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SEO Insights: Michael Martinez’s Favorite Blogs and Industry Influencers

Michael Martinez, a renowned SEO professional, discusses SEO insights, his background in schooling and his interest in programming. He graduated with two degrees in computer science and data processing, and started working in programming at 15. Martinez joined a software support group on CompuServe in the early 1990s and started working with search engine optimization in 1998. He worked for a Seattle-based firm as the Director of Search Strategies and freelanced before joining Randy Ray’s SEO consulting business in 2012. Martinez suggests that writing pieces that people will find enjoyable to read in five years can establish a reputation and provide value to his audience.

This time, I’m speaking with Michael Martinez, a renowned SEO professional.  He now keeps up SEOTheory, his blog. I’m overjoyed that he addressed all of my complex questions on SEO, social media, and other topics. I appreciate how much time and work he put into this interview. I thus believe our readers will find it enjoyable. 

I appreciate you granting my request for an interview about SEO insights. We are thrilled to welcome you, both my readers and I. Describe your background in schooling and who you are.

I grew up in the south of the US when there were many programs for extraordinary students.  In the ninth grade, I quit secondary school due to my dissatisfaction with the educational system.  I eventually went to college and graduated with two degrees in computer science and data processing.  My interest in science fiction and fantasy has always been strong, which may be why I chose to work with computers.  I started working in programming when I was 15 years old. It was a component of a youth program.  It was the year 1975.

In the early 1990s, I was compelled by my job to become a member of a software support group on CompuServe, which is how I got involved in the online world.  I finally made the switch to the Internet, building my first website in 1996.  By the end of 1998, I started working with search engine optimization.  I changed jobs in 2006 and started working for a Seattle-based firm as the Director of Search Strategies after many years of performing SEO work for myself and occasionally as a freelancer.  I started freelancing again in 2012, and Randy Ray and I joined forces to start an SEO consulting business.  Before opting to collaborate full-time, we had years of experience working together on a variety of projects.

What recommendations do you think I should make on my blog? What about my blog did you find objectionable? Please express your opinions.

By writing pieces that people will still find pleasant to read in five years, you may establish your reputation.  They probably still have value and are still relevant if you think so, and your audience will probably agree.  This blogging method outperforms any amount of SEO guidance.

 Which blog and which blogs are your favorites? Which blog do you frequent every day?

I regularly read Search Engine Roundtable, Search Engine Land, and Marketing Land since they all focus on important subjects.  I also read some of the official Google blogs on a regular basis.  I prefer Jeff Bullas’ and Dan Zarella’s blogs, despite the fact that they don’t write as regularly as I would like.  Bill Slawski’s book “SEO By the Sea” is a must-read for anybody interested in the workings of search algorithms.  The interviews with Eric Enge posted on the Stone Temple website are astonishing.

Despite the Google Webmaster videos’ minimal usefulness for experienced SEOs, I still watch them.  Rarely does one come upon a true gem.

What social media platforms are you most interested in using? What tools do you like to utilize to boost user engagement?

Currently, I utilize Twitterfeed and Twuffer more than any other software.  I make an effort to reply to the majority of people who leave comments on my blogs or Twitter posts.  I try to stay away from Facebook, however I do occasionally reply to someone there.

In my experience, treating people with respect and distributing material that encourages them to debate it with you both work to improve engagement.  When trying to convince people to stop lingering and remark, writing from the heart is more beneficial than keyword research.

I have noticed that several reputable blogs and websites are currently losing ground in the ranks. Why is this taking place? Is SEO obsolete?

Positions and SEO should never have been associated.  Twelve years ago, we had no idea better.  Prior to 2005, despite the fact that we DID know better, rankings were still being discussed.  We should have always used search referral traffic to gauge the efficacy of SEO.

I learn that SEO is still useful now just as it was twelve years ago.  All of the bad ideas that individuals have shared on their blogs, at conferences, and in their books are ineffective.  SEO shouldn’t be thought of as a production process that can be systematically followed.  Each website must be approached differently.

Websites that have search engine issues follow success formulas.  In the end, this will be unsuccessful.

Given that some experts rank duplicate material highly on SERP, is there any benefit to conducting SEO on it?

This is a deep and complicated subject.  The optimization of duplicate and repeated material is necessary.  In the longer response, you must clarify what it means to “optimize” such information for search.  Because search engines now need canonicalization, we put more work into it nowadays. As a result, the optimization process for duplicate content is less about how to increase traffic for it and more about how to utilize it to channel value into source material.

On the black hat side, duplicate content tactics make use of some of the techniques that black hats like to use.  Is that what you mean by “optimization”?  Thoughts will undoubtedly differ, isn’t it ideal performance if you’re getting the best search performance benefit from duplicate content?

The most efficient and successful search marketing approach does not always equate to the best results.  Although it’s common to mistakenly think that attaining ideal performance correlates to efficiency, if you adopt the wrong strategy, you might still lose efficiency even if you reach your optimal performance.

In what ways does Google consider backlinks coming from guest posts?

They treat guest post backlinks the same as any other backlink.  Every link source has to gain Google’s trust.

