Jon Henshaw, on hreflang, Coywolf and Apple

 
Joost de Valk

Joost de Valk

Founder & Chief Product Officer
Jon Henshaw

Jon Henshaw

Lead SEO Analyst at ViacomCBS
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In this episode

Are you ready to turn your view on search and international SEO upside down? Because that is what Jon Henshaw and Joost de Valk will do in this episode of the Yoast SEO Podcast. As he states on his website, Jon has been involved with website development and internet strategy since 1995. A lot has changed since then. He is currently working at ViacomCBS as Lead SEO Analyist and is the founder of Coywolf, a marketing and technology news platform. In this episode, Jon and Joost will not only discuss ‘the good old days’ of SEO but also share their sharp views on the future of search. Ever heard of the Apple Search Engine? If you have an Apple device, you are probably using it on a daily basis already! Did the podcast episode with Aleyda trigger you to look into hreflang? Jon says it doesn’t actually help you optimize your site for international searches. Boom!

This is what you can expect to hear in this episode:

  • How the SEO toolset landscape changed over the past years
  • What Coywolf is and does
  • International SEO: why hreflang actually does not help with optimizing your website for international searches
  • Will the Apple Search Engine alter the search landscape?

50% discount on a Coywolf subscription

Because Jon enjoyed recording this podcast so much, he created a coupon that provides you with a 50% discount off the first year of Coywolf! A regular subscription is priced at $84 a year, but especially for our dear listeners, it’s reduced to $42 for the first year! You only need to enter the code yoast upon checkout. Go to the Membership page find out more and subscribe! Or click here to automatically checkout with the coupon applied.


Transcript

Joost: Hey everyone. And welcome to another episode of the Yoast SEO podcast. I’m here today with Jon Henshaw, a long time friend. I think we’ve only met in person like two or three times, which is ridiculous, but that’s the way the world goes.

Jon: Yeah. And a lot of times we meet at conferences, but I think we just kind of met in Germany.

Joost: Yeah. And I remember a dinner in Nashville.

Jon:  That’s right. A good dinner in Nashville.

Joost:  That was a very good dinner at a place with a ridiculous name.

Jon: For what is yeah, but there’s plenty of ridiculous names.

Joost: There was a SEO related name for the restaurant, which was very funny.

Jon: Oh 404! 404 kitchen or something like that!

Joost: Yeah and they were playing Dutch country music.

Jon: Of course!

Joost: Which is logical because the fact that you play country music is quite common in Nashville, but that you’re playing Dutch country music. Wow. Okay.

Jon: Yeah. I didn’t know it existed either. I generally stay away from country music.

Joost: Jon Henshaw is a friend. He works at ViacomCBS. He’s known in the SEO industry for some other stuff he did, but maybe you can talk a bit about that Jon?

Jon: Yeah. You mean Raven?

Joost:  Yeah!

Jon: That was 13 years of my life. That was something that I started, hm I don’t know, in 2007. And it was.. There are only so many sort of SEO tool sets that were out there at that time. I think Moz was one of the first and there were a few others. So we were kind of early on the scene and we did a lot of interesting things and had a lot of fun. And then the space got really competitive and life got really interesting.

Joost: It’s like everyone and their dog has an SEO tool set now.

Jon: Oh yeah, well I remember the times kinda on the last third of being there, where it felt like every single week somebody was announcing new software. It was sort of a case where everybody in the world seemed to wake up and go: Oh I can make some money off of making some SEO software instead of doing this work. It was just like everybody and their brother and which is fine.

I mean as an entrepreneur, I like people making new things. As an end-user I like having choices. All that stuff ends up working out pretty well. Even now when I look at the landscape, some of the tools that I’m using now, I would not have assumed I would be using. Just because of who was the dominant player just a few years ago. And so I think it’s good. I think it’s healthy. I think that the software that ends up winning ends up being the ones that don’t kind of sit on their hands, you know. They keep trying to figure out what can I do? How can I innovate? And they get rewarded by that. I think from our industry, most of the SEOs and digital marketers I know are loyal, but only to a certain point. It’s kind of like: I’m ready for that next good thing.

