Super Simple SEO in 2021 with Cyrus Shepard (NEWBIE)

Super Simple SEO in 2021 with Cyrus Shepard (NEWBIE)
Reading Time: 23 minutes

Getting back to basics

So usually around this time of year, I do an SEO predictions podcast.

But you know what I’m over it, the world and their rabbit has an SEO podcast these days, and everyone does a predictions podcast, so no.

It’s not happening here.

And also the predictions are always the same.

Voice search will be bigger.
Optimise for EAT.
SERPs will change.
Schema blah blah blah.

Obviously, we have the page experience update coming in May 2021 but we’ve covered that in our episode with Peter and we’ll do more around that time.

And here’s another thing. The more SEO changes the more it stays the same.

And most people (and yes I know it’s not all) are not even getting the basics right, so there’s no need for them to get sweaty about all the complex next-level stuff.

In this episode to kick off 2021, I’m speaking to one of my fave SEO experts (and one of the few funny ones) Cyrus Shepard about why we should get back to basics with SEO.


Tune in to learn:

  • Why simple SEO factors matter, and which should come first
  • Whether you should target keywords
  • What “fresh” content is
  • Why unique content is still important
  • The purpose of crawlability, crawl budgets, and 404 redirects
  • How relevant backlinks are to Google




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And big thanks to Abraham8463 for their lovely review:

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Then this is the one for you.


Kate knows her stuff and isn’t afraid to tell you!


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About Cyrus


Cyrus Shepard is the founder of Zyppy, which is developing new SEO software.

He also works as a consultant for Moz.

Cyrus has hitchhiked across the USA over 6000 miles (9600 km).



Connect with Cyrus


Useful links





Kate Toon: So usually around this time of year, I do an SEO predictions podcast. But you know what? I’m over it. The world and their rabbit now has an SEO podcast, and everyone does a predictions podcast. So, no, it’s not happening here. And also, the predictions are always the same. Voice search is going to be bigger. Optimise for EAT. SERPs will change, Schema. Blah, blah, blah. Obviously, we have the Page Experience update coming in May 2021, but we covered that in our episode with Peter, and we’ll do more on that at the time. And here’s another thing. The more SEO changes, the more it stays the same. And most people, and yes, I know not all, are not even getting the basics right. So there’s no need for them to get all sweaty about complex, next-level stuff.

So in this episode, to kick off 2021, I’m speaking to one of my favourite SEO humans and one of the few funny ones, Cyrus Shephard, about why we should get back to basics with SEO. Hello, my name is Kate Toon, and I’m the head chef here at The Recipe for SEO Success, an online teaching hub for all things search engine optimization and digital marketing. And today, I’m talking with Cyrus Shephard. Hello, Cyrus.

Cyrus Shepard: Hello, Kate.

Kate Toon: So splendid to have you here. We were talking before we started talking, if that makes sense, about Seattle and the pros and cons of Seattle and that it rains all the time. So probably I’m hoping a bit of Australian sunshine comes through the airwaves into your earlobes. Earlobes? Ear holes. And makes you feel energised.

Cyrus Shepard: Yes, I can’t wait for the sunshine in my ear holes. That will be awesome.

Kate Toon: Yeah. That sounds like a good song. Sunshine in my ear holes. Anyway, Cyrus is the founder of Zyppy, which is developing new SEO software. He also works as a consultant for MOZ. And once, Cyrus hitched across the USA over 6,000 miles, which is 9,600 kilometres in real distance measurements. Why did you do that?

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah. Well, I should point out that all wasn’t in one trip. It was several trips.

Kate Toon: Like one day.

Cyrus Shepard: I think my longest hitchhiking trip was 2,000 miles. We used to do this for vacation, and in college we had no money. My friends and I would be like, “Hey, let’s go to Colorado and just hitchhike.” We would meet the most interesting people. There were two of us, so we felt relatively safe. It was just an interesting way to travel.

Kate Toon: Yeah. Well, I just want to say I’ve always fancied hitchhiking across Australia. That was going to be my plan. And then before I came to Australia, I watched the movie Wolf Creek. Have you seen Wolf Creek?

Cyrus Shepard: No.

Kate Toon: Don’t watch it. Don’t watch it. But if you do, you’ll never hitchhike anything ever again. So there we go.

