Olga & Pedro
[00:00:00] Hi everyone. It's Olga Zarr from SEOSLY. This is SEO podcast by SEOSLY. Today I have a very special guest. This is Pedro Diaz. Pedro, how are you doing? I'm doing great. Thank you. Thank you for inviting me, Olga. Yeah, I'm really honored to have you here. You are, I think the second ex Googler on my show. So this is a real honor to me.
[00:00:25] Okay, Pedro, if you can, briefly introduce yourself, what you are up to, like in a couple of sentences, and then I will probably want to dig deeper into like what you are, how you, what you do in SEO. So, as you said, unlike many SEOs, I started in SEO. Um, from the other side from search and I came into SEO.
[00:00:46] Um, I've ran my business, my own business after Google for nine years, um, in Brazil. I've been everywhere. Like I've been in Brazil. Then I moved back into, to the, to the side of the ocean. So I moved now to UK and I run my own business in the UK together with, I consult with companies like eBay and MercadoLibre in South America.
[00:01:09] So I'll be e commerce is, um, that's my kind of, you know, uh, Expertise. Nowadays, I've also worked for publishers in the UK, um, which is a little bit different than in e commerce. But, um, I've been everywhere. I've been mostly on product side of things rather than the marketing side of SEO. Uh, there's a big battle on there, which, which, where, where does SEO fit?
[00:01:32] Um, and, um, so yeah, I mean, that's what I'm up to nowadays. I consult on my own business and I, you know. And that's mostly it. Uh huh. So is it like you are like an independent consultant or do you have like a team of people? Both. I'm an independent consultant, whereas I can consult clients and I, um, for example, eBay, I'm working as a contractor for eBay.
[00:01:58] So I work within a whole team of developers, engineers, SEOs. So yeah. And I kind of also have like People that once in a while kind of can reach out to help me with if I need a hand with something else, uh, to consult my clients. Okay. And you are from Portugal, right? Because I thought you were from Brazil for a very long time.
[00:02:20] Yeah. And you are based now in the UK. Yes. I'm based in London. Okay. Okay. Cool. Okay. So let's go back in time to the very beginning. So how did it all started for you that you landed in SEO? What were your beginnings? You probably didn't start with SEO. So what was it? So, I mean, uh, my, my, my primary formation is in design, web design, um, and when I studied all these areas like information, architecture, accessibility, usability, et cetera.
[00:02:53] So this is like something that also was already kind of in me in to some aspect, I was doing a lot of web design work back in the 2000s because it was like, you know, but the boom of the web design. Uh huh. Um, And, uh, I saw like, um, Google that was recruiting Portuguese people, so they kind of, and you know, like, I never thought I would, I had the necessary qualification to go into Google, but I applied anyway because, you know, they wanted someone understood.
[00:03:50] So, uh, It was like February, March 2006. I went to Ireland. I went to Dublin. I moved to Dublin as a permanent on a permanent basis. And then I started on Google. And it was like the search quality team. We would the requirements would be like to have a good notion of The web, uh, the Portuguese language market, uh, we would have to kind of, you know, look at websites and, and kind of, you know, assess them, uh, much like different from quality raters, but a bit because this team would apply penalties on websites.
[00:04:32] Uh, so, uh, quality raters don't do anything. They just like, so the quality raters are the folks that are external to Google. They don't even come into the office and it's where. Search quality sends tasks at, at scale that we want to kind of, you know, um, have a sense of uhhuh. So if, uh, so back to, back to, to my experience, um, it, it was mostly like on a sperm fighting team.
[00:04:59] So, uh, understanding what are the issues that are most prevalent on language markets, um, synchronizing with. Language markets across Google. Um, because there were many people from other language markets and, um, tackling the whole thing as a whole, like with a consistent policy with a consistent approach.
[00:05:22] Uh, because if we decide that you're going to tackle something manually. Um, in one country doesn't make sense that you'd like to go in another one. So you want to see where trends arise on when trends die. So it's very, it's very convenient to have a lot of people in one place, um, with this expertise doing the same things.
[00:05:41] Um, so yeah, that's where I kind of started then like end of 2011. Um, I, it was because of personal issues, like with my ex wife at the time, she wanted to, to, to leave Ireland and I said, okay, if we are going to leave and I have to leave Google and I'm going to search for something else, I, I tried for a while, I waited six months.
[00:06:06] Uh, Uh, in Ireland until, uh, to see if I could move internally to another team to Switzerland or where John Miller is to the Webmaster Trends Analyst, but there were no positions open at the time. So I decided, okay, maybe this is sign, this is a sign that I, that I should go on something of my own. So then I went, I already had a lot of invitations from.
[00:06:29] Um, ex Googlers that were in Brazil because as you can imagine, the Portuguese language market, most of it is the big part of it is, is Brazil. So, um, if you think about, you know, having your image and making the most of on the Portuguese language market, you go to Brazil. So that's what I did. I partnered with, um, some ex Googlers that I knew from the Sao Paulo office and some others that work with me in Ireland.
[00:06:56] And we opened up. Uh, we started the business in, in, in Sao Paulo. Um, so then nine years past, uh, we were like, uh, mostly like already like on 70, 80 employees, uh, as a business. Um, but we were mostly like a marketing kind of digital marketing kind of business. Um, We were at the same, we were like disputing clients, uh, Accenture and, you know, uh, Younger and Rubicam and, uh, McKinnon and, uh, all these kind of big agencies.
