season 1, episode 8: on learning with Jamie Indigo

In this episode, host Amanda King at FLOQ dives deep into enterprise SEO with guest Jamie Indigo, discussing the challenges and insights of working on large-scale websites. They explore topics like technical SEO, indexation, crawling, and the differences between enterprise and SMB websites. Jamie shares their journey from being an English major to becoming a senior technical SEO, while Amanda brings her expertise in the marketing side of SEO.

  • Jamie’s SEO Career
  • The Challenges of Working with Large Websites
  • Discovering Strange Things on Enterprise Sites
  • Differences Between SMB and Enterprise Websites
  • The Impact of AI on SEO
  • The Future of SEO
  • Working with Legacy Code


AMANDA: This is Amanda, your host for this podcast called Engage on Enterprise SEO, where We Go where Nobody Has Gone Before and dive deep into the world of enterprise from as many different angles and viewpoints as we can tackle.

With me today we have Jamie Indigo, one of my favorite humans on the tech SEO side of things.

They were kind enough to jump on this podcast with basically no notice and me getting in touch with a wing and a prayer.

We talk about a lot of things, but mostly about some of the big enterprise tech problems that you may not encounter elsewhere, like indexation and crawling.

Jamie, lovely to have you.

Thank you for coming on board.

Tell us a bit about kind of your experience and how you’ve gotten to where you are in your SEO career currently.

JAMIE: Thank you so much for having me, Amanda. I am absolutely delighted to be here.

It has been a fun, long winding road from being an English major who wanted to write plays to being a senior technical SEO.

Yes, let’s meet. Let’s remember everything.

Stop. Pause.

In honor of the Oxford comma, we’re gonna bond here.

AMANDA: English as well so.

JAMIE: Hopefully people can see you if we decided to ditch the video they missed. The bright light that lit up your eyes like there’s dozens of us, yes, but I don’t know if you knew this, but writers are a little bit vague.

And when we write something that’s absolutely phenomenal and then we see another article that’s pushaw, but that one got more clicks that gets us salty.

So when I graduated with said writing degree in the Great Recession of 2008 and hold times were longer than normal for me to get in contact with my student loan people ’cause I needed to eat.

That month, I started blogging.

I started writing about how to make concrete, look fancy and get backlinks that way.

I was a car Blogger with Jamie 4 Wheel Drive.

I would show up to the auto shop and they’d open the back door.

Wait, you’re Jamie?

Yeah, I’m Jamie, the car Blogger.

Yeah, here with the bull car.

Let’s do this really fun and exciting and that vanity that saw my fantastic literary achievements being outranked and out viewed by some pithy nonsense that that made me start going Why?

And that’s how I started to learn about meta tags and how search engines moved.

And that feral bit of curiosity got me to becoming a in house marketing SEO.

And part of my gig was to go ahead and track all of our major keywords.

Another part of my gig unofficially was to be kicked out of the Devpod constantly.

So it was back when we were all in house in one building and the devs had this big sectioned off area that to get into you had to sneak past the scrum master.

And the particular Scrum master was very good, kicking everyone out because the CTO had the idea that when you interrupted dev it takes them 30 minutes to get back into where they were in a project.

So my skill was sneaking in there to learn things and getting kicked out. And then eventually I got my own egg crate.

And then eventually she gave up with kicking me out and eventually actually became the product owner for this e-commerce site.

Yeah, tracking the rankings. Saw that they were hemorrhaging out. Figured out the technology reason why it was broken. Worked with the devs to fix it.

Yeah, it snowballed from there. I just kept finding more and more curious channels and meeting other curious people.

AMANDA: And at what point did you start working with kind of really big websites and understanding the hectic chaos that happens there?

JAMIE: It always feels hectic.

My first one, where it was 70,000 products, felt hectic. My 500th one, where it’s millions of products, feels hectic, but they’re different flavors of hectic.

So there was a lot of it that you couldn’t learn until you were there.

You wouldn’t know the look until you saw something strange that made you curious.

So feral curiosity is the short version of why I’m here now.