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah. I don’t advise anybody hitchhike. Don’t do what I did.

Kate Toon: No. Yeah. Don’t do what Cyrus did. But you do advise people. Do you like that segue? Do you ever?

Cyrus Shepard: Yes, wonderful.

Kate Toon: You do advise people to really get back to basics with SEO. I follow you on Twitter. I’ll include a link to Cyrus’s Twitter in the show notes. And for a long time, you’ve had that since I think January 2019. I’m sure a new one will come up. But you have this little list of the 10 most critical SEO factors. So I’ve kind of used that as the structure for today. I know you just did a fantastic whiteboard for Moz on 21 smart Google SEO tips, so we’ll kind of combined some of those.

But what I love about this little thingy on Twitter is I think it’s so true. I mean, I’ve had over 1,000 people take the big course, over 10,000 take my smaller courses. And most of them still have – most pages don’t even have a Title Tag. And yet, they’re sweating about Schema and AMP and Colourful Paint and Core Vitals. And it’s like, “You’re site takes 27 minutes to load. Maybe focus on that.” Do you find the same, like the basics aren’t covered on a lot of sites?

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah. I think it’s funny that I know a lot of people at some of the top SEO agencies in the world, and they do these complicated site audits and everything, but inevitably they say, “When we need to move rankings and we need to do it quickly, we do Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and internal links.” And those are the three levers that they always pull. And they’re simple, and they’re basics, and everybody has opportunities there.

Kate Toon: Yeah. I love that. Well, let’s dig in and start going through some of your top 10 list, then we can tie in some of the 21 things as well. So number one on your list is keyword targeted. So let’s break that down a little bit. So many SEOers say these days, “We don’t even need to worry about keywords. Google’s so smart. Hummingbird, blah. Algorithm, blah, blah. It just knows what to give us back without even us having to type a keyword into the search engine results.” But it’s not true. I mean, keywords still matter.

Cyrus Shepard: Right. They absolutely matter. And you might write a beautiful page that answers the user’s query, but is it in your title? Is it in your header? If you were just looking at this page from 10 feet away, would you be able to tell what it’s about? And that’s kind of how you have to think of a search engine. It’s kind of blind, and you have to hold his hand a little bit. So you’ve got to make sure you’re using the keywords and putting them in appropriate places, just kind of pounding Google over the head, “Hello, this is what it’s about. Please, please respect my authority.” 

Kate Toon: And I think this is it. A lot of copywriters will say, “Oh, I don’t want to do SEO copywriting because it really hampers my creativity and my conversion copywriting.” And it’s just not true because, honestly, if you’re really focused on what your audience is interested in and the pain point you’re solving and the topic you’re writing about, you’ll probably use those keywords naturally and just write a great piece of content. And then all you need to do is just go back through it afterwards and just do a little bit of tweaking. It doesn’t need to be shoving keywords in left, right, and centre. It’s a small tweak. Title, Meta, H1, first 100 words, image alt tag, few little bits. It’s not rocket science. I love that. Keywords still matter. Cyrus Shephard said it. I believe him.

Number two is a little bit sneaky. It talks about content being fresh. And I want to dig into that a bit more. We’re going to go into that on uniqueness. So one of the myths is, “Oh, you’ve got to publish a blog every week because Google rewards freshness, and Google’s only going to crawl your site if there’s brand new content on there all the time.” And this can force people to produce really bad, weak content just to feed this kind of greed that they think Google has. Can you quantify that a little bit?

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah, freshness, a lot of people think exactly what you just said. Freshness means always update, publishing new content. Freshness really means keeping your content relevant, and there are a lot of different signals that Google can use to determine if your content is freshly relevant. Are you updating the page, making sure it’s has accurate information? Are people linking to the page regularly? Engagement metrics. If you publish the Best Movies of 2020, and people are spending five minutes on that page, but then eight years later they’re only spending 20 seconds on that page, maybe it’s not as relevant anymore. So all those signals, freshness is really about relevancy. I have a small website that has 15 pages, and it gets thousands of visits a month, and it grows every year. I’m not publishing new pages. I’m just updating those 15 pages all the time to make sure they offer the best answer.

