Stepping into the digital limelight, Kasra Dash emerges as a revered SEO Expert and IGB Affiliate, wielding control over more than 600 digital assets and boasting a remarkable record of generating £1.33 Million in Sales. With a unique blend of skills in B2B Lead Generation and Business Growth, Kasra is not just a specialist; he's a maestro in Search Engine Optimisation. He has earned acclaim for his ability to breathe new life into websites affected by Google updates, and for laying down robust foundations that shield them from any initial impact, marking him as a beacon of digital resurrection and fortification.
Renowned for his forward-thinking approach, Kasra is a staunch advocate of incorporating disavows and EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) from the inception of a website project. This commitment to foundational strength doesn’t just future-proof digital assets but transforms them into masterpieces of resilience and value, ensuring they stand the test of time and market shifts. This insight and dedication make him the go-to architect for those looking to construct not just websites, but sellable, enduring digital assets.
In recent times, Kasra’s consultancy has become a sanctuary for many seeking to recover and revitalise their digital spaces. His approach is not merely about solving immediate issues; it’s about forging partnerships and guiding clients on a journey towards long-term digital excellence and sustainability. This personalised and result-driven approach has cemented his reputation as a trusted advisor in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
If you're on the lookout for a guardian to navigate your website through the treacherous waters of Google updates, or to construct an unassailable digital fortress from the ground up, Kasra Dash is your indispensable ally. Reach out to unlock a world of digital possibilities, secure your online presence, and ensure your website is not only resilient but thriving in the face of tomorrow’s uncertainties.
The Unscripted SEO Interview Podcast with Kasra Dash
Watch the interview
(click on the 'cc' icon to view subtitles)
Listen to the podcast
(60 minutes long)
The unscripted questions Mark A Preston asked Kasra Dash
Who is Kasra Dash?
Has this recent HCU (Helpful Content Update) been one of the biggest impactful updates we have seen?
Are you seeing any commonalities between all those sites who have been hit by the recent Google update?
Has authorship once again come to the forefront?
Are people researching what they read a lot more these days?
Where should people start when it comes to their website?
What's the recovery process if someone has been hit by a Google update?
Should you disavow toxic links when SEO pros are saying not to bother?
How often should SEOs update their disavow file?
If a site tanks after an update, should they start from fresh?
Do you need to look at technical SEO during a website recovery?
How long after an update should you wait for your site to recover, considering one has fixed everything?
What exactly do you believe this latest HCU is targeting?
Are you seeing panic about the loss of revenue due to Google updates?
What specifically do you need to do to a page that has lost it's organic traffic?
Are people going overboard on topic hubs with no logical thinking behind it?
Should you delete pages from your site that are not getting any views or links?
What should real estate sites do with a page when they have sold that property?
Have you seen that removing internal linking overload has helped to recover sites?
Do you see sites tanking because of SEOs only following what the SEO tools tell them to do?
Is there a link between SEO laziness and sites tanking?
How important is it to take action after a site has tanked from a Google update?
<<< Back to The Unscripted SEO Interview Podcast
The unscripted conversation between Mark A Preston and Kasra Dash
Mark A Preston: Welcome to the Unscripted SEO Interview Podcast. Yes, it's 100% unscripted, 100% unrehearsed, 100% unedited, and 100% real. I'm your host, Mark A Preston. And I'm going to do something a little bit different this time. With the guests we have on, I'm going to get him to introduce himself for the simple reason that I don't miss anything. Hi, can you please introduce yourself.
Kasra Dash: Yeah, so my name is Kasra Dash. I am known for having rank and rents, gambling affiliate sites. link building agencies, and I've done a lot of talks on website recoveries, so I feel like I'm probably the go to guy at the minute. Hot topic, some would say, on Twitter, on Facebook, and also on podcasts, talking about how websites are getting slapped, why they're getting slapped, and a lot of people in the past 10 days have been sending me through their websites saying, hey Kaz, can you take a look at this? Why is it being slapped? So yeah, thanks for having me on.
Mark A Preston: Thanks for joining us. You could say that this recent Google update is probably one of the biggest impactful updates we've had in a long time. Would you say that?
Kasra Dash: Yeah, like I feel it's been coming for a long time now. I've been saying this in any of my talks in the past two, three talks that I've done, excluding Search Birmingham, because that was slightly different. It wasn't as such to do with website recovery. It was more so to do with manipulating certain metrics. But if anyone has listened to my talks in Vegas or in Estonia, or even at Brighton SEO a couple of weeks ago. There's a lot of things that I have been saying on stage that actually has come to fruition and Google has spied. So when I'm talking about EEAT signals or when people say EEAT doesn't work, it's only in YMYL or how much of an impact does it have? It definitely does after this update, There's a lot of websites that I'm seeing that they think they have EEAT on their website just by having an offer box and a little bit of a description about their offers, but that's not EEAT by any means.
Mark A Preston: So, for the people that's contacting you at the moment saying we've been slapped hard with this update, are you seeing any commonalities between them all?
Kasra Dash: Yeah, so without going into too much detail, it's obviously called the Helpful Content Update, right? Now, there's two parts to this. One is, a lot of the websites I'm looking at, they are claiming that they're expert financial advisors or expert travelers or whatever else, and you search up their names. So say, for example, if I search up Mark A Preston, you're probably not an expert traveler. You might be an expert SEO. You've got no authority in the travel space or you've not got any authority in the finance industry. So when Google looks at your websites and they're like okay, Mark A Preston claims he's an authority on his website, but there's no other websites speaking about Mark A Preston. So why should we believe this one website? It's just a name on a site at the end of the day. So that's one thing. EEAT.
