Ep. #1188 - Mastering Page One SEO
Today’s episode of Startup Hustle features Matt DeCoursey and Kevin Roy, Founder and CEO of GreenBanana SEO. They have a great discussion on mastering page one SEO for your business. Learn exactly what’s needed to rank at the top of search engines. Hear about the importance of relevance, local search, reviews, long-tails, and backlinks. And just for fun, they also touch on how generative AI will impact SEO.
Covered In This Episode
Everyone wants to rank well on search engines, ideally on page one. GreenBanana SEO breaks its down for startup founders.
Listen to Matt and Kevin talk about the best ways to rank on search engines, mainly on the importance of relevance. Getting on page one takes time, and so does staying on it. They advise focusing on local search, reviews, and long-tail marketing for search engine optimization (SEO). They also discuss the impact of generative AI on SEO, link building, and more. The key takeaway is to do the basics and build a solid foundation.
Your content is not going to get to page one on its own. Learn how to master page one SEO in this Startup Hustle episode.
- Kevin’s backstory (1:38)
- Page one SEO (4:43)
- The importance of relevance (7:37)
- Getting on to page one takes time (10:30)
- Fill in your local search (19:44)
- Reviews matter (23:03)
- Long-tail marketing (25:21)
- How generative AI impacts SEO (26:49)
- The state of link building and backlinks (37:01)
- Don’t do what you’re supposed to do (41:22)
- Do the basics and build a good foundation (43:05)
When we talk about page one SEO, I think maybe, my first advice is don’t get greedy. Much like building a business, page one SEO comes with time. It takes time, and if you’re not doing it appropriately, that’s a big red flag for search engines too– Matt DeCoursey
The game of reviews is understanding that for every 15 that you ask for, you’re gonna get one. So just make it a habit and keep asking. Then in two years, you’re not gonna have a problem anymore. And you have to have reviews because some, especially if you’re in a service-based business, you’re gonna piss somebody off. So, they’re gonna write a review about that they’re not happy about something.– Kevin Roy
You’re familiar with the Pareto Principle, right? 80, 20 rule. So, 80% of those changes are things you don’t need to worry about because you’re trying to catch the bad guys from doing things not supposed to do. So don’t do what you’re supposed to do. You only have to worry about 20%.– Kevin Roy
I think that what’s important, though, is to build a good foundation, do the basic things. If you want to be on page one, you must do the basic stuff. It says the very first thing that Kevin said is, we’re going to look at the client. We’re going to go and look and see who’s ranking for those keywords. We understand what our target market is and what we’re trying to find. Have reasonable expectations and see what other people are doing that’s working.– Matt DeCoursey
It’s time to build a software development team without the fuss. Let Full Scale help you with it. Define your technical needs, and their platform will automatically match you up with a fully vetted team of developers, testers, and leaders. The Inc. 5000 lister even has a client-friendly platform to help you manage your team efficiently.
Now, do you need other kinds of services aside from software development? We have Startup Hustle partners at your service.
Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt DeCoursey 00:00
And we’re back. Back for another episode Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow. S E O, everyone’s heard those three letters, what it stands for, search engine optimization. There’s a lot of opinions. There’s a lot of old school stuff that still works. There’s a lot of new school stuff you need to be aware of. We’re going to talk all about that. And today’s episode Startup Hustle, which is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult and Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably and has the platform to help you manage that team. Go to FullScale.io to learn more. With me today, I’ve got Kevin Roy, and Kevin is the founder and CEO of GreenBanana SEO. If you want to learn more about what they’re what they’re doing, scroll on down. There’s a link in the show notes for GreenBanana SEO. It’s right next to the Full Scale link. Straight out of Beverly, Massachusetts, Kevin, welcome to Startup Hustle.
Kevin Roy 01:03
Thanks for having me. I’m happy to be here.
Matt DeCoursey 01:05
Yeah, and I’m looking at you know, this is always a fun topic. I’m I’m old enough to remember the Wild West days of SEO and have been subjected to a penalty here, there. So I’ve I’ve experienced the good and the bad. And for those of you that want to catch up, or if you have a copy of my, my book, Million Dollar Bedroom, there’s a section in there called how to think like a search engine. So we’ll see if any of that stuff still flies. But Kevin, why don’t we just start our conversation today with a little bit about you and your backstory?
