that that was, you know, easy for me. Of course, because it was easy to say yes.

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Jeff Louella: Because I’d have to do all that groundwork. So what are some of the things that like learning and challenges that you had from just like starting the podcast from zero and getting it to where it is now.

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Sarah McDowell: Yes, and listeners.

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Sarah McDowell: Yeah, and I say to you put. So obviously, we had this brain wave and maybe we may have had a few wines, remember that. Oh my god, this is amazing idea we’re going to get loads of listens on our first episode.

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Sarah McDowell: And it doesn’t I and it took some time. I mean, wear a year on now and we’ve reached I think we’ve just been 7000 total downloads and we get, I don’t know, this would be being very transparent and I don’t know about your guys numbers, but

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Jeff Louella: And millions, millions

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Sarah McDowell: Millions admit that same as

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Sarah McDowell: We get around 150 to about 300 people

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Sarah McDowell: per episode sort of thing and and it has been hard to grow it. And at first it is just your mom listening and

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Sarah McDowell: Every episode. My mom would like what’s that mean okay podcast. I don’t know what you’re quite talking about but you sounded. Wonderful. Um, but yeah and so

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Sarah McDowell: It was it was hard, but we just put the time and effort into it and you do lie. You do have to think outside the box of how to get your podcast underneath people so

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Sarah McDowell: I spent plenty and evening, just on LinkedIn messaging people about the podcast or another way was like inviting people with whoever who already have a following to come on, because then you’re like okay there.

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Sarah McDowell: And that has helped I think peaks and valleys numbers and we mentioned recently did some research. So we did

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Sarah McDowell: Research based around local SEO where we were talking to those who market local businesses and we wanted to understand, like, day to day activities and challenges. And so we did a survey I have paid as well, like I did some paid advertising.

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Sarah McDowell: So yes, getting listeners is hard, especially at the beginning and

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Sarah McDowell: If I believe that if your podcast is entertaining educational people are going to just not shit, basically, people are going to want to listen.

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Sarah McDowell: And stuff and other challenges is so obviously it is a side hustle. So you have to factor in okay when recording editing and there’s the research that goes in as the

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Sarah McDowell: Sort of talking to your guests when they’re going to come on. So there is a lot. At first, I was a bit naive and I was like, be easy. No, it wouldn’t take much time at all. Just sit in front of a microphone do bit talking and jobs are good and I was wrong.

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Sarah McDowell: It’s a lot more than just that. And I’m say I’m guessing you guys can relate to that. Like the wackier

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Jeff Louella: I mean, I go, I go to iTunes all the time or the podcast app now and just type in SEO and then waiting for us to the show up there.

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Jeff Louella: In the top you know 50 at least. And I think it’s new to me in the SEO side of things, right, because it’s working on Google working on, you know, just search engines in general for a while that now trying to like get a podcast to rank in a podcast app.

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Jeff Louella: It’s not you know is I, I’m still learning right and we still haven’t cracked that nut to there’s some think there’s one podcasts that has like three episodes but ranks like number three in the podcast app for some reason on iTunes and it’s like, why are you there like you have

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Jeff Louella: Four years and you only put three episodes, only one of them had to do with SEO, but yet you rank up there so I’m hoping like the new podcasts how apples breaking it out, out of iTunes now gets a better algorithm that update those

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Jeff Louella: Those, I think, some are trash and there’s no way to really, I’m not going to negative attack and other and other podcasts, but the same time i like i you know we’re really trying to focus on getting our like hey, leave a review, you know, follow us certainly subscribe and things like that.

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Sarah McDowell: How awesome is it when I say when we got our first ever review. Oh my gosh, it was like champagne at the ready because

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Sarah McDowell: And that was, that’s a little bit. So when you first doing the podcast and you, you have no idea how

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Sarah McDowell: Like how it’s going really, like, yes, you can look at numbers. And how many people are listening, but it’s not until you get reviews or even like people reaching out saying I this is an awesome podcast I remember the first time we’ve got an email.

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Sarah McDowell: And I yeah i i lost. I lost it because I was like, Oh my God, but it’s like when people are saying good stuff about your podcast and that gives you more reason doesn’t it to carry on.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, definitely.

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Jeff Louella: So we’re gonna wrap this up and be respectful of everybody’s time but we used to. We usually ask a question at the end of every podcast and

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Jeff Louella: Would this is going to be the question this time. So it’s usually about what kind of advice would you give we usually make a general about SEO, but I want to make it more about podcasting. So what would be one piece of advice you would give someone who wanted to start a podcast.

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Jeff Louella: Tomorrow, you know, what was the first thing or the best piece of advice you can give them

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Sarah McDowell: Make sure is the topic that you’re passionate about and you really can get your teeth stuck into it and you just going to live and believe it because if you’re not passionate about something, you’re just not going to make it work and

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Sarah McDowell: That is the top. And yeah, just make it, make it educational make it fun. Don’t be shared and yeah

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Sarah McDowell: A bit swearing.

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Jeff Louella: I already filled that I don’t

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Jacob Stoops: Care about. Don’t be no good life.

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Jeff Louella: Is good life.

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Sarah McDowell: And but yeah and I mean yeah and I mean I’m I would definitely recommend if you want to do a podcast, definitely do it because you just get like for this conversation right now.

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Sarah McDowell: It’s been amazing. And your gut guys podcast in is so good in I was a bit nervous when you invited me onto yours because I thought, Oh my gosh, I’m gonna have to really work.

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Jeff Louella: We don’t know what we’re doing. We’re just

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Jeff Louella: winging it all the time.

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Sarah McDowell: But yeah, definitely, if you want to start podcast tomorrow. Just make sure you’ve got a topic that you’re passionate about and you’ve got a lie and spend a bit of time on your graphic as well. I’d say that because you need that to like popped in here in the

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Sarah McDowell: Search and format as well. I think of a format. So we, for example, our format is we will have a feature it at the end to make it like fun, and it’s normally Hannah testimony on like my general knowledge which I have no no so

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Sarah McDowell: But yeah, I mean, I think I gave more than one bit of advice there. Sorry.

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Jeff Louella: That’s good bonus. Bonus material. Yeah. Awesome. Love. Love. The. I want to thank you for coming on the show. It’s been great. We’ve really enjoyed the conversation. I was typing the Jake eggs like I could talk to people from the UK all day.

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Jeff Louella: I just love it. But, uh, yeah, thanks for coming on the show and

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Jeff Louella: Everyone else like I’m not sure where this is coming out, but I’m happy holidays. Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: It’s gonna be coming out in a few weeks. We’re trying. We’ve had some scheduling snafu we’re trying to space out the the episodes. So we’re recording three episodes in one

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Jacob Stoops: Week. But nonetheless, go and connect with Sarah go find her podcast. Listen, listen, listen, Sarah. Thank you so much for coming on.

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Sarah McDowell: Thank you very much for having me.

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Jacob Stoops: All right, bye everybody. Thank you.

#34: Casie Gillette

Episode Summary

We talk with Casie Gillette, Sr. Director of Digital at KoMarketing. We discuss:
  • How she got her start in marketing working for an online dating site in the mid 2000s literally handing out flyers in clubs, which actually led to her first SEO job which is ultimately where she fell in love with it
  • How she got to KoMarketing, how she left and then boomeranged right back
  • In-house versus agency
  • Her biggest SEO challenges
  • Convincing clients to get recommendations implemented
  • How she learned to be a confident public speaker
  • The recent SEO’s are assholes kerfuffle
  • The importance of SEO training and education

And much more.

Episode Transcript

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Jacob Stoops: Hey everybody this is Jacob stoops here again with the Page 2 Podcast and I am joined by Mr. Jeff Louella. Jeff, how’s it going?

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Jeff Louella: Hey everybody. How you doing?

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Jacob Stoops: Good. Jeff you changed it up that time.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: We, it’s like, Hey, how are you, hey,

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Jacob Stoops: Hey, like out. What is it out Borland

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Jacob Stoops: And yeah, that’s funny. We’re getting better.

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Jeff Louella: You’re getting better. And now I’m trying to figure it out.

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Jacob Stoops: And we are also joined by Casie Gillette, how’s it going, Casie.

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Casie Gillette: Hey, howdy, I think you’re too old time reference might be overlooked.

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Casie Gillette: Cast. Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, Jeff reminds of Al Borland

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Jeff Louella: Yeah, his

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Jacob Stoops: Side hobbies, and he’s do-gooder.

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Yeah.

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Jeff Louella: Just like out

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Jacob Stoops: Um, so, Casie is the Senior Director of digital at KoMarketing and is really awesome guests. I’ve said this, I think, to a few guests. So I don’t want you to feel like you’re not at all special because you are special and

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Casie Gillette: You sound like my mother.

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Right.

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Jeff Louella: Very special

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Jacob Stoops: But know when we were setting out to when I was setting out over a year ago to do this podcast. And when we kind of sat down for for season two.

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Jacob Stoops: You are definitely on the on the list of people that we wanted to talk to in in there’s a there’s a massive like we basically want to talk to everybody in SEO, but but

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Casie Gillette: It does really, really making me feel good here.

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We’re definitely

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Casie Gillette: I made Season two. That’s exciting. Thank you for having me. Yes. You made it to season to

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Jeff Louella: Meet you in

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Jacob Stoops: Season Season one was entirely just me trying to figure figure stuff out live on the internet. So anyways,

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Casie Gillette: That’s our job. That’s our job is search marketers anyway.

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Jacob Stoops: Well, yeah, yeah, it’s, it’s basically 25 hours of me just gabbing gabbing online and I decided to bring Jeff in to talk with me so

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Jeff Louella: Just for my intro

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah. So in terms of what we’re going to be

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Jacob Stoops: Covering today. So we’ve got a great agenda, first and foremost, we’re going to talk to. Casie about her background and then we are going to cover a little bit of SEO news, surprise, surprise, there was another kerfuffle in the industry.

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Jacob Stoops: Always industry seems to always have a kerfuffle probably once or twice a week.

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Jacob Stoops: That will talk about a little bit of drama and then at the end of the show. If anybody has stuck around to the end.

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Jacob Stoops: We’re going to talk about building a team and SEO training and how to go about that and the importance of doing that.

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Jacob Stoops: So definitely, definitely a great agenda today so Casie, the hallmark of the show, kind of like we’re superheroes is the the origin story of great SEOs and the the backgrounds, the trials. The tribulations. Um, so tell us about yourself. How did you get into SEO and just, who are you

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Casie Gillette: Yeah, loaded question. Um, you know, I was one of those people who didn’t know what SEO was we didn’t know what it was in 2005 I’d never heard of it. You know, I was out of college, I was bartending.

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Casie Gillette: thought, gosh, I guess I should probably get a job in marketing. My parents paid a lot of money for my college education.

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Casie Gillette: And a guy that I knew that that I had just met through the bar had approached me about this job in marketing. I was like okay well what it ended up being was. It was an online dating site.

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Casie Gillette: And but this is 2005 so like online dating wasn’t really a thing. And what we had to do was go out to clubs and hand out flyers for

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Casie Gillette: Dating site, which is awful. Right. That’s just an awful job but fast forward about six months I had stopped doing that, after

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Casie Gillette: Month, I think. And he reached back out and said, Hey, I have this job. We have another job doing SEO. Are you interested. And I said, I don’t know what that is but sure.

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Casie Gillette: And that was it. You know, I was so fortunate because the company that I ended up working for at the time was huge. They were about 150 people in it had people like Jenni Halas and Garrett French and Andy Beal

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Casie Gillette: These people in JP Sherman these people that you know

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Casie Gillette: As these you know industry thought leaders. Well, that’s where they also started out. So I had these amazing people to train me and to teach me. You know what SEO is and

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Casie Gillette: I think like most of us, I just fell in love, you know, you start doing it like, Wow, this is this is exciting and it changes and that’s cool. And, you know, here we are 1314 years later, whatever year it is. Now, I don’t know.

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Jacob Stoops: I hear that it’s going to be 2020

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Jacob Stoops: Oh, that’s

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Jacob Stoops: A new decade or still the same decade people

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah.

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Casie Gillette: No, no, it’s tricky.

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Jacob Stoops: So how did you get to KoMarketing and not only then, how did you kind of climb the ladder to senior director

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Casie Gillette: Yeah, well, just run

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Casie Gillette: I had when I was down in Carolina. I was ready to move up, back, back up north. I was like, I gotta South here.

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Casie Gillette: So I applied to a job at KoMarketing actually and I just, I loved what I loved what they had to offer. Well, at the time, there were only three other people

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Casie Gillette: So I ended up moving up here. There were four of us in total just really small, which was so fun. You know, it was a whole new experience. I went from this big company to a very small company.

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Casie Gillette: And that was really exciting. Now that happened around 2009 2007 2008 right before the economy collapsed.

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Casie Gillette: And you know, we started to lose a lot of client, right, we just didn’t have a lot of business and I was approached to go in house.

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Casie Gillette: Start, you know, start an SEO team there help run the digital marketing team and so

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Casie Gillette: I went and did that for a couple years. And that was really cool. I never thought that I would want to go and house because

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Casie Gillette: You know when you’re on the agency side. It’s so fun right there. There’s all these different things always happening.

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Casie Gillette: But the opportunity was really great. You know, I got exposure to like running TV ads and radio ads, you know, building a social team building a community team so that stuff was really fun.

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Casie Gillette: But I stayed in touch with the marketing guys because they were so fantastic. In a few years into that they said, you know, do you want to come back.

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Casie Gillette: I don’t know. And, you know, Derek, who, who runs KoMarketing was like, well, moving the office downtown. I was like okay now I’m listening.

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Casie Gillette: You know, I live in the city. And I always had to drive out there and my whole dream of moving to Boston was I didn’t have to have a car and I didn’t have to drive. Anyway, so he was making my dream come true.

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Jacob Stoops: There it is.

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Casie Gillette: Yeah, so I mean that’s, you know, I’ve kinda, you know, I’ve been at KoMarketing twice. Now, I’ve been back seven years. So a total of 10

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Casie Gillette: And you know, it’s just, it’s been fun to watch. It’s been fun to help grow the company, the guys who run it are fantastic. We have such great people on the team. We’re really meticulous about who we hire and how we hire and I think because of that we’ve been able to be successful.

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Jacob Stoops: So I’m going to apologize in advance because I’m, what I’m hearing is so you were at KoMarketing in then went in house somewhere and then back to KoMarketing.

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Casie Gillette: Correct.

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Jacob Stoops: Okay, because I was thinking I was like wait, you’re at KoMarketing, but you’re also in house.

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Casie Gillette: Yeah, I’m very to I’m multitasking. Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: OK, so the, it seems like the first time you were doing a lot of off offline TV and radio and and then a little dabbling in in the social space and

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Jacob Stoops: I guess what is so different outside of being downtown different this time in terms of like your role.

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Casie Gillette: Yeah. Well, I think one of the things that was really exciting to me was I got to come in and build a team. And that’s honestly one of my absolute favorite things about my role about this industry.

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Casie Gillette: You know, I do a lot of speaking events. And the reason is, I love that part. Like I just love when someone comes up to you and says,

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Casie Gillette: I’ve never thought about this this way or like, Oh, this is so helpful or, you know, you write a blog posts and someone says,

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Casie Gillette: Oh, I use that and I sent it to my team like it makes you feel like, okay, I’m doing this for a reason.

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Casie Gillette: You know, there’s a rewarding element to it. And as part of coming back. My role here was to build a team who you know we got, I get to teach them SEO. I get to teach them marketing.

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Casie Gillette: And you get to watch them all grow up and become really good marketers and I love that. I think that’s really fun and exciting.

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Jacob Stoops: So have to ask always have to ask this comes up, like every episode, I’m in house or agency.

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Casie Gillette: So I am an agency girl.

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Casie Gillette: I do have to say like there are benefits of being in house one a lot easier. You know you you’ve talked to people who work at agencies I. In fact, I remember when I was coming back to the agency world and

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Casie Gillette: I know it’s like, well, how could she

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Casie Gillette: Like, why don’t you do with clients, but I don’t know like I don’t know about you guys, but I love the challenge, right. I feel like there’s always new challenges and like

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Casie Gillette: When you’re in house you’re only exposed to a minimal amount of things, whereas on the agency side, you know, I have 10 clients. And so I’m seeing all of these different situations.

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Casie Gillette: Just the learning element in the space. We have to keep up. You have to be constantly learning. And I think at the agency side, you get a little more exposure to that because you do have the different things. So for me, if agency, but I certainly understand why people like being in house.

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Jeff Louella: Do you ever feel that you can’t get everything you want to get done.

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Oh, yeah.

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Casie Gillette: Yeah.

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Jeff Louella: We have a set amount of hours where, you know, not sure what that is but you know every

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Jeff Louella: Client is different, but

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Jeff Louella: They’re my I’ve always been an agency. I’ve never been in house and the one thing I always dreamed about was actually being able to just

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Jeff Louella: Sit there and like being internal meetings and hammer own like I have one client who’s blocking right now blocking Google

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Jeff Louella: And and they have been for the last six weeks and their dev teams like, well, we’re just trying to block acts like during the holidays, they’re blocking extra crawlers coming to the site because they’re so fragile.

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Jeff Louella: So sad.

