Tag Archive | "It’s"

It’s Live: Google Speed Update Now Rolling Out

This morning, July 9th, Google has begun rolling out the Google Speed Update that they first announced in January 2018. Google has updated their blog post this morning, as I wrote at Search Engine Land, “Update July 9…


Search Engine Roundtable

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It’s Worse Than You Think, Facebook Exposes Millions More Users to Cambridge Analytica Data Breach

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Facebook revealed that Cambridge Analytica was able to access personal data of up to 87 million users. The figure was shockingly higher than the previous estimate of 50 million.

The number was shared by the company’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, in a blog post. Schroepfer wrote that they “believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people – mostly in the US – may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.”

Last month the personal data of almost 50 million Facebook users were unethically shared with Cambridge Analytica, a data company that worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign.

The huge discrepancy between the new figures and initial estimates was surprising, although Facebook’s head Mark Zuckerberg tried to downplay it a bit, saying that he’s confident the final tally of affected users will be lower than 87 million.

Zuckerberg is expected to appear before Congress on April 11 to discuss how Facebook manages the personal data and privacy of its 2-billion strong social media platform. Facebook’s CEO was also invited to appear before a committee of the UK parliament but he declined and just sent a deputy.

Facebook also posted another blog post stating that it had found and deleted almost 300 additional Instagram and Facebook accounts and pages with ties to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a propaganda group working out of Russia.

Schroepfer’s blog post also confirmed several privacy updates, like the scrapping of phone numbers and email addresses being used to search for people on the social network. The company believes that due to “the scale and sophistication” of activities they’ve uncovered, the feature made it possible for information found on their public profile to be scrapped.

The blog also revealed that starting April 9, Facebook users will be able to check if their data was exposed to Cambridge Analytica. The disclosure on the data mining firm will reportedly appear at the top of users’ News Feed.

[Image via YouTube]

The post It's Worse Than You Think, Facebook Exposes Millions More Users to Cambridge Analytica Data Breach appeared first on WebProNews.


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Machine Learning and It’s Impact on Search

The terms machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) have been cropping up more often when it comes to organic and paid search. Now a recent report by Acquisio has confirmed just how effective machine learning for search results.

According to Acquisio, paid search accounts that have been optimised for machine learning have 71% higher conversion rates and have lower cost-per-click (CPC). But these were not the only benefits that accounts using machine learning enjoyed. The web marketing company also revealed these accounts were also able to reach their target spending levels and had lower churn rates.

The data implies that small marketing teams and CMOs now stand on an even playing field with more established companies now that ML is more affordable, effective and accessible to everyone.

This doesn’t mean that marketers should ignore organic search and original, value-laden content. Paid search might be the easiest way to rank high in search engines, particularly since AI will be doing the bulk of the work, developing campaigns that have greater odds of being seen by the right searchers at the proper time. However, organic search is more authentic and will last longer than paid searches.

The goal now is to understand how ML impacts the search system and how to take advantage of the technology’s evolution that made paid and organic searches more effective.

Paid vs Organic Search: Which Wins in the End?

There’s been an ongoing debate as to which is better – paid or organic searches. Interestingly, both have come out on top, but at different times and conditions. The results have depended on the type of research done and other outside factors. For instance, a study conducted in 2011 showed that organic search was more effective. However, paid search has outpaced its counterpart from 2013 onwards. But this appears to be due to the changes Google has made to its algorithm.

So which is better? Andy Taylor, the Associate Director of Research at Merkle, believes that flexibility is the best option. Instead of just sticking to one approach, companies should determine what search strategy is ideal for their business at the moment and the technology that’s currently available. After all, the ideal marketing strategy for your company now will probably change in a few months as customers change their expectations and technologies expand.

Machine Learning is Changing More Than Search

The rise of machine learning has also resulted in a shift to data-driven models instead of the conventional attribution models. This multi-touch attribution model (MTA) relies on an analytics scale that’s more descriptive and takes into account various touchpoint outputs, like ad interactions, ad creative, or exposure order. It also allows marketers to have a better understanding of how factors, like a distinct set of keywords and ad words, can affect a conversion.