Kevin Roy 01:38
Sure. So I do miss the old days when you can throw all the important keywords and make them six F’s, so it hides in the background. But those those days are gone a long, long time ago. So GreenBanan Seo, this is our 16th year we we actually started off as a web dev shop. And we started to get asked about clients that were asking for SEO, about 14 years ago, we got into search engine optimization, and we didn’t like everybody else, which is time and materials. And we build people for the work that we did and did all these presentations. And I remember doing a presentation for a boardroom that we had been for a client we’ve been working with for about a year. And I spent all night putting all these presentations together brought it to everybody. They didn’t even look at it. And they said what do we hire you for? And this was a client that we had done web work for that we had a really good trusting relationship with. And I started to realize that there’s so much information about SEO, and it’s so convoluted and can be really confusing that in the middle of the meeting, I said, how about this, we get your rank on page one for the keywords you pick. If we don’t rank, you don’t pay us, if we rank you pay us, but I’m not doing this report anymore. And they said, great. So I left thinking I either made a massive mistake, or this could be something that works. And that’s really what 90% of our clients are performance-based SEO, the secret is, is no secret, we just if we we think we have a really good chance at ranking something, we’ll work with a client say if we rank you, you pay this, if we don’t rank you, you don’t pay. If you lose your ranking, you don’t pay we don’t do anything. Sneaky, we just follow the rules. And it seems to work.
Matt DeCoursey 03:27
You know, say mastering page one, SEO and, you know, so you’re gonna have to be in the top 10 search results for various keywords on Google. Let’s be realistic, folks, it’s all Google. And you know, with that, that’s, that’s really crowded space, because there’s a lot of people out there competing for it. You know, when we talk about like page one, SEO, I mentioned, I have a section in my book, Million Dollar Bedroom, and have some experience back in, in the olden days. You know, I also experienced the ups and downs of doing things that aren’t all white hat. And, you know, I’d say from my own experience, I wasn’t doing this through an agency but, you know, be careful about who you work with find, you know, find people that have 16 years of experience and stuff like that, because, you know, everything, you know, things have changed over the years, although I still find that I think I’m on 15 years of doing this myself. And I noticed that a lot of the stuff that the there are some core ingredients to SEO that still work 16 years later. And they’ve kind of just become the foundation of it. Like when we get into Page One SEO like where do you start when it comes to to all of it.
Kevin Roy 04:43
So you’re right, that a lot of the old things do still work. And I would say that because we’re an agency and because we work with clients, we can’t do all the fun Blackhat stuff. I know about them. I have friends that do it but they always laugh at me because I have clients. Some they don’t have clients. So you can, you know, Blackhat a cipher affiliate, and if it gets tanked, then you just build another one with. We don’t have that luxury when when we have clients. So we have to be careful and make sure that we follow the rules. Before I talk about where to start, I think to sort of dovetail back into what you had mentioned about how a lot of things are the same. If you think about Google’s job is to return relevance. And how many ways can you tweak relevance and still continue to have something be relevant, right? There’s only so many ways you can say, that’s deep dish pizza in Manhattan, and Google has, you know, 800, 1100 algorithm changes a year. Do you think people are making 800 to 1100 changes? And if they did, how could you still be relevant? But how can you change it that much and still maintain relevance? So for us, the first thing that we start with is the keyword phrase, like, what keyword phrase do you want to rank for? If clients get confused, or they or they don’t want to pull the trigger on an SEO deal, we just we push them into an AdWords campaign because we can get them on page one in two days. And then see if that keyword works or doesn’t work. Once they have the keyword, then we go and see who’s ranking for that keyword phrase. And we look at the aggregate data of everyone who’s ranking and try to do a little bit more of what everyone else has. So one of the things that that we look at, and a lot of SEOs that, that I get to speak with look at is that Google will show its mystery in plain sight. So if you Google something, there’s a reason that everyone’s ranking on page one. And they all have a lot of commonalities that that make their page more relevant for that, or how many links that go to their site that are specific to that. So that’s, that is generally it. There’s also a site health component that I think is really important. If you know, if the site doesn’t work on mobile, Google is going to, they’re not going to reward you. For you know, for that if the site doesn’t have an SSL, they’re not going to, it’s going to be harder to climb without it. If it takes 15 minutes to load. Google’s gonna kind of ding you for that. But you got to fix all that stuff anyways, to give the user good experience. So when people call and say, how, how much does site load speed matter to SEO? It’s a component. It’s not a huge component, but it matters to everyone else that uses your site. So you got to do it anyways.
Matt DeCoursey 07:37
Yeah, well, there’s, when I looked at SEO, you know, as mentioned, I have some experience with us, I’ll give a little bit of background. So Oh, man in 2009 ish. Just started building websites. I was in the ticket business, like, event tickets at the time. And, you know, we were marketing affiliate sites and marketplace-type transactions. And, you know, as mentioned, at the top of the show, you could get away with a lot of stuff then. There was a lot of tricky little things. The search engine algorithms weren’t quite as sophisticated as they are now. There was also more search engines, you know, that Google kind of took the whole the whole pie on that. Lycos and yeah, well, yeah. You also Asked Jeeves and Yahoo. And, you know, I mean, they’re there, they were out there, MSN, AOL. I mean, yeah, that’s how old we are. But But with that, you know, as mentioned in my book, there’s a few, there’s a few technical things that are there anything that technical, their basic things, and I like to as I say, I find myself saying things like a search engine a lot. So search engines are mildly predictable in that regard. Like, if you have a web page, and that page has a title, it has a description, it has some headers, it has some content. And you can also have some other components in it: images or videos or things like that. And as you mentioned, Google’s job is to put you on top of a relevant, useful page, right, like give you the answers that you’re looking for. And my opinion, I’ve always felt that you if you have a well-rounded, so if you want to be alright, so I just purchased a farm property, and I have been Googling away. Kevin, I have been using local search, organic search paid search to, and man, I gotta, you know, I look at a lot of people’s stuff. And I’m like, oh, man, this is terrible. But with that, like if you want to be found for deck contractors, you should have that in your page title.
