The Real Deal – Legendary SEO Delivers the Truth About Ranking on Google with Kyle Roof – Digital Triggers

Joe Troyer 0:55
Hey everybody, it’s Joe Troyer, and welcome to another episode of Show Me The Nuggets. Today, I’ve got SEO expert Kyle Roof on with us. Super, super excited to have Kyle on it should. Kyle, I don’t feel should need any introduction. If you’ve been paying close attention to the SEO space in the last couple of years, I definitely look to Kyle for SEO advice, especially on page, I think some really, really cool accomplishments man that you’ve been able to do. And I think you’re the only person that I know that’s ever been deindexed for on page optimization. I think you’re also the only person I know that’s also ranked number one for a keyword with a site full of just quite literally lorem ipsum. So super excited to have you on the call today, man.

Kyle Roof 1:45
Thanks for having me. Yeah. It should be noted. And it’s not just on page, but I think it’s doing good on page because people have been deindexed, doing sneaky things. And in my opinion, I didn’t do anything sneaky.

Joe Troyer 1:58
Ah, gotcha. All right. So we’ll dive We’ll dive into that. Awesome, man. So real quick, tell us about what you’re up to right now. I know you got a marketing company or an agency kind of so to speak and SEO company, you’re also involved in some software, you’re kind of out there as well in the community a lot. So tell us kind of what your initiatives are right now.

Kyle Roof 2:20
Sure. My three big things are High Voltage SEO, which is my agency, which we’ve been running since 2014. And we have offices in Phoenix, in Berlin and Melbourne. And we do local to national international SEO. The next thing is my software Page Optimizer Pro, which is an on page tool with the idea of you put your site in you get your competitors and then it gives you suggestions on how to make your page better. And then the last thing is Internet Marketing Gold, the community that I co founded, where that’s really focused on testing. It’s with my business partner, Andrew Steven and also Ted Kubaitis, who has his own software called Cora, if you’re familiar and he does his own form of testing. And so we put this group together to bring kind of his test concepts and my test concepts into one area and with people that were really focused on data driven SEO and the data science of it.

Joe Troyer 3:13
So I’m just going to bring up the obvious here and we’ll just we’ll just hit the nail on the head right from the start. So isn’t it isn’t it kind of a conflict of interest? Right, that you got Cora and the head of Cora and you in the same community, you know, partners in the same community and you got competing software.

Kyle Roof 3:30
We don’t see it at all. Like that, the software that we that we have, we think is compatible, that they aren’t necessarily one to one competitors. Cora does correlational analysis and it crunches massive data across all the sites that are in a circle 100 sites to show up, but POP does is it zeroes in on very specific areas on a page and very specific competitors and gives you kind of what what will we call edge analysis that you can get an edge here, here and here by doing these things. So they’re very compatible CORA looks at something like 1000 possible SEO signals, it doesn’t really care something is or is not a signal, it just looks at it, the correlation exists. So the actually my agency we use them both. And so it’s it’s a it’s no problem for us at all to work together. Plus there’s massive market share. It’s not we don’t know, between the two tools we’ll have 1% of the market so there’s there’s we’re not butting heads.

Joe Troyer 4:27
I love that attitude, though to like, at the end of the day, I think way too many people think like the that the marketplace is small. And I you know, I can’t get any market share it to a competitor and just very small minded in that regards. And so I honestly, I love it. And I just wanted to see how you’re going to react. But I love the way that you wrapped it like it’s so true. The marketplace is huge, and we might penetrate a couple percent at max and probably that’s the best we’ll ever do. So what’s the harm really, even if you were true competitors

So, tell us a little bit of your background now that you told us what you’re up to Let’s dive back. Like how did you get into this world of SEO and digital marketing, as we know it.

Kyle Roof 5:11
A lot of people know I started as a lawyer, I was licensed in Virginia, I’m a trial attorney or was a trial attorney. I did divorce custody and support and criminal defense got really burnt out and decided take a year off. And that one year, what I ended up doing was moving to South Korea. And that one year turned into five. And while there, I started a business and that business had a pretty technical website that needs to be built. And it took me a long time to get a good team together. And I realized I had a pretty strong team and was like, you know what I could general contract building websites. And that’s what I did. And then lots of twists and turns but basically got into SEO for the recurring income of it. And that the idea that the website build was kind of a one off, but we’ve got these people that like us. We’re building our site, maybe we can then also do the SEO and then that company dissolved. After we got raided by the police in India, which was a lot of fun. And they said we had the wrong papers, we had the right papers, but my brother was in jail. He I brought… the company and he was given the choice of leaving town tomorrow or staying in jail until the magistrate came to sort things out. And my brothers goes where does the magistrate come and the Chief of Police said, I don’t know. So we packed up, our employees scattered, we’re hemorrhaging clients, and my brother who does web design and development, said weill I can take these four clients and service them. And I don’t code and I’m not a developer. And so that left me with this brand new SEO thing that we just started. And of course, our SEO guys are gone. And so that I could pay the rent next month, I needed to learn SEO that day. And that’s what I did. So I was able to keep those clients and then service them and then grow the base. And then a little while later, I met my business partner, Andrew Steven And together with, with my clients and his clients, we kind of came together and formed the agency High Voltage. But for me learning SEO meant like survival but I’m gonna make it…

Joe Troyer 7:13
that’s such a crazy story.

