In today’s interview, we had the opportunity to speak with Jonathan Epstein – CEO of Brewco
Jonathan Epstein has 25+ years of leadership experience as a CEO, CRO, CMO, head of channel, and head of international. Jonathan is an entrepreneur at heart and a strong operator in media, gaming, and technology organizations. He helps companies to build their value and revenues through better sales, positioning, and evangelization of their products.
Q1. Hey Mr. Jonathan Epstein, Tell Us About Your Role and Journey as a Chief Executive Officer at Brewco. What Made You Choose This Profession?
I have always gravitated towards roles that allow me to bring quantum leap technology-based changes in an interesting domain. Sometimes these are CEO roles, and I’ve also held other C-level roles overseeing sales, marketing, strategy, or operations. Another key element I look for is the opportunity to play in a global field.
The industries I’ve worked in and helped transform make up a pretty wide array. In my younger days, I was publisher of IDG’s Multimedia World magazine, which brought the at-that-time breakthrough benefits of CD-ROM and sound on the PC to both business and consumer users.
At GameSpot (sold to CNET), where I was the founding CEO, we transformed the way in which information was consumed about video games. Double Fusion was a leader in creating the new field of in-game advertising.
Hawkes Remotes (sold to Bluefin) pioneered a new type of remotely operated underwater vehicle for the oil and gas industries. Evolv.ai brought AI into the world of conversion rate optimization for the first time.
Brewco is a new company I formed with Market Brew (the developer of our technology) and some Australian business colleagues (and friends) of mine that run an AI marketing consultancy.
The opportunity was quite compelling — to build the worldwide market for a proven but under-marketed SaaS platform that uses AI to completely transform the speed at which enterprises and their agencies can benefit from SEO. The product is amazing and highly differentiated, the SEO industry is booming, and I get to work at the ground-floor stage with people I know, respect, and trust.
Q2. Would you like to tell your Unique Skill that you think you have as an Entrepreneur?
I’m not sure anyone has a unique skill! But I think what I’m most proud of is my ability to quickly immerse myself and become a key player in a new field. Whether that field was gesture recognition (Omek), computer vision (platform.ai), marine robotics (Hawkes and SmartCatch), or AI marketing technology (Evolv.ai and Brewco) I’ve been able to master the key concepts, learn how to tell the story, meet the movers and shakers, and develop the expertise and authority to become a keynote speaker within 3-6 months.
People also say I have a good sense of humor. And I have a high tolerance for long business travel in an economy which (at least before) was a key requirement for the international startup!
Q3. Would you like to Highlight, some of the Focus Points on how SEO can be Transformed using AI?
SEO has gotten progressively more difficult to master as Google continues to layer more algorithms into their rankings calculations, using AI of their own. For most SEOs, this has meant the best approach was to follow what is considered “best practices” — a checklist approach that you would apply to most sites to improve their rankings.
The problem is that this approach, while it works overtime, wastes a lot of time and cost on actions that, in fact, have no impact on rankings at all. Our platform uses AI to solve this problem, utilizing a form of genetic algorithms — particle swarm optimization — to machine learn multiple parameters in our built-in search engine until our SERP matches the real world SERP for a given keyword.
The resultant simulation when combined with data from a sophisticated crawling process that scores your website vs. ranking competitors can then point the way to those exact areas you should focus on, and by extension where you should not spend time or effort. The result is much faster rankings gain.
Market Brew also uses AI to better understand the semantic meanings and contexts of each page, which can be super helpful in making sure the intent of your page is exactly aligned with the intents of the searchers.
AI-built search engine models also have the benefit of letting you see into the future. Once you’ve made a set of changes to your site (whether for SEO, or perhaps for a site redesign) you can run the changed site against the model and get an accurate prediction of the impact your changes will make on your rankings for your top keywords.
This ability saves a lot of redesign grief and makes SEO much more data-driven and predictable, which CEOs and CFOs love. Also, this lens into the future works not just for your site but for your competitors as well, providing key warnings of future movements 2 months before you’d otherwise have them.
Finally, when you have a search engine model such as Market Brew creates, you can understand how close or far away you are from your competitors. You know where you are in the SERP, but are you close to leapfrogging the next guy, or are they very far away statistically? And, for that matter, how close is that site behind yours? This is really critical information for keyword strategy and understanding the work ahead.
Q4. What are some of the Top Search Engine Strategies that you’ve often followed throughout the years? Can you tell us what is Particle Swarm Optimization?
There really is no substitute for high-quality content, both for SEO and for your sales funnel in general. We’re working on modeling the E-A-T algorithms to augment our existing semantic analysis, as, like with any factor, sometimes it will matter more than others. But why not just do this right the first time?
And, if you’re just starting out, you’re going to need to establish domain authority through getting backlinks, whichever white hat way you choose to get these.
If you’re not optimizing your Internal link structuring to avoid “flat” websites and emphasize your key search landing pages then you are likely losing rank. Our clients have had tremendous results implementing his “old school” technique when indicated by the AI models. Market Brew provides a depth of analysis and recommended fixes for this area that’s not just available anywhere else.
Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is a branch of genetic algorithms (one of the major families of AI algorithms) that can rapidly develop optimal multivariate solutions to a given problem, without needing to be trained, as neural network algorithms do.
Conceptually, PSO is based around bird flocking behavior — how the individual birds and the flock as a whole reach a desired destination through awareness of both the global gradient (how the flock as a whole is moving) and the local gradient (how the nearest birds are moving).
Market Brew uses PSO to find that optimal mix of weights for the critical ranking factors — link flow, semantic factors, domain rank, and CWV, to name a few — which adapt the platform’s built-in search engine model so that the Market Brew SERP correlates with the real-world SERP.
This patented modeling approach is what drives the platform’s abilities to understand what matters — and what doesn’t — for winning for any keyword on any search engine.
Q5. A few Takeaways on the top Factors that every SEO Leader should keep in mind when they plan to Achieve Unattainable Organic Traffic.
It’s all statistics — everything that represents best practice in site design, content generation, backlinking, and the like are all inputs to the AI that is Google’s search engine. So, while following best practices when creating sites and site content is a good idea, the best way to optimize pages for ranking is, similarly, a statistical process.
It’s still a long game — Market Brew can compress the optimization cycles through greater efficiency (work only on what matters) and time-shifting (predict outcomes 2 months before they happen). These benefits give you a huge advantage over competitors without these capabilities. But that said, SEO is still an ongoing, iterative process.
AI needs to be part of your SEO toolkit — whether it’s through search engine modelings such as Market Brew provides, or schema modeling and content writing guidelines that other systems can offer — to beat Google’s AI, you’ll need to move down this path…or risk being justified behind.
Every search is different, and the same search is different between countries — what drives rankings in one market can be completely different than what drives rankings in another, and what drives rankings for one keyword can be completely different from your other keyword. That’s why best practices don’t yield the best results — you need to customize your approach to each search….which is impossible without AI (see the previous point!)
Q6. What is Next for you?
As a platform, we’re continually enhancing our capabilities across multiple areas. We continue to improve our AI modeling to provide even tighter correlations. We’re adding new types of semantic modeling including working on the algorithmic underpinnings of E-A-T.
We’ve just added CWV measurements as a ranking factor so as organic rankings start to reflect page- and site-level CWV measurements, we should be the first to understand exactly how CWV impacts different types of sites and markets. And, we’re always looking at better ways to visualize and present the huge body of information and recommendations our analyses generate.
As a business, we’re very focused on expanding the footprint of the platform through partnerships with key agencies and resellers across the world.
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