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Jeff Louella: And I just wish I can be in those meetings every day and showing them and I do send reports as don’t know if it gets to the dev team because I’m working with marketing team and

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Jeff Louella: The thing. So sometimes I do dream about being in a house, but, um, but, as you said, like we have 10 different clients. So I just focus my time. Other places where I need it but

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Casie Gillette: Yeah, well, and I also found that, you know, working in house was cool because it’s like, hey, I want to do this. Okay, I’m just gonna go do it.

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Casie Gillette: And if you have that autonomy. That’s fantastic. But I was there for three years. And so, and thankfully I did have three different websites that I was working on. But like

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Casie Gillette: If you’re only working on, let’s say one website. And it’s not like a giant e com site. It’s just a, you know, maybe it’s a B2B site, whatever it is, like, there’s only so much you can do.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah.

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Casie Gillette: There’s only so much for me. I started to get a little bored and it was nice because like I said I got exposure to these other things, but it can get a little enough. Yes.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, I’m sure. I think like you, like you said, You’re an agency girl, I think, like, I don’t know what it, what it is, but I feel like it’s just

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Jacob Stoops: bred into your personality in terms of which side of the fence you you fall on

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Jacob Stoops: Some people tend to lean in house. Some people tend to lean agency for different reasons I’ve said many times I’ve been in both situations and

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Jacob Stoops: For whatever reason, I just tend to thrive more in the agency lifestyle as crazy as it is, it can get. Sometimes I’ve been in house, a couple of times. And each time I, I just, I really didn’t like it.

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Jacob Stoops: Made me. It was a function of just the particular opportunities and what was going on in house at the time.

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Jacob Stoops: But there have been times in my agency life where I’m I think just like Jeff like man, the grass looks really, really green, it would be great just to just to work on one web

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Jacob Stoops: All the time and do it really, really, really well. And then you get on the you get on the in house side and you’re like, Okay, I’m working on this.

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Jacob Stoops: And now what do I do with the rest of my time.

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Casie Gillette: Right, but

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Jacob Stoops: It is nice to be able to like have in developed close relationships with a lot of different stakeholders within the, within the company like it’s nice to

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Jacob Stoops: For example, in my last last role, I was able to just get up and walk two desks over and say, hey,

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Jacob Stoops: Aaron, who was a developer, like I’m trying to get this thing implemented, but like, I’m seeing this error and he would fix it on the spot and go okay great that’ll get pushed live tonight and stuff like that was

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Jacob Stoops: Invaluable. And not only that, but just walking down to to another floor to talk with one of the other teams.

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Jacob Stoops: And get an understanding because they handled customers directly and like working directly with them. I mean, there were a couple of times where we work directly with them to actually create pieces of content.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah subject matter.

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Casie Gillette: That’s like one of my favorite things I talked about that a lot is like when I was in house we talked to the customer support team every week.

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Casie Gillette: Right. And it was so awesome. Knowing here’s what people are asking for. Here’s what they can’t find like here’s what the second yeah so that there are those benefits. Yeah, but

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Jacob Stoops: Like I said, I just, I made for agency. I like the I like the challenge. I like the diversity and I feel as if

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Jacob Stoops: The competition with other agencies.

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Jacob Stoops: In addition to the competition with your clients and their competitors. Yeah, really.

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Jacob Stoops: Really drives me. I come from a sports background so I’m super competitive and not to say that if you don’t come from other backgrounds. You’re not competitive, but I feel like for me that’s

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Jacob Stoops: Plays plays into it. So like I i like to win. And for me, I can see is giving me the best chance to kind of

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Jacob Stoops: Scratch that competitive edge.

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Casie Gillette: Yeah, that’s exactly how I feel.

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Jacob Stoops: So you do public speaking. What’s, what’s that look

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Casie Gillette: Like

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Casie Gillette: Well, no, it’s fun. Honestly, um, I don’t know. I don’t even remember how I got into it, or why, but I just know like once I was up there. I was like, oh yeah, this is for me.

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Casie Gillette: There’s just something to be said about

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Casie Gillette: You know, you’re being in front of your peers and having them listen. It makes you have to up your game. I never ever ever want to go to a conference and disappoint people

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Casie Gillette: And because of that, I think it’s really forced me to make sure that I’m talking about the right things. I’m learning the right things. I’m focused on the things I’m passionate about. I think that’s a huge one.

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Casie Gillette: When I first started speaking I talked about link building about a year into that. I was like, if I have to talk about link building one more time. I’m going to jump off the stage. Like, I can’t, I can’t talk about it anymore.

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Casie Gillette: But I needed to find something else that I was passionate about right and and also you have to find something that not everyone else is saying, although there’s a lot of it right

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Casie Gillette: That in the space, and I’m sure I’ve done it, too. But I just, I just love it. I love what the camaraderie of conferences.

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Casie Gillette: I will say that I have made some amazing friends through conferences that I go on vacation with now that I talked to you in real life that have become like close lifelong friends that are never would have gotten to do that without speaking. So it’s just fun. I just really like it.

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Jacob Stoops: Have you do you get nervous or you just one of those natural, natural because like I feel like it was

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Jacob Stoops: All a couple of couple of guests ago I can’t remember exactly who it was. Alicia or Leisha Anderson or Andrea Bergman, it was like, Nope, I just stepped right up there and it’s it’s easy.

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Casie Gillette: It’s nice. I get nervous. Yeah, there’s a moment not I’m not nervous like

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Casie Gillette: A day before I’m nervous for like that 20 minutes before, but the moment that I’m on the stage. It’s fine. Totally fine. Like the moment that I’m up there. Your adrenaline’s poverty, like, all right, I’m in

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Casie Gillette: And you can’t be nervous up there. So, but, yeah, there’s about I usually don’t eat before I can

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Casie Gillette: Just gotta go.

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Jacob Stoops: It. Go ahead, Jeff.

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Jeff Louella: I’ll just say I don’t speak a ton bone. I do. I usually start off with the dad joke.

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Jeff Louella: When the crowd. As soon as I get them the laugh. And I’m like, all right, I’m good. But, but if they don’t laugh. I’m like, Oh, no.

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Jeff Louella: Luckily I’m so good. They always

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Jeff Louella: Get the greatest dad. Exactly.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, I have this I have this thing and it’s sometimes applies to speaking, but mostly singing in public, where

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Jacob Stoops: It’s literally like, like you said 20 minutes before I’m set to like go on and go on. It’s not like I sing in like these massive arenas or anything. My wife and I sing it a benefit concert every, every color. Yeah, yeah, it is cool.

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Jacob Stoops: But even as small as the as the venue is I have this thing where, when I go on for about the 20 minutes before and even sometimes as

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Jacob Stoops: As close to performing as literally like the song comes on and I’m about three seconds from having to open my mouth. Forget all the lyrics, they just go out of my head.

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Jacob Stoops: Really, yeah. Yeah, it’s like a complete blackout really like scary because like there are times when I’m standing out there. And all I’m thinking is not how well I need to sing more like what do I say

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Casie Gillette: What am I even thinking

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Jacob Stoops: What am I singing and then then the music comes on and I’m still I’m starting to panic. Now, like Panic, panic. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. And then finally,

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Jacob Stoops: I remember like it was yesterday. I opened my mouth words came out and they were the right words and I went along by I went along my merry way and

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Jacob Stoops: For anybody that has that kind of public phobia. The idea of public speaking can be nauseating like nauseating. So I guess what advice would you give to people that struggle with the idea of getting up in front of their peers.

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Casie Gillette: Well, what I was gonna say was, I mean what you just talked about is just the benefit of muscle memory, right, like we talked about practicing. I know there’s people who will say, like, you know, I don’t practice my presentations. I do.

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Casie Gillette: I run through them like you know me I don’t I try not to go, word for word, but like

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Casie Gillette: I run through that thing 20 times because I want to know that when I get out there that if something goes wrong, right, if I can’t see my slides. If there’s technical errors or whatever’s going on, you know, whether it’s fear or whatever that I still know my materials.

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Casie Gillette: But one of the things we do here is we start getting people like some of the trainings that we do involve people giving presentations.

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Casie Gillette: Because you’re only in front of maybe five people or 10 people or whatever it is you start small.

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Casie Gillette: I tell anyone you know who’s looking to get into public speaking. Look at a local event like I started just doing word camps that were here in Boston.

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Casie Gillette: Events like that, or just like local SEO meetups where you know people give you an opportunity new speakers, they’re expecting new speakers, where you don’t. They don’t care if you mess up, right. Those are the things that that for me, it’s like know your material and start small.

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Jeff Louella: You have done a couple when I used to live in Philadelphia and we had a pretty vibrant SEO Meetup group. They’re called SEO grill and

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Jeff Louella: I got to speak there a couple times and I do small events. A lot of times I used to run a homebrew club making beer.

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Jeff Louella: So I would I would do presentation. Yeah, you know, a it was funny when I decided to start a club. I was like, I don’t want to do work after work.

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Jeff Louella: And I enjoyed the air and me, my friends who started brewing were like, you know, we want to meet other people to do it. And then we started a club and then that grew to 300 people

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Jeff Louella: My guy, and it was insane. Like we were just at this one bar on the Tuesday night would just be packed to the gills.

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Jeff Louella: The guy would never have any traffic on the Tuesday night before, and so it was a good time. But from there. I learned a lot of just, again, if you know your material like if I talked about SEO or if I talked about home brewing, I can. I don’t need slides, I can just talk about it, but

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Jeff Louella: But yeah, when you’re in front of a bunch of people, it can be be scary. So, but where did you get from like

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Jeff Louella: The confidence. You know, you start off bartending. You’re saying, and then now 10 years later, you’re in stage, you know, Mosque on

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Jeff Louella: And then there’s many of us who’ve been doing SEO just as long. And, you know, haven’t gotten past the meetup groups.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah, so

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Casie Gillette: Honestly, I again I’ve just been really lucky, like the support of the community, I would say. So even when I first started doing like I did an SMS show and it I

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Casie Gillette: One of the benefits. I was working in house right and I do think there’s a benefit when you’re in house that if you’re looking to speak, they’re more open to having you right

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Jeff Louella: Now big brand behind. Yes.

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Casie Gillette: Yep. And so that was really helpful. But at that show I met a couple people, you know, Elizabeth awesome Alaska who worked for third door for a long time. Greg Finn.

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Casie Gillette: There, people who just became my friends, but they also were these huge support systems. And so they were encouraging me to start writing for Search Engine Land. Right. So they got me doing that.

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Casie Gillette: You know, they would encourage they would help me with my pitches. Right. So I’ve just been really lucky I think in that the people that I have surrounded myself with or gotten to know have all been so supportive

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Casie Gillette: You know, even I was doing. I got invited to do search love one year in London.

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Casie Gillette: And a friend of mine, Aaron Friedman, who I had met through another show like we spent the night before our sessions just practicing with one another.

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Casie Gillette: And so, those kinds of things. Just, just really help. I don’t know. I’m not a shy person.

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Casie Gillette: I think that that makes the biggest difference is I know people in the industry will talk about, you know, I’m very introverted, or I’m very extroverted like I am an extrovert. I just very much am I enjoy being around people.

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Casie Gillette: I like conferences, I’d like being in crowds. So that part I think certainly helps because you know when you’re just out there just being loud, like I am. I don’t know if that helps or not, but

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Jacob Stoops: Funny. My wife is exactly like that, and I am. She is like the type of person that never met a person that she couldn’t talk to and like immediately make them like her, and be her friend and I am like, I’m a nice person, but I am

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Jacob Stoops: The opposite where like when I get into big crowds situations. It makes me like twitchy uncomfortable super uncomfortable.

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Jacob Stoops: Which is the yeah I then find it odd that I choose to do a

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Casie Gillette: Podcast right out there.

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Casie Gillette: Talking to people. I mean, I will say this, like, I don’t love I’ll be the first to say that I don’t love networking events like where you’re just with a whole bunch of strangers, but like

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Casie Gillette: I just like myself up for it. So you just, I just get mentally prepared and then you’re just you’re in, you know, I’m fine. Once I’m in it, but

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Jeff Louella: Yeah, I mean, it was tough moving like

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Jeff Louella: I know you. It seems like you’ve moved around a little bit, but I lived in Philadelphia for 42 years

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Jeff Louella: Wow started to move to Atlanta and pick up the family and move and it was really tough for my wife at first.

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Jeff Louella: But she is that type of person to you can put her in a room, she starts chatting with people and I think she’s actually impressed herself with how she can. She’s like 1000 friends now.

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Jeff Louella: And and the ones in there going, like I have a couple people. I kind of talk to you.

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Jeff Louella: I’m still I’m like texts with my friends back home, but it’s and she’s out every night, so it’s it’s interesting how

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Casie Gillette: I

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Jeff Louella: Put yourself in that position, and then you can like, get out there. Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: You don’t it, Jeff, you’ll have a few more friends.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah. That’s what the internet’s great

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Jacob Stoops: So Casie, what are some of the biggest challenges that you run into operating in the agency world.

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Casie Gillette: Um, I mean, I do think, you know, it just thinking about the team, you know, thinking about hiring. It’s so competitive right now, you know, especially, you know, we’re a smaller agency. There’s a little under 30 a few of like 30 of us.

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Casie Gillette: And when you’re trying to hire that like 123 years person. It is like just a battle.

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Casie Gillette: Axe and especially here in Boston, where there’s a ton of companies and a ton of tech companies and even just a ton of agencies, right.

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Casie Gillette: A lot of the big digital, you know, the big agencies, you have like digital us and you know those places who are now trying to get in the game, and they’re willing to pay a lot more

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Casie Gillette: To have those 123 years like I think hiring has certainly been a challenge. And we’ve been really lucky.

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Casie Gillette: Make our team is amazing. We’ve been able to get some really good people in, but then you have people who are constantly recruiting them away.

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Casie Gillette: So it’s like a battle. It’s like such a battle right now from that perspective.

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Casie Gillette: But then you have clients and you know to Geoff’s point earlier, there’s only so much time right there’s only so much time, you only have so many resources. I have a client right now that I adore. I love them to death.

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Casie Gillette: Unfortunately, when the search results changed in June with that big update. They weren’t penalized. But what happened was the search results themselves shifted so much

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Casie Gillette: That they went from being in you know the position one at the top of the page that didn’t have a lot of elements to now they’re

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Casie Gillette: In position to be ahead of them are now sponsored products and a map and the Knowledge Graph and people also asked box and so their traffic just tanked. And when you see that like

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Casie Gillette: It’s just gut wrenching because, you know, like I’m doing everything I can to help this client, but I can’t get them back there, right, like unless those search results change like I can’t get them back there.

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Casie Gillette: So that stuff is is just, it’s so challenging and frustrating because you have these clients that you love and you want to help them but

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Casie Gillette: Sometimes you just have to say like we have to change our, we have to change our strategy right and i mean like a complete one need to change our strategy. So I think that that’s a tough one.

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Jeff Louella: I mean it’s tougher all these days with Google putting so many other elements on the page. Besides that, besides just organic and it is surprising. Sometimes when I still do well. And there are other things on that page.

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Jeff Louella: But you know Google’s tracking all that, too. So they’re also going to be changing those features around a lot. Yeah. And I do

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Jeff Louella: You know, I think it’s really important to start spreading out into other mediums.

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Jeff Louella: Cuz you’re going to have video links are going to have image links and it’s like if we don’t optimize our images or maybe add videos like those are areas we can get to

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Jeff Louella: I think figuring out a track it all is another aspect. Um, but, but one of those is like there’s gonna be 10 listings above you, that are just not organic. And how do we get into those listings

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Casie Gillette: Right, and even, like, you know, for that same client. I mean,

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Casie Gillette: One of the first things we did. We’re like, All right, let’s get like FAQ schema on the site right like they have FAQs the search results are showing FAQs. Like, let’s get this up. Let’s test it. Let’s see what that can do so.

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Casie Gillette: We’re really trying everything we can think of here to help with that. But sometimes you know there’s there’s only so much that we can do. But yeah, I love your like, but like you have to diversify. Some people just don’t want to hear that, though.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah, and it’s hard to diversify. Right. I mean, one reason when Jacob asked me to come on to the podcast was like something I always wanted to do, but I know it’s a lot of work to do it.

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Jeff Louella: And it’s like there’s a whole bunch of new algorithms. I got to learn because it’s like to get your, you know, a podcast even

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Jeff Louella: Show up like it’s learning right it’s like you on iTunes. We don’t show up yet. But there’s ones out there that haven’t been talked like having the three episodes and haven’t been uploaded in 10 years entered like number four.

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Jeff Louella: It’s like why so that’s not the that’s not Google. I feel like if it was Google. I don’t understand it but

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Yeah.

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Jeff Louella: Exactly so. So

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Jacob Stoops: When people don’t want to hear it. How do you approach that because I feel like I’ve said it like 80 million times the implementation, especially on the agency side is our biggest problem and then

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Jacob Stoops: Changing hearts and hearts and minds and figuring out from a psychological perspective, what can you do or say to get people to kind of come around to your understanding of a situation or the reality of situation, how do you, how do you go about that.

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Casie Gillette: I mean, one thing that I take a lot of pride in. And that, you know, specifically here at KoMarketing is like we have really good relationships with our clients.

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Casie Gillette: You know, I have a client that I’ve worked with since I started here and she’s like her fifth organization and she just brings us with her everywhere she goes, it’s so awesome.

