#236: Best Ways to Build Your SEO Traffic in 2022 (Edited)

In this episode, I’m interviewing SEO strategist, Casey Markee, about the best ways to build your Google traffic in 2022.

We dig into up-to-the-moment SEO topics and strategies such as:

  • The Google May Core Update
  • The five factors that determine Google’s search results
  • The pros and cons of using AI writing tools
  • Link building strategies
  • Duplicate content
  • Domain Authority
  • And whether Google actually punishes bloggers for transgressions

This episode will give you all the information you need to grow your blog traffic with confidence in 2022. Enjoy!

Best Ways to Build Your SEO Traffic in 2022 | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Table of Contents

Show Notes:

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Intro 0:04
Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.

Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. I’m your host, Jillian Leslie. And I’m a serial entrepreneur, I founded Catch My Party, the MiloTree pop-up app and our new payment tool called MiloTreeCart to empower creators, like you to easily sell and get paid for digital products on the internet.

Jillian Leslie 0:33
So, digital product is anything from a paid workshop, to a membership, to coaching to services, to eBooks, to digital downloads, if you have an audience and are not selling digital products directly to them, you are missing out on thousands of dollars in income.

Jillian Leslie 2:20
MiloTreeCart is something you all should be using; especially you creators who want to tap into new income streams who have audiences and who are intimidated by complicated tech. Check it out milotreecart.com. Email me at jillian@milotree.com. I’d love to help you get set up.

Jillian Leslie 2:39
I think we built something that many of you can use to grow your businesses.

Jillian Leslie 2:45
For today’s episode I’m super excited to welcome Casey Markee from Media Wyse back on the show. His first episode was one of my most popular. He is the SEO expert. He works with every big food blogger. He is all about getting you traffic.

Jillian Leslie 3:07
You want the most cutting edge SEO strategies. This is the episode for you. In fact, I think you will listen to it more than once. So without further delay, here is my interview with Casey Markee.

Best Ways to Build Your SEO Traffic in 2022

Jillian Leslie 3:21
Casey, welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast.

Casey Markee 3:27
Jillian, thank you so much for having me. I know that this is probably going to be delayed and we’ll probably have this live in a couple of weeks. But today is my 22nd wedding anniversary. My wife was so kind enough to let me do an interview today mostly because it gave her an excuse to go shopping.

Casey Markee 3:45
That’s what she’s doing right now. 22 years. That’s in Casey’s time. it’s a factor of three. So she feels like she’s been married almost six decades.

Jillian Leslie 3:54
Wow. And what are you doing to celebrate?

Casey Markee 3:58
Dinner, we’ll do dinner out and leave the kids home. That’s a good thing about having teenagers. We don’t have to worry about them necessarily burning the house down, though the large parties are always a concern we’ll have to keep the cameras on while we’re out. Good times.

Jillian Leslie 4:14
Well, congratulations.

Casey Markee 4:15
Thank you. Thank you. I can assure you that my many friends did not believe that I would make it two years much less than 22 years married. They always scared about you married out of your weight class. I absolutely did that. So I’m very fortunate.

Jillian Leslie 4:30
Oh, I’m so glad you shared that. So we have a lot of SEO stuff to talk about especially since our last podcast episode which by the way is one of my highest ranking podcast episodes. I just have to say that.

Casey Markee 4:45
I’m going to say my goal is for it to be your highest rated. Highest one.

Jillian Leslie 4:46
I love that.

Casey Markee 4:52
So if you’re on the call and you didn’t listen to the first one, it is jam-packed with stuff so I definitely would recommend, it’s going to be very good.

Best Ways to Build Your SEO Traffic in 2022 | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

What You Need to Know About Google’s May Core Update

Jillian Leslie 4:58
And I will link to it in the show notes. So here’s the thing. This is the thing that I keep hearing about. And I wanted to pick your brain on this. Tell me about the May Core Update.

Casey Markee 5:51
So, the May Core Update rolled out, it was announced by Google.

Casey Markee 6:07
Google, rarely announces updates, but they’ve been very good at announcing what they consider core updates, which are significant updates that affect the larger percentage than any of the dozens or hundreds of regular changes to the algorithm they make on a daily and weekly basis.

Casey Markee 6:22
But the most recent update the May Core Update, as it has been coined rolled out on May the 25th. The rollout lasted roughly about two weeks and was completed on or about June the 9th, though, honestly, we saw tremors all the way up until the 14th of the month.

Casey Markee 6:40
For those of us who monitor this regularly, and again, I’m one of many people who, again, I focus on site auditing. So core updates are very important. A core update can be confusing, it can be certainly discouraging, discouraging and disconcerting for the average site owner.

Casey Markee 6:58
But for the vast majority of people, they never notice. Nothing never really happens. I have numerous people who say, “Oh, my God was I affected by the quarter update?” And we’ll go in and there’s literally no issues at all on this site.

Casey Markee 7:11
Maybe the fact that they had a weekend drop in traffic, but that seasonally related, it’s not related to the core update at all. But core updates can be scary. And basically how these work is that, a core update is basically Google making dramatic broad changes to their algorithms and systems.

Casey Markee 7:30
Sometimes these are designed to ensure that they’re delivering the most relevant and authoritative content to searchers, sometimes, they’re designed to address a problem that they’ve detected in their algorithms.

Casey Markee 7:43
And maybe they’re noticing that generally maybe we have core updates in the past that have affected specific niches like the payday loan issue, or we’ve had sites that were filling in nature that were taken down a peg as a whole.

Casey Markee 7:58
But core updates are there to address systemic issues that are supposed to increase the ability of Google to return the highest quality, relevant and authoritative rankings based on query matching.

Jillian Leslie 8:10
So is there anything you can do if there is a core update and you’ve been impacted? Will you know why? Or if you are following best practices, should you be able to ride through it?

Casey Markee 8:25
That’s a good point. If you’ve been doing things as you should be doing them, in other words, you’ve been publishing high quality content. You’ve been making your site as fast and as user friendly as possible.

Casey Markee 8:36
You haven’t been participating in link schemes, you haven’t been buying links. You haven’t been using AI software to write your content.

Does Google Punish You if You Use AI Writing Tools?

Jillian Leslie 8:46
Wait, wait, wait, I have to freeze you there. Can we talk about that? This is this whole new exploding thing. I feel like it just kind of exploded on the scene. Within the last say six months. And there are companies like Jasper, Copy AI.

Jillian Leslie 9:06
And it felt like all of a sudden, just boom, you could now type in a little bit of what you want this AI to spew out and it will and the promise seems to be it will write your blog post for you.

Casey Markee 9:23
Well, that’s certainly the promise. But the reality is a stark contrast. Google has very clearly said and this happened actually on April 13th of this year. Google actually updated their Webmaster Guidelines to say quote, again, AI generated content is against their guidelines.

