If you’re like me when I first got started in web design, the term SEO was daunting and terrifying to say the least. I thought learning SEO was like entering into a scientific program. Add on top of that the fact that Google constantly releases algorithm updates which can change things up and it makes sense why SEO was the last thing I learned in my web design career.

But here’s the good news; SEO is actually not that complicated. In fact, the basics are VERY EASY to understand and to implement to start getting good results. Every guest I’ve had on the podcast to date who has been in the SEO game has reassured me of this and this interview is no different.

In this podcast episode, author of the book “Link Building Mastery” and link building agency owner, Julian Goldie, shares his top tips as an SEO industry expert on Google Algorithm Updates and how to keep your SEO strategy up-to-date.

Not only do we cover how to adjust your SEO strategy with algorithm updates (or if you even need to make changes) but we also dive into many other basic and fundamental SEO principles to help you get better rankings for both you and for your clients.

I don’t have many regrets in my journey but one is not learning the basics of SEO sooner. It’s so important and this episode will help give you some confidence.


In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
04:06 – Greeting to Julian
06:16 – What algorithms change
08:12 – Updates from 2021
13:42 – Blackhat and Whitehat
18:28 – Google list of guidelines
20:56 – When Google updates
24:30 – Best practices for SEO
29:50 – Why Google doesn’t like SEO
35:09 – Protect from penalties
39:59 – Can Google be wrong?
43:30 – How much to customize
48:10 – What ranks quickly?
53:36 – The future of Google updates

FREE SEO Book & Video! (juliangoldie.com)

Connect with Julian:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #162 Full Transcription

Josh 0:14
And welcome in friends to Episode 162 of the podcast really excited to be with you on this episode and a chat about a couple subjects that I’m guessing when I say these words probably bring mixed emotions to you. How do these make you feel? Google algorithm algorithm updates, SEO strategy. If if you just kind of quivered in your seat or wherever you are right now, whether you’re mowing or doing the dishes or driving, if those words made you feel a little uncomfortable, this episode is going to help you feel much more confident with Google algorithm updates. If I could say that today and SEO in general.

Josh 0:54
Because my guest in this episode, Julian Goldie is an SEO guy, I definitely consider him an expert in the SEO realm. And what’s been really reassuring for me, as someone who just was terrified of SEO and learned it much later on in my career than I should have as a web designer. I’ve been very reassured with the fact that SEO while yes, it can get complicated. The basics. And the fundamentals are quite simple. And it’s very common sense. And you’re going to hear from particularly from Julian in this episode about if you just know the basics. And if you just follow what’s labeled as white hat techniques, meaning non shady SEO techniques, you will get ahead and you can get great results for yourself and for your clients with SEO.

Josh 1:38
And in this episode, in particular, Julian and I dive into well, it’s fairly well rounded about SEO and strategy in general, but also in particular, the Google algorithm updates and how those can affect your SEO strategy. So I was really excited to have Julian on he was a really great guest very knowledgeable, I actually highly recommend checking out his website at Julian Goldie calm and he does have a free link building book that I would highly recommend picking up you can get that when you go to his website at Julian Goldie comm check that out. And I’m really excited to hear how his thoughts and his experience and expertise in the SEO realm will help you again with not only your site but with your clients.

Josh 2:19
That way you can stay on top of what these algorithm updates mean. And whether you should change your SEO strategy or add to it. This is going to be beneficial for you even if you’re just you know, covering the basics for your clients for SEO or if you are actually doing recurring revenue SEO plans, which is as you’ll find out, very achievable. And you don’t need to be rocket scientist to figure out SEO. In fact, let me just say a quick plug before we dive in here. I built the brand of Josh Hall co through organic SEO completely without any expertise in it. I essentially built all of my tutorials and all my blog posts and everything without doing any keyword research. Any fancy SEO, I just created what I thought was good content that answered questions, you’re going to hear about how to do that and build confidence with your SEO game in this episode.

Josh 2:21
Now, if you are ready to go to the next level with SEO, and after this episode, you’re like, Okay, I want to get a better understanding of it. I do have my SEO course that’s open and available to you right now, you can actually just go to Josh hall.co/seo, you can check that out. It will be your complete guide to understanding SEO from the fundamental level. And we even go into a little more advanced tactics with SEO. And in that course, I’ll even show you how you can make money off it either one time or by adding some recurring revenue resources to your business as well. So check that out. If you’re ready to go to the next level after this episode. I do want to say too, we do cover quite a few tools in this one. So all the links to all the tools and resources mentioned are at this episode number Josh hall.co/ 162. Make sure to check that out. And without further ado, here is Julian. Let’s talk Google algorithm updates and SEO strategies.

Josh 4:06
Julian, welcome to the podcast dude. Awesome. Awesome to have you on man.

Julian 4:11
Thanks very much for having me. Yeah.

Josh 4:13
A special thank you because I was gonna ask you shortly where you’re based out of I think it’s about 10pm Your time right now. So it’s late for you. Let’s start off with Berola. Where are you based out of and if you could just give us a snapshot of what you do. That’d be a great way to kick off this conversation, I think.

Julian 4:30
Yeah, sure. So I’m based out in Bangkok, Thailand. So yes, it’s past my bedtime right now. Just kidding. But yes, so I help websites rank higher on Google with link building so they can get more leads traffic and sales.

Josh 4:47
Well said very concise and it is funny man with a with the way the world is now on technology, especially our world of graphic designers, web designers, SEO digital agencies. I think we’re used to just Just doing calls at all times of the day, it’s hard for me right now I have a family with two little girls. So I rarely do evening call. So first of all, thank you for, for jumping on and doing it late on late on your schedule, but we’ll definitely, well, we’ll try to end your day successfully here, man, because we’re going to talk about SEO.

Josh 5:18
And as I mentioned, before we went live, my audience are primarily web design, freelancers, and agency owners. And SEO is a big part to web design and what we’re doing and I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I am no SEO expert. Although I did build my brand here with Josh Hall, CO and my website 100% with SEO, so I learned actually actually know a lot more than I thought I did. But it was more just common sense, best practices that I am, you know, employed years ago that really helped me for this. So all that to say, really excited to pick your brain about SEO as an expert. And particularly, we’re going to talk about algorithm changes, and how that affects SEO. So I think a great place to start man would be to just take us down to the simplistic definition of what is an algorithm change? And we can we can take it to elementary status here. For folks who are brand new into web design, what does an algorithm change? And how does that affect SEO?

