Ready to learn how to use the Google Helpful Content Update to your advantage? I have SEO, Steve Wiideman, back on the show to share what the update is all about, and how it could change your content strategy.
I always love the way Steve breaks things down for non-techies like me.
Here’s what Steve and I discuss in the episode:
- What exactly is the Google Helpful Content Update
- Why your content needs to be focused on solving your visitors’ problem
- Why you want to study the search results for the keyword you want to rank for
- How to use Google Search Console to improve your posts
- How to monitor your posts and readjust when necessary
- And so much more!
Steve is excited about this update, because he thinks if you can master what Google has explicitly said it’s looking for, you can do well with growing your traffic.
Table of Contents
- MiloTreeCart Black Friday Waitlist
- MiloTree Pop-Up App
- Steve Wiideman
- Steve Wiideman Content Audit PDF
- Become a Blogger Genius Facebook Group
- All Blogger Genius Podcast Episodes
- Answer the Public
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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. I’m a blogger, serial entrepreneur, my husband David and I started our journey with Catch My Party. Then we built our MiloTree pop-up app to grow your social media followers and email subscribers.
Jillian Leslie 0:30
And now we’ve launched MiloTreeCart, the easiest tool for you creators to sell digital products to your audience. And we built it for non-techies. In fact, listen to this testimonial someone just wrote me, Susie said, “MiloTreeCart really is freaking easy. I made a product, I got the sales pitch done seriously, you broke a barrier for me, well done.”
Jillian Leslie 0:53
Now before I launch into this really great episode about SEO. I want to say if you’re ready to turn on a new income stream in 2023 by selling your expertise directly to your audience, definitely go to milotree.com/blackfridayspecial this way you will join my very special email list where I will be announcing our offer.
Jillian Leslie 1:20
And if you are one of the first 20 to purchase MiloTreeCart, you get an even bigger bonus. So again, milotree.com/blackfridayspecial one word.
Jillian Leslie 1:31
For today’s episode, I have Steve Wiideman who is a very well-known SEO back on the show. And we are talking about Google’s helpful content update. They just rolled this out. What does it mean? We’re going to tell you, Steve is going to give you tips on writing content to increase your traffic.
Jillian Leslie 1:50
So, if you’re interested in traffic, this is your episode, we talk about how to update your content or write content if you have a tremendous amount of time, and also how to approach it if you don’t. So, without further delay, here is my interview with Steve Wiideman.
Use the Google Helpful Content Update to Your Advantage
Jillian Leslie 2:08
Steve, welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. It is so great to have you.
Steve Wiideman 2:14
Oh my God, I’m so excited to be back again, Jillian, thanks for having me.
Jillian Leslie 2:17
So, we are like best friends, because we’ve been talking now for God knows how long and I’m like we better record and you’re running out of time. So, I wanted to talk to you about predominantly this new Google update. But before we launch into that, I have to say congrats on being considered one of the top SEOs in the world.
Steve Wiideman 2:41
I’ve been told that a few times, but I feel like it’s more about the actions, having written a textbook, now adopted by I think 35 colleges and universities. Having taught at three different schools now for the last five years and having probably close to 25 years of experience.
Steve Wiideman 3:00
I don’t know that I consider myself the top of the industry because I’m always learning and growing and a sponge for knowledge and adapting to all these changes that search engines make. But I definitely consider myself one of the most passionate.
Jillian Leslie 3:14
I’m just super happy to have you back. So, let’s talk about Google coming out with this new algorithm change called the Helpful Content Update. And did you know this was coming? And what is it?
What is Google’s Helpful Content Update?
Steve Wiideman 3:32
They have a whole post about it too. And we can share this in the video notes. And so far, it’s really just a breakdown of bullet points that they were talking through what they recognized as being helpful. And what was interesting about this content update different than other content updates they’ve had in the past.
Steve Wiideman 3:51
And one of the first was something they called the Farmer update that evolved into the Panda update of 2011. And it basically said, if you have thin low quality content, that you’re probably not going to appear in search results or rank well in search results.
Steve Wiideman 4:08
And they’ve changed a little bit of the wording and how they’re talking about content. They went from quality now to using words like satisfying experience. Is your content providing a satisfying experience to users.
Steve Wiideman 4:24
And what I find the most interesting about this update is that they don’t really lean into the types of content, the diversity of the media that you have on the page. They don’t lean into context.
Steve Wiideman 4:36
They lean into this experience, language that in some cases, they had a bullet point specifically saying, “Do users find what they need without having to search for more information?” Which I was really excited about because for years and years and years I’ve been preaching about the importance of search behavior signals.