Casey Markee 9:45
Now that’s really interesting that they updated their guidelines on 4/13. And then lo and behold, we had a core update a little over a month later. And the reason I bring that up is that I think things like Jasper AI and AdThrive has a topic tool that uses AI generation.

Casey Markee 10:06
And we also have Frase and Writer, which are all are very popular algorithms that you can use tool base. I think that they have their strengths and weaknesses.

Casey Markee 10:16
But I think we also have noticeable issues now where following this core update, I’ve had people reach out to me and say, “Oh, my God, Casey, I don’t know what happened.”

Jillian Leslie 13:16
Can I use Jasper, get a bunch of text on my topic and rewrite that text use it as, let’s say, rough draft? And will I get penalized?

Casey Markee 13:33
I’m just going to literally tell you what John Mueller would say, he says, quote, “If you’re using machine learning tools to generate your content, it’s essentially the same as if you’re just shuffling words around.”

Casey Markee 13:42
“Looking up synonyms, or using translation tricks that people use to do these kinds of things for us, will automatically be generated content and viewed as such, and it will be against our guidelines, we would strongly urge you not to do it, we would consider such a practice as spam.” End quote. This is John Mueller.

Casey Markee 14:01
I don’t know why anyone would say that there is no risk in using any kind of AI generated tool because it clearly is. The problem is that Google has a lot of doublespeak, Google will say, “Oh, we’re against AI generated content.” And then they’ll literally use AI generated content every day.

Casey Markee 14:17
They’ve been using AI to rewrite local business information as part of Google Maps for years. That’s how they update operating hours. That’s how they get up the amenities for locations, all of that nonsense. So it’s more of a do what we say not what we do kind of situation.

Best Ways to Build Your SEO Traffic in 2022 | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Optimize Your Blog Posts for Users and Usability

Casey Markee 14:35
My goal is when I have an audit, I just tell people, “Hey, here’s the risks of what your process is. And here are some suggestions that we can use to dial in your content so that it’s less machine reading more optimized for users and usability.” And so we tend to be more successful in that aspect.

What to Do if You Were Affected by the Core Update

Casey Markee 14:55
So kind of going back to the core updates, because we don’t want to get too far off the topic here, Jillian is that with core updates, you’re asking what can bloggers do if they’ve been affected by core update?

Casey Markee 15:04
Well, we want to conduct a traffic drop audit. I’m going to provide a link, you can provide those in the show notes. We have a whole webinar on how to conduct a traffic drop audit. What is it? Your goal is to find themes.

Casey Markee 15:15
Is there a specific part of your content that was affected? Maybe the issue isn’t your content at all. Maybe the issue is that Google changed the intent on several of your top keywords and pages. We had this happened last year, last summer, during the June core update of 2021.

Casey Markee 15:34
Actually, May and July, is when it happened. May and July core updates is Google changed the intent around a significant amount of keyword terms and it affected roundups specifically in the recipe niche.

Jillian Leslie 15:46
Can you break down what that means?

Casey Markee 15:48

Jillian Leslie 15:48
Great. Give me an example.

Casey Markee 15:49
Chicken, chicken recipes. Great example, chicken recipes. Probably the most popular term for food and lifestyle bloggers, chicken recipes. And chicken recipes if someone typed in chicken recipes, it used to be that there was a lot of individual recipes being shown up under chicken recipes.

Casey Markee 16:03
And now that’s not the case. It’s more roundup focused because it’s plural. It’s more of Google trying to return multiple examples of that. So if someone was trying to type in, good example would have been Chinese recipes, which was another one or even Instant Pot recipes or Slow Cooker recipes.

Casey Markee 16:22
Google has refined the intent down to where they’re showcasing more roundups, more guides, and because of that a lot of bloggers would kind of be like, “Oh my God, my traffic dropped 23%.”

Google Updated Their Search Intent Feature

Casey Markee 16:36
And we were finding that as we go in and we look at the keyword, granular data, we were finding that it’s just because Google stopped ranking some of their individual recipes for these really general keyword queries, which had a more refined intent. And so we don’t want to do that. And that’s very common.

Casey Markee 16:52
And so for those of you on the call, and maybe this is something there’s always a change of intent. It’s never just one issue folks, these core updates have. You’ve heard the term baby algorithms it was coined many years ago.

Casey Markee 17:06
Baby algorithms, these core updates contain hundreds, if not millions of these core baby algorithms, which are all work together to determine what results are returned. And it’s the refining of the query intent overall. And so take a look at what’s dropped.

Casey Markee 17:25
See if the results on those keywords have changed specifically. See if there was a carousel and maybe a carousel has been added. Maybe carousel has been eliminated. This May core update really changed carousel visibility considerably. Google added a web story carousel to mobile, which is more prominent.

Casey Markee 17:43
Google also has added and lower the amount of results they’re showing and carousels now, so that’s going to hurt you. Whereas before we might have seen four or six results on mobile for various queries, now we’re seeing half of those. And that’s going to hurt your visibility considerably.

Are Google Web Stories Driving Traffic?

Jillian Leslie 18:02
Here’s a question. Are web stories still a thing? Do you recommend people be creating them? Based on what you were saying, were you saying that there were more now on mobile showing up in results fewer, I couldn’t quite tell?

Casey Markee 18:21
There’s certainly more visibility for web stories, because now there’s a definite carousel on mobile as opposed to previously where it was just discover based. There’s actually new actual web story carousel that’s actually showing on mobile for a lot of queries.

Casey Markee 18:35
So you would think, okay, hey, that means that we should focus a little bit more on web stories. But here’s the problem. There is now literally 10 times, and that’s a conservative estimate of the amount of web stories now as opposed to say, just six months ago, and so it’s substantially more competitive.

Casey Markee 18:51
In my experience for most people using web stories, they’re lucky to get 10% to 12% of their web stories, even showing up or even having discernable traffic. They’re publishing 50 web stories to get maybe five or six that generate traffic. And the problem with web stories is that they’re not great experiences.

Jillian Leslie 19:11

Casey Markee 19:11
I as well. You certainly would not want to link to them prominently on your site. Why would I want to drive traffic from a $30 RPM post to a web story that might make me $3 specifically?

Casey Markee 19:29
And that’s being generous with the RPM on web stories, they’re horrible. It’s really terrible. It’d be like, betting on me to run a marathon. It’s very low odds. that I’m going to finish in under a day.

Jillian Leslie 19:44
So when you are working with a food blogger, and again, one of our biggest constraints, of course, is timing. Now, are you saying just right now, don’t do it because I remember it being the newest thing and I did podcast episodes about creating web stories and there was a secret way.

Casey Markee 20:01
Of course, it was a hot thing for a while.

Jillian Leslie 20:03
And you’re saying, You know what spend your time creating high quality content?

Casey Markee 20:09
Absolutely. It’s a completely different environment for web stories now, as opposed to a year ago. A year ago, you had a lot more success, getting web stories.