Julian 6:16
Alright, so when it comes to Google, is all these different ranking factors that determine how a website appears, number one, or why it doesn’t appear at number one, and you know, what appears on the first page of Google versus what doesn’t rank at all on Google. And Google, essentially, they release updates increasingly commonly, and they basically change the way that they rank websites. So this may be to improve usability, to improve the quality of results that appear on Google. It may be because certain, you know, Blackhat, and dodgy practices will be in use to rank higher on Google, quite like quite a lot of updates previously.

Julian 7:06
And yeah, it’s just about a change in the algorithm that affects how everyone’s website ranks. And this can be pretty drastic sometimes. So sometimes, an algorithm change happens. And overnight, a website loses all its traffic for something that’s been doing, and then it’s now being penalized for. And that’s another thing with Google algorithm updates. There were all these penalties that come along, sometimes with them. So when a website is algorithmically penalized by Google, it means that this website has been punished for something that’s doing. And that may be because of an algorithm update.

Josh 7:46
And what are some of the most recent updates that have changed with with algorithms? I have some follow up questions to that. But I’d love to know what you’ve seen, because again, this is a little bit outside of my realm of expertise. Yeah, like, what are some of the recent algorithm updates that have happened? And I think this episode will probably come out either late 2021 or early 22. So let’s just keep it with like, 2021. What were some of the ones that happened in 2021?

Julian 8:12
Well, so for example, one of the biggest updates this year was in June in July, they released two core updates. And what a core update is, is it’s basically it’s looking at not one factor in particular. So it’s not looking at like, Okay, what links are you building? Or What content do you have on your website, it’s like a whole snapshot of all the content on your website, the way that it’s built, the speed, the links that you’re getting to your site, literally dozens of ranking factors. And then it’s grading you on that. And the problem is that your whole site can take a hit, because a core update is come out. So it’s kind of like a holistic snapshot of your website. And if your website isn’t up to par, then you can take a big hit.

Julian 9:07
Another one that came out this year is for affiliate marketers, so there was a review Google update. And this basically hit lots of, you know, there’s websites where they’re targeting, like Amazon products, and they’ll link out to Amazon products and you click on it and they get a commission on it. So a lot of these sites provided like zero value. They were just rewriting reviews of Amazon product reviews. And literally like just rewriting the testimonials or the reviews from there and not really providing anything outside of Amazon. In fact, you may have find you may have found it yourself where like you Google a product that some Amazon and it’s literally like that website hasn’t even tested out the product. So what Google came along with update and did was this Cedric, we’re going to algorithmically update, the way that we rank websites that are focused purely on reviews and purely on, you know, linking out to Amazon products.

Josh 10:14
So it’s funny with that type of update, there’s kind of this kind of two sides to this part of me is, as the web designer, it’s like, Man, what a pain. I’ve got to work on site speed and optimization and links and internal linking all the other things. But the other part of me is very thankful for these type of algorithm updates, because I know there’s a reason they’re not just willy nilly just doing it for no reason. I know, there’s a reason. And I don’t know if I’ve said this on the podcast yet, but one of my courses actually got ripped off last year. So this excites me in that regard, because with this course, and I was paying a server $300 a month, just to continually take down this course that was popping up on sites.

Josh 10:55
And it wasn’t the full course it was like screenshots of the course. But people were still finding it. And the problem was, is on Google, I’m not going to say which course it is just to get over that publicly. The problem was, is it started affecting SEO, like I started just Googling my brain, and I would see this course pop up. So it does on that, in that regard, it excites me that these algorithm updates, I’m sure are to try to stop those sites. Is that fair to say? Like, from your perspective, do you think that’s a reason they’re trying to do those types of updates in particular?

Julian 11:28
Yeah, I mean, I, in a, in a perfect world, Google would be like, the most organized digital library in the world. And when they release an update, what they want is to improve the quality of the results that come up. So if you Googled like 15 years, for example, all sorts end, if you just typed in, like as a best cause for affiliate marketing, all sorts of spam would pop up, because people could really easily manipulate rankings, it didn’t matter what your content was, like, it didn’t really matter if you had a good quality website was just about doing all these Blackhat things to manipulate Google’s algorithm. Whereas if you skip ahead now to 2021, then you can see the quality of results are drastically better than they were before. And from Google’s perspective, they’re doing that because they want Pete, they want to still dominate as the number one search engine, and you know, the better their results are. And the smarter Google’s algorithm is, then the more likely people are to keep using their service and stay on the website.

Josh 12:41
That’s a good point. There’s definitely a benefit there for Google to not pull up the junk and all the janky type spammy sites that people go to, and then you get mad, it’s like crap, what do I freakin click on and in the case of a course creator, like myself, or anyone who has a product that could be illegally distributed, which, by the way, I thought I was alone in this, it turns out, basically everyone that has an online course, it gets ripped at some point, especially if there’s any sort of notoriety with it. So it kind of made me feel better. I wasn’t alone. But then I realized that wow, there’s, I mean, it’s the internet, of course, there’s going to be a dark side to it, and a lot of a lot of spammy and shady things. But it’s always magnified when it comes to SEO, because there were all these these old techniques that you could manipulate search engines, I actually think it might be a good time to bring up what Blackhat means, especially for people who are new to SEO, can you kind of explain what some of those Blackhat type of techniques were? And you know, what the why Google started to really combat those.

Julian 13:42
Yeah, sure. So Blackhat is, basically see, you have like, two different ways to do SEO, right? You have the white hat, and the black hat and black hat is anything that’s dodgy, or spammy or anything that’s just a black hat SEO technique is just designed to manipulate Google’s algorithm. It’s not designed to actually create a good quality website that people actually enjoy using. Whereas white hat is where you’re focusing on, you know, all the things you should be doing as a business. I mean, I know you were talking before about like, you only had a basic understanding of SEO. But really, that’s SEO is very basic in principles. It’s just about creating a great website that people love and engage and keep coming back to.