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Casie Gillette: But because of those relationships we are able to be very direct about it, right, like, one of the things that I really do pride myself in is

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Casie Gillette: I’m not. I’m never gonna lie to my clients right so like that example that I told you where search results shifted

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Casie Gillette: You know, I said like, look, we can keep trying to get back, we can keep trying to get back for this keyword all you want, but unless this changes.

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Casie Gillette: There’s nothing that we’re going to be able to do. But here’s the data that shows here are the other things that we can do right so

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Casie Gillette: In fact, one of the one of the girls who works here put together this sheet yesterday, this data set for this client that specifically looks at their competitors.

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Casie Gillette: We’ve been trying to get them to do a couple things.

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Casie Gillette: They’ve been a little bit hesitant to do it. She pulled all this data that’s competitive data search volume data like potential revenue data that now we take that and we present to them like here’s the actual financial impact of doing this.

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Casie Gillette: And I think that helps the one thing I always tell people I’m like just show them competition just show them their competitors.

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Casie Gillette: Like, especially when you’re talking to the C suite. If you show them like here’s what your competitors are doing. They absolutely are always like, Well, why aren’t we doing that.

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Casie Gillette: So I do think that helps is, you know, just just being honest and direct, you know, using the data you have, and, you know, if you can get buy in from from the upper level that that goes such a long way.

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Jacob Stoops: Do you find that they believe their data or the data that you provide them.

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Casie Gillette: I do it. But, you know, the one thing I do like is I think our clients are very smart. That’s actually something that’s changed that’s gone wrong.

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Jacob Stoops: Like I wanted to rewind that the

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Casie Gillette: The one thing that has definitely shifted over the past, you know, seven years, specifically for me being here is our contacts weren’t always

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Casie Gillette: Search savvy and now they are much more savvy when it comes to understanding SEO paid search, whatever it is. So our clients, not only they will question the data if it’s if it’s wrong, or if they have questions, but they understand it. And I think that is really, really helpful.

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Jacob Stoops: What do you think is led to that higher degree of understanding

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Casie Gillette: I mean, I think, just as the guy was so much more well known.

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Casie Gillette: Right. I mean, there’s still people who don’t necessarily know, but you know 10 years ago was like this little thing that maybe someone did. And it was such a niche. Whereas now, it’s a thing that they teach in college, which is amazing.

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Casie Gillette: But I think there’s just so much more awareness of it and people who who need to understand it.

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Jacob Stoops: You guys ever like I like even five years ago, I had never once on in like a traditional medium heard anybody like refer to SEO. So it was like the thing that I do for my living is like this super

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Jacob Stoops: Secret sort of thing to the to the public. And now, like I’m driving around done listening to in I’m in Columbus, so it’s 97 when the fan my sports radio and when you start to get the commercials in the ads there a company’s advertising SEO services. And I’m like,

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Jacob Stoops: Holy crap, this is becoming more mainstream whereas five years ago, like, no, you never saw it. I even today I’m ups. I’m upstairs and I’ve got a TV.

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Jacob Stoops: That can play I can play the YouTube and YouTube ad came on and it was for a digital marketing and SEO company. And I was like, well, about a year ago, I didn’t see much of that going that going on.

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Jacob Stoops: So you’re right it is becoming a little bit more, more.

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Casie Gillette: What we do it was on Jeopardy jeopardy. We’ve made it. Yeah.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah, one of my

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Jeff Louella: Favorite my favorite podcasts is a radio lab. And for the last two months or three months they they’ve been brought to you by wicks

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Jeff Louella: And all they’re talking about his mixes SEO capabilities.

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Jeff Louella: And I’m just like, oh, this is my favorite pocket. Like they their whole podcast is about like breaking things down. I wish they broke their average

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Jacob Stoops: Amy and knowing them, which just shelled out $25,000 to Marie Haines bolting like for winning the the wicks SEO contest and

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Jacob Stoops: Like

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Jacob Stoops: I was like holy shit if I didn’t know there were, there was 25 grand on the line, I would have been like, all right, I’m in. I let me let me get in there but

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Casie Gillette: I you know I appreciate it, that it goes to someone like her, though, who actually knows what she’s doing. Right. That, you know, I think she made a comment today, like, you know, she had eight people working on it for six months or something like

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Casie Gillette: But, you know, you see someone, it’s like okay this is a person that I know is smart. I know knows what they’re doing like better than some, you know, shady person.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah, well, when they ran a competition. Last year I know with a Patrick stocks, he like it was it came down to between him and someone else and

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Jeff Louella: You know, there was a lot of shady stuff going on on on some of those people were being bought and and and that was part of the rules and he couldn’t buy links so i know i don’t think Patrick was I think the guy who won.

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Casie Gillette: The other guy did yeah and it’s

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Jeff Louella: So it is an interesting thing. I give wicks credit because SEO is love like that again, there were competitive so

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Casie Gillette: That they’re on it to

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Jeff Louella: Totally like if we’re not in it. We’re crap.

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Jacob Stoops: I couldn’t believe the size of the font, though, man. I was like,

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Jeff Louella: That

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Jacob Stoops: You’re serious about this 25 G’s. Cool, man. So Jeff,

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Jacob Stoops: Let’s move to the next segment. What’s in

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Jeff Louella: Right.

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Jacob Stoops: Let’s get to the drama.

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Jeff Louella: Yes, more Twitter drama. So there was a post by think I’m gonna probably announce it will just say, Holly cuz she what’s her name on there but

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Jacob Stoops: I think you’re

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Jeff Louella: Blocked yeah girl Ziploc

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Yeah.

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Jeff Louella: But she pretty much came out and was saying in the first two pages of Google never surface any personal blogs or personal websites anymore.

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Jeff Louella: And everything it’s worthwhile like a question, you look at

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Jeff Louella: You know, it’s just being optimized bunch of bunch of SEO assholes. And that was a word to use, and I thought it was awesome. But at the same time right there was like you know as SEO assholes were kind of going out and saying there was a lot of different post out there so

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Jeff Louella: I know someone like Joe Hall, kind of like some of us aren’t assholes. And we took the time to learn the algorithms and stuff. And I think there was a lot of battle going back and forth between

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Jeff Louella: Is someone who is not so familiar with SEO and if I could see you know like you type in

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Jeff Louella: Anything and not anything but anything that’s like a probably a broader keyword. You can have a major company show up for it.

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Jeff Louella: Especially if it’s like something you’re trying to sell you know if you’re typing in iPhone or something like that. Like, you’re going to get a big brand, whether it’s apple or BestBuy or somebody there. And yes, they all have SEOs working for them.

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Jeff Louella: But it was the outrage was kind of interesting with it, where I mean john mule Mueller posted about it like you want to know what people thought

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Jeff Louella: You know bills. Yet all the big name as you guys out there, Bill slough ski, um, you know, there was an interesting conversation. I don’t know what your take, was it on

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Jeff Louella: Jacob, but it was really interesting kind of post between it because I really feel that, yes, there’s big brands out there. I think I understand why there’s big brands out there. I don’t think it’s anything. It could be. It’s not shady. It’s a grower trying to optimize for that.

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Jeff Louella: I do feel like there are some bad SEOs out there and they probably are doing bad things. But overall, we’re all trying to make our clients site more for the customers.

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Jeff Louella: And that’s why Google showing them over other people and that’s kind of what I feel that’s going on but I get her pain.

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Jeff Louella: Why, she’s, she’s like, if you don’t know that. And you’re just a blogger and you wonder why your blogs loss efforts traffic or isn’t getting the traffic. It means like, of course, you’re just gonna blame the people who specialize in that so

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Casie Gillette: I mean, at the same time, though, if you’re just realizing, like you’re so behind

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Casie Gillette: That’s why you’re not showing up anymore. Right. I

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Jeff Louella: Mean

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Casie Gillette: This started changing how many years ago, I personally don’t have any patience for that so

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Casie Gillette: I just don’t like one. I try to stay out of the SEO dramas, just like again I just other things that I’d like to do

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Casie Gillette: And usually it’s just people I think sometimes people like to argue

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Casie Gillette: I do think in one of the things I do

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Casie Gillette: Love about the SEO space and the people in it is that people are very protective of it right and it goes back to what we were just talking about were five years ago, people maybe didn’t know as much about SEO as they did. So I do think people are very

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Casie Gillette: protective of the Community as a whole, protective of what we do because we’ve always had to be a little bit defensive about it because let’s be real, like when I started the ship were doing was not like well as shady. Right. You’re just buying links and

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Casie Gillette: And it worked. And it was awesome. And you know there are people who are still figuring out how to game the system and at the

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Casie Gillette: End of the day, like, yes, like we’re not personally. It’s not like I’m doing over here doing anything shady, but I am working really hard to innocence game that algorithm. Right. I want my client site there and so

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Casie Gillette: What does that mean, well, it means you have to have a brand presence and it means you need to have content and, you know, yeah, these personal blogs don’t necessarily have that. So maybe they shouldn’t show up.

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Casie Gillette: And what are you trying to show up for so

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Jeff Louella: I don’t know i just i and i can show them like I didn’t want to get into because I’m anti drama myself, but I can show her where there’s personal blogs meeting some of my clients that

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Are driving. Yes.

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Casie Gillette: And it goes to the it goes to the sense of diversification exactly what we were just talking about, you know, for people who maybe you don’t have a big brands like you need to be looking at, you know, social or whatever it is, or medium or these

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Casie Gillette: Other platforms where you can gain

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Casie Gillette: Visibility because, I mean, even for my clients. I’m like, look how much time you have left in Google here, right.

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Casie Gillette: Time is limited for alive. So, you know, whether you’re a blogger not have enough people to sell things to complain, but

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Jeff Louella: What I find interesting.

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Jacob Stoops: About this is like, just like you guys said there are certain queries like across some of my clients were like

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Jacob Stoops: Half of the results are product pages and half of the results are articles.

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Jacob Stoops: blog articles resource articles, things like that. And as an SEO. It’s like it’s really interesting to try to figure out what Google thinks the real intent is. Is it informational is it transactional

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Jacob Stoops: But I would say to like the first comment about how, like, okay, Google never almost never surfaces blogs and personal websites what and my Google Pixel is going up as I’m saying saying this, so I’m

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Jacob Stoops: Always listening Google

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Jacob Stoops: It’s let’s just actually in inaccurate and I’m for, you know, I hate to to rail on this particular person. I don’t know what search that they were doing, but like honestly the last place I worked like we grew our traffic in about a year by like 100% and almost all of it was like

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Jacob Stoops: A blog. Yeah. And that brought in a lot of business. So like, there’s that.

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Jacob Stoops: The second part of this is the, the kind of more kerfuffle were like, Okay, well, just because there are people online that that optimize things to show up. We’re, we’re all assholes. Well,

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Jacob Stoops: Now you something like I feel like there are some because there are two sides of the fence one on one side of the fence. You’ve got people

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Jacob Stoops: In I think rightfully so, defending the industry and the people in it as not all assholes. Okay. And that and that’s true. Like, we’re not all assholes. But there are some assholes. It’s just like other place on Earth. There are things in there. There are not assholes in any profession ever

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Casie Gillette: So, you know, there’s people that are in this industry that I like very much but they’re still assholes.

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Casie Gillette: Right, yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: There’s, there’s even that. But then there are

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Jeff Louella: People on

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Jacob Stoops: The other side of the fence. And this is where I feel like for me in terms of my opinion because I believe that when

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Jacob Stoops: We’re all being generalized as assholes. We have a right to push back. But there are people on the other side of the fence and

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Jacob Stoops: I don’t understand it quite as much and I’m trying really hard that in one case like Tom Raynor who was a was a previous guest on the show and sometimes has

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Jacob Stoops: Some, some opinions on this, this type of stuff basically getting upset at the people for defending the industry and pushing back on on this type of stuff in there were other people saying, hey,

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Jacob Stoops: You’re missing the point. You’re missing the point. And I agree, like, okay, what what’s great about this country is that people are allowed to have

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Jacob Stoops: Opinions and there is freedom of speech and that’s awesome, but there’s not freedom from accountability. Right. You have the right to say whatever the hell you want

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Jacob Stoops: And so to other people. And you mentioned earlier that Twitter is great for our Twitter wouldn’t exist if people didn’t arch. You didn’t argue

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, absolutely. So anyways,

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Jeff Louella: Okay.

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Jacob Stoops: Anyway, so let’s so let’s move on. Let’s

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Casie Gillette: We can hang with us all day.

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Jacob Stoops: Let’s quickly. Let’s get into kind of the team building want to be respectful of time. So let’s jump into the team building component and deep dive on that really quickly. So, Casie. How do you build a good SEO team.

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Casie Gillette: Yeah, so this was something that I was asking.

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Casie Gillette: You know, five years ago, six years ago, like I said, when I came back to KoMarketing. Um, there were probably about eight people eight or nine people that were here at the time and you know we were growing and I realized that once you hit that 10 to 12 mark.

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Casie Gillette: You need things like processes which like I hate my life just like God, like, all right, we need to do something like how do we actually make this scalable.

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Casie Gillette: And so I started talking to just different people in the industry about how they have grown their teams, you know, I was talking to will Scott

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Casie Gillette: Talking to Mike Arneson about like what they do for training and, you know, just thinking what these people were telling me I was like okay like

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Casie Gillette: What we actually have to do is, is give people the tools that that are going to make them successful but also you have to give them the process to lead them there. And I think that’s something that I struggled with a little bit

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Casie Gillette: Because I just don’t love having to tell people to do something a certain way because especially with search. There’s so many nuances, you know, and I see people who are like, Okay, well, you told me that I have to have 60 characters. And so I have 16 and I’m like, Oh, no.

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Casie Gillette: I just had

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Jacob Stoops: Somebody today asked me how important the little green bubble is in the Yoast SEO plugin.

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Casie Gillette: Yeah yeah yeah yeah that’s fine. So like you have to consider all that but I mean one of the things that that we realized is

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Casie Gillette: One. You just have to we start people slow

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Casie Gillette: But we also give them that you know we give them templates for things and we give them the tools they need and we give them the information they needed and

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Casie Gillette: You know, now we have managers who are helping and there’s people above them who are we’re guiding them through the process, especially people who they don’t have any experience with SEO. Right. They don’t know what it is. So I would also say the one thing that we have certainly changed.

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Casie Gillette: Is focusing on the user. And that’s one thing that I tell people the team now especially new people.

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Casie Gillette: When it comes to things like keywords is I always tell them like think about the user first. And that’s something that even that I feel like has changed.

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Casie Gillette: But you have to really think through all of the nuances that come with search and and that’s tricky, but I think when you’re building your team, you know, you learn it as you go. I’m still learning new things every day.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah. It’s funny, I always tell

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Jeff Louella: There’s different everyone has different ways of doing things.

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Casie Gillette: Right.

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Jeff Louella: When it comes to the title tags. Like, I’m kind of the anti like pipe between like keyword pipe keyword pipe.

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Jeff Louella: And just I’d rather it read something better and. And at the end, it’s not even like I don’t like pipe client I like you know by client or something, some so read, you know, it’s like

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Jeff Louella: A new Nike sneakers. But, you know, from whoever and it’s

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Jeff Louella: And it just little things like that were getting people in brand new and SEO and they read a lot of articles you just end up seeing it, like, way more robotic than it needs to be. And

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And yeah.

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Jeff Louella: Jake’s working on a lot of training stuff where and our work and it’s kind of, it’s tough to get the full gamut of everything you do.

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Jeff Louella: In there, so we’re trying to build a slow kind of library of videos and that when someone new comes in, they can go through them.

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Casie Gillette: It’s a great idea.

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Jeff Louella: I think just the relationships between

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Jeff Louella: People senior people and junior people is where I think a lot of team building needs to come from. So

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Casie Gillette: Yeah, and I mean even thinking about

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Casie Gillette: Like, how are we starting them so like we don’t just immediately drop someone into like doing keyword research. For example,

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Casie Gillette: But what we might have them do is optimize a page which forces them to figure out like how do I find the right keywords and how do I make sure that

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Casie Gillette: I’m you know I’m whatever I’m changing still relates to the user. But it also forces them to go look at search result so

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Casie Gillette: You know, kind of easing them into all of the elements before saying like, all right, like I’m going to have you go do this, this full scope of keyword research or whatever it might be.

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Jacob Stoops: How do you when you’re bringing people into the team, right, there’s

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Jacob Stoops: Just like in sports, right, there’s, there’s the X’s and O’s. Right. But then there’s also an element that’s a little bit more on definable called chemistry right and fit.

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Jacob Stoops: Within the team structure. So when you’re bringing people in and it doesn’t just have to be intro people, it can be mid level and senior people

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Jacob Stoops: What are the characteristics of a person that you look for in terms of that person’s fit as you’re constructing your team. Yeah.

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Casie Gillette: We said, I mean as an organization, we sat down about two years ago.

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Casie Gillette: And it tried to answer that question because we were we, you know, we really wanted to take hiring, we really take it seriously because again we’re a small team. So the people that you’re hiring. You’re putting a lot of investment into that person.

