Barry Schwartz AMA

Nicole Elizabeth AMA
February 17, 2015
Rand Fishkin AMA
Rand Fishkin AMA
March 31, 2015


Barry’s AMA is happening on March 31, 2015 (1pm EST)

Barry Schwartz is the President of RustyBrick, Inc., a Web services firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales. Barry is a leading expert in the search engine marketing and optimization community. The Search Engine Roundtable is the search industry blog Barry runs – it is considered one of the most popular blogs in the industry. He is a moderator at Search Engine Watch Forums, one of the most respected search resource sites on the Internet. He also moderates at Cre8asite Forums and few other forums.

Barry has written and contributed many articles to the SEO community, by publishing in Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Journal,, SEO Today, WebProNews, LilEngine and SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization). Barry is commonly quoted and cited in publications including Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, TheStreet,, eWeek and many others.

Barry is the CEO of RustyBrick, Inc., a Web development firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales. The company develops Web-based backoffice solutions, advanced e-commerce sites, custom web software and applications and consults in search engine marketing and analytics.

Barry is the search engine roundtable weblog’s site administrator and is responsible for the management of the site on a day to day basis. He will be posting on all types of search engine related topics.

For Barry’s full bio, go to Barry Schwartz on

AMA March 31, 2015 (1pm EST) if you’re not an OG feel free to join us.

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searchengine [1:01 PM] @barry: How did you hear about Online Geniuses? And why do people comment in your blog blaming you when they loose ranking?
barry [1:02 PM] Hi @searchengine @david invited me, I’ve known him for some time.

barry [1:02 PM]@searchengine: I think some blame me because they see it for the first time on my site and then need to take out their frustration somewhere

searchengine [1:03 PM] I mean do they think you have anything to-do with the google algo?

lifer [1:03 PM] Hey @barry what are the best practices for schema markup for SEO purposes? Should I put it on every page?
barry [1:03 PM] @searchengine: i don’t know what they think
marcheuberger [1:04 PM] @barry where would you point someone when they want to learn more about app store SEO etc?

david [1:04 PM] @barry: Out of all the apps you developed which has been the most successful?

barry [1:04 PM] @lifer: be careful with schema markup for SEO purposes.  do not put them on “every”   page, only pages that warrant it.  Google has cracked down on a lot and they’ve said you don’t put them on category pages, etc.  It depends on the schema, but read the guidelines carefully.

jakerogelberg [1:07 PM] +1 @david‘s question

david [1:07 PM] ty kind sir

julie [1:09 PM] @barry: I heard you don’t do SEO you just write about it. Why?

barry [1:10 PM] marcheuberger: I do run a few  sessions on App Store SEO, there isn’t a whole lot out there
  on that topic.  It is constantly changing but I can recommend a few people such as Ian Sefferman and Justin Briggs on that topic

barry [1:10 PM]@david: I am most proud of our Siddur App, Jewish prayer book, not sure what you mean by “success”? :simple_smile:

jbmonsey [1:12 PM] Barry, I created new website and about to-do a roll over. Any advice?

barry [1:12 PM] @jbmonsey: a roll over navigation menu?  you want it to be search engine friendly?  Use CSS, not JavaScript, although Google can index most JavaScript these days

tavarez [1:12 PM] @barry: what drastic changes do you see happening to SEO within 5 years?

lifer [1:13 PM] @barry so put schema on Pages and Posts ? Thanks
barry [1:13 PM] @tavarez: probably the most drastic changes in SEO will be around how searchers consume search results (i.e. mobile is big now but soon wearables, cars, appliances, etc) and I also expect links in 5 years not to be that important in Google’s algo

jbmonsey [1:14 PM] I mean. Redesigning  my Website I want to launch without hurting the current SEO. (edited)

barry [1:14 PM] @lifer: for the most part, yes.  but there is also business schema that you can use on contact us pages, etc.
barry [1:14 PM] @jbmonsey: then you should be fine, just make sure the URLs of the roll overs in the source code are visible, if not, make footer navigation to the pages and submit XML sitemaps

lifer [1:15 PM] @barry okay very cool thanks , I was looking into getting schema hardcoded into the template files of theme post and pages

michaellebor [1:15 PM] @barry, any suggestions or hacks people are using to get visibility into their own analytics to actually wee which keywords are driving traffic

julie [1:16 PM] @barry: Are you not going to answer my question :simple_smile:
barry [1:17 PM] @michaellebor:simple_smile: not that much. I’d recommend using Google Webmaster Tools search queries report and there is a beta out to some users called the Search Impact report which shows a lot more data in many other ways

robertadler [1:17 PM] @barry what link building/promotional methods do you think will survive algorithm updates / Google feeling like they’re naughty 5 years from now that’s being used today?