[00:07:31] And, um, after a while I feel like it's a bit of a Race to the bottom because, um, as a digital marketing agency and our in our case, we would sell our, you know, our unique expertise to do for clients what other companies can't do or don't know what to do. And at some point, big clients like that we were having, they don't really care about this kind of, so most of the clients, if you think about scaling a business like this and growing up, um, used You need to stop caring about her.
[00:08:13] It's likely that you need to stop caring to sell to clients about your, like your, your unique expertise because they are not going to pay more to you as a small company. Then they would pay to this big multinational company that they are already partnering with. So it was a bit of, you know, not a very, to get together with other Uh, things in Brazil, it was not a very kind of fulfilling experience for me.
[00:08:40] I was growing a bit tired. Um, and at the same time we started working with McKinsey in Brazil. Um, so they would take us to consult with their own clients, McKinsey clients that would need SEO and digital marketing. They would take our company with them and they would consult to bring our expertise. And I started to get a bit of a taste again, of being embedded in other companies as in the product side of things, not so much in the marketing.
[00:09:07] And so I like, you know, this is, maybe this is what I want to do, you know, being like a solo consultant, um, going back, going smaller again. Being more focused and integrating product teams, uh, help, help the SEO problems within the product because the marketing is very volatile and it's very superficial in some aspects of what you Can do on what you Mm-Hmm.
[00:09:33] in, in my, in my case, what I wanted to do. So yeah, there I went, like, it was in the middle of the pandemic, November, 2020, and I flew into the UK and like a week later they closed everything, the flights and everything. So I, I was like this, just this time. Just in the nick of time. Yeah. Yes. So I just arrived in London, like in 1st of November, 2020.
[00:09:58] Yeah, after a while, I kind of, I already came with a, with an offer to be the head of SEO for, at the time, Rich, Rich PLC, it was one of the biggest news publishers in the UK, and I went from there, um, after a while, you know, I got an offer from another company, another publisher as well, that didn't went so well because, you know, internal problems and of the company and, you know, I don't want to go on about it, but, um, it was, it was a bit, It wasn't such a good experience.
[00:10:32] And I said, okay, you know what? Maybe it's a good time for me to think about opening my business here. So I did. I opened my business and then eBay came along and then MercadoLibre came along and then yeah, here we are now. Um, Okay, cool, cool. And it's like every, I think almost every SEO's biggest dream is to work for Google.
[00:10:54] So. So can you maybe tell me more about the recruitment process back then? Like, I guess you probably had to go through multiple stages. Like, is there something you can share? Yes. Uh, so yeah, I went like, I went through like five or six stages in the interview. Most of them were done from the seat of my car.
[00:11:19] With some papers on my lap, because I was working for a, um, advertising agency back then in Lisbon. Um, I was the, not officially the head, but I was, you know, the, that I was spearheading their web design department. Um, and at the time, like, um, Like I said in the beginning, Google was searching for, um, people that spoke Portuguese, had some kind of their, um, hands, uh, deep in, in, in web and web development.
[00:12:30] Um, and all of this, like through multiple stakeholders. At Google. So I think I first interviewed it like some people that would be my colleagues directly. Then I interviewed like with, um, um, HR at Google. Then I interviewed, uh, with, um, people from the United States, uh, from other teams. Um, then I interviewed from the director that would be my director, um, at Google and then some more kind of ironing out the details and traveling, etc.
[00:13:03] So all of it, like When were a lot of stages. Um, and the funny thing is that this hirings were all done initially as contractors. So everyone would go as a contractor to Google. We would not go as full time employees. And then if we kind of fulfilled the criteria, it's like if we met or, you know, exceeded their expectations on what we were able to accomplish, then they would Uh, turn this into full-time employees.
[00:13:34] And that's what happened. Like, so in, I went into Googling, I went to Google into March 20, um, 2006. And in July, 2007, I was, uh, I made a full-time employee. Mm-Hmm. . Um, and then, yeah, I, I went on to the, the team after, after like being a full-time employee, I. Got a bit more insights into, so I would not need to work behind the proxy anymore.
[00:14:04] For example, I would've access to a lot of things that I didn't have before. Um, 'cause usually, um, contractors would work like behind what they call a proxy. So you don't have access to a lot of internal things. Mm-Hmm. . Um, but. After I turn a full time employee, then you have access to things you have access them to, of course, things that you need.
[00:14:24] You don't have access to everything because no one at Google has access to everything. But I was put a lot into the search quality team. And I think it was a lucky for me because I had access to things early on that That allowed me to understand a lot of how Google works, that by the end of 2011, when I left, um, new employees wouldn't have access anymore because as we started to progress, so I entered the team at a very early stage, meaning that the tools that we had to work with were tools that were very.
[00:15:01] Bare bones and didn't have sometimes the necessary layers to shield people from accessing. If I didn't have access to the deeper systems, I would not be able to perform my work. Um, so, and then I started to be part of the tools development team. So I started to work for, um, in besides fighting spam, I started to develop tools to fight spam as well.
