Tips from Search Veteran Fabrice Canel

Tips from Search Veteran Fabrice Canel

Fabrice Canel is 24 years search veteran at Microsoft. Fabrice is a Principal Program Manager leading the team crawling, processing, and indexing at Bing, dealing with billions of new or updated web pages every day, and overseeing Bing Webmaster Tools. Fabrice is also responsible for search protocols and standards. To know more about Fabrice and Bing updates, follow his Twitter page.

1.  What type of programming do you have the strongest skills?

Primarily programming managing the word delivered by my teams, but also C#, JavaScript, SQL and U-SQL.

2. What projects have you launched recently that you are proud of?

I can speak only about external projects such as Bing Webmaster tools, Site Explorer Tools which provide a unique view to webmasters to navigate through the site structure, identify and discover insights and issues with URLs such as redirects, crawl issues, disallowed by robots.txt, etc. Behind the scenes, this is a technical marvel allowing to lookup terabytes of data in milliseconds and display useful information for all SEO.

3. Is there any marketing or SEO blog you like most of all and why?

Like most in the industry, I actively follow Barry Schwartz’s blogs who do a great job to catch up with the latest news in the industry daily.

4. Where is easier to get top rankings? On Google or Bing? What’s the difference between these search engines for getting organic traffic?

Don’t know, tell me. It depends on so many variables. Maybe you will find a niche segment that is resonating well with your and search engine customers. Maybe you will benefit from having one search engine doing very well in fighting spam in a particular query segment.

When the guidelines from Bing and Google have similarities to help search engines find all your pages, to help search engines, to help search rank your content and list common things to avoid… Bing also offers specific abilities not yet offered by Google as the ability to programmatically get the latest content indexing via an easy to plug-in API solution.

5. What are the TOP-3 errors webmasters make now?

Primarily, they do not focus enough on satisfying their customers. That’s the biggest mistake they make. Don’t try to acquire traffic via search engines on content your customers will dislike(examples: not adding value, not answering the question, full of ads, cloned from other sites). 

Secondly,avoid custom Content Management Solutions that often may not be SEO compatible or won’t keep up with the latest SEO evolution.

Thirdly, focus on getting relevant content indexed, including the latest content you just wrote. Search Engines are missing plenty of good quality content… get it indexed.

6. What SEO tactics do you think are underrated?

As I just said, focus on getting the latest relevant content indexed. Every second counts with the new generation.

7. Do you believe that backlinks are Google’s and Bing’s past? Is link building important for increasing the website’s positions nowadays?

Think of links as advertisement opportunities beyond search engines. If nobody links your sites from good quality content on good quality sites well maybe your site is not so important.

8. In your opinion, does the technical health of the website affect the ranking positions in search engines?

100% yes.

9. Are you going to surprise the world with something new (tool/app, course, product)?

Yes, stay tuned: a breakthrough in the industry coming this fall.

10. In your opinion, does a user’s behavior impact on website ranking in SERP?

Yes. If your customers don’t like your content don’t expect to rank in top positions.

11. What is the best approach to developing an SEO strategy?

Focus on satisfying your customers.

12. How do you see the future of SEO (in 5 years)?

More content and customers focus than these days. The reason is that Search Engines are working to improve their crawling and indexing stack, and modern Content Management Systems are fixing most SEO technical issues.

13. What advice can you give for those who are just starting their career in digital marketing?

Deeply understand and focus on the Customer. Learn (Read a lot, videos). Experimentation is key.

14. How to make a website search engine friendly? Could you please name the main steps?

For a new website, this is easy: leverage a Content Management System with stellar SEO scores in reviews, then you are mostly done. You then just have to focus on the content.

For an existing website, well, it can take years to fix it.

 15. In your opinion, a good SEO specialist should be a good analyst? What extra knowledge should SEO specialists have to succeed?

Yes, a good SEO specialist should be a good analyst, looking at facts, at a variety of datasets to come up with the best plan. A great SEO specialist should consider developing skills in experimentations and machine learning to truly land complex SEO problems.  

16. You are noticed at many digital conferences. How important live communication is for business? How does it work for you?

First, this is really a shame that due to the virus we have far less SEO in-person conferences, meeting and speaking with the industry was a great opportunity for me to learn more and go deep on specific topics. Cannot wait to meet again. Second, speaking conferences, blogging, posting on LinkedIn and Twitter are great ways for us to share best practices and the latest tools.

17. Should a business have a corporate blog?

From an SEO standpoint, I think yes, but my local fast food doesn’t really need one.

18. How can start-ups and early-stage businesses use SEO effectively to drive traffic to their sites?

Find your niche, deeply care about satisfying your early customers, leverage SEO-friendly Content Management System, follow Search Engines webmaster guidelines.  

19. What do you think about black hat and grey hat SEO tactics?

They may work until they don’t work, especially these days as search engines are less heuristics-based and more machine learning-based, it is easier to detect such tactics and even easier moving forward.

20. Does your university degree help to succeed in your career?

Degree no, what I learnt at the university yes. These days you can learn it outside universities. Internet was in its early days when I was in university.

21. Can you share your professional and business plans for the next 2-3 years?

I can share that I am really looking at easing the ability for webmasters to get their latest content indexed.

22. What can you tell about mobile SEO? Is it true for you that mobile SEO will absolutely force out desktop soon?

Firstly, let me share one top priority for mobile, you must avoid mobile-specific URLs (m.) at all costs.As recommended by Bing, Google and everybody else, please use adaptive display or dynamic serving: same URL for desktop and mobile, nearly the same content.

Secondly, as the number of pixels and bandwidth for mobile devices is increasing over time, I do believe that mobile and desktop UX will converge, so mobile SEO and desktop SEO will be just SEO again.  

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