TopHatRank Blogger SEO SEO Resources for Blogger and Publishers A Year In Review; Recap SEO For Bloggers Episode #12

A Year In Review; Recap SEO For Bloggers Episode #12

Recap, Q&A, + All the Resources

During our first annual SEO For Bloggers – Year In Review episode, the panel covered the top publisher optimization tips discussed over the past year. If you haven’t seen a single SEO For Publishers episode yet, or want the perfect recap of a year’s worth of optimization tips this recap is for you!

Use these buttons to jump to sections, and don’t forget the “back to top” button (bottom right) for easy navigation:

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Q&A With The Panelists

These are each of the questions that were asked during the Q&A portion of the webinar. The answers are provided by the panelists. Have a question about this episode you'd like addressed? Reach out to!

Question 1

I have a question regarding the Yoast FAQ block. I understand that we should avoid using our keywords in H2 headings. However, I’m a little unclear about how to address keywords in the Yoast questions, which I believe are H3s. Is it OK to use the keywords there? It’s my understanding that we’re using that schema to help Google answer those common FAQs, so wouldn’t it make sense to use the keywords there?

Of course, you can. Just don’t feel the need to put the keyword in every question.


Question 2

Are you supposed to track the post ranking of just a main keyword or all the combinations and permutations of that long tail keyword as well?

The average post will rank for dozens if not HUNDREDS of keywords. It’s going to be hard to track them all. But if you go into Search Console, click on the post, then click on “Queries” Google will show you all the keywords ranking for that post, and the traffic for most of them. That way you can refine which keywords to track more closely.


Question 3

Should I worry about web stories causing my mobile speed page experience score to go down in GSC?

Absolutely. Web Stories are like any other page on your site. They could be counted as negatives if you don’t try to optimize them. You can do that by compressing all videos and images you plan to use before you upload them.


Question 4

Is there a way to reduce my bounce rate?

I have no issues with CLS and 100% of my pages have good core web vitals but I have 87% bounce rate (90%+ of my traffic is organic search). I don’t know how to optimize for a lower bounce rate even understanding sometimes a “bounce” can be good because the query is answered I feel like this is still really high

That’s actually very common for the food and lifestyle niche. If it really bothers you, consider implementing what is called “Adjusted Bounce Rate” which is a more accurate view of how users are navigating your content. Do a search on that and you’ll find plenty of tutorials to implement.


Question 5

Random question about posts where you’re ranking for accurate keywords, but you are also ranking for keywords that don’t exactly fit. For example, let’s say I have a 10 week workout plan that’s also ranking for “9 week workout plan” — is it worth creating a new post specifically for “9 week workout plan”, knowing I’m already ranking with the 10 week plan? (I hope this makes sense!)

It is not. That would in most cases dilute topical coverage and provide little benefit in the long term. It could also cause content cannibalization issues if most of that content contains similar elements


Question 6

How to improve CLS. I tried all the suggestions, no picture,s etc. Good hosting (bigscoots)but it still stays too high. What can I do more?

Hire help. Contact any of us privately for referrals.


Question 7

Casey was answering a question this week on FB about posts with Create recipes showing both Article and Recipe schema rather than an overall nested Recipe schema like WPRM and said that it wasn’t necessarily a big worry, but I’d like to know if there is any SEO advantage to having that single nested schema or other benefit for SERP visibility? (I.e. Is it worth the ROI to convert recipes to WPRM?)

The benefits of WPRM over Create are vast. WPRM is head and shoulders above any other recipe plugin in the niche. It has more features, more customizations, better support, and is more SEO-friendly. Also, it doesn’t create the ridiculous amount of not needed thumbnail files that Create does. The “article vs recipe” schema issue is just one of MANY reasons why we don’t recommend Create over WPRM.


Question 8

Since my keyword is in my title, do I need to repeat it in the meta description/first sentence of my post?

Absolutely. That’s just simple SEO optimization. Don’t keyword stuff but there is nothing wrong with repeating your focus keyword in the META Description and towards the top of your content. That’s just smart marketing


Question 9

So embarrassed but what about for those of us on Shopify? Thanks

Shopify is a quality cart. But you certainly should not be using it for an entire site. It’s too limiting. You’d do better to have a WordPress site and then just use Shopify for your cart.


Question 10

Is managed hosting important even when you start out with just a couple of thousand page views?

It is not. But understand the SOONER you can invest in better hosting (managed hosting) the faster and easier you will build traffic.


Question 11

My recipes/posts are posting up on the Google search results but not on the recipe rich carousel. I did the rich results test on Google and my page is eligible for rich results. Am I missing anything or do something wrong?

Not enough info. Sorry. But the recipe carousel uses different algorithms. Are you using a fully schema-supported plugin? Does your page load fast and is fully crawlable by Google? Are you sure you are not listed but just pages back? Especially for competitive queries, it can be very hard to “break onto the first page” of carousel results.


Question 12

If I’m getting backlinks consistently organically, do I still need to “try” to get backlinks from roundups or other sources? Or is waiting for backlinks organically okay?

That’s up to you. How do you match-up with your competition? Are you finding it harder to compete against larger sites? Are you able to rank for your targeted keywords? Competition in your niche will only increase. It’s going to become harder, not easer, to complete on just content alone.


Question 13

What do you do about scraper sites that use your content? Is that a “good” or “bad” backlink?

Scrapers tend to be “bad links.” That being said, Google is great at ignoring those for you. You should as well.


Question 14

I understand we shouldn’t copy and paste the same information. like recipe tips and instructions, from the body of the post into the recipe card. What information should be added in the post vs. in the recipe card so I don’t just duplicate?

That’s not entirely accurate. It’s totally OKAY to have duplicate information in your post and recipe card. The concept of duplicate content is a “between pages concept.” It’s seldom going to harm the average blogger if you take your best tips/tricks from your post and paste them under “notes.” On the contrary, we have literally hundreds of instances of high-ranking queries doing just this.


Question 15

WPRM roundup has check out the recipe button for each link. Is that ok? I thought we should give the recipe name or meaning full text to links.

You’re absolutely right — for accessibility, it’s much better for the link text to describe where the visitor will be taken (such as the recipe name). If someone is using a screen-reader and hears “Check out this recipe” repeatedly, it will be very hard to keep track of which recipe they’ll get to on each link.

You can fix this by editing the Roundup Template with the WPRM Template Editor, and making the recipe title a link to the recipe, and removing the default “Check out this recipe” button.

We’ve also reached out to Brecht to see if he can improve the template in a future version of the plugin.


Question 16

But is it true that if we use SQ density and it’s less than 2% for a word or phrase of words…we are ok?

That’s just a guide. What we don’t agree with is Yoast’s recommendation that you can stay “around 3%” which we believe is WAY too high. Usually, 1.2 to 1.7% is just fine. But honestly, “it depends” on the query and what you see in the SERPs.


Question 17

How important is keysearch’s target difficulty when it comes to choosing keywords to target? Is there a score over what they tell you to aim for in terms of keyword difficulty that you still have a chance to rank for if the recipe answers the query well?

As with any tool, the answer is “it depends.” The Keysearch target difficulty score is more reliable than most but in the end it’s just a “guess”. Sometimes you can aim above the score and rank easily, other times not so much. Use it as a guide and consider taking the “Cooking With Keywords” course from Aleka Shunk that covers the tool and a repeatable process with Keysearch that is very effective for most bloggers.


Question 18

When I update images using the ‘Enable Media Replace’ plugin, I sometimes change the filenames, and I make sure the image is set to full-size in the post. Later when I check for broken links, I see some of those images shown as broken for a specific size, such as “…image-name-150×150.jpg” Am I supposed to be regenerating the images somehow each time update images names?

When you upload a new image to WordPress, it will automatically generate all the thumbnails that are (currently) configured for your theme and plugins. It sounds like maybe your theme is using 150×150 thumbnails of the old images somewhere else (not just inside the posts themselves), and maybe your site is no longer generating a 150×150 thumbnail. You will need to track down where and why those 150×150 image references are not getting replaced.


Question 19

I’ve heard that there should be a good bit of text (small paragraph) at the top of a post. Is that misinformation?

Definitely NOT misinformation. Usually, starting your posts with actual indexable content “above-the-fold” before any featured image is a good idea. And it’s certainly something we recommend


Question 20

How can one increase US traffic among those who blog about Asian food especially?

Have great content. Americans like Asian food as well. I have plenty of Asian bloggers ranking at the top of Google and the majority of the traffic is from the US. Focus on the bottom-line quality of your recipes, nothing more.


Question 21

Are there any other suggestions for getting into Google Discover? It has happened to us a few times, and we don’t know why.

Focus on high-quality content. Make sure you have multiple high-quality images that are a minimum of 1200px in width. And use high-quality titles. Full information is located here:


Question 22

How important is it to change out photos from years ago?

If the photos are terrible, very important.


Question 23

Is it ok to use landscape pics on a food blog provided it is 1200 pixels wide?

Yes, that’s fine — especially if the composition calls for it. Just keep in mind most people will be viewing that picture on a phone, so it may be pretty small. For the Featured Image on the post & recipe card, though, we still recommend 1200×1200 square; but this does not have to embedded in the post itself.


Question 24

Should the featured image that is placed in post settings (in the sidebar section) be a different size, too so it’s the right size for Google search results (I’ve been doing 1200 x 630)

Sidebar images are not used for Google search results.


Question 25

Can you re-index and no-index post if you think you could rank for it at a later date?

Absolutely. But the longer you tend to NOINDEX a post, the longer it may take Google to again “trust” the post once you republish it.


Question 26

How do we delete 404 pages? I looked through crawl stats and all these pictures I deleted came up as crawled but not found/404 pages. Is it ok to leave these alone or is there a way to get rid of these pages?

You don’t delete 404s. You unlink them from other pages on your site if they exist.


Question 27

Is it ok to update a post’s content then add updated photos later? I am working on updating my photos but that process takes SOOO much longer than if I just update super old posts first and then go back a few months later and add the new photos.

It’s better to make each post PERFECT, then move on to the next post. Better to hit Google with all your improvements at the same time rather than doing things in “stages” and diluting the possible ranking signals. If that means you publish less content, you publish less content. It’s all about individual bottom-line quality, not overall quantity of posts.


Question 28

To satisfy user’s query intent, should we move our recipe cards to the top or just have a “jump to” button? I know Casey used to recommend that the recipe card was the last thing on the page. Has that recommendation changed?

That advice has not changed. You would think “hey, let’s move the card to the top of the post and users will love that.” Do you know what happens? You TANK all your ad income. You also have users who print out the card and do not check-out the rest of the post. This is a poor signal to Google since there is no page scrolling. It’s definitely not something I recommend.


Question 29

I submitted a video sitemap for my food blog several months ago. Since doing so, I’ve seen a decrease in click through rate. My rank hasn’t shifted, just the CTR. I suspect it’s because of the preview on mobile now shows part of my video – which is usually a clip of someone standing in the kitchen cooking, instead of one of the “hero” shots of the food. Our food photos are great, so the photos were driving LOTS of clicks. I’m not sure if I should remove the video sitemap (submitted thorugh yoast video) or do something else to fix the way results are displaying on mobile.

We’ve seen this exact situation on client sites. We removed sitemap so we could get Google to show the thumbnail and not the video and traffic went up! Take that as you will.


Question 30

How long does to take for Google to Index a recipe? what can I do if I find that days after a blog post I find that it is not yet indexed?

The fastest ways to index a post are to use the URL Inspector Tool in Google Search Console, or share it to Facebook or Twitter. That usually does it pretty quickly.


Question 31

If you are just starting out and not seeing a ton of search traffic, what should be the primary focus?

Being patient and educating yourself by reviewing EVERY one of the “SEO for Publishers” webinars in this series.


Question 32

Question about keywords – what search volume do you recommend we target for a blog that’s in their first or second year?

I would say, and this is a very general recommendation, focusing in on keywords with low competition and around 1500 searches a month at the MAX would be a good guide. We recommend “Keysearch” as the main keyword tool for new and experience bloggers these days. And consider taking the “Cooking With Keywords” course from Aleka Shunk that covers Keysearch in Detail.


Question 33

When it comes to keyword selection and accurately matching intent, would you recommend having the word “recipe” included in your focus keyphrase for any recipe post, even knowing it’s lower volume than the recipe’s name on its own without the word “recipe” included?

I do not. Nor do I see this making a difference much at all these days. Most users don’t include “recipe” when searching for the keyword so limiting this needlessly doesn’t help you much.


Question 34

To segue on the 10-week workout plan question. I’m assuming it’s different for recipes. For example, if I rank for rhubarb pie, I should still do a strawberry-rhubarb pie recipe because there are other searches for that pie, correct?

Actually, no. It’s a myth that just because you “rank well’ for a rhubarb pie that you will also rank well for “strawberry-rhubarb pie” which, is actually a completely different keyword. If you have a great recipe for “strawberry-rhubarb pie” then great. But what you also don’t want to do is start adding multiple “closely related recipes” on your site needlessly. That actually could CANNIBALIZE existing recipes and dilute your ranking potential, not increase it.


