EP 324 Transcript | What is Google E-A-Ting with Marie Haynes

By Site Strategics
September 6, 2019

Speaker 1: 00:01 On this episode of Edge On The Web.

Marie Haynes: 00:04 If my theory’s right, and they’re cross-checking things against a database that they trust, well now they’ve got information from those big sites to trust. I mean there’s certainly problems because new stuff happens all the time.

Erin Sparks: 00:04 All the time.

Marie Haynes: 00:19 How’s Google going to determine what is trustworthy or not? I think the point here is that they’re going to error on the side of caution. Then I think over the next little while we’ll see that they get better.

Speaker 1: 00:32 Your weekly digital marketing trends with industry trend setting guests, you’re listening and watching Edge of the Web. Winners of best podcast from the Content Marketing Institute for 2017, hear and see more at edgeoftheweberadio.com. Now here’s your host Erin Sparks. 

Erin Sparks: 00:55 We want to thank Ahrefs returning as a sponsor of the Edge. Ahrefs, if you haven’t come across that before, it’s competitive analysis easy. Their tools show you how your competitors are getting traffic from Google and why. You can see the pages, the content that send them most of the search traffic and then find out the exact words they’re ranking for and which backlinks are actually helping them rank. Talking about backlinks, this is the place to go. If you haven’t come across Ahrefs before, we highly recommend that toolset from the Edge. 

You can check out a lot of things in there, they have a keyword explorer tool. One of our favorites is the new backlinks factor, they’re continually churning up daily new links that keeps us very focused and vigilant on our own backlink profiles for our clients. Check them all out over ahrefs.com, that’s A-H-R-E-F-S.com and start a free trial today. You’ll swim in great data and you’ll love the tool. It will be a tool for your shop just as it is for ours. Check out all that information. Be sure to join the newsletter, text the word Edge to the number 22828, the word Edge Talk and you can join us right there. We’re cranking up some good information on a regular basis of who we’ve talked to in the show. The articles of news as well as from the insights we had from that interview as well, who we’re going to be talking to in the future. Join the Edge newsletter free of charge, we won’t use your email for anything else, but sending over the digital nuggets of gold. All right, so follow all the featured training topics over at edgeofthewebradio.com. For now, let’s put a pause to that and beat dive with this week’s featured guest. 

Speaker 1: 02:36 Now it’s time for Edge of the Web featured interview with Marie Haynes, owner of Marie Haynes Consulting. 

Erin Sparks: 02:47 It seems like we’ve already had the interview, at least portion of it. Let’s introduce Marie, because we didn’t get a chance at the beginning of the hour here. She’s a regular speaker at conferences like Pubcon and SMX. She’s contributed Search Engine Roundtable and Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land, Moz, the SEM Post, all the places that you’ve got to pay attention to this type of news. She’s also the owner of her own growing agency called Marie Haynes Consulting. She’s also completely obsessed with understanding Google algorithm, so you know we had to come back around as soon as we saw even move activity on the Google Core update. Marie, there’s your official introduction.

Marie Haynes: 03:30 Thank you.

Erin Sparks: 03:30 You’re more than welcome.

Marie Haynes: 03:31 [crosstalk 00:03:31], yeah. We’ve already done the whole interview.

Erin Sparks: 03:34 We’ve got more. 

Marie Haynes: 03:35 Let’s keep talking.

Erin Sparks: 03:38 Briefly Marie, can you give us our listeners your back story? Tell us how you got into SEO, because you’re one of the clearing callers right now in this industry. Give us a snapshot briefly. 

Marie Haynes: 03:50 It still amazes me how people will follow what me and what my company are saying about SEO. I was a veterinarian for years, and in between appointments I would be trying to figure out how to get my friends and my own websites ranking better. Just sort of stumbled into this SEO thing. Then in 2012 when Google came out with their Penguin algorithm, and nobody understood it, I happen to be on bedrest at the time. I was just trying to figure out what Penguin was doing. Taking part in SEO forums and then people were saying, “Hey, can I pay you to consult with me,” and I would say, “No, I’m a vet, not a marketer.” Slowly started doing a little bit of consulting. Then over the years, every time Google has had something about an algorithm update, something that could be quality in terms of links or on page signals, I’ve been taking notes on it. Just a couple years ago I hired a few people to help me do this, and now we’re a team of eight and growing where we basically analyze websites for quality issues.

