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Since this week’s guest is known for his “whiteboard Fridays,” we are releasing this post on Friday! In the news this week, Travis and Stewart discuss a new report that suggests marketers are worried about automation taking their jobs.

This segues seamlessly into a conversation about the have-nots, the haves, and the new breed of super-haves (thanks to AI, of course), but ends on a brighter AI-based note. Travis and Stewart then interview Rand Fishkin — one of the world’s leading SEO authorities — on the future of the future of the industry and what is going to happen next.


By listening to this episode of VB Engage, you will hear:


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  • Welcome to VB Engage episode 63! [0:10]
  • Kununu has worked with Monster to analyze jobs reviews in order to gain insights into employees’ motivation. [02:20]
  • The report found that marketers are some of the worst communicators within organizations. [03:10]
  • Job security is a big issue for marketers: Many think they will be automated out of a job. [03:40]
  • The data was released by Kununu on the company’s website. Gated. [04:30]
  • How AI could create a world of haves and have-nots. [05:25]
  • AI and robotics have already replaced 60 percent of the factory jobs in China. [05:45]
  • Stewart prognosticates that in the future there will be the haves, the have-nots, and the “super-haves.” [06:20]
  • The haves will be able to afford microchips, nanobots, and brain interfaces that will give them the competitive advantage to become “super-haves.” [07:15]
  • We are in danger of these technologies pushing us further apart, in an era where diversity is such a heavily debated topic. [07:45]
  • When brain interfaces such as Elon Musk’s go live in three to four years, it’s going to be wild. [08:40]
  • Watch out for pop-ups in your cerebral cortex! You’ll be walking along and then to continue, you’ll have to watch a quick video ad! Ha. [09:00]
  • Will AI and analytics help marketers predict more effectively? [09:30]
  • Predictive analytics companies can already predict the future in some ways. [10:25]
  • By picking future trends, you can get ahead of the curve for insane profitability. [11:20]
  • Ask the right questions. Access the right data.  Access the right technologies.  Get the right people on your team. [11:45]
  • “Predictive Marketers are 2.9X more likely to report revenue growth at rates higher than the industry average,”  according to a report from Forrester and Everstring. [13:50]
  • Next up is Rand Fishkin, and some jokes are cracked about Canada invading the U.S. so that Washington can get Canada’s health care. [14:25]
  • Stewart asks Rand about AI and how that’s going to impact SEO in the near term. [15:05]
  • Rand doesn’t seem to think that AI will be taking marketer’s jobs quite yet. [15:25]
  • It is very possible for machines to optimize for specific goals but very challenging for AI to empathize with humans and connect with them. [15:50]
  • Moz alternates the release of Search Ranking Factors and Local Search Ranking Factors each year. [16:30]
  • Google has been location-aware for a long time, but it’s gotten better with recommendations, thanks to engagement metrics. [17:20]
  • Google is great at picking up trends and delivering search query freshness. [18:35]
  • “Quality Deserves Freshness” – as seen in search query responses to Michael Jackson’s death. [18:55]
  • Rand gives Danny Sullivan a shout-out, as he retired the day we recorded this interview. [19:00]
  • Danny has been the first to report on many of the top search-related news items in the past two decades. [19:30]
  • Pour a beer out for our homey, Danny Sullivan. [19:45]
  • SEO from 1996 to 2009 was a whole different ball game. [20:10]
  • There was a lot of manipulation and gaming back in the day. [20:45]
  • Search has become more logical. If you understand what people want and can serve it in the format they want it, at the fastest speed and in a way that captures their attention, you can you gain their interest. You’ll be fine. [22:20]
  • Rand was ahead of the game on video. They’ve done over 535 of these Whiteboard Fridays. [23:25]
  • They stumbled upon Whiteboard Friday by accident, but they stuck with the idea and have improved the quality. [24:30]
  • PandaBoard makes the best whiteboard markers, in Rand’s opinion. [24:50]
  • SpeechPad does the text transcript. [25:10]
  • They’ve continued leveling up the content. Each month, two to three whiteboard Friday videos are always near the 10 top-trafficked pages for the month. [26:00]
  • Videos have become a vital part of Moz’s business development — a powerful generator of traffic, conversions, engagement, and keynote speeches for Rand all over the world. [26:30]
  • Sticking with the videos has been huge for Moz. [27:00]
  • They sucked at it at the start, but they kept getting better. [27:15]
  • Keep iterating and keep optimizing your content. [27:45]
  • Connect with Rand on Twitter @randfish.

On episode 64 next week, we continue our Unbounce CTA Conference interviews with the Facebook Queen herself, Mari Smith! We discuss all of the things that you need to be aware of to rock Facebook marketing and advertising.

If you missed last week’s episode, we launched our CTAConf series of interviews with the amazing and outgoing Oli Gardner of Unbounce, in a session that was recorded live on stage in front of 1,200+ people in Vancouver. Get ready to have your mind blown.

As always, thanks for tuning in to VB Engage.

If you enjoy the show… please give it a quick rating or review it on your favorite podcast platform. Just search for VB Engage, and get’r done!


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