SEO: The Movie (#SEOMOVIE) The Official Page
Share this page, invite your SEO and marketing friends! Use the #SEOMOVIE hashtag.
Press play on the video to view the documentary.
Enjoy The Film!
Are you ready for the real story of search engine optimization? This is the biggest piece of content to hit SEO this year!
Told by industry pioneers Danny Sullivan, Rand Fishkin, Jill Whalen, Brett Tabke, Rae Hoffman and Barry Schwartz, and narrated, produced and directed by John Lincoln, CEO of Ignite Visibility, the movie covers the early days of SEO when people were “spammin and jamming,” affiliates vs. main stream, black hat vs. white hat, the unique and often rocky stories of the industry’s pioneers, how Matt Cutts changed the industry, the history of Google updates and even has commentary on the future of SEO from the industry’s top minds
SEO: The Movie also lists industry all-stars such as John Muller, Maile Ohye, Aleyda Solis, Cindy Krum, Will Reynolds, Brian Dean, Michael King, Bruce Clay, Loren Baker, Eric Ward, Cyrus Shepard, Bill Slawski, Garry Grant, Chris Sherman, Jim Boykin, Shawn Hogan, Mike Graham, Eric Enge and more!
SEO: The Movie also features some of the top software providers in the industry such as Moz, SEM Rush, Conductor, Spy Fu, Rio SEO, Ahrefs, Majestic and more.
"SEO: The Movie" - Copyright Ignite Visibility LLC. 2017
Ignite Visibility is an industry leading SEO company based in San Diego, CA.
Here is the press release that went out before the film was live.
SAN DIEGO, 5/31/2017 – Upcoming documentary, SEO: The Movie, will make its debut June 20, 2017. The documentary features industry all-stars and explores the rise of the Internet marketing industry. It covers the early days of SEO when people were “spamming and jamming,” affiliates vs. mainstream, black hat vs. white hat, along with the unique and often rocky stories of the industry’s pioneers, the history of Google updates, how Matt Cutts changed the industry, and provides a forecast on where the future of SEO is going from the industry’s top minds.
Produced and directed by John Lincoln, CEO of Ignite Visibility, the film was created for a good reason.
“There are so many people who have contributed to the field of SEO,” comments Lincoln. “I have tremendous respect for the pioneers of the industry and those still contributing today. This movie really covers it all. The history, the parties, Google updates, black hat vs. white hat, and more.”
A trailer of the film is available at https://ignitevisibility.com/seo-movie/. The film will also be made available on the same URL on June 20, 2017.
Told by Search Engine Optimization pioneers, SEO: The Movie aims to showcase a timeline history of SEO, along with documentary-style interviews with top industry influencers regarding their companies and the successes, obstacles, and strategies they have used to get to where they are today. SEO: The Movie includes SEO pioneers Danny Sullivan of Third Door Media and Search Engine Land; Rand Fishkin of Moz.com; Jill Whalen, former CEO of High Rankings; Brett Tabke, founder of Pubcon and WebmasterWorld; Rae Hoffman of Sugarrae; Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land and narrated, produced, and directed by John Lincoln, CEO & co-founder of Ignite Visibility.
SEO: The Movie also lists industry all-stars such as John Muller, Maile Ohye, Aleyda Solis, Cindy Krum, Will Reynolds, Brian Dean, Michael King, Bruce Clay, Loren Baker, Eric Ward, Cyrus Shepard, Bill Slawski, Garry Grant, Chris Sherman, Jim Boykin, Shawn Hogan, Mike Graham, Eric Enge, and more.
SEO: The Movie also features some of the top software providers in the industry such as Moz, SEM Rush, Conductor, Spy Fu, Rio SEO, Ahrefs, Majestic, and more.
About Ignite Visibility
Ignite Visibility is a premier Internet marketing company based in San Diego with a mission singularly focused on providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. By establishing mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with our clients, we create custom solutions uniquely tailored to meet the specialized business objectives of each client. Our company currently serves over 100 clients, including some national large brands and other smaller companies with thriving business models.
10 Important SEO Facts for 2020
SEO: Google Accounts for More Than 70% of Search Engine Market Share
According to the latest data, Google holds 73.7% of search engine market share.
Coming in a distant second is Baidu, China’s search engine.
Bing holds less than 8% of the market share and Yahoo currently takes just over 5%.
In other words, Google is still the undisputed king of search engines.
SEO: You Can Optimize Your Twitter Content for Search Results
According to recent research conducted by Search Engine Journal, the Twitter pages of 30 out of the top 50 brand names worldwide show up on Page 1 of the search results when people search for their names.
In fact, company tweets can show up in carousel format at the top of the search results. That’s why it’s a good idea to optimize your Twitter content for search.
SEO: Structured Data Can Improve Your Search Rank
Recently on Twitter, Google’s John Mueller said that there are ranking benefits to using structured data.
Although he made it clear that structured data doesn’t inherently boost rank (the way that SSL does), he noted that structured data makes it easier for the Googlebot to determine page contents.
That can ultimately help with rank.
SEO: URL File Extensions Don’t Matter
Some SEOs are under the impression that their website rank might be affected by the file extension on the URL. According to Google, it doesn’t make any difference.
Recently, John Mueller was asked about file extensions on Twitter. He replied that they have no impact.
“Just optimize with great content,” Mueller said.
SEO: Google Might Soon Deliver Non-AMP Content Instantly
Although it’s a great idea to use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) technology right now, you might not need to in the near future.