A great number of clients that we work with see nice improvements, although not everybody. We have a great time doing what we do. We love trying to improve quality. 

Erin Sparks: 05:06 It’s absolutely clear that you do, and actually those are penguins behind you on the screen, are they not? 

Marie Haynes: 05:12 They are, yeah, penguins.

Erin Sparks: 05:15 She’s taking her job seriously here folks. 

Marie Haynes: 05:18 Oh yeah, you can’t see the rest of the office, we’ve got pandas, we’ve got all sorts of stuff going on. 

Erin Sparks: 05:24 A couple of hummingbirds, a picture of Florida, okay, all right. We’ve been certainly paying attention to what you’re sending out into the SEO conversation on social as well as content. We certainly want to highly recommend, I’ll give a good, do this plug for you, your newsletter is fantastic. I’ve never seen a newsletter like this before that’s unpacking so many key points in the SEO industry before. Certainly want to join the Edge newsletter, but if you really want to see something that is tantamount good from a content standpoint, go join the newsletter for Marie Haynes Consulting. All right, and that was an unpaid commercial right there by the way.

Marie Haynes: 06:10 Thank you.

Erin Sparks: 06:10 Yeah, no problem. Let’s talk about this core updates, and for listeners that are not aware of core updates or even what the Google algorithm changes are doing regularly, especially digital marketers that aren’t in SEO. Can you give a very light background into why Google changes its algorithm regularly?

Marie Haynes: 06:35 Google’s goal, I mean if you want to be cynical, Google’s goal is to make money for Google. 

Erin Sparks: 06:40 There it is.

Marie Haynes: 06:41 Then people would argue, they made these algorithm updates in order to push more people to buy ads. I don’t think that’s it. I think the reason why Google has a monopoly on search, I mean we know, very few people use other search engines. People do, but it’s mostly Google, is because they provide the most relevant results. Their goal is to continue to provide the most relevant results and so they’re continually tweaking their algorithms so that when I type in a search query, I don’t have to go to page six to find the answer that I want. I can trust that it’s going to be one of those top results. 

Every time we see an update from Google, something has been changed in their algorithms. Or their assessment of your site has changed. When we see, we used to have Panda updates and Penguin updates and then a few years ago Google said, “Look, we’re going to call these core quality updates. As much as we can we’re going to tell you when we do one of these.” Danny Sullivan from Google does occasionally tweet through the Google search layers on account saying, “Yes, we’re pushing out an update or we have pushed out an update.” They’ll tell us some things that it has to do with. 

Although for the last two plus years we really feel like pretty much every update has to do with something that is disgusting the document called Google’s Quality Radar’s Guidelines. That’s why we focus on quality from that book. Primarily what we’re looking at here is Google makes changes all the time. They make changes everyday, some of those changes are more significant, so I think what happened over the lat weekend was a minor change to the algorithm. Then they make very major changes like June 3rd, March 12th this year was another one, where that affects a larger number of sites. That’s where usually they figured out how to thoroughly assess something else. Usually it’s an element of trust. 

What we’re seeing with medical sites lately is that they’re trying to find out, are the sites for medical queries potentially going to harm anybody? Or are they sites that we can really trust? Hopefully that explains it. It can be hard to understand what’s happening when you’re on the wrong side of an algorithm update. 

Erin Sparks: 08:56 Oh yeah.

Marie Haynes: 08:57 I can tell you, it happens.

Erin Sparks: 09:00 It does and people are panic stricken whenever something comes through because they’re holding fast to, watching their Google’s search consul. A lot of people, a lot of business owners don’t even get that particular advantage point, they just know that everything’s just disappeared. They need that type of information spelled out to them, at least things are changing regularly and Google’s really evaluating how valuable you are in your own ecosystem online. 

Speaking about medical sites, because that has been the biggest buzz. Now we knew about the August change, that you’re money, your life algorithm change that rolled out last August. It’s even more pressed, we’re hearing you and Glenn Gabe are going back and forth regularly about these medical sites and drops that have been seen. Lily Ray jumped in there and was giving evaluation of the top 15 alternative medical sites have taken a hit. Can you give some perspective of what those sites were? Again, you’re not paid to study those sites, but we’re all in together to get a sense of how deep those cuts are, right?