Question 35

What is the most information that should be above the fold? How much text? A photo? ect…

As always, think of your users first — view a post on an actual phone and look at what’s currently above the fold. Is it appealing and enticing to the visitor? Does it pull them in strongly enough so they’ll scroll down, instead of hitting the back button?

This can also impact some site speed metrics, especially Largest Contentful Paint. For that reason, it’s typically helpful to have enough text before your first image, so the image itself isn’t in the viewport initially – because images typically take longer to load. If you run a post through Google PageSpeed Insights, in the “Diagnostics” section, it will tell you what it determined to be the largest element above the fold.


Question 36

One more question lol if we’re answering all these secondary queries (how to store, substitutions, etc) should we put some of these into headers or just into a FAQ? I struggle deciding what should have whole paragraphs/headers for versus just putting into a FAQ

Do what’s best for your readers. If it’s truly a Frequently Asked Question about the recipe, a FAQ makes sense.


Question 37

What are ways to guesstimate a keyword gets a lot of traffic other than using a keyword research tool?

You could use Google Trends which will provide rough estimates. But for the most part, investing in a “keyword research tool” for example the “Keywords Everywhere” browser add-on or, just using the data in Search Console, is just smart SEO. This should part of your regular process for EVERY blog post and recipe you put together.


Question 38

I export all my images from Lightroom at 1200px wide. However, when I add them to my blog, it doesn’t look right at 1200 wide. WordPress sizes it at 683 x 1024(that is “full size”). Am I doing something wrong ??! 😂Should I change it to 1200 in WordPress?

You may be confusing the full size with the large size? (The Large size is one of the built-in thumbnail sizes, which can be configured in Settings > Media.) Most themes will correctly resize a full-size image to fit in your post content width. For example, if your post content width is 683px wide (on desktop) then the 1200px wide image will actually be scaled down, so you’re “squeezing” more pixels into that space. (This is how/why “retina” or 4K displays look better.) But if things “don’t look right” then your theme may be doing something else; in this case, we recommend having an expert take a look at the specifics.


Question 39

Are there any recommended plug-ins for assessing where users spend time on each page? I’ve heard Hotjar can slow down a site…

Hotjar should not cause a significant speed issue. .. but you may also want to check out Microsoft Clarity? This is a free tool that’s similar to Hotjar.


Question 40

From listening to a previous webinar I know I incorrectly set up my WordPress categories. I created a main parent category of “vegan gluten-free recipes” and then made all my other categories sub-categories. How do I correct this mistake? If I delete the parent category “vegan gluten-free recipes” will that correct the issue and make all the subcategories, parents. I do have Yoast and am in the process of creating optimized categories pages and adding those to my homepage. Thank You!

If you have Yoast, upgrade to Yoast Premium to enable the built-in Redirect Manager. That way, if you do delete the Main Parent Category Yoast will HELP YOU by redirecting categories as needed internally if you ” break things.” Clearly, what you have described is not “ideal” but it also WILL NOT KILL YOU if you don’t add unnecessary sub-categories to your existing format. When we say “flat architecture structure” that doesn’t necessarily mean all one level. It just means, don’t push the content needlessly deep sitewide. Many many sites with your structure are doing fine. Just don’t exacerbate the problem by adding needless categories unless you have the content to support those categories.


Question 41

Can a round-up post and category compete against each other for keywords? Ex: Vegetarian Appetizers

It’s possible for sure. But Google will and does rank multiple pages on a site for a query. You’ll have to determine if the competition is so strong that considering consolidating one to the other is needed in the situation.


Question 42

If I use the same photo in two different posts, is that considered duplicate content? For example a photo of the same salad dressing ingredients for two different salad posts.

That’s just fine.


Resources & Links

Below are links to all tools, articles, and other resources mentioned in this webinar:

  1.  BigScoots – Fully managed hosting solution.
  2. Feast Plugin – WordPress themes designed for bloggers. 
  3. Core Web Vitals Explained  – Article focusing on what food bloggers need to know about user experience and Google.
  4. All Things Links Recap – Hear our panelists discuss everything links, including tips on link building, gaining backlinks, external links, internal links, proper link structure, and more.
  5. Facebook groups for bloggers to help gain links and do collaborations together:
      1. Round-up Palooza
      2. Blogger Roundups
      3. Recipe Round-up
      4. Bloggers Sharing Links for Roundups
      5. Blogger Roundup Requests
      6. Best Ever Food Roundups
      7. Blog Post Roundup Database
      8. Bloggers Sharing Links for Roundups
      9. Meal Prep Recipes
  6. Image Optimization Recap – Discover how to properly optimize your blog images and the overall best practices for including images into your content.
  7. Optimizing Your Content Recap – Learn how you can properly optimize, convert visitors and make money from your content.
  8. Eat Blog Talk “SEO Priorities for 2021”– SEO-related topics bloggers should keep at the forefront of their minds in 2021.
  9. Food Blogger Pro Content Auditing Podcast – Check out how you can update old content, build authority, and understand the impact of your optimizations.
  10. MediaVine Core Web Vitals Page Exerience Article – See how you can start optimzing your content for Core Web Vitals.
  11. Tastemaker Conference 2022– Premier food blogger conference for influencers and content creators.


Ashley Segura (00:00:03):
And we’re officially live.

Andrew Wilder (00:00:05):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:00:06):

Casey Markee (00:00:07):

Ashley Segura (00:00:08):
Woo-hoo! Welcome, everybody.

Casey Markee (00:00:11):
Best wishes from the surface of the sun. Good times.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:00:17):
Oh, yeah. Look at that. Look at these numbers.

Ashley Segura (00:00:18):
Hello, hello.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:00:18):
74, 84. Wow.

Ashley Segura (00:00:21):
Everybody’s jumping in.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:00:23):

Casey Markee (00:00:24):
Oh, snap. Look at all that.

Ashley Segura (00:00:24):
I guess people might want prizes or something.

Casey Markee (00:00:25):
Look at all that.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:00:27):

Casey Markee (00:00:28):
[crosstalk 00:00:28]. Look at those participants.

Andrew Wilder (00:00:30):

Casey Markee (00:00:32):
Wow. Good numbers.

Ashley Segura (00:00:33):
While we’re waiting for everybody to join, if you want to go into the chat and let us know where you’re tuning in from. Oh, we’ve already got-

Casey Markee (00:00:40):
Amy Beck from Orange County, Amy. Good to see you again, Amy.

Andrew Wilder (00:00:43):
Hey, Amy.

Casey Markee (00:00:45):
Yeah. Look at all these. Tammy, you get on from Boston. Oh, Shawn. I see Shawn from Portland. Yeah, we’ve got a great group today.

Ashley Segura (00:00:53):
There is that [crosstalk 00:00:54].

Casey Markee (00:00:54):
Let us know the temperature where you’re located, because we have a heat wave going on in Southern California. Not great for those of us who are not used to 100-plus degree weather. Good times. We’re having some issues.

Andrew Wilder (00:01:07):
Casey, it’s 85 here in Santa Monica, and I’m losing my mind.

Casey Markee (00:01:09):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:01:09):
Casey and I are not built for this kind of weather.

Casey Markee (00:01:12):
We’re built for the Arctic, okay?

Arsen Rabinovich (00:01:17):
Right, right.

Casey Markee (00:01:17):
That’s fine.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:01:17):
All this handsome starts melting away, and nobody’s happy.

Casey Markee (00:01:21):
Oh my gosh. Clinton is like, “It’s 115 today in Phoenix.” No, thank you.

Ashley Segura (00:01:24):
No, no.

Casey Markee (00:01:26):
No, thank you.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:01:26):
Yeah, but that’s your fault for living there. Nobody’s making you stay there.

Ashley Segura (00:01:33):
You should be making cookies outside.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:01:35):

Ashley Segura (00:01:36):
Which I’ve seen.

Casey Markee (00:01:36):
It was crazy.

Ashley Segura (00:01:37):
It works.

Casey Markee (00:01:37):
It got to 101 degrees here in San Diego County.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:01:41):

Andrew Wilder (00:01:41):

Casey Markee (00:01:42):
No. No. No, absolutely not. No. Not a fan.

Ashley Segura (00:01:45):
That’s not okay. That’s not okay.

Casey Markee (00:01:47):
Not a fan.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:01:48):
Nope, nope, nope.

Casey Markee (00:01:49):
No. Remember that Simpsons episode where they open their refrigerator and they just have a camp-out with their refrigerator open? Yeah, that was basically us yesterday.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:02:00):
You just open the refrigerator and just lean into it.

Casey Markee (00:02:04):
I just put a tent over it, over the freezer and refrigerator unit. Good times. Not good.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:02:09):
Does the new place have a split AC system?

Casey Markee (00:02:12):
Three ACs.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:02:13):

Casey Markee (00:02:15):
Three. For those of you who are just joining us on the call, this is the last live broadcast we’ll be doing from the current Markee mansion. We bought a house. It’s a little bit of an upgrade. Everything in California is expensive. This is the last shot. We’re moving in two weeks here, so we’re going to be moving pretty close, and this’ll be a completely different background. It’ll probably just be all white. Who knows? We’ll see what goes on.

Ashley Segura (00:02:47):
There’s nothing wrong with an all-white background.

Casey Markee (00:02:49):
Just like Ashley. Just like Ashley here. No trophies. It’s going to take a while to set everything up. Who knows? Now, I will tell you ladies and everyone on the call here, you’re going to get a kick out of this. My wife just immediately went to Jerome’s and bought $10,000 in furniture. Didn’t tell me. Just said, “You know what? I think we need new furniture.” Totally went and bought completely… Said, “We got a bigger house. We have to fill it.” And then she said-

Arsen Rabinovich (00:03:11):
[crosstalk 00:03:11] like, “Yeah, girl.”

Casey Markee (00:03:13):
… “Yeah, no problem.” And then she came down and asked me, “Hey, do you want a new desk?” And I’m like, “No, I like my desk. I like my furniture. It’s fine.” “Oh. I already bought you a new desk.” I’m like, “Fantastic.” Good time. But again, happy wife, happy life.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:03:26):
Is it a fancy desk at least? Is it a standup desk?

Casey Markee (00:03:29):
Oh, absolutely not, because then I’d have to stand up, so no. I’m not a fan of that. Maybe I’ll get-

Andrew Wilder (00:03:34):
We should all chip in and get you a treadmill desk.

Casey Markee (00:03:38):
Oh, yeah. That’s definitely what I do not need.

Ashley Segura (00:03:39):
I’ve always wanted one of those. I want them so badly.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:03:41):
Yeah, I’ll take one.

Casey Markee (00:03:42):
I’m happy to get you one, and then I can throw food at you.

Ashley Segura (00:03:46):
And the bicycle ones. Arsen, you can get the bicycle ones where you cycle at your desk, and you’ll be typing like this.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:03:50):

Casey Markee (00:03:50):
Yeah, it was a good time. It was a good time. We’ll see how it goes. We celebrate 21 years tomorrow, so if she wants to consider that furniture her anniversary gift. Otherwise, for 21 years, we just found this out, folks, the anniversary gift is nickel. I don’t think I want to give her a bag of nickels. I think we’ll just call it even on the furniture and go from there. We’ll see how that goes.

Ashley Segura (00:04:15):
Everyone benefits from the furniture. She’ll like it.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:04:18):
She’s going to beat you up. You know that, right?

Casey Markee (00:04:20):
She’s going to watch this on replay.

Andrew Wilder (00:04:22):
I was going to say, he’s safe. She’s never going to watch this. There’s no way.

Casey Markee (00:04:27):
She’s like, “Casey who? What do you do for a living?”

Ashley Segura (00:04:28):
She’ll watch the first five minutes. This important part.

Casey Markee (00:04:28):
Definitely. That’s it.

Ashley Segura (00:04:34):
Yeah. We’re five minutes in. There’re still some people rolling in, but we have a ton to cover today, so we’re going to get started. Welcome, everybody, to our 12th episode of SEO for Publishers. We’ve officially been doing this thing for a year now. Every month, with everyone’s favorite panelists, Casey Markee, Arsen Rabinovich, and Andrew Wilder.

Ashley Segura (00:04:55):
But of course, today’s going to be extra special. We have a lot of prizes to give away. Everyone who registered is getting a free 30-day trial of SEMrush Pro, which I’ll be emailing everybody the details. You’ll get a unique code, and then you’ll be able to log in to SEMrush and get a trial of their pro feature. We’re also giving away Casey face pillows.

Casey Markee (00:05:15):
Oh my goodness.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:05:22):
Oh, nice. Nice.

Casey Markee (00:05:22):
Okay, this is the first time I’ve actually seen this. Wow.

Ashley Segura (00:05:25):
What do we think?

Casey Markee (00:05:27):
I can tell you right now, wow. This is crazy.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:05:30):
Can I buy one? Can I just buy one?

Casey Markee (00:05:31):
I just want to apologize-

Ashley Segura (00:05:32):
Not for sale.