Kyle Roof 7:15
Yeah, most people I wouldn’t recommend the path that I took but you need to learn SEO quickly it is one way to do it.

Joe Troyer 7:26
Man That’s so crazy. So fast forward to today. Seems like over the last couple of years. You guys have grown very quickly. Your personal brand, also your agency, your community. It seems like the the ranking of the lorem ipsum got you a lot of a lot of notoriety so to speak. Is that right?

Kyle Roof 7:50
For sure. That was a big catalyst. It really demonstrated that I knew what I was talking about. And that These things are true that you can solve Google, it doesn’t have to be a mystery, because Google is math based. And if you can give Google the math that it wants, you can be very, very successful. But then, so the lorem ipsum thing was was was very big. What was even bigger was actually getting attacked by Google. And Google came in and an article was written about the site A few months later. And in that article, they said that I did this to make fun of Google, which is not true at all, I did it to make fun of SEO is my the ones that say that all you need to do is write good content and you’ll get rewarded. And six hours later because the site was deindexed and then that night, from like 1:15am to 1:27am, Google and went in and de-indexed all my test sites. And these sites had no connection to the the the the content site, they they were completely separate. They’re on different servers, the different hosting etc, etc. And some of them did link to each other a little bit, but they were pretty much independent sites. Google took them down. And so what I did is I did a reconsideration request. On one of them. I said, you know, this, this is a site that’s written in lorem ipsum, this test site, it’s not going after any keywords that anybody else is optimizing for or bidding for in AdWords it cannot be spam, because that’s what they said this, it was major spam. And that was rejected. So then I took the whole site down, I put up the WordPress template, the 2012, resubmitted it and said, this is just the WordPress template. And they rejected again also said major spam. So then I took that down, I put up a one page site and I just said, This is my one page site. And these are original words because I’m typing them as I’m thinking them. And then I sent submitted that and they rejected it again, also saying major spam. That to me was perfect, because that validated that this wasn’t an accident. This was this was punitive. They were punishing for something that I did and, and I really felt like that if I was talking nonsense, or I was making stuff up, or I got lucky, they would have just rolled their eyes and moved on. But the fact that they took the test site or the competition site down and then went after me personally, with unrelated sites, really just told me that I was doing it right. And that really then blew me up in terms of getting on people’s radar cuz then you’re like, well, I guess that might actually be something. There might be something there

Joe Troyer 10:26
Yeah, Kyle’s onto something. So that’s such a crazy story. But let’s back up. How did you how did you stumble upon or come up with the idea like, Man, you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna rank for lorem ipsum. Like, what? What was the turn of events that kind of transition and happen for for this story, and the craziness even transpire?

Kyle Roof 10:48
Well, I had already done it. The that wasn’t the first time I had done this. And I had done it in environments where we’re, we’re actually we were doing a lot of tests for Page Optimizer Pro. You know, running tests on sites and it’s just so much faster to do lorem ipsum. And then I realized, Oh, these sites are ranking, because then we realized that you’re giving Google the correct math, I think it was around, say, 2016. I was at a conference where I, I showed the first page that I was sitting number four for a term. on page one of Google for a page that was written in Lorem, ipsum, there was also an orphan page that was sitting on a site on a real site, I just built an orphan page that had no links going to anywhere, but then I launched it for this term. And it was a term that, uh, these people didn’t hire us for our agency. And I was like, you know, what, if, if they don’t want that, just, if I’m all I’ll build a site and lorem ipsum and get on page one for the term they want.

So then I knew it could happen. And then this competition came along in SEO Signals Lab, which is a Facebook group. And, you know, let’s do this. Let’s let’s build a site in lorem ipsum. Let’s then so then what it’s not just all lorem ipsum the idea is that I did the math for the term that was needed and it was this term was rhinoplasty, Plano. So rhinoplasty is a nose job,, Plano is right outside of Dallas. So the target page was in lorem upsum. And then I copied and pasted in the exact term. It’s variations, the contextual terms that you need in very specific places like your h1, paragraph, text, h2, h3, etc, and copied and pasted the terms into those zones, and then launch the pages. Then I also had seven supporting pages, like you’d build a silo within your site. Also, those are all lorem ipsum. And they had just proper linking structure. That’s kind of how it went. So that’s the page that then at the end of the competition, because there’s a 30 day competition, I think it’s a fifth, but about two and a half, two to three weeks later. That’s when I hit page one, and then it went number one organic and then number one maps, which is pretty fun to watch.

