TWiO Christmas Special: SEO & Content Marketing Predictions for 2016 from 31 Digital Experts

It’s the This Week in Organic Christmas special 2015! Over a 90-minute show, David Bain joined by 30 other SEO & content marketing experts who share their number one SEO or content marketing prediction for 2016.

TWiO is also available as an audio podcast or a video podcast on iTunes. Sign up to watch the next show live over at and share your thoughts on what’s discussed using the hashtag #TWiO on Twitter.

Taking part in the TWiO Christmas special were:

Full transcript:

DAVID BAIN: It’s the TWIO Christmas Special 2015! Over the next 90 minutes, I’m going to be joined by 31 SEO and content marketing experts who are going to share with me, and you, their number one SEO and content marketing prediction for 2016!

Joining me today will be Gareth Morgan from Liberty Marketing, Lukasz Zelezny from uSwitch, Steve Linney from Learning People, Kelvin Newman from Brighton SEO, Rob Weatherhead from Tecmark, Bridget Randolph from Distilled, Alexandra Tachalova from, Dave Naylor from Bronco, Andrew Steel from Equator, Justin Deaville from Receptional, Danny Ashton from NeoMam, Adam Vowles from SUSO Digital, Tyler Barnes from Emfluence, Alex Tucker from Practice Web, Tom McLoughlin from SEO Travel, Michael Fleischner from Big Fin Solutions, Grant Whiteside from AmberGreen, Matt Hodkinson from Influence Agents, Emily Hill from Write My Site, Andy Halliday from eBuyer, Michael Bonfils from SEM International, Andrew Shotland from Local SEO Guide, Chris Bland from Havas Media, Chris Green from StrategIQ Marketing, Pam Aungst from Pam Ann Marketing, Greg Gifford from DealerOn, Chris Marr from The Content Marketing Academy, Tom Schwab from, JJ Grice from Branded3, Mark Traphagen from Stone Temple Consulting, Laurence O’Toole from Analytics SEO, and me, David Bain, Head of Growth, right here at

DAVID BAIN: Gareth Morgan, Lukasz Zelezny and Steve Linney, come on in.

So here we go, with 90 minutes of SEO and content marketing predictions for 2016, with 31 different experts. First up, we’ve got Gareth Morgan, MD of Liberty Marketing. Lukasz Zelezny, SEO speaker and Head of Organic Aquisition at uSwitch, and Steve Linney, Head of Marketing at Learning People. Lukasz, how you doing there?

LUKASZ ZELEZNY: Fantastic! I’ve been really impressed about your Rudolph, the deer or… reindeer… I know, I know! And you know, I’m quite excited ‘cause I know it’s epic. I just took a photo, me and you, you online and me here, and I will share with you. Epic, absolutely epic.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, well we’re going to get cracking straight on with it. Lukasz, what is your SEO prediction for 2016?

LUKASZ ZELEZNY: Two. First, you know, I’m a big fan of social media, I am to leverage SEO. It will be a big thing in 2016, and not the number of likes, not the number of shares, more about, are you successful in social media? People are re-sharing your piece of content, you will definitely be successful in this year, because people will start quoting, and mentioning you, and linking to you. Second, I love… I’m a big fan of this semantic approach, how Google is picking up content, so I will give you an example of a keyword; how to bake a cake, you will see the first result is like a recipe page, and Google is kind of intelligent, to know that this website presents a very well way had, to teach you or me how to bake a cake, so the semantic, artificial intelligent approach will be a big thing. That’s for me to 2016!

DAVID BAIN: Superb! Well, we started off well there. Lukasz, where can people get hold of you online?

LUKASZ ZELEZNY: People can get in touch on Twitter, absolutely, and the holy grail of social media, my LinkedIn, which I absolutely adore, and I would copy myself there if I could.

DAVID BAIN: Well, thank you so much for joining us! Next up is going to be Kelvin Newman. We’ll talk to you later, Lukasz.

LUKASZ ZELEZNY: Thank you. Take care.

DAVID BAIN: And Gareth, how you doing there?

GARETH MORGAN: I’m good, can you hear me?

DAVID BAIN: We can hear you wonderfully well, yes.


DAVID BAIN: So, you’re obviously from Liberty Marketing. What is your SEO prediction for 2016?

GARETH MORGAN: Well, I’m going to throw you a bit of a curve-ball with this one, because I spend most of my time in the world of advertising and page-search, and I think we’re actually going to see a bit of a clash from these two mediums, mainly due to ad-blockers. So, something we’re seeing is ad-blocker adoption is growing at a ridiculous rate, it’s something like, 50 percent year-on-year. And it’s costing a lot of publishers a lot of money, so I think there’s going to be a, sort of, fall out, because of this trend, that’s going to affect brands and going to affect publishers. So I think what we’re going to see for a lot of publishers, if they can’t sustain their operations ‘cause of advertising revenue, they’re going to have to put up pay walls, they’re going to have to start charging for content, so it’s going to mean there’s less options for us to get content out there that Google can index. I think from a brands point of view, is that if you’re not taking content marketing seriously, if you’re still using it as a way to try and subtly advertise, if you’re not taking it from an editorial approach, then you’re going to suffer. So I think what we’ll see is a lot more editorial-edge content, a lot more quality over quantity, it’s going to become more important next year. And it’ll be interesting to see how much money gets diverted from banner advertising, from pay-per-click, from social advertising towards this kind of work.

DAVID BAIN: Quality over quantity? So that means then, if someone is, maybe, just doing one blog post at the moment, they’re perhaps going to be better off in 2016, focusing on producing one amazing resource, once a month. Would that be better than actually, once a week, do you think, just a small blog post?

GARETH MORGAN: Well, it’s always been quality over quantity, but I think what I mean here is, you’d have to find authorities in the market place, you’d have to work with journalists, you’d have to come up with good data for your pieces, you know, research things properly, in order for them to publish it, ‘cause these guys have quality guidelines, they’ve got editorial guidelines, they have to live by. You can’t just be, just be sticking in thinly veiled sales messages. So I think that side of things, and native advertising, is going to be quite important to us.

DAVID BAIN: Well, thanks so much for joining us, Gareth. And where can people get hold of you online?

GARETH MORGAN: Tell your friends.

DAVID BAIN: Absolutely! Well, have a wonderful Christmas, and thanks again.

GARETH MORGAN: Yeah, you too guys! Thank you.

DAVID BAIN: And, next up is Steve. Steve, how you doing?

STEVE LINNEY: Not too bad, how’s things?

DAVID BAIN: Yeah, very good, thank you. So what is your SEO prediction for 2016?

STEVE LINNEY: Well, to be honest, it’s not re-inventing the wheel at all here, to be honest, but it’s about having great content and having a great content strategy behind that content. What we’ve really found in 2015, is that having learner-centred content really means being able to get to the basis of what our students want to here, and I really recommend that people make a lot of time to find out who their target audience are, who the persona are, and really speak to them in the way that they want to be spoken to, and you know, it’s great to make good news content, it’s very short in life, but it’s also very crucial, to make sure you have a long-form content. It’s going to hang around in Google and create a lot of buzz around your product and what you want to talk about.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, so talk about personas, but for organic content, does that mean it’s a bit challenging, because you may only actually be able to choose one or two personas, and you can’t perhaps, produce content that’s utterly relevant for all of your audience?

STEVE LINNEY: Well, to be honest, persona-wise, if you look at the whole journey of your target audience, not from just when they first get to know you, but you know, after doing that sales cycle; how far along are they? Are they ready to make a purchase or do they just want to get an e-book, or see an animation? You know, you need to really hone in on what your personas are, don’t just have an over-arching view, you really need to know the different stages of who your persona and your target audience is.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, wonderful Steve. Well, how can our viewers get in touch with you?

STEVE LINNEY: Well, the usual places. PO BOX… No, so on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter, it’s just @stevelinney. You should be able to find me there.

DAVID BAIN: Lovely. Thanks for joining us, Steve. Have a great Christmas.

STEVE LINNEY: You too, thank you.

DAVID BAIN: Now, Rob Weatherhead, I don’t think is going to make it, so Bridget, if you’re watching, you can just jump in now. Kelvin, how you doing?

KELVIN NEWMAN: Not too bad, not too bad. How you doing?

DAVID BAIN: Yeah, very good, thank you.

KELVIN NEWMAN: Good, good, good.

DAVID BAIN: Thanks for joining us.

KELVIN NEWMAN: Stressed yet?

DAVID BAIN: Stressed? I don’t know the meaning of the word. You should have seen me beforehand. So, what is your SEO prediction for 2016?

KELVIN NEWMAN: I mean, I’m going to take, maybe, a slightly contrarian view to things. I don’t know if people have read two books that I recommend quite highly, one of those is The Signal And The Noise by Nate Silver, and the other one I’m reading at the moment is… the author’s name’s completely escaped me, which is called Superforecasting, and they talk a lot about this kind of ability and need that we have sometimes, to predict the future, and the reality is, that in many cases, they would obviously describe ourselves as experts, actually aren’t necessarily super amazing at predicting the future. So, my kind of message, my kind of prediction, even if I’m going to contradict myself there, is that generally we’ll be pretty poor at predicting things next year. And in fact, what I think you should do, and I think what the responsibility or, more important than trying to guess what’s coming next, is getting better at dealing with what we already know. And I think that would be my advice, is be agile, respond to what you know is going to work, respond to what has always worked, and that’ll often set you up quite nicely for the future.

DAVID BAIN: So, be agile, and agile companies are companies with the bigger opportunity then? Does that mean that it’s more advantageous for… to be a small company compared with a bigger company?

KELVIN NEWMAN: I think size and agile-ness are completely unrelated.


KELVIN NEWMAN: So you can have small businesses that are very set in their ways and not very able to respond to things, and big businesses that are very accustomed to that. There’s much about frame of mind and philosophies is size and scale.

DAVID BAIN: Great thinking, thought. So thanks for joining us, Kelvin. Where can people get hold of you online?

KELVIN NEWMAN: I’m very much, as with everyone else, on Twitter, my username is @kelvinnewman, all one word.

DAVID BAIN: Lovely. Have a great Christmas, Kelvin.

KELVIN NEWMAN: Cheers, thanks very much.

