TWIO-21: Is Negative SEO a Reality?

This is the twenty first episode of, ‘This Week In Organic’, the weekly show that debates the ramifications of the latest SEO and content marketing news.

In this episode, among other things we talk about whether the government are spying on you through your smartphones, whether you should publish your content as ‘accelerated mobile pages’ in the future and did you know that hacked SPAM could be seriously affecting your SEO?

Our host, David Bain is joined by Andy Halliday from eBuyer, Talha Fazlani from Freeman Harris Solicitors & Grant Whiteside from Ambergreen Internet Marketing.

Sign up to watch the next show live over at and share your thoughts on what’s discussed using the hashtag #TWIO on Twitter.

Here’s a summary of what we discussed:

TOPIC #1: Is negative SEO a reality?

It’s being reported on a few sites that Google have penalised a link network called SAPE. S-A-P-E. After a quick search for “SAPE links” and I found a post on the Warrior forum saying that “SAPE links are great for building to your competitors.” So this begs the question, “Is negative SEO a reality and if so, should most businesses be concerned?”

TOPIC #2: What do the latest Google Maps updates mean for your business?

It’s being reported on a few sites that Google have penalised a link network called SAPE. S-A-P-E. After a quick search for “SAPE links” and I found a post on the Warrior forum saying that “SAPE links are great for building to your competitors.” So this begs the question, “Is negative SEO a reality and if so, should most businesses be concerned?”

TOPIC #3: Will Pinterest be a serious competitor to Google Maps?

Pinterest are launching an iOS app functionality that will let users make phone calls and get directions to local businesses. It’s also automatically pulling in location information for pins now as well. Does this mean that every local business needs to be on Pinterest Maps as well as Google Maps? Will Pinterest be the next big map provider?

TOPIC #4: Is it possible to SEO a live event?

Last week Google was seen testing a new red ‘LIVE’ label in its search results, highlighting a story that is being reported on or discussed at that moment. With Twitter, Periscope and now Blab we’ve seen the ability of anyone to break a new story or cover a current new story. Are covering current new stories a significant SEO opportunity? Will this opportunity increase in the future? How can a business better optimize the coverage of live events?

TOPIC #5 : Is Twitter the best social network for digital marketers to be on?

It’s been a sad week for Twitter as they’ve announced up to 336 lay-offs. Does this just mean that they’re still struggling to find a decent revenue model? Or are they struggling with attracting users too? As a digital marketer is Twitter the best social network to be on, or are there up-and-coming alternatives that are worthwhile considering instead?

TOPIC #6: As a marketer, where is the best place to publish your videos?

And staying with Twitter, you can now upload a 30-second video to include with a Tweet, directly from your desktop. Is this going to be an effective use of a marketer’s time, or are there better places to be publishing video?


DAVID BAIN: Is negative SEO a reality? How do you SEO live events? And where should a marketer publish videos and why? Welcome to This Week in Organic, Episode Number 21.

Broadcasting live on Blab, you’re watching This Week in Organic, the weekly show that debates the ramifications of the latest SEO and content marketing news. Sign up to watch the next show live at

Hello and welcome. I’m David Bain and each week 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. Click on the little bird button to your top left-hand side to share the show with your friends and tell us exactly what you think of what’s being discussed in the comments section just to your right-hand side and I will try to read out as many thoughts as I can.

So let’s find out more about today’s guests, where they’re from and what’s caught their attention this week. So starting off with Andy.

ANDY HALLIDAY: Hi. I’m Andy Halliday. I work for I’m their Head of SEO and PPC. The thing that’s got my attention this week is Google announcing potentially they’re targeting the SAPE links across the internet.

DAVID BAIN: Yeah, absolutely. I read that story as well and that’ll be quite interesting. And Grant, thank for joinin gus.

GRANT WHITESIDE: Hi. My name’s Grant Whiteside. I’m Technical Director at Ambergreen Internet Marketing. We’re based up in Edinburgh and there’s a few interesting points that came out this week but I’m going to the SAPE links as well, and obviously people looking about how it’s going to clean up their backlink industry.

Grant Whiteside from @ambergreen_says "Whenever you create a manufactured, unnatural Link Network"
Grant Whiteside from @ambergreen_says “Whenever you create a manufactured, unnatural Link Network”

DAVID BAIN: Clean up everyone’s back yard. And Talha, thanks for joining us as well.

TALHA FAZLANI: Hi. So my name’s Talha Fazlani and I’m an SEO consultant. I mostly work with small to medium-sized companies and the story that got my attention this week is on Google Maps, mostly because I work with small companies and I’ve seen a great deal of work for small and medium-sized businesses which use Google Maps.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, lovely stuff. So just keep that microphone close to your mouth, Talha. Good stuff.

So let’s move straight onto topic number one. So it’s been reported that on a few sites, Google have penalised a link network called SAPE. After a quick search myself for SAPE links, I found a post on a worry forum saying that SAPE links are great for building to your competitors. So that was one of the first quotes about them that I saw.

So Grant first, maybe. SAPE links to your competitors. Is that a good idea?

GRANT WHITESIDE: I’m sick and tired of these private blog networks People have rewritten the script countless times over the past eighteen, twenty years about how they actually gain organic visibility. And yet it’s just one of these things that isn’t on, it was never strong. Whenever you create a manufactured, unnatural link network, it’s eventually going to fall over at the end of the day. So it’s inevitable it’s going to happen and if you’re going to put all your eggs in one basket, Google’s going to penalise you. They own 93%, 94% of the market share in Europe and there are plenty of other ways of getting visibility. It’s called paid search, it’s called YouTube, it’s called lots and lots of other things. And at some point some good things come to an end.

DAVID BAIN: It’s a very, very short-term thing, isn’t it? It’s called…was it super affiliate something something? So obviously it’s a focus on building thin affiliate sites just to rank for a very short term, so it’s burn-it-type websites and build as many links as possible to them over a short-term and then when Google picks up on it, obviously that site will disappear from existence in terms of Google organic. So a very, very short-term strategy. There are maybe some very aggressive businesses you could argue that that works for. But it’s exceptionally dangerous, certainly for any business that wants to stay around for a decent length of time, to actually be obtaining those types of links. Andy, what are your thoughts on it?

ANDY HALLIDAY: If you’re trying to be able to brand, it’s a no-go. Because a brand you want to be around for ten, fifteen, twenty, a hundred years’ time. Google are going to catch up with you.