But it’s not just search capacities that machine learning has an impact on. The technology is also being used to refine and make algorithm changes. It has been theorized that Google’s RankBrain utilizes machine learning to assess if the company has to revise its own rankings based on what the consumer searches for and whether the user was satisfied with the result.

Machine Learning Will Push for More Sophisticated Content

Because machine learning technology is developing more advanced SEM capacities and sophisticated algorithms, search engines are pushing marketers and content producers to deliver more refined content. This would eventually lead to search engines becoming more discerning to the quality of online content a company is putting out. This means producing high-quality content that particularly targets what the consumer is looking for becomes more vital than ever before.

Machine learning and AI are impacting every aspect of marketing. Companies should start understanding them and how to utilize ML-optimized tools effectively in their marketing campaigns.  

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WebProNews

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It’s Here: The Finalized MozCon 2017 Agenda

Posted by ronell-smith

That sound you hear is the coming together of MozCon 2017.

[You can hear that, right? It's not just me.]

With less than two months to go, most of the nuts and bolts of the event have been fastened together to create what looks to be one of the strongest MozCons in history. Yeah, that’s saying a lot, but once you’ve perused the speakers’ lineup, we’re sure you’ll agree.

MozCon has a rich tradition of bringing together the best and brightest minds in digital marketing, creating a place for individuals across the globe to learn from top-notch speakers, network, share ideas, and learn about the tools, services, and tactics they can put to use in their work and their business.

As a bonus, attendees also get to enjoy lots of snacks, coffee and lots and lots of bacon.

Also, this year we’ll offer pre-MozCon SEO workshops on Sunday, July 16. Keep reading for more info.

You will, however, need a ticket to attend the event, so you might want to take care of that sooner rather later, since it always sells out:

Buy my MozCon 2017 ticket!

Now for the meaty details you’ve been waiting for.

The MozCon 2017 Agenda

Monday


08:00–09:00am
Breakfast


Rand Fishkin

09:00–09:20am
Welcome to MozCon 2017

Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz
@randfish

Rand Fishkin is the founder and former CEO of Moz, co-author of a pair of books on SEO, and co-founder of Inbound.org. Rand’s an un-save-able addict of all things content, search, and social on the web.


lisa-myers-150x150-33348.jpg09:20–10:05am
How to Get Big Links

Lisa Myers, Verve Search
@LisaDMyers

Everyone wants links and coverage from sites such as New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the BBC, but very few achieve it. This is how we cracked it. Over and over.

Lisa is the founder and CEO of award-winning SEO agency Verve Search and founder of Womeninsearch.net. Feminist, mother of two, and modern-day shield maiden.


oli-gardner-150x150-47067.jpg

10:05–10:35am
Data-Driven Design

Oli Gardner, Unbounce
@oligardner

Data-Driven Design (3D) is an actionable, evidence-based framework for creating websites & landing pages that will increase your leads, sales, and customers. In this session you’ll learn how to use the latest industry conversion data to inform copywriting and design decisions that impact conversions. Additionally, I’ll share a new methodology for prioritizing your marketing optimization that will show you which pages are awesome (leave them alone), which pages aren’t (massive ROI potential here), and help you develop a common language that your teams of marketers, designers, and copywriters can use to work better together to collectively increase your conversion rates.

Oli, founder of Unbounce, is on a mission to rid the world of marketing mediocrity by using data-informed copywriting, design, interaction, and psychology to create a more delightful experience for marketers and customers alike.


10:35–11:05am
AM Break


11:10–11:30am
How to Write Customer-Driven Copy That Converts

Joel Klettke, Business Casual Copywriting & Case Study Buddy
@JoelKlettke

If you want to write copy that converts, you need to get into your customers’ heads. But how do you do that? How do you know which pain points you need to address, features customers care about, or benefits your audience needs to hear? Marketers are sick and tired of hearing “it depends.” I’ll give the audience a practical framework for writing customer-driven copy that any business can apply.

Joel is a freelance conversion copywriter and strategist for Business Casual Copywriting. He also owns and runs Case Study Buddy, a done-for-you case studies service.