Joe Troyer 12:56
All right. So a little little change up in questions. It seems like you got a lot on your plate Kyle, right like with High Voltage right and your your your done for you agency, all your big clients with with POP your software with IMG your community. Tell me about like your day to day involvement Like what? Where do you sit in each of the businesses? What do you focus on? And what do you like? What do you what do you maybe not like as, as the entrepreneur you are today?

Kyle Roof 13:24
Well, I have to say one of the most fortuitous things that has happened to me is meet my business partner, Andy, because he is a systems guy. And he goes in and is able to build a an infrastructure. And so in order to have all these things, we have teams that are extremely supportive. On the agency side of things, I’ve really pulled myself out of the day to day, and I’m on the strategy sessions. So when we’re talking about Okay, the client’s needs are these, this is where we need to get to, you know, these are the thoughts and then we have account managers and we have regional managers as well. Well, that oversee a lot of that process. So then I come in on, okay, let’s take care of this, this and this, this is a good idea, run this and this and this by the client, that sort of thing. So I’m on those dry sessions, but I’m really not in the day to day communication. And that frees up a ton of time. Because you’re running an agency, that communication, the back and forth takes all your day. So I’m not involved in that. But I am involved in the strategy. A lot of my work is in POP, where we’re still in rapid development, where we’re trying to crank out features and so each morning I’m kind of overseeing where we are with those things. Are there support tickets, there’s something broken, you know, that kind of thing. So I’m really involved in kind of the more day to day operations of that so that I can oversee that development. And then the last part is content creation, which is like where IMG comes in. The shows that we do for that, or, or shows like this, you know, doing YouTube shows, podcasts. Hey, we need a little blurb for a write up. Round up type thing. Something I didn’t realize becoming an SEO is how much writing I would have to do. I write a lot. So a good part of my day. It’s not uncommon where I’m on a show, or I’m doing some writing for something or, or I’m creating a video or something. So my own content, so I’m writing a script or something like that, or, yeah, blah, blah. So that’s kind of my day to day. It’s a weird, weird job. It’s really bizarre.

Joe Troyer 15:28
It’s so funny. It makes so much sense though. It seems like everything’s really synergistic, though. For you, Kyle. Right. So in the agency, you’re working on strategy and higher level concepts at POP, then you’re almost Forgive me for simplifying it, but you’re almost taking a lot of those concepts and building them into the software, right? So you’re able to kind of reuse those. And then you’re, you’re then doing content creation, talking about those other two things. And there’s a major, you have major leverage on the topics that you talk about because they span across kind of your three entities so to speak.

Kyle Roof 16:05
Now that’s exactly correct. And then that wasn’t an accident. I mean, that’s, that’s definitely what, as we’re trying to grow things, that’s exactly what I was trying to do so that I could, like, leverage what I’m best at, you know, and so I can take those things. And, you know, I think connecting the dots is one of the things that I think I do very well. Now, okay, this happened, and that happened, what are the steps in between? Can we get there? And that’s a lot of ideas. That’s the strategy sessions with the clients that’s figuring out how we can take that stuff put into POP and then that’s explaining things, you know, to my audience are getting on there. That’s really my whole day is really just doing that.

Joe Troyer 16:41
That’s awesome. So when people say like to me or they say to you, like how do you do so much, Kyle like you’re doing all this stuff. It’s really just that we’ve gotten better at leverage, or we really planned it out more than like, we’re doing all of this stuff.

Kyle Roof 16:57
Yeah, and you have to have a team behind you. I mean, you You must He can’t be a solo operator and set these things up. Because like, you know, like to set up the this this podcast that we’re doing right now, there are a lot of emails that go back and forth. You know, you have to have your team that can do the outreach can help with the booking help facilitate the research and all that and that there’s a ton that goes into that, but then you also had to train somebody to find the right person to do and that’s a skill, you know, to be able to get some of these Okay, and we need to do this, this and this, and then they can actually go do it and execute it.

Joe Troyer 17:29
Yeah, it took. It took about six months for us to build the process before we actually ever even launched the podcast because I said, I’m not going to do it if I don’t have a process. And I was very clear with my team. Like I want to do it. But here it is, like I want to hang out with cool people like Kyle, right, I want to pick their brains because I want to pick it anyway. I’m gonna let my community like be a fly on the wall and get like the nuggets and see it happen. But all I want to do is ask my guests who I should have on be able to tell somebody, here’s who I, like, really want to chat with or pick their brain. And like I just will show up. And that’s it. Like, I can’t be involved in anything else, or it’ll break, right? Like, I just, I won’t be able to get it done. I don’t have the bandwidth. And it took us six months, but then we got there. And that’s how it is today. But it took, you know, nobody saw this six months before they just saw the after. Like, Joe have you put out a show every week. And it’s like, because I took six months to build the show.