In terms of negative SEO, as long as you check in with Majestic et cetera to see what new links you’ve got coming in, you should be alright from a negative SEO point of view. But if you’re trying to build a brand, do it naturally ‘cause Google will catch up with you. Whether it’s this week, next week, five years down the line, you’re going to get caught and you’re going to lose all your traffic, your rankings.

DAVID BAIN: So Andy, do you think it’s a legitimate concern for a business to be concerned about negative SEO? Because it is easy to buy loads of links and point it to your competitor. Is that something that a legitimate business should be worried about less scrupulous competitors doing to them?

ANDY HALLIDAY: Yeah, I check once a week in Majestic and a href to see what new links we want to

DAVID BAIN: And have you encountered something that you’ve thought could be a little bit dodgy?

ANDY HALLIDAY: No, I’ve never spotted anything but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So once a week it’s always checked to see what new links, ‘cause it’s quite easy. There’s websites you can go on. I’m not going to name them but for $40 you could take down pretty much any website in the world.

DAVID BAIN: It’s a bit scary. So Talha, what are your thoughts on this one here? Have you encountered many link-buying networks or have any stories to tell about them?

TALHA FAZLANI: Well I was reading the same forum you read where someone mentioned that used SAPE links for your competitors. Someone mentioned that it’s not a long-term strategy, using SAPE links for yourself. It’s something you create for sites that you want to grow up quickly and then drop out quickly. So short-term strategy for short-term goals, you know? And a lot of people use private networks to be able to get up rankings quickly. Personally I’ve never come across anyone who’s used it against a competitor. But you read about it a lot online, so I can only assume that there are people out there who do this. Of course, for a long-term strategy if you want to build up your brand, if you want to get the longer-term branding, SEO strategy down, you wouldn’t use any private linking farms, groups, anything along those lines. I don’t think there’s any value in it in terms of negative SEO. Of course, like Andy said, if you keep an eye on Majestic SEO, you’ll be well ahead of the game and you can always disavow links, find out who’s behind it. I even know someone who suffered from something similar and what they did was they were able to find out who actually pointed all those links to them, where they were coming from. And hopefully, if you keep an eye on things, if you know which sort of link strategy you employ, you shouldn’t have a problem with negative SEO. That’s pretty much my opinion on this subject.

DAVID BAIN: Okay. So Grant, have you experienced negative SEO targeting any of your clients at all and had to actually try and clean things up?

GRANT WHITESIDE: Oh yeah. So this week we took on a new client and we found 230 injected links into the website that were pushing viagra as well. So we’ve got two things going. We’re using Xenu link sleuth on the inside looking at all those hacked links, plug-ins and all the rest of it, so a huge clean-up job there. And there’s the outside as well, which we use LinkRisk. So we’re looking for what we’ve got to disavow as well. And bad links that come out of your websites, hacked or not, are going to be in bad neighbourhoods as well. So it is the responsibility, as Matt Cutts was saying this week, it will be the responsibility of webmasters to look after this stuff, make sure that even though you’ve got your best intentions in mind, that other people have got their own agenda against you as well.

So yeah, I’ve seen it a few times. We’ve done lots and lots of stuff manually, we’re using LinkRisk constantly, using things like Xenu just to make sure that we’re looking at every single page, we’re looking at every single plug-in, and checking once a week, once a week – depends on what the website is – and it will take down businesses and it is going to be something that webmasters and SEOs need to look at, definitely.

DAVID BAIN: And are you a fan of the disavow tool as well, Grant?

GRANT WHITESIDE: Yes, absolutely. It can be a little bit over-the-top at times but sometimes when you just look at the top level that’s coming in and all the garbage that’s underneath it, you’re better off just clearing out the lot. And yes, I’ve removed several hundred backlinks from websites this week and it’s done nothing more than push people’s rankings up.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, a good comment from Raminos in the chat, saying that negative SEO can come from old content that actually points to old domain names which have become weird, spammy, dodgy sites and maybe were something legitimate originally. So you have to check all your old links out of your website as well. I think that’s a great tip as well. Andy, you’re nodding away there. Is that something that you’ve done as well?

ANDY HALLIDAY: Yeah, and I want to say that I wish it had been there with webmaster tools ‘cause if you’re trying to upload a disavow file to Bing, you have to input each file manually, whereas with Google you just upload a CSV file. It’s so annoying for Bing. Can’t they do one simple change so you can upload a CSV file?

DAVID BAIN: But you find that you use Bing webmaster tools just as much as Google?

ANDY HALLIDAY: I wouldn’t say just as much but I do use it. It’s got some useful information in there and 6% or whatever numbers you want to believe are people using Bing so I still want to rank in Bing. So I don’t focus as much time – probably 6% of my time on Bing – but if they find a link, they’re going to penalise me at some point so I want to disavow it in there as well.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, interesting.

TALHA FAZLANI: Just on this topic, a lot of people who’ve done SEO for a long period of time, what they’ve done is bottlenecks and, say, five or six years ago a company might have bought a number of links for their domain and when they actually get penalised, they do not know the type of links they bought. They do not remember. And it becomes a matter of saying that it’s either negative SEO that was done by a competitor… So it’s also a matter of knowing the sort of links you had. I’ve known some people that are old links to be something they forgot about, something they don’t remember, and they consider it to be negative SEO, something that came from a competitor. And that’s not often the case. You know, if you have negative SEO, it’s a bunch of links mostly thrown at your site in a very short period of time from very low quality sites. So there’s a big difference between what people consider to be negative SEO and what it actually is. I’m not sure if you all agree on this but that’s what I’ve often noted for a lot of people who say they’ve been affected by negative SEO.

DAVID BAIN: So Talha, would you say from what you’re saying there that if the history of a domain name means that it’s had so many low quality, irrelevant links built up to it, then sometimes you’re actually better off going for a brand and domain change and just cutting off and just starting again?

TALHA FAZLANI: I would not pursue a different domain unless it was absolutely necessary and you know that you’ve gone down so badly you can never really recover from it. I mean, if you have thousands or tens of thousands of links pointing to your domain and 80% or 90% are bad links or from bad neighbourhoods, then you might consider a new domain. As SEO works right now, a lot of it is brand-focused and if you’re a SEO strategist building low quality links, a lot of keyword density-heavy pages, you can still recover if you’ve been watching your website on a regular basis. That’s an extreme scenario. I wouldn’t really recommend it. It might be helpful for some people who just cannot recover. But I do think there is a way to overcome your issues that you have or any negative effects of old SEO campaigns that you’ve built up over time.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, great. But you just have to be willing to work at it and take time. How long is a reasonable time to wait? Are you talking about six months? Nine months? Even longer than that?