11:30–11:50am
What We Learned From Reddit & How It Can Help Your Brand Take Content Marketing to the Next Level

Daniel Russell, Go Fish Digital
@dnlRussell

It almost seems too good to be true — online forums where people automatically segment themselves into different markets and demographics and then vote on what content they like best. These forums, including Reddit, are treasure troves of content ideas. I’ll share actionable insights from three case studies that demonstrate how your marketing can benefit from content on Reddit.

Daniel is a director at Go Fish Digital whose work has hit the front page of Reddit, earned the #1 spot on YouTube, and been featured in Entrepreneur, Inc., The Washington Post, WSJ, and Fast Company.


11:50am–12:10pm
How to Build an SEO-Intent-Based Framework for Any Business

Kathryn Cunningham, Adept Marketing
@kac4509

Everyone knows intent behind the search matters. In e-commerce, intent is somewhat easy to see. B2B, or better yet healthcare, isn’t quite as easy. Matching persona intent to keywords requires a bit more thought. I will cover how to find intent modifiers during keyword research, how to organize those modifiers into the search funnel, and how to quickly find unique universal results at different levels of the search funnel to utilize.

Kathryn is an SEO consultant for Adept Marketing, although to many of her office mates she is known as the Excel nerd.


12:10–01:40pm
Lunch


ian-lurie-150x150-40285.jpg01:45–02:30pm
Size Doesn’t Matter: Great Content by Teams of One

Ian Lurie, Portent, Inc.
@portentint

Feel the energy surge through your veins as you gain content creation powers THE LIKES OF WHICH YOU HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED… Or, just learn a process for creating great content when it’s just you and your little teeny team. Because size doesn’t matter.

Ian Lurie is founder, CEO, and nerdiest marketing nerd at Portent, a digital marketing agency he started in the Cretaceous era, aka 1995. Ian’s meandering career includes marketing copywriting, expert dungeon master, bike messenger-ing, and office temp worker.


justine-jordan-150x150-39303.jpg

02:30–03:00pm
The Tie That Binds: Why Email is Key to Maximizing Marketing ROI

Justine Jordan, Litmus
@meladorri

If nailing the omnichannel experience (whatever that means!) is key to getting more traffic and converting more leads, what happens if we have our channel priorities out of order? Justine will show you how email — far from being an old-school afterthought — is core to hitting marketing goals, building lifetime value, and making customers happy.

Justine is obsessed with helping marketers create, test, and send better email. Named 2015 Email Marketer Thought Leader of the Year, she is strangely passionate about email marketing, hates being called a spammer, and still gets nervous when pressing send.


03:00–03:30pm
PM Break


purna-virji-150x150-46694.jpg03:35–04:05pm
Marketing in a Conversational World: How to Get Discovered, Delight Your Customers and Earn the Conversion

Purna Virji, Microsoft
@purnavirji

Capturing and keeping attention is one of the hardest parts of our job today. Fact: It’s just going to get harder with the advent of new technology and conversational interfaces. In the brave new world we’re stepping into, the key questions are: How do we get discovered? How can we delight our audiences? And how can we grow revenue for our clients? Come to this session to learn how to make your marketing and advertising efforts something people are going to want to consume.

Named by PPC Hero as the #1 most influential PPC expert in the world, Purna specializes in SEM, SEO, and future search trends. She is a popular global keynote speaker and columnist, an avid traveler, aspiring top chef, and amateur knitter.


phil-nottingham-150x150-38081.jpg04:05–04:50pm
Thinking Smaller: Optimizing for the New Wave of Social Video Platforms

Phil Nottingham, Wistia
@philnottingham

SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope… the list goes on. All social networks are now video platforms, but it’s hard to know where to invest. In this session, Phil will be giving you all the tips and tricks for what to make, how to get your content in front of the right audiences, and how get the most value from the investment you’re making in social video.

Phil Nottingham is a strategist who believes in the power of creative video content to improve the way companies speak to their customers, and regularly speaks around the world about video strategy, SEO, and technical marketing.


07:00–10:00pm
Monday Night #MozCrawl

The Monday night pub crawl is back.

