Patrick Stox - Raleigh based Technical SEO

I'm Patrick Stox, an SEO professional located in Raleigh, NC. I'm a Technical SEO for IBM and I live and breathe SEO. I love understanding how things work and all the weird and interesting issues.

I'm an organizer for the Raleigh SEO Meetup, the most successful SEO Meetup in the US, and also the Beer & SEO Meetup. I'm a contributing author for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, and Search Engine Journal and also speak at search conferences like SMX and Pubcon and help run a conference with the meetup.

I was honored to be a judge for the 2017 US Search Awards the 2017 UK Search Awards, and the 2018 Interactive Marketing Awards. I had 2 of the top SEO columns for 2016 on SEL, 1 of the top paid columns for 2016 on SEL, and 1 of the top Link Week Columns for SEL in 2015.

Connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter @patrickstox. You can also reach me at patrickstox (at) or (919) 525-1007. Slides are on SlideShare.

Praise from others for me, presentations, articles, etc.

People I (re)discovered today at smx and you might want to follow them:@itsleslieto @patrickstox

— Gary "鯨理" Illyes (@methode) June 14, 2017

Whom would you recommend people follow to learn about Technical SEO? Mine: @dawnieando @rustybrick @AlanBleiweiss @patrickstox @dr_pete

— Bill Slawski (@bill_slawski) November 5, 2017

@patrickstox great presentation man! If you want to nerd out about this stuff, we should chat!

— Paul Shapiro (@fighto) March 1, 2016

For anyone following along with my various ramblings on internal link visualisations - just found this EXCELLENT post from earlier this year

— Will Critchlow (@willcritchlow) September 6, 2017

Agreed. My new speaking goal is to be as relaxed and have as much fun as Patrick does when he is speaking.

— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) June 14, 2017

Having met and chatted to @patrickstox along with having just watched his #techseoboost presso... what a 1000% honest guy. Top bloke!

— Malcolm Slade ¯\(°_o)/¯ (@SEOMalc) November 30, 2017

@patrickstox doing @IBM proud. Great preso. #techseoboost

— Russ Jones (@rjonesx) November 30, 2017

Superb deck about many of the technical aspects that can go wrong with international #SEO. You really need to see these slides. #pubcon

— Barry Adams 📈 (@badams) November 9, 2017

If I posted about a new method and @patrickstox said "I've been doing this for a while", I'd actually believe him.


— Oliver H.G. Mason 📉 (@ohgm) October 4, 2017

What?? An SEO article that provides real life examples & takeaways?? Thanks, @patrickstox! That rocks!

— Taylor (@TVYLORTOMITV) September 29, 2017

@patrickstox showing how to do a relaxed presentation with a reasonable number of slides #SMX

— Chris Johnston (@reluctantSEO) June 13, 2017

I've gotta say - between @patrickstox and @fighto - I may just become a battle-tested tech SEO from their tutelege.

— "Wide Open" Rhoades (@TheGonzoSEO) January 23, 2018

@patrickstox Great presentation!

— Ashley (@BermanHale) November 30, 2017

Loved @patrickstox's prezo format. I think he said one slide for each thing he's seen in the last few months. #TechSEOBoost

— Brendan Cottam (@bjcottam) November 30, 2017

man @patrickstox grinning so much, he is loving #SEO!

— Devin (@DevDawg) October 18, 2017

Danny Goodwin listed me on 140 of Today's Top SEO Experts to Follow.

Curious what happened in Wix's $50,000 SEO competition? I covered the contest here: Be An SEO Hero. Spoiler alert, I was disqualified probably for calling out Wix buying links.

Some of Patrick's talks related to SEO

March 2017: AMP: Do Or Die? at SMX West with Dave McAnally and Pete Dainty, moderated by Michelle Robbins.

Sometime soon: Something Technical SEO related on Technical SEO Podcast with Dan Taylor and Adam Gent.