DAVID BAIN: Bridget, how you doing?

BRIDGET RANDOLPH: I’m good thanks. Hi, David. Hi, Everyone.

DAVID BAIN: So, what is your SEO prediction for 2016 then?

BRIDGET RANDOLPH: Oh well, so the thing I’m really interested in, in seeing where it goes next year, is in terms of, app indexation, and what that means for the integration of app content with the rest of mobile web and especially web search. I think we’re going to see a lot more of that, particularly with things like, Google now on tap, there’s push towards being able to provide app content without the walls. I think traditionally we’ve talked about apps as walled content, walled gardens actually, and it’s always been quite separate, but now we’ve seen in studies that for instance, Smart Phone users on average are spending over 80 percent of their time on their phones in mobile apps, rather than on the mobile web, as we traditionally would think of it. And I think for Google, for example, to fulfil that mission to organise the world’s information, they need to have access to that content, and make it accessible to everyone, not just the people who have that app on their phone. So we’re seeing trends like, app-streaming, amp pages, that kind of thing coming out, which I think we’ll just see an escalation of next year.

DAVID BAIN: Right, okay, so the walls are coming down, in terms of app indexing. Does that mean that the key thing that businesses need to do in 2016, if they have an app, is ensure that their app content can be as indexed as possible?

BRIDGET RANDOLPH: I do, I think so, absolutely. It’s going to be really important to make sure that that content is accessible, everywhere, not just from people who happen to find it in the app store, and it will give you a lot more opportunity to share that content to more people.

DAVID BAIN: Wonderful. Well, thanks so much for coming on. Where can people get hold of you online?

BRIDGET RANDOLPH: I’m best found on Twitter, @BridgetRandolph, all one word. So hope to see you all over there.

DAVID BAIN: I’m sure people can see you over at Distilled as well.


DAVID BAIN: Thanks a lot for coming on, Bridget.

BRIDGET RANDOLPH: Happy holidays everyone.

DAVID BAIN: You too, Bu-bye. And, we’ve got Alexandra. How you doing there?

ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Hello, I’m pretty, pretty good. What about you?

DAVID BAIN: Pretty, pretty good, that’s not as good as excellent.

ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: It’s really close, because it’s the end of the year. It’s really busy, extremely busy.

DAVID BAIN: It’s a busy time of year.


DAVID BAIN: So Alex, what is your SEO prediction, or content marketing prediction for 2016?

ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Actually it’s a mixture of content marketing and what Google has started to implement right now, that’s mostly about, what I think that Google right now, is really… by the way, Hi, Dave.

DAVID BAIN: And that’s not me. Dave has appeared for audio listeners actually.

ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Yeah. So that’s how GoogleNation has started to change, due to launching all of those Knowledge Graph elements, and so before that, it was like providing to the user the most relevant information and getting out of the page of Google just to provide websites where you can find everything. And when we feel like knowledge graph elements and all those kind of elements where you can search like, for example, I’ve recently searched for a British Airways ticket, because I have a flight to London really close, and I was able to find out the tickets inside Google, so basically that was a search bottom and search grabs where I was able to add all of my dates, and find out my ticket. So, it means I don’t really need to go to any kind of website like, aggregators like, Skyscanner or, or Expedia, there’s no need to go there, because what Google does right now, it’s moving traffic to the site of Google, which is really strange for me, and weird, and it’s kind of scary, because all those websites with diversity of data, they’re going to be somehow downgraded, because people don’t need to go to those websites, Google provides it.

DAVID BAIN: So Google displaying a lot of information directly in its search results there. In 30 seconds, Alex, what does a business need to do, in order to actually take advantage of this?

ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Well, it’s hard. I mean, like for websites, like aggregators, it’s hard to compete, but more or less for just businesses to appear in knowledge graph elements for sure, like, brand knowledge graph about a company that must have, and if you can do, if you can appear in answer boxes as well, like local packs, just do it.

DAVID BAIN: Answer boxes, yeah, that’s a great thing to focus on for 2016 as well. Where can people find you online?

ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: So, the best way is to do it on Twitter, and so you can find me by my name, @AlexTachalova, so really hope to see you guys there, and thank you very much, and have a really lovely holidays.

DAVID BAIN: You too, thanks for joining us. Have a great Christmas.

ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Thank you, bye-bye.

DAVID BAIN: Bye-bye. Hello, Dave. How you doing there?

DAVE NAYLOR: I’m not too bad, matey.

DAVID BAIN: Great stuff. Hopefully you’re feeling better than you were last time you were on TWIO.

DAVE NAYLOR: Yeah, I’m at home at the moment, I’m still full of cold though.

DAVID BAIN: It’s that time of year.

DAVE NAYLOR: Yeah, definitely.

DAVID BAIN: So what is your SEO prediction for 2016?

DAVE NAYLOR: Well, I think the problem is, that we’ve got at the moment, is everyone’s going, ‘content strategy, content strategy, get more content out there’, which is all about just getting more links really, basically, so I think this year, what Google do as part of this penguin rolling old with them update that’s going to happen all the time, I think they’re not going to just analyse the links of where they’ve been placed, and add them and take them away, I think they’re going to start looking at things like user interaction, and pressures on that page, click through eight, and discounting, and promote that way, ‘cause to me it kind of makes sense that if you’ve got a link on an old PR8 website that nobody ever goes to, but it’s passing massive amounts of equity through to it, or a link on a PR2 website that is passing tonnes of visitors through, in Google size, that should be the more important one. And I think they’ll start twisting that a little bit, we’ve seen it with citations and stuff like this, so that’s where I think they’ll go anyway.

DAVID BAIN: So I think you talked about user actions a little bit as well. So how can, actually, Google… What information can Google get, in terms of seeing what user actions there are, and what do you think it would actually take into account, with regards to its algorithm?

DAVE NAYLOR: Well, if you look at things like firm, Google Organic specifically, that we know about long-click and short-click, so if you click on a link, go to a website, go, ‘Ooh, didn’t want to be on this one’, straight back to Google, Google look at that and they don’t push you down because of that, but if you’ve got long-click, then they’ll move you back up, so that’s one user interaction. So if you’ve got a high-traffic website or high-traffic blogs let’s say, and you do a… I’m just picking something at random, Ercol, I’m sat on an Ercol sofa, so if you’re a fashion blogger, or a home interior blogger, and you blog about Ercol to a company that sells Ercol furniture, and you pass a lot of people through that, will you think of how many people use Chrome, I’m on Chrome at this moment in time, and how many people are signed in. You look at the way that Google’s customising search, so that if their interacting and they click on that link, and they stay on the website, then that’s like a bonus, isn’t it? You know what I mean? It’s like, normally to the person who’s created the content, but to the user of Chrome or Google Analytics, you know what I mean? Or even if you’re just using Google DNS servers, you know what I mean? There’s loads and loads and loads of ways that Google can trap this data, and from that point, you know what I mean? It just makes sense to me that it should be a quality score, at least in the organic search results. So I think that’s…

DAVID BAIN: No, that’s wonderful. There are lots of great things to think about there. So thanks for coming on, Dave. Where are the best ways for people to actually find out about you online?

DAVE NAYLOR: The interweb, just type in my name, you’ll find me. On Twitter, Facebook, or just off, that’s where I’m from.

DAVID BAIN: Have a wonderful Christmas.

DAVE NAYLOR: And you. Merry Christmas, guys. Bye.

DAVID BAIN: Thanks, Dave. Andrew, How you doing?

ANDREW STEEL: Hi, David. I’m good thanks, how are you?

DAVID BAIN: I’m very, very good, thank you, as well. What is your SEO prediction for 2016?

ANDREW STEEL: Two, now I guess. Dave’s kindly just covered off one of the ones that I was going to put in.

DAVID BAIN: Three would have been too greedy.

ANDREW STEEL: But I think a lot of people probably will be covering user experience as well. I think, in 2016, I think the important things for SEO are going to be personalisation and user experience, so if you think about the way Google are going, a lot of what they’re doing at the moment is increasing, their leaning towards becoming quite focused on machine learning, so obviously the big, using artificial intelligence from Google was ranked, being launched the other month and being integrated into organic search. But you can see they’re integrating artificial intelligence right across their products, so YouTube, the tad stuff, within the last year or two as well. It’s quite important for personalisation and user experience, because the artificial intelligence allows them to be able to assess and interpret a lot of our large volume, rather of data, and user data and that, and be able to start modifying and amending the search results on the fly, with that data. And from a personalisation stand-point, basically what that means is, that there’ll be able to look at what the large scale user trends are, but also, personalise user trends and then from the large scale stuff, it’ll help them get better at surfacing new content that’s relative to your own personal search trends as well. So, in the past, the problem with personalisation a search was, it just returned the same sites that you’d been on, and all the time whereas, I think the way that they’re able to go with the eye, I think that should help with surfacing new content.

And then that ties in from a user experience perspective, because one of the things that will drive your own personalisation will be your user interaction with sites, but also, as Dave was covering, and a wee bit as Gareth covered earlier as well. If there’s a real quality of content out there and it’s getting a good level of interaction, in terms of all the metrics that we know Google can measure, in terms of engagement, so things like, dwell time, bounce back to search time, and page depth, interaction time on site, all these kind of things. These metrics are likely to become more important, because they’re harder to game for a start, so they’re a natural quality replacement for the previous heavy waiting on links is a ranking factor, so I think both of those go hand-in-hand, and I think they’ll hopefully help present a more genuinely representative and useful set of search results, but you know, at a personalised level as well.

DAVID BAIN: Well, a lot of great thoughts there. So essentially, Google personalised search is going to get cleverer and you need to actually ensure that you’re within that, and you really understand who your personas are.

ANDREW STEEL: Yeah, exactly. And you know, it creates a challenge, obviously, for businesses but it’s a good one, and it’s one that is no different really from the challenge that there has been for the past number of years, ‘cause it will be about continuing to create genuinely useful quality content, and not trying, you know, as Gareth quite rightly said, it’s not going to be a volume game, it’s going to be about a quality and usefulness of content, and some of that will have a cost to produce, but it’s also easy to produce quality, genuinely useful content, at a much lower cost as well.

DAVID BAIN: So where can our viewers find you, Andrew?

