Joining me live for edition 47 of TWiO were Aleyda Solis from Orainti, Chris Green from StrategiQ, Kieran Headley from Webbysite, Michael Bonfils from SEM International, James Bavington from StrategiQ and Andrew Steel from Equator.
DAVID BAIN: 302 links don’t lose page rank, Yahoo sells up and how can local marketers take advantage of Pokémon GO? All of this and more in This Week in Organic, episode number 47.
Hello and welcome, I’m David Bain and each show I’ll be joined by some knowledgeable, opinionated folks to discuss the latest happenings in anything that impacts organic traffic. As for you in the live audience, get involved, so there’s a good comments section underneath the video, hopefully we’ll get a bit of interaction there. If not, there’s always the replay, of course, and we’re on iTunes, we’re also on the Authoritas.com blog as well. But let’s find out more about today’s guests, where they’re from and what has caught their attention this week? So, starting off with Aleyda.
ALEYDA SOLIS: Hello, how are you?
DAVID BAIN: Yeah. Great, thanks.
ALEYDA SOLIS: Thank you for inviting me. I’m so happy to be here and the one thing that has taken my attention this week has been the Yahoo deal, definitely. I think it’s something that we all have been expecting in one way or another, sadly. But there was quite a funny murmur going on that I shared in Twitter an hour ago. The timeline of Yahoo, right, like when they controlled everything and they decided to not buy Google, to pass on this deal, pass on this other deal and now they are being sold, like, I don’t know, maybe 1% of the value that they had ten years ago. For me, it’s still a bit raw. It’s a sad time, for sure.
DAVID BAIN: Yes, it is. It is a bit said and also, I mean they’ve been losing money, the last quarter I think it was about $300 million wasn’t it, that they lost? Which a business obviously can’t keep on going. But it is a sad time. Those of us who have been around a little bit longer in the internet era remember Yahoo was one of the first websites to actually go on to find information. So I guess it’s the changing of a lot of things going on online at the moment. But it would be good to talk about that later on. But let’s find out a little bit about who else is joining us. So, also with us today is Andrew. Would you like to introduce yourself and actually maybe give one topic that is of particular interest to you?
ANDREW STEEL: Yes, sure. I’m Andrew Steel. I’m the head of SEO at Equator based up on Glasgow. I think the topic that’s got my interest, apart from obviously the Verizon purchase of Yahoo, I think the announcement coming from Google on 301 and 302 redirects is quite an interesting one. I think it’s probably something that’s been in the planning for a while and I think there’s been discussions about whether Google have already been doing this for a while before they’ve confirmed this. So that’s the one stands out for me.
DAVID BAIN: Absolutely. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of discussion about that. I notice that Aleyda was involved in the chat with Gary Illyes as part of the announcement there, so I’m sure she’ll have something to say about it. I’m sure Chris will have something to say about it as well. So Chris is joining us today.
CHRIS GREEN: Great to be on, eventually, after a few failed attempts! I’m Chris Green, I’m Head of Search at StrategiQ. The story that’s kind of piqued my attention, not just because of the nostalgia value, but it’s got to be Pokémon GO and the small business angle. Primarily because one of our clients has been able to leverage some of that themselves, but in the last week or so I’ve heard some really quite interesting stories of this turn of events, so whether or not there will be any long-term marketing associated, which is probably unlikely, but I still think it’s a really interesting story nonetheless.
DAVID BAIN: Yes. I mean it certainly depends on your business. It’s not going to be a business opportunity for everyone, but it will be interesting to hear if anyone’s got an opinion if a particular sector or type of business is likely to be able to take advantage of that. Obviously joining us to today is James.
JAMES BAVINGTON: Hey guys, I’m James. I’m also from StrategiQ. I’m the Creative Director and work very closely with Chris. I think the Verizon acquisition of Yahoo certainly caught my attention and very similar to Chris, I’m very much looking forward to talking about Pokémon GO and the marketing opportunities arising off the back of it, just because it’s such a new thing really. As the article that I was looking at mentioned that first augmented reality game and marketing opportunity, so very much looking forward to talking about all of today’s topics.
DAVID BAIN: Yes, I was reading up about it a little bit today and I was thinking of secondlife.com, because they, perhaps, even had an opportunity to do a similar kind of thing, because they built that artificial world and I remember talking about it nine or so years ago, when they were doing it. But I don’t think they’ve evolved onto an app, so maybe Pokémon has taken the first move or advantage here. So it will be interesting to see what happens there, but also I guess what other businesses end up doing similar kinds of things and perhaps even moving the opportunity forward even more. But also with us today is Kieran.
KIERAN HEADLEY: Hi, David.
DAVID BAIN: Hello, Kieran.
KIERAN HEADLEY: My name’s Kieran. I’m essentially a freelance SEO consultant now and one of the main things that I’ve been looking at and looking into this week is obviously, as mentioned before, with regard to the 301 redirects now actually passing some authority, now them confirming that they actually pass authority, which I think it’s nice to see the confirmation and not the whole old story which was along the lines of they don’t pass any authority, but they pass all of the penalty if they have a penalty. So I definitely want to talk a bit more about that.
DAVID BAIN: Great. Okay. We’ll be hearing whether people think that’s a good thing or a bad thing from an SEO perspective. Also with us today, last but not least, is Michael.
MICHAEL BONFILS: Hi, David. Thank you for inviting me. My name is Michael Bonfils. I run a company called SEM International. I’m also a Board Member for SEMPO. One of the things that I’ve been thinking about this week, which is actually really big news, I think, to everybody, is the roll out of expanded text ads in paid search. So that’s definitely going to be a big game-changer and we knew about this, that it’s happening and that it’s going to be rolling out. But now it’s official. I think this is really going to change things. It’ll change things for organic. There’s not going to be much room left on organic on the mobile sphere, so that’s kind of interesting to me, and see how that’s going to look. Also on an international front, this is very interesting for me, because you have so many languages that are much richer, much more detailed than ours. So this new expanded text ads will be able to accommodate to that. My mind is just twirling with ideas around that.