Kyle Roof 18:28
That’s it. That’s 100% right. The thing you’ll find too is that if you train somebody well and they’re the right person for the job, they’ll end up doing it better than you could because then they’re focused on that particular task much more intensely than you ever would be. So and then the end you train them right they do end up doing it better

Joe Troyer 18:44
100% 100% agree. All right, man. So let’s change the interview up a little bit. Man. Let’s talk about testing. Like you’re obviously widely known as as an SEO ninja right and breaking down tests and what’s working, talk about what working now like, what’s the 80/20 of SEO in the marketplace right now? And don’t get me? And I know you won’t. But for our audience like Kyle is not going to give us any of the bullshit that we get from so many other SEOs, right? Because he’s testing this stuff. He’s gonna tell us what’s working, what’s not like, what are your priorities right now? Like, what are the big important things that you’re like, man, like, we got to get in POP, or our users are just crushing it with with these features inside a pop? What’s the 80/20 right now, man?

Kyle Roof 19:30
Well, the thing that I think it’s important for people to understand is that when Google does updates, you know, and then we just had the May update not that long ago. They’re not going after the core of Google. You know, when you think of a bell curve, there’s, you know, that 70 80% in the middle, and then there’s maybe like 10 or 15% on each side. That’s the part that they’re going after, where people are really trying to gain something. But it is too cost prohibitive to change how Google actually works in the main sense they can’t do it, and also who’s complaining about Google results, very few people, SEOs, you know, but like the the general populace that that is using Google is pretty happy with it. Otherwise, they would be using something else. And they’re not. So clearly the results are good. You know, so Google, while they might have the ability to do AI, or they might have the ability to do deep machine learning, and they might have some aspects of it. That’s not the whole thing. Because what they originally started with is still working quite well. So it’s a matter of like, when they do these updates, they’re trying to get the stuff on the outside. So the biggest thing I like to tell people is don’t overthink it. You know, don’t overthink what you think Google can or can’t do. At the end of day, keep in mind, the Google can’t read. we prove this console. Now Google can’t read what is on your page, it has to look at it how a computer looks at words. And that’s that’s from a math perspective. So

Joe Troyer 20:56
I gotta I gotta stop you real quick. I gotta stop you real quick. You’re telling SEO is not to overthink it.

Kyle Roof 21:02
Yeah. Don’t overthink it. You know, you have your target keyword

Joe Troyer 21:08
is there. Is there any market that has overthought anything more than SEOs is overthink SEO?

Kyle Roof 21:15
Well, you know, if you come at it without a framework, you know, if you don’t have any kind of baseline, what I find is a lot of SEOs are scrambling, month to month to come up with something to give their clients. You know, and maybe it’s the latest and greatest, I heard this. And I heard that and I’ve been guilty of this as well, where it’s almost like you’re auditioning for your job every month. So you have to come up with some wowzers sort of thing. And it usually is off base, you know, or like, there’s some form of it on base. But you know, if you just really just stayed in your lane, and just did solid SEO, we’re just not to say that I hate the word good content, but just writing good content, and then coming back and editing for SEO so that you’re gonna hit with the algorithm wants. They’re gonna do way better. than then half of the SEO schemes out there just with that, you know, and then what if you build some content that supported that page that was topically relevant? That answered a question about that, and then you link from that page to that page. That’s not rocket science. But you know, interesting is that the test constantly prove that that works. That’s what’s really interesting to me is that we constantly prove that the things that are the most basic, or the most straightforward, almost always are the best thing. And then we think about time, budget, energy, those types of things, you’re you’re limited so there’s only so much you could do in a day, regardless of the size of your team and there’s only so much money you can spend for a particular client. If you just do the the main stuff you’re going to win most of the time. And then the test the test show that all the time and it’s not sexy. It’s not sexy at all and it’s not out of control and I don’t think it’s a satisfying answer for a lot of people because they want the sexy you know, they want that thing that is just mind blowing like you know, we found this still works Then we found that still doesn’t work. You know that that kind of stuff. And it’s just like, I guess I gotta keep doing my job. You know, a lot of people are just wanting to be able to push one button and it all SEOs or they have like some magic hack that gets it all done, and really is just doing it right. And I think that’ll always be, as long as there’s an algorithm as long as it’s not manually curated. There’s always gonna be a need for SEO. And I’m pretty sure within that bell curve, it’s all gonna stay about the same.