And then the second thing is a lot of people think they're writing helpful content, but it's actually not. It's actually just copycat SEO. So what they'll be doing is they will be using certain tools like ChatGPT or they'll be getting like the H2s of whoever's ranking in the top 10 and combining them all and making one massive article. And again, that's just copycat content. You're not bringing anything new to the SERP. One thing that I would like to mention is Marie Hayes done a very good breakdown. And she talks about the content gain or sorry, information gain patent. And that's, I feel like that's got a massive factor now. So if you're writing an article, if you're not providing anything new to the SERP you're probably going to struggle to rank is what I'm seeing. So if you're just copying what's there already, like what's the differentiating factor between your site and the top 10 sites that are already ranking there. That's another thing that I'm seeing a lot on these websites that have been hit.
Mark A Preston: Do you think then that authorship in some form is now come to the forefront again? When obviously if Google's and not just Google, the people reading the sites are looking at, who is this person by authorship? Personal branding and everything. Is that part and parcel of what people need to be looking at now?
Kasra Dash: Yeah, definitely. There was an interesting case study that I actually read a few years back and I believe this is the main reason why they introduced EEAT and YMYL. Back when we were in COVID and lockdown, there was a lot of websites that were just writing articles on the best bitcoins and the best cryptos and stuff like that to invest in. And I don't know if you ever saw these articles or on news as well, but there was a lot of people that were like ended up remortgaging their houses, based off of an article that was online and they ended up essentially going into a lot of debt because crypto ended up crashing. A lot of people lost a lot of money. So Google essentially realised like we have a big issue, like anyone can essentially go throw up a website.
Do topical authority and end up ranking and building a few links. So the actual authorship of the website, say, for example, if I'm reading a fitness blog by Mark A Preston okay, is he an actual bona fide person? Is he a personal trainer? Has he actually got the expertise and knowledge in this space? Or is it just Mark A Preston that's an SEO and then a part time blogger that actually doesn't know how to get a six pack? He's not a dietician, he's not this, he's not that. Like you can very quickly see like where the actual issue is, right? So if you're just able to throw up a website in 20 minutes, I don't know, get ChatGPT to write you 200 articles and in six months time you're plastering your website with a load of ads, then of course, it's an issue.
Mark A Preston: I can say that I did have a six pack quite a few years ago, but if somebody were to look at any photo of me now, probably not exactly call myself a fitness freak, so just to give context around it, you can totally see if people are researching. So like you said, do you think. Not just in the SEO space, but in general, do you think when people are reading something, they're researching that information up as well? And that's why, not just Google, but, the general public are looking for these different things?
Kasra Dash: Yeah, definitely. By the way, I don't mean to just keep picking on you, by the way, I'm just using you as an example in some of these.
Mark A Preston: It's all true, don't worry.
Kasra Dash: Yeah definitely. One thing that I'll say is I was recently on a Twitter live and there was me and a few other SEOs, and like 60, 70 listeners and I said to the other guys that were on the Twitter live, like honestly speaking before this algorithm update, right? You're going to buy a monitor, right? You want a new monitor. So you search up or you want to do a little bit of research before you actually buy the monitor. Would you Google best monitors? You wouldn't. You don't trust the SERPs. As an SEO, I don't trust the SERPs. I would probably, and the thing is, every single one of the guys that were on the Twitter live said the exact same thing. They said, all right one of them said that they would look on Reddit. One of them said that they would watch a YouTube video. And then the third person said, Oh, I've got a friend that has a shop or something. I would go and ask him.
So it's you guys are SEOs and you don't need to even trust the SERP. So why should anybody else trust the SERP? Because what everybody is doing nowadays is, they'll go and write an article on the best running shoes or the best televisions or the best monitors. They'll be like okay, Dell has a 25% affiliate program. I'm going to stick them number one. Acer has a 15% affiliate program. I'm going to stick them number two. And LG has a 10% affiliate program. So I'm going to stick them number three. How is that helpful? It's not helpful. Going back to your question, yes, people will want to do research, they will want to see a debate, where if I've just got an affiliate website, there is no debate, I've just got a list of the top ten, there's not somebody on, for example, a Reddit or a Quora that's going back and forth saying, No, that Dell monitor, it's not that bright, but the Acer monitor, that's really bright, especially if you've got a light or something behind you, I recommend Acer. In some cases, You do want a Reddit forum, or you do want a Quora forum, or you do want a YouTube video ranking, so if your website isn't, it's not having all of these debates, and it's not having all the pros and cons, and it's just listing the top 10 lists that everybody else has, you're not bringing anything new to the server.
Mark A Preston: I think a lot of people need to start being honest with themselves about their own websites and their clients websites and everything, but where should they start? What's the starting point?
Kasra Dash: Starting point is building a strong foundation. A lot of people will cut corners when it comes to link building, when it comes to the theme. Like again, I'm not lying or anything here I've got nothing to lie about but I genuinely reckon I've probably been sent about 25 to 30 websites that have all been slapped in the past week or so, and every single one of them look the exact same. They've got the little offer box on the right hand side, they've got a little bit of a description about Sarah Jane, the pictures from this person doesn't exist, you search up Sarah Jane and there is no Sarah Jane, there's only one photo of her on the entire internet. Yeah, you deserve to get slapped. You didn't have the correct foundations to begin with. You've not got your actual offers mentioned on anybody else's websites. Your Sarah Jane's only mentioned on your website. There's no other recollection of Sarah Jane. And then, the theme itself, it's just a non trustworthy theme you look at I think I actually made a tweet about this, and I think you might have actually liked it, about, let's talk about expertise, and you look at eatinwell.com some people are like, Oh that's a monster website.