Steve Wiideman 4:58
Are users clicking on our result and staying there? Or are they clicking on our result not having a good experience going back to the search results and choosing a competitor? And what do we think the search engines infer from that behavior? Maybe our listing wasn’t very helpful.
Steve Wiideman 5:14
Maybe they’re going to try testing some other listings that might have better experiences for users and get promoted. And so, I was really excited to see this helpful content update, because they really expanded upon search behavior without saying search behavior, searching again.
The Goal for Your Content: Did You Solve Our Visitors’ Problem?
Steve Wiideman 5:32
And did they find everything that would have solved for what they were trying to do? And so, I love this, because now we can take a different approach to how we’re writing and creating content and worry less about quality and focus more on, did we solve our visitors problem? And I love that, because again, it’s a different approach.
Jillian Leslie 5:57
So, is it say the difference between, okay, I’ve got a blog post, I need to have a video because Google says, that’s higher quality, versus maybe I have a video, maybe I don’t, but if it’s, let’s say, something people are struggling with, and they don’t need a video.
Jillian Leslie 6:12
But somehow, they’re satisfied with just how to do this, do this, do this boom, solve the problem, that then becomes better quality and there’s the video, which we automatically need to have.
Jillian Leslie 6:12
I don’t know if it’s about the media, though, I think it’s more about, let’s say, 10 years ago, you wanted to rank for the keyword, wireless router. You’re in tech and you’re selling wireless routers, you go to a really top tier content writer who charges $1, a word or some crazy number.
Steve Wiideman 6:45
And what they’re going to do is they’re going to come up with some really well written content, they are going to source their facts. They’re going to have all this information, it’s going to read really well and be at a college level, and be just as amazing, super high quality page of content.
Steve Wiideman 7:04
And a user is going to get to that page. And they’re going to say, “Wow, this is really good content. But it’s not helping me what I really came here for was this thing.” And so, while this content is really good, it’s well written, it’s clear, it’s got great spacing, the fonts and the font size and the color, everything about this content is really high quality.
Jillian Leslie 7:22
Like it loaded fast.
Steve Wiideman 7:23
But it’s not really helping me find what I need.
Jillian Leslie 7:26
Interesting. So, when somebody then who is, let’s say, a blogger, or somebody who is a content creator, is looking out into the world and they want to get traffic. How should they think about creating content that is helpful, what would be the steps?
SEO TIP: Study the Results of the Ranking Posts for Your Target Keyword
Steve Wiideman 7:48
I think it sounds really stupid, simple and obvious. But I think performing a search for what it is before, and studying the results that already come up, you have to think about those listings have been there for a reason. And some of them were ranked for years and years and years, because they’ve solved the problem.
Steve Wiideman 8:06
I have a page from 2009, floating out there on Title Tag Principles. If you go to Google and type in Title Tag Principles, it’s usually in the top three results from 2009. That’s over a decade ago. But because it was helpful, because it talks about the three things you need to get better click-through rate and search results.
Steve Wiideman 8:25
But it solves for the intent because I know, they don’t care about Title Tag Principles they care about click-through rate and ranking. I solve for the intent of the user by putting that into my title and meta description, hey, are you looking to rank better use these Title Tag Principles sort of thing.
Steve Wiideman 8:44
I think if users or bloggers take that approach of looking at the search results, to see what the topics and subtopics are that the competing listings are doing. And by the way, the first thing I’ll do is create a Google Sheet, I’ll create a Google Sheet and I’ll log all 10 of the top ranking pages.
Steve Wiideman 9:00
I’ll even put a screenshot of the mobile search results since we know 70%, 80% of our users are on mobile devices. So, I can see what their snippet looks like in the results. Because mine has to be better if I’m going to be clicked on. And then I’ll go through and I’ll have a column for the title, the description, the main headings, the subheadings.
Steve Wiideman 9:19
Information about the images on the page. Does it have a video? What’s the video about? Are there frequently asked questions at the bottom? What makes those pages unique? And then you have this big workbook have all the different attributes of the pages that are already appearing.
Steve Wiideman 9:34
Now your job is to study that workbook and come up with something that includes all of those things and more and have a unique approach so that you’re not just regurgitating other things that people have already talked about, what am I going to do different? How am I going to differentiate?
SEO TIP: Think About How You Can Have a Different Approach to Your Content
Steve Wiideman 9:49
And this is where it gets interesting because now you can run some studies. You could use Survey Monkey, you could go to Amazon Mechanical Turk, and drop in your Survey Monkey and ask 1,000 people for Five cents. Yeah, good content can be expensive.