DAVID BAIN: Great point and I love your thoughts there, especially around the fact that paid will obviously impact organic, because we’re talking about real estate here and certainly on mobiles, people will have to scroll before they see any organic result if they don’t do that already, certainly. And SEOs that don’t pay any attention to what’s happening in paid, surely aren’t on top of their game, because they’re not seeing at first hand the impact of everything else that’s happening out there and how that’s going to affect what they do as well. But let’s move on to topic number one, which is Gary Illyes has tweeted that 301 and 302 directs links don’t lose page rank anymore. But how does this impact SEO and does this mean that your current, say, 302 linking strategy should change? So who shall we talk to first? I think Andrew – Andrew did you mention that this was a topic that was of particular interest to you today?
ANDREW STEEL: Yes, I think it is interesting, because I think whenever we think about any kind of technical audit in SEO work that we do for a client, a big part of it is always looking at redirects and redirect mapping and redirect chains as well. In the past a lot of the best practice around dealing with redirects was minimising the chains, especially, because of the drop offs in the value that would get passed or as I think we’ve seen before, about whether any value got passed as well. I think particularly for 301s we know that value had been passed, but for 302s it’s kind of become one of those recent points of speculation, where people thought that they were passing value and I think John Mueller came out and said this and a lot of people had questioned whether it was actually the case or not, but I think it starts changing a bit with the waiting of time at least that you put into doing a lot of these activities if they pass complete value. The chaining thing is something that they’ve not said whether that would still be an issue. And it is obviously still an issue from a user experience perspective and from an optimisation for crawlers and requests perspective, definitely I think there is a lot of interesting potential for change in terms of just prioritisation of some of that technical activity that we’d typically look at around redirects.
DAVID BAIN: So, Aleyda, I see you nodding away there. What effect do you think this will have on the impact of the quantity of 301s and the 302s that are implemented in in the future?
ALEYDA SOLIS: That’s the thing. What I am afraid of is on the one hand they have confirmed that 302 do pass value, right, but on the other hand, what we have, for example when I do audits and I do a lot of audits, especially in multi-national websites, where I find is a lot of times where the logic of this redirect is not the correct one, so people still make 302, 301 in many situations and then in those cases, yes, we might not necessarily go through the pains that, ‘Oh, change that 302 to 301’ for example, because that still passes value. However, I wonder how that impacts other types of recommendations that have been there for a while. Like, for example, for language or country selectors or global pages that we’re redirecting towards other geolocalized internal pages based on the IP, the recommendation that was provided by Google in 2014 or 2013, there is a fuss about that, was that the redirect should be done with a 202 redirect, because at the end you want each language or international version stands on its own. So I wonder how that changes it all. And also, I remember two years ago they started to say, like, for mobile redirects, it didn’t matter, 202, 201, but in my case I still continue to recommend 201s, because I like to be consistent and if it is a setting that is not going to be changing from one moment to another, and it’s a permanent type of configuration, let’s be consistent and if the effort is the same, if it’s just changing a number on the history access, so it shouldn’t matter. And then on the other hand, of course, it’s about validating and checking with our own test and seeing that, yes, redirecting this to that makes this the final destination that ends up being ranked and ends up being that it’s true that the page that is redirected is passing value to the other or not. It’s also about validating and checking all this. But, yes, I’m definitely a little bit worried about the impact of this type of confirmation, how our clients, for example, with RankBrain, I had the typical situation of clients asking me how they were going to optimise for that? So in this case I am a little bit afraid that they are going to say, ‘Oh, we don’t need to fix redirects anymore, because they all pass value’ or something like that. So it’s very important for me that all of these scenarios are very well defined, very clarified and that at the end of the day, we do our own validations and we are consistent with the type of configuration and work that we want to achieve. From a crawling perspective, crawler efficiency, also from a user experience perspective and many other reasons and goals that we may want to achieve.
DAVID BAIN: I like that word validation that you’re using. Because obviously it could be easy to be reactive and suggest lots of things to change about an existing website based upon what appears to be a new way of treating 302, certainly. But the right thing to do is maybe step back and actually see what kind of impact it has on existing sites before recommending things for the future. Chris, what are your thoughts on this? Would you actually recommend anything based upon what we’ve found out now, or would you simply step back and see how it actually impacts things as they are?
CHRIS GREEN: I think the echo of fear there, I’ve certainly been on that end of the perspective, where you’ve said to a client or a developer you need to change these redirects, it’s the wrong response, you’re giving the wrong signals and they say, ‘Okay, well why is that a big deal?’ And you say, ‘Because of page rank. Because of rankings, visibility etc.’ And that equation was a very simplistic one to show someone, because the end result was very, very clear. Whereas I still think from our perspective and looking at it now, it’s a case of, ‘What are you telling Google about that redirect?’ Is it permanent or is it temporary? What do you want Google to do with that information? I mean the flow of page ranking, if it’s a page that you want to direct page rank to, it’s a page that you want to be ranked and be considered, then make that permanent. Commit to it. I think my concern in the long-term would be whether or not the two redirects became almost, in a sense, the same. But I don’t think that’s necessarily what Google are saying, I think it’s more just a…it seems like they are trying to help people out who aren’t implementing it correctly. Maybe. I don’t know. A lot of it is that we have to wait and see how it changes. I think this kind of this is notoriously difficult to test for, as well. My concern would be for websites that have an over use of 302s internally, so e-commerce sites that have lots of links that they don’t want crawled and indexed. But that’s kind of a crawl issue, whether it passes page rank or not. I mean if it’s still on every single page of the website, it’s still excess crawl, it’s still tying up the resource that you want elsewhere. So if you need lots of 302s, I think you probably need to check what the actual problem is, rather than put a temporary fix on it. I’m not convinced that this change really will make me act any differently.
DAVID BAIN: James, is this just Google getting fed up with SEOs and webmasters who aren’t actually using redirects in the correct manner and actually starting to maybe treat redirects in a similar kind of manner because there are so many people not using it in the right way?
