Are you struggling with getting your website to rank well in search engines? In this podcast episode, we have compiled insider secrets to SEO success that will help you take your website to the next level.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the episode:
Scraping URLs and Emulating Successful Structures
If you’re looking to enter a new niche, the first step is to analyze the top sites and scrape their URLs to evaluate their content and structure. Emulate the successful URL structures that these sites use and use virtual silos to create supporting pages.
Overcoming Decision Paralysis
Decision paralysis is a common problem in SEO, where website owners are hesitant to move forward on ideas. The best approach is to get something up and running, no matter how imperfect, and iterate on it.
Sticking to a Plan
Developing a three-month plan with specific tasks for each month is a great way to avoid shiny object syndrome and ensure the effectiveness of your strategies.
Repeatable Processes for Success
Having repeatable processes that increase your chances of success is vital in SEO. GPT or Generative Pretrained Transformer is an AI-based content generation tool that can be used for rough drafts and topic clustering to improve your content.
Centerpiece Annotation and “The Product”
Centerpiece Annotation is a Google process that can significantly impact your website’s search ranking. “The Product” is an SEO concept that explains how websites have a natural level of authority for certain keywords that Google trusts automatically. Posting articles within your website’s tier offers natural growth that is almost impervious to Google updates.
AI’s Role in SEO
The current use of AI in SEO is similar to the mass page builders and spun contents of the past, which Google combats fiercely through crawl rate and devaluation sites engaging in duplicate content.
Sticking to Ethics
To assure business legitimacy, having a registered address or agent is essential as Google is hostile towards affiliate websites that do not take responsibility for their content.The ToolThe tool helps with competitor analysis by identifying potential areas where clients can outdo their competitors. It presents optimized concepts that may help improve website ranking substantially.
In conclusion, SEO success can be achieved by applying a little strategy, ethics, and repeatable processes. While the SEO world evolves fast, sticking to proven methods to improve ranking will pay off in the long run. Do you need more tips on how to improve your website’s search ranking? Tune in to our next episode for more insider secrets.
And welcome back to the Blogger Revolution. My name is Chris Myles, and here we have the privilege of talking with the man to miss the legend, Kyle Roof. Kyle, thanks for being on.
Kyle Roof [00:00:47]:
Oh, thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.
Chris Myles [00:00:50]:
Yeah, no problem. No problem at all. I know we had a couple of scheduling conflicts, but, man, we finally got it together. We’re going to get this in the can and let’s go with it. So if you don’t mind, if you give people just a small background on how you got into SEO, who you are and where you are today.
Kyle Roof [00:01:06]:
Sure. On those scheduling issues, those were 1000% my fault. That was all me. I couldn’t get anything together. Yeah, so I’ve been doing SEO full time for about a decade. And I used to be an attorney. I was a trial attorney. And I did divorce, custody and support. And I decided I’d rather chew on shards of broken glass than do one more divorce. And I did what most people do. I moved to South Korea. And I was actually looking for the lowest level of responsibility and some opportunity to travel. And I had never been to Asian, and I wanted to go. My plan of just one year off turned into five years in South Korea. And while there, I started a business. And in that business, I needed a pretty complex website, and I had to go through several developers to get that website. And then once that was done, I realized I’ve got a really strong team here. I bet I could general contract websites. And so then I kind of basically opened a small web design and development company. I brought my brother into the company because he does web design and development. And then I got the bright idea of going to India and opening a company there because I was like, we could kind of bring everybody in and it’d be more cost effective and we’ll get more production. So that was going fine. We had a thing where the business was like, the first floor was the business and the second floor were apartments. And so my brother was in India at the time. I was back in the US. At the time. And we were told, you’re going to get a shakedown from the police, and there’s a knock at the door and it’s the police. And they go, we need to see your business papers. And so my brother shows the papers and these are the wrong papers. And he’s like, okay, how much do you want? And instead of asking for a bribe. They put him in handcuffs and threw him in jail. So my brother’s in Indian jail, and he’s talking to the chief of police. And the chief of police goes, look, these could be the right papers. I don’t know. You have two choices. One, you can leave town tomorrow. Two, you can sit in jail and wait for the magistrate to come, and the magistrate will sort it out. And my brother goes, well, when does the magistrate come? And the chief of police goes, I don’t know. My brother’s like, I think I’ll leave town tomorrow. So he runs back to the office. He grabs what we can. Our employees have fled. Obviously, they don’t want to be involved in this. We get him out of the country, and we start hemorrhaging clients because we don’t have anyone to do the work. And basically, my brother goes, look, I can take these four clients because he can code, and he can be, okay, I don’t code. And we had just started doing this thing called SEO that I had heard about, and basically, for me to pay the rent next month, I had to learn SEO that day in order to put a plan together to keep those clients. And then it turned out I wasn’t bad at it. It was pretty good. And then I was able to kind of expand and get more clients. And then one thing led to another, and I met my business partner, and about a year later, we opened our agency.
Chris Myles [00:03:51]:
Nice. Man, that is quite a story right there. So you basically got deported from India?
Kyle Roof [00:03:57]:
I personally didn’t, but I’m not sure I’m allowed back in.
Chris Myles [00:04:01]:
Yeah, I wouldn’t take that chance either.
Kyle Roof [00:04:04]:
I got to speak at a conference in India a couple of years ago, and I was like, yeah, it’s still a little too fresh. Not going back.
Chris Myles [00:04:12]:
Yeah, right now you better zoom in for all of that. Okay, cool. So there’s a lot to unpack there. You said you were an attorney previously and that you had chewing glass as a hobby. Right. Regardless, why do you think that SEOs tend to be former professionals? There’s quite a few of them that were attorneys or engineers. Do you think that there’s a correlation between there, or is it just coincidence?
Kyle Roof [00:04:38]:
Well, I do think, like, being an attorney or being an engineer is a large part of that work, is problem solving. We are here, and we need to get to there, and obviously very different type of problem solving. But you think in a certain way, you really become very analytical in how you’re going to approach problems. And that’s exactly, I think, what an SEO needs. You need to be able to say, like, okay, our site is here. Our goal is there, and then what can we do to get there? How can we do something effective in order to obtain our goals? And I think that analytical thinking is extremely important.
