Search Engine Optimization

Suds and Search 45 | Stephan Bajaio, Chief Evangelist and Co-founder of Conductor

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My guest on this episode of Suds & Search is Stephan Bajaio. Stephan is the Chief Evangelist and Co-founder of Conductor, a search and content intelligence platform that helps marketers create and optimize content to improve visibility online.

Stephan has a well-earned reputation for being one of the really good guys in our industry. He is an in-demand speaker, podcaster, and SEO expert. He co-hosts the extremely impressive podcast Search on Tap and the equally impressive webcast Search from Home.

His company, Conductor, puts on the C3 conference and the annual Searchie Awards.

Stephan has a gift for identifying problems. He has an innate sense of when things aren’t working right. I’m going to start our conversation asking him about some of those problems and how SEOs might begin to solve them.


The top 10 episodes of Local Search Tuesdays of 2020

For the final episode of 2020, I share our 10 most popular episodes of the year. I aggregated analytics data from Wistia (our video host), YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn to figure out which episodes were the most popular. Here’s the final list, along with links to each video:


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 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 & Search 30 | Upasna Gautam, Ecommerce Product Manager at CNN

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My guest today is Upasna Gautam, Product Manager at CNN. Upasna is a leading expert on publisher SEO. Publisher SEO is a really interesting niche that focuses on publisher sites, which produce a mind-boggling amount of content. Imagine being responsible for ranking hundreds of thousands if not millions of existing pages in Google while creating workflows so that a breaking news network like CNN could add thousands of pages every day that are also optimized for Search Engines. That is the very challenging work publisher SEOs do every day.


Suds & Search 29 | Cyrus Shepard, SEO Consultant with Moz

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Often adorned in his signature fedora, Cyrus Shepard is one of the most recognizable faces in the SEO industry.

Cyrus joined me for some day drinking on Suds & Search earlier this summer to talk about a bunch of topics in SEO.

He is an SEO consultant at Moz and the owner of Zyppy, an SEO agency he founded in 2018. Cyrus formerly served as lead SEO at Moz and remains extremely active at Moz to this day. He frequently appears on Whiteboard Fridays and continues to publish blogs on the Moz site.


Suds & Search 28 | Heather Physioc, Group Connections Director at VMLY&R

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My guest today is Heather Physioc, the remarkably interesting Group Connections Director at VMLY&R. Heather is the leader of an award-winning 40-person Discoverability Group. If you don’t know what a discoverability group is, you’re not alone. I’m going to ask her about it early on in our discussion.

Heather is an in-demand speaker who’s presented at virtually every major conference in our industry. A shortlist of the places you might have heard her present includes MozCon, Brighton, SearchLove, and PubCon.