AMANDA: And what would you say is the the strangest thing that you’ve found on an enterprise site that was changing their visibility somehow?

JAMIE: Can you can be a little bit more specific and perhaps give me a rating scale for Is this a family podcast?

AMANDA: You can say whatever you want.

JAMIE: I can tell you for sure that there was a big phase and half of an SEO’s job is to undo the trends that the previous SEO embraced.

And there was a big thing for a while of buy all the domains, every one of them, and feed them all back in.

So I had a really fun game where I had a list of URLs of domains that I found.

And any time that I found one that the godfather of the devs who had been there for 25 years didn’t know about, Gold Star.

It’s a really good way to make friends with security.

Yeah, you found a domain that no one knowed about that’s commonly shared with some other services.

Share them.

There’s no secured, no SSL on there.

Yeah, great way to make friends influence people.

AMANDA: And if you had to conceptualize it in as tight of a talking point as you could like your elevator pitch so to say, what would you say the differences are in working on smaller kind of SMB website than an enterprise websites?

Where would you, from a technical perspective or from like a people perspective, what would you say that difference looked?

JAMIE: Like the larger the scale, the larger the gap between expected behaviour and what actually happens in the wild.

AMANDA: Yeah, what’s? Give us an example. What’s a good example?

JAMIE: Of that, absolutely.

So perhaps you and my friend are an in house enterprise SEO and you’re thinking to yourself right now. My boss keeps sending me an annoying e-mail saying that something is broken when he tries to access it, but it works on my machine and the devs always tell me works on my machine so it must be fine.

Here’s the thing: you are in a large enterprise site.

Chances are you have a couple of load balancers out there in the wild.

You’ve got one in APAC, you’ve got one in EMEA, you’ve got one in the janitor’s closet down the hall, and each one of those server clusters has four or five servers in it.

You’re US West, you’ve got servers one through 6, your emias, you’ve got servers one through 5.

But how do you know they all behave the same at a very fun game Where?

In the process of releasing e-commerce amp when that was very trendy.

Sorry whoever inherited that debt.

Good luck pulling it out.

This is this one server in my UW cluster was like I don’t want to do amp and just randomly returned 404 errors for all the time and I was like Yep UW three’s my problem child.

It was time to go ahead and look at my server logs and run what I called a parity analysis where I would take the relative path and I would attach it to each of the individual server names and see does this thing have a tendency to exist.

You get into minutiae becoming momentous when you’re at enterprise level.

Something as similar simple as how would you push code to a server.

Pushing code to a server.

When you only have one server, that’s pretty simple.

Pushing it when you have 12 servers across 3 clusters becomes different.

So what if you push code to UW one and then UW 1 pushes to UW two and UW two to three?

You’re xeroxing A Xerox.

You’re making a copy of copy, so your replication method can cause problems.

You can also have little silly stupid things.

Like the DL of the initial build of that server.

When someone set up that server, they change one tiny little piece on the real spot.

AMANDA: Yeah, How long for that server cluster issue? How long did that take you to get to that point? And what else had you looked at before then?Was it like one of your initial I’ve seen this before, so I know it could be an issue. Or was it like a I’ve been looking at this for five months and I don’t know what the fuck is happening. What level were you in that analysis?

JAMIE: Had a fantastic QA engineer I made friends with and I went, hey, can you show me how your stuff works?

Teach me some things and just by sitting down with someone who’s in a different department and looking at how they QA, I’m like, oh you run this QA.

The smoke insanity in production on the different.

AMANDA: Load balancers. Why is that?

JAMIE: Just let me tell you, these guys can be a little mischievous, but a lot of times really good discoveries don’t come from the inherent brilliance that lies within.

For all English majors, it comes from a curiosity.

Willing to go You are working with the same code I am in a different angle.

If I can learn how to match my language, my schema of communication to yours, I can not only learn from you. But when I go to push for things released, I can integrate them into your initiatives in a way that doesn’t feel like here’s an SEO ticket.

It feels SEO wants to help us. Here’s what we’re going to get.

We do this little thing now.

