My Personal SEO to AI via FOSS on LPvg Transition Plan
by Mike LevinFriday, March 10, 2023
I need a plan. Sure, I’ll get deeply deeply familiar with Moz’s products to help use, help sell and help design. But what I really want to jump into is a technical project.
I view SEO as an ongoing running process that produces deliverables on events or on schedules. Things like Excel spreadsheets or links to web-hosted interactive data visualizations and reports that provide actionable data to interested parties, usually stakeholders of some sort.
End gratuitous use of buzzwords. We SEOs make reports based on data-pulls, capturing raw data, transforming some portion of JSON into flat tables, joining those tables with tables from other data sources, inserting tables and charts, sometimes showing trends over time incorporating previously collected data, yadda, yadda. Oops more buzzwords.
A technical SEO today can be pretty darn technical. We can automate end-to-end processes with about the same effort you put into an advanced Excel macro, VBA program or Google App Script. Difference being, work performed under Python under Linux Will endure. And you can automate browsers pretty reliably now too.
I’ve started this article like 10 times in my notes. I’m working for Moz now. Pinch me, I know! People who know me, and I’m talking for instance to two Adams, One Edwards and the other Whippy (shout out!) who know I’ve been waiting to get a platform like this for some time.
Back in the day the message was search optimized CMS systems like WordPress, plus a lot of data-informed long-tail content production. That gradually stopped working quite so well so the new thing seems to becoming E-E-A-T, some ineffable quality of Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness… who knows precisely what, let AIs be the judge. Plus PageRank. Family jewels will not go gentility down the drain.
So what does this mean? What does it mean in actual search results. This whole ChatGPT and The New Bing, of which I’m becoming a really big fan, my next steps tool-wise and technique modifications and updates as I find onboard Moz here.
Scripts have become pretty darn powerful of late on both Windows and Mac platforms. A script can bring a running Linux server to your laptop which gives us the fear interoperable platform upon which we can cast SEO spells of the coolest sort. Some will hit Moz and require some of their services, free or paid. I’ll tell you that right up front. But some won’t.
Well I fixed that for myself around when I was turning forty and had my kid on the way. I realized I couldn’t dedicate the amount of personal time into the next big thing like I used to. My next big thing was my kid. Tech-wise, I needed the familiarity and magic of that old Amiga computer, but for these days and long into the future. And of course no hardware dependencies.
Tall order. Such a tall order takes equally great layers. Layers? Components, maybe. For a platform. Platform? More a lifeboat with style. The tech tools I deeply believe in are Linux, Python, vim and git. Not exclusively. I’ll use other tools, and in fact one of the first will be a vim alternative called JuputerLab, which works through a browser.
Linux is a place to run code. Some of the code you’ll run is the vim text editor program in order to write code, and the Python program in order to run code. We’ll use a program called git in order to help you keep copies of code your code, sort of like an infinite undo, plus much more git can do to move and share your code.
Linux, Python, vim & git together form a somewhat hardware-independent, vendor independent nomadic computing environment. It’s the LPVg nomadic computing movement. It’s going to take awhile to get down, but tools line JupyterLab that have one foot on each OS-side of your laptop will ease the transition. It’s in a Juputer Notebook through JuputerLab (a very friendly environment) where most of my FOSS SEO work takes place. The fact it can be automated as a 24x7 Linux service capable of emailing whatever you produce on a schedule is the payoff at the end.
Suffice to say I fairly well love my tools. I love the schisms over Python 2.x to 3.x that darn well tore the community apart. Change must happen but the reasons must be as compelling as Unicode support plus performance. Only then will the old curmudgeon luddites of Python 2.6 be ported along to the new reality, and now there will probably never be a Python 4.
I love that kind of go but slow flow. If I’m going to put as much time and effort as it takes me to learn something, that something better not be going out of style or changing too much while I’m using it. That really irks me. My tools obsoleting me through no fault of my own but trusting and living a platform is my pet peeve. Python is the rhythm for me.
Linux you don’t need to know much about except that it’s how you run Python in such a way as to be benefiting from the new great interoperable platform in tech, the generic Linux server—probably but not always a Debian derivative. JupterLab server will actually run on this, and the Notebooks themselves will be accessible through your laptop’s native browser.
And that really is my modest proposal. All the FOSS SEO work I’ll show you how to perform, which may or may not need certain Moz sources for a more complete or useful deliverable, start out in short, easy-to-follow, well documented and illustrated Jupyter Notebooks. They might as well be a slideshow or presentation m, but will live code that does useful things for SEOs.
You can continue to work out of those Notebooks for the rest of your career if you like. These’s no shame in never fully automating. I call it “Lost” mode, because you have to sit there and press a button. It takes the radical step of having somewhere else to run your code other than your laptop in order to make it truly 24x7 automation. It could be the cloud. It could be a Raspberry Pi. Or like me, or could be a NAS.
And so there you have it. That’s my plan. Some of you are right on the edge of getting more technical. Some of you are looking for your next step after Excel.
Who wouldn’t like be more free of Google, Microsoft and even most paid services forever forward in a way where your skills are also being honed and forever improving forever forward? I mean for me, that’s like the dream and I’m sure I couldn’t be alone on this. Problem is you’re here and that goal’s there and there are great hurdles and difficulties in getting from here to there.
Even once you do, it’s going to take continual daily practice to commit or to muscle memory and the mind of spontaneous mastery that frees you up to automatically encode your thoughts while your higher executive function, your conscious brain, is freed up to work on more difficult problems than tool-use and their APIs. This is how driving works. Poor drivers can’t userstand how cabbies can talk and talk. Poor coders watch nearly telepathic text-controlling vim users in secret vim envy. No worries. I’ll get you there. That’s why I’m going to get you writing your daily journal in vim. But before we can tell you about vim, we have to tell you about JupyterLab.
I usually either get too technical too fast or too abstract too fast and lose my audience. I know that.