ANDREW STEEL: You can find me through the Equator website, which is, or on Twitter, @andrewjsteel, or on LinkedIn, AndrewSteel.

DAVID BAIN: Great, well thanks so much for coming on, Andrew, and have a wonderful Christmas.

ANDREW STEEL: Brilliant. Have a great Christmas as well, David. Thanks.

DAVID BAIN: Have fun. Bye.


DAVID BAIN: So we’re looking for Justin Deaville. I think he was having challenges with the webcam, but Danny Ashton’s on after that. Danny, can you hear me there? So we’ve got Danny that had a few challenges with his webcam, I think, last time, so Danny or Justin Deaville, I believe should be coming in. Now, after that, let’s see who else is on, on my list after that here. So Danny, we’ve got Adam Vowles after that as well. We’ve got Justin coming in just now. So let’s see if we can say ‘hello’ to Justin. Justin, can you hear me?

JUSTIN DEAVILLE: Hi, David. How you doing?

DAVID BAIN: I’m very good, thank you. How are you?

JUSTIN DEAVILLE: I’m very well. You probably can’t see me, can you?

DAVID BAIN: We can’t see you, but we can hear you, so that’s the main thing. It’d be worse if we could see you and not hear you.

JUSTIN DEAVILLE: That’s no problem. I’ll try and get the webcam working. It didn’t work for me last time I came on either, did it? So…

DAVID BAIN: So what’s your SEO prediction for 2016 then, Justin?

JUSTIN DEAVILLE: So, one of the things that was interesting to me, I’m not sure it’s a prediction, but it’s one of the things my background was in keyword research, and that was how I got into SEO originally. And it’s the disappearance of that, kind of, bedrock of knowledge about how SEO works, with the increasing importance of voice search. And I think one of the things that I’m interested in, is how SEO and our understanding of digital marketing is going to change as voice search becomes more popular over the coming years. There was a statistic from Google, so we’re taking it with a small pinch of salt, which is that 55 percent of teams are now regularly using voice search when they’re searching with Google, compared to 40 percent of adults of our age, David. And, so that generally has a number of ramifications, in terms of, the way that search is going to change. And, maybe there’s a story from the other morning, I’ve got an eighteen month old daughter at the moment, and she’s just learning to speak for the first time, and so I got up the other morning, had her under one arm and I opened the curtains, and I said, ‘What’s outside this morning, Maddie?’ and she said, ‘The garden’. I was, kind of, half of me was incredibly proud that she knew exactly what was outside and she’d never used the word ‘garden’ before, and the other half of me was like, ‘You’ve understood my question completely literally, you haven’t, you know… What I’m really asking is, ‘How is the day? What’s going on?’’, you know, ‘How you feeling this morning?’ and afterwards, the geekier side of me realised that there was there’s a parallel there between, her answer to that question, and the way that search engines used to work. I mean, it used to the case that if you typed in the search engine, you had to be completely literal, and probably today, if you type into Bing, you still have to be completely literal. But Google is getting much, much better at understanding what we really mean in our searches, and I think voice search will take that to another level.

DAVID BAIN: So voice search is going to become important in 2016 for certain niches, certain markets, not necessarily everyone, but you need to be aware of who your target market is, and what their habits are in terms of conducting searches, so the way that your target market conducts a search might not reflect necessarily the way that you do it.

JUSTIN DEAVILLE: Yeah, absolutely, and we’ve got some retail clients where people are shopping for products they’re not necessarily going to be using voice search, but if you own, for example, a restaurant, and someone is walking down the road with a mobile phone in their hand and they’re searching for restaurants nearby, a lot more of the signal that Google is including in its algorithm is implicit. So Google knows about the fact that you have a mobile phone, the fact that you’re walking as opposed to being in a car, and so it will give you a range of results within walking distance at nearby restaurants. Now, if Google can tell from your phone that you’re in a car, it may give you a range of restaurants from further afield, because it knows you’re able to get there more quickly, and so there’s a lot of implicit information that Google is now taking into account in its algorithm, when it’s determining its search results. And I think that’s really tied in with voice search, as that becomes more sophisticated.

DAVID BAIN: Justin, where are the best places for our viewers to find out more about you online?

JUSTIN DEAVILLE: Then you can come to

DAVID BAIN: Superb. Thanks for joining us, and have a wonderful Christmas.

JUSTIN DEAVILLE: Okay, cheers, David. Thanks a lot.

DAVID BAIN: Great! And Danny, how you doing there?

DANNY ASHTON: I’m good, thank you, yeah. Can you hear me okay?

DAVID BAIN: We can hear you, we can see you and yes.

DANNY ASHTON: Okay, I feel like I’ve just jumped onto Justin’s time, just with my face. I didn’t mean to.

DAVID BAIN: No, go for it. Now what is your SEO or content marketing prediction for 2016?

DANNY ASHTON: Prediction? Okay, so I’m not a technical SEO, so I can’t talk about any of that world. I don’t even know if there’s any algorithm changes or anything like that, but what I will say is, probably 2014, 15, 13, they were the year of the infographic, the infographic has proven itself to be the most powerful way of getting big placements from publishers, and I would say the upcoming year, 2016, we will be seeing video taking over that spot, maybe, it’s not going to completely take over the static image asset, but certainly, video is something that publishers are already doing. So if you look at the way publishers are already exploring what they’re working on, and adding to their sites, they’re using video as a way to get more value from their users, so as content marketers, SEOs, whatever name you want to give us, we’re going to have to give the publishers what they need. The publishers don’t have the budgets that they’re used to, so they’re going to rely more and more on brands and businesses to provide that content, support their business thoughts.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, so you’re not going to just rely on one source of content, one type of content, in terms of your marketing, you’ve got to be more integrated and more forward thinking, in terms of how you actually produce content?

DANNY ASHTON: I would, I mean, I know that’s a thing within obviously, SEO, you need to do that, and obviously as a good practice, it is to do lots of different content, but you know, if your primary aim is to build, to earn placements, media placements, then you want to use the most effective. So 2015 was very much the infographic, and I think 2016, we’re going to see the video as another supporting way. It’s got a higher barrier to entry, not everyone can afford to do it, but that’s going to mean that, it’s going to be the ones who get onto that, that are the ones that are going to succeed. But obviously, my agency is already doing it, and we’re already getting some great results, so that’s where our prediction comes from, from our own experiments really, seeing what works.

DAVID BAIN: Where’s the best place for our viewers to find out more about you, Danny?

DANNY ASHTON: Check us out at

DAVID BAIN: Wonderful. Thanks so much for joining us, and have a wonderful Christmas.

DANNY ASHTON: Thanks, David. Cheers. Bu-bye.

DAVID BAIN: Adam, how are you?

ADAM VOWLES: Yeah, really well, thanks. How are you?

DAVID BAIN: Very good, thank you. What is your SEO prediction for 2016?

ADAM VOWLES: Well firstly, let me say, I love the jumper, David.

DAVID BAIN: Well, thank you very much. You can’t see all of it, but I don’t know if I can get out of my chair, maybe at the end I will.

ADAM VOWLES: Yeah, just finish off with a flurry. My prediction is, kind of a continuation of what we’ve seen over the past few years really, of Google trying to systematically, trying to wipe out organic search, so this is nothing new really, they’ve been doing it for a while, and you can say it’d have to be the real time algorithms that are coming in, the machine learning, but specifically, the growth of the answer boxes and the knowledge graph…

DAVID BAIN: I want to say, they’re testing the results of ads at the top of organic results as well, at the moment, which is quite scary.

ADAM VOWLES: Yeah, yeah, definitely. I mean, I think search results containing the answer boxes have increased by 50 percent in the last, like, two years or something like that, so they’re definitely pushing that forward, so it’s moving the organic search down and focusing more on the, kind of, keeping people within Google itself, trying to just force people to use ads really.

DAVID BAIN: So do you think any business can actually realistically hope to appear as a result in an answer box?

ADAM VOWLES: Well, I mean, as marketers, we just need to embrace the technical side of things, and also, be a bit more clever with our content marketing, maybe move away from that answer box, information queries, ‘cause it’s going to be incredibly difficult to rank in those queries now, ‘cause the big sites are going to be the ones that are going to get featured in them really, so you just have to be a bit more clever with what you’re doing, especially embracing local as well, that’s going to be a big thing I think.

DAVID BAIN: Question from Chris Green; David, can you show us your jumper? Maybe at the end, maybe if everyone stays ‘til the end, maybe then. I’m not promising, but maybe. Adam, thank you so much for your sharing of those thoughts there. And where are the best places that our viewers can find more out about you?

ADAM VOWLES: Probably Twitter, @atvowles.

DAVID BAIN: Superb. Well, thanks so much for coming on, and have a great Christmas.

ADAM VOWLES: Thanks a lot. Tyler, how you doing? The first audio challenge. So I’m afraid we’re not actually hearing you. So that normally is a setting within your browser. If you’re in Chrome, that means generally, if you go to ‘settings’, ‘advanced settings’, ‘content settings’ and then you can select a microphone there, but you generally have to do is actually, come out of the Blab and probably close down your browser, and come back in. So if you want to perhaps, give that a go, and close things down and come back in, hopefully we will have you back on in a little bit. So, coming up next, we are going to have Alex Tucker from Practice Web. We’ve also got Tom McLoughlin coming in from SEO Travel, so let’s say ‘hi’ to Tom, as he comes in just now. He should be in, in the next few seconds. After Tom, we’re going to have Michael Fleischner from Big Fin Solutions, and that’s Tom in! How you doing there, Tom?

TOM MCLOUGHLIN: Hi, David. Yeah, good, thanks, you?

DAVID BAIN: Yeah, very good. We’ve got you in four minutes ahead of schedule. That’s just shocking. So you’re cutting out just slightly, I don’t know if we’ve got to the audio challenge section of the show, but hopefully we’ll be able to hear you okay there. Let’s give you a go with your SEO prediction for 2016.