Joost:  And they’re also quite trigger happy to actually move on to something new sometimes.

Jon: Yeah, where is the loyalty? That’s what you’re saying?

Joost: Yeah. We’ve seen that definitely, where people sometimes suddenly jump to another SEO plugin and then come back screaming a few months later.

Jon: Well, I know you’re a part of Coywolf now. There’s a thread where they were talking about the different SEO plugins. And we had a whole conversation around that. Because there were some other.. Are we allowed to say competitors names here? What are we doing?

Joost: No you are. To be honest, in terms of size, we don’t often feel that we have much competition yet, but there are some other SEO plugins out there that have been building new stuff.

Jon: Okay, I’ll just run with it Joost.

Joost: Yeah, well you go ahead.

Jon: All right. So I remember one of the conversations was one with an up and coming one called Rank Math. And I’m thinking of wanting to switch to this instead of that. And what I will preface with is that I don’t think any of the ones that are out there right now, the main ones that people are using, are bad. Like this is not a discussion of this is a bad thing to use.

I think it comes down to what’s important to you. In regards to what you want to use. And so it’s funny that you said that people are actually really ready, and are very trigger happy to just want to try the next thing. Which I think is just an ethos of digital marketing and things are always changing and you want to be a part of it.

But my response with Rankmath was.. I look pretty deeply at all these different things. I want to know what’s going on and whether or not I should consider using something different. And it’s funny because a lot of the sort of complaints and descriptions of – in this case with your plugin – are like: these guys just bloated now and they’re doing this and they screwed up that one time. And then everything gets blown out of proportion. And for me it comes back to: does it work for me now? Has it always worked for me? Does it continue to work for me? Is it – and this is a really important one, this is something that I’ve written about a lot when I write about plugins and speeding up your site, and how many plugins do you use – is really well-maintained? Is there a team of people behind this thing that’s checking all the security holes in there? They’re fixing all the bugs all the time and they have a frequent release schedule. And are they constantly improving it?

And in a way that, actually I would say almost I don’t want to notice. I mean, in a sense it slightly changes and gets better over time.

Joost: To a certain extent, yeah.

Jon: My thing was I don’t know how long I’ve been using the Yoast SEO plugin other than for a really long time.

Joost: We’ve been around for a while. So I know most of them are pretty good. I know why I Rank Math in basis is pretty good. It’s very simple. They copied literally every line of code from Yoast SEO.

And only recently have they admitted to that and attributed it to us. Properly in the source code. I mean I’m all for open source. So forking our plugin is what open source is for, but not doing that and not attributing our copyright was one of the sore points. Luckily they have admitted to that. I’m not going to shout off a rooftop that people steal our code because I would rather compete on other stuff.

Jon: What you’re saying is they should change the message to: we are bloated too.

Joost: Well it just makes me laugh because the only reason that we have more files than they do is that we support like a lot of languages and they don’t. That adds a lot of files and code and it really doesn’t say anything. Because all of that doesn’t get loaded when you don’t use that language. So it’s really not that.. There’s a lot of stuff there that..

Jon: I really feel like I opened some wounds.

Joost: Oh no! Honestly..

Jon: Let’s start the podcast, I am opening a wound.

Joost: I’m actually pretty happy about getting competition. Because there’s some stuff that they’ve done that I can see why people want that. One of the pitfalls we always have is that we make a plugin for a very large audience, and because of that I don’t necessarily want to always add settings for specific things. Because every setting creates new questions, et cetera. And then there’s a very tiny group of SEOs that want specific control over every little lever. And I’m just unwilling to add every little lever to our product. And I think they are.

Jon: Which I, as a sort of post-product person, would completely agree with. You create a huge amount of technical debt and it’s really hard to even remove features when they really were a mistake.