Marie Haynes: 10:08 Something that we’re seeing a lot of especially since June 3rd of this year is, medical sites that talk on alternative subjects. You know alternative and complementary in medicine. I’ve seen a lot of drops, and so for example, it’s not just medical, it can be nutrition as well, so sites that talk about a particular type of diet or sites that talk about supplements, that’s a big one. 

What we’re seeing is, almost in every situation the sites that are winning these saps are the giants. The Mayo Clinic, the Healthline, WebMD, and if you’re doing information, if you’re trying to do a search on some alternative treatment, let’s say you want a holistic treatment for a health condition that you have, you’re likely going to see one of these giants first, before you see a site that’s dedicated to that medical issue.

Erin Sparks: 11:01 Sure. 

Marie Haynes: 11:01 One of the things that we’re seeing is that, let’s say there’s a new diet there that example diet that everybody seems to want to follow. If I do a search for does example diet work, or is example diet good, what I will find is one of the few things. One could be that I see a featured snippet from maybe Healthline that says, “There are no studies that prove that example diet works.” That’s not good. If I’m seeing that, and my whole website is talking about example diet, you see what I’m saying? Or they might say, “Well, the research is still kind of out there, and maybe there’s been a study that shows that this herb could help with this,” but it’s kind of vague. Those still Google doesn’t want to trust those at this point. Then the last thing that we see is, okay if Healthline and WebMD are saying, “Yes, there’s plenty of studies that show that this works.” It’s not even just studies, it’s if the medical community says, “Yes, we’re a big fun of example diet,” then you’re probably seen as okay.

Our theory, and we’re still unpacking this theory right now. I have an article that will be coming out hopefully this week, maybe next so you get a sneak preview on this.

Erin Sparks: 12:16 That’s great.

Marie Haynes: 12:17 Is that Google can algorithmically determine that, all right, there’s information on your website. Then they have a knowledge, a knowledge base of sites that they trust, especially for medical facts. They have a huge knowledge base of this stuff, and so they can very easily use natural language processing to say, “The point of your page is to say that this works, and our knowledge base that we trust doesn’t support that.” Now if a huge component of your site falls into that category, then you probably will have trouble ranking for a YMYO query. What we’re trying to do now is come up with ways that we can overwrite this, but I think if your goal is to rank number one and out beat WebMD and sites like that for short tail queries, it’s going to be really challenging unless Google does some more tweaks. I think that will come in weeks and months to come, that Google will get more nuance that determining, okay this part of this website is good. This part contains like maybe stuff that could be harmful to people and only showing the parts that they trust. Right now it seems to be a site wide thing that if Google is lacking trust in your medical site, and that’s just one of the possible reasons that maybe you’re not in line with scientific consensus. Then it’s going to be tricky to rank for YMY queries.

Erin Sparks: 13:38 All right, that gives us a great background and great context here. I have to ask you one question here in this respect, let me see if I can pony this thing up. The concept of evaluation and authority, we already know that where it lives and that’s where so many sites are subject to now even more scrutiny. When it’s medical and it’s been a lifestyle benefit type of goal here than it’s even under more scrutiny. What about the timeline of trending topics that are just entering the marketplace, that don’t have those because there’s just no data there. What you’re saying is that there’s even a larger step to step up on to be able to get that level of value or that level of endorsement. You’re not even looking for endorsements yet, literally you’re just trying to get some sort of recognition that this is an alternative method of what have you. They’re making, it’s almost like that you’re not big enough to ride the ride now, because you have this data, but you don’t have it valuated by these large organizations. It could be completely legitimate, but you’re going to have to wait even a longer period of tie to be able to get some sort of recognition online. Is that what we’re possibly seeing here?

Marie Haynes: 15:08 Possibly. I thin it’s super complicated because I mean of course new treatments an supplements and what not are coming out everyday. I mean I would imagine everyday there’s probably several new weight loss supplements that are developed. Let’s say one of those, like let’s say in this month there is like, I don’t know 400 new weight loss supplements that are being produced out there online for people to read about. Let’s say that one of those is really, really good for weight loss. Then maybe that page should rank well. 