AMANDA: You’ve gone behind the curtain almost at Lumar from a SEO perspective.

How has that kind of shifted your understanding and how you work with enterprise and the kind of things that you see and what kind of things do you see at an enterprise level with with they were?

JAMIE: I think it’s still the same core things but at scale.

So a good crawl is always about the details about what specifically you’re looking to get out of it, what you curate it to grab for you, and how you curate it to move.

I’ve used crawlers since my very early days in this industry and.

It’s always been OK. Am I rendering JavaScript?

Hey wait, does this tool flatten the DOM?

Hold on those little bits and pieces that made all the difference.

AMANDA: Because if you have a crawl going out and you don’t have it accurately rendering the content that it’s reporting on, and it’s not useful to you, would you say that is one of kind of the common misconceptions?

Or what are some of the common misconceptions that you see or some of the common mistakes that you see when people run crawls without saying the help of someone who’s in house at a crawler?

JAMIE: When you first meet a site, you always have to go and learn the lay of the land before you can do anything.

We can’t fix what we can’t see.

So how do I get visibility into all these nooks and crannies, knowing what to include into it, When there needs to be subdomains?

When there’s third party resources going off. It always comes down, no matter how big or small to visibility, diagnostics, iteration and monitoring.

But now I have to figure out the 17 different JavaScript libraries being used on one site because why would we not just add another jQuery there?

Collect them all.

Pokémon, jQuery Pikachu uses security vulnerability Pew.

AMANDA: What would you say has been the most troublesome library or framework that you’ve worked with?

JAMIE: All right, there is never pinning a single library to the wall, right?

Javascript’s like a hammer.

If you use a hammer to drive a nail, it’s great.

Hammers are used for nails.

You’re trying to use a hammer for a pedicure?

Ow, yeah, yeah.

I would say dynamically served though, so no matter what framework you’re using, if you were using dynamic serving, you have twice the pages and half the visibility.

How do you know what that one over there is doing?

You can’t even request that you’re not a bot, No.

Fair enough.

And what would you say?

I know we’re not pinning individual Javascripts to the wall.

We’re we’re being egalitarian here.

AMANDA: Do you? What kind of little bug-a-bears do you have? What are your little like pet peeves when it comes to JavaScript usage or even just technical perspectives? Is there anything where you’re just like?

JAMIE: Ok, hear me out.

If you’re gonna use a JavaScript framework, fantastic.

You have all of these functionalities that can do unique, individualized things everywhere.

They also breed like bunnies like if you can’t see them.

You don’t know that they’re probably breeding more bunnies, and suddenly you have a very big mountain of indexable pages, many of which you never intended to be there.

And if you don’t have visibility, which ideally involves getting access to server logs, having good communications with those teams, you have to look at a source of truth for how Googlebot is interacting with all of these files, because one rogue parameter.

Oh, that can mess up your Christmas now

AMANDA: When you moved to working on kind of larger sites and all of that and learning the technical SEO side of things, what was the most surprising thing that you learned?

JAMIE: Oh, how commonly we do not prioritize visibility.

We make an assumption that we’ll do Y, but we don’t check.

We bring in a new third party tool, but there’s not a KPI measuring what success looks like for integrating that tool.

The number of pixels in the head of any given paid stop you can consolidate.

This is a hoarding issue.

Please stop selling my data to everyone.

AMANDA: Yeah, no, fair enough.

And what was the thing that you wish you knew coming into working with larger sites and enterprise, what’s the thing where you’re just like, if I knew this when I started, it would have helped me out so much.

JAMIE: You don’t have to know everything.

I think that’s what I wish I knew because I spent a lot of time fighting real hard to learn all of the things.

And then I learned a way I can make friends with this QA engineer and I can.

Go attend office hours with our security OPS team and completely capture the flag, which is really fun.

A lot of SEO and cybersecurity overlaps.

AMANDA: How did you go about learning? It sounds like a lot of it was talking to people and bribing them to teach you things. Essentially, how else did you go about learning?

JAMIE: Oh, Amanda, my friend.