Joe Troyer 23:30
For sure. That makes 100% sense. Everybody, have you heard the term chocolate vegetables?

Kyle Roof 23:36
I’m not sure that I have.

Joe Troyer 23:38
All right, so everybody wants the chocolate, right? Nobody wants to eat the vegetables, right? But what everybody really needs is the vegetables right? Or you could say like, the fundamentals right are the most important, but nobody wants to learn the fundamentals. Right. They want to learn the Stephen Curry three point shot, not the shot that’s, you know, a foot from the basket, right? I’m with so that’s super interesting. Yeah.

Kyle Roof 23:59
It’s not sexy but it gets the job done. That keeps you employed.

Joe Troyer 24:04
Definitely. Yeah, definitely, definitely. So I’m curious, how do you come up with ideas to test? Or how do you? How do you grade ideas to test right? I’m sure you’re getting hit within your community and lots of people in the industry with Hey, have you tested this? Or have you tested that? And not every test is obviously like, created equal. So what’s your thought process on? Yes, this deserves a test. This isn’t deserving of a test or this is like, yeah, this is like something we got to test or this is something like no, like, maybe one day in 100 years, I’d test this. What’s your thought process there?

Jim 24:46
Sure. Well, for me, personally, a lot of the tests that we end up doing kind of come from something that’s related to a client need, you know that a client has this particular question or there’s this particular issue or the Hey, this came up in a meeting from one of the account managers and then that is an impetus to do that kind of work, because then we can actually come up with, with a real answer. And it’s something that we pitch, you know, when we’re trying to acquire clients, like, you know, we can find answers. And not everybody has all the answers. And not everybody knows everything about what’s going on. But we have a pretty good way to figure it out if we need to. So a lot of tests come from that background, but within IMG, we actually have a testing group, we have a community of testers, and the tests are peer reviewed. And what’s really fun about that is that has we have like testing idea concept or idea boards. But most of the time, people have things that they just want to know. And it really shakes out pretty well where somebody can say like, you know what, I was interested in this. So I worked on this test. And as a result, you end up with a very wide range of testing types. Because some people are more interested in things than others. And they’re also then thinking about it a little bit more creatively, and saying, okay, we need to bang out this list. You do this one, you do that one. When you let people kind of self direct, you end up with some very creative things. But what I like testing wise is even now we have their test to come out that I never thought of that. Like, it causes you to think in a whole new way.

Kyle Roof 26:14
So that’s always always fun. And we get bounties in within IMG for create a test like so. We do a roundup every two weeks, if you have the best test, that’s $400 you know, second place is 100. Everybody who shows up get 75 bucks just for for the time and effort that makes it in but so when we, as a result, we get people that are really putting some effort into what they’re trying to do. And then everything’s peer reviewed, which is extremely important because not everything you’ve read online, peer reviewed, you know, and the data has been seen. That’s also a big thing. Like it’s one thing to say like I did this and this happened but the data has actually been looked at by somebody else’s is a very big thing. So when you see anything online So this is a test or this is a scientific test, one of the first things you want to look at is if if anybody has access to the data that didn’t run the test, and if they don’t, you might want to take whatever it is with a grain of salt. Not [inaudible], but it’s always good to have another set of eyeballs on things.

Joe Troyer 27:18
100% 100% agreed. And yeah, most of it is not reviewed. So in a world where most of it isn’t, you guys, you know, shine very bright with having things peer reviewed. And it’s very interesting. So that’s really cool. I love the bounty system too, and how you guys are peer reviewing it, and letting the community kind of bring up ideas, right, and then test them. I’m curious, can you give us an example of something that’s come from the community of maybe a prize or a bounty that you’ve awarded, that you thought like, is crazy or just like I would have never thought of or just something surprising to you?

Kyle Roof 28:00
So we have a tester who was looking at how Google crawls a page. And so he put 1000 links on a page, I was interested, see if Google would crawl them all. And of all the pages would index on the other side. And they did, which was amazing. But what was really cool was the Google does not crawl the links in order. Google crawl a little bit here, and then a little bit on there, and then a little bit over there. And it takes several crawls for it all to happen, but it can all happen within I think it happened within 48 hours was the the total crawl. So and there were six different IPS. That means there’s six different bots coming to the page. And that’s all pretty cool stuff. Now, we had this major update. And then if you do a lot of SEO, you realize that pages stop indexing when there’s a major update because they slow down the index rate, I think to do the update and then catch up on the back end. And in the same type of test during an update. It took 14 days for that testing happens. So you can see that there’s a real difference between normal crawling, which is maybe a day or so. And then update crawling can be up to two weeks. So if you’re trying to launch something in the middle of an update, and you’re like, Well, why am I not getting any traction, there’s a good chance that it’s just in the queue. And it’ll be there for a long time. And so those are fun kind of test then. Because, you know, that’s kind of abstracting like, okay, Google crawls a page in a weird way. That’s kind of fun to see. But a practical application of that is, hey, the updates going on and you’re telling the client, like, maybe we should hang off for a minute, you know, like, or giving the client reasonable expectations, because normally things index immediately and they’re up and we can see them on page four, as soon as we launch it. And for some reason, that’s not happening. It’s not because you did anything wrong. It’s because you’re in the middle of an update. And now you can give better expectations to your client about what’s going on with the page. So that kind of stuff I really,

