TechSEO Boost: “The State of Technical SEO” Recap

TechSEO Boost 2017 was kicked off by Russ Jones, Principal Search Scientist from Moz with his Keynote presentation “The State of Technical SEO.” Here we’ll recap this exciting session that started the event!

The Definition of Technical SEO

Jones started off by discussing the difficulty of an agreed upon definition of Technical SEO, as it touches on elements of both art and science. He defined Technical SEO as “any sufficiently technical action undertaken with the intent to improve search results.”

The goal of technical SEO is to improve search performance, and as a result, it impacts every area of site performance. A different skillset is required for technical SEO since the objective is communication with bots as opposed to people. Practitioners with this skillset can help to successfully lay the foundation for other online marketing efforts.

While some elements such as JSON-LD and HREFLANG are specifically related to technical SEO, other “non-technical” elements such as content and links do have their place. According to Jones, it is this intersection between technical SEO and the other parts of SEO that are the most important. Jones also went on to say that technical SEO is essentially the R&D of the organic search industry.

The State of Technical SEO

 The Importance of Research and Innovation

According to Jones, high performing websites tend to experiment the most with the latest technologies and lead the way when new technologies are introduced to the market. However, there is always more room for companies to innovate. Technical SEO tends to reward those with the most innovative strategies.

Advice for Practitioners

During his session Jones offered sound advice for consultants, developers, and innovators alike:


Jones recommended that consultants “Stay on top of the latest and greatest in order to be successful in this industry. Provide boutique services for complex implementations, especially at the enterprise level.”


As for developers, Jones recommended that they “Figure out what the consultants are doing and turn it into a product. It is your job to put consultants out of theirs by finding methods that scale and delivering them to the masses.”


And, finally, for innovators, Jones said it their job to “Change the trend of following Google. Your research and innovation will give both consultants and builders new opportunities even when Google stays silent.”

 The Future of Technical SEO – Invest in Research

Jones closed his session by saying that the investment in research is the future of technical SEO. He explained that growth should not be dependent on Google’s latest search announcement. If you do not make the investment in research, you are only reselling what Google has been pushing everyone else “to put on their shelves,” which is not sustainable. Investing in research is critical to future success.

Looking for more of Russ Jones’ “The State of Technical SEO” session at TechSEO Boost 2017? Not to fear, you can watch the full presentation on the Catalyst site by signing up here.

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