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Local Search with Sterling Sky Founder, Joy Hawkins

[00:00:03] Welcome to Search Talk Live, the search engine optimization and marketing experts Robert O’ Haver and Matt Weber. Powered by the Robert Palmer family of companies.

[00:00:13] APPLAUSE

Robert O Haver [00:00:17] Good afternoon and welcome back to Search Talk Live. I’m your host Robert O’ Haver with Matt Weber. Matt?

Matt Weber [00:00:25] I’m doing well. And what a great enthusiastic crowd we’ve got in the studio tonight. We’ve got some seriously good clapping.

Robert O Haver [00:00:31] Yeah, right.

Robert O Haver [00:00:31] So, today, I want to-we’re going to dig into some more local search and some Google My Business stuff. I think it’s important. I think it’s something we need to cover every aspect we can because most of the work that our SEOs do are- is local.

Matt Weber [00:00:48] Well, definitely and think about our timing here. I mean we’re coming off a week with some really significant changes in local search and in organic, so, and we got two heavy hitters, back-to-back.

Robert O Haver [00:00:59] Yes.

Matt Weber [00:00:59] Guests in local, we’ve got two of the best.

Robert O Haver [00:01:02] Yeah. So today, like I said we’re talking local search and with us today, she is the founder of Stirling Skies. Sorry, losing my thought here. Joy Hawkins. Joy, how are you?

Joy Hawkins [00:01:19] Good. How are you?

Robert O Haver [00:01:20] Good. Good. Welcome to the show.

Joy Hawkins [00:01:22] Thanks for having me.

Robert O Haver [00:01:24] So why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and the listeners-for the listeners anyway?

Joy Hawkins [00:01:31] Sure. So my background is definitely all in local SEO, started in the industry back in 2006, and the agency that I run is specific to typical local search. I started that two and a half years ago, and I’m a part of this group called Google product experts that are basically responsible for moderating Google’s different forums that they have for all their different products. So, I’m a moderator on the Google My Business forum specifically, and I’ve been in that program now for- oh geez- I think five years, five or six years now.

Robert O Haver [00:02:08] All right, so I want to dig into it. We’ve got some-we’ve had some, quite a bit of news come over the week. We’ve had-let’s see Google’s updated their linking guidelines, really much, not much has changed there. But the biggest thing that hit really yesterday, I believe it was- I believe it was yesterday. It was about the rich snippets and the schema markup and really affecting organizations and small business,.

Matt Weber [00:02:36] All across the board.

Robert Hitler [00:02:37] Across the board, exactly, and honestly, it wasn’t very clear on how they really want things done.

Matt Weber [00:02:45] So Joy, we’re just going to turn to you and help us clear it up because their writing was awfully muddy. What does all those changes mean?

Joy Hawkins [00:02:53] Yeah. So, it’s kind of funny, I should preface this by saying that my outlook on schema may not agree with everybody else’s and hopefully, I’m not jumping ahead of myself here but I am a firm believer in watching what Google does, not what they say. And I’ve found this schema a lot of what they say.-they don’t actually enforce in any way, shape or form. So, so far with this update, I’ve seen zero changes, like we haven’t seen any businesses that we’re working with lose rich snippets yet. I’ve heard of one case that was reported on my forum earlier today; I owned and run a forum called the Local Search forum and there was somebody there that posted one example but they’re not even using the same schema type that we use. Because I know there’s different ways to set schema up, right? Like depending on how you master it and how it’s formatted. So, so far we haven’t seen any impact and unless it’s something that Google actually enforces the way that we think they’re going to enforce it, I’m not panicking at all.

Robert O Haver [00:04:01] Well, we do have- is it next week or week after-next week, yeah. We have John Mueller on the show and we’re going to grill him quite to get a really good explanation because-.

Matt Weber [00:04:12] We are.

Robert O Haver [00:04:14] It’s so confusing you read through it, it’s like we don’t want you getting third party reviews, but we also don’t want you to control the reviews on your site. What?

Matt Weber [00:04:24] Yeah, exactly, and Joy you tweeted about this either yesterday or the day before about the impact of this change on third party reviews specifically, potentially. Can you elaborate what these changes are as it relates to third party reviews?

Joy Hawkins [00:04:41] Yeah. So, my understanding of what they announced was that a site like Yelp or a site like Avvo, for example that doctors or lawyers, they could technically use this markup on their profile pages, right? So, let’s say you’ve got a lawyer and he has a profile on both Yelp and Avvo, and someone goes to Avvo and leaves them a review or someone goes to Yelp and leaves a review. Google is fine with marking up those reviews and showing gold stars for them because technically the lawyer doesn’t really control the reviews, right? Like they’re getting left on a third party site and it’s not something, where like the lawyer can just log in to Yelp, and be like, “Oh, I don’t like that review,” I’m going to delete it. But they’re not okay with, based on my understanding, is that business taking reviews and putting them on their website through a platform of any type that they control. So, there’s like millions of these types of reputation monitoring platforms out there. We use one called GatherUp for most of our clients and like as far as I understand it if we were gathering reviews via GatherUp, putting them on our Web site, which we do, those wouldn’t be eligible anymore.

Robert O Haver [00:05:50] Right.

Joy Hawkins [00:05:50] But that being said, I have yet to see any of those review stars this year. So who knows? I mean that’s-John Mueller-was asked very specifically on Twitter if that was what they were referring to and he said yes. But I’ve also seen him say that for other things that I’ve never actually seen Google enforce ever.

Robert O Haver [00:06:08] I’d have to agree there.

Joy Hawkins [00:06:10] Yeah, one example of the-also schema related-but marking up third-party review. So, it’s a commonly held belief in the industry that you’re not supposed to markup third party reviews on your site. So, for example, if I’m a lawyer and I take a review off of Avvo and I put it on my Web site, and I mark it up with schema and I say this reviews from Avvo. You’re not supposed to do that. According to common understanding, we have literally had clients get rich into penalties. I don’t want to say the word penalty but like they’ve had their-you know a notice come in through search console for rich snippets, had them removed, and it was never related to it being a third party because we submitted for commerce with their approval requests to get the penalty lifted. We’re still linking to the third party, just every time a team won because the review isn’t present on the page, like visible or something, like it’s marked up in the code but it’s not visible or some other factor. But it’s never been because of third party. It’s like we’ve had penalties get listed and they’re clearly still linking to the third party that they’re quoting.

Robert O Haver [00:07:16] Yeah and you know-.

Joy Hawkins [00:07:16] And the team was still like-here you go. You’re-you’re fine now you’re in compliant.

Robert Hitler [00:07:20] Probably the biggest thing I see people doing is they’re-they’re using their Google My Business and marking that up, you know?

Joy Hawkins [00:07:29] Yup- which is-I’ve never seen Google penalized for it, ever, not once. I’ve never seen a site lose their rich stars, and the search results because I’m marking up Google reviews like never once.