I think what Google’s algorithms are doing is saying, well, you’ve got 400 pages talking about these sketchy, I don’t know if they’re going to work product. By the way you have an affiliate link to sell them, or you know a guide, you know what I’m saying?

Erin Sparks: 15:08 Yeah, I do.

Marie Haynes: 16:00 How are they going to pick out that one page on your site is trustworthy and the other 399 pages that are selling products are not? I think they have in their algorithms they have a list of trusted sites. They can say if Healthline, WebMD, even Wikipedia if it’s in there we can trust it. If it’s not they’re going to probably error on the side of caution. I think if we can take it down to a tinier level and say like if I was the person, the company that made this weight loss product, maybe eventually as doctors start to recognize it’s working. As medical community start to back it up and as more of the experts online consider this to be a good thing across not just that one website, then that topic is seen as trustworthy and you’re not going to be seen as lacking trust if you write about it. 

I think it’s all on a very large scale right now that unless Google can say 100%, maybe not 100%, but unless they can really, really trust your site and you have brand authority, then it’s going to be really tricky to write on topics that are not accepted as consensus. That’s really tough when new things come out. I don’t know, this is one of the things that we’re working on is how can a brand present this new information without sounding like you’re trying to scam people.

Erin Sparks: 17:24 That’s tough.

Marie Haynes: 17:26 I think if we can cure that, if we can solve that then we can help some of these sites. Not all of the medical sites that dropped were bad, I think a lot of them were. We’ve reviewed some sites that are quite good that have seen drops as well. 

Erin Sparks: 17:38 Any of those that you can possible mention during this broadcast?

Marie Haynes: 17:38 No.

Erin Sparks: 17:42 Okay. 

Marie Haynes: 17:44 No, I’m sorry, just because of the confidentiality.

Erin Sparks: 17:47 Oh no, that’s fine. There are legitimate websites out there that are getting, so there are some refinement obviously that Google needs to do in this space. I just keep on seeing in my mind [inaudible 00:18:01], Google Trend chart to be able to see as queries are building about a particular type of diet. All of a sudden now you have a little bit more viability in the ranking space, because people are looking for it more. They’re coming around and checking these large organizations to see if that particular supplement is actually mentioned. It’s almost this initially an organic build of interest that’s probably going to give value to some of those sites, would you say?

Marie Haynes: 18:34 Well, yeah and I think it grows organically. I mean if there was some type of a new diet, a new supplement or a new treatment that comes out, and all of a sudden it’s growing in Google Trends because there’s huge interest in it, well then that’s going to be covered by the health giants eventually.

Erin Sparks: 18:52 Right, exactly. 

Marie Haynes: 18:52 Then Google, if my theory is right and they’re crosschecking things against a database that they trust, well now they’ve to information from those big sites to trust. I mean there’s certainly problems because new stuff happens all the time.

Erin Sparks: 19:09 All the time.

Marie Haynes: 19:11 How’s Google going to determine what is trustworthy and not? I think the point here is that they are going to error on the side of caution, and then I think over the next little while we’ll see that they get better. Here’s an example for you, this wasn’t a client of ours, but you probably saw stuff on Twitter about selfhacked.com. We looked into that a little bit and they’re not clients of ours, but this is a site that talks about all the medical science behind different supplements. I think the vast majority of what we looked at when we were briefly looking at this site was really good stuff. Then they had the odd post about like, “Oh here’s the supplement and there’s not a lot of evidence to support it. It’s possible that it could fix all of these medical conditions and by the way here’s out guide that tells you more.” 

I’m not saying that this is the main problem. I think SelfHacked from what I can see looks like a very good website. If you can see with my theory here that Google is saying, “Well there’s some stuff on there that we’re not sure if it’s safe for users. To error on the side of caution, we don’t want them to rank well for YMYO queries, where people are trying to fix their health or spend their money. It’s an interesting area.

Erin Sparks: 20:26 All right, I’m tracking with you and I’ll pour one more thing into the mix here is that, is Google actually looking at the intention of those sites? Not just the content, not just the references, but what you just explained there was literally the intention was to get that download going, that additional guide. It wasn’t for the value of the content that is actually showing, because it’s kind of thin content all things considered. On that page was something that wasn’t really what the user was looking for, but it just happens to be right in the middle of the page to be able to download. Are they actually possibly looking at the intention of these medical page, the content that are out there?