Steve Wiideman 10:03
So, it’s worth the research, spend the $200, if you’re going to make $1,000 off that page, in ad clicks, why not spend $200? So, you spend that money and you get feedback and you ask people, if you were searching for this keyword, what would the page that appear? What content? Would the page that appear be the one that you would choose and why?
Steve Wiideman 10:24
What would you want a page to have? What’s important to you? And then what you do is you pay an intern or a data person to sit down and go through and theme each of the answers, oh, they would want X, they would want Y, they would want Z.
Steve Wiideman 10:39
And then you run a little pivot table in Excel. Just highlight everything, click insert pivot table, click OK. No other thing you have to do there.
Steve Wiideman 10:47
And it’ll give you this nice organized list of themes that come up the most often, oh, wow, they’re really interested in how I heat this particular food item that I’m going to create more so than they are about what type of pan I should be using.
Steve Wiideman 11:02
So, I’m going to focus on this first, but I’m going to use pan as well, since that was part of the feedback, and then you marry that to what you already found in the search results to the research that you did. And then keyword tools can help too.
SEO TIP: Use Answer the Public to Find Keywords
Steve Wiideman 11:14
I like to use Answer The Public a lot and use that probably more often than even other keyword tools. Because it gives you for upper funnel content, fantastic ideas for who, what, when, how, why. And you can dump them into the keyword planner in Google and still get volumes if you want to. But I generally like to start by not reinventing the wheel.
Jillian Leslie 11:37
I think that’s so great. So, back to this idea of let’s say, I’m going to use something like Mechanical Turk, where I can get feedback really quickly and cheaply. Am I showing them like my post or my outline? Or I’m just saying, hey, if you were to be looking for, like, best sleep trackers. What would you want or do I keep it open ended?
Jillian Leslie 12:03
Or have I kind of written a post and go, what do you think of this? Or what do you think is the best result?
Steve Wiideman 12:07
I think every keyword is going to be different. I think every scenario is going to have its own way that you’re going to look at it. With Jacuzzi, we were trying to prove to them that people really wanted to see price transparency, and they didn’t believe us. So, we ran the survey just to prove it.
Steve Wiideman 12:26
So, we asked several different types of questions in several different groups. And you can ask the same group of people different questions as well, you could say, of these two pages, which one is the most helpful? And why? What’s missing from both of these pages? You could do it that way.
Steve Wiideman 12:42
Or you could just start completely before you even start brainstorming what you want to do on the post and say, “I’m thinking of writing up a page around this type of recipe. But I’m curious what I could have on this page that would make you share it and make you feel like this is the most interesting page or helpful page. What would you want to put on it?”
Steve Wiideman 13:01
So, I think there are three three phases. Phase one is that research we just went through, we went through, looking at the search results and studying the topics and subtopics. We went through answer the public, we went through surveying.
SEO TIP: Study the Information That Shows Up in Google Search Console
Steve Wiideman 13:14
Then we launched the posts, and then we study the information that comes in from Google Search Console. Bing Webmaster Tools will tell you all sorts of interesting things about search terms that they’re showing that page for, and that might draw even more inspiration.
Steve Wiideman 13:29
And that might show search terms that aren’t even on the page but could be good ideas that you can incorporate into the page or into additional sections and paragraphs and subheadings that could benefit you.
Steve Wiideman 13:40
And the third part I think is it’s going back and really measuring the results of that. Did you put all those keywords that you’re going after, into a tracker and tag them, whether it’s Semrush or Ahrefs or Conductor Searchlight, whatever you happen to be using to track those search terms, going back and making sure that page is doing what you hoped it would do.
Steve Wiideman 14:01
But I think once that page is up, and you’re looking at the search results, and you’re comparing yours to your competition, you could do that survey all over again, you could say here are two listings, which of these two listings showing the number one ranked person and then yours.
Steve Wiideman 14:15
They don’t know which one is you and which one is not. And you ask them which page is more helpful and why. And then you tell them navigate to this page from your mobile device. And then ask them which of these pages is the most helpful and why? What can each of these pages do to improve to be more helpful for you.
Steve Wiideman 14:33
And then make sure your group of folks that you’re targeting are mixed of demographics and in the areas of where you expect to get most of the traffic from. So, you can choose that in the settings when you’re doing your task. I only want you ask maybe I want West Coast or East Coast.
Steve Wiideman 14:51
I want 50% women 50% men or 75% women 25% men or 100% women who knows depending on what your target audience is.
