Principal - Digital Heretix
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You might know him as Cygnus, or @CygnusSEO, but IRL he’s Joe Sinkwitz, a man that built an empire on the back of payday lead gen over an 11 year period. Today Joe is watching how search evolves as principal of ORM/SEO agency Digital Heretix and influencing the masses as CEO of influencer marketing SaaS Intellifluence.com.
Why see me? Well, I dress up as a penguin sometimes on stage and who isn’t entertained by that?
Please introduce yourself and tell us, why UnGagged?
My name is Joe Sinkwiz. I’m the Chief of revenue for CopyPress, which is a content marketing firm. I’m also the Principal for a small agency called Digital heretix, which is a little bit more on the darker side of things, specialising in online reputation management. Why see me? Well, I dress up as a penguin sometimes on stage and who isn’t entertained by that?
What are your top tips and priority actions for overcoming issues associated with any big Google algorithm roll outs?
Well I think that the first thing that I do as a tip is to start collecting as much data as possible. It’s the only way you can really apply what you’re learning rationally to any sort of update. Making a kneejerk reactions generally are the wrong decision, so get the data, figure out what is actually happening, get your competitor’s data, and from there devise a plan. Almost always it’s going to come down to some function or form of links, engagement, or content on the site, and from there keep it simple and don’t get overly complicated with what you think is going on.
How can businesses with smaller budgets and resources best respond to big updates?
Coming at it from a small business perspective, almost everyone has Google Analytics, that’s a quick and easy way to get some data. From there, I like to use SpyFu, in order to get a ridiculous amount of competitive data for where opportunities might exist, whether you’re overcoming a penalty or you’re looking for something to do in the future. I like to use Ahrefs, that’s my go to tool for links because it’s simple and they keep innovating. I love using Searchmetrics, which allows you to look at both mobile and desktop type rankings simultaneously. Between those small tools, a small business can figure out quite a bit fairly quickly.
Are you aware of any gamechanger developments on the horizon that in-house or consultant SEOs should be aware of?
I think the biggest thing on the horizon, is that there is always something on the horizon It almost doesn’t matter. If you look at the trends over time, they’ve attacked content as content firms, they’ve attacked links as low quality inks, they’ve attacked site sizing and site speed if you want to look at that in regards to mobile. I think it’s going to be a continuation of these things. I see the mobile signals that they’re starting to push more towards now, getting folded into the general algorithm, s if you don’t have a good mobile experience, I almost expect a bad desktop ranking in the future. So that would be something I’d be concerned with.
Do you see Twitter feeding into Algorithm updates?
What’s interesting is that I had spoken with Twitter a while back, trying to implore them to put it back into Google since it would help them with their overall search traffic. What is going to be interesting, is that it’s possible for you to index a search query on Twitter. So for black hats, there’s a new opportunity, for white hats, it’s another space they could potentially won to help bolster their brand.
In your niche sector, what’s the most annoying SEO misconception? Please feel free to set things straight!
Misconceptions are everywhere, right? I have two. On the content side of things, the misconception is that you create a piece of content and it’ll just kind of work. It is not true. It a part of an overall campaign, so nothing can exist in a vacuum, there has to be promotional elements, there has to be a reason behind why you are creating it in the first place. On the ORM side of things, the misconception is that it’s easy. That you can just point a lot of links and you can make bad stuff go away. It’s far more nuanced than that.
Current favourite SEO tool or platform? Or can you give us the inside track of any sexy SEO related platforms, tools or developments coming soon?
Sure, from some of my consulting clients I’m looking at OnPage.org right now; to see if I can use that to help fix the myraid of on page issues that they have for large clients.
Why UnGagged loves them:
Joe Sinkwitz has previously dressed up as both a penguin and a tin of SPAM, so what on earth will Joe be wearing when he takes to the stage in November? But don’t be fooled by Joe’s sense of humour; rarely do speakers scare the shit out of the audience but Joe does it with jaw-dropping ease, clearly identifying what could go very wrong if the bad guys get to your digital properties. There are few people out there who are as bold as Joe who will happily share stories and information on the darkest regions of the net. If you value your future online, seeing Joe is an essential part of your knowledge curve.
This year Joe will be examining how influencer networks are being used as a proxy for purchasing blog posts.