Josh 14:36
I love hearing you say, I love hearing you say, you know, it’s so funny man, every time I have somebody who is really versed in either expert status or at least knows a lot about SEO always says that. They go back to just the basics and how simple it really can be and for me, I definitely found that it was just good content, good linking good content that humans want to read. And yeah, I’ve learned some, some keywords optimization tips and things like that. But at the end of the day, good content seems to trump everything. And when I when you were saying the Blackhat techniques would that be things like keyword stuffing and the like a kind of like, I’ll hate to say ridiculous content, but there’s definitely content that’s geared towards just robots and search engine to where they put in the search term everywhere they can. And I know keyword stuffing, I think probably worked like 20 years ago, but it’s a whole different ballgame. Now, what are some of the other like Blackhat dodgy kind of practices that people are doing? Specifically?

Julian 15:36
I suppose I mean, it’s still like the wild west out there, like you’re saying, with with, of course, being ripped off sometimes. But for example, like, people would stuff their website with keywords, right? It’s a part of Google’s algorithm is keyword density, which means how many times is a keyword mentioned on a page? So let’s say you have a blog about SEO. And if you you obviously need to include SEO on that page. You don’t want to mention it too many times, because then it looks spammy. You don’t want to make it mention it too little times, because then Google doesn’t know what your content is about. So you have to get that balance.

Julian 16:18
Now, going back a few years ago, Google wouldn’t realize the difference between that and it would just say, right, this website is mentioned SEO 100 times on the page. So it must be super relevant. And let’s just rank it number one for that. Also, other stuff as well, like people would try and hide the amount of times they put a keyword on the page. So they would make it white text on a white background, which meant that when people land on the page, they can’t see it. But when Google’s crawler goes through the page, it sees right, SEO is mentioned 20, 30 times the keyword is mentioned over and over again. So it must be relevant content.

Josh 17:01
Gotcha. I did that years ago, I thought it was so clever. Because I was like, what if in the footer that’s black, I would just put a bunch of keywords in there, it’s black. So you wouldn’t see it unless a you know, a savvy person highlighted it. I thought I was all clever. I did not realize that I was 100% keyword stuffing. And that was definitely a black a black hat. I didn’t intentionally try to be spammy or shady. But there I was. And that’s one thing too. I feel like sometimes it’s unintentional. It’s not like, if you do something bad on SEO, you meant to do that, or you’re a terrible person. I mean, some people are questionable what their tactics. But in that case, I was just an innocent person who didn’t know enough about it and thought I was being smart. So I think there’s probably a mix of that two there, right?

Julian 17:45
Yeah, that’s it. I mean, some people if you if you don’t have an awareness of SEO, then it’s quite easy to fall into these traps of doing things that you think are, I should, I should mention that keyword over and over again, or I should build all these links to this page. And that’ll help me rank but actually, it’s very easy if you don’t know what you’re doing to do some stuff that goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Yeah. And that’s another thing when it comes when it comes to Blackhat, SEO, Google have a list of guidelines that they say, right. This is what you should be doing. This is what you shouldn’t be doing.

Josh 18:22
Where what is the best resource for that, in particular, Julian, that, that the webmaster guidelines.

Julian 18:28
So I think if you go into Google, and you type in Google Webmaster Guidelines, it should pop up. Like a link.

Josh 18:38
Yeah, I see developers.google.com/webmaster guidelines. I’ll make sure this is linked in the show, too, because this is a great resource. I think I looked at this Gosh, a while back, I’ll be honest, I kind of forgot where it was exactly. Because I think I’m probably looked at it. Got a good idea and then moved on from there. But this is a really good thing to keep handy. I’m assuming they keep this updated to write with all the recent update. Yeah.

Julian 19:02
Yeah. They also have other pages on like Google updates, and what the latest updates are, I mean, this year has been crazy for Google updates. I mean, ever since I’ve been working in SEO, there’s always been big updates. This year. It’s been like almost every week now, up there. And some of them have been absolutely massive.

Josh 19:25
So are the updates for algorithms kind of like WordPress theme and plugin updates where there’s like major updates, which would be like a 3.0 to a 4.0. And then I always call them like, minor updates, where it’s just something little that is still is in like the 3.0 version? Is that kind of how Google works as well.

Julian 19:43
Yes. So for example, like they might release an update this purely like user interface, or they might like add a few more ads to some particular searches and you know, like, you have the organic listings and you have the ads at the top So like, they might add more real estate for the ads and reduce the amount of organic listings. Or they might add, like more carousels, you know, on the page, like the image gallery, the video gallery, that sort of thing. Yeah. So some of them are tiny. And then some of them like the core updates. If you get hit by that, then it might be six months, or it might be nine months before the next Google core update, which is when you’re going to see improvements in your website again. So

Josh 20:30
How do you keep track? Yeah, how do you keep track of those personally? Do you just keep tabs of this resource for the the the Google guideline or the the SEO guidelines and stuff? Or is there like a good news source that you keep your eye on that will have a heads up on some of these updates? And a follow up question to that just Google announced, like give a heads up about the algorithm updates. So they just kind of do it and let you know what they did?

Julian 20:56
Sometimes they will announce a lie, especially on Twitter. They have like a an account on Twitter. And they’ll announce like, right, we’ve got a new update come in. Other times, it will just is not even confirmed. But other people will see big shifts in the rankings. And they’ll say, and then a few weeks later, Google will announce right, there was an update last month, we’re still rolling that out. Is I like I say I mean, it’s difficult to keep track on every single update. Honestly, I wouldn’t say I know about every single update this year, because it’s just been so many. But at the same time, it all comes down to the core principles again, so are you doing the right things with your website? Are you creating good content, building good links? Or are you following from principles? The other way that’s really useful for keeping up to date with Google updates. It’s just Facebook groups, you know, if you’re in like, I mean, like the authority hacker group, for example, and all sorts of other SEO groups on Facebook. And when you’re in a community of SEOs like that, as soon as you do update, you’ll hear about it because someone’s website’s been here or someone’s website is traffic is benefited from an update.

