Fili Wiese is a renowned technical SEO expert, ex-Google engineer and was a senior technical lead in the Google Search Quality team. At SearchBrothers.com he offers SEO consulting services with SEO audits, SEO workshops and successfully recovers websites from Google penalties.
Please introduce yourself, and tell us why UnGagged?
Hi, my name is Fili Wiese. I’m a Search Brother. I used to work for Google search quality and nowadays I’m doing SEO consulting. I specialise in removing penalties, as well as on page and off page optimisation. Right here right now, I’m at UnGagged London and I’m loving it, great audience, great speakers; just come.
What are your top tips and priority actions for overcoming issues associated with any big Google algorithm roll outs?
Don’t fret too much about a big update. The thing is, you need to collect data, you need to take your time, you need to see how it impacts you before jumping to any conclusions. Sit back, relax, make sure your website is crawlable, make sure that you cover the basics, you have a foundation and everything beyond that you should be focusing on your users. Grow your website from a user perspective.
How do you feel about the combination of artificial intelligence and social media in SEO?
It’s kind of the same answer in a way, your smaller business should really focus on their primary audience, identity who their audience is, focus on them, build a community around them and don’t be dependant on search engine traffic or any other type of traffic. Try to connect with your audience so you don’t care about any big or small updates. Be sure that if you do want to appear in search engines, you have your basics covered; your website is crawlable, it needs to be loading fast enough, it needs to be mobile accessible and various other factors. One tip I can give you there, is look at your analytics. Google analytics, or any other analytics program that you can use for free; use those to identity what technology your users are using. You can segment it to locals, so if you’re a local business, you don’t care about the 200 visitors you got from say India, filter those out in the analytics and focus on what are your local users using. Which platforms are they using, which browsers are they using, and then make sure it works really well in those.
Are you aware of any gamechanger developments on the horizon that in-house or consultant SEOs should be aware of?
It’s something that has been going on for several years already, and a lot of people have been focused like recently on the mobile update, and various other updates; all of this falls under a larger umbrella. As SEO, we focus too much on search engine optimization, when we actually should be focusing on user experience marketing. It’s about managing, and exceeding user expectations. Think of it like this, there is a user search results page, and you’re one of the top ten. A user gets through the search results page and sees your result next to the others, what makes them click on yours, what makes your site stand out? That’s the first step, getting them to your website. Now you need to exceed them, as they’ve decide to click on the search results that leads to your website, at that point you need to exceed expectations. The user had an idea of what they might get when they click there, they thought you might have the answer to what they’re looking for. That’s awesome, that’s great, but now you need to keep them there. Now you need to ensure that they’re satisfied, that their happy, You need to exceed user expectations. A part of that comes to SEO, that’s where management comes in, to make sure it’s crawlable and that Google and other search engines understand your website, but the second part is to make your site attractive. Making the site work, if apart of your site involved communications, that actually needs to work. Because if that doesn’t work, they’ll go back to someone else or recommend another site. It’s about meeting, and exceeding user expectations. Seo is not just SEO anymore, it’s now user experience marketing that includes seo, but also a whole bunch of other things.
In your niche or sector, what’s the most annoying SEO misconception? Please feel free to set things straight!
I kind of have two. This is based on my personal Google experience, while working for the company for about 7 years. Number one. People still believe even to this day, that if they pay for Google Ad words, they are entitled to rankings, that is absolutely not the case. Stop thinking it. The second thing is, based on paranoia, now I’m all in favour of paranoia to be honest that’s to a healthy atmosphere and society, so I’m happy if some people are. From that perspective it’s fine, but some people can go over board. When we’re talking about this, a whole of SEO’s and blackhat’s I know, they’re scared out of their wits that Google is reading their Gmail accounts, accessing their Google drives, documents, and trying to figure out what else they’re doing in spam. I can tell you this, in my opinion and based on my personal experience, I have never ever seen that happen, and I don’t think they will ever ever do this. There are too many privacy issues involved that would ever make them do this. Second of all, they don’t care as much as an individual, they are about what the user is seeing. From that perspective, it comes back to user experience marketing. If you’re a spammer, or a black hat,and you’re heavily spamming, Google cares about taking care of the spam. They don’t care about you necessity, they’re not going to read your gmail or your google drive documents to see which other spam initiatives you have.
Current favorite SEO tool or platform? Or can you give us the inside track on any sexy SEO related platforms, tools or developments coming soon?
My business partner, Kaspar Szymanski and I, have been working very closely with a client of ours, who is actually at the moment in the process of releasing a tool, called Power Drill, avialabe at powerdrill.com – and it’s kind of like a swiss army knife, like a multi-tool that allows you to manipate data and review websites. It’s literally both aspects. It’s really awesome, I really love it, so that’s one thing I can recommend once it gets released. You can sign up for the pre launch now.