It’s a combination of that feral curiosity and just doing it for the dopamine.

Doing it for the serotonin rush of being like I found I sounded.

I really enjoyed the riddles.

I thought they were terribly clever and there were always the quests, like go befriend the ogre who runs dev OPS.

That ogre is never actually that scary, I promise.

And I’m sorry to all of my friends.

Dev OPS, I’m not calling you.

AMANDA: Oh, they’re all lovely people.

JAMIE: No, not all of them. No, let’s be realistic.

There’s a bell curve.

AMANDA: Yeah. No, fair enough. Fair enough.

And what are the other kind of things that you’ve encountered in your career working with enterprise, that either surprised you for good or for bad and kind of how you’ve attached things?

JAMIE: What’s been your approach with five different questions?


I like it.

Yeah, just tons of regex or statements for here.

So one of the things that surprised me the most is we all want to make good things and every single person if you were to sit down and talk with them could explain to you the importance of their initiative and why we should do and how it’s going to change the world.

But when it comes down to actually communicating that in a clear way, like submitting a ticket to your developers, whatever system they use, the number of them that are like: website broke. Please help.


Just phenomenal.

And I’m sorry the website is broke and I want to help you, my dear marketing friend, but if you don’t tell me how to see what’s broken, I can’t fix it.

I can’t fix what I can’t see.

We need that visibility, the lack of communication in a clear way to define what good and done means.

We all want to make good things, but when you pass off something with a team and you’re like, hey, do this, you’re like, that’s really vague.


How do I know when I’m done?

This just says please fix what?

AMANDA: Yeah, know for sure.

And so it sounds like you’re usually embedded with the dev team, which is fantastic. What experiences, what have your experiences been like working with marketing teams outside of the website broken? Please help? Because a lot of SE OS, even enterprise SE OS are still embedded in the marketing side of things, so I’d be interested in your experience on the marketing side.

JAMIE: I truly feel bad for people who don’t have resources and are trying to do technical SEO while they’re working on a marketing or acquisitions team.

It puts you at a significant disadvantage.

It’s a bit like being in the Titanic and be like, hey boss man, that iceberg’s still there and I have to wait.

It’s not very comfortable and I’m happy to just riff like, what have you found?

AMANDA: What are the good, the bad, the ugly? What has surprised you in terms of like, good things that have happened and things where, you know, maybe in your head you’re like, no one’s going to fucking understand this or no one’s going to back me on this and everyone was, yeah, let’s do it. Like what? I mean anything along those lines?

JAMIE: My last gig in a house where I was technical SEO.

I was a product owner for technical SEO.

And I had a marketing counterpart and that was phenomenal.

And I used to joke that my accomplishments were only because my marketing team was willing to let me rant and be sassy.

It was pretty great.

So if we think of a setup like a race track, my job as technical SEO is to make sure that our race car has an engine and not a box of tangled Christmas lights in a rabid squirrel.

That happens more than one would think.

My marketing team, those are the folks who get the hype up. They have the driver behind the wheel. They have the flashy things on the side, advertising, directing people’s attention.

But we’re on the same team. Just because I’m not on the track doesn’t mean what I do isn’t important.

And just because they can drive really fast to make left hand turns doesn’t mean they know how to fix an engine.

That’s OK either way.

Understanding that complement and balance I find to be one of the most useful assets I have had in any team, big or small.

AMANDA: Yeah, to bring things I think a bit more into current SEO land.

But just generally, what are your thought on everything that’s happening at the moment with AI, particularly as someone who has a background as a writer as well? How are we feeling about chatGPT and all of the work that Google has been doing with their algorithms to try and diminish the visibility and the viability of AI based content?

JAMIE: There is a fantastic academic who just published a piece recently that said hi. We’re actually at an apex point of the Internet being a usable utility for the common person.

The ability to defraud someone, to manipulate them is impressive.

We saw that in America on January 6th.

We saw well-intentioned humans weaponized by their good intentions.

The Internet impacts of reality has a significant impact in our lives.

And if folks are able to use AI in questionable ways, perhaps replace writers, they’re never going to outrank a real writer.