According to Search Engine Journal, Google is working on technology that will render non-AMP content instantly.
If that happens, your page speed score might no longer matter.
SEO: Google Says That Good Titles and Descriptions Are Easy SEO Wins
It’s 2018 and some of the basic SEO strategies from years ago still work.
“Good titles & descriptions are some of the easiest wins you can get on webpages,” John Mueller recently wrote on Reddit.
The takeaway here is to never forget the obvious stuff.
SEO: Search Delivered More Referral Traffic Than Social Last Year
Think the best place for referral traffic is social media? Think again.
According to Shareaholic, search delivered more visitors to websites than social media last year.
The research found that 35% of website referral visits arrived from a search engine. By comparison, 26% arrived from social media.
SEO: You Can Target 2 Keywords on a Single Page
Most SEOs understandably focus on a single keyword per blog post. But according to Google, you can target two keywords on one page.
Here’s what Google’s Aaseesh Marina said about the issue: “If the content on the page is relevant for both the keywords, then I don't see an issue. Make sure the content is providing useful information to user queries around those keywords.”
It’s probably best if the two keywords are related, though.
SEO: Google Takes Dwell Time Very Seriously
According to Backlinko, Google’s RankBrain machine-learning algorithm pays a lot of attention to dwell time.
In case you’re unfamiliar with dwell time, it’s the amount of time that people spend on a site once they’ve clicked on a link in the search results.
According to Google, RankBrain measures when “someone clicks on a page and stays on that page, and when they go back.”
SearchMetrics has research showing that the average dwell time for a Page 1 result on Google is 3 minutes, 10 seconds.
SEO: About 3/4 of Search Engine Users Never Scroll Past Page 1
According to Hubspot, 75% of search engine users never scroll past the first page of the search results.
That’s why it’s important to not just rank well, but to rank at the top.
SEO: Movie Transcription
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 1: Google hadn't yet become a public company and people could see that it was rising.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: The search engines themselves were all incredibly secretive about how their algorithms worked.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 3: That was probably my baby holy shit.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 1: Back ones okay to fill up your Meta tag to five thousand keywords.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 3: I pretty much disagree with everything they ever said about SEO. I don't know what work he's coming about these days.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: People felt like you just paid somebody and then they did some magic and all the flooding your website would wait by yourself. [Music]
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 1: Hi I'm John Lincoln and welcome to SEO a movie. So, what attracted me to SEO the early days of SEO I mean it was just a rock star type of industry. There’s so many people and tools and software that deserved credit for the massive thought leadership and just dedication of innovation that's happened. Some of those people would be Danny Sullivan incredibly funny just a joy to read. Jill Whelan who dedicated a large portion of her life to search. We’ve got Barry Schwartz who is relentless in covering the news. We’ve got Rand Friskin looking to innovate every single day. Brett Tab key over at OPCON. Rae Hoffman one of the original affiliate marketers and an SEO veteran.
So, if you don't know search engine optimization is basically getting content ranked inside of a search engine? The reason you want to do that is to drive traffic revenue leads for handing to your website. When the early days of SEO there were these affiliates who were making you know millions of dollars a year. Young kids who had figured out ways to get when he's at the top of Google just seeing the type of money that these people were making off of their own individual knowledge it was incredibly inspiring to me. [Music]
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: That sort of time period SEO had this odd quality to it the search engines were making incredible amounts of money and they had this philosophy of breaking rules and moving fast. There was huge opportunities especially for affiliate player SEOs and there was this sense of unbridled opportunity.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 3: The parties back in the day in industry it was definitely epic. Yahoo had decided to throw a party and for the party they rent it out.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: Rental of the suite for the evening was $200,000.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 3: We were supposed to keep it professional because there the pool hanging out of the balcony was strict.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: It had the Plexiglas bottom after drinking far too much went into I did not have a swimsuit. [Music]
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 3: It is definitely something that I will never forget.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: That party in particular sure. I think it in a lot of ways epitomizes that era.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 4: Oh hi I'm Danny Sullivan. I'm the founding editor of search engine land. I got into covering search engines over 20 years ago. I was a journalist I saw the web starting to develop and so I left from newspapers to do web development 1995. We had SEO even then even though we didn't really call it that in the sense of people understood that there were these search engines that it was important to be listed on them. No one really understood how you do it or what was effective. So, I started looking into it published a guy that became the webmasters guide to search engines and then eventually developed into the work that I do today. Has set me off on a whole new career that I hadn't been expecting just because I really wanted to get some decent answers to questions about how search engines work.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 5: Danny Sullivan he's clearly the oldest established name and SEO today. When I think back to the early days Danny was always there with his weekly newsletter post keeping us informed.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: Looking back at when I first met Danny Sullivan kind of like the feeling like you meet that caught, he was like literally the founder the man behind the search industry. When I met him it was just it was really a great honor. Obviously now I work with him every day and I speak to him all the time and it's not that much of a thrill anymore so sorry Danny. I've never met somebody who could understand and communicate a technical SEO topic as quickly and as comprehensively as he has.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 3: When I think of Danny Sullivan I think of the Dan Rather of SEO. He is the original reporter on the industry. I think Danny did a great job in the early days of kind of getting to the search engines and being that journalist that was like hey you know I need to report on this but I actually understand what I'm going to be reporting on. You can tell if the mainstream media has reported on a topic or if Danny Sullivan has reported on a topic.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 4: Interviewing Sergey Brim on stage back in the day and Eric Schmidt as well was amazing. Especially with Sergey because Google hadn't yet become a public company and people could see that it was rising. It was you know still very kind of raw and fresh. I can remember once being at like--is when a big story broke about the size of search engines and watching them all panic because they were not one of the biggest search engines that were out there. Is like how do we deal with that? I remember the same thing at a Google, Yahoo had announced they had a bigger indexed in Google and you know all the people Google suddenly when the crisis mode on how they deal with that. So, witnessing those sorts of things certainly has been great.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: Hi I'm Randy sin. I'm the founder of Maze. I started this company as a blog in 2004. I had been contributing on many different forums and websites and decided I needed a place to call my own. Today Maze is about 43 million dollars in revenue, 155 people almost 40,000 paying customers all over the world. Yeah it's been an exciting journey getting into this field of SEO. My early career was actually in web design and then I was doing a little bit of contracting for web sites that basically were clients of my mom's when I was in college. Then of course once we'd build a web site the client would always say alright now how do we get traffic. The answer to that was SEO.