Josh 22:12
Great Call. Great Call. Yeah. And I’ll link that to in the show notes. I’m keeping tabs of some of the links where we’re hitting because some of these are great, for sure. I actually, I want to go back to some of the algorithm update stuff. But I meant to ask you, where the heck did the name black hat and white hat come from? Do you know where those terms came from?

Julian 22:32
Honestly, I’m not 100%. Sure. Yeah, I should know that. I should.

Josh 22:36
I’m just curious as well. I think maybe because my wife and I are currently watching Downton Abbey. And so I just imagine like a black hat and you know, like a dinner Dinner, tux or something or versus a white hat? Like, I wonder if there was some sort of fancy lingo that that was pulled from, from years ago. But yeah, I was just curious. I didn’t know if you knew where those terms came from.

Julian 22:56
I saw a few flights seen it in. I’ve noticed it in all sorts of areas of online business, you know, like, there’s a Blackhat way to sell books on Amazon. There’s a blackout way to, to do affiliate marketing like seems like this divide. Yeah, every single, every single corner of the internet, especially in online business. There’s people who will try and do all sorts of dodgy things. And there’s people who are very clear with their principles and their ethics.

Josh 23:25
Gotcha. So there, it may or may not be just SEO related that that term, maybe it’s more generalized, like there could be a Blackhat way to do a podcast interview versus a white hat way, maybe, maybe that’s more of a generalized emcee. Now, now I’m going to take us off on the rabbit hole of figuring out where that turn came from. So I just, I just got something to add to my to do list this week is now I got to figure that out.

Julian 23:45
I’m putting it on the list as well. I’m gonna join you.

Josh 23:49
I’m curious. I’m sure a bunch of listeners are too. We’re all going to waste a bunch of time figuring out

Julian 23:54
The most productive way to spend an afternoon but

Josh 23:56
Yeah, but hey, if we’re ever on Jeopardy or something one day, we’ll know what that means. So

Julian 24:00
Yeah, that’s true. Yeah.

Josh 24:01
You’re right. So great resources so far. I mean, I think one thing that’s making me feel better about this is you’re you constantly go back to the idea of just good content, and those good best practices, maybe we can shift this to some of those best practices. Now, we’ve talked a lot about SEO on the podcast in previous episodes. But if you could give just a snapshot of some of the best practices for SEO that algorithms or algorithms shouldn’t mess with what would what might those be?

Julian 24:30
Sure. So first of all, I think you’d start with if you were creating a website, and you build a Now, first thing you’d want to think about is keywords. Right? So reverse engineering. How are people going to find my content? What are people going to search on Google to find my website? And, you know, you can use all sorts of tools for this. You could just look at the auto complete results on Google. You know, when you typing something and it pops down with like 10 different questions or 10 different searches? And just figuring out why what are people searching in my industry.

Julian 25:09
So for example, if you have an affiliate marketing course, you might look at right? People are trying to figure out how to do affiliate marketing online, how to get started Affiliate Marketing For Beginners, and just build out a bunch of keywords from there. Now, when it comes to creating the content, annual your credit, you want to create a blog for every single one of those keywords. So one blog focuses on one keyword.

Julian 25:37
Now, when you create that piece of content, you want to look at what are your competitors doing right now? What’s ranking number one on Google already? Because you want to figure out like, who’s successful with this wireless successful? And what can I do to make my piece of content even better, so I can outrank them.

Julian 25:56
So for example, if you had, if you’re trying to rank for the keyword affiliate marketing course, go into Google type in and then look at the top three to five results, and just check correct, how they structured the article. What topics have they covered? What type of article is it, you know, because it’s different formats, like it could be a review article, it could be a top 10 article, it could be a listicle. And then also, look at how long the content is. And you know, have they included images, videos, that sort of thing that will give you a basic idea.

Julian 26:33
From there, it’s really important to promote your content. So with Google, they look at something called backlinks, which are basically just a clickable text from one website to another. See, click, you know, click, you click the word, click here, and it takes you to another blog or another website out there. Now, when it comes to links, this is how good wave basically Google’s algorithm works like a voting system. So when it seems you have links from other websites, these are like votes to say that your content is good. And if you get those votes from high quality websites that are relevant, or authoritative, then that’s like a plus vote for you. And you’ll find quite often, the top ranking websites on Google are also the ones who have the most links. So when you’re if you’ve found the keywords that you want to rank for, you’ve created an awesome piece of content. Now it’s time to go out there and promote it. And you know, you could do that by you could, you know, you could feature on podcasts, and potentially the link to you at the end of the, at the end of the podcast.

Josh 27:50
I was gonna say that’s exactly what we’re doing here. You’re getting, you’re getting this is you this, this conversation we’re having is a prime example of a white hat technique, because you came on my show, you’re given some awesome nuggets of advice and tips and expertise. And we’re gonna link it in my podcast page, which will link back to your website. So we’ll link your website, Julian Goldie comm on the podcast page, and then we’ll have a transcription and everything. So perfect example of a light white hat technique. We’re not doing anything shady, spammy. We’re just talking and hopefully helping some people out and boom, there’s this is a good example of a white hat technique. I don’t really think about that. But

Julian 28:27
Well, I say yeah, yeah. So I mean, everyone is listening. They’ve already got the link building strategy. So it just features and podcasts, get some links in there. I mean, PR is a great way to get backlinks because it’s, it’s just you go out there. You get featured people, people get to know you, but also you get a link at the end of it. So yeah, you know.

Josh 28:47
I never use Yeah, and I never quite heard it phrase like that with the positive votes. I really liked that. Because it makes a lot of sense. It’s like, I trust to send traffic to this site. And I’m really cognizant of that, too. It’s one thing with the show that I’ve realized is when when proposals come in, and when I do get a chance to look at some guests who I don’t know, personally yet, I do check out the site to make sure it isn’t something spammy or shady, or that I’m not gonna feel comfortable linking to and you talked about relevancy to that’s a big one as well, like, I guess a black hat technique that was used years ago, maybe it still is, was just to get links at every possible site. You could but that’s actually not good, right? Because from my understanding is you want to get your website linked, if you have an SEO strategy on sites that are relevant, because if if I have a link to my website on a barber shop website, unless I I’m not talking about like site design by but as Josh Hall Co. A barber shop doesn’t need to be linking to my site, because it’s not relevant at all. Like it doesn’t have anything to do with that.