Casey Markee (00:05:33):
… to anyone who wins the Casey pillow. I don’t know if you want to… I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there who would love to do crazy things to that pillow.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:05:40):
Oh, it’s two-sided.

Casey Markee (00:05:42):
Too excited.

Ashley Segura (00:05:42):

Casey Markee (00:05:42):
Look at this.

Andrew Wilder (00:05:44):
Oh, he’s two-faced.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:05:44):
Two Caseys.

Casey Markee (00:05:47):
Oh my gosh.

Ashley Segura (00:05:49):
And it’s very soft. It’s a microfiber, so it’s a very soft texture.

Casey Markee (00:05:52):
It is? [crosstalk 00:05:52].

Arsen Rabinovich (00:06:00):
I can wipe my glasses with it.

Casey Markee (00:06:01):
Wow. [crosstalk 00:06:01] a lot of those.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:06:01):
Rub our faces together.

Ashley Segura (00:06:01):
Yes. Yes.

Casey Markee (00:06:01):
My wife, not enthused about that. Trust me. I said, “Hey, Ashley and Arsen decided to order a couple face pillows.” Wife did not see the allure.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:06:12):
Let’s send her a few.

Casey Markee (00:06:13):
Want to pass that along. She didn’t see the allure of that. Just going to say.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:06:16):
You know what? For our two-year anniversary, we need to have a full-size, life-size Casey cutout.

Casey Markee (00:06:22):
Oh my gosh. Do they make cardboard that wide? Do they make cardboard that way?

Arsen Rabinovich (00:06:26):
We will make it. I will invest money into this.

Casey Markee (00:06:29):
All right.

Ashley Segura (00:06:31):
I’ll put a note.

Casey Markee (00:06:31):

Ashley Segura (00:06:31):
But don’t worry. That’s not where the prizes end. We’re also giving away Amazon gift cards. We’re giving away a ticket to Tastemaker Conference, which takes place March 3rd and 4th in Chicago. It’s a two-day conference.

Casey Markee (00:06:43):
It’s going to be awesome.

Ashley Segura (00:06:44):
The registration also includes… By registering for that one, it also includes a ticket to the September virtual Tastemaker that you can do from your home. And you’ll get a media badge to the Inspired Home Show in Chicago, which takes place right after Tastemakers on March 5th through 8th. Tickets are $579, and one lucky winner will get all of those. There’s also six months of hosting on the BigScoots starter plan, and of course, a free migration, and one free year of the Feast Plugin.

Ashley Segura (00:07:13):
I’m going to copy over a handy-dandy link that SEMrush also gave us of a bunch of content resources that they wanted to share with you all. That will take me a second, because the copy-paste isn’t working, but that’ll get over there. And I’ll also share over Tastemaker’s link if you’re interested in their virtual, and I’ll share more details afterwards. We’re super excited to give out all these prizes to you guys. To be able to have done a year’s worth of episode and have all of you guys supporting and tuning in and registering month to month, we definitely appreciate it.

Ashley Segura (00:07:48):
The way we’re going to give these prizes out is, every time one of these lovely panelists say, “It depends,” will be a little buzzer, and someone will get a prize. We have a random prize draw or thing that will automatically input all of you guys and say who wins the prize.

Ashley Segura (00:08:09):
Aside from that, at the very end, we’re going to have Q&A like normal, and then after Q&A is the grand prize pack to one lucky attendee. The grand prize is a one-hour Skype consultation with Casey, a Casey face pillow, and an Amazon gift card, so definitely the best of the best things.

Casey Markee (00:08:27):
Wow. I’m not sure that that face pillow is a grand prize, but it will be memorable, to say the least. Good times.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:08:34):
I so want one right now. I’ll take it on airplanes with me when I travel to [inaudible 00:08:40] conferences.

Casey Markee (00:08:41):
You know what? That’s fine. Film it. We’re going to start a site and see where the face pillow travels. It’s like that velocity travel gnome. Remember the Travelocity travel gnome?

Arsen Rabinovich (00:08:50):
Right, right, right, right, right.

Casey Markee (00:08:51):
Only Casey’s head.

Ashley Segura (00:08:52):
Oh, yeah.

Casey Markee (00:08:53):
Only Casey’s head. You got to take a photo all over the world as you go into the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the like. Yeah. Genius.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:08:59):
Love it.

Casey Markee (00:09:00):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:09:00):
Love it.

Casey Markee (00:09:01):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:09:02):
We will make this happen.

Ashley Segura (00:09:04):
As far as the agenda, today, we’re going to be going over the most commonly asked questions over the past year and dive even deeper into them. We’ve covered a lot of topics over the past year, but we’re going to be jumping from topic to topic, covering as many publisher optimization tips as we can. But definitely, if you have a question that we’re not addressing, put it into the Q&A. As always, a week from now, we’ll be publishing the recap, and the recap will have all the answers to the Q&A, whether we were able to get to them live or not. And they’ll also have the transcripts, the replay of this, and whatnot. But if you want a chance to get the grand prize, you do have to stick around for the whole thing, of course. Okay.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:09:43):
That’s how we get you.

Ashley Segura (00:09:45):
Yes. We get you to stay. Definitely stay. “Do we have to be on the call still to win?”

Casey Markee (00:09:49):
Do you want to come to see the pillow?

Ashley Segura (00:09:51):
“I have to leave early.”

Tifany (00:09:52):
We’re turning into a Flat Stanley, by the way.

Casey Markee (00:09:55):
Hey, my wife just walked in. You want to show her the pillow, Ash? Come on. Over here.

Tifany (00:09:58):
We’re turning it into Flat Stanley.

Casey Markee (00:10:00):
She just got done riding equestrian today, so let’s see what we got here. There he is.

Tifany (00:10:03):
It’s going to be a Flat Stanley game.

Casey Markee (00:10:05):
Oh my gosh. Not good.

Tifany (00:10:06):
We’re going to take it and make it a Flat Stanley.

Casey Markee (00:10:08):
No, don’t. They can hear you.

Tifany (00:10:09):
It needs to be on a stick, though. Can they hear me? Can they hear me?

Arsen Rabinovich (00:10:13):
We can hear you. We can hear you.

Casey Markee (00:10:13):
Can you hear me now?

Ashley Segura (00:10:14):
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Casey Markee (00:10:14):
Can you hear me now? Yeah. Very funny. We’re going to do a whole site.

Tifany (00:10:18):
By the way, I just heard-

Casey Markee (00:10:19):
We’re going to do a whole site.

Tifany (00:10:19):
… everything he said about me, because I was right upstairs, and our house is quiet. I appreciate the $10,000 worth of furniture for our anniversary.

Casey Markee (00:10:27):
Yes. Yeah. That’s what you’re going to get.

Ashley Segura (00:10:27):
There you go.

Casey Markee (00:10:30):
It’s better than nickel. You saw it was nickel, right?

Tifany (00:10:31):
Yeah, that’s way better.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:10:31):
Tifany’s going to beat him later.

Tifany (00:10:34):
Yeah. You know what?

Casey Markee (00:10:34):
Well, it’s Wednesday.

Tifany (00:10:35):
It’s worth it, because I have to keep up with him. I have to put up with him for 21 years.

Casey Markee (00:10:39):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). 21.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:10:39):

Tifany (00:10:40):
I get extra credit for that.

Casey Markee (00:10:42):
It’s dog years for her.

Tifany (00:10:44):
It is.

Casey Markee (00:10:44):
She’s been married for 85 years.

Tifany (00:10:45):
Three. Actually, three.

Casey Markee (00:10:49):
See you later.

Tifany (00:10:49):
Bye, guys.

Ashley Segura (00:10:49):
Bye, Tif.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:10:49):

Tifany (00:10:52):
Arsen, we got to get a ride in before it gets too hot.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:10:55):
Two more weeks, I’m coming down.

Casey Markee (00:11:00):
All right.

Tifany (00:11:01):

Ashley Segura (00:11:01):
All right. All prizes aside, to answer, you do not have to be present for the it-depends prizes, but for the grand prize, you do have to be present in order to win that. If you are the chosen person, if you’re the winner, then you will get an email with the prize details and whatnot. I will chat you privately to make sure and get all of your information and get the prize over to you.

Ashley Segura (00:11:24):
Now, without further ado, let’s get to the questions. Arsen, you’re kicking it off. In the past year, not only was there a lovely pandemic, but there were tons of updates from Google. Literally, my eye just twitched when I said that. Not stressful at all.

Casey Markee (00:11:41):
It’s fine.

Ashley Segura (00:11:44):
Yeah, it’s fine. We’ll talk about the most recent, the June update, later. But for now, can you explain how to tell if your site has been affected by an update or even penalized by Google?

Arsen Rabinovich (00:11:56):
Right, right. You’ll never be penalized, penalized by Google through an update, right? Google never will come around and say, “You suck at SEO, and you don’t deserve to be at the top of page one.” Google will just say, “There’s somebody else who does a better job than you do at answering this query,” and they’re going to move them up, and the byproduct of that is you moving down. If you’re noticing fluctuations, and the things that we look for, especially with our clients at TopHatRank, the first thing we’re looking at is, has your traffic been affected? Traffic and conversions.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:12:33):
Keywords will fluctuate, but keep in mind, your keywords do not correlate to traffic. You can have one or two keywords that are sending majority of the traffic to that one post, but you can have 100 keywords that are sending very little traffic. You can have fluctuation in keywords that are not seeing traffic, or you can have a drop in keywords that are not relevant to you or your site. That’s when Google actually does a good job with the update, and the update does what it’s intended to do. It cleans up all the irrelevant keywords that you used to rank for.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:13:04):
The first thing you want to ask yourself is, “Has my traffic been affected?” If you’re monitoring your keywords and you’re seeing a fluctuation in your keywords, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your traffic will be affected. If your traffic is being affected, for those of you that rely… A lot of you rely on just traffic for monetization, right? But those of you that rely on conversions, like you’re selling a product, “Has this traffic impacted my conversions?” You can have all of these things fluctuate in and out, up and down. You can have traffic fluctuate, but it won’t affect your conversions. It’d be traffic from words that were not very relevant.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:13:41):
Definitely monitoring your analytics, monitoring your Search Console data, is important to know if you’ve been affected by an update. But at the same time, and I talk about this frequently and I post it in our Facebook group, if you start seeing that you’re being affected by an update or during an update, do not go in and start fixing things. Do not go in and start trying to figure out what it is. You want to wait for that rollout to happen completely.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:14:07):
I actually just revisited with a client today, 30 minutes before this webinar, who got in touch with me as soon as the update started rolling out, saying that they have been affected and they’re losing traffic, they’re losing keyword rankings. We just revisited a week later, and it fluctuated back to where it was before. Definitely do not be reactive. Do not go in and start tinkering with things, because later, when you do want to resolve it or you retain me or Casey to help you resolve this, we will have to dig through so much more to figure it out. There’s many more variables you’re going to be adding by tinkering with your posts. But yeah, definitely watching, watching, watching how your site responds.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:14:48):
And then there’s different kinds of updates, too, right? We’ve been talking about this for over a year and even before that, right? These updates, other than Core Web Vitals, but even Core Web Vitals, right? We’ve been saying that speed is important, page experience is important, right? This is all the stuff that all of you should have been ready for. There’s no reason for anybody here on this call to be affected by an update if you’ve been listening, paying attention, and doing what you need to be doing. If you’re doing a good job at matching the query and the intent behind the query, if you’re doing a good job at not over-optimizing, keeping things clean, concise, you will see that you are much more resilient to these updates and don’t fluctuate in and out. But this is nothing new. This is all of the stuff that we’ve been talking about. Don’t over-optimize, keep it concise, prioritize content to match the intent of the query. Those of you who have been doing it are sailing through this update right now.

Casey Markee (00:15:49):
And I would just add to that very quickly, is that these updates take collateral out. The June core update, which started on June the 2nd, did not really complete until the 11th. And now, we have the page experience algorithm, which has gone live as of 12:35 Pacific time yesterday. If that was news-

Arsen Rabinovich (00:16:09):
Two months.

Casey Markee (00:16:09):
… to anyone on the call… Yeah. The page experience algorithm gone live yesterday, so you’re going to have to watch that, and it’s going to take a while to roll out. Now, most people, not going to notice anything from this. Vast majority of people, it’s going to be… As we’ve talked about it previously, this is probably going to be more of a tiebreaker kind of an issue. I wouldn’t expect that you’re going to worry much about it.

Casey Markee (00:16:31):
But for those of you on the call who think you might have some issues with the June core update, and I can you tell you, we’ve got a lot of false positives already, as Arsen and I can tell you, just be patient. Google is going to roll out another update in July, so it’s very possible that, when that rolls out, any effects on you that you thought were happening will be reversed completely. If July rolls out and we’re still seeing issues, or those issues are exaggerated, then at that time, we can start doing a more deeper forensic dive and see what we see specifically.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:17:05):
Right. And I think Mueller said something along the lines of the page experience rollout is going to be two months, right?

Casey Markee (00:17:10):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:17:10):

Casey Markee (00:17:12):
Mid-August, I believe.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:17:14):
Right, right. Hold on to your seats.