Steve Wiideman 15:01
So, I think those are the three phases. Phase one, let’s do some really, really in depth research to let’s launch and measure and monitor and track.
SEO TIP: Readjust Based on What Results You’re Seeing
Steve Wiideman 15:10
And then three, let’s really look back at the analytics now and make sure that it’s doing everything that we want it to do and then readjust based on what we’re finding, and based on additional surveying.
Steve Wiideman 15:21
It’s a marketing play, it’s not an advertising play, and it’s not a set it forget it. By the time you do get to that number one position, the person you knocked down, isn’t going to put their feet up on the desk and clap and be proud of you. They’re going to want to beat. They’re going to try to mimic what you’re doing.
Jillian Leslie 15:36
So, that post your post from 2009. That is, let’s say about tags that is doing. Isn’t it tag something?
Steve Wiideman 15:45
Title Tag principles.
Jillian Leslie 15:46
Okay. Are you going in there and protecting that post?
Steve Wiideman 15:52
I wish. This year has been so busy for our company, we’re actually rebuilding our website, and we had to make a decision. Do I go in and spend two weeks and just try to refresh everything? Or do we hold off until we launched the new website, and we focus on client acquisition.
Steve Wiideman 16:08
And so, we’ve been focused on our clients, and I haven’t had chance to go in. But normally we have a schedule, and every month, we would go in and look at anything that hasn’t been touched in, say 90 days, to see if there’s anything new or better that we can do and add to it.
Steve Wiideman 16:22
And that process, like I mentioned, is looking at search console, looking at analytics, looking at our keyword rankings of that page, and then seeing where it’s changed and shifted and pivot and we go through the checklist. Oh, that was the other part was the checklist, I’ll send this to you after our show, you can share it with your listeners.
Steve Wiideman 16:40
It’s a single page content audit, based on what Google has fed us over the last several years, and what they’re looking for. And it’s broken down into different sections. Everything like these expertise, authority trust signals, some quality rater guidelines, questions that you can ask and you just go through each one and say did I solve for this?
Steve Wiideman 17:02
Did I do this? Did I provide that? And so, it’s a neat little way to audit a single page of content. It’s not quick, though. So, if the page is really important to you block out some time.
Jillian Leslie 17:13
So, this is my next question. As I’m listening to you, I’m like, “Oh, my God, this sounds so thorough,” and I get it. However, I was just interviewing a dessert blogger. And she puts out a new post once a week.
Jillian Leslie 17:29
So, she’s doing recipe development and taking the photos and dealing with social media. Plus, she’s updating two posts a week in addition. So, now I feel like you could maybe do what you’re talking about with one post, it might take you two weeks of full time work.
Steve Wiideman 17:47
It takes you a week.
Jillian Leslie 17:48
And especially if you’ve got people and you’re giving them surveys and all of this stuff. So, I’m like, what is the 80/20 for this?
Get Your SEO System in Place Then Repeat It
Steve Wiideman 17:58
Sure. So, I think a lot of it honestly, it’s just repetition. Once you’ve done it a few times, you can get through it pretty quickly. And you can shortcut your way and still get the 20% that you need to really be successful.
Steve Wiideman 18:11
But I think you need to go through the motions a few times and decide what’s really taking me a lot of time in this that I can cut out and still be able to do better than what I was doing before.
Steve Wiideman 18:24
And some of our clients like doing one a week and that works for them. And the one a week is the most amazing content you’ll ever see. And $2,000 per page in some of them to do them, but each one is attracting links and driving traffic building brand awareness during remarketing and pulling people back in.
Steve Wiideman 18:42
One client in particular had 500,000 visits in 18 months by starting a blog and releasing a post every Tuesday. And it works just like a champ. And they took pictures and video and did everything the right way.
Steve Wiideman 18:55
And it worked to cut them half a million visits, and they’re in the auto repair industry, they were able to remarket and sell oil changes all day long back in 2014, when we needed one every 90 days.
Steve Wiideman 19:07
So, I think it’s at least going through and knowing what’s possible to do the absolute best. And then deciding for yourself where you want to put the time and energy, but going through it at least you’ll know, and until you’ve done it, you don’t know.
Steve Wiideman 19:21
So, go through everything and try all the things and then decide for yourself what your shortcut checklist is going to be and how much time you want to invest in doing it.
Steve Wiideman 19:30
Because like you said, you could spend two whole weeks doing a post if you wanted to, or you could spend a day and still do a pretty darn good job and still get a decent chunk of the share voice for the keywords that you’re going after.