[00:15:27] We didn't know, um, and my. My main knowledge being in, you know, web design and kind of, um, design, et cetera. I did a lot of interface for our tools, uh, interfacing. So like, um, you know, how the tool would look like and what functions and all of this, how do the flow would be. Um, uh, and then I participated in other areas like people would, um, I had the chance to work with Google News team at some point to kind of help them with some, you know, insights into what Google News kind of would evolve in terms of the projects that they were doing.
[00:16:10] And I was taken to Mountain View for a while to participate in some projects like this. Um, and yeah, most, most of my time there was fighting spam. Um, then I started to lead efforts on the, um, spam fighting, uh, for the Portuguese language market. Um, so I was the main person for the Portuguese language market, um, making sometimes decisions that, you know, would have to be made in terms of policies or, uh, you know, Um, looping with that, uh, being part of the decision makers, where to go, um, when we would need to apply harsher policies or, or, um, penalties or, uh, approach things differently than or, um, how would we tackle something that wasn't in our policy?
[00:17:07] For example, that was a big issue. Like you have a policy written, but once in a while you'll find things that don't fall or are not covered. By the policies that you have, and you have to make decisions on that. So I was part of the people that would kind of got together in a room and we would make decisions on how would we circumvent that?
[00:17:28] Or would we escalate it to be solved at an algorithmic or engineering level? Or could we tackle it manually? And so it was always like, um, decisions that would involve, um, then, uh, making something that wouldn't That we wouldn't, uh, be, how can I put this? We wouldn't feel Uh, unfair or wouldn't be unfair to anyone.
[00:18:00] Um, because once you make a decision, uh, of something that falls out of your policy, you need to think of how does this spread out to other language markets that have similar or not so similar behaviors? Uh, what are you going to do about it? Um, what are you, another thing that People don't consider sometimes it's like, okay, you are complaining that your language market has a lot of, um, this low quality, uh, content and, um, Google doesn't do anything about it.
[00:18:34] But if we remove that, what comes after? Is it better? Uh, so sometimes in many language markets, you'd have this kind of low quality stuff that would kind of, despite being kind of arguably Low quality or spammy. It's the best that the market has because the amount of content Um, in the market is, is, is low and, um, there are not many people putting content outside, um, or publishing content and you have to live with that for, for a while until better things come so you can start tackling the bad things.
[00:19:17] So that's like a lot of, yeah, these decisions that you have to make where it's not just you go with the hammer. You start. hammering everything that looks bad because you have to deal with other things. After a while, you have to think of the whole cycle. Um, so yeah, that was in a nutshell, that was mostly it.
[00:19:37] And then, uh, as an, so I became an analyst for you. You are an analyst is someone that already like goes into more investigative, um, side of things. So, um, rather than kind of being a more like a Um, repetitive task, uh, uh, maker, um, so you'd have like to go into this kind of side quests to kind of, you know, um, Uh, going to, uh, investigate on link schemes and onto what's happening where and who is you are considering the reconsideration requests also.
[00:20:17] Yes. Yes. And sometimes you have like two super interesting things. Like sometimes you have to kind of, you know, uh, you, you know, people from the services consideration requests already, by the way that they write, by the way that they complain about something. So it is, you know, already like, Oh, the, the style of writing.
[00:20:38] I've, you've seen it like 20 times of the same person and you already know who the person is like, who, who, who the guy is because you've been following him like on his websites through all the web. So it's like, um, funny. Yeah. It's interesting. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I'm talking about this because this was supposed to be my question.
[00:21:02] Like how is Google like more intelligence in, in English speaking kind of results? Yeah. Yeah. But it looks like what you're saying, there's simply fewer results because like my native English, my native, uh, language is Polish and, uh, I can see very easily that when I look for something in Polish, like on the second or third page, very often there is like rubbish totally.
[00:21:27] And in English, like all 100 results seem to be like fairly okay. So, so that was, uh, that was like supposed to be my question. Like, the algorithm is like. More. It probably is well trained, like, so yes, one thing that you need to consider. Um, when you have low quality results or you have spam is how much of that is exposed to eyeballs.
[00:21:53] Um, and if you think like about English, almost almost every country has a search in English in the world. Um, so not only The amount of searches in English are higher. The content in English is also higher than in other countries. So all of this kind of amasses to the importance and makes up the importance of the language market, the English language market.
[00:22:23] And then you have markets like Portuguese as well and Polish and, and, uh, other, other language markets that where the, the The amount of content is much less, uh, and you have also like a bit less queries, a bit less. So, and you, it's less exposed to eyeballs. And then there's the fact that people that are working on quality improvements at Google, they start working mostly in English first because, you know, they, they, they, they, they, they, They, they, they do experiments.
[00:23:01] Um, how do they, how do they have the ability to do experiments in at a global level because they can push experiments to users at anywhere in the world and to pools of users in specific countries if they, if they want. But, um, when you start to work on a, on a Quality thing you start to assess. How does this affect the English language market?
[00:23:27] And that's why you first end up fine tuning it. It's an English language market. And then you work with people like me that at the time, um, where the analyst that is responsible for the language market is able like to talk with engineers and see what they are tackling and what. They will kind of show you samples of what they are tackling and things that could fall out of the scope of what they are tackling or things that fall inside of the scope of what they are tackling.