Kate Toon: Yeah, and that’s the strategy that Brian Dean follows as well, Brian Dean from Backlinko, which a lot of people here will follow. He releases his guides to whatever and just keeps them fresh. There’s a one little bit of the algorithm people talk about called QDF or query deserves freshness. And that’s generally when you do have a date or it is relevant to a particular thing like who won The Bachelor this year. Google is going to go with that and go, “That actually deserves freshness.” But if it’s your home page, you don’t need to be changing the content on your homepage every five minutes because that probably doesn’t deserve freshness. Does that make sense?

Cyrus Shephard: Yeah, that absolutely makes sense. And if I’m updating content, I don’t like to publish on a new URL. I like to reuse my old URLs because they’re already getting traffic, they already have links. So I just like using the same URLs and not pushing myself into a corner.

Kate Toon: Do you add a little bit of copy saying, “Last updated on … ” or do you republish so you get a fresh day? Because, obviously, sometimes Google displays the date of the article in the SERP.

Cyrus Shepard: For my own personal sites, I use a last updated date on the page.

Kate Toon: Yeah. I like that. I think it’s transparent. I know a lot of people strip that day out so you can’t tell when the post is made. I love the transparency of having the date there. It also is a bit of a get-out clause. I’ve got a post on 66 SEO tips, which I wrote in 2009, but it clearly says that. So it’s like, “That’s not kept up to date right now. I’m sorry.” But it very clearly says this was 2009, take it or leave it. And I think that transparency is super important. You shouldn’t hide the dates. Number three on your little Twitter list was uniqueness. Now we know there’s no such thing as a duplicate content penalty, but how can non-unique content damage our SEO?

Cyrus Shepard: Duplicate content. So there is no duplicate content penalty, but there is a duplicate content filter. And one thing to keep in mind is that duplicate content, and I recently dove into this really deep, generally only applies to pages that are duplicate content. People worry all the time about using – they sell products and the product description is duplicate. That may not matter so much if you have pages around that, content around that, that this unique. So you have to have something that’s uniquely valuable on the page. And if you don’t, why is Google going to rank you?

Kate Toon: And I mean, I think it’s – a lot of the big question comes up a lot, “Oh, I’ve written this blog post. I want to put it on this site. I want to whack it on medium. I want to whack it on LinkedIn.” And look, the truth is that one of those might outrank your own site, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They’re still reading your content. As long as you’ve got a nice call to action back to your site, it’s going to build that know, like, and trust. So, yeah, I think people get quite sweaty about it.

Obviously, we don’t want to be duplicating Meta Descriptions, Title Tags. Most sites won’t let you do that. And I think it’s what you said as well. It comes back to relevancy, doesn’t it? That each page serves a purpose, is relevant, helps solve a problem, and there’s nothing there that doesn’t need to be there. All about the quality, not the quantity. And that brings us nicely, segue, into user intent. We touched on this in one, but how do we make sure that our content is matching user intent? What does user intent … let’s go to basics, for the newbies. What do we mean when we talk about user intent?

Cyrus Shepard: All right. So when someone types something into the search box on Google, they’re asking Google a question. They are looking for an answer. And Google wants to deliver content that satisfies that answer, and they want to deliver the result that satisfies it the best. So this goes beyond keywords. So you write an article, but you have to evaluate, is this the last thing that someone’s going to click? You want to be the last click. If someone has to go back to Google and click another result to get their answer, why is Google going to put you number one? You want to be the last thing they click and completely answered that question and deliver it above the board experience to satisfy that user intent.

Kate Toon: And there’s different types. There’s conversion intent, location intent, and it’s just about taking a moment. And often in business, lots of businesses don’t pass the we-we test, as I call it. It’s like we do this and we do that, and everything’s focused on them and the messages they want to push out into the world, regardless about whether those messages actually are wanted by the world. It’s just turning around, looking at each piece of content on your site and going, “Why is this here? Is this something anyone’s going to search for? And if they are searching for it, does it actually meet the grain? Does it actually deliver on the promise that we’ve made in our Title Tag and Meta Description?” Because that’s often so disappointing, isn’t it?

And we talk about pogoing. You do click through. Great, you’ve got the first result. Good for you. But people are clicking through, you’re not satisfying the user intent, that goes back. They go pogo back to the results, and you can often therefore see you kind of slowly slipping down the rankings because Google’s going, “Well, hey, maybe this isn’t … ” It’s beautifully optimised, but it’s just not delivering the right result.