Casey Markee 20:18
The bigger vloggers, who are still doing web stories are not doing them themselves. They’re hiring that out to someone else to do that for them. And hopefully, they can generate enough traffic bottom line to make the expense worthwhile.

Casey Markee 20:28
But I’m going to tell you that cottage industry that has popped up where you’re paying $300, $400, or $500, for five or six web stories to me, complete waste of time, because think about how much you traffic, you have to pull from those web stories to get back the RPM to make that back.

Casey Markee 20:45
It’s not a great proposition for most people. If you’re starting out, and your goal is trying to qualify for Mediavine, and you have the time sure, invest in some web stores, it’s just another avenue for you.

Casey Markee 20:58
I have clients who’ve been able to monetize for Mediavine, in 90 to 120 days, and they’ve done it through web stories.

Casey Markee 21:05
But then it’s a big rude awakening when they log on and Mediavine tells them, “Oh, by the way, this is really going to destroy your RPM and maybe we kind of transition away from web stories and focus on another content vehicle.” That’s going to be a little bit more attractive for you long term.

Jillian Leslie 21:25
So you said to me, that we should talk about Google Search. And it breaks down into these following areas, meaning, relevance, quality, usability and context. And what did you mean by that?

The Five Factors that Determine Google Search Results

Casey Markee 21:45
Exactly, Google has a very detailed resource on how search works. And they try to break it down as well as they can. And these five areas, these are five key factors that help determine which Google results are returned for which query on the site.

Casey Markee 22:00
So, if we break them down one at a time, let’s start with the meaning. And so when we’re talking about meaning, we’re talking about meaning of the query. So to return relevant results, we have to of course, establish what we’re looking for.

Casey Markee 22:13
And that’s why Google builds language models that they use repeatedly to determine how these results are going to look before we see them at the front end. Google has gotten pretty good at recognizing and correcting spelling mistakes.

Casey Markee 22:27
They’ve gotten really good at understanding synonyms, which is why we’ve moved beyond synonyms years ago, we always get the question.

Casey Markee 22:27
For example, I get a lot of bloggers who are based in the UK and they’re like, “Man, do I need to change my entire writing to be more US base so that I can start generating more traffic from the US?” And Google is really good at understanding the difference between US English and UK English.

Casey Markee 22:50
And I’ve had bloggers who tell me with mixed results, we’ve had some bloggers who’ve literally living in the UK, that literally you would never know it, they’re using US based language on everything, they’re trying to make sure all their posts are US based English as much as possible.

Casey Markee 23:05
And in many cases, we’ve seen no impact from that at all. And we’ve seen other vloggers where they’ve literally done nothing other than making sure that we’re hosting in the US we don’t have a .co.uk extension where I’m trying to write content that I think American audience will like,.

Casey Markee 23:26
And they’ve been able to grow their American audience just fine without having to change their entire language and logistics.

Google Is Good at Understanding the Meaning of People’s Searches

Casey Markee 23:33
And a lot of that comes down to this first part, which is the meaning of the query, which is that Google can understand what people are trying to type in and optimize accordingly. So that’s the first part of that meaning.

Casey Markee 23:33
Then we come down, of course, to the next section, which is the relevance and the relevance is really where a lot of bloggers struggle with that. We just talked about it with regards to the fact that Google is refining relevance.

Casey Markee 23:58
We call this query refinement, or query optimization, where Google is now saying, if someone’s looking for chicken recipes, they’re not necessarily looking for one chicken recipe, maybe we’re going to go ahead and return this round up, which has 50 Plus top chicken recipes.

Google Is Looking at the Relevance of the Query

Casey Markee 24:12
And maybe we can refine these other queries accordingly. But the most basic signal to Google that something is relevant is that the page contains the keywords that the searcher is using for. And this is something that we have to continue to work on.

Casey Markee 24:26
Because as important as it is for bloggers, bloggers still need to write content that’s relevant for the keywords that they’re ranking for.

Casey Markee 24:34
So we have to understand that it’s not just we want to have the focus keyword on a page, but we also need to be thinking about related entities around that page when we’re talking about relevance.

Casey Markee 24:44
I always use the example of Abraham Lincoln, if I was writing if I had any chance of trying to rank on the first page of Google for any resource on Abraham Lincoln, there are various known entities that are known around Abraham Lincoln, his wife, Mary Todd, his kids, his assassination, the Gettysburg Address.

Casey Markee 25:04
These are all known interlinked entities that Google has associated in the Semantic Web around the topic of Abraham Lincoln. And so I would try to write a complete resource that incorporates those entities into my post.

Casey Markee 25:17
And you have to do the same thing with your average recipe post with your average SEO post, whatever it is, your goal is to find these related keywords, they’re not synonyms. People always get confused by that.

Casey Markee 25:31
Google still uses synonyms, but they move beyond that a long time ago, you’ve probably heard of the term LSI keywords, or Latent Semantic Indexing keywords. It’s a lot of nonsense that you hear people talk about all the time.

Casey Markee 25:45
Google hasn’t used LSI keywords in literally decades would be the guess. There really is no such thing as LSI keywords.

Use Related Keywords in Your Posts, not Synonyms

Casey Markee 25:53
What we’re talking about really is related keywords, what we’re talking about is semantic keywords, what we’re talking about are things that are related to the topic at hand, like our Abraham Lincoln example. And that’s what we’re optimizing.

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Jillian Leslie 27:27
I have a question. My dream is to rank for Abraham Lincoln on the first page. I have two strategies. One is I create the ultimate guide to Abraham Lincoln.

Jillian Leslie 27:43
And this post is so long, and it includes his wife and his children and his childhood and the Gettysburg’s Address and the assassination and all of this information in one post. Do I create a main post?

Jillian Leslie 28:00
Let’s say I touch on all of these topics, then I go into detail about his marriage or his childhood. And I am going to link all of these supporting posts around my let’s say cornerstone posts.

Casey Markee 28:15
I hate that word. Let’s talk about that.

Jillian Leslie 28:17
Which strategy?

Casey Markee 28:18
Cornerstone post. Understand the cornerstone content is just a fantastic marketing method. There’s no such thing. Cornerstone content is just you saying, “Hey, this is an important piece of content, I’m going to designate it as a cornerstone on my site so that I’m reminded naturally to link to it.” It’s utter nonsense.

Cornerstone Content Is Not an Official Concept in Google

Casey Markee 28:34
Okay, we’re going to link to our regular content regularly, if you need a reminder for that, and it makes you feel better to go into Yoast and set something up as cornerstone, fine.

Casey Markee 28:42
But understand that setting something that’s Cornerstone doesn’t do anything for you, as do most of the offered optimizations that Yoast provides you.

Casey Markee 28:50
Now in your example, you’re talking about content clusters, content clusters can work, whereas you have a large, an initial high quality piece of content. And you’re linking into that content with other supporting things.