michaellebor [1:17 PM] @barry TY!

barry [1:18 PM] @julie: sorry, missed it. I do not offer SEO services. I will help people an hour there or here   with strategy but I don’t do SEO services.   I don’t do it for others because (1) it can skew my writing and objectivity and (2) I have a hard time selling something I don’t have 100% control of :simple_smile:

barry [1:19 PM]@robertadler:  at this rate, none – not even natural links 😉 it is just crazy how wide the spectrum has gone with what is a valid natural link and what is not.

robertadler [1:20 PM] @barry favorite thing to come out of JewGlass? :stuck_out_tongue:

barry [1:20 PM] @robertadler: the links ;-0

robertadler [1:20 PM] touche

lifer [1:22 PM] @barry what are you best practices for WordPress SEO ? Favorite Plugin?

barry [1:23 PM] @lifer:  I am told Yoast rules. I build everything custom, I don’t like using open source packages.  I want full control.

barry [1:23 PM] I know Search Engine Land uses WordPress and Yoast

barry [1:23 PM] My other sites are custom built.

searchengine [1:24 PM] @barry:  Did somebody really threaten to kill you over loosing ranking?

lifer [1:24 PM] Thanks @barry how important do you think SSL is for ranking nowadays? What’s your experience with that?

barry [1:25 PM] @searchengine: yes but not sure if they were serious. I’ve been threatened many times over many search topics.

barry[1:25 PM]@lifer: for ranking in Google, not so important. I migrated sites over and
    saw no noticeable change in ranking or traffic.  But if you are building a new site, doesn’t hurt to start with HTTPS
searchengine [1:26 PM] @barry: Whats the story behind it?

web300 [1:27 PM] @barry:  as a web developer i want to ask what type of coding makes a template search engine friendly ?

 barry [1:27 PM] @searchengine: most were over email, the one I was most concerned about was at one SMX event. Someone said they will come with a gun, find me and shoot me dead. No clue  who it was, but they      emailed several times with details of how they will do it. They never ended up killing me.
 barry [1:28 PM] @web300: there isn’t a specific set of code that makes a template search engine friendly. The easiest thing is to test the page you designed using Google Webmaster Tools “Fetch and Render” tool and it will output what Google is able to see and index. If it shows the content you want, then you are pretty much search engine friendly. Although this is a big topic I can write a book on, so hard to answer that in an AMA.

web300 [1:30 PM] @barry: Thank you

barry [1:31 PM] sure

lifer [1:32 PM] I would like that book 🙂 @barry
david [1:33 PM] @barry: Which site are you the most impressed with SEO wise?

aycovandermeer [1:34 PM] @barry what’s your experience with GWT data being ‘esimates’?

barry [1:34 PM] Lol. Fyi. Switched to mobile app to answer these. Please excuse typos

searchengine [1:35 PM] @barry: Please don’t kill me… But why do you sell links on your site?

barry [1:35 PM] @aycovandermeer: the delay in GWT is annoying but for the most part it’s pretty accurate. Some reports are not but most of them are very useful

barry [1:35 PM] @searchengine: you want to buy some?

searchengine [1:35 PM] How much?

barry [1:36 PM] I think $350 per month 😉

searchengine [1:36 PM] in a post or just side bar?

barry [1:37 PM] Only side bar. Never in posts.

barry [1:37 PM]And they are no followed.

aycovandermeer [1:37 PM] @barry and what’s your opinion about the groupon no-index test, showing not only organic traffic dropped, but also direct traffic due to the noindex

david [1:37 PM] @barry: Alexa 1000>

pshapiro [1:37 PM] That’s still a good link in my book

barry [1:38 PM] @aycovandermeer: didn’t see it myself but makes sense that no google traffic would result in less direct traffic. Less eye balls. Less referrals and direct.

aycovandermeer [1:38 PM] it was 1 day

aycovandermeer[1:38 PM]you should check it out

barry [1:38 PM] @aycovandermeer: will do. Thx

searchengine [1:39 PM] Seriously Barry You don’t care about organic?

pshapiro [1:39 PM] @barry: how much time do you spend reading old webmaster and SEO forums?

barry [1:39 PM] @searchengine: I said that?
Search Engine Land
Browsers don’t always report where they came from when arriving at a website. What percentage of direct traffic is really attributable to SEO? See what Groupon found. (32KB)
barry [1:39 PM] @pshapiro: an hour a day

searchengine [1:40 PM] @barry: Selling links I have to assume. :confused:

pshapiro [1:40 PM] That’s about what I spend inside an RSS reader. Hmm.

barry [1:40 PM] @searchengine: they are nofollowed

barry [1:40 PM]@pshapiro: yep

searchengine [1:41 PM] ahh missed that part.