Ashley Segura (00:17:19):
Arsen, just to clarify, because you mentioned it a few times, and Keith pointed out. How often should you be checking? Should you be checking daily?

Arsen Rabinovich (00:17:28):
Look. If things are moving around drastically, you’re definitely going to notice it, right? You’re going to notice it in your analytics, you’re going to notice that your… Whichever way you’re looking, right? You’re looking at analytics, you’re looking at your Mediavine reporting, page reviews, right? All of the stuff. If it’s affecting everything, if it’s affecting your traffic, you’re going to see it somewhere, right? I wouldn’t be checking rankings very frequently, because rankings will go up and down. I’ve been watching sites where, on a daily basis, it was just like, “It’s moving up, it’s moving down. It’s moving up, it’s moving down.” You’re going to lose your mind tracking that. Look at what the bottom line is. What’s closer to money? For you, for publishers, right now, it’s traffic. Monitor your traffic.

Ashley Segura (00:18:15):
There we go. Thank you for clarifying that. Andrew, when it comes to hosting, can web hosting have a negative effect on a site’s ranking? What exactly do you look for when you’re trying to choose a hosting company and make sure it’s the right fit for a site?

Andrew Wilder (00:18:32):
I really want to say it depends, but it actually can. It’s a simple…

Arsen Rabinovich (00:18:40):
Well, you did.

Andrew Wilder (00:18:40):
I can’t do it.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:18:40):
You said it.

Ashley Segura (00:18:40):
I think you did.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:18:40):
But you said it.

Ashley Segura (00:18:40):
I think you said it.

Andrew Wilder (00:18:40):
Oh, that counts?

Ashley Segura (00:18:40):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:18:40):
Yeah, it can. You said it.

Ashley Segura (00:18:40):
I think that counts.

Casey Markee (00:18:40):
Came out of your mouth.

Andrew Wilder (00:18:41):
[crosstalk 00:18:41] a prize.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:18:41):
Everybody agrees.

Ashley Segura (00:18:41):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:18:41):
He said it.

Ashley Segura (00:18:41):
That counts.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:18:45):
He said it. Look.

Ashley Segura (00:18:46):
Okay. Let me roll through.

Casey Markee (00:18:47):
All right. Who’s going to-

Ashley Segura (00:18:48):
Roll through.

Casey Markee (00:18:48):
… get the first prize here?

Ashley Segura (00:18:49):
Okay. The first prize is an Amazon gift card, and going through, we have Andrea Jansen.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:18:59):

Ashley Segura (00:19:00):
I will type the name in the chat box.

Casey Markee (00:19:02):
Andrea Jansen, congratulations.

Ashley Segura (00:19:04):
We have our first winner.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:19:05):
Raise your hand.

Casey Markee (00:19:06):
Yeah. There she goes. It’s going over here. Oh, there she is. She’s online. Yes.

Ashley Segura (00:19:11):

Casey Markee (00:19:11):
Congratulations, Andrea.

Andrew Wilder (00:19:12):

Ashley Segura (00:19:14):
The email that all of you registered with, whoever wins prizes, I will email you that to make sure and mail or send you your appropriate prize. Congrats.

Andrew Wilder (00:19:22):

Ashley Segura (00:19:22):
And Andrew, besides it depends, what’s up with hosting?

Andrew Wilder (00:19:25):
Hosting actually definitely can have a negative effect on your site’s rankings. Sitespeed.

Casey Markee (00:19:29):

Andrew Wilder (00:19:34):
There’s a bunch of things that can go wrong with hosting, right? Sitespeed is one of them. If you’re on a slow host and your site is slow to respond, that’s going to affect your rankings. As we all know, Sitespeed’s been a factor in rankings for a long time and is only getting more important. Reliability, like if your site’s actually online all the time, things like that really do make a big difference. If you’re on a host that doesn’t have good security measures in place and your site gets hacked, that can also cause problems. If Google notices your site has malware, it’s actually going to block you in the search results as well, in addition to it being a colossal headache. Site security is important from a hosting level as well, not just the stuff you do on your own server, but to make sure that the server is configured properly. A lot of really low-end, cheap hosts may not have as many security measures in place to protect your site.

Andrew Wilder (00:20:25):
As for what you want to look for in hosting, speed, reliability. The host’s reputation, I think, is important. Are they active in the community they’re serving? Do they care about protecting their reputation? That’s going to be a motivator for them to continue to do a good job. How is their customer support and customer service? Do they take two days to get back to you, or do they get back to you within five minutes? I’ll give a shout-out to BigScoots here, one of our sponsors today. It’s rare that they don’t reply to an email within about five minutes. We’ve actually gotten really spoiled working with them. They do an amazing job with response time and helping solve problems. They bend over backwards to help solve really complicated problems that maybe even go beyond hosting.

Andrew Wilder (00:21:11):
The other thing I suggest you look at is how much experience they have hosting sites similar to yours. Another reason that we love BigScoots for food bloggers is they host a lot of food blogs, so they understand-

Casey Markee (00:21:22):
A lot of food blogs.

Andrew Wilder (00:21:23):
We’re talking hundreds or thousands of food blogs, probably-

Casey Markee (00:21:25):

Andrew Wilder (00:21:27):
… at this point. They understand the unique, quirky needs of a food blog or a travel blog, whereas a larger commodity host really doesn’t care. I think having them have experience in your specific site’s architecture and other similar sites can really help.

Andrew Wilder (00:21:42):
And finally, last on the list is price. Obviously, everybody’s budget is different, but price is a factor. Another reason we love BigScoots is because, for what you get for the price, they blow everybody away. A lot of the larger managed WordPress hosts, like WP Engine or Kinsta or Flywheel, all of those are pretty reasonably priced on the low end, but once you start to get a lot of traffic, it’s exponential. They really gouge the higher-traffic users, so it might be good in the beginning, but then you end up paying for it later. That’s something to watch out for as well.

Andrew Wilder (00:22:17):
Another thing that I think is interesting is to find out if they manage their own hardware or if they’re just a reseller. Are they actually really in control of everything they’re doing, or are they beholden to another company? If so, then you need to know that that company is good, too. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Cloudways uses other underlying hosts. Some of those might be better than others. That’s another more minor thing to consider, but I think all of those things.

Andrew Wilder (00:22:44):
What I don’t recommend you do is start with a host based on one other person’s recommendation, even mine. So many people have anecdotal evidence based on their own experience with that one site. I can tell you, for every host, there’re going to be a bunch of people who love them and a bunch of people who hate them, so you don’t want a sample size of one or two. I’ve worked now with all the major players, so I have strong opinions based on my experience on many sites on many hosts. That’s why I keep coming back to BigScoots and away from Bluehost or any of the other really inexpensive shared hosting providers. You get what you pay for, and if it’s $4 a month, you’re probably not on good hosting.

Casey Markee (00:23:27):
And I would just add onto that very quickly, because we’re getting a lot of questions I see submitted in the chat. There’s a lot of herd mentality in the food and lifestyle niche, unfortunately. Sometimes, even the best hosts go down. It happened today. How long was the outage today with BigScoots, Andrew? A couple hours? Was it even that long?

Andrew Wilder (00:23:46):
No, it was about 20 minutes.

Casey Markee (00:23:47):
20 minutes. 20 minutes. They got it up, and they let everyone know about it.

Andrew Wilder (00:23:53):
As an example of that, I love working with BigScoots, because they’re very similar to the way I run NerdPress. We’re a small group, we know each other’s names, we know each other’s sites. We actually now share a Slack channel with them. All of our uptime monitoring was blowing up. By the time I clicked over to our Slack channel to ping Scott and ask what was going on, he already had posted saying, “We’re on it. Give us a minute.” Yeah. Quick communication was fantastic. And then we were able to convey to our clients. Stuff does break, so every host is going to have problems, and I think it’s important people recognize that. What’s really important is what the host does to fix it, how they respond, how they communicate, and what they do to prevent that problem from happening again.

Casey Markee (00:24:34):
Exactly. Very important.

Andrew Wilder (00:24:36):
Right. Because it’s technology.

Casey Markee (00:24:37):
Very important.

Andrew Wilder (00:24:38):
[crosstalk 00:24:38]. Fastly went down a week ago, 10 days ago, and brought down half the internet.

Casey Markee (00:24:42):

Andrew Wilder (00:24:43):
That was-

Ashley Segura (00:24:43):
Oh, my.

Andrew Wilder (00:24:44):
… [crosstalk 00:24:44] within an hour. It was pretty good. I saw in the chat about Cloudways. Cloudways hosting is pretty good. BigScoots is faster, I will say. But Cloudways support is just awful, unfortunately.

Casey Markee (00:24:59):
It’s terrible. And it’s not that we don’t recommend Cloudways. We still do. I think the Linode, I have two sites still on the Linode server. I think they perform extremely well. But if you don’t have a technical background, Cloudways is probably not for you, because you’re not going to get a response to your queries, they’re based in Cyprus. This customer service is not great. But if you’re asking if it’s bad, no. If you’re doing just fine with Cloudways and you haven’t gone down and your Core Web Vitals are just fine, no problem. But if you need more of a white-glove approach, if you want to be able to know the security of 24/7 support if something goes wrong, you can email and have someone back to you based here in the U.S. very quickly, that’s BigScoots.

Casey Markee (00:25:42):
There’s nothing wrong with some of the other hosts that have been put in this chat. I’m not as familiar with A2 Hosting anymore, but I think most of the A2 Hosting is still shared hosting, so in that regard, it’s going to be relatively low quality. If you have a small amount of traffic, that might be okay, but the sooner… I’m going to have Andrew clarify that. The soonest you can get to managed hosting, you should get to managed hosting, because there’s a noticeable difference in the resource allocation there.

Ashley Segura (00:26:12):
Muted there. I just want to remind everybody who has questions in the chat. If the panelists aren’t able to get to them while they’re addressing that specific subject, definitely put them over into the Q&A. There’s no silly questions here. Always put them over into the Q&A, and they will be addressed.

Casey Markee (00:26:32):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ashley Segura (00:26:34):
Moving into backlinks, Casey. One of the best ways to help in your content rank is to gain backlinks. What are your favorite strategies for generating backlinks, aside from the typical, “Well, create good content, and naturally, people will link to you”? Ideally.

Casey Markee (00:26:47):
I love it.

Ashley Segura (00:26:52):
But what else can we do?

Casey Markee (00:26:53):
First of all, for those of you on the call who have not had a chance to review… What number was that, Ashley? The SEO for Publishers what? Was it 10?

Arsen Rabinovich (00:27:03):
No, I think it was nine or something. I’ll pull it up right now. But go ahead.

Ashley Segura (00:27:06):

Casey Markee (00:27:06):
Pull it up.

Ashley Segura (00:27:06):
I was just going to-

Casey Markee (00:27:06):
Let’s go ahead and share that link over there, because I don’t want to just redo what we covered there, because we covered that in detail. For those on the call still struggling with backlinks, that webinar is going to help you considerably.

Casey Markee (00:27:19):
But I always tell bloggers specifically to look first regionally. That’s what we want to do. We want to look for regional opportunities. I’m going to give you an example. I have a client, her name Sabrina Currie. Sabrina might be on the call today, maybe she’s not. She’s a Canadian blogger, and her site is West Coast Kitchen Garden. She has an audit scheduled in September, and she was just featured on the food bloggers of Canada site. I know that that is an extremely great site, especially if you’re a food blogger in Canada, but that didn’t happen in a vacuum. She is a member, and she reached out, and she was featured.

Casey Markee (00:27:54):
That’s what we’re looking for when we’re talking about trying to find opportunities for link-building. You should be looking locally, you should be looking at regional opportunities where you’re based. We covered a couple of those examples in the original link-building webinar that we did months ago. If we’re looking at something that’s going to set us apart, it’d be silly for me to paste over a list of directories or anything like that, because the minute we do that, then everyone’s going to run and get your links in the directories.

Casey Markee (00:28:21):
What we’re looking for is for individualized link opportunities that you are going to pull together at your end. If you are a vegan blogger, one of the things you want to do is start using what are called Google site operator searches. Maybe you just put vegan recipes, and maybe you put a site directory or something along those lines. We can actually paste a couple of those in the chat today. And look at starting to find opportunities within the search results that maybe you can do some reaching out to and see what you see there. Link-building’s very tough. It’s why Arsen and Ashley specifically are getting bombarded with link-building requests from food and lifestyle bloggers, because they’ve been able to cultivate a network that’s very successful. But for those of you on the call who are looking-

Arsen Rabinovich (00:29:11):
Don’t say the N-word.

Casey Markee (00:29:14):
Did I say network?

Arsen Rabinovich (00:29:18):
It’s not a network. [crosstalk 00:29:18] not a network.

Casey Markee (00:29:19):
It’s a fellowship of the links.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:29:22):
Right. Right.

Casey Markee (00:29:23):
There’s a movie.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:29:24):
Don’t say that word.