Casey Markee 29:01
For example, if I wanted to publish a chicken and dumplings recipe, I might also publish what other side dishes go great with chicken and dumplings, and I would link all those together. The problem is that is kind of antiquated, you have to go beyond that considerably.

Casey Markee 29:16
You’re not going to have much luck, especially if you have very little inherent authority on your site, having those clusters linked together. And it’s the same thing. When we talk about how Google Search works. We talked about meaning we talked about relevance. Now we have to go to the next one, which is quality.

The Quality of Your Content Matters a lot in Google Search Results

Casey Markee 29:32
Because I can have a fantastic resource, like you said that was very relevant. But if the quality is not there, then we’re going to have trouble and one of the factors that we have to understand with Google and understanding quality is the most important signal to them.

Casey Markee 29:47
A good sign that something is well trusted is what then it has links to it. And that’s I think where bloggers get confused is that when we’re talking about when we go and work we’ve done talking about the meaning you move to relevance, we’ve got a great resource here. Now we have to go to quality.

Casey Markee 30:03
If I’ve got this fantastic resource, and I’ve even done other supplementary posts on the site, and I’ve linked to them. That means absolutely nothing. If the quality of the content is not viewed as high quality by Google.

Links to Your Content Are Super Important for Ranking in Google

Casey Markee 30:17
How can something be viewed as high quality from a third party. And that’s where the concept of linking comes into play, we have to make sure that we’re linking internally to this content regularly, we have to make sure that we have external links. It doesn’t matter if I think that I have the best resource in the world.

Casey Markee 30:32
We have Abraham Lincoln, if no one externally is linking to it, and telling me as such, and I think that’s where bloggers struggle is like I don’t understand. It’s like anyone who would come on a podcast and say, “Hey, you want to do better just write a longer resource that’s more detailed.”

Casey Markee 30:48
I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Even on your own podcast, that’s the kind of nonsense that you definitely do not want to take at face value, because word count is not now, nor has it ever been a ranking factor, longer is not better, longer is just longer.

Casey Markee 31:03
Our goal is to write the most detailed resource we can, and also not lose sight of the fact that it’s usable. Maybe I don’t want to read 1,000 words on artichoke hearts. Maybe I only need to write a 350 word report, that answers all the questions. And that’s going to be better for the user.

Casey Markee 31:03
And so that’s really where a lot of this SEO nonsense conspires, you’ll have experts come on and say you just need to use maybe the skyscraper approach and write this really long piece of content, that’s 10 times better than everything else. Google has really moved beyond that.

Casey Markee 31:39
It’s not a matter of writing any longer and more detailed report, it’s covering all these issues we’re talking about. It’s making sure that you understand that meaning and relevance, quality, and usability and the context, these five areas when we talk about how Google’s ranking content, all come into play.

Casey Markee 31:55
And we again, we’re on quality right now. So one of the things we’re determining is we really wanted to make sure that the content that we’re providing has a right balance between being relevant, and being authoritative, which means that we can trust it. And also, of course, that we’ve got links to it.

Jillian Leslie 32:14
So this is always this weird conundrum. How do I get links to my Abraham Lincoln content post?

Casey Markee 32:26
And that’s where the rub is, you can do many things. You can go in and literally start stalking every Abraham Lincoln forum on the internet.

Casey Markee 32:34
And dropping your links and getting people who are considered experts or have some topical basis background in Abraham Lincoln to consider your resource and link to that or you could literally hire other people to do this for you.

Jillian Leslie 32:49
What do you mean hire other people?

Should You Hire Someone to Help You Build Links?

Casey Markee 32:51
Link building, hire link builders. Outreach link building. And here’s the thing to understand, paid links to Google they are against it. Honestly, Google is against all link building.

Casey Markee 33:03
Google basically believes in a vacuum, if content is really great people are going to link to it, which is just extremely an infantile approach, because that’s not how the world works. If you want to rank for something, you have to go out and get links to it, how do you get links to it?

Casey Markee 33:18
Well, you can push for those links, you can pull those links by means of Push and Pull Marketing, you can hire someone who’s going to market that content for you, you can hire a PR agents do nothing but pitch you and your content, you can hire a firm who’s hopefully going to go out and build some links for you.

People Proactively Ask for Links

Casey Markee 33:35
This happens, and it’d be silly and naive for anyone on the call to think that it’s not happening to both the average blogger and the largest known brands in your niche. It’s happening, and it’s happening every day. That’s how link building works. People go out and they get links.

Casey Markee 33:49
And if they can find a paid link that’s relevant and on target, they’re absolutely going to get that link. Is it against guidelines? Absolutely.

Jillian Leslie 33:58
Does Google crackdown on that? Will they know if I’m paying for a link?

Casey Markee 34:04
I think the simplest way to say that is if Google can know something you should just assume they do. And you should just determine whether or not that risk is worthy of the effort that you’re putting in.

Try Using HARO to Build Links to Your Site

Casey Markee 34:13
I think that when I have my audits with clients, I have a very detailed section on link building in my audit follow up and it has the regular normal stuff about, hey, you’re sign up for HARO see if we have any OnPoint press mentions or if there’s a reporter out there looking for something that might match with you.

Casey Markee 34:30
We can respond to that. Or oh, by the way, here’s a list of the top link sharing groups in your niche. And these people are looking to share your content with their audience, depending upon if the content is on point.

Casey Markee 34:42
And oh, by the way, here’s some roundup groups. These are bloggers who are actively putting together roundups that are based around seasonal or holiday specific content and your goal is to be gently on the spot and drop your links in accordingly.

Casey Markee 34:56
Or, “Oh, by the way, here’s a list of podcasts and interview requests that people are looking to interview. Go ahead and come up with a 90 second elevator pitch and pitch yourself to these people on this list.”

Jillian Leslie 35:09
What if my best friend is also a food blogger and we go, “Hey, I’ll link to you, and you link to me.”

Casey Markee 35:19
Totally fine.

Jillian Leslie 35:21
Is it true, though that you don’t want that reciprocal link, or that’s fine?

Are Reciprocal Links Bad?

Casey Markee 35:27
See, that’s a myth. Reciprocal links are not bad. Reciprocal links at scale are bad. So if I go out, and I have 1,000 people, and they’re all trading links with each other, that provides a pattern, a pattern which Google can easily sass out algorithmically. And that’s something that we don’t want to do.

Casey Markee 35:42
But if you have a couple of friends, and you’re linking back and forth to each other, when it makes sense to your users great. Where bloggers get into trouble is they’re doing this over and over and over again.

Casey Markee 35:51
So that if I run a link graph on a site, and I see that there’s 100 links, and they’re all linking back and forth to each other, and I can see that myself, I run a simple piece of software. What do you think Google sees when they run that and they see it algorithmically?

Casey Markee 36:04
Most likely, they’re just ignoring all those links at scale, and you’re not getting much benefit from those.