Chris Myles [00:05:13]:
Yeah, man, you can ask my wife. I’m so black and white with stuff. It just drives her nuts. But it really does help. It does help in our industry being able to see the problem. And then literally, because it’s very rarely ABC, you normally had to go a to Z and then back to b just to kind of get where you’re looking for with that target that’s always moving with SEO. How do you stay on top of it all?
Kyle Roof [00:05:37]:
Well, a big thing is continuing to run tests, to not rely on a third party to tell me what’s going on in SEO, but to actually do SEO and stay on top of what works.
Chris Myles [00:05:51]:
What do you mean by not relying on a third party?
Kyle Roof [00:05:53]:
Well, somebody can tell you what’s going on in SEO, and that’s one thing. But you actually doing the work and seeing if something gives a result or not is an entirely different thing. Knowing SEO.
Chris Myles [00:06:04]:
Kyle Roof [00:06:04]:
Knowing SEO and doing SEO are two very different concepts.
Chris Myles [00:06:08]:
Yeah, so I see what you mean. So instead of, like, paying attention to us, people who claim to be gurus or whatever, and then actually going out there and putting it to use and then seeing how the market reacts is probably the best way for sure. Got you. Okay, cool. That makes plenty of sense, because you got to be able to do it. And when it comes to the testing and stuff, I heard that you have a patent on a certain way to test SEO.
Kyle Roof [00:06:37]:
Yeah, in 2015, I spoke at my first conference, and the conference was a super high level conference. A lot of great SEOs in there. And I spoke on SEO testing. And the method that I had developed to do that and I thought it would be collaborative is because it was such a small conference. It was kind of one of those things where the people in the crowd can kind of ask you questions as you’re going and five minutes. And I really thought it was, this is how I’m doing it. How are you guys doing it? And then we kind of go back and forth, and about five minutes in the talk, I realized no one’s doing this at all. And that’s when I realized I could kind of carve out my niche in the agency that we’re mathematically and scientifically based. We do the science. We do the math. We’re running tests. We’re not testing on your site kind of concepts. But I was able to take that method that I developed on how to run a test, and I applied for a US. Patent. I did that with a business partner of mine. She had done patents before, and she’s like, I think we could do a patent. To be honest, it was more of a marketing thing where we could say patent pending, but then got the patent a few years later. Takes several years to get a patent, but it came through. So now I have a us. Patent in SEO.
Chris Myles [00:07:51]:
Wow. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a process like that just being patented, but I guess you want to be a PR move because that would make the news, in my opinion.
Kyle Roof [00:08:01]:
I’m concerned that all I did was patent the scientific method more than anything, but they gave it to me, so no take backseat.
Chris Myles [00:08:10]:
Yeah, it’s kind of like when you apply for a job and instead of the garbage man, you’re a sanitation engineer. Change a few of the words and all of a sudden slap a patent on it. Sounds great. Okay, cool. So when you run tests, like right now, are you running a test right now? And what are you finding with some of your latest tests with all these Google algorithm updates that have been hitting over the last year? So what are you finding is working right now in SEO?
Kyle Roof [00:08:36]:
The last few things that I’ve been doing are just kind of playing with AI tools to see what kind of information they will return. Nothing too hard hitting, just more of them. Kind of see what’s out there and what can be done.
Chris Myles [00:08:49]:
You mean like trying to see what Google how they react to it?
Kyle Roof [00:08:52]:
Yeah. Playing with what kind of information they’ll kick back more and more. I’m getting less and less concerned about AI. I’m not overly impressed with what it’s doing, and I think it’s really just a glorified content spinner from 2012.
Chris Myles [00:09:12]:
Yeah, that’s an interesting thought that you have there. I’m sorry. Go ahead.
Kyle Roof [00:09:15]:
Yeah, if you think about it, that’s really what it is because it’s not a search engine, it’s a language model. So what it’s doing is it’s predicting the words that are associated with the question that you asked it or the prompt that you gave it. It’s not going out and finding any answers. And that’s why it consistently gives back very confident but very wrong answers on a lot of things and why it won’t replace search engines.
Chris Myles [00:09:40]:
Yeah, I think that’s the scary part about it because it can be so wrong so confidently. And if you didn’t know, then if you somehow convince the world that two plus two is five, and Jgbt just spits it out to you and you didn’t know, you’re just going to go with it, and now you got misinformation going around and it’s just a big problem.
Kyle Roof [00:10:00]:
Yeah. It doesn’t understand nuance or sarcasm. It doesn’t take things in context. It just takes it as is. So if you were to say, like, this horrible person is great, it could read that and be like, oh, they’re great, and then it would include that in their answer, not realizing that somebody was being sarcastic.
Chris Myles [00:10:20]:
Yeah. So with Chat, GPT and Bing and Google Bard, all of these things that are like, they’re seemingly taking over the internet, right? And they’re making these huge holistic changes to their search engines. Do you think this is just reactionary because it’s the chic thing right now? Or is there real concern for what can happen with SEO in the future?
Kyle Roof [00:10:44]:
What I think is going to happen, it’s going to be like the chrome extensions that you use like keywords everywhere or a SERP works or something like that. And it gives you enhanced search, gives you data that’s interesting to you and that you need. And so you kind of click that button and you get it. That’s what I think is going to happen more than anything. And that’s kind of what Bing is doing right now, where they do the search as normal and then an AI tool does extraction of data and kind of puts it in on the side for you. I think that’s what will happen. People will be able to customize that data extraction for the information that they want to see. That’s important to them and they’ll be able to customize that. But what I see in that situation then is just another opportunity for optimization. So we optimize to get into that search result in the first place, but then we will also need to optimize to make sure that we get information into that information extraction area where it’s pulling out information and highlighting it. We want to make sure that our site information is put there and is prominent and is what the user is expecting to see. So what I see more than anything is just another opportunity for more optimization, which is always good for us. As soon as there’s another way to optimize, we all make more money.
