Unveiling Barry Schwartz’s SEO Insights and Expert Advice
Meet Barry Schwartz, a highly respected SEO expert whose knowledge and experience have earned him a trusted position in the industry.
In a recent interview, we had the privilege of tapping into Barry’s expertise to gain insights into the current state of SEO, future trends, and invaluable tips for successful campaigns and career development.
Barry Schwartz’s contributions to the SEO community go beyond his impressive background. As the founder of RustyBrick, a reputable web development and marketing agency based in New York, Barry has been actively involved in helping businesses navigate the ever-changing SEO landscape.
During our conversation, Barry emphasized the importance of staying up-to-date with industry changes and best practices. He highlighted the significance of technical health, compelling content, and link building as key pillars for effective SEO campaigns.
Barry also discussed the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the future of SEO and provided valuable advice on how businesses can prepare for the emergence of new technologies.
In addition to his industry insights, Barry generously shared practical advice for launching successful SEO campaigns and building a rewarding career in the field.
From mastering keyword research and content creation to harnessing the power of networking and continuous learning, his guidance provides valuable direction for aspiring SEO professionals.
Join us as we delve into Barry Schwartz’s wealth of knowledge and expertise, uncovering actionable insights that can elevate your SEO strategies and career aspirations.
Stay tuned for the full interview, where we explore the remarkable insights shared by this esteemed SEO luminary.
Q. As the founder of RustyBrick and Executive Editor of Search Engine Roundtable, could you share your journey and how you became involved in the field of search engine optimization (SEO)?
My brother and I started a web and software company back in 1994. Early on, we designed websites and some basic web software. One of our clients in the late 90s asked us how to get traffic from search engines.
So I dug in and discovered the world of search and SEO. I followed the SEO forums for a few years and then decided to start a blog named Search Engine Roundtable to keep track of and highlight the best posts within thousands of threads in those forums.
It kind of grew over the years and I continued to keep tracking what SEOs are saying about SEO and search over the years.
Q. How has the SEO industry evolved over the years, and what are some significant changes or trends you have observed during your career?
SEO in the early days was really thought of as some sort of magic or mystical thing that hackers do to get websites to rank well. There was very little transparency from both the search engines and even the SEO community on what works, what doesn’t, and what not to do.
In the mid-2000s, Google started to talk more about best practices, did some myth-busting, came out to some conferences, and started blogging and communicating.
So a lot of the mystical elements became more mainstream over the years. Today, there is so much documentation from Google and so many case studies published from SEOs that it is much more well-documented on what to do and not to do with SEO.
Of course, outside of Google launching its search engine, the biggest changes I think were “Universal Search” in 2007, which changes how Google showed search results. And now the launch of the SGE.
Q. How has SEO evolved in recent years, and what are the key trends shaping its current landscape?
Honestly, the basics of SEO have always remained the same. Write great content that people want to read and share with their friends and their colleagues.
What has changed is how SEOs go about it. SEOs use to take a lot of shortcuts or try to trick or manipulate Google into thinking the content was good and that the links were good.
Google fought back with various manual actions and algorithmic updates that devalued those spam efforts.
So now most SEOs do the real thing by producing really good content that attracts those links.
Other areas that SEO has changed from the early days might be more around structured data and vertical search.
But overall, SEO is still pretty similar, in concept.
Q. In what ways do you think AI will revolutionize the SEO landscape, and what opportunities or challenges will it bring for businesses?
It is a bit hard to say without data yet but if I had to guess, I think plugins will be a big deal in the short-term AI search revolution. Websites will rush to create plugins that allow the search engine to complete tasks on your website through their generative AI tools.
I also think the content will continue to have to improve so that searchers using the new AI search features will want to dig in deeper to learn more about your website.
The good thing, SEOs are amazing at adapting to change and they will be just fine.
Q. How should businesses prepare themselves to leverage AI technologies effectively in their marketing and SEO strategies?
Study the new Google Search Generative Experience, and find a way to get access even if your country is not supported (proxies/VPNs). Study the new Bing Search and Bing Chat. Things are changing fast in both search experiences and see where they go.
I do think adding plugins to those AI tools will be important but I suspect the search engines will be announcing other new SEO best practices we can deploy for these experiences.