Kevin Roy 09:39
Right. So one of the things I always say to people is that Google’s job is is to really keep people using Google, right? So they want to they’re going to reward relevance because if you Google the word basketball, Wikipedia outranks the NBA usually because that page, not not the website, but the page is more relevant to the keyword phrase basketball than any other page on the internet. So that’s, you always want to remember that that Google just wants people to keep using it. So if so trying to trying to trick them isn’t going to work as effectively as we are the most important page, we have the most complete information about deck building in, you know, Topeka than anybody else does.
Matt DeCoursey 10:30
Yeah, and you know, so with that, you know, we don’t have to get too far into it. But I mean, these these are basic things about a webpage, whether it’s a landing page homepage, a blog page, any of that. And that title, and what your URL, known as your URL slug, what comes after the forward slash, I still find because you know, at Full Scale, we, we sit, we publish, you know, four to six blogs a week, and we use the same exact formula that I was using 15 years ago. Now, I mentioned getting penalized. At one point I wrote about that in my book, too. I think with SEO, it’s real easy to get greedy, and a hurry and want to take shortcuts, I had gotten to the point where I had taken a lot of shortcuts. So at one point, my ticket site ranked number one for the term Justin Bieber tickets. Wow, Ticketmaster was second. And you know, now here’s the thing in 2009, when that was our 2010, when that was occurring. I actually developed a fear that he would announce the tour because he didn’t, and I was worried it would just crash my website for days. Why? Because that was before cloud computers, stuff like that. But we did that through some Blackhat stuff. You remember Paul and Angela links, maybe and we’re, you know, they send you you could you could build your own anchor text links and stuff like that. And then we probably got penalized for that. And then also caught a duplicate content penalty because we had learned that within our blog, we could add tags that were creating duplicate pages, basically. But at the time URL, the URL, Google love that. So I went from, I went from like, a couple grand a day and truly passive income to nothing. Yeah. And I mean, I think about that, folks, you know, 60, 50 to 75 grand a month, which feels like it’s on cruise control. And that’s where I see you get greedy, like, oh, that’s just working here. Do it again. Here’s the thing, after I got penalized on that site, and never came back, there was nothing. That I mean, there was nothing, I ruined that brand. So I ruined my brand at the time and had to go back and kind of build some different stuff around it. That’s where like I said, like, that’s, I think when we talk about page one SEO, I think maybe my first advice is don’t get don’t get greedy. Much like building a business, page one SEO comes with time it takes and if you’re not doing it in, in the appropriate amount of time, that’s a big red flag for search engines too, right?
Kevin Roy 13:02
Right. Yeah, yeah. If you if you’re, if people aren’t sure what what greedy means, go with your gut. And then think about, like, if all if your site has 150 links and then on Friday, it has 25,000. Google’s gonna say 100 150, and, you know, four years, and they just got 25,000. It doesn’t make sense.
Matt DeCoursey 13:25
Unless it’s all from like, the highest trust websites.
Kevin Roy 13:29
Exactly. Like, yeah, if you made an on page one of, you know, you know, Fox, CNN, New York Times, then that’s going to make sense, right? But it’s still not going to be from, you know, if you buy something on Fiverr, they’re probably going to get lazy and throw it up in a PBN with one IP address.
Matt DeCoursey 13:47
Yeah, well, let’s talk about that Kevin, just like and in my book, I kind of pick on SEO people a little bit. Now, you’ve got a professional operation 16 years in business, but man, there are a lot of people out there that are, I am please don’t take this the wrong way. Again, it’s already in the book. So I can’t unquote, myself, but I say the term SEO expert for many as an oxymoron. Because like you mentioned, like you have friends that are good at SEO, but a lot of those folks, if you’re really good at it, like you kind of you kind of pivoted into a service offering but the people I know that have been the most brilliant at SEO aren’t actually selling the services all the time. Right, you’ve at least had a period in which they kind of did it for themselves. And then, you know, that has ups and downs because as you mentioned, thousands of algorithmic changes, what works today might put you in the shitter tomorrow, right? Right. You know, by the way, that was the one of the most heart wrenching feelings I’ve ever had. Was going from a couple grand a day passive to almost nothing. That’s tough. I mean, it was it was it was it made me want to throw up.