Robert O Haver [00:07:38] Yeah and I don’t understand it. They say they don’t want you doing that. That’s not even a third party at that point.

Matt Weber [00:07:45] Right. And they’ve introduced this which was to me and I may have missed it- a new nomenclature called self-serving reviews which in their newest documentation, they define as any set of reviews that you can influence or control. So where does Google My Business reviews fit into that definition? And there are certainly plugins that take your GMB reviews and automatically display them without filtering on your website. So where does that fit into that criteria? What’s your sense of that specific question, Joy? Can you display GMB reviews on your website and not be in violation of Google’s policies?

Joy Hawkins [00:08:22] So, we do. We’ve done it for clients many times and I’ve never had an issue but we don’t use the aggregate markup. We use the individual review markup. So there may be a difference there. I’m not a schema expert but I’ve consulted with them. Actually, several of whom I would consider schema experts like but I don’t know how to pronounce her name but Martha-.

Robert O Haver [00:08:43] Van Burkle.

Joy Hawkins [00:08:46] Thank you. It’s really not that difficult to pronounce.

Joy Hawkins [00:08:50] Martha Van Burkle. She is also on the same page; she actually wrote an article on how it’s totally fine to mark up third party reviews list-wide. So, again, her opinion may be unpopular amongst the entire industry but I don’t- I agree with her. Because I’ve never seen an issue with it. I think what Google said versus what they does- do is very different. And as a marketer, I personally like to watch what they do, not what they say because they see a lot of crap that they don’t actually do.

Robert O Haver [00:09:15] I agree but this is the first time they’ve actually said we’ve released an algorithm for this specific situation.

Joy Hawkins [00:09:23] Well, it is kind of scary because it would honestly be easy to detect. Right? It’s not that hard to detect it.

Robert O Haver [00:09:29] No, not at all.

Joy Hawkins [00:09:30] If it’s a site, and they’re like adding reviews and they’re not like-they’re talking about themselves which is easy to find in the code like you would think it would be fairly easy to detect.

Matt Weber [00:09:42] This is kicking up more dust than I think it was just about a year ago this time, maybe a little longer, when they came out against review gating.

Robert O Haver [00:09:49] Yeah.

Joy Hawkins [00:09:49] Mhhm.

Matt Weber [00:09:50] And to your point Joy, I still see a lot of Web sites heavily involved in review gating and more specifically purchasing subscriptions to products that intentionally do review gating. And if anything Google knows who these platforms are that have the functionality of review gating, they know that.

Robert O Haver [00:10:09] Could you explain review gating a little bit?

Matt Weber [00:10:13] Sure. So, review gating is when you have a selective process in your reviews. So, you let people review on this platform and then you have the option to say, okay, well if somebody left a positive sentiment, then send them this messaging where they leave a review either on GMB or another platform. But if they leave a negative sentiment, then we’re gonna give them another channel and we’re going to move them along in a different way on that. Where you see it, is a lot of like in restaurants, where the first stage of the review is a happy face, a neutral phase, and a- you know-a sad phase. And if you click the happy face, then you get a different set of questions and you follow a different path than if you click the sad face. That’s review gating. Okay, but they haven’t penalized-.

Joy Hawkins [00:10:56] They-they don’t enforce that with any consistency whatsoever. I mean they do enforce it when businesses are reported but like the platform that you’re using could easily go in and see who is doing that. It really would be a hard attack but they don’t do it at scale. They’ve only ever done it at scale once and it was like, I try to look up the data with birdeye. There was a period of three to four months where any birdeye customer lost a chunk of reviews; there were people complaining all over the place. I’ve never seen that happen again.

Matt Weber [00:11:26] So they went against a specific platform in that case?

Joy Hawkins [00:11:30] Yeah. So, there was like very little talk about this. There’s a guy named Craig Mount who wrote an article about it, and I think he was one of the only people that covered it but we saw people all over the forum complaining back then. This was two years ago, 2017 and he did a really good job covering a very not talked about thing but there was a lot of businesses that were impacted by that.

Robert O Haver [00:11:55] You know-I know that there are people that abuse that. It’s obvious but for the people, the businesses that legitimately get good reviews or any reviews and they’re legitimate. Why doesn’t Google want you to share especially Google My Business. That just doesn’t make sense to me.

Matt Weber [00:12:17] Yeah, I agree. You know the other issue is if you’re a business listening, there’s a lot of good research out there about how people perceive reviews, and there is a general negative perception of a business that has 100 percent five star ratings, for example on that. So that’s-they don’t perceive that as authentic and that varies by age too. So, even if you are doing review gating now and you’re getting away with it, it actually may be counterproductive.

Joy Hawkins [00:12:46] Yeah, I think one of the other reasons why Google is trying to do this and if they actually do enforce anything is because I’ve also seen a lot of chain kind of abuses, where you’ll see like a specific location that has like one hundred thousand reviews. And anyone that does local SEO would look at that and go, there’s no way that one location has that many reviews. But as a company they collect all the reviews and then they apply that to each location which is misleading. Right? So, I think there’s a lot of brands that have misused this, and honestly, as a marketer, I was like this is too good to last. So, I was kind of expecting that Google would change something about review schema because it- it’s kind of easy to lie right, like there’s no really standard of truth for it. So, you know, unfortunately there are a lot of people that abuse it and just make up stuff.

Matt Weber [00:13:36] Now there’s another big change that hit in the past seven to ten days, and that’s Google taking away the radius setting in the Geography settings inside GMB. What’s your sense as to why they did that?

Joy Hawkins [00:13:49] Privacy. Definitely. So with that setting, you can actually find the address the business is using on their listing, which is a privacy concern, because the whole concept of being able to hide your address inside Google My Business is so that people don’t have your home address as business owners. There’s a lot of people that don’t want that out there. So, it’s a big privacy concern if you’re using a radius, it has to have a radius around a point and you can find that point out as long as the radius exists.

Matt Weber [00:14:20] Wow, that’s super interesting, never thought of that.

Joy Hawkins [00:14:22] Yeah. So definitely, I mean that’s my take on it anyways. We used to use that as a hack to find the address the business is using if we wanted to know. It doesn’t work anymore, unfortunately, but yeah, I kind of wasn’t surprised that they made that move.

Robert O Haver [00:14:38] They should have kept that as an option though for people that do have brick and mortar businesses. You know-.

Matt Weber [00:14:42] Where it’s okay for it to figure out your address.

Robert O Haver [00:14:45] Yeah. It’s public information.

Joy Hawkins [00:14:46] Well, in that case, you would just show your address and then you know, you don’t have to worry. Yeah, because you’d get a pen right.

Robert O Haver [00:14:52] Right.

Matt Weber [00:14:53] Yeah. But that leads to a debate that I think you were in the midst of on one of the forums and that is that if you are a brick and mortar business, does it improve your exposure by also having a service area listed?