[00:23:59] Um, so and then you help them in the aspect of, you know, yes, this is like you are missing this or you are. Um, or you are, you know, being over, you are going over and hitting things that you shouldn't. Um, so yeah, there's this kind of, you know, help that goes from the expertise from the language market experts, um, and, um, helping engineers kind of, you know, tackle the needed things that, um, are singular to this language markets.
[00:24:36] Um, well, yeah, that's mostly it. Uh, and, um, no, there's not nothing more. That's, that's just that. That's it. Okay, cool. So quality team, Google search quality team. So quality means, uh, the absence of spam. Like, can you, can you walk me through, through your eyes? I mean,
[00:24:57] quality is, is, is, I used to say quality isn't the high of the The beholder, the people that, so for me and you quality are two different things probably because we have different experiences of life, different things that we experienced through life. Um, and, um, while for me kind of, for example, being in, some city in Poland would be like a wow factor.
[00:25:27] Um, because I've never been there, uh, for you have been there, like you've that you live there all your life. It could, maybe it's just like, it's your day to day life and you don't feel like, like, you know, uh, so in this aspect we have two different criteria of quality. So and qualities needs to be assessed.
[00:25:49] At scale by user behavior. So Google doesn't dictate anything regarding quality. What Google says is like me, you let me look at the behavior of my users, how they interact with this results that I'm gonna show them. And more importantly, When I switch this set of results for this does the behavior change for the better or for the worse and then assess quality based on that.
[00:26:17] So Google assesses quality that is given from the users that are doing the queries and and and that's why they are always pushing. Quality improvements because quality never, quality is not a, a linear thing. It's uhhuh quality degrades over time. So if you have always the same thing as the same quality after a while, it's not quality anymore because you are used to that.
[00:26:41] It's not, I don't know if you are aware with that Peter Moore's honeycomb that has like the usability findability. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think so. Yeah. So. All of those are aspects that compose quality. And when all of those, um, criteria, um, kind of, uh, surpass your expectations or exceed your expectations, you could say that you have quality.
[00:27:11] Because, um, it's something that surprises me in a good sense. It's something that is innovative. It's something that I was never seen before, and that kind of made some change to my life that fulfilled the need that I have. But after that need is fulfilled, and I found a way that fulfilled my need constantly, that stops being quality.
[00:27:35] Because as human beings, we know that we, we didn't have, for example, we would have to fight lions and Yeah. Cook food in, in, in the forest, um, in, in the past and albeit nowadays we live in houses with heating. Sometimes we are not happy with it anymore because yeah, it's not, we, our expectations are never fulfilled to the, to, to the sense that we are happy with what we have.
[00:28:05] We always want a little bit more. We always have to prove a little bit more. Um, and this is the same that goes on what you see. Um, in content on the web and in search and what people search for. So people always search for, for something more. And if the same set of results that we Google showed, like in, I don't know, 2006 would be the same nowadays, it wouldn't be quality because it just, it's just the same thing.
[00:28:35] So people, people sometimes say, Oh, my site ranked like first result for five years. I never did anything and suddenly kind of dropped. Yeah. What happened? Well, a lot of people happened. You know, expectations happened. So and you, and you didn't go along with the expectations. You don't, you don't talk to your users.
[00:28:53] You don't ask your users what they are missing on your website. You don't get feedback from whom matters. You follow Google. You don't follow your users. So that's why I'm always like, and it seems like a bit of a cliche sometimes and people say, yeah, yeah, yeah. But nobody does it. That's the, that's the thing.
[00:29:10] Nobody goes to their. Um, users and asks, Oh, what did you find out? What did you find off my website? What did you miss? Is there something that I could kind of, you know, have there that I didn't have there when, when you, when you were, when you found my business and you contacted me. Um, so if you, if we are always doing, if you are always going after Google, then we are missing one step.
[00:29:40] We are, we are, we are going, it's like the dog after the tail and like, yeah, we should, we should kind of take the middleman, which is Google and go directly to our users and have the confidence to do on our abscesses changes that are needed to meet their expectations and meet what our users tell us that they need and what they thought it was wrong, obviously.
[00:30:02] With the mind of an SEO, it's not just going blindly and doing everything like upside down or my user said they miss a lot of images. So I'm going to make my own website of images. Yeah, good. Look at that. You know, um, so you have to have like, okay, my, my users said that they miss images more of my website because it's all text.
[00:30:21] So I'm not, I'm gonna, as I know how Google works, I know what needs to be done in terms of having images on a website. How can I in a sensible way, Okay. Yeah. In a sensible way. Yeah. Exactly. So, yeah. And that's the thing that's, that I think sometimes SEOs tend to follow a little bit too much, um, cheat sheets and, and, and, uh, you know, kind of, you know, those ready kind of.
[00:30:53] Overdo something. Yeah. I'll get kind of bullet points that what they, and they end up, I just had a client that came to me a few days ago and said, Oh, I had this experience with this big company. And we all know the guy, if I tell the name, but I'm not, um, that they kind of threw me an audit of like, I don't know how many pages with things that I could do and things that I couldn't.
[00:31:41] You can you can do a note about that. But you can say yes, you know, I know that your platform is closed, and you're not going to be able to do it. So unless you Consider moving. This is something, this is a mute point. Or you can have a conversation with the platform and say, put, put, put you, put your client in the middle and have a conversation with the platform and say what they can improve for all their clients.