TOM MCLOUGHLIN: Okay, cool. Yeah, I mean, mine follows on from what some of the other guys have mentioned, very much the move from, the content is king to quality content is king. Putting more emphasis on, you know, creating content, which is of really high value, a lot more time and effort going into creating longer form pieces, rather than just churning out your short, 500 word blog post every other day, and sort of, crossing fingers and hoping they bring traffic in. And I think that kind of applies, whether you’re talking about your own website and your own blog, or whether it’s talking about guest content that you’re writing, you know, taking more time to find more sites, to write guest posts that, generally will, yeah. They take more time to build a relationship with someone, but when you do spend that time, the value that you get from it when something’s published is much higher.

DAVID BAIN: So you still see 2016 guest posting still being very, very important?

TOM MCLOUGHLIN: I think guest posting, yeah. As with a lot of things where, you know, Google and MapCuts have kind of come out with the scare stories, it’s always been, I guess, warning people off doing the sort of easy, SEO, back alley-way of their trying to beat the system. They’re all things that if you do them the right way, they’re still very valuable, you know.

DAVID BAIN: So in terms of, the right way for guest posting, is the right way to actually, to try and repeatedly guest post on the same blog, or appear in as many different places as possible?

TOM MCLOUGHLIN: I think it’s finding the outlets that are relevant for your audience, and that are going to bring you value, whether there’s a link in there or not, that’s from a ranking point of view, so if you can find a place that allows guest people to content and your audience is there, then go in there and take some time to build a relationship, for example, someone like myself, I’ve obviously been on a few things with you, David.‘s a great site. So I might say, ‘Do you fancy some guest content for your blog?’, and it’s more likely to be successful that way, rather than sending an e-mail from nowhere, and saying, ‘Can I write a guest post?’ and yeah, 500 words doesn’t bring that much value.

DAVID BAIN: Very smooth talker, you.

TOM MCLOUGHLIN: Thank you, January the 1st.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, some great thoughts there. What are the best ways for people to find out about you online, Tom?

TOM MCLOUGHLIN: So, on Twitter, @seo_travel, and

DAVID BAIN: Thanks so much for joining us, and have a great Christmas.


DAVID BAIN: Hello, Alex. How are you doing?

ALEX TUCKER: Hi, fine thanks. How are you?

DAVID BAIN: Very good, thanks. Well, your volume’s quite loud, but we’re doing well.

ALEX TUCKER: I’m not sure I can do anything about that.

DAVID BAIN: So anyway, what is your SEO prediction for 2016?

ALEX TUCKER: Yeah, I think Justin already made a point about voice search actually, and I think I’d agree that voice search, and rich answers as well, probably are going be a lot more prominent for Google in the next twelve months. And for brands, that’s probably going to be… if brands want to take advantage of that, it might mean a change of thinking around our content, and it’s going to make the language that we use, and semantics, really important.

DAVID BAIN: So talking about brands, you’re obviously Head of Marketing for Practice Web, and so you work for a brand, how would you take advantage of Google Answers?

ALEX TUCKER: Okay, I think that if we’re looking to do this, we’d probably produce much more, try to produce much more factual content, and also, much more, kind of, useful ‘how to…?’ kind of content, and be a lot less promotional about our brands, and deal with that aspect using calls to action a bit later on, so really, much more about being factual. Also, understanding our personas and the language that people are using to find things, so really being switched on, in terms of, the topics that we’re covering and the subjects that we’re producing content on.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, so 2015 may be the year where we actually talked about personas, but 2016 is really the year that we do something about personas.

ALEX TUCKER: Yeah, they’re going to become really important.

DAVID BAIN: Great. Okay, well, thanks so much for joining us. Where are the best places for people to find out more about you online?

ALEX TUCKER: @tuckera on Twitter, or our website is

DAVID BAIN: Superb. Well, have a wonderful Christmas, Alex.

ALEX TUCKER: Thank you, you too.

DAVID BAIN: Tyler, can we hear you? No, we can’t. I’m afraid we’re struggling with your audio. We can hear you Michael, can’t we?

MICHAEL FLEISCHNER: Yes, I believe so. Can you hear me okay?

DAVID BAIN: Hello. Oh, phew! Yes, we can, yes. Your lips started moving before the sound had come out, but I mean, that’s not a major problem, you know, the thing is, the sound came out, so that’s the great thing. So how are you keeping?

MICHAEL FLEISCHNER: I’m really good, I’m really good, David. Thanks for bringing together people from all over the world today, it’s really fantastic.

DAVID BAIN: Well, it’s wonderful to have you on, and all these other great SEO experts on. So in terms of your own thoughts, what is your SEO prediction for 2016?

MICHAEL FLEISCHNER: Yeah, it’s really interesting. I definitely think this whole idea of artificial intelligence is just going to continue to evolve, and we’re going to see it play out, 2016. You know, Alex was talking about personas, which I think are so important. I think the Google algorithm as it continues to evolve, two years ago you couldn’t ask the… you know, you could be talking about the Great wall of China and then ask a question about, ‘Where is that thing?’ and get a customised answer that’s relevant to the content. So I think it really all comes back to the algorithm continuing to get more intelligent, and we as SEOs, trying to be more conversational in our language, be more focused around engaging content, that the algorithms’ going to want to leverage, and help brands show up higher in search results, so I think it’s going to continue to evolve, the technology’s going to continue to get better and more precise, and that really gives us an opportunity to better understand our customers, really analyse types of content, and information they want, sites that are better at producing that type of engaging content are going to do better in search results.

DAVID BAIN: So all the more importance for sites to help search engines define exactly what the content is about, in terms of context. So does that mean that something like micro-data is going to become even more important next year?

MICHAEL FLEISCHNER: Yeah, I really think so, and I think also, having a deeper, fundamental understanding about the needs of our customers will continue to evolve as well. So it really does come down to marketing basics that are applied online, as relates to content that our audience is consuming, better understanding what their needs and objectives are, and helping them achieve those goals.

DAVID BAIN: I like the way that you say ‘marketing basics’, rather than ‘SEO basics’ or ‘digital marketing basics’, you know, because it really is about integration, about taking conventional business and marketing principles, and applying it online, and doing things the right way nowadays, which is a wonderful thing.

MICHAEL FLEISCHNER: Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, yeah, and I think, as you know, from many discussions that we’ve had, SEO has changed so fundamentally that you can’t just focus on one niche of marketing, or one marketing discipline, you really have to bring them all together to, not only understand your customers, but to make sure that you are producing information that the search engines really want and value, and that requires more than just a cursory glance at some of the traditional SEO tactics that we used to deploy.

DAVID BAIN: Do you think it’s realistic to expect SEOs to start thinking in terms of marketing strategy, when they’ve perhaps been so technical in the past?

MICHAEL FLEISCHNER: Yeah, I mean, quite honestly I think it’s necessary to survive, right? I mean, just understanding SEO fundamentals and basics, might be enough to get a seat at the table, but if you really want to contribute and make a difference, and see tangible results, I think we’re all going to have to evolve in terms of our fundamental understandings, or understanding around some of the traditional marketing things, like audience, like personas, like need-based marketing, really making sure that we’re providing consumable content that our audiences not only want to receive, but they want to share and distribute to others in the genre.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, wonderful thoughts there. Where are the best ways, places for our viewers to find out more about you?

MICHAEL FLEISCHNER: Well, folks can just Google me online, obviously Michael Fleischner, or @mfleischner is my Twitter handle, would love to connect. And David, thank you so much, and happy holidays.

DAVID BAIN: Thank you for joining us, and yeah, have a wonderful holiday season yourself.


DAVID BAIN: We’ll give Tyler a go again. Tyler, can we hear you? No, we can’t hear you I’m afraid. Maybe you could mime your prediction for 2016. Okay, starting off with… that’s going to be quite a challenge possibly as well so, we’ll leave Tyler to figure out his technical challenges there, and perhaps, see if he can come back in again. We’ve got Andrew Shotland with us here. Andrew, how are you doing?

ANDREW SHOTLAND: I’m doing great. Can you hear me okay?

DAVID BAIN: We can hear you very well indeed. Great to have you on, so what is your SEO prediction for 2016?

ANDREW SHOTLAND: So we find Google rather boring these days, and worrying about Google, there’s only about a billion people talking about that stuff, so we’re trying to go where others aren’t. We’re pretty focused on Apple’s new spotlight search system, and trying to figure out how that’s going to affect our clients in 2016. We think that there’s going to be a lot of attention gradually paid to this new search engine, that already is taking a huge marketing share from Google, but is basically ignored by the SEO community and the media. So that’s kind of what we’re going to be looking at.

DAVID BAIN: Right, okay. So what kind of reaction do you get when people hear you say, ‘I’m getting bored by Google’?

ANDREW SHOTLAND: Yeah, I hate Google. Tell me one person who likes Google, except that it’s a free service that does great things for you, but as a business person it’s infuriating.

DAVID BAIN: So, I mean, can you see Bing or another search engine actually making significant in-roads in terms of search traffic?

ANDREW SHOTLAND: Oh absolutely. I mean, like I said Apple already has, and it’s quietly done it without anyone really understanding it, as an example, Apple Maps is a huge local search system, and serves something like 60 million people in the US already.

DAVID BAIN: It’s not a traditional search anymore. It’s actually search you do on your phone, and it’s not necessarily using conventional, traditional search providers.

ANDREW SHOTLAND: But it’s also on desktop, as an example, we have a client that has about ten million organic visits a month, but they also have simultaneously, about eight million visits a month coming from desktop and mobile safari combined, which includes organic, but is also direct in referral, and you can easily see how next year with the growth of iOs, how the safari traffic is going to overtake the organic traffic, and so, certainly you’ll have to understand Google organic to get part of it, but there’s a tremendous amount of queries that Apple has bleeding away from Google, that if you know how to manipulate Safari search engine, or the spotlight search engine, you’ll be able to grab a lot of value for yourself, for your clients.

DAVID BAIN: Well, that’s an incredible thought for the coming year, I mean, even longer. What’s the best way for viewers to find out more about you and what you do?

ANDREW SHOTLAND: You can find us at, Twitter, @seoguide, and we have a blog on Apple Maps, called that has a bunch of how to do stuff on Apple Maps information.

DAVID BAIN: Wonderful. Well, thank you so much joining us, Andrew, and have a wonderful holiday season.

ANDREW SHOTLAND: Thanks for having me.

DAVID BAIN: Grant, how are you?

GRANT WHITESIDE: Hello. Hello, how are you? Can you hear me okay?