It was time for you know Rand to learn the practice of SEO himself. So, I spent tons of time on the forums and the bulletin boards and the chat room. I had phone calls with people who knew SEO, I read voraciously and eventually after a lot of stumbling found my way. [Music] In 2005 I was deeply in debt. Maze was deeply in debt. You know my mom and I had close to a hundred and fifty thousand dollars of credit card debt that we had defaulted on which meant that we owed credit card companies something like half a million dollars. We couldn't declare bankruptcy because if we did the banks might take my parents’ house and my grandmother's house and you know all the money that my dad had saved over a career you know lifetime career at Boeing. There's all sorts of complexity around it.
My mom and I never told my dad that we had debt. So, I mean yeah my mom was like you know she'd be driving home trying to get to the mailbox before my dad to make sure that if there was like credit notices this was like a can't sleep at night kind of stress just awful. I'd been contributing to the search engine watch forums for you know a number of years at that point. I remember asking if I should go to New York for the SDS conference and Danny private message me over the forums and said, Randall I'll get you in for free I'll give you a pair of tickets. That conference we signed our first big you know like really big client multi you know tens of thousands of dollars a month type of client. I met you know many of my SEO heroes there. Yeah I mean I remember seeing Danny there and shaking his hand and just having this experience of being overwhelmed with gratitude and that that is a gesture I'll never forget.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 4: I think Rand is such a smart clever and curious person that he really embodies a lot of the qualities that you want to be a successful SEO. This really is someone who says why is it working that way I'm going to poke it at this but I'm going to poke it too that way and I'm going to try to understand you know how to ferret out the important things that you can use to be more successful with.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 7: Before he was famous or anyone knew of him you know he would post on our forums sometimes asking questions. He's one of those ones that would email me questions at times. So, it was funny, it was kind of cool to see how you know he grew and you know grew his company.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: This was 2006 I was invited to benchmark capital annual gathering and one of the topics that was a great interest was SEO. They asked me to come speak at this conference. So, I remember looking at the SEO: Movie SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER list, it was folks like you know near us Tulia the founder of next door, Meg Whitman who at the time was the CEO eBay luminaries, Jeremy Stoppelman from Yelp, Spencer Roscoe rich Barton from Zillow and Expedia right were there. It was just crazy. I mean I looked down the list and I sort of had this wow these are all the people who wired magazine writes about every month. How’s this Rand Friskin time what am I doing here. Photo of my mom and I were on the cover of Newsweek it was one of the first kind of big mainstream publications that wrote about SEO.
They had me wear sunglasses and stand in a park it was kind of ridiculous. The next day I was extremely nervous but I got up on stage I probably stuttered a little bit at first and then I gave a decent talk a halfway decent talk. You know in the next six months we had people like Zillow and Yelp and Etsy and eBay as clients of Maze. So, it really was very transformational.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 7: I'm Jill Whelan and I'm a former SEO consultant. My website was high rankings.com back in the day. I started doing SEO back in 95 even before 95. I was just basically a mom at home and I started a parenting website. They weren't very many of them that kind of wanted to figure out how to get it found in the search engines of the day. Light ghosts and excited web crawler I would do some searches in and look at what sites came up and figure out why they came up. It really became clear to me then it was the words on the page that really made the difference from which sites to show them. I started you know put certain words on my page like parenting and things like that and little websites started showing up. I was getting four hundred visitors a day to that site back when like nobody hardly was online.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: I think one of the things that Jill did so well is build up this community of very generous contributors. You know it was just people helping each other because they cared about each other.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 4: Jill Whelan was one of the pioneers of SEO. In particular I think one of the important things she did was the focus on content.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 7: Getting to speak at conferences was amazing and traveling all over the world. The second conference I went to was actually an Amsterdam that Danny Sullivan couldn't go for some reason. He was supposed to be speaking there and so he recommended me and I had literally never really spoken before in public. [Music] He didn't even have PowerPoint. I just like just had this like word document that my things went up on the screen it looked really pathetic. I was so scared and so nervous Heather had to like hold me down. I was like ready to run out of the place.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 5: I'm Brett Tapia run PubCon internet marketing conferences for that. I on webmaster world my first computer was a Commodore 64 when I was a freshman in college. I started bulletin board systems so I started running communities and then in the 90s. I left a major computer manufacturer I started building websites from there it was just a natural progression into SEO and we needed a place to talk about this so I started webmaster world. [Music] So, back in the day there was a lot of just easy technical stuff nobody knew how to build web pages let alone how to get traffic or how to get listed on webmaster world. We had people that attempted to sue us over someone using keywords in a post we would often have threads that would rank higher for a product name than the products homepage because we had such high PR.