They don't deserve to be ranking, blah, blah, blah, blah. But you actually look at the website, you land on eatingwell.com. Go and check out anybody that's listening. Go and check out eatingwell.com. That's a trustworthy website. Like they've got a dietitian that's actually reviewed all the articles. They've got a content writer that's actually read the articles. It's very easy to contact them. And then off page EEAT is super important. So a lot of people think. EEAT is just on page. So just have an offer box, an offer page, a contact us page. It's not that. It's, does your offers actually got a website? Are they mentioned on other websites? Are they actually like when you search them? Do they actually pop up like nine times out of 10? A lot of the websites I'm seeing is the answer to all of them is no.
Mark A Preston: Moving on from that, say somebody has been hit. Let's talk a bit about. the recovery stage. So apart from sending you a message, they are sat there and basically the site is totally tanked. They're looking at the site. They can't know what's obvious to them. When somebody comes to you, what's the process? What do you do?
Kasra Dash: So there's three different factors, I would say, like three that come to mind when I'm talking about website recovery. One is toxic links. The second is actual topic, genuine topical relevancy. There's a lot of people that get topical relevancy and topical coverage mixed up. They're two completely different things. And then the third is The third is actually like the e a t stuff that we've been talking about. So when it comes to toxic links, I would recommend l r t. A lot of people will say oh, I've got a DA42, or I've got a DA72 or a DR60, and it's that's a third party metric like that can be manipulated overnight. By using a legit package for 20, $30, you can literally get a DR 60 and a matter of. So I would strongly suggest if anybody feels like they've been hit because of a links penalty and I've seen a lot of those in the past couple of weeks as well, is don't do a disavow yourself. And I'm not just saying that to try and sell a disavow. But there's a lot of people that have done a disavow based off of what SEMrush says, or what Ahrefs mentions. And those tools as well, like they're great tools, don't get me wrong, but they're not built for disavows. They don't look at the link graph. They don't look at the trust. They don't look at the toxicity. They like, I know that SEMrush has a spam metric, but it's completely off as to what Google actually classifies as spammed. link. If you're seriously considering doing a disavow yourself, go and check out link research tools. I believe it's like a couple thousand a month. We're on the most expensive package. We're paying like 20k a month but we get a lot of credits and stuff like that.
So what you essentially want to do with LRT is run your competitors for it first. See what their toxicity levels are and what your toxicity threshold is and build to the closest threshold that you possibly can. So again, there's not a certain number that I can give, but if you're in finance that number might be 700. So build 650 if you can to that toxicity level. And then if you're doing disavows, don't just disavow just toxic links, because in some industries you actually need toxic links. As crazy as that sounds, right? Some people are probably thinking Oh my God, what? You need toxic links? Yes, you do. Again, a lot of people correlate their content, but they don't correlate their backlink. So if all of your competitors have, let's say a toxicity level of 600. You're going to need to be in line with everybody else. If You're just like the cleanest guy on the block. Google can very quickly see, all right, this guy's an SEO. He's trying to game them the actual algorithm. We're not going to rank you. So even when it comes to link building, you do need to essentially match what everybody else has. So that's the link building side of stuff. When it comes to topical relevance and topical coverage, now, this is one thing that a lot of people get wrong or they get confused. And Corey talks about this very well. He actually mentioned that you can have one page on your website that talks about the Bible and that could get all the traffic. And you could have 950 pages talking about porn. If those 950 pages don't get any traffic, your topical relevancy is to do with the one page that does get traffic. So the 950 pages that are talking about porn, those are completely irrelevant. So your website is talking about the Bible. It's not talking about porn because that's the one page that gets traffic. Now, what you probably want to do, and I've actually done a guide on this, I believe on my Twitter as well.
And go and sign up to Screaming Frog. It's 20, 30 for the year. Some people call it SEO tax because you just pay it off once a year and that's it done. But get Screaming Frog. It's a great tool. What you want to do is plug in your Google search console and do the last three months. Go and look at the pages that actually have traffic and actually. look at the pages that have not had any clicks or impressions, right? Those pages that haven't had any clicks or impressions, those pages are pulling your website down. So again, going back to helpful content, if you've got 300 pages total on your website and 250 of them aren't getting any clicks, they're not getting any traffic and you've just published them Because you've wanted to get topical coverage, you've absolutely decimated your website. So go and do something about those pages, whether it's deleting them, whether it's building links to them, whether it's improving them, whether it's adding secondary keywords, you need to be improving those older pages because a lot of people think, ah, okay, brilliant. I'm just going to publish another 300 pages. Like I think Lily Ray mentioned this as well. It was, is. it had become super easy to gain topical authority and topical relevance.
So if you can just publish 600 articles over a weekend and you're ranking for best IVAs or best financial advisors or whatever else of course it was a massive issue. And then the third way of fixing websites is the EEAT stuff. Like I'm a massive advocate of EAT. Obviously in some industries you might not need as many EEAT and trustworthy signals. For example, if anyone's ranking in porn, you're probably not going to need that. But if you're trying to rank for finance, if you're trying to rank for fitness, travel, et cetera, et cetera, you're going to need your EEAT signals. And again, based off of a lot of the websites I've seen over the past few days, They've not got EEAT. They might have an offer box. They might have an about page. They might have an offer page, but they don't, they're still missing a lot of stuff.