February 2017: Troubleshooting SEO for modern JS frameworks at Digital Transformation Day with Bartosz Goralewicz and Nitin Manchanda.

December 2017: SEO 2017 End of Year Roundtable on Webcology hosted by Jim Hedger and Dave Davies along with Jennifer Van Iderstyne, Gretchen Shelby-Dormer, and Jeremy Knauff.

November 2017: Fine-Tune your Technical SEO, Page Speed, and Security: Patrick Stox on Marketing Speak with Stephan Spencer.


November 2017: In-house International SEO at Pubcon Vegas with Eli Schwartz of SurveyMonkey, Ira Kates of FanXchange Limited, and moderated by Carolyn Shelby of Tronc.

October 2017: In-house day: big brands issues SEMrush Webinar with Nick Wilsdon of Vodafone, Tyler Vickers of Twitter, and Barry Adams of Polemic Digital.

October 2017: SEO Quick Wins From a Technical Check #semrushchat with SEMrush.

August 2017: Link Building at Raleigh SEO Meetup with JR Ridley of Go Fish Digital and Tripp Hamilton of Hive Digital Marketing.

June 2017: Mobile-First For The Advanced SEO at SMX Advanced with Leslie To of 3Q Digital, Gary Illyes of Google, and moderated by Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable.

May 2017: The Latest in Advanced Technical SEO at SMX London with Dawn Anderson of Move It Marketing, Rodrigo Stockebrand of SapientNitro, and moderated by Mikkel deMib Svendsen of Waimea Digital.

May 2017: Raleigh SEO Meetup Conference. I moderated most of the panels here and sat in on a couple of them.

April 2017: Live Website Audits at WordCamp Raleigh.

February 2017: In House SEO - Technical Content at Pubcon SFIMA along with Keith Goode of IBM, Dave Rohrer of North Side Metrics, and Michael Bonfils of SEM International.

A Technical Look at Content - PUBCON SFIMA 2017 - Patrick Stox from patrickstox

October 2016: Enterprise Technical SEO Webinar with Page One Power, also featuring Tom Anthony of Distilled, Paul Shapiro of Catalyst and moderated by Nicholas Chimonas of Page One Power.

September 2016: Better Safe Than Sorry With HTTPS at SMX East.

Better Safe Than Sorry with HTTPS - SMX East 2016 - Patrick Stox from patrickstox

September 2016: Google Tag Manager Can Do What Now? at WordCamp Raleigh 2016. If you want scary data about how users interact with your website then this session is for you. Find out what can be tracked and some fun and interesting uses of Google Tag Manager.

Google Tag Manager Can Do What from patrickstox

August 2016: Google's Top 3 Ranking Factors: Content, Links & RankBrain at the Raleigh SEO Meetup. For several years now, Google has said that it uses more than 200 signals to rank pages. Many of them have more than 50 variations within a single factor. It's rare that any of the factors are confirmed by Google, but in the past year they have confirmed the top 3 ranking factors. Last year Google confirmed RankBrain was the third most important ranking factor, but Google refused to say what the first two were. That is until earlier this year when Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, said the other two factors were links and content. JR Oakes and Patrick Stox will break down some of the things that Google may be looking for with regards to content, links, and RankBrain and tell you what you really need to know about each.

Google's Top 3 Ranking Factors - Content, Links, and RankBrain - Raleigh SEO Meetup 2016 from patrickstox

June 2016: Advanced Enterprise SEOs, Unite! at SMX Advanced with Garth O'Brian of Godaddy, Colleen Harris of CDK Global, and moderated by Bill Hunt of Back Azimuth.

Enterprise SEO Chaos - SMX Advanced 2016 from patrickstox

June 2016: SEO Round Table: A Panel Discussion On What You Need to Know , to Flourish Online. Moderated by Phil Buckley who used to run the Raleigh SEO Meetup with me, Jenny Halasz of JLH Marketing, Marty Martin of Adapt Partners, and Russ Jones of Moz.