That’s the deal.

You can copy my homework all you want.

That won’t make you valedictorian.

And we look at AI content.

It’s a great basis to start.

It can be a wonderful jumping off point.


But we need those citations.

We need to link to places of trust.

We need to be in authority in what we’re talking about.

That’s the reason we see so much press for eat.

Yeah, ethics at large are being are the core issue here.

It’s not just oh is Google going to rank my GPT better than everyone else.

I don’t know why I went to Mother Russia SEO there.

Forgive me anyone?

So funny story, I used to have the Twitter account Mother Russia SEO and then it stopped being funny so I got rid of it.

It goes back to the same idea of of ethics and AI.

The Cold War never stopped.

Disinformation campaigns just went digital, and you can see foreign actors being booted off platforms for manipulative moves every year if you read the trend reports from Google, from Facebook, all over the place.

I worry about my grandmother’s security online so much.

AMANDA: And how do you Yeah, Mike King usually does his boring predictions for SEO for 2023.

What are your boring predictions for SEO? Where do you where do you see things going from here with this inflection point of content?

JAMIE: It’s a double edged sword.

Why do you think Google released that helpful content update?

Could that be a really good CYA for why they’re not crawling a site that mostly has regurgitated content on it?

It’s not particularly useful because anyone can mass produce content at scale now, but that doesn’t mean it’s any good or interesting or trustworthy.

So if you’re not producing useful content, if you’re simply spinning out everything, maybe that’s a good place to start and why they stop crawling and bothering.

It’s expensive to crawl the web and if we see more and more influx of non valuable spun content, we’re going to see less and less crawling because even though Google owns half of the mega data warehouses in the world, they’re still running out of space.

I think that’s something.

That I found a lot of people forget, sometimes even with JavaScript where it’s even that that render queue it’s still.

Part of the reason why that’s there is because it cost Google extra money and it’s just indexing’s about to be the new challenge.

It’s not going to be Am I ranking?

It’s OK.

I got to get the site in the index.

Come on.

Come on.

AMANDA: Yeah, how are you? What kind of early indicators are you seeing for that with Lumar, because I’m sure you’re you’re exposed to quite a number of different how much data,

JAMIE:just glorious amounts of data. It is phenomenal.

One of the things I definitely see is changes based on verticals either whether it’s e-commerce, publishing, those verticals, but also the niches we’ll see specific changes impact only specific areas we used to see.

Speaking of the crawl queue, a lot of that we just we throw them in queue as we get them and that’s how we crawl now by looking at server logs and other facets we’re able to see they’re crawling by concepts.

They don’t just go, these are the next pages we have in queue.

They are looking at semantic relationships of how content is interrelated and proves authority.

And if we look at going back to what are my boring predictions, hear me out.

Mum is based on natural language processing of entities and how entities are related.

You wouldn’t buy a wine without a vintage.

Maybe they’re not trustworthy.

Mum is presenting all of these new features, but we have no data, not in Search Console, not anywhere to know what queries come in and how we rank and mum.

AMANDA: Yeah. Now it’s this is when I wish I had the brain of Bill Slosky and could sit down and read the patents and understand where Google is going.

They’re beautiful.

I miss his work so much because if you’ve ever tried to read through one without his helping notes to tell you, oh, I’ll go over here and look here.

JAMIE: And with going back to the indexation indexing by kind of topics, there’s a whole new index being built and we can’t see it.

AMANDA: Yeah, How are you working with your clients? If you’re not breaking any Ndas or anything, how are you working with your client to adjust to that new reality? Of indexing being the new, like scarce resource.

JAMIE: So I work with some big clients, big e-commerce ones. We’re talking crawl requests past 90 days, we’re in billions, So many pages.

And the first thing is going, hi, you all built these really lovely dynamically generated facets and pathways for users to go ahead and experience your site.

Do you know what they all are?

Can you map every combination?

You could be focused so much on growth in the same way that we tried to index every long tail keyword that now is the same thing.

So now we have to go through and have to look for.

We have dynamic functionalities.

