We sat down with Eli Schwartz, Arpana Tiwari, and Todd Friesen to learn about the journey of an SEO through the past decade of search, the essential skills SEOs need to develop at the moment, and what the future of Search could look like.


Danny Allen: [00:00:00] I'm danny. I'm the VP of marketing at 97th floor. We're an enterprise digital marketing agency. We have Eli Schwartz with us, growth advisor and SEO strategic consultant, also author of Product Led SEO, the book. Uh, we have Arpana Tiwari, who is the director of organic growth at Eventbrite. Uh, used to be at Adobe, Google, Facebook, Walmart, Apple, everywhere. I'm sure I missed a couple others. And then we have Todd Friesen as well. Uh, at, uh, well, you're a free agent right now. Formerly at Vimeo and then previously at Salesforce for, for just about 10 years. Correct. Incredible to have all three of you. Thanks for jumping on. I actually gathered all of you together because, uh, we work with a lot of Like top notch SEOs, top notch digital marketing leaders, and a lot of them are kind of coming to us with these questions about the role of organic right now with so much influx.

They're kind of re evaluating where this fits, does it fit? Obviously it still fits, but to what degree? What they should be thinking [00:01:00] about? All that kind of stuff. I just attended MozCon, and there's just a lot of those questions floating around, like, you know, what should we be expecting of ourselves right now?

And, uh, with all the change coming, right? So, with each of you having Uh, over a decade of experience, plus, uh, working at the highest levels of SEO, I think you have a really important perspective that you can share, and I want to kind of pull that out of you. So, uh, just to kind of kick this off, though, maybe kind of for fun, I was thinking about, let's all think back a little about 10 years ago, 10 to 15 years ago, where, where you were, what you were facing, and we're going to bring it up to, to what we're dealing with right now.

But, for fun, I did a couple, like, searches on Google from back in like 2008, 2012. Trying to understand what people were searching for. This was kind of a funny one. Uh, I found a Search Engine Land article that said this. It was citing a study. It said, 64 percent of companies said finding an SEO specialist was more difficult than finding other skilled employees.

The whole point of this article was that there's like a shortage of SEO people. We need more SEO people. This thing is This thing is growing like crazy. Um, in the same study it says, companies with a significant SEM [00:02:00] spend, and then they put in parenthesis, over 25k a month. Which is kind of, which is kind of funny, right?

That 25k a month was a significant SEM spend. But it says, uh, those companies ranked, um, hiring skilled SEO staff on par with other technical or implementation based SEO challenges. Basically just finding people was, was the, the challenge. Another kind of funny nugget was a article from Moz in 2012. And it listed some of the top skills that SEOs needed.

It said, uh, number one, be the best person to work with at the office. Uh, number two, always talk about SEO from the perspective of people, not robots. Number three, don't rely on data to tell your story for you. Number four, help your colleagues meet their goals before asking them to support yours. Number five, go agile from a project management perspective.

I thought some of this stuff was funny, just thinking back, like, and I was really young in my career at that point, but I still remember this feeling of like, no one will give us The, the time of day. How do I get anyone to believe in SEO? And, and even though now SEO and organic as a channel is, is huge everywhere, I still [00:03:00] feel like some of these things still apply.

Some of these challenges are still felt. Everyone kind of still says the same thing. I can't get buy in. I can't. Anyway, I don't want to spend the majority of our time together talking about the past, but I do want to like ask you, feel free to speak when, you know, but what were, what were your, what are your memories from those days?

[3:19] What were the challenges that you were dealing with? And what were the skills that you needed back then?

I don't know if you want to kick it off, Eli. 

Eli Schwartz: So we go back like 10, 11, 12 years. There was those. I think that's an SEO change. That's when like smart SEO died because Google took away all the tricks like between Panda and penguin, like Panda was the algo update that got rid of all the thin content and it's, it's baked into the algo today.