April 2016: Raleigh SEO Meetup Conference. Being one of the organizers, I was heavily involved with this conference. I moderated the Technical SEO Panel with Marty Martin of Adapt Partners, JR Oakes of Consultwebs, Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting, and Russ Jones of Moz. I moderated the Agency Management Panel with Jason Stanley of Coalmarch Productions, Michael Georgiou of Imaginovation, Will Hardison of Fanbase, and Karl Sakas of Sakas and Company. I also sat on the panel for Current Events and the Future of SEO and the panel for SEO Tools.

March 2016: The Latest in Advanced Technical SEO at SMX West. Basically, the presentation was about how to find all topics and subtopics for an industry and then pull and group the keywords around each topic to determine relevant pages needed for a website. With Melissa Jensen of Global Strategies, Stephan Spencer of Netconepts and moderated by Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable.

January 2016: Advanced Technical "Hacks" for your site's SEO a CloudFlare Webinar. Had a lot of fun talking SEO with Martin Woods and Reza Moaiandin of I particularly enjoyed having a chance to talk about multi-CDNs and CloudFlare's adoption of HTTP/2.

October 2015: Everyone Screws Up HTTPS was a presentation for the WordCamp Raleigh 2015. From redirects to insecure content to duplicate content, everyone screws up making a website secure. Even top-tier developers get this wrong, and the results can be devastating. Learn how to secure your website without losing your rankings.

July 2015: Local SEO For The Small Business Owner was a presentation for the Raleigh SEO Meetup Group, the most successful SEO meetup group in the world. There were some audio and video issues with the recording below as we adjust to a new venue.

May 2015: Link Reclamation Strategies For SEO was a solo presentation by Patrick explaining how to reclaim lost links and how that helps with SEO. The presentation was at the Digital Marketing For Business Conference (DMFB) in Raleigh, NC.

May 2015: Video SEO Panel was a panel discussion related to video SEO at the Digital Marketing For Business Conference (DMFB) in Raleigh, NC.

March 2015: Why Your Landing Pages Suck was a presentation for the Raleigh-Durham Web Design Group.

January 2015: SEO Marketing Strategies – Inside a Digital Agency with Patrick Stox was a podcast interview by Dave Goodwin of The Growing Entrepreneur. This podcast was also republished by Small Biz Club.

Some of Patrick's writings related to SEO

January 2018: What's next for technical SEO?

As web technologies continue to grow and evolve, interest in technical SEO is growing along with it. Columnist Patrick Stox looks ahead to see what advancements are on the horizon and how these may impact technical SEO.

November 2017: How to keep your staging or development site out of the index

You generally wouldn't want your staging site appearing in search results, so how can you prevent Google from indexing this content? Columnist Patrick Stox offers some tips.

October 2017: Tips to troubleshoot your technical SEO

Stumped by a technical SEO issue? Columnist Patrick Stox has some tips and tricks to help you diagnose and solve some common problems.

September 2017: Canonical tags gone wild

What happens when canonical tags get out of control and how can you rein them in? Columnist Patrick Stox shares his findings and insights.

September 2017: 20 of Google's limits you may not know exist

Don't get caught off guard by limitations you weren't aware of! Columnist Patrick Stox shares 20 Google limitations that may impact SEO efforts.

August 2017: Designing content for the mobile-first index

Your mobile pages will soon become the default versions used in Google search rankings. How can you make sure they provide good content that's easy to read on a smaller screen? Columnist Patrick Stox has some ideas.

July 2017: The AMP is a lie

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are a hot topic right now, but are they really the answer to your mobile page speed issues? Columnist Patrick Stox weighs in.

June 2017: What you need to know about Referrer Policy

Seeing some confusing referrer data in your analytics program? It might be the result of an issue with 'noreferrer.' Columnist Patrick Stox explains Referrer Policy, which lets webmasters define the value of the referrer header in outbound links.