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I wanted to take a short break because I know I have been talking so much about digital products and people keep coming to me and saying, “Yes, I hear you. I get it. But I don’t know what to create. Where do I start?”
Jillian Leslie 19:59
Well, take my new digital product personality quiz. And it will show you what type of digital product you should create first, then I’ve got a simple worksheet where you can start to come up with your product idea, head to milotree.com/quiz.
Jillian Leslie 20:19
And when you get your results, and you come up with your product, reach out to me, I would love to hear what it is.
Jillian Leslie 20:24
And now back to the show.
Jillian Leslie 20:28
One thing I hear you saying, and I was just at another conference, and there was somebody talking about SEO. And I thought this was really interesting. And you’re saying the same thing, which is, don’t doubt Google.
SEO TIP: Don’t Doubt Google
Jillian Leslie 20:41
So for example, there’s a keyword you want to rank for, let’s say, you’re like a knitting blogger. And you have a way somebody told you structure your blog post this way. Because you’d heard it, who knows you are in Facebook groups, you even had like an SEO console. And they said, do it this way.
Jillian Leslie 21:01
And then you put that keyword into Google, and you start looking at those top posts. There’s a reason those top posts are ranking, you will never know exactly what Google is seeing.
Jillian Leslie 21:15
So therefore, rather than having your heuristic that you’re using go use Google, because even the Google engineers don’t necessarily know why these posts are ranking.
Steve Wiideman 21:31
Jillian Leslie 21:34
So it’s like, you don’t have to figure it out exactly.
Steve Wiideman 21:41
I would say don’t reinvent the wheel.
Jillian Leslie 21:43
But like mirror what they are doing, because something is working for these posts. And so, you want to take as many of those elements into your own post. And it’s not because some SEO gave you some template of how to write your post, every post is kind of different.
Jillian Leslie 22:02
And this person was saying, if, for example, they’re structuring it with these kinds of H2s or they’re putting the FAQ at the bottom of the post, or they’re putting it at the top of the post or their video is here, or they don’t have a video, like mirror what’s working.
Steve Wiideman 22:22
Yes, and I think you can run some tests too, tools like Hotjar, you can move some of the elements around and see how users are interacting with your page.
Steve Wiideman 22:29
And if they tend to stay on the page a little bit longer by having the video at the top, then put the video at the top. If they tend to like to see the short summary at the top and not have to scroll to see it, do the same.
Steve Wiideman 22:41
I think running some of those user tests can really help your conversion rates reduce your bounce back to Google rates, which ultimately affects search behavior signals. The other challenge I see to a lot of times is that people don’t look at the search results at all, not even once.
Steve Wiideman 22:58
And they’ll be way out in left field in terms of what Google has been displaying for a given search term. So, I think you’re almost doing a discredit to your content, but at least not looking at what Google seems to be thinking users want.
Steve Wiideman 23:13
And a lot of it’s based on click data and search data. It’s not just based on the word you want to appear for, but it’s based on, the types of content that’s already displaying. And that’s two opportunities, right opportunity.
Steve Wiideman 23:24
One is to make sure that you’re following the same model as the ones that are already ranking well, but just doing a better job and being more unique in what you’re delivering.
SEO TIP: Look at the Types of Content Google Is Showing for Your Results and Fit Your Content to Look Like That
Steve Wiideman 23:33
The second part is that it gives you the opportunity to explore the types of content that Google is showing, maybe they’ve got a video carousel, maybe they’ve got an image carousel and images at the top. Maybe there are other elements of the page that are new that Google just introduced we’re trying to figure out, maybe there’s a local map.
Steve Wiideman 23:52
So, by understanding those things, we can optimize the media to also appear in those areas and get more of that search real estate. So, many people are just really myopic on the blue link black text, in the search results.
Steve Wiideman 24:04
What if I had an ad, and then I had a blue link and black text, and then a video and then an image? I would have 20% to 25% of the real estate on the first page of Google.
Steve Wiideman 24:16
I think looking at all those different elements and making sure that I’m not just optimizing my page to show up with a blue link and black text, but also that the media that’s included in that content is optimized to appear in those results.
Jillian Leslie 24:28
So, that Google could just snag it and put it in the results. This is like mind blowing for me, and hopefully my audience because I think that we have blinders on and goes just go content content content, and we’ll put some keywords in there and optimize it for Google.
Jillian Leslie 24:43
And what I hear you saying is, you got to get much more closely tied to Google, to what Google is serving up that should be an enormous piece of what you’re creating. It’s like you want to joined the family, for those keywords.