So like the whole idea, like we're, it's Panda applies today when we talk about gen AI. So if you think about. There was a plugin, Todd and Arp and I remember this, it was called caffeinated content on WordPress. That was gen AI. What it did was you took RSS feeds and it from different sites and then it used like, I don't know, some sort of synonym matching, but it wasn't that smart because it operated in your own server and your own WordPress instance, [00:04:00] do synonym matching and just replaced words and merged all together and created other crap, like non readable crap, but it had keywords in it.

You even put your keyword in and it sprinkled your keyword in that's. Like 20, that's 2008 version of gen AI and we've gone today. So that whole concept stopped existing after Panda. When like Google looked at the value and quality and quantity of content and penalize sites. Now it doesn't penalize sites for Panda, just penalizes content.

So, you know, the whole gen AI question is like, Oh, can you get away with it? Well, if you figure out how to write a lot of good content at scale that readers like, then yes, but if you create crap, no. And then penguin. I guess in 2012 that like neutralized all the bad shady linking. So there's still a lot of shady linking, but it is, you have to put way more effort and you have to like plant the link and real content and you can't just use plugins and all that.

So that's what I think about like going back to that, like SEO used to be fun and creative and you come up with hacks and like. We had all these secrets and we were talking earlier about like going to conferences. That's when you shared all the secrets. Like someone, I probably learned about caffeinated content at a conference [00:05:00] and then like I couldn't wait to like install it.

I probably did in my hotel room and now you go to conference and like there aren't those secrets. Like there's nothing you'll learn at a conference that you wouldn't read on search engine land or search engine roundtable. So SEO was a lot more fun back then. Uh, I think it's better for users that it's, it's less fun.

More, not as much fun for us, 

Danny Allen: not as fun for you on a day to day basis. 

Todd Friesen: All right. Yeah, I fully agree with that. It became, you know, much more like, like we were talking earlier, like project management and coming up with the list of the things that need to be done. And then waiting your turn in line with all of the other engineering projects that needed to go to the front end team or to the backend team, if it was a deep enough technical problem.

And you just, and you, and you go, okay, well, let's move to agile and be part of engineering and get in sync with that, uh, and, and get into, and then measurement became a much bigger thing. Like, we actually became much more concerned with the whole funnel than we get with [00:06:00] being number one for the vanity set of key terms that the, that the CEO had.

I mean, when I, 10, you go back to 2012, for example, Eli, as you mentioned, that was, that was when I moved from agency to in house and started at Salesforce. And we spent an inordinate amount of time chasing the number one ranking for CRM, which, I mean, let's be honest, great keyword, tons of traffic, very much vanity.

Like it was, it was so far up the funnel that it produced very little in the way of going down the funnel. But that became a big thing, you know, of course, when, when Google took away the keyword level, uh, referral data. And you're like, so all of a sudden you're like, well. And even to this day, like how, how long ago was that?

Was that 2000, was that eight, eight, nine years? That was almost 10 years ago. Now they took away that referral data. And to this day we still deal with people going, well, Google gives you that. And like, no, they haven't for 10 years. And I think that's the bigger thing that we're still dealing with over the last 10 years is [00:07:00] outside of the SEO world.

It's still this weird black box and it's still this pile of misinformation. It seems to be about 10 years old that, you know, CEOs and CMOs and a lot of the leadership sort of have that, that it never evolved, I think, is where sort of where I'm sitting at this point. 

Arpana Tiwari: Yeah, I think from my standpoint, similar to what Eli and Todd have shared, the simplicity is lost.

Uh, if I was to think about 10 or 15 years back, you walk in, you look at a site and immediately things pop out at you in terms of, you know, these are very clear ways you can serve the customer better, you can serve the business, you can bring the two together. And fast forward to today, it's become more of a business of managing SEO, especially at enterprises.