Mark A Preston: You covered quite a bit there. I just want to touch upon two or three things. First of all disavow. Now there's a lot of chatter in the industry saying there's no need to disavow anything because Google doesn't, do anything with them. Disavow. dismiss them. So there's two sides. There's this side that say, yes, you must disavow stuff. And there's this side saying, don't bother because it's probably helping you anyway.
Kasra Dash: So I actually had a recent debate on this. I say recent, maybe about a year ago. And again, if anybody's listened to my talks in Vegas or in Estonia or Brighton SEO, I basically had a private mastermind group, similar thing, a friend had a website and he says, disavows don't work, it's a load of BS, I don't believe in them, I've never done one and I'm never going to do one. And I said, all right, let's put it to the test. websites each. All it took was 15 links. 1 5 to either tank the page, tank the silo, or tank the entire website. 15 links, gone. Completely decimated. And then, Obviously, there's a lot of people that are probably listening and they might think correlation doesn't mean causation. We disavowed those links, the website recovered. We undisavowed, so we then removed the disavowed file, and the website tanked again. So anybody that doesn't believe in disavows it's just a joke. Just come on, mate. There's obviously some links that Google does ignore. Trust me, Google does ignore a lot of links. Google has gotten a lot smarter. So anybody that goes and searches on Fiverr, on Legit, and there's 6, 000 citations for 4. 99. Yeah, of course, Google will disavow those links. Google does disavow GSA. It does disavow, or it ignores, should I say, it ignores a lot of GSA. It ignores a lot of spammy, toxic, hacked links.
Yes, I do agree with those guys. There's a lot of links. And... A lot of link builders are probably going to get pissed off by me saying this. There's a lot of links in other link building agencies that databases that are toxic that will cause harm to your website. So one good link, or sorry, one bad link can completely eliminate 10 good links. Just bear that in mind. There's been times where websites have been on an upward trajectory that do get proactive disavows from us. I'm a massive advocate for active disavows. If you're acquiring links every single month, there are going to be some bad apples to say in the links that you're acquiring. So it's always good to essentially keep on top of that disavow. And not only that is sometimes you'll disavow a link and in six or 12 months time, That link that you disavowed might have turned into a good link as well. So you need to sometimes undisavow links. Going back to what you were saying before is we've had multiple people where they've said, all right, disavows don't work. And we've tested it and every single time, like it's took 14 to 20 bad links to either completely decimate a page, completely decimate a silo or completely decimate Git. tank an entire website. Again, it depends on the size of the website. It depends on how many foundational trustworthy links that website has, but you can definitely do a lot of harm with toxic links.
Mark A Preston: So, how often would you recommend people go through the backlink profile and re evaluate their disavow file?
Kasra Dash: Again, that completely depends on the size of the website, and that's probably not the answer that you're wanting. You're probably thinking give me an answer, three months, six months, no. But there's, so there's massive news publications that get disavows from us every quarter or every month. There's gambling sites that get disavows from us every two months, there's finance websites that get disavows from us every six months. And again if we take a look at, for example, the news media website, it's a huge website you would have heard of it if you're in the UK. In some cases, they get like a thousand links in one day, so they need to proactively be looking at that list of links, and they're like okay, we've had a thousand links this week. What which ones are we going to add to the disavow? Not every single link is going to be a good link. And again a lot of people think that a toxic link is a link that's... like blatantly toxic. It's a hacked link. That's definitely not the case. There's a lot of guest post links that are DR65. They have an upward trajectory. They're getting traffic. They're ranking for similar keywords that you're trying to rank for. At face value, you run it through Ahrefs or you look at it through SEMrush and you're like, yeah, I'll have that link. I'll pay for that link. Brilliant. Give me a guest post on that. It actually causes a lot of harm. And those were the types of links that we actually built to that website that actually tanked those sites, literally went from 30, 000 monthly visits down to about six.
Mark A Preston: So yeah, a thousand links in a week. I'm going to say many SEOs just dream of that. Yeah. Yeah, I'm going to say so on the recovery stages. Should, if your website's tanked, should they be thinking about let's scrap stuff and start again? Or should they think about, let's improve what we've already got instead of, scrapping it and redoing what we've got?
Kasra Dash: I always like to continue with what I already have built because obviously there's again depending on like the size of the website. A lot of my websites have two, three, four thousand pages and they're big websites. So I would never want to start again. What I would say is it's going to take another core algorithm update for a lot of these websites to bounce back. It's not going to be an overnight success. If anybody's listening and they think, Oh, I'm going to do this about and I'm going to bounce back by the weekend. Definitely not. So what I would say is just try and fix everything by the next core algorithm update. And then you should bounce back for a lot of like keywords. That's when we see the biggest comebacks. Like after a core algorithm update, you need to get everything in line by the next core algorithm update. Stop cutting corners, stop using cheap themes, fix your tables. So it's not just got. LG or Dell or whatever at the top, like genuinely try to actually fix everything. And then when it comes to disavows, we've seen again, like disavows. You see the biggest comeback after an algorithm update, but you do see a slow recovery after doing the disavow, so after a couple weeks you've submitted it. Google's essentially recrawling all those links and saying, ah, okay, they've disavowed these toxic links. And you slowly but surely start to win a little bit more, little by little. But yeah, a lot of the, a lot of the content issues and fixes that everybody's having after this algorithm update. They're going to see a lot of recovery after the next one.
Mark A Preston: So, is it just basically themes, content, links, or is there some correlation between the technical SEO side of a site as well?