Joost: Yeah. And they’re very willing to abide by every request from the SEO and even more the affiliate community. Which seems to be even a bit more aggressive in how they want to optimize. And so they want triggers for every small little thing. To me that often feels like overload, but if people want that there’s now an alternative where they can get that. And I’m fine with them having it from them, because that means that we’re not the best match for them. Well, that’s fine.

Rankmath has I think like 50 different options on each post that you can change. And it stores each and every one of them as well in post meta. That’s what makes it very slow. But I can see how that is useful to some people. And I’m fine with that being useful to those people. And I think that for the large majority of people, it’s far too complicated already.

Jon:  It makes me think of like a different sort of space within the industry, which would be.. When I think of Moz and Semrush and Ahrefs and Majestic they’re all trying to do something similar, but they’re also all trying to do it slightly different.

It ends up being which one gives you exactly what you feel like you need to go do what you want to go do. And I think in the case of Rank math or All in One SEO or Yoast SEO it comes down to what you were describing, which is: it’s right for somebody or they wouldn’t be in existence.

Joost: Yeah. And they’re very much driven by feature requests, because they’re not SEOs themselves. So they’re very much driven by what other people feed them. Whereas I trust on our own team to make the calls on what is good for your SEO? What’s important? And our relationships with search engines to actually figure that stuff out.

So not a whole lot of the things that they add will always immediately translate into stuff that works, but sometimes it might.

Jon:  I think that’s an attribute of a company being mature. And what I mean by that is what you just described that Rank Math is doing is what I did for the first few years of Raven.

You’re new, I need to differentiate myself and I’m going to take any feedback. I remember working directly with fairly large agencies when we were building our link manager and we were trying to optimize our rank tracker and all these things back in the day.

We were creating almost everything. I mean, that was within reason and made sense because at the time – before I really just was totally focused on making software – I was still doing SEO. I still had an agency. So I would do the things that made sense, but it was very similar where you just kind of like..

It’s exciting for the user base because they keep getting new things. But in the long run, it’s what I said earlier, you discover you’re just creating loads of technical debt.

Joost: Yeah, it’s incredibly hard!

Jon: You’ll reach a point where you actually need to remove some of those features, because it’s a resource hog, it’s really expensive. only two people are using it and it becomes just really difficult.

Joost: It turns out product management is actually a job. Thinking about what you add is just as important as thinking about what you remove. It’s hard. It’s not a simple job and especially not if you’re rolling it out to 11 million users with very widely ranging needs.

I mean, you’re using it. It’s named that some of your competitors, Disney is using it.  Microsoft is using Yoast SEO, the white house is using Yoast SEO and Biden is using Yoast SEO. Literally everyone in the world on all sides of every spectrum that you can find, is using Yoast SEO on all sorts of different sites. That ranges from e-commerce to simple blogs to corporate sites and they all have different needs.

And that is probably one of my biggest challenges at the moment, to figure out how do we do that? And how to we then build, for instance, Schema.org stuff that makes sense for all of them and that is easy to implement for all of them when they need it?

Jon:  It’s interesting you bring that up because you were talking before about how it gets really complicated. There’s all these different features and stuff. I think that the way Schema has been implemented on your plugin is an example of doing something that is actually highly flexible, but that doesn’t appear to be and doesn’t have to be to the majority of users.

Joost: No it should be simple.

Jon: Right, but I have highly technical needs Joost!

An example would be that because you built a sort of API layer on top of that, you can actually write specific commands and stuff in functions or whatever it might be and exclude or include or add on top of the scheme that has been outputted. That’s been incredibly helpful to me.

Joost: Yeah, I think the Schema API is one of the best things that we built over the last two years.

Jon: But it’s not in your face. I mean for the 11 million users or whatever you have, it’s not in your face when you install it, but when you need it, it’s there. To me, that’s elegant design.

Joost:  Well, thank you. I’m happy with that. So you mentioned it briefly already, but I want to touch on Coywolf. That is your project. Can you tell us a bit about what Coywolf is and what it does?