For the uninitiated, “pub crawl” is not meant to convey what you do after a night of drinking.

Rather, during the MozCon pub crawl, attendees visit some of the best bars in Seattle.

(Each stop is sponsored by a trusted partner; You’ll need to bring your MozCon badge for free drinks and light appetizers. You’ll also need your US ID or passport.)

More deets to follow.


Tuesday


08:00–09:00am
Breakfast


wil-reynolds-150x150-33027.jpg

09:05–09:50am
I’d Rather Be Thanked Than Ranked

Wil Reynolds, Seer Interactive
@wilreynolds

Ego and assumptions led me to chose the wrong keywords for my own site — yeah, me, Wil Reynolds, Mr. RCS. How did I spend three years optimizing my site and building links to finally crack the top three for six critical keywords, only to find out that I wasted all that time? However, in spite of targeting the wrong words, Seer grew the business. In this presentation, I’ll show you the mistakes I made and share with you to approaches that can help you to build content that gets you thanked.

A former teacher with a knack for advising, he’s been helping Fortune 500 companies develop SEO strategies since 1999. Today, Seer is home to over 100 employees across Philadelphia and San Diego.


rob-bucci-150x150-39132.jpg

09:50–10:35 am
Reverse-Engineer Google’s Research to Serve Up the Best, Most Relevant Content for Your Audience

Rob Bucci, STAT Search Analytics
@STATrob

The SERP is the front-end to Google’s multi-billion dollar consumer research machine. They know what searchers want. In this data-heavy talk, Rob will teach you how to uncover what Google already knows about what web searchers are looking for. Using this knowledge, you can deliver the right content to the right searchers at the right time, every time.

Rob loves the challenge of staying ahead of the changes Google makes to their SERPs. When not working, you can usually find him hiking up a mountain, falling down a ski slope, or splashing around in the ocean.


10:35–11:05am
AM Break


11:10–11:15am
MozCon Ignite Preview


11:15–11:35am
More Than SEO: 3 Ways To Prove UX Matters Too

Matthew Edgar, Elementive
@MatthewEdgarCO

Great SEO is increasingly dependent on having a website with a great user experience. To make your user experience great requires carefully tracking what people do so that you always know where to improve. But what do you track? In this 15-minute talk, I’ll cover three effective and advanced ways to use event tracking in Google Analytics to understand a website’s user

Matthew is a web analytics and technical marketing consultant at Elementive.


11:35–11:55am
A Site Migration: Redirects, Resources, & Reflection

Jayna Grassel, Dick’s Sporting Goods
@jaynagrassel

Site. Migration. No two words elicit more fear, joy, or excitement to a digital marketer. When the idea was shared three years ago, the company was excited. They dreamed of new features and efficiency. But as SEOs, we knew better. We knew there would be midnight strategy sessions with IT. More UAT environments than we could track. Deadlines, requirements, and compromises forged through hallway chats. …The result was a stable transition with minimal dips in traffic. What we didn’t know, however, was the amount of cross-functional coordination that was required to pull it off.

Jayna is the SEO manager at Dick’s Sporting Goods and is the unofficial world’s second-fastest crocheter.


11:55am–12:15pm
The 8 Paid Promotion Tactics That Will Get You To Quit Organic Traffic

Kane Jamison, Content Harmony
@kanejamison

Digital marketers are ignoring huge opportunities to promote their content through paid channels, and I want to give them the tools to get started. How many brands out there are spending $ 500+ on a blog post, then moving on to the next one before that post has been seen by 500 people, or even 50? For some reason, everyone thinks about Outbrain and native ads when we talk about paid content distribution, but the real opportunity is in highly targeted paid social.

Kane is the founder of Content Harmony, a content marketing agency based here in Seattle. The Content Harmony team specializes in full funnel content marketing and content promotion.