TALHA FAZLANI: It depends on the company and how many resources you’re willing to put in. While you’re removing all the bad links, sorting out all the pages, in that time you should be building up a good, strong, branded, SEO strategy, a good social media strategy, creating content. So the two things can run side by side, but it’s just a matter of how much time and resources a company can put into actually recovering the website from any potential damage they might have incurred.

DAVID BAIN: It’s a good point. You can focus on other sources of traffic in the meantime, certainly, and build up your brand as well. So although it’s sad that you might not get much traffic from generic phrases in organic, if you can drive traffic from social then it might be worthwhile doing, certainly. It seems like we could discuss this topic for the whole session actually, but shall we move onto the fact that Google Maps have been updated and business photos, details and reviews appear to be more heavily integrated?

What I reckoned when I just looked at it briefly this morning, listings were bigger, had more information, you can see reviews there as well. So for local businesses, are Google Maps going to be even more important in the future than they have been in the past? Grant, what are your thoughts on that one?

GRANT WHITESIDE: I think the opportunities are definitely growing just simply ‘cause of the amount of people that are looking for things on a mobile device. The opportunities to use a Google-approved photographer. I absolutely love that. I think it’s fantastic because it’s just like, ‘Come in and walk around,’ almost like Google Earth-style. You actually walk into a store. That’s really, really good. And obviously the opportunity to get people to review you positively, not only on Google but on all the aggregators that people are pulling in, things like that as well. It’s actually a really, really good opportunity.

And one of the key things is obviously to make sure you’re in the right category in the first place and you do get grouped in things, and that is one of the key mistakes, where people put themselves in the wrong category. And I think Google could do a little bit more about that, make it a little bit more granular about what this is in the first place.

But no, I think it’s going to get a wider opportunity and there’s an opportunity to tie in your other assets, not just digital assets, as regards autographs, tweets et cetera, and we’ve got to pull these things together. I think it’s going to become more of a real-time, engaging way of finding a good search result at the end of the day. So the opportunity’s just going to grow and grow and it’s going to be more relevant for people who are actually searching.

DAVID BAIN: Okay. Local listings, maps are going to become even more important in the future.

GRANT WHITESIDE: Yeah, absolutely.

DAVID BAIN: Because last week we discussed actually the fact that the local listings box in organic results has reduced from seven to three results.


DAVID BAIN: And it’s not Google saying it’s less important; it’s Google saying it’s more important to optimise and be within those three results at the top for whatever category’s appropriate for your business.

GRANT WHITESIDE: Yes. I think it’s a reasonably easy win if you actually get it right. But most people get it wrong! Well not most people – lots of people get it wrong at this moment in time.

DAVID BAIN: Absolutely. I mean, it should be an easy win if you do it right certainly, you would think. Or for certain local businesses anyway. We’ve got Raminos saying in the chat as well, just in relation to the previous topic. ‘Recreating a new domain is not necessarily a good solution because of course if you redirect the old one to the new one, you can be passing the negatives associated with the old domain to the new one as well, so unless you want to completely cut it off, it’s not necessarily a good idea just to move and redirect.’

Talha, what’s your experience with Google Local and Google Maps? Are you seeing that becoming more important moving forward?

TALHA FAZLANI: Well the companies I’ve worked with have had a lot of success with Google Maps. I remember four or five years ago I used to work for a local company. Their traffic used to be driven from Google Maps. They used to rank highly for location-specific keywords. It was a company based in London and they were driving so much traffic to the website based on their location-specific keywords, it was unbelievable. The majority of the conversions also came from Google Maps. Like I said, now the results are down from seven to three, it’s even more competitive and I think it’s a good decision because you had a lot of companies who are prominently positioned or in the top seven who don’t necessarily put in the effort. There are companies who go out there and actually actively get reviews, they actually post content on their Google+ pages or the pages linked to Google Places, and with their information, for example now you can actually find more information about landmarks and restaurants and stuff like this. So if you can integrate that wide information in your Google Maps or Places listing, it should help, and the more information it is, the better it is for companies.

So I do think it’ll play an even more important role with the amount of people searching for information on their mobile phones, especially local shops, local restaurants, companies who provide local services. So I like the way it’s going but I do think it’ll become more competitive in the future with companies trying to get into the top three position.

DAVID BAIN: Yeah. Will local businesses start to understand the power of things like reviews? It’s funny, just the other day I ordered a specialist light bulb online and the first one didn’t work so I actually had to phone them up and say, ‘Can I get another?’ and they sent it out straight away, I had it within a couple of days, it worked fine. So I wrote a review for them. I don’t write many at all but I like decent customer service like that and it was the first review they had online. And it’s that type of business that really needs to…after they deliver a product to a customer, say to them, ‘Thanks for doing business with us. If you liked how we did things, we’d really appreciate a review,’ and if they just found reviews a little bit more then it would help them so much to drive traffic. Most businesses don’t do that.

TALHA FAZLANI: People don’t see, you know, the Google Places or the location-specific listings as an opportunity. A lot of them just consider it to be something that they can list themselves and not have to look after. It’s like they consider it to be Yellow Pages for the internet. You have a listing, people will find you and that’s it. Engaging with your customers, when people want something off you, would be a great way to build up a certain amount of resonance, improve your rankings globally.

I saw something really funny the other day on Reddit. There is a prison in America and someone who had been to the prison had left a review for the prison, said it’s the worst he’s ever been to!

DAVID BAIN: Never go again!


DAVID BAIN: As if it’s a choice! I don’t know! Andy, can a big, national company take advantage of Google Maps and Google Local as well or is it more for smaller, local businesses?

ANDY HALLIDAY: Personally, I was happy when it went from seven to three ‘cause it meant I got more real estate to fight for. Because obviously we don’t have local stores. But I don’t know, when I was last on your show there was someone called Greg Gifford there and all he was saying was, ‘Name, address, phone number, get all that listed across the website correctly, sort out your local listings, local reviews, local links and you should be alright.’ Well in terms of us, it doesn’t affect us one bit, apart from we’ve now got more real estate to fight for.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, so you don’t have offices in multiples places in the country?

ANDY HALLIDAY: No, we stop at one.

DAVID BAIN: And so the one at head office, do you try and optimise that or is that just not important for you?

ANDY HALLIDAY: Just not important ‘cause you can’t come and collect from here so there’s no point advertising the fact where we’re located.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, interesting. Grant looked as if he was just about to say something there but maybe not.

