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When Friendly Fire Strikes - True Stories from the Inside

When Friendly Fire Strikes - True Stories from the Inside

Presented on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 at Pubcon in Las Vegas, NV at the Luxor Casino and Resort conference center.

In the trenches of digital marketing, internal conflicts can be just as fierce as external competition. SEO warriors, your greatest foes might not be spam bots or algorithm updates, but colleagues from other departments with good intentions (and sometimes, questionable tactics).

Ever faced these SEO roadblocks?

UX wants to revamp the site structure, throwing your carefully crafted keyword targeting into chaos.
Legal nixes that perfect meta description because it uses a "trademark grey area" term.
Marketing insists on a flashy new subdomain, splintering your precious link juice.

Sound familiar? You're not alone. This session is your battle cry, your guide to navigating the treacherous landscape of in-house SEO conflicts.

Here's what you'll learn:

Identifying common SEO roadblocks from other departments.
Building bridges, not walls: Communication strategies for winning over colleagues.
The art of compromise: Finding SEO-friendly solutions that appease everyone.
Case studies: Real-world examples of SEO victories forged in the fires of friendly fire.

Leave this session armed with the knowledge and tactics to turn internal conflict into collaborative triumph. Remember, SEO isn't a solo mission - it's a team effort. Let's win together!

Keith Goode

March 08, 2024

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  1. X: @keithgoode Mastodon: mastodon.social/@keithgoode Keith Goode • Concierge SEO Consultant,

    Goode Search • Over 15 years In-House SEO • Vrbo • Dell • IBM • Cox Automotive Group • Various startups • Conference speaker • Podcast host/guest • Austin Otaku • Webcology • Search Engine Journal • … and many more • Certified Scrum Master • Featured in Majestic’s SEO for 2022
  2. Expectations vs. Reality SEOs are largely focused on the ever-evolving

    landscape of search. We expect challenges associated with: • Algorithm Changes • Seasonality • Market Shifts • Competitors surging in the SERPs • AI getting it absolutely wrong (follow @lilyray for examples) www.goodesearch.com
  3. Friendly Fire Comes from Behind For In-House SEOs, the real

    surprises come from: • Bad deployments • Bad coding • Server changes • Stripped budget and resources • … and more
  4. Canonical Tags – Story #1 • Early days of canonicals

    • Provided guidance: • Cleanest, renderable URL is the canonical URL • The canonical URL should have a self-referential tag • Parameterized pages all had self-referential canonicals • Lost ranking across the board www.goodesearch.com
  5. Canonical Tags – Story #2 • CMS powering over 11,000

    websites • Developer read a random forum post about preventing XSS attacks • Replaced all punctuation in canonical tag URLs with their HTML code equivalent Example: https:/ /www.roundrocktoyota.com& #47; • No new content was indexed for weeks • Google claimed this syntax wasn’t a problem • Spoiler: It was a problem.
  6. Bad Deployment • Framework migration on WordPress • Noindex,Nofollow robot

    meta- tags not switched from staging to production • The company’s most important content channels were down for several hours until it was fixed.
  7. Budget Denial • SEOs, like other departments, send their budget

    requests each fiscal year • Project work • Tools, Platforms, and New Hires • Estimated revenue improvements • Project work, tools, platforms and new hires are denied • Revenue estimates remain www.goodesearch.com
  8. The Mystery of the Missing Priority • Received approval for

    5 epics for the fiscal year • 6 months passed with no movement • Reached out to the Product Lead for advisement • The SVP had deprioritized SEO in February and didn’t tell the SEO Team www.goodesearch.com
  9. As SEOs, it may not be our fault when technical

    issues happen, but it’s our responsibility to catch them as soon as possible and mitigate them. www.goodesearch.com
  10. Continual Monitoring Some tools offer this • Content King •

    Ahrefs • Lumar (soon) But ultimately, you’ll have to monitor it yourself www.goodesearch.com
  11. Other Options • GSC and GSC Emails/Alerts • Manual SERP

    checks • Pre-launch QA/testing • Post-launch reviews
  12. • Democratize SEO with training sessions • Integrate with development

    into the testing cycle • Show the value of the work associated with SEO www.goodesearch.com
  13. For Executives • Continually tell your story • Affirm the

    importance of SEO through effective reporting • Correct misunderstandings with evidence • Loop executives in early in the process
  14. Connect with Me! • Website: https://www.goodesearch.com/ • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/keithlgoode/ •

    X: https://twitter.com/keithgoode • Mastodon: https://mastodon.social/@keithgoode • Dot: https://dot.cards/keithgoode Images in the presentation courtesy of Amblin Entertainment www.goodesearch.com