Marie Haynes: 21:10 I think that they are. Again if we look at the Quality Rater’s Guidelines, which don’t tell us exactly how they algorithms are working. They tell us how they teach humans to test if the algorithms are working. The quality radars, one of the first things they’re told to do is determine what the purpose of a page is. I think there’s many ways Google could do that. We put title tags on our pages to say what the purpose is. We put headers on the pages. I think Google can use programmatically, it can use natural language processing to say, “Oh this page is saying this supplement is good for weight loss.” It’s many places in the guidelines that the radars are told, the very first thing you need to do is determine what is the purpose of this page. They talk about a page having a beneficial process.

Erin Sparks: 21:56 You beat me to it.

Marie Haynes: 21:57 Yeah, I’m taking words from you. I don’t know how Google labels that when we have our thoughts, right, maybe the purpose of the page is to sell a product. If that’s the case, then you’re going to be held to a higher standard of trust. What we’re seeing with a lot of the pages that are ranking for supplements and medical things that you can buy are pages that don’t sell products. Now I’m not saying that all affiliate sites are low quality, because there’s many good affiliate sites out there. I think if you’ve got an article on something and you’re selling the product, and WebMD has an article on it and they’re not selling the product, Google is going to trust WebMD’s information more than your website probably. 

Erin Sparks: 22:41 Yeah, absolutely and that was a big change that came through since we had talked July 25th I think was that Google Quality Rater’s Guideline update. That beneficial concept was squarely in part of the updates that are rolling through. It’s not only the type of content that you’re rolling through, and there is for our listeners who haven’t checked out the Quality Rater’s Guideline, there is a huge checklist of things to go through to be able to see how Google’s actually recommending their own graders review content online that is not only authoritative, but useful. It’s about that usable and utilitarian concept. Do you have shipping methods online? Do you have return policies? These [inaudible 00:23:30] other pieces that just go to good quality communication to the website users.

Now you’re in the space where it’s not only that content, it’s also the intention of the pages that you have here. You just can’t build pages for Google. You’ve got to build the pages for Google’s consumers, and that’s the big change in SEO now. It’s really about intent and it’s about that trust factor that you speak so well about. Where we’ve evolved into the spaces that Google’s sniffing out the bait and switch tactics. Google’s sniffing out right there on the page, what you’re really doing with this content. That’s a big evolution, isn’t it Marie?

Marie Haynes: 24:13 It is and the thing that’s frustrating is that, it’s not as obvious as it was in the past. It’s not like Google is just demoting sites that we all recognize as scam sites. A lot of these sites that dropped with June 3rd, like I said, they were very good sites. A big component of their traffic and their pages are things that I would totally trust. We’d be easier to understand if we were like, okay, Google’s attacking these sites that nobody would want to see in the search results. It is a little bit frightening to me that it seems like Google is almost controlling what’s truth that in some sense. I also trust that there’s a system here and they’re working on it. I think one day we’ll look back at interviews like this and go, “Man, we didn’t know very much,” but it’ll become clear. Yeah, I mean it’s very, very complicated. I wish I could get inside of meetings at Google and just have just a little bit more information about what they’re trying to do here. Yeah, it’s a challenge for sure.

Erin Sparks: 25:20 You tread lightly whenever we start looking at Google being the [inaudible 00:25:24] of trust. They take their job very, very seriously because I mean ultimately it’s the consumers that are either going to believe or not what they’re bringing to the equation. Boy that’s a really delicate place for them to be of revealing the sites that they truly do endorse for a lack of a better description. Now we’ve seen it over the decades, I mean this is how they’ve evolved our content. We as consumers love how they’ve developed the content and make it more and more useful for any transaction or any inquiry. Boy, that’s the one step it can go too far that all of a sudden content that is completely legitimate doesn’t show up, right?

Marie Haynes: 26:12 You just made me realize something pretty profound here. Maybe it won’t be profound for everybody else, but for me it is. The reason why I first created a website was when I was a veterinarian and I was sick and tired of people coming to me with stuff they found on the internet. People saying like, “Hey my dog has fleas, and I read on Yahoo answers, I just need to give him garlic.” It turns out that garlic is toxic to a dog’s red blood cells. People were finding this information on the web. 

