In this episode REVIEWS.io CEO Callum McKeefery is in conversation with Lukasz Zelezny, SEO expert and owner of consultancy SEO.London.
They discuss the place of AI produced content in SEO, Google Analytics 4, Shopify Cookie sharing, the effectiveness of Tik Tok and and the best way to find hidden keyword gems in Google Console.
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Callum: [00:00:00] Today I have Lukasz Zelezny on the podcast. Lukasz is a well known SEO expert. He's very busy on LinkedIn. Um, and I've been following Lukasz for such a long time. I've been such a fan of his speaking events and yeah, he's just a really knowledgeable and nice guy. So welcome Lukasz. Welcome to the podcast.
Lukasz: Thank you very much for introduction.
Thank you for having me and hello to everyone.
Callum: Yeah. So how did you find your way to becoming, um, the SEO expert that you are today? I suppose that's the best way to describe it.
Lukasz: Probably when you, when you will ask any SEO who is long enough, there will be lots of different, crazy stories because it's never like, oh, you know, I just was dreaming since a kid.
And then I went studying and then voila, I become an SEO. So, you know, back in the day, uh, in, uh, in two early 2000, [00:01:00] uh, maybe even late nineties when I, uh, started getting online. I was, uh, a name still, uh, into music. I was into music, a lot into drum and bass and in Poland, drum and bass was like very, very kind of elite, like music, like very, very niche.
And you had to go to big clubs in the big cities to play this music because everyone, yeah. Everyone else was listening four by four, kind of like, uh, house or techno. And I understood very quickly that, you know, having a website, uh, having a website is the way to get into people. So I started thinking how to build a website, what to do, and then how to get the traffic.
We're talking about way before Google analytics. There was some, you know, we are talking about the era of guest books and, uh, visit counters things that maybe younger listeners don't even remember.
Callum: I remember those. I remember those .
Lukasz: [00:02:00] Yeah. How many people visit your website and visit our guest book and leave the message, you know?
So, uh, that was those days. And then, you know, when I, when I get into good position, people started booking me and then, you know, yeah, you fast forward couple of years. I decided to move in the mid 2000 to UK where I understood that obviously, you know, music is great, but it's very hard, very often to live on music, but I could obviously start doing more professionally SEO.
I already had some experience from Poland. We were working in the mountain city that was pre booking.com era. Every little B&B had a website. So we were making the website and then trying to deliver us good traffic as possible.
Callum: That's an amazing story. I remember the guest books and I remember the counters, the, um, you know, remember the, the counters that you used to have on the sites.
I [00:03:00] have a funny story about those now. They used, there was a gentleman in America that, that actually, um, Cookie dropped from the counter. And he home, he owned a company called Kaiser Circus and he used to give the counter away for free, but he used to cookie drop the eBay cookie every time. So anybody who visited his, any of these counters got a cookie dropped for, um, the, their referral for eBay.
And then they'd go and join eBay because eBay was new back. Then he ended up becoming. Multimillionaire off this, um, eBay affiliate fraud. And then 10 years later, he got found out by eBay and they'd got the FBI involved and it ended up being wire fraud because he'd done it cross state. And he, I think he got about.10 years in prison.
Um, talking about, um, [00:04:00] cookies, did you, I dunno whether you've seen this, uh, Shopify did an announcement today. They they've got launched something called Shopify audiences. If your site accepts cookies, then you can share that audience with another site in the Shopify ecosystem. And I was just shocked to see it because everything we've heard for years and years is.
Cookies are dying and it's gonna be the end of cookies. And am, you know, Google stopping cookies. How, what's your thoughts
Lukasz: on that? My thoughts on that is that I need really, to spend lots of time with Google analytics 4, which I think is one of the, uh, reason why Google is changing, uh, the whole ecosystem.
And we're talking about Google analytics 4, uh, when, you know, uh, It's not a continuation of Google analytics, university. It's completely new concept, completely new tool. Lots of people is complaining. I was also a big, big complainer. Now I'm a little smaller complainer because [00:05:00] after spending some time starting to understand the concept that was behind this tool and how different the story is from what you know, and this is what I'm always saying.