Joe Troyer 29:56
I love that I haven’t thought about using updates communication mechanism with your clients, right like, with, with one of my companies Invisible PPC, we have a roadmap when a client onboards through the first six months, like, here’s how we set expectations, here’s what you should expect, like a drip out through that whole time, based upon years of experience so that the client really understands what’s happening. We educate them, we bring them up to speed, they feel better about everything. And it’s taken, like it’s taken a lot of load off of us being able to do that. I love in SEO, you could almost layer on, you could do that same thing, but you could then layer over, you know, so some updates based upon what’s happening with Google and their updates. And hey, just heads up. Here’s what we’re seeing. You know, I love that. That’s a great idea.

Kyle Roof 30:50
You know, the other thing that we were they were working on as well as and Ted Kubaitis has invented as it’s an update early warning system. And so we got pinged on the core update. I think it was two weeks before it actually started to roll out or Google announced that they haven’t. So we’ve had a two week edge on, hey, something big is happening. Let your clients know, if you’re really dependent on traffic from new pages, maybe shift that budget to PPC. In the meantime. Yep. Yeah, like those kind of things where you can take some action steps to to watch what you’re doing. I think it was it starts to mess with rank trackers, which is interesting. So all of a sudden, it’ll, it’ll look like all your pages tanked. And you know, your clients freak out. That’s the phone call your telling them hey calm down, you could tell them ahead of time. You’re gonna see some weird rankings right now, as this update is rolling on. Don’t worry. This usually this is very normal. This happens over the next a week. And then you don’t have to like make up some weird explanation as to why the site tanked. It was just the rank tracker got messed up because Google changed how they format their pages and stuff like that.

Joe Troyer 31:51
Yep, that makes perfect sense. That’s why yeah, all the all the rank trackers, and like SEMrush have the volatility checks that makes sense. Yeah, makes perfect sense. I’m curious, out of all the SEO miss out there all the big things SEOs are believing either like longtime miss or maybe just, you know, short term miss that people have been spewing over the last couple of months. I’m curious, like, what do you think is a big myth? That’s absolutely not true. Let where you’re like, man, somebody comes in the community. There’s they’re super fresh, right? Like, what’s the number one thing you’re like? Yeah, that doesn’t exist. Like what what do you see like, is happening right? rapidly rampanyly in the marketplace, and you’re just like, Man, I wish I could shake people like, this just isn’t true. Like stop focusing on this

Kyle Roof 32:40
kind of back to little bit what we were talking about earlier, but just this update changed everything. You know, like everyone will say that they’re like, this update changed it all. And if you don’t buy my thing, you’re never going to know what it was. And it’s that’s just simply not true. After I did the lorem ipsum competition. And then the site was taken down. I got a lot of flack about it. I got a lot of hate mail, actually. But people are saying you couldn’t do it again, you know, the, with all the updates in that time medic was rolling out. And so things looking at sites in their trustworthiness, authoritativeness how you know, lorem ipsum site has no expertise, trustworthiness or authoritativeness. So if you couldn’t do these things, again, they just wouldn’t happen. All these different updates Google, there might even be a lorem ipsum filter now, you know what people were saying that and also that the site would have been found Anyway, you know, maybe maybe the, the the article got there faster, but Google would have found. So what I did on this last speaking circuit in 2019, is I ranked a page in lorem ipsum, in every city that I spoken. And so and I presented that during my presentation, and that I mean, this was a was really hilarious. I’m sitting in Milan, and I just gave a presentation about how, you know, this still works these then because these principles are still solid. And I’m sitting in Milan and my Milan page is sitting in number one in Google. And I guess the person right before me had something about BART, that update that just rolled or was like, maybe two weeks old, isn’t what the BART update has anything, as that changed everything, because the guy just gave him a presentation about how it’s changed everything. I was like, I really feel like you were listening to my talk. Like no, nothing has changed. It’s still ranking like, that’s a screenshot from today, from last night like it’s still there. But the thing that was really funny is I’ve got a page in Garden Grove, which is in Los Angeles. It’s right next to where Disney is, and that’s where I was speaking at a conference there. And the one thing that did change after the last update was that I went from ranking number one, two, ranking number one and number two. So like that was the big change from the update is my site is breeding and taking up more space