Kevin Roy 14:55
Yeah, I hear you. I mean, so The my friends that are in SEO that don’t have agencies all make fun of me, right? So I happen to like talking with people and talking and have clients and we also run lots of other services like AdWords and Facebook and LinkedIn and, you know, web dev. So, so that really goes in nicely with it. But the, the, you know, what’s Blackhat, and what’s not, if you follow the rules with Google, it might take you a little longer to rank. But it’s also like, I don’t lose sleep over. Because I’m not not trying to do something because we really can’t do it for clients. And you can’t do it with pay for performance SEO because when Google figures it out, I can’t lose all my revenue overnight, you know, so it’s just easy. So even though it takes longer to rank and longer to climb, you know, save the, the fun, scary, Blackhat stuff for sites that you own that you can, you’re not going to freak out if you take down and they’re making you $2,000 a day.
Matt DeCoursey 16:05
And $2,000 a day is nothing compared to what there’s been a couple big, big, like publicly traded brands. Okay, so I remember, she was probably like 2020, like 2011 and 2012. JC Penney’s got hammered by Google because they were running an exploit where they would pay a cut. So the .edu domains were highly trusted and did really well. And a lot of people had like, a lot of those have like a little kind of blogging component or something where you could make a page and JC Penney’s was paying college students given a 50 and $100 gift cards to literally copy and paste the copy that they provided. And so it was linking like to like lengths that said, like blue jeans, and stuff like that. Google figured that out, either algorithmically or manually and just hammered them. And when you get penalized, put folks, you don’t just move down a couple spots. You’re gone. You just don’t show. Yeah. And you want to talk about the impact of that that same day that came out, I think, and not not like JC Penney’s is a massive growth stock here in 2023. But at the time, they were still relevant, their stock pricing, cut itself in half, like, the same day that came out. Because if you are at the top, I mean, think about all that organic traffic. And what’s that what that’s worth now, where I kind of want to roll into this is like, I got to imagine you talk to clients. I think if you want to master page one, SEO, you got to have realistic expectations. Like if I show off something, I want to rank first on my brand new website for the term blue jeans. I don’t have to run GreenBanana SEO to say that’s not happening anytime soon.
Kevin Roy 17:44
Right. We say, you know, we have an AdWords program for that I can get you on page one tomorrow with Google AdWords with SEO. Buckle up, because it’s gonna take a long time.
Matt DeCoursey 17:53
Yeah. So like here in 2023, where there’s a lot of people that have 20, your head starts on us. I mean, could you even if you want at the back, that sounds to me like an impossible task on something. I like the idea of ranking number one for Justin Bieber tickets again, over Ticketmaster. Right. And, and his websites feels really improbable
Kevin Roy 18:15
That I mean, if someone has, if someone has a million links, and you want to get those legitimately, to think about how long that’s going to take and what that’s going to cost. Yeah. Right. So yeah, so if someone called and said, get us on, you know, do a pay for performance program for Justin Bieber tickets, we wouldn’t take that on. Or we’d say, you know, it’s going to cost you this, and then they wouldn’t call us back.
Matt DeCoursey 18:39
Well, and here’s the thing is, and thank you, Biebs, for being our example here. But there’s, I mean, that’s what there’s like an encyclopedia of keywords that are, I mean, realistically, like you could end up in there. Now let’s talk about the depreciation the depreciating nature of the front page for organic because I read I don’t know if this is still the case, but like 70% of searchers will click the first result, it’s like 14, and like 15, or something low like that for even a third spot. So you want to master the first page, you got to begin to master the first five, preferably the first three, everyone wants to be number one, that’s not always possible. But I mean, there’s a there’s a big a big decline and the results and it being spot 10 isn’t so great, even if you’re on
Kevin Roy 19:30
The spot 10 is a is a win, but you have to you absolutely have to push it up. But what usually get if you make it to to spot 10, then it’s usually links that push you up from there on. Maybe a few tweaks.
Matt DeCoursey 19:44
Well, and I want to talk about something that I guarantee everyone listening can get on the first page for if done well. Before I do that, I want to remind everyone that finding experts, software developers doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s the same way with expert SEO people there. You gotta look hard for him, they’re tough to find. But if you get a FullScale.io, you can build a software team quickly and affordably. You can use Full Scale as platform to define your technical needs and see what available developers, testers and leaders ready to join your team. Go to FullDcale.io to learn more. We’re talking about mastering the first page, I think one of the things that too many small businesses overlook is the importance of local, just a local search, like, you know, I mentioned, we use deck contractors because I’m working on building a deck. So I put that in, I put the location of where my property was. And you always get those three, maybe five results that kind of show on the map. Yep. I’ve talked to many of the service providers that have come by and I’ve had a bunch once again, a bunch of them. And some of them, the smart ones asked me how I heard about them. And I say that, and this is shit, I hear that a lot. I hear that a lot. That means it’s working. Because you show up, you’re relevant and local. Now with that, if you want to fill out if you want to do the local search correctly, you got it, the first thing you got to do is go in there fill out all the spots they have, and they give you five pictures. Put up five pictures, you know, like, pick everything, don’t go in and fill out 30% of the list.