Chris Myles [00:11:53]:
Yeah, that makes plenty of sense because it can be like the sheet thing to just scream out, well SEO is dead, right? And everyone is just saying that kind of thing. But if you look at it as like maybe the feature snippets, right? When feature snippets started popping up, then we just came up with a way to optimize for feature snippets. They always say marketers ruin everything, right? So when it comes to that, I can see how just us having to learn how to be the website that’s chosen, I guess with whatever it actually ends up scraping or whatever it’s doing. What do you think about? I know there’s a lot of tools out there that will read the first page, look at all of the first articles that are popping up, and then give you what’s important entities or whatever that are in those articles. And I know you have maybe a tool that does something similar but a little bit better with Page Optimizer Pro Pop, which I’ve been trying out over the last few months. It’s amazing by the way. Thanks. I’m just curious as to how do you fix all of these tools that are just summing up what’s on the first page so that you can spit out something else, because that’s essentially what the AI tools are doing. Right?
Kyle Roof [00:13:04]:
I’m sorry, I’m not quite following. Are you saying what do you mean? How do you fix the tools?
Chris Myles [00:13:11]:
Well, okay, so say, for example, you’re using a tool such as Surfer SEO, right? You’re using Surfer, and Surfer looks at the first page of Google, the first ten results, and then gives you everything that’s going on on those pages so that you can know what to include in your page. Okay, but if the first pages there are already scraping something else, aren’t you just always kind of just fighting the scrape up the ladder? And then what is the results going to end up being after that?
Kyle Roof [00:13:38]:
Scrape on a scrape? Yeah, scrape on a scrape. Right. So that’s where I think also, if that becomes a problem, that’s where Google and other search engines will step in and do more to stop content that they can see is automatically generated through an AI tool. That’s where that will come in. If the results go so bad, Google will have to do something about it. Otherwise people won’t use Google. They’ll go to the place where they’ll.
Chris Myles [00:14:05]:
Go back to the easy days.
Kyle Roof [00:14:06]:
Right, exactly. So the market will push that if people are dissatisfied with the results they’re getting.
Chris Myles [00:14:16]:
So do you see a situation where the AI becomes proliferated completely in the search engine and then Google has to do something that just, okay, we need to differentiate this. What can they use to differentiate?
Kyle Roof [00:14:30]:
Well, I think they could already identify. I mean, there are a lot of tools now that are doing a pretty decent job of identifying content that is AI generated. Those are free tools. I imagine Google must have a better tool in order to do that. And they can do detection at a very accurate rate. So I’m confident they’ve got that technology. It’s a matter of whether they want to use it or not.
Chris Myles [00:14:53]:
Yeah, because some people will have the idea that we recently talked with John Gilliam over at originality AI, and he mentioned that he doesn’t think that Google really has the resources to really scrape every page on the internet. Do you agree with that sentiment or.
Kyle Roof [00:15:06]:
For sure, are you confident that they cannot? And actually, I would like to point out, my entire career, SEO has been dying. There’s always something there that’s going to destroy it. Like featured snippets were going to destroy SEO. And no, it just created more in hand. Voice search was going to destroy SEO. Mass page builders from way back were going to destroy it. The spun content was going to destroy. None of that has happened yet. And I think this situation with AI is much closer to mass page builders and spun content that was going on like in 2012 and in big numbers. How Google combats that is really through crawl rate. As soon as they identify that, you might be doing something with duplicate content. They start to devalue your site and they will crawl it less. And so essentially, they will just push it to the side. Now, it might be unfair if you’re not doing that, but there’s a certain amount of I noticed Google is okay with a certain amount of collateral damage. Let’s say there are 100 sites that they’re targeting that are doing something that they don’t like, but there’s one in there that is actually legitimate. They’ll take that loss to get rid of the 99 that they don’t want in there. And that’s kind of what they’ve done in the past with those types of situations where they start to identify, like, okay, this site is doing this type of behavior and we don’t like that. They just start devaluing the content and they stop crawling the site.
Chris Myles [00:16:25]:
Got you. So are you using AI at all to create content, or are you still sticking strictly to human writers?
Kyle Roof [00:16:32]:
It kind of depends on what the content is, but using it for a rough draft, I think is a great application and use for it, and also using it for topic clustering to get ideas on what kind of content we can put together within, say, a content strategy. It’s really great for that too. It does it very quickly and does a pretty decent job. I would say, though, that, again, it’s making a prediction. And so are you familiar with Centerpiece Annotation? Is that something on your radar? The concept is, and Google announced this on October of a couple of years ago that what they do first is they come to a web page and they try to determine what that page is about. That’s kind of like a step one. Once they feel like, okay, this page is about X, then they go through each of the sections on the page to see if it matches that main concept. And if they do, then the page gets full credit. If they don’t, then they start to devalue. And it looks like in some of the last couple of updates, they may have taken that concept on the page level out to the site wide level, essentially. Is everything on this site connected? Now, one thing you can do to make sure that the sections on your page or the pages that are on your site are actually connected enough to pass Centerpiece Annotation is to look at the related searches in Google. So the idea is you do the search for your term, scroll to the bottom, look at those terms, and start clicking out and see how far you can go to make sure that as you continue to get those related searches that you’re finding pages on your site. They haven’t gone too far astray from what Google actually thinks is related. And the reason that I bring that up is that you can do the same kind of thing in a chat GPT to get those results, but it’s not the Google results, that’s just what Chat GPT thinks. So you can get topic clustering, but you still do want to double check it on what Google is actually saying because that’s topic clustering according to this tool. But that might not be what Google thinks is related at all. So while it’s good for figuring out topics and clustering, you do really want to check to make sure that you are on track because seems very easy for me to get off track where Google thinks that this topic should be going in that direction and that’s the content you need to write. But if you just relied on something else that isn’t Google, you wouldn’t know that and you can actually really cause a lot of damage on your site accidentally by going with kind of made sense. It looks correct and makes sense, but it’s actually not what Google thinks at all.
Chris Myles [00:18:53]:
Yeah. So would you say that you use Google as like your main tool to really cluster? I know you said that you are touching on using AI to do the clustering, but you’re always confirming it with what you actually see within Google.