Joy Hawkins [00:15:08] Yeah. So in our testing, no. So, I’m actually gonna be talking about this on Thursday at LocalU. It’s kind of funny, my whole talk is about service area businesses, and we have our own companies set up as a service area business, so, Sterling Sky’s listing. All my employees work from home; we’re all remote. So, I use my home address as the address for our company’s listing, and if you were to Google like Sterling Sky Inc., whatever, you wouldn’t see the address one would think, because it’s hidden but it would show on the map right-like not a radius but a box around Toronto. That wasn’t Toronto to be clear; I live in a town called Uxbridge. So, I verified the listing using my Uxbridge address but I set my service area to Toronto. I don’t rank anywhere in Toronto or even remotely for any Toronto terms, I don’t rank when you search from Toronto. All the traffic and places that my listing currently ranks all have to do with where I verified the listing like in my town.

Joy Hawkins [00:16:13] That’s always been the way that we’ve seen it for every business I’ve ever looked at like; that hasn’t changed in like the entire history of my career. So, if it does change that would be awesome, but at the moment, we’ve never seen any indication that service areas impact where you show up.

Robert O Haver [00:16:32] Now, Joy, last week we had Mike Blumenthal on the show and I know you know him, right?

Robert O Haver [00:16:38] You know Mike Right?

Joy Hawkins [00:16:40] Oh yeah.

Robert O Haver [00:16:44] Okay. It just got quiet there for a minute. Anyway, you brought up something about the mobile phones.

Matt Weber [00:16:48] Yeah.

Robert O Haver [00:16:49] Bring that up to Joy; I’d like to see what our thoughts are.

Matt Weber [00:16:51] So, there was, and I think it was on your forum as well. And I thought Mike mentioned it on his-his video cast about a theory that if you have a local listing with a service area-GMB with a service area. If you put a phone number in there that is a mobile phone that physically spends time in the targeted area you want to rank for, that you will rank in that targeted area.

Joy Hawkins [00:17:18] Interesting theory. I do think that came up. I never tested it to be honest. That’s not one I’ve- yeah I mean, I don’t know why Google would associate a listing’s ranking with a phone. I’m trying to think of all these scenarios, like what if the marketing company was the one that set up the listing for a business, and then they’re basing it on that other person? Like that doesn’t make any sense to me why Google would do that.

Matt Weber [00:17:44] To me it is plausible. And when you connect the dots with Google Ads and one of the changes they made four weeks ago with Google ads was that your location setting preference now includes people who have a history or a demonstrated history of travelling into your target market.

Joy Hawkins [00:18:00] Yeah. Yes.

Matt Weber [00:18:00] So you’re saying okay, well wow okay. So, they are actually charting where these phones go, and they know that my phone has a history of being in this geographic unit, and even though, I’m not in that unit right now, I’m going to see that ad because my phone is a history of being in that geography. So, you take that and you add it to what this theory is for GMB and you go- that’s plausible. Right? Because if somebody is- let’s say somebody is a lawn company and the guy’s phone is in city X, physically in city X, and somebody searches for landscaping company, city X. They have all the data they need to say that this guy has the ability to service that searcher quickly because he’s in that geography.

Robert O Haver [00:18:42] That’s really interesting. You know. It’s almost the same technology as an Uber driver. You know?

Matt Weber [00:18:48] Exactly.

Robert O Haver [00:18:48] Yes, you know what, you’re in that certain area and then you get pinged for those rides in those areas.

Matt Weber [00:18:54] Exactly. And Joy, let me come back to the service area question a lot because a lot of GMBs struggle with this, just a little bit, and I’ll give you a theory and I won’t mention any names that a Googler actually once introduced me to. That the service area definition is widely dynamic based on your category meaning how they interpret what you submit is based on your category. So, it says okay, well if you’re a coffee shop, they know what a reasonable service area is for a coffee shop. So, if you put in a geography that’s like 40 square miles, they’re gonna go- no. If you’re an intellectual property attorney, and you choose attorney, and you put in a service area that is 40 square miles they’re gonna say, “Got it, check, good.” And you will rank for that. Whereas, the coffee shop is not gonna rank for any of that service area that they designated because of what Google thinks the historical consumer patterns are of choosing a coffee shop.

Robert O Haver [00:19:54] So, what you’re saying is it’s categorized given a radius. If you’re-it’s different if you’re a plumber, it’s different if you’re an attorney.

Matt Weber [00:20:02] Yes.

Robert O Haver [00:20:03] It’s different if you’re a coffee shop.

Matt Weber [00:20:04] Yes. I mean a lot of people think that if they select that service area that that’s what’s going to impact their exposure but it’s not their selection of that service area. It’s how Google interprets their selection of that based on their category.

Robert O Haver [00:20:16] That’s interesting.

Matt Weber [00:20:17] Your thoughts on that, Joy?

Joy Hawkins [00:20:20] Maybe. It’s a stretch because like I’ve honestly never seen the service area’s impact where you rank. Right? So, in order for that to be true, that first statement in it would have to be false. Right? So, I do think that thats eventually going to change. I can see Google using the service area as a factor for that-you know I do know they’re aware of this problem that service area businesses face when they’re not located inside the city that they service. And it’s a big problem. I can’t say that I would think that would be the case currently. I-I believe a version of what you’re saying is true currently like in the sense that coffee shops generally only rank for like a certain radius, because there are so many. And because Google knows that people are not as likely to want to drive half an hour to get to a coffee shop. So, the set of results is smaller or tighter in that sense but I don’t think that has anything to do with the service area that you said inside Google My Business.

Matt Weber [00:21:16] Well the only-.

Joy Hawkins [00:21:16] Does that make sense?

Matt Weber [00:21:17] It will. But the only additional piece of information I would submit is Robert and I both work with a lot of SMBs and when we take over GMB profiles, Robert and you tell me your experience with this. Nine out of 10 times, their service area was overly optimistic and enthusiastic, right? Because think about it, you’re a business owner and you’re like yeah, I would like the entire state of Florida, right? That’s how they look at that decision. And so then you’ve got Google going well, how do I decode this data and display it, when you’ve chosen the entire state of Florida for your plumbing business because you’re enthusiastic. They had to have some means of turning that selection into a meaningful data point.

Robert O Haver [00:21:55] And you know that you can really influence your geography-geo. I can’t talk today. Geographic- geographical area using schema.

Matt Weber [00:22:07] Yes.

Robert O Haver [00:22:08] You can influence your local 3 pack, your listing using that.

Matt Weber [00:22:16] Yes, and while we’re on this, this is a really great topic. This GMB service area topic. Here’s the question, Joy, that every business owner wants to ask you. There are thousands of businesses out there that are physically located just outside a major metro area that they serve, as they have a physical address just outside it, and they want to rank for that. How do they do that? They want to ask you the leading expert. What’s the answer to that question?