We had a PR 9 for several years on West world. We would rank higher for a thread about a product the natural product page would and they would attempt to sue us they would call our web hosting provider. We got dosed many times they would complain to Google.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: The search engines themselves you know Google Microsoft Yahoo were all incredibly secretive about how their algorithms worked and how their engines worked. I think that they felt it was you know this was sort of a proprietary trade secret that helped them maintain a competitive advantage against one another. As a result as a practitioner trying to keep up with the search engines understand what they were doing being able to distinguish real information about SEO from you know fake information was incredibly challenging.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 5: In the early days we had basically two camps. We had an SEO camp they wanted to play the Google game they wanted to play what Google wanted to do they wanted to play what also Vista wanted to do. Then we had another set that was affiliate that they were all about getting leads young churn and burn traffic. Always antagonistic between the SE OS and the affiliates almost still is. What the affiliate they just didn't care about Google movies it didn't matter. They would load up a thousand domains with a thousand keywords a thousand link tests and they do it all from a script from the comfort of their bedroom. A good friend type reason called its family and jamming started keyword stuff and on the black hat side.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: That sort of stuff always turned me off. It felt to me like it was a short term potential win that would never help in the long term. My philosophy around marketing and around building companies has always been to get that flywheel going and black hat for me just didn't help that flywheel move.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 5: You’d almost say that the affiliates were the original black Hatter's and the SE OS were original white Hatter's almost. The early days of PubCon in fact we would have PubCon and then we often joke we had Lobby con where there would be a group of affiliates out in the lobby holding a small conference unto themselves. Literally holding sessions in the lobby or in the bar again while the real conference was going on in the hotel rooms in the conference rooms.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 4: Bret tap he is an incredible pioneer the number of people who benefited from the work he did in creating and managing and growing webmaster world and later on PubCon. It was incredible. There was a time when I along with so many people would be on webmaster world every day because it really was the place to be especially when you would have people like Google guy later of course was Matt Cuts owned up to being would be giving out that kind of advice. It was an important place for people to then interact and get that kind of real-time information about stuff that was breaking.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: He and his team at webmaster world has named most of the Google updates starting back with the Florida update or even before that Big Daddy. I could just go through hundreds of updates that Brett tasky and his team at webmaster ball that had named over the course of the years. Honestly without Brett a lot of these updates would not have the names that they have. A lot of them would not have been found without webmaster world and Brett tacky you would not have known about many the Google updates because that's what I'm discussing or most of the discussion around Google updates have had.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 1: There’s so many people who have played a role in building search engine optimization into the huge industry that it is today. People like John Mueller, people like Miley Ola, elitist Seoul, Cindy Krum, Bruce clay, will Reynolds, Michael king, Brian Deese, Lauren Baker, Eric Ward, Cyrus Shepherd, still soft Chris Sherman, skin Boykin, Sean Hogan, Mica hand, Eric Ingle and Gary grant.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 3: My name is Rae Hoffman. I also do in the industry by Sugar Ray my alter ego. When I think back to the early days the biggest life-changing moment for me, I was working in a long-distance base I had you know a thousand two thousand dollars coming in a month from writing for long distance terms. A buddy of mine contact me and he says, hey I'm doing really well with this product its societal called phentermine. I'd never heard of phentermine before I had to go look it up. So, I built the website and back then Google updated once every you know five to eight weeks and whatever rankings you had once it was done you know doing what we called dance. Those were your rankings for the next five to eight weeks until it's danced again. So, if you watch the rankings you were screwed to anything's you had solid income coming in. I wake up one morning and my MSN windows are all lit up which means they're having a minute update while I was sleeping.
So, I go to open my email and it is flooded you've made a sale you've made a sale you've made a sale. I could not figure out so I start checking all these like really long tail terms for phentermine because that was the product but I was getting a sale notification for. It turned out that I ended up taking number three for phentermine as a single, number one for by phentermine and number one per center mean online. My first commission check for the first month of those rankings was more than my then-husband made in a year. That was probably my biggest holy-shit moment.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: So, ray and I have been you know friends for many years through the industry again. I think she initially recognized that I was someone who had a lot of naivete particularly around the gray hat and black hat world and sort of took me under her wing on a lot of those topics.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: She goes way back probably to the 90s of SEO. Ray is always the person that always makes you think about doubting Google. When Google says something are they really communicating the whole truth are they trying to get you to do something just because it makes their job easier. Is that a bad thing or not. Rae is those people that kind of reminds you of somebody who has come from the black hat space but also really cares about producing a really quality website and producing really quality content.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 1: Back in the day SEO was basically in a lot of ways spamming Google black hat SEO. They didn't necessarily want you to do that you know. People were keyword stuff and people were buying links and that's all they used to have to do because there was such a small percentage of the population that understood what SEO even was. I mean I'm talking 1 2 percent. So, these people were just making a killing. SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: Hi I'm Barry Schwartz. I am the news editor at search engine land the founder of the search engine roundtable blog and the president of a web development company in New York named rusty brick. Before the SEO world it was pretty much about building websites, putting a WWN org or com on your business card and hoping people found you that way because people didn't really know about search. People felt like you just paid somebody and then maybe some magic and all of a sudden your website was ranked by itself. Even today I get phone calls from people saying you know could you go ahead and rank my website number one for this keyword. One is I don't offer SEO services but two is it doesn't work that way. It takes a lot of time.