I got into SEO and web design and all this stuff because there was misinformation on the web in terms of medical information. That was gosh, 10 even longer years ago now. Imagine if Google was your company, I mean there’s a lot of cool things you could imagine about that. 

Erin Sparks: 27:02 Okay, we’re just going to stop right here and just float into the ether. Yeah, keep on going, keep on going.

Marie Haynes: 27:07 Imagine that people were using your website consistently to get information that could harm them or could be scammed. No wonder Google wants to change things, right?

Erin Sparks: 27:07 Yup.

Marie Haynes: 27:17 I mean I’m sure there’s money involved. Yes they want to make more money, but I do think there’s a part of Google that, like a big part of Google that wants to help people. Maybe I’m naïve to think that, but I do think that they’re trying really hard. I know that’s not consoling if you’ve been hit by Google. I think a lot of us are looking at Google as the enemy that they’re constantly trying demoting their website when instead we should be looking at, I don’t know, I’m rumbling here.

Erin Sparks: 27:45 No, you’re right.

Marie Haynes: 27:46 I think you see my point that I came in the SEO because there was very bad veterinary medical information that was being surfaced on Google searches. That has changed, a lot of that has changed now, so we have to roll with the times and figure out how I think a lot of sites that their business model is no longer going to work in this new age of Google. 

Erin Sparks: 28:12 No, you’re absolutely right. If you’re not bringing good information to their question to help educate people and not this way, they’ll not spend them. You’ve got to look at your content and see if it’s actually doing that. Take that quiet Quality Rater’s Guideline and scrutinize your content from stem to stern. If it smells of potential disingenuousness right, then you’ve got to change your game, because Google’s onto it. They are understanding what you are really doing, and it could very well not be manipulating anything at all, but it may look like that. You really have to look at your intention profile for lack of a better description. You have your lean profile out there, does your site crossover that attention profile and demonstrate true want to have, right?

Marie Haynes: 29:03 Yeah and better yet get other people to look at your website.

Erin Sparks: 29:07 Sure. 

Marie Haynes: 29:07 I’m going back that SelfHacked website. There was a post on hacker news about this. It was interesting because the responses on hacker news weren’t all SEOs, I mean there were people with technical knowledge. A lot of these responses were people saying how much they didn’t trust the site. There were a lot of responses of people saying, “This is fantastic, I’ve gone to this website for years.” You had people their first instinct at looking at the site, and I don’t remember the exact comments, but there were things like, “Well this look scammy, I wouldn’t trust this if you’re selling this.” 

That’s part of what we do in our reviews, as sort of look like an unbiased third party to determine, would we trust, would we buy a product from this website? If you don’t want to hire somebody like our company to do that, you can very easily get and people, pay them a little bit of money to just spend sometime on your website and your competitors websites. Ask them the 23 questions about Panda Amit Singhal’s questions. Like would you give your credit card to this site? Do you trust the information? Do your recognize this site as an authoritative brand? Things like that, and I know that’s kind of vague, it’s not like as easy as well, change you title tag to this. That’s what Google’s going after. If you can get people to trust your website thoroughly, then Google really should as well.

Erin Sparks: 30:36 Yeah, it’s time to step up not only your content, but just how you present yourself to the online consumer. Consumers are savvy and Google’s catching up to it. They’re running ahead of these sites and saying, “You know what, improve your game please, because we’re not going to send that traffic to you.” I think you’re spot on Marie and we’re going to be seeing this continued evolution into this, they’re not a cop. They are literally almost a quality control that we’re experiencing now. 

Marie Haynes: 31:11 Makes sense.

Erin Sparks: 31:12 All right, well, we can certainly do this for hours, but we’re going to be respectful of your time. Hey, every time we interview we always ask our guests, what really bugs you right now in your industry? Now we just had that conversation, but oh since the last six months, what has bugged you about this industry?

Marie Haynes: 31:31 Gosh, not a lot of things. Honestly, I think SEO is a really cool community for the most part. They had a thing recently where I’m sure you’re aware of this blog post that Google published about EAT. I love it, because it actually validated a lot of stuff we were saying. A lot of SEOs got upset because in the blog post Google linked out to…

Erin Sparks: 31:59 Lily?