JAMES BAVINGTON: Yeah, I think so. It always surprises me to understand exactly when and how and why the guys at Google tweet about certain things and confirm or deny things. I think they are such an important part of, particularly with things like website development, if you’re launching a new website or links become orphaned and so forth, and I think it is obviously in Google’s interests to encourage us to map those. But I think just echoing what Chris said, it doesn’t really change anything for me. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to get any lazier about how we map redirects for our clients. We still will be just as thorough and I think, as we were saying a moment ago, Andrew was saying how chaining redirect is still a poor user experience, it’s still a lazy thing and I would always try and just have one redirect. So I think they’re probably saying it because potentially they’re just getting bored of people bombarding them, asking them about it, because it was something that a lot of people suspected. Looking at it at little bit more earlier, I think a lot of people still don’t believe necessarily what Gary said and are just taking it a little bit with a pinch of salt. So as Chris said, I doesn’t really make a huge amount of difference for us, but just to carry on being as thorough as you were before and if something is a permanent redirect, redirecting it, if it’s temporary, keeping it temporary, and just ensuring that we do our mapping very thoroughly for our clients. Chris and I are doing a very large one at the moment and it won’t change what we’re doing in any way, shape or form.
DAVID BAIN: Kieran, what are your thoughts on this? James said that maybe some people don’t believe what Gary was saying that much and maybe if Matt Cutts was saying, it would be treated a little bit more seriously, I’m not sure. What are your thoughts on this one, Kieran?
KIERAN HEADLEY: I think one of the main worries is that you don’t want people to become lazy and have that effect where people think, well it’s passing page rank now, so we don’t have to sort out the redirects. From a usability point of view, you want people to go into the right pages and you want the redirects in place for that, but will that any effect if you have the redirect chains, albeit they’ll pass authority, will it actually have any effect on the way that Google ranks your website, based on the fact that you’ve actually got a redirect chain. So from their kind of crawlability, the way that they crawl your site, then it may have some form of affect. The other question it threw up in my mind, was if a 302 redirect is obviously a temporary redirect, will it take longer for any authority to pass through a 302? Because they think that that redirect may actually be taken down in the long run? I’m not sure. With regard to what Google say on social media and in talks, I think they will have an ulterior motive as to the reason they do it, like you touched on, that maybe they want people to start sorting out their redirects, so give then that little thing of, ‘Oh, yeah, they will pass authority. People will now start to actually sort them out.’ But I do think you do have to take it with a pinch of salt.
DAVID BAIN: Michael – would Google ever have an ulterior motive about anything?
MICHAEL BONFILS: Why, no, of course not! I’ve been thinking about this and the key word that we mentioned in the beginning or maybe you mentioned in the beginning, was that they just started passing through page rank, right? So think about that. One school of thought, you can also think have they always passed page rank, they just never told us? And that could be a possibility. Or they’re starting to pass rank now because their new algorithm is taking over and their new algorithm needs to pass page rank for it to work properly. And if it’s the latter, does that mean that SEO’s have an opportunity to game the system, like they did with cloaking back fifteen years ago. So there are a lot of questions there. For me, I agree with the rest of the panel. I think 301s is the proper way. I hate that they’ve even made this an issue now, because we all know what’s going to happen. We’re going to be sitting in meetings and the IT guy is going to pull up, ‘Well it doesn’t matter, you see.’ And we’re going to have to argue this over and over. So it’s so unnecessary and so irritating. You have no idea, well I’m sure you do have an idea, I think everybody had an idea, because we all work with clients. But I don’t know, this is interesting because it might also be a signal that this RankBrain or whatever algorithm they’re calling it today, might have some gaming opportunities to it, when you think about this a little bit more. Again, I don’t game systems, I’m 301 all the way, but other people might be gaming systems.
DAVID BAIN: Okay. Well some wonderful thoughts there. I’m sure we could carry on for the full hour on this one topic, but let’s move on to topic number two, which is Pokémon GO is bigger than Tinder, has move active users than Twitter and is apparently even more engaging than Facebook. But is it just a bit of fun, or could this be a game-changer for the local marketers? So let’s start with Aleyda for this one.
ALEYDA SOLIS: You know what? For me it reminded me of how Live Four Square in the first place started to become famous and started to become popular, because of the gamification. That you went to places, you checked in, you became a major. Of course it doesn’t have anything to do with augmented reality, whatever, but it was a local thing, localised, and of course it could have been like a game-changer for local businesses again. But they didn’t end it like really moving or providing something that was valuable or integrating with the services of local businesses at the end. And at the end they killed, they got gamification when they spilt the apps and whatever, so now I am seeing the Pokémon GO phenomenon and thinking, ‘Oh my God, again there’s a game that is driving a lot of people to some specific places, just because the Pokémons happen to be there.’ I have seen a lot of photos of pubs and bars and cafés where it says, ‘You need to consume to be able to enter and catch the Pokémon or come and let’s talk about Pokémons.’ And there was a meet-up here in Madrid the other day at a park to speak about how to train and get the Pokémons and things like that and there is actually a service that I have seen that some people are actually offering rides on their motorcycles and on their bikes also in Barcelona for €20 I am going to take you around Barcelona to go for the Pokémons that you want. Things like that, it’s crazy. However, what I am wondering is, yes, are they going to be able to provide a style of services that will actually be useful and bring value and bring business that will connect with the intention of the user and will also connect with the desire and the goal of the local businesses to acquire real clients and to incentivise consumption in the way that, sadly, Four Square in the past didn’t do? So I see like the whole hype and the opportunity there, but let’s see if they are able to build this layer of actionability towards business and services towards business, that’s the thing.
DAVID BAIN: It’s certainly phenomenal, the quantity of people so quickly that they’ve got using the service, and the amount of engagement that they’re getting with people who are using it as well. There is talk, I believe, if people like McDonald’s perhaps sponsoring it as locations that you can go to as well and maybe even banners or adverts that you can actually place, I guess in this world as well. One of my thoughts, straightaway, is surely Google will be kicking themselves as well, that they didn’t actually perhaps do something like this. Because they’ve got the whole mapping service, so it would have been so easy for them to do something like this, or at least partner up with someone like this. Andrew, is this just a bit of fun, or is the potentially a serious business for many people?