Jon: I explain Coywolf as my digital playground. It’s the place where I get all of the things that are trapped in my head out, which could be scary of course at times. So I do filter it a little bit, but all the things are related to digital marketing, at least.

I love to write. I’m endlessly curious. Always digging into different things, new things, old things, whatever it might be like, how do you do this? What does this new ranking signal mean? You know, like what is going on here?

I’m now focused on international SEO and there’s not a whole lot of good information out there anymore because things have changed. So I run my own tests and discover answers for myself. Then what I do is I turn around and write that out and publish it and share it with people within the industry so that they can learn.

I am fairly a self taught person. Of course, I’ve had people teach me things and I absorbed that and then built on top of that. But the reason why I know what I know is because the people who came before me took a similar approach and shared the information. I’m still a learner, but I’m also now in a position where I can do things and I know how to test things and know how to apply experience and knowledge, and then turn that around and share that with people who may not know those things, which are a lot of people.

I would say that is what Coywolf is to me. It’s basically a member-based site where I get to experiment and share knowledge with people who may not have a certain level of experience.

Joost: To me, it’s one of those things I – shame on me I only recently became a paid subscriber.

Jon: Shame on you!

Joost: Because well, you should have earned it. You’re a paid Yoast SEO user. I should be paying you for your stuff as well. When I ran into it was when you wrote about Google Passages.

Jon: Yeah, that was recent.

Joost: The whole Passages thing where Google says that they’re going to highlight passages from blog posts. Basically just like normal snippets, but longer. Slightly weird combinations of sentences from articles sometimes. It’s like they literally grabbed some sentences from the top of an article and the bottom of an article and combined it into a passage. It dirves me nuts.

Jon:  It’s really interesting – and I did highlight that in the article – in a lot of instances it kind of makes sense. They took a couple sentences and they did. But then there was another instance that I highlighted where – it was on a forum, so that’s kind of interesting that they’re pulling things from discussion forums – they cherry picked.

I think it was multiple sentences throughout this page that they literally took and smashed into a – I guess you could say – cohesive paragraph. And that was the passage that appeared in the result. And I thought that was pretty fascinating. That is definitely AI level stuff.

That’s what they are saying, that they’re using it to be able to do that with Bert and it shows.  I don’t think that’s something you just easily parse and throw together, there’s some sort of artificial intelligence behind that.

Joost: Yeah and it’s hard to actually build that stuff.

We have a team of linguists here at Yoast and we look at a lot of that. When they put stuff like that out, we look at it and we go like: okay, so can we replicate some of this into Yoast SEO? Can we make this into something meaningful? Honestly, I’m not there yet with that passage based indexing or whatever they want to call it.

Because I’m not really sure yet with how do we apply? What does this mean? And how even does this trigger? But what we do see is it ties into well-built sentences, which is something that we’ve been focusing on with readability for a long time. And it seems to have a slight preference for shorter sentences.

Jon:  It might, I haven’t looked at it personally that deep. In the article, what I wrote or focused on was this idea around deductive writing, where everything is highly structured, very hierarchical in nature. Where you start very broad, you ask this big question and then you break things down into their individual components so that it all sort of makes sense.

And the thing is, that I don’t think that enough people write that way. I think people write like humans and they write in a way where sometimes it’s a stream of thought, or they’re just trying to tell a story, or they’re trying to push their narrative or whatever it might be. Instead of being extremely matter of fact and very descriptive and deductive in the sense that I can start from this place and get down to this very granular thing and my case has been built. And it all makes sense and I can go backwards and it makes sense.

And that was the observation I made when I was looking at all of the different types of Passages results. Which was: what is it what they’re pulling out? What are they looking for? What are these questions? Where are they pulling it from? And what does that structure? And I also looked at Bill Slawski’s post that was actually six days or something before Passages was even announced, where he just read about this patent that was just completely applied. And that’s also where I got some of those ideas of things I looked for. It ended up being.. I would say the conclusion was: there’s not a whole lot different from what you should have been doing already as far as how you write and structure your content. But this is at a next level. You’ve got to write it this way. You’ve got to structure it this way.