DAVID BAIN: We can hear you very well indeed.

GRANT WHITESIDE: That’s alright, that’s alright. Right, some great conversations going on. I’m guessing you want to know about predictions for 2016?

DAVID BAIN: That would be wonderful.

GRANT WHITESIDE: I love the idea how we talk about all these things that we’re going to do, but we never do. They actually happen the year after. But I’m going go for structured data first of all.

DAVID BAIN: I’m going write it down, and re-visit you next year!

GRANT WHITESIDE: Do that! Do that! So when one year back of all the things that we thought should have happened but we knew they weren’t going to. I’m going to go with structured data, or microdata. It’s not new, but it’s incredibly clever. It’s one of these things where it’s one of the last baskings of cordless, never really been implemented on a mass level for SEO. So just to be able to understand what the products and services are, how they’ve become location based, around now they’re remarkably important going forwards, because secondly, the second prediction is very much about hyper-local results as things become more and more relevant to, you know, the nearest pizza restaurant. It has to understand what ‘nearest’ means to you as well, so that whole idea of structured data, looking at services, products and events, and telling people what they are, and where they are, and what webpage is going to be a really important thing going forward, and I think it’s going to be one of these things that’s going to make a huge difference as more and more people use mobile as part of the search, so mechanism, it’s more realtime, it’s more local to you.

DAVID BAIN: So should every business be using structured data?

GRANT WHITESIDE: It’s easier to implement now than ever before, obviously because, you can just use JSON-LD. So some of the things that were more difficult to do, that these bad airs have been broken down so I think it’ll be one of these things that’ll make a difference between winners and losers, especially in the local and the product, and the service space.

DAVID BAIN: Yeah, if Google can, or are confident what your website is about, obviously they’re more likely to rank you higher.

GRANT WHITESIDE: Try telling them in the first place. And very similar to that, artificial intelligence, it’s been mentioned a few times, we had a great conversation about it a few months ago, that the whole idea of where you get this information from, as in the advice you use and the platform that you use, and all of that kind of information that was mentioned earlier on about what Apple were up to, that’s going to remarkably important to the whole browsers and devices, and apps, and ad-blockers, it’s going to be a huge thing that plays out pretty much beyond your control in many ways, because AI is going to pool information from different places, so you’ve got to understand about how you can get into these places, so you’re going to have to look at deep app optimisation and how you get these things found when people pick up their phone, and start shouting questions and answers, or looking for answers down their mobile phone, so there’s like a big thing that goes away from Google and is basically about the device you’ve picked up and what you’ve asked, and who provides that information for you. So there’s a lot to play for there about making sure that you understand where you may be losing your traffic from, and the artificial intelligence towards the end of the year will probably make a bit of a dent into people that would have just been using traditional search engine, optimisation and search engine marketing to find this information, so yeah.

DAVID BAIN: Grant, yeah. A lot to think about there. Thanks so much for joining us. What is the best place for people to find out more about you?

GRANT WHITESIDE: You can get us at, we’ve just gone and booked our epic digital marketing predictions for 2016, and you can also get us on Twitter, and that’s @ambergreen_says, and happy Christmas everybody.

DAVID BAIN: Have a wonderful Christmas yourself, Grant.

GRANT WHITESIDE: Thank you. Take care. Cheers, bye-bye.

DAVID BAIN: Let’s give Tyler a go. Can we hear Tyler?


DAVID BAIN: Wa-hey! We can hear you.

TYLER BARNES: One more try. Excellent! Okay, I have no idea what was going on the first time.

DAVID BAIN: What is your SEO prediction for 2016, Tyler?

TYLER BARNES: Alright, my SEO prediction for 2016 would be that the role of the SEO analyst, or SEO strategist is going to continue to change, much like there has been for the last couple of years, only I believe we’re going to become more of a conversion optimisation UI, UX strategist as well, so the strategy piece in our names is really going to become forefront as Google continues to change what it’s using as metrics, such as putting more emphasis on social media, putting more emphasis on UX, UI, such as the phantom algorithm update this year, where they basically said, ‘We really need to be showing us your JavaScript. We really need to be seeing this. So that way we can make sure that your site is clean, and that we know that you’re trustworthy, and these trust signals are going to continue to play and become a more important role’, which is going to be a big change for SEO people as we were used to in the past, mainly focusing on keywords and link building, and technical elements, we now have to be a holistic strategist. And so I think this is going to double down in 2016 as many people on this podcast just talked about, where Google’s really changing the signals that they’ll be utilising, including like, the Google knowledge graph, where they’re putting a lot into the SERPs already, so we need to make sure that when people see our information, it’s just about how can we trick them into clicking? But how do we actually get them to trust our brand, and then go into our site and enjoy their experience on every website? Especially in mobile, as we know that’s the main place people are going.

DAVID BAIN: Yeah, lots of wonderful thoughts there. So UX is much more important, so does that mean that links are becoming less important?

TYLER BARNES: I would say links are still going to hold an important place in 2016, but compared to previous years, yes, I believe the emphasis needs to be more on how great of a site we can make, how great of content we can put out there, and links should simply be something that happened organically, and not something that we should emphasise as much time on the link building piece.

DAVID BAIN: Right, okay. Well, thanks so much for persisting there, Tyler. Where’s the best place to find out more about you?

TYLER BARNES: You can follow me on Twitter, @TheTylerBarnes, or check out, my writing’s on the Emfluence blog, it’s So everyone, have a happy holidays.

DAVID BAIN: Happy holidays to you as well. Thanks, Tyler.


DAVID BAIN: And Mr. Matt Hodkinson, how are you?

MATT HODKINSON: Good evening, David. It’s London calling. Our first eight points go to Norway. I’ve always wanted to do that.

DAVID BAIN: You fancy a bit of a Eurovision song contest…

MATT HODKINSON: That’s my prediction for next year, Norway for Eurovision.

DAVID BAIN: There we go. Thanks for being on, Matt! No, let’s give you another one, what’s your other prediction for 2016?

MATT HODKINSON: Okay, so we heard a bit of this earlier on, around personalisation, and for me, next year is all about people finally, marketing directors, CMOs, anybody in SEO, really focusing on giving a tailored experience to each and every visitor. We get so much information now about the visitors on our site, even when they’re not a re-visiting visitor, we get information about the browser they’re using, the device they’re using to access our sites, the location that they’re in, so why are we still giving the same experience to every visitor on every page? And Google and the other search engines are really going to be looking at, you know, we’ve heard it a few times tonight, the user experience, or the visitor experience as well, so the XO is this new acronym that people are starting to talk about, visitor experience, optimisation. And it’s really going to be about focusing on keeping people on site, giving them a more immersive experience and more engagement. I’m going to go a little bit against the grain, I’ve heard more long-form content spoken about, and I don’t think that’s going to cut it, personally. I think you’ve got to recognise that people, for the most part, are time poor, and they’re not going to really value a long-form piece. So I think actually, next year, we’re going to see more and more people moving away from the long-form pieces, certainly, un-gated content and blog posts, and certainly away from ebooks and the traditional ‘yawn’ pieces. And really move towards more immersive web apps, and other experiences that really draw people in, keep them on site for longer, keep them converting, and really engaging with the content and engaging with them to share.

DAVID BAIN: Intriguing. So the most relevant content for your personas, for your relevant visitors that you’re trying to attract are not necessarily writing war and peace on your pages, just delivering exactly what they’re looking for.

MATT HODKINSON: Yeah, yeah. It’s got to be something that, I mean, the good thing is when we provide these immersive experiences and really put some thought behind how we’re structuring it, we can gather so much more data about the visitors on our site, and as we know, good marketing, good SEO, is really about learning about the behaviours, the people, the individuals that are visiting our site, that’s why the standard analytics that you might be looking at, in terms of visitor numbers, time on site and everything else, are largely anonymous, we need to go beyond that, we need to start thinking about the individual tailoring the experience, learning as much as we can about them, and feeding it back to them.

DAVID BAIN: Matt, you’ve given us a lot to think about there, so thanks for that. Where’s the best place for visitors to find more about you?

MATT HODKINSON: Catch me on, find out all about us there. And have a great Christmas everyone.

DAVID BAIN: You too, thanks so much for joining us.


DAVID BAIN: And we have a challenger to my Christmas jersey. I think we’re going to have a props war, aren’t we, Andrew?

ANDY HALLIDAY: Yeah, maybe.

DAVID BAIN: Who wins there? I think I’m going to have to get up here. So, Andrew’s got a little bit of tonsillitis, but you’ve still battled in and joined us today, so we appreciate that. So what is your SEO prediction for 2016?

ANDY HALLIDAY: That PPC teams, and organic teams will work a lot closer going forward. People like SEO teams will get access to the advert data, so they can see what advert tests the PPC teams are doing, which ones are working, and then copying and pasting the ones that are working in PPC into organic as meta descriptions to boost the click-through rate, and as people have said, machine learning, you get a high click-through rates, so historically, you might see an increase in rankings, so that’s my predictions at PPC teams and organic teams will closer together.

DAVID BAIN: Okay. So is that something that you’re actively involved with at the moment? And if so, do you actually try and tell your PPC teams not to bid in certain terms, because you’re ranking well for them organically?

ANDY HALLIDAY: I manage both, so yeah. Yeah, once I get into a decent enough position, I’ll still try and bid for certain times of the day, but yeah, I cut down on bidding and let organic take over, and then use the money I’ve saved on that PPC, in that area to try different categories to boost…

DAVID BAIN: And is there an argument to appear for both PPC and organic, if you’re ranking number one for organic?

ANDY HALLIDAY: Yeah, ‘cause you’re still after the same customer, so customers might not even scroll down, especially these days with four adverts appearing, or if you’ve got the answers box, sometimes you can be well down on organic because you’re ranked number one, so sometimes you still have to pay for that.

DAVID BAIN: Well, thank you so much for coming on and sharing that with us, Andrew. Where are the places for viewers to actually find more out about you?

ANDY HALLIDAY: On Twitter it’s just @AHalliday.

DAVID BAIN: Well, you get well soon and have a wonderful Christmas.

ANDY HALLIDAY: You too, thanks guys. Bye.

DAVID BAIN: And Mr. Chris Bland’s joined us. How you doing there, Chris?