Like we need to learn always, uh, every day. Yeah. Everything is evolving. It's not like you will get that knowledge and that's it. Um, but what I think personally, I think it may be a very, very big, uh, great time for SEO’s, and I can see this already. Couple of times last year, people were calling me normally before I'm an onboarding client.
We have this kind of informal chat and they were like, Lukasz. We've never been thinking about this co we've always been relying. Facebook, but since Apple changed the policy, we just cannot make this profitable anymore. And we don't know what to do. Our whole business is in risk and I'm like, yeah, I understand your point, but this is a bit like. Putting all the eggs to the same basket. This is what you're saying. Yeah, yeah. Yes. [00:06:00] This idiom, um, you know, uh, even me as an SEO, I'm freaking out when someone is coming to me and saying like, we, we have amazing traffic and 95 person is coming from SEO. I'm like, whoa. So you are really, really.Uh, you, you have like a robe on your neck and you're just waiting. And this, you know, when Google will say like, yeah, boom, we, you can go even twice as big as you are. Or you can just vanish, obviously I'm talking about extremes, but then. Hey happen. And you know, so overall I think for me, that cookie change is not that, uh, affecting it can be something, uh, which bring me more customers, but I know that there is lots of businesses that get used to that mechanism.
And now they are really. Scratching their head, what to do next, how to operate. And you can see that Facebook was really kind of, I would say, [00:07:00] angry on the Apple that how dare Apple change this policy? You know what I mean?
Callum: Yeah. The, the, I mean, they've been hit so hard, so, so, so hard. Um, Facebook, I mean, I know companies that we work with which really solely replied, relied on FA Facebook, traffic, um, and targeting that. Now the targeting just doesn't work. Their reporting isn't working correctly.
They can't, they can't reach the right customers anymore with their ads. And they're having to look at new ways of, of, of reaching those clients. And obviously SEO is one of those it's really top of funnel.
Um, for them probably there is some in intense stuff in there, but, um, they're really struggling and we're seeing. Brands now shifting, um, budget to TikTok and, you know, SEO and even [00:08:00] Google paid media.
So how do you think brands are approaching? You know, we're really in an uncertain times with COVID with the Ukraine, with supply, demand, um, inflation, uh, supply issues, you know, these are unprecedented times, do they affect how.
Brands are approaching SEO. You see, are they are brands coming to you and saying, Hey, Lukasz, can, this is how we want to change. Or
Lukasz: should they change? Yeah, there is, you know, there is, I think people are much more concerned and they're thinking twice before they will spend money. Uh, the COVID the beginning of COVID was like a big fear for a moment.
And then lots of eCommerce were like, oh my gosh, this is actually brilliant. This is like eCommerce bonanza. Everything is closed, so only eCommerce are open. What I can see in the terms of a trend than in a CEO. Now, [00:09:00] uh, there is much more focus on how we can scale up without hiring another 10, 20, 30 people.
There is the consequence of, uh, the COVID when teams really inflates now is again, struggle time. And I, I can hear that sometimes there are some redundancies here and there and so on. And so. And people are more thinking about, um, replacing people with tools. What I have in my mind predominantly is, uh, all this new GPT- AI, uh, based, uh, artificial intelligence, which is quite good.
But again, make me scary because like very soon there will be so much content generated for who this content is generated. You know, if you take and type top 10 things to see in London and you will scrape them first, uh, hundred first results in Google, and then you will put into [00:10:00] Excel, all the things that been recommended, you will see that that are 20 things that are spinning over and over and over and over.
Yeah. And. Client is coming to me and saying like, you know, we have this, uh, guide, uh, around London, which will be a brilliant idea. And I know that this is very repetitive and from the content perspective, it's even more repetitive because it, everything was written. People will say like, yeah, but you can write more interesting.
