Bastian Grimm talks about why UnGagged is a different kind of conference. It's not about what's changing, it's more about when it's coming - The bigger picture is more important and where the next Google updates are heading. Look at what Google is doing, who are they buying, anticipate what might be next. What does Bastien Grimm use CDNs for? Watch or read more about him here Transcript: Q: Please introduce yourself, and tell us why UnGagged? BG: Hi, I'm Bastian. I run a company called Peak Ace which is a performance marketing agency, we're based in Berlin and do, well, the usual - SEO as well as the other stuff in performance marketing around the globe. UnGagged, yeah, it's a different kind of conference, I think. Very intimate setting, kind of a great, closed group if you will. Therefore, I like the approach that you can actually share things that eventually would not put out in the open on the larger kind of conference. Q: What are your top tips and priority actions for overcoming issues associated with any big Google algorithm roll outs? BG: Right, I think the bigger problem is that actually it's changing all the time, really, so it's no so much about single things for me but rather to get the bigger picture in a sense. It doesn't really matter if it's Panda or Penguin or something like that, they were not disclosed a couple of weeks ago. It's rather anticipating, in a sense, where they're heading and what are the key influences and the key factors that they might look at, so as Marcus said in his keynote, they might move away from links, fine, more reliable signals or other signals, maybe traffic or mobile to an extent that goes into the algorithm so it's rather figuring out the direction and I think that one of the big things that you should do, really, is obviously looking at data but also looking at the stuff that Google is doing. Who are they buying? What kind of patterns are they filling out? Which ones do get granted? And then try to get a sense of understanding of what might be the next things that come up and eventually some stuff that's feeds back into algorithmic improvements or shifts. Q: How can businesses with smaller budgets and resource best respond to big updates? BG: The problem with smaller businesses is obviously being budgeted, right. I think there's a big amount of tools out there and actually there's a website, I think Aleyda Solis is speaking as well, she's maintained that the marketer's toolbox and she has a tremendous amount of tools on there and a good amount of it is free. Be it the stuff from Google, analytics, webmaster tools, Bing has webmaster centre, all that stuff. But also other neat features and helpers for browsers but also web page stuff, so I would probably go with that. I think it's rather about finding the right tools for you, and not so much caring about the cost. It's ok if you pay a decent amount of money as long as it helps you with the process and the stuff you want to get done with it really. Q: Are you aware of any gamechanger developments on the horizon that in-house or consultant SEOs should be aware of? BG: Right, I think it's not so much about what's changing but rather when are they changing. You don't need to be a prophet to know that there might be a Panda coming or a Penguin iteration or whatever. They will keep pushing, especially on the link side because there's still so much spam going, and the quality is ok-ish in the SERPS if you so will. And the main keys, they've got that sorted but there's so much in the long term. But also on the other hand, if you're turning around content-wise, even with Panda and I think we're at four point something, there's still so much spam ranking - maybe the periods are shorter but still it's ranking so they will continue to work on those classifiers and make them more intelligent. I think the other big thing that is coming up, looking at mobile, is indexing. I mean, they are there with Android, but there's first signs that Apple and the next thing for those devices. That's something big that they need to get sorted because there's so much data in those apps that they can't crawl yet or only partially, so I think if you do stuff like that, you really need to care how you maintain your data on the various different platforms. So that comes back to, again, the very solid technical foundation that the SEO master can feed into different platforms, different ways how they serve and how you as an endpoint, like a service or app or whatever, consume that data. So it's going to be very interesting, but technically, a strong technical foundation is going to be key, I think. Q: In your niche or sector, what's the most annoying SEO misconception? Please feel free to set things straight! BG: As I'm covering page speed, people are really only used to looking at the numbers that the tool provides, like scoring something out of a hundred. That's not the way how you do site speed, that's just hints and a stupid number - it doesn't make your site faster, so really get behind how a site works, how a browser reads your site and how these components interact with each other to get around site speed in a more concrete sense. Q: What are your thoughts on CDNs? BG: I think the big thing on CDNs is another kind of misconception, isn't it? People are just using CDNs for the sake of a CDN, if you so will. That doesn't make any sense. But if you have really global traffic, so if you're on dot-com-targeting, multiple-languages, all that stuff, CDN is probably the best way to do it just to get the assets that you actually serve out there as fast as you can. So whenever I have international traffic, I will always do CDNs and I will actually split that up into regions, and not only use one CDN, but rather have on for Europe, one for Asia Pacific and so on and so forth because it's a latency thing and you can't overcome that, even if you cache properly, there's still a first request that's not cached and that's slow if you don't serve it from the nearest geographical point. Q: Current favourite SEO tool or platform? Or can you give us the inside track on any sexy SEO related platforms, tools or developments coming soon? BG: Well, actually you might want to have a look at my Twitter in the next three months. What we're gonna do is open up our toolbox that we use for outreach and content marketing processes, because I think there's bits and pieces out there but there's not that one solution, especially if you're a work agency site and internationally, because there's a lot of different things. So, yeah that's probably a sneak peek but other than that I think I'm very much in love still with Searchmetrics because they tend to innovate every single time they release something and I couldn't live without that toolbox, really.