Suds and Search 41 | Anders Hjorth, Founder of Innovell

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My guest on this episode of Suds and Search is Anders Hjorth. Anders is a veteran digital marketer and the founder of Innovell, a company that provides Digital Marketing Insights based on in-depth research. Anders is a serial entrepreneur who has founded multiple digital marketing agencies. In 2016, his agency BDBL was acquired by Accenture.

Anders appears on PPC Hero’s list of the top 25 influencers in the world. He is a regular presenter at conferences all over the world including HeroConf London, inOrbit, SMX Advanced Europe, and the International Search Summit in Barcelona.


Suds and Search 40 | David Mihm, Founder of Tidings

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My guest on this episode of Suds & Search is David Mihm. David is the founder of Tidings, a software product that automatically generates perfectly-branded email newsletters for small businesses.

For over a decade, David has been one of the leading voices on Local SEO. He founded GetListed in 2009 during the early days of Local SEO. GetListed was acquired by Moz, and David took a role at Moz as their Director of Local Search Strategy.

Over the years, David has been featured in blogs on pretty much every major SEO publication including GatherUp, BrighLocal, Moz, and Street Fight Mag.

He currently serves on the faculty at LocalU. He appears pretty every local SEO conference and on tons of podcasts and webinars.

I heard David present at Whitespark’s Local Search Summit a few weeks before he came on the show. I started our conversation by asking him about his presentation titled, “Email: Your Marketing Lifeline During COVID-19 (and Beyond).” It’s interesting to hear him talk about the ways that COVID has disrupted digital marketing and how email marketing has gained greater exposure.

We also talked about Local SEO. David published the original Local Search Ranking factors study way back in 2008, and a few years ago when he left Moz, he handed the study over to Darren Shaw of Whitespark. I asked him about the importance of reviews, how to set up a good Local SEO foundation and the ways the industry has changed, but also remained the same over the years.

Grab a beer and join me for a conversation with David Mihm. We talk about email marketing for small businesses, Local SEO best practices, and his efforts to remain a scratch golfer during the global pandemic.


Suds and Search 39 | Wil Reynolds, Founder of Seer Interactive

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Donate to Wil’s sleep out: click here

Link to Seer’s YouTube channel where you can learn to use big data: click here
Link to the animated illustration about the CEO swap with Rand Fishkin: click here

My guest on this episode of Suds & Search is the incomparable, Wil Reynolds. Wil is the Founder and Vice President of Innovation at Seer Interactive, a 150 person digital marketing agency specializing in using Big Data to improve SEO and Paid media campaigns.


Suds and Search 38 | Rand Fishkin, Founder of SparkToro

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My guest on this episode of Suds & Search is a man who needs no introduction. Rand is one of – if not the most recognizable personalities in SEO. He is the co-founder and CEO of SparkToro.

Previously, he co-founded SEOMoz, which later rebranded to Moz, along with his mother Gillian. Moz is one of the most important brands in SEO. From Whiteboard Fridays to the Beginner’s Guide to SEO to MozCon and all the impressive tools Moz has created, Rand has been at the center of this incredible company from the start.

Rand resigned from his board position at Moz in October 2020 just after we spoke. You can learn more about his personal journey and that of his company in his incredibly impressive book, Lost and Founder. I’ll spend some of our conversation talking about the book, but honestly, I could’ve talked to Rand all day about it. I couldn’t recommend a book more strongly. It’s not just for SEOs! It’s not just for entrepreneurs. It’s an incredible human story. Rand courageously tells all the great and gory details of his entrepreneurial life.

I’m going to start our conversation talking about his new company SparkToro. I’ll get Rand’s reaction to some use cases for Local SEOs and pick his brain on a post he wrote titled, “Six Ways SparkToro’s Early Customers Use Our Product.”

Grab something cold to drink and join me for a conversation with Rand Fishkin. We talk about the importance of core values in business, how to become less reliant on the duopoly of Facebook and Google, why he chose to make canceling a subscription with SparkToro easier, and we’ll spend a little time talking about his love for pasta and al pastor tacos.