Joost: So our readability checks and Yoast SEO just became even more important.

Jon: You better use it.

Joost: You mentioned international SEO. I have to laugh. I clicked open the articleand the first thing is international hreflang needs to die in a blue pit of fire.

Jon: That was AJ Kohn’s tweet when he was at his wits in one day.

Joost: Yeah! So what is your conclusion on international SEO? You’ve written about it a lot, even a very long article about it.

Jon: Yeah! I did what I would consider to be some pretty decent testing. I created a site and I created all kinds of different sections for different locales. I tested different languages. I did it in a way where I actually made up words, but I really made sure they were made up. As in: if you did a search for it, you wouldn’t get a ‘did you mean ….’ you wouldn’t get any of this stuff. I’m talking like no results. With those words, I wrote content. Just ridiculous, insane crap that came out of my head to have some content on the page so they’d actually be indexed.

It was really interesting to me, what I discovered. If you search for anything online right now about ‘what do I do to structure this and make sure this shows up in the right country for Google Brazil?’ almost everything says: hreflang, hreflang, hreflang.

That ended up being the worst thing and the most unreliable way to make what you want to appear, appear. And it’s especially true if we’re talking about content that is similar or duplicate for different regions. The goal I was going for was: how do I take very similar or same content that’s in different folders for different regions and have that show up in the right country?

As opposed to USA showing up in Belgium. I don’t want that. I want the Belgium page to show up in Belgium. So that’s what I did and it ended up being that it was other signals, not very big, just little signals that ended up having the most impact. And I’m talking like consistent, as in: if you do this it will work, period.

That ended up being: including the country name and the page title. I mean, it’s just stuff like this! It ended up being: make sure you have your global home page, which doesn’t have to be on the home – but I did that because it’s similar to FedEx and UPS –  and list all your regions and you link to your regions.

The language matters. For example, if I did something in Spanish but I was searching as an English user in Mexico, then it wouldn’t work. But if it was searching in Spanish and I was using Google as a Spanish user and I was searching for that particular page that was in the Mexican section of that site, it would work almost a hundred percent of the time.

The only thing that did not work very often or hardly at all is hreflang. I would still use it. I would still use it because it’s still technically considered a best practice, but that was the thing that did not work consistently.

Joost: Well, it’s also some of the hardest shit to implement probably.

Jon: Yes. There’s a lot of things that can go wrong.

Joost: Yeah and it’s funny that we are talking about this, because on the long-term roadmap of WordPress – the content management system we all so love – is multilingual. So I’ve been looking at it and I’m thinking about how we are going to approach that in WordPress? Because there’s quite a few different approaches to doing this in WordPress. And there’s a couple of plugins out there that do this. But doing this is actually – if you do it well from the ground up – it’s not all that hard. If you have to bolt it on to something it’s incredibly hard.

Jon: You’d come in after the fact.

Joost: Yeah. Which is why basically all the multilingual plugins for WordPress are not very good. Because it’s pretty hard to bolt multilingual systems onto a database model that basically isn’t ready for it. Well, I’m thinking about it a lot in terms of how do you implement this technically from the ground up to how do we add this to WordPress? How do we make it work?

And seeing your results.. Basically most of the stuff that’s important I can’t even control from within WordPress. In the theme, but not in WordPress.

Jon: Exactly. You can control the page title. You can control what you put on the page. You can control the folder structure.

Joost: And I can control stuff like the HTML language that we put out. And I could probably even do hreflang correctly across a site if I add it to the CMS. But the country entitled stuff is..  Well, we can’t really force that anywhere. Can we?

Jon: You can’t and again, the results that I got showed that – I guarantee you I did hreflang correctly, I know I did it correctly – it did not work.

