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Keeping Up With Google

At WordCamp 2014 I sat down with the talented Clark Buckner from TechnologyAdvice.com and talked about a few of the challenges I faced as a Nashville SEO while at Raven Tools.

Listen to my full interview below for my thoughts on how small businesses can leverage SEO strategies to gain loyal, local customers.

Clark Buckner, the podcast wizard, was kind enough to give us his interview notes below. Also be sure to check out the rest of his coverage of Wordcamp 2014 as well as coverage of major conferences all over the country at Tech Conference Calendar.

The Recurring Challenge of SEO – Interview Notes by Clark Buckner

Though Jeremy loved working with Raven Tools, he described his time there as “sisyphean,” a word hearkening back to the Greek myth of Sisyphus eternally rolling a giant boulder up a hill only to have it come crashing back down on him. In no way did Rivera consider working with Raven Tools punishment though. Rather, Jeremy and fourteen others pushed a proverbial boulder in that they were constantly creating content while developing a platform for their users. They feared getting crushed if they let up on the work at any moment, but they also feared losing momentum to get the job done.

While at Raven Tools, he realized that there are things you need to keep in mind when working with big brands, especially in such a competitive industry where almost anyone can become a “game changer”:

  • Keep moving forward.

  • Get your team organized.

  • Keep pushing and breaking into new markets.

  • Don’t get complacent; otherwise, opportunities will be lost.

The Big Raven Tools Rankings Dust Up

Of all companies, Google once prevented his team from moving forward. Jeremy recalled that Google drastically changed Raven Tools’ ability to give keyword reporting to its clients when Google curtailed Google Analytics’ reporting of keywords for all websites. In the intervening period, Raven Tools pulled the information from Google’s Webmaster tools so their clients would have better reports. Unfortunately, some people left the company during this phase, but the transitional moment paved the way for Jeremy to fly the Raven’s nest and land a while at Caddis Interactive before moving on to 2 The Top Design.

Jeremy’s stint at Caddis was an interesting shift as he had originally worked in the oftentimes cutthroat real estate industry and had now moved to an outdoor niche. In the stark contrast, Jeremy learned that for every industry online from urinal dividers to roofing, generating sales and doing business is very different than when you’re working in it organically as a business owner. More than figuring out the best SEO tactics to multiply your organic reach, developing relationships becomes paramount.

The Algorithm Never Sleeps

Jeremy also recounted a few algorithm changes that have significantly affected search results for everyone. Before Google, there existed a number of not-so-great search engines that lacked an authority signal. Google’s original algorithm, PageRank, became the missing piece of the authority puzzle. However, as webmasters learned the intricacies of ranking well on Google, anchor text started to become abused and spam sites flourished.

Consequently, Google updated their algorithm to Penguin to fight such issues. Nofollow linking also helped control outbound link quality and combat spam. In all of these approaches and more, Google sought (and continues to seek) a machine-readable version of trust that it can assign to websites on its own for the betterment of the Internet as a whole.

It’s Better If You Work Together

Lastly, Jeremy expressed his excitement over how the online world is mirroring the real world more and more each day, with technology becoming wearable, more accessible, and more integrated into our daily lives. Contrary to how some people perceive this as technology that’s too invasive, Jeremy thinks otherwise. Quoting John Donne’s famous line that “no man is an island,” Jeremy sees humans as forming part of an island chain, all connected under the surface through digital wires, websites, and social connections.



I've been living in the world on internet marketing and website optimization since 2004 and I like to think I've been learning most of the time. I love technical seo and outreach seo and building up a brands online reach.