I call this non-direct duplicate, non-direct duplicated content. It's not word by word, but the context is duplicated, you know? Yeah. So this is what the challenge is.
Callum: Yeah. Do you think Google ever gets smart enough to? I know they, they, Google can identify the, the, the, the spun content up to an extent, but I think GPT-3 is, is changed this.
And if you, if you're listening and you don't know what GPT-3 is, it's artificial intelligence. Um, basically you can give it a topic and some ideas and around it, and it'll go off [00:11:00] search for these other, um, sources and then rewrite the content.
Google's got to you know, really up their game on their identification of that content, because ideally really it shouldn't be rewarded, um, as much as what it is.
And I, and I think that, you know, it, it's very difficult to identify it. Some of it's amazing I've used it, I've, I've tested some of those software’s, you know, I used one to actually, uh, generate some headlines for some ads and it was good. It wasn't great, but it's, I can see it getting better. You know what I mean?
And, um, I just think we've gotta identify that content and I dunno how Google do it. I, I dunno whether they do. Put more emphasis on the author?,
Lukasz: Um, I feel you know, this is, this is very good, uh, point because from one side you may want to understand how useful this content is, because if it's very [00:12:00] useful and written by GTP- 3 or anything else, Who cares, you know?
Yeah. Uh, but the problem is that GTP-3 at the moment is very accurate with relatively simple questions that been million times described, uh, online. Uh, like for example, my, my main example is like, what is an Arabica coffee? And GTp-3 will write a really nice paragraph. What is Arabica coffee? Why we call this Arabica coffee and what makes Arabica coffee, an Arabica coffee.
But if you will ask for example, should I vote on Labor or, uh, Conservative in next voting and why you will get something that I call grammatically correct fluff that doesn't bring any value. Yeah.
Callum: You know, GPT-3 is gonna be, cause when it's fully adopted, I think adoptions, it, it adoptions thereby early adopters.
[00:13:00] Um, but I don't think it's hit the wider market and. I can just see it, it, it, it causing all kinds of problems. You're not gonna know whether that is written by a human or not. And I think for Google, that causes is big issues in the future. Big issues. On content. Yeah.
So what, what's your, what's your big thing at the minute? What, what, what part of SEO, uh, really are you most interested in? Um, obviously for a long time, it was like local SEO was, was huge, huge. Um, What kind of, what's your favourite thing in the minute? What's the new stuff that's coming out that really interest you?
Lukasz: We were talking about this AI, which I am still testing and aside of text. I am very interested into the voiceover through the, uh, AI. I saw that LOVO.io, uh, is a system that can even imitate your own voice. There is the Descript as well. And I saw which [00:14:00] went may be a little too far I think when they, uh, presented a Nelson Mandela book read by Nelson Mandela after his death, with his own voice, you know, which sounds really like Nelson Mandela.
It was for some short time that was love of, it was for short time on YouTube. It doesn't exist anymore, but you would be really, really, uh, shocked how close to the original voice that was.
So you, you know, like all these things that, uh, help, um, breaking the, the, the wall of text, you know, uh, all this kind of widgets, like, okay, you can listen to the.Text, you can, uh, see the video, which is done based on the article, you know, making this website more engaging. That's one thing.
The other thing is that I discovered, and this is more technical, but I would like to share this with people if you're going to the Search Console. So, and you're looking at the bottom of the list, keywords that are really at the bottom of the list on position 80, [00:15:00] 90,100, very often you can find them their hidden gem.
Uh, that doesn't exist in any external software like Semrush, SISTRIX, such metrics because, uh, This softwares, as far as I understand, have some kind of database of millions of million keywords, a Similarweb is working a bit different. Maybe Similarweb would have skewed, but again, they are like, so niche and, you know, like I found that, for example, on my website, sometimes people are searching ‘higher direction consultant’, you know, not a SEO consultant, the Direction Consultant, how niche this is.
Callum: I see that.