For over two years, I have discouraged using guest blogs as a link-building tactic, but not because I think they should be avoided.  The pattern you create when you act only in the interests of links or search engines is what puts you in trouble.

Guest blogging has always produced enormous value for authors and readers when the content was the key component of the process.  It is immediately clear when you start guest blogging for connections that you are devaluing both the material and yourself.  As a result, search engines stop caring about what you are trying to say.

Being known by a million people is better than using links to send a website to the top of the search results for a single hot term for a few weeks or months.  Because you prioritized the links over your own name, readers quit reading your material once the links stop working.

How do you envision SEO’s future given the search engine landscape’s heightened volatility? Does it still engage in rivalry with paid search advertising?

Organic search engine optimization should always provide a significant edge over paid search marketing.  In actuality, most people have little success with sponsored search advertising.  It’s a really challenging business concept, and I know a lot of people who stay away from it since they frequently lose money using it.

High ROI PPC experts have established a sizable niche for themselves.  An expert in organic search is in charge of it.  To keep your clients interested in the project, you must provide a strong return on investment (ROI).  Sometimes it’s impossible to accomplish that.

Spending a lot of money might give you the upper hand in a search result, but if your return on investment is poor, your triumph is hollow.  Success is not worthwhile.

You need these five SEO tools in your toolbox.

an online diary.

Internet browser.

a search engine interface for webmasters.

a reliable spam detector.

a straightforward analytics tool.

When it comes to search engine optimization, I firmly think that “less is more”.  More skill is required in issue identification and solution development the less tools you rely on.   Tools impede human advancement.

Mobile SEO: What to Do and What Not to Do?


DO build a navigation system that is mobile-friendly.  “Less is more” is a maxim.

Mobile users should be more sporadic than desktop users.

NEITHER assume that all “mobile” traffic is genuinely mobile, nor should you.  There are several automata here.

NEVER create quick, superficial material for mobile users.  They are looking for a significant return on their investment.  Users don’t want to waste time on time-consuming mobile surfing or low-quality material.

The best way to interpret organic keyword data that is “not provided”

I’m not really worried, though.  I have never recommended looking at search referral keywords for anything other than spotting poor content.  This is still feasible by looking at the search engine referral traffic that the least popular pages receive.

Why do you need to know that 1,000 people visited “FAVORITE KEYWORD”?  What specific information does that offer?

You must take action with relation to PAGE BETA if you obtain 1,000 visits to PAGE ALPHA but only one visit to PAGE BETA.

How does Google differentiate between guest blogs and blogs that are sponsored? Since we don’t wish to buy connections, we solely post guest blogs; nonetheless, many blogs today demand money.

A “statistical footprint” left by paid posting can be found.  Despite having created advanced learning algorithms, their spam teams have gathered a vast number of instances of “good sites” and “bad sites” for the algorithms to learn from.

What are some tactics for coming up with ideas and making linkbait for SEO?

Finding out which dialogues media outlets and their viewers have for weeks is something I like doing when I monitor news channels and social media.  A topic’s lifespan on the Internet will probably be comparable to its longevity in news and social media.

I undertake research after choosing a topic to find out which questions have been effectively answered and which have not.  I look over the responses to the questions to see which ones have searchable responses.

Usually, I come up with a short list of things to write about.  At that point, I decide which topic most appeals to me.  I’ll probably write a good essay on a subject if I’m interested in it as a writer.

This tactic works for a wide range of subjects, but you have a better chance of “being there” when others ask questions if you simply concentrate on upcoming events.  In other words, effectively marketed events can boost the amount of searches for connected topics.  If you foresee this increase in traffic, you may provide the greatest, most helpful content for users to find at the right moment.

Which tools do you use for competitive analysis? What are the best resources for monitoring rivals’ backlinks?

My friend and I frequently use Majestic SEO and AHREFS to examine links.  However, we do not advise looking at rivals’ backlinks.  This is a typical technique for identifying links that will incur penalties.

One of the directories where I’m listed is being examined by Google. Do I need to worry about Google penalizing my website?

One broken directory link won’t hurt anything.  Five bad directory connections shouldn’t have any negative effects.  Ten broken directory links probably won’t hurt you.  The question to ask is “Who uses these directories to find websites?” if you’re getting a lot of directory connections.

You do not need a directory link if it does not drive traffic to your website.  Search engines are tolerant of small specialist directories used by individuals.  To them, directories “made for SEO (link building)” are offensive.

Does the SEO impact of social shares from the blog and those from third-party services like JustRetweet compare?

Social sharing do not have any SEO advantages.  If people organically share your material, they are aware of it and are interested in it.  Natural sharing ought to be highly correlated with other signals that search engines employ to highlight popular material.

Artificial shares might make you more visible in social media spaces, which could lead to more visitors.  However, if you buy shares in violation of social media service policies, you run the danger of losing a crucial traffic source.

Aggressive social media marketing includes risks that need to be identified and controlled, much like aggressive search engine marketing.  Churn-and-burn marketing is not just found in SEO.  Additionally, it happens on social media.  On any brand’s website or social media account, nobody should employ churn-and-burn marketing techniques since, once that visibility is lost, it could never be regained.

For more information:

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