Robert O Haver [00:22:41] Let’s go with a plumber.

Joy Hawkins [00:22:45] Yeah. Well, my answer is never what people want to hear because they want to know that there is some easy way to solve that problem and there isn’t. Again, this is literally what I’m talking on in two days, so I’ll use my pieces from that. But one of the ways that I try to solve it is by looking outside the box to see if there is an address that you can use that is inside the city. So, I’m giving my presentation at LocalU. I’m giving two examples where this works really well, one was a friend of mine that was a tree company and he basically is located in this really dinky small town that no one would ever search in by a beach. And I think he’s got two hundred people in his town and the main areas that he service- he services a whole bunch of cities, but they’re not where he lives. So what we ended up doing for him is he has a business partner that’s not super involved in the business but owned a part of the business, and he lived in a much more prominent town. We switched everything from the one guy’s address to his business partner’s address which is totally fine with the GDP guidelines. And then similarly I have a guy that I know that runs a marketing agency and he lives in Richmond Hill which is a suburb of Toronto. So, he would much rather rank in Toronto obviously and he runs everything from his home. So, he didn’t want to use his home address in Richmond Hill so he used the address of a condo that he owns and rents out in Toronto. He owns it so totally fine for a Google concern like he has-you know he’s not using his friend’s address. So, I know there has been cases where you’ve seen it work. So, you know if someone’s investing in a property or owns a property that’s in the town that would be one way to get around it.

Matt Weber [00:24:26] Now you’re going to open the Pandora’s box here because with Mike- we talked about citations, and in the two examples you just provided, I’m going to assume that neither of those addresses had any level of citations pointing to them validating those as NAP addresses of that business. Is that a true statement?

Joy Hawkins [00:24:45] I’m going to check really quickly here. I don’t, uh. So, with my friend that lives in the bigger- or his partner lives in the bigger town, we did switch all the citations as well because they’re like? Why not. This is going to be the main thing; this is a couple of years ago, for the other one-I don’t know if they have put their Toronto address anywhere because it is a residential address. So, I want to say he doesn’t really prominently advertise it but it’s probably listed on his citations as well. Yeah, it is.

Matt Weber [00:25:17] OK. So, that led to a discussion with Mike about the value of citations, which you know was page one of a lot of local search playbooks for a long time and Mike took the position that-that is not bringing as much value as it once did. What’s your thought on citation building,

Joy Hawkins [00:25:36] Yeah. So, it’s kind of interesting, this is another conversation that has actually surfaced recently. There is a group of people in the local SEO community that are strong believers in citations and they will preach it till the end of the day that citations matter and you can do fancy, what they call fancy things with citations that help. All the research I’ve done into that has shown that what they’re doing as a strategy, there’s two different options I’ve seen. One is to create duplicate citations everywhere and link one of them to your Google My Business listing, as well as the other citation you have that links your website. I mean, I don’t know, maybe that works, maybe it doesn’t, but it makes me think that eventually, the directory would catch on and merge them. You would think that it knows. So, I’m not really a fan of that strategy. The other strategy is just a keyword stuff that comes out of the citations that you build and put like a word in beside your title. So, I would put like, “Sterling sky best local SEO agency ever,” as my title on Yelp for example, and it works. But what I notice is that it only works for that exact variation.

Joy Hawkins [00:26:37] So, if I put, “local SEO agency Toronto,” as like the variation, I would rank for that exact query, but if I just did, “local SEO agency,” or if I even reverse the order and put, “Toronto local SEO agency,” you don’t have the same effect. So, it’s very limited. I mean I would say it works, not a solution I would try. Personally, I don’t like that tactic but it does seem to work for whatever one keyword you decide to keyword stuff in here.

Robert O Haver [00:27:07] Yeah there’s a lot of variables there, that the fact- that you know, but I think obviously- I sound like I’m advertising schema but with the advent of schema a lot of that, I mean it’s still got its place, but I think with the advent of schema, you can really- I mean you’re doing latitude, longitude, areas served. I mean it covers it, you know?

Matt Weber [00:27:34] And that explains why you got that new vanity plate on your car, schema, right? So, I can tell it’s you and Joy, we asked Mike about two radical, maybe not call them radical, innovative techniques that are floating around. I think there-one of them was on your forums. One is to go ahead and publish your GMB Website even though you don’t point your main domain to it. You just publish it, and then the second is to produce a sidebar on either your location-specific page or your contact page that has external links to geographically specific resources. Reactions to those two?

Joy Hawkins [00:28:13] So the GMB Web site, why not? Where I have to call (inaudible) from our tests that we were tested on a client. I don’t believe it had any substantial influence like if it does have an influence, we’re talking like if there’s three thousand things that Google looks at to determine where you rank, it’s like one rank. So, it’s not really going to move the needle based on this one test we’ve been doing but it takes two seconds. So, like what’s the harm?

Robert O Haver [00:28:39] So, you’re saying use that as an external link source?

Matt Weber [00:28:42] Kind of. You publish the GMB website which you know if you’re in GMB profile, you click three buttons and you can publish a Web site and it will live at whatever you’ve called your GMB profile, .businesses.sites on that. So it’s a-people are theorizing it’s a strong Google signal, it’s a Google product, it’s a kind of a regurgitation of all the data you put into your GMB profile. So, people say yeah, it’s a local signal but then other people say listen, it might knock somebody else off of the SERP. Right, if it ranks, then you’re- you’ve got two things on the SERP rather than one thing on the SERP and maybe that’s the main benefit of it, is you kick somebody else off.

Robert O Haver [00:29:20] And their follow links?

Matt Weber [00:29:22] Yes.

Robert O Haver [00:29:23] Wow.

Matt Weber [00:29:23] Yeah.

Joy Hawkins [00:29:24] So, to the one point, I’ve never seen a GMB website knock a competitor out. Usually, they don’t rank very well for anything other than your brand name. So, for your brand name, it gives you another you know-maybe it would be a good idea, for example, if you had like a negative review problem and you’re trying to knock out one of those.

Matt Weber [00:29:40] Right.

Joy Hawkins [00:29:40] I could see that maybe working but I think GMB list websites we have ever published, we’ve only ever seen rank for a branded term anywhere on the first page. So, it’s not-I mean they’re horribly made, they’re not made for SEO. Let’s just say that.

Robert O Haver [00:29:59] True.

Joy Hawkins [00:29:59] I don’t know if you guys caught the Post, it was on fresh chalk. This guy named Adam was doing this rundown of all these different three website builders, and he looked at GMB websites and together, through emails back and forth, we realized that the meta description tag on the GMB Web site isn’t even formatted correctly and can’t be read. So, it goes to show you how much the GMB team that built those knows about SEO.

Robert O Haver [00:30:25] That’s pretty crazy. So, hold that thought. We have to take a break for our sponsors but when we get back we’re going to talk with Joy about who influences the influencer, and we want to know who influences Joy. I mean Joy’s name comes up on the show-

Matt Weber [00:30:42] a lot.