May 2017: Canonical tags are easy, right? What's the worst that could happen?

Columnist Patrick Stox outlines when to use the canonical tag, as well as some common problems that occur during implementation.

April 2017: 1,000 ways to redirect

What's in a redirect? Columnist Patrick Stox provides a primer on redirects, showing why this critical technical SEO task can often trip up even the most experienced SEO experts.could

March 2017: Easy visualizations of PageRank and Page Groups with Gephi

Contributor Patrick Stox walks us through how to use a cluster analysis tool to visualize websites and identify opportunities for improving their link structure.

February 2017: Broken link building made easy

Broken link building is a great tactic, but prospecting for broken links in your niche can be time-consuming and inefficient. Luckily, columnist Patrick Stox has a handy method for identifying relevant broken linking opportunities.

November 2016: Fun with robots.txt

Columnist Patrick Stox provides some dos and don'ts for creating your robots.txt file -- along with examples of companies who have gotten creative with their files.

October 2016: It's scary how many ways SEO can go wrong

In search engine optimization, sometimes even small errors can have a large and costly impact. Columnist Patrick Stox shares his SEO horror stories so that you can be spared this fate.

September 2016: Fixing historical redirects using Wayback Machine APIs

Columnist Patrick Stox believes that fixing historical redirects is often an easy way to achieve some quick wins, and this column shows you how to do just that using the Wayback Machine CDX Server API.

August 2016: How to get the old Google Keyword Planner volume data

Search volume estimates from the Google Keyword Planner have been off recently due to close variants. Columnist Patrick Stox shows how to get this data back.

July 2016: SEO is as dirty as ever

Search engine optimization has built credibility over the years, but spammers and black-hat practitioners still give it a bad name. Columnist Patrick Stox shares his SEO horror stories.

June 2016: What is quality content?

Columnist Patrick Stox takes a comprehensive look at what Google might consider to be "quality content" and adds his own thoughts and tips based on his experience in the SEO industry.

May 2016: The true value of technical SEOs

While many view technical SEO as a simple matter of implementing best practices on a website, columnist Patrick Stox argues that the best practitioners are doing cutting-edge work that will shape the industry's future.

May 2016: Google PageRank as Part of One Big SEO Picture

Consider PageRank only one part of the bigger picture and start looking at other signals. If you are going to do a comparison using existing metrics, then compare apples to apples. Use the metrics as a guide but not an absolute truth. Use them to inform, but not make, your decisions.

April 2016: HTTP to HTTPS: An SEO's guide to securing a website

Despite the numerous benefits of switching to HTTPS, many SEOs and website owners have not done so. For those feeling intimidated by the prospect of switching to HTTPS, columnist Patrick Stox breaks down the process.

March 2016: Why real-time search algorithm updates may be bad news

With real-time algorithm updates becoming the norm in place of manual releases, what issues might arise? Columnist Patrick Stox examines some potential effects of faster algorithm updates.

February 2016: What is HTTP2 and How Will it Affect Your SEO?

HTTP/2 is a much needed refresh of the HTTP protocol that was based largely on Google's own SPDY protocol. The protocol brings with it vast improvements in communication between browsers and servers, reducing load times.

February 2016: Everything Should Not Be A Blog Post: Start Using Silos

Having trouble deciding how content should be organized on your website? Rather than put everything on your blog, columnist Patrick Stox recommends a silo structure.

January 2016: Not Another Post About The Future Of SEO In 2016

Don't get stuck in an SEO rut in 2016. Columnist Patrick Stox urges you to leap into the unknown and learn something new in order to understand the big picture.

December 2015: Dear Santa: An SEO Wish List

'Twas the day before Christmas, and here on the site, Patrick Stox reveals what SEOs want from Santa tonight!