[00:32:04] But you know, throwing everything at the client, things that they can do and things that they can't doesn't help. Yeah. And the client ends up feeling overwhelmed of, and this is a reflex of you are doing these things and you are not understanding very much why you are. Yeah. Advising the things more, more, even worse, you are not understanding to whom you are delivering your recommendations because you don't understand the limitations of your client.
[00:32:29] Yeah. So I think, I think it's, it's, and, and, and making, making a website, turning a bad website into a good one under, you know, goes through understanding the limitations of the website itself. What are the limitations? And saying to the client, listen, this is where we are. This is the best that we can achieve, given Um, the things that we have.
[00:32:54] If you want more, we could do this or that, but we would have to change from where we are and just not throw everything at the client because they are going to feel overwhelmed and not even know where to start. Yeah. And won't implement anything. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Two brilliant points, really. Like, I love how you, how you approach quality.
[00:33:15] That's, that this is not that Google is dictating that, but users. It's not. And people sometimes treat quality as something technical. Well, sometimes it is when Google can't crawl something or you put out too much trash for Google to crawl and Google can't make out like the, you know, it has a bad time getting to the good content and because it's always crawling the bad one.
[00:33:39] Um, but It's not always like it's something that you have to go to the business, to the product and have a conversation of what does the business want to be, of what do they, or what do they want to achieve? How much are they willing to invest on their own website to change it to what it needs to be? And it's not just like a spreadsheet full of bullet points that Of that you need to audit and show to the client that doesn't make like, Oh, people automatically think like, Oh, I only have 500 words on my page.
[00:34:15] I need 1500 to be quality. No, you are, you are again approaching the quality from a quantitative Yeah. Point of view. It's not, it's a qualitative point of view. It's quality because it's qualitative. It's not quantitative. Yeah, exactly. And people keep, keep treating quality as a quantitative point. And it's, we are not gonna change as, as long as that happens.
[00:34:38] SEOs are always gonna be seen as, you know, oh, the guys that try to kind of, um, play Google because you, while we focus, we can understand quality. We only understand quantity. Yeah, yeah, yeah, totally, totally. And now a question about web accessibility, like from a lay, from a standpoint of a person who doesn't know much about it, where do I get started?
[00:35:01] I know there is web accessibility audit in Lighthouse, but like, how do I get started? How do I know? Even if I'm meeting those web accessibility requirements. So web accessibility has been along for forever. There has always been a Standards on web accessibility, you can get those on W3C, there's a lot of them there.
[00:35:28] And a lot of things that we do in SEO stemmed from web accessibility requirements. For example, um, all text on images, um, um, Search, uh, the, the search, search headings, search search, you know, search the, the headings, the, you know, H one, H two, et cetera. Those come from web accessibility requirements. Um, and the thing about web accessibility is like there's a lot of it and accessibility.
[00:35:57] It's important to. To talk about web accessibility, you know, accessibility because accessibility goes offline and it goes into ramps for people to cross the road, for example. Okay. But, you know, you have a web accessibility, which is like accessibility applied to the web. So making things on the web.
[00:36:16] Easier for people with disabilities, uh, and disability can be temporary, can be permanent, people can lose, um, site on a, for, on a temporary basis or motion, you know, on a temporary basis. Mm-Hmm, . And I need to be able, for example, to navigate a website with, with the keyboard and not just with the mouse, for example.
[00:36:37] Um, not everyone uses a mouse to, to, to navigate. Not everyone uses a touch assistive, uh, touch device to kind of, to navigate. Um, so we need to understand how people go about, uh, is your website able to be navigated, um, if people can have a mouse over, if your website has infinite scroll and I don't have a mouse.
[00:37:02] Does it scroll? Oh, for example. Yeah. That's a good question. Yeah. Yeah. Um, for example, Google doesn't scroll. So people that inject things on the pages based on scroll, they're invisible to invisible to Google. And that's something that I see over and over coming in audits that sometimes people miss. They take a screenshot of a, of a page and they scroll to take the screenshot.
[00:37:26] You know, you know, we scroll in our browsers to take a screenshot. And we take and they said, Oh, yes, everything is visible. But then if you configure your Chrome to have a really tall viewport and you the correct user agent and you load the page there and you don't do anything, don't touch anything, just let the page load, you'll see that a lot of things don't load that are injected on the page based on scroll.
[00:37:48] And so It's two different scenarios. You know, it's, it's, you are, when you are not understand, you only don't understand how Google kind of, and people with disabilities kind of navigate. You miss these things because it's just not natural to you to, to look at these things. So I usually tell people, go read a book about information architecture, go read a book about web accessibility.
[00:38:14] There are so many of them. And then Apply, you know, don't, don't start, don't get your mind started from the SEO point of view. Have your mind start from the web accessibility point of view and information architecture and apply SEO to it. And that's where, for me, that that's the correct way off of approaching it and kind of, and that's why you start.