Marie Haynes: 32:00 Out site.

Erin Sparks: 32:01 Yeah, your site. 

Marie Haynes: 32:03 All right, and a number of other sites that had good articles on EAT. 

Erin Sparks: 32:07 Everybody got sideways about it.

Marie Haynes: 32:10 I know right, and like I don’t want to bring up this whole discussion again, well I just did bring up the whole discussion again. You asked me what bugs me. I tried as much as I could to stay out of that discussion, that’s what bugs me. Is when people are complaining about each other. No, if they wrote a blog post about EAT, and they didn’t link to me after I’ve spent years of my life working on it, and they linked other people, I would probably complain about that.

If they wrote a blog post about something else, about AdWords or Ads, Google Ads now, which is something that we don’t do as a service. They linked out to a bunch of SEOs who had written really good topics on this, I would be fine with it, I would be thrilled for them. Anyways, I think I would like to see less backbiting and maybe backbiting is not the right word. Some of the people that had complaints about this were people I really trust and like. More celebrating our successes and sharing freely. I would love, we share experiments and people come out and say, “Oh but it’s not this, and you don’t know what you’re talking about,” and blah, blah, blah. Then who wants to share an experiment anymore, right? I think if I could change one thing about the community it would just be to be less critical of each other and more just, we’re all trying to help our clients, so yeah.

Erin Sparks: 33:34 No, I think you’re right there. I think one of the factors of that particular argument is that it was a rarity of that Google ever listed out that many links to consulting firms in a blog post. That was that additional icing on the cake that kind of got everybody riled up. Yeah, but you’re absolutely right, is that we’re in the sharing process. We need to be able to toss information back and forth and be able to understand what’s happening in these waters regularly. 

All right, conversely what’s exciting outside of EAT, I’m going to give those parameters. Outside of EAT what’s exciting in the industry in your eyes?

Marie Haynes: 34:11 Exciting, oh gosh I think we’re…

Erin Sparks: 34:13 See, I took EAT off the table.

Marie Haynes: 34:16 I can’t talk about EAT. Honestly I think we are in a new age. I know I’m sounding kind of philosophical when I’m saying years from now we’ll look back and go, “Oh we were having this conversation about how search is changing.” I think this time period is one where, those who did SEO up till just a few years ago, we’re kind of in a golden age where if you were good at SEO you could take almost any business and make them money. Now things are changing where search engines mostly Google are getting better at determining what’s an SEO trick and what’s actually… I mean links matter because they’re recommendations, right?

I think that anybody who’s good at helping sites rank in this day and age, you have a lot of potential for you. I still see so many SEO companies that are using tactics that no longer work. Those of you who are actually seeing some success and making your clients some more money, it’s super exciting, because I think there’s a very small pool of businesses, companies individuals that can truly get good results. That excites me that there’s so much opportunity to learn and do better if you’re good at SEO now.

Erin Sparks: 35:32 Very good, you’re so chipper. You’re always so chipper on this show. There’s a heck of a lot, I shouldn’t say there’s a lot of negativity, but we’ve been beaten and our holes have not been intact, at least he SEO community. There’s been a lot of challenges in this space, and it’s good to be able to have that type of positivity regularly. We applaud you over here. Hey, we certainly want to recommend your newsletter like we did in the beginning of the show. Go over to courses.mariehaynes.com.search-news-youcanuse. Well that’s a long one, come on give me a short. 

Marie Haynes: 36:08 [inaudible 00:36:08] SEO, no wait, you can go to mariehaynes.com/newsletter.

Erin Sparks: 36:14 There we go, boy.

Marie Haynes: 36:16 Yeah, good idea.

Erin Sparks: 36:17 You threw me through a loop there. Also absolutely checkout Haynes Marie’s podcast, Search News That You Can Use as well. It’s a good, you’ve got 20 minutes, 20 or 30 minute podcast.

Marie Haynes: 36:27 It depends on how badly I get, 20 to 40 yeah. 