Users can go this pathway or this pathway and they still end up in one spot.

How do we systematically create a unified experience for search engines to get to us but still allow them to see?

There are other ropes to get here.

You can take a left over here hello and end up at the Goblin Kings Castle, but you might want to wander this way first.

Go through a bog of Eternal Stench, because sometimes you get in there and you’ll find that they are accidentally indexing category filter permutations 10 deep, 12 deep.

They’re indexing pages where you can just put anything.

I just did a couple of write ups for tickets for a client and I was like has 404 please Nope 200.

Oh no, but once you’re in there like, you might not be able to find them in the regular path.

But once Google found that one page, oh, there’s an entire upside down of content that a normal user never sees.

And there’s so many debit Gorgans in there.

I am sorry to ask someone who does not have any familiarity with pop culture references.

This SO may not be for you.

Send me a tweet, I’ll send you some links.

It’s fine.


And you’re welcome.


AMANDA: So with that and with, how do you diagnose?How do you — Is it visibility to see crawl logs?

JAMIE: Yeah, visibility is the first step. Visibility is foundation: we cannot fix, we cannot see.

It’s like with Lumar, I can go ahead and have all the crawl data and use things like the site map to go: what’s that intended to be made?

But I can also tie it into logs dot IO and then see something’s not right here.

And then go into the the Logs app and start actually getting the data because it comes with the deal pretty nice.

And I adore access too because there’s not speculation there’s not like this will make the rank number one.

It’s simply this is where this is where the bot went.

This is what it requested, this is how it interacted.

And I do love pure data.

It’s so simple and Neil Patel does not write about it or steal your content about it.


And with you’re probably quite blessed and I say that like genuinely in the clients that you have in terms of your ability to access crawl logs, how frequently would you say like one out of 10 every 10th client you’re not able to access your crawl logs? How frequently would you say that’s possible?

Because I know sometimes for enterprise level, like we only kept our server logs for something. I think we only kept them for the day honestly because otherwise it would just take up too much space.

Yeah, I know.

We had. Yeah.

But, like, how —

JAMIE: We’re going to stop this podcast. It’s now becoming like an intervention. Are you OK? Do you need a hug? I’m sorry.

AMANDA: I don’t work there anymore, so I’m OK, I’m OK but like. How ’cause I know for a lot of particularly beginning to mid SEO’s, crawl logs are this mystical beasts that they don’t know how to get access to or to grab a hold of and read and understand.

How much would you say that actually translates to your client and how frequently are you actually able to get access to crawl logs or how much would that say does it end up being yeah, they choose to add it into their product or not?

JAMIE: I have no say on that.

When it’s available, it unlocks a lot.

AMANDA: Yeah. And would you say that is half your client, 60% of your clients, How often would you say that they actually are able to, they do add their crawl logs.

JAMIE: Funniest story on why they might be pretty hesitant to go ahead and give them access.

Most of the time to access those files, those are on the Internet, unless you have something like Cabana Skindovers, so you can interact that way and there’s a buffer and that typically tends to be the most secure method accessing them.

If you have something like you are VPN ING in and you are a single human, we’re trying to do this.

I need to remind you that both Uber and Twitter were hacked by a single human who lost their phone and so on.

Use that to have step off to go ahead and get inside the Internet and access everything.

So remember, they’re not trying to be jerks to you.

It is seriously a matter of security and understanding.

AMANDA: Absolutely.

JAMIE: Second, there’s probably someone there who already has access to them.

So instead of you trying to ask for a whole new world, a whole new setup and everything else, Check. Talk to people. Just be curious.

Hi, I’m Jamie.

I’m your new tech SEO.

How’s it going?

I heard that you work on this.

Can you tell me more about it?

I brought doughnuts.

AMANDA: Doughnuts or beer?

JAMIE: Usually it’s my go to but if you do get access, always be really clear about what you’re asking for.

SEO analysis server logs are so pretty and clean they don’t have a ton of PII in them and other things that can get everyone involved sued.

Real logs can often do that.