Just like when you want to build a brand takes time to earn a reputation. In terms of like conferences and stuff I was very proud to bring the XMX search marketing excellent to Israel. I pretty much run that whole event totally by myself from the third or media team. I run it every year or so in Jerusalem my mood Tel Aviv and it's a really pretty impressive event. We usually sell out a 500 attendees us close to 50 or so SEO: Movie SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER s across the world come in. I'm very happy to be able to be in a place where I can actually could bring the XMX event to Israel.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 3: What can I say about Barry? Is that guy never sleep he puts out tons of articles. If Google burps Barry knows the guy is tireless and he is an absolute SEO news beast.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 5: He would ferret out little bits of information everywhere on the web whether it be it webmaster world in the early days or Google forums wherever it was Barry would find. He’s the ultimate news hound and he think the world of his journalistic skills.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: When you always get that rush from breaking a news story and having a major news publication cover it. I remember being called in by NBC Brian Williams. He actually asked to interview me about a story around Google instance. I was one of the first people to find Google testing Google Instant and Google was about to announce that the week or so later. So, they call me into NBC Universal to go ahead and interview you on that topic.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 1: It's not just the people in the industry, it's also these companies that are dedicated to innovation and in pushing the level. Of course you think about seem rush you think about mob. You think about web rankings Raven, fried conductors, buy food, Rio SEO search metrics authority labs a rest. The list really goes on majestic that there's so many different companies and tools and services around this industry that have made major contribution.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 8: Talking tech today with Matt Cutts have you ever wondered how do I get my website? SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: So, people will find it that cost is one of the first hundred employees at Google.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 1: In an industry he's about as legendary as you could be so much history and so many things that people still referenced today that he said. You know he was really the only window between Google and the search engine community.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 3: The thing that was really special about Matt was Matt did not he wasn't somebody that was telephoning down the lane. He wasn't somebody that was a go-between. Matt was a direct link to the web spam team at Google. So, when we asked Matt how something worked Matt often knew the answer himself because he had either built it overseeing it being built or understood why it was built.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 5: Larry and Sergey were fairly antagonistic to SEO s and the way I understood it Matt went into Larry and said we need to do this we need to have an outreach program for webmasters. Matt did that he started coming around webmaster world posting his Google guy. He really reached out to us and laid out the welcome mat.
SEO: Movie SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 9: Hi my name is Matt Cutts. I'm an engineer in the quality group at Google and I'd like to talk today about what happens when you do a web search. Hi everybody Matt Cutts here. I wanted to tell you about a neat feature of Google Webmaster Tools. Okay so that's basically just like tell me everything about Google right.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 7: There was that period there where because Google was sucking so badly that websites weren't showing. So, I remember tweeting something to Matt Cutts. If only Matt Cutts would get off his ass and fix Google we you know we'd things would be a lot better. I wrote a couple of articles about Google sucking all the way to the bank because I really believed that they were purposely not being so great so that people would have to buy ads from them. The interesting thing was it wasn't long after that when suddenly they fixed everything.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: I and Maze had many challenges with Matt Cutts over the years. We at first had a very friendly professional and personal relationship for several years. Then I think Matt took the view that some of the transparency that I espoused them that we were putting out there on Mos. really bothered him and bothered Google. Occasionally I get an email from him saying I wish you wouldn't write about this, I wish you would invite this person to your conference I wish. Well and sometimes stronger than that. Like you need to remove this thing from your tool or we will ban you and that that bothered me a lot right.
I always felt like Google held us that's not fair. I always felt like Matt himself held us to a higher standard or a different standard than he held many other folks in the SEO industry. You know maybe now is more of a grown-up reflecting on that. I probably should have taken some pride and been more honored by that rather than this reactive anger that I had and this feeling of being treated badly.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 3: I think one of the biggest changes that the SEO industry saw in recent years was actually the loss of Matt Cutts. Matt retiring.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 5: I don't think we would be the industry we are today without Matt Cutts. I think the world of him personally and professionally.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: When these Google algorithms came out penguin panda sandbox all these algorithms it was really one person at Google that they really blamed was Matt cause he was the one who was the direct face of these algorithm updates.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 4: There’s a thing called the Google dance. It took its name from something that happened with how Google used to update its algorithm. When the changes would flow out leaves either new algorithm a new data that was pushed into the Google search engine the results would kind of dance around for a day or two or three. Okay things are happening I don't know what's going on with my website let's see how it all settles out and people would hold their breath and watch what would happen. Some of these updates would be significant enough that they earn their own names. The names often at the time would come from webmaster world where people would discuss them and oftentimes would be correlated to webmaster world was going to an event.
You wouldn't think the launch of the Google toolbar would be such an important huge chapter in SEO but it really was. In particular it was because the Google toolbar came with an advanced feature called the PageRank meter. Suddenly people could discover how important Google deemed their sites and particular pages based on the links pointing at them. Then everybody had a PageRank score and if everybody can have a PageRank score then we could buy and sell links based on PageRank scores. That's exactly what happened. It is whoa that has continued to play Google him SEO is based to this day.