ANDREW STEEL: I think it’s definitely an interesting one. I think the rapid growth that it’s had has been pretty remarkable. It’s turning over something like 1.6 million a day, which I was amazed at when I read that. I hadn’t realise that it had been quite so rapid. But I was never a big Pokémon fan. I think I kind of missed that one when I was younger. But I have seen, as Aleyda says, a number of bars and restaurants – I think they’re probably the more suitable types of business for this kind of thing. Something where you can obviously get footfall along really and then try and generate some sort of transaction off the back of it I think are appropriate businesses. I do know what one of our clients in the past had used Ingress, which was another Niantic Labs game and they’d driven 600,000 people to locations where they have offices, but I think off the back of that it’s hard to tell what a business like that is able to generate from it. But certainly for bars and restaurants and shop and retail type locations, yeah, I can see why it might be something certainly to jump on and the kind of trend for it. Whether it’s got long-term appeal, I don’t know, because my gut feeling is with a lot of these things it will have a huge initial wave of people using it and then they’ll be a kind of element of that will drop off as transient users, but I think it’s definitely got a value short-term, at least as a marketing opportunity with all the things like being able to set up locations as PokeStops or setting lures – I’ve seen bars and restaurants using these things and attracting some custom in, so you could argue that for the cost at the moment anyway of setting these things up, being able to generate a few extra customers, it’s definitely a win in that sense.
DAVID BAIN: You’ve got the lingo, Andrew. Have you got it installed on your phone?
ANDREW STEEL: I don’t actually have it. I know a number of people in my team though who are avid users of it and I have learned a lot over the last couple of weeks from them.
DAVID BAIN: Has anyone where actually got it installed on their phones? Ah, here we go…
ALEYDA SOLIS: It’s so weird, because again in my case it is the same. I wasn’t part of the Pokémon or Pichu type of fun when I was a kid and probably the people who are more engaged with it are the people who were when they were kids. So for me it’s just driving around and why are the valued in different ways? What is the purpose? Things like that. But I can guess a lot of generations, there’s a whole generation who are already engaged even without playing, just because they knew the rules from the past.
DAVID BAIN: Are you still Snapchatting every day, Aleyda?
ALEYDA SOLIS: I am. That for me is more engaging, in my case.
DAVID BAIN: Chris, what are your Pokémon GO thoughts?
CHRIS GREEN: I think there’s something to be said about it at the moment. Obviously no one saw it coming at quite the rate. When it was hinted at before the launch, there were many fans, like myself, who saw it the first time round and it’s come full circle and that whole augmented reality part was almost too much of a lure for people to let down, but SurveyMonkey put out some research, I think it was late last week/early this saying that in the States we’re starting to see that peak subside, we’re starting to see that, whether it’s almost hitting critical mass or whether it’s just slowing down, it’s hard to tell. So I think the prospects for business will ultimately be most accurately seen when it dies down. I think a lot of people have been quite opportunistic about setting lures or applying for PokeStops or Gyms or what have you nearby. I think they’ve closed the ability for people for appeal for that nearby, because obviously businesses could jump on that. I think from a monetisation perspective, for businesses, if there is still the demand there in a couple of weeks’ time, then paying subscription for businesses to get PokeStops or Gyms or, like the McDonald’s model that’s been hinted at. You know, it’s almost like a pay per check-in or pay per visit based in that. There’s clearly something there. I think if the demand is there, once it settles down then we’ll see businesses continue to get on it. Because us, in the UK, we watched it become massive in the States and then stories of enterprising businessmen reached us slightly before the official launch, so I think probably the UK were much quicker on to it. But at that point it almost…you were daft if you weren’t making use of it. So if you were a restaurant or a bar or even a sweet shop and you didn’t have a sign in the window saying ‘Pokémon Trainers Wanted’ kind of thing, you were probably missing a trick. I’m a little conflicted about it, because I loved it, I’ve not really played it this time round, the thought of someone travelling round Barcelona looking at their phone, rather than actually looking at everything around you, just as someone who doesn’t get out to Barcelona very often, that makes me a little sad, but that’s quite beside the business perspective.
DAVID BAIN: It’s good to see a couple of people tweeting their thoughts live here. Dan Taylor, ‘Good to see the show back and six quality SEOs with you as well.’ So he’s very approving of the panel on today. And Stephanie Katcher, too, a regular viewer, ‘Happy to see TWIO back today.’ So thank you very much, Stephanie. But James, you seem to be the only chap on the panel who has actually got some practical experience with what we’re talking about here. So with regard to that, what are your thoughts?
JAMES BAVINGTON: I’ve just kind of picked up on it just out of interest. I was probably just slightly too old when it originally came out in, what ’99, I think I was about fifteen or sixteen, but I think when it came out, I was just curious and had to play on the game and it’s kind of that quick thing you can play with when you’ve got sort of two minutes, and I think what I found really interesting with it was that it was brought to my and Chris’s attention through one of our very entrepreneurial clients that we work with. Now he is a local business in a small shopping centre in a city called Coventry near to us and a lot of the people who were there had actually got the game by hacking it before it was actually made available. And as Chris hinted, they were almost ahead of the game a little bit. They’ve got a Pokémon Gym outside and a PokeStop and what I thought was really interesting was they were working together to share the investment of getting, as Chris mentioned, these things called lures that people can buy that attract Pokémon to the area and therefore all users who are playing the game can see that this lure is activated and they then gravitate towards that area and I think the opportunity for local marketers, what Chris and I have seen and have almost been helping them with, is the entrepreneurial aspect, those who can and should take advantage of it probably already have. What Chris and I were trying to do was then also show the media what they were doing, talking to local papers and getting it out there how they were leveraging that platform to increase footfall in their area and I think for me there probably isn’t the longevity in the game that I think people expect. Like a lot of things, as everyone was saying, it will be peaking. I think just three hours ago BBC reported that the first person in the UK was claiming to have caught all of the Pokémon, but he has been playing it solid apparently since it came out at the start of the month. So I think they’ve got to invest this money. I think as Andrew said, they’re taking $1.6 million a day just off the iPhone users alone and they’ve got to invest that in enhancing the game and moving it forward and rolling our new features if they’re to maintain that usage. I think if they’re going to maintain usage and keep the game engaging, then businesses will continue to adopt techniques to take advantage of that. And I’ve also read as well that the game are looking to have sponsored locations. But rather than paying a serious amount of money to become a PokeStop, they’re apparently doing a pay per visit model whereby you can simply engage and become a PokeStop and then for every person that comes and spins the thing round to get free elements out of it, because the way the game works is through in-app purchases and you guys probably think I’ve been playing this way too much. But if really is really interesting and it’s been interesting to kind of follow and keep tabs on and it is great to see that it’s almost a new medium allowing local businesses to bring footfall to their stores. So I hope it does continue and I hope it does pave the way for a lot more augmented reality applications and sort of marketing tools as well.