Kyle Roof [00:19:04]:
That’s exactly right. It’s a good starting off point, but you do have to confirm that you’re still on track. The secret is hiding in plain sight. Google shows you the sites that it likes, it shows you what it thinks is related to that and you want to go and look at it. I’m always impressed with the number of people that don’t look at the SERPs or look at the competitors. They just use a tool which using a tool you should do because you have to fast forward the process. You can’t go in and manually count things, but you do actually need to look at the landscape, see what’s there, see what type of pages Google is rewarding, what’s moving in and out of page one, those types of things. And a lot of people just honestly don’t look at it. And in doing that, if you’re just getting the data from a tool and you’re not really looking at what’s happening in the SERPs, something’s going to get lost in translation. You’re not going to be as effective as you could be.
Chris Myles [00:19:55]:
Right. Because you’re just missing a whole piece of the pie, probably the biggest piece of the pie. If you’re just ignoring what happens. I tell students all the time you have to Google it and just see what’s there. It seems almost too simple, right? But it’s actually the best way to do it.
Kyle Roof [00:20:10]:
And the SERP features too. Some keywords have different features. You might see that there’s like an image carousel or there might be interesting people also asked, you didn’t think about, there might be something that Google is testing, trying a new feature. Those are all different optimization opportunities. You can create pages for that or get those on your target pages in order to not just win in the SERPs, but win all those extra features as well. But you need to look at the SERPs to find out which features are there.
Chris Myles [00:20:37]:
Yeah. Now you mentioned the features. I have a few sites, and one of which I can’t win a Snippet to save my life, and there was a thing going on about the Snippet ban. Is that a real thing?
Kyle Roof [00:20:49]:
I’m not sure. It does seem, though, it doesn’t feel like every once in a while that Google hates a site for some reason, and it doesn’t matter what you do. It just Google will hate you forever. That does kind of feel like a thing.
Chris Myles [00:21:03]:
Yeah. Well, it’s funny that the site traffic does continue to increase. It just can’t win a Google Snippet to save its life, and I don’t know what’s going on with it. With this particular site, I should say, but I got other ones that I could put an article that barely scratches the search intent sometimes, and it wins the Snippet in a second because of the low competition.
Kyle Roof [00:21:24]:
Is there any chance I’m not really.
Chris Myles [00:21:25]:
Sure what’s going on.
Kyle Roof [00:21:26]:
Click the button for no Snippet. You can put no snippet code on your site.
Chris Myles [00:21:31]:
Yeah, I checked that as well, and it was a site that I acquired, and it had the Snippets on there, and then I think maybe I changed the theme or something, and then the Snippets literally disappeared, like, the next day. So I was thinking maybe it could have been but the old theme that it was on was terrible. I had to get it on something better.
Kyle Roof [00:21:49]:
It wasn’t too terrible. It was getting you the Snippets, though.
Chris Myles [00:21:52]:
No, that’s a fact right there. That is a fact. So I might have to go look at that. But yeah, I’ve even gone into the whole making sure that the code wasn’t there to ignore snippets and all of this stuff, and the site still actually is doing pretty good. So, I mean, I can’t really sneeze at it, but, man, if I could get those Snippets back, the traffic will probably increase 30% on the site overnight anyways, so I’m originally from Louisiana, right? I’m from the good old south here in the United States, and I saw in another interview that you’re a fan of Southern Comfort, right? The drink?
Kyle Roof [00:22:28]:
Yes, I am.
Chris Myles [00:22:30]:
Why Southern Comfort? Yes, exactly. Why Southern Comfort? What about it makes it so great?
Kyle Roof [00:22:37]:
I’m hopelessly addicted. And by the way, if anybody’s like, what is this? Don’t try it. It’s garbage. It’s not anything you want to drink? No, it was easy. It mixes with everything. It’s not expensive. You’re broke in college. It’s a good option. I just kind of stuck with it.
Chris Myles [00:22:56]:
Yeah, there was this vodka called Taka. I don’t know if you ever heard of it, but it’s like the cheapest vodka on the planet. And like I said, when you’re in college and you don’t have a few bucks, and all you have is a few bucks to buy. To buy something. You’re always going to go with a big old fifth of Taco because it only costs, like, $4. I totally understand. What, no sudden comfort? No, it is an amazing drink, and I do enjoy it myself as well. But anyways, let’s go ahead and change.
Kyle Roof [00:23:21]:
Over there, now that I think about it.
Chris Myles [00:23:24]:
Hey, there you go. And you’re traveling. That’s awesome. You’re always prepared.
Kyle Roof [00:23:27]:
Chris Myles [00:23:27]:
I think I can hang out with a guy like you. Okay, cool. So let’s go ahead and change up just a tad, and let’s talk about eat. All right, we all know the thing that Google now is looking harder at. What would you say is more important, eat or backlinks?
Kyle Roof [00:23:48]:
Backlinks. Well, here’s the thing. Eat won’t help you rank. Anything you do eat wise will not improve rank. And I’ve had people say that, hey, I did all the things you suggested, but my rankings didn’t go up. But that’s because they’re not ranking factors, but they will help you keep your rankings once Google does an eat check. And it looks like now more than anything, it’s not an if, it’s a when. And it’s probably for certain niches. They’re more strict, like this thing rolled out with the Medic update. So it’s going after ymyl your money or your life sites, sites that give financial advice or sites that give health advice. It looks like it spread out to pretty much all niches now, kind of based maybe on a traffic bar. I’m not sure what that traffic bar would be, but once your site kind of gets to a certain level of importance, google check free. And the basic concept is, should your site be in the index in the first place? And it really comes down to who is responsible for the site, who owns the site, who’s responsible for the content. And you need to make those things crystal clear for a bot to look to find those signals that say, like, yeah, we are a real company. We’re doing what we’re supposed to do there. We are real people writing this, and we’re responsible for the content. So the backlinks will get your rankings up, but then at some point, you will need the eat in order to keep those rankings.
Chris Myles [00:25:00]:
Okay, that makes plenty of sense, and I totally understand. So what would you say you do to make sure Google can see that eat?