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00:50:05.040 –> 00:50:18.600
Casie Gillette: And what we figured out is the people that were looking for, they have to be self motivated. I think that’s the biggest thing is like, we don’t have time. I don’t have time to micromanage people and also who likes that. Like nobody

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Casie Gillette: Can nobody likes that. So you have to be an element of being self motivated and in this industry where things change, like we’re talking about, you need to go figure. You have to be curious. Right. You have to go figure out

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Casie Gillette: Well, I looked at the search result yesterday, and now I’m seeing something different, like why or like last week, my client was here and now they’re not why

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Casie Gillette: So I think between being self motivated and curious. Those are such like key elements for us in the desire to learn is a big one, a really big one. So I love when we interview someone

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Casie Gillette: Excuse. Excuse me. I love when we interview someone and they say,

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Casie Gillette: Yeah, well I’ve been doing this but I’m really interested in this. So, you know, I went in took like the Google Analytics test because I wanted to learn about it right or

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Casie Gillette: I went and looked at HubSpot x because I wanted to learn about it. That’s the stuff that really intrigues me and I’m like, all right, this person, this person is going to be a good fit. So

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Jacob Stoops: Are there ever and I want to be. We’re running out of time so I’m squeezing squeezing questions. Are there ever people that check those boxes, but then come in and still are in a culture fit and how do you, I guess. How do you figure that

393
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Casie Gillette: We, we haven’t we haven’t had that honestly it we’ve been so lucky. I met. Oh.

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Casie Gillette: But we do like when the people come in, like, we’re very we work in an open office.

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Casie Gillette: Right. And I’m very just apparent like the questions that we ask are, you know, the questions I asked her what type of environment. Are you looking for. How do you like to be managed. How do you learn

396
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Casie Gillette: You know what, what is your, your dream job. What you know those questions, kind of, they can give you a lot of insights into that.

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Casie Gillette: But we also will have, like, it’s not just the leadership team who’s interviewing these people. We have their peers come in and talk to them.

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Casie Gillette: We have a, you know, middle managers come in and talk to them. So, you know, at the end, we’re all deciding does this person seem like a fit. And I think that helps

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Casie Gillette: Okay, we’ve had like one, maybe, maybe there’s like one

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Casie Gillette: So we’ve been lucky I guess.

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Jeff Louella: Awesome. So if you know you ain’t got a couple drinks and you’re talking to the bartender and the bartender says

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Jeff Louella: Hey, I want to follow the same steps that you did. I want to get into SEO. What kind of advice would you give them to go like come from, like, you know, bartender waitress or, you know,

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Jeff Louella: Any type of job into the SEO world.

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Casie Gillette: I tell people all the time. Start build a website.

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Casie Gillette: Even though they’re not showing up in search results.

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Casie Gillette: You know, start playing around with WordPress. I think WordPress is the easiest place to start.

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Casie Gillette: But just building your own site. I think that’s your best test environment you’re never going to learn more. That’s how, like, I didn’t know HTML. When I was coming out of school.

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Casie Gillette: I just started playing around with it. I started building my own websites. I’ve read like I got like HTML for dummies. I own I bought SEO for dummies.

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Casie Gillette: Me.

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Casie Gillette: You learn this stuff by doing it.

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Casie Gillette: And that’s never in that goes

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Casie Gillette: Back to the start of our conversation on being in an agency where you have these different places to play and explore and

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Casie Gillette: I would say just go and I tell the team here. Like if you want to learn. People are like, oh, I want to learn HTML, you can, it’s, it’s not really that hard.

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Casie Gillette: There’s plenty of places to do these things, but go start go start playing around and read. I mean, I read an hour every day. So every I pay attention to what’s what’s whether it’s on Twitter, whether it’s on my feed Lee feeds. I still read every single day to learn what else is new.

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Jacob Stoops: Reading is very, very important and underrated skill in this industry.

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Jacob Stoops: Well. Casie I’m know you’re running out of time and have a hard stop wanted to thank you so much for coming on. Where can people find you.

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Casie Gillette: Yeah. Thanks for having me. This was fun. You can find me on twitter at Casie G. You can find me. I always say this, I’m LinkedIn. I’ve never on LinkedIn. Don’t find me there.

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Casie Gillette: Find me at KoMarketing com

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Jeff Louella: Cool, thank you so much.

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Jacob Stoops: For coming on and I know our audience will will love your episode. It was a great, great discussion.

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Casie Gillette: Well, thanks. It’s good to talk to you guys.

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Jacob Stoops: Thank you.

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To talk to you.

#33: Patrick Stox

Episode Summary

We sit down with Patrick Stox, Product Adviser at AHrefs, former technical SEO at IBM, and co-moderator of The TechSEO subreddit (one of the best SEO subreddits going right now) and organizer of several SEO meetups in Raleigh, NC.

We talk about:

  • How the downturn in the economy caused by the 2008 financial bubble led him to a career as a developer which eventually led him to SEO
  • His time at IBM
  • What he’s currently up to at AHrefs (also pronounced “Hrefs”)
  • The importance of practical experience rather than simply having a degree
  • The announcement that Speakable structured data is no longer restricted to news content
  • And so much more.

#32: Ashley Berman Hale & Jamie Alberico

Episode Summary

We have an amazing episode in store for you today as we have not one, but two guests!

In today’s episode, we chat with Ashley Berman Hale, Director of Technical SEO consulting and professional services at Deep Crawl, as well as Jamie Alberico, Technical SEO consultant at Not a Robot.

We had such a free-flowing conversation that we ditched the traditional format (as you will soon find out) and we covered a ton of topics including:

  • Ashley and Jamie’s backgrounds and career progressions into SEO
  • Their amazing friendship
  • Why they love technical SEO
  • Dealing with impostor syndrome and self doubt
  • Public speaking and writing
  • The conference circuit

And so much more.

Episode Transcript

1
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Jacob Stoops: Alright. Hey everybody this is Jacob Stoops we are back for another episode of the page to podcast and today we have a very, very special episode where we have not one, but two guests and I will let you know who those guests are in a moment. But first, I’ve got to say hi to Jeff.

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Jeff Louella: Hello everybody.

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Jacob Stoops: And everything. Make sure we don’t skip Jeff.

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Jacob Stoops: And then guests. Number one is going to be Miss Jamie Alberico. Jamie, how’s it going

5
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Jamie Alberico: I’m so sad to be that guy. First thing in the podcast, it’s out there we go.

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How are

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Jacob Stoops: You. I am

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Jacob Stoops: I gave you the Midwest pronunciation with the Bad accent. So I am

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Jamie Alberico: Okay.

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Oh,

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Jamie Alberico: It means else King

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Jacob Stoops: What, no.

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No.

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Jamie Alberico: Alberico means elf King, Jamie means usurper.

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Well,

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Jacob Stoops: Well, I would say, I was gonna say Game of Thrones. Because of you, soccer, but elf is more Lord of the Rings, so

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Ashley Berman Hale: Or D, amp D do it on

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Jacob Stoops: there or there you go that’s that’s probably a better a better reference, but I actually don’t play d&d so the other person speaking, surprise surprise is Miss Ashley Berman Hale. Hi. How’s it going, Ashley.

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Jamie Alberico: Good. I couldn’t keep

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Ashley Berman Hale: My mouth shut, until you

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Jacob Stoops: Enjoy your now.

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Jacob Stoops: Did I pronounce your name right.

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Ashley Berman Hale: No.

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Yes, la

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Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Thank you very much.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah, there’s nothing like face palming the the intros and messing up somebody’s name immediately. So

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Jacob Stoops: Can wish I was the

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Jacob Stoops: Was the first time I’ve done that. But it’s but it’s not you think I’d learned

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Jacob Stoops: Cool. So thank you everybody for being here. I know in Jamie’s case she’s kind of out on the West Coast. So it’s a very early morning so

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Jacob Stoops: Extra Special that she has decided to join us. I did want to make a few remarks and tell a quick story before we kind of dive in.

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Jacob Stoops: The one, one thing is I wanted to pay a bit of tribute my wife’s Grandpa. We just came from his funeral. This weekend and today actually would be his 100th birthday.

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Jacob Stoops: So he decided to to not wait we had planned a surprise birthday party for him on this this past Saturday, and we were, we had had hired a an old

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Jacob Stoops: Style crooner we had had because he’s a Italian we had had a nice Catholic

35
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Jacob Stoops: BLEEP something sent from the actual Pope in Rome, we had had the governor of Kentucky, the President of the Cincinnati Reds all kinds of people.

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Jacob Stoops: provided some really special things for him to honor his 100th birthday.

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Jacob Stoops: Unfortunately, about three weeks ago he passed away and he pulled one over on us. So instead of going to a surprise 100th birthday party. We went to his funeral this weekend.

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Jacob Stoops: But today, would have been his actual 100th birthday. So what I can only hope is that he, his wife preceded him by about five years is that she called him up to spend his hundredth birthday with her. So Hank Picciano if you can somehow, hear me, we love you and we miss you already

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Jacob Stoops: So now, now that I’m

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Jacob Stoops: A little sad. Sorry, I’m trying goes, it’s still a little Ross of trying to do. I’m trying to hold it back here, but

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Jacob Stoops: Wanted to tell the story of how we were able to book both Jamie and Ashley at the same time and

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Jacob Stoops: I hope that it didn’t come across super creepy. But basically, when we were thinking about Season two. And we were trying to figure out, okay,

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Jacob Stoops: Here’s everybody that we’ve already talked to, and here are the people and it’s a large group of people. You guys are extra, extra special. Obviously, but it’s a large group of people, because there are just so many fantastic SEOs in the in the space and honestly

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Jacob Stoops: We’re going to try to interview every single one of them, because there are so many, but it could take years.

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Jacob Stoops: Which is a good thing. Since we have a podcast but basically we when we had thought about who we want on Ashley and Jamie were kind of close to the top of the list.

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Jacob Stoops: And so we had started, we had started reaching out to people and especially in cases where you don’t directly know each other’s but you are kind of tangentially connected

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Jacob Stoops: As we were in a, in a few cases, you just kind of go through the the different channels. The, the email.

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Jacob Stoops: We use you use whatever’s available to us. So Jeff was connected to Ashley through a text Slack channel. I was connected to to Jamie through Twitter.

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Jacob Stoops: And then we had found somehow emails. I think we pulled them from Jamie, I think I called your email from your website.

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Jacob Stoops: I think it’s not not a robot, which I want to ask about that. And then I somehow we found Ashley’s here. I don’t know. But anyway, so we’re reaching out and we’re in the process. And it’s occurring on the same day and

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Jacob Stoops: We came to found out to find out that not only were we both reaching out to you guys. At the same time, you are literally sitting in the same room while we’re trying to schedule this so

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Jacob Stoops: I’m sure that especially because you didn’t know us directly. It was like these creepy guys trying to schedule us for a pot.

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Jacob Stoops: Yes.

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Jamie Alberico: Actually these guys want to schedule a murder. What are you doing,

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Right.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Numbers.

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Jacob Stoops: Vary

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Jacob Stoops: But you guys

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Ashley.

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Jamie Alberico: Ashley had just ordered some some birthday brunch for me. And we were at my kitchen table and drain eggs Benedict and something to listen to a local bit around here. And yeah, we both got the same message like hey, she just got an invitation for pitch to

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Jamie Alberico: The oh

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Jeff Louella: Yes, funny.

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Jacob Stoops: Well luckily it all. It all worked out. You guys are a good sports and we appreciate you all coming on. So,

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Jacob Stoops: As as everybody who listens to this podcast knows the hallmark is origin stories backgrounds and what it’s like to be to be an SEO and since we have two

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Jacob Stoops: Guests on this podcast, we’re going to be doing two interviews and depending on timing will probably skip, skip the news. Maybe we’ll

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Jacob Stoops: We were going to maybe talk about tech SEO boost, but I think we can skip that for now. But we’re going to be doing to background story interviews and then later on a deep dive into just general technical SEO. So who wants to go first. Who would like to step up to the plate.

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Now that

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Jamie Alberico: Oh you have see

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Jacob Stoops: All right, Jamie. Since it’s six in the morning or seven in the morning there and you’re

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Jacob Stoops: Fresh on game.

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Jamie Alberico: Yeah, yeah, I was bitten by a radioactive search engine.

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Jamie Alberico: My Uncle Ben and now I’m here.

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Now you’re here.

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Jacob Stoops: Miss Peter Parker Pedro Parker. Oh.

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Ashley Berman Hale: What was I here, for I got frustrated with other jobs and I like to tinker. All right. Um, I mean we can tell the long story if you want actual details. Is that what this podcast is about

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Jacob Stoops: Right, exactly. I was gonna say well podcast is over a

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Jamie Alberico: Couple of little one liners are like

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Jamie Alberico: cash the check.

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Yeah.

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Ashley Berman Hale: I think that was Jamie’s really good job of loving it back to me because

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Ashley Berman Hale: There for me to call not it. So I will get started.

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Ashley Berman Hale: I have a degree in art history which is fantastically useless in the traditional sense.

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Ashley Berman Hale: But I, I love it. Critical thinking is something that is a little bit tough to teach. If you don’t have it. So thank you, college for giving me that

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Ashley Berman Hale: And the first non waitress job I took or non dish dish washing and a bar or non making coffee was a sit down job at a small startup.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Where I had to answer, answer emails for people who are too busy to answer their own emails and pretend to do that. So that was how I got started made friends with the CFO did some audience because I’m picky as hell.

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Ashley Berman Hale: And knew that there was money missing saved him a bunch of money. They got bought out by Overstock and so we got tossed in I got brought down to the exact office there to help out and had someone say, here’s a giant fucking spreadsheet. This is pay per click. Can you figure it out.

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Ashley Berman Hale: And that was tough. And I said, I don’t like this. And I like cool. How about XML sitemap, have you heard of those

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Ashley Berman Hale: So the way that I got started as just trying to figure out how to do that for a big site with lots of inventory. I went and asked questions in a forum, I believe so strongly and

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Ashley Berman Hale: Sharing public information and helping each other. So while I was asking and waiting for an answer. I decided to answer some other questions and got stuck here.

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Ashley Berman Hale: God there’s ultimate nerd forum environments for me to learn in and for me to be moderately accepted by and then I kind of hopped around a bit and found myself very comfortably nestled in the technical SEO spot for a software company.

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Who

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Ashley Berman Hale: High five.

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Ashley Berman Hale: High five. That’s, I mean, I’m still a really good. Well, no, I’m not. I’m still a really good dishwasher and a moderately okay waitress. So I’ve got backup plans.

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Jamie Alberico: How many friends today. Gary Owens now.

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Like seven

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Ashley Berman Hale: My, my arms.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Around children. So, you know,

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Jamie Alberico: fallback plan is ready.

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Jeff Louella: Yeah. During the dark during the.com bust. I went to bartending school because I figured the internet was going to go away. And I was like, you know, one thing people like to do when times are bad is drink so

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Ashley Berman Hale: I believe it. My family owned a bar and like the Dyess state in the tree. So my family were bar owners in Utah, and actually under brewery in Montana and they always did. Okay. Because whenever there is, you know, a lot of money or religious oppression beer helps. Yeah.

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Jamie Alberico: And actually makes really good homemade Kula and it’s almost Christmas Ashley.

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Jamie Alberico: I know well

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Ashley Berman Hale: I will bring you a batch. I’m making a local New York match. But then I’ll be back to Colorado. Nice.

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Jeff Louella: Guy have three gallons of lemon cello going on back here for

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Ashley Berman Hale: Them. He’s not lying it people

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Ashley Berman Hale: Dang. All right, jack you got plans later I’m gonna hang out with you.

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Jeff Louella: All right, let’s do it. I got tons of stuff here.

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Jeff Louella: The whole wall whiskies over here to

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Jamie Alberico: Why are we not doing this from just garage.

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Jeff Louella: Come on.

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Ashley Berman Hale: All right, Jamie I deferred you long enough. Now you have to tell

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Jamie Alberico: Magical story. I did the coffee kicking. I was supposed to be a player, right, which is a weird thing to say. And I guess I can certainly do that.

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Jamie Alberico: But that’s where my degree is in my passion was like, I’m gonna write plays and comic books, and then the recession in 2008 head and call times were longer than normal. And I’m trying to contact my student loan folk and find some way to pay them and he

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Jamie Alberico: You know, I was waiting tables at a sushi bar and

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Jamie Alberico: Wasn’t really glamorous bit and got into basically any job that would get me away from cutting my fingers and carrying

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Jamie Alberico: His family without being pushy, the end of the day.

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Jamie Alberico: It’s a really where my stories prematurely.

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Jamie Alberico: Like I did other things at some point somewhere.

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Jamie Alberico: I was a blogger Outreach Manager. That was my first gig, which is pre Penguin on if you are trying to connect to me on LinkedIn. Right now, I would offer the pro tip of remove

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Jamie Alberico: link building from your title before you send that letter.

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Jamie Alberico: Susan, thank you. I’m sure you’re a lovely human I’ve just been hurt before by choosing to copy pasta.

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Jamie Alberico: To the job and house for e commerce company. We like to me doesn’t products and I look back and go, Oh, it’s so cute little that

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Jamie Alberico: actually ended up working for Ashley. So here’s where I story interconnected. Yeah.

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Jamie Alberico: I interviewed a local agency and then local Jeannine the first interview, do you think is great. Like, we’re gonna put you on a video interview with our had tech SEO. We were like team Tomahawk

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Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah, that’s

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Ashley Berman Hale: Bad racial appropriation.

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Jamie Alberico: Sorry, I’m stating historical facts.