Erin Sparks: 36:31 I resemble that remark, but we certainly recommend that. From another colleague out here, fight the good fight. We really appreciate what you’re doing, and you’re separating the wheat from the chaff so to speak in this marketplace. Keep focusing and educating us about EAT, because all these SEOs that have been moving around, titles and headlines, I mean you’ve got to get the game on. You’ve got to build trust and authority for your clients. That’s a different marketing tactic right there, and you’ve got to build those relationships, right?

Marie Haynes: 37:04 Thank you those are very kind words.

Erin Sparks: 37:06 No, you’re more than welcome, you’re more than welcome. All right, track Marie at Twitter Marie_Haynes. You’re on Facebook, you’re on LinkedIn, you’re on all the places, so pay attention. I didn’t even ask you, what did you do for your Labor Day?

Marie Haynes: 37:21 I played Fortnite. We were going to go on a big trip to the zoo and do this big family weekend, and then we talked about it. Then we all said, “You know what, let’s just have a weekend where all we do is just play video games and just hang out.”

Jacob Mann: 37:38 Oh man we lost her there. I was just going to say, it might be in hind for you to think about starting up a Fortnite podcast. Let’s see if we get Marie back here.

Marie Haynes: 37:48 I lost you right there [crosstalk 00:37:49].

Erin Sparks: 37:49 Yeah, we just lost you, but Jacob was making a suggestion to make a Fortnite podcast there. 

Jacob Mann: 37:56 Yeah. 

Marie Haynes: 37:56 Oh we’ve got staff 10.

Jacob Mann: 37:57 I mean I [crosstalk 00:37:57] three or four times a day.

Marie Haynes: 38:01 My 11 year old is really into TikTok and this is going to get embarrassing. She’s trying to teach me Fortnite dances, and then she wants to create a TikTok of how embarrassing it is for, see, [crosstalk 00:38:15] embarrassing.

Erin Sparks: 38:15 Oh gosh, I use that as a weapon to my kids. I mean I cannot floss to save my life, but I’ll do it in public.

Marie Haynes: 38:22 Can you dub?

Erin Sparks: 38:23 Oh yeah I can.

Jacob Mann: 38:24 How can you get TikTok account? I think a TikTok account [inaudible 00:38:26] parents trying to do Fortnite dances would be huge.

Erin Sparks: 38:29 There it is. 

Marie Haynes: 38:32 Well listen let me give you preview, it’s so bad, watch. 

Erin Sparks: 38:34 Yeah, see. My kids are going to kill me. I’m going to play that over and over again for them. Oh well, well thank you so much Marie. We really appreciate. Hey, you’ve got a speaking engagement coming with Lily, you are both going to be on stage talking about EAT, October what?

Marie Haynes: 38:52 I think it’s on the 7th it’s a Pubcon, sometime around the 7th I’m speaking at a couple things there. It’s going to be good, and I’m also doing a link building workshop with Dixon Jones and Anne Smarty for the Masterclass for Pubcon. 

Erin Sparks: 39:07 Oh wow!

Marie Haynes: 39:08 I’m also talking on Quality Rater’s Guidelines with Jenn Slegg at Pubcon too. Oh and if I can mention, my team is all going to be there. We’re going to have a booth at Pubcon this year, so if any of the listeners are going to Pubcon, and you want just a little overview of your site or your links or anything like that, we’re going to have fun stuff at our booths, so yeah.

Erin Sparks: 39:28 That’s great, tell them that the Edge sent you and certainly go see Marie and her colleagues over there. Well thank you so much for your time today, we really appreciate it. Like I said, keep fighting the good fight Marie, we are learning so much as you plow through that, so appreciate it. 

Marie Haynes: 39:44 Thanks for having me, that’s great.

Erin Sparks: 39:45 No, you’re more than welcome. Thanks for listening too at the Edge of the Web as well as a special thanks to our colleagues over at Site Strategics as well as our guest of course Marie Haynes. Check out all the must see videos and much more over at edgeofthewebradio.com. Be sure to rate and review, that’s how we do our own optimization on the podcast. Take a moment and be able to jump into iTunes or Google Play. Give us a review, let us know how we are doing. It means the world to us over here. Also, make sure you check out our live sponsor here today ahrefs.com. You want to make sure you jump over and get a free trial of their software because it’s stellar. From all of us over at edgeofthewebradio.com we’ll talk to you next week. Do not be a piece of cyber drift wood, bye, bye.

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