GRANT WHITESIDE: Well I think it’s a great opportunity to demonstrate the value. Because there’s one thing that a website can do but if you do have something somewhere special and you actually walk into that store that can’t be represented on the website at this moment in time, I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to show what customer service looks like, what the products look like in context and real colour, in real light, with other products that are selling as well. And they can show the personality of the organisation, why you actually want to go there in the first place. And it’s something that could be done better than you’re currently getting just on your website alone. So I think it’s a great opportunity. But you have to work hard at it. And your point about how your large organisations work together, that takes a lot more organisation, especially when everyone has to align their efforts at the same time.

DAVID BAIN: I was just going to say that in the chat we’ve got Evron UK that’s said that, ‘We find that business category used to define businesses on Google Local are quite Americanised so maybe that puts people off as well.’

Okay, we’ve got Raminos saying that, ‘Something I’d recommend about local when your company does not appear correctly in the right of the SERP, putting all the information is very, very important, so microdata, scheme mark-up exceptionally important when it comes to local.’ Andy, I take it you can go ahead with that?

ANDY HALLIDAY: Yeah, it’s something that Google’s trialling in America. If you search for, say, ‘Liverpool Football Club’, going back to this Americanised thing, it’s called ‘roster’. Only we don’t call them rosters over in this country. They’ve changed it to ‘team’ or ‘players’ or…just a bit annoying.

DAVID BAIN: Yes, that’s incredible. You’d think they’d be big enough to resolve that. Nothing against the Americans in there but it’s important obviously, when you’re presenting your business, you present your business in a manner that the local audience that you’re targeting will relate to and like.

But let’s move onto topic number three, which is Pinterest are launching an iOS app, a functionality that will let users make phone calls and get directions to local businesses. It’s also automatically putting in information, so local information as well there. So it relates to the previous topic a little bit there. Is Pinterest moving in the direction of Google Local, Google Maps? Is Pinterest likely to be a competitor to Google Maps moving forward? Grant, can you hear us now and see us now?

GRANT WHITESIDE: I can hear you and see you, actually!

DAVID BAIN: What’s your opinion on this one?

GRANT WHITESIDE: Pinterest have got a long way to go. I think they’re doing the right thing. I think it’ll work particularly well if you’ve already got an audience, especially if you’ve got that local boutique store or that furniture store that’s so visually based on the beautiful products that you sell in the first place, but jumping into the social space and moving it in with mobile phones and location-based things, will it be a competitor to Google Maps? Probably not. But there is definitely something about the Pinterest audience, the huge female demographic that use it at this moment in time and the people that are using it well, as I say, fashion, furniture, food et cetera. There is something there. I wouldn’t make it my first port of call but I can definitely understand why certain businesses it’d be mad if they didn’t jump on every opportunity that they had with Pinterest if that’s where their audience are sitting at this moment in time. A long way to go for the majority of businesses but it’s certainly a good opportunity for some.

DAVID BAIN: Talha, you’ve done a lot of work for local businesses by the sound of it. Can you see Pinterest being just as important as Google Local for local businesses in the future?

TALHA FAZLANI: Like Grant said, unless you’re a retailer where you sell something that you can visually display, it’s off, and it’s very female-heavy, the user base of Pinterest. So I don’t see it happening because two years ago they said Pinterest will soon start selling products and will become the next big ecommerce platform. It hasn’t really gone down that way and it’s one of the other plans that they had for something like this and it’s taken a while to get there. It could potentially turn into something great.

I’ve traditionally tried to use Pinterest for certain customers but it hasn’t really worked in the way that we thought it would. It’s not something to stick a pin on and hopefully people will find you. A lot of people like things that are really inspirational or very visually attractive and if you’re in an industry where you can create or you have products which are striking enough then it might work, but in my experience it hasn’t really worked out. Maybe in a couple of years’ time it might change but for now I see it as something evolving to be better but just not there yet.

DAVID BAIN: Andy, are you a pinner?

ANDY HALLIDAY: No, I’ve never used it. I’d never even heard of this breaking story until I joined this conversation so I’ve not even looked into it but like the others said, if you’re a holiday company where you’ve got something nice and visual to look at, it might work for them, but it’d be small and few and far between companies. We’ll never look into this here at ebuyer.

DAVID BAIN: Okay. Also Stephanie mentioned in the chat, ‘Do you have the Facebook and Google logo beacons in the UK?’ I don’t recall that as being that important. I heard the announcement but I don’t recall much more about that. So Stephanie, if you could give us more information about that, then that would be interesting. Stephanie also says, ‘Pinterest seems it’s much a move to compete with Instagram and Facebook marketing.’ Yeah, we had some news about Instagram this week as well, actually, launching some kind of combination page for the various brands that are using it, so trying to demonstrate the fact that there are lots of brands out there who are using it and, I guess, enticing other brands to use their service. I think from what I know about Instagram, it’s only the paid service that you can track and you can have links associated with the images, so perhaps that puts some people off. But image marketing, video marketing, certainly very important moving forward.

Coming up we’re going to be talking about SEO in live events, whether Twitter is the best social network to be on for digital marketers, and also how to make the best use of online video as a marketer. So in the meantime it’s great – we’ve got so many comments going on in the audience. It’s great to have that. Keep on telling the little bird, share it with people, and hopefully we’ll get even more interaction gonig on here. But let’s just move onto the next topic which is last week Google was seen testing a new red live label in its search results, highlighting a story that’s being reported on or discussed at that moment. With Twitter, Periscope and now Blab we’ve seen the ability for anyone to actually break a news story or cover a current story that’s going on, but is covering current news stories a significant SEO opportunity, a significant marketing opportunity for businesses? Andy, can you see SEO moving into a direction where you can actually effectively SEO a live event?

ANDY HALLIDAY: It depends if it’s planned or not. So something like Felix jumping out from outer space you could probably…’cause that’s all planned so you could potentially do that. But if something’s breaking in the actual news, say on BBC, they haven’t got time to worry about writing its meta description. They’re all about getting the news story out there and being the first and they use push notifications as a key to get people to their site.

So if it’s planned, maybe. If it’s actual breaking news, probably not.

DAVID BAIN: Obviously you can’t really do keyword research based on a news event that’s just happening, especially if it’s a fairly unique event, but you can certainly format a heading intuitively a little bit better that’s more likely to incorporate a phrase that is used to describe what’s going on.

Grant, is that something that you can imagine being involved with in the future?