Its involved lawsuits over Google then taking PageRank away from people. Its involved lawsuits that have said Google has a First Amendment right to do that. While the toolbar itself wasn't an update it wasn't it changed the algorithm it had huge wide-ranging impacts on the whole search space that continue to reverberate through today.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: It happens sometime around 2003. Google released this algorithm that went ahead and looked for various techniques that SEO s were using to kind of manipulate the search results.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 4: It was a big change Google made where they were trying to filter out poor quality content and improve the quality of the search results. A lot of these people who got used to Google providing them with dependable traffic assume that it's been that way and it would always be that way and really kind of went into free-fall.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: Oh my god I have zero sales I have a staff of a hundred employees sitting in my warehouse not able to fill orders. My business is going to go bust and last would happen with many retailers. Florida update was one of the major Google updates that Google did not confirm ever.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 5: Google really came out and put their foot down look at the Florida update. They really threw an elbow and let us know that this was their algorithm, this was their machine that they and their best so that they were going to protect. They clearly went out and went directly after search engine optimizers. Google reference being to me spam database during the Florida updating several talks that you know it was the prototype. They went out and they went after SEO, they went after SEO clients that were breaking the Terms of Service ago. Google really let us know that the days that we used to know were over that they were taking control of their search engine going forward.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 4: Can just remember how much being on web back to well at that time was crucial if you were trying to understand everything that was going on. It owes so much of a debt back to bread as being a leader in the industry and just creating that kind of a place. People had come to understand that Google was very dependent on links. So, you wanted to get links to your website and that vented course has always seemed to be the case produced a lot of junk and a lot of spam along the way. Leading up to the introduction of the no follow tag there has been cries that Google was to blame for all this blog spamming that was going on. These automated tools that would just come through and drop links on all sorts of logs.
You have prominent people in the blogging space demanding that Google somehow fix it. So, Google finally did or at least they fixed the PR problem didn't solve the blog spam problem. They introduced what was called the no follow attribute no follow tag and it allows you to say yes this link for my website should not carry credit for my website to other web sites. The idea was if you use this for your blog links then people wouldn't expand you anymore because it was just going to be a waste of time.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: So, the Google Panda update came out sometime in 2011 I think it was February 2011. It was one of the most famous Google updates to ever happen.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: For all those of you who have been sort of manipulating Google by using a powerful website powerful website in terms of influential through Authority and through links and simply creating massive amounts of content on it. We Google are going to reduce the impact that those have and in fact we're going to change our paradigm around how we penalize. We're not just going to penalize the things the pages that didn't perform we're going to penalize an entire site for even what you know this one section of the site is doing.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: It impacted about 12% of the search queries. Meaning 12% of the rankings and Google had changed drastically because that and that was a major change. 12% of your search rankings pretty big change.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: Yeah I thought it was actually a very smart move on Google's part. We had a dramatic uplift. There were a lot of sites in the SEO field that we didn't have to compete with anymore.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 1: These Google updates they can have massive impacts if you're doing these things that are against Google's guidelines. Like creating thin content which was what Panda targeted or creating backlinks and using blog networks and having too much anchor text which is what penguin targeted.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: The penguin update it targeted specifically link spam sites that were going ahead and using the link graph within Google as a way to manipulate the search results. Google was aware of this and they had to go ahead and come to combat SEO s and webmasters just buy links selling links and trying to manipulate the search results based off of link manipulation. That hit a lot of SEO. I think more SEO s were complaining about the penguin update than the Panda update. The panda update, was more focusing on content and you had publishers that were hit by that but SEO specifically focused a lot around links. SEO s that did a lot of link development notice that their clients and all of him pretty much were hit hard by this penguin update. The forums went crazy whenever a penguin update hits and there are a lot of them you always see the SEO forums more so the plaque black hat SEO forums go crazy saying there's is some penguin update happening my rankings are dropped and so forth. When you got hit by a penguin update you weren't able to get out of that penguin update.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 3: There are a lot of complaints that I could make about the penguin algorithm. I think the most important complaint is how long they waited between updates. As a consultant I had companies calling me that were hit by penguin. I had since cleaned up all of their backlinks in some cases they did them in other cases they hired crappy SEO s and had no idea what they were doing. Either way they cleaned up the mess and they would contact me and they would say we're still not I'm penalized so we need you to look at it to see you know what we missed. I tell them well you didn't miss anything you have to wait for Google to push the button again.
Google waited almost two years to push that button again. I would get calls from companies that told me that they had two months before they were going to have to close the doors and start firing employees and they were waiting on a penguin update. Google launched something that was extremely punitive that was extremely devastating that through a lot of baby out with the bathwater and then chose not to update it again for almost two. I hate making predictions about where we're going to be in five years or ten years.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: I will tell you how I feel right now today you know q1 of 2017 which is.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 3: If you had asked me ten years ago where are we going to be in ten years never what I have been able to remotely fathom the development of Twitter or the development of Facebook or that YouTube would become one of the largest search engines on the Internet?
