SEO Knowledge Bomb Podcast | SEO Video Show Recaps

Carolyn Holzman 🕷 Google Bot, Indexing & Crawling

September 22, 2023 Paul Andre de Vera
SEO Knowledge Bomb Podcast | SEO Video Show Recaps
Carolyn Holzman 🕷 Google Bot, Indexing & Crawling
Show Notes Transcript

Carolyn has been doing local SEO for over 13 years.

She is an SEO tester, podcast, speaker and media researcher.

She is the host of Confessions of an SEO and is frequently on the SEO Fight Club.

She teaches Forensic SEO Training once a year, and her indexation research is published daily on Youtube Crawl No Crawl.

Please welcome the president of American Way Media, Carolyn Holzman.

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Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of the SEO Knowledge Bomb podcast! I'm your host Paul and today I had the honor of sitting down with the one and only Carolyn Holzman.

Carolyn has been doing local SEO for over 13 years now. She's an SEO tester, podcaster, speaker, media researcher, and the host of Confessions of an SEO. She's frequently on SEO Fight Club and teaches Forensic SEO Training once a year. Her indexation research is published daily on her Youtube channel, Crawl No Crawl.

To kick things off, I asked Carolyn to explain how to rank #1 on Google in one minute or less. Straight to the point, she said it's all about being more topically relevant than the other 90 results on that page. Simple enough!

Rewinding back to the early days, Carolyn first got into SEO completely by accident. She owned a local business and noticed her customers were getting older without any new ones coming in. A courier mentioned they found her on Google, which she didn't even know about at the time! Once she saw her competitors there, she knew she had to learn SEO to keep up.

What really hooked her was attending a 3-day marketing workshop where the final speaker was an SEO expert. He walked through exactly how he ranked his own pub's website in London. Carolyn was blown away by how he simplified SEO and made it actionable. She studied with him over Skype for a year, using her own business website as a guinea pig. Within 2 years she ranked #1 nationally for her target keyword!

As an SEO tester, Carolyn loves finding niche keywords that Google doesn't know about yet. It lets her quickly test theories that were otherwise just debated endlessly online. Her very first test settled the debate about whether your H1 and title tag should match or be different. With just 2 pages and 2 domains, she had her answer in 10 minutes!

On her podcast Confessions of an SEO, Carolyn shares her uncensored thoughts and experiences about SEO. She wants to ease the burden for business owners skeptical of SEO after being burned before. It provides digestible education without the sales pitch.

Crawl No Crawl started in 2021 when JavaScript rendering was turned off on Google for months. Carolyn and other testers struggled to get pages indexed. Her peer Ted Kubaitis suggested gathering public evidence to demonstrate the issues. Carolyn volunteered and has tested indexing daily ever since!

Through all this testing, she discovered Google treats sites differently based on the primary bot type assigned. Mobile primary sites get crawled and indexed within 48 hours reliably. Desktop sites take much longer and face sporadic indexing/serving failures. She watches Google update the bots and systems behind the scenes every few weeks.

For anyone struggling with individual page indexing, Carolyn stresses not to blame yourself. Check Google Search Console for the specific reason. Usually it says "Google systems", not your page content, is the cause. You can resubmit and request indexing again, but it's on Google's end.

If you want to index new pages faster, get external traffic to them first via links, ads, email clicks, etc. Google has said traffic can trigger indexing. Also make sure your internal linking flows naturally from related high authority pages. Avoid linking new pages from unrelated silos.

For duplicate content, Carolyn distinguishes between true duplication and syndication. Duplicate content is the exact same content on different URLs of the same domain. Syndication is when your content gets republished by other sites, with just 1 or 2 versions indexed. Fix duplicate content by adding canonical tags or consolidating paths.

Carolyn's advice for new SEOs is to create a safe space to fail and learn. Build a test website, like an affiliate site with low stakes, so you can try different tactics freely. See what helps or hurts without risking your money site. Document everything and keep educating yourself!

And that summarizes the key highlights from my insightful interview with Carolyn Holzman! Let me know what your biggest takeaways were in the comments. Huge thanks again to Carolyn for sharing her wisdom and experience so generously. Be sure to check out Confessions of an SEO, Crawl No Crawl on YouTube, and her SEO training if you want to geek out on all things indexing. Until next time, keep bombing that SEO knowledge!