GRANT WHITESIDE: We work with a lot of publishers and there’s no two ways about it. Every major publisher already has a calendar ahead. There’s lots and lots of things that they know are going to happen every single week and every single month of the year. We know when the rugby world cups are and when Christmas is going to happen et cetera, et cetera. So along those lines, publishers have got an opportunity to think about how this works in the future.

I’m really interested in the whole idea about the fact that live TV could be something that actually saves Google at the end of the day. If live Google news becomes something that you just go to and it’s on the spot, then you don’t particularly need, as Andy was talking about there, putting in tags and all the rest of it beforehand. This could actually be a really, really interesting concept where, if that’s the first place that you can get that information – and Google isn’t the only person that’s doing this, obviously (there’s a conversation about how Twitter is moving in this area as well) – but instant video gratification news is something that is particularly interesting, especially for advertisers as well, to be able to jump off the back of these things.

And I think live internet TV is back on the agenda again. Obviously we’ve got live events on YouTube at this moment in time. But you have to subscribe to these things. It’s a very, very interesting space that all live TV and publishers or video publishers – and that includes the BBC and everything else – should be looking into this space thinking, ‘This could be a game-changer.’

DAVID BAIN: It’s funny, Grant. Twenty minutes ago or so, you talked about Google having 94% coverage and now you’re using the phrase ‘something that’ll save Google’ in the future.

GRANT WHITESIDE: Well obviously traditionally Google was very much a search provider and a lot of people have come into the space and shown that Google isn’t the only way forward. We can do things on Pinterest, we can do things on Twitter, we can do social listening on social media platforms, we can pick our fights and our battles in the right places as well. It is very different where Google is now. It’s trying to get into programmatic again. It’s trying to get into all sorts of areas where they’ve lost market share. It’s not been the de facto place where you start a digital marketing campaign anymore.

So in reference to what I was talking about there, this could actually be a bit of a changer. It really could.

DAVID BAIN: No, absolutely. I mean, just looking at the show, we were on Google Hangouts and for the last few episodes I’ve moved to Blab and at the beginning before we got set up here we had a few technical challenges but it’s working nicely now. It’s integrated more with chat. There’s more interaction with the audience. There’s more sharing on Twitter as well and it’s a real shame that a tool like Google Hangouts didn’t evolve over a couple of years really, and Google could have done a lot more with live, interactive TV so far. But they still have the opportunity there with YouTube and YouTube Live and I hope that they do something really interesting and different and something that’s focused on consumers and not just developing something technically from their own perspective in the future. It’s got to be something that really, really appeals to a target market and there’s lots going to happen over the next couple of years and I’m sure Google will be a big part of it certainly as well.

Talha, SEO-ing live news – is that something that is part of your thought process at all?

TALAH FAZLANI: Well, when I read this news story about this being shown live on Google for news items, I recalled every time there is breaking news, you go online or you go to Google and you type in whatever keyword you want to read the news about. You always get the most popular news websites like BBC, Guardian, every one of them listed and they’re live updating news stories as they happen.

So I think it’s more aimed to large publishing news outlets who have stories that they can developed. And I’m not sure for small or medium-sized companies, even larger companies will be difficult for you to know what will happen, unless you have a really strong website which is very news-focused. It might not be easy to get up there and compete with the likes of BBC, CNN, all those large news organisations.

It’s interesting because it’s useful. You know, if you see the live icon you’ll obviously click through to the news because you will get more news stories and as it’s developing, you’ll be able to get more information.

From a market perspective it seems kind of difficult to do much with it unless you can predict the future or come up with a way to integrate your news items, blog items with something that might break out in the next coming week or month. It just seems too far-fetched to me at this point that this might be some sort of content marketing strategy for anyone out there.

DAVID BAIN: We’ve got Everon saying in the chat, ‘Could breaking news in Google search work in favour of the small, hyper-local news websites or would it actually favour brands?’ I think that’s a good point and also in relation to what Talah was saying there.

My though process is that is certainly should encourage businesses to be very niche-focused and you need to know precisely what you want to focus on in terms of story. Certainly if you’re a smaller business you’re going to get lost in the message out there and if you haven’t got that domain authority or authority for producing news, you’re quite right – it’s not going to be worth your while doing that.

Grant, do you think there are opportunities for very niche-focused or very local-focused websites, content producers to appear in Google News?

GRANT WHITESIDE: Google News has changed a little bit over the years. It used to be a very crass algorithm and as long as you understood sitemaps, how XHML used sitemaps – which so many of the publishers didn’t have a clue what was going on – it was those who understood how it went on Google News that obviously managed to dominate the one-box space on the main results within Google in the first place.

So if you understand that, there is an opportunity. I do completely get you that the big guys will be the people that will probably take the opportunity. As far as, as I said earlier, understanding what’s going to happen in the news, we know when the next budget is going to come out, we know when the next budget statement’s going to come out. There are lots and lots of things. We know when the next Queen’s speech is going to be coming out. We know when the X-Factor final is. Most publishers know what most of their back fill is going to be for the next several months ahead in the first place.

Along the same lines as that, if you want to actually take that planning forward, I think there is an opportunity for some of the major publishers to do it. David, I totally get your point that it’s going to be difficult for niche players. It’s going to be harder for them, but I don’t know how this thing’s going to work. Is it going to be a Google newsfeed that we’re actually going to be using for this in the first place?

DAVID BAIN: It was certainly a newspaper website that they gave as the example, or it was a screenshot within whatever website actually found, so it appears to be news services that it’s taking this live information from, so it’s so-called trusted sources that it’s quoting or using. But I completely agree with your point, Grant. I think that the vast majority of businesses out there don’t have that annual content plan and that content plan can be used in many different ways. It can be used to comment on a story that you know is going to come up anyway. It’s something, X-Factor final or whatever you want to actually associate your business with or add a comment to, you can have that comment all prepped or at least the angle thought about before the story comes up. So it shouldn’t be a surprise when the story actually happens.

GRANT WHITESIDE: Exactly. So in the automotive industry, for instance, we know when the next Mazda car’s coming out. We didn’t know what was going to happen to the Volkswagen story but we could have reacted to that very quickly and could have pre-empted it, by the way, what’s been found in America – we’re going to be talking about this in Europe next week at least. But along the lines of car releases and things along those lines, they know when the next Rover’s coming out, the next Mazda’s coming out and all kinds of stuff. So there’s a niche part, just the automotive industry, that could actually talk about these things quite easily. You know what’s going to be happening beforehand. They’ve already planned it in their printed newspapers. They’ve already planned it on the digital platforms. Pre-empt the story and get to the press when it’s coming out, maybe at Earl’s Court when that car’s released in the first place. They know that’s happening beforehand. These are all opportunities.