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 2: SEO has a very bright future for at least the next three or four years. I think the future after that is more uncertain and the biggest risk that I see to this field is that search volume and the possibility of being in front of searchers diminishes dramatically because of smart assistance and voice search.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 7: I don't know in some ways I think it is sort of dead now at least as a standalone industry.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 1: I will say the future of search is super bright and people are going to evolve with it.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 5: So, the future SEO to me is this entire holistic approach SEO mobile web social every place you can flick marketing is going to count. We can't just do on the page stuff anymore we can't worry about links 24/7.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 4: I think it's never too late for people to get started with SEO. It’s not like if you haven't been doing it since 1996 it's over and done. It is an industry that liked to reshape itself to some degree every six months to 12 months.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 1: Searching is always going to be tied to research and whenever anybody needs the service or a product their identity research. It might be through Facebook, through Twitter, it might be through LinkedIn, it might be through YouTube right there's a lot of different search engines out there in platforms that are always expanding and contracting based off of the features that they're putting out there.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 6: I think there always will be I need for SEO. The SEO description has changed a lot over the course of years. The primary purpose of SEO is to make sure that you help searchers find the website.
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 1: Creating awesome content that's easy to find that's technically set up correctly and that reverberates through the internet and send signals to other people that you should digest it. That's the core of what search is about I think the future of searchers is going to be just fine. [Music] [Music] [Music]
SEO: MOVIE SEO: MOVIE SPEAKER 8: To do a SEO about this you that's what we're going to do. We're going to do a whole movie about search engine optimization and we're not even going to invite link Moses himself the guy who did the original campaign lemur link building an SEO for amazon.com on the 14 for modem from his kitchen table. Yeah we're going to do a video movie and not even asked Eric Ward to be in it I cannot believe those sob. You know what I'm going to do I'm going to link spam this with their website. I'm gonna make it so nobody sees this movie
End of "SEO: The Movie" Transcription
What is SEO?
Seo “is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.” - Search Engine Land
Why is it important?
To drive traffic, revenue, and leads to your website.
Who are the major stars of the movie, and what are their roles?
The movie features:
- Danny Sullivan, founder of Search Engine Watch and co-founder of Search Engine Land
- Rand Fishkin, the “Wizard of Moz”
- Rae Hoffman aka “Sugarrae”, CEO of PushFire (and one of the original affiliate marketers)
- Brett Tabke, founder of PubCon and Webmaster World
- Jill Whalen, former CEO of High Rankings and co-founder of Search Engine Marketing New England
- Barry Schwartz, CEO of RustyBrick and founder of Search Engine Roundtable
The movie also features a section on Matt Cutts, though he doesn’t appear in the movie.
What major topics are covered in the film?
The film covers mainly the early days of SEO and the rise of affiliate marketers, how SEO became a major practice, and how the emergence of Google and it’s many algorithm updates affected the way we use SEO. It also goes into the future of SEO and what that may hold.
Who is director John Lincoln?
John Lincoln is the co-founder and CEO of Ignite Visibility (the 698 fastest growing company in the US in the 2017 Inc. 500), a highly sought-after digital marketing specialist and frequent industry speaker, and the 2017 Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of the Year”.
What time period does SEO the Movie cover?
The beginning of SEO in the mid-90’s through the early 2000’s (it’s major heyday) up until now.
What is the runtime?
What was different about the early days of SEO?
The early days had a “rock star” quality with it. Search engines and affiliates were making huge amounts of money (millions of dollars a year) doing what was then a little-known practice - figuring out how to get ranked at the top of Google. It created huge opportunities and brought with it a glamorous lifestyle, complete with equally glamorous parties, nightlife, etc.
How did people discover the importance of SEO?
As the internet gained popularity and became commonplace throughout the early and mid-90’s, people began to understand the impact of search engines - that they existed and it was important to be listed on them. The problem was that at the time, no one knew how to do it.
Danny Sullivan, one of the oldest established names in SEO, researched and published the “Webmasters Guide to Search Engines,” and is widely known and credited with bringing the intricacies of SEO to the mainstream.
Many, like Jill Whalen, found the importance of SEO through trial and error and experimentation, gradually concluding that the words on the page made all the difference in search engine rankings.
What are the most important aspects of SEO?
The most important ranking factors are considered to be:
- Content - one of the most important Google ranking factors, it includes the keywords you used to be found in searches; it should be comprehensive and relevant to your audience
- Backlinks - these are links on other sites that lead back to yours. Get them by creating quality content and promoting it to industry leaders and influencers
- Technical SEO - this is what happens off-page, including page load speed, page tags, sitemaps, etc.
How has search engine’s approach to SEO changed?
In the beginning, most searches were extremely secretive about how their algorithms worked, which made it very difficult for SEOs to decipher what means were effective for optimization.
What is Black Hat vs. White Hat SEO?
Basically, Black Hat goes against the rules. It doesn’t take search engine’s rules or guidelines into consideration, and includes practices like keyword stuffing and buying links to improve a site’s search performance. It was popular in the early days of SEO because it was easy to get away with it; very few people were aware of or understand SEO, and search engines didn’t yet penalize for Black Hat activity.
White Hat SEO follows the rules put forth by search engines and optimizes content, backlinks and technical SEO.
What is the “Google Dance”?
This is a (now outdated) term used to describe times when Google would release a new algorithm or update, and as a result website’s positions in the search result would fluctuate, or dance around, for a few days.
When did SEO change?
The introduction of Google’s Florida update in 2003 signaled the end of the late-90’s SEO era. The update, designed to weed out poor quality content, enforced rules that many had overlooked in favor of Black Hat practices. With the new update, things like keyword stuffing were no longer acceptable and caused many sites to fall drastically in rankings.
Moving forward, SEOs had to be careful to comply with Google’s terms and utilize more White Hat tactics.
What are some of the major algorithm changes and updates that Google has made over the years?