Joost: So how would you because in title is a relative thing, right? Say we want yoast.com to rank in Spanish?

Jon: Just the language?

Joost: Yeah Spanish, just everywhere where they search in Spanish.

Jon: If I were only concerned about that, there’s not a whole lot you have to do. You can put it in a folder. Oh, I’m glad you bring this up now. Okay. Everything has to be in Spanish, meaning, the metadata, the title, the page title. I mean everything. Not just on the page, it’s things inside the page that Google might read or need to know about. So that’s another thing I had to mention.

Joost: So your Schema needs to be in Spanish too?

Jon: Yes, absolutely. Well, if it’s used for a certain type of result. I did not test that, but I would make the assumption that yes, it would need to be in Spanish.

Joost: [background noises] Someone decided to start drilling here in the office.. That’s always nice when you’re trying to record a podcast.

So everything has to be in that language. So, if I wanted to rank the Spanish stuff in Mexico. Then I would have to add Mexico to the title?

Jon: Yes, that’s how I would do it. That would be my recommendation based on what I tested.

English can rank in Mexico too. If you had two different versions for Mexico, you would have something like EN-MX and ES-MX. So you’d put them into different folders, you would target it with Search Console for those different folders after you added it to Search Console.

But the English version would need to be completely written in English. Like we were just talking about including metadata, Schema, all of it. And the Spanish version would need to be completely in Spanish. What would happen is: if I were using Google Mexico and I had it switched to the Spanish version as an end-user and I searched for that, that ES-MX version should pop up. If I were to switch to English – let’s just say I speak English, I’m in Mexico, I’m using Google as an English speaking person – it should pull up EN-MX. It won’t pull up the Spanish version for Mexico. If you did it correctly.

Joost: And if you translated your entire thing or your entire template?

Jon: Correct.

Joost: That is probably the thing that I run into the most, that people forget to translate entire sections of their site.

Jon: Right. So for people who are listening, I have this site I use for testing this is live and I probably ended up using it again. It’s coywolf.country. That’s all it is. I just registered a new domain. I just love general top level domains, I’m kind of insane about it. It’s my middle finger to the .com domain or industry. Cause I’m like, you know what? Screw you! I’m not going to pay that money for that stuff. So all I use almost exclusively are GTLDs. So coywolf.country that is the site I use to test all the things.

You can view the source codes, see what I did. Look at the completely insane copy that I’m very proud of that I wrote. I think that makes absolutely no sense. On the homepage you’ll have that what I was calling that sort of global site map and you’ll see how I communicate.

To other people it’s gonna be like over-communicate, but that’s how you communicate to a bot. You need to over-communicate every little thing to reinforce what’s going on there, because everything like that ends up becoming to some degree, an important signal.

Some pages I test by not including things on the page. Some pages I test by not including certain links, some pages I include are not using hreflang, it’s across the board.

Joost:  So the complete insane copy that you wrote, Jon – I’m just looking at this – is rather insane. I can now see the words that you came up with.

Jon: It’s some of the my best prose.

Joost:  I’m not entirely sure whether I’m able to even pronounce this.

Jon: Oh I can’t pronounce it either.

Joost: I’m not going to try.

Jon: It’s not even real words!

Joost: There was one last thing that I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about it, because that article from you made me so happy. You wrote a while back about Apple Search.

Jon: Oh yeah. Apple search engine!

Joost: It’s one of the things that I’ve been waiting for forever, because Apple is so slowly chipping away at Google searches all the time and people don’t even notice it. So you’re searching in Safari on your phone and you get an instant result and you think that’s from Google, but it’s not. It’s from Apple. There’s so many of these small things that they’ve been doing for a while already where they just take away more of Google’s searcher.

Jon: I don’t think a lot of people are aware that Apple bot is alive and well. They are crawling  what seems like the same amount as Bing if not more. Some people report different amounts of crawling.