Kevin Roy 21:14
Right. Absolutely. You know, what’s another what’s a nice easy trick is Bing. So do a go do a Bing Map. Because Bing there’s a lot of evidence that Google takes some signaling from Bing. Getting an upstanding map is a super piece of cake, it’s the same exact thing, you can put more stuff up there. But a lot of times, we’ll do that for a client like get thing, even if they don’t care about it. Like sometimes we don’t even tell them or I mean, we tell them but we’re not going to charge them for it, just to get that up. So we’ll help the Google Map. But you’re absolutely right, filling out that entire thing. And then embedding that map into the contact page of the local page because you’re taking Google’s favorite link, which is them, and putting in putting it in your page.
Matt DeCoursey 22:07
The same thing applies for YouTube videos. That’s why I always tried to, you know, create little, you know, embed them, man. And you know, hey, because once again, if you think like a search engine, the search engine is going to like the page that has the most relevant information. And let’s be realistic, Google is gonna like their own ship more than they’re going to like someone else’s. That’s okay, too. They’re running a business, right?
Kevin Roy 22:31
Matt DeCoursey 22:32
Okay. So, I mean, I think I think pay I think, if you’re not if you’re local search isn’t filled out, then I don’t think you’re serious about mastering page one. I’ve thought about that a lot. Kevin, like, I mean, can you imagine like, how many how many transactions occur every single day? Because someone finds a small or even a large business in the simple local search.
Kevin Roy 22:56
House painter near me, lawn mower near me, you know? Yep. HVAC. Huge, super important.
Matt DeCoursey 23:03
Yeah. And like, like I said, if you haven’t filled that out, you’re doing you’re doing something wrong. Now. Now filling that out isn’t always good. I think you still gotta run a clean shop and have a great business because I’ll tell you what, I’ve run across a bunch of service providers and and people that that, you know, anyone that’s finding services has been sitting there looking and they got like a 3.1. They got a 3.1 out of five rating. Yeah, not impressive, right? You got to keep up with that stuff, too. Because, just because someone finds you doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to call.
Kevin Roy 23:36
Yeah, the review thing. I had a guy call me and said, Hey, someone on the map, someone did something bad to my site. So I’m not getting any business. And I looked and I’m like you have you have a two star rating? Your reviews suck. That’s why you’re not getting business. No one did anything to your website. So, but the the game of reviews is understanding that every 15 that you ask for, you’re gonna get one. So just make it a habit and keep asking, then in two years, you’re not gonna have a problem anymore. And you have to have reviews because some, especially if you’re in a service based business, you’re gonna piss somebody off. Oh, yeah. So they’re gonna write a review about that they’re not happy about something. So
Matt DeCoursey 24:27
it’s just you don’t want that you don’t want that to be one of three total reviews where the other two are from your mom and your sister.
Kevin Roy 24:34
Right. It will happen you’re, you’re in this business you’re gonna get it could just be like, we got a bad review from someone that didn’t even work on the account like the woman that worked in the account got let go. New guy comes on. We all get along with them. There you go. Yeah. Just, you know, it’s the nature of business.
Matt DeCoursey 24:56
Yeah, you know, you know, I’d like to talk a little bit about a bit well, okay, here’s a couple other basics long way, don’t have shitty content. Google’s pretty smart. They know, like, you know if it has like, I don’t know, if you’re gonna write a blog article and it’s 50 words, might not like that.
Kevin Roy 25:19
It’s too thin, they won’t even pick it up.
Matt DeCoursey 25:21
Yeah, yeah. So now when it comes to like, overall, I want to talk a little bit about the long tail. And for those of you that might not know what I’m talking about, picture a graph and on the left side of it, it charts pretty high, and then it rapidly begins to decline to the point of maybe just the number one and then it just kind of goes on for infinity. It looks like a long tail, I have made a living in the long tail. Long tail marketing is essentially going is going after the low hanging fruit. We mentioned, could you rank for the term Justin Bieber tickets? Probably not highly, but you might be able to rank for Justin Bieber tickets in Indianapolis, or something like that, that’s a little more niche down, I think that the longtail is more relevant than other than ever because, according to Google, people are entering longer, more specific and even question related searches at an all time high. That like I said, that long tail and, you know, it just involves a little creativity. We say you’re not going to rank number one for the term blue jeans, but you might rank number one for the term, blue jeans with a heart on the back pocket or something like that. Now, you got to do a lot more work to get those pages out there. But some of that hyper specific stuff can be really good for things that are at least somewhat unique.