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Jamie Alberico: admitting to whitewash history right now.

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Jamie Alberico: And we’ve learned better and we’re doing better.

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Ashley Berman Hale: I just have a lot of apologies in life.

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Jamie Alberico: Hashtag relatable well interview with Ashley, I’m there was this this magical creature who knew all this world of technical SEO is just like a PG podcast. What kind of language. Can I bring to the table right now and reenact

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Jacob Stoops: Wherever you’re comfortable with.

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Jacob Stoops: George

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Jeff Louella: You’re

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Jamie Alberico: In trouble if I tell if I

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Jamie Alberico: Tell the internet that it was love at first Cocker so I’m interviewing with Ashley and we’re talking

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Jamie Alberico: I don’t remember what the deal was I think about previous job and what it was like waiting tables and somehow the story of an individual thing rather cantankerous king came up and actually

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Jamie Alberico: Miss, miss a big like always being a cock sucker. When you’re that guy.

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Jamie Alberico: On a moment we bonded and the person that hired me immediately most tech out to john Schilling, at that time, because they took us. He goes, where

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Jamie Alberico: And the bathroom children have both Marketing SEO traditional style and dev didn’t really have a new should have our own just yet.

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Jamie Alberico: I picked them several months they, you know, kick it back to me and be like, Yeah, I want you to join the team and that time I like waiting for Android little cards like, Hi, thank you so much for the opportunity to interview I really want to work with Ashley.

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Ashley Berman Hale: And I will do anything once somebody flatters me and we have great chemistry. So it was, it was awesome, because it was really important to me to always do some peer collaboration with technical SEO, in particular, just like you do peer reviews. When you’re coding

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Ashley Berman Hale: And it’s really important to me to reach back and bring more women, along with me so

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Ashley Berman Hale: I wasn’t far ahead and I’m certainly am a decent click behind Jamie now because she’s, she’s had a really fast trajectory. But the fact that I can bring more women on to a technical team was really fucking awesome.

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Jamie Alberico: It was 100 recent article women on that game. Yeah, yeah. There were two of us.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Math.

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Jeff Louella: Jackie.

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You. Yeah.

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Jeff Louella: It’s awesome. So

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Jacob Stoops: So I think the first thing I would ask is what is it about technical SEO that excites both of you will like why because there’s there’s all kinds of different types of SEO like

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Jacob Stoops: Depending on like different bat. It’s like you almost get to pick and choose what kind of SEO you like to do, and I feel like

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Jacob Stoops: You kind of have to be able to dabble in a little bit of everything. But I feel like over the course of time people develop their specialty based on you know what they what they enjoy most. So what is it about technical SEO specifically that you guys enjoy

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Ashley Berman Hale: I like thinking about the evolution of it. I always think of the adage that, you know, back in the day, everyone was their town doctor and you’re going to college. This was also your dentist.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Let that sink in for a second and then, you know, we started getting better and getting specialist. So I think we’re in a really cool time of SEO where there are these deep specialists.

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Ashley Berman Hale: I got into technical SEO because I was just so curious. Like, that seems so smart and clever and an interesting

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Ashley Berman Hale: That I wanted to learn it and I wanted to learn from smart people. Also, I am just a shitty marketer, like the anti marketer. I can’t write

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Ashley Berman Hale: Like if someone asked me write a blog, I would rather quit my job I’ve come close before a video the nine. The people who hired us who were very gentle and patient, they definitely gave up after making me white write one blog, and I, I just, I can’t promote and so for me.

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Jamie Alberico: For like 4000 words, it’s still one of the best resources on

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Jamie Alberico: Security at that time.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah, well, I

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Jamie Alberico: Wrote Gordon Duff and beautiful.

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Jamie Alberico: White Paper, essentially. So let me give you credit

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Yeah.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah, not liking it. It’s really hard, whereas the technical stuff. I am a voice and a snoop. And that’s why I like the Internet.

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Ashley Berman Hale: And I snoop on people in my free time and I snoop on your site during work time and that’s why I love it. I like to go find problems and tinker and figure out what somebody busted and how we can make it better.

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About you, James.

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Jamie Alberico: Oh, I fell in love with technical SEO I missed it. I was hired for cascade and as a marketing SEO went to work on the blog and all that, but in my domain was, you know, monitoring our

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Jamie Alberico: keywords and we were, I think, the second or third largest e commerce site for restaurant equipment on suddenly all of my rankings just

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Jamie Alberico: fell out they’ll drop the bomb dropped them and maybe we can figure out what’s going on. And that led down and it’s really good 11 day binge.

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Jamie Alberico: Like some people go to Vegas when they go on a binge. I went like an 11 day binge of like trying to figure out what happened to this website. And at the end of it. It was a home of homebrew CMS, the result we had to break the site. Fine.

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Jamie Alberico: And kind of start from scratch. I had to go here and learn about how to map all of the specific content together, how to figure out when things were no longer useful. That’s my son yelling at us right now, by the way. Hi tank boy. Say hello to the internet.

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Jacob Stoops: By the way, I super impressed that you managed to keep talking without breaking stride as you let your cat in and open your curtains. That was pretty. That was pretty awesome.

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Jamie Alberico: Sorry internet tank takes precedence on all matters. Yeah.

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Jamie Alberico: That’s, yeah. I fell in love with mechanical co authoring getting that chance to

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Jamie Alberico: Say what we say a dying site. We have to go through to make a series of very dramatic changes and that rebuilding at home growing CML and increasingly great band of it.

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Jeff Louella: I think it comes down to a lot of

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Jeff Louella: A lot of people get here, and that’s one reason I love like the origin story he’s because we all get here in different ways and whether you’re coming from a technical background or not it. We all one thing we have in common is that curiosity to dive deep

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Jeff Louella: And 11 days to their I spent. It’s funny, I used to do web development and

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Jeff Louella: Most of my friends were on AT LIKE AFTER MIDNIGHT AND ONCE A while I’m not on online as much that late night. But when I am. It’s still the same people, same developer guys like cuz it’s like some reason my brain starts tweaking and start doing well at like 11 o’clock. Yeah, so

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Jamie Alberico: That weird golden hour of Cannibal logical brain that

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Jamie Alberico: Yeah, we do later in the evening.

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Jeff Louella: So it’s fun. And I’ve spent many, many, many hours just like going down a rabbit hole and no one ever know like at the end of the day, my wife will be like, what are we doing go four in the morning, not just like

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Jeff Louella: I don’t know. I was trying to get some code work and sometimes it’s just you missed a period somewhere and now it’s two in the morning and

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Like

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Jamie Alberico: fancy clothes.

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Jeff Louella: So, and then having that like coming into the SEO side of things, really, kind of, it’s interesting. It’s one thing I have trouble with with new guys coming into SEO. It’s like

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Jeff Louella: I want to learn technical SEO and I’m like, are you willing to stay up for 10 days and try

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Jeff Louella: Out some piece of something that just drives you crazy. You can’t go to sleep until you figure it out and and you can’t teach that, of course, and it’s one of those where we trying to figure out what like how do I get that into a lot of my team. How do I get into them and

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Jamie Alberico: Either. How do I do that.

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Jamie Alberico: Cheryl ambition interview process. You just give them two pieces of drinking a paperclip go kidnap and see

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Jamie Alberico: If they can do is that you’re new to this.

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Jeff Louella: Never thought about that one.

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Jacob Stoops: MacGyver style.

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Jamie Alberico: Yeah, I mean I was figuring out how to make an unusual shape spec for they had the actual app items when

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Jamie Alberico: I was a game changer for me a call. I can go ahead and make all these API calls. And I can begin to reuse this work and, you know, each time I do I swap out, pick up, pick and choose configuration and

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Jamie Alberico: Let me scale up so they get good pieces learning to be a Technic technical SEO is after you’ve gone through and burn yourself out on an insane rabbit hole that you know showed you some great things as to how do I read that information.

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Ashley Berman Hale: You’re failing nine and 10 times tinkering around then SEO technical SEO for you.

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Jamie Alberico: So you want to fail, like a flying SPACE MONKEY and plume of fireworks and we have a career for you.

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Jacob Stoops: One thing I am finding interesting is I think three out of four of us have a background in the in the arts. So I come from a graphic design background. We’ve got an art history background.

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Jacob Stoops: And then kind of a playwriting background. And it’s like, That’s not very technical stuff I’m I mean I’m sure there is some technicality to it, but it’s not like code in as my in laws say Jake works on computers and really don’t, um,

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Jamie Alberico: I mean, check out gun applies the code and the playwriting

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Jacob Stoops: Right and

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Jamie Alberico: They got enough one a bit of fire and three

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Jacob Stoops: I just wonder where the not even necessarily the the technical SEO. The, the SEO part of it. But with that kind of a background amongst all of us, where do we feel like

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Jacob Stoops: The, the need and the passion because I’m very passionate about.

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Jacob Stoops: Technical SEO as well, although I don’t like to be bucket it as a technical SEO. I like to be bucket it as just more of a general like jack of all trades, but

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Jacob Stoops: There is a certain passion for getting in and getting my hands dirty and, you know, with a website and coming from a graphic design background. I just wonder like sometimes. Where did that come from.

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Ashley Berman Hale: I just

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Jacob Stoops: I can’t even put my put my finger on it because graphic design is more art, whereas I feel like technical and coding and building websites is a little bit more science. So I don’t know, maybe I feel like. And I guess I needed some balance in in the second half of my life.

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Ashley Berman Hale: And I have I have pretty strong feelings about that after being chastised for mocking my degree.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Listen, my dad looked at me and rolled his eyes and he said, good luck paying for college on your own.

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Ashley Berman Hale: But art history is one of those degrees, where people are like, what the hell are you going to do with that so

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Ashley Berman Hale: I will tell you that the greatest thing I learned from my degrees to spend time looking

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Ashley Berman Hale: And critical thinking. Because what you can do is you can uncover individual parts of a painting or learn about someone’s life or what was going on in the culture was going on in the economy.

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Ashley Berman Hale: With diseases were being spread based on the iconography.

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Ashley Berman Hale: And when you look at someone site, you’re essentially stripping back layers of. Where are they getting their imagery. What’s the content. What’s the history of the site and how many hands gone through

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Ashley Berman Hale: And then you pull back further to see what the bones are and where the skeletons are hidden the bad ones, the broken bones. I don’t know where I’m going with this. Yeah, but

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Jamie Alberico: Someone redesigned it and it was like that fresco about the will and his woman repainted.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Oh yeah, the none.

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Ashley Berman Hale: None that repainting yes we have done many

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Sites in our life.

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Ashley Berman Hale: But it does feel like there’s a really good intersection of I think Fine Arts and Humanities help teach people to be open about humans and to look critically

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Ashley Berman Hale: At what they create. And so while I have a laughable degree to some people, and I’ll be the first to make a joke. I really don’t think I could do what I do today without having spent the time and learning how to unravel the story from that degree.

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Jacob Stoops: I think that’s a great point night I honestly I never thought about it that way. And I remember being in college and thinking a little bit. The

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Jacob Stoops: The same thing as I was kind of getting getting deeper. Maybe that’s why it never actually worked worked out for me.

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Jacob Stoops: In terms of the graphic design in college and kind of taking that into A into a career because I was worried about money and how I was going to pay for things and so on and so forth. And it’s not necessarily unless you’re really, really, really good or really rare.

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Jacob Stoops: Talent not saying SEOs aren’t talented, but I think

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Jamie Alberico: At that again from the machine.

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Jamie Alberico: Right, while you’re in a job.

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Jacob Stoops: Great. You don’t even know. Exactly. Exactly. And I think like the timing for me was just right because this is like mid 2000s. And as I was flaming out of college SEO was

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Jacob Stoops: A great opportunity that not a lot of people could could do at that point in time. And I was like, well, well, there’s my differentiator. There’s what, there’s. What can make me unique and I feel like a lot of people

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Jacob Stoops: Ended up like that, in terms of looking looking for something else and not necessarily knowing what it was and not being able to put your finger on it. But before you know it, you’ve got a job in SEO at that time. Not a lot of people knew how to do which made it incredibly valuable.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah. Was it was pretty that’s kind of

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Jamie Alberico: My philosophy.

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Jamie Alberico: And I find that my analytics philosophy is if if L statements for trying to muscle. So I absolutely deplorable and how good your do my mid term on the meaning of the word completely terrible back knowledge now deeply, deeply value that code is just living, we’re looking at it. Yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: So one thing I detected and Ashley, I’m calling you to the carpet again. And the reason I’m calling you to the carpet, not necessarily calling you to the carpet in a negative way we do talk a lot about self doubt and imposter syndrome and how

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Jacob Stoops: Powerful that can be and based on kind of what you had said about the writing and not necessarily feeling like you’re a good writer. And I’ve actually i feel like i’ve read your, your stuff for quite a while so like I think you’re doing something right.

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Jacob Stoops: Like, do you ever feel a sense of imposter syndrome and like self doubt. And I don’t know, I just, I always like to dive into that ask

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Jamie Alberico: You actually

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Ashley Berman Hale: Do I every single waking minutes, um,

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Ashley Berman Hale: No, I think that

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Ashley Berman Hale: You know, it’s a pendulum. I think that, in general, I feel like I am utter bullshit at most things

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Ashley Berman Hale: But the one thing that makes me feel good about myself and about the work that I’m doing is when I can help somebody else, whether it’s to solve a problem or

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Ashley Berman Hale: To get a better job I end up being this random career counselor and helping people get good jobs which I actually like I love doing.

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Ashley Berman Hale: But I, I really struggle with my knowledge and I had to come to terms with. I’m never going to be the

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Ashley Berman Hale: smartest person in the room. But if you’re the kind of person that surround yourself with smarter people like you’re in pretty you’re in a pretty good spot.

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Ashley Berman Hale: And I may not be the most clever, but I do like to learn and I have an appetite to learn and to try to understand so

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Ashley Berman Hale: imposter syndrome is really, really, really, really real. And I suffered in other areas of my life, including being a parent and playing a sport, but

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Ashley Berman Hale: If you can find one thing about yourself that you can put work toward that you can feel good about I’ve found that it allows me to sort of keep going.

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Ashley Berman Hale: And when I can’t. I call Jamie and she usually tells me to buck up that I am an important person with, you know, capital T thoughts and I deserve to be here and I can help people so

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Ashley Berman Hale: But it is something I struggle with. And it’s not even this passive struggling, it’s, I mean, I can’t even tell you I have

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Ashley Berman Hale: So I have OCD, but like obsessive thought patterns and one that’s been in my head for about 17 years is waking up and just wanting to scream into the void Mia, what the fuck am I even doing

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Ashley Berman Hale: What is this like and you could probably go back through my Twitter and see like how many times I’ve actually tweeted tweeted that out is like what am I even doing to help. Um so yeah I don’t recommend it but if anyone wants to talk about the old capitalized syndrome from here.

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Jacob Stoops: Understand in the reason I asked was, and I hope it didn’t come across as rude. Um, I saw I suffer from it as well. It’s like it’s, it can be crushing sometimes and for me.

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Jacob Stoops: Part of digging myself out of it was that this podcast going and feeling like, hey, I am good enough to go and talk to all of these really smart people, and I do know enough to be able to hold my ground.

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Jacob Stoops: With some of the best best folks in the in the industry and there’s just, it’s not just here, it permeates a lot of different parts of my life, and it is it is a daily

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Jacob Stoops: A daily struggle, and I know like it has been other than SEO. In general, probably the most frequently reoccurring subject across every episode of the podcast. So in the industry for whatever

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Jacob Stoops: Reason, you’ve got a bunch of people suffering from imposter syndrome. And it’s, I just, I find it quite amazing because of how many smart people there are, that people

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Jacob Stoops: That are that are that are incredibly, incredibly talented don’t seem to believe in their self and I just keep asking why, why is that, and

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Jacob Stoops: I think one of the best things that can come out of this podcast is to let people know. Like, you’re not alone. Some of the best people in the industry have self doubt literally all the time.

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Ashley Berman Hale: All the time. All the time and

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Jamie Alberico: I think our industry is made for it, though.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah, it really is.

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Jamie Alberico: Our end everything we do.

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Jacob Stoops: Yeah.

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Jamie Alberico: I’m there is very much the chance. You’ve been down this rabbit hole for so long. You come back up. You like Melbourne coast.

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Jamie Alberico: You’re no longer sure if you’ve gone full broken Roomba or have you figured out something incredibly valuable. Yeah, yeah.

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Jacob Stoops: And I feel like there are times, especially if you work on the agency side. I haven’t necessarily experienced this quite as much in house but like

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Jacob Stoops: There’s a lot of pressure and you can be the the best SEO, but if you’re putting a situation where there’s just no opportunity to succeed, doesn’t really matter how good of an SEO, you are. For example, if a client doesn’t implement your recommendations and then nothing

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Ashley Berman Hale: Happens right so

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Jacob Stoops: I think even the best SEOs go through a lot of failure and hopefully a lot of success as well, right, or we wouldn’t have jobs, but I think there’s a fear of

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Jacob Stoops: Failure with our clients as well as success and sometimes it’s in our hands and a lot of times it’s not

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Jacob Stoops: And I think for me, like there are times when that part of its crushing like okay, what can I say to make them think differently or to make them realize that hey, this is actually

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Jacob Stoops: We’re doing. We’re doing well, even if the results don’t fight look like it yet, stuff like that. So there’s a lot of pressure.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Well, sorry. Is it okay if I hop back in here cuz yeah

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Ashley Berman Hale: Well, and you’re dealing with such smart people. Right. I might think I’m clever and then I take two days off to roller skate and drink myself into oblivion, and come back and the entire industry has changed. So it’s very easy to feel like you’re slipping.