November 2015: Why Everyone Should Be Moving To HTTP/2

A Google spokesperson recently revealed that GoogleBot will soon support HTTP/2. Columnist Patrick Stox explains what this is and what it means for SEOs.

October 2015: The Most Important Thing SEOs Overlook: Internal Links

Most search engine optimization practitioners are familiar with the benefits of internal linking, but columnist Patrick Stox insists that we should be working a little harder to maximize their value.

October 2015: The Problem With Google Analytics E-Commerce Tracking

Have you ever noticed that your Google Analytics data sometimes doesn't line up with your other data sources? Why is that and what can you do about it?

September 2015: Competitive Link Building Analysis For Your Industry

Contributor Patrick Stox argues that the death of link building has been greatly exaggerated and shares a process to analyze a given industry's links in advance of performing outreach.

August 2015: Checklist For Transitioning To A New Digital Agency

Do you have a client that's switching to you from another SEO agency or consultant? If so, columnist Patrick Stox has put together a handy checklist to make the transition as smooth as possible.

July 2015: Planting The Seeds For An Evergreen Content Strategy

Columnist Patrick Stox explains how to create an evergreen content strategy based on keyword insights to capture searchers at various points in the conversion funnel.

May 2015: Take Back Your Lost Links

Lost traffic after a website relaunch? Columnist Patrick Stox provides a handy guide on how to reclaim your lost links with redirects.

April 2015: Google Mobile Friendly Algorithm Coming April 21st, 2015

Are you ready for the Mobile Apocalypse or Mobilegeddon? If your website is not mobile-friendly, the impending Google algorithm update on April 21st might hit you hard! This is a serious update, and Google is serious about it.

January 2015: What is the Google Penguin Algorithm?

Google Penguin is the algorithm that Google made to target link spam. It was announced on April 24, 2012 and targets link schemes, automation tactics, and poor quality link building. Basically, anything meant to game the rankings of a site through links. Penguin is meant to catch tactics such as blog comment spam, directory spam, article spam, buying links, link networks, and many other methods that were used to quickly rank a website with low quality links or practices that violate Google Webmaster Guidelines.

January 2015: Blocking Spam Referral Traffic from Google Analytics

There is no one perfect method to get rid of the spam at this time. Because of the variety of different types of spam and the different methods being used, you may need a few different methods implemented and even then some spam is likely to get through. At least a hostname filter to take care of ghost referral spam coming through the Google Measurement Protocol and an exclude filter for crawler bot traffic. If you need to see your historical data with the spam filtered out, you can create a custom segment in Google Analytics.

December 2014: Leveraging Google Adwords to Convert Holiday Shoppers

With the holidays approaching, businesses are wondering how they can attract more shoppers. Shopping never sleeps: According to Google Inside AdWords, one third of all shopping searches on Google happen between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. How can businesses use Adwords to their advantage during the holidays?

October 2014: Managing a Company's Online Reputation

Most business owners fail to be proactive in managing their online reputation. It is only after disaster strikes and bad reviews or comments are affecting their revenue, that they are suddenly interested. Reputation management is not just for companies, but for people as well, and can be used to bury everything from drunken photos to medical information or even mugshots and arrest records.

August 2014: What Can Marketing Automation Do For You?

As marketers, we have access to a lot of information about website visitors and have the ability to get even more information about their behavior. The question is what do we do with all that data? The ultimate goal of marketing automation is to use that data to target the right user with the right message at the right time.

April 2014: SEO Audit: Why Design Doesn't Bring You Traffic

Over the years I have seen many great looking websites, even brand new websites that look great but end up costing the owner money because they don't bring the traffic or don't convert. A lot of times it's the same problems creeping up because of the CMS (Content Management System) chosen, that the designers and developers either don't have time to look for in the scope of the project or don't know to look for. Rarely is the expert in SEO and CRO the same person designing and developing a website, so the people trying to make your site look beautiful and the ones who would be driving business to your website are often different people.

Interesting Research Into SEO