DAVID BAIN: Wonderful. Let’s move on to Kieran – Kieran what are your thoughts on this?
KIERAN HEADLEY: I think one of the main things is the word hype and whether that will kind of die down. At the minute, like James said, there are people that are getting close to completing the game and if they don’t move it forward then are they then going to stop playing and you’re going to get people dropping off anyway? I did read earlier this week one of this ideas is to monetise it and obviously the pay per visit way of doing it was one of them. But one of the other things that they were potentially concerned about was if, say, for instance two or three businesses that are relatively close together both try and either get the lures or the PokeStops and then they’re only going to allow one of them or each of the a certain period of time to actually pay for that lure or pay for that PokeStop. So you’re going to start to get the bidding against each other and the competing that you do in PPC, but without the stopping big companies being able to come in and just, essentially, saturate and pay whatever they need to to get people in. The likes of McDonald’s and the McPokerStop or whatever they wanted to call it, which was an interesting concept. But I think one of the big things will be what comes out after this, what sort of augmented reality games come out after it and how people can potentially jump on them. Because I think the first couple that come out after it will have quite a high traction based on what’s come off Pokémon, but then over time as you get more and more augmented reality, it’s going to seem like the standard sort of game. So potentially jump on the hype while we can now and then, over time, it’s then not going to be as interesting when they do come out really.
DAVID BAIN: Stephanie Katcher, one of our viewers, is saying, ‘Watching TWiO is cutting in to my Pokémon time, but you know, priorities…’ Good to know you’ve got your priority right. And Michael, you haven’t given Pokémon GO a go?
MICHAEL BONFILS: No. To be honest with you I hate Pokémon, I hate Pokémon. No offence to any fans of Pokémon out there. If it was Smurfs, just to age myself, like Aleyda said, Smurfs, I’d be all over chasing Smurfs around. But Pokémon is a great way for American fat children to run around and lose weight in my opinion and for another reason that I am not looking forward to this Pokémon phenomena is because at trade shows, we’re going to get Pokémon chotskies and I can’t stand chotskies, those little foamy, rubber Pokémon chotskie things, so I’m not looking forward to that. Nor am I looking forward to when you’re speaking at a conference and everybody’s playing Pokémon on their phone, because I know that’s going to happen, I’ve already seen it happen. But regardless...
DAVID BAIN: Are you looking forward to anything?
MICHAEL BONFILS: Regardless even though I’m not a fan, I’m thinking about optimisation or at least SEO for Pokémon, so I came up with the first organic Pokémon optimisation programme, right here. So basically what you do is you wait for the Google Maps card to be coming around your neighbourhood and then you just toss this sign out, stand there and smile and you’ll get, obviously, tons of Pokémon people to rush to your store and hopefully buy your slurpies and everything else.
DAVID BAIN: For our audio replay listeners, I’m not going to say what you said on that bit of paper that you just showed to the screen there, because you should be watching the show live. So next show, you should be watching the show live. You’re missing out.
MICHAEL BONFILS: Exactly. But did you see the little Pokémon on James’ shoulder, when he was talking. That little black Pokémon moving around on his shoulder. Did you notice that, on the bed there?
JAMES BAVINGTON: Yeah, that’s my cat.
CHRIS GREEN: That solution for marketing was the most analogue, digital solution I think I’ve ever seen.
MICHAEL BONFILS: Perfect. Right. Okay, but in all reality, I think this is a combination of VR and augmented reality. It’s fascinating. I have been looking at this for months. I’ve been going to trade shows on augmented reality. You know Brett Tapke, I think everybody knows Brett Tapke of Pubcon is a huge VR/augmented reality guy, so I think our world really needs to start paying attention and I say our industry when I say our world, to start paying attention to this combination of what is augmented reality and the future of search, what is this going to look like and how is this going to change? Right now, I have a client who’s asking me to find out ways that he could look at analytics when you use a VR handset and do search queries using your eyes and your voice. And I’m scratching my head thinking, ‘Oh my God. How can a client be coming up to me with this? I should be the one that should be thinking about this now.’ So there’s a lot of game changers here. This is just the start of it. I mean my recommendation is Pokémon great, great, go for it if you want to market it there, but also look at the new technologies and everything else that’s coming out. I think there’s a lot of hidden opportunities and just goldmines that are going be released over the next couple of years.
DAVID BAIN: Absolutely. Don’t just run with a fad. Look to see what’s right for you and your business, but be aware of what else is out there and make sure you try and leverage that as well. But the discussion is going on, time is passing, so I reckon we should move on to the next topic, which is it was a closed shop for a while, but now Twitter are opening up the ability to become a verified account. But what does becoming verified really mean and does it really matter? I reckon the only verified account here is Aleyda, is that right?
ALEYDA SOLIS: I actually asked for the verification. Well they confirmed that they were doing it and yes I filled in the form which is very straightforward and short and yes they verified me. There is something that I can’t think that really helped me, which is a situation that happened six months or so ago. I had my first name handle – @Aleyda in Twitter. Because I originally registered with Twitter in early 2007, so I never thought that taking like Aleyda Solis, which is my first and last name, so there is someone else who has taken Aleyda Solis and they are not using that account at all. And I know that there’s people who at some point follow me there. First just to realise that there’s no one tweeting there and they start following me after. So actually a few months ago what I did initially was to ask Twitter if they could give me the Aleyda Solis account because it was my first name and last name and they answered me, at that point, that I needed to prove that this was a registered trademark in order to do that. So what I did six months ago was to register my first and last name as a trademark here in Spain, so when I request it now, so time passed by, I’d even forgotten about it, and now a week ago when this started to be enabled, the request, for the validation. So I realised, ‘Oh, I have now my trademark.’ So I’m not going to just send ID, which is something that they ask you to do, but also send that I own the Aleyda Solis trademark name and I explained the whole thing. So they confirmed it right ahead. I think because of that, because I proved that I had had issues in the past with other accounts taking my name and things like that, and then that I also was the owner of my own trademark, so I think that helped. But in my case I think it’s good, just because I am like showing that this is the real account that I use and people can stop following the other one.