12:15–01:45pm
Lunch


tara-nicholle-nelson-150x150-39664.jpg

01:50–02:20pm

How to Be a Happy Marketer: Survive the Content Crisis and Drive Results by Mastering Your Customer’s Transformational Journey

Tara-Nicholle Nelson, Transformational Consumer Insights
@taranicholle

Branded content is way up, but customer engagement with that content is plummeting. This whole scene makes it hard to get up in the morning, as a marketer. But there’s a new path beyond the epidemic of disengagement and, at the end of it, your brand and your content become regular stops along your customer’s everyday journey.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is the CEO of Transformational Consumer Insights, the former VP of Marketing for MyFitnessPal, and author of the Transformational Consumer.


matthew-barby-150x150-37740.jpg

02:20–02:50pm
Up and to the Right: Growing Traffic, Conversions, & Revenue

Matthew Barby, HubSpot
@matthewbarby

So many of the case studies that document how a company has grown from 0 to X forget to mention that solutions that they found are applicable to their specific scenario and won’t work for everyone. This falls into the dangerous category of bad advice for generic problems. Instead of building up a list of other companies’ tactics, marketers need to understand how to diagnose and solve problems across their entire funnel. Illustrated with real-world examples, I’ll be talking you through the process that I take to come up with ideas that none of my competitors are thinking of.

Matt, who heads up user acquisition at HubSpot, is an award-winning blogger, startup advisor, and a lecturer.


joanna-lord-150x150-66788.jpg

02:50–03:20pm
How to Operationalize Growth for Maximum Revenue

Joanna Lord, ClassPass
@JoannaLord

Joanna will walk through tactical ways to organize your team, build system foundations, and create processes that fuel growth across the company. You’ll hear how to coordinate with product, engineering, CX, and sales to ensure you’re maximizing your opportunity to acquire, retain, and monetize your customers.

Joanna is the CMO of ClassPass, the world’s leading fitness membership. Prior to that she was VP of Marketing at Porch and CMO of BigDoor. She is a global keynote and digital evangelist. Joanna is a recognized thought leader in digital marketing and a startup mentor.


03:20–03:50pm
PM Break


03:55–04:25pm
Analytics to Drive Optimization & Personalization

Krista Seiden, Google
@kristaseiden

Getting the most out of your optimization efforts means understanding the data you’re collecting, from analytics implementation, to report setup, to analysis techniques. In this session, Krista walks you through several tips for using analytics data to empower your optimization efforts, and then takes it further to show you how to up-level your efforts to take advantage of personalization from mass scale all the way down to individual user actions.

Krista Seiden is the Analytics Advocate for Google, advocating for all things data, web, mobile, optimization, and more. Keynote speaker, practitioner, writer on Analytics and Optimization, and passionate supporter of #WomenInAnalytics.


dr-pete-meyers-150x150-40534.jpg

04:25–05:10pm
Facing the Future: 5 Simple Tactics for 5 Scary Changes

Dr. Pete Meyers, Moz
@dr_pete

We’ve seen big changes to SEO recently, from an explosion in SERP features to RankBrain to voice search. These fundamental changes to organic search marketing can be daunting, and it’s hard to know where to get started. Dr. Pete will walk you through five big changes and five tactics for coping with those changes today.

Dr. Peter J. Meyers (aka “Dr. Pete”) is Marketing Scientist for Seattle-based Moz, where he works with the marketing and data science teams on product research and data-driven content.


07:00–10:00pm
MozCon Ignite

Join us for an evening of networking and passion-talks. Laugh, cheer, and be inspired as your peers share their 5-minute talks about their hobbies, passion projects, and life lessons.

Be sure to bring your MozCon badge.


Wednesday


09:00–10:00am
Breakfast


cindy-krum-150x150-58917.jpg10:05–10:50am
The Truth About Mobile-First Indexing

Cindy Krum, MobileMoxie, LLC
@suzzicks

Mobile-first design has been a best practice for a while, and Google is finally about to support it with mobile-first indexing. But mobile-first design and mobile-first indexing are not the same thing. Mobile-first indexing is about cross-device accessibility of information, to help integrate digital assistants and web-enabled devices that don’t even have browsers to achieve Google’s larger goals. Learn how mobile-first indexing will give digital marketers their first real swing at influencing Google’s new AI (Artificial Intelligence) landscape. Marketers who embrace an accurate understanding of mobile-first indexing could see a huge first-mover advantage, similar to the early days of the web, and we all need to be prepared.