barry [1:42 PM] No problem

barry [1:43 PM]The reddit AMA I did was a bit more active. 😉

pshapiro [1:43 PM] @barry: what do you think about the term “growth hacking”?

barry [1:43 PM] @pshapiro: won’t last.

david [1:44 PM] Yes r/bigseo has 7k members. We have 180 in #ama

barry [1:45 PM] @david: i know. I’m kidding.

barry[1:45 PM]@david: plus getting on slack is harder.

david [1:45 PM] @barry: It’s all good.. :simple_smile: We are pretty new.

pshapiro [1:46 PM] Was the /r/BigSEO AMA a good experience? 😉

barry [1:46 PM] :pencil2:

lifer [1:46 PM] @barry what’s a better back link for local business ? Dmoz or BBB?

barry [1:46 PM] @pshapiro: sure. Was fun. Some really solid questions.

barry[1:47 PM]@lifer: I would think BBB

david [1:48 PM] So @barry in regards to SEO Alexa 1000> which would you give the most props to?

david [1:49 PM]*site

barry [1:49 PM] @david: I’m not sure what you mean. I’m sorry.

david [1:49 PM] I mean who’s doing a kick ass job at SEO?

barry [1:50 PM] @david: I really don’t know. I didn’t  do a study on the best sites by SEO.

pshapiro [1:51 PM] @barry: is Google transparent enough?

barry [1:51 PM] @pshapiro: yes and no. Sometimes to transparent. Sometimes not transparent enough. They need to be more consistent on their transparency.

tejaswi [1:51 PM] @barry we have our website for which domain rank is 42. in our domain, top  ranks are occupied by domains like shopifu and bigcommerce. domain rank 90+  Can we realistically        compete with them for top fold? we are in 7/8 position now.
barry [1:53 PM] @tejaswi: domain rank is a metric from Moz? Trying to figure out which terms you are using
tejaswi [1:53 PM] yea @barry  it is from moz

pshapiro [1:53 PM] oh you mean Domain Authority

tejaswi [1:53 PM] oops sorry

tejaswi [1:53 PM]yea @pshapiro

barry [1:54 PM] @tejaswi: i dont use their tools that often, if you give me a keyword phrase, I can tell you if it is worth it.

tejaswi [1:54 PM] sure . our website is keyphrase: integrate shopify and quickbooks online

tejaswi [1:54 PM]@barry:

tejaswi [1:55 PM] u got it @barry

aycovandermeer [1:55 PM] how many ppl actually search for that specific phrase @tejaswi

tejaswi [1:56 PM] 40 per month @aycovandermeer

barry [1:56 PM] @tejaswi:  seems like low search volume  but saturated in terms of pages trying to rank for it including shopify’s app pages, i think it is attainable

tejaswi [1:57 PM] wht are the weapons for the fight? @barry

tejaswi [1:57 PM]i mean the domain authority and age is hugeee .

barry [1:58 PM]
barry [1:58 PM] @tejaswi: these days, links :simple_smile:  i would just get people to link to you by building something interesting that gets exposure

alexisavellan [1:58 PM] Hey @barry thank you for doing this AMA! Is there a keyword tool that you personally use and recommend aside from Google’s? I’ve heard good things about Long Tail Pro.

tejaswi [1:59 PM] thanks @barry

barry [1:59 PM] @alexisavellan: nope, I don’t really do keyword research and if I do, I’d use AdWords and Google Trends

alexisavellan [2:00 PM] ok thanks!

barry [2:01 PM] Sure

alexisavellan [2:02 PM] another question @barry How much of an impact do you think CTRs in the SERPs play in rankings? And do you think that Google will move towards UX having more of an impact on rankings than it currently does?

alexisavellan[2:03 PM]I know you mentioned Google moving away from links in the future in an earlier question

barry [2:03 PM] @alexisavellan: Google says none but they are always wishy-washy on that.  I think UX does play a role, but not as much as link factors and content factors.
alexisavellan [2:05 PM] Alright. With mobilegeddon coming, I am of the opinion that Google will be moving towards UX having more of an impact than it currently does.

barry [2:06 PM] Oh, thought you meant UX on Google’s SERPs and how people interact with the search results page

alexisavellan [2:06 PM] sorry, didn’t make that distinction

 barry [2:06 PM] UX on mobile is going to be big on April 21st, very big and I suspect UX on desktop will happen also

barry[2:06 PM]Alright, thanks everyone!

alexisavellan [2:06 PM] thank you @barry !

david [2:06 PM] TY @barry

lifer [2:07 PM] @barry at what point does a up and coming site not have a chance to rank on the first page for a keyword? What’s your favorite back link checker tool? Eg  Moz ose or majestic?

web300 [2:07 PM] Ty @barry