No, that was the big, the big update. So those are the things that kind of annoyed me the most. But that was a lot of fun to redo the original experiment in all the different cities just to show people like this still works. One other fun thing is that I found a site that I did not build. It was a complete copy of my site, the original site, and it was done in Hialeah, which is just outside of Miami, I believe. So they, they literally scraped my site and put it up. And so I think it’s been up since around September, October of 2018. Because I then when the sun went down, I then also then took that down, you can see that the images are broken. So the images would have been broken somewhere around November. That site is still ranking number one in Google since then. So we’re talking years later. Years later, it’s still up and then one other fun thing about the original test was that it was ranked number one organic number one in maps. So when the site was deindexed and taken out of organic, it’s still ranked number one in maps for another two weeks. And it didn’t go down until somebody tweeted about it. And then later that day, it fell out of maps. So that means those things are so completely separate, especially when it comes to when they deindexed the site, which really blew my mind on you think that they’re like just down the hall and be like, Hey, we just took the site down. And the maps guys would do something as well, but they clearly don’t talk to each other. And it’s a it’s a deal.

Joe Troyer 36:37
Dude, I I’m so glad that you brought up all those points, the copy of the site ranking like, Oh my gosh, like that’s just crazy, and proves your theory. And then what you just said about maps and organic being separate. I had I’ve had multiple sites that have gotten slapped by Google, but continued to rank and maps and never get slapped. Right, like quite literally never get slapped. So I used to do a lot of lead gen and a lot of pay per call here in South Florida for water damage. And we would we would get slapped. Like constantly organically but in maps they’d still stick. And even to this day, we’ve got listings that have been around and like for for no purpose should they be ranking. Like the sites are like 404 errors like have been hit with so many penalties. And for some reason, the maps algorithm like is not talking to organic at all. And like there’s no on page and like it’s just honestly it’s shit. And it’s still ranking and it’s like what, what is happening. So I’m glad that you brought that up and you see that

Kyle Roof 37:53
because you can even see in maps like sites will rank the domain of a website like that. It’ll have a listing and I like this said this Play something on website and they’re still there outranking me somehow. And so you, you learn pretty quickly that maps is a whole other animal.

Joe Troyer 38:07
Yeah, completely different, completely different animal. So awesome. And those are great stories, some cool takeaways too. I love preaching back the fundamentals. And you know, to keep the main thing the main thing there’s always going to be new tests and things that come out that you can try you can use but you know, keep it to the fundamentals right is a big takeaway from from this interview, which I love. That is my that is my marketing message. There’s so many agencies is like stop getting so distracted like please for the love of God. I’m so I’m curious in your mind, like what are what are those core fundamentals? And what I mean is like, what’s the best advice that you would give somebody who’s just starting to air their SEO journey, right if like, your your, your nephew, your cousin, or somebody was just coming into the industry, you’d have a little sit down with them and be like, I don’t care what anybody else says, right like, Junior just learn a, b and c, right? Like, what would those things you know, be.

Kyle Roof 39:06
So when people come to me in those situations, I always tell them, build a site, put up a site, put up something you like, something that you’re interested in, and then think about how you would get that site ranking and build small goals for yourself off of that site. Let’s get, let’s get this site ranking for 100 keywords, it doesn’t matter where you are, and you can see that in Search Console, then let’s get 10 people a month to this site. And let’s make that 100. And then let’s let’s do different call to action goals. Like Well, maybe somebody can fill out a form for us, you know, and so if you start doing those little goals, then you can start to see how SEO, and not just SEO, but other things that are intertwined with SEO, how they come into play, to get somebody to do something that you want them to do. So to get them to the place and then have them do something is really the goal of search engine optimization and digital marketing in general. So then you can start to do that. The reason I would do it on something that I cared about, or at least like a little bit is because you realize very quickly that building a website is writing a book. And if you don’t want to write about this topic, it’s really gonna be difficult. And content is expensive. And you’re probably at a point where you don’t want to pay for content. But then the other thing that I would really impress upon people is that the secret is hiding in plain sight. Google shows you what it likes. You know, it’s showing you the sites that it’s ranking for your term that you want, and it likes those for, it’s there on page, they’re off page, or combination of the two. And those are things that you can go and count. You can count what Google wants for your keywords. So you can count how many times you your your competitors are putting their keyword in there each once you can count how many times are putting variations of that keyword in their in their body content. You can count using different tools, how many backlinks they have coming in, or how many backlinking domains. Those things aren’t 1,000% accurate, but they’re in the ballpark and it gives you an idea of what you need to do. Then you go out and do those things, do the counting, put it on your page, you know, find the low hanging fruit domains, get them pointing to you figure out how to do that. And as you figure out those things, just giving Google what it likes, and maybe doing just a little bit better, all of a sudden, you start to rank and you look like a wizard, when really all you did was just follow the roadmap that Google gave you.