Kyle Roof [00:25:09]:
So the biggest thing we want to do is put in the schema and metadata. So it’s one thing to have it on the page, and you should have it on the page, but you should also mark it up. Schema is a tag that goes inside the code that search engines can understand. If you see, like, a dollar sign and then 495, you know, that’s a price. It’s $4.95. Search engines don’t necessarily know that after a. While they might be able to figure it out. But you can put that in scheme and say, this is a price, and then the search engine is like, okay, this is the price. It makes it a lot easier for them to understand the content on the page. So anything that you do for each, such as, like, displaying your business address, your business phone number, the people that are running the company, the people that your authors author, bio pages, within all of that, you can put all that information in schema, which makes it a lot easier for the search engines to understand, okay? This is a real company, and these are real people.
Chris Myles [00:26:06]:
Got you. All right, so schema, which is something that I remember when I first started learning about schema, I was always afraid of it because it’s like, oh, code and everything. Actually, once you learned it, it wasn’t that bad though.
Kyle Roof [00:26:17]:
I still avoid it. I always tell people, do the schema and then I pay somebody else. I don’t touch it. It’s like, you do it, I get somebody else to handle it for me.
Chris Myles [00:26:26]:
Got you. So someone starting a brand new site, maybe it’s an affiliate site, but they’re going to go for the authority angle, trying to hit all angles. How would they establish eat if they didn’t want to use their actual names and stuff? Are online personas dead now?
Kyle Roof [00:26:45]:
I mean, you could do that. But the thing is, if you are running a business, you have to have a business address. You must. And then that is a public record. People should be able to find that. If you don’t want to use your home address, you can use a registered address or a registered agent that costs like $25 a year to do that. I would do that. Google is increasingly hostile towards affiliate sites, but it’s not because they’re affiliate sites, it’s because they want to hide who they are. So think about, let’s say the affiliate site writes some content, somebody follows that advice, and then they are harmed. Who can they find to get help? Who can they find to get restored to restore the harm? So if that person is hiding who they are, I think Google sees that it’s in the best interest to not put that site on the web, because then people, what if they just need a refund? Or what if they need a new product they got shipped the wrong product? What if it’s broken when they received it? Those kind of things need to be answered, and real businesses do all that, and they make it very clear how to do that. Affiliate sites don’t. And so I can see that. I think that’s why Google appears to be hostile to affiliate sites, because they would much rather put in a business that is being very clear about the business that they’re running than a site that’s going to try to hide who’s behind and who’s responsible.
Chris Myles [00:28:09]:
Yeah, that makes plenty of sense. It’s tough though, because are the golden days of being able to just slap a site up that has a random that doesn’t have anybody on it. I’ve seen plenty of affiliate sites that don’t even have a person on it just going after SEO keywords. So that officially is probably gone now, based on what you’re saying.
Kyle Roof [00:28:29]:
I mean, it’ll work for a certain amount of time until you get checked. And so it’s a risk tolerance. How much do you want to put into that, knowing that at some point it will die? And I would also point out it’s never one thing on Eat. It’s ticking as many of the boxes as you can. So maybe you can get by without the address. If you’ve got 99 other things, and if you want to take that risk, then you can definitely go for it. But I would put as much as you can on there, and I think that gives you the best possible best outcomes. The best possible outcomes, if you can do as much as you can, even if you don’t want to, say, put an address.
Chris Myles [00:29:11]:
So other than organizational schema and then schema on the business and everything, is there anything else that you can do on Page maybe to be helpful for Eat?
Kyle Roof [00:29:21]:
Chris Myles [00:30:14]:
Yeah, okay, so I like that a lot because that’s what I’ve been doing on sites recently, and I have one site that actually has done pretty well through 2022, didn’t really get hit by anything. And I have a lot of those things you just mentioned in it. And I’m curious if maybe, like I said, maybe it hasn’t hit a traffic threshold where Google’s looking at it a little harder or whatever’s going on, but as of right now, it seems to be doing okay. You’re not going to knock on wood or whatever, but it’s doing all right for now. Do you think these algorithm updates with Google are going to continue, or is this more like a prove it, period. For people who maybe they shouldn’t be in a space that they can’t stomach it.
Kyle Roof [00:30:50]:
That would be interesting if they come to a point like, okay, we feel good about where Eat is and we’re not going to do any more updates on it. That’d be interesting. I doubt it. I think they’ll continue to run checks. The guys at Fat Rank, they run in the niches that get hit constantly by Eat, like casino and gambling and supplements and stuff like that. They’ve identified Raiderhub.com as a possible referral that would indicate that you’ve had an Eat check. So you can go into Google Analytics, look at your referral traffic, and then see if Raterhub.com has been to your site. And if it has, it’s possible that you’ve already gone through your e check.
Chris Myles [00:31:34]:
Okay, that’s interesting because they used to do that previously. I forgot exactly what you would look for. But I remember a couple of years ago, people started seeing us, a bit of a correlation on Twitter or something, how if you got hit by an algorithm update and you saw this particular domain in your analytics, then you knew that, oh, someone must have must have got me. So that’s probably something similar to that, right?
Kyle Roof [00:31:56]:
Yeah, no, that’s what they’ve identified. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but they have apparently taken the long, hard look at it and that’s the one that they’re identifying. You can go to their site too, just it’s Fatrank.com. And then search for eat. They have several articles on Eat that are all pretty good.
Chris Myles [00:32:11]:
All right, cool. Yeah, that’s super important, especially nowadays with actually treating your business as a business. A lot of people don’t like doing that for whatever reason, really? Just us affiliate guys. But regardless, it’s best to do for sure. Now let’s go on to like, Compound SEO. Would you mind explaining what Compound SEO is and how it works?