Robert O Haver [00:30:43] So, she obviously knows her stuff. We want to know who influences you.

Matt Weber [00:30:47] – and Joy, you’re prohibited from saying Mike Blumenthal.

Joy Hawkins [00:30:52] Oh my god, ugh- okay.

Robert O Haver [00:30:54] All right. Right after these messages guys.

[00:31:00] Today’s episode of Search Talk live is sponsored by-.

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Robert O Haver [00:31:43] I am way ahead of you.

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[00:33:54] Get your questions in on Twitter. Type #searchtalklive and your question. Now back to the show.

Robert O Haver [00:34:01] All right, we are back and like you just heard, you can go to Twitter and type in #searchtalklive with your questions. Haven’t been monitoring, to be honest with you but I’m going to right now.

Matt Weber [00:34:12] We were pretty engrossed in the conversation.

Robert O Haver [00:34:13] Yeah, exactly. Now, Joy, let’s see who influences you? Who is the person that you keep your ear to the ground and what was it?

Matt Weber [00:34:25] Yeah, keep your ear to the ground, you never miss them. Yeah. Who influences you Joy?

Joy Hawkins [00:34:30] So, I’m allowed two answers or can I have three?

Matt Weber [00:34:32] Yes.

Joy Hawkins [00:34:35] OK. So in the local third space, I’d say Mike Blumenthal and Daron Shaw, both of interestingly who don’t really do SEO. They both run fast companies that are in a local search state but they are very well versed in the local SEO industry and they really know their stuff. They don’t come to conclusions lately which is nice, and then outside of the specific to local SEO space but more like generic SEO, I would say Marie Heinz. So I-.

Robert O Haver [00:35:05] What was that name again?

Joy Hawkins [00:35:07] I like how everything she puts it-Marie Heinz. Great.

Matt Weber [00:35:12] You know in terms of getting knowledge too, I think people really need to check out the two forums that you oversee. There’s some really great discussions on there, and if we have time left, I’d love to ask you about what’s your weirdest forum story? But can you tell people about the two forums that you participate in?

Joy Hawkins [00:35:31] Yeah, the local search forum I own- so I bought from Lynda Bouquet last year. So, she retired. She was another one of my mentors but she doesn’t work in the industry anymore. She retired and got everything to do the search and then I moderate the Google My Business forum that Google owned their forum for their product. I’m just the moderator on there.

Matt Weber [00:35:51] OK. And while we’re on this GMB track, having worked with a lot of SMBs. They try to interpret their insight data and I’m not sure that that is presented in the clearest, easiest way. Can you walk our listeners through what’s the difference between discovery and the two categories of their? I think people get them back reversed a lot.

Joy Hawkins [00:36:15] Yeah. So, the problem with GMB insights is the number one metric I think people reference is views which are usually, you know, in a chart format. It’s the most misleading stat you could look at. A view, it’s like an impression on the Display Network. Basically, you know when you run display ads and everywhere your ad shows up, you get an impression and it’s kind of meaningless because it doesn’t mean people were even looking at your ad or interacting it with anyway. That’s pretty much viewed like any time your name shows up anywhere on a map. So, I could be on my phone scrolling through my maps looking for like what’s in the area. If I happened to pass by a label for a business, that counts as a view. If that business shows up underneath another business on-in the knowledge panel, as Iike people also search for it, that counts as a view. So, it is like the most inflated metric not to mention it includes ad impressions. So whenever we see these giant spikes and declines, half the time, it’s because they were running ad with location extensions.and then stopped or decreased their budget or something. And that is all reported inside GMB insights, that drives me insane.

Matt Weber [00:37:21] OK. So that is a very, very significant point that a lot of people don’t realize, that if you have your local extension running in your Google Ads, those impressions are being counted in your GMB insights.

Joy Hawkins [00:37:32] Yes. And they don’t break it down for you either.

Matt Weber [00:37:35] And a lot of people see a difference in their data between what they see and GMB insights, and what they see in their Google Analytics. Why?

Joy Hawkins [00:37:46] Yeah, well GMB insights, there is a bit of a delay. So, I don’t know if there is- it’s possible that Google Analytics may not match exactly based on the day, because of the delay. Like, there’s like a three day delay with GMB invites. Generally speaking. So that could be one reason like you’d think like last three days and you compare both. They’re probably not going to match. But if you use an UTM code inside GMB, it’s the best chance you have of having them all lined up. So, we do that with all of our clients and then, usually we default to Google Analytics but we also call tracking numbers inside Google My Business because that’s like the ultimate source of truth to see how many people actually called you as a result of your listing. Because a lot of people don’t convert on the Website, they convert on the actual listing itself. So, call tracking, I think is key to having any idea of what’s going on here.

Matt Weber [00:38:38] Robert, who is our recent guest that coined a term that I wasn’t familiar with that is Google SERP optimization? And so he was espousing this theory that more and more transactions are happening on the SERP itself, and that you really have to start adopting the mentality of optimizing your presence on the SERP to be able to convince the consumer to do the thing that they wanted to do there?

Robert O Haver [00:39:04] I don’t remember because.

Matt Weber [00:39:06] -but that was a fascinating discussion.

Robert O Haver [00:39:07] Oh yeah definitely.

Matt Weber [00:39:08] Yeah.

Robert O Haver [00:39:10] Do you think- do you find that that affects-I don’t know if anybody’s ever done a test on this, if you have leave it in the comments on Twitter. But using different tracking phone numbers, which I actually do that myself to for my clients but affecting any credibility, you know what I’m saying, it’s almost like not having the same address in all places?

Matt Weber [00:39:36] Joy, do you have a thought on that?

Joy Hawkins [00:39:36] Yes, but it doesn’t-it doesn’t impact your like ranking if that’s what you’re wondering. What we do is we put the call tracking number as the primary phone number and then there’s the site, there’s a line inside Google My Business for other phone numbers.You just put the real phone number as a secondary number.

Robert O Haver [00:39:52] Sure.

Joy Hawkins [00:39:52] The only time it really causes problems is if you have Google My Business synced up with like YEXT or Moz Local or any of those services, and you don’t have the tracking number in there. They’ll keep trying to change it back and it’s like this constant flipping back and forth, it drives me nuts. So, if you’re using those services, my recommendation would just be to disconnect Google My Business so that you don’t have that constant problem.

Robert O Haver [00:40:15] Yeah. The other thing that we don’t see very often or we like to mention anyways is using UTM codes in the links from your Google My Business.

Matt Weber [00:40:23] Yeah. And that’s-it’s a got a really to break out the value of local search. It’s a must and it’s not that hard to do. And so if you’re listening to the show and you’re wondering what this technique is-if you go to the-if you Google the phrase, GoogleURL builder, you’ll get to a page that talks about how to build a UTM code and you can replace Website address and your GMB listing with that.

