[SEO Legends] Glen Allsopp on Reviewing 500+ Websites and the Future of Link Building

glen allsopp detailed link building seo

Today I’m speaking with an SEO & digital marketing LEGEND, Glen Allsopp from Detailed.

Yes, I’m a megafan and totally nerded out just speaking with him ๐Ÿ™‚

In this episode (and curated transcript below), we chat about:

  • What Glen learned having reviewed 500+ websites(!)
  • The future of SEO link building (and how Detailed might help us with that)
  • How to use design & copy to “position” your blog for the “right” readers (to hit your goals)
  • way more.

Boom. Hope you enjoy, and please drop down in the comments section and lemme know if you enjoyed this episode!

Let’s SEO. ?

Listen to my episode with Glen Allsopp:

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Here’s the full transcript with Glen!

Glen: Pete, thank you for having me I really appreciate it!

Pete: It is absolutely my pleasure! I’ve actually been looking forward to this for a long time Glen. I have. In case you haven’t been able to tell via my e-mails–speaking of which–I thought we would kick it off with this:

Pete: You did one of your first podcasts in a couple of years yesterday. Yesterday the day before and for what it sounded like when we e-mailed with each other–you’re like, really fired up, Like almost excited to come back on a podcast. (Not necessarily my podcast), but excited to do podcast again. So in general like what’s what’s got you all jazzed up?

Pete: A specific topic or something happened or you just enjoyed it or you know–what’s going on with you lately?

Glen: No–definitely yours also it wasn’t just about doing a podcast, I was excited to chat with you. Finally after all this time.

Glen: So as as I’ve seen you before the show I’m not really a I’m not really much of a podcast guy I am flattered whenever I get requests but I consider myself a writer. That is how I get my ideas out to the world and and Yeah I finally agreed to do… It’s been about a year and a half since I last did an interview. I finally agreed to on a few days ago, we did it, and they just it was awesome it went really well. I was really happy with it so I thought All right let’s let’s keep the ball rolling.

Pete: Glen I have like OK, I have way too many questions.

Pete: Let me just get that out of the bag. I actually didn’t have to do any research for my chat with you today is just because I feel like I’ve been following you legitimately as a fan. By the way so kudos thank you for doing what you do. By the way but I have a question. I’m like dying to ask you…

Pete: A month or two ago or maybe this was like three six months ago. I don’t know maybe you can tell me. I discovered an email you had sent out through Detailed which I want to talk about, Like a lot later by the way I’m super curious–Detailed.com…

Pete: I saw this email and it was like you were asking or you were taking Web site reviews like many Web site reviews mini web site audits. I think it was free at that time? This was like several months ago. I could be wrong, but I was like it was like a couple of days afterward and I was like Oh he’s already got you know the slots filled up or whatever.

Pete: So two weeks ago you sent out another one that I took you up on. I was like “oh! He’s do these again!” You were charging like 40 bucks or something like that. And I was like “Oh this is cool Yeah I want Glen to like look my site!”

Pete: So my question is: Aside from adding value to everybody on your list who signed up to do this well what is your primary motivation. Is there like a secret marketing thing that I don’t know about. I was like How does he do this. I can only assume you had a pretty good response for people who want you to do this. So my question is like why why are you doing that stuff? I’m Uber curious.

Glen: So yeah. Great question. Dang you really we’re really getting right into it from the start. I like that.

Pete: I couldn’t help it. I was like I saw you doing this. I was like I have to know like what he is up to–this is so valuable I had the figured out yes.

Glen: So it all started I think about 18 months ago was back in 2017. I had been working with this dog shelter I went to see them in person in Thailand, and they just do incredible work, but they’re also struggling financially.

Glen: And I was supporting them but I thought you know it’s maybe not enough. Maybe there’s more that I can do kind of maybe I can get the idea out there about supporting dog shelters in Asia or around the world and I thought why not just review websites on screen and charge people?

Glen: It was literally just five dollars. I will audit your Web site, three to five minutes. And I reviewed by 200-250 websites there & I was doing about 25 videos a day. It was pretty insane. I was losing my voice but I really enjoyed it.

Glen: It was interesting. And then I took a break. So that was about 18 months ago. Then at the start of the end of 2018 the woman who I worked with I worked with…a man and a woman who kind of ran that operation…I won’t go into their story too much but one of them went off and did her own thing And I had a great connection with both of them…So I thought OK let me do it again I will I will up the price a bit and then I will support this new charity.

Glen: So I did it again at the end of 2018–start of 2019–so they were ten dollars this time than up to the 50 dollars. 100% of the m oney went to charity. We did more than two hundred–raised more than two thousand dollars which is awesome. And a lot of people actually said “Hey can I donate privately?”.

Glen: And that was really really nice– but something interesting was that because my business with Detailed is that I get to work with a lot of big companies. (We do ongoing SEO when we do kind of once-off SEO), and folks are saying OK this video is great but can you do more? Like what else do you have to offer? Can I buy another video? Can I buy a longer video? Actually, that was the biggest problem. It was three to five minutes. And as you know I did this for your Web site of ours is just three to five minutes I would have lost a lot of things that I shared with you which you are hopefully useful.

Glen: So we did another 200 or so. And I was I I just really enjoyed that. I like dissecting websites and picking them apart and but I didn’t feel right upselling on top of that.

Glen: So people were saying can you do more or you know will your company help our company do SEO services. And I felt really wrong that I had done this thing for charity and you know and I was maybe going to make more money outside of that it just didn’t feel right. So this latest new effort I up the price up the length of them. And if anyone was going to ask me “Hey do you work with. Could you potentially help our company. Could you potentially do SEO for us?” I wouldn’t have that weird connection of. Well I was doing this for charities so that doesn’t feel right. I was doing this I did actually make a donation for charity and these ones again. But yeah I didn’t feel that weird disconnect if it were to happen.

Pete: First of all–yes I watched the video you made already and was furiously taking notes. I was actually eating lunch while I was watching it. OK crap I can’t do any of this like right now but I was like fiercely taking notes like stuff to go back and implement so I love that. Thank you.

Glen’s lessons learned from reviewing 500+ websites

Pete: So I don’t even know how many hundred Web sites you of included in that story like 500 maybe like over the past couple of years or whatnot?

Glen: That’s yeah. Like 500 Yeah.

Pete: Well first of all that’s insane. Second of all if you were to write like a list of call blog post like “five common mistakes I’ve learned from auditing or looking at like 500 bloggers and e-commerce companies or whatnot.”

Pete: What would some of the common mistakes be?

Pete: It could be like design. It could be like user experience it could be SEO related. What’s the common stuff that you you’ve seen a lot happen over the past two year?

Glen: That is a great question.

Glen: I’m actually preparing a Reddit post for that I’m not I’m not very involved in the Reddit community but I think a headline like “I reviewed 500 new Web sites and video here are the 10 things everyone’s doing wrong” so I kind of have this in my head already so that’s a great question so just a pretty face this. A lot of the Web sites that ask me for feedback are e-commerce stores.

Glen: Ironically a lot of SEO companies–a big percentage of SEO companies want to know how well they ask your company Web site is doing. And Amazon affiliates. That is huge. That is by far the biggest majority. Those who put out articles on the 10 best massage chairs the 10 best razor blades for man whatever it is. That is the the people who are ordering reviews. They want feedback but also a lot of huge companies. I got to review literally billion dollar brands which is pretty insane to me I’ve I’ve worked with seven and eight figure clients with my business but never a billion dollar companies. And that happened doing these videos.

Glen: So the most common thing so there’s a lot of basics I always check. Do you have a favicon? Is your Web site secure? Is it easy to see who is behind the Web site and more importantly is it easy to see what the Web site is about?

Glen: So going back to the Amazon example someone will have. Here are the 10 best massage chairs. And they also have what is a bad example. Here are the 10 best football boots and it’s the same person (soccer boots I guess you call it) than the rest. And it’s the same person writing the same too and you’re thinking Well really should they really be focused on you know advising on both of these? Is it really their speciality should they hone in on one thing? That’s pretty important.

Glen: But the two most common ones is that bloggers try to be very creative with their headlines which is what everyone reads. You go to a website. Yours is great. I don’t know what the exact wording but it’s basically about “profitable impactful blogs” like you know exactly what the website is about as soon as you get there…

Glen: A lot of people say something and they try to be creative and clever–but you still have no idea what the website is about.

Glen: So they say “simple without the complexity” of something you know this isn’t an exact example but you still have no idea. You have to read the small font under the headline which is a massive wasted opportunity. That headline is what everyone’s going to read. That is your chance. They are basically saying “you have five seconds.” Hook me in. Give me this headline that’s going to talk about my pain points my problems bring me into the page and 99% percent of people waste that opportunity in my opinion. [27.0]

Glen: So that is a good one.

Glen: And then the second one which is really common and it tends to do with opt in form so everyone wants to know what the website is about and they want to collect emails from their website as well. And what a lot of people do around they opt in forms as they say “sign up my e-mails, join my newsletter, get my latest updates,” and there is no there is no focus on the person.

Glen: Everyone knows this is news that because you’re asking for their email address. There’s a big forum that says email submit a join again that is your opportunity to talk about what is the benefit of getting the email. So get more search traffic be more productive and run faster jump higher. Be able to dunk on your friends whatever is the benefit of being on your email…

Pete: I’d sign up for that email list by the way.

Glen: All right exactly. So yeah you got to have that pain point or that focus on them not just “hey join my newsletter–it has to be about what is the person going to get from giving you that email. It’s a big missed opportunity.

Pete: So one thing I found kind of refreshing but also really surprising about the review you did for my old site. I was kind of going into it like “Ok this is Glen. He’s going to dive in and it’s going to be like a bunch of like technical SEO stuff right off the bat or something.”.

Pete: I really wasn’t knowing what to expect by the way but I didn’t expect the design and user experience–for lack of a better term and really know what else to call that for a blog–I was expecting that right off the bat.

Pete: And so I can I guess I could be a little bit more specific.

Pete: So there’s a part on my homepage where I am linking to some of my bigger posts and like trying to funnel people to trying to help people find like the categories that they might want to read more about as it’s like kind of hideously ugly like everything’s kind of squished together the format is not right. It’s the themes like built in home page thing. So I just haven’t updated what not. And so you took like one look at that and you’re like “OK this is a good idea here but it looks bad and it’s like kind of hard to navigate” and all this other stuff.

Pete: So my question for you is–Oh–one more thing.

Pete: You had also mentioned this word “professional” when it comes to how a Web site looks how it feels. My question is how important is it for…I’m just going to say bloggers but what I really mean is anybody really trying to grow an online brand whether they’re going to monetize with products or it’s e-commerce definitely probably more important but even bloggers…

How important is professional-looking design? For SEO or otherwise?

Pete: How important is it to have a great design and user experience and look professional?

Glen: Yeah. Makes the most sense. The great question. I actually it was literally last week I read a study about this. It was done over a few years I believe. And what they found is that the more attractive a website was the more usable and the better user experience people mocked as having even if the actual user experience was terrible. So even if it was hard to find things even if everything was just not where you wanted it to be–as long as the Web site looked good people actually rated it as being a lot more usable and user friendly–which is which is pretty funny.

Glen: There are there are cases. Now I have a history of this. I do a lot of split testing and has a lot of landing pages sales pages opt in forms. There are cases when uglier pages do work better. I cannot just say always make your website look pretty always try to make it the best. There are cases where everything just over the top just everything trying to vie for your attention actually does work better. It’s not always but it certainly is an option so we can’t rule that out.

Pete: Can I ask a question about that?

Pete: The first thing I thought of when you said that was, OK. I’m going to go ahead throw this company under the bus. I apologize in advance…

Pete: If anybody likes click funnels or the other. OK. So I use Thrivecart. I’m pretty happy with Thrivecart. But there’s several other checkout page software that is just like filled with huge flashing you know up sell segments of the page boxes right. Like add ons. All this other stuff like tripwire offers. Like it’s just huge and bright and ugly and my opinion from a design perspective…I really don’t know where I was going with this. Is that what you see? What pages worked best as ugly right. I’m just super curious.

Glen: I think it depends on the industry. So I think so. Good one I reviewed this Web site the other day. It was I won’t say the name just in case they don’t want to share but it was about how to find the contact details of any celebrity. And it was very flash to you is very Hollywood and it wasn’t modern it wasn’t attractive. No one would look at the Web site and say oh yeah this was just created like you’ve got a great designer. No one would say that but because of the niche contacting a celebrity that kind of flashy Hollywood theme was just perfect. It just fits so perfect. I said I’m not a huge fan of the design but please don’t change it I think it fits your website perfectly. And it’s just a perfect match. I think it can be very niche specific.

Glen: I think if you have a very tech savvy audience you’d like you do, bloggers looking to build websites, SEO, e-mail lists. They are the kind of people who would appreciate an attractive Web site if you are teaching people how to do gardening knitting. Maybe those audiences don’t care so much. They just want to know that they can find information and actually those audiences hate change the most, so you know you redesign something they can’t find it anymore and drives them a little bit crazy so yeah I would say it’s very niche specific for that.

Pete: That’s a good point. OK. I’m struggling now, where did I interrupt you? lol So sorry Glen.

Pete: Podcast 101 over here. Yeah. So I was asking the general question–How important is it to really have “good design, good user experience, that sort of stuff, look professional.” [9.8]

Glen: Okay. All right. I’m back in my flow and ask I know the answer lol.

Answer: What do you want to have happen?

Glen: So the big thing for me is that design you have to think about what do you want to happen?

Glen: So when I come to your website for the first time Pete you either want me to give you my give you my email address maybe share the website probably unlikely the first time someone visits because they don’t know your value, but I’m sure you wouldn’t be against that or sign up to your podcast on iTunes or wherever it is. And that is kind of your ideal thing for the first second someone comes to your website the first actions you want them to take you want the e-mail address or you want their subscription on a podcast at the very least to be cool of they you know bookmarked it and potentially came back later.

Glen: So the important thing to think about is–does your design help those most important things happen?

Glen: So if I go to convert kid for example who sell you know these news you know you can build your own newsletter and they help you send the e-mails. They don’t like they want me to read their blog post sure but they would much rather I sign up for a free trial account and gave that thing a try. So if that design is not focused on getting me into that funnel it’s kind of a wasted opportunity.

Glen: So a good example of this is I’ve always wanted my home page to be just focused on my blog content like “hey here is what I write–come and check it out. And then if you like it then give me your e-mail.”.

Glen: And I actually find it was ten times better. I get so many more options where my home page is focused on. “Here is just one unique angle and you’re not going to hear about elsewhere. Can I have your email address?”.

Glen: “Forget forget the 500 articles I’ve written about SEO and marketing. Here’s just one idea. I want your e-mail address please don’t pick anywhere else in the page.”.

Glen: So the most important thing is to know what is the conversion you want.

Glen: So Pete if your sole focus is on podcast subscriptions your entire home page should be built around that testimonials. How many five star ratings you have on the different platforms and then huge buttons. You know I subscribe on iTunes and then subscribe on what is it called stitcher. It really depends on what it is that you’re hoping for people to do. But the design should be so simple and so easy to understand that it’s a no brainer for readers to go and take those actions.

Pete: I’m like furiously taking notes here lol. That’s super relevant I love this. I think that’s actually a great tip in general.

Pete: By the way–this could be a little awkward–I straight-up stole…I mean not borrowed either. Like I sort of stole a few of your design trends on Detailed.com and Gaps.com

Pete: Specifically the content. The no side bar.

Pete: First of all you you were the first to pioneer that by any means, but like a year or two ago a lot of the sites I look up to–they were getting rid of their sidebar and I landed on like Gaps.com a year or two ago when I read the first two three years ago when you first started Gaps, I landed on that and I was like This is slick. This is what I want. So I immediately like went and stole it. So sorry. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pete: I tend to appreciate your design specifically detail like the pixel theme and the purple colors is just like it’s like spot on like, I just loved it. I’ve always looked up to detail and gaps for that stuff. So kudos to you.

Pete: Thanks for that! So let’s transition to talking a little bit more about the actual product/service of Detailed.

Pete: I am really curious. It looks like it might be a few things and I was hoping you could give us a little bit of clarity on exactly what Detailed.com Is and what it isn’t and then how we might use it. [00:18:50] So give us the backstory of how Detailed came to be and then maybe we can dive into some use cases? [9.1]

Glen: Sure so my journey started 13-14 years ago. I was 15 years old. I had I had just bought some turntables I thought learning to deejay would be the coolest thing ever. I just bought some turntables and I was and I was going through the websites by learning how to DJ. There was a lot of deejay forums out there and I thought why don’t I just build my own website. Why don’t I just build a deejay website so I can I can be the owner I can be the ad man on the forums and I can control how everything looks and all that kind of thing.

Glen: And some guy he messaged me out of the blue he said this was when MySpace was huge and he said hey we’re building this thing. “My DJ space.” Do you want to be involved? We can kind of team up the whole three of us?

Glen: So I got involved in that with them and I started trying to promote the website and very very quickly. I was literally 15-16 years old. We were ranking first page in Google for DJ forums, DJ equipment. The book DJing for Dummies came out and you know the popular for Dummies series and they talked about us in the book and it was it was incredible. Like oh my God. How how did this happen?

Glen: And I was just fascinated why I hadn’t really tried to rank the website and you just kind of happened. I was trying to figure out why why are we getting this search traffic. How did that happen. So I set up a Web site called ViperChill.com. I was 16-year-old, Dodge Viper was my favorite car from the game the PlayStation game Gran Turismo. And I just set up that websites a terrible name looking back but a lot of people seem to remember.

Glen: But yes so I was just I stopped caring my deejaying I just I have four eyes I have 400 vinyl records sitting in my bedroom and all I cared about was making websites and ranking them on Google so everything I was learning I started writing about it everything every little thing and I was just putting them out there on the vibe your website and I desperately just wanted to do SEO. That was it I just wanted to get clients. I put up all these services pages anything people said do you do this. I said yes. It didn’t matter what it was I would figure it out I’d offer it as a service. And unfortunately very few actually got in touch.

Glen: I had I think my best month was about a thousand dollars in the first two years I had one person pay me eight hundred dollars and another one two or three hundred dollars. And that was it.

Glen: So two to three years went by and I just could not get anyone to pay me.

Glen: So long story short I had quite a few successful years in between. But they had absolutely nothing to do with doing SEO or for other people. They were building my own websites ranking them building my own blogs building my own software. I had some pretty successful WordPress plugins in between that and in about 2014 2015 I finally figured it out after all of these years I figured out what it takes to get SEO clients that pay you a lot of money. This is this is when you don’t have offices and you don’t want to meet people in person.

Glen: So this is when you’re just doing it purely online and the solution for me was that you have to focus on something.

Glen: So the thing I said to you before is people would ask me do you do this. And I would say “yes” that actually made them not want to work with me because it just seemed like I’d do everything and I focused on no one. And as soon as I really honed in on specific services and specific industries I started attracting a lot more clients. Finally having success. So I think 2015-2016 we had me and my business partner Diggy my best friend Dutch guy we had our first seven figure you’re offering SEO services and this came this came two years after finally figuring out how to sell SEO–so it was I had I was I fell in love with it. I failed to sell it for years. I gave up for about three or four years finally figured out what it takes to sell it and then we just went on to some really really quick success.

Glen: And so the problem with ViperChill was that I was writing about everything I was writing about SEO. I was writing about how to get cheaper clicks when you were on Facebook ads how to get more e-mail subscribers what to do on Pinterest or Twitter or whatever was popular at the time. And I just didn’t feel like I had a focus which was ironic because I just realized I’m now making a great amount of money because I’m focusing yet my blog is just on every topic to do with internet marketing and making money it doesn’t make sense.

Glen: So I set up a set up Gaps, and the idea for Gaps was to just focus on online success stories and then later the idea for detail was to just focus on SEO because I did not want the problem I had with ViperChill shows people would come because they loved what I wrote about Facebook ads and then my next article would be about SEO and then half the audience just didn’t care about it at all, or those who came for SEO would hate when I talked about getting more email subscribers. So I really just wanted details to just be about SEO and that’s kind of how that came about.

Pete: So when you started all this and they kept coming to and asking “Do you do thisDo you do this?” You said no more often.

Pete: What was it that you said yes to. Like what was the renewed focus for clients specifically?

Glen: So the renewed focus was actually specific service. So I was very very much focused on Link building. I said I don’t do content I don’t do onsite SEO. My primary focus is link building–if you want links I can help you, if you want anything else. I have 20 other people I could recommend or the other angle that we took is that we set up Web sites targeting different locations.

Glen: So for example we had an agency targeting Singapore. So we said we work with companies in Singapore. If you are anywhere else in the world we don’t want to work with you but we are figuring out Google for Singapore. That’s where we had been many times. It’s also I think it’s the most expensive place in the world. So there’s a lot of companies with money to spend and we said you know if you’re in Singapore we will help you. If not we’re not interested. And then the people who are in Singapore they see that they see their focus on your website. They instantly think this is the agency for me.

On positioning your blog & message

Glen: For example, if I said I help bloggers who are just starting out making their first 500 dollars a month online some people would love that. Yes that’s me. But you you’ll be oh well I’m a bit past that now it’s not the one for me but if I said you know you’re a blogger you’ve been around for a few years you have thousands of listeners but you’re not quite where you want to be. Maybe then you would feel Oh OK. These are the guys I have to talk to.

Glen: So it’s very much about positioning yourself so that when the people come to you, they feel like “Oh that is all they are focused on. This is the agency for me.”

Pete: By the way literally somebody from my mastermind group Voxed to me. I don’t use Voxer or not by the way I use that as like a common term but I realize like not a whole lot of people know what that is.

Glen: I’ve never even heard of it.

Pete: It’s like a it’s like a walkie talkie Messenger app. So it pretty much like replaced email and slack and text messaging for my quote unquote online friends like people my master my group buddies stuff like that. Yeah it’s pretty handy.

Pete: Anyways I had somebody literally came and said the exact same thing to me. I was asking about like this funnel I have set up and they came back with like okay who are you serving?

Pete: Like is it new bloggers specifically?

Pete: In general I think this is a great question to ask oneself. Anybody listening to this like who exactly do I serve?

Pete: Do I serve this audience or this audience like maybe you can serve too. Probably not. You probably have a much better chance at just serving what like you said. So that’s good.

Pete: So many questions circle and I could go a number of ways. So let me lay out the bullet points that I wrote down right here that maybe we could just go back individually and talk about and one to.

detailed

The future of link building

Pete: How can Do You Even Blog listeners readers, etc., get value out of Detailed? [6.2]

I want to get a little bit of clarification on exactly what detail can provide. Sure. And then I thought we might come back and talk about some SEO factors–specifically maybe backlinks.

Pete: But as far as Detailed.com, how can I or how can anybody listening to this come onto the site, and besides the content which I love, how can we how can we use the data that you provide?

Glen: Sure. So when I when I launched detailed the whole idea was it was first is gonna be focused just on SEO and secondly–so what I what I started out I said I told you the first success for me was saying “Hey I just do link building and then that is it.” And everyone who wants links to kind of knew what I offered and when they needed it they would come to me over the years.

Glen: Link building has changed dramatically. So I was building PBNs before Google had ever mentioned PBN ever so before they ever said or we wouldn’t do that or against that. (That is the short version of that is building your own websites that can link to other websites of yours to make link building a bit easier.) I always knew everyone always knew it wasn’t you know totally white had a totally legitimate. But Google had never said anything about it. So I wanted to I wanted to have that going but also kind of adapt on the sites over the years I’ve just been involved in so many different link building tactics and always. First of all making sure I always do them for myself first and have success with them. And then secondly seeing if there’s an opportunity for that.

Glen: So I tried to be early I always try to be early with what is coming next. And I think the most important thing for anyone because a lot of people–you for example Pete you would not buy a PBN link for Do You Even Blog. You would think well I’m building up this brand. I’m trying to do everything legitimate. I don’t want that. You probably wouldn’t buy a paid land you probably wouldn’t care by directories submissions or you know if someone said I can get you 100 guest posts and they will all link to this page you maybe think that’s a bit too much right.

Glen: So I was thinking ahead. So this was almost two years ago now. What are people going to want in the future?

Glen: And for me there was no question about it–it was about building genuine relationships. People you can help, people you can reach out to, building those relationships, and then links and linking to each other comes as a byproduct for that.

Glen: So I was dead set on the idea that Detailed Pro, and this is the whole reason I bought the domain name, I was dead set that Detailed Pro was going to be the future. This is how link building is gonna be done in the future. People are going to care less about PBNs, less about buying things less about gas posting even though that can be done in a legitimate way, and they’re going to care so much about the relationship side of things.

Glen: And I’ve had a lot of success. I don’t know why, but I’ve had a lot of success talking to people who normally wouldn’t talk to me.

Glen: So I’m fairly I’m fairly anonymous and what I do online but I’m somehow able to get the connections and phone calls with people who would normally you know I would never imagine would give me the time of day. So everything I did to make that happen I put that in a Detailed Pro so that other people could do same. And that was pretty much the idea behind it.

Glen: It wasn’t about buying things from anyone it wasn’t about swapping links. It was how can you serve this person even if you a nobody–everyone has some value to give someone else.

Glen: So how can you serve this person in your industry who you think probably wouldn’t give you the time of day, but I’m going to show you actually there’s something you can say to anyone that will make them listen and interested in you. And that was the whole idea from the program.

Glen: I’m gonna be honest I thought this was gonna be a multi-million dollar hugely successful thing. It’s been live for about 18 months now. It took about nine months to put together. We haven’t we we talk about more than 4000 websites and now there’s more than a million words of original unique written content and a huge focus of my time has been educating people because so much of people’s time now they’re still thinking about PBNs and guess posts, paid links, link swaps. So I’ve spent so much time on education it it’s it’s been successful it made all of the money back that I spent on and it’s profitable but it didn’t blow up into this huge thing. But that was the whole idea behind it.

Pete: [00:31:19] Ok, you can feel free to say “I don’t wanna answer that” if you want to, but why do you think that is? Why do you think it didn’t blow up so much? [7.4]

Glen: I think because especially when it comes to things people want they want it. They want to spend money and know what they are getting for that money.

Glen: So if you want to buy guest post you say okay I spent three hundred dollars. I got one thing or I spend a thousand dollars and I got four links. I think everyone is in that mindset now and because with relationships there are no guarantees. So I could become your best friend that could help you with every aspect of your web side but you still might never find the opportunity to talk to me and talk about me on Do You Even Blog. So a lot of people they think oh well that’s just such a waste of time I could have just bought links and done it quicker. So I think people are as with any area of life people are looking for the quick win. So the you know the pill that helps you lose 10 pounds in a week or you know whatever makes you look better or prettier or makes you richer.

Glen: I think everyone’s still too focused on the quick win.

Glen: But I do see that slowly starting to change especially in the world of SEO where you don’t want to lose your rankings. You don’t want to get penalized. You’ve put so much time and money into a website you’d rather do things the quote unquote wide had a legitimate way. So I think people will slowly come around much that I just think I was a bit early to the market.

Pete: I am with you by the way.

Pete: From from my mouth to God’s ears. Please let you be right.

Pete: Let me give you a background, I want to hear what you think about this.

Pete: So my take on this has always been I can’t stand producing I’m going to talk about content specifically as opposed to link building. But in general, I have done numerous competitor analysis, competitor reports, keyword research and seen a lot of content, keywords that I might want to target as well.

Pete: And I look at I don’t like I don’t wanna do that content like just I want to talk about “make money online” or “is this survey company a scam.” “Can you actually make money via swag bucks” or I don’t know just a whole bunch of like crappy content that people were actually searching for. It’s just not what I want to write about that some of my competitors are, right?

Pete: So I started Do You Even Blog after like 40 or 50 other Web sites and blogs I’ve done that were 98 percent failures–for a host reasons I won’t go into right now. I’ve talked about it before on this podcast–but I sort of do even blog is like you know what effort.

Pete: I I just we’ll talk about what I want to talk about and I want to just like have casual conversations like this via podcast, like I just want to do what I want to do for once, and you know hopefully it’ll work out.

Pete: So I have always had this thought of being not only white hat but just doing things though the way I want to do it and what I struggle with this one to get your opinion on–and what I struggle with is watching other people. I won’t name names and it’s not like they’re doing anything bad or illegal or immoral or even black hat, but they are just willing to produce content that I’m not willing to produce or they’re willing to do some marketing strategies. Like I said they’re not necessarily black hat or wrong. But that’s I don’t want to do.

Pete: And I see those people experiencing growth…

Pete: So that’s like hard for me to kind of wrap my head around and what I keep telling mysel–I promise I’ll let you talk ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m going to keep telling myself things like stay the course, build the business you want to build, build the brand you want to build, and it will pay off in the end.

Pete: Do you think that’s true.

Glen: I like to think so for the most part yes.

Glen: So you can you can write a lot of things that you care about, but it doesn’t necessarily mean other people will of course.

Glen: Can I just give one can I give one very specific example real quick is pretty pretty perfect for this?

Glen: You know I wrote it I wrote an article a few years ago about three four years ago was called “How 16 companies are dominating the world’s Google search results.”.

Glen: And I basically showed how there are a lot of brands who own a lot of other brands.

Glen: For example Conde Nast owns about 20 Web sites that always take over Google search results. They owned all the magazines they took all the magazines online. You search for best skin care tips and it looks like you’ve got a really varied search results page. There’s 10 different Web sites on the search results but actually seven of them are owned by Conde Nast. So I did this huge deep dive like Verizon they own tech crunch and all these other Web sites that all seem separate and independent but actually they’re all owned by the same people. I did this huge deep dive. The Web was talking about it. I got more traffic to that article than ever.

Glen: People still talk about it today. But if people don’t share it it’s gone.

Glen: So that the thing I never did with that article is I never focused on any keywords that people might search for.

Glen: It’s not Evergreen. So a few years later it’s not actually as relevant as it was when I wrote it. So I really wanted to share it. It got people talking but unless I keep talking about it. It’s had its day and it’s gone. So that is the kind of thing. I love writing but I also have to keep in mind I’m going to put so much effort into this but it has a shelf life of a few months and that’s when it comes to building a business. It’s not as useful as it could be.

Pete: Yeah I like that. That’s a good example too. It’s fascinating by the way I talked to a guy named Grant Sabatier who runs a millennial moneydot.com just used to do a SEO back in the day for a bunch of college textbooks company. This was like 8 10 years ago or whatnot had massive success there he knows this stuff and it comes to SEO. We were talking about that just a month or two ago. He’s like more and more companies are buying up blogs–just really taking over. Exactly like you said. Worrisome on one hand but that’s cool.

Glen: And they share they share the keywords with each other. So hey we’re ranking for this. There’s no competition. Let’s let’s publish a similar article on the Web site we own and take over all the search results.

Pete: And and link back.

Glen: Right. Right exactly.

Building a brand people want to click on in Google

Pete: So let’s talk a little bit more about SEO factors.

Pete: What do you think the future looks like? I mean we are talking about a little bit of what we what we both hope the future looks like specifically, but in 2019…

Pete: What do you think the people who are really getting ahead on a white hat basis specifically are doing well? What factors are they focusing on?

Glen: Yes. So I think the important thing is if you can build such a brand where people search for something and they’re actively looking at the domain names in the search results waiting for your website to show up so they can click on it.

Glen: That’s that’s when you have it made.

Glen: That is when it matters. So if I search for made another best CRM software and I don’t see HubSpot a Buffer as someone talking about it and I go to page two specifically looking for those two websites, so I know that I trust the authors. That’s when you’ve probably figured it out.

Glen: So that there are exceptions. There are incredible web sites that I’ve been hurt badly. I don’t want to be negative. It’s actually actually think we’re in a great position right now. There’s more people online. There’s more people with computers. There’s more people searching Google. There are more ads than ever before in Google search results which is a bit of a shame. But but yeah there’s more people searching there’s more Web sites there’s more people spending money online.

Glen: We’re in we’re in a great time economically it might not last forever but everything is great. I certainly don’t want to be negative but yeah the people who are doing the people who are who are going to dominate over the next few months specifically focusing on white hat side of things are the people who are building brands around an industry.

Glen: So Vice search for “ClickFunnels review” and I see 10 results. But I see Do You Even Blog then I see and I like “OK I want Pete’s thoughts,” if you can have that in people’s mind because you build a brand that is trustworthy and people care for. I think those are the websites that are going to get results.

Glen: So for example right now I feel like this has probably been happening for a year or two maybe I’m too in the Internet marketing and online make money bubble but I feel like people don’t really like when they see Entrepreneur and Inc and Forbes–like for the last five years for this has had a huge overly ad before you can even see a search result in this celebrity world variety do that you click on variety and a search result you have to wait and watch an ad for 20 seconds before you can go to their their article and I think eventually if if Google is ready to use their own search engine those things are going to be they’re not going to work so well anymore.

Glen: So if you are in the mind if you can get in the mind of people searching for something and “oh I wish this person that I care about has written something on that topic, I’ll click that one.” I think those are the people who are going to dominate going forward.

Pete: I think that’s actually fantastic.

Pete: Just yesterday I was googling “how to make French toast.” I know how to make French toast. To be fair for everybody listening to this. But I was specifically looking to try something new in recipes or whatnot so I did what everybody would do, I went to Google and I typed in “French toast bread” or like “how to make French toast” two separate Google queries, and by this point I do a lot of googling for recipes I know I wasn’t necessarily looking for a specific name brand to click on but I was definitely looking for those to avoid.

Pete: There are like three or four common, you know huge, by the way, recipe sites that I just can’t stand because it’s 850 words of content with seven ads and between there before I even get to the recipe, and it looks terrible on mobile because they’re still cookie disclaimers that pop up all the time for some reason, I use the brave browser. Maybe that’s why.

Pete: But’s it just. I know what to avoid.

Pete: So my question is: what practical stuff do you think people can take away to their own blogs that could help them become more trustworthy and authoritative and build that more personal brand that people will want to click on?

Glen: Yeah absolutely.

Glen: I think a lot of it comes down to just really caring about the topic. I think if you if you’re writing something just a writer and just a rank for it I think that comes across. But when it’s something you are really passionate about then I think that shows through.

Glen: As a good example I don’t watch cooking videos at all. I do not cook at all. But there was there was a video I watched recently it was I think was from BuzzFeed food or whatever they call our brands and it was this girl shoes from Singapore originally and she wanted to make the the the food the cookie the pineapple cookie that she remembers when she was a child and you can just see that passion come across. There was no doubt she was so desperate to provide so much value in this video and finally nail the cookie and show people how it’s made.

Glen: And I think like when a when I create an article about the “16 companies dominating Google” I think it just comes across I don’t care about ranking. You have to keep in mind your audience.

Glen: We have a tech savvy audience so you start putting out there. You know “this company review” or “this company review” and everyone sees you’re just going for affiliate commissions. You know you have a tech savvy audience they’re going to pick up on that.

Glen: So what do I think my audience pick up when I write something that isn’t here to rank?

Glen: It’s just I want to share it with you and I think people appreciate that.

Glen: So first and foremost you have to care about what it is that you’re writing about.

Glen: My strategy these days because I actually wrote–I kind of regret I wrote so much content that was just focused on what I wanted to write. And ironically as an SEO blogger it was never focused to rank for something. So what I my personal strategy is these days that I wait till there’s a topic or an angle I can take on a topic that is so unique and so interesting–and then I will try my best to keep that you know legitimate and authentic–but also kind of word some keywords in the titles, into the headlines, so focused on what you want to talk about, but don’t neglect that six months from now when it’s not on your email list when you’re not sharing it on social media you can still be getting people to come and read that because you actually put a keyword in the headline that people might be searching for on Google.

Glen: A good example of that is I recently had the opportunity to share a really really good case study on my website.

Glen: This guy Sumit. He reached out to me privately said Glen I’m making up to thirty five thousand dollars a month. My web site’s 18 months old. I’d love to share the story. Now I know my audience and this is all from search engine traffic. I knew my audience was going to go wild for that and they would talk about it and they would love it and they would appreciate that I shared it. But a month down the road two months down the road everyone’s gonna forget about it. It’s gonna be sitting on page two of my blog no one’s going to care about it. So I made sure I put a put a few keywords in there and it ranks now number one in Google for “expired domains SEO.”

Glen: So most importantly write about what you want to write about. Don’t just think of the search engines first.

Glen: I think that comes across in anything that you put out to the world.

Glen: But yeah don’t neglect that it will die. You will stop sharing it. People will stop talking about it in a social media. They think everyone else has seen it already and done.

Glen: Don’t neglect the SEO side of things as well.

Pete: I think that’s good advice. This just randomly occurred to bit and have this written down.

Updating and refreshing content for SEO

Pete: How do you feel about re-releasing old content?

Related reading if you’re interested in this: How to update old blog posts for SEO –> a good one!

Pete: Like literally going back and…it could be updating, refreshing, but also changing the dates it was published in WordPress. How do you feel about that?

Pete: Should that be like common practice or is that really not necessary?

Glen: It is so incredibly valuable right now. I can not overhype it enough.

Glen: I have a document in front of me it’s literally just called “Google freshness” about every experiment I put together on changing the dates of articles and how the search traffic changes. I think one of the biggest missed opportunities right now in a lot of bloggers and Web sites is that they still have titles referencing 2018 or 2017 in search results…or actually a com thing people do is that they put 2019 in the headline but the date, you know the little gray date that Google put next to search results, that they haven’t figured out how to update that.

Glen: They don’t know how to do it. So there’s a bit of a disconnect between people searching and not clicking on their results. And I found that just changing that not only could improve rankings, but it can massively improve improve click through rate as well.

Glen: So the search engine side of things. Absolutely huge.

Glen: There are as far as just you know general people coming to your Web site and people coming to your community. I am working on an update. I know I keep using this example but the “16 companies dominating Google,” I can’t just add I just can’t just edit that article, I pretty much have to write the whole thing again because it’s you know it’s three years old and the search results have changed massively.

Glen: And actually Verizon and Conde Nast they actually own ten more companies than they did before. So it has to be a brand new article.

Glen: But yeah absolutely if there are if there are things you think…first of all the most important thing to do is if you’re not sure if you should update something if it’s just for SEO purposes. Go to the search results, is Google rewarding and ranking recent content?

Glen: So is the content that is showing in the top search results for the terms you want to rank for. Has it been updated recently? Do they have recent years and the title tags? Or is Google you know very stubborn for example signs of a heart attack in the health space. Google don’t want to show week old content for that they want to make sure the people who might be having a heart attack are going to get valuable advice.

Glen: So some industries brand new articles ranked very well some don’t at all. If you care about the SEO side of things go and look at the search results.

Glen: But as a going back to what I said before if you feel it needs updating if it’s something you care about something you want to share with the world that’s going to matter.

Glen: And we were talking about headlines earlier and saying you know you’ve really got to focus on your industry. I think you have to be very polarizing as well.

Glen: So some people have to think “God I hate that they went back and updated that why I already read that I don’t want to read it again” because there’s going to be some people who think “I’m so glad I’m so happy they updated that article. This is the person I’m sticking with.”.

Glen: So you almost have to be polarizing at times and just focus focus on yourself first of all.

Pete: It’s funny how…Well I’m just speaking from personal experience here….

Pete: It’s funny how we kinda discount the benefits of that sort of stuff.

Pete: For example I have I don’t know actually exactly how many blog posts and podcasts I have on do you have a blog right now but it’s it’s over 100 hundred less than two hundred I think over 100 some 120 maybe.

Pete: Not only do I have like old content that could definitely use like a little refresh, but actually just have like broken stuff.

Pete: Like one of the articles you looked at in the video was from May 2017 or July 2017 or something like that, and it had like a ConvertKit link on there. I haven’t used ConvertKit in like nine months or something. I just haven’t gone and updated it and I don’t know why exactly, but probably because it’s not at the forefront of my mind. I’m not seeing that as a high ROI activity on my time when in truth it very well could be. Especially if it continues to pick up traffic via organic or or otherwise.

Glen: So you could also do what Pat Flynn did–he basically did a self audit of his Web site and then he made content out of that. So you could make a podcast episode saying here’s what I went back and changed. Here’s what was important to me to update.

Glen: I’m sure they’ll be valuable.

Pete: Taking notes. Writing that down. Steal Pat’s ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

Pete: I don’t want to take up too much your time–OK if I ask you just one or two frequently asked questions that I tend to ask a lot of people?

Glen: Sure as this is this is something you want me to quickfire?

Pete: Nope.

Pete: Who are you learning from right now?

Glen: A guy called Nick Eubanks.

Glen: Nick is basically–I run an agency that is you know my pretty much my sole focus I run into a marked agency. Nick also runs an Internet marketing agency incredibly successful offices a lot of team members.

Glen: I still love following the old guys Pat Flynn. I’ve been following Pat for more than 10 years we’ve been talking and he just comes out with this thing on Kickstarter a brand new stand, tripod.

Pete: SwitchPod, right?

Glen: Yeah he just somehow manages to reinvent everything he touches seems to be a huge success. I still love following his story. Yeah. Those two people are hot hot on my mind at the moment.

Glen: And there’s a guy called Brendan Hufford. You actually had him on not too long ago.

Pete: Yeah totally cool guy.

Glen: Yes. So Brendan was a student of mine who was not a student, so I have a product I’m not going to try to pitch anything. I have a product by building a marketing agency and I’ve been running this for about six years now. Brendan never boarded but every year he followed my–you know you put out those presale videos you give value but you hope that people will still buy the program. He only watched the give value stuff and he never bought anything for me and he had a lot of success with that and I just love his positivity and his focus.

Glen: So he’s not some huge rock star. But I love that he was on your show and he’s he’s also someone I enjoy following as well.

Pete: Do you know Jason Zook?

Glen: I do. Yes.

Pete: Jason. Actually I can’t remember which way it was either Brennan recommended know Jason or not no no. But I’ve known Jason for several years. I think it was him that introduce Brennan to me and I liked that they both kind of shared the same…I guess you could call it a branding mentality?

Pete: They are both really skilled in kind of standing out and holding their own ground as far as a brand that kind of gets noticed and makes people laugh and smile and you know people love that they love to stick around for that.

Pete: There’s like a 60 second promo video for Brendan’s SEO thing that he’s doing right now–think he’s launching a course in the back it and I’m actually not sure–but was like 100 days of SEO or something like that and I saw promo video and twitters like the 15 20 seconds maybe and he didn’t even talk about the product at all lol.

Pete: Like it was just some quirky humor thing that people were still like sharing and kind of laughing about and I was like “I like that.” I love this guy like I just appreciate that sort of humor branding and positioning and all that great stuff. So that’s cool.

Glen: Can I give a quick quick should out for Jason? Because I actually have no connection with him at all. I followed what he’s doing but I’m on Gaps, I did it was about a team about two years ago, I did a case study where I said I’m going to build a website in 28 days and I’m gonna make money, and I used a pseudo name.

Glen: It was something Musk, Austin Musk literally like Elon Musk.

Glen: So I asked people “I’m about to launch this podcast will you sponsor it?” And a lot of people said no of course, they like who the hell is this Austin musk? I got a lot of jokes about Elon and the podcast wasn’t alive–but Jason, not knowing it was me in any way whatsoever, he actually agreed to sponsor one of the episodes so I will always appreciate that and give him credit for that.

Glen: That was a very cool thing he did for a stranger not knowing what was going on.

Pete: So yeah I remember I remember that you were you were reading blog posts in podcast format or something like that?

Glen: Yeah. That was it. Yes spoken growth was the name of the the whole angle and we.

Glen: Yeah in 28 days we made no huge amount of money. It was 450 dollars we made in the 28 days using no name in a brand new website.

Glen: And yet Jason was fifty dollars of that.

Pete: I love that. I like Jason. He’s a great guy. Okay. I’ll let you go here in a sec. But one more question.

Pete: [00:54:01] You can just respond instinctively asses to everybody maybe you’ve heard it before but what is one thing you wish other bloggers would stop doing immediately? [9.2]

Glen: Stop thinking that you cannot talk to some of the people that you think you can’t.

Glen: All right Pat. Jason. Brandon. Whoever it is. And stop thinking you don’t have the value to connect with someone.

Glen: I can I can pick up a total stranger off the street and they will send you an email tomorrow and you will respond even if you’ve never heard of the name. There is some value you have that is incredible to someone else and you don’t have to think of yourself like I’m just starting out. No one’s going to care. That is not the case.

Glen: There is something some story, some part of your life where you can provide value to other people and they will care about what you have going on.

Pete: I love that. And so that actually ties back around nicely to kind of promote what you know you don’t want to specifically give a pitch…but I have just a really cool feeling about all the stuff I see on Detailed and I have for like a year now.

Pete: So where can people go just to learn more follow what you’re doing if they want to try it out for themselves where would you point people?

Glen: Sure. So I don’t have anyone who checks my inbox for me or anything like that so if anyone wants to reach out directly Glen just one ‘n’ I hate being called Glen with two Ns.

Glen: Glen@detailed.com. Email me and I answer all my emails, I will not pitch anything if you have any questions about anything we’ve talked about but yeah otherwise.

Glen: I’m very proud of the newsletter we have on Detailed. Our column we have a Facebook group for SEOs which we also find on that newsletter, and that’s my primary focus.

Pete: Well Glen but thank you so much for taking the time whoever you are.

Pete: I enjoy what you put out for sure content wise. I’m looking forward to see where this goes. Detailed.com specifically but everything you do for the most part. So yeah I mean thank you so much for coming on I appreciate you.

Glen: Piers thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

What did you think of this chat with Glen? Please drop me some comment love below!

I’d love to hear from you ๐Ÿ™‚ โœŠ

12 Responses

  1. Hey Pete and Glen!

    Mine old website was one of the blogs that Glen reviewed and I got to say that… despite all the great things and insight he shared on his review, I’ve actually felt a little demotivated and down with his comments on what I had and had not done.

    But the important part is that it made me think and, most of all, change and apply Glen’s tips and advices to change things around. So much so that I ended up switching domain names and re-inventing my brand and business.

    Definitely a great interview with this SEO legend, very interesting questions and answers — I actually took notes to keep the lots of insight and information.

    Best to both of you and keep it up,
    Louie Luc

    1. Ha! I feel you on that as well Louie. (and not just on Glen’s feedback). I’m glad you’ve made changes and hopefully it’ll be made way better in the long run? You got this brother ๐Ÿ™‚

      And thank you for being here!

    2. Hey Louie,

      You worried me for a second with that intro.

      I’ll have to re-watch that one as the last thing I ever want to do is demotivate anyone.

      (I actually make an effort to be positive as often as I can and always end up talking about something good.)

      Wishing you the best of luck with whatever you do next!

  2. It’s awesome to see Glen back on the air, great mind to learn from!

    The focusing on one thing is a business changing thing and somehow so difficult! How do you decide and know that you will make the right decision?

    I also believe that his relationship based, brand building and value add outlook on link building is and should be the future!

    1. Haha to your question: I have no clue, but if you figure it out let me know!

      lol

      The only thing I can really think of is to think of those decisions as more like dating, less like marriage. Nothing is as permanent as we think. We can always iterate/adapt (which we do), as well as start from scratch.

  3. Thanks. Enjoyed the stories and the lessons.
    I went searching for “How 16 companies are dominating the worldโ€™s Google search results” and looked at page 2 onward of results. Found viperchill on page 3. Just wondering if the newbie even has a chance?!
    Excellent article btw!

    1. Of course!

      But the way newbies have a chance is by producing kick-ass content until they’re not newbies anymore. ?

      ๐Ÿ˜‰ Get after it!

  4. Pete, try to hit CMD+F (Mac) or CTRL+F (PC/Windows) and search for the word ‘like’. Notice the number of occurrences. 150 (before this comment)! Then scroll down and notice that it’s you using the word constantly when you can’t express yourself, which unfortunately is about once or twice every sentence. Yikes (we Germans have a word for this feeling: Fremdscham)! Kill your darlings and freakin’ nuke your “like”, please. Pretty please!

    I was looking forward to reading this, but like, it was just, like, impossible. It not only sounds, like, retarded. It literally, like, hurts to read. Very, like, unpleasant. Not kick-ass’ish.

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