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Interview with Kyle Roof Co Founder and SEO Lead at High Voltage SEO, Co Creator of Page Optimizer Pro

Kyle Roof

Steve Wetmore – Kyle roof. Welcome to the InstaVIP podcast. Kyle is Co Founder and Co Lead at High Voltage SEO, Co Creator of Page Optimizer Pro, and Co Founder of Internet Marketing Gold.

Kyle Roof – Thanks so much for having me. Pleasure.

Steve Wetmore – Glad you’re here. So Kyle, could you take a few minutes and talk about who you are? What you do, and don’t be shy about your credentials?

Kyle Roof – Sure thing. So as you said, I co founded High Voltage SEO, we’re an SEO agency with offices in Phoenix, Arizona. That’s where I am currently, we have an office in Berlin. We have an office in Melbourne. About 16 employees. We have about 80 clients. We do local SEO to national international ECAM. Just about everything in between. I am the CO Creator of Page Optimizer Pro, which is an on page evaluation tool. The basic concept is you put your page And your competitors and the tool tells you what Google likes. And then recently co founded internet marketing goal. That’s a an online community with a kind of a data driven focus. In the last three years I’ve conducted over 350 scientific tests on Google’s algorithm. Most of them are single variable test and my tests are now being published in an IMG and internet marketing gold.

Steve Wetmore – Well, then talk a little bit about you know, some of your credentials now – like speaking engagements.

Kyle Roof – Sure, so I just finished full World tour. I spoke at a conference in Bali, one in Thailand, and then finished up in Milan, which was a five week trip, which is a lot of travel, it was pretty crazy, too. So I live in Phoenix. I had to fly to LA and the first flight then goes across the Pacific to Bali, but then on the way back going through Europe, then went across the Atlantic actually went around the world, which I had never done before. And it occurred to me as like, wait, I think I’m actually going around the world on this. And that’s what happened was actually pretty crazy. Things I was talking about was some follow up to the Rhinoplasty Plano experiment. I think you’re familiar with that.

Kyle Roof – The for those that are unfamiliar, I entered a competition and the winner would be who could rank the highest after 30 days. And I didn’t actually win the official competition but reached fifth place. But about two weeks later, my site went to number one in maps and number one, organic and the joke and the punchline is that I did the site in Latin Lorem ipsum and got it to rank for the term and it really came down to the idea of giving Google the math that it wants, you know the exact keyword Rhinoplasty Plano, its variations and then the contextual terms are the LSI, if you will, and then what I did is very crassly copied and paste them into signal areas, you know one’s your body content, meta title, etc, the amount of times that Google want to see it and then that got the site to number one.

Kyle Roof – On this talking circuit on the last time I’ve actually been talking about the follow up to that or the aftermath. One is Google D-indexed my site and then Google took down 20 of my test sites, which I thought was pretty uncool. But then I realized I was actually kind of fun because it validated everything that I did. You know, if I wasn’t exposing how the algorithm was working, I think Google would have rolled their eyes and moved on. But instead they came after me personally. And the joke is that I might be the first person that Google was gone after just for doing good on page!

Kyle Roof – The following was not just annoying Google, but a lot of SEO’s had their ruffled a lot of feathers. And what was interesting to me is everybody saying you can’t do it again, it’s not possible to do it again, that was a fluke, you got lucky. And then it lists the reasons that I got lucky. And so what I did is I have spoken at events in four different cities. And what I did on this talking tour is that I ranked a new site in lorem ipsum for each of those cities, and most of which are on page one. Like the first one was rhinoplasty, Garden Grove, Garden Grove is in LA, right outside Anaheim, where Disneyland is, and that’s sitting at number one and number two right now, for rhinoplasty.

Steve Wetmore – In fairness to you, Kyle, I mean, you’re doing Google a huge favor. identifying these holes.

Kyle Roof – Yeah, but they’re not fixing them. That’s the thing. You know, that actually though, that goes to what I think about SEO is that Google is so powerful. It’s one of the most amazing things ever created. And then there’s no denying that but you can’t give it godlike qualities. You can’t even give it human like qualities because it’s not human. It’s an algorithm. And the idea is that if you approach it from that way that this is a piece of code. Now, this is math. It’s very smart math, and it has abilities to learn, but you can’t attribute human learning to it. You know, you have to understand how a computer can learn or how an algorithm can learn. And then that’s its limitations. And if you stay within that, then I think you’re always going to be ahead of Google, and it doesn’t matter. You know, as I know that this talk is kind of like what’s coming up in 2020. But I think, maybe just stay with the mindset of that it is an algorithm. And then what can an algorithm do in 2020? Well, that’s about what Google can probably do.