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Ashley Berman Hale: But I, I really, really love this new trend that our industry has of kind of coming together to support each other because I have a pretty big gap.

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Ashley Berman Hale: In my SEO career as far as paid jobs and it was because of the toxic environment and the culture that we were in it just didn’t feel good it felt kind of gross like there was some shitty things happening.

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Ashley Berman Hale: But now I i love that people are talking more to each other. If you don’t know Mary Davies and the industry. She has created groups that help people and give them a safe place to talk about

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Ashley Berman Hale: Their personal struggles that I find really incredible. And for me, personally, I’ve I’m trying to be very brave capital, be brave, about talking about my mental illness and my doubts and the bad days that I have

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Ashley Berman Hale: And I have felt not only accepted but embraced and holy shit, I still have a job like some of the stuff I say in public. I can’t believe but

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Ashley Berman Hale: Being able to be out there and be vulnerable hasn’t hurt my career as far as I know.

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Ashley Berman Hale: But I would just encourage anyone if you’re in that place and you feel any sort of really from talking about it. You’re in good company and not in good company. As in, like, hell yeah let’s have a depression party.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Because I have thrown other parties that are better, but you’re in good company in that there’s generally some really compassionate people here that can empathize and can stand by you.

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Ashley Berman Hale: And sometimes that’s all you mean like sometimes I get a lot just from going to Jamie’s house or meeting somewhere and working side by side without even talking

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Ashley Berman Hale: I’ve worked remotely for 10 years. So that’s very important.

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Jamie Alberico: Yeah, come on, really.

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Ashley Berman Hale: You’re three

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Jeff Louella: Now you’re if three of being removed, I guess, somewhere around there and I do

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Jeff Louella: sometimes miss having that camaraderie in the office where you you can’t talk about some of the stuff that’s on your, you know, things that are on your team. I mean, I really feel after watching a lot of the tech SEO boost stuff.

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Jeff Louella: I’m like, wow, I think, I think I need to really step up my game because 80% of that was about Python and machine learning, which

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Jeff Louella: I do think has you know a place. It just seemed like a whole conference based on it kind of made me like think overnight. I’m all of a sudden going like, I’m so far behind. I think it’s just why

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Jeff Louella: I always felt like I was pretty

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Jeff Louella: Much always a little bit of a step ahead. But I think one. Now we have with there is such a great tech community.

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Jeff Louella: That it’s like, oh, I think the tech guys aren’t the ones that are out there like pounding your chest, saying, look at me, and think now we have

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Jeff Louella: More of that community. And you know what the tech SEO slack group that were in there and I’m just like, wow, there’s like a million tech SEOs i thought i was like a one of a kind.

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Jeff Louella: And now there’s just yeah like that whole conference. I was watching going okay

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Jamie Alberico: I mean jr was like, and I made my own internet

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Jeff Louella: Yeah.

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Jamie Alberico: The bar was raised.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah, the best like I swear to God, if I wasn’t married. He’s in trouble because those brains.

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Jacob Stoops: Looking I’m smart and like, I’m like, people like Jr. I’m like damn it I blame you. It’s your fault for being so smart, and I’m so

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Jacob Stoops: And

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Jeff Louella: So,

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Jeff Louella: He’s got that Southern charm.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Tuesday. Oh yeah, well,

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Jamie Alberico: Cupid, though, and I think we need to I

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Jacob Stoops: Know, I know.

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Jacob Stoops: Matt.

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Jacob Stoops: Was being facetious. This

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Jamie Alberico: But

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Jamie Alberico: Something that I’ll share my story here about feeling stupid and Ashley really being there for me because it’s like

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Jamie Alberico: So we went to tech. Are you into Google IO together. My first I, oh, I think it was 2016 HF, we went to. And if you’ve ever been to IO, you can go to

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Jamie Alberico: This panel to panel to panel with the most amazing experts in their field who knows so much on are bringing so much to move the community forward on to celebrate. I spent the day

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Jamie Alberico: Together concert every year and I spent the concert in bathroom so 27 hyperventilating and having an absolute panic attack.

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Jamie Alberico: On why I was there on how I had taken a spot from someone who could event here and using this information actually done something with it.

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Jamie Alberico: It was it was a terrible, terrible sensation. But at the end of it. I learned to offer myself grace and in those moments where I am clearly the dumbest kid in the room.

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Jamie Alberico: And that’s okay because I’m still in the room, and I’m willing to ask those questions that seem so one on one. And I feel like I’m willing to

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Jamie Alberico: Learn from people who are a lot smarter than me so Ashley prides herself on and curating up selection of really, really beautiful and brilliant people

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Jamie Alberico: Being around her and I learned to get there myself learn that it’s okay to feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. Like that’s officially now my happy place is an absence of gravity just picking a point in my horizons. Right.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah, I, I considered a special talent to be surrounded by people that are smarter than you and then instead of feeling self conscious. If you can find comfort there and excitement there, then you’re you are good. I’m going to do.

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Jamie Alberico: Like roller derby for the ego.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah, yeah. I’m also the worst roller derby player, but if you can find comfort in getting your actual ass kicked. Then it’s for you.

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Jamie Alberico: Humble here again because you just

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Jamie Alberico: Want on fallible brawl.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Oh yeah, I wonder, be prom queen, you guys.

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Jeff Louella: I’m so nice.

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Jacob Stoops: How long have you been doing roller derby.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Um, two and a half years, something like that. Not very long. It’s the first sport. I’ve ever played and I am an overweight, you know, working person who sits down for the last 36 years of my 36 year life. So it was a trip and a challenge. But heck

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Jacob Stoops: What, like what puts you because roller derby is not something like people do very often. So like you’re sitting around two or three years ago, like

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Jacob Stoops: Maybe I think I’ll go do roller derby like how did that come about.

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Ashley Berman Hale: So, um, I have two very fabulous daughters and the oldest one was into real interview she had read a graphic novel called roller girl, which is a fantastic graphic novel.

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Ashley Berman Hale: And she was interested in doing it, but I didn’t know anything about it. And we found out that there was a local team for adults and juniors

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Ashley Berman Hale: And she wasn’t quite old enough, and so I told her that I would give it a shot and see how this whole roller derby thing worked and

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Ashley Berman Hale: I gave it a shot and definitely threw up like my first night there, but was like dude, this this gear is expensive. I have to do this three months. Otherwise, like

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Ashley Berman Hale: I’ve made a financial mistake which makes me nervous. So I stuck on for three months and just kept going.

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Ashley Berman Hale: It’s a, it’s a funny environment. I know it seems you know a bit abrasive. But I will tell you that I have found

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Ashley Berman Hale: More community with other women there than I have any other place in my life more acceptance more diverse women, they will absolutely murder you on the track, but they’re the first ones to pick you up off the floor.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Constant compliments and encouragement, so maybe I’m there for the ego. I’m not the best roller skater. But it just feels really good to be around genuine people that want to see you succeed, but also are not going to go easy on you.

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Jacob Stoops: And that are going to elbow you in the face.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Sometimes I mean that’s not fully legal, but hey, but you know they’re the first person is to drive you to the ER and bring you a muffin while you’re waiting for the x ray so

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Ashley Berman Hale: So it’s a really solid community. I would say that, you know, when we work on computers so much. I would encourage you to get a hobby that involves your hands or physically wearing yourself out that’s been really important for the balance of my mental health to

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Ashley Berman Hale: Anyway, joined realtor becomes skate with me to cover letter b.com alright, just kidding.

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Jacob Stoops: Farther

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Jacob Stoops: Now, forgive me for my roller derby knowledge are there men’s roller derby circuits.

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Ashley Berman Hale: There are

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Jacob Stoops: Indeed, wow.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah, there are Myrna which is my favorite acronym is the one and it’s the men’s roller derby Association. There’s a great team in Denver, where Jamie is there, same all over the country.

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Ashley Berman Hale: Still pretty female dominated. It’s a for women by women volunteer run sport all nonprofits. So we have a pretty strongly, but in the men’s roller derby women are also welcome to join. So usually when I meant to be one or two women.

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Ashley Berman Hale: But yeah, get out there strap on your skates.

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Ashley Berman Hale: I had no one to help you come up with a penny Derby name.

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Ashley Berman Hale: I got you. Oh.

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Jeff Louella: No, I’m gonna be taking my daughter to we were she’s found a new love for roller skating.

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Jeff Louella: And I mean, she’s only nine now but she’s I told her I was gonna take it a roller derby and she’s super excited but then the the league that’s around here went on break. But it could THEY COME BACK THE END OF JANUARY so

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Ashley Berman Hale: We’re on break too but Jeff, you said ping me offline because my nine year old was the one who got me into it.

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Jeff Louella: That’s awesome. Well, hopefully it doesn’t get me into it into it but

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Ashley Berman Hale: But it’s hard to roller skate and not smile so straps escapes on

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Jeff Louella: Agreed. Now, they were fun. We go out there. We every kid in my house has a sport and my one daughter. We finally found. She’s an artist. She’s the artist of the family, but we found her sport, which is roller skating so

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Ashley Berman Hale: Isn’t that crazy how it works. Um, so, Jacob and Jeff, if you’re okay with this. Since we talked earlier a little bit of imposter syndrome. I’m going to

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Ashley Berman Hale: I’m going to say off topic. Real quick, and want to put them on a last thought out there on that item is just that we’ve had a lot of suicides in our industry, the past few years, there’s been I think I know this. There’s been too many one is too many. But there’s been too many

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Ashley Berman Hale: So I just open invitation. If anyone out there is Phil and rough and wants to chat. I am wicked good at bad memes mom jokes inappropriate comments and drunk texting, so

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Ashley Berman Hale: Just reach out and talk to someone. Yeah, I would.

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Jacob Stoops: I would say the same. I would offer the same invitation. I’ve

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Jacob Stoops: I mean, not everybody has been able to have experience with people going through that I do have

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Jacob Stoops: Experienced not necessarily myself but somebody very close to me has been battling with that and having those types of thoughts. So I’m maybe a little more well suited than than, than the next person. So I would also offer

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Jacob Stoops: Community to anyone that needs to talk and

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Jacob Stoops: Please reach out reach out you’ve got you’ve got friends, you’ve got family. Don’t let it go too far.

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Jacob Stoops: Don’t let it go too far.

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Jacob Stoops: Okay, we just got

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Ashley Berman Hale: Really really taken like I am so sorry I’ve cried twice so

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Jacob Stoops: It’s gonna be done.

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Jacob Stoops: Once I’ve almost tear it up. So, man.

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God, I’m gonna

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Jacob Stoops: Get me here. Um,

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Jamie Alberico: Well, I think it was monotone robot and I’ve been a beautiful because we are fallible soft, squishy people

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Jamie Alberico: And being real humans is what keeps us together in a world that’s based on ideas and one TV respond partners and

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Jacob Stoops: Those that were not a robot came from.

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Jamie Alberico: Not a Robot coming from Ashley Berman Hale. Yeah, her bio section of the website says, I’m not a robot and she was sharing this off to me.

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Jamie Alberico: Just fantastic getting tickets and make a new branch all together, have an interest in doing well, can I

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Jamie Alberico: Have to Google domains bought the domain fun drinking game. By the way, just go when you get drugged by random domains.

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Jamie Alberico: Robot may have been purchased in one of those moments, a couple of beers and it’s a it’s very effective way to help people understand, you know, I guess, to where I said, all those captures you fill out. I’m not a robot. But I thought

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Jeff Louella: I recently bought a domain.

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Jeff Louella: Lasers and bacon.

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Jeff Louella: Because I figured. What’s cooler than lasers and bacon.

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Jamie Alberico: That that

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Jacob Stoops: We can do with that site. Yeah.

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Jeff Louella: You know that goes right now it’s in the vault of 30 other web domains, I one day, one wants to start so

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Jacob Stoops: Wow, what are, what made you think that and how much you had a drink.

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Jeff Louella: You know, I was looking, I was looking up laser engraving machines. And I was like, you know, it makes lasers cooler bacon.

397
00:46:54.900 –> 00:46:56.970
Jacob Stoops: Bacon just makes everything cooler, I guess.

398
00:46:57.300 –> 00:46:59.310
Jamie Alberico: Why are you custom engraving, the bacon.

399
00:47:00.750 –> 00:47:01.620
Jeff Louella: Know,

400
00:47:01.680 –> 00:47:02.820
Jamie Alberico: If any wedding thing.

401
00:47:03.270 –> 00:47:04.020
Jamie Alberico: Could be.

402
00:47:04.800 –> 00:47:06.630
Ashley Berman Hale: Market market it do it now.

403
00:47:09.690 –> 00:47:10.560
Ashley Berman Hale: The only thing that

404
00:47:10.950 –> 00:47:16.230
Jacob Stoops: Does not make cooler what sounds cool is vodka, that that

405
00:47:16.260 –> 00:47:17.280
I’ve had baked out

406
00:47:18.870 –> 00:47:19.410
Jacob Stoops: Bad

407
00:47:20.640 –> 00:47:22.350
Jamie Alberico: flavor to it. That’s not okay.

408
00:47:23.730 –> 00:47:27.840
Jamie Alberico: Yeah, yeah. I’ve been working a Bloody Mary, but that’s the only time she

409
00:47:27.840 –> 00:47:30.510
Jamie Alberico: Really apply practical application of that about God.

410
00:47:32.430 –> 00:47:32.970
Jacob Stoops: I’m

411
00:47:34.230 –> 00:47:36.300
Jacob Stoops: writing and speaking so

412
00:47:37.740 –> 00:47:47.490
Jacob Stoops: Jamie nationally. I feel like you guys both do a mix or a fair amount of both writing and public speaking.

413
00:47:48.600 –> 00:47:58.290
Jacob Stoops: And then I also wanted to ask, Jamie. How did that video which you’ve now become kind of, I guess, the default representative for JavaScript SEO in connection with Google.

414
00:47:59.520 –> 00:48:08.910
Jacob Stoops: Video with Martin, um, how did that come about and and after that question. I’d love to get into the public speaking side of things, but I wanted to ask

415
00:48:08.940 –> 00:48:09.990
Ashley Berman Hale: You. I mean, is

416
00:48:11.550 –> 00:48:17.760
Ashley Berman Hale: I just would do. That is so cool that you are that person. I just know it tickles me. So yeah, thanks for bringing that up because it’s pretty bad.

417
00:48:18.240 –> 00:48:18.510
It is

418
00:48:19.830 –> 00:48:25.680
Jamie Alberico: JOHN MAYER I went ahead and made it the other day in JavaScript. The devil on I’m going to be very, very happy.

419
00:48:26.700 –> 00:48:28.020
Jamie Alberico: That started

420
00:48:29.460 –> 00:48:36.540
Jamie Alberico: Doing migrations international talk to Brighton SEO. I think that was my second or third talk ever you want to count meetups as well.

421
00:48:38.160 –> 00:48:49.890
Jamie Alberico: There was another human on my panel who is also discussing JavaScript framework and SEO and me to do a video meet up before the conference to figure out if we were stepping on each other’s toes.

422
00:48:50.430 –> 00:49:01.230
Jamie Alberico: I’m terrible at time zones absolutely awful at it ended up being like three in the morning seven my leg TARDIS bath road my blue hairs all a frenzy on

423
00:49:01.920 –> 00:49:08.070
Jamie Alberico: The screen based up and they realized oh my face, my face was like 15 feet wide right now because that’s the Google office.

424
00:49:08.880 –> 00:49:16.350
Jamie Alberico: And I just happen to be lucky enough to me bar, and as he he had just joined the webmaster team, I believe, Brighton was one of his first talk

425
00:49:16.980 –> 00:49:23.070
Jamie Alberico: On and just had a really lovely time talking with the team and he will show up too bright in with our blue hair becomes

426
00:49:23.700 –> 00:49:33.780
Jamie Alberico: a running gag that you’ve got to have blue hair to know JavaScript SEO, he invited me out to and from developers on it when they’re

427
00:49:34.380 –> 00:49:39.210
Jamie Alberico: Up to do this video me an amazing producer, your brother chance to meet and she’s on

428
00:49:40.110 –> 00:49:54.390
Jamie Alberico: All those video series. She’s lovely human being. It happened to be the right place, right time I’m betting on the right voice. I bet on JavaScript frameworks are being something that we continue to grow and provide a really effective user experience.

429
00:49:55.440 –> 00:49:59.940
Jamie Alberico: Getting our redesigned first place in 2014 we launched in 2015

430
00:50:04.620 –> 00:50:16.620
Jacob Stoops: I would say that was 2014 JavaScript was way ahead of your time. I feel like search engines even still today, although there are so much better than they were.

