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The Search Engine Journal Show

Apr 19, 2023

In today's world, we are bombarded with information from all sides. As a result, it can be hard to know what is newsworthy and what is not. 

Matt Southern and Roger Montti, SEJ's news writers, joined Amanda Zantal-Wiener, Editor-In-Chief at SEJ, to discuss how to determine what is worth following and how to avoid being overwhelmed by the information deluge.

These experts talk about information overload, marketing, and data science to share tips on how to stay informed without being overwhelmed. Matt and Roger share their experiences with information overload and how they have learned to manage it.

If you are overwhelmed by the information, this episode is for you. We will help you learn how to navigate the information jungle and stay informed without being stressed out.


I filter the information according to what I find interesting professionally and personally and what I think the audience would be interested in. I'm especially interested in things that are novel or under-covered but are essential for people to know. That's one of the reasons why I started covering more of the WordPress stuff as well as Wix. –Roger Montti, 3:14

Covering John Mueller, it's always interesting to decipher what he's trying to say, what he wants to say…he addresses people with the understanding that they have a high level of knowledge of SEO, and that's only sometimes the case for people who can benefit from the information he has to share. So I like to take the data he's sharing, which is usually communicated at a high level, and distill it into smaller parts and try to break it down into a language everyone can understand. –Matt Southern, 18:01

I see breaking news as two things. The first one is the fact: “This happened.” The second part is “What does that mean and how does that impact people?”...So you must balance the speed and being out there with the news and saying, “this happened.” But then we can also revert to what happened, do an article about what it means, and bring in other people who might have interesting insights into it. –Roger Montti, 7:38


[00:00] - Meet Matt & Roger.

[01:26] - Understanding information overload.

[05:34] - Keeping content timely and relevant amidst rapid news flow.

[09:18] - How to strike a balance between reader engagement & SEO rankings.

[15:24] - Best practices for tackling inaccurate information.

[17:31] - Tips and insights for covering statements from authority figures.

[19:56] - Providing the right historical context: A key to effective writing.

[23:41] - Should you always credit who covered a topic first?

[27:15] - How to avoid falling down a rabbit hole when researching a topic.

[33:52] - How to craft compelling personas for better writing.

[40:57] - Nerdy conversations: How nerdy is too nerdy?

[44:55] - How to keep repetitive topics interesting when writing.

[49:35] - The experts' views on the legal drama surrounding generative AI and innovation.

[56:24] - How writers are using generative AI: Matt & Roger's perspectives.

[58:10] - What our experts are writing about right now.


There are three main factors I focus on when choosing a topic. First is audience interests. Then, industry relevance. And then, I find out where there are some content gaps. To prioritize that information, I considered the overall impact on the readers and the timeliness of how it aligns with our editorial goals. So putting all that together and understanding everyone's needs, what we want to communicate and what the readers want to get out of it and keeping myself informed along the way. –Matt Southern, 6:04

Roger and I have a similar philosophy. We both like short, concise non-click baiting titles. That philosophy satisfies both sides of what we're trying to balance: ranking and audience. With ranking, you want to mention the most important keyword as close to the beginning of the title as possible. If you do that, you're also accomplishing the goal of grabbing the audience's attention. –Matt Southern, 11:59

When I write anything, I focus on the benefit to the reader and what information is beneficial. Sometimes you have to ask how that impacts me. Put yourself in their seat…What do I do as a Content writer or as an SEO? How does that impact them? …When you write about something complicated, you have to slow it out and explain the jargon so that people can follow along can understand why it's important. –Roger Montti, 28:38


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Connect With Roger Montti:

Roger Montti is a seasoned search marketer boasting over 20 years of experience in the field. He has built a solid reputation for expertise and effectiveness by offering site audits, phone consultations, and content and link strategy assistance. 

In addition to being a Head Judge for the 2020 and 2021 U.S. Search Awards, Roger is also a publisher of award-winning websites, showcasing his multifaceted talents within the industry.

As a prominent figure in search marketing, Roger has shared his insights at various conferences, including SES, SMX East, SMX West, SMX Advanced Seattle, Affiliate Summit NYC, Affiliate Summit West, and multiple PubCon events. In addition, his writing covers various topics, such as WordPress, Facebook, Google, SEO, and search marketing, further establishing him as a thought leader.

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Connect With Matt Southern:

Matt G. Southern, a highly respected Senior News Writer, has been integral to the Search Engine Journal team since 2013. With a bachelor's degree in communications, he excels at distilling complex subjects into clear, engaging content. 

In addition to writing, Matt is responsible for overseeing strategy development within SEJ's news department, ensuring that the organization remains at the forefront of the digital marketing and search engine optimization landscape.

As a trusted source of information, Matt's work at SEJ combines accuracy, quality, and relevance. His dedication to excellence in reporting and commitment to helping others better understand search engines and digital marketing make him an indispensable asset to SEJ and the broader industry.

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Connect with Amanda Zantal-Wiener, Editor-in-Chief at Search Engine Journal:

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