Suds and Search 37 | Will Critchlow, Founder and CEO of SearchPilot

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My guest on this episode of Suds & Search is Will Critchlow, CEO at SearchPilot and SEO Partner at Brainlabs. Will is one of the most famous SEO presenters in the world. His content is ubiquitous on blogs, webinars, and at industry conferences.

Will co-founded Distilled in 2005 with Duncan Morris. Distilled became an iconic brand in SEO, winning numerous industry awards. Will and the team at Distilled started the conference series SearchLove, one of the most popular search marketing conferences with events held in London, San Diego, and New York.

Earlier this year, Distilled’s consulting services were acquired by BrainLabs. I’m going to start our conversation by talking about what it was like to go through an acquisition.

His new project, SearchPilot, was originally software Distilled used to help their clients. Now they’ve developed a really interesting way for SEOs to do A/B tests. A/B testing is popular in Conversion Rate Optimization and Paid Media, but not as much in SEO. I’m going to ask him about some of the findings from the A/B tests he and the team at SearchPilot have performed.

Will and Distilled have had an amazing relationship with Moz and Moz’s co-founder Rand Fishkin that I’ve followed from afar. We talk about how building genuine relationships rather than transactional relationships was a key to Distilled’s rapid growth.

Grab a beer and join me for a conversation with Will Critchlow one of the most important voices in SEO. We’ll talk about how the industry has evolved over his 15-year career, how to do a proper a/b test in SEO, we’ll talk about his love for basketball and what he learned from having his children perform a handful of searches on Google.


Suds and Search 36 | Duane Brown, owner of Take Some Risk

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My guest on this week’s episode of Suds & Search is Duane Brown, Founder and Head Marketer at Take Some Risk.

Duane started Take Some Risk in January of 2017. In a short period of time, they have developed an impressive roster of clients including Birdies, Unbounce, and Woocommerce.

Duane is a paid media expert who worked internationally for years before starting his own agency. His journey from vagabond digital marketer to agency owner…during a lockdown was definitely something I wanted to discuss with him.

Duane is an in-demand conference speaker who has presented all over the world. A shortlist of the conferences he’s spoken at include, Brighton, INBOUND, SMX, and SEERfest.

Duane is also an accomplished writer. What I really like are his long-form guides to lesser-used advertising channels like Snap Ads and Tik Tok. I’ll spend a lot of our conversation talking about his guides and how marketers can use these channels more effectively.

Grab a beer and join me for a conversation with Duane Brown. We’ll discuss the value of advertising on smaller channels like Tik Tok and Snap, Google’s update to their Search Terms report, and why he decided to fire all his clients in August 2017.


Suds and Search 35 | Mordy Oberstein, Liaison to the search community at Wix

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My guest on this episode of Suds & Search is Mordy Oberstein.

Mordy is a talented SEO speaker, podcaster, blogger, and social media influencer. He’s presented at SMX West, SMX Advanced, Ungagged, DMIExpo, and many other places.

Mordy is also one of the most popular SEO podcasters. He’s launching a new show called Behind SEOs. He’s already lined up some impressive guests.

In a former life, Mordy was a school teacher and it shows in his approach as an SEO educator. This comes through most in his blog content. I would encourage you to check out his columns at Search Engine Land.

Mordy hosts the popular #SEOchat which happens every Thursday at 1:00 pm. To join in, simply check out the hash tag #SEOchat to participate.

Until very recently he was the CMO at Rank Ranger, the popular SEO tool suite. He recently started a job at Wix as their Liaison to the SEO community. In a rare scoop for Suds & Search, we caught up with Mordy a couple of weeks into his new job to discuss how things are going.

Grab a beer and tune in to learn from one of the really good guys in the industry. We’ll talk about featured snippets, algorithm updates, NFL fandom and the beer scene in Israel.


Suds and Search 34 | Jeff Ferguson, Partner at Amplitude Digital

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My guest on this episode of Suds & Search is Jeff Ferguson. Jeff is a Partner and the Head of the Production Team at Amplitude Digital. He is an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in digital marketing. In that time, he’s worked with large organizations like Belkin, CBS, eHarmony, Manchester United, Paychex, Sony and many others.