Steve Wetmore – So, here’s your chance Kyle, you’ve talked to a lot of people on this last worldwide circumnavigation around the around the globe. And I’d love to hear what your perspectives are on the near future.

Kyle Roof – So the talk that I gave was specially highlighting that people talked about that the updates in 2018, and the updates in 2019. And how much Google has changed and evolved and gotten bigger and better. And the point of the talk was, that’s not really true. You know, it’s still an algorithm. That’s all that it can be. And so while you know, Google might have the ability to do certain things that they simply aren’t doing. And I think you could probably do it from a cost perspective, that a certain place cost so much money to do. The types of things that they probably do have the computing power to do but because the results on the surface are so good, I don’t know whether it’s been the money. My bigger thought was really funny as I’m still in Milan, which was the final speaking spot. So I just ran through about how this stuff still works. And then the very first question was, well, what do you think about Bert? Will this still work anymore? And I was like, Yes, you know, just because there’s a new update, it doesn’t mean that it has radically changed how any of this works, most of the updates, affect the 10% on either side of the bell curve, or 15%. But I think that 70 to 80% what’s in the middle is not going to change very much, if at all, because it can’t change. It’s the core way of how Google works. And they’re not going to tinker with that, because it’s quite successful, it’s very profitable. It’s that stuff on the end that they really try to tinker with. And that’s where people are usually trying to game the system anyway. So the people that get get wrapped up in or get hit by a lot of algorithm, updates are usually doing something that they probably shouldn’t be doing. You know, or they’re, they’re in an area where they could have improved it or they could have done something better and decided not to, for whatever reason, and then they get hit. So I think maybe the most controversial thing that I can think about as to what’s coming up in 2020 is it’s going to stay the same. And if you’re staying within that 70 to 80%, if you’re just doing the things that you’re supposed to do, and if you’re thinking about it is to satisfy this is what the algorithm wants, you’re going to be just fine. You’re not gonna have you don’t have to work in our agency, but I don’t sweat updates. I like updates. Because usually what happens is competitors fall out and we go up, because we’re not playing in that fringe area, where you are susceptible to volatility. I don’t know why you’d want to be there to be honest, when you could get steady gains steady growth, and even impressive growth just by staying within the bounds of what we know works and what is successful. I mean, it’s in that far area where I think you’re looking at trouble. And also, in that far you were inside of the assigned abilities that Google really doesn’t have.

Steve Wetmore – Well, that’s that’s refreshing. I’ve heard, some directions that could be worrisome. Like, trying to optimize for voice and what you should be doing to do that and working with schema. Structured Data is certainly beyond me in terms of writing, writing the code. I’m not a code writer. And you know, the average guy certainly isn’t. So that’s actually refreshing to hear you say that. If you play within the lines, you’re going to be relatively safe.

Kyle Roof – Yeah, and let me point out the plane inside the lines doesn’t mean not doing SEO Like worrying about your site or thinking about your site isn’t doing SEO. And I think a lot of people think that that is, like they stressed about their site a lot, and, and then they feel that they “did everything”. And you can’t see the quotes that I’m putting up. And then they wonder why they’re not ranking. So I mean, you still have to do SEO.

Kyle Roof – You have to be proactive about things, you have to put content up, it does need to be optimized, etc, etc. Right? But there’s no reason to, like, with your voice search example, I have a Google Home and I use it, I asked it for the weather, and I asked it to play songs. You know, I don’t know how to monetize either of those things. Anyway, were like, what’s the weather today and it says, it’s going to be sunny and nice. I don’t know what website was going after that. You know, that’s the stuff that I think it’s used for right now. Currently is not monetizable. Anyway, they asked for the time. I guess if you had a time website, maybe then you’re a bit in trouble. But otherwise, it’s it’s I’m you can’t ask it with You know, for all the daily searches that you might do for services and products, you know that it’s not showing you anything, it’s just kind of spitting words back at you. And it’s not very effective for a lot of E-commerce type things or selling a service or a product such that people that do that, I don’t know that they really need to stress about Voice Search too much. Right.

Steve Wetmore – Agreed that that makes sense. makes good sense. Any, any anything else you want to touch on? in terms of trending?