Kevin Roy 26:49
And that will help you rank your your higher target keywords. So all shifts seem to rise with the tide, when it comes to SEO, you go back to your deck scenario, if you’re starting a new deck business, and you can’t make it on page one, four decks, you know, deck builder in. Why don’t you do like composite decking or composite deck repair in things that you you know, things that you do deck railing installation. You’re gonna you’re gonna have to write content about your deck page, those those pages are gonna go off of that deck page. They’re gonna go support that page, you start to get wins on that. And I guarantee you that’s going to push up your, you know, your big, hairy, audacious goal page.
Matt DeCoursey 27:34
Yeah, and you know that and once again, like that’s, that’s hyper specific. Now. I think one of the keys without is I think a lot of people get back to that shortcuts thing. They’re gonna want to just make the same page and put like every city in America in the title, and you know what that might work. You also might get yourself in the same boat I got myself in, which is too much duplicate content and can’t do that. That is definitely one of the things that search engines hate. Now, I’m curious what your take is on how all this generative AI is going to affect SEO because, you know, here it comes. Like, I mean, ChatGPT can write me a better blog article remarkably faster than I can write it. What should you know? So Oh, wow, that seems great. I can get it to do all this crazy stuff. For me. What What’s your take on the generative AI? I mean, it’s been out there on some levels, but never quite as as, as, as, well, ChatGPT. Try to hit the bottom, folks. Yeah, it’ll give you a lot of it takes a while for ChatGPT to be like, no, you asked too much.
Kevin Roy 28:42
So I have a couple thoughts on that. First of all, I love ChatGPT, we use it here. But what we use it for is to create a framework and then we typically rewrite it. But if you look at if I had to write a 2000 word article, normally it would take me two days to do it. Chat does, you know, what a couple iterations it does it in like two minutes. But then to rewrite it takes you a few hours. So now I’ve gone from two days to a few hours. So rather than getting greedy and saying I’m just going to cut and paste what they put in because it is very predictive. Like I went on the long, you and I are gonna go on a long walk on the beach. And then it’s gonna say at night, but we would say we went on a long walk holding, you know, drinking a few beers, playing football on the beach. So you want to make it not as predictive. But my conspiracy theory, because it’s one of my favorite things, is that I don’t I like consider. I don’t understand how roll on roll on think about like, think about how much content the, you know, what chat GPT is. Most of the people listening this, if you’ve haven’t used it, you need to use it, but most of the people listening to this have used it. So think about how much content is getting pumped out on the minute by minute basis. I don’t think Google can keep up with that. So what’s going to is that? How is that going to impact SEO? Are they going to be able to crawl things anymore? Are they going to have a crawl budget? I mean, how can they possibly compute the fact that the number of pages that are going into a search engine has gone up by a thousand fold almost overnight. That’s what I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around.
Matt DeCoursey 30:23
Yeah, you know, when it comes to GPT, I’ll tell you like the use case, I’ll use it for you know, if you think about any article, or content, or whatever it is that you’re going to create, you want it to have your voice, you know, if you’re now maybe you’re a brand, and it’s not, it’s not a specific to that the good writing has a good voice. All right, the actual segues in between where GPT has saved me, like, just an crazy amount of time is the research, you know, like, what are 10 things or 25 of this or, or even just use it as a muse? You know, like, it will, we’ll be, you know, planning our next flight of, of content articles. And I mean, I asked it recently, I said, what are 25 titles for blogs that a software development company should be writing? Great, 25 great titles, I actually, we put,we 23 of 25 made it to the lesson, there might have been a couple things. Now, please don’t be that person that’s like it only does 90% of what I need it to. If you can find software that does 90% of what you need it to on anything, you’ve won exactly one, there’s nothing that does 100% of what you need, unless it just does one very simple thing.
Kevin Roy 31:38
In your you’re 100% right, like, like the example that I gave before is, you know, what used to take us four days now takes us four hours, we could do it in two minutes. But we’re not, you go through that extra step. In the research part, like, we have, we have FinTech clients, we have biotech clients, no one knows what T7 DNA ligase is or how to use it. It’s It’s poop, by the way. But if you put that into Chat, and it’s gonna come out with some stuff, and the client will come back with, we need to revise this, but who do you have on board that knows this stuff? It’s, it’s pretty awesome to help you get a good, good base.
Matt DeCoursey 32:15
We run into that with our writing team, because they’re trained to be writers, they aren’t trained to be like, technical writers, right? Or software, which is different. And here’s the thing it was with our writing team there in the Philippines, like all of our developers and testers. But yeah, I had to kind of force them to try it more because there was a trust factor. They were worried that it wasn’t going to be accurate. And I literally said to the team, I said, I don’t want to hear anybody else tell me that they they don’t have they think that they can somehow do it better. Like don’t tell me you don’t trust or believe in the world’s most powerful generative AI engine. It’s still better and faster and more accurate than you will be. Now that said, I definitely found errors in GPT ons, but on some of it for like the stuff we write about in the Full Scale blog, not at all.