There's so much that comes along with it that is, I think, administrative from the standpoint of, uh, what kind of tools do you want to use? There's, uh, there were probably five really solid, good tools we used to be able to use in the past. And now, you know, every week somebody's [00:08:00] pitching a new tool. And so, like, how do you Can I keep that at bay?

And then, um, the team, um, then all of the work, no site is, I would say, untouched. Uh, and 10, 15 years back, you would come into a site where nobody had touched SEO on it. And now it's probably, you know, you're cycling through, maybe there's a lot of experts prior who've done it, who've tried it. Um, and you're going into a system where you have to pitch a lot more versus in the past, you'd try something, it would work.

Now there's. A lot of tech debt associated with things. Um, so I think all that additional complexity, um, has made it much more rigorous process, um, which takes out some of the creativity in my 

Eli Schwartz: view. I think, I think it's good. I mean, I, I think the internet used to be like the wild west where, you know, Let's say, let's say, let's say something standard, like e commerce, you searched an e commerce query in 2005 on one thing, you'd see Amazon and another, you'd see eBay and another, you'd see Walmart, right?

And now [00:09:00] it's very, it's standardized. Like these are the e commerce, these are the commerce players. For apparel, for example, it's it's Macy's. It's Nordstrom. It's, you know, it's those brands. So those brands dominate search. And I know like people will complain. Oh, Google favors brands. And that's because users favor brands.

You don't go into the mall and go to the brand new store that you never heard of and spend all your money. You go to the brands and you trust the brands. We buy clothes that come from brands. So Google is a representation of that. And I think we're living in a world where the algo has figured out how to catch up to that and surface brands because that's what keeps people coming back to Google.

And I think that's where it. Bing maybe suffers a little bit because you don't see being, you see more random sites and that's maybe off putting users like, well, I was just searched like iPhone case and you're, you're showing me something I never heard before. I don't know if I could trust your results and go to Google and like this looks standard.

No matter what query I search, it's standard. These are the brands that trust, you know, some sometimes number one, sometimes number three, but like it looks, it looks the way I expect it to. So I think it's, it's a good industry 

Todd Friesen: change. Well, [00:10:00] and that's, I mean, that's a piece that we used to talk about all the time is.

Everybody wants it to be this completely, um, like 100 percent unbiased ranking algorithm that you can tick the boxes and get to be number one or number two on the front page. And it completely leaves out that Google's user experience is a driving force for Google in its entirety. And just to echo exactly what you said, if people show up and they don't like the search results They're going to, you know, either not click an ad or like whatever they're going to not do.

They want to like those search results and that's, we can't as SEOs really approximate that level of user satisfaction with a site that doesn't meet that criteria. Like that, that's outside of what we can do as SEOs or as, as marketers to a large degree. 

Arpana Tiwari: And I think what's exciting about now is that SEO seems to be going back full circle into marketing.

I think we started out [00:11:00] with, it's a channel to market where there's value, bring users and businesses together. And then it got into a lot of automation and scaling and you're trying to be everything to everybody. Uh, and you're trying to just maximize the traffic. And I think now it's coming back to where is the value.

And I think SEOs should really think beyond search and they should be thinking of any surface. Where people are looking, so it really goes back into organic. It could be organic search, because people are searching on almost every surface. So you really want to go back into organic. Where are your users, uh, and what are they looking for, versus one search engine.

Yes, it gets most of the traffic, but sometimes you lose the insights if you're just looking at that one. If you split it into more of the niche engines, you're going to start to see insights that can actually help you on the big one too. 

Eli Schwartz: Yeah, well that, 

Todd Friesen: I mean that was. And that and then things like when you talk about service like the app stores and things like that fall into that bucket.

I was uh, scrolling [00:12:00] job listings on LinkedIn the other day and just, you know, seeing what's out there. And, and I came across one that was a, it was SEO related and digital, I had all this stuff in it. And one of the criteria that it called out, which I hadn't seen in a job description in a long, long time was.