Jillian Leslie 36:09
Would you get penalized?

Casey Markee 36:12
Google doesn’t really penalize much anymore for that kind of stuff. They’ve made it automatic. And they’ve said this repeatedly, both. John Mueller has said this repeatedly. This has been said in many of the past conferences over the last several years.

Casey Markee 36:24
Google has automated a lot of this stuff so that they don’t need to worry about penalizing it. If they see a pattern, and they can just go ahead and ignore those links. And that’s the thing is that over the last 10, 15 years, Google’s probably.

Casey Markee 36:39
And I’m just going to use the term disavow because it’s something that a lot of people understand Google’s disavowed or taken away the ability of a link to pass authority, probably from a good 20% to 30% of the entire web. Because those links just don’t have the value that they used to have.

Google Ignores Bad Links Instead of Penalizing You for Them

Casey Markee 36:53
The links are expired. They’re low quality, they’re spam related. Google just ignores them. And it’s hilarious, because when Google talks about link building, they’re very clear about one thing. Even Google doesn’t know which links provide value and their algorithms. They’re very clear about that. No one knows.

Casey Markee 37:09
That’s why whenever you see a tool that says, “Oh, my God, I’m running a toxicity analysis on my links.” It’s a complete and utter crapshoot. It’s not something you should ever worry about.

Casey Markee 37:19
If Google doesn’t know what a toxic links looks like, and which links are passing value, how do you expect a tool to be able to show that and it doesn’t. So for those of you on the call, who have lost sleep over having, oh my God, I have a Moz spam score.

Casey Markee 37:33
Semrush keeps emailing me about these toxic links. Go outside, sit on your porch and yell at the top of your lungs. I hate toxic links. Because literally, that’s going to have the same effect on your backlink profile, as you worrying or doing any of these silly recommendations from Semrush or Moz.

Casey Markee 37:52
That’s just not how links work.

Jillian Leslie 37:54
Of course, this is a huge input or indicator that you’ve got links. So Google is saying we don’t know which links are important.

Casey Markee 38:10
Well, Google has always said that they have the ability at their end to understand if a link is relevant or not. But they can never tell you exactly what the breakdown of that link is or what those links are. And I think I play that stuff very close to their chest.

Casey Markee 38:22
And Google will tell you this all the time. John Mueller was just on Twitter just a couple months ago saying that there’s no such thing as a toxic link, there is no such thing as a spam score. And sometimes it’s very tongue in cheek when he says that stuff or mostly there is a hint of truth to it.

Domain Authority Doesn’t Matter for Your Site

Casey Markee 38:37
It’s just that you should not be worrying about things like Domain Authority, which are just made up metrics that Google doesn’t use, there’s a way for you to classify yourself against other sites.

Casey Markee 38:48
But it’s not something you should lose sleep over your goal is to provide the best content you can your goal is to attract links, naturally, your goal is to go out and find related sites and audiences that will send you traffic.

Casey Markee 39:01
The most valuable link and any URL builder will tell you this, the most valuable link out there is a link that sends you traffic end of story.

Casey Markee 39:10
That’s what your goal should be any link that you’re finding out there. Whether it’s follow or nofollow or whatever, if it’s sending you traffic, it’s a good link. And that’s one way to understand when you’re approaching link building.

Jillian Leslie 39:21
Have we then we’ve talked about meaning, relevance, quality, usability and context. Have we touched on usability and context?

Casey Markee 39:29
Usability is a big one. So, when Google is talking about usability, the goal of Google is to make sure that all content is accessible by everyone out there. And accessibility is a big point of theirs.

Why Usability Is Important in Search

Casey Markee 39:41
We get this question a lot. Is accessibility a ranking factor? Well, yes and no, because all part of accessibility is making sure that we use things like alt text, making sure that we actually make sure that our images say what they are.

Casey Markee 39:55
If someone’s blind and they’re sitting next to me and I am showing them a picture in the front there’s a slice of banana cream pie on a gray play with some yellow bunting in the background. That’s descriptive.

Casey Markee 39:55
I want to do that because it allows that someone who cannot see the photo, to understand what they’re actually not seeing to begin with. That kind of accessibility is very important. And that can be a ranking factor.

Casey Markee 40:06
Alt text is a ranking factor as is things like captions and image ability, image size, things like that we want to optimize for accessibility when we can things like color contrast errors can lead to nuisance lawsuits.

Casey Markee 40:32
We’ve got numerous people still running around the United States suing sites if their color contrast ratio was off, because that’s discriminatory to those with visual disabilities.

Casey Markee 40:42
So we have to worry about this stuff and an aspect but it’s not really going to move the needle a time on the bottom line search engine rankings for the average site, it’s just something that we do, because it’s good to be a good neighbor, it’s good to be make our content accessible to everyone.

Casey Markee 40:59
So In Google’s case, when they’re talking about usability, it really comes down to their page experience aspects, which is the page experience algorithm, that they launched, it’s been about a year and a half now.

Usability Is How Well Your Site Works

Casey Markee 41:10
And they want to make sure that all the content is mobile friendly, they want to make sure that the content loads fast over the typical 3g and 4g connections. They want to make sure that when you’re running ads that we want the content to pop in first, and then the ads to pop in second.

Casey Markee 41:26
So those of you on the call. If you’re with Mediavine, congratulations, they understand that. They’ve lazy loaded their ads for years. For those of you who are on AdThrive understand that this is a drawback. And it’s something we continually to fight AdThrive about.

Casey Markee 41:39
AdThrive likes to load their ads first, and then the content to the point where they’ve really dug their heels in the sand and said, “We don’t have any evidence that this is bad for users.” In fact, if we turn on lazy loading, they call it deferred ad loading, you can expect to lose 5% of your income.

Casey Markee 41:59
I’m going to tell you folks on the call if you’re with AdThrive, that’s a 5% well spent, because no one likes to have a post that takes 30 plus seconds to load fully.

Casey Markee 42:08
If I’m on a site and I’m on an AdThrive site, I’m navigating, I can tell immediately on my mobile device, who has different ad loading on and who doesn’t, because the ads popping first then the content. So our goal is to always have the content pop in first then the ads.

Casey Markee 42:22
So please, please, please turn on deferred ad loading, please nag your AdThrive REP. Make sure that’s on. The insanity you save will be your own.

Jillian Leslie 42:36
I’m saying reach out to our AdThrive person as I talk to you. Could you talk to me about schema.

Is Schema Important for Blog Posts?

Casey Markee 42:47
Yes, schema is just a way for Google to understand the concept of a page. A schema is a way for Google to crawl a page and understand contextually what’s involved.

Casey Markee 42:58
We can make entity associations like I can know that an auto repeat is here, because I have auto schema on the page telling me this is who wrote it. And then we have little markup that lets Google programmatically crawl the page and generate what are called Rich Snippets.