Jillian Leslie 25:03
Like the Google family in terms of the results and stuff rather than Google living on one side, my contents on another, and I’m hoping Google finds it, it’s like, no, no, we’re going to go knock on the door come in and join that family for that keyword results.
Steve Wiideman 25:20
That’s a great way of putting it. I liked that approach, too. And it makes sense. Because you’re not mystified as to why do I need to create to show up, you just look at what’s already showing up.
Steve Wiideman 25:32
And I think the biggest takeaway more than anything else is, as you’re studying those pages, and you’re documenting all of the intents, the content solving that the subheadings and sub subheadings are solving for, enables you to create the page that solves for all of those different intents.
Steve Wiideman 25:50
Not just for the intents that are being solved by the guy that’s in position one, but also the intents of all of the pages that appear on page one. So, hopefully, you can have the most helpful page by studying those results and not just kind of coming up with your own.
Jillian Leslie 26:07
Yes, I think that is super. So, in terms of helpful content, do you feel like we’ve covered that?
Steve Wiideman 26:13
I think we crushed helpful content; I hope the biggest reminder on this one is that they’ve emphasized the search behavior signals more than they ever have in the past. So, really think about that.
Steve Wiideman 26:27
If they have to search again, and you didn’t provide a satisfying experience to solve for their intent, then we probably won’t have longevity in the keyword rankings.
Jillian Leslie 26:38
Now let’s talk about AI writing tools, because I feel like that has exploded onto the scene. And I hear it’s controversial.
Steve Wiideman 26:48
It is very controversial.
Jillian Leslie 26:50
So, could you give me your take on can I be using Jasper, CopyAI, any of these tools that are going to help me, let’s say face a blank pitch.
Jillian Leslie 27:01
In fact, at this conference, I was at a couple of women said, it’s easier to just have this tool because it’s intimidating, when I have to now have done all this stuff to let’s say, create this craft, create this recipe, create this guide. And now I have to go write stuff.
Steve Wiideman 27:20
Yes, I know what you mean. It’s intimidating.
Jillian Leslie 27:22
What is your thought about it? How does Google see it? And what’s like the real answer if there is a real answer?
Steve Wiideman 27:29
They’ve made it clear in their article, their posts about the helpful content update that site shouldn’t be using a massive amount of automated content creation. And they didn’t say you couldn’t use automated content, they just said don’t use a lot of it.
Steve Wiideman 27:47
And I think that should inspire content writers when they want to start using some of these tools. If nothing else, for inspiration, a lot of the conversations I’m hearing right now in search is that if you use one of these tools, and you put in a topic, and they just create the whole thing for me.
Steve Wiideman 28:03
As you get to the bottom of that thing that they created for you, it starts to get a little bit weird. It doesn’t read well, and it can get really quirky. But for those people who do a paragraph at a time, give me a paragraph about this topic.
Steve Wiideman 28:19
Oh, that’s a really good paragraph. And you take a string from it, you do a search in the search results to see if that string exists in Google, maybe somebody else is using the same automation tool. Most of the time, you’ll find that it’s not, the automation is creating unique stuff for you.
Jillian Leslie 28:34
Explain what you just said. I’ve heard initially, the way that these tools worked is you would say, I want to go learn about, fitness trackers, so please write me something about fitness trackers.
Jillian Leslie 28:50
And it would go into the bowels of the internet and pull a variety of snippets of content and put them all together and deliver that. And now, I’ve heard though, that content writing tools have gotten much better, and you’re not necessarily going to find that they’re actually able to write.
Steve Wiideman 29:11
In some cases. So, here’s the vision that I had that scared me is what if there are 100 food bloggers, and I know there are more than that. Let’s say there are 100, food bloggers that are all using Jasper, and they all say, strawberry shortcake recipe ahead or something like that, or how to make a strawberry shortcake.
Steve Wiideman 29:30
And they put that and 100 of them put that into the same tool. And the tools got to go out and do its magic. What happens if it spits out the same thing for all 100 of those food bloggers, Google is only going to choose the one page that was the source originator.
Steve Wiideman 29:45
So basically, it’s a race to see who can use these tools to create the content first. If indeed, it’s doing that not randomizing it because I’ve seen instances where we’ve done the same thing two different users and the same word, and we actually got back different content, slightly different content. That was exciting.
Steve Wiideman 30:01
But at some point, you’re going to run out of derivatives and you’re going to run out of similar words. And it’s going to get very, very, very redundant, I think. So, I think that’s the challenge.