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah, exactly. And it’s really hard to measure user intent. We don’t have a lot of great metrics. One thing that I do is I look at the engagement metrics that Google will provide through analytics, such as bounce rate and time on site. And I think you’ll generally find, more often than not, if you can improve those metrics, you’ll often see an improvement in your rankings. 

Kate Toon: Yeah.

Cyrus Shepard: Not a guarantee, but often.

Kate Toon: Yeah. Totally. Making a page sticky and interesting and relevant, getting the time on page up, boom. And that’s a really easy metric that you can control because everyone gets obsessed with ranking. Obviously, ranking depends on what everyone else is doing on the internet. But time on page, that’s your problem. 

Cyrus Shepard: Mhm.

Kate Toon: So you can’t blame anybody else for that one. Number five is all about EAT: expertise, authority, and trust. Now we have a full episode on this coming up, but I’d love it if you could just summarise this and also discuss how on earth Google measures this because it seems so intangible. What are your thoughts on EAT?

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah. Well, EAT came around primarily because of bad medical advice in Google search results, and they wanted to solve this. And for certain queries that involve money or your health, your money or your life they call it, they push out this algorithm to only try to promote information from trusted authoritative sites, so universities, medical professions, things like that. And they also have similar standards for financial queries because they simply just don’t want information. So EAT is very hard to fake. You can’t fake it. If you want to be trustworthy, you have to be trustworthy. And there’s a lot of signals that Google looks at, but basically you want to do all the things that a real business and a very trustworthy site does. Otherwise, if you can’t do that, you might want to find a different vertical to play in.

Kate Toon: Yeah. I think it’s kind of like people talk about having an environmental footprint. We’ve all got a bit of a digital footprint. Nothing disappears on the internet. Those embarrassing photos of you at college, getting drunk, they’re still there. It’s just about, yeah, building up your reputation, being seen as an expert in your field. And I think it’s pretty obvious how you do that online and just not being dodgy. Let’s talk about crawlability. So crawlability is something that kind of confuses people. Obviously, Google has to get through your site. It uses little spiders and bots to go from page to page using internal links and external links. Can we talk about crawl budget, 404s, redirects? Can we just talk about crawl budget a little bit and why it matters?

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah. So crawl budget particularly applies to larger sites with lots of pages. Google has to index the entire web, trillions and trillions of pages. And even though they’re a very rich company, that costs money, and they don’t want to crawl pages that just aren’t important. So if you have a site that’s just generating millions of pages through your CMS automatically, that can be problematic because Google just isn’t going to crawl them. So you want to keep your pages to a reasonable number based on the strength of your links. And for most sites, it’s not, crawl budget really isn’t an issue, but you want to present your most important pages to Google and tell them why those pages are important through your internal links. What you link to is your biggest signal to Google, internally, the pages they should prioritise.

Kate Toon: Yeah. I mean, a little simple task for anyone listening, if I asked you right now, how many pages posts products do you have on your site? You should know the answer.

Cyrus Shepard: No, yeah.

Kate Toon: You should know. And so often when we do the little simple trick of just doing site colon URL in Google, and it brings back the results and says, “Hey, we’ve managed to find 2,000 results for this website.” And then my member, the person on the course, will go, “What? It’s a seven-page site.” And then we find they’ve got tag archives and media attachments and whatever. You should know how many pages, posts, and products are in your site. And just keep on top of that figure. And if that’s all you do, that’s pretty good. And then make sure that Google’s indexed them all by just using the site map. You’ll it. See, I love Screaming Frog for doing a little bit of a crawl of a site and seeing what’s there. But, yeah, it’s funny how many people are like, “I don’t know.” It’s like. “It’s your website. Dude.”

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah, yeah. I’m working with a lot of some local businesses that they’re not that large, but they offer 30,000 products. And we’re finding that Google is only indexing a very tiny percentage of their actual pages, which makes you wonder, is Google paying attention to my important pages, the pages that actually make me money? Maybe I should direct them to those pages a little more and maybe de-index some of those low-quality pages.