431
00:50:17.640 –> 00:50:20.970
Jacob Stoops: Still have a lot of trouble with crawling and I say,

432
00:50:21.000 –> 00:50:23.670
Jamie Alberico: 2014 when we got the project greenlight it took

433
00:50:24.360 –> 00:50:26.220
Jacob Stoops: He says to them, getting

434
00:50:26.280 –> 00:50:28.830
Jacob Stoops: Done SEO and 2014 so

435
00:50:29.160 –> 00:50:32.220
Jamie Alberico: No, no, we were rebuilding the site at that time and

436
00:50:32.580 –> 00:50:33.270
Jacob Stoops: Maybe a few weeks.

437
00:50:33.510 –> 00:50:38.610
Jamie Alberico: After Google announced they were deprecating the Ajax crawler the site went live

438
00:50:39.150 –> 00:50:39.510
Okay.

439
00:50:40.560 –> 00:50:46.470
Jamie Alberico: I mean, we definitely did a plane SPACE MONKEY. Like, let’s see what happens. We actually called that project space party.

440
00:50:47.760 –> 00:50:59.970
Jacob Stoops: Nice. So, so with the with the public speaking, you guys. I feel like both do a fair amount of public speaking and or public moderating. What does that been like

441
00:51:02.580 –> 00:51:03.330
Ashley Berman Hale: Gary

442
00:51:06.930 –> 00:51:13.350
Ashley Berman Hale: So I man. I’m a bit of a reluctance speaker, and I’m very not polished, but I really like doing it.

443
00:51:14.100 –> 00:51:21.180
Ashley Berman Hale: Um, so, hashtag. If you’re, if you don’t have production level value conferences and you want to hang out and talk about cool things I’m game.

444
00:51:21.900 –> 00:51:30.210
Ashley Berman Hale: Um, but I use it as a way to personally push myself to go deeper into topics as well as just to make friends. So I’ve been working from home for 10 years

445
00:51:32.190 –> 00:51:35.520
Ashley Berman Hale: So I need to get out of the house, a couple times a year. So

446
00:51:35.520 –> 00:51:36.180
Jeff Louella: That was

447
00:51:36.300 –> 00:51:47.100
Ashley Berman Hale: So is pretty important. And then it’s just it’s a bit of a self challenge. So I had, I had a pretty bad speech impediment. As a kid, and took five years of speech therapy so

448
00:51:47.820 –> 00:51:53.340
Ashley Berman Hale: As a big fuck you to my jeans I decided to do more public speaking as a high school or an adult. So

449
00:51:53.820 –> 00:51:59.760
Ashley Berman Hale: Part of that is just a little personal renegade but it’s fun. I would love to say that more conferences, though.

450
00:52:00.330 –> 00:52:05.550
Ashley Berman Hale: Bring more people to present collaboratively like I love presenting with Jamie and with other people that I know.

451
00:52:06.450 –> 00:52:09.840
Ashley Berman Hale: It helps to get you more bang for your buck again that peer review and peer editing.

452
00:52:10.800 –> 00:52:19.680
Ashley Berman Hale: And moderating is also fantastic instead of having the same conference organizers. If you’re welcome have other people in the field. There’s just so many cool opportunities there so

453
00:52:20.160 –> 00:52:26.730
Ashley Berman Hale: Like I said, I’m not a natural speaker, I definitely get nervous. I am known to throw up either before or after or both.

454
00:52:26.790 –> 00:52:27.060
Can

455
00:52:28.650 –> 00:52:39.630
Ashley Berman Hale: You just but I still enjoy doing it and really appreciate it opportunities, but it’s it’s wild. It’s weird right i mean i go straight social blackout when I’m up there. Well,

456
00:52:39.870 –> 00:52:43.500
Jeff Louella: Actually, you also started the rally SEO Meetup group right

457
00:52:43.560 –> 00:52:45.750
Ashley Berman Hale: Oh, you bring it back, Jeff.

458
00:52:46.470 –> 00:52:48.180
Jeff Louella: Well, I mean, to go from not being

459
00:52:48.210 –> 00:52:55.260
Jeff Louella: Liking to speak to starting, you know, the largest Meetup group about SEO. That’s kind of like

460
00:52:55.530 –> 00:52:57.510
Jeff Louella: I’m jealous that I don’t live in Raleigh, sometimes

461
00:52:58.920 –> 00:53:03.300
Jeff Louella: I make it up there a couple times, you know, during the conferences and things like that. But at the same time.

462
00:53:04.080 –> 00:53:13.920
Jeff Louella: The community here, there seems really awesome. And it seems like anyone. It’s like a lot of helping each other grow and and it seems like an awesome community that’s

463
00:53:14.520 –> 00:53:23.580
Jeff Louella: You know, where we have people like Jr and Patrick and and you know every time I go or see anyone there. I’m like, wow, you all live in Raleigh, like how Raleigh become

464
00:53:24.150 –> 00:53:33.870
Ashley Berman Hale: Thing. Okay, so I will tell you that is one of my proudest moments. Um, I guess I’m like a little bit of a mama by heart, even though I’m not, I should not be left alone to raise any children but

465
00:53:34.860 –> 00:53:45.030
Ashley Berman Hale: It was when I was so I had moved to North Carolina after my father and my brother had died and decided on a fresh start moved to a place I never knew and

466
00:53:46.500 –> 00:53:53.100
Ashley Berman Hale: I just convince my boss to let me use his office space to maybe try to get a few people together off hours to talk about this stuff.

467
00:53:54.030 –> 00:54:10.500
Ashley Berman Hale: And luckily for me. I was like, do you want to own it. And he said, No, go ahead, which was pretty awesome. But the first local. So here the first rally SEO meetup was definitely in the single digits. And I made homemade pies to try and bribe people to show up, um,

468
00:54:11.790 –> 00:54:18.090
Ashley Berman Hale: So it started out very, very small. But it was a really, really cool way to develop speaking skills for me.

469
00:54:18.390 –> 00:54:24.780
Ashley Berman Hale: But also to try to influence the market, a little bit like I told you I took a big long break from SEO because it was a little sticky so back then. I was

470
00:54:25.290 –> 00:54:35.130
Ashley Berman Hale: On a little bit more of a rampage of kindness. So I made it free and I made sure that they were different types for all levels that they were takeaways and actionable insights and that

471
00:54:35.670 –> 00:54:42.540
Ashley Berman Hale: All I was trying to do was enable local businesses to either do the work themselves or to know enough to be able to hire without liability.

472
00:54:43.080 –> 00:54:57.690
Ashley Berman Hale: And that sucker grew. I mean we out group at times. I was just begging businesses like hey, if I can get everyone to buy a beer. Can I, you know, hang out in this corner of your bar for an hour tonight and also if no one’s going to buy beer. I’ll just buy them all. It’s fine.

473
00:54:58.860 –> 00:55:07.650
Ashley Berman Hale: But it it grew and grew quickly and I can be a little anti social by nature. And so I had a partner after the first year to come and fill Buckley

474
00:55:08.430 –> 00:55:16.230
Ashley Berman Hale: Who is part of that like Patrick jr group. I think he’s a little header IBM. He’s fantastic but he is a social butterfly so

475
00:55:16.680 –> 00:55:23.670
Ashley Berman Hale: It was another situation where it couldn’t have been the way it did without partnering with somebody. So sharing is caring and what a cool way to start off

476
00:55:24.090 –> 00:55:28.740
Ashley Berman Hale: You know, my professional SEO career and kind of restarted after feeling like the industry was a little sad.

477
00:55:29.340 –> 00:55:39.570
Ashley Berman Hale: But I you know I left it in good hands and they’ve continued to do awesome things and I actually got to go back last year to speak for the 10 year anniversary how how rad, is that it’s like my babies in the double digits.

478
00:55:40.230 –> 00:55:45.270
Jamie Alberico: It’s awesome rampage of kindness is the most on brand thing I’ve ever heard.

479
00:55:46.740 –> 00:55:55.110
Ashley Berman Hale: That, that’s good. That’s all right, I got a t shirt rampage of kindness that goes along with them. The relentlessly casual label, I, I also appreciate

480
00:55:55.410 –> 00:56:07.650
Jacob Stoops: There’s an old at iOS or videos at video game believe called rampage. You should just steal that logo and close rampage of kindness and there you go. You got your own t shirt brand.

481
00:56:07.890 –> 00:56:10.950
Ashley Berman Hale: Cool, Jacob. Now I’m not going to get any work done today. I blame you.

482
00:56:10.950 –> 00:56:14.160
Jamie Alberico: Go discounted work branding and work.

483
00:56:18.900 –> 00:56:25.800
Jacob Stoops: Oh man, I’m so deep crawl, I’d be remiss to not talk about deep crawl. What’s it. What’s it like working the depot.

484
00:56:26.220 –> 00:56:37.950
Ashley Berman Hale: Ship date is the best I’m you know I’m optimistic but not naive. So, but I left a couple jobs, one that was a really toxic environment, one that was

485
00:56:38.550 –> 00:56:45.270
Ashley Berman Hale: Great, but just not the best fit. And I was feeling really low on my capabilities to feel like a productive you know employable human being.

486
00:56:46.140 –> 00:56:53.580
Ashley Berman Hale: And deep called crowd grabbed me and I will tell you I have had so much joy working here with the people that I work with the software.

487
00:56:54.330 –> 00:57:00.540
Ashley Berman Hale: And just the flexibility to learn so deep crawls uh you know it’s a software. It’s a crawler enterprise level. So it’s like

488
00:57:01.080 –> 00:57:15.330
Ashley Berman Hale: It’s a lot like Screaming Frog who are amazing people that make a great product, but it’s sort of on steroids, so you’re able to grab historic data crawl in the cloud trend everything. And there’s just a ton of ways to define the data and filter right within the tool.

489
00:57:15.750 –> 00:57:17.400
Jacob Stoops: It also does it on your computer.

490
00:57:18.570 –> 00:57:25.410
Ashley Berman Hale: It doesn’t shut down your computer because it’s like, you know, your fan won’t even get hot. So that’s, you know, big selling point

491
00:57:26.070 –> 00:57:32.250
Ashley Berman Hale: But it’s just a fun tool it’s it’s really interesting. I’ve really enjoyed working here, I would say if anyone hasn’t tried it.

492
00:57:32.700 –> 00:57:39.960
Ashley Berman Hale: Just ping me I would be happy to run across from you and you can poke around obviously not a salesperson because I’m really into giving it away for free but

493
00:57:40.710 –> 00:57:48.960
Ashley Berman Hale: I mean there’s cool data. So if you ever want me to run a sample crawl kick it over. I’m happy to do so you can, yeah, if anyone wants to bug me on Twitter. That’s probably the best place.

494
00:57:49.230 –> 00:57:57.600
Jeff Louella: In the cross seems to have been, you know, I guess the one of the first like SAS platforms to start hiring SEOs, you know, and I see now.

495
00:57:58.050 –> 00:58:01.050
Jeff Louella: You know, now you’re going to be competing against Patrick because he went over to

496
00:58:01.680 –> 00:58:12.480
Jeff Louella: H refs. But in general, they’re like, it seems deep crawl like this, the knowledge base has really grown, which is which is great. Like the articles or webinars or something. I look forward to every time they get launched

497
00:58:12.570 –> 00:58:17.640
Ashley Berman Hale: Oh my gosh, what a smart team, right. So first of all, I could meet Patrick and an arm wrestle so

498
00:58:17.700 –> 00:58:19.320
Ashley Berman Hale: I’m not right, but

499
00:58:20.520 –> 00:58:26.790
Ashley Berman Hale: But I might team is really great. The marketing team does a lot of crazy cool stuff so mean, everyone knows like Sam and Rachel and Jen and

500
00:58:27.240 –> 00:58:34.380
Ashley Berman Hale: Those are people who aren’t traditional SEOs and they’re smarter than most people I know, like they are awesome. My team we’re professional services team.

501
00:58:35.250 –> 00:58:43.440
Ashley Berman Hale: There’s six or seven of us, depending on the day but also hiring. So if you’re a crazy fabulous curious tech SEO and you want to work with me, which

502
00:58:43.950 –> 00:58:54.060
Ashley Berman Hale: Godspeed but ping me there too. So the company’s doing well. They just went through Series B funding and I’m just excited to work with more fantastic people, but they’ve really done something special.

503
00:58:54.510 –> 00:59:04.530
Ashley Berman Hale: In terms of priority to prioritizing data and good things for clients as well as making a really, really fantastic team and hiring obviously humble people right so that’s great.

504
00:59:06.240 –> 00:59:12.600
Jamie Alberico: So you guys always have a sandwich for me and you guys always have the Chargers that I forgot plane somewhere.

505
00:59:13.740 –> 00:59:14.280
Jamie Alberico: On a T.

506
00:59:14.700 –> 00:59:28.140
Ashley Berman Hale: Shirt and Casey spell something like you have like the most. I don’t know. Hearing a material company like we will take care of anyone. So again, if you’re ever curious whether it’s job right here on my site for free, like just paying us for a helpful group.

507
00:59:28.830 –> 00:59:29.760
Jamie Alberico: Very good human

508
00:59:30.300 –> 00:59:32.670
Ashley Berman Hale: With sandwiches with sandwiches.

509
00:59:34.200 –> 00:59:39.390
Jacob Stoops: Oh so want to make sure we’re respectful of time I

510
00:59:40.440 –> 00:59:52.740
Jacob Stoops: Don’t think we’re gonna have time for news. I think we’re, we’re probably not going to, because we’ve had such wonderful conversation that is flowing. So naturally I don’t think we’re going to deep dive into technical SEO. I think we’ve talked

511
00:59:54.180 –> 00:59:59.580
Jacob Stoops: Quite enough. I did want to talk about a few more few more things before we wrap up the episode.

512
01:00:00.240 –> 01:00:13.140
Jacob Stoops: But because you guys have been so awesome to talk to. It’s been one of our most free flowing conversation. So I definitely, definitely. Thank you guys for that. It’s been really good, really good conversation.

513
01:00:14.640 –> 01:00:27.540
Jacob Stoops: Um, you guys have mentioned several times and I agree. I’ve noticed it. I, I sometimes choose not to take part, because I have a lot of my own thoughts, but you’ve mentioned the

514
01:00:29.100 –> 01:00:43.830
Jacob Stoops: The level of discourse in the in the industry over probably the last five to five to 10 years and I don’t know. I think I’ve noticed it as well, getting getting better, but it had gotten

515
01:00:44.910 –> 01:00:54.360
Jacob Stoops: A lot of it’s centered around conferences and whatnot, but it had gotten pretty toxic and pretty nasty there for for a little while. So I was wondering if y’all could

516
01:00:55.290 –> 01:01:07.020
Jacob Stoops: Talk a little bit about that and why you think it’s maybe gotten a little bit better. Over the course of the last, I don’t know, I feel like maybe the last year, maybe, maybe I’m overshooting that I don’t know but

517
01:01:07.470 –> 01:01:14.370
Jacob Stoops: I felt it also being really bad and then getting a little bit better. But I don’t know if you guys could talk about that a little bit.

518
01:01:17.670 –> 01:01:27.000
Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah, I’m awesome well know, Jamie. You go first because I, yeah, I got to the end of something and I pretend like I’ve been drinking a whole time and I will just eat up all the time here.

519
01:01:28.320 –> 01:01:29.640
Jamie Alberico: But I love listening to your story.

520
01:01:30.150 –> 01:01:31.320
Jamie Alberico: very articulate and

521
01:01:31.410 –> 01:01:47.220
Jamie Alberico: You know you’ve always been a great mentor for me and this kind of scenario. I honestly can say I’ve been very lucky and I’ve only really been met with kindness from people at these conferences and support. I like to think perhaps that

522
01:01:48.240 –> 01:01:54.990
Jamie Alberico: I try and bring up there as well. But there’s no critic of really going to be as harsh as my internal one

523
01:01:55.440 –> 01:02:08.850
Jamie Alberico: So I think keeping her quiet on focused on when I’m there to do maybe take it away from me and giving attention to some of these more interesting moments that I hear about after the fact.

524
01:02:10.290 –> 01:02:14.580
Jamie Alberico: I haven’t been the first chance I can speak to a new the kerfuffle

525
01:02:16.620 –> 01:02:25.890
Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah, and I mean events bring their own level of potential toxicity, the industry and of itself has been a little tough to. So I’ve been in it for about 15 ish years maybe a little more

526
01:02:26.790 –> 01:02:39.300
Ashley Berman Hale: Um, and I did a lot of volunteer work and forums, that’s how I got that’s how I got started in a lot of it and forums can be a really awful, awful place to be, especially if you’re an idiot and just use your regular name Ashley’s everyone knows you’re a girl.

527
01:02:41.370 –> 01:02:42.600
Jamie Alberico: Was true man.

528
01:02:43.230 –> 01:02:45.360
Jamie Alberico: I’m not ever gave me with an androgynous name.

529
01:02:45.480 –> 01:02:51.300
Ashley Berman Hale: I know that so nice. Um, but it is, it’s been bad, but I think in a lot of the ways it’s getting better.

530
01:02:51.810 –> 01:02:57.570
Ashley Berman Hale: I just want to call out that, you know, I come from a place of privilege, even though it can be tough to be in tech as a woman.

531
01:02:58.380 –> 01:03:06.960
Ashley Berman Hale: I am already five steps ahead of some other folks, especially people of color LGBT Q that are out like there’s there’s a stiffness there and

532
01:03:07.470 –> 01:03:14.850
Ashley Berman Hale: I would really like it to be more fluid where people can come in and present and there’s a focus on ideas. I think we are getting there. I think we have warmed the ground so much

533
01:03:15.450 –> 01:03:23.370
Ashley Berman Hale: And I think that I can be a bit spicy unintentionally and very clumsy with my calls to try and make things a little bit more better and inclusive.