DAVID BAIN: Yep, absolutely, Integrated marketing springs to mind. You know, get people working more closely with SEO, with social, because is it your experience, Grant, that it’s still silos at the moment too much?

GRANT WHITESIDE: It is a little bit, absolutely, yes it is. Yeah. The opportunity is for publishers to join these assets together in the first place, realise that it’s coming out on digital, it’s coming out on video, people want to see it on the internet, people want to see it on the TV later. Plan where the audience is, understand where your audience want to hang out and produce the content accordingly.

DAVID BAIN: Are you confident, Grant, that in 2016 CEOs are actually going to start to understand that SEO is part of the mix and integrate it into other marketing activities or is it still…

GRANT WHITESIDE: I think I was having this conversation in 2003 and 2002 and 2001 [laughing] when I was saying, ‘You want to get PPC and SEO and bring them together! Will CEOs…well the clever ones have already worked this out ages ago, so they’ve been doing it for years actually. The opportunities are out there. It’s just who will invest in these things and hopefully the numbers will tell them but that’s the spark, the wise thing to do.

DAVID BAIN: Andy, do you use Google News at all in the activities that you do or is that not really the main focus of what you do?

ANDY HALLIDAY: No, we tried getting our blog into there but it was actually rejected. Obviously we don’t cover main news stories so no, it’s not something we’ve particularly focused on in the past.

Me personally, I use either BBC does push notifications for all breaking news, or Facebook. I still get a lot from Facebook.

DAVID BAIN: Interesting. I was talking to Lukasz Zelezny from uSwitch, Head of Organic Acquisition at uSwitch in Episode Number 19 and we did a special on comparison sites but we were talking about Google News and he was saying that in terms of URL structure, if you want to submit your blog to Google News, you’ve got to have a number sequence within your URL and a lot of bloggers obviously have it optimised, allegedly, for whatever keyword they’re talking about, so it’s just their domain name dot whatever slash keyword phrase, and if your URL was in that format then it’s not going to be accepted for Google News.

ANDY HALLIDAY: Okay, that’s something to look into.

DAVID BAIN: Absolutely. It’s something that I didn’t know beforehand at all, so it’s an intriguing thing. Is that something you’re aware of, Grant, at all?

GRANT WHITESIDE: Yeah. The algorithm is growing up. It’s so painfully simple and was for years and years. It was just most people didn’t pay attention to it because most people in large publishing organisations didn’t have the assets or the skillset or the buy-in from board level to say, ‘Please look after this XML site. Make sure that my articles are released where my audiences are looking for these articles in the first place,’ and then a strategy about when they’ve won the space that landed in the Google box and people actually clicked on it. It’s a zero sum game. Either you win or you lose when it comes to Google News. It is getting more complex now. It’s just an algorithm.

DAVID BAIN: Lots for us to think about there and lots to plan for as well. It’s not something that you can reactively expect to appear in there. So if you’re likely to want to do it, you’ve got to be thinking about it and planning for it.

Okay, moving onto the next topic, which is it’s been a sad week for Twitter as they’ve announced up to 336 layoffs. So does this mean that they’re still struggling to find a decent revenue model or are they struggling with actually attracting users as well? So as a digital marketer like all of us probably taking part and interacting here, is Twitter the best social network to be on or are there up and coming social networks that are even more effective and appropriate to be on, as digital marketers? Andy, what are your thoughts on this one?

ANDY HALLIDAY: Personally, I use Twitter most days. As a digital marketer it’s quite a cool tool.

DAVID BAIN: So it’s your primary social network?

ANDY HALLIDAY: For us, yeah. If I want to look at pictures of my children that the wife’s taken, that’s obviously Facebook. But in terms of actually reaching journalists, Twitter’s really good ‘cause you can add these journalists to get links and mentions.

DAVID BAIN: Okay. So you can’t see yourself not using Twitter for weeks on end in the future?

ANDY HALLIDAY: No, it’s most days, if not every day. And especially any conference. All you have to do is follow a conference on Twitter and you don’t even have to be there and you can see what everyone’s talking about.

DAVID BAIN: Got you. Okay. And Talha, you’re fairly active on Twitter as well. Are there any other social networks that you’re finding even more effective or is Twitter the place to be for the kind of people that you want to interact with?

TALHA FAZLANI: Twitter seems to be the place where everyone actually reads your content properly if they are interested in what you have to say. It’s the one that I think works well and I’ve even come across companies who use Twitter chats or different Twitter campaigns to really get their name out there, engage with their clients. It works well. Twitter is good. Our clients regularly use Facebook and it kind of works. It’s difficult to kind of start working with because Facebook’s ad manager is a bit creaky. Twitter for live content, like Andy said, if you take the Google live story, rather than us pushing our content to get to the first page of Google, a lot of people are engaging with each other on the latest news stories and if you’ve got good content to share and you have someone looking after your Twitter and social media strategy, I’m sure Twitter is the way to go, especially for social media marketers.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, and we’ve got That Egg Guy saying, ‘How do you prevent fake Twitter followers in the chats?’ I haven’t really concerned myself with that. What I certainly have done personally is I don’t follow many people. I only follow a couple of hundred. Loads more than that follow me and I like that model because I want to look at my stream and see people that I’m actually interested in hearing what they say and I don’t want people who just broadcast nonsense all the time, certainly. Is that the right Twitter strategy? I’m not sure. Andy, what do you think?

ANDY HALLIDAY: Yeah, I only usually follow people that I’ve either seen at a conference that I really enjoyed the presentation to get future updates from, or people that share interesting stuff. If someone keeps posting rubbish after rubbish after rubbish, unfollow.

DAVID BAIN: Yeah. I’m an unfollower as well! Grant, you’ve got your AmberGreenSays Twitter handle. Are you that concerned about what happens on Twitter yourself personally?

GRANT WHITESIDE: Personally, no. Not in the slightest. I’ve hated it from Day One, I really, really have. As I’ve said to you many months ago, David, the whole idea of following people is something that goes way back to Bible days and it’s been a recipe for disaster. I know why businesses use it and there’s a fantastic opportunity for that real-time thing. What they’re doing now, as we were talking about earlier with this being able to use video as well, instant video, I think that’s really, really interesting. We mucked about with it earlier on today, but how long does it actually take to take a video straight from somebody’s phone, put it live, and it was done in seconds.

DAVID BAIN: Was that Periscope you were talking about?