CHRIS BLAND: Hi, how are you, David?

DAVID BAIN: Very good, thanks. And you’re coming through nice and clear as well, so that’s good.

CHRIS BLAND: Great stuff. Great stuff. How are you? Happy Christmas.

DAVID BAIN: Yeah, happy Christmas to you as well. I don’t know if you’ve got a Christmas jumper on, I don’t think you have.

CHRIS BLAND: I’m afraid not, no. I missed that memo, but I bring Christmas spirit of a Friday afternoon.

DAVID BAIN: There we go. So what is your SEO and content marketing prediction for 2016?

CHRIS BLAND: Right, so mine’s, I guess, a little bit controversial but also, picking up on some of the good points there by your previous speakers, particularly, Tyler, around personalisation. So basically, the organic marketing must find a way to keep up with the increasingly personalised and data-driven marketing user experience, without compromising its natural principles, and obviously, risking penalisation. Just looking at the past year, there’s been a huge rise in the use of first party and third party data to improve both targeting and personalisation of user experience, and slowly, brands are starting to optimise experience for users by investing in that data to enhance their knowledge of users, and what’s happening is that user experience is coming past the odds to the much more natural experience that you get for users arriving from content or from SEO, who de-facto, are not pre-built with that innate knowledge that you get from first party data or from third party data, so their experience of the brand when they first arrive at a site, is much, dare-I-say, less intelligent than that, that it’s data enhanced on the way in. Now obviously, there are some downsides to that data enhancement, and some mistakes have been made in the past, but bit by bit, people are much clearer about holding back and releasing some data when it’s useful and when it adds to that experience, and not deterring users, and of course, with the natural side of things, that’s much harder to put into place, so you’ve got these dual-experiences that people get from brands, which I think is going to increasingly start to jar as we go into next year. I put that out there as a challenge to the community, to try and beat that, and try and make sure that they align those two different experiences, from the natural and from the data enhance side.

DAVID BAIN: That’s a wonderful thought, and challenge there. So hopefully revisit that coming into 2017. Where do our viewers find more out about you, Chris?

CHRIS BLAND: So you can find more about Havas at, and myself, at @ChrisBlandUK.

DAVID BAIN: Thanks so much for joining us and have a wonderful Christmas.


DAVID BAIN: Michael, how are you?

MICHAEL BONFILS: I’m good, how are you?

DAVID BAIN: I’m very good, thanks, yes, absolutely. So what is your SEO prediction for 2016?

MICHAEL BONFILS: Well, being one of the last guys on the group, everybody just said what I was about to say.

DAVID BAIN: There’s a few more to come, yes.

MICHAEL BONFILS: I want to talk about how big phones are starting to get, so this is my latest iPhone and it is getting a little bit big but on a serious note…

DAVID BAIN: That’s like a phone from the early ‘90s, isn’t it?

MICHAEL BONFILS: But on a very serious note though, one thing that I did want to say was that, interestingly enough, a lot of people look at China as copies of everything that we do, and the more I understand how the Chinese work, especially when it comes to Baidu, Taobao, it’s a shopping centric engine, in many other products that they have over there, especially WeChat, it’s very interesting to me, because I’m starting to see Google and Facebook, a lot of them are starting to lean towards their types of algorithms that they’ve been using for years.

Okay, we’ll take user experience, so now we’ve learned through this conversation and you’ve probably learned throughout this year, that the movement towards user experience is starting to become a factor. Well, it’s got to be a factor. It’s got to be a factor, because of these giant tablets, and these phones, and everything else, the factor of user experience on mobile, on your website, on all of your tech related programs, whether it’s apps and so-forth, all of them have to have some type of user experience. So when you look at Baidu’s algorithm, it looks at click-through rate as a factor, it looks at the amount of time that you’re spending on a specific page. There’s a lot of factors around user experience, that they’re looking at per website, per app and per piece of content that somebody has out there.

Another thing that Taobao does that’s really interesting, is Taobao’s ranking engine is based on user reviews, but it’s also based on the user themselves. So that goes back into personas, so if Google’s algorithm is moving towards an area where they’re looking at specific personas, and saying, ‘Okay, let’s group these personas and see what they do, and how they react, and what kind of people they are, and what industry they are, and let’s make some determinations of what they’re going to say and what they’re going to do’, it starts getting very interesting, but a lot of that stuff has already been created.

And then lastly, WeChat. Right, so WeChat has really taken over in China, a lot of social networks have lost hundreds of millions of people to WeChat. So WeChat is basically a walled garden approach, similar to what Facebook is, obviously. Now, Facebook’s model with what they’re trying to do and what we’re looking at more and more, is how do we keep these people within our own environment, right? So you’ve got Android, you’ve got iOs, Facebook has a challenge. They need to keep submitting in their own environment and they can’t really come out with their own operating system, right? So they develop a WeChat-type business model, keeping people in with search and social and everything else within it, and keep people engaged. So it’s interesting to me, that if we start looking at the East a little bit, we might find some clues as to where everybody is going in 2016.

DAVID BAIN: Wow, a lot of insights there, to an international perspective. Where can the viewers find you?

MICHAEL BONFILS: Yeah, so I’m at SEM International, so that’s, we do international search. And of course, my Twitter, @michaelbonfils, and pretty much everything is MichaelBonfils, all together, one word, so you’ll find me on Facebook and Skype, and everywhere there, so thank you guys.

DAVID BAIN: Thank you so much for joining us, Michael, and have a wonderful holiday season.

MICHAEL BONFILS: Yeah, happy holidays to y’all.

DAVID BAIN: Chris, how are you?

CHRIS GREEN: I’m good, how are you?

DAVID BAIN: Keeping very well, thank you.

CHRIS GREEN: Good, good. You can hear me okay?

DAVID BAIN: We can hear you fine. What is your SEO prediction for 2016?

CHRIS GREEN: Again, mine’s not going to sound very unique now, because of all the others that have come before, but I’m hoping that there’s some stuff here, that nobody else has mentioned, in terms of the angle, I guess. So, I think the first thing to say is a bit tongue-in-cheek actually, you know, 2016 will be the year of the mobile, again, just a running joke that Google’s told us this every year for the last five years. And 2016 is probably the year that I think that that’s probably going to be close to being factual. And I think that’s just because search behaviour is more weighted towards mobile now, obviously we’ve had Mobilegeddon, which is one of the biggest, anti-climaxes the industry’s seen. You know, there is no smoke without fire. And how it manifests itself next year, I think it’s already been covered, in terms of, indexing, digital personal assistance, they’re all going to increase in prominence, Google Amp, accelerated mobile pages, rolling out more widely in February, but actually, I think one of the biggest insights in this shift and movement behind mobile comes from something we actually talked about when we did our live show, David, and that stems from the quality testing guidelines that Google shared not too long ago, and that was about the way that mobile has become a much stronger part of their manual testing QA. We’ve had, whether the site is expert, authoritatively trustworthy, but now obviously, whether it’s mobile, has become a large factor in that, and I think the other element there is considering whether your site, or your content, or even the search results are meeting the needs of the user, and I think that mindset of fully meets, all the way to fails to meet on the other end, is quite a critical one.

DAVID BAIN: How do you find out if your site does fit the needs of the user?

CHRIS GREEN: Well, tests, look at the data, gain feedback however you can. I mean, I’ve jokingly said a few times now that, UX is the new SEO, or CRM is the new SEO, and I think that is not wholly true, I think there is some truth to that, or there will be in 2016. We’ve touched up on it before already, about the various engagement metrics that we can look at, and if we can see them, you can see them, and they all give good indications as to how satisfyingly useful the experience on a page is.

DAVID BAIN: We’ve got a comment in the chat saying ‘What about including live streaming in the content strategy?’ No one’s touched on that. That’s obviously what we’re doing at the moment. Is that going to be part of your strategy in 2016, Chris?

CHRIS GREEN: Yeah, I hope so. I mean, I think it’s something that, how far brands themselves take into it, is going to be depending on industry, but I think it works.

DAVID BAIN: It depends on you in this business, and also, probably the personalities of the people within the organisation as well, whether it’s right for them to do.

CHRIS GREEN: Yeah, that’s quite significant. Some clients will also be very risk adverse, and put the word ‘live’ with anything and they get a bit twitchy.

DAVID BAIN: Well, thanks so much for joining us, Chris. What is the best way for viewers to find out more about you?

CHRIS GREEN: Find me on Twitter, @chrisgreen87, and then the links to all the other places take it from there.

DAVID BAIN: Have a wonderful Christmas, Chris.

CHRIS GREEN: Brilliant. You too, thanks.

DAVID BAIN: Pam, how are you?

PAM AUNGST: Hi, good. How are you?

DAVID BAIN: Very good, thank you.

PAM AUNGST: Thanks for having me.

DAVID BAIN: Pleasure to have you. Have you been doing more live streaming yourself?

PAM AUNGST: Not just yet, talking about it, but not doing it.

DAVID BAIN: 2016, maybe doing it, but we’ll see. So what is your SEO prediction for 2016 then?

PAM AUNGST: So I think Google is on a mission to address shorter attention spans, actually they said as much, Gary Illyes gave his entire closing keynote at PubCon about shorter attention spans. He opened up by saying, ‘I bet you think I’m going to talk to you about mobile today, well I’m not. You need to make your sites load faster’, and then went on to do the whole presentation on how attention spans are getting shorter and shorter and shorter, and how it’s a goal for them to be more a personal assistant to the searcher, so another way that they’re doing that, in addition to offering up sites that load fast, it’s been mentioned, it’s been touched upon quite a bit throughout this broadcast is through providing answers right on the SERPs, right on the results pages, through knowledge graph and answer box, and using artificial intelligence to do so. And by them recently coming out and saying that RankBrain, their artificial intelligence algorithm, is now number three as far as important aspects of their overall algorithms. They’re really showing that they’re hell bent on using AI to mould the search results, so I think it’s going to be incredibly important to help them do that. Right now, the knowledge graph and answer box content is mostly dominated by larger sites, and more broad searches, but I think, my prediction is we’re going to see that open up more, to more sites, and more nuanced searches and queries, so I think that it’s going to be very important to feed them that information through schema mark-up, that’s one of the ways that we can help them understand the content truly with AI, is giving them more context via mark-up.

