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Interview With SEO Whiz Andy Crestodina (Podcast)

Treasure mapHere at Mirasee, we don’t generally talk about Search Engine Optimization (how SEO works), or recommend it as a strategy.

However, in this podcast, Danny sits down with Content Chemistry author and SEO whiz Andy Crestodina, who has some very interesting and groundbreaking ideas that may open up a whole new world of SEO to you. It turns out that SEO might not be such a dirty practice after all, and it might even be exactly what you need to kick your online business into overdrive.

It’s a landmark thing that we’re even having this conversation so you can be sure that this podcast is going to be a wild ride through the dark, scary recesses of SEO that will leave you stunned with a great new outlook.

So what are you waiting for? Listen to the podcast below!

Distilled Wisdom

  • The key thing to remember when approaching the scary world of SEO? Don’t worry about the search engines, worry about your content.
  • Andy thinks SEO should be renamed “Relevance Indication,” as when we practice SEO, we’re really just indicating relevant content. It’s about making sure the topic you’re writing about aligns with phrases people are searching for, and doing it because you really think it’s valuable content.
  • SEO is kind of like Library Science, it arises out of necessity because people are looking for so many things. Because searches are how the internet is organized, people looking for so many things. It’s foolish not to pay attention to what they’re searching for or try and find a good keyword. You do that so you can make your great content something more equally discoverable.
  • It’s not just about search results, it’s also an indicator for the audience! You want to pick the language and wording that resonates the most with your audience. You’re telegraphing that relevance as much to your readers as you are Google.
  • Ask yourself, “Did you create the best page on the internet for that topic?” If you don’t think you did, you don’t deserve to be ranked accordingly! And you don’t deserve that traffic. If you trick the search engine and you don’t have a good page to back up those hits, your bounce rate will be sky-high and people won’t care what you’re doing. You’ll eventually get outranked by someone with REAL, solid content.
  • Link-building is relatively simple. It’s a snowball effect. You write a great article, people keep linking to it, and then your relevance skyrockets. If it ranks high, people will find it and link naturally, you don’t need to build fake sites to generate your own links.
  • Google Keyword will tell you what people are searching for, and that allows you to better tailor your post to be searchable. You can see how many people are searching particular phrases, and adjust your wording accordingly.
  • If you had three hours to set aside to apply these SEO tips and tricks, what should you do? You should analyze your site’s “authority,” or how much weight it carries in the internet search scheme of things. You can do this using a site called Open Site Explorer. Think of your “authority” like a weight class in boxing. You need to find your sight’s weight class in order to properly optimize your website for searches. After you know your weight class, try to find searched words that are not super popular phrases, but not still pretty competitive against your site.
  • Remember: You can borrow the weight class of a bigger blog with guest posting and you can use much bigger, more popular phrases!



I’d love to hear from you  guys in the comments, what do you think of SEO? Do you optimize your site for search engines? If so, how?

About Megan Dougherty

Megan Dougherty is an alumnus of Mirasee and is passionate about online education, small business and making a difference in the world. You can find out what she's up to and how side-hustles will take over the world at Follow her on Twitter at @MeganTwoCents.


  1. AbegunrinYinka says:

    Thank you guys at Firepole Marketing for always dishing out GOOD ELEMENTS that can lead one to success.
    I don’t have a site of my own yet (soon have one), but I think the cental focus of SEO is just to ensure that our contents are ranked well in search engine specifically Google.
    But in specific terms our contents should at least be meaninful to visitors, applicable to readers and bring conversions to authors of such contents.

  2. David Tong | Salevoke Marketing says:

    As much as I enjoy getting SEO traffic, the fact of the matter is still the same regardless of how great your content is.

    Everyone’s guessing.

    We’ve seen it multiple times from legit sites that get outranked by crap content sites and the SEO apologists always say that “it won’t stay there for long before Google finds out and deindexes or penalizes them”.

    The question is, until that actually happens, what can you do about your traffic, income, lead generation plans?

    Google publisher poster-boy Tim Carter, known for his great site that made him a lot of money off Adsense suffered the same fate as many other legit content/business sites that couldn’t recover until his “celebrity” status got him direct access to Google support.

    How many of us has that privilege to get a simple reply from Google?

    While SEO is still a game to play if you’re into affiliate marketing or non-reputation-based businesses, it’s not exactly something any business can lean on.

    When almost all the experts at SEOMoz and other big SEO community can’t agree and guarantee rankings, how can that be a sustainable marketing endeavor?

    Treat all SEO traffic as bonus traffic and leave it at that, write for readers and forget “optimizing” for a system that’s more fickle than a Jersey Shore character.

  3. Michael Bely says:

    “Did you create the best page on the internet for that topic?” If you don’t think you did, you don’t deserve to be ranked accordingly!”…
    I believe SEO helps promote your content in the eyes of search engine even if your content is not the greatest on the internet. Although the content should be good if you build an authority website, otherwise you are right – people will leave your website soon. Unfortunately, search engine is not the wise man who knows everything well and judges content fairly. Top Google does NOT return the really best stuff on a subject. It returns what it currently thinks should be the best (Mat Cutts is a cool guy, but he says what he wants web masters to do, and not how Google actually works.) There are many vivid examples of how Google returns wrong results. E.g. type in the search box “best web hosting” – and what will you get on top positions of the SERP? You will get the websites that promote the hosting that simply offer the BIGGEST affiliate commissions (or are the part of EIG group) and this does NOT mean that those web hosting are the best. In many ways it is quite the opposite – those web hosting companies are hugely oversold and overloaded.
    Sorry for writing such a long comment. But I did a research and was really disappointed (if not to say angry) when I got to know how Google can be (read “is”) wrong when returning the “best” results. So the idea of my comment is that it is not necessary that your content should be the best to rank well. But of course, it is better if your content is the best.