Q. Can you provide an overview of the current best practices and strategies in SEO?
Q. With link acquisition consistently being voted as one of the most challenging parts of doing SEO, what are your top recommendations or strategies for effectively acquiring high-quality backlinks to improve website authority and search rankings?
I never once asked anyone to link to my site. I just produce content that I want to read and remember and thankfully I get a lot of links. My advice, stop thinking about how to get a link and start thinking about answering questions your readers have in the best possible way.
Q. In your experience, how does user experience (UX) impact SEO? What are some key elements of a website’s UX that can contribute to improved search rankings?
It depends. I think in some competitive areas, a bad UX can impact your rankings, but I am not sure how much of a direct impact it is. A bad UX will result in people not wanting to read your content, navigate your website and convert on your site.
It will result in not getting links to your website. So that is the indirect impact. But yes, Google has its core web vitals metrics that are a small ranking factor, so that is a direct impact.
Q. Google algorithm updates often have a significant impact on search rankings. How do you stay updated with the latest changes, and what strategies do you recommend for adapting to algorithmic shifts?
I have covered more confirmed and unconfirmed Google algorithm updates than anyone else, just see for yourself. So I do not rely on just checking the Google updates page for these updates but I also track what SEOs are saying on social media and in the forums.
If a ton of SEOs are complaining about ranking and traffic changes in Google Search, it is likely that there was an update. I also use third-party rank-checking tools that aggregate a lot of data to see if the rankings are changing as well. Those are some of the ways I track these changes.
The same strategies as we mentioned above – produce content people want to read and share. That is it.
Q. How do you perceive the impact of the technical health of a website on its ranking positions in search engines?
Technical issues can have a massive negative impact on a site’s ranking position. If you accidentally block your pages from being crawled and indexed, that is horrible.
If you have an issue where your site generates unlimited URLs for the same content, that is an issue. There can be technical issues that hurt you badly. But most out-of-the-box CMS platforms these days handle all these issues pretty well.
Q. In one of your interviews, you mentioned that building unique and compelling content is an underrated SEO tactic. Could you provide further insights into why you believe this to be the case?
Not more than I provided already in my previous responses. Maybe that tricks don’t work anymore. There are no shortcuts and no, ChatGPT is not a shortcut.
Q. When referring to compelling content, what criteria or characteristics do you consider? Could you share some tips or strategies for creating compelling content that engages and resonates with the target audience?
Google has answered this numerous times with its Panda advice from over a decade ago, to the helpful content advice of more recent times. Just read those.
Q. In your opinion, what are the most crucial SEO metrics that businesses should track and monitor regularly? How can these metrics guide decision-making and optimization efforts?
It depends on the business goals. If you sell goods, I assume you want to track sales, revenue, and related metrics. If you want people to call you or give over their contact details, then those conversion metrics are important. If you want pageviews and visits, then those are important. It really depends, I am sorry.
Q. What advice would you give to someone who is new to SEO and looking to build a successful career or business in this field? Are there any particular skills or areas of expertise they should focus on developing?
Do something you are passionate about and love, otherwise don’t do it. With SEO, there are so many specialties you can focus on:
- Public relations/marketing
- Technical SEO
- International SEO
- Local SEO
- Mobile apps
The list goes on and on. So focus on what you love and become amazing at it. Most importantly, share what you learn with your colleagues.
Q. As an experienced SEO professional, what are the top three pieces of advice you would give to someone looking to improve their website’s organic visibility and search engine rankings?
- Write amazing content
- Share the content publicly
- Be consistent and don’t stop, it takes time, a lot of time.
Barry Schwartz’s remarkable expertise in the field of SEO has solidified his position as a trusted industry figure. Through our interview with him, we gained valuable insights into the ever-evolving world of SEO.
From the importance of staying up-to-date with industry changes and best practices to the impact of artificial intelligence on the future of SEO, Barry’s guidance is invaluable.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, Barry Schwartz’s insights are a compass for businesses and individuals looking to navigate the world of SEO.
By implementing his actionable advice and staying at the forefront of industry trends, you can position yourself for success in this dynamic field.
Embrace the knowledge shared by this esteemed SEO luminary and take your SEO strategies and career aspirations to new heights.
Where you can find me…