Cindy, the CEO and Founder of MobileMoxie, LLC, is the author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are. She brings fresh and creative ideas to her clients, and regularly speaks at US and international digital marketing events.


tara-reed-150x150-45070.jpg

10:50–11:20am
Powerful Brands Have Communities

Tara Reed, Apps Without Code
@TaraReed_

You are laser-focused on user growth. Meanwhile, you’re neglecting a gold mine of existing customers who desperately want to be part of your brand’s community. Tara Reed shares how to use communities, gamification, and membership content to grow your revenue.

Tara Reed is a tech entrepreneur & marketer. After running marketing initiatives at Google, Foursquare, & Microsoft, Tara branched out to launch her own apps & startups. Today, Tara helps people implement cutting-edge marketing into their businesses.


11:20–11:50am
AM Break


11:55–12:25am

From Anchor to Asset: How Agencies Can Wisely Create Data-Driven Content

Heather Physioc, VML
@HeatherPhysioc

Creative agencies are complicated and messy, often embracing chaos instead of process, and focusing exclusively on one-time campaign creative instead of continuous web content creation. Campaign creative can be costly, and not sustainable for most large brands. How can creative shops produce data-driven streams of high-quality content for the web that stays true to its creative roots — but faster, cheaper, and continuously? I’ll show you how.

Heather is director of Organic Search at global digital ad agency VML, which performs search engine optimization services for multinational brands like Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Electrolux/Frigidaire, Bridgestone, EXPRESS, and Wendy’s.


britney-muller-150x150-45570.jpg12:25–12:55pm
5 Secrets: How to Execute Lean SEO to Increase Qualified Leads

Britney Muller, Moz
@BritneyMuller

I invite you to steal some of the ideas I’ve gleaned from managing SEO for the behemoth bad-ass Moz.com. Learn what it takes to move the needle on qualified leads, execute quick wins, and keep your head above water. I’ll go over my biggest Moz.com successes, failures, tests, and lessons.

Britney is a Minnesota native who moved to Colorado to fulfill a dream of being a snowboard bum! After 50+ days on the mountain her first season, she got stir-crazy and taught herself how to program, then found her way into SEO while writing for a local realtor.


12:55–02:25pm
Lunch


stephanie-chang-150x150-5456.jpg02:30–03:15pm
SEO Experimentation for Big-Time Results

Stephanie Chang, Etsy
@@stephpchang

One of the biggest business hurdles any brand faces is how to prioritize and validate SEO recommendations. This presentation describes an SEO experimentation framework you can use to effectively test how changes made to your pages affect SEO performance.

Stephanie currently leads the Global Acquisition & Retention Marketing teams at Etsy. Previously, she was a Senior Consultant at Distilled.


dawn-anderson-150x150-8516.jpg03:15–03:45pm
Winning Value Propositions for Crawlers and Consumers

Dawn Anderson, Move It Marketing/Manchester Metropolitan University
@dawnieando

In an evolving mobile-first web, we can utilize preempting solutions to create winning value propositions, which are designed to attract and satisfy search engine crawlers and keep consumers happy. I’ll outline a strategy and share tactics that help ensure increased organic reach, in addition to highlighting smart ways to view data, intent, consumer choice theory, and crawl optimization.

Dawn Anderson is an International and Technical SEO Consultant, Director of Move It Marketing, and a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.


03:45–04:15pm
PM Break


04:20–05:05pm
rand-fishkin-150x150-32915.jpgInside the Googling Mind: An SEO’s Guide to Winning Clicks, Hearts, & Rankings in the Years Ahead

Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz, doer of SEO, feminist
@randfish

Searcher behavior, intent, and satisfaction are on the verge of overtaking classic SEO inputs (keywords, links, on-page, etc). In this presentation, Rand will examine the shift that behavioral signals have caused, and list the step-by-step process to build a strategy that can thrive long-term in Google’s new reality.

Rand Fishkin is the founder and former CEO of Moz, co-author of a pair of books on SEO, and co-founder of Inbound.org. Rand’s an un-save-able addict of all things content, search, and social on the web.