DAVID BAIN: So what are the main benefits then of becoming verified actually to operate that account. I believe that you can follow more people than people can follow you. Are there any metrics like that that you are aware of that you get more of, if you’re a verified account holder?
ALEYDA SOLIS: I have no idea if there’s like an additional benefit or limit or nothing extra that this will really view like from that data that I get from there and anything is exactly the same that I did in the past. So I am not really sure that this will benefit in any other way than maybe give a signal of trust or authority maybe or something like that.
DAVID BAIN: I was watching a Periscope by Joe Com and I believe he was saying that you can follow more people and do more things with your account. But I wouldn’t particularly want to follow more people than you can do with a free account certainly as well. Andrew, does having a verified account on Twitter appeal to you?
ANDREW STEEL: I think for me personally it’s probably not a huge issue, but I think where it probably becomes valuable is for people or companies or organisations where people might be maliciously setting up parody accounts or spam accounts or things like that, then I can see why it would be of value. But I think when it starts becoming open to everyone then it probably is an individual name where people are already following you and are seeing interaction and having interaction with you, then there’s probably a bit less value to it than for individuals and kind of celebrity level or company level where it might be important. But for me personally I think on an individual level it’s probably less of an issue than certainly if you were having issues with people creating parody accounts or spam accounts then, yes, I can see why it would be of value.
DAVID BAIN: Let’s see who on our panel has got a reasonable number of Twitter followers there – Michael, you’ve got a couple of thousand there. Is getting verified something on your radar at all?
MICHAEL BONFILS: No, not really. I always thought that was kind of a no brainer. You should have verification just to kind of clean up the mess that’s in there, but I mean seriously getting to it now, really? I mean Twitter should have done this ten years ago or five, six, seven, eight years ago. I mean this is just kind of obvious stuff, right, to clean up this mess. For me, I’m kind of the ulterior motives type of guy as well, and Twitter is trying everything they can to make money and they’re failing miserably at it. So maybe an enhanced Twitter subscription model is the only way that they can make money in the future. I don’t know, I’m kind of suspicious of where they’re going with this, especially now. But I really don’t have much to say.
DAVID BAIN: Kieran, you’re smiling away there. Have you got some thoughts on this if Twitter have ulterior motives for implementing this?
KIERAN HEADLEY: I’m not sure if they’ve got ulterior motives, I just worry if there’s any way for, as with anything digital, if there’s any way to kind of get in the system in getting verified and getting accounts that potentially shouldn’t be verified, verified and whether they’ve potentially opened it up to people to be able to essentially say they’re someone else and get verified as someone else. I’m not sure how the process itself works, but there always seems to be a way that someone can get in the system. But from a company point of view, it’s a good thing to have. But, yes, I do worry about the kind of, the digital market and there’s a lot of people out there that do try and get in anything that they can and whether that is physically possible, I’m not sure.
DAVID BAIN: Yes, it is a bit sad, but it’s certainly a concern. So if any viewers or listeners have additional thoughts about this, it would be good to hear if you’re keen to get verified on Twitter or you’re not that bothered about is at all. Use the #twio on Twitter, whether you’re watching this live or a recording, it would be good to hear from you. But let’s move on to the final topic, which is it’s the end of an era, Verizon has purchased Yahoo’s assets, but what might this mean for Yahoo search as we know it and how might this deal eventually impact content marketing in general? So I think it was Aleyda who said at the beginning that it’s kind of the end of an era, so you’re sad about this, are you?
ALEYDA SOLIS: There was this meme ‘Don’t be like Yahoo’, it’s like the ultimate type of…what we can learn from all this, it’s pretty sad. I think that the first time that I searched it was with Yahoo, that I experienced the search type of experience. It wasn’t really a search engine at the time, but by being in the directory and being able to access information through a website, it was through Yahoo I think, before Alta Vista in my case. So it’s rather sad and the thing is what is going to change? I don’t think that much, really. Because, for example, I mean they haven’t been really in the search game any more for a while and for me it’s like what does it mean? Nothing, it won’t have an impact at all, because I haven’t really like done anything, I don’t do paid search or paid apps or anything which is what they can offer right now or they have been able to offer display advertising for a while, things like that. So it’s not a game changer for me, sadly.
DAVID BAIN: It appears to be more significant in the States, because Yahoo is the third post popular site in the States. So, Michael, what are your thoughts on this?
MICHAEL BONFILS: It’s a good question. I’m disappointed too. Back when I started, I stated in SEO in October of ’96, I remember it clear as day. And prior to that I was working in Europe on Yahoo when it was just an inter-college project. So my background and my career started with Yahoo, so there is a bitter sweetness because of that. So I am sad. On the other hand it’s like dude, you guys could have sold this thing for way, way more money to Microsoft, to Google, to so many others that could have bought it back when they had the opportunity. So it’s just, it’s kind of like watching a baseball or a basketball player quit when he already sucks, instead of quitting when he was on top of the game. So that’s the kind of disappointment I feel about Yahoo. And Verizon, so what does it become? A Yellow Pages? So that’s what I’m thinking. Verizon has a bunch of Yellow Page ad guys that can’t sell anything anymore with their books, so add Yahoo to the directory again. It’s kind of a bummer. It’s a really sad situation, I think, and hopefully Verizon won’t destroy it like Myspace was, not that they bought Myspace, but there you go.
DAVID BAIN: Talking from the United Kingdom, not so many people are aware of the Verizon brand. I’m not sure if their intention is to keep the Yahoo brand, or rebrand things? Has anyone heard anything about that at all?