Julian 29:50
Yeah, that’s it. So not all backlinks are equal and some are worth more than others. So typically, the more relevant link is, or the more authoritative If the link is, then the more than a backlink is worth, so for example, if you have a website about affiliate marketing and you get a backlink from a barber in Bangkok, it doesn’t really make much sense. And then also, when Google crawls that website, it’s like, why is this site linking out to that one? It doesn’t make sense. And also, is he doing that to manipulate rankings? Is he doing that just for SEO purposes? Google doesn’t like SEOs, you know, so like, because our job is to try and play with with their algorithm and to try to figure out ways to rank websites higher.

Josh 30:42
So even just by that practical example, you just walked us through Google, if you confuse Google, it could think that you are being malicious in some way on purpose, right. And like I said, maybe in my case, I didn’t mean that I think about the keyword stuffing being a problem. I just thought I was being clever. Actually, it was potentially well, and that case is a little different than an unrelated link, but I could see how have you accidentally confused Google that could damage your site or going back to the algorithm stuff, it could definitely cause some harm to your rankings. If you’re just accidentally confusing Google because Google was at the end of the day, just a matchmaker is just looking for an answer for a question or something did the right you know, the right result, the right SERP to pull up for some sort of search?

Julian 31:28
Yeah, exactly. I mean, one mistake a lot of webmasters make is when they find out link building helps improve their rankings. They go into a website like fiverr.com. They see they can buy backlinks for like $20 for 1000 links, and then they blast some more to their site. And the problem is that those links, that service is being used by all sorts of websites out there, and like, you know, some of the dodgiest ones out there, like it might be casinos, or it might be Viagra websites, you know, something like that. So like, if you’re using the same service, and you’re building those links that everyone else is using, then it looks really dodgy to Google and Google can easily sort of like figure out rate these sites using it. And we’ve penalize them besides using it as well. So probably penalize them, too. I mean, I’m not in those words, Jackson, but

Josh 32:29
That makes sense as to why like when a website gets hacked, there always seems to be a Viagra link. I actually, early on when I didn’t have a website maintenance and security plan. I had client sites that got hacked, because I didn’t know anything about security. And it was always a Viagra. Like, it was like, my client would say there’s some weird like Viagra in my text. And I bet first of all, I’m super embarrassed. I’m like, Why did but it was like, it was like, every time like, why is Viagra that king of black hat techniques? Yeah. Why is that rabbit hole? But yeah, it does seem like that’s always the case.

Julian 33:01
Yeah, let’s see. I don’t know why it’s always bad resize into to pounce on that opportunity. Yeah. But that’s, that’s another really important thing. You know, with SEO leave, you’ve got to be careful with security. And you’ve got to be careful. With that side of the website, like, yeah, it’s very.

Josh 33:23
When was the big HTTPS algorithm update was that I can’t remember when that was. I remember that was a big deal. Like if your site wasn’t secure, that you are going to get penalized somehow?

Julian 33:36
Yeah, so what happened? I think that was, I want to say that was about three?

Josh 33:41
17, or 18. Yeah, I want to say

Julian 33:44
It’s about three or four years ago. Yeah. And this is the thing about Google algorithm updates, like, when the algorithm update was released, you still saw some websites ranking without HTTPS, but gradually, it was phased out, right? And it takes a bit of time to really implement that. But over time, things like just get phased out completely. And now you don’t really see websites about HTTPS ranking.

Josh 34:11
It is rare. Yeah, it was funny because one of my close colleagues here locally in Columbus, Ohio, for whatever reason, he’s with he was a digital agency. He did not have HTTPS, which I was still shocked about. But he still got incredibly good rankings, because he had such a strong SEO foundation on his site. And he had a lot of intentional keyword that were all white hat techniques. So it was kind of interesting. Even after that update, he still ranked really well. So I guess that goes to show you, you might get penalized, but it may not completely remove your site from Google. And that actually leads me to another question I wanted to have for you, Julian, which was what do these penalties look like? Like Will you just slowly go down in the rankings do that does somebody messaged you? Or does Google give you like, a warning like sometimes with with Google Search Console, you’ll get a warning if you have a bad link or something? Yeah. Is there anything like that that Google does with SEO? Or is it more of just, you better keep an eye on where your rankings are? Because you might be slipping?

Julian 35:09
It’s a bit of it really varies now, honestly. So what used to be very common and was manual penalties, right? So Google would have a team that manually reviewed websites. And they could scan through the website very quickly see, right, this website’s blackhat is doing something dodgy, we need to penalize it. And then if you had Google Search Console in installed, which is really important, I think you probably agree, right? For any website, you want to have that, then you need to get a message saying that you’ve received a manual action penalty. Having said that, there’s a lot of websites that get penalized nowadays with algorithmic penalty. And it will just hit their site, and it might be gradual. Or it might be like literally overnight, like it wipes their traffic out to zero. Yeah, it kind of varies. But usually, it’s quite a harsh incline. It’s not like you lose 100 visitors per month, 4000 visitors per month. It’s literally like, if you look over even a few months or a few weeks, the traffic is just getting annihilated.

Josh 36:23
Gotcha. Gotcha. And I guess that’s the importance of having Google Search Console installed. So you can track your keywords, and then also Google Analytics to write to be able to actually look at your traffic occasionally and see what’s going on. If you do have an SEO strategy or for clients to, particularly for our clients, a lot of a lot of listeners, web designers aren’t don’t have the most robust SEO strategy necessarily for their own business. But a lot of my students are doing it for their clients. So this is key, like it’s a good reminder to your quarterly or monthly or whatever the the arrangement is to look over the analytics and see where things line up. In regards to traffic.