[00:38:39] That's where, um, understand, um, quality and, and, and what, what, what things would make sense on a page and what things don't. And it's, it's a bit impossible to, to, to kind of put into words, but it's something that you have to. build up as an, your own intuition and your own general knowledge. Because if you, as long as your SEO work is like, sure, looking out for the best tool and looking out for the best plugin and the best spreadsheet and, um, the best checklist, the best checklist and information, you know, I'm not, I'm just going to do everything with artificial intelligence now.
[00:39:28] You, you are missing the point. You're missing you're leaving a lot of stuff on the table that you that you shouldn't because you're just you're you're first tools is like you're letting people decide for you what's important on a page those tools tools will tell you some things that are silly and they will miss other things that are important so it it it's up to the ability of Who coded the tool, what the tool looks for, and what kind of, you know, it should, it, yeah, it's helpful, but, you know.
[00:40:01] Um, your brain is more important than the tool. Yeah. Couldn't agree more. Yeah. And, um, can you also rant a little bit about like user experience and SEO? Because like the way you look at those things is, is like, it's, it's, it's a bit different than I think will make people understand those way better. I rent because I'm a, I'm a bit passionate about this topic.
[00:40:23] I can see that. Um. Yeah. Yeah. And I see sometimes people approaching it from such a simplistic way and putting out advice without, you know, okay, sometimes it's, it's hard to put out advice in a more elaborate way because you know, social media is, is, is quick and it doesn't give you much space to kind of, uh, elaborate on all the, you know, points that you would like, but you know, it doesn't hurt to put like a disclaimer, you know, like, you know, there are more to it.
[00:40:55] Please. And, and. Make people curious about the topic so they go research more, don't, what I, what I, what bugs me about sometimes SEO advice is that people put out advice and they put it as the only advice and as them being the source of this advice and they don't entice others to go and search for more and complement other things to what they are advising.
[00:41:21] Uh, and a classic example has been the ultimate truth. Yeah. The classic example that goes in, in a segue into the information architecture and user experience is that arguments about directors versus subdomains, uhhuh, that has, you know, that as well as me. This has always been around like forever, and it'll be forever as long as we don't understand what we are dealing with.
[00:41:44] If you don't understand why you should do the sub actor, then you have a problem. You should go study. Uh, and go study information architecture, for example, and then you'll understand and then you won't have that argument anymore. Um, so the thing about, you know, user experience, as you said, user experience is a very broad topic.
[00:42:06] There is experience goes again, offline and online is like how I experience an interaction, your brand, which what you sell your products. And when we apply to this. To the web and to mostly SEO, it's what matters on user experience is first of all, for example, I can say web accessibility, information architecture, usability are all within user experience.
[00:42:39] All this user experience is the umbrella. For all these disciplines. And if you talk about user experience is very broad. So I'm going to branch it into these three areas, which is information architecture, web accessibility and usability. So we already touched, talked a little bit about web accessibility.
[00:43:00] So let's talk about information architecture. Information architecture is no more than how people organize things. How you perceive the logic off what comes before and what comes after so you know that the drawer goes into the cupboard and you put things in the drawer, not the other way around. So and when you are building a website, which is a hierarchical tree.
[00:43:24] You need to understand what comes before and what comes after. So what comes was before is like kitchen and then comes the forks and you know, um, but then like you need to apply this to the, depending on the, on the area that we are talking about. So if it's like a, a more. tangible area, like e commerce stuff, um, you organize things in one way.
[00:43:51] But then if you, for example, take a blog that reviews kitchen stuff, maybe the organized things different differently from the e commerce, it's not organized the same way because one is. the product and the other is information about the product. So you don't necessarily, you know, compartmentalize the information the same way in both aspects.
[00:44:15] So first of all, you need to understand on the universe that you are working with, what's, what are the logical and common ways that how people organize things and what's the logical way of organizing this, this thing. Um, that's why we, we buy. Uh, fashion differently than we buy kitchen appliances, you know, um, you did, uh, well in fashion, you probably need, you know, bigger images and, uh, to see the style and see the materials and close up.
[00:44:45] pictures and kitchen appliances, maybe you need a more detailed description about the product and the voltage and whatever is there that you don't need on the, on the other one. So you need to understand which universe are you working with and how extensive is it? So for example, if I only sell kitchen stuff, my universe is much more restricted than I can go more in depth into what I sell than if I My store sells everything.
[00:45:13] Uh, for example, eBay sells everything. They don't just sell like kitchen, they sell cars, they sell, I've seen kind of, you know, houses for sale. So in that aspect, you cannot apply the same principles and the same rigid approach to organizing a website than if you would apply if you were organizing a small, a smaller website.
[00:45:37] So within a small website, you can go deeper. You can be more Um, nuanced in the, how you split things, are you, are you going to turn this into a category? Are you turning, going to turn it into a subcategory? Um, so why does, if it's more broad, you run the risk of over doing it and you don't want the website to be too capillarized or, you know, you don't have to do it too much or too little.
[00:46:12] This is the thing like you have, and this is the unfortunate part of this is that there is no way to know that you are doing it well, unless you have experience and, you know, go through many and read about it and talk with people and discuss about it. Because, I mean, I've been doing this for. 20 years about information architecture, and I still sometimes miss things because I don't know well in depth of a certain vertical or I don't know well in depth of a certain target audience or the product that my client sells is too technical or it's not so much technical.