Casey Markee 43:15
A Rich Snippet is a physical manifestation of schema. So for those of you on the call, if you’re going through the search listings, and you see star ratings, or maybe you’re a recipe site, and you see that there’s a cook time there, or maybe you’re seeing those featured images, that’s all generated by schema.

Casey Markee 43:33
Schema is just a way for Google to better understand and algorithmically crawl content. The problem is that a lot of people and even SEOs that have been doing this for years, completely believe that schema is a ranking factor. It is absolutely not a ranking factor.

Casey Markee 43:49
What it is, it’s just a way for Google to better understand the content.

Jillian Leslie 43:55
It’s kind of like Google is reading, let’s say a recipe.

Casey Markee 43:58
Absolutely, recipe is a great one.

Jillian Leslie 44:00
But it’ll infer cook time. But you could tell Google, “Oh, Google, this is cook time with schema.”

Casey Markee 44:08
Absolutely. Schema is just a way for us to provide more information for users and for Google, that’s it bottom line, but is schema a ranking factor? It’s absolutely not a ranking factor. What it does, though, is it can increase conversion.

Casey Markee 44:21
So if I have one site with the recipe for meatloaf, and they’re not using schema, it’s going to be a very ugly looking listing.

Casey Markee 44:29
There might not even be a photo there might not be any information on the listing in the search results showing things like cook time prep time, there may not be any ratings, there may not be any stars, there may not be a calorie count.

Casey Markee 44:40
And then I have Recipe number two, which is using a full schema prep plugin, whether that’s WP Recipe Maker or Tasty or Create or one of the many other recipe plugins out there that is fully exporting out the accepted recipe schema that Google supports.

Casey Markee 44:40
That’s going to populate that data on the front end, and it’s going to make a visual difference to the user on how they’re going to interact with that content. I now see a nice thumbnail showing the finished dish, I now see a calorie count, I now see some cook time.

Casey Markee 45:15
Maybe there are hyperlinks down there. And maybe the they’ve put jump links in there, maybe they have emojis, you can do all this stuff, you can add all of these ways to enhance we call these search enhancements.

Schema is Not a Ranking Factor in Google

Casey Markee 45:27
Google has been really good lately about actually generating search enhancements without schema completely, which is really interesting, because that’s how they’ve progressed. But for anyone who would tell you that schema is a ranking factor, they fail to understand how schema works.

Casey Markee 45:42
Schema can increase conversion. It’s not a ranking factor. Thats not how it works.

Jillian Leslie 45:47
If I have two meatloaf recipes. And one is marked up with all of this information like the stars and stuff like that. And then I have one that isn’t is Google more apt though, to show the one on page one with the stars and the cook time and all of that?

Casey Markee 46:04
No. Because that’s not how Google works. In your question algorithmically, it doesn’t matter whether or not I have schema, I’ll still have two recipes on the front page of Google. But the schema allows me to qualify for carousels. That’s the difference.

Casey Markee 46:20
So if you want to get into carousels, then we would want to use schema, but again, not a ranking factor. Ranking factor means that if I don’t do this, I’m not going to rank as high. That’s not how it works. Schema is allowing us to enhance the content to make it more semantically attractive to Google.

Jillian Leslie 46:35
So Google will show it in a different place.

Casey Markee 46:39
And also to make it more attractive visually to users. So, we could possibly have them interact with the content. But from the bottom line standpoint, though, schema is just an enhancement, nothing more.

Should Bloggers Worry About Duplicate Content?

Jillian Leslie 46:49
Got it. Can we talk about duplicate content, we kind of touched on it, when it came to things like the AIs. In fact, I saw a guy talking about how Google does not like these AIs writing your content, I saw an image of a piece of content written by an AI.

Jillian Leslie 47:10
And it was in blocks, where you could see that the AI pulled the first paragraph from some blog, pulled the second paragraph from another blog, but it’s like mixing and matching content it is finding on the internet to create, because it’s not like an AI has its own brain.

Jillian Leslie 47:32
It is actually writing content, it is pulling content from different sources.

Casey Markee 47:38
Yes and no that’s actually Jasper, Frase and Write actually can write their own content. I don’t want to get too detailed on this. But there’s basically two main algorithms out there that a lot of these tools are based upon.

Casey Markee 47:56
The first one is called GPT-3, which is a Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3. And it’s a language prediction model that uses deep learning to create human like texts, it can absolutely write entire conversations.

Casey Markee 48:08
It’s the first and so far the only artificial intelligence to pass the Turing Test that is being used in a lot of these tools. So you absolutely can use that to generate long lists of content and text. I’m going to tell you, it’s scary. It’s our life, we better enjoy our machine overlords, because they’re very close, long story short.

Casey Markee 48:30
We also have the second main kind of algorithm there. It’s called NLP, which is just Natural Language Progression. And those algorithms rely on machine learning to automatically learn rules by analyzing a set of examples.

Casey Markee 48:41
So in other words, we could have something like a large corpus or a collection of sentences, and then the algorithm can scan all of that, and then make statistical inferences. And that’s also put into various tools like Frase and AdThrive’s topic tool. And those all work together very similarly.

Casey Markee 48:56
And the goal of these tools is, of course, to generate this content. And I think Google has really understood, I think that’s why they updated the guidelines back on 4/13.

Casey Markee 49:08
To say, AI generated content is against the guidelines, because it is getting so good, that they might have to look at it a little bit more closely, which is kind of interesting, because John Mueller also said on Twitter, a while back that AI content is just not there yet. So it’s really interesting to see how that pans out.

Casey Markee 49:28
But yes, AI is something that we should be aware of it is something that is widely being used right now. And it is certainly something that you have to be aware of. It’s certainly something I would not rely on that much. But it is there. It’s been used by many sites.

Casey Markee 49:44
In the previous days it was basically just we would call that spun content. What you’ve described as spun content previously in your example where they were taking sentences from here sentences from there and it really looked like unique content, but it was just gibberish.

Casey Markee 50:00
And it’s spun content would rank. And that would rank very well.

Casey Markee 50:04
And the sad part is that it is still alive. And a lot of areas, a lot of really low quality affiliate areas still use a little bit of spun content. But I think Google’s gotten a lot smarter. But back to your question about duplicate content.

Casey Markee 50:17
Duplicate content is something that a lot of people are confused on even experienced SEO is or at least people who say that they’re experienced SEO is duplicate content is not a penalty. Google does not have a duplicate content penalty far from it.

Casey Markee 50:30
Google just understands that there are various versions of a piece of content, and they will just filter out the versions that they feel are very close, or that don’t necessarily jive with the one version that they’ve chosen.

Casey Markee 50:42
Duplicate content is also a between pages or between sites concept, I could literally go into a recipe page and have four paragraphs do the exact same thing. It is not duplicate content, Google is going to rank in the whole page, it’s just not going to be great for users.