Lukasz: and I haven't had content on that when I create content, I even jumped on the first position. So, you know, a big tip for companies that they can go to search consult and see what is really ranking low, very low, which means to me, like Google would love to rank you very high, but you don't have relevant content.
You have just content, which is [00:16:00] around that topic, but not what Google would expect. And if you create that topic, you can jump on the position like two, three, very easily.
Callum: I love that. That's awesome. I'm gonna, I'm gonna get my team on that later. I'm gonna be, I'm gonna be digging deep in the search console.
I do. I do like what Google's done with the Search Console. I think they're improving that all the time. Think it, it it's really useful now
Lukasz: it's become very powerful tool. So
Callum: one of the things that we get asked a lot about, uh, here at REVIEWS.io, we obviously put our widgets onto a lot of sites and page speed is a big issue.
And obviously it's, it is a ranking factor. We do know that how much of a factor is it? Uh, and do you think having a bit of a slow page speed will, will affect the actual ranking position of where your, your science positioned.
Lukasz: I haven't seen that page speed is that critical, like people are telling it's more [00:17:00] buzz around page speed than it really helps to rank.
But obviously if I would need to choose between having a green colour vitals, then not to have them green, I would prefer to have them green because I, in my theory, Google is gradually increasing the, uh, the priority on this, uh, factor. As we know, there is many factor Part of me was for a very long time kind of laughing that we living in a five, Five G’s era.
And we worry about milliseconds on here and there. But in fact, we need to express one thing that. Page speed optimization. In fact is kind of more, uh, experience optimization rather than how fast website is loading. So I would say that this is very important. Do not, uh, leave this somewhere, uh, for [00:18:00] later, but it's not a silver bullet that if we will be fast and we will immediately start ranking because some people may feel frustrated.
They spend so much time and there was nothing, uh, nothing worth.
Callum: Here's one thing that I get, I've been asked recently, and I don't get, I don't understand why this question's coming back up, but it has is about AMP. Um, the fast-loading, instant loading pages on Google are using a resurgence in AMP. I, I just, I have not seen anything for like years and in the last month I've had two or three people come to me and say, um, can the profile pages you know, AMP enabled, and I suppose that feeds into what we were talking about before speed, but I dunno whether you've seen anything around that. Um, or whether, cause if you would've asked me a year ago, I would've said that AMP isn't relevant, it's not needed. Um, but yeah, it's interesting that a few [00:19:00] people are now talking about that again.
Lukasz: I'm using, um, on my SEO.London. And, uh, I am, uh, I can see that I'm become less AMP visible. You may be on a website that is actually AMP and you don't know any longer. I think there are some changes that when you searching on mobile device, there is no longer, the bar that this is AMP and so on and so on.
I wasn't that much digging into that, but I can see that lots of companies is still using AMP’s. And it is, it seems like right now it's a bit kind of middle solution between where we were and where we are. Yeah. But I don't think they were, they were retired this because too many, too many big Companies, uh, implemented this and then web stories, the same, you know, web stories, like Instagram stories, but visible in SERPS.[00:20:00]
Callum: so that's only in America. Isn't?
yes. Yeah. Brazilian. Yeah. And us one, I was showing this and, uh, for Brazilian market and they had tremendous amount of traffic. I don't know how relevant this traffic is, but from the brand perspective, I think. You know, Brando Warner's perspective, it could be justified.
Um, and there is a lady on YouTube when you take Web Stories and you click presenter her, uh, her movies on the top, she have a block, uh, block, uh, about cooking. And she started doing Web Stories for WordPress when the plugin is written by Google and is completely free. Yes. And that's that? Of WordPress. Yes.
And when you go to web, uh, Webflow, you need to use external system for web stories, which is like that costly. And she was presenting that from a 100,000 page views and she went to 600,000. So, you know, Obviously, you know, [00:21:00] they, the topics, I think must be a bit like this kind of light virally topics, you know, top 10 place you would like to eat this summer, top 10 properties to buy in Sao Paolo because this Brazilian case was about properties on Brighton SEO.