Kyle Roof – No, just take a deep breath. Okay. People want to be like, Oh, my God, this AI is coming. And it’s gonna be this deep learning, whatever. And I don’t know. I don’t think so. It costs so much money. And the results are so good at Google anyway. I don’t know if it ain’t broke. don’t fix it. Right. Yeah. But I mean, I think they’ve got the technology. I’m sure they got the technology. I’m sure that’s there. It’s just it’s it doesn’t make any sense to apply it to something that’s already working. effectively.

Kyle Roof – Good? Well, that’s great. The only other thing I would add to is that you can’t have enough content. You know, when in doubt, write some more content. That if anything, like, when people are really freaking out about the most recent update Bert, what I think what I could see from from my own sites, the evaluation that we did in our agency was that, um, and maybe you’re not familiar with this concept. But if you optimize for a primary keyword, you win secondary keywords, even if they’re not on the page, you can see this in Search Console, how a page will rank for hundreds of or thousands of keywords, many which don’t exist there. That’s because Google has associated those terms with that primary keyword. So you have a page about a particular thing. And you’ve optimized for that. You win hundreds or thousands of keywords just automatically, obviously, over time, it’s not an instant thing, but that as the page grows, that you accumulate all those secondaries, that’s how it works. What it looks like is Google maybe got a little more nuanced, realizing that a particular secondary, especially the long tail, one, maybe not was not associated with that primary and shifted it over somewhere else or made it its own primary. Certainly at the end of the day, the thing to do is just make more content, you know, continue to build out an authority site and authority sites up, answer a lot of questions about what’s going on in that particular industry or that service. And that’s all you need to worry about. So I mean, the grand update this freaking people out is really just changes. Right. Some more, some more pages. Right.

Steve Wetmore – Great advice, which is an excellent segue into talking about tools, and particularly the your Page Optimizer Pro, and how that helps you optimize your content?

Kyle Roof – At the end of day it comes down to counting. I mean, SEO is counting you need to see the secret to ranking is hiding in plain sight. Google shows you the sites that it likes, and it likes those sites because of their on page their off page or a combination of And at the end of day, it’s counting the things that Google likes, you know how many times you’ve used your keyword in certain places, certain signal areas, variations of that keyword contextual terms, you can count those things based on what Google is rewarding, and you can then give Google page that it really wants to read. It really wants to index they really wants to rank links to accountable obviously, there. You know, dirty things you can do to hide what you’re, what you’re doing. I’m not really talking about that. But you can see Generally, the amount of signals where the signals are coming from those are countable things, really about off page is that, you know, there are a lot of variables is Google going to crawl this link isn’t gonna like this link is this that or the other. But the thing that you have 100% control over is your own site. And as such, you can give Google the page that it wants to see this is actually also the intersection of good content versus SEO content because Most people when they when they’re doing a search, that’s not the first time they have done that particular search. If you give Google the page that it wants, based on that Nisha that keyword, you’re probably also giving humans the page they want as well. You don’t want to try to to teach Google what is a better page, nor do you want to try to teach your your potential visitors or the users of your site, what is a good page, you want to give them the page that they’re expecting to see. So by simply looking at what Google is rewarding, you can then satisfy both the algorithm and then also your potential visitors. And what page optimizer pro does is it gives you that information, it goes through the competitors that are winning your particular term, and then it spits back out. This is how many times they’re using this here and that they’re such that the median gives you the range, if you will, of what looks to be acceptable for that keyword. And then you can create that page and you can also go through the structure of your competitor pages. This is what they’re building out this What’s your, what your visitors want to see and they can provide A functional page that will satisfy your visitors as well.

Steve Wetmore – Amazing. So, there, there’s a piece of software that I have a little bit of knowledge of SEO power suite. They have a WebSite Auditor module, and they go into content analysis. Are you familiar with that?

Kyle Roof – A little bit. In our agency, we use website editor but we use like the structure part of things looking for like broken links and four fours and that sort of thing. So you do use in our agency.

Steve Wetmore – Okay. So from in terms of optimizing content, how would you compare SEO power suite and their content? analysis to to page optimizer Pro.

Kyle Roof – I think they do like a team. idea of score? Is that what they give you?

Steve Wetmore – They do. That’s one of the one of the modules that they offer. Yes.

Kyle Roof – So that’s one very small part of what pop does, we do give a waiting score for for variations and LSI is based off of some TF IDF principles. But the idea of this term appears to be more important to the text than say another term. Okay, and so that’s one part of the analysis. But what pop does is that we will specifically say, do this here, put your executive or two times in the body. Now, you know, the variations of your keyword, so maybe partial praises of it or single words, put that four or five times in h2, h3 and that sort of thing. So it’s actually very specific on the recommendations of this is the range that Google wants for this particular term. This is where you need to put it.