[00:46:54] So all of this dictates how a website should be built. And the thing is like information architecture should be planned in a way that it shouldn't change. Uh, Like, we don't want to be doing migrations. So that's another, you know, we don't, you don't. That's another thing that kind of ties in with SEO. So when you do a well planned architecture that is stems from looking at, uh, um, you know, a hierarchical tree or for, for example, I can give you an, I think it's about if I give a more concrete example, um, When I work with clients that will have a new project to launch or we have a website to launch.
[00:47:42] And so I try to understand what is the universe that they're going to live in, right? And because it's very difficult sometimes to understand, we need to consider Parallel universes that they are going to live in. So are you going to live in this Star Wars universe or in the Star Trek universe? You know, like, because they are both have spaceships, um, and you need to understand what are the nuances to each of them.
[00:48:07] So sometimes I, I go to the extent of doing so, you know what, I'm going to do two examples of the hierarchical tree of a website, and then we are going to see which one fits best. And then I'm going to let it marinate for a while. I'm, I've built this too. I'll let it. On the side, and I'm going to build a third one.
[00:48:26] Maybe I'm going to build, I don't know, some other spaceship kind of universe that's that I didn't think of. And I'm going to then get it all together and see what after after like a week or two and see which one looks best. Is this one that looks more future proof or this one looks more future proof?
[00:48:44] Because what we don't, you want to spend, you, you want to be spending time. On planning your information architecture so later you don't have to change because you didn't think about something that you should. So what happens when we have to do migrations and we have to change radically our websites is because we didn't do the work that we should have done some time ago at the start.
[00:49:11] Planning the, you know, information architecture and the hierarchical tree of our websites. And we didn't prepare to be kind of future proof because once we do it, when a new thing comes along, you know, it, it, it has a place to be, that it belongs in your website. You don't need to change anything. Or is there, there's going to be very little thing that you need to change unless of course you change your area of operation or your business, then of course that's, but as long as you remain to, um, faithful to it, it's going to be logical to evolve from there.
[00:49:44] So and that's how we, how I, that's how I do the parallel between information architecture and SEO. Yeah, that's cool. So, and that's where you decide when you should use a directory or subdomain, you know? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I mean, I've already solved problems by switching directors to subdomains and vice versa.
[00:50:07] Yeah, totally. You just need to understand which problem you're solving. And yeah, and then you have the usability kind of area is as well, it's just like things like logical things as like have a navigation always present, that's always relevant to the user. We always do. You know, SEOs kind of have a thing with breadcrumbs.
[00:50:26] Yeah, breadcrumbs are great, but they should kind of be relevant to the context they are in. Just don't start spreading breadcrumbs all around just because you have internal linking. So yeah, I mean, there's a lot of, you know, you this, we could go forever. This, this says each of these little topics as ways to branch out that would take forever, but This is just to give a sense of, if you treat all of these areas as they should, as they were designed to be understood, and then you apply your SEO knowledge to them, and not the other way around.
[00:51:04] Don't, don't just like go on a, you know. Rampage of throwing SEO at everything and then thinking about, Oh yeah, let's throw like information architecture to SEO and no, do the other way around. Think of other, how other and how other products and other areas work and how SEO can benefit their work. And that's a thing that I do within product every day.
[00:51:28] I work with people that are experts in information architecture and usability and, and I listened to their meetings and I listened to the, see Their products and us look at their problems and I apply SEO to it as well. I think, well, we are considering this, but search engines are going to have a bad time here.
[00:51:47] So how do we solve this? Um, you know, and don't let, don't, you know, some more often than not, you don't need to modify a lot of things, um, to fit and to improve, um, work that other people are already doing. Yeah. Totally. And the question I just have to ask is like, what's your view of the future of SEO, AI, like how it's going to change?
[00:52:11] I'm not asking if it's dead, but like, how do you see it evolve? Well, uh, I don't know. I think as long as, as long as I will say, as long as, as your SEO is, and it depends. Uh huh. Yeah. Answer. Uh, I don't see AI replacing it anytime soon because, um, I mean, it's a great tool. I use it, for example, to start me on a, sometimes I've, I want to help me with an SQL query that I kind of have, and I'm missing something in, or the other day kind of, uh, I was copied, I copied an SQL query from Slack and Slack turns the, you know, the, the, The quotes.
[00:52:55] Yeah, yeah. Curly quotes into different, yeah, yeah, yeah. From straight didn't quotes into curly quotes. And then SQL doesn't like curly quotes and it says that's, there's an error. And you look at it and it says, looks fine to me. And ah, and then I put it into chatty pity and ity. That's view. 'cause you have curly quotes.
[00:53:10] Oh, thank you very much. Um, so yes. Um, I use it for, for example, help me with, um. RStudio to build like queries to query search console, um, but I don't see it doing the thought process for me. I know which, uh, which, uh, data I want to pull. I know what charts I want to make. The AI doesn't know. AI sometimes misses the point.
[00:53:37] AI sometimes uses the wrong. Our studio library, uh, when it uses analytics library instead of search console library. It already did that couple, couple of times. Mm-Hmm. . So you need to understand that, you know, it, use it as an augment, you know, yes. Way to augment your powers. Not a way to replace them. And I don't think it's, yeah, it's gonna, it's gonna facilitate, but you need to know where you are going.