Steve Wiideman 30:13
Number one is if AI doesn’t do its job in terms of making sure that we’re all getting unique suggestions, 100 food bloggers putting in the same search term, hoping to get 100 different pages.
Steve Wiideman 30:26
And that’s why I mentioned taking a string of that text, when they do say, here’s the content, you put it into Google, make sure it’s not duplicate.
Jillian Leslie 30:33
So, you just take a snippet of the text, like one line of the text?
Steve Wiideman 30:35
Like six words.
Jillian Leslie 30:36
Steve Wiideman 30:36
Six words in quotes and put it out there. In quotes that six words. Most of the time, I haven’t seen it being used, it’s actually working, it’s doing its thing. But paragraph by paragraph, if you do it as one full page, it starts to get really weird, you’re letting it go off on its own.
Steve Wiideman 30:52
But if you do it in a controlled manner, where you’re doing a paragraph at a time, it’s more efficient. So, you do get some really helpful information. But that solves for one challenge, not for both.
Steve Wiideman 31:04
And what’s going to happen is if we all use these automation tools over and over and over again, we start to lose the narrative and the voice of our brand.
Steve Wiideman 31:11
We’re letting computers talk to our customers instead of us, we lose the charisma and the character that defines who we are as a brand, we lose the storytelling, all of all of that brand voice goes away. And my fear is that we get addicted to it.
Steve Wiideman 31:29
And we’re so focused on trying to drive traffic and make money, that we forget why we’re doing business in the first place, and who we are as a business. And so, I encourage everybody, draw inspiration from these tools in a controlled manner. But rewrite it and put it in your brand voice put character to it.
Steve Wiideman 31:47
I know what writer’s block feels like I’m an author. I’ve written textbooks. I know. I know, it’s hard. I’ve sat there and stared at a screen for two hours. hating myself, I know what it feels like.
Steve Wiideman 31:58
So, feel free to jump out and play with these tools, but if for nothing else to draw inspiration to get you motivated and maybe even angry enough that it inspires your brain to kick into gear and write your own stuff.
Jillian Leslie 32:11
So, if I were to use one of these tools, and it gives me a pretty good paragraph, could I go in and just make some tweaks and maybe add an extra sentence? Is that enough? This is a hard question to ask you.
Steve Wiideman 32:24
What do you have to lose? I say test it, try it. I’ve seen many cases where it’s worked really well. But only do it because you’re challenged and not being able to do it. Don’t do it as a way to automate your process. Do it as a way to inspire the process.
Steve Wiideman 32:47
You might get addicted to it. And before you know it, you’re asking them to write full pages for you, and you’re getting really lazy. And at some points, Google is going to say, well, you’re using a lot of automated content writing, and I don’t see a lot of character and faults.
Steve Wiideman 33:02
Wasn’t that in matrix the challenge that the computer had with humans is that we had faults, and that we were imperfect? So, wouldn’t a computer be able to figure out that our contents it’s perfect and not imperfect and not written by humans? I don’t know. Let’s think about it.
Jillian Leslie 33:21
That’s interesting. Before I let you go, I have one last question. What do you think of this strategy? Let’s say for Catch My Party, gosh, I want to say we have 1,500 blog posts. And again, I understand 80/20. I’m just really looking at the top blog posts, but there are a lot.
Jillian Leslie 33:40
I want to update them, some of them are old, I just saw a post like now is not ranking. It’s from 2017. But it’s overwhelming to think I’m going to go back to all the posts, let’s say and start updating them.
Jillian Leslie 33:54
Can I run an experiment where I make small tweaks to some old posts, and then monitor them, where I’m just literally going into each post for 10 minutes and just updating? Maybe it needs better H2s. I would update the date.
Jillian Leslie 34:14
Maybe I didn’t give an attribute to the photos, whatever it is, like alt text, and I do this 10 minutes, and I do 10 posts.
Jillian Leslie 34:23
Can I then watch those posts, see which ones start to potentially gain traffic and traction, and then go back into those posts like the ones that are Ooh, that would get a little bit of a lift. And then use that as a way to gain information on which direction I should go?
Steve Wiideman 34:43
I don’t see why not. I’ve seen really successful rewrites of old content, ASMIRT conferences, for example, in Australia did an amazing job going back and reviving old content, and it worked really well for them. But I want to encourage everybody to remember that Google and the other search engines think in patterns.