Joe Troyer 41:21
Yep. Hundred percent love it. Yeah, super easy, actionable stuff. No huge crazy out of pocket investments. Like just become a practitioner, just start somewhere, right? Like, learn it, become good at it. And then you’ll learn what’s important, you know, as well, and you’ll build your skill set. So love that man. So one last question here to wrap this up. It’s been awesome. Kyle, I super appreciate your time and love the knowledge that you shared. Instead of asking you out to recommend three books, which I feel like every podcast does. I asked a little bit of a different question. I’m a voracious reader, but I either I either read a book from start to finish, or I read the first five pages, and you can’t pay me to pick it up like I just like it just know, like, my brain just shuts off. And so I love asking people that I admire and that I like, like what’s, what’s the one book that’s been super impactful for you? And the way that you do business? And why? And by asking this question, the way that I do, it’s interesting. Everybody gives me a different answer. And I would have I would have assumed that I would get a lot of the same kind of shallow answers on books, right, like the ones that everybody talks about, right in our in all the roundup posts in the best entrepreneurial books and stuff like that, but I don’t and I get gems and I get stuff that I haven’t read, that I absolutely end up loving. So I’m curious what you think that book would be man.

Kyle Roof 42:53
So I think something that’s important about picking books is also where you at where you are at in your business, you know, you, you could read the best advice of all time. But if your business isn’t there, then that’s not gonna work for you. It’s not gonna really resonate or make any sense. So I say that caveat, because now with Page Optimizer Pro, we’re at a point where we are getting some feelers from VCs. And that’s a brand new experience for me. And we’ve spoken to a few and kind of what that world is all about, which is, again, a very new thing for me. But Rand Fishkin has a book called Lost and Founder. And it’s about how he got kicked out of Moz, his own company by VCs, And that, to me really resonated, especially then now I’m transitioning into this phase. But the one thing that was very interesting is that VCs don’t want to invest in a good company. They don’t want to invest in a successful company, and they want to invest in a company that’s going to make $100 million and they’re gonna push you to that point. So it’s an interesting thing where you know, you’re in business to make money. money. But that’s not really what the VC is looking to, to, you know, they don’t want to get you to to, they don’t care about $6 million dollar company, I would be very tickled if my company got to 6 to 8 million, but that isn’t their goal. And so that’s interesting thing. So mindset on that, but then also how to make your company actually profitable and sellable. Most agencies you can’t sell, because if you aren’t involved in the, you can’t get clients and you’re not servicing clients, you don’t have the strategy. So the same thing with anything that you might want to sell down the road, whether that’s your agency, your software, your community, even, there has to be way that you’re getting clients in, they’re getting serviced. They’re getting good results. They’re going back out without your involvement. And so another thing within the book and those kind of concepts that we’re playing with right now in our agency, and also with our software are how to do that, how to have something that you can actually sell or somebody or something that somebody would actually invest in. And do you have those processes in place so Lost and Founder is a great book Rand Fishkin would have however you feel about him and Moz, it doesn’t really matter. It’s a well written book. And he was, so far in my experience, without taking any money, but kind of experience I’m having a he’s spot on with, with where VCs are at, and then also what it means to have something that’s sellable. So I recommend that book.

That’s awesome. And that’s one you see that I haven’t read, would be super interested in reading. I don’t have any crazy opinions about Rand, but I probably would have never have picked up the book, but hearing how you just described it and why it’s meaning something to you, like instantly was like, Oh, yeah, I gotta grab that book. So I love it, man. Case in point. So, Kyle, man, I just want to say thank you for coming on. Obviously, in the show notes. We’ll link up everything that you got going on. I’m curious. What’s the best place for somebody to connect with you? Is that inside of your community?

Yeah, I’m there all the time. So InternetMarketing.Gold it’s free to join. There are obviously paid sections if you like the text and stuff like that. But there’s a lot in the free area, you can get a ton of value out of it. And I answer questions there. And so Ted and Andy my business partner and a whole slew of other people that are high level SEOs are there so you can ask new questions you can ask difficult, complex, expert level questions and there’s a spot for you.

Joe Troyer 46:20
Awesome, man. So thank you so much. Thanks for coming and sharing from the heart man like very, very valuable interview and I felt like there was no BS here. You just gave us the nuggets. So super appreciate it, man. And we’d love to have you back sometime.

Kyle Roof 46:33
Awesome. I would come back anytime. Thanks for having me.

Joe Troyer 46:36
All right, guys, Joe Troyer here signing out. And this has been Kyle Roof showing us his nuggets.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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