Kyle Roof on EEAT And The Future Of SEO With A.I.

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Kyle Roof is the co-founder of High Voltage SEO and co-creator of Page Optimizer Pro, among many other things.

In this episode of SirLinksalot’s SEO Podcast, Chris and Nick sit down with Kyle and chat about why you ABSOLUTELY MUST leverage EEAT for SEO in 2023, ranking trash content on Google, and the future of SEO with artificial intelligence (thanks a lot, ChatGPT).

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Watch the Podcast:

Podcast Summary:

[02:18] Tell us about your Lorem Ipsum victory.

It was a few years ago. It was a 30-day competition, and you had to have a fresh domain. You could do whatever you want around the keywords “rhinoplasty Plano.” At the end of the month, we took 5th. Two weeks later, we did #1. Two weeks after that, we were #1 organic and #1 Maps. The reason it’s now in SEO lore is because the site was written in Lorem Ipsum—gibberish text. We just did the math: how much “rhinoplasty” had to appear in these specific places, variations, etc. It was an effort to show that, while you do need to write good copy to convert, copy has nothing to do with ranking. Ranking is math-based because Google is looking for specific terms in specific places. If you satisfy the math, you can rank very, very well.

[05:16] I’ve heard people say that keyword variations, or LSI keywords, are not real. What are your thoughts?

I’d define “variations” as synonyms or very close in construction to your target term. What’s interesting is that the Yandex leak revealed BM25 as a ranking factor, which is basically TF-IDF with word count. It’s a “bag of words” model, where grammar doesn’t matter. It’s just counting the words in different places. BM25 is at least a very close approximation of what Google is doing.

[09:03] With AI on the rise, will Lorem Ipsum still rank in 2023, and when was the last time you tried to rank with it?

I’ve got several sites up right now that are Lorem Ipsum sites ranking at the number one spot. In fairness, your good copy should hit the counts, so that when you do an SEO check, you should just be tweaking slightly. The divergence of good copy and SEO copy is when somebody just can’t write good copy to begin with.

[12:21] Do you still use branded Web 2.0s in 2023?

They bring diversity, and I like to use my branding across the web. The last thing I want is a competitor taking my brand name and besmirching it.

[15:18] I heard that you didn’t have any dev experience when you created POP, which helped you win the competition. How did you monitor the work to ensure you were heading in the right direction?

The biggest thing I was looking for was whether the output was what we wanted it to be. So, even if it was a little janky on the inside, if it was the output we wanted, we were getting somewhere. Something that helped us was having two devs working on different things while checking each other’s work at the end of the day. If you can find a dev who can do Python on the back end and Javascript on the front end, you’ve basically found a NASA engineer.

[29:14] What’s the significance of E-E-A-T? What can you tell us about “T”—”Trustworthiness?”

In the last couple of years, Google has been hostile towards affiliate sites. It’s trying to figure out which of these are real businesses by asking who’s responsible for the website and the content. Affiliate websites, by their nature, are usually trying to hide all of that. Google looks for particular signals that it can find and determine if the site should be in the index in the first place. Success comes in attaining rankings and recovering rankings for sites that appear to have been hit. More than anything else, it’s the “T”—”Trustworthiness”—that matters. Ideally, make sure that your privacy policy and contact information are both included.

[32:06] How would you advise someone who needs a physical address?

You can do one of two things: get a registered agent, which is a great idea if you have an LLC, or you can use a business mailing address as your official registered address.

[38:09] How much of EEAT is baked into the algorithm and how much is quality-rated by humans?

Quality rater guidelines aren’t to rank but to check results. There will be things baked into the algo because they will produce results that are trustworthy. Humans then check to see if the bot worked.

[39:39] What are your thoughts on “A”—”Authoritativeness?”

The guidelines ask whether the site is a go-to source for the topic. This is topical authority which goes beyond one page. Another thing they talk about, not just in the rater guidelines, but also in the webmaster guidelines is “UGC”: “user-generated content.” If something is an authority, people ask questions. Also, make sure that blog comments can be read by Google. The one thing you control the most is your own website. In fact, it’s the only thing you control. The more you dial it in, the fewer outside signals you need. That’s why I’d put my time and budget into my site before backlinks. At the same time, you can only go so far without backlinks. The amount of on-page you can do for a particular keyword will end at some point. From there, I like to build supporting pages like those zero search term-type pages to see what kind of push I can get. After that, you do need backlinks. The only page that can’t rank is the one that doesn’t exist. If you want to go after that target term, you have to get that page up.

[48:34] What are your thoughts on “EE”—”Expertise” and “Experience?”

Expertise is like a graduation cap while experience is your actual time doing something. The biggest thing you need to rank for these is a real person. You don’t necessarily need a Ph.D. (unless it’s obvious that’s what you need). I’d have an author bio page with links to social profiles and a credentialing agency. On the articles that they write, I’d link back to that author’s bio page.

[54:41] What’s the most important factor to get right on EEAT?


[56:28] Is AI a shiny object or super important in SEO today?

Somewhere in the middle. I don’t think the internet’s going to die or that SEO is dead. It’s been “dead” forever. As long as there is an algorithm, we’re going to be okay.

[1:02:38] What do you use AI for?

Outlines—early rough drafts just to get an idea of where to take an article. But even this is mostly for our very low-level stuff. You do need to have a lot of human editing. You can’t just press a button and put out an article that will make a client happy. The more editing you do, the more unique and likely you’ll get past any kind of AI/duplicate content filter. Idea generation is the best way to use AI.

[1:05:12] Is Google penalizing AI content? If not now, will it in the future?

It’s not about the fact that the content is AI, but whether or not the content is adding to the conversation versus simply regurgitating what already exists.

[1:09:22] You once said that grammar, spelling, and reading level are not ranking factors. But can they indirectly affect ranking through user experience signals? Also, what are the most important ranking factors in 2023?

I’m not overly concerned about user experience signals because they’re hard to measure. The top four places to put a keyword have been the same since 2015: domain, URL, title, and H1. A lot of fancy builders don’t use HTML. They’ll put content in div tags, which I’d watch out for because Google can get there eventually, but you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot by not having it in proper paragraph tags.

[1:12:11] What do you do to wind down?

I love BBC crime dramas. Through Amazon Prime, I have Acorn and BritBox. What’s worse is that I love crime comedy. Stuff like Knives out is right up my alley!

[1:13:39] Convince me and anyone else in SEO to come to Chiang Mai over anywhere else.

This is the mecca. If you want to level up your game, this is where you want to be. That’s the bottom line. The community here is second-to-none. If you want to learn more, grow, and improve, the opportunities are here. There is an abundance mentality here. If you succeed and make money, we all do.

Chris Tzitzis' headshot for blog.Article by:
Chris Tzitzis

Hey I'm Chris, one of the founders here at SirLinksalot. I'm into building internet money machines (affiliate websites) and specialize in building backlinks. Find out more about me and my link building team.

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