Casey Markee (00:29:25):
There’s a movie coming out. There’s a movie coming out. Yeah. Link-building is tough. We really have to go in, and we don’t want to use the old trope that you need great content, but that certainly helps. But I will tell you, what I will give you is I’m going to paste over a list here for recipe roundups. There is a whole section of specific recipe roundup groups on Facebook where all the magic happens. I’ve just pasted them over into the chat to all of the bloggers there. This is where a majority of the roundup action happens online, these recipe roundup groups. If you have a lot of great content, you really want to be like Jenny on the spot. Go into these roundup groups. When someone’s looking for something that would fit in with a roundup they’re doing, drop your link in there. Nothing wrong with that. Make sure that you work and network with other bloggers and find a way that you can work together to put quality content.

Casey Markee (00:30:27):
Now, on that note, things like blog hops and Sunday supper-themed link roundups and meatless Mondays, that stuff’s dead. We can’t do any of that stuff anymore. Where there’s an organized focus between a large number of bloggers, where all of them basically link to each other in a network kind of scheme, we can’t have that. It’s useless. Google ignores all those links, and then as we go through the audit, you basically have to no-follow or delete all those from the site anyway. That kind of stuff has been dead for a while, but if you can cultivate some great resources where… I always use the example of, if you go over to… I’m going to go ahead and paste this over.

Casey Markee (00:31:11):
If you were to go to Google right now and type in meal prep recipes, this is Sara from Dinner at the Zoo. She’s been number one forever. It’s an extremely high-quality piece of content. It has 120 linking root domains, has 200-plus inbound links, it ranks for thousands of keywords. It has literally been stuck number one in Google for an extended period of time. Quality content is sticky, quality content fulfills user intent, quality content is detailed, and this is a great example. Enough of my rambling. We’ll move along.

Andrew Wilder (00:31:48):
I want to add one thing about links, too. You have to get creative, but also, it helps to find those moments where maybe somebody’s referencing your site, but they didn’t put a link in. Don’t be afraid to ask for a link. Ask nicely. But if you can find a natural connection there, don’t miss that opportunity. Don’t be afraid to say, “Hey, I’m so glad you mentioned me, but can you do me a favor and actually link to my page?” Some people don’t know how to do that and realize they’re supposed to do it. Don’t miss that opportunity as well.

Casey Markee (00:32:17):
Yeah, and that’s a very good point, because it’s okay for you to ask for a link. That’s fine. They could say no. That’s not illegal. If you’re going to say, “I’m going to link to you, and in return, I’m going to do this,” then there’s a consideration element, which as Professor [Rood 00:32:34] in my Contracts 101 class will tell you, not great. Not great. Want to be aware of that specifically.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:32:41):
You can set up Google alerts for your brand and variations of your brand, which are free. Monitor those alerts whenever you’re seeing that your brand, your site, you are being mentioned somewhere on the web. Check it out. If it’s not linked, if your site’s not being referenced, you can easily reach out to them. You can also do other tactics that we covered in that webinar. If you’re really good a photography, you can start creating courses or advice or resources that other people or other bloggers will share and link to. But yeah, definitely check out that webinar, episode number nine. If you link to it, there’s definitely a lot of advice in there.

Ashley Segura (00:33:24):
For those who are trying to keep up with chat and all the links and everything that’s going in there, the recap will have all of the links and resources mentioned, whether they’re in chat or verbally mentioned. We’ll have all of those in the blog post, so if you miss something, don’t fear. You will see it later.

Ashley Segura (00:33:42):
Andrew, a couple months ago, we had an entire episode just on plugins, and I’m pretty sure it was your favorite one. Could you do a breakdown of how to perform a plugin audit and how often you should be auditing your plugins?

Andrew Wilder (00:33:55):
Sure. As the site owner, it’s important that you understand at least the basics of how your site is set up and what works. You don’t necessarily need to know all the technically nitty-gritty of every single thing, but even just knowing what plugins are on your site, what they do, and what their function is, and whether or not you’re using them, is all really important.

Andrew Wilder (00:34:16):
Basically, to do a plugin audit, all you need to do is look through your list of plugins. In your dashboard, click on plugins, and view all. The first thing to do is look at your inactive plugins. You can probably just go ahead and delete those completely. You don’t want to leave a lot of inactive plugins on your site. That actually can be a security risk. Just because it’s inactive doesn’t mean it’s safe. If you have inactive plugins, just get rid of those. And the go through the list and ask yourself, “Do I actually use this plugin?” Whatever the features are of this plugin. And then, “Do I need this plugin?” Even if you use it, it may not be something you really need.

Andrew Wilder (00:34:50):
Then, if the answer to both of those is yes, you go, “Okay, does this plugin cause any issues or problems on my site? Is it slowing my site down?” For example. And then the last thing to ask, really, is, “Does this plugin overlap with any features of other plugins on my site?” And then, I guess, if it’s conflicting. If something’s conflicting, you’ll probably know. But you just need to go through the list and say, “Hey, do I really need this? Is it still working?” As far as how often to review your plugins, I got to say, it depends.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:35:26):

Andrew Wilder (00:35:27):

Ashley Segura (00:35:27):
Looks like we’re doing another prize.

Andrew Wilder (00:35:30):
But it really does depend this time.

Ashley Segura (00:35:32):
It’s very accurate.

Casey Markee (00:35:34):
Very accurate.

Andrew Wilder (00:35:35):
Ashley, while you’re picking the winner-

Arsen Rabinovich (00:35:37):
I don’t think it’s fair that Andrew gets to be the it-depends guy.

Andrew Wilder (00:35:40):

Casey Markee (00:35:42):
It is funny.

Ashley Segura (00:35:43):
This is the winner of the face pillow.

Casey Markee (00:35:45):
Oh, no. Oh my gosh.

Ashley Segura (00:35:46):
That is what is up next.

Andrew Wilder (00:35:47):

Casey Markee (00:35:49):

Andrew Wilder (00:35:49):
Ashley, while you’re picking the winner, I’ll just say real quick, basically, any time you change something on your site, if you’re adding or removing a plugin, that’s a great time to do your plugin audit. I could say every three months, but that’s arbitrary, because you could install the plugins and keep everything updated and everything’s fine for six months, because it’s all working, or a year or two. It’s really when you need to change anything, it’s a great opportunity to review things.

Ashley Segura (00:36:11):
And the winner of the Casey face pillow.

Casey Markee (00:36:15):
I tell you, I apologize in advance.

Ashley Segura (00:36:17):
And I apologize in advance for anyone’s name that I say incorrectly. [Nija 00:36:21] Clark.

Casey Markee (00:36:23):
Oh my goodness.

Andrew Wilder (00:36:25):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:36:25):

Ashley Segura (00:36:26):

Casey Markee (00:36:27):
Nija Clark. Nija Clark. Is she even on the call? Because if she is, I’m happy to give her an Amazon gift certificate instead-

Ashley Segura (00:36:35):
Oh, yay!

Casey Markee (00:36:37):
… of the pillow. Yeah, she’s on the call.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:36:37):
Yeah, she’s on the call.

Ashley Segura (00:36:38):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:36:38):
You’re not getting this pillow.

Casey Markee (00:36:39):

Ashley Segura (00:36:39):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:36:39):

Casey Markee (00:36:39):
Nija. Okay.

Ashley Segura (00:36:39):
No, she’s going to get one.

Casey Markee (00:36:44):
Thank you so much. Take good care of me. I appreciate it.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:36:49):
This Casey does not need to be fed.

Casey Markee (00:36:50):
Put me in a nice, cool place, please, and keep me away from animals. I would appreciate it. Thank you.

Ashley Segura (00:36:59):
She will. She will. Arsen, doing SEO audits over at TopHatRank, we see lots and lots of publisher sites that come in that are just way over-optimized. Can you share some of the most common over-optimization efforts that you’ve noticed and ways to un-over-optimize your site if it is over-optimized?

Casey Markee (00:37:21):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:37:22):

Ashley Segura (00:37:25):
De-over? De-optimize?

Casey Markee (00:37:27):

Ashley Segura (00:37:27):
I like un.

Casey Markee (00:37:27):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:37:27):

Ashley Segura (00:37:27):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:37:28):
I actually just saw somebody say that they can’t wait until we talk about keywords and headings. You’re in luck. We’re going to talk about keywords and headings.

Casey Markee (00:37:36):
Right now.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:37:37):
Right now. Look. A quick history on this. Before, a long, long time ago, we as SEOs figured out that if we stuff keywords into every single part of a website, we’ll be able to rank. We used to put the keyword in URL, we used to put the keyword in title, we used to put the keyword in meta-keywords and meta-description, in all of the headings, in all of the alt. Everywhere I can stuff a keyword, I will stuff in keywords, even in the footer, in the sidebar, and it was working.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:38:07):
But then, we overdid it, and Google said, “You can’t have nice things anymore, because you guys are abusing them.” Google started becoming smarter and smarter at understanding content. All of these weird signals that we were trying to throw at Google by saying… Even bold. Casey, you remember. Bolding your keyword was a signal. Underlining it meant that this is important, right? None of that stuff worked, right? Over time, over years, with introduction of algorithm updates like Panda, was that 2008?

Casey Markee (00:38:40):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:38:42):
2012. Panda was 2012. This is where we started worrying about over-optimization, because Google came out and said, “You are abusing this. We don’t like this. We have figured out a better way of evaluating this page and its importance.” Now, everybody who’s over-optimizing, everybody who’s stuffing keywords, is just going to start being filtered out. Not penalized, just filtered down, because Google wants to show results that are easy to understand for human-eye readers. When you stuff keywords into content, into everything else, you’re making this content very unappealing. It’s going to be hard to read. Anyways.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:39:22):
Over-optimization is a bad thing. November 2019 happened, and a lot of bloggers, a lot of recipe bloggers, and we did a huge study on this, got hit. We had bloggers in our study that got beat up. I think it was 60, 70% of their organic traffic just disappeared overnight, right? And when we started digging into it, it’s like, “There you have it. The folks that were over-optimizing are now 30, 60, 90. They dropped down. And the folks that are keeping it concise, easy to read, easy to understand, are ranking up.”

Arsen Rabinovich (00:40:00):
Over-optimization is a really bad thing. I’m still continuing to see it happen. And a lot of it is happening because you are chasing the green light inside of Yoast, because Yoast is telling you that, “You need to have a keyword here, and you need to have a keyword there, and a keyword here,” right? And you’re saying, “Okay. I’m going to put these keywords everywhere.” But Yoast is just a suggestion. You should not follow it, because it’s just the check mark. If the keyword is here, then it’s a green light. Don’t chase that green light. Use screen readers, have somebody read your post to you out loud, read it out loud to a friend. If it sounds weird, it’s going to be over-optimized. You do not need to repeat your keyword in every heading. Your keyword should be in your H1. H1 is the most important heading on that page, especially for a blog. For a blog post, you should not have more than one H1. That’s the title of your post. Google understands this is the primary topic. The H2 is a child of the H1. It covers the subtopic. You don’t need to reiterate to Google or to the human-eye reader what this post is about. If you have your keyword in H1, you don’t need to repeat it in H2.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:41:11):
Now, there are certain situations where if you’re answering a question, right? If you’re answering a question and the keyword is in that question and you want to make that question into a heading, that’s fine. We had a whole episode about images with a guest from Tastemaker Conference, right? We talked about those alts, those titles. They should be describing what the image is. You should not be stuffing your keywords in there. Your anchor text, you should not be stuffing keywords. All of these places where Yoast wants you to put keywords are not necessarily needed. Yeah. Absolutely. Questions, FAQs, all of that, right? You definitely want to make sure that you look at… And you can use tools like Webmaster extension for Chrome, SEO Minion for Chrome, and we’ll include these in the writeup, to look at your headings, to actually audit your headings and look at them, and they will highlight them for you and look at it.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:42:16):
The other thing that I’m going to recommend, and this is my final thing on this topic, look at what’s happening at the top of page one for the keyword that you want to rank for. And I’m going to repeat this over and over. Right now, this is the best advice. If you want to rank for potato soup or bacon potato soup or whatever kind of potato soup, perform that search and see who’s ranking one, two, and three. Look at their headings, look at their content, look at how they’re prioritizing things, because Google is at this point right now where it’s looking at things from an intent perspective instead of how many times this keyword is being mentioned on the page. If you’re satisfying the primary and secondary intent of that query, you are going to be ranking.

Casey Markee (00:43:03):
I know we’ve got a lot of questions related to this in the chat. Very briefly, one of the things to understand is that, again, it depends on the query that you’re using, with regards to what you’re doing with the headings. It’s no bullshit, because actually, I bet if you go and you type in potato soup right now, you’ll find that the top five results are horribly over-optimized. And you know why? Because they’re huge freaking sites, and the sites have so many offsite factors going into play, they’re able to rank, even though it’s contrary to what we’re telling you on the call today. Even though they’ve totally over-optimized every heading on the page with potato soup and bacon potato soup, I know because I made potato soup the other night, it’s because they have literally thousands of individual linking root domains, and that’ll overcome poor on-page optimization every time. Ashley will-

Arsen Rabinovich (00:43:54):
Or not. Casey, I’ll argue with you on this. I’m watching these. I’m watching some of these queries for some of my clients, and you’re absolutely right. The bigger players, because they’re overwhelming that signal, because there’s-

Casey Markee (00:44:07):

Arsen Rabinovich (00:44:08):
Right, right. It’s overwhelming. But if you actually clear that, if you look at… Okay, let’s skip over Allrecipes. Let’s skip over Food Network. Who is an average blogger? Not average, but just a blogger, not a big site, that’s there. You have topical depth, you have proper information architecture on these larger sites. There’s just so much signal, and it’s overwhelming that Google’s like, “I’m going to bring this up here.” But I am noticing that Allrecipes, Food Network, and all of these sites are slowly coming down, and bloggers are coming back up. [crosstalk 00:44:40].