Kevin Roy 33:12
You can read it though, and see.
Matt DeCoursey 33:15
Some of it like if I ask it who I am. It will. It’s about 70% accurate according to GPT, though, I found at Full Scale with another guy have never even heard of five years before we actually did it. So how it came up with that no freaking clue. Yeah, at the same time to like, if you’re lucky if you wanted to create content, if you ask GPT to write you an article, and you can add the phrase in the voice and tone of and just pick someone like Gary Vaynerchuk or whoever and like, you get a variety of things. Like, I actually view one mainly because I swear a lot and kind of pick on some weird topics. But yeah, it’ll it’ll give you some unique twist to that. Yeah. And then you kind of go in and rewrites a great idea. You know, my, I don’t think, I’ve read some different articles because we’re trying to decide how we want to use it with our own content. And there’s a lot of people that like, oh, Google’s gonna detect this. Are they? Like
Kevin Roy 34:19
So? Like, I think they’re gonna have a hard time keeping up with volume.
Matt DeCoursey 34:25
That’s my point.
Kevin Roy 34:26
That’s part of it. If you read if you read anything from Chatter is super predictive. I think if you go in and massage it enough to make it not predictive, then I don’t think you’re gonna get picked up like I read an article that that Chat has a some kind of a pixel or a cookie that they put in that’s crap, right? How take that you can take it exactly.
Kevin Roy 34:57
That’s just they just made that up to probably get an article read. Yeah, I don’t think that exists.
Matt DeCoursey 35:04
But that’s my point. It’s like, there’s a lot of shit out like, no one knows, no one knows now you could very much once again, put yourself back in that same problem I did with duplicate content. But duplicate content means being either repeating the same page a whole bunch of times or taking someone else’s content and posting it. One of my comments when this has been months now since GPT, came out said, hey, if we’re the first people to publish it, it’s not duplicate.
Kevin Roy 35:31
Right? So it also think about syndication, you take an article, you put it out on the news wire, as indicated 1000 different places, is that duplicate content? Because it’s really not. So if I, you know, I’m a veterinarian, and I have 15 offices, do I treat a cat differently in Boston than I do in, you know, Minnesota, right? So there has to be some think Google understands that. And, and gives you a little leeway on some
Matt DeCoursey 36:04
Yeah. Well, some of the things is strength your domain. And like, I think that’s probably where we should move towards kind of wrapping up this episode. Because we teased a little bit with what some of the, you know, the basic tenets are. You got what you see on the page, there’s also things you see off the page, I think that having a basic understanding of that is good. Just like what header tags are and like how to make an anchor text length, meaning like, Google stat, that stuff’s still relevant. I agree with you. When I when you said that, like page load, like, Google doesn’t want to give results to pages that don’t load. How long do you wait for anything to load because if your page isn’t loading right away, I’m just clicking back and go into the next one
Kevin Roy 36:48
And you’re gonna get frustrated. Google doesn’t want to reward frustration. They want people to keep using Google because not everyone’s smart. And they’re gonna say, it doesn’t work because I use Google. That’s not the truth. But Google wants to make sure that that doesn’t happen.
Matt DeCoursey 37:02
What’s the current state and 2023 of the backlink, like, support? Is it still? Okay, so you have like, one, there’s little there’s little coding tags in there follow and nofollow. Meaning, like, if you have a nofollow tag on the link that points to your site that’s worth nothing almost no.
Kevin Roy 37:21
Google still sees it, I think follows better. But Google still sees, you know, you probably use Ahrefs. Yep, that’s a great, that’s a great tool that to see what competitors links that have and what ones that you have that actually worked. One of the things that I’ve noticed is that it takes Google at least a month to see the links, give you credit for it, even if you see them on Ahrefs before that. But I think I think it’s an important part. But let’s say you’re a local, a local business, and you sponsor your kids softball team. Like that, you know, that, you know, crappy High School website has been kicking around since Al Gore invented the internet. And getting a link from that is actually really good. Might be really good. Yeah, little things like that can like Chamber of Commerce like that. So before you, like, freak out about link building, there’s some kind of easy wins, if you just think about it.
Matt DeCoursey 38:20
Yeah, well, I think some of it too, is, you know, everyone’s got a social account guy. I know you have a million of those things. And, you know, like, like, even like LinkedIn, like, LinkedIn now has a services offered option that you can fill in, that gives you a link to what you sell. And I was able to make mine say hire software developers. Right? Right. Those are good keywords for what we sell. And it’s also just good to have on your page in your profile that lead to the same place because that’s a good thing. You know, like, you gotta go through and you can definitely do some some basic organic link building with the properties that you already have. And you know, and then I think some of the things too, is like, I don’t know, man, I get like, I get like six frickin emails a day wanting link exchanges, or like, like this whole economies come up. That’s like, I don’t I don’t respond to any of them. Just because I got other shit to do. But what’s the best way to get some links rather than like the stuff you already have?