Casey Markee 50:58
Now, if I have four or five paragraphs of shared content across my entire site, maybe that’s content that Google is going to filter out, I’m just not going to get any credit for it. But are those pages aren’t necessarily going to rank? Oh, probably not as well.

Casey Markee 51:13
But it’s only because it’s a very poor experience for users, not necessarily because I use the four or five paragraphs, the same on every page. And that’s why a lot of bloggers struggle with this duplicate content.

Casey Markee 51:24
It’s okay to have, for example, reusable CTAs that we have on our site with the block editor, it’s okay to have a section where maybe I have a section in my recipes, where I have this five baking tips thing, and I have it on every page, again, not going to kill you, it’s fine.

When Writing Content, Be Unique

Casey Markee 51:40
Your goal is just to understand that when we’re writing content, we need to be as unique as we can. I don’t want to have an article here, then take the same article and put it on four other sites and think that I’m going to garner any advantage from doing that.

Casey Markee 51:56
And it’s not because Google’s penalizing me, it’s because I was stupid enough to put a 100% reprinted version of my content on four other sites, which is not great for users. And Google’s not going to rank me competitively for that. So I think that’s where people get confused.

Jillian Leslie 52:11
So there is no penalty. So I’m just reiterating. There’s no penalty. It’s just that Google is hopefully finding the original giving that blog post or site credit, and then everything else just kind of lost in the wash.

Casey Markee 52:27
Yeah. John Mueller has clarified misconceptions about duplicate content recently, he said that it’s not a negative search ranking factor at all. We either believe what he says or we don’t, I’m of the opinion that Google says this stuff for a reason. It’s not to mislead us. We have to take them at their word.

Casey Markee 52:44
And he’s saying that one of the misconceptions that we have about duplicate content is that it’s going to hurt you negatively. And he says it’s not. What are you going to say?

Casey Markee 52:53
He also says that having the same content repeated across multiple pages is not something that would cause a site to rank lower in search results, again, direct quote.

Casey Markee 53:02
So either believe him or we believe someone who decided to start SEO in 2007. And it’s just been completely misunderstood since. That’s just one of the things we have to worry about.

Casey Markee 53:12
Mueller is also very clear that it’s normal for sites to have a certain amount of duplicate content, and that Google’s algorithms are built to handle it at scale, which again, makes total sense. Like I said earlier, we can think it we just assume that Google knows it already.

Jillian Leslie 53:30
That’s funny, because I would say my husband, David, who’s also a technologist says the exact same thing because I ask him these questions, and he’ll be like, “Hey, don’t think that Google can’t see this or read this or understand this.” So very, very similar to you.

Does Google Take Into Account Social Media

Jillian Leslie 53:49
One last question. Does Google take into account social media? I’ve got, let’s say, 100,000 followers on Instagram, or it knows anything about me there? Or is looking at my posts on LinkedIn?

Jillian Leslie 54:06
Or does any of this matter for my own personal authority for my website, because I’m linking to it on my Instagram account, like anything like that?

Casey Markee 54:19
Honestly, no. social signals are a very muddy signal to Google. They set it for years, they do not use social signals at all algorithmically at all. As a matter of fact, for years, they didn’t even count social links at all.

Casey Markee 54:32
Recently, Twitter made waves when they remove nofollow from a lot of their tweets. We don’t know necessarily how that’s going to play out. But in most cases, social media is just so muddy. And it’s so easy. I could literally go out tonight, Jillian and buy 10,000 followers on any of the platforms I wanted.

Casey Markee 54:51
Or I could go out in my placements across any of the top media social profiles out there. Why would Google use those kinds of metrics when they can be so easily gamed. And I would say that the answer to that is they probably do not.

Casey Markee 55:03
And how that? There’s multiple notations from Gary Illyes, John Mueller, Matt Cutts from years ago, where Google has been very clear, we do not use social signals we never have. We don’t waste your time.

Casey Markee 55:17
And that brings us kind of to our final note, which is on the context, if you look at when we’re talking about, how Google Search works. We’ve talked about the meaning, the relevance, the quality.

Casey Markee 55:26
We talked a little about usability and making sure that we optimize for page experience that we optimize for accessibility, all of that.

Remember, Your Search Setting Are Unique for You

Casey Markee 55:33
Now we’ve come to context. And when we talk about context, we’re talking about the information served by means of your location, your past search history, your search settings, all of that. I think another confusing thing for a lot of bloggers and publishers out there is that search is literally 100 personalized.

Casey Markee 55:51
It really is what you’re seeing Jillian, at your end for a minute is not what I’m going to be seeing on my end, your search settings are an important indicator of what Google is going to provide. Even my preferred language or whether I’ve often opted into safe search.

Casey Markee 56:08
Do I have that turned on? I could type in Barcelona, for example, they use an example of Barcelona where you type in Barcelona and even search Barcelona vs Arsenal for football or soccer. And it depends upon where you’re located, what you’re going to get.

Casey Markee 56:22
Google is really clear that their systems are designed to match interest. They’re not designed to infer sensitive information, like your political affiliation, your race or religion. But it’s designed to match based upon your search history.

Casey Markee 56:39
So honestly, and again, I work a lot within the recipe niche. If I’m a recipe blogger, and I tend to search for my own recipes quite a bit, hey, guess what, I’m going to be served more? My own recipes. And that can be a little discerning for you when you’re trying to do competitive research and things like that.

Casey Markee 56:56
Or maybe you’re on your mobile device, and you’re not realizing that you’ve set your search habits or how Google is dictating your personal discover feeds. It’s how Google is dictating your daily briefing.

Casey Markee 57:08
It’s how Google is dictating what results they’re showing you on mobile, how these carousels are populated. We want to understand that a big part of understanding search is understanding context. And a big part of context is again, personalization.

Casey Markee 57:23
So, very important that you understand that and that you adjust accordingly and not make any assumptions on why you are ranking and someone else isn’t, without understanding or turning off your personalized search options.

Jillian Leslie 57:36
So are you always searching in say incognito windows to get a more accurate assessment of the landscape?

Casey Markee 57:44
I actually even take it a step further than that I have multiple IP addresses. So I have multiple IP addresses that I can actually go around and see what’s ranking, depending upon the area.

Casey Markee 57:53
I can also use a VPN or a Virtual Private Network to determine what is ranking and where depending upon what I’m looking at, which has been very interesting. When people are like, “Casey, I’m seeing this here. Are you seeing that?”

Casey Markee 58:06
And I’m like, yeah, I can see it on this web server here. But I can’t see it on this Google Web server over here on the East Coast. So something like that, and it’s fine. The average person should not worry about that stuff.

Casey Markee 58:18
You also have to understand that what you’re seeing on the front end is not necessarily what your next door neighbor is seeing or what the majority of your existing audience to your block is seen specifically.