Kasra Dash: Yeah, so of course, like your website does need to be technically, like it needs to be crawlable, right? So again, like we can go down the rabbit hole of page rank and like prioritizing like certain pages and stuff like that, but nobody wants to listen to that. Yeah, obviously. We could probably sit on another one hour podcast just talking about like site structure and stuff. I'm going to assume everybody's got the correct site structure in place, but if you don't, very quickly, like your most important pages need to be like Easy to click through to like it needs to have internal links. Google needs to deem it as an important link. So you can essentially do that by some people like back in the day would call it link sculpting. I would call it like site structure sculpting now. So it's not a lot of people would like no follow certain links. So all the link juice would go to this one page. You don't need to do that now. Google does need to deem it as an important page on your website. So say, for example, if your best televisions page only has one internal link there's no priority to that page. But if all of your like other pages that are talking about the different Types of televisions, all the reviews, they're linking put back up to your best televisions page. Google will deem it as a more important page, so it will crawl it more frequently. It'll give it more priority in the actual crawl budget and stuff like that. So if, again, like I'm not going to bore everyone on this, but the more page rank you have going to certain pages, the more important it is.
Mark A Preston: Yeah. Now, time scales. Someone's been slapped, saying they spend a good two months fixing things. How, roughly, are they going to get to where they was or not?
Kasra Dash: Again we've done website recoveries. The biggest disavow that we've ever done is, was a 30,000 disavow. And within that disavow, we've done We disavowed around 60,000 worth of guest posts, right? So it was like a 90,000 job, right? If you were to look at all the values and stuff like that associated to it. But then after two or three months, there was a lot of content fixes that they also had to do alongside that. And then they also had to a lot of people think, oh, I'm going to do a disavow, and then they just leave it at the disavow. You also need what's called a backlink rejuvenation. So after doing a disavow, it's like essentially being on your deathbed with an IV drip, right? What you don't want to do is go and have a McDonald's the next day, right? Because that's what probably got you in that bit of mess. So It's all about doing a lot of things right after. And that website now has doubled in traffic of what it was before. So I think it was doing about, I want to say about 150, hits. Now it's doing 400,000 hits. So it's doubled in traffic. It's definitely recovered if not done better.
But it's it's... A lot of people are going to give up, I feel, and it as sad as that sounds I personally don't want to I want everyone to be striving and succeeding, doing the best websites they possibly can. If you give up, then obviously you're not going to recover, but if you can actually work and put together a plan and say okay, I'm going to fix all my content issues today. I'm going to do a disavow in a week's time. I'm going to do a backlink rejuvenation in a month's time. I'm going to fix all my UX and UI. I'm going to fix the theme. I'm going to help. I'm going to do the EEAT stuff. then slowly but surely you will recover, like you're giving Google the signals that it wants. So again, depending on the size of the website, if you have like a monster website, that's got three and a half thousand pages, that's going to take a little bit more time than a website that's only got 500 pages. Do you know what I mean? So it's all in accordance to the size of your website.
Mark A Preston: So, this recent update that's just happened they say it's HCU update, but I'm just getting so many mixed messages. It seems to be one of those updates that no one can really pinpoint exactly what's happening at the moment. There's so many... So much confusion behind it. What have you personally seen or is there anything significant you've seen due to this recent update?
Kasra Dash: Yes So I would say that exact match domains are stronger than ever. So there's a lot of exact match domains that are ranking really well now. They're just coming from out of nowhere. Again, I can understand in some cases, like people are saying why is Quora ranking when I was ranking for that phrase or for that keyword? Again I don't know if you've seen the, there was a video that Matt Diggity actually done, and essentially there was like, he clicked on a result, bounced back, and it came up saying, was this article useful, and then there was four options. Have you seen that? on any of the SERPs.
Mark A Preston: I haven't seen it myself. I've heard about it.
Kasra Dash: Yeah. So I reckon that's going to play a vital factor in going forward. So yes, Quora and Reddit and stuff like that might be ranking now, but in give it a couple of weeks time, give it a few weeks time. I reckon that a lot of the actual genuine websites that are giving a better answer will start to slowly climb back. I feel like they've actually put a little bit more weight on that. Again, this is just a theory that I have. But yeah that's what I think to a lot of the Reddit and stuff like that. Again, it all does come down to user engagements on a page, but say for example, if people are actually seeing Reddit page or on a Quora page, those pages will stick. They will stay there. So don't just bet hope on the fact that, oh Reddit's going to go down in a couple weeks time, I don't need to do anything. Your website's been hit for a main, for a reason, and it's probably because it's got bad content on it. So go and fix that. That that's my theory. And then I feel like again, for whatever reason, I've seen a lot of websites being hit by manual action link penalties as well. So I feel like that they're clamping down a little bit more on links. Like one of the websites that recently came to me, they had spent around 12,000 in the past six months on Harrow.
And again I'm not a massive advocate of HARO because literally like you look at some of the Harrow links and stuff like that, it's a massive huge article. We'll get it all in short and it's 60 offers on that page and it's like it just looks spammy like just that's essentially just a pbn and a lot of people will say oh harrow's like harrow's helping my eat it's definitely not if anything you're harming your website because every man and his dogs getting harrow links and the more outbound links on a It's watering down the page rank. So all right. Yes, you might be the first offer on that page, but in two months time, there's going to be 50 other offers on that page. So that page rank on that Harrow link is going to be divided by 51 outbound links. So again, like there's a lot of things that I'm seeing that were working before that they're not working anymore.