Casey Markee (00:44:41):
That’s great if it was true. I just haven’t seen it. I could tell you that Allrecipes is still literally dominating every query, and it’s not going to happen.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:44:47):
It’s dominating, but it’s not-

Casey Markee (00:44:48):
When you have 99,000 linking root domains, that’s the thing. I can’t tell you how many bloggers that have emailed me, saying, “Man, Casey, I’m trying to get in the top three for this keyword, and they’re all-”

Arsen Rabinovich (00:45:00):
You have to pick your battles. Absolutely. Right.

Casey Markee (00:45:01):
“… huge sites with over-optimizing their headers. Should I do it?” I’m like, “No. Over-optimizing your headers is why you’re number five. Or not over-optimizing your headers is why you’re number five. But are you going to get to number three? Nope, because it’s not going to happen.”

Arsen Rabinovich (00:45:15):
The example I gave you yesterday when we were talking in the chat about fresh figure recipes, right? If you look at that, Allrecipes is down at the beginning of page one. It’s happening. It’s happening. Where the content is not addressing, again, that primary, secondary intent, Google is slowly… I’m not seeing it across a lot of queries, but for certain queries, I’m seeing that regular blogs are being pushed up over the other ones.

Casey Markee (00:45:45):
Yeah, and that’s true. I’m looking at the carousel right now, and hey, two audit clients right there.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:45:49):
Right, right, right.

Casey Markee (00:45:50):
Two audit clients right there. Good job. I want to pull attention to you, but one of you is on the call. Yeah. You’ve done a good job in dialing back your headings. It does work, but I know a lot of you are going to be like, “I don’t want to dial back my headings, because I got all these other big sites, and they’re all putting the keyword in all their headings. It’s why I must have to do that.” No. And that’s what I want you to understand, is that it’s not apples to apples. Of course, this is why we’re continually fighting with Yoast, because Yoast, of course, also wants you to have your keyword density at a minimum of 3% for green. We don’t recommend that ever. On that note, let’s go back to Ashley. She’s got a giveaway.

Ashley Segura (00:46:29):
I’ve got a really good giveaway, and I’ve just been waiting to give this one away. It’s another Amazon gift card, and it’s going to Kaitlyn Ryan.

Casey Markee (00:46:35):
Yay! Kaitlyn, congratulations.

Ashley Segura (00:46:37):

Casey Markee (00:46:39):
It’s no face pillow, but it’s fine. It’s all right.

Andrew Wilder (00:46:40):
I think those are going to be sold on Amazon for $24.99 very soon, if that works out.

Casey Markee (00:46:46):
Maybe I could put the second kid through college with Casey face pillows. Fantastic. We’ll have a glitter outline on them. Or remember those ones that are reversible? You put your hand by and the face disappears, you put your hand back and the face appears. Ooh.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:47:00):
Kelsey’s college fund pillow.

Andrew Wilder (00:47:02):
Made out of those sequins. Yeah, the flip sequins.

Casey Markee (00:47:03):
Sequins. Yeah, the sequin pillows. There we go.

Ashley Segura (00:47:05):
Those look pretty good.

Casey Markee (00:47:06):

Ashley Segura (00:47:09):
While we’re talking about over-optimization, I have one more question I want to dive into, Casey. How important is it to optimize a recipe card? What does optimizing a recipe card actually look like?

Casey Markee (00:47:20):
That’s a good question. I want you to think of your recipe post and your recipe card as separate entities. I know a lot of you on the call have heard that. I know there’s a lot of audit clients on the call who’ve heard that repeatedly. People overlook their recipe cards, to their own dismay. We want to make sure that your recipe card has the most important information on the page when at all possible. If someone was just to print out the recipe card, would they have all the information they need to make this recipe perfectly, preferably the first time?

Casey Markee (00:47:48):
I always see this a lot, is when we have an audit, one of the biggest issues I see with bloggers, even established bloggers, is that they treat the recipe card as an item to check off. There’s no detailed recipe notes, they haven’t necessarily optimized the recipe card fully. We have an enabled checklist, which millennials love the crap out of. They walk through the store and check off their ingredients on that recipe card. Or maybe they have a link their recipe card to their author byline, which is a great same-as entity classification that we want to provide to Google semantically.

Casey Markee (00:48:27):
But most importantly, it’s those notes. Never publish a recipe where the recipe card does not have notes, because some people are just going to immediately go to that recipe card, they might print it out, be on their way. That’s your chance to make sure that anything that is most important from the recipe post makes it to the recipe card. Simple things, like I’m making a prime rib, and understanding that you want to cut it with the grain or against the grain or whatever you need to do on that. Or maybe there’s a very specific timing element that, “Hey, you want to make sure that you… This pie can only last so long out of the refrigerator,” or something along those lines.

Casey Markee (00:49:10):
That’s what notes are for. Notes are not there to write a novel, they’re not there to reprint every FAQ or tip from the recipe post, but they’re there to reaffirm the most important content. If you’ve got a ton of notes, we’re going to dial those back. We don’t need a whole page. But maybe there’s one or two specific FAQs that you know are very, very important. Maybe we make sure that those make it to the card. Users appreciate those tips. This is where you show your expertise, so definitely don’t forget them.

Ashley Segura (00:49:41):
Yes, please. As someone who needs to know how long something can be refrigerated or-

Casey Markee (00:49:46):
Exactly. Yeah.

Ashley Segura (00:49:47):
… stay on the counter, I really appreciate that. Andrew, what are some of the best ways to optimize the images in the blog posts? Is there a certain strategy of how many images should be in a post, how they’re laid out, the image size?

Andrew Wilder (00:50:02):
I’m going to feel bad.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:50:03):
Don’t say it. Don’t say it.

Casey Markee (00:50:05):
Don’t say it, Andrew.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:50:06):
Don’t say it.

Andrew Wilder (00:50:07):
I’m going to fall back on, think of your reader.

Ashley Segura (00:50:11):
Oh, very clever. Very clever.

Casey Markee (00:50:16):
Oh my gosh.

Andrew Wilder (00:50:17):
Well, first of all, technically… I don’t remember which episode it was. I’m sure you have the link, Ashley. We talked about technical elements of images and how they should be optimized. As a quick recap of that, make sure you’re exporting from your image-editing program at 1,200 pixels wide by however tall it needs to be. We recommend a 1,200-by-1,200 square image for featured images. When you export, make sure you set the JPEG quality to whatever you need in your editor to be about 200 to 300 kilobytes, give or take. It’s going to vary based on what the image is. More detail takes more kilobytes.

Andrew Wilder (00:50:52):
And then when you add it to your posts, insert it full-size. That way, the whole 1,200-pixel-wide image will be there and look great on desktop, in a 700-pixel-wide area, give or take. On mobile, it won’t cause a problem, because it’ll handle the image source set in the background, so a smaller version will be served. If you do it this way, you should not be triggering any of those warnings and PageSpeed Insights. But if you’re over 1,200 pixels wide, you’re going to start having problems. We also have been recommending this for a few years at this size, and we haven’t needed to scale up from there. I think it’s going to be a long time until we need to. This helps also future-proof, so when you widen your sidebar maybe from 700 to 800 pixels, it’ll still look good.

Andrew Wilder (00:51:30):
Oh, and then I also recommend have ShortPixel or Imagify installed in WordPress, because that way, it’ll compress the images further after you upload them, and it’ll compress all the thumbnails that are created. That’s really important, because your full-size image may not be served to most of your visitors anyway. It may be only the thumbnail, because most people are on mobile and seeing the source set version.

Andrew Wilder (00:51:55):
I also want to talk about WebP for a second. I still don’t recommend WebP, although we’re real close to changing over. I know Mediavine is big on WebP, and Trellis is all WebP right now. The thing is, there are still a lot of older Safari browsers that don’t support it. That’s changed. Newer Safari does. I think you have to be on iOS 14 of later, so there are a number of older visitors who won’t be able to see WebP. And then if you want to implement it with a fallback for JPEG, it gets really complicated with caching.

Andrew Wilder (00:52:27):
The other downside of having WebP and JPEG being served is you have to double all your images, and that can cause problems for storage space on your server, you might have to buy more space, it can cause problems with backups, and it just gets really complicated. If your images are optimized really well with ShortPixel in lossy mode, that actually competes with WebP, and I think the difference is negligible there.

Andrew Wilder (00:52:47):
We also use Cloudflare’s Polish for our clients, and that actually handles WebP seamlessly in the background, on the fly. You’re not messing with code. It just works perfectly based on the browser. I really like the Cloudflare solution for WebP.

Andrew Wilder (00:53:01):
Having said that, WordPress 5.8 is probably going to roll out native support for WebP, which means you can upload a WebP image directly into your WordPress media library, rather than uploading JPEG and having it convert to WebP. I think, at that point, it may be the time to switch to 100% WebP for new images going forward, but you also want to take a look at your analytics and make sure your audience is going to be able to see that. If you have 3% or 4% of your audience who won’t be seeing those images, that may not be worth it to you. Or it may be worth it to you, right? But are you willing to take a 4% hit in traffic and revenue because your images aren’t showing up for all those people? I don’t know. That’s up to you. I just wanted to say WebP is the future, I think. I’m not down on the format, but right now, the implementation is really challenging. It’ll get better. Yeah.

Andrew Wilder (00:53:54):
Oh, the other part of the question was how to put images in your post. I like to see a big, beautiful lead photo at the top. Really pull the reader in and say, “Oh, this is beautiful. I want to make this.” And then having process shots in the post, and then you can have another big, beautiful photo at the end, maybe. Casey, you’re still nodding, right? This is still the best practice?

Casey Markee (00:54:14):
Yeah. Again, we tend to recommend a nice featured image at the top. There’s a question in here about whether that image should be 1,200 by 1,200. The 1,200 by 1,200 is mostly for the featured image that you’re putting in the recipe card that you’re uploading so that it’s resized appropriately. The featured image at the top of the post could be 1,200 by 1,200, sure, or usually 1,200 by 1,600 or something like that. When we’re talking about 1,200-pixel images, 1,200-pixel width is really what we’re most important about, because 1,200-pixel width is the minimum requirement for Google Discover. A lot of people get confused by that. They upload images that are 1,200 pixels height and not width, and then they’re totally… can’t figure out what’s going on, because they didn’t understand that there’s two requirements there. We’re not loading in 1,200-pixel height images. We’re uploading 1,200-pixel width images, because that’s what Google’s looking for for Discover consideration.

Ashley Segura (00:55:13):
Thank you for clearing that, Casey. Casey, creating content is at the core of what publishers do, but how do you recommend identifying which pieces of published content that should be updated or to just get rid of them entirely? How do you identify that?

Casey Markee (00:55:29):
Well, it really comes down to content auditing. I’m going to go ahead and paste over a list of resources here that will cover this in more detail. Content auditing resources. We have the SEO for Publishers number 10, Optimizing Your Content. I had an Eat Blog Talk Priorities for 2021 webinar earlier this year, and I’ve also got the Food Blogger Pro Content Auditing Podcast from a couple years ago. It goes over in detail a bucketing concept that I recommend, and what we’re doing is we’re pulling information, be it from analytics or Google Search Console. I easily prefer that we use Google Search Console, because we know it’s Google-only traffic. And then we would go back and look at anywhere from 90 to 120 days of traffic, and look and see all the traffic that doesn’t have one click from Google. Or maybe we make a pre-determined amount. Maybe everything that has 10 or less clicks, we pop into a spreadsheet, and we start looking through that content closely.

Casey Markee (00:56:28):
And then what I do is I bucket the content. I look at it as, bucket number one is content that I know I can keep. I can update it today, tomorrow, next week. There’s no seasonality component. Salisbury steak. Love Salisbury steak. My wife, she makes a very good Salisbury steak. We have it a lot. I can have that every day of the year.

Casey Markee (00:56:49):
Bucket number two might be seasonal content. It would be something like hot cross buns for Easter. Well, we know maybe the reason that that post is not performing well is that I ran the report in August, and clearly, that post isn’t supposed to really do anything until March and April, so I’d have to make a seasonal judgment on that. Maybe it is a post that it’s of barbecue ribs, and I just ran the report in May or June and it hasn’t had a click in months, there’s clearly a problem with the content. Seasonal content is content that I’m going to identify, and I’m either going to update and republish when it’s seasonally appropriate, or I’m going to make a note now and update it now if it’s seasonally appropriate. First priority is we want to update, we want to focus on content auditing, content that’s seasonally appropriate for our audience.