GRANT WHITESIDE: Yes it was, it was Periscope we did it with. And it was quite good. Obviously it doesn’t work in other ways, as in you can’t tag it in the same ways that you would with other videos. Twitter’s an interesting space. Why they’re laying people off is a different story, ‘cause at the end of the day you’ve got these 800 million people that are signed up to it, but it’s 200 million or something that actually are actively working on Twitter at any given time and you’re going to have a lot of fakes as well.

So I think Twitter’s got a lot of growing up to do at the end of the day, in the same way that people used to have 10 billion backlinks that are all garbage at the end of the day. So let’s face it, it’s got a lot of growing up to do and until we work out some of the Twitter etiquette which is still wrecking people’s lives as well – the horrible way that people actually use Twitter at times – I think it’s got a lot of growing up to do. But I do understand why businesses use it. They can get massive benefits out of it. There is the following thing and yes, my clients, we actively use social listening so we tell people where to have the conversations in the first place, like we use Buzz Sumo to try and work out, ‘Is the conversation actually on Facebook? Is it on Twitter? Is it on Pinterest? Is it on Tumblr? Is it on Google+ in the first place?’ So we’re absolutely agnostic when it comes to these things but when a conversation happens for our clients, we work out where the conversation is and then go accordingly.

So me, absolutely, subscribe to Twitter as the way forward. But I love the new video thing. It’s very, very reactive, it’s very, very quick, and I think they’ve done themselves something fantastic there. It’s really a lot of fun, actually, just knocking something together. It’s all done in seconds and we’re live, sharing it. And then some random man said, ‘Hi!’ It works well.

DAVID BAIN: It’s quite incredible, Periscope, certainly. It gives you a good feel for the person behind the brand, a little bit more of a personal touch, rather than actually being traditionally marketed to, the ‘This is what we do,’ kind of situation there as well.

So is Periscope something that you’ve used, Andy, at all?

ANDY HALLIDAY: No. The only time I’ve seen it was a drunken night out at BrightonSEO this year! That’s the only time I’ve seen someone using it. So it’s something I do want to look into but no, I’ve never used it.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, yeah. I’ve used it a fair amount, maybe done six or seven broadcasts on it, and it’s quite nice but I don’t feel it’s quite the right one for me because I like being a bit more interactive and talking with people. I felt that with Periscope I was broadcasting a little bit, rather than interacting with people. But it’s certainly an incredible marketing tool and right for a lot of people. And probably depends on your personality.

Talha, is that something that you’ve utilised, tried at all, Periscope?

TALHA FAZLANI: Well I haven’t and I’d like to use it with the amount of video content that is being published out there. If you’ve seen long testimonial videos, any sort of videos that you had, you can almost turn them into bite-sized videos that can be put on different social networks. One of the things that I noticed was mentioned was that if you read the letter that was sent off to all the people that were laid off at Twitter, it mentioned that they will focus upon engineering further going forward. So I do think there were a few different plans and video’s a big part of it. And people are continuing to use videos as a way to reach out to their target market.

So it’s something I have used a bit, I’d like to use a bit more of, and hopefully it gets better, like I said, as publishing content. We should start getting more engagement out of it once we get a hang of it properly.

DAVID BAIN: Yeah. It’s certainly an incredible medium. Personal broadcasting is only just happened this year, really, the beginning of this year with Meerkat and then Periscope and now Blab as well which is very new and it’s just impossible to imagine how it might be in a year’s time. There might be brands that we haven’t heard of today that we’ll all be using and perhaps haven’t been launched yet. So it’s just a fast-moving space.

But staying with Twitter actually, you can now upload a 30-second video with your tweet, directly from your desktop. So before you had to upload a video from your mobile phone but now you can upload a 30-second MP4 directly from your desktop. So is Twitter reinventing itself and could it be a good place to actually publish video now or if you are a video marketer, are there better places to be focusing your time? Is YouTube the place to focus on? Or perhaps even Vine or somewhere else like that? Andy, have you been involved in much video publication, video SEO at all, driving traffic from there?

ANDY HALLIDAY: We’ve only just hired somebody actually, in the last couple of weeks to come in and do videos. So it’s something that we’re creating a strategy for. Twitter will be something that we look at when we come to do it but we’ll work out which videos for which channel. Some videos might need to be a six-second Vine. Others might need to be a two- or three-minute how-to video, which obviously is more suited to YouTube. Or if it’s a quick 30-second one then yeah, Twitter could be the way forward.

DAVID BAIN: So in general do you think it’s best to produce one video for one place or are you more of a fan of trying to syndicate that video out to as many different places as possible?

ANDY HALLIDAY: No, ‘cause each channel has a different audience and a different appetite for video. So Vine is six seconds, which is great if you’ve just got a short message. A how-to video, you can’t get that done in six seconds so you can’t use the same video that you’d use on Vine. It has to be completely redone on YouTube. So it’s all dependent on the channel and the message that you’re trying to get across.

DAVID BAIN: Okay. Even for a Facebook, for instance, you could in theory upload a video that’s fairly lengthy to there. They’re the same length as YouTube. But is that a different audience so it’s worthwhile having a tonality that’s actually focused on the audience and worthwhile producing another video for that?

ANDY HALLIDAY: No, if it was Facebook and YouTube it’d probably be the same video. Just ‘cause of the cost of doing a second video. So it’d be roughly the same message anyway.

TALHA FAZLANI: I do think that creating videos which serve multiple purposes. So create a video that is quite a bit longer and you can upload it to YouTube, but you will note that you can take out certain segments of it. One could go onto Vine, one could go onto Twitter now. So if you’re creative enough – and that’s what companies should aim for – make sure it’s in a way that allows you to be able to put it in different places. If you were to create two, three, five, ten videos, money keeps going up and up. You don’t know how well they work until you’ve actually posted them so one video that can do as many social networks as possible makes sense and from there, you can figure it out.

DAVID BAIN: It’s tough because I certainly used to be of the mind set of trying to distribute your content to as many places as possible but I’m now coming more around to the frame of mind where actually if you focus on the one social network, if you’re talking about social marketing or social interaction, and then you produce quality content for that place and you interact on there, you build your following there as well, that focus will actually drive quality interaction, make it more likely to go viral and probably assist you with being fairly high within the search results in that particular medium.

One example I give is actually iTunes. I’ve produced a podcast from the past and syndicated it in lots of different places and not had any particular focus in terms of where to encourage people to subscribe and interact. But when I have just focused on iTunes, I found that the ranking increased quite significantly on iTunes because the amount of people obviously subscribing, so the ranking increased. So sometimes that one focus can be beneficial but it’s maybe a bit counterintuitive as well. You got any further thoughts on that, Andy?