[00:54:04] You need to know what you are aiming for because it's, uh, if you let it aim, if you let it go wild, it's just gonna go, you know? Yeah. It's not going to end well. It's not definitely. So one of the final questions, what does your normal SEO day look like? Well, my normal SEO day looks like, um, well, I, I'm trying to be on less on Twitter than I was.
[00:54:32] I'm trying to distance myself a bit because I see a lot of people arguing on Twitter and you know, putting out advice that I don't necessarily agree with and I just stopped like interacting at all. And so I, sometimes I just go to Twitter at the end of the day or two days after to see what what's happened.
[00:54:52] Um, unless I know that, you know, Something is brewing or something is going, then I want to see what's happening. Usually my day is like, so I working for a company like a base means that most of the things that come start to come at the end of my day here. So like four o'clock in the afternoon is when people start to wake up there.
[00:55:12] Oh yeah. Yeah. Same here. Yeah. So it's when my slack starts buzzing around is when like four o'clock in the afternoon. But I have also colleagues that are here in the UK and in Berlin. So we kind of talk among ourselves. Um, and we discuss stuff that we need to achieve. And, um, you know, data that we need to pull from databases.
[00:55:34] And so that's kind of that looking at how the sites have been performing overall. If there's a problem with what has been rolled, because we have like things that we should kind of Look at on a daily basis so that that's what I do. And then also kind of don't look at after my own clients from Mercado livre from brazil.
[00:55:56] I also look at what's going on with them What have they done while I was sleeping? And So and and mostly And mostly like understanding what's going on within the industry. Uh, of course, I, uh, just because I'm not on Twitter doesn't mean I don't follow what's going on, but I like also like once in a while to explore what's, what's new in the, these areas that I just spoke about, like information, uh, information architecture.
[00:56:27] And so I search for new books in this area. And I try to kind of see if it's an interesting book to get and to read and, and I go along and I do it. Um, I participate in like, uh, participate is a vulnerable statement because I mostly lurk now in, in forums that I was a member of, like Google help forum, uh, to see what's, you know, going there.
[00:56:53] And, um, You know, the chrome performance forums as well, and to see what's going in there. And I tried to kind of see what people are discussing about what topics we are talking about and, you know, go along with the what's happening with a I, uh, and Yeah, that's, that's what my day looks like Muslim, uh, in a nutshell, uh, I tried to kind of do some biking and running as well in the mornings usually when I have to work over weekends.
[00:57:27] I don't. You don't. Oh, well, I, as a policy, I don't. I don't work at weekends. I do if a client of mine needs, if I have a client that we are pushing some project we are in the beginning, things are kind of rough. They need to kind of, you know, to get things straight, they need to iron out things with their suppliers.
[00:57:51] If there's something that I can do, that's going to make them feel better. And if that goes on, if I, if I will have to do it over a Saturday or a Sunday, I will, I will do it. Otherwise, I don't. Okay. Cool. Okay. So where can people find you? Follow you? Like, what's the best place? You said you're not that much on Twitter.
[00:58:15] Well, yeah, that's still the best. Yeah. Well, I'm at pedro Diaz on Twitter is here on the screen. Um, I'm, uh, you know, my, my company is also, they're kind of visibly. com.
[00:58:32] So visibly. com, uh, you can find me on LinkedIn as well. Um, I've been kind of trying to get back to doing some blogging or blogging now, but Some podcasting where I kind of, you know, I, I had this podcast was called three things in search. I would kind of talk about the three most important things in search that happened.
[00:59:00] Uh, and meanwhile, things happen and things in my life changed. So I had to kind of put a pause on a podcast and then I didn't go back to it, but I've been planning to kind of go back to it because I have a lot of things here that I should kind of use and I'm not using. Oh, so I can try it. Yeah. Well, yeah.
[00:59:24] I should start to at least like putting my rents out more or Yeah, it's enough. You just rent. People will love it. Yeah. A five minute trend per day. Yeah, totally. More than that. And uh, so I've been trying to put a start to that, uh, as well. Um, yes, it's called Search Tremblings and I don't know if I'm going to.
[00:59:48] I think I think I can, I can, I'm going to use that again to put it to start my, my, my new thing, my new gig, um, but otherwise LinkedIn as well. Like so I'm, I'm split between like what the two social networks that I look at the most are Twitter and LinkedIn despite not being there actively every day. So So if I don't answer you right away, don't, don't, I usually answer, I usually reply to people that are nice that then don't come like full of themselves or anything like that.
[01:00:23] Yeah. I'm not selling you links. So yeah, mostly. Um, and if you need anything, I, you can get to me through my company page. It's all my contacts are there. So that's mostly it. Okay. Cool. So Pedro, thank you. Thank you so much. It was an honor to have you. This was like so, so many knowledge bombs. So I'm, I'm super excited that I had you on my show.
[01:00:51] Well thanks a lot. So it's nice to see that people are doing this kind of podcasting and putting their knowledge out. It's always nice to, to speak with new people in the industry. Um, and, you know, thanks for having me in your podcast, best of luck. Yeah, totally. And, um, you're, you're, you're, you're making success.
[01:01:11] I'm trying. Continue on your path. Yeah, I will try. So thank you. And thanks, everyone. Bye bye. Bye bye.