534
01:03:23.820 –> 01:03:33.150
Ashley Berman Hale: But for the most part people have been very generous and forgiving in terms of how I approach that and it spawns some really good conversations so

535
01:03:34.020 –> 01:03:40.140
Ashley Berman Hale: I think we’re getting better and a lot of ways, and I hope to keep saying encouragement in that way. I will see say that

536
01:03:41.100 –> 01:03:48.900
Ashley Berman Hale: There’s one conference in particular that is really great for me in terms of seeing that as the NGA Atlanta conference to Angular Atlanta conference where

537
01:03:49.560 –> 01:03:57.930
Ashley Berman Hale: The founder there works hard to make all majority women or people of color and especially women of color speakers without repeating speakers. It’s pretty fantastic.

538
01:03:59.010 –> 01:04:07.350
Ashley Berman Hale: And it takes a lot of work, like the organizer Zach will be there to tell you, it takes a lot of work to advise any other events, but he’ll tell you that the work is worth it. So,

539
01:04:08.070 –> 01:04:14.910
Ashley Berman Hale: We’re getting better. I’d like to push a little harder in that area. So leave with kindness, but also psychological safety for everyone to

540
01:04:16.620 –> 01:04:27.870
Jacob Stoops: Yeah, I agree. And having been so I’ll just, I’ll just come right out with it. I am I dislike conferences and it’s partly because I’m anti social

541
01:04:28.770 –> 01:04:40.290
Jacob Stoops: A little bit. Although I can be social. But I you know I get uncomfortable and nervous in large groups of people. And so that makes a conference for me not very cool.

542
01:04:43.260 –> 01:04:47.100
Jacob Stoops: I’m like, I’m just really bad at small talk, and like literally

543
01:04:47.700 –> 01:05:03.390
Jacob Stoops: It makes me sweat just thinking of having to small talk. Not that I don’t like. I like people just fine. But like in large settings. I always feel super, super awkward, which means just by definition conferences are just not my thing.

544
01:05:04.650 –> 01:05:17.340
Jacob Stoops: But then there’s also, you know, what types of things go on at conferences with respect to harassment and the way people act towards each other and the, the lack of kindness.

545
01:05:18.510 –> 01:05:23.700
Jacob Stoops: I’ve run. And I don’t know if you have you guys ever heard the term conference circuit SEO.

546
01:05:24.840 –> 01:05:25.650
Jacob Stoops: Is that a new thing.

547
01:05:25.680 –> 01:05:32.940
Jamie Alberico: Yes, I turned out on leave, and I understand you correctly or first do the kind of repeating

548
01:05:33.360 –> 01:05:33.600
Jacob Stoops: Yeah.

549
01:05:33.960 –> 01:05:37.980
Jamie Alberico: There’s a couple of key speakers, they tend to get things paid for, you’ve got other people

550
01:05:38.640 –> 01:05:39.420
Jacob Stoops: Yes.

551
01:05:39.450 –> 01:05:50.250
Jamie Alberico: Please go to our last represented in our community. And it’s very real that a lot of venues are going to charge money, a lot of money for these tickets and and don’t even pay for the speakers.

552
01:05:51.630 –> 01:05:52.500
Jacob Stoops: Right, right.

553
01:05:52.920 –> 01:05:53.820
Jamie Alberico: Very prohibitive.

554
01:05:54.360 –> 01:05:55.530
Jacob Stoops: There are

555
01:05:56.730 –> 01:06:08.670
Jacob Stoops: In I’m definitely not trying to lump. Anybody, anybody into this but this story for me is very, very specific to some people that I’ve worked with who

556
01:06:09.420 –> 01:06:17.430
Jacob Stoops: Were what I call a quote unquote on the conference circuit which means they went to and spoke at a lot of conferences and were looked up to by

557
01:06:17.850 –> 01:06:28.080
Jacob Stoops: A lot of people as subject matter experts. But then when it came time for them to actually work with me together on certain accounts.

558
01:06:28.800 –> 01:06:38.310
Jacob Stoops: I found that they fell very, very flat in terms of my expectation of their level of quality and what I actually got from them.

559
01:06:39.060 –> 01:06:51.840
Jacob Stoops: So that has left me with a little bit of a bad taste in my, in my mouth with respect to what I’ll call certain conference circuit SEO. So just in general conferences are

560
01:06:52.860 –> 01:07:00.000
Jacob Stoops: Not my favorite thing. But what I have enjoyed seeing recently is the increased focus on

561
01:07:01.260 –> 01:07:11.940
Jacob Stoops: One acting better treating people better and hopefully fewer instances of harassment. I know women, definitely go through

562
01:07:12.600 –> 01:07:21.780
Jacob Stoops: A lot and I feel like I’ve never been like Jamie, just like you said, it’s always for me been second hand. I feel like every man definitely knows

563
01:07:22.110 –> 01:07:27.300
Jacob Stoops: Of a woman who has experienced some sort of sexual harassment. But for me, I’ve never

564
01:07:27.780 –> 01:07:33.780
Jacob Stoops: It’s never been something I’ve witnessed or anything like that. So I’m always only hearing about it secondhand and I’m less than

565
01:07:34.470 –> 01:07:50.220
Jacob Stoops: Less than aware of when that that type of thing might be happening. If I were aware. I would definitely definitely speak up. So I’m I feel like sometimes in a bit of an awkward position of wanting to speak up and being supportive but ever being like Johnny on the spot for when an event.

566
01:07:51.300 –> 01:07:55.350
Jacob Stoops: Happens or transpires so little bit of an awkward awkward.

567
01:07:56.490 –> 01:08:07.890
Jacob Stoops: Position and I would say so obviously that needs to get better. I don’t know how much that is still going on. But I know it was pretty pervasive in the past and super unfortunate.

568
01:08:08.430 –> 01:08:18.240
Jacob Stoops: The other thing that I’m really enjoying is the emphasis on speaker balance. I, I, I have a hard time when I see

569
01:08:19.710 –> 01:08:26.730
Jacob Stoops: An SEO team at a company that is entirely and I’ve experienced this a lot in the past entirely male dominated

570
01:08:27.540 –> 01:08:31.710
Jamie Alberico: Yeah, they’re celebrating hiring the first female CEO and a team in 2019

571
01:08:32.400 –> 01:08:34.080
Jamie Alberico: I mean that’s an incredibly sad.

572
01:08:34.440 –> 01:08:39.810
Jacob Stoops: Yeah, it’s it’s really sad. And I have a hard time with conferences where I look at the

573
01:08:40.200 –> 01:08:49.350
Jacob Stoops: The speaker lineup and I don’t see a picture of somebody with color. I don’t see a picture of somebody who’s female or you see it, but there’s not nearly enough balance so

574
01:08:50.070 –> 01:08:58.680
Jacob Stoops: Not something that I think is, is a good thing. And something that I think is trending in the right direction. I don’t think it’s entirely there.

575
01:08:59.220 –> 01:09:10.920
Jacob Stoops: But I would like to see more more conferences and more companies strive for that balance and not balance for the sake of balance but balance because you really believe

576
01:09:11.760 –> 01:09:19.470
Jacob Stoops: That that those those people and I’m definitely one of the privileged people really bring value in a different perspective.

577
01:09:19.920 –> 01:09:27.480
Jacob Stoops: Not just hiring or booking because you need a certain ratio, right. So that’s something that I’m hoping

578
01:09:28.110 –> 01:09:37.260
Jacob Stoops: Gets a little bit better. But again, as I’ve said before, because I’m kind of an outside observer. I don’t choose to go to a lot of conferences.

579
01:09:37.950 –> 01:09:48.600
Jacob Stoops: I’m more kind of I feel like routing from the sidelines and trying to push where where I can in my areas of influence which are which are a few outside of my own house so

580
01:09:50.340 –> 01:10:06.330
Jamie Alberico: I ok here is because that one for me first one I totally understanding the lack of comfort being around that many people I’ve been asked how I seem to to come on stage and my secret ready guys years of practice with a panic disorder.

581
01:10:06.780 –> 01:10:09.210
Jamie Alberico: Like I have learned how to have a heart attack feel like

582
01:10:09.210 –> 01:10:18.750
Jamie Alberico: Even the Rolodex prices on keep a calm state so repurpose if you if you’ve been through that you think of it as reclaiming and repurposing all those years of practice.

583
01:10:19.770 –> 01:10:25.410
Jamie Alberico: And secondly, there are now more groups out here who are advocating to get their women together a presentation together.

584
01:10:25.710 –> 01:10:33.690
Jamie Alberico: If you are a winless there are used one support women in tech SEO, there is a women in tech SEO Slack channel you can find them on Twitter and on Facebook.

585
01:10:34.020 –> 01:10:44.190
Jamie Alberico: Joining that conversation. I know some really great conferences coming up that have reached out to them to try and help balance out our speakers find people who are representing very skilled

586
01:10:45.330 –> 01:10:48.630
Jamie Alberico: Technologies to be on stage and present from their perspective.

587
01:10:49.800 –> 01:10:53.880
Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah. And if you’re a sweet guy like maybe instead of accepting the panel.

588
01:10:54.420 –> 01:11:03.210
Ashley Berman Hale: Or accepting the speaking gig. Why don’t you recommend somebody else make it easier on the event organizers because they always say they can’t. But I guarantee there’s someone around you.

589
01:11:03.870 –> 01:11:08.190
Ashley Berman Hale: Who may be a first time or second time speaker, but has really incredible things to say.

590
01:11:08.670 –> 01:11:14.670
Ashley Berman Hale: Because I think if you speak too much often you’re missing out on that constant learning that you need in order to stay on top of the industry.

591
01:11:15.330 –> 01:11:19.290
Ashley Berman Hale: Or if you’re never speaking, then you’re missing out on an opportunity to find in your craft so

592
01:11:20.070 –> 01:11:29.610
Ashley Berman Hale: It’s great that some people will have reached that pinnacle, and they are trusted and loved and everyone likes to see them speak but it means nothing. If you don’t turn around and homework, you know, two more people up.

593
01:11:29.640 –> 01:11:31.110
Jeff Louella: So I would say share the spotlight.

594
01:11:31.590 –> 01:11:43.800
Ashley Berman Hale: And I don’t have a huge network or you know much influence but if anyone out there who hasn’t spoken before wants to speak. If I could put you in contact with anyone or any conference. Like, I’m happy to help.

595
01:11:44.850 –> 01:11:49.380
Ashley Berman Hale: Said, I don’t have a ton of influence, but I’m willing to use it to just get more voices up there. We should all do that.

596
01:11:51.150 –> 01:11:59.730
Jeff Louella: Yeah, it’s funny. I’ve been working on a little side project where I’ve downloaded the titles of every SEO speech.

597
01:12:00.840 –> 01:12:11.280
Jeff Louella: By the last like two years. And my goal was, I was going to try to make like a SEO speech generator that just put out a topic because that’s one of the things when I

598
01:12:12.120 –> 01:12:25.440
Jeff Louella: Think about doing any type of speaking. I’m like, what am I going to talk about that no one else is talking about. So I was like, hey, and I can want to play with AI and machine learning. I was like, maybe I can make a generator just generates topics. And here’s your next speech.

599
01:12:26.970 –> 01:12:28.020
Jamie Alberico: I would love to see this.

600
01:12:28.230 –> 01:12:42.330
Jeff Louella: Play. Yeah, it was kind of gonna be tongue in cheek, because I just wanted to like I wanted to be bad AI to so it made it funny but so that is in the works. It’s. But one thing I noticed was when I would Dee doop. There were a lot

601
01:12:43.350 –> 01:12:48.930
Jeff Louella: So that was one of the things that were there was a lot of that was like duplicate on air and it made me really think like

602
01:12:50.100 –> 01:12:56.220
Jeff Louella: You know, going and a lot of it might have been like the digital summits, where people travel and do the same presentation all across the country.

603
01:12:56.940 –> 01:13:03.090
Jeff Louella: But there were a lot of like the same things we were talking about and that’s one thing with the tech SEO boost conference.

604
01:13:03.450 –> 01:13:13.530
Jeff Louella: It was like something totally different copy way off guard. Because even last year, maybe a Catalan or one person talked about AI or machine learning and Python and this year was 80% of the people.

605
01:13:14.130 –> 01:13:24.450
Jeff Louella: Which which was was pretty interesting. But in general, I love the, you know, I want to go out and talk a little bit more, but I really love to do it more in the local level and trying to

606
01:13:25.080 –> 01:13:30.840
Jeff Louella: There’s not a huge SEO community here in Atlanta. So something I’d like to start to put together and build out

607
01:13:33.660 –> 01:13:47.100
Jeff Louella: But what I’m just kind of like to end the show just kind of asking a certain question and just kind of advice like if you were someone who was starting off in the SEO world right now. What kind of advice would you give someone who is starting out.

608
01:13:52.440 –> 01:14:03.840
Ashley Berman Hale: I’m yeah I’m used to always jumping in first here so I’m cognizant of that. I’m sorry. I would just say stay curious and stay kind, um, that’s it.

609
01:14:04.770 –> 01:14:06.720
Jeff Louella: That that’s just a range of kindness.

610
01:14:07.500 –> 01:14:08.340
Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah.

611
01:14:08.370 –> 01:14:10.110
Jamie Alberico: Well, I am page the kindness.

612
01:14:10.560 –> 01:14:18.720
Ashley Berman Hale: Yes, a rampage of kindness, please. And I have this, uh, this is kind of gross, but I’ve been a professional coaching and stuff like that, where they say hey,

613
01:14:19.230 –> 01:14:27.180
Ashley Berman Hale: Create a tagline for yourself. And that sounds a little silly, but I have one. And I’ve been using it for over a decade and it’s it’s really done me well and

614
01:14:27.690 –> 01:14:42.000
Ashley Berman Hale: My personal tagline is stupid work. So that means a lot of different things to me. But part of that is just staying curious and you know being nice to people and figuring out where you can help rather than stand on the shoulders of others. So whatever you do, do good work.

615
01:14:42.780 –> 01:14:43.860
Jeff Louella: Awesome. What do you think, Jamie.

616
01:14:46.950 –> 01:14:57.480
Jamie Alberico: I would say that there are no dumb questions engineering a room where you only understand and 20 week of what’s going on. That’s okay. I’ll take notes.

617
01:14:58.350 –> 01:15:06.690
Jamie Alberico: Ask for the handle. What do you mean by this word, particularly in technology. I have some English. I’m looking in bed with dev teams like stocks.

618
01:15:07.500 –> 01:15:18.060
Jamie Alberico: And people use different words, getting the same thing on half of our value of SEO is being able to map up those synonyms and translate between these teams.

619
01:15:18.420 –> 01:15:24.420
Jamie Alberico: Isn’t the end. We all want to make good things. We all have this desire to those good things to be found and

620
01:15:24.840 –> 01:15:39.450
Jamie Alberico: This is how we get there is by being willing to be humble and say, I don’t understand what that means. Could you explain it. Just keep learning. Even when it hurts your head and you crying about the install

621
01:15:41.850 –> 01:15:48.480
Ashley Berman Hale: So many times I’ve like cried, and I’m like, I don’t understand. And then an hour later I’ll be like, holy shit, I figured it out like

622
01:15:48.840 –> 01:15:55.590
Jamie Alberico: Yeah, it’s a crime, and it certainly feels worth it. Like you’re just hitting the wall heading the law hitting a woman suddenly and make sense and it’s beautiful.

623
01:15:56.190 –> 01:15:57.150
Jamie Alberico: Yes, and have a

624
01:15:57.270 –> 01:15:57.810
Good thing.

625
01:15:58.890 –> 01:16:01.590
Jamie Alberico: I think tech SEOs walk that line between the

626
01:16:02.820 –> 01:16:03.960
Jamie Alberico: Federal ambition.

627
01:16:08.970 –> 01:16:14.760
Ashley Berman Hale: Yeah, oh yeah, she is sorry last thought. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions. All right. I promise I’m done talking. Yeah.

628
01:16:17.430 –> 01:16:34.710
Jeff Louella: Awesome. Well, we’d love to thank you for coming on the show me, I think, is such great conversation that we had, I feel that you two together. It was it was a great idea. And we’re trying to put you separately, but I think together me. It was just awesome and made the conversation flow better

629
01:16:35.010 –> 01:16:35.970
Jacob Stoops: Dynamic Duo

630
01:16:36.600 –> 01:16:37.320
Exactly.

631
01:16:38.850 –> 01:16:39.270
Jacob Stoops: Alright.

632
01:16:39.750 –> 01:16:40.230
Jeff Louella: So my

633
01:16:40.560 –> 01:16:41.250
Jamie Alberico: Life, mate.

634
01:16:41.670 –> 01:16:45.330
Ashley Berman Hale: Yes, I love you very much. Jamie, it’s good to have a way

635
01:16:45.360 –> 01:16:45.990
Jamie Alberico: Of you to bed.

636
01:16:47.760 –> 01:16:48.750
Jacob Stoops: All right, bye guys

637
01:16:50.400 –> 01:16:50.970
Thank you.

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