Mark A Preston: So if say. A business owner, CEO, whoever they are, an SEO, are just confused, literally I've been looking at a site today, basically, it's lost 50 percent of the traffic, but that's also impacted in a big way for the revenue. Obviously, when we're talking in the SEO industry about sites tanking, there's a bigger picture here, potentially people could lose their jobs because of it, doing things right in the first place is recoveries, Are they in that sort of moment panicking stage, are they really worried about the future of the revenue, the business?
Kasra Dash: I think anybody that's listening to this, try and be diverse as you can. Don't have all your eggs in one basket. Okay, you might be the best SEO in the world. Diversify that. Have PPC alongside your SEO campaign if you're a business and stuff like that. Have Facebook ads. I feel like that if you're cutting corners and stuff like you're always gonna, at some point you're gonna catch the bullet, right? So try and be diverse as you can. That's probably, that, that doesn't even just apply to SEO, that just applies to business in general. Don't have all your eggs in one basket. If you're only investing into real estate, diversify that. Invest into digital assets. If you're only investing into digital assets, I don't know, go and, I don't know, invest in Bitcoin, something, right? Don't just have all your money in one thing. I don't know, mortgages could go tomorrow. They like the interest rate could increase by another six, seven percent. And that your profits like completely gone then.
So diversify your actual not just your SEO, but everything that you possibly can. When it comes to local businesses, like I would probably say that local. Like a lot of the guys that we deal with anyway they have they have a PPC campaign, they have their main website they might be on checker trade, they might have all these different things aligned, so they're not just relying on one thing. And I feel like that's probably the best strategy to have because you genuinely never know, especially if you're doing SEO as a part time thing. You can literally just get hit, like we're very. It's like we're in a very valuable position, my agency, because we've obviously got 650 rank and rents. We've got the gambling affiliate sites. We've got finance websites. We have porn sites. We have all the client websites that we can tap into and look at what's working for them, look at what's not working. So when it comes to data, like we're in a very fortunate position as an agency. Like we can literally load up any Google search console and say, all right, okay, this is working for this website. Let's replicate it on all these other websites. Whereas, for example, Joe, the plumber in London that's got a plumbing website might not have that valuable insights to all these websites. So for Joe, the plumber, what I would recommend is Trying to be as diverse as you can go and get yourself listed on check a trade, go and actually do SEO for your website, if you don't know how to do it, hire an SEO agency, obviously vet the SEO agency as much as you can, ask for testimonials, ask for client reviews ask for case studies that they've potentially done another thing is if, any local businesses are listening and they want to hire an SEO agency, potentially look at your competitors who look at who's ranking number one for, I don't know, emergency plumbers in London and see who's doing their SEO and approach that SEO agency. Cause if they're ranking number one, they clearly can do a really good job, but then also diversify it, do PPC, do Facebook ads obviously get yourself listed on any. Any checker trades of the world and I don't know what else there is in, in local and stuff, but yeah, like definitely be diverse 100%. Because again, this could have happened in PPC.
I remember A few years ago, the Facebook iOS update came out and a lot of Facebook ads agencies got hit. Obviously, the tracking for anybody that doesn't know iOS clamped down on the tracking and how much you can track a person using their iPhone. And I believe I think it went down from I'm going to give a rough number. There was like maybe a 250 track points that they can do. So like your location where you've been, what your interests are and stuff like that. And then they clamped it down. And I believe it's only about 60 tracking points now, but it meant that like a lot of people's ad quality on Facebook dropped massively. I was one of them at the time I had a Facebook ads agency. I don't anymore. But yeah, a hundred percent be diverse as you can.
Mark A Preston: Back on to recoveries and more on the content side now. I think we've covered the link side, now on the content side. And now, say page that's brought in a lot of traffic, that's no longer bringing in traffic. What do they need to do to that page to get it back, that traffic?
Kasra Dash: One thing that I'll say is that it might not be that page, because Google trusted that page. And now it doesn't, right. So obviously check to see what's ranking their number one, but it might be another page on your website or it might be another silo on your website that's pulled down that page. For example, if the page had went from like position one to position four. I'd be like, okay. There's, there might be some secondary keywords you can add. There might be some link building you can do that. You can maybe improve that page by doing some internal links, et cetera, et cetera. But if it's went from like position one to position 35, 40, there's all, there's probably something else that's caused that issue. It's not just that page unless like you, you've, unless somebody's. done a negative SEO attack or they've built toxic links, then it's probably not that page. It's probably something else that's caused it to drop. And from my assumption, it's probably not just that one page that's dropped. It's probably going to be two or two or three hundred pages that have dropped. Your entire website's probably dropped, not just that one page.
Mark A Preston: So what's your views and what have you seen when you're doing recoveries? On the whole topic hub scenario, how many entities, topic hubs, going totally into detail about a certain topic. , is it, are people just going overboard on it? Are p you know what? You want to be the authority on that topic, so naturally SEO say we need to write everything about that topic possible and slap it on the website. And I think there's no logical thinking going on about that.
Kasra Dash: Yeah. So again, going back to what I said before about the screaming frog. Let's say you have been one of those guys and you've got 600 articles on gardening, right? What you probably want to do is look at the pages that are actually getting you traffic, and the pages that are getting you traffic they're probably fine. The ones that aren't, figure out why they're not. Is there, is it because you, you thought that there was search volume but there's actually not? If that's the case, you probably want to prune that page, get rid of it. Or, in some cases, combine it onto another page. So that's what I would be looking to do. Again, one thing that Corey and also what Kyle Roof talks about is, if you have a lot of pages that Google keep crawling, and it's not providing any value, people aren't visiting it, then you're wasting Google's crawl budget. And Google doesn't like that when you waste their crawl budget, because it's as soon as Mark A Preston uploads a page, we want that page to rank, and get clicks, and get traffic, and provide value. If you're not doing any one of those things, and you've just uploaded that page because Ahrefs told you that it's getting search volume, or SEMrush told you it's getting search volume, but in reality it's not, then you're probably going to want to do something about that. Even though it's... Yes. Okay. It's topical coverage. It might not be topical authority. And that's again, going back to what I was saying before a lot of people get those two things mixed up.