Steve Wiideman 35:01
And if you’ve had a page that’s been out there, like my 2009 page, it’s been out there for a decade. And it’s a pattern where over 10 years worth of data has showed them that that page deserves to be three and not number one, making some tweaks means it’s now got to see how users are responding to those changes.
Steve Wiideman 35:26
And based on 10 years, if I’ve got one month, compared to 10 years, the math doesn’t weigh in there, they might be appropriate to take some of those really older pages, and just create something new and redirect that old page to the new page.
Steve Wiideman 35:40
I think that sometimes is the best way to address trying to see a major lift in something, if there’s that much history on a page, you can try to give it a little bit of a lift, so you can deep link to it a little bit. But you’re still combating years and years and years of history.
Jillian Leslie 35:56
Where Google is saying we don’t like this post?
Steve Wiideman 36:00
Yes, or this wasn’t as helpful as another page that’s in the search results. So to me, it’s about the history of a URL. And we know that Google has a history of that URL. So, if it’s been 2017, I would revive it for sure. My 2009 post, I’m going to rewrite it.
Jillian Leslie 36:16
Okay, got it. But do you think though, if I run this experiment, and I’ve got 10 posts from 2017, that I could see stuff like, reconnect instantly in Google’s eyes?
Steve Wiideman 36:29
Absolutely. There’s so fast too with updating. What you would do. And here’s the process if you really want to see this work, after you’ve done your tweaks and your changes, add a link to the body of the homepage of your website, Google finds that page to be the one that carries the most PageRank.
Steve Wiideman 36:46
It’s going to say, well, that page must be important, because you put it on an important page on your website, it’s going to pass that PageRank to that post, revive it quite a bit, hopefully. And then test it in the search results and see how it now performs.
Steve Wiideman 36:59
So, you can expedite the process of seeing how that page is going to do by deep linking to it from the homepage and maybe even from some other pages within the website, maybe even from some external websites that have similar content that would be willing to share it. Just bring it back to life.
Steve Wiideman 37:15
And I’ve seen that happen, and it works like a champ for Ozma. And it could work for you.
Jillian Leslie 37:20
Well, this has been kind of mind blowing just in terms of the way that I would say for me, it is get really close to Google.
Steve Wiideman 37:30
I love that. That’s a perfect way of putting it.
Jillian Leslie 37:34
Awesome. Steve, if people want to learn more about you reach out to you see what you’re doing. Get some of these guides and I will link to them to anything you send me. Where should people go?
Steve Wiideman 37:48
I’m seosteve everywhere. So, find me on the Twitter, the Facebook, we have to put “The” in front of it now because it’s all formal. So, I’m everywhere. And if you want to talk to anyone on my team, if I’m not responding quick enough, we’re just Wiideman, W-I-I-D-E-M-A-N. And same thing. We’d love to help businesses.
Steve Wiideman 38:07
We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the small businesses. So, don’t ever feel like, oh, you only work with big accounts, you’re not going to help me. We’ll be happy to help and provide some free advice and get you over into someone’s hands who could take care of you. So, we’re here to help and please hit us up.
Jillian Leslie 38:22
Steve, I’m going to ask you to come back at some point on the podcast. Would you do that?
Steve Wiideman 38:25
I would love that. That would be so much fun.
Jillian Leslie 38:27
Okay, awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on the show again.
Steve Wiideman 38:31
Thanks for having me. Again. I appreciate it, Jillian.
Jillian Leslie 38:32
I hope you guys liked this episode. I really liked the way Steve is able to communicate SEO and make it feel approachable. For me, two big takeaways. Yes, AI tools are here. And we are using them but be very mindful of how you incorporate them in your content.
Jillian Leslie 38:54
And two get extra close to Google. It’s not just you writing your content, and then giving it to Google and kind of praying it is you getting in there and seeing how Google is responding to it and to similar content, and really studying the Google search results so that you can win.
Jillian Leslie 39:16
Two reminders before I go. If you want to sell digital products in 2023. Get on my special email list to find out what our Black Friday special for MiloTreeCart is all about. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this. Go to milotree.com/blackfridayspecial.
Jillian Leslie 39:36
And two, if you don’t know where to start creating that first digital product so you can launch your digital product empire. Take my personality quiz by going to milotree.com/quiz. So, go do those two things.
Jillian Leslie 39:51
And then I will see you here again next week.
Other related Blogger Genius Podcast episodes you’ll enjoy:
- Best Strategies to Increase Your Site Visitors Right Now with Steve Wiideman
- Best Ways to Build Your SEO Traffic in 2022 with Casey Markee
- How to Test your Product Idea Fast with Jillian Leslie
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