Um, expert knowledge in app stores and app deep linking and like it was very very like somebody had very specifically written out this part and it was a mobile related company, but it was very specific around apps and links to apps and deep linking from apps out to sites and vice versa and stuff like that, which is.

I mean, that's a very specialized part of SEO that very few SEOs have really gotten into. 

Eli Schwartz: And I think there's one thing, and I always tell this to potential clients that people don't realize, which is a very, very high percentage of websites in the entire world don't do SEO because they don't know it exists.

I'd put that as high as 90%. Like whatever the IRS of some country, like there's 180 countries in the world. Most of those countries, the governments don't know how to do SEO. So Google [00:13:00] has to compensate for the fact. That 90 percent of the world is not doing SEO. So if you search for the IRS of Congo, how do you find that?

You're looking for the parliament of some small country. How do you find the parliament and make sure you're not finding like some fake website that represents parliament, or if again, like, like, um, if you're in. I don't know, Papua New Guinea and you're searching some health query. How do you find the right health site or like a correct health site in whatever language you need?

So Google has to compensate for all that. And that's what Google is doing. So they're not going to give that like extra advantage to some site that knows SEO and knows how to get links and knows how to optimize content. Google covers that. And I like, I like Arpana's point around other search engines. I always tell any potential client to really think of the user in search and that they're arriving from a search engine at some point in time.

Like I always, I predicted two years ago, I was like, Oh, we'll see another search engine. I didn't think it would be chat GPT, right? Chat GPT is kind of becoming that other search engine and it's rivaling Google, which is why Google is freaking out. But like. One day decide that they no longer want to send spotlight over to Google and they'll do [00:14:00] search.

Like, okay. Search is not that hard, like great search. Like Google is pretty hard, but like, okay. Enough search, like duck, duck, go does okay. Enough search. And like a lot of search engines. So Apple could do it. Facebook could do it. Amazon could do it. You know. There are other products that could just decide that they were Firefox could do it again.

They will not have a huge market share, but they could just do their own search and not send it to Google. So is, uh, is, you know, right now as SEO, we only think of Google with 95 percent plus market share, but there could be a world where like Google has 70 percent market share and you need to figure out that other 30%.

And you do that not by understanding the algo, but by understanding the 

Todd Friesen: user. Well, and that's a, I mean, that starts to throw you back to the, you know, the really old days of. You know, Web Crawler, Excite, HotBot, InfoSeek, Lycos, InfoSearch, like just, and that was, I mean, that was a fun world. I would like to go back to that, to a certain extent, just to get some diversity in traffic, to have some opportunity where, if you're not on the first page of Google, it's so business impacting.

And I used to say all the time, like, when [00:15:00] Google would do the updates, back in the days of monthly updates, and you'd get these stories at conferences and stuff like that, or something like that, Google wiped out my entire business and I had to lay four people off because they, they updated and they kicked my site out and I wasn't doing anything black hat and so on and so forth.

And we used to always say, well, you're an absolute, it's foolish to base your entire business and to hire people based on where you rank on Google. But fast forward, you know, 15 years and we're, we're there. Like there is absolutely businesses that exist entirely based on search rankings. I might be overstating that a little bit.

I mean, The Amazons of the world and stuff, they get, you know, a boatload from that, but they're also destination sites. So you have to throw those out of that mix. 

Danny Allen: Yeah. Well, and Google's coming for their lunch as well. Um, so yeah, I mean it's as an agency ourselves, right? We, we started an SEO, we started as an SEO agency 18 years ago and that's like, that's all we would think about.

But, but in the last 10 years or so, we had to [00:16:00] realize ourselves that. That's a rough train to hook yourself to, uh, if, if things change, right? And so that's where most of our clients now, we have, we, we try wherever possible to include advertising, to include other forms of content, to include all of it, because we didn't want to be, I think a lot of people are actually just Google specialists.