Jillian Leslie 58:31
Just to close. I think that there has been this shift in my audience, which are similar to the people that you serve, which is, I feel like in the beginning, it was chasing social media algorithms, and especially Pinterest for traffic, and frustration that Instagram wasn’t driving traffic.

Jillian Leslie 58:57
But as these social media platforms continue to change, in not always intuitive ways, or not always in ways that help creators. I feel like people have rediscovered or are discovering SEO, because it feels more sane.

Google Provides a More Consistent Source of Traffic Than Social Media

Casey Markee 59:18
It’s not necessarily a question of sanity, it’s more of a question of consistency. Google users say publishers are looking for more consistent avenues of traffic. And social is just not that anymore.

Casey Markee 59:30
I can’t tell you how many bloggers have come to me after having their social traffic drop cut in half and trying to replace that with Google. And honestly, that should be their focus anyway, Google should be your main source of traffic, if it’s not 60 or 70%. There’s a problem.

Casey Markee 59:38
So, great things happen when bloggers kind of be in there like, “Oh my God 70% of my traffic was from Pinterest.” Usually, we’re able to make very quick, very big gains, but it involves us rewriting their content, away from the Pinterest audience and more towards your regular Non-social audience.

Casey Markee 1:00:01
And it’s a big change where we’re not stuffing the pages with finish shots, we’re not having lots of long pins beyond the page itself. We hide pins, we make our pages more consistent, more user friendly, more optimized for users. There’s a very specific approach.

Casey Markee 1:00:16
And I’ve been very fortunate that over the last several years, specifically, I’ve been doing tons of usertesting.com studies, with thousands of people all over the United States, asking them specifically, what is it that you’re looking for when you’re trying to find a recipe post?

Casey Markee 1:00:16
And I’m going to tell you, folks, it’s not a 10 page recipe post. It’s not a four page card that prints out it’s not seven photos of the finished dish. It’s not an ad every three paragraphs

Jillian Leslie 1:00:42
What is it? What do people want?

Casey Markee 1:00:47
Scheduling. So you get on my schedule, I’ll give you my secretary’s information, you’re good to go. But no, it’s really writing for users.

Casey Markee 1:00:58
We write for user experience, whenever you hear these things about, oh, my god, I hate visiting recipe sites, because they started with this huge preamble about how they grew up on a farm. And that’s where they got this recipe.

Casey Markee 1:01:12
If you’re reading that, that blogger has never had an audit with me, because that’s not what users are looking for. That’s something that they’ve read. That’s some advice they’ve gotten from their ad company.

Casey Markee 1:01:21
That’s something that is just completely contrary to what exists and works in the recipes specifically, which I’ve been very fortunate to specialize in since 2015. But that has allowed me to see at scale, what works and what does not work.

Casey Markee 1:01:35
And our goal is to optimize focus on the technical and content issues of a site, make sure that the site is as semantically sound, make sure that the site loads fast, making sure that we’ve corrected things. Like into redirects that we’ve made sure that the schema is correct.

Casey Markee 1:01:49
Again, implemented a template that they can use to start updating most of their older content. That they understand how to correctly conduct keyword research, that they understand what advice to take, and what advice to ignore, from their ad companies or from their providers.

Casey Markee 1:02:07
That they understand that pop-ups can be run, but they have to be run correctly. Or that they understand if you’re going to use a provider, here are the vetted providers that tend to have a good reputation and will provide long term stability with your mailing list and other supportive template needs.

Casey Markee 1:02:26
All of that goes hand in hand to take a holistic approach, which is why I always kind of laugh because there’s a there’s a strong contingent of people out there. And a lot of them are associated with ad companies that say audits are a complete waste of time.

Casey Markee 1:02:39
Which is just so funny, because I can’t tell you, I’m literally the most popular person in Ramona, California during Christmas, because I have so many people usually send me cookies and breads and bottles of alcohol because I have literally changed their life.

Casey Markee 1:02:53
They bought second homes, they paid off their college debt, they’ve retired and they’ve done it because the audit has allowed them to quit a job that they hated or to embrace a hobby and turn it into a business or to finally take their business to the next level. And I take that extremely seriously.

Casey Markee 1:03:10
And I also write them thank you notes and publicly praise them on Facebook whenever they send me Huckleberry cookies or anything that has candy corn in it, which is very popular. So I’ve been very fortunate in that regard.

Jillian Leslie 1:03:22
Okay, Casey, if people have questions, want to book an audit with you find out more about what you do. Where should they go?

Casey Markee 1:03:33
Well, you just type in Casey Markee into Google, I have literally destroyed and eliminated all other Casey Markee in the world. I control the first seven pages of Google, Casey Markee last name M-A-R-K-E-E.

Casey Markee 1:03:46
My audit calendar opens up on Monday, August the 1st and at that time, I will be booking for December 2022 and January and February 2023. So make a note of that you can reach me online at my website Media Wyse that’s M-E-D-I-A W-Y as in yellow S-E.com. Just go to the contact me page.

Casey Markee 1:04:10
Take a look at the information there or just type in Casey Markee podcast. My goal is to continue to publish resources like this that are hopefully helpful to the majority of bloggers kind of eliminate a lot of the incorrect, maybe some of the SEO myths and the other incorrect information that’s out there.

Casey Markee 1:04:28
That’s our goal here. And it’s not because I necessarily know more than anyone else. It’s just that literally this is all I do. 100%, 24/7 SEO auditing. I spend a minimum of 15 to 20 hours a week just reading patent filings and just making sure that I’m networking with the people who are smarter than me.

Casey Markee 1:04:46
And there’s lots of people more smarter than me. So it’s really easy to do. And they tell me what’s hot. They tell me what’s not they tell me where I should focus my energies and my goal is to try to impart a little of that to you so that you can work smarter and not harder.

Jillian Leslie 1:05:02
Well, Casey, I always learned so much from you. So this is your second time on the podcast. I know there’s going to be a third. So, I just want to say thank you so much for coming back.

Casey Markee 1:05:13
Pleasure is entirely mine. I wish you and the husband a very happy summer. Stay cool. And we’ll speak again very soon. Thanks for having me.

Jillian Leslie 1:05:22
I hope you guys like this episode. I love having Casey on the show, because he cleans stuff up like all of these rumors about duplicate content, spammy links, domain authority, I always feel like he tells me what I need to worry about and what I don’t.

Jillian Leslie 1:05:42
I just wanted to say one last thing about MiloTreeCart before I go. And that it is the best way to test your product ideas. Because of the unlimited free sales pages, unlimited products you can add, and you only pay once you start making sales.

Jillian Leslie 1:06:05
So please head to miloreecart.com like right now and set up a product like a paid workshop, a membership, coaching, a digital download, but just go experiment, set up a sales page, put it in front of your audience and see if they purchase. That’s how you build a business.

Jillian Leslie 1:06:23
If you want to show me your sales page. I’d love to give you feedback. Just email me at jillian@milotree.com and I will see you here again next week.

Other Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:

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