Mark A Preston: Yeah. Then what about all these SEOs out there that's saying you shouldn't actually delete these pages that are not getting traffic or links or anything, because it's holding the other pages up. What's your views on that?
Kasra Dash: Again. One thing that we've trailed and tested is content pruning can definitely help. For example, if you've spoke about the LG 45 inch TV that came out in 2007, and nobody searched it since 2008, and you still have it on your website, is that really helping you with topical authority? I don't think so. Again, it comes down to, like, how many people are searching it, if it's actually genuinely providing value. All right, okay, all right, let's throw out the searches out the window, right? Is anybody internally linking, going through to it, right? If they're not, then it's just a, it's just a wasted page on your site. Get rid. Yeah.
Mark A Preston: yeah. What about these sites, say for instance going away from content for a moment, say real estate, estate agents, they had a property, that URL of that property got ranked but now they've sold the property. So what did they do with the page? Did they delete it? Did they archive it? We know, 301 it.
Kasra Dash: So, one thing that I've seen on real estate agencies and there's, this is like a There's multiple answers to this question, so I really like that you've brought this up. So in some cases, I've seen real estate agencies actually 301 it back to their homepage, or what they'll do is 301 it to another relevant property in that area. So if, say, for example, they've just recently sold a Property in Cheadle, they might find another property that they want to essentially try and rank for properties in Cheadle or whatever else. So there's multiple ways that you can go about doing this. Again, it depends on the size of the website. If it's a smallish website and they've spent money and time actually trying to rank it for that area, they'll probably repurpose that page. Whereas if it's like a a Zillow Where it's like they've got millions of pages, right? Or maybe not millions, but hundreds of thousands of pages. What they'll probably do is leave it and say that it's sold. and then they will go back and delete it after two months or something. So they're like, they've got like timestamps. So they'll say okay, this property sold on the 27th. We're going to keep it until the 27th of December or the 27th of November. So for one month, but then We'll delete it. So it's not wasting the crawl budget like you look at any property that's been sold on the big real estate websites. Yes, it will say it's sold. But if you check that page in a year's time or in two years time, it'll be gone. So it's not pulling the actual page down.
Mark A Preston: Yeah. Again, back on to recoveries. Now, from your perspective and what you're seeing, when it comes to the internal linking structure of a site, would you say there's. anything there that's causing any negative impact or people are not doing or they're just basically linking keywords together rather than, what they're supposed to do. Because the number of sites I've looked at that are basically, I've done the internal linking. You've got two pages, then words are the same, let's link them together. There's no logic or anything behind it. Do you, have you seen from a recovery's point of view that undoing that, the internal linking has benefited?
Kasra Dash: Do you know what the best tool to use as an SEO is? Go on. Google Search Console. And I feel like so many people don't use it the way that they should, right? I was actually on a call yesterday talking about this, and basically what I said was, or sorry, the guy had essentially, he had built out like, three, four hundred pages. And he was like, this one page, I really want to rank for it. And I'm like okay what's your internal linking like? And he essentially had internal linked his main keyword from all the other pages, just that one primary keyword. And I'm like you've, you're not theming that page up, right? Okay. Yes. Google completely understands that page is about best running shoes because you've used that as an internal link on 299 other pages. What about all the secondary and the LSI's and all the other things that you can rank that page for? So what I recommend for anybody that's listening is go into Google Search Console, load up the page, And look at all the other secondary keywords. Don't just have your internal link only as best running shoes. There might be like best men's running shoes or best running shoes for hiking or all the other LSIs of that page. Use those as internal links and also use Anchors as well, when you're building links to that page, like externally, like when you're doing guest posts and stuff. Theme that page, don't just use your primary keyword all the time on your internal links.
Not only that, it's I'm still seeing this now, this is like a 2015 strategy where people will internal link. Within the first sentence from another page with that one keyword and sometimes they'll be like, oh, it's so hard using that one keyword as the internal link for that page. And it's like, why don't you just use a secondary keyword? Or why don't you use partial? It doesn't need to always be exact match. Like you're actually doing more harm by building exact match anchors internally to that page. Theme that page, don't just use the one internal, the one anchor. So that, that's what I would recommend with the actual internal linking. Again, like I'm probably sucking eggs here, but If you have one silo, try to, obviously, contextually internal link within that silo. Because sometimes I see monster websites where they're talking about various subjects. They might be talking about running shoes on one post. They then might be talking about the best dumbbells on the necks. And then they might be talking about the best treadmills, right? The best running shoes you might not ever need to link to. the best dumbbells. Unless, say for example, you have the best shoes for lifting, then it makes sense to link to your dumbbells page, right?
Because you're talking about shoes that's within the gym, you're going to be lifting, so link to that makes sense. Again, the best running shoes, or the best shoes silo, you might never need to link to your treadmills page, but if you're talking about the best shoes to run on a treadmill with, Internal link that so just like sometimes you just need to use like common sense, right? And I feel like some people just They think only SEO, they don't think, is this internal link going to provide more value to the user that's actually reading this article? And because they're not thinking about that, they just internally link within a silo and they're like no, my running shoes page or my shoes page is never going to link to my dumbbells page and it's never going to link to my treadmill page. But in some cases, it actually makes sense to link to those pages.