Casey Markee (00:57:32):
Bucket number three might be content that, we’re looking at it now, and we’re like, “I don’t know what I was thinking. I don’t know what I was thinking. I uploaded this recipe. It’s gravy-covered spaghetti, and I have three photos of the finished dish, and there’s no value to it. There’s no searched volume for it. Maybe I’m going to delete this. Maybe it doesn’t fit into my current topical focus for recipes.” Maybe it’s an expired giveaway, maybe it’s a personal post. I have to determine whether I’m going to keep those content. Maybe if it’s a personal post and I want to keep the photos, maybe I’m going to no-index that so that it doesn’t count against me specifically, algorithmically, with Google.

Casey Markee (00:58:13):
Maybe it’s another post where, “You know what? Look, I pulled the stats. It’s doing anything for me in Google. But I just looked at analytics, and it’s killing it on Pinterest.” I’m going to no-index that. I’m going to keep it on my site. The URL doesn’t change. Nothing changes. I’m still going to get all the traffic from Pinterest, but it’s now no-index. Again, not counted against me with going. Okay?

Casey Markee (00:58:36):
Content auditing is very important. We have situations where we’ve had audits come to us. They’ve had literally thousands of posts, thousands of recipes. We’ve deleted 50, 60, 70% of them. Traffic has leaped forward. It’s like we’re moving the parking brake from the site, and that’s because we’ve made it easier for Google to surface the higher-quality content. It’s very important. Review the resources we’ve pasted there, and that’ll help you considerably. Every site on this call can benefit from content auditing as a regular best practice, whether it’s a quarterly review or whatnot.

Ashley Segura (00:59:12):
Yes, which I always highly recommend auditing your content at least quarterly.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:59:18):
It depends.

Ashley Segura (00:59:21):

Casey Markee (00:59:22):
There we go.

Ashley Segura (00:59:24):
It kind of does, I guess.

Casey Markee (00:59:27):
Totally depends.

Ashley Segura (00:59:27):
Yeah, sure. Totally. Yeah. I guess that means another prize.

Andrew Wilder (00:59:28):
It totally depends on how often you want a chance to win.

Casey Markee (00:59:30):
Oh, shoot.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:59:31):
Doesn’t matter. It depends.

Casey Markee (00:59:33):
Now, we’ve got two. Oh, now, we’ve got three.

Ashley Segura (00:59:35):
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. One at a time. One at a time. And this one’s a big one. This is all of the tickets to Tastemaker. This is to Tastemaker Chicago, virtual Tastemaker, and a media badge to Inspired Home Show. Let me do the little wheel.

Casey Markee (00:59:49):
All right. Prize number one.

Ashley Segura (00:59:52):
The winner is… Let me paste it over. Wendy Faulkner.

Casey Markee (00:59:58):
Wendy! Wendy’s going to join us in the Windy City.

Arsen Rabinovich (00:59:59):

Casey Markee (01:00:00):
Wendy. Going to be in the Windy City. Good for you.

Ashley Segura (01:00:06):
You just got a lot of cool Tastemaker prizes.

Casey Markee (01:00:08):
Congratulations, Wendy.

Ashley Segura (01:00:09):
I will connect you with the host of Tastemaker and make sure you get your tickets to that.

Casey Markee (01:00:14):
Is Wendy on the call?

Ashley Segura (01:00:14):
That’s definitely awesome.

Casey Markee (01:00:14):
We’re waiting here. We’re waiting. We’re waiting. We’re waiting. We’re waiting.

Ashley Segura (01:00:17):
I hope, I hope.

Casey Markee (01:00:18):
She’s not popped on yet, Wendy.

Ashley Segura (01:00:20):

Casey Markee (01:00:20):
There it is.

Ashley Segura (01:00:20):

Casey Markee (01:00:23):
There she is.

Ashley Segura (01:00:25):

Casey Markee (01:00:26):
[crosstalk 01:00:26], Wendy. I promise to buy you a drink when you’re in Chicago, preferably of the alcoholic variety. That’s fine. But yeah, it’ll be good. Better than the face pillow, so congratulations.

Ashley Segura (01:00:39):
And for those interested in Tastemaker, here is the link to the Tastemaker Conference. This is the wait list for the Chicago, and you can also get the tickets to the virtual Tastemaker as well. I highly recommend clicking on that link.

Casey Markee (01:00:55):
Kylie and Amy are both going to be there. Drinks for everyone. I’m going to say it right now, anyone on the call who comes and finds me in Chicago, I will buy you a drink. Done.

Ashley Segura (01:01:06):
Does that mean me? I’ll be there, too, Casey, so I’ll definitely find you.

Casey Markee (01:01:08):
First of all, those of you who don’t know it, I buy all of Ashley’s drinks. Okay?

Ashley Segura (01:01:14):
Kind of true.

Casey Markee (01:01:14):
Also, I’m her designated drink taste-tester so that someone does not slip things into her drink.

Ashley Segura (01:01:22):

Casey Markee (01:01:22):
Okay? Yeah. Not kidding. Good times.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:01:26):
Casey doesn’t mind get roofied.

Casey Markee (01:01:28):
I don’t mind slipping stuff into her drink, but that’s just me. I’m the only allowed to do that.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:01:32):
For Casey, it’s just a muscle relaxant at this point.

Casey Markee (01:01:35):
Yeah. I’ve talked to her husband about that. I’m totally allowed to do it, but I’m allowed to stop everyone else. It’s fine.

Ashley Segura (01:01:40):
It’s true. True.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:01:43):
This is about to go-

Ashley Segura (01:01:43):
He appreciates you, Casey.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:01:43):
… in a different direction.

Casey Markee (01:01:43):
Off the rails. Off the rails. Off the rails.

Ashley Segura (01:01:46):
And Andrew, speaking of Core Web Vitals, can you explain what they are and how best to address them?

Andrew Wilder (01:01:52):
It depends. How much time do we have?

Casey Markee (01:01:53):
Five minutes.

Ashley Segura (01:01:56):
Amazing. Amazing. We just dropped another one. While you’re answering, I’m going to spin the little raffle wheel.

Andrew Wilder (01:02:02):

Casey Markee (01:02:03):
Raffle wheel.

Andrew Wilder (01:02:04):
We’ve talked about Core Web Vitals a whole bunch, and we’re running low on time. This is the new page experience algorithm that’s rolling out as of yesterday. It will actually roll out through the end of August. I think it’s late August. Even then, it’s going to be a minor ranking factor, just to warn you. I actually was on the Food Blogger Pro Podcast recently, and I was talking with Bjork, and we went through all of it, and actually how to understand the three metrics and how to do some stuff about them. If you haven’t dug into Core Web Vitals yet, I definitely recommend that. I’m going to paste the link into the chat. Also, I was reading today… Mediavine’s got a couple of good blog posts, and they have one, actually, from a couple months ago or a month ago. But at the end of it, they have a good checklist of things to look for, so I’m going to drop that in the chat as well. All right, Ashley. Do we have a winner?

Ashley Segura (01:03:02):
Okay. Yes. Yeah. Just ran it, and it’s an Amazon gift card to Sharon Rigsby. Yay!

Andrew Wilder (01:03:08):
Yay, Sharon!

Casey Markee (01:03:09):
Yay, Sharon! We know Sharon. Congratulations, Sharon

Ashley Segura (01:03:14):
Yeah, congratulations.

Casey Markee (01:03:16):
Good for you. Good for you.

Ashley Segura (01:03:19):
Going back to-

Casey Markee (01:03:19):
Let’s see if she’s on the call today.

Ashley Segura (01:03:22):
I think she should be. Hopefully. Speaking of Google things, we did a whole episode on Core Web Vitals. I’ll drop the resource in there as well. But Google decided to release another core update at the beginning of this month, because why not start somewhere off with that? Arsen, can you tell us what you know so far about this update and what the heck happened?

Arsen Rabinovich (01:03:43):
Which one?

Ashley Segura (01:03:43):
The June one.

Casey Markee (01:03:44):
The core update on June the 2nd.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:03:47):
Oh. What I’m noticing, it’s big on query-matching. I’m noticing that Google is becoming much more precise with understanding what the query is, and it’s doing a much better job at picking what’s the content type that answers that query. And again, you hear me say this over and over, even on our calls, addresses the primary and secondary intent of what Google assumes the intent is behind that query, right? Google derives intent in multiple ways. They do natural language processing. Query syntax drives intent.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:04:36):
The example that I use on my consultation calls is if you search for best bikes for kids, Google understands the intent behind that query is to learn which is the best bike for my kid. If you look at the result page, the top of the page is going to consist of posts that cover that topic in its entirety. And if you look at it, if you run a headings analysis on those posts, right away, at the top, top 10 bikes for kids, and then all of the secondary information is towards the bottom. How to fit the bike to the kid, best helmets, best brands for aggressive riders. The top two posts cover that topic in its entirety. Then, underneath, Google itself is doing the same thing it wants you to do in its search results. The top, it’s a kitchen-sink result. The top is all the content about best bikes for kids, the bottom is where to buy bikes, because it’s addressing primary and secondary. Now that I’ve learned about best bikes, where do I buy them?

Arsen Rabinovich (01:05:37):
Reverse that. Get rid of that best query modifier, right? Just search for bikes for kids. You’re going to see that, at the top, you have commercial purchase intent results. You have Walmart, you have Amazon, then you have a local pack. Google assumes that you want to walk into a store and buy a bike, so it’s going to give you local shops. And then underneath that, it’s going to give you the same content, investigatory, educational, informational intent results that you saw on best bikes for kids. But now, it’s shuffled it around. It’s showing you commercial intent at the top, and it’s showing you informational, educational intent at the bottom.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:06:17):
The learning from that, and based on our observations, is the sites that are performing well right now, the sites that are winning in sub lead, are doing the exact same thing. You search for something. I spoke with a client yesterday. She used to rank for some weird thing. It was some kind of figure recipes, right? Recipes. Plural. She got pushed down to the bottom of the page, while everybody who’s at the top is showing multiple recipes. 23 recipes, seven figure recipes. Google is now doing a better job at understanding what the intent is, so it’s going to bring up the results that better satisfy that intent.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:07:02):
And this goes back to, if you’ve been affected, look at what Google is preferencing, what Google assumes is the intent behind a query, because that… And also, some of these results, if you pull the data on the links, referring domains, you will a lot of times, not sometimes, a lot of times see that some sites that have less referring domains pointing to them are beating the sites that have more referring domains. And why? Because they’re doing a better job, again, at not only satisfying the query, but addressing the primary and secondary intent.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:07:43):
If somebody’s searching for potato soup recipe, my recipe page better right away show them that recipe. And then underneath, below the fold, is how to store it, alternative ingredients, what to serve it with, everything that’s secondary. And when you start doing that, you’re going to notice that you’re blossoming and that you’re becoming, again, more resilient to it. From where I’m sitting, especially as it concerns a big chunk of our audience here, this is what I’m noticing from this update. And also, it depends.

Ashley Segura (01:08:21):

Casey Markee (01:08:21):
Also, it depends. There you go.

Ashley Segura (01:08:24):
If we have another one. While I look for the winner, we are going to open up Q&A. We also have one more it-depends prizewinner, and then we’re going to announce the grand prize after Q&A. Thank you, everyone, for being patient. This is our annual episode, so it’s definitely going to be longer than normal, but we’re going to be wrapping up shortly. If you haven’t already put your question in the Q&A, we’ve got 28 of them so far, definitely go put a question in the Q&A. These expert panelists will personally address them, and then we’ll publish them in the recap.

Ashley Segura (01:08:54):
But for now, we have… Let’s see. One of the top questions is from Chrissy Carroll. “Random question about posts where you’re ranking for accurate keywords, but you are also ranking for keywords that don’t exactly fit. For example, let’s say I have a 10-week workout plan that’s also ranking for a nine-week workout plan. Is it worth creating a new post specifically for a nine-week workout plan, knowing that they’re already ranking for a 10-week plan?” Anyone, take it away. I’m going to go choose a winner.

Casey Markee (01:09:27):
I would personally say no, because that’s-

Arsen Rabinovich (01:09:30):
I agree.

Casey Markee (01:09:30):
… an inclusive keyword query. Basically, what you’re telling me is that you’d also be comfortable creating an eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one workout plans to qualify or to target each of those individual queries. It’s not worth it. Number one, I don’t think there’s enough traffic to justify that. And also, this an example of an inclusive keyword matching. You could go in, and maybe we just need to make a little bit of adjustments to this, say, “Hey, if you like my 10-week workout plan, take a week away, and you’ve got a nine-week workout plan,” or something like that. You literally don’t have to do anything much on the page. You could even build in external links using the anchor text. Nine-week workout plan, eight-week workout plan, six-week workout plan. No joke, you’d start ranking for those, because those are external signals to Google that this content matches. That is honestly better for you. I would not invest in multiple resources at this point.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:10:27):
I agree 100% with this. Everything that Casey said, which is rare for me to agree 100% with Casey.