Kate Toon: Yeah. I’ve worked with a lot of e-Commerce brands in reducing that product line right down. I mean, and mostly e-Commerce stores because that’s often where it happens, that bloat. It’s 20% of the products that are making 80% of the product, that profit. 80% of the profit. There’s some products there that haven’t sold for two years and it’s like, really, at some point you have to go, “Maybe that one can go. No one’s going to buy that.” I’d probably buy it because I buy any old crap off the internet, but there you go. Now I’m glad to see that site speed came in at number seven on your list, but it’s number seven. It’s not number one. Before we dig into that, are these in order of importance or are they- 

Cyrus Shepard: No, absolutely not. There are some that are very important. Content that targets the user search query, absolutely. The others are variable.

Kate Toon: Yeah. So speed. Talk to me. What do we need to be thinking about speed this year? We’ve got this new algorithm update coming out. We’ve got these core web vitals that are confusing the crap out of newbies and beginners, and even advanced people are like, “What? First Colourful Paint? What do you mean?” So speed, what should we be focused on in basic terms?

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah. The funny thing about speed is, from what we understand, it’s actually a very small Google ranking factor. But in the real world, it has a multiplier effect because if your site is slow, everything else falls apart. And you have to imagine what’s a user like using your website on the subway on a mobile phone with a crappy internet connection. If they have to wait five seconds for something to load, it’s terrible.

So this May, Google is introducing Core Web Vitals, which is a ranking factor that basically only applies to your mobile site, we learned recently. And basically, if you have things jumping around on the screen, takes things to load, they’re going to start digging sites that have that. And they’ve set up all these tools that you can plug in your site. You can test your score. And if you have a low score, you got a few months to prepare. Now this stuff isn’t easy, but it’s worth looking into.

Kate Toon: And I mean, I’m hopeful that the platforms, the CMSs, the WordPresses or Squarespaces, they will take the load of that because, really, it’s kind of to a degree their responsibility. We can’t all be tech gurus, working out how to lazy load our image onto the page. Hopefully, the platforms will own that a little bit.

Cyrus Shephard: Yeah. I hope so too. And I hope we call them out. I hope we call out the slow ones and do some studies to find out which platforms are doing the work and which platforms aren’t.

Kate Toon: Yeah. Yeah. It’s good. The power of the people. So let’s talk about multiple devices. You touched there on mobile devices. Responsiveness has been a big deal for a while, and obviously it’s only going to continue as more and more devices come out with different dimensions and sizes. If a website owner is thinking today, “What can I do to improve my responsiveness?” What would be some of your tips around that?

Cyrus Shepard: Well, I think the big thing to pay attention to in the last couple of years with mobile-first indexing is make sure that your mobile site contains the same content as your desktop site. And even today, we’re still finding a lot of differences, up to 7% of the web don’t, don’t have the same experience. So if you have links and content on your desktop site that is not apparent on your mobile site, Google’s probably not going to count that or give it less weight if they’re not crawling it. That’s particularly important with internal links. People are hiding internal links on mobile, and it can cause an issue with your rankings.

Kate Toon: I mean, and I think that’s true. On the flip, I think some things work beautifully on a desktop. That lovely image of a girl jumping in a puddle in red Wellington boots, brilliant on your desktop. Maybe not necessarily on your mobile. Do you know what I mean? So there’s also the reverse of that as well. Switching a few things off, but not links are not content, but maybe some of the sexy, wiggly, Javascripty, jiggle-jiggle stuff.

Cyrus Shephard: Yeah. And Google is very forgiving if you have to hide some content within tabs or make users push a button on your mobile site. I say very forgiving, they’re somewhat forgiving of that. So if you have to do that for mobile, go ahead, but it’s better than leaving it off altogether.

Kate Toon: Yeah. Less jiggle-jiggle, that’s my new SEO mantra. It’s good, isn’t it? Hashtag jiggle-jiggle.

Cyrus Shepard: That’s almost as good as the we-we experience, the we-we experience.

Kate Toon: Yeah. You can have the we-we experience. I’ll let you use that. That’s a good one. Number nine, we talk about producing content that earns a high number of clicks, because that’s so easy, Cyrus. But I know what you mean. You’re talking about the search results, this thing, that Title Tag and Meta Description combination. I like to call it Batman and Robin. Batman comes in with a boom. Robin follows up with a pow. They work beautifully together. So having relevant Title Tags and sexy Meta Descriptions. Any tips on that for the beginner?