Kyle Roof [00:32:33]:
That’s the branded term that we use in the agency for the concept. If you do agency work, I recommend productizing your services. So that’s the product. It’s based off of Chris Carter’s concept on avalanche theory. And if you don’t know avalanche theory, I highly recommend going to builder society and checking out SEO with no resources. It’s kind of the standard I would mention, and I don’t think Carter makes this claim, but it’s not a complete strategy. You can’t just be like, this is all we’re going to do for SEO. This is a foundational piece, is how I would approach this, and saying like, okay, this is what we do. Do all those things, you know, work. But then as you are putting together a complete SEO strategy, this would be, I think, one component of it, and it’s a large component, but the basic idea is that your site has a natural tier, a natural level of authority that Google will immediately trust you for a keyword. The example I give you all the time is you’ve got some long tail term and you threw it on a page and you really didn’t SEO it. And you’re just like instantly on page two and you think you’re just an SEO god. And then you do a very similar term, very similar long tail term, and you can’t crack the top 100 and you just feel like an idiot. What was the difference between those two terms? The difference likely is that one was in your tier, so Google just immediately trusted you for it and you didn’t need SEO because you’re at the right level and the other was not. And because it’s not in your tier, then you would need to do boosts and that would be more on page SEO, backlinks or other external signals in order to get it up and move it up. And so then the concept is if you post in your tier, you can win keywords impressions and clicks with really no SEO. And then as you gain that, you kind of move up tiers again without doing anything that can get you in any kind of issues. You’re essentially Google update proofing your site because when Google comes in and slaps people for backlinks, you don’t have anything to worry about because you built your strength without backlinks. It’s a way to kind of create evergreen growth that is nearly Google update proof.
Chris Myles [00:34:42]:
Got you. That’s cool. I like it a lot. When you’re trying to determine your tier, are you using some type of search volume to determine tiers for these keywords?
Kyle Roof [00:34:53]:
That’s exactly right.
Chris Myles [00:34:54]:
What are you using for the search volumes?
Kyle Roof [00:34:56]:
You want to look at a three month span in search console and then throw out any outliers, but take your low clicks day and your high clicks day, add those together and then take the average. So if your low clicks day was 50 and your high clicks day was 100, your average there is 75. And then what that means is you can go after keywords that have a monthly volume of 75 is the idea.
Chris Myles [00:35:21]:
So then that and you’re doing that based on what? Are you using a tool to figure out what keywords get 75 search volume?
Kyle Roof [00:35:29]:
You can use any tool you like. I would actually kind of broaden the range because when you’re using a third party tool for search volume, they’re not always 100% accurate. So if my number was 75 or my tier was 75, then what I would do is I’d probably go 50 to 100 or something. I’d go back to probably that range and look in there for terms. The one other step, though, is you want to find once you’ve identified your tier, and I’ve got a whole list of keywords that are within that search volume, you do want to then filter for low competition terms. So that you can be more sure that if you post this content, it will rank without any SEO because it is in the tier and it is lower competition.
Chris Myles [00:36:12]:
Got you. All right, so that makes sense. So you still use like, a keyword tool. Even though it’s not 100% accurate, you’re still using one because you need to get the volumes at all versus just kind of guessing because that’s the first step. Do you have any that you like in particular in the agency?
Kyle Roof [00:36:27]:
We use SEMrush. And it’s not because I think it’s any better than anything. It’s just it matched up more with our SOPs in in March of 2020, when COVID hit, we really freaked out thinking that, are we going to lose all our clients? And at the time, we had all the tools. We had Maz, and we used it for this. And we had Ahrefs, and we used it for that. We had SEMrush and we used it for this. We had majestic. We did that. And we ended up basically getting rid of our entire tool suite and got really lean and basically said, like, okay, SEMrush at that time had had the things that we could kind of match up, like, okay, we’re doing ahrefs. We have it here in SEMrush. I think we saved something to the tune of like $3000 to $4,000 a month, like getting rid of I bet. But I mean, we were scared. Are we going to lose all of our clients? What’s going to happen here? Is the Internet dead? Like, who knows what’s going to happen?
Chris Myles [00:37:21]:
Yeah, the sky is always falling.
Kyle Roof [00:37:24]:
Yeah. Well, what it turned out though, is it couldn’t have been better. Our business exploded during the Pandemic, and so while we got really lean, then we got really a lot of clients and we got a lot better clients. And so our margins just absolutely exploded. And so for us, the Pandemic was a really good time business wise.
Chris Myles [00:37:48]:
Business wise. Yeah. You got to do very similar thing happened in my business too. Yeah, exactly. Similar thing happened. 2020 was actually awesome, but it’s just one of those things. I totally get it. All right, let me ask you this. A lot of the people who listen to this podcast are newer bloggers. Some of them are already running successful website niche sites and authority sites. What would you say is the biggest mistake you see from seeing all of the sites that you come across that people are making?
Kyle Roof [00:38:18]:
One mistake that people make all the time is kind of decision paralysis. The idea that they’ve got all these ideas and they’re all fine ideas, but they end up not implementing any of them. The only page that can’t rank is a page that doesn’t exist. So get something up. Do something. And in a very similar concept too. A lot of people worry about their SEO, but they don’t do any SEO. They’re thinking about it. They’re worried about their site, but they don’t actually do anything. It would be better to do something slightly wrong than to do nothing at all. Get something going even if it’s not perfect. Maybe you could have done the technique a little bit better. That’s okay. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you just need to get something on there and going rather than not doing anything at all. So those kind of things are, I think, are pretty similar concepts, but you see that a lot, especially with newer people in the game or newer sites. They’re just not doing anything, so go ahead and go for it. The other thing I would add, too, is in organization, you should have a three month plan. You should know what you’re doing for the next three months. And at some point right now, you should know where you are in that three month plan. And the reason you want to do that is it really helps you avoid shiny object syndrome, where, oh, this sounded really great, and this sounded great. So every month, you’re kind of like coming up with a new plan. You don’t want to do that at all. You want to do a three month plan. Month. One. I’m doing this. Month. Two. I’m doing that. Month. Three. I’m doing that. And then at the end of that sprint, you can evaluate whether things were effective or not. And in doing that, you can then take some things out like that really didn’t work, and then plug something else in. But once you’ve done several iterations of that sprint, you’re going to have a very tight set of SOPs where you know that they give you the best chance for success. Because success in SEO isn’t being 100% right, it’s being slightly better than your competitors. That’s the goal. You’re not going to be right every time, but you just need to be slightly better than what your competitors are doing. And that’s huge success. And that brings in a lot of money. In order to do that, if you can do those repeatable processes that you know that if I do this, this gives me the best chance for success, you will be very successful in SEO. So have a three month plan. Evaluate that three month plan, and then tweak as needed. And then once you’ve done several iterations of that, you will be an expert level SEO.
