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The Marketing Scientist of Moz Talks Google Updates & Rank Brain

By Site Strategics
June 17, 2016

The #edgetalk crew featured an SEO & SEM VIP on a recent show in the person of Dr. Pete Meyers of MOZ. Known throughout the industry as the “Marketing Scientist,” Meyers has been immersed in digital marketing since the late 90s.

“When I finished my bachelor’s degree I knew I wanted to get into the Internet world,” said Meyers who majored in computer science as an undergrad at North Central College in Chicago.

After he obtained his Ph.D. in human experimental psychology from the University of Iowa, Meyers went to work for a startup company.

The Early Days
“I found myself working in this abandoned warehouse with no heat and trash all over the place with a bunch of servers and a phone that rang constantly,” he said. “Clients would call and complain so I’d literally go unplug the phone from the wall and try and figure out their computer issues.”

Meyers learned immediately that succeeding in this business meant figuring things out fast. Being self-taught has become his M.O. – and even today he doesn’t shy away from figuring out what the majority might see as “unexplainable.”

Looking back on SEO in the late 90s and early 2000s, Meyers feels it was a “cat and mouse game.” Search engines at the time were naïve, but today they’re much more sophisticated, and that has helped bring him back where he started.

Today’s Landscape
Meyers understands the weight that Google carries in the industry, and part of his job at Moz is to analyze the “weather” patterns there.

“As far as Google goes, they’re a very large player that controls a very large portion of our fate,” he said.

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, for example, has received lots of attention since it was announced at SMX West back in March.

“Google is putting so much emphasis on mobile right now and you see that with AMP,” said Meyers.

Meyers’ Work
Since starting at Moz, Meyers has curated and upkeeps the “Google Algorithm Change History and built the MozCast Project. Trying to balance and understand everything that is going on inside Google is part of his daily routine.

In addition, he has helped to create six tools within Moz including the Keyword Explorer.

“Basically, the keyword explorer gives a weighted value of each keyword,” said Meyers. “We take metrics like keyword suggestion and keyword difficulty, mash them all together, and provide an individual score for each one.”

This tool took two years to roll-out at Moz and there’s some definite math magic behind it according to Meyers.

The Future of SEO & SEM
As for the future of the industry, Meyers sees deep learning or machine learning as being the next big push from Google aside from AMP.

“Do we know exactly what Google is pursing here? Well not exactly, but we have a good idea that machine learning is involved,” he said.

Many speculate that Google is using machines to consolidate search queries, but it’s unknown.

“Even the people that build the algorithm aren’t going to understand it entirely,” said Meyers. “But I can tell you this, if you’re working for Google and aren’t a fan of machine learning then your time there will be short.”

To hear and watch the complete interview with Meyers, visit here.