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah. My whole life I’ve been … my whole life. I haven’t been in SEO my whole life.

Kate Toon: Since I was two. Since I was a baby.

Cyrus Shepard: For 10 years, I’ve been obsessed with Title Tags. I’m building some software over the past year that specifically helps people improve their Title Tags and Meta Descriptions. The great thing about it is, even if it’s not a ranking factor, you can get 20%, 30% more traffic just by improving your titles without improving your rankings because people are clicking on those results more. I actually do believe it is a ranking factor, even though Google sort of is cagey about it. They’re very slippery when it comes to talking about this, but they’ve published some patents.

But the number one thing you can do is, this advice goes back 10 years, you have to include your main keywords in your title and it helps if you include them towards the front of the Title Tag, where people see them first. If they’re at the back or they’re cut off, that doesn’t help you as much as putting them in the front. I’ve seen ranking changes just by moving the position of the keyword in the title will influence your click-through rate. It’s the dumbest, simplest thing you can do.

Kate Toon: Yeah. It’s so easy, and writing the Meta Description so it doesn’t truncate around 155-ish characters including spaces. And why is it like a little ad? One of the things as copywriter, look at the Google ads that people are paying a fortune for that you’re not. They’ve optimised and thought about the phrasing and the benefits that they use there. Work those into your Meta Description and make them sexy. And understand as well that sometimes that’s the first copy anybody has ever read about your brand. 

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah.

Kate Toon: They’ve searched for piglet jumpers. They don’t know that you’re the top seller of piglet jumpers in Seattle, which Cyrus is by the way, just so you know. They don’t know that. So they’re seeing all the other piglet jumper retailers, how are you going to suck people in and draw them in? And I love that tip. I think that’s a great tip.

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah. I think the Meta Description, you have a lot of opportunity because Google disregards or rewrites 70% of the Meta Descriptions on the web, because they’re either missing or they’re bad. So you have 160 characters approximately to put in as many keywords as you want and use good copywriting to help convert people. Otherwise, if Google rewrites your Meta Description, they’re going to focus on the single keyword that the user typed in. They’re going to use parts that you don’t necessarily want your user to focus on. So it’s a copywriting challenge, but when you do it right, it works.

Kate Toon: Yeah. I saw that stat in your amazing Moz whiteboard video, the 70%. It’s quite shocking, isn’t it? But also, loads of people just don’t even fill it in. It’s like, for goodness sake, this is basic stuff. And I loved what you said about that difference because maybe you get to the top spot. If you’re at the top spot and you’re not seeing a great click-through rate, usually the culprit is the Title Tag and the Meta Description. If you’re not getting – not 100% of the traffic, what is it these days? With featured snippets and the local map and whatever, maybe you’d be lucky to get 10% of the click-through. But if you’re getting 1% and you’re in position one, you’ve got a big problem there. That’s something you can look at. And it’s an easy thing to spot and pretty easy to fix.

So let’s wrap up with number 10, which is backlinks. Again, a much-disputed SEO ranking factor. Many people say Google doesn’t care. People say that negative links don’t matter anymore. You don’t need to disavow them. Domain authority, some people believe in it, some people don’t. What’s your low down on backlinks for 2021?

Cyrus Shepard: So I monitor all the linking studies. Eric Enge of Perficient Digital just released a ranking factor study this year. We’ve been tracking it for many years. Links are still an important ranking factor. Their influence over the years has decreased, but only slightly. Only slightly. They are still one of the most significant ranking factors that you can have. The way I think of links is, one, you need content just to get in the sandbox, you need links to get on the first page, and you need a great user experience to rank at the top of the page. So links is that critical second step. Without links, Google’s going to ignore you.

Kate Toon: And humans are going to ignore you. I’ll have people come on my course, and they’ve had a site for three years, they’ve not built a single link. And I say to them, “It’s like building a beautiful tropical resort with a swimming pool and a restaurant, but there’s no ferry service and there’s no airport.” It’s beautiful. Well done for your 200 blog posts. But no one’s going to find that. You’ve got to kind of spread the word. Spread the word.

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah. Yeah. And building links can be challenging. It’s hard work. But I don’t think you need as many as you think you do. You can do a tremendous amount with just a small number of links and really leverage them. Because once you’re on the playing field, it seems Google is more likely to give you respect for those areas. I have sites I haven’t built links to in years, but I still rank higher because I got on the board.