Casey Markee (01:10:32):
Very rare. Very rare. [crosstalk 01:10:33].

Arsen Rabinovich (01:10:35):
100%. The internal linking, the contextual signal that pass through the link, through that anchor text, is very strong. Especially internally, because it informs Google what topics are being covered on that particular page, right? Definitely page-level optimization.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:10:51):
And remember, passages. Google is not only evaluating the page as a whole. Google is also looking at individual passages within that document to see if any of those individual passages are satisfying specific queries. Definitely do not create another… Well, not definitely. I wouldn’t recommend, and Casey wouldn’t recommend creating another document, because A, you might dilute the overall focus, you might create internal competition, if that even exists. Now, we’re all over the place with this. But definitely, I wouldn’t create a second piece of content for that.

Ashley Segura (01:11:26):
Perfect. Thank you both for clarifying that. The winner of six months of hosting on the BigScoot starter plan, and, of course, a free migration is Aaron Randhawa. Randhawa. I’m so sorry.

Casey Markee (01:11:39):
Aaron, okay.

Ashley Segura (01:11:43):
Aaron Randhawa.

Casey Markee (01:11:44):

Ashley Segura (01:11:44):
Putting it in there.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:11:44):

Ashley Segura (01:11:44):
Congratulations, Aaron.

Casey Markee (01:11:44):
We have Aaron. Good for you, Aaron. Fantastic.

Ashley Segura (01:11:46):
We have one more it-depends prize, and we’re going to do one more Q&A. Wonder how this is going to go. Top question from Amy Katz, “Since my keyword is in my title, do I need to repeat it in the meta description/first sentence of my post if it’s already in the title?”

Casey Markee (01:12:03):
If it makes sense to do so, absolutely. You’re writing a complete post.

Ashley Segura (01:12:07):

Casey Markee (01:12:07):
It’s just common sense, Amy. If you-

Ashley Segura (01:12:10):
… avoiding saying it.

Casey Markee (01:12:11):
Yeah. I’m not going to say it.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:12:13):
I’m holding back.

Casey Markee (01:12:14):
Not going to say it. You’re not going to say it either, Arsen.

Andrew Wilder (01:12:17):
I’m going to say, Amy, I really-

Casey Markee (01:12:20):
Your title. This is not a you-know-what question. This is a 100%

Arsen Rabinovich (01:12:24):
I think set us up. She set us up. Amy’s too smart for this.

Casey Markee (01:12:27):
No, Amy.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:12:27):
She set us up.

Casey Markee (01:12:27):
You need to do it.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:12:27):
She’s setting us up for it depends.

Casey Markee (01:12:29):
You always repeat it. Always.

Andrew Wilder (01:12:31):
Google’s just going to rewrite the meta description in the search results anyway.

Casey Markee (01:12:35):
There you go.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:12:35):
Right. Right.

Andrew Wilder (01:12:36):
If you don’t do it, they will.

Casey Markee (01:12:38):
Focus on that first sentence. Focus on that first sentence. Absolutely.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:12:40):
We’re onto you, Amy. We’re onto you.

Ashley Segura (01:12:42):
Okay. One more question. One more question. This is from Amy Engberson. There we go. Can’t speak. “I understand we shouldn’t copy and paste the same information, like recipe tips and instructions, from the body of post into the recipe card. What information should be added in the post versus in the recipe card so I don’t duplicate the content?” Boom.

Andrew Wilder (01:13:04):
I’m going to jump in on this one. The recipe card should contain the recipe, how to make the dish, right? Picture the recipe in a cookbook. Somebody should be able to print that out and take it into their kitchen and make the recipe. The stuff that’s outside of the recipe card is all the other stuff, right? That’s the history of potato soup, maybe, or how to pick the right kind of potatoes for potato soup. That other stuff.

Casey Markee (01:13:28):
Yeah. I just want to make sure that everyone on the call understands that duplicate content is a between-pages issue. You’re not going to worry ever, Amy, taking some content from the post and putting it in the recipe card, especially if they’re very important tips. Maybe there’s two really important tips in the recipe post that absolutely, 100% always should make it under notes. You put it in there. It’s okay. You’re going to copy them, you’re going to paste them in under notes. It’s a myth that you have to rewrite everything in the recipe card. Completely, 100% not true, because duplicate content is only a between-pages issue. I could literally go into your post and have a paragraph and have the same paragraph four times. I’m not going to get penalized from Google for that. It’s going to be very poor for users, but I’m not going to get penalized by Google.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:14:21):
Let me hop in here for a second. I wouldn’t say repeating the same paragraph four times is not going to damage you. There is content-doubling, which we see happen with improper mobile CSS. You’ll have a heading that’s showing up twice on the page. Your H1 is showing up twice, your H2 is showing up twice. I haven’t seen paragraphs show up twice. But when fixed, we do see improvements from that, right? I wouldn’t necessarily say that you’re not going to get penalized, but absolutely from a user experience standpoint, it does bring down the overall quality of that post, or it might potentially dilute the overall focus of that post if you’re repeating the same paragraphs over and over.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:15:06):
But content-doubling is definitely… If you remove the CSS from your post, and you can do that with a web developer. I might be going way too far into this. But if you remove CSS from your page with the tool, you can see if your headings are doubling. Those of you that are on Skylar’s team, you definitely don’t have to worry about this, but I’ve definitely seen this in some cheaper, premium, or free themes that are by some weird designer somewhere. But it does happen.

Andrew Wilder (01:15:37):
I saw Kathleen asked in the chat, “What about notes in the card?” To use the potato soup example, you might want to have in the notes, “I recommend russet potatoes, but fingerlings are also great.” Something really short and sweet, just to help guide them as they’re writing the recipe. But then, if you want, in the post, you could talk about why russets are better. I’m totally making that up. I could be wrong. Maybe Yukon Gold is the way to go.

Casey Markee (01:15:58):

Arsen Rabinovich (01:16:02):
Potato is potato.

Andrew Wilder (01:16:03):
Oh, no.

Casey Markee (01:16:03):
Potato whisperer.

Andrew Wilder (01:16:04):
Oh, no.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:16:06):
In Soviet Russia, we have one potato.

Ashley Segura (01:16:09):
Would you say that, when it comes to potatoes…

Andrew Wilder (01:16:14):
It depends?

Arsen Rabinovich (01:16:14):
It depends?

Ashley Segura (01:16:14):
There we go. And the final winner, this is the one free year of the Feast Plugin. Let me spin. And we have Toni Dash. Congratulations.

Casey Markee (01:16:31):
Toni Dash. Congratulations. Hopefully, you’re still on the call.

Ashley Segura (01:16:34):
Congratulations. Yes. Okay. That wraps it up.

Casey Markee (01:16:36):
There she is. Toni Dash. Good for you, Toni.

Andrew Wilder (01:16:37):

Ashley Segura (01:16:37):

Casey Markee (01:16:40):
We know Toni well. Congratulations.

Andrew Wilder (01:16:42):
And thank you, Skylar, for donating that.

Ashley Segura (01:16:44):
That wraps up our Q&A.

Casey Markee (01:16:45):
Thank you, Skylar, for donating that.

Ashley Segura (01:16:46):
Yes. Thank you, Skylar.

Casey Markee (01:16:47):
Thank you.

Ashley Segura (01:16:47):
Thank you to all of our sponsors for donating everything today, and thank you everyone for tuning in. The Q&A, you still have a second. If there’s a question that you want us to address that we haven’t, drop it in there. Meanwhile, I will be spinning for the grand prize, which, once again, is a one-hour consultation with Casey, a-

Arsen Rabinovich (01:17:10):
Can I win this?

Ashley Segura (01:17:10):
… Casey face pillow.

Casey Markee (01:17:11):
You can win it, and we’re only going to talk about Russian vegetables.

Ashley Segura (01:17:13):
And an Amazon gift card.

Casey Markee (01:17:17):
We’re going to talk about my two trips to Russia. No, four trips to Russia.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:17:20):
We only have one vegetable in Russia, and it’s a potato.

Casey Markee (01:17:22):
Yeah, potato, and I had a lot of it.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:17:24):
For the entire village.

Ashley Segura (01:17:26):
All right.

Casey Markee (01:17:27):
I’ll tell you. That train ride, I’m still remembering. To Kirov. 12 hours. Wow.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:17:32):
Oh, man.

Casey Markee (01:17:33):
No, thank you.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:17:34):
On the Russian train?

Casey Markee (01:17:36):
Oh my gosh, man.

Ashley Segura (01:17:38):

Arsen Rabinovich (01:17:38):
Made out of potatoes.

Ashley Segura (01:17:38):
We have a winner.

Casey Markee (01:17:39):
I’m sweating thinking about it.

Ashley Segura (01:17:41):
We have a winner. We have a winner. We have a winner-

Arsen Rabinovich (01:17:43):
Who is it?

Ashley Segura (01:17:44):
… for the grand prize. And the winner is Gina Dixon.

Casey Markee (01:17:47):
Gina Dixon.

Ashley Segura (01:17:47):

Casey Markee (01:17:51):
Gina Dixon. Fantastic. Good job, Gina. And again, I am so sorry. I hope my face pillow, I hope you are a good home. I hope that you’re giving it a good home, maybe free of pets, something along those lines.

Ashley Segura (01:18:09):
[crosstalk 01:18:09].

Arsen Rabinovich (01:18:09):
Those of you that are getting-

Andrew Wilder (01:18:10):
Is Gina still here?

Arsen Rabinovich (01:18:11):
… Casey’s face pillow-

Casey Markee (01:18:12):
She pops in. Yes, Gina’s here.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:18:12):
Those of you that are getting Casey’s face pillow-

Andrew Wilder (01:18:13):

Casey Markee (01:18:17):
Thank you.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:18:17):
… please take a picture.

Casey Markee (01:18:18):
Yippee. Okay, Gina. All right.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:18:19):
Please take a picture and send it to us, so we can see where Casey’s face pillow lives in your house.

Casey Markee (01:18:24):
Everyone, take a picture with your Casey pillow, and we’ll put them up on a site, “Where is Casey’s pillow today? Where is Casey today?” It’s going to be good.

Ashley Segura (01:18:33):
We will definitely need that information.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:18:36):
Put a bowl of fruit in front of him.

Ashley Segura (01:18:39):

Casey Markee (01:18:39):
Yeah, a bowl of fruit.

Ashley Segura (01:18:40):
That’ll be helpful.

Casey Markee (01:18:40):
That’s fine. It’s all good.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:18:41):
Not fruit. Not fruit. Bacon.

Casey Markee (01:18:44):
Maybe bacon.

Arsen Rabinovich (01:18:46):
And candy corn.

Casey Markee (01:18:47):
Bacon and candy corn. Again, that’s the-

Ashley Segura (01:18:49):
Which will definitely help him.

Casey Markee (01:18:50):
… breakfast of champions right there. Candy corn and bacon.

Ashley Segura (01:18:54):
As we wrap up, just want to thank our sponsors one more time. SEMrush, Tastemakers, BigScoots, and Feast Plugin, especially Tastemaker. If you guys are not familiar with Tastemaker, I highly recommend clicking on the link and going and checking it out. Lots of great content there, and it’s not just because we’re all going to be speakers there, but because it’s great content specifically for publishers. Definitely check them out.

Ashley Segura (01:19:16):
Next week, we will send out an email to everybody who registered with your unique code to get 30-day free trial of SEMrush. Everybody who won their prizes, I’ll also be emailing you individually to get your address and send you all of the goodies. Otherwise, thank you so much for tuning in for a year with us.

Casey Markee (01:19:35):
Yeah. Fantastic.

Ashley Segura (01:19:35):
Hopefully, we’ll be even bigger next year. Perfect.

Casey Markee (01:19:39):
Thank you, everyone.

Ashley Segura (01:19:39):
Take care, everybody.

Casey Markee (01:19:39):
We’ll see you again soon.

Ashley Segura (01:19:39):
Thank you.

About The Panelists

Andrew Wilder

Andrew Wilder is the founder of NerdPress, a digital agency that provides WordPress maintenance and support services for publishers and small businesses, placing an emphasis on site speed, stability, and security. He has been building, fixing, and maintaining websites since 1998, and has spoken on a wide variety of technical topics (in plain English!) at conferences such as WordCamp LAX, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Food & Wine, Techmunch, BlogHer, BlogHer Food, and Mediavine.

Andrew on Twitter >>

Arsen Rabinovich

Digital Marketer, SEO, International Speaker, 2X Interactive Marketing Award Winner, Search Engine Land Award Winner. Founder @TopHatRank, a Los Angeles based marketing agency that specializes in innovative digital marketing techniques for modern brands of all sizes.

Arsen on Twitter >>

Casey Markee

Speaker, writer, and trainer, Casey Markee has been doing SEO for 20+ years, has conducted over 1000+ site audits, and has trained SEO teams on five continents through his consultancy Media Wyse. He believes bacon should be its own food group and likes long walks to the kitchen and back while under home quarantine.

Casey on Twitter >>

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