Julian 37:01
Yeah, I mean, other things, too, like if I was a web designer, and I was in control of client side, there’s loads of, there’s loads of upsells that you could use for your clients that would benefit SEO, but also quick wins or want to take too much time. Like, for example, with Google’s algorithm PageSpeed is really important, because if Google sees people are landing on the page, it takes too long to load, and then they bounce straight off, then that page won’t rank on Google for long. So PageSpeed is not just important for usability, but also for Google rankings, right? But you can easily boost that with a tool like I installed a nitro pack earlier this year. And it just took my websites feed, like crazy. I mean, no sort of things are like really quick wins. You can

Josh 37:50
Yeah. Yeah, something you mentioned a little bit ago, too, was to have a separate blog post for that keyword. That’s a biggie to what I feel like that’s the quickest win for any web designer or for their clients is to just have a separate pays for their service or keyword or whatever it is, because that ends up being one of the easiest wins and quickest wins for SEO that I found at least, is if you just separate those pages, instead of having just one page with all your services.

Julian 38:17
Yeah, that’s it. Like if you separate it and silo it out, then it just makes it much easier to rank. And when Google is all about relevance. It wants users to find the information they’re looking for really quickly, right? So if they type in best web designer in Ohio, and you have a page that specifically only talks about that topic, it’s only optimized for that keyword and nothing else than that has a much higher chance of ranking versus one single service page. But he’s talking about Web Designs talking about SEO is talking about marketing. And it just goes off on this crazy tangent.

Josh 38:53
Yeah, good call. Speaking of that, having a page that is dedicated to one location. And in particular, I would love to ask you, depending on what updates you’ve seen with Google this year, when it comes to duplicated content, and switching out the location name, for example, like I’m in so I’m in Columbus, Ohio. But I’m actually right outside of Columbus and Grove City, Ohio and outside of Columbus just like most all places, we have a lot of different suburbs and and stuff like that. So I’ve known some colleagues who have got really good SEO rankings by just targeting Grove City or Columbus or different ones in certain pages. The only thing was though a lot of the other content was the same was I have heard different things on this and what was funny there was I actually saw it work on Google and I always generally look at what is actually pulling up and what is working but yeah, that seems to be a little more of a black hat technique now right if you use the same content, but just watch out or switch out the the location or city or state is that true?

Julian 39:59
Yeah. I mean, if it was me personally, and I was running a website or web design, I would make sure the content is unique on every page. And not just unique in having the location name. But actually, you know, making it unique and personalized in each situation. Having said that, although Google doesn’t like duplicate content, yeah, you will see instances where you’re like, what, how is that ranking? Like, what is going on there? And you know, some things slip through the net. I know, Google isn’t Google’s algorithm isn’t perfect is far from, you know, 100%. So there will be instances where what they say, or what they recommend doesn’t quite match with what is actually happening.

Josh 40:46
Okay, that makes sense. And there was another example, I don’t want to give them extra credit. But there is a site called Freshy, sites calm, and they seem to take this approach. And I don’t know if this is just stateside, or in our area, I haven’t looked in detail. But I have just seen if you type in like web design, at least in my neck of the woods, you will see a freshie Sites page that has pretty much every city, and it seems to be duplicate content. So this is where like I said, it’s like maybe technically, that is a black hat technique that Google doesn’t like, but maybe it’s maybe that technique is still on the decline as far as how Google can track it, or what that would look like I would say, if I were to put my coaching shoes on for everyone listening, I would agree Julian, I would say customize the content.

Josh 41:33
Now, if you have the same services that can apply to anywhere, then I would probably still have like a services section. What I would do is probably save it as like a global section. And I use Divi which you can do this with pretty much any theme now. You can save a section as a global section and have that on different pages. That leads me to another question here. What about that technique? What if it’s not actually text that you typed on the page, but it’s pulling in from like a theme, like a saved theme section? How does Google read that? If it’s like a global section that’s on numerous pages?

Julian 42:06
If it’s just like a footer or something like that, that’s fine. Because it looks natural to Google, whenever your website has a footer, for example, like on all my blogs that have like, certain elements just stay the same every time. Yeah. And also, it helps I mean, for example, like, there’s something called Eat signals. And basically, these are signals that indicate you actually real business and they add credibility to your size. So like, in the footer, you might include the actual company address or phone number. And that’s what a real world offline brick and mortar business would do. You know, so it looks natural to Google. Yeah,

Josh 42:47
that’s a good point. Good call, I always wondered about that with those global elements, if Google deemed sites if they were repeated on a bunch of pages. But at the same time, like, if I’m going to create, like 25, location based pages in Ohio, for web design, what a pain in the ass to have to go through every page and retype all the service, you know, like, I would totally just have a safe section of services and some rotating testimonials. But I would just customize the city specific type of content, like, you know, if I, whatever would look like or whatever, it would just be a few paragraphs for that city or whatever. That’s probably what I would customize. So does that sound like a sound strategy? If you were to advise me, if I were to do that?

Julian 43:30
I think if it was like, only 10% of the content, then it’s okay. But if it’s like the majority of the page is duplicated, then it might be working today. Or you might get away with it today. But I think long term, you will want to build a strategy where you can make it unique, but you can always like, I mean, you probably already have like copyright is in your business. He could just nip in and make a few changes here and there. And, you know, make it unique. Yeah,

Josh 44:01
That’s important. That’s good point. Yeah. I mean, if you were to have a lot of pages, it would probably be something where you could spend a lot of time for a little while, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to do that every week. Like you could just spend a lot of time optimizing 25 pages and let that, you know, go for a while.

Julian 44:18
Yeah, that’s Yeah, especially I mean, like, we’ve those service pages when they rank, the amount of customers we’ll bring through is crazy. So it’s worth spending your time. It’s true.

Josh 44:29
That’s what my buddy did with his site. And it totally ended up working. I don’t know how much time he spent initially, but it did end up working. He was using probably over 50% of repeating sections or global sections, but I like your little 10% roll. We’ll stick with that. Keep it maybe I’ll even 25% right now just keep like I would say that keep over you know, under a fourth of your page, any sort of standard template but keep the rest of it custom. That’s part of what I go with.