Kate Toon: Yeah, same with mine. My original site Kate Toon Copywriter, which I built 12 years ago, still ranks really, really well. I’ve done nothing on it for five years. 

Cyrus Shepard: Yeah.

Kate Toon: It just sits there ticking away.

Cyrus Shepard: Well, it is Kate Toon Copywriter, so.

Kate Toon: Right. Now listen, all the things we haven’t talked about, we haven’t talked about Schema. We haven’t talked about AMP. We haven’t talked about learning Python. Good grief. Are you saying these things don’t matter, or are you saying they don’t matter as much?

Cyrus Shepard: I am saying, they are, in the scheme of priorities, they are a second-tier priority. It’s funny because I’m taking a Python class right now.

Kate Toon: Oh, you big geek. You big, hairy geek.

Cyrus Shepard: And I’m really bad at it.

Kate Toon: Oh, well, don’t do anymore. We don’t do things we’re not good at, Cyrus. I’m trying to learn to roller-skate, and it’s really hard.

Cyrus Shepard: Roller derby?

Kate Toon: I’m just trying to get across my kitchen at the moment. 

Cyrus Shepard: Oh okay.

Kate Toon: I’m no roller derby level. But follow me on Instagram to watch my roller-skating profile progress. It’s embarrassing. It’s fun. Well look, Cyrus, as always, that was amazing. I thank you very much for taking the time to come and chat with me. I know you don’t do that many podcasts, but you chose the best ones to come on. So thank you very much. And if people want to learn more about you, which I’m sure they do, where’s the best place to follow you? I think it’s Twitter.

Cyrus Shepard: Twitter.

Kate Toon: Twitter. Yeah, there are still people on Twitter. I know, it’s amazing, but there still- 

Cyrus Shepard: I am not banned from Twitter. I am very privileged.

Kate Toon: For now. For now.

Cyrus Shepard: Yes.

Kate Toon: Thank you, Cyrus. It’s been amazing to chat to you, and have an amazing 2021.

Cyrus Shepard: Thank you, Kate. This is the best podcast.

Kate Toon: Good Lord. I love that dude. I have to say it. I’m just going to say it. I love that dude. I just think that he breaks things down in a really understandable way. Good humour. SEO doesn’t have to be boring and dry, and it doesn’t have to be over complicated. If you just work through those top 10 things, you’d see improvements. I love the comments about the Title Tag. Anyway, I’m a fan girl. Anyway, that’s the end of this week’s show, the first show for 2021. If you have questions about the state of SEO in 2021 or the basics of SEO or advanced topics too, so Schema, you know that on this podcast I try to put levels on the episode so that you can choose your path through the content. So listen to more episodes, and also head to the I Love SEO Group on Facebook.

If 2021 is the year that you want to smash your Google results, then feel free to jump onto any of my courses. I don’t often talk about them on the show. I don’t know why. What’s the point of having the show? We have SEO nibbles, not nipples, which is a free beginner course. The 10-day SEO challenge, which is currently being revamped for 2021. And of course, The Big Recipe For SEO Success course, which launches again in February 2021, and launches two, three times a year every year. So if you’re listening to this in 2047, maybe I’m still running the course. Now is the time to end the show with a shout out for one of my lovely listeners, and today is Abraham8463. And Abraham says, “If you’re looking for a pod that will be up-to-date and keep you informed on everything you need to know SEO-wise, this is the one for you. Kate knows her stuff and isn’t afraid to tell you.” No I’m not, Abraham. I tell the truth. Well, I try to.

If you don’t like the show, don’t do anything. But if you do like the show, don’t forget to leave a five-star rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you heard it. You’ll help others find the show and make me happy. And don’t forget to check the show notes out for this episode at where you’ll find more. I’m going to include a link to the 21 Google SEO tips that Cyrus shared, also to his Twitter. And also, you can check out my other podcasts, The Hot Copy Podcast and The Kate Toon Show. I hope you enjoyed the episode as much as I did. And I’ve got lots more good stuff coming up this year, so keep your ear holes open, and I will fill them with digital marketing and SEO goodness. Thanks for listening. Bye, bye.