Kevin Roy 39:24
I think syndication, press it, press releases.
Matt DeCoursey 39:28
Just get okay. Yeah. So you could you could in order to syndicate something like if I wanted to write an article, so I actually do that I’m a contributor at Inc.com. And, you know, here comes here come those articles and they’re linking to different things. And that gets syndicated some different places, but you can write, you can write an article or a press release, put a couple links in it. For probably about 100 bucks and that out on a lot of PR Newswire kind of thing.
Kevin Roy 39:55
There’s a lot of there’s a lot of services that you can use that do that
Matt DeCoursey 39:58
I don’t think you’re going to get traffic from that. I think you get traffic maybe from the link since and like the boost. Right?
Kevin Roy 40:05
Right, you don’t get traffic from that. Because if you’re going to spend 100 bucks on a on a newswire, they’re gonna stick him in the back, you don’t think on the front page of the Globe, you know,
Matt DeCoursey 40:13
Just back to the whole idea of tempering your idea of what, what can and could be occurring. Alright, so we’re here at the end of another episode of Startup Hustle brought to you by FullScale.io. If you want to hire software engineers, testers, your leaders Full Scale can help. We have the people and the platform to help you build manage a team of experts go to FullScale.io. There’s a link for that in the show notes. There’s also a link to GreenBanana SEO. On the way out I like to whenever I’m with a founder, I like to do what I call the founders freestyle give you an opportunity to say whatever you’d like to say on the way out. We’ve had people rap saying do poetry and the most common one, which is just kind of talking about what stood out in our conversation. If you can rap that, then you’ll
Kevin Roy 41:04
That’ll be amazing. I mean, the reason the reason I’m in this business is because I can’t do anything else.
Matt DeCoursey 41:11
Got it. I should ask ChatGPT to write a rap about Google SEO.
Kevin Roy 41:18
That would be amazing.
Matt DeCoursey 41:20
Right now you’re in for a good one.
Kevin Roy 41:22
I think my favorite part is where you know, we’re in such alignment about it, it’s clear that you’ve been doing SEO for a long time. And the questions that you asked were, or great, I would say. I don’t know, I would say more phillip philosophical thing that’s not SEO related, is that I’ve been doing this for a long time. Every single time I have a plan to succeed. It never happens the way I think, every single time. So it’s one of the hardest things to do for me for for growing and expanding a business is that nothing is predictable, things always come out, seem to come out well, but it never ever happens the way that I think it’s gonna happen. And the more that I can internalize that the easier life is, right?
Matt DeCoursey 42:13
You mentioned my for my free sell. It’s a I hear what you’re saying, I have done SEO a long time ago. I haven’t done SEO, quite honestly, in, in years. The constant changing of the algorithms and all of that, like I’m telling you, it’s really deflating to do a whole lot of work and do a lot of stuff and then that works. And then you feel like it all get undone. And you know, I’ve had that happen a couple of times. And with that, like I’m like,
Kevin Roy 42:47
So you’re familiar with the a Pareto Principle, right? 80, 20 rule. So, 80% of the those changes are things you don’t need to worry about because you’re trying to catch the bad guys from doing things not supposed to do. So don’t do what you’re supposed to do. You only have to worry about 20%.
Matt DeCoursey 43:05
Yeah. Yeah. And that’s, I mean, and, you know, there’s. I mean, overall, I think that what’s important, though, is, you know, build a good foundation, do the basic things. Like if you want to be on page one, you got to do the basic stuff. It says the very first thing that Kevin said is like, we’re going to look at the client, we’re going to go and look and see who’s ranking for those keywords. We understand what our target market is what we’re trying to find, having reasonable expectations, seeing what other people that are doing that that’s working. And I guarantee you, those people that are already on the top page are doing the basic stuff as suscribe like that’s. You know, that’s having your pages labeled the right way and having good descriptions and having decent content and that page that loads quickly. And you know, some of that, and if you just opened your website, like, if it just hit the net, you you’re not going to rank real high real fast because Google’s onto that one, too. They like to see that aged a little bit. So if you’re thinking about starting a new business, and you haven’t thought of a name or a domain, maybe go buy one that exists. You know, and be careful with that to want to make sure you didn’t buy when it’s penalized. But there’s some ways to search that. Anyway, this goes on and on and on. I’m sure we could talk for about five episodes, and then we’ll have just scratched the surface. That’s all the time we have today. So I’m going to catch up with you down the road, Kevin, thanks for joining me.
Kevin Roy 44:25
Yeah, thanks. This is great. Thanks for having me.