Being very specific I would SEO: I would like an export of your tables and column schema so I can know what tables and more columns there are.

Please and thank you.

OK, as SEO, I would like access to read only on these four columns, thank you.

Start small.

Start with baby bites.

Honestly, if you’re in house and your dev team gives you access to server logs, that is a badge of honor.

They trust you. Do not let them down.

Your buddy was like, no, I understand that I they probably would say no, but I’m just going to give him.

I had so many times when I was first starting off.

It was my buddy being like, no, I made you an admin.

You helped me out.

AMANDA: Totally, yeah, for sure.

JAMIE: Definitely not like ISOC compliant world, but it worked at the time and the standards are changing so quickly and rapidly.

AMANDA: Yeah, yeah. What else have you got going on? What else is a compelling entertainment? What else is compelling and interesting about what you’ve been seeing lately in how people are using Lumar, or how people are looking at technical SEO, or how you’ve seen that change in the last 18 months?

Two years, Couple of years. What’s changed in the equation for you.

JAMIE: So Google’s not had competition for a very long time, and now they have a lot more scrutiny for the way that they should sell your data.

Same thing with Facebook.

Facebook has lost a ton of its value because Apple went, Nah, we’re not going to let you go ahead and automatically track everyone.

Now Americans, we don’t have rights to our data.

It’s very unfortunate.

So a disturbing amount of information can be up for sale about you.

For just pennies on the dollar, you can stalk and ruin someone’s life.

Go right ahead.

Yeah, but now that people are like, but wait a minute, like this free service isn’t actually free.

This is costing me my privacy.

I start becoming more cautious about it.

How do we get a privacy centric search engine?

Apple has been like, hey bro, we were waiting for you to ask.

They essentially have a localized search engine which their index, their corpus is your locally stored documents that aren’t stored anywhere else that don’t violate your privacy.

And there have been some pretty cool indicators that they are going to make this a big push.

It’s already in your iPhone.

If you have one Siri search right there, that’s Google search engine.

If you don’t have a statement in your robots TXT, it behaves like Googlebot.

There was a really phenomenal talk at Search Love Philadelphia about this one.

Tom from Distilled. Tom Anthony.

Tom Anthony from Distilled Brilliant mischievous human being fantastic talk about it, you can find that.

Give it a look.

I think it’ll be a really interesting once we’re to a place where people have an option for privacy or a non Google option, how will they, how will they interact?

How will you leverage? How do you feel like that is? Do you feel like there’s going to be?

I feel like it’s inevitable another conversation around SEO is dead.

AMANDA: And how do you feel like as SEO professionals we could work with a more privacy centric search engine?

JAMIE: It’s funny that SEO died pretty much as soon as regular folk learned that we were there in the 1st place.

When I first started, we were the ghost in the machine.

But now when you go to search for something, maybe you’re not so ready to inherently trust your phone, to inherently trust the information it gives you.

Because now you know there’s a whole field of people out there manipulating what you’re getting in return.

So the desire to push back and away from that manipulation, that seems real reasonable to me.

You would root for any dystopian novel protagonist who had that cause.

So how, instead of making it, how do I convince them?

How do I fool them?

How do I trick them?

It’s How do I make the Internet better?

How do I make this useful?

How do I make this survive the next three trends?

How do I do this without adding another third party tool that you don’t need in the head of your page?

AMANDA: Now for sure what what questions do we have in terms of what are some of the common things that surprise your client? When they see them in their crawls, what raises their eyebrows the most?

JAMIE: That they think maybe they had something sorted, but they didn’t.

AMANDA: Aside from what we’ve already talked about around the Upside Down and the filters on filters that are somehow in the index.

JAMIE: I would say a lot of times just surprised at how big their index is compared to how many pages it’s intended to be.

They’re surprised at the the mechanics say to build a a site map don’t work like they thought.

So a lot of times we’re working with legacy code.

We’re working with things where you move into an old house and you remodel your kitchen and about six months later the bathtub catches on fire.

That is working in legacy code.

I would say the biggest eyebrow, the biggest attention getter that I find is showing folks subdomains they didn’t know about content.