DAVID BAIN: You’re getting a few props for that, actually saying that Google are, perhaps, going to be opening up answer boxes to smaller websites. Do you not think there’s an issue with not knowing whether or not they can actually trust smaller sites?

PAM AUNGST: Not knowing… I didn’t catch what you said. Whether or not…?

DAVID BAIN: Whether they can actually trust smaller sites?

PAM AUNGST: Trust, yes. So I think that’ll be a new wave of challenges for them, as with every opportunity that they give the SEO world, you know, we can’t have nice things, because we refuse it. So that’ll be a trend for them to figure out how to read out what’s trustworthy, information in the mark-up, they’re being fed this information through mark-up, how do they know whether or not to trust others? There’s probably a whole other layer of algorithms that’s coming down the pipe for them to figure that out.

DAVID BAIN: Absolutely. Well, lots of great thoughts there, Pam, and original thoughts that we haven’t had before, so thank you so much for sharing them. What’s the best way for people who are watching to find out more about you?

PAM AUNGST: Sure, thanks again for having me., or Pam Ann Marketing anywhere on the social web, Twitter, wherever.

DAVID BAIN: Great. Well, have a wonderful holiday season, Pam, and we’ll talk to you in the new year, I’m sure.

PAM AUNGST: Thank you.



DAVID BAIN: We’ve got Mr. Greg Gifford on. How are you doing, Greg?

GREG GIFFORD: I’m wonderful. How are you?

DAVID BAIN: Keeping well, thank you, powering away here. So what is your SEO prediction for 2016?

GREG GIFFORD: My SEO prediction is anyone that does live video with cool animated backgrounds is going to win the game.

DAVID BAIN: Hey, hey, hey.

GREG GIFFORD: No, really, seriously though, I think, I’ve kind of been listening in and nobody’s really talked a whole lot about local, I think we’re going to see a lot of changes in local next year. We saw, they’re in the process of rolling out the new update to the Google+ pages, and completely pulling the location information away from the Google My Business pages, and now just making them a Google+ social page. So all that location information that they’ve been pushing us so hard for, since way back in the day when it was Google Places, is now not really visible anywhere other than your knowledge box for your dealership, or for your business. And we just saw recently, they want you to set your search location in Google, so now you can only see search results for the city that you’re physically located in, and a lot of people are using the, you know, adding ampersand equals whatever city, but you’re not getting real results like the people in the cities are, so they’re clearly making some really big changes to local, and it’s going to be interesting to see what ends up happening. I think we’re going to see some craziness there, I also think beacon technology has a huge opportunity to blow up next year, we’re doing some pretty crazy things with it right now, and just for any local business to be able to run, retargeting people that were physically at their place of businesses, pretty exciting. I think video is going to blow up even more next year, especially as we get some of the younger generation coming into things, like my older kid lives on YouTube, he’d rather watch YouTube than watch TV, and I think within the next few years, when we have that younger generation that’s really into YouTube and video, and all the other sources, I think they’re going to really depend just on video on the web, more than anything else. And then finally, the new Facebook ad-types are killing it for us, the local awareness ads and the click-to-call button is crazy, and I think pairing the new Facebook ad-types and the new crazy demographics you can target along with pulling audiences off of the beacons that you’ve put your location, are just an incredible opportunity for local marketing that we haven’t had the ability to do anything like before in the past.

DAVID BAIN: So are you saying that as an SEO, you can no longer just think about SEO in 2016, you’ve got to be aware of other marketing activities around you?

GREG GIFFORD: That’s a really great segue. I’m speaking at Brighton SEO in April again, and my entire talk is, if you’re doing local marketing, it’s no longer just about SEO.

DAVID BAIN: And you didn’t feed me that line beforehand?


DAVID BAIN: Well, I’m sure we’ll see you there, so thanks so much for joining us, Greg. Where can people find out more about you online?

GREG GIFFORD: Follow me on Twitter, @GregGifford, or head over to the DealerOn blog, which is

DAVID BAIN: Have a wonderful holiday season, Greg.

GREG GIFFORD: Thanks, you too. Great to see you.

DAVID BAIN: Emily, how are you?

EMILY HILL: Hi, David. I’m good, thanks. How are you?

DAVID BAIN: Very good, thank you. So what’s your content marketing prediction for 2016, yourself?

EMILY HILL: I have to say, I’m a bit nervous about making a prediction because the last time I did this was when we were going into 2013, and I stood up and said, ‘It’s going to be all about Google Authorship!’ So I’m really hoping! I’m hoping I can do a better job this time. This time I’m going to disagree with one of your previous speakers. I think it’s all about long-haul content. I think if you look at what’s happened over the last two years, content’s been, not just getting longer, but we’ve had the sort of fruits of it getting longer and the reasons why it’s been getting longer are becoming clearer and clearer. So Google’s just released in full, for the first time as probably everyone watching knows, their search guidelines and there’s a lot of stuff in there about making your content authoritative, trustworthy, expertise-led, none of which is particularly new information, we’ve all been banging on the quality content drum a long time, but what I’ve extrapolated from that is, we’ve done every bit of snappy, short-form content already, we’ve done the listicles, we’ve done the click-bait, we’ve done the Facebook, you know, there’s nothing new that we can do, people go online to look for information, particularly if they’re looking to spend a lot of money, and they’re not going to be satisfied with you just giving them a quick ten tips about a marketing article, you have to offer them something with more substance, and backed up by research and data, and insight, and really share your expertise in that way.

DAVID BAIN: Long-form isn’t going anywhere. So does that mean that you don’t think that short-form content is going to be as important in 2016, and you should actually focus most of your energies on long-form?

EMILY HILL: I think it depends on your sector, so we would a lot in B2B and I think definitely for B2B, long-form’s the way to go. We’ve all seen embarrassing attempts by accountants to get cool and going viral on YouTube, and it never really seems to work. Obviously, for a consumer facing brand, it’s going to be a different story and a different strategy, and they might not have quite such a need for long-form, but yeah, certainly if your proposition to a client involves them spending a lot of money for something that they’re trusting you to do well, then yeah, long-form content’s essential.

DAVID BAIN: We’ve got Matt Hodkinson, who was on earlier on, who made that point, saying in the chat, ‘Long-form is still valuable, my point was, that it’s not as engaging as web apps and video for the time poor browser’. What are your thoughts on that?

EMILY HILL: Well, I think, yeah, I take the point, and again, it does vary by sector, and it depends who the customer is, but if you’re asking somebody to invest tens of thousands of pounds in an enterprise-level solution, they’re not going to watch a two minute video, and go, ‘Yep. Here’s my money’, they’re going to want to look at a detailed white paper. So I think there’s a space for both, definitely, it’s not one or the other, it’s looking at which one’s most suitable and what it is you want to achieve.

DAVID BAIN: Thanks so much for joining us, Emily. Where’s the best way for viewers to find out more about you?

EMILY HILL: They can have a look at my agency’s website,, we’re on Twitter under the same handle, and I’m on Twitter personally, with the handle, @AskEmilyHill.

DAVID BAIN: Have a wonderful Christmas, Emily.

EMILY HILL: Same to you.

DAVID BAIN: Mr. Chris Marr, how are you?

CHRIS MARR: I’m well, thanks. How are you? How’s the call going?

DAVID BAIN: Keeping very well, and I think I’m just about getting away with it, yes.

CHRIS MARR: Good stuff. Loving the jumper, mate, loving the jumper.

DAVID BAIN: Thank you very much. Your shirt’s okay. What is your content marketing prediction for 2016?

CHRIS MARR: Yeah, so, my content marketing prediction, I’ve already written about this previously, but it’s a three-way sort of thing, I’ll try and keep it very short, as short as I can. Coming at it from the business perspective, not the client-business relationship, that most marketers talk about, so I think going forward into 2016, businesses are going to have to embrace the principles of content marketing in-house, because up until now, the marketing has just changed so much and I think that they’re starting to get hold of this thing. A lot of people have heard of content marketing, it’s now about understanding it and actually executing in the business, so we’re spending a lot of time trying to get businesses to really get on board on this thing, and enable them to take it forward. So content marketing, the principles of content marketing in business, along with great customer service and experience, I think that people need to look at the offline consumers are judging businesses online, before offline, I think we need to think about the customer experience both online and offline, so content marketing is showing people what you do, and matching that with a great customer experience. Those two together with a third thing, which is business systems, I think they need to look at technology and how they create efficiencies, create a consistent approach to that customer experience as well, and delivery. So that they can rely on the systems there as well, so content marketing to obviously, create interest, awareness, engage, emotional connection, all that kind of stuff, along with the customer experience, matching that, and the business systems in place to actually deliver something consistent as well, and to track and measure all of that activity. So going forward, I think the businesses just need to get smarter, I think they need to listen to marketers, and obviously take advice, but they need to have this longer-term perspective of actually, integrating it into their business, as a culture, as a way that they do things.

DAVID BAIN: So do you think we’re still at a stage, Chris, where the majority of businesses aren’t treating content marketing with a seriousness that it actually deserves, and perhaps, thinking that it doesn’t actually deliver much ROI?

CHRIS MARR: Yeah, I think there’s a big misunderstanding of what content marketing actually is in business. Marketers get it, marketers can talk to death about it, businesses don’t get it, they don’t understand it. Marketing in business is not a priority in most cases, never mind understanding what content marketing is, so you know, content marketing is the only type of marketing that’s really left, I think the businesses have got away with shouting the loudest to get the most attention. Times have changed, consumer behaviour has changed, and therefore, it’s time for business communication to change.

DAVID BAIN: Great, lots of thoughts there to think about. What’s the best way for our viewers to find out more about you?

CHRIS MARR: Grab me on Twitter on @chrismarr101, and that’s the best way to get me. Thanks very much for listening, and good luck with the call, Dave. Really good stuff.

DAVID BAIN: Thanks, Chris. Have a wonderful Christmas.

CHRIS MARR: Merry Christmas.

DAVID BAIN: And Tom Schwab, how are you?