Chris Myles [00:40:39]:
Yeah, I like that a lot. Having a goal in mind is something that especially when you start, a lot of people are used to working for someone else, working at nine to five, and just leaving it as that. But when you start running your own business, you have to come up with your own goals, your own quarterly goals that you want to come up with. And I remember when I first started doing this full time, that was one of the things that I struggled with, was not really knowing what to do when I woke up that day, because I could work on so many things. But having a nice defined plan. I think that makes a ton of sense because you can constantly reevaluate what’s going on. I find that specifically helpful when buying and selling niche sites. So I’ll have a site and I’ll put a date on it and I’ll say, okay, on this date, and I’m going to reevaluate if I want to keep it or if I got to ditch the site. And a lot of people don’t do that and they end up staying with a site too long because they never reevaluate it. Then they get hit by an algorithm update and then they lose the money. I’d rather get out of a site earlier while it’s growing rather than waiting for it, thinking that it’s going to constantly just go up and up because it’s probably not 100%.
Kyle Roof [00:41:52]:
This is about as hippie as I get. But there is something to intention, like actually stating it, I’m going to do this, put it down. And there is something I wish it didn’t work, but it does. And it really annoys me when my hippie friends are like, you got to do a vision board. I was like, I know when you put it on a stupid vision board, it happens and it’s just black magic. Why did that work? It is really important to have that goals. Have the plan, put it down on paper, not just in your head. Put it down on paper and you have a much higher chance of success.
Chris Myles [00:42:32]:
Yeah. So when it comes to you’re planning a site, you’re coming up with, you found a niche that you like, maybe you found a nice affiliate program that you’re going to want to push or whatever. When you’re structuring your site, are you sticking to nice tight, hard silos or are you doing more linking in terms of soft silos? How are you setting up your site?
Kyle Roof [00:42:58]:
Well, if I’m just getting into the niche and I’m not overly familiar with it, what I want to do is I want to look at, say, the top three, four, five sites, the ones that are constantly, always winning terms. And I want to scrape as many of their URLs as I can. I want to try to match up what pages they have in common because then that’ll kind of help put a content plan together, put a structure together that can be successful. A lot of times people have questions on URL structure, like, should I structure my URLs? Product service, geo, et cetera. What I do is I like to look at the sites that are winning and see what they do and then I’m going to emulate that. Now when it comes to siloing, what I want to do is I want pages that they only exist to be in a silo. That’s their job. You’re going to have other pages, obviously. You’re going to have like resource pages or hub pages. And they’re going to link to a lot of things on your site. But I’m going to create content specifically to support my target pages, and I’m going to put that into a silo. And I use a virtual silo method where you’re linking to these pages, to each other within the body content. So the URL structure doesn’t matter. They can live anywhere on the site. They can be posts or pages or a combination that doesn’t matter at all. But I’m going to link, I’m going to make that connection between them in a virtual silo, which is links within the body content.
Chris Myles [00:44:14]:
Okay, got you. That makes good sense there. Do you ever link to make an important page on your site just so that you can show Google what’s the most important one?
Kyle Roof [00:44:24]:
Yeah, I mean, if there’s a target page I identify, like this is a page I want to show up in Google. So that’s something that I’m going to try to make sure I’m getting internal links going to, for sure.
Chris Myles [00:44:38]:
Do you write content knowing that you have no shot at ranking for it, but you’re just writing it just for topical authority?
Kyle Roof [00:44:44]:
I guess, yeah, you want to write that content, but just because you don’t win that target term doesn’t mean you’re not going to win secondary terms. Healthy pages rank for hundreds, if not thousands of keywords, and a lot of them actually might even not even appear on the page. But you had to write that primary term, that was the main term to win those secondary terms. And so even though you might not win that big one because you’re going up against huge, huge, and huge, you can still have a very successful page that’s winning a whole bunch of secondary terms. And often those secondary terms are more transactional, they’re more specific. So even though the traffic might not be as high, you actually get visitors that have better intent.
Chris Myles [00:45:23]:
Yeah, I remember when I first got into this, I was always taught like, build like a review and then write a whole bunch of secondary articles around it and then link to the review and then just do that all over a site. And it still has some success with that today, but I’ve gotten a lot more into building out bigger categories, bigger silos, and then trying to keep everything nice and tight on the inside. And it seems to be having some pretty good success over the last year or so that I’ve been doing, even when I acquire a site and then trying to fix the structure there where people are just linking to anything all the time rather than having more intentional look at it. How important is interlinking versus going after backlinks to you?
Kyle Roof [00:46:09]:
I mean, you want to take advantage of your own authority first. It’s a huge part of what I do is getting my internal linking right, because the only thing you control like 100% of is your own site, the content that you’re putting down and the linking structure that you’re putting into place, the better you do on that, the fewer backlinks you need. That’s just the bottom line. So I want to really focus on getting my content right. I want to really focus on getting my silos right, my internal linking right, the content that I’m putting on, the clustering that I’m doing, how deep I’m going in a particular topic, I want to make sure I get all of that right before I start worrying about backlinks.
Chris Myles [00:46:46]:
Got you. So are you worried about linking out to authoritative resources? I know there’s plugins out there that literally no follow every link on your site, and then you got to go in and do individual exceptions. Are you worried about leaking authority? For lack of a better phrase?
Kyle Roof [00:47:01]:
I don’t link out a lot. Don’t do it for the sake of doing it. Don’t be like, oh, we have to have if it makes sense to link out, then link out and then give them the credit. That’s totally fine. But in my content outlines, I’m like, okay, we need at least two links going out to not at all. You just want to make sure that if it makes sense, if you need to give the reader more information or you need to cite something on where you’re getting that information from, then totally do it and give them the credit. But otherwise, don’t do it just to have an outbound link.
Chris Myles [00:47:32]:
Got you. Yeah, no, I like that because you get stuck to everyone wants, like, a structure, step by step structure. And SEO is nothing is everything. But because there is structure there, but it’s an art form rather than an actual science, I like to say, because you got to make sure that you’re doing the best practices. What’s the answer? Everyone always says it depends because everything depends. Okay, so look, we are getting close to the end of our time. Would you mind telling us a little bit about Pop and exactly how it works and maybe if people want to go check it out?