07:00–11:30pm
MozCon Bash

Join us at Garage Billiards for an evening of networking, billiards, bowling, and karaoke with MozCon friends new and old. Don’t forget to bring your MozCon badge and US ID or passport.


Additional Pre-MozCon Sunday Workshops


12:30pm–5:05pm
SEO Intensive

Offered as 75-minute sessions, the five workshops will be taught by Mozzers Rand Fishkin, Britney Muller, Brian Childs, Russ Jones, and Dr. Pete. Topics include The 10 Jobs of SEO-focused Content, Keyword Targeting for RankBrain and Beyond, and Risk-Averse Link Building at Scale, among others.

These workshops are separate from MozCon; you’ll need a ticket to attend them.


Amped up for a talk or ten? Curious about new methods? Excited to learn? Get your ticket before they sell out:

Snag my ticket to MozCon 2017!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Moz Blog

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Google On AMP Adoption Rate: No Numbers To Share, But Likes Where It’s Heading

This morning, Google added AMP error reports to the Google Search Console and Google is heavily pushing AMP onto Google News publishers (yes, I am making an effort to test it here…


Search Engine Roundtable

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Why We Can’t Do Keyword Research Like It’s 2010 – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Keyword Research is a very different field than it was just five years ago, and if we don’t keep up with the times we might end up doing more harm than good. From the research itself to the selection and targeting process, in today’s Whiteboard Friday Rand explains what has changed and what we all need to do to conduct effective keyword research today.

Why We Can't Do Keyword Research Like It's 2010 Whiteboard

For reference, here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard. Click on it to open a high resolution image in a new tab!

What do we need to change to keep up with the changing world of keyword research?

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat a little bit about keyword research, why it’s changed from the last five, six years and what we need to do differently now that things have changed. So I want to talk about changing up not just the research but also the selection and targeting process.

There are three big areas that I’ll cover here. There’s lots more in-depth stuff, but I think we should start with these three.

1) The Adwords keyword tool hides data!

This is where almost all of us in the SEO world start and oftentimes end with our keyword research. We go to AdWords Keyword Tool, what used to be the external keyword tool and now is inside AdWords Ad Planner. We go inside that tool, and we look at the volume that’s reported and we sort of record that as, well, it’s not good, but it’s the best we’re going to do.

However, I think there are a few things to consider here. First off, that tool is hiding data. What I mean by that is not that they’re not telling the truth, but they’re not telling the whole truth. They’re not telling nothing but the truth, because those rounded off numbers that you always see, you know that those are inaccurate. Anytime you’ve bought keywords, you’ve seen that the impression count never matches the count that you see in the AdWords tool. It’s not usually massively off, but it’s often off by a good degree, and the only thing it’s great for is telling relative volume from one from another.

But because AdWords hides data essentially by saying like, “Hey, you’re going to type in . . .” Let’s say I’m going to type in “college tuition,” and Google knows that a lot of people search for how to reduce college tuition, but that doesn’t come up in the suggestions because it’s not a commercial term, or they don’t think that an advertiser who bids on that is going to do particularly well and so they don’t show it in there. I’m giving an example. They might indeed show that one.

But because that data is hidden, we need to go deeper. We need to go beyond and look at things like Google Suggest and related searches, which are down at the bottom. We need to start conducting customer interviews and staff interviews, which hopefully has always been part of your brainstorming process but really needs to be now. Then you can apply that to AdWords. You can apply that to suggest and related.

The beautiful thing is once you get these tools from places like visiting forums or communities, discussion boards and seeing what terms and phrases people are using, you can collect all this stuff up, plug it back into AdWords, and now they will tell you how much volume they’ve got. So you take that how to lower college tuition term, you plug it into AdWords, they will show you a number, a non-zero number. They were just hiding it in the suggestions because they thought, “Hey, you probably don’t want to bid on that. That won’t bring you a good ROI.” So you’ve got to be careful with that, especially when it comes to SEO kinds of keyword research.