Julian 44:59
Yeah, See? Yeah, I mean, the other good thing is as well that it’s like an asset, right? So every single, it’s like a piece of real estate. And every single page that ranks can potentially bring in more customers and more leads more traffic from Google. So

Josh 45:17
It is, yeah, no, no, as an SEO guy, I’m sure you’ve seen this is tricky for a lot of clients, because they want instant results, but it does take some time. And some posts will rank quicker than others, depending on the competition. The keyword, something we have talked about quite a bit on the podcast is the different types of key phrases as in like short tail and long tail, which is a whole different topic. But that definitely all that all comes back to this idea of good backlinks. And especially when algorithm changes happen, I feel like as long as you have those best practices in place, you’re going to be okay, for the most part, like, yeah, you might have some stuff you need to tweak and work on optimization, I’m still working on optimal optimization myself. But overall, my site has ranked really well over the past few years, with a very, very elementary understanding of SEO. So I hope that’s of some encouragement to everybody.

Julian 46:10
Yeah, let’s see, I don’t think you don’t need to be an expert to rank like, I think if you’re doing the right things, like you obviously are, you know, if you if you’re creating great content, people are going to link to it naturally. For example,

Josh 46:23
Podcast is a good example of of just complete organic SEO, I don’t promote my podcast at all. I’ve never run an ad for I don’t do any like it’s just 100%. Organic. So yeah, it’s it goes to show you that, you know, it’s definitely working somehow someway. It’s it’s working. So it’s just really simple. I don’t, we don’t do keywords like I don’t try to optimize, I use SEO Yoast as my main SEO point. I don’t try to optimize that for every podcast that goes out. We don’t even often do keywords, we just do the title, do a good description, outline, good, relevant human reading content with the transcription and links. And that’s it. There it is. There’s the there’s the metrics.

Julian 47:07
Yeah, that’s cool. I mean, you can turn it around pretty quickly. And I’ve seen are speaking someone else about this recently, like the other week, and we were saying, you know, you can rank a podcast like so quickly. It’s crazy.

Josh 47:21
Yeah, it. It’s actually what’s really funny, one of my students, her client reached out and said, Hey, I saw you on the Josh Hall Web Design Show. She was on the show recently shout out Shannon, if she’s listening. And she was like, How did my client find me? And I asked her that and I think maybe it’s possible to he had Googled her if he was looking at other web designers or something. And then their their interview was on the show. So that’s a perfect example. And I think it’s because I use the video version of the show the YouTube version, that definitely helps. And I have that embedded on the podcast page. So as you mentioned earlier, it might depend on what’s in the posts or their images or their videos. And that definitely helps. I think a lot of people need to remember, Google and YouTube are hand in hand when it comes to search ability.

Julian 48:10
Yeah, yeah, that’s, I mean, some of the best, that’s everything with YouTube, like, you can rank crazy quickly, like almost within minutes of publishing a video, if it’s targeting a low competition keyword that doesn’t really have much competition, it’s easy to rank for, like, they can just rank incredibly fast.

Josh 48:30
Yeah, something that I’ve seen work really well for me. And then I’ve really talked to a lot of my students about doing for their local business clients are snippets, the power of snippets, whether it’s a video or just a section of a blog post. And for anyone who doesn’t know snippet is basically I’d be open to hear your interpretation on a snippet. But basically, when you type something in Google, and it gives you like a snapshot of an article or a video, that’s a snippet. It’s like a featured snippet of a blog post or video. And that is a huge, huge, Game Changing SEO feature. Do you know when that was released, or about one that came about the snippet going to say little snippet stuff?

Julian 49:09
I want to say like two years ago really became like a big thing. But my

Josh 49:14
Sounds about right. Yeah, that sounds about right, because I started doing tutorials for Divi, specifically at the end of 2017. And I never remember seeing snippets up until probably like 2019 or 2020. It seems like it really they really started picking up.

Julian 49:30
Yeah. Now, I mean, almost every search where you’re looking for information, is this a snippet? Right?

Josh 49:37
Yeah, yeah,

Julian 49:38
Or some sort of all like the people so ask a section as well, where you can click on the people so x question and then it will drop down with more information there too.

Josh 49:48
That is a good one, I should say too. There’s a couple links I mentioned to mention earlier. For people who are new to SEO I did do a basics of SEO podcast episode, which was episode 54. So definitely worthwhile Going back to that, and then one of my close SEO colleagues, Michelle, we did an episode 107 about how to do keyword research for free, which is really interesting, because she backed up a lot of the points you’re talking about Julian with just common sense searches, like type in Google, what what term you might type in, and then boom, there, you’re going to get a lot of different results that what people also ask something she taught me that I thought was fascinating was if you click on a term, and then you go back to the page you’re on previously, those people what people ask will change. So it’ll give you even more options, which I was fascinated by like, I didn’t even think about that.

Julian 50:37
I say infinite as well, you can just keep clicking all day, right?

Josh 50:41
Yeah, it’s, uh, yeah, can be dangerous, right? Because, like you definitely, I think if you do any sort of keyword research or content work, you have to give yourself a deadline of time. Otherwise, yeah, you can spend eight hours just going back and just go on through the spider webs of Google to see what those terms are pulling up. So

Julian 50:59
Sadly, I find that quite fun.

Josh 51:02
That’s good. Yeah, yeah. And I look, I love that there’s folks like you who love that I personally don’t like it very much. I get to the surface level, and I’m ready to move on. But for somebody who enjoys that, I think it’s awesome. And I think that’s why you are really important in a lot of others who are doing keyword research and SEO optimization and content are really important, because there is there’s a tactfulness that you need to balance I’ve seen with good human content. But as you mentioned earlier, you do have to have the the keyword in there, at some point, you don’t want to you don’t want to stuff it, but you don’t want to have not enough of it. And then there’s really a fine line between pleasing the robots, but then also pleasing the people who are actually going to read the article. So I think a lot of the things you’ve taught you’ve hit on so far in regards to these updates. I mean, that, I guess at the core, that’s really what we’re getting to, isn’t it like all these updates are trying to help people get answers to their questions. Is that maybe a fair definition of these algorithm updates?

