Episode 109 | Posted on

Fine-Tune your Technical SEO, Page Speed, and Security with Patrick Stox

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This Week’s Guest:

You might not realize the difference between HTTP, HTTPS, and HTTP2. That sort of information is generally reserved for SEO experts. But understanding the difference is more important than ever. Chrome users will soon be warned that sites using HTTP are no longer secure. How can you protect your site? You can make the switch to HTTPS. At least, that’s the short answer.


Join me and my guest, Patrick Stox, for many more details on HTTP. You’ll learn SEO and development information that you can use to make your site run smoothly. If these aren’t things you can implement yourself, you’ll learn exactly what to ask your developer to do. Patrick is the technical SEO for IBM and the organizer of the Raleigh SEO Meetup. He’s also a frequent writer for many search blogs and an accomplished speaker. Patrick and I both recently spoke at Pubcon, where we recorded this episode.


Find Out More About Patrick Here:

Patrick Stox
@patrickstox on Twitter
Patrick Stox on Facebook
Patrick Stox on LinkedIn


In This Episode:

  • [02:32] – Patrick talks about the massive size of the IBM website. He then discusses some of the big issues in maintaining a site that big from an SEO perspective.
  • [04:58] – We hear why one should use hreflang tags on their website.
  • [07:05] – What are Patrick’s preferred tools for crawling?
  • [07:44] – Stephan compares building a website without an SEO involved to building a house and then realizing you didn’t specify that you needed electrical wiring.
  • [09:34] – What sorts of documents does Patrick use to get everyone on the same page? He and Stephan talk about the problems with having extensive documentation.
  • [14:26] – Patrick talks about the potential issues with HTTP, and explains why seeing ads on a site that doesn’t normally have them is potentially really scary.
  • [17:09] – What are the reasons you need to go from HTTP to HTTPS even on your personal blogs?
  • [19:13] – HTTPS is a small ranking factor in SEO, Patrick explains, which is basically a tiebreaker between equal sites. He isn’t sure whether its importance as a ranking factor will be increased.
  • [20:50] – What are some of the biggest mistakes that Patrick sees with HTTPS migrations?
  • [23:43] – Patrick talks about what content delivery networks (CDNs) he comes across most frequently, and which are his favorites.
  • [26:23] – Patrick defines service workers for marketers who are listening and may be unfamiliar with some of the geekier SEO terms. He then explains the benefits of minifying JavaScript.
  • [28:49] – What are some of Patrick’s favorite features within the Chrome Developer Tools?
  • [33:05] – Stephan talks about the painful procedure that was involved in removing an SEO CDN, and talks about his invention, GravityStream.
  • [34:47] – Now that we’ve covered HTTPS, Patrick moves on to talking about HTTP2. Its main benefit is that it makes things a lot faster.
  • [37:28] – Patrick and Stephan talk about server response headers, and Patrick offers some tips and tricks.
  • [42:58] – We hear about Patrick’s use of Ryte.
  • [44:04] – Patrick elaborates on frameworks in SEO, discussing specifically React and AngularJS.
  • [46:57] – Stephan asks Patrick a question: what would be his SEO advice and best practice suggestions to a listener who is using infinite scrolling?
  • [48:12] – Are there any other server response header or redirect tips that Patrick wants to share with listeners?
  • [49:54] – Patrick and Stephan talk about Google’s SEO best practice document, and discuss whether H1 tags have an effect.
  • [52:57] – Stephan explains that he is very outcome-focused rather than activity-focused like most other SEOs.
  • [54:56] – What’s an example of one of the scripts and tools that Patrick uses to automate and scale across the 50 million pages at IBM?
  • [57:25] – Patrick is pretty picky about side projects, but if you have a difficult problem that you can’t quite figure out, he may be able to help. He directs listeners on where to find him.


Links and Resources:


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