He is a regular presenter at conferences such as Ad:tech, AllFacebook Expo, Conversion Conference, eMetrics, and SMX. He is also a professor at UCLA where he teaches classes in Advanced Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.

Earlier this year, Jeff wrote an article for Search Engine Journal titled, “Do We Have the Math to Truly Decode Google’s Algorithms?” The article quickly gained interest on Twitter and throughout the SEO community. I’m going to spend a lot of our conversation discussing some of the points made in the article.

Prior to joining Amplitude, Jeff owned his own agency Fang Marketing. I’m going to ask him about the experience of getting acquired during a global pandemic.

Jeff is also a lot of fun to have a beer with. Bonus points to Jeff for bringing an imperial coffee stout from Gigantic Brewing Company with an unforgettable picture of Sam Jackson on the front of it (picture on the next page).

Join us for a conversation that scrutinizes the tools SEOs use, the studies we rely on for information and learn a little bit about Gentlemen Scientists.


Suds and Search 33 | Dave and Mary Davies, owners of Beanstalk Internet Marketing

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My guests today are Mary and Dave Davies, the husband and wife co-founders of Beanstalk Internet Marketing. They’ve got a new project called Oohloo which I’m going to talk to them about during this conversation.

This is the first time we’ve had a couple on Suds & Search and it was one of my favorite episodes yet.

Mary and Dave are experienced and sought after experts in SEO, Social Media Marketing, and user experience. They are both fixtures on the speaking circuit. They’ve presented independently and sometimes as a couple at State of Search, Pubcon, SMX, SEM Summit and many, many other places.

They are contributors to Search Engine Journal, SEMrush, Search Engine Watch, and Search Engine Land. Dave has co-hosted his own podcast known as Webcology for over a decade.

All their professional accomplishments aside, Dave and Mary Davies might be the two nicest people I’ve ever met. Mary consistently supports causes around mental health and suicide prevention which are far too common in our industry. We’re going to talk a little bit about her upbringing and background in social work and how it impacts her work today.

What I like most about Dave is his unbridled enthusiasm. Some presenters sit behind a podium and speak in a monotone voice. Dave is an energetic teacher pacing across the stage educating the audience on some of the most complex topics in SEO. I’m going to ask him about one of his favorite topics, Entities.

Grab a beer and join me for a conversation with Mary and Dave Davies. We’ll talk about social media marketing during COVID, their new Entity Crawler & Reporting Tool, and what dinner conversation is like in the Davies household.


Suds and Search 32 | Jason Brown, GMB Spam Fighter and Google Gold Product Expert

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My guest on this episode of Suds & Search is Jason Brown, an expert Local SEO, and Google My Business Gold Level Product Expert. Jason has a wide breadth of SEO knowledge but what he really loves to do is fight spam.

Spam has been a major issue in SEO from the very beginning. Over the course of my thirteen-year career, Google has cleaned up many of the most common tactics but local businesses still grapple with an astonishing level of spam especially in the map pack.

Spam fighters like Jason Brown act as consumer vigilantes fighting spam on behalf of legitimate local businesses. I start our conversation by asking Jason about the different ways that spammers are attempting to take advantage of vulnerabilities in Google’s local algorithm.

In many cases, this activity isn’t merely a matter of bad customer experience; it’s actually fraudulent. We talk about why Google hasn’t been able to do more to fight spam and how other third-parties like the better business bureau are involved.

Jason presents at numerous industry conferences including LocalU, Local Search Summit, and Pubcon. He is a columnist for SEMrush and regularly appears in BrightLocal webinars. He is a sought after subject matter expert for national and local news pieces on local spam. If you like this interview, I highly recommend that you follow Jason on Twitter.

Grab a beer and join me for a conversation with one of the top Local spam fighters in the world. We’ll talk about why local Spam is so prevalent, how small businesses can fight back, and the time he found a lawyer who had a listing in the middle of the ocean.