Robert O Haver [00:40:48] Right.

Matt Weber [00:40:48] What’s generated on the GoogleURLbuilder. And then that’ll show up as a campaign inside your Google Analytics.

Joy Hawkins [00:40:56] Yeah. One-one thing I’ll add on is since you’re talking about GMB insights that I feel like, like almost no one seems to remember with Google My Business data is that a lot of searches, like a lot of mobile searches do not show up in Search Console at all because the website icon is not present on mobile. So, if you go to your phone right now and you search, “coffee shop near me,” there’s no Website icons, there’s just photos, at least there is for me. And usually there is a phone icon but a lot of times the website icons are missing on mobile. So, like all of these search queries that triggered your listing do not show up inside search console.

Robert O Haver [00:41:36] That’s nuts.

Joy Hawkins [00:41:36] This is where we do actually use GMB data because we look at the search queries insight, and we see all these near me terms that don’t show up as heavily inside search console or we see like certain terms that don’t match up. I feel like that is a missing key element that a lot of people don’t realize. But another reason to use call tracking.

Matt Weber [00:41:55] And we want to get back just to where we’re going to close out the section on GMB insights but people see that giant pie chart at the top of GMB insights, it says “direct and discovery”. Tell our listeners, what does that mean?

Joy Hawkins [00:42:09] Yeah. So direct visits are visits where you were the only result that pulled up. So, if you search Sterling Sky, that is a direct visit because Sterling Sky is the only listing that shows up, likely, unless there’s another Sterling Sky near you. Discovery would be anything else that returns the traditional three pack or two pack results.

Robert O Haver [00:42:31] Yeah, I have a bad relationship with analytics right now because I’ve got a couple of sites that have spiked recently but it doesn’t give you any keywords, like.

Matt Weber [00:42:43] And that’s where your CSI skills have to kick in right and being able to decode all that. Joy, in your sense, why do you think that in GMB insights, why does Google show a comparison of your photo views and other businesses in your industry as a metric? Yeah, but not like other metrics, like here’s a number of calls compared to other calls in your industry or here’s a number of texts you received. Why did they pull out photos as an opportunity to benchmark you against other people in your industry?

Joy Hawkins [00:43:16] Because I think that Google wants you to do something when it comes to photos. So, they’re really trying to get businesses to add more photos to their listings because that in turn helps Google. The more data that you give Google, the more it helps Google become you know the presence, the place where everybody goes to get every piece of information on every business, right? They don’t have that same advantage like why do they care about your focus? There’s nothing that they can get from you by displaying that information. So, I believe they do really focus on photos because it really helps them, the more data they have. They really want businesses to add lots of photos.

Matt Weber [00:43:51] If we had some sound effects, Robert, we should cue some mystery music here because Joy, here’s the question on everybody’s mind. Why do some businesses experience changes in their Google My Business listing that they did not put in there?

Joy Hawkins [00:44:08] We just wrote an article about this last week on the Sterling Sky blog. So, there is several different options. Who is updating your Google my Business listing? If it’s not you, kind of quickly run through them, one would be it’s a third party data source. We see this sometimes with Car Dealers like their site has the proper hours but their parent company site does not, and there’s conflicting information there but it’s possibly coming from a third party source. Third party apps is usually the biggest cause of this. So, you think we’re talking about yext, Moz local, ones like those where they access your data. If you have something different in yext than you have in Google My Business, that is a problem, and yext will overwrite Google My Business. Yeah, but usually that’s by far the most common reason. And then sometimes it’s another manager you forgot to delete off your listting, happens more than you know like, I get that sometimes the answer from Google on forum threads and then there’s also public editors as well. So, you know unfortunately there is this concept of negative SEO where competitors will go and try to change our information to negatively impact our listing. It definitely still happens.

Robert O Haver [00:45:24] You have people that suggest edits and that go in and change it or

Matt Weber [00:45:28] Yeah. And there’s some difference of opinion as to who has as much influence to be able to have their edits accepted.

Joy Hawkins [00:45:37] I also wrote an article about that too.

Matt Weber [00:45:41] Interesting. Joy, there’s been some big changes in the past weeks about practitioners, doctors, lawyers and their ability to have individual listings and the effect of that. So, specifically Doctor A has his own GMB listening but he spends time at office A and office B. Office A has distinct hours, office B has distinct hours in the doctor’s listing. They’re gonna ask for hours. Which ones do you put and how does that fit into the whole GMB ecosystem?

Joy Hawkins [00:46:16] Yeah. So, one doctor that works at multiple locations has always been allowed to have multiple listings but that hasn’t changed and the hours should not overlap. Practically speaking, you can’t be in two places at once but there is zero policing of this. Like honestly, I tell people don’t even worry about it. Google would probably like you know slap me for saying that but honestly they don’t monitor this in any way, shape or form. Ours is not something that Google My Business team cracks down on whatsoever.

Robert O Haver [00:46:45] Yeah. Plus they have you know, answering services that schedule their appointments and all that stuff around when they’re actually going to be there. So, it’s hard – it’s really hard to police that.

Joy Hawkins [00:46:56] Yeah. We have lots of attorneys that like to list themselves as open 24 hours a day and I’m like go for it, like Google doesn’t do anything to businesses that do that, even if their shop is technically closed because they take out- they do take calls after hours. That’s the reason why they want to list it that way. But I’ve never seen any enforcement on it. It’s one of those things where it’s like what Google says versus what Google does, it’s very different.

Matt Weber [00:47:18] But I think they’re still displaying the little signal, a little sign on your GMB listing that saysverified by owner for your hours. And then for people that don’t verify it, they show it in red. In red, it says, not verified by owner. Well, I think the wording is a little bit different but then, if if the business has verified it, it’s in green and says verified by owner.

Joy Hawkins [00:47:41] Yeah, usually it says, “own this business?” with the wording that they have on unverified listings

Matt Weber [00:47:46] But if your hours specifically are put in by you, then they have a messaging sometimes in some categories, and if your hours are not put in by you, and they have reason to doubt them, they put it in red, they say “not verified”.

Joy Hawkins [00:47:59] I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen that. I know for special hours they do like-for like holidays and stuff. If a business has added special hours, it has different messaging.

Matt Weber [00:48:09] Right. If there’s a holiday coming up, and if you haven’t told them whether or not you’re going to be open or closed, it’ll give some message that indicates it’s not verified.

Joy Hawkins [00:48:17] Yeah. I have a sushi listing open right now that’s nearby that’s not verified. The hours don’t show up right for me. I don’t know maybe it’s different, by different devices possibly.

Matt Weber [00:48:29] Joy, if there was a sudden law change in the United States and you were only allowed to place your business in three directories and you owned an air conditioning repair company, and the law says, you can only put your business in three online directories, what three are you choosing and why?