Mark A Preston: Yeah 100%. Does it make sense? And I think that as a whole, some of the SEO industry is what I call like frame on as the SEO robots. They just don't think about it. This tool says that, so I'll do what your tool says. And I think that I think a lot of it stems from that. Instead of using what's logical, does it make sense? They just think that tool's told us to do this, I'll go and do that. And as a result, they've created this site, and wonders why it tanks.
Kasra Dash: Yeah there's actually a really interesting podcast I listened to recently was with Gil Brayton. I believe that's how you pronounce his second name. And I believe it's like the head SEO at Forbes, right? And a lot of Forbes gets so much flack, they're like, why is Forbes ranking? They don't deserve to rank, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? And to be honest, I was one of those guys until I watched this podcast. Highly recommend to anybody that's listening to watch it. Really good podcast. But he's the head SEO and he basically says the editorial guidelines is so strict. You just can't go and publish an article on Forbes, right? Even if you were to pay an editor, the editor still needs to apply those guidelines, right? And then one thing that was really interesting is the sales team. So the sales team, because Forbes is a massive website, they have a dedicated sales team, they'll have a dedicated content team, and then they'll have a dedicated SEO team. The sales team are the guys that go out to essentially LG or Acer or Dell and they'll say okay, we're going to publish this page. What's your commissions?
They'll essentially strike the deals with all these affiliate managers. And he said that the sales team don't have any input. to the editorials to the editorial team or to the content writers. So if they were to go and get a deal with Dell tomorrow, right? The sales team, and even if Dell was to say to them, 90% commission, 95,% do you know what? A 100% commission. You get it all. You sell a monitor, you get 200, all of it. The sales team don't, doesn't have a say in the actual editorials. So the guys that are actually testing these products, they will genuinely, if Dell has the ninth best monitor out of 10, they'll put them nine. They won't put them number one because they're given the best commissions. And I feel like that's what a lot of people aren't like doing. They're like, okay, Dell's giving me 100 percent commission. Yeah, brilliant. I'm going to stick them on every single page. I'm going to be a millionaire by tomorrow. And it's not the case.
Mark A Preston: Yeah, oh wow, the time's rocking on. So just to finish off on the whole recoveries bit, not to put you on the spot, but do you see a link between basically laziness and sites tanking. I don't know any other way to describe it other than laziness. They don't want to put the effort into making it happen. And sites tanking.
Kasra Dash: So I made a tweet recently, yesterday, the one that you liked actually. And before I made that tweet, my DMs were like full with four or five people saying my website's tanked. And I actually had to send them a message saying, hey, listen, I'm going to write a controversial tweet. Don't feel like I'm singling you out because there was a lot of truth that I said in that tweet And there was a lot of people that I did get a little bit of backlash from Definitely, there's a lot of people that have cut corners. They have been a little bit lazy They've not done their due diligence of is this page actually providing value or am I just building this page to get more people on my website to get higher CPM this month and It's just genuinely build a business. Don't build a website, build a brand, have everything moving alongside your actual website. Don't just focus on the amount of pages, focus on the actual quality of the pages and what you're actually outputting to your website. If you landed on that website, would you actually genuinely want to read this article? Or have you just published it to get a couple hundred more visits to earn 20, 30 more dollars via Adthrive or Zork or whatever? And a lot of people have just focused mainly on getting more page views, getting more impressions, getting more clicks. And it's probably deserve to get hit.
Mark A Preston: Now, we've covered an awful lot there, but is there anything that you feel the audience needs to hear that we haven't touched upon already?
Kasra Dash: I feel like that it's important to just take action. There's a lot of people that are probably sat at home thinking, Oh my God Google's completely decimated my website. I'm just going to give up on SEO. Like I don't want anyone to give up on SEO because I feel like there's still a lot of money to be made, but you just need to do a lot of things correctly to begin with, like setting up your foundational links, setting up your offers correctly, not just an offer box. I know I've mentioned that six or seven times. I hate it when people say I've set up E 80, it's an offer box on their website, or it's an offer page. Don't just think that E 80 is just one thing, because it's not. Setting up the foundations is super important. And obviously taking action obviously growth isn't always linear. I've said that on a lot of my talks. So in some cases, you do need to take two steps back to take 10 steps forward. And I feel like that's probably like the most important thing when it comes to recovering a website, like there's a lot of websites I feel that probably won't get recovered because a lot of website owners are just going to give up. And it's as sad as that sounds, there's a lot of money to be made for guys like myself that does know how to recover websites. Cause I will buy every single website that's been hit. So yeah. Brilliant.
Mark A Preston: Many thanks for your time. And just to end. Where can people find you and what sort of conversations would you like to have with them?
Kasra Dash: So anyone that wants to have a conversation with me, you can find me on kasra.com. You can literally just search up Kasra Dash as well. You can find me on Twitter as well. @Kasra_Dash, I think. And the types of conversations like I'm doing a lot of consultancy. So if anybody does want help with recovering a website, feel free to hit me up. And if anyone wants some quick advice don't send me a website saying, Oh, what would you do with this internal link? And I've I'm planning out these 700 articles. Like I'm probably not going to reply to anyone like that, but if you want some genuine advice or if you want some tips and stuff like that, check my Twitter, cause I'm posting very frequently. And there's a lot of truth as well in the tweets that I post.
Mark A Preston: Fantastic. Many thanks for your time and all the best.
Kasra Dash: Thanks for having me on Mark.