Steve Wetmore – So you also had mentioned a couple of other tools.
Care to talk about those?

Kyle Roof – Sure. In our agency we use Cora SEO, I know you’re familiar with them. But that’s a correlational analysis tool. Pop is not a correlational analysis. We like to call it like edge analysis, where, in our algorithm, what we’re doing is we’re looking at what your competitors are doing them. We’re giving you analysis on how to do better and sometimes it’s parody. Sometimes it’s doing a little bit more, but sometimes doing a little less as well. And so that’s what pop gives you Cora does correlational analysis, it looks at the top hundred sites on the web, and then it uses two different methods. Pearsons experiments if you’re a real math nerd, and then it spits out what across almost 1000 potential factors what appears to be moving the needle. Now, this is not for the faint of heart, it is a very technical tool, you get a spreadsheet, if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, you can just pull one of those out your eyes glaze, no problem. But if you can get past the head hands in the learning curve, it’s it’s actually pretty cool. But what we do in our agencies, we start with pop because we know the it’s a much smaller factor set, we know that these things move the needle. So that’s what we do first. And then we fill in the gaps or fill in the holes with core core, you know, things that pop will look at or other tools won’t look at you like, Well, hey, you know, this appears to be moving rank, and it’s going to take five minutes to do let’s just do it. And so you kind of pick out the low hanging fruit and things that you might not normally even think about, you know, you’ll find some things like okay, that’s interesting, that appears to be moving the needle. Let’s do it.

Steve Wetmore – Just what, which is what the stakeholders want to see anyways, right? They want to see results quickly.

Kyle Roof – Exactly. So, you know, you can kind of identify things like you know what we can do these 10 Right now it’s going to take two days where the work but has the potential to move the needle then why not do that? Yeah, so that’s that’s what we do. So we start with pop, we write a page, we get it going and then we fill in the gaps with Cora on what Cora can see what appears to be moving the needle for that particular keyword. That’s kind of our one two punch for SEO early for the on page and technical stuff.

Steve Wetmore – And any other tools you want to mention? We probably have every other tool.

Kyle Roof – we have but we use AHREF’s and Majestic when we have some mods to as well, like we look at all those links. Different tools look at it from a slightly different perspective. And they all have slightly different backlink data databases. So we kind of spread across just to see who’s picking up what to try to get a feel. I’ve been a proponent for a while of using two different backlink tools and I don’t really know that it matters which ones you choose, as the other ones the most complicated It’s good to see two things because every once in a while one tools they like the site’s amazing. And then under the age of like, I don’t think so, and then allows you then to kind of gauge and compare what what two different perspectives are seeing. So when it comes to off page stuff, that’s how we like to approach it, kind of a two tool approach for perspective. And then for the on page and technical us, obviously our own tool because we’re bias.

Steve Wetmore – So earlier on in our interview series, we spoke with Michael Cottam. And he’s he spoke about negative SEO and the fact that there’s some, very nasty people out there that can create a lot of damage, because they’ve they’ve figured out how to cloak the backlinks so that Google bot can read them but you can’t find them with your own tools. Is that is that is that something that you’ve familiar with?

Kyle Roof – Negative SEO certainly still exists and make other people that say that Google knows better now, and maybe Google’s doing a better job with it, but it’s certainly still something that can definitely harm your site. Yeah, and then finding hidden links can be near impossible. The thing that helps fight off negative SEO and in a lot of cases, is building out a larger site, a larger site can absorb more negativity. You know, that’s why you can fire you fire 3 billion horrible backlinks at Yelp and it’s not going to drop, you know, it’s a massive site, it can absorb toxicity. So the bigger your site is, the less susceptible you are to those types of things. But there are even nastier things that the man where you can people can canonical Dirty pages to your site and then Google might start thinking that your site is a porn site or are not so pleasant site rather than, your mother’s recipes on how to make pies, right? You know the zz those are some really nasty things you can do. But I think one of the biggest things that you can do is build out the authority of your site. So make yourself an entity, make yourself a known thing in Google. Make yourself real. And then the other thing that you can do is make your site an authority site, which is generally speaking, is a larger site, a site that is more comprehensive, because the more you have, I think, the more that you can withstand.

Steve Wetmore – Interesting. Yeah, good advice. Well, Kyle, wow, that was that’s, that’s awesome. Very fresh perspective. This is going to be a great article. Excellent.

Kyle Roof – So thank you. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it Hey,