Joy Hawkins [00:48:49] My answer would vary quite drastically based on the industry. So, like you said air, if was an AC company I’d probably put like HomeAdvisor up there, but obviously not if it was a doctor or lawyer. I think the niche directories are often the most valuable. So, depending on the industry, I put those at the top and then that varies also based on the country. So, there are certain directories I know in the UK or Canada that are more prominent than the US. As a whole, like across every industry, I would say Yelp, Facebook and Apple Maps.

Matt Weber [00:49:22] Facebook, Yelp and -?

Joy Hawkins [00:49:24] Apple Maps.

Matt Weber [00:49:26] Apple Maps.

Robert O Haver [00:49:28] I thought she said Apple Labs.

Matt Weber [00:49:28] I did too. Apple Maps. Really, you think Apple Maps is that influential?

Joy Hawkins [00:49:35] I think they make it purposely hard to track so no one has any clue what they’re getting. You know it’s a lot of direct traffic and stuff inside Google Analytics. We’ve been trying to find a creative way to track it. No luck yet, but I think it’s powerful because it’s the default for iPhones. Like they don’t default to Google Maps. They default to Apple Maps, and a lot of people think they’re using Google when they’re actually using Apple.

Matt Weber [00:50:00] I find that with myself. I’m like why is this so- I don’t want to say bad, but why is this so not good? Oh, it’s cause I’m not using Google maps. I’m on Apple Maps, right? Like if you’re in CarPlay, right? CarPlay-it defaults to Apple Maps.

Robert O Haver [00:50:16] You don’t use Mapquest? I’m joking; I’m joking.

Matt Weber [00:50:21] Okay, Joy, we got a big one for you. What’s the future of local? Do you see it being paid? Do you see someday Google says, hey all you businesses that have been getting tremendous value out of these GMB listings, here’s your options. What’s your sense of where it’s going?

Joy Hawkins [00:50:40] I do not think they’re going to make it strictly paid. I think-I think that would be a bad experience for users like I do think the general public would be pissed off if it was purely paid.

Robert O Haver [00:50:48] First page would be paid, second page would be organic.

Joy Hawkins [00:50:53] I honestly think-I think it would have a detrimental impact on Google if they did that, users would leave. I’ve already heard people I’m friends with say that they want to stop using Google because they’re so sick of the ads. So, I think Google’s already treading a fine line there, if they were to switch it to a complete pay to play model it would be too. And I they think they know that which is why I don’t think they’re going to do it. I do think that they’re going to expand the local service ads platform like crazy because we’re already seeing it now for like realtors and lawyers.They’re experimenting with it in the San Diego market. So, those are looking less and less like ads, and they’re shoving them now in three-pack and doing all kinds of stuff there. So, I think they’ll continue to try to make ads look less like ads, but I don’t think they’re going to get rid of Google My Business or make it all paid.

Matt Weber [00:51:38] I’ll interject a theory Robert, tell me your thoughts on this. GMB becomes a freemium model. You get X amount of functions for free. But if you want the upgraded video functionality or if you want the upgraded, find out the color of the eyes of your best customers functionality, you got to pay for that.

Robert O Haver [00:51:58] No I don’t think so, because then they become another Yelp or Yellow Pages or-.

Matt Weber [00:52:02] There’s a lot of money in being a Yelp.

Robert O Haver [00:52:03] Well, yeah but how many people actually have a pay listing?

Matt Weber [00:52:06] In Yelp? Right, yeah. But you know, I bet you it’s more than we think it is.

Robert O Haver [00:52:13] You think so?

Matt Weber [00:52:13] Yeah, and if you ever watch the documentary on Amazon Prime about Yelp, you would say yeah, it’s more than we think it is.

Robert O Haver [00:52:18] Huh.

Matt Weber [00:52:19] Which is a great documentary for everybody to watch by the way.

Robert O Haver [00:52:22] I honestly, in the thousands of searches I’ve done in the last five years, I haven’t seen Yelp show up for any of them.

Joy Hawkins [00:52:32] We have clients using Yelp ads. I’m actually a fan of them. They’re more expensive than Google ads like the cost per lead, but they are a good way to get more leads, if you’re like a business that you just need more leads and you’re OK with paying a little more.

Matt Weber [00:52:43] But it’s category specific, right?

Joy Hawkins [00:52:47] I think it’s more geographically specific like there are certain areas where like no one uses Yelp, and there are certain areas where it’s like everyone uses Yelp. I’m obviously being very generic, but I think it really varies based on the area.

Matt Weber [00:52:59] But you would look for an ophthalmologist on Yelp.

Robert O Haver [00:53:04] Not me.

Joy Hawkins [00:53:04] Probably. Well it depends, if you were in San Francisco, I’d say probably yes.

Matt Weber [00:53:09] OK that’s fair. That’s fair. Yeah. There was a built in joke though. If you’re looking for an ophthalmologist you wouldn’t look on Yelp. We’ll go to that. Is it time for believe or leave it?

Robert O Haver [00:53:21] It is time for believe it or leave it.

Matt Weber [00:53:23] All right, Joy, believe it or leave it. One of the most popular features of Search Talk Live. We’re going to give you three statements and we’re gonna ask you to tell our listeners whether they should believe it or whether they should leave it. And of course tell them why. Are you ready?

Joy Hawkins [00:53:37] OK, I’m ready.

Matt Weber [00:53:39] All right. Number one. Wow. The timing of this is unbelievable and this was not planned. Paying for a Yelp advertising program improves your local ranking even in the Google Local pack.

Joy Hawkins [00:53:55] Oh, that’s interesting. I would test it to be honest.

Matt Weber [00:54:00] Ah. It’s not tested or leave it.

Joy Hawkins [00:54:06] OK, well without testing it, I’d say that there is a definite possibility that it could. So I would. I would try it.

Matt Weber [00:54:13] That’s a borderline believe it.

Joy Hawkins [00:54:15] And the reason why is because I think when you pay, you show up in more of the search result pages on Yelp which get indexed by Google. The more of those that you’re on, I know that Yelp does impact your ranking on Google. Like Mike Blumenthal kind of showed a test and did a test on that a couple of years ago, where they used some fake reviews on Yelp to influence where a business ranked on Google and it worked. So, I think Yelp is one that Google does pay attention to. So, theoretically I think it could work. I’ve never touched it though so.

Robert O Haver [00:54:45] All right. Question number two.

Joy Hawkins [00:54:47] Sorry, I’m breaking your rule.

Robert O Haver [00:54:49] No, no it’s okay. Question number two, you can delete negative reviews on Google, if a long time has transpired between the transaction and the review?

Joy Hawkins [00:55:01] No. That one I don’t have to think about it, now. Yeah.

Matt Weber [00:55:07] Thats a definite leave it?

Joy Hawkins [00:55:07] Yeah.

Matt Weber [00:55:11] What are the conditions for getting a review removed? Probably the second most popular question I get as I travel the country.