- Introduction of Google Toolbar and PageRank in December 2000 - Pagerank evaluates the quality and importance of links to a webpage and assigns a quality score, allowing people to see their pages importance based on the links pointing to them
- Florida Update, November 2003 - this was a major change in the way SEO was conducted, and was essentially change that Google made to filter out poor quality content. It combated many late 90’s Black Hat SEO tactics like keyword stuffing, and caused many sites to loose rankings based on those practices
- Nofollow Attribute, January 2005 - this was released to combat spam and control link quality,
- Panda Update, February 2011 - one of the most famous updates to come from Google which affected up to 12% of sites; designed to combat thin content, content farms, and many other quality issues. In the past, if one section of your site had these issues, only that section was penalized. With the update, the entire website is now penalized for the one section
- Penguin Update, April 2012 - targeted link spam specifically; the buying and selling of links to improve rankings by link manipulation
What are some of the major SEO tools?
There’s many, but some of the most notable SEO tools include:
- Advanced Web Ranking
- Raven Tools
- Rio SEO
- Search Metrics
- Authority Labs
What is the future of SEO?
While no one can say for sure, director John Lincoln sums it up well: people are always going to have a need to research and discover information, and that means that search in some form will always be around.
“Creating awesome content that’s easy to find, that’s technically set up correctly and that reverberates through the internet...that’s the core of what search is all about.”
What’s the difference between organic and paid search results?
Organic results are search results that appear for free, based on algorithms and SEO efforts.
Paid results are ones that marketers pay for, and generally appear at the very top or side of the results page.
How many keywords should be included on a page?
There is no one right number when it comes to keywords. Just keep in mind that you want to keep your content as natural as possible, which means including keywords where they fit based on reader’s experience. Don’t overdo it; too many keywords can result in penalties for keyword stuffing.
How many links should I include on a page?
Like keywords, there is no right answer. Don’t overdo it, and base it on reader’s experience. Also, make sure all links lead to relevant content.
What’s the difference between internal and inbound links?
Internal links are links on your page that lead to another page on your site. Inbound links are links on other websites that lead back to your site.
How long does it take to see SEO results?
That depends on a variety of factors, including how big your site is, how much content you’re producing, and the quality of that content. Bigger sites will likely see results quicker because they are crawled more frequently, while smaller sites may take longer to see SEO increases.
What does “crawling” mean when referring to SEO?
When a bot (called spiders) follows your links to look around your site in order to determine its importance and ranking, it’s called crawling.
Generally, sitemaps are created for every site, which contains all the links to pages you want to be crawled. You can stop certain pages or parts of your site from being crawled by including a robots.txt file.
Once your site has been crawled, Google (or other search engines) will index your pages. Indexing is adding pages to their search engines.
Factors that can affect how your pages are indexed include quality content, quality links, duplicate content, meta tags, etc.
Is mobile important to SEO?
Very. In 2016, Google announced its intention to start mobile-first indexing, which means they will use the mobile version of sites as their primary search index.
That means if you don’t have a mobile site or it lacks the amount of content found on your desktop version, it’s time to build up your mobile version.
Does social media affect SEO?
It does, but not in the traditional sense.
While it’s not a direct ranking factor for Google or other search engines, it is an indirect one. What that means is that though it doesn’t directly impact rank, it impacts factors that do. Those include:
- Number of backlinks
- Website traffic
- Consistent updates
If you create quality content that results in quality links and shares, it will have a positive impact on rankings.
What is a robots.txt file?
A robots.txt file indicates which pages you don’t want search engines to crawl.
What is Page Rank?
Introduces with the Google Toolbar in 2000, Page Rank is a numerical figure that Google assigns to a website to show its importance and relevance. It’s determined by the number of links that point back to a site, and also takes into consideration the quality of the links themselves. Generally, links that come from sites with a high a Page Rank will have greater importance. Page Rank is a major factor in overall SEO rankings.
Can I do SEO on my own?
Yes, you can, but only should if you have the time and resources to dedicate to it. If you’re a beginner attempting to do it alone, it will take time to learn and trial and error to execute. Often, it’s beneficial to bring in an outside consultant or agency with a proven record of success in SEO to jump start and oversee an SEO strategy.
How do I choose quality keywords?
Identify common keywords by thinking of common questions people have about your industry or product, and what they might type into a search engine when looking for it.
There are also many tools available to help identify the best (and most competitive) keywords in your niche, such as Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush.
How much does SEO cost?
That depends. If you’re just starting with the basics and organic listings, you can do much of it yourself. When going for paid search, the amount you spend will often depend on your industry and how competitive your target keywords are. Ultimately, a solid campaign should yield more returns than what you invest.
What will result in a Google penalty, and what happens if I get one?
Activity that could result in a penalty from Google includes link building schemes, spam, keyword stuffing, buying links, and other Black Hat practices.
A Google penalty will result in a drop in rankings. While some are worse than others, oftentimes a penalty can be fixed.
Do I need any coding experience?
Not necessarily, at least for the content and link building portion. You will need a little technical know-how when it comes to robots.txt files, meta descriptions, sitemaps, etc. There are plenty of instructions online if you want to tackle it yourself, or hire a professional to handle your technical SEO.
Is SEO worth it?
Yes. It takes time and effort, and doesn’t always produce immediate results. But eventually, SEO offers one of marketing’s highest ROI’s and exposes your site to a much wider, more relevant audience.