They're not even SEO specialists, right? They've become so attached to Google, and they're just like, I'm an expert in Google. Uh, and then what you're suggesting, it seems like, all of you, is you SEO specialist anymore. You've got to be. Um, and then you've got to be a marketer really, you've got to be thinking about every other aspect of, of, of how to reach somebody and no searches place in that, but it's not as big as it used to be, um, or at least that that's shifting, right?

So with, with, I know Eli, you've been posting a lot about SGE, about everything that's changing on the SERP and there's some things that would be very concerning to people who are like attached to Google and only Google. Uh, but I mean, I guess what, how are those conversations impacting your. How are those changes impacting your conversations with leadership right now?[00:17:00] 

What are, what are you currently hearing? Are people freaking out? Are they kind of pretending it doesn't exist? How's that 

Eli Schwartz: going? They're not aware. I mean, we live in, in SEO, we live in a bubble. And we think everyone knows everything. And, and like the word S G E, only we know it. You know, regular people don't watch Google I O.

Regular people don't read search blogs. Regular people don't look at SEO on Twitter. So they have no idea. And it's, it's whoever's looking at SEO. For a company or at an agency, they're the ones that are responsible to be telling leadership there is this nuclear bomb hiding in the corner and it could destroy everything.

And I think the big, a big problem right now in the SEO industry and to call out some people in the SEO industry is that they're trying to pretend it's nothing. And mostly because they're scared of their own jobs and it's, it's scary, but I don't think saying it's nothing is helpful to anybody because when it blows up, like.

Google is huge, right? Like Google could do things and mess everything up and then fix it six months later, not really impact their revenue, but it will mess everything up for SEO, mess everything up for the users there. And you know, [00:18:00] what are you going to do? So they may, I actually think Google is about to launch it very, very soon from what I hear.

The Google may not launch it till the beginning of the year. Whenever they launch it, it will cause a lot of chaos. So pretending it doesn't exist, or I heard someone say, Oh, it's a beta thing. Google's never going to launch it. I mean, you don't know that Google could, it could be a beta thing and they'll still launch it and still ruin everything.

So I think business leaders don't really know what's out there and it's our job to tell them it's out there. The second thing is just to, uh, you know, to anyone's horn that is looking for a job or that isn't consulting, this is going to be the greatest thing ever for the SEO industry because it's going to create so much turmoil.

And for everyone that has not been warned, they're one day going to just watch everything flip and they're going to be desperate. So turmoil is good for us. Uh, turmoil will make, you know, the phones ring off the hook. Let's say the range is, let's say even a company loses 5 percent of their traffic or 10 percent of the traffic.

It's a big deal. I mean, you go to wall street and you say, we lost 5 percent of revenue, 10 percent of revenue. Your stock goes down 30%. I think it's going to be for informational companies. It could be as [00:19:00] close to 50 percent of traffic. So when they lose that, they'll be really desperate to keep the 50 that's left.

I mean, I was at a company that lost 60 percent of the traffic the morning that Panda launched. And there were a lot of tears, right? So, like, this is going to be global, actually, maybe not global, right? I think Google is going to be restricted to launching SGE only in the U. S. first, because the E. U. is very litigious.

Uh, so they'll launch it in, like, the U. S. and Canada and, like, maybe Latin America. But they're not going to do E. U. Whatever it is, it's going to be hugely impactful. And, uh, I, my prediction will be that you will hear references to it in earnings updates from public companies within, you know, 

Todd Friesen: three months of when they launch it.

Oh, 100%. Bing's already playing with something similar. Like, I, I, I've got, I've used the Edge browser just out of spite, you know. And, uh, and I, so I have built in Bing search, which for the most part, you know, it works fine. It gets me through anything I want to, I want to find, whether it's shopping or whatever.

Every now and again I'll actually go to Google to, [00:20:00] to get a more refined search. But over the last just couple weeks, I've noticed like I type in my search and I get this full Bing GPT and it's it's awful. It's completely unusable. The UX is terrible and and I can't figure out how to get out of it Which is sort of the biggest thing, but you're trapped You're you're just you're in it and you got a it sits there for a minute and you start scrolling and then eventually scrolls up But it's a full screen takeover And there's nothing there.