I was really enjoying this. Uh, so there is a chance to do lots. Traffic, but you mentioned TikTok, uh, earlier, and I know that lots of brands is going to TikTok. Yeah. But I always have behind my, uh, head, like how valuable this traffic is, because that's exactly true. I remember, I remember when I could pump lots of likes on Facebook from Algeria and Tunisia when, where click was below 1p but you know that wasn't converting.
Callum: Yeah. I, I do. I do have, um, concerns about the TikTok algorithm, how they, um, how they count these impressions, you know, like it, it, it is, [00:22:00] I think the numbers are very, um, they game aren't they to, to get more people in. Oh, you know, look, I went from zero followers to a 10 million followers in five days, um, through one post.
And I think those stories, um, you know, get more people on the platform. I suppose web Web Stories for me is, is really interesting. I do. Do you think Google will roll that out? Do you think they'll roll that out to the countries cuz it's not anywhere in Europe at the minute.
Lukasz: Exactly. I don't know what to think about this.
I'm trying to recommend this to some clients which have this, uh, enough agile approach, uh, to do this fast and move out, engaging too much resources. So it must be. Uh, what purpose it must be plugin and it must be existing content that we're converting into stories. Yeah. But, uh, I don't know. It, it [00:23:00] looks to me it's a bit completely off the main kind of, you know, people, the biggest problem is to explain them how they can see this when that appear they're like, but can I take the stories from Instagram?
No, you cannot. No. And. Where, where would, will this be visible on my website? It doesn't need to be visible on your website. You don't know keywords that triggered. You can see this in discover. It's really messing with my customers. They don't understand this always. And I'm, I'm trying to explain the best way I can, but for me, even, this is quite exotic approach.
Callum: the exact same problem I have cuz. I've seen it in action, um, Web Stories in action, and I've been like, wow, if we can do this for reviews, we can, you know, it'll be amazing. It'll give us so much more footprint. Yeah. and it'll do great. And I go and try to explain it to my team. And they're like, so it's a page that we do this with and I’m like yes, but it doesn't, you know, [00:24:00] it's very, it's very difficult to, to convey because. You, you've not really got, they they've done the software, but they've not really crafted how to communicate it. Um, yet it, it's not being communicated in a very well, maybe that's on purpose. So a lot of people don't use it all at the same time.
Lukasz: Um, true.
Callum: But yeah, I, I, I am interested by it. I am gonna, I'm actually doing some work on it this week. Um, On the Web Story stuff for our us team. Um, and I do, I do really find it in interesting.
Now I really appreciate you being on the show today. Uh, Lukasz, honestly, I could talk to you all day. You you're such a good guest.
You're, you're so knowledgeable about your space. Um, and, and clearly you get great results for your clients. If anybody who's listening, doesn't already follow hookers. Make sure you do. I'll drop his name in the, uh, show notes he provides. Absolutely great [00:25:00] content on LinkedIn. Um, yeah, I thank you so much for being on it on the show and, uh, hope to meet in purpose person soon.
Um, absolutely. And, and doing, just tell, I know you do a lot of in person, uh, talking events, so what's a good one. If they're listening to this and they wanna come and see you, where should they.
Lukasz: Sure. So, first of all, thank you for having me and thank you for all our listeners. It was a pleasure and honor, and, uh, to meet me, uh, ideally London, uh, there is the Ungagged conference.
There is couple of online conferences, uh, obviously more popular in the post COVID era right now, but, the face to face I think Ungagged, and I'm always trying to be as a speaker or, or as a attendee for Brighton SEO. it's always nice to meet there. Have a pint, have a chat, you know, exchange some experienced.
Callum: Yeah, Brighton SEO is such a great experience.
Uh, it's absolutely, [00:26:00] it's a beautiful event in a beautiful place. Um, and it's just great, great to leave the city centre for once.
Thank you so much for being on. I appreciate it so much. And I, you know, I know you'll wishing you all the success in the world, but I know you don't need it. Thanks for coming on today.
Bye bye Lukasz. Bye.