TOM SCHWAB: I’m doing wonderful, Dave, but you know, I don’t have the accent or the Christmas sweater, so I feel like I’ve got…

DAVID BAIN: I think you’ve got the accent. You’ve got the accent in my ears, so I think you’re the minority actually, I think it’s mostly Brits we’ve got on here. Anyway, what is your content marketing prediction for 2016?

TOM SCHWAB: Well, I look at it, the way to go from obscure to claimed in 2016, is going to be just like we’re doing here, through interviews, they could be on Blab, they could be on Podcast, right now, all the blogs are getting so saturated, and if you look at where people are spending their time, where there’s focus, niches of people just longing for information that’s on podcast, and that’s something that we’ve been testing over this last year, and been amazed at the amount of traffic, leads and customers that have gotten back from it, it’s converting 25 times better than just blogs themselves, and one of the things that I didn’t appreciate was all the SEO value, of people sharing this and also, all the back links that are coming from the interviews. Some of the interviews are ranking higher than some of our blogs, our long-term or long-form popular content.

DAVID BAIN: Okay, so you don’t even think about building links? You just produce content that’s great, on a site that’s structured well, and then the links for you naturally evolve?

TOM SCHWAB: Well, that seems like what Google’s giving the most value to, and that’s what people have been talking about here, so I think anything you can do to get that natural sharing, that natural authority back to your site, through real customers, is ideal.

DAVID BAIN: So you talked about podcasting, do you think you need to be absolutely consistent with doing a show or doing the same type of content all the time, or can you get away with just producing a high quality report, and then having that report as your evergreen piece of content, perhaps not having so many regular consistent pieces of content?

TOM SCHWAB: I think the true answer comes from what your experts say, what your customers say. So if your customers are reading long-form, like Emily was saying, like white papers, that is great, but if they’re not consuming those, you need to find another way to break through the noise, and marketing is all about starting the conversation with them. So how can you do that? How can you build that know, like and trust? And maybe that’s talking to them on a niche podcast for 30 minutes, and then taking them from there, bringing them back to the site to show them a white paper.

DAVID BAIN: Wonderful thought, marketing is about starting a conversation. What’s the best place for our viewers to find out more about you, Tom?

TOM SCHWAB: Sure. My website is, and I’m on Twitter, @TMSchwab.

DAVID BAIN: Superb. Well, thanks a lot for coming on, and happy holidays to you.

TOM SCHWAB: Happy holidays.

DAVID BAIN: And Mr. Mark Traphagen, how are you?

MARK TRAPHAGEN: Hey, David. Good to meet you. Gosh, we really miss you on this holiday special. I love what’s happening here.

DAVID BAIN: It’s wonderful to have you on, and I don’t think I’ve seen your fancy spectacles before, they’re very impressive.

MARK TRAPHAGEN: I’m a little closer to the camera than usual so.

DAVID BAIN: So what is your SEO prediction for 2016?

MARK TRAPHAGEN: Well, I’m going to go with something a little more technical and esoteric, and then try to make it as practical as possible. And that is the implications of machine learning at Google. Google is doing a lot with machine learning. In practical parlance it’s what people are calling artificial intelligence, it’s not really that yet in the technical use of that term, but machine learning is basically the algorithm being trained to learn on its own, to learn about the real world, to learn about the way things relate, learn about the way we talk, the way we use language, and be able to assess that in ways that humans are naturally. So the implication of that is not something you can optimise for directly, but that it’s going to mean that Google… The first application we’re seeing is what they call RankBrain, which they’ve just announced recently, and RankBrain is a kind of filter on the algorithm that allows them to first of all learn about natural language, and then interpret ambiguous or difficult queries, so queries that don’t necessarily…

So if somebody asks you a question that’s not the normal way someone would ask it, but we as humans would say, ‘Oh, well, he means this’, or, ‘She means that’, well, the computer being able to do that, now with the application that is coming on the other side, is it means that Google is going to be able to match up more queries than ever before with content, but with content that it could never find before, but that also means they’re understanding that content more richly, so you’ve got to be building more rich content, but not just rich content, you’ve got to be building the whole user experience on your content pages, anticipating everything that a user might need or want, they may be asking for one thing, but what are people who come asking for that also looking for.

DAVID BAIN: So how do you anticipate what these want?

MARK TRAPHAGEN: That’s going to take a lot of thought. It’s going to be thinking of putting yourself in the place of the user, talking to your current users, your customers, doing all kinds of analysis of what happens on your site, where else do people go when they go to a certain page, those kind of things, looking at associated queries, but thinking through, and just trying to take a step back and thinking… we used to think about just a keyword, right? We’ve just got to get them there for the keyword, now we’ve got to be thinking more about, what’s the universe of things? A person that’s coming to our page for this particular task, what else are they looking to get done? And if we’re helping them to get those things done, or find that information, or get to that place more easily, we become more useful to Google, and more likely to be shown by Google, to people asking those questions.

DAVID BAIN: That’s an absolutely wonderful thought to just about finish things with actually, because you’re not only delivering the content that a user is actually requesting or looking for, you’re actually seeking to deliver the answer to the next question after that, which they haven’t actually figured out.

MARK TRAPHAGEN: At Stone Temple, we’re working out what we call ‘content effectiveness optimisation’, CEO, for your site. We’re working with our clients to begin to think in that direction, think about that look at every landing page and say, what is the universe of needs and wants and desires that people come in this page might have? And how do we include that? How do we get them there, and say like, ‘Hey, you can see this too’, or ‘You can do this, you can accomplish that’.

DAVID BAIN: Wonderful, well, thank you so much, Mark. Where’s the best place for viewers to find out more about you?

MARK TRAPHAGEN: I always love this question, ‘cause I just say, my answer is, just Google Mark Traphagen, the whole first page of Google is me, all those places where I hang out.

DAVID BAIN: You’ve bought the top ten though, of course!

MARK TRAPHAGEN: I did not buy it, earned it!

DAVID BAIN: Well, thanks so much for joining us again, and have a wonderful holiday season, Mark.

MARK TRAPHAGEN: Thank you, David. Great show, appreciate it.

DAVID BAIN: Great to have you on. Now, to finish up here, we’ve also got Mr. Laurence O’Toole here, who’s also joined me here as well. Laurence O’Toole is the founder of AnalyticsSEO. Now just before we get to Laurence, what I’m going to do, is I’m going to deliver my prediction as well, which is, I reckon that Facebook are going to become much more important in 2016 for SEO and community building, because a lot of big brands out there have started to build their communities in different places, over the last couple of years you’ve had organic reach, that has decreased significantly in Facebook pages. Facebook pages haven’t done much, or haven’t seemed to do much, for the people using them recently. I think Facebook is going to give a little bit more love to that, and encourage brands to foster communities on there, and I think that with the introduction of broadcasting, live broadcasting directly in Facebook. I mean, you’ve seen live broadcasting in Periscope, you’ve seen it in Blab, it is really going to take off in 2016. So I think Facebook is going to be one significant focus for SEOs over the next year or so. We have some interesting chats going on here, we’ve got Matt Hodkinson saying, ‘Where’s Laurence’s jumper?’ and we’ve got Mark Traphagen saying, ‘Jumper?’

LAURENCE O’TOOLE: It got covered in beer from last night.

DAVID BAIN: Mark Traphagen, ‘Jumper? You Brits are adorable!’ Trying to put on Mark’s accent there. And Laurence, what is your SEO prediction for 2016?

LAURENCE O’TOOLE: Well, being last on, it’s hard to be original, but I’d like to pick up on a couple of themes. Firstly, for me, I always like to start with a sure-fire bet, and the first prediction, the most important in January, is that the Wycombe Wonderers will beat Aston Villa in the FA cup, third round, so if that’s right then I’ll be on song with the rest of my predictions. Which basically I think we’re going to see more variety in the SERPs than we’ve ever see before, certainly our own tools, that were analysed in the SERPs, the mobile mark-up was changing, we’re going see more of it. You look back at what’s happened in 2015, everybody’s talked about machine learning, the rise of direct answers in the SERPs, I think we’re going to see more variety, more innovation, why not have live videos?

Someone mentioned live streaming, live news, breaking news, in the SERPs, very much more differentiated around your context. We’ve seen the changes that Greg mentioned about local, so there’s a huge amount of change and innovation going on the SERPs, and I don’t think we’ve really even scratched the surface of where Google and the other search engines might go. What does that mean for us? I mean, why is Google going down the machine learning route? Well, because they are processing something like half a billion queries that they’ve never seen before, every month, or so we here, so for me, I think the customers that understand the market, and can do audience research, not keyword research, can do customer experience research, and focus on customer experience and reputation will do the best. And for me, that means they need access to, I would say this obviously, big data and big tools, and they really need to understand what’s happening in their marketplace, and gear themselves up organisationally, to touch on and acquire the data, and just picking up on the point Mark made, I was with a head of a customer experience for a major brand today, and we really just bounced ideas backwards and forwards, and discovered that there’s so much content that they should have in their call centre systems, that should be feeding into their content marketing team, and if you can amplify that around, just what your customers are looking for, but your competitors, customers, the whole industry, and you can analyse data at scale, then you really are going to build authority in a niche, and really well serve news to your current customers and hopefully attract future customers. So for me, I think, come this time next year, if we don’t all have data scientists on our team analysing this stuff for us, and giving us the kind of insights that Google’s machine learning gives them, then we’ll be missing a trick.

DAVID BAIN: Superb. Lots of wonderful thoughts there as well. So, thank you so much, Laurence. Thank you so much, everyone, for participating, we’ve had 31 excellent thoughts from SEOs, from content marketers, who are leaders in their industries, so I really, really thank everyone for joining us today. And that completes our SEO and content marketing predictions for 2016. Let’s all try and meet up in a year, and see how we did. So, if you’re watching or listening to the show as a recording, remember to watch the next episode live. So head over to and be part of the audience for the next live show, which will be held on Friday the 8th of January, at 4pm GMT, 11am EST. Guests on that show will be Andy Steel from Equator, Andrew was on earlier on this program, also James Loomstein from Digital Space Consulting, and Pete Campbell from Kaizen. But for those of you who are watching live, we also have audio and video podcasts of previous shows again. Sign up to email updates at, and you’ll receive the podcast links from there too. But until we meet again, have a wonderful Christmas, a wonderful New Year, and thank you again for all joining us. Bye-bye for now.


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