There's, there's no results to click on, there's just refinements to come. And, I mean, I find it super annoying, but there's gonna be a whole swath of the world that just rolls with it. And, and then they get those refinements and you wind up with one result at the end. It's gonna be really, really, really interesting to see what happens there.

Arpana Tiwari: I think compared to any other time, this is the time where the group mindset is going to really surface. Because when things change, it's going to go back to me. What do we do now? Like, where do we start? Um, and from the initial labs data that I'm seeing, [00:21:00] um, again, there may not be tools right out the gate where you can look at this at scale, so it is going to go back to the basics of, as a user, for my site, for, you know, the queries that my users are typing in, what am I seeing in, in real time?

So somebody who's willing to, you know, um, Get into the weeds, go and be in the trenches and start to look at the journeys for the users and like, start from scratch. Um, and you had initially brought up, how does that work with connections within the company? I think that credibility, if you've built that initially, which is not just based on tactics or tools, but you're actually thinking about the user and you've built those connections where you can go back now and say, This is what we need to do, and I think for all the teams out there, monitoring right now is going to be so key, because even if it's not live for everybody, there are a lot of signals that you can start seeing, uh, and for somebody who's been in search or has that training to know what to look for, you're going to start to pick up on things, which if you add to your roadmap, [00:22:00] um, can get you, like, will help you, set you up better than, um, others will come out of the gate and then be figuring 

Danny Allen: out what to do now.

Yeah, it seems like this is the time to, we're going to see what everyone's really made of. And, and also, it's not to say that it's too late, but everything that you've done, all the goodwill that you've built, is going to be coming, coming to help you or hurt you, uh, depending on where you left off. So, Arpanay, you brought up a couple things that we can do, some, some, a lot more on the monitoring side, a lot more on, on gaining that credibility, and, and Eli, you also talked about bringing it up to leadership, being the ones to introduce it before the bomb drops, right?

Uh, kind of to close this up, what would you say are going to be the skills that SEOs need to be focusing on in the next, I mean, six months, but in the next couple years as well? What should they be, maybe they're listening and they're saying they're kind of freaking out because everyone's freaking out about a thing that could impact our job, right?

And it could take away from maybe our comfort or whatever we're settled into. Uh, so where should they be putting their time? [00:23:00] as far as their skill set. 

Arpana Tiwari: I can go. I think, um, know your business, know your user, and then be confident in your search abilities because those are the three that are going to surface.

And don't worry about, you know, what has been taken away, but feel the confidence of where is it going? And if you know your user, and you're looking at the results, you can back into what, um, could be causing that. And I think the last thing is diversification. Uh, think growth and think overall marketing versus just search marketing.

And it's totally okay to be a team player and say for the short term, we might see a dent. And during that time, I want to give you a heads up to go invest in other channels till we can get back up. So it's okay to be, you know, everybody talks about like being vulnerable and being a team player, but this is the time also to do that.

Um, sharing that you don't know what exactly it is going to be because nobody knows [00:24:00] how it is going to impact different businesses. So, prepping the teams, I think, will also increase the credibility. 

Todd Friesen: Yeah, I'd agree with that. I mean, it depends a little bit too on where you want to go as an SEO and what you want to do with your career.

Like, if you want to, like, I know some people that want to just, like, they're SEOs and they want to stay, they're happy to be pigeonholed as the SEO guy. Which Personally, I hate being pigeonholed as the SEO guy because they're like, I can do all these other things. They're like, yeah, but you're just, you're the SEO guy.

And they sort of leave you out of those, those higher level conversations. But I mean, if you, if you want to grow your career and you want to move up the ladder and add different titles to your name, director, senior director, VP, and those sorts of things, you have to do the other things. You have to know how to hire and run an engineering team, typically front end when, when it comes to SEO.