But it’s a lot. It’s significant. I think that most people have in their mind that Apple is just going to launch something like DuckDuckGo. It’s going to be what I would consider a conventional search engine. Conventional in the sense of: you go here, you enter this and you get results. That’s the only type of search engine there is. Of course we know that’s not true. And especially if we even think about voice search.

But I think in Apple’s case, they’re just going to bake it all in. I think they are already baking it in. But it’s just going to become one of those things where you don’t even realize you’re using a search engine.

Joost: No, which is very Applely

Jon: Yeah, that’s how you want it to be. I think Apple is going to end up taking Google’s food in the long run because there’s no friction, to the end user there’s no middleman. You’re just using this app and you need to know something or you need to get to something and it just gets you there.

Now what I am about to describe is a little more conventional, but I think it’s a good example of sort of what you had just brought up. Which is: you think you’re getting information from Google but you’re not. And that is really seen in the latest version of MacOS with Big Sur and with Safari 14, which I’ve been using for a while, I’m using the beta for a while.

I would say more often than not, when I type something in the input field on Safari, the first result is what gets selected. I’ll type and if I pressed enter, it’s just going to take me to the site and it completely jumps past Google. But it’s not just that. It’s not using Google. That result – I’m pretty confident about – is from Apple bot, not from Google bot. From Apple’s own search engine.

The other day – and I think I tweeted this – I was searching for the score of a local football team in Nashville and it popped it up. In the browser! It had everything, it was just like the full stuff for results and told me everything I need to know. I didn’t have to go anywhere. I didn’t go to Google. Whatever it was, it was just there. And then I went on the rest of my life. So not only that, I didn’t even leave the browser, I didn’t even leave the tool!

Joost: That means they’re buying that data because that data is not coming to you.

Jon: Yes, they’re buying that data.

Joost: Yeah and they’re deliberately taking actions to make it accessible right there. That’s a huge step. As soon as they start doing that, then you get to the point where a lot of that stuff is just available to you and you don’t have to think about it.

And as soon as you think about it, it’s there. They do what Google now always tries to do, but I think Apple will do a better job at that particular bit.

Jon: And it’s a different type of experience, where Google is dependent on you going to Google or one of its properties. With Apple, it’s what I would say Microsoft always failed to do and what they try to do with IE and baking IE into the operating system and all that stuff like that. Apple has successfully baked it into their native apps. The thing is, the search engine is baked into the operating system because when you use spotlight, that is a search engine.

I mean, that is a search engine. I assume what is similar for people who use Android or a Chromebook, but that is the search engine, which is command space. What do I want, what am I looking for? And of course you get all the things, you find your documents or whatever, but you also have all your search results.

And one of the things I think I highlighted originally when I wrote that, was:, those search results have nothing to do with Google and have everything to do with the stuff that Apple bot found, not what Google bot found. They’re just completely bypassing them. I’m going straight to the content that I want to go to.

There are no ads to see. There are no regular search snippets.

Joost: In many ways it’s also – because there’s so little feedback from Apple about all of this – the biggest black box in SEO we’ve seen in a while.

Jon: Yes and no. They updated the whole Apple bot page, which I think probably sparked everybody’s interest. I think Barry Schwartz was probably, as usual, the first one to spot it and let everybody know that he did. But it was one of those things where all this language was very familiar to us. It was written for SEOs. It felt almost copied off of Google’s documentation.

Joost: This never happens.

Jon:  Nobody’s copying anything. We’ve already established that at the beginning of this podcast. Nobody copies anything. What are you talking about?

Joost: Anyway, Jon, we can talk for hours. I know we can, which means that you at some point have to be back. But it’s been great talking to you, so thank you.

Jon: Yeah, I love it. It’s too bad when you only have this little brief amount of time, but yes, we can go on forever.

Joost: This little brief amount of time, he says about almost 50 minutes of podcast to listen.

Jon: It feels like five minutes, I love it.

Joost: Thanks for being here. Thanks everyone for listening and tune in before the next show. Bye bye!

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