MICHAEL BONFILS: I actually think they’ll keep the Yahoo brand. Also one thing to note for everybody else, Verizon is our biggest, or second, first or second largest telecom company in the US and the other is AT&T. Now AT&T for years all of their emails of all of their AT&T subscribers had to go through Yahoo servers. So Verizon buying this, I still have an AT&T account through Yahoo, so this is a data goldmine that was worth the billions of Dollars for Verizon just to get 100 million AT&T customer contact information. So for them it’s kind of a nice little cherry on top of what they purchased.
DAVID BAIN: So it’s not really about becoming a competitor in the technology industry today? It’s just a data game, is it?
MICHAEL BONFILS: If you’d ever met somebody higher up at a telecom company, you know they’d probably never be a competitor with the likes of Google of somebody else. No offence.
DAVID BAIN: So what about SEO or organic content marketing in the land of Yahoo? Does anyone participate in that at all? Andrew, James, Kieran? Or do you just focus on Google, you don’t have any major focus on any other search engine in the UK as well?
ANDREW STEEL: Yes, it’s interesting that Yahoo own Tumblr, do they not, and I think for Verizon it’s kind of tying up what they got from buying AOL either earlier in the year or last year I think it was in terms of owning properties like Huffington Post and places like that that are kind of interesting from a content marketing perspective. So I think it will be interesting to see what they choose to do in kind of tying all these things up, because I know some of the stuff that I read on this has been around the things that they’ve got in the acquisition in terms of analytics like Flurry and things like that, so it’ll be interesting to see if Verizon try and tie all these things up to create some sort of wider content marketing mix and implement a better tracking on that. In terms of using and targeting Yahoo as a search engine from an organic perspective, I think they are so far behind what Google have in terms of an algorithm and market share from my perspective, certainly if you’re doing what’s best for Google, you’re probably doing what’s already best for Yahoo and there are some things that you can do in terms of putting a bit more data focus in terms of optimisation activity that could help you with Yahoo, but I guess from what you would be doing for those, you’d probably be setting yourself back in some areas in terms of where you might rank in Google, so it’s not been a huge area of organic focus. It’s obviously still has paid advertising activity taking place there as well. But from an organic perspective I think Yahoo has been pretty far behind, certainly in the UK and as you said before, for some time, that particularly most of where we focus for optimisation and kind of tracking the performance and any kind of significant algorithmic changes and the impact on that, the focus in the UK is largely Google and Bing and even for international clients I think Yahoo is a very small part of what we would do, certainly.
DAVID BAIN: Yeah, I…
ANDREW STEEL: That’s not to say that we neglect it entirely, but it is a small part of targeting, obviously.
DAVID BAIN: I’m assuming that Chris, James and Kieran don’t have anything to add with regard to content marketing opportunities using Yahoo?
CHRIS GREEN: If they’re gambit into becoming a much larger player in the publishing space would have been probably more successful, but I think that’s probably a bit hypothetical if they’d have been more successful there then they would probably would have sold for a lot more money. But that possibly, some space that I think from that side of things you’ve got a lot of ad media opportunities, places to be seen, I think that possibly the best content marketing opportunity for those quick to it now is some really cool interactive timeline of the rise and fall of Yahoo. I think that’s probably the most that you’d be worried about from here on, really.
DAVID BAIN: I can see the infographics coming.
CHRIS GREEN: They’re already about, you’re too late.
DAVID BAIN: Okay. I reckon that just about takes us to the end of this week’s show. So just time for a single takeaway and some sharing of find out more details from our guests. So if you can just have a little think about you know what we’ve been discussing and perhaps actually one takeaway that you think has been particularly insightful yourself that is worthwhile our listeners having a bit more of a thought over to see if they can do something with that in their own businesses. So let’s start off with Aleyda. Thanks for joining us and what are your final thoughts on today?
ALEYDA SOLIS: Well thank you for the opportunity, it was really fun to be able to share the news. For me one thought would be we’ve seen here how there are different things happening for sure and none are necessarily related to SEO, the only thing that we discussed that might directly affect SEO is what we discussed regarding the redirect treatment. However, many other activities and annuities and releases that for sure can be taken into consideration to identify opportunities. So for me it would be like the value that this can bring. Like, for example, you localised businesses or local businesses. With Pokémon GO right, to identify opportunities and to take them into consideration for the strategies of our clients. For me there is a huge opportunity here and so it’s like opening our eyes not only focusing on what’s happening purely in SEO, but any other aspect or launching new things in all lines and marketing in general.
DAVID BAIN: So if you’re just sitting there in an SEO box and you’re not doing anything else in the digital world, then get out of the box and actually learn one or two other things as well, so you can interact with other people in the digital world.
ALEYDA SOLIS: Indeed.
DAVID BAIN: And where can people get hold of you, Aleyda?
ALEYDA SOLIS: I am a very heavy user of Twitter, hopefully it doesn’t die as Yahoo or whatever, although like Four Square, it’s sad that we have discussed many of these quite nice tools that at some point really deliver a lot of values and sadly have died. Hopefully Twitter doesn’t go down that road, because I really enjoy it, it’s an amazing tool. So I am always reachable through Twitter, I really enjoy interacting with Twitter or Snapchat. I have become more and more active on Snapchat, Aleyda Solis I am in Snapchat, so you can also interact with me through there. Send me some snaps.
DAVID BAIN: Do that, yeah. Thank you so much for joining us today. Also with us today was Andrew.
ANDREW STEEL: I think in terms of a topic area, I guess it’s probably broadly applicable to a number of things we’ve covered, but I guess it’s not jumping too heavily in a kind of knee jerk way on things, so Pokémon GO is great and it has great opportunity for local businesses as well, but it’s making sure that you’re going about it in the right way and with the right aims, rather than just jumping on it and thinking you need to spend money with it as a kind of fad thing and the same for even the 301 redirects and general 300 redirects that we were talking about and as Aleyda mentioned there, it’s not jumping too heavily on what’s being said to over react and change, but looking and seeing whether it does change some of the prioritisation of where you would spend time and activities there. Because I think from a user experience and a crawler optimisation perspective, minimising things like redirect chains and things like that is still obviously important, but it’s whether it maybe puts a bit less weight on your time that you would got to spend in changing 302s to 301s if they’re saying that they are actually the same thing. I think we probably want to be doing a bit of testing and seeing whether that does seem to pan out to be the case and obviously there’s all kinds of challenges with testing on these things. But I think those would be the main takeaways I would say. In terms of where you can reach me, @AndrewJSteel on Twitter or through our website www.eqtr.com on through LinkedIn, Andrew Steel.