  4. Jon says:

    One thing that wasn’t covered much was the more technical stuff. Again this isn’t to trick the search engines but to increase website quality and accessibility.

    Interesting to listen to others views and inputs.

  5. Jarom Adair says:

    That’s a bit too much of a blanket statement for me to be able to agree Mary.

    I’d like to believe that the best content will win, but my experience is that small blogs in many tech-savvy industries don’t stand a chance against larger businesses with full-time SEO professionals who are also gunning for the long tail keywords. And as the less tech savvy industries are realizing the traffic that search engines provide, any keyword worth pursuing will also go to the larger businesses.

    That’s my prediction–in the next 5~10 years decent SEO results will only be available to those who can hire someone to work on it full time. I’d love to hear any arguments to the contrary (I really would like to see a situation where the little blogs can compete).

  6. Iain says:

    For my niche site, I tend to write more for SEO. However, I don’t try to go into overkill mode or anything.

    When I write for my other website, I try to focus less on SEO and more on what people are looking for.

    It’s not always easy to have a balance betweetn for SEO and for people.

    I optimize my sites to the best of my abilities using Yoast’s plug in. Also, since Genesis framework 2.0 I will have to look into support a bit more to ensure that I have set it up correctly.

  7. Yinka says:

    Though i havent listen to the podcast yet but i always find reasons to visit firepolemarketing. com for greater insight. Thanks alot.

  8. Jarom Adair says:

    So here’s the question–are there certain industries where we shouldn’t even bother competing on the search engines?

    With so many large marketing competitors out there throwing money at SEO who already have large authoritative sites, is there any room for small marketers like me in the search engine rankings? Or even people like Danny?

  9. rob says:

    Appreciated the value and structure of this blog post. As a consultant, it’s a challenge to stay ontop of a-z marketing issues along with client work and filling the pipeline.
    I Liked that you you summarized the content (thank you) and your other related links led to content I could review and leverage quickly.

  10. Robert Marsh says:

    Megan great Post.

    I believe SEO is a must to pursue with a site in this day and age.

    However, my perspective on it has changed in the last few years. No more of these packages where you buy 10,000 links to spam forums or blogs.

    It just does not work anymore with Google. Plus, you just get a bunch of crappy articles on the Web.

    Content that is relevant and quality is the way to go. And attracting others to your blog and creating “‘link magnets” is vital as Andy points out.

    I still implement some submissions to only one article directory.

    But what works for me is to write in a way that engages people and and builds up trust with people and put them in a state of mind where they want to link to me.

    It will not happen overnight but many of us need to get out of the mode of ‘writing for just search engines’.

    In the long term it will not be effective for you.


  11. Charles says:

    SEO for me has not become what I wish it to be as far as Article marking is concerned.

    Sometimes you hear the guru’s say it doesn’t work and at another time they praise it to high heaven.

    Then you do it on your blogging and nobody bothers to read you.

    But put up a line of Ad from Google and you will see immediate response.

    That’s my take!

  12. Amandah says:

    I liked the *secret sauce* tip of doing more keyword research.

    This was an amazing podcast. I copied the link to the post into Evernote so I can refer back to it.

    *I checked out Orbit Media Studios web design. Nice web designs! Clean and user friendly. 🙂

  13. Michal says:

    I try to learn at least one thing from every post I read here. What I got from this one is: “Did you create the best page on the internet for that topic?”

  14. Thanks for your comment, John. I agree that this “snowball effect” isn’t easy. But it seems like there’s an inverse relationship between what is easy and what works. It is “simple” because it’s not a complicated tactic, but creating stellar content takes hard work, writing skills and practice (along with help from Danny)

    I’m a big believer in creating high-quality, highly visible content as a way to create link magnets. (It also doesn’t hurt if you do interesting, mentionable things in your business) I wrote a blog post about this approach, which you can see here:

    As an example of itself, it’s relatively high quality and it ranks well for “SEO secrets” Webmaster tools is telling me that 29 domains have linked to it. I believe that at least 25 of those are organic. Hope this helps illustrate the point.

    Thanks again for your comment and input! It’s obvious you have a strong appreciation for SEO …and you don’t think of it as a dirty word. 🙂

  15. John Gibb says:

    hi Megan

    You’ve said…

    “Link-building is relatively simple. It’s a snowball effect. You write a great article, people keep linking to it, and then your relevance skyrockets. If it ranks high, people will find it and link naturally”

    Allow to share my 2 cents…

    The SEO experiments I ran in the past 10 years tell me SEO and link building is not simple, unless you know what you’re doing.
    Actually, you have to keep an eye on what Google is doing (and require from you) to be able to adjust before they do the move… be one step ahead G. That’s hey.

    The snowball effect you’re referring to is real when you’re one of the few in your niche or industry creating the hottest article or resource, otherwise in competitive niches such as social media, blogging, online marketing, health, fitness, etc., it’s very hard to compete with the big guys and skilled writers and ruthless researches…

    I optimize all my 300+ mini sites, and niche blogs, otherwise I couldn’t rank, I also generate and attract links… this never stops working…

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