ANDY HALLIDAY: Yeah, I’d still say doing one video for every single channel is kind of old-hat technique but if you haven’t got the budget or the time or the resources, yes, one easy way to get it across every platform. But if you’ve got the time and the money and you can…you can still use the same editorial, image and just cut your video down. But try and create a different video to different audiences, ‘cause that’s what they’re expecting.

DAVID BAIN: I suppose once you get your process together, it shouldn’t take you too long. We’ve got Grant that’s left us at the moment with connectivity issues and he’s just struggling to get back in at the moment. Grant, maybe if you could try and refresh your screen again and then try coming in again, you’ll be able to come in okay after that. But yeah, I was just going to say if you’re producing a big, long show like this – I mean, we’re talking for an hour or so – if you structure it well beforehand, then you can have a section within that that talks about a particular topic and then you can take a second of that and then maybe send that video out somewhere else as well.

And we’ve got Grant up here.


DAVID BAIN: There we go! Just time to say goodbye! [laughing] No, we’re just about there. Grant, do you want to add a couple of thoughts about video marketing, about where it’s best if anywhere to actually publish videos? I mean, we just talked about Twitter launching the functionality to be able to actually load 30-second videos as part of your tweet directly from desktop. Is it worthwhile just focusing on that as a way of publishing video or if you do that are you not taking advantage of the full video marketing opportunity?

GRANT WHITESIDE: You’re probably not taking advantage of the whole video opportunity. But obviously being able to use Twitter, you can’t say it in 140 characters but you can say it visually? Sounds like a brilliant idea – it really does.

What Andy was saying earlier on obviously makes sense. A how-to video has to be on a different format, has to be Vimeo or YouTube. And the strategy? If you don’t want your audience to see your competitor’s stuff, get off YouTube. Right? There are specific places where you might want to use it and specific places where you don’t and one of them’s going to be, if you don’t want your audience to see your competitors and what they’re saying about it, go somewhere else. Maybe use that new Twitter thing you were talking about in the first place, a call to action that actually sends people to your website. If you’ve got an education platform, again you probably want people to log in in the first place ‘cause you can get far more information out of them, like what they’re actually doing on your website while they’re actually watching the videos as well.

So horses for courses with video. If you’ve got all the time and money in the world, then yeah, go to absolutely everywhere. But not many of us actually have that at this moment in time. At this moment in time it’s trying to pick your battles. If you’re short on time, short on resources, find out where the conversations are happening and what’s going to work for you. Analytics is a great thing, just actually measuring stuff, trying, trying again, and eventually you might figure out where’s the best place to put your time and money and effort and make returns too.

DAVID BAIN: Absolutely. Have a look to see where your best-converting traffic is coming from and then try to maximise that.

ANDY HALLIDAY: One thing on YouTube, if you’re embedding the videos on your own site, untick the box to show adverts ‘cause we’ve got the issue at the moment where our competitor adverts are being shown on our product pages!

DAVID BAIN: Shooting yourself in both feet there! Or maybe just one of them!

ANDY HALLIDAY: But yeah, just untick the box to not show adverts.

DAVID BAIN: Okay. Great tip. Alexis saying in the chat, ‘Are your tweets losing reach?’ I mean, certainly with organic reach there, but maybe with Twitter advertising becoming more prominent, perhaps people may be slightly less likely to see organic tweets in the future. But I guess it really depends on the quality of the people that are following you and the quality of the relationships that you’ve got. So it probably depends on horses for courses, really.

ANDY HALLIDAY: And learn the best time to post your tweets when people are most active. There’s no point posting them at 10pm at night if none of your users are active.

DAVID BAIN: No, great tip, great tip, absolutely. Talha, just to finish off. Are you strategic about your tweeting?

TALHA FAZLANI: I am. I’ve got someone who actually helps me out with tweeting, so we schedule tweets, we know when to tweet, who to target. So it’s really well thought-out, you know, our tweeting strategy. Facebook you have to actually write something that that people can see what you’ve posted. It’s open to the public. Twitter is pretty much your public face. As a company you probably want to be able to do it to show your good side and what your company’s all about. So our tweets are, of course, very strategically thought of and we have certain…you know you’ll post about this specific content, write about this specific content for this time period and all tweets are focused on that.

Of course, it has to be natural as well, sort of getting to grips with Twitter, I use it quite regularly nowadays but it works well. If you know your audience, if you’ve got a good bunch of people who can integrate engagement then it’s a great tool, I think, the best one for digital marketers, social media-wise now, in my opinion.

DAVID BAIN: Okay. Well I reckon that just about takes us to the end of this week’s show. So just about time for a single takeaway from our participants and some sharing more of ‘find out more’ details, things like that. So shall we start off with Andy there?

ANDY HALLIDAY: Yeah, so I’m Andy Halliday. If you want to follow me it’s just @AHalliday. My biggest takeaway is don’t buy links, especially on the SAPE network. Google will eventually catch up to you!

DAVID BAIN: Great, okay. And Grant?

GRANT WHITESIDE: So I’m Grant Whiteside from Ambergreen. You’ll get me at @ambergreen_says or just get us on the website. The takeaway from today is stop buying links and if you’ve got hack spam, do something about it, ‘cause Google’s going to do something about it and it’s going to cost you a fortune. Stop it. That industry is dead.

DAVID BAIN: Great advice there certainly. So stop trying to be proactive about driving new traffic to your site and actually think about the negative things that are actually happening in terms of backlinks and backliked profile. And also joining us today was Talha.

TALHA FAZLANI: Hi everyone. My name’s Talha Fazlani. You can find me at @tfazlani on Twitter. And one takeaway that I’d tell everyone today is get on Google Places, get on Google Maps and get your clients to leave you reviews and engage with people on there. That’s the way to go and I think it’ll work well if you do it well.

DAVID BAIN: Great tip for local businesses. Thanks for that, Talha. I’m David Bain, Head of Growth here at analyticsseo, the agency and enterprise SEO platform with big insight. Sign up for a free demo of our platform at And you can also find me interviewing digital marketing gurus over at

Now if you’re watching this show as a recording, remember to watch the next show live, so head over to and be part of the next live show. But for those of you watching live now, you can catch up on past episodes too, so we also have an audio podcast. Go directly to that at if you’ve got one of these Apple devices.

But until we see you again, have a fantabulous weekend and thank you all for joining us. Adios. Thanks Grant, thanks Talha, thanks Andy. Great show. Good to have you on here.


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