They didn’t know about any kind of security vulnerability.

Yeah, Google is a hacker’s best friend.

There’s a whole field of it called osent.

It’s just designed to go via Google.

What can I find in about you?

If you want to find out where site is hiding the good stuff, look in the robots TXT probably disallowed it.

Probably disallowed the admin entry.

Hey, if I were to try and hack this site with a simple sequel in question, I just need to know what the login page is.

Oh look, they put it down for me.

Yeah, yeah, it’s interesting.

AMANDA: So would you — How do you get around that from how do you what is your strategy for working with legacy code?

Because enterprise level level sites in particular, the big sites in particular have so much legacy code and tech debt. How do you work with that, Whether that’s around it, through it, above it, below it? How do you manage that?

JAMIE: First things first.

I will literally put in my deliverables A statement of ethics.

I will put in. They clearly states we believe in blameless culture.

It’s not that the thing broke or it’s not that so and so broke it.

It’s that it broke.

That button was bound to be hit.


It was going to be a problem either way.

So it’s not oh so and so did something stupid.

It’s hey, this system had a strange reaction when XY and Z happened.

How do we prevent this from happening again?

When we adopt blameless culture, people’s egos are on the chopping block.

When you’re criticizing, you’re not criticizing.

You have the same goal.

And it’s OK.

If you’re doing a crawl review and you can’t find anything, but you see some really cool improvements, call them out.

That’s a fckin’ Hooray right there.

Guess what?

When you call up people’s good work or you show them, hey, thank you all.

You made this dev change for me.

Here’s the KPIs.

Look at that.

Look at that up and to the right.

You enabled that.

I appreciate you.

You’ve not only completed a goal, but you’ve given real humans dopamine.

You’ve given them a reason to want to keep working with you in a field that can be really brutal, constantly beat down. Just want to go.

You did good work.

Thank you.

AMANDA: Yeah, final kind of question or concept here.

If you could give anyone a single piece of advice when it comes to working with enterprise sites from an SEO perspective, what would that be?

JAMIE: If you can’t drop all assumptions, state your assumptions.

That might sound really silly, but literally in in the deliverable doc providing context of, hey, I didn’t have this information available at this time, I didn’t have we assumed X&Y at this time until otherwise known.

When you create deliverables that are given context, they’re given links to the data sources.

They’re stating what your assumptions were.

They’re stating where your blind spots are.

That allows those deliverables to live longer than heading an inbox.

If they don’t have links to these data sources and contexts, it doesn’t matter how great all these pieces of information you found are.

There’s code changes every week, so a code change at any given time could impact what you saw.

Knowing how to give context, knowing when it’s useful, those are really valuable things.

And if you can provide that with some dopamine and gratitude to teammates who help you out, to that friend over at whatever app who gave me admin access because I helped them out, thank you, appreciate you.

Those are great things.

In the end, we’re still humans.

We may speak like bots, but we’re honest to blog humans and to remember that in a world that can be pretty toxic hustle culture.

Like it’s not really a flex to be like I’m working on my vacation.

I’m calling myself out here.

It’s not a flex to do, though.

It’s good to have boundaries and have multiple things in your life that have meaning and value.

If you happen to be fairly curious, pick up a hobby too.

I don’t know, chances are there’s a bunch of nerds that play D&D.

Join them.

AMANDA: Amazing.

Thank you so much for your time.

It’s been lovely chatting with you and giving your perspective on technical, SEO and all things enterprise and life and people.

Thank you so much for your time and we’ll chat again soon.

JAMIE: Thank you so much, Amanda.

I’m sorry. And you’re welcome.

AMANDA: I want to offer a massive thank you again to Jamie for joining me on Engage on Enterprise SEO and sharing their experiences and learnings.

If you want to continue the conversation, find me by my company FLOQ.

That’s F-L-O-Q on LinkedIn.

Follow me on Twitter at Amanda EC King or reach out to me directly if you’re interested in talking about my own strategic consulting services.

Have a lovely day and enjoy listening to the rest of season one.