Kyle Roof [00:48:11]:
Oh, sure. So it’s an on page optimization tool. Essentially, you put in the page that you want to optimize, and then we grab your competitors, and then we do what we like to call edge analysis, where we’re not just giving you averages on terms to use, but we’re actually looking for places where you can beat your competitors. And sometimes that’s doing more than they’re doing, sometimes that’s doing the same as they’re doing, and sometimes that’s doing a little bit less. And then what we do is we break it up into different sections, such as your page title, your H one, which is the title that humans see paragraph, tags, et cetera, and how many times you need to get certain terms in those areas, and then we kind of give you a total count. But it’s a lot of fun. It’s effective. This came from the agency we were using it internally. And then this was the math that we were doing. And I showed it to some buddies. Would you like this? Would this look good for you? And they’re like, yes, please. And then we built it out. We initially gave it away for free for about six, seven months on the back end of the agency website. And we kept crashing the website. And I was like, I think we need to turn this into a real tool. So then that’s we created a SaaS tool, and it’s a standalone SaaS, and that’s what it’s been since. We help with a lot of different parts of the on page process, like helping you brainstorm your titles, finding related keywords related concepts, stuff like that. It is very scientifically based. The tests that I’ve run, those concepts go into the tool. So the things that we present are the things that we know are most likely moving the needle. Some tools go into thousands of potential factors.
Chris Myles [00:49:48]:
Kyle Roof [00:49:49]:
We have about 50 that we really hone in on. They’re more than that, but that’s there. We also get into some other things. If you want access to Google’s NLP API, that’s on your radar, so the entities that Google can see in a site, we’ve got access to that. And also all plans can get access to that as well. And I don’t think any other tool does that. And then we also have a whole section on Eat, actually. So eat. And I think we’re one of the few tools that has that as well. Why did they add the extra e? It was just fine as it was.
Chris Myles [00:50:20]:
They got to do better with marketing, I guess. The engineers trying to talk to the marketers and they’ll know what’s going on.
Kyle Roof [00:50:25]:
That’s probably what it is. The engineers are making that call. Right. And they just don’t have anybody in marketing making a decision because they changed Google Data Studio to Looker Studio not that long ago. But why so often? They just need to change a name for the sake of changing a name?
Chris Myles [00:50:44]:
Yeah. Didn’t they recently change the name to the Webmaster Guidelines or something?
Kyle Roof [00:50:50]:
Yeah, they changed that name. I think it’s just Google Guidelines. And then they changed Google My Business to Google Business Profiler or something. I don’t know.
Chris Myles [00:50:59]:
Yeah, it’s crazy what these guys are doing. I guess a lot of what we talked about today had to do with AI and everything. So just to put it out the pasture, I guess are you afraid of what AI is going to do to Google search and websites?
Kyle Roof [00:51:16]:
Not at all. I just think it’ll be another opportunity for us. Things will change a little bit. That’s how they always do when something like this happens. But that little bit is not going to be the whole bit. We’ll still be just fine. We have several years of SEO.
Chris Myles [00:51:33]:
What about buying and selling a. Site.
Kyle Roof [00:51:37]:
The one thing that I think it’ll really help with is content creation and speed of content creation. So I think you would be able to if you are buying sites, you can create content faster. But keep in mind, just because you can create it faster doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. So bad SEOs will just be able to do bad SEO faster, and that’ll give us all an opportunity. It’s not like they’re instantly going to become better SEO. They’re just going to do what they’re doing poorly, and they’re just going to do it faster.
Chris Myles [00:52:04]:
Yeah, gosh to that point. A lot of times people will get into the SEO game and they’ll start trying to build up these sites, and maybe they don’t have a 100% proven process, but then they want to go to a second site and a third site and a fourth site, but then they’re just replicating the wrong thing over and over again. Right. Or something that they don’t know is working. They won’t find out until months later. Now they have four rec sites rather than just one.
Kyle Roof [00:52:32]:
Bad SEO faster. Let them do it.
Chris Myles [00:52:37]:
Yeah, I’m not too worried about it either, but, man, there’s so many things that are happening over the years. Like we mentioned, the sky is always falling when it came to SEO. Right. It’s always dying. It’s always not going to be here next year. Yet Google still tends to be the most consistent traffic source on the planet, and I’m sticking with it. And it’s nice to hear that people like yourself are sticking with it as well.
Kyle Roof [00:53:02]:
I’m not worried at all.
Chris Myles [00:53:04]:
All right, awesome. Okay, so where can people find you and get in contact with you if they need or find your stuff?
Kyle Roof [00:53:11]:
The easiest thing, Kyleroof.com, you can go to that, and then all my stuff is there, so that’s probably the easiest way to go.
Chris Myles [00:53:18]:
All right, cool. Is there anything that maybe we didn’t discuss that maybe you think it would be applicable to niche site owners and bloggers and affiliate niche site guys and girls?
Kyle Roof [00:53:29]:
Well, we covered a lot, I feel like. Yeah. Did we miss anything? Is this a prompt? Am I missing something that you want me to say?
Chris Myles [00:53:37]:
No, not a prompt.
Kyle Roof [00:53:39]:
Now would be the.
Chris Myles [00:53:43]:
Come on. No, it’s not that at all. I don’t like to think that I know everything, contrary to what my wife might think of me. So it’s nice to just to see if there’s anything else that you thought, but if you think we covered it hey, I’ll take that.
Kyle Roof [00:54:01]:
It’s a good one.
Chris Myles [00:54:02]:
Awesome. Well, look yeah. I appreciate your time, Kyle. This has been an awesome interview, and look forward to hopefully being able to meet face to face on the phone.
Kyle Roof [00:54:10]:
Yeah, that’d be great. That’d be great. We’ll have some Soco.
Chris Myles [00:54:13]:
All right, cool. Hey, I’m done. I’m right there. It’s already happened to me. This has already happened in my mind. I just need to realize it now.
Kyle Roof [00:54:23]:
That’d be perfect. I love it.
Chris Myles [00:54:25]:
How does a Kramer say on science failure? Like, in my mind, I’m already there. That’s where I am.
Kyle Roof [00:54:31]:
Chris Myles [00:54:32]:
Anyway, thanks, Kyle, so much for being on.
Kyle Roof [00:54:34]: