Genius Network Talk: Mastering the Art of SEO

It's been awesome. I appreciate that I met a lot of really great people, and the caliber of people here is really impressive. I've been stuck with my business, where to go with it, and what I want to do with it. And I've got so many ideas now, things I'm not going to do and things that I want to do. 

Google was founded on September 4th, 1998, which, by the way, was just 8,561 days ago. The search engine wasn't known as Google at first. Its original name, anyone? Backrub. Since then, Backrub, can you imagine? Google has grown to be the search engine for nearly everyone on the Internet.

Since numbers are important, especially to Google, here are some important numbers for you to think about. 4.7 billion is the number of people who use the Internet. 56.5 billion is the number of web pages on the Internet. 201 million is the number of active websites on the Internet. 

Thinking of all those numbers, how could someone possibly find you on your website? There's this amazing discipline called SEO. Which, as you know, stands for Search Engine Optimization. It's not new, you know about it. However, there's a secret keyword to get even more traffic to your website. There is a word that Stephan Spencer has discovered that is used effectively to help as many clients such as Volvo, Sony, and Chanel just to name a few, plus many Genius Network members increase their web traffic.

He's been doing this since Google arrived on the scene over 20 years ago. He's an active writer, podcaster and speaker. His first book is The Art of SEO. Look at these 994 pages, and what we're going to do is read this line by line.

Then we're going to discuss it every few sentences. Like you're in a 12-step group. It's over 900 pages, and it's a gigantic book, but he's going to share the magic word concept for you in just 10 minutes. Wait until you hear the magic word so you can have it working for you. Stephan's title is Mastering the Art of SEO: Here's why Google doesn't trust your website. 

Please welcome the master at this, Stephan Spencer. 

Thank you, sir. I love you guys. You've changed my life. I mean that. In 10 minutes is why Google doesn't trust your website. What's that magic word that Joe referred to? Well, it's trustworthiness, are you worthy of trust? The problem here is that Google doesn't trust you because you're guilty until proven innocent, as far as Google's concerned.

So much of the internet is spam, and especially new websites, that they just figure you're probably spam too.  In fact, Google's Quality Rater Guidelines, 160 pages of guidelines and advice for their quality raters, an army of human reviewers that work for Google.  They use this data, of course, as training data for the machine language algorithms.

These human reviewers are looking for what Google refers to as EAT (Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness). I wrote a whole article for Search Engine Land on this topic. I highly recommend reading it if you have a chance. It's all about EAT and how important it is for marketers. The first thing we need to do is understand our trust score. 

There's an amazing free tool, which is actually a paid tool that gives you some free data. You can go in without paying for it. I do recommend signing up, but it's called Majestic. If we go to, we put in our domain name, and in this case, I put in Capital Logix. Thank you, Howard, for being willing to use your site as a volunteer.

Here's the problem: it's a 15 out of a hundred, and that's not very good, but it actually gets worse because that's on a logarithmic.  That is on a logarithmic scale,  meaning that it's not 15% of the way up the mountain. It is at that first little black flag in the inset in that little red area.  I think an ant might have walked one step up that mountain.

What do we do when we have that kind of situation? Well, it actually even gets worse than that because, sorry, Howard. You're more important than you are trusted. Because there's another metric if we go back. Do you see that 29? That is your importance.  Here's the problem with that: more important than trusted?

Think of somebody, I don't know, maybe in the White House? Who is more important than trust? You don't want to be that guy.  Now, it's an unfair comparison, I know, but here's my little personal website with more trust than importance. So you want that.  How do we do it? We get links, but not any old links, not links from Jim Bob's personal homepage, from sites that are highly trusted like or Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Princeton,  how do we do that?

I'm going to give you a handful of different strategies and we're going to look at specific examples that have achieved those strategies successfully. The first is reactive PR and here we have a free tool called Haro, who's heard of that? Awesome. You just sign up, you get these emails.

Here's an example email from Meriam Webster. This opportunity is for Meriam Webster. Yes. The dictionary people and Scott Donald are not in the room.  It's an educational app that's for financial literacy for kids. This opportunity is educational apps for kids, and they're looking for education experts to weigh in.

So this is reactive PR, journalist, TV producer, is already looking for sources for experts, and you could be the one.  Unfortunately, for that particular opportunity, the deadline closed on the 8th. But here's one that actually came through, this is, a very high authority, high trust website.

And this is my lovely, amazing, beautiful, talented wife getting a great link and mention and a quote. She's referred to as a relationship expert and life coach. Nice quote from her. And there she is right there. I love you, baby. It's a great opportunity, right? And it was just there for the taking looking for sites like Harrow and Session that list these opportunities.

And then you just sign up. Look at AskMen's trust score, 73, not too shabby. Example number two is looking for resource hubs. These are sites that list lots of different resources, and yours could be one of them. One of my clients is and I found Stanford Accelerator Laboratory had a resource page all about network monitoring tools. is one of those amazing network resource tools that should be listed on this page, but weren't all it took was clicking on that link for Les Cottrell, the guy who runs this page sending him a quick email 15 minutes later. I kid you not he emails back, and the link is added. 

It can be that easy for example number three is being a contributor or a columnist. Yes, it's working for free but if you pick the right media outlets to work for free for, like for example, Harvard Business Review, this is an article I wrote and got accepted, and it includes links to my site. Example number four is when you get inquiries, from your press page from TV producers and journalists.

So let's see how that looks now this is what would happen if he addressed the comms media page and their press page which they didn't have five years ago when we started working together now, it's one of the first things I recommended and he had no idea that he was getting mentioned by the Washington Post, Gizmodo, USA Today, CNN, Mashable, The Independent and CBS.

Amazing, right? And it was so easy to find this because, just go to Google News, and you put in your brand. And look at that! There's PC Magazine coverage just from last month. I don't even know if it's on his press page yet, but it should be.  So you can put in your own brand, if it's a multi-word phrase, like Gender Intelligence, it's Barbara Annis company, definitely put quotes around that, so it doesn't find the word gender somewhere on the page, and then Intelligence somewhere else. 

This is the end result for Chris. Pretty cool. ABC 15, Arizona featured him. He didn't have to go find that opportunity. They found him through his press page.  Example number five, is what I call TV appearance plus, right? But wait, there's more. The TV producer in this case wanted my daughter Chloe an SEO expert. Yes, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, to be on MSNBC

And she pitched well, how about I contribute an article as well, and I'll go into further depth that I can't do in the TV segment because, you know, we only have three or four minutes. And they said, yes. And look at that. She is now published on with a couple of links at the bottom, including one that says SEO expert.

And you know how Google works is, Google takes the words that are underlined or the anchor text and associates them with the page you're linking to. In this case, taking the words SEO expert and applying that to her website. That's why you don't want to use click here as your anchor text because unless you want to rank for click here in Google, that's not gonna help you.

I mean, it won't help you as much. And then the great thing here she did was she worked in a mention of her story of being a 14-year-old SEO expert and online marketer making a passive income at the time, and then able to grow that into speaking at conferences by age 16. She linked to her About page and shared her signature story in further depth on her About page.

And here's a picture of her at 16 years old, doing a speaking engagement at SMX. This was an interview after she did her speech.  And you can take it to a whole other level with your About page and turn it into a timeline. So look at this if you start scrolling down in my about page, I have a whole story of struggle, a hero's journey, and you know, there's my daughter, there's me on my first magazine cover.

And look at that. My before and after. I had a big physical transformation. Thanks to Tony Robbins. If you want to see that a little bit more in detail, look at that. That was me in 2009 and then 2010, just not even a year later.  All thanks to walking on 2000-degree hot coals in my bare feet and not getting burned. 

The last thing I want to share with you is that trusted links are earned by merit and their hard work and you cannot game the system. If you try, you could end up like this guy. This site is in almost penalty pen territory. They have a lot of toxic links. I'm not going to say who it is, but this is a new client that had me audit their site and I found this.

Sites from virus and malware-infected sites and all kinds of really unsavory sites linking to them. Get out there and build some links. 

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