DAVID BAIN: Great, okay. Well thank you so much, Andrew. And also with us today was Chris.
CHRIS GREEN: It was great to be on. I think for me takeaway wise, not exactly to a counterpoint on Andrew, but maybe a little bit at odds with him, obviously Pokémon GO possibly a flash in the pan, but the enterprising have got on it quickly and made their buck out of it. That kind of spirit is, I guess, what SEO was built on back in the day. So it’s just being ready to adopt something. But equally, if anyone in any kind of large company is going into a Monday morning meeting talking about their Pokémon GO strategy, they probably need to maybe rethink, unless they’re McDonald’s and are into it. So people can find me most likely on my Twitter @ChrisGreen87 or our website www.strategiqmarketing.co.uk.
DAVID BAIN: Superb, thanks very much, Chris. And also with us today was James.
JAMES BAVINGTON: Yes, thanks for having me, David, great as always to talk with everybody on the panel. I think the topics that we’ve discussed this week just show how much things change in our industry and what we do and how exciting it is and it’s why I enjoy it. I think talking about Pokémon has been a lot of fun and just to echo what Chris was saying, yeah, a little bit of a flash in the pan and I think those that have taken advantage of it probably already have and if Pokémon can keep the momentum going and keep the game exciting, then it may stay around for a lot longer and be part of our activities with our local clients. But I think really the key thing to really takeaway would be the news on 301 and 302 links now passing page rank. I think from my perspective, whilst this is obviously a positive, it wouldn’t change anything that I’m doing. I think 301s and 302s need to be done accurately, correctly and thoroughly and the news doesn’t really change that sort of instance for me. If anyone wants to find me, the best way is probably on Twitter. My user name, which I’ll just post in now is simply @Bavington,which is my surname.
DAVID BAIN: Okay. Well that’s the private chat between us participants here on, but I’ll make sure that I leave your Twitter handle in the links in the show notes, so that’ll be published on the Authoritas.com blog. But thanks very much for joining us, James. And first time TWiO participant today, everyone else has been on before actually, was Kieran. Kieran did you enjoy your day?
KIERAN HEADLEY: Yeah it was really good, thank you, and thank you for having me on.
DAVID BAIN: Thanks so much for coming on. So what would your thoughts be on a number one takeaway from what we’ve discussed today?
KIERAN HEADLEY: I think it does echo a lot of what the others have said as well, obviously with the 301 redirects I think is a big thing. Coming from a technical background, I’m normally head down in a spreadsheet, so that isn’t going to change with the news and I think having a look to see over the next couple of weeks to see what research gets done, what things come out about how websites have actually been affected by the change. If the change has only just happened as well, obviously the old conspiracy theories about what Google tell us and all that, just have a look at some of the research and potentially do our own research as well, just to see how that actually affects it. But for the time being I’m not going to change any of the technical ways that we do it, just from a user point of view it will work a lot better.
DAVID BAIN: Great advice from our panel. Don’t be too reactive, just see how things actually pan out and impact other businesses. You don’t have to do everything immediately. So thanks a lot for joining us, Kieran. And also with us today, the chap that got up earliest in the morning, Mr Michael Bonfils.
MICHAEL BONFILS: I was telling David and the group before everybody joined this morning that I actually dreamt from four o’clock to six o’clock that I already had this meeting, so it’s nice to know that this is a déjà vu that came through. But I’ve got plenty of coffee as you can tell and my sarcasm is already up to my normal standards.
DAVID BAIN: Not quite to British levels, though.
MICHAEL BONFILS: No, not at all. Thank you guys very much for having me. I love being on this show, it’s a lot of fun. So again, thank you. Takeaway from me, like I mentioned before Pokémon and how quick it’s spread is a perfect example of opportunities that you could miss if you’re not focusing on them. If you’re not familiar with a lexus, the lexus isn’t that old tool that you use to measure site traffic, a lexus is a voice search of a product that Amazon has or a voice product, not a voice search, a voice product, Siri obviously you’re familiar with. VR technologies and the movement toward VR is also all going to be powered by voice. So look into voice, voice is really critical and it’s an open ball game there. And the same with virtual and augmented, all of these things are a big deal and to start thinking about how is this going to change my career and my business in the future? I have one organic takeaway that I wrote for those who want to leverage Yahoo now. It’s if you like Pokémon, you will love Yahoo. So just put this in front of your store and wait for the Google car to come round and then lastly, if you want to reach me, I’m on Twitter, I can’t say I’m super active, but everywhere I can be reached by my name together, so Michaelbonfils, Twitter Michaelbonfils, LinkedIn Michaelbonfils, Facebook I think I’m searchenginemaster, but that was a long time ago. I know that sounds really dorky. But everything else is Michaelbonfils and one last thing that I did want to say is I’m so excited to see Aleyda here on the panel. I just found out yesterday that she and I are going to be speaking together in Vegas on a panel, so I’m really excited about getting to know you better and being there and if anybody in the audience or anybody in the panel here is going to be there, it’s the Pubcon Conference in Vegas, come on over and play Pokémon all you want while we’re speaking.
ALEYDA SOLIS: And we can play Pokémon together for sure.
MICHAEL BONFILS: Yeah, while we’re speaking, for sure.
DAVID BAIN: That will be your discussion, yes. Well thank you so much, Michael and everyone. It was a great episode. It was great to have you along. So thank you very much. I’m David Bain, Head of Growth at Authoritas.com, the data science-driven SEO and content marketing platform for agencies and enterprises. And you can also find me interviewing online marketing gurus over at digitalmarketingradio.com. Now if you’re watching this show as a recording, remember to watch the next show live. So head over to thisweekinorganic.com. You’ll be directed there to see where you can watch it live for the next show. But for those of you who are watching live of course we’ve got the audio podcast and replays available on Authoritas.com, the blog. But until we see you again, have a fantabulous week and thank you all for joining us. Adios. Thanks, everyone.