Julian 52:03
That’s exactly yeah, yeah. Just better information, better results on Google.

Josh 52:07
Yeah. Well said, man. Well, hey, I have one final question for you here. Julian, this has been a really interesting talk. And every time I talk to an SEO person, I feel reaffirmed in the simplicity of an SEO strategy and how powerful that can be. Where would you like my audience to go, though, man, I know you, you’ve got some awesome resources, is there a certain resource or you just want people to go to your website? Where would you like everyone to go after listening to this to find more about you.

Julian 52:35
So if you want to find out more, you can check on my website, Julian gordy.com. We have a free book on SEO that you can download it instantly there. And it’s free is pretty much got everything you need to know about SEO. And it’s not too in depth fiber. If you’re just a beginner, it will help you a lot. So yeah, I also publish YouTube videos and that sort of thing.

Josh 52:58
Awesome. I know. That’s all shocker. Links from your website. So we’ll, we’ll have your will have your website there. And yeah, your your free book link building mastery is available. So I’m looking forward to checking that out. I should have checked that out before this show. But I think he actually just booked last week. So I didn’t get too much time to check out your site before doing this. But man, this has been really cool. I’d be curious, Julien, where do you are? Let’s rephrase this question. What do you think the big algorithm updates will be in 2022? Just off of what you’ve seen over the past year? So if you had to guess what do you think Google is going to focus on change in 2022?

Julian 53:36
So I think, number one, there will be more definitely more core updates, where they change the parameters, you know, across the whole site, and how they grade those. I would also say, I would expect next year that we’ve Google, there’s going to be even less space for organic listings, you know, because Google was a business, they make money from the ads, right, and the paid listings on Google, which means less and less space for the organic listings. So I can see, you know, ads being pushed more on Google’s interface and less space for organic listings. I could also see more YouTube videos being pushed, you know, more and more searches. Now. When you go and google it comes up with a YouTube video or a tutorial. Based on that question. I can see that happening more and more. Yeah.

Josh 54:32
It’s it does seem like all the platforms are going to video.

Julian 54:36
Yeah, let’s see. And also, I think, core web it’s not something it’s a whole nother rabbit hole. But core web vitals are something else see that will become more and more important for websites. And that’s more about the build and the technical side of the website.

Josh 54:54
Right. Right. Yeah. And that’s the importance of having a well designed and built website. A lot of clients of mine in the past were so focused on SEO, but their websites were so bad. And I tried to tell him, you don’t want to invest in a bunch of digital marketing SEO, if your website’s terrible, because where is your where’s your traffic gonna go? It’s gonna go to your terrible website, it’s gonna turn them away, bounce them. So

Julian 55:18
That’s the problem like, yes. With SEO, it goes hand in hand with web design. And CRO as well, like if your website is designed nicely, especially if it if you get a lot of traffic from SEO, you need to convert it right? There’s no point getting a million people from Google, if you can’t turn that traffic into leads or sales. So yeah,

Josh 55:37
What whats CRO?

Julian 55:40
Sorry, conversion rate optimisation. So like, okay, optimizing your website to make sure you convert as many people on the page as possible. And that might be into product sales, it might be into leads it might be into clicking an affiliate link.

Josh 55:56
Yeah. See, this is one reason I love talking with folks is I learned something new every podcast I did, I did not know there was a term for conversion design, which is conversion. What was that? Conversion Rate Optimization? Yeah. Okay, got it. I’ve got it in the old memory banks. Now. I’m totally gonna use that. That’s, that’s genius. I’ve had trouble explaining. Conversion based design with CRO makes a lot of sense. Because it’s measurable. Right. You can totally measure that with Google Analytics and tracking codes now and all kinds of stuff.

Julian 56:22
Opt in rates. Yeah, yeah. open rates.

Josh 56:24
Yeah. Awesome. Awesome, dude. Well, Julian, I really had a blast chatting with a man. I love your approach on SEO. And I feel Honestly, I feel better. I feel better about SEO I, I thought maybe by the end of this conversation, I’d be worried about the changes that Google is going to do and what you’ve seen, but actually feel personally more confident and at ease than ever. Because I think we really got to the core of what these updates are for, which is for all of us better online experiences. So yeah,

Julian 56:53
It’s mean, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by SEO. But if you go back to the basics, you know, it’s still simple how to execute simple to understand.

Josh 57:05
Yeah. Oh, that’s good. I like that. Well said, Well, man, that’s a great place to end this. I’ll make sure we link your website Julian Goldie.com everyone can pick up your free link building mastery book. Man, thanks so much for your time. Thank you for staying up legs. Really, really appreciate your obviously you’re not from time. Where are you from? Where you were originally from?

Julian 57:21
I’m from England. Manchester, originally sister.

Josh 57:24
Okay. Well, I was wanting to know exactly where because I talked with so many Brits now I’m starting to get a feel for the different accents. I can tell like a Liverpool accent from a London accent from you know, wherever Manchester is a little bit different. So I’m kind of getting a feel for for all the different accents. And then when it bleeds in up to up to you know, northern Britain. And then you get to the Ireland’s and everything is all kind of bleeds in together. So

Julian 57:52
I find it harder to understand as well. Different parts of the country, you know, the crazy thing where UK is like, you can travel 2030 minutes down the road. And the accent is totally different. You know, like Liverpool, Manchester, they’re 40 minutes away. accent is night and day.

Josh 58:07
That is that is the truth from what I’ve heard. And we see it a little bit in the States. Although it’s more like two or three hours, you’ll you’ll tell a big difference. But I’ve got family outside of New Jersey and it’s like straight up Jersey accent. And Ohio we’re kind of we’re kind of mid range a little bit a southern little bit of swing, but not near that you’d find if you go down south and it’s you know, straight up country south. So yeah, I find that fascinating, man.

Julian 58:36
It’s cool.

Josh 58:37

Julian 58:38
Thanks for having me. Appreciate it,

Josh 58:39
Dude. Really, really enjoyed our chat. I’ll I’m really excited to see how this helps some folks out. Thanks for your time, Julian.

Julian 58:45
Thanks. Yeah.

Josh 59:08
All right, man. Cheers.


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