Joy Hawkins [00:55:19] So, yeah, I mean I don’t know if there’s time for me to get into this but like there are so many different scenarios with negative reviews. There are-I have a list of about 12-15 things that Google will remove that I have in my local SEO training. So, I’ll spit off some that come to the top of my head. If a person has reviewed multiple occasions for the same business, Google will generally remove those. So, like your realtor pisses you off, so then you go and leave reviews for all these different real estate locations from that same company. Google will remove those. If it’s a racist review depending on how they phrase it, it sometimes gets removed. So I had to argue with Google on a few of these, but if they make a derogatory statement about a person’s race and it depends on how they word it but that often does get removed. If you can prove the person works there, they will remove that. I’m trying to think of what other ones. Are there any others that you’ve heard of that you’re wondering if Google will remove?

Matt Weber [00:56:24] If the review contains personal identifying characteristics?

Joy Hawkins [00:56:26] Yes.

Matt Weber [00:56:26] Of someone?

Joy Hawkins [00:56:28] They usually will do that, yes.

Joy Hawkins [00:56:30] Like if you’re like, oh, especially if it’s personal to the customer. I don’t know. It depends on if it’s personal about the business owners, it depends on what it is.

Matt Weber [00:56:39] Last name, last name sometimes.

Joy Hawkins [00:56:43] Yeah. No, I doubt it. I wouldn’t expect them to remove that.

Matt Weber [00:56:47] Are you ready for number 3?

Joy Hawkins [00:56:47] Yes.

Matt Weber [00:56:49] All right. Number three. If someone has a high level as a local Google reviewer, they have a greater ability to make changes on a business’s GMB profile.

Joy Hawkins [00:57:01] No.

Robert O Haver [00:57:02] It was like she knew the question before she-.

Matt Weber [00:57:05] I know.

Joy Hawkins [00:57:07] I knew exactly where you were going when you first started. But no, 100 percent no.

Matt Weber [00:57:10] So, so some local guides don’t have more influence over others.

Joy Hawkins [00:57:15] They do. But it has nothing to do with what businesses you review, it has to do with what businesses you edited and what of those edits have been approved, and where and what type of business. I was really heavily involved in mapmaker when it was open. So, this is easier to track and see with mapmaker. You could literally see someone’s edit approval rate. So, that’s how I’m kind of very confident about this answer but it has nothing to do with what businesses you’ve left reviews for.

Robert O Haver [00:57:41] All right. So that actually ends believe it or leave it. But I do have a question and I get asked constantly and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. What is the ranking factor on the local 3 pack?

Joy Hawkins [00:57:52] Sorry, say that again.

Robert O Haver [00:57:56] What makes you rank on the local three pack?

Joy Hawkins [00:58:00] Oh, would you want one thing?

Matt Weber [00:58:03] Yeah, just one.

Joy Hawkins [00:58:04] Keyword stuffing your business name, not what I would do but that seems to work very well.

Robert O Haver [00:58:11] Ethical. No, I’m just kidding.

Joy Hawkins [00:58:15] Ethical. Then, I would probably say reviews over time seem to really help because I think it helps click through rate which helps ranking. Unfortunately there’s more unethical ones than ethical ones that are easy to game.

Matt Weber [00:58:29] Well, it’s time for our Search Talk Live tattoo and Joy, you’ve been great by the way, just some phenomenal advice and phenomenal information in this show. So, can you summarize it with one piece of distinct succinct clear advice for our listeners that is tattooable, and Robert gets all these as tattoos. We have a very limited ink budget here at Search Talk Live. So keep it brief. So, what’s your best tattooable piece of advice?

Joy Hawkins [00:58:55] Well I think to sum up what I’ve been kind of saying repeatedly here is follow what Google does not what they say. That’s my summary statement.

Matt Weber [00:59:04] And I think by the nature of those words, Robert, that should be on your back not anywhere on your front following what Google does, not what they say. Right?

Robert O Haver [00:59:13] Yeah.

Matt Weber [00:59:13] OK. Yeah, do you have any space on the back?

Robert O Haver [00:59:15] That’s-that’s been said for quite some time and you know there’s yet a filter what to listen to and what not to.

Matt Weber [00:59:23] Yeah, but do you have any space on your back for that one?

Robert O Haver [00:59:26] Yes.

Matt Weber [00:59:26] All right, good. All right.

Robert O Haver [00:59:29] All right. Well Joy, we want to thank you for being on the show. We will be. I will send you a link to the show once we’ve it’s up in and live, while actually it is live right now. It is Search Talk Live but you know what I mean. Once it’s actually finished compiling but then if people want to reach out to you, can they-are you on Twitter or how can they do that?

Joy Hawkins [00:59:53] Yes. I’m very active on Twitter; it’s just me. No one, no one controls my Twitter handle over me and my Website is SterlingSky.ca. So, you can also reach me there.

Robert O Haver [01:00:03] Very nice. All right. Well thanks for your being on the show. Lots of great information, guys I hope you’ve been taking notes or if you replay the show if you need to to get some of the stuff that Joy has given us. And thanks again.

Matt Weber [01:00:16] Thanks everybody for listening and check out Mike Blumenthal from the previous week.

Robert O Haver [01:00:20] Yeah. And before we go I do want you to check out now, if you really love the show please check out our sponsors go to PixelCutLabs.com, check them out. Their service is amazing and AHREFS. That’s a tool and Joy, you use AHREFS, right?

Joy Hawkins [01:00:39] Yes, we do.

Matt Weber [01:00:40] -And we lean heavily on it.

Robert O Haver [01:00:41] Yeah yeah.

Joy Hawkins [01:00:44] I pay for AHREFS. Let me tell you, a lot of these give me their stuff for free because they want me to use it. I pay for AHREFs. I firmly believe in them.

Robert O Haver [01:00:51] Wow. I do too actually. So, yeah, I mean lots of information there. They’ve got plenty of tutorials, videos, helpful guides if you try to learn because there is a ton of data and a trust for your Website. So, check them out, check PixelCutLabs out and thanks again for listening. We will be back next week and I think-what is it? Hang on. Hold that thought. I want to tell everybody who we have on the show next week; I believe it’s John Mueller. But I was unprepared so give me one second, okay. All right, so next week we have-no we have Keith Good.

Matt Weber [01:01:37] Keith Good is back always a popular guy.

Robert O Haver [01:01:39] Yeah, he’s one of my- he’s a good friend of mine. He’s the head of SEO for IBM, small company. But you know, just kidding. Thanks a lot everybody.

Matt Weber [01:01:49] Joy, thanks so much. Thanks for listening everybody.

Robert O Haver [01:01:50] Bye bye.

[01:02:01] Search Talk Live is sponsored by the Robert Palmer Family of Companies. If you have questions for Search Talk Live or you’re interested in being a guest or a sponsor of the show, email Robert at searchtalklive.com that’s searchtalklive.dot com.