Barry Schwartz & Olga Zarr talk SEO, Google updates, AI & more (a special episode).

This episode of the SEO Podcast by #SEOSLY features Barry Schwartz, an absolute SEO legend and probably the best known figure in SEO.

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Interview with Barry Schwartz (video)

I record both the audio and the video version of each episode. Here is the video version for you.

Interview with Barry Schwartz (audio)

You can listen to this episode of the SEO Podcast by #SEOSLY below.

Interview with Barry Schwartz (notes)

Here are more detailed notes from my interview with Barry Schwartz.

About Barry Schwartz

  • Barry Schwartz has been writing about search engine optimization (SEO) for almost 20 years
  • He runs the site Search Engine Roundtable, which highlights trends and news in the SEO space
  • Barry also owns a software development company called Rusty Brick with over 15 employees
  • He manages the business side at Rusty Brick – getting clients, overseeing projects, company operations

Tips & insights from Barry Schwartz

On efficiency & productivity

Barry emphasizes having a consistent daily routine for writing and reading about SEO. He sticks to writing for about an hour every day around the same time, usually starting at 6-7am. This consistency over years has made him incredibly fast at publishing content. Beyond routine, Barry is ruthless about removing any distractions or inefficient workflows. He limits email subscriptions and prefers RSS feeds, leverages automated tweet scheduling, and uses site change monitoring tools. He also advocates examining your workflows and finding small optimizations, whether using certain CMS features or triggers in CRM tools.

On SEO mindset

Barry cautions against simply pursuing a “checklist” approach to SEO, just trying to tick off boxes based on Google recommendations. He argues SEOs need to think more critically and understand why Google suggests best practices, not just blindly adopt them. The key is making your site truly best-in-class for users, not just chasing rankings. Barry believes if you create content so uniquely compelling that Google would be “embarrassed not to rank it,” the rankings will come. This passion and user focus is crucial.

On learning SEO

For beginners, Barry highlights the importance of hands-on practice – creating your own website to experiment with and learn SEO. Making mistakes on a personal site doesn’t carry real costs, allowing you to try things like meta tags, speed optimizations, content strategies and more. He thinks working at an agency accelerates learning too, being exposed to diverse sites and challenges. Beyond tools, Barry has voraciously read classic SEO books over the years, going back to fundamentals. Consuming niche podcasts also helps him stay on top of the latest developments.

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Want to become a guest or provide ideas for the show?

If you want to become a guest on the show or you want to share ideas, feel free to contact me. I will be happy to hear from you. Contact me at [email protected].

Olga Zarr is an SEO consultant with 10+ years of experience. She has been doing SEO for both the biggest brands in the world and small businesses. She has done 200+ SEO audits so far. Olga has completed SEO courses and degrees at universities, such as UC Davis, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University. She also completed Moz Academy! And, of course, has Google certifications. She keeps learning SEO and loves it. Olga is also a Google Product Expert specializing in areas, such as Google Search and Google Webmasters.