You have to understand UX. You have to know user research. You have to know analytics. If you're going to build out a proper SEO team itself, it needs to have engineering resources. It needs to have analytics resources. It needs to [00:25:00] have an operations person. It needs to have a program manager. Like, you need to be almost a mini company within a larger marketing organization to get done what you need to do across that.

So if you want to just stay in SEO, that's great. You're going to need to be You're going to need to know SGE. You're going to need to know all these things. You're going to need to be the clear expert. If you want to climb the ladder in the marketing world, you need to add these other disciplines to what you're doing.

And running an engineering team is a really, really interesting challenge that a lot of people aren't ready to take on. But that will put a massive, that one thing alone is a massive feather in your cap if you want to 

Eli Schwartz: grow. And I completely agree with both Arvind and Todd. Those are definitely things you need.

And like Todd said, like, if you want to grow, you've got to learn other things. But I think you can't. Rest on your laurels and SEO anymore because I think the rules are about to change. So I, I think that links don't matter nearly as much as everyone thinks they do. And they're going to matter even less with SG because you don't see them really taken into account.

I think that keywords don't matter. Like keywords hardly matter now, but [00:26:00] they're going to matter so much less rankings of course go away. So the typical SEO skills now completely. Flip and they're gone. So the big thing I think anyone's needs to focus on, of course, like what Todd and Arpana said, really even beyond that to think big picture, like how do you move the ball forward in growing organic traffic?

What do you need to create? So really like some sort of product mindset. And the last thing that I think not enough SEO people really focus on and should learn and like take classes on it or take courses, you know, or get coached is communication. So there's always this natural thing, especially in agencies to do like CYA, like, and avoid the bad news and sell the good news.

Like who you CYA for your CYA for Google. Like you don't work for Google. So like dump on them, like say like Google is about to destroy us blame Google. Cause it's not you and over communicate. And, you know, if the hurricane doesn't happen, great, like at least you warned that it could happen. So I, I'd say like SEO needs to do a way better job of communicating what's happening, what could happen, what will happen, all of those things and learn those, those things.

Like I, [00:27:00] an example I always use on communication, which is like probably one of the best things ever happened in my career is I was being called into a meeting with the CEO. We were about to lose budget for SEO and because they wanted to prove it didn't work. And this CEO was like a huge sports fanatic.

And I explained what SEO was to the CEO. Why? Using a GIF on a PowerPoint of a basketball player doing an assist, like grab, like catching the ball, bouncing it, and then passing it over to someone who dunked. And it just does this one second GIF over and over and over again playing while I explained that SEO was an assist.

And when I walked out of that meeting, I had an extra head count. I was about to lose my team and I got more because. I communicated what I was doing. Like I was being judged like SEO doesn't make us any money. You're failing. There's no revenue. And I explained that I was not failing. I was doing better.

They just were looking in the wrong place. So SEO needs to communicate and over communicate and blame Google, blame whoever you want, but communicate and just say what's happening and like how you'll fix it. 

Danny Allen: Wow. Incredible advice, right? We gotta look, we [00:28:00] gotta look at our leaders or those who we're answering to as our peers and say, here's my real advice, like, this is where I'm coming from.

I love what you said, Arpana, about being vulnerable and saying, here's what I don't know, here's what I do, and being really confident in what SEO does do, what organic does do, like you said, Eli. All of you, I feel like I just had an incredible, Out of body experience, no. Having all three of you though in the same room, hearing from your experiences is incredible.

Um, and, uh, I, you know, you can find all three of these incredible people on social media. Reach out to them, ask them questions. Uh, Todd is a catch. Uh, wherever he ends up, it's going to be an incredible, uh, you know, ad to their team. And, um, thank you all for jumping on today. It's been really great. Thank you for having 

Eli Schwartz: us.

Arpana Tiwari: I appreciate it. 

Eli Schwartz: Thanks.