2) Building separate pages for each term or phrase doesn’t make sense

It used to be the case that we built separate pages for every single term and phrase that was in there, because we wanted to have the maximum keyword targeting that we could. So it didn’t matter to us that college scholarship and university scholarships were essentially people looking for exactly the same thing, just using different terminology. We would make one page for one and one page for the other. That’s not the case anymore.

Today, we need to group by the same searcher intent. If two searchers are searching for two different terms or phrases but both of them have exactly the same intent, they want the same information, they’re looking for the same answers, their query is going to be resolved by the same content, we want one page to serve those, and that’s changed up a little bit of how we’ve done keyword research and how we do selection and targeting as well.

3) Build your keyword consideration and prioritization spreadsheet with the right metrics

Everybody’s got an Excel version of this, because I think there’s just no awesome tool out there that everyone loves yet that kind of solves this problem for us, and Excel is very, very flexible. So we go into Excel, we put in our keyword, the volume, and then a lot of times we almost stop there. We did keyword volume and then like value to the business and then we prioritize.

What are all these new columns you’re showing me, Rand? Well, here I think is how sophisticated, modern SEOs that I’m seeing in the more advanced agencies, the more advanced in-house practitioners, this is what I’m seeing them add to the keyword process.

Difficulty

A lot of folks have done this, but difficulty helps us say, “Hey, this has a lot of volume, but it’s going to be tremendously hard to rank.”

The difficulty score that Moz uses and attempts to calculate is a weighted average of the top 10 domain authorities. It also uses page authority, so it’s kind of a weighted stack out of the two. If you’re seeing very, very challenging pages, very challenging domains to get in there, it’s going to be super hard to rank against them. The difficulty is high. For all of these ones it’s going to be high because college and university terms are just incredibly lucrative.

That difficulty can help bias you against chasing after terms and phrases for which you are very unlikely to rank for at least early on. If you feel like, “Hey, I already have a powerful domain. I can rank for everything I want. I am the thousand pound gorilla in my space,” great. Go after the difficulty of your choice, but this helps prioritize.

Opportunity

This is actually very rarely used, but I think sophisticated marketers are using it extremely intelligently. Essentially what they’re saying is, “Hey, if you look at a set of search results, sometimes there are two or three ads at the top instead of just the ones on the sidebar, and that’s biasing some of the click-through rate curve.” Sometimes there’s an instant answer or a Knowledge Graph or a news box or images or video, or all these kinds of things that search results can be marked up with, that are not just the classic 10 web results. Unfortunately, if you’re building a spreadsheet like this and treating every single search result like it’s just 10 blue links, well you’re going to lose out. You’re missing the potential opportunity and the opportunity cost that comes with ads at the top or all of these kinds of features that will bias the click-through rate curve.

So what I’ve seen some really smart marketers do is essentially build some kind of a framework to say, “Hey, you know what? When we see that there’s a top ad and an instant answer, we’re saying the opportunity if I was ranking number 1 is not 10 out of 10. I don’t expect to get whatever the average traffic for the number 1 position is. I expect to get something considerably less than that. Maybe something around 60% of that, because of this instant answer and these top ads.” So I’m going to mark this opportunity as a 6 out of 10.

There are 2 top ads here, so I’m giving this a 7 out of 10. This has two top ads and then it has a news block below the first position. So again, I’m going to reduce that click-through rate. I think that’s going down to a 6 out of 10.

You can get more and less scientific and specific with this. Click-through rate curves are imperfect by nature because we truly can’t measure exactly how those things change. However, I think smart marketers can make some good assumptions from general click-through rate data, which there are several resources out there on that to build a model like this and then include it in their keyword research.

This does mean that you have to run a query for every keyword you’re thinking about, but you should be doing that anyway. You want to get a good look at who’s ranking in those search results and what kind of content they’re building . If you’re running a keyword difficulty tool, you are already getting something like that.

Business value

This is a classic one. Business value is essentially saying, “What’s it worth to us if visitors come through with this search term?” You can get that from bidding through AdWords. That’s the most sort of scientific, mathematically sound way to get it. Then, of course, you can also get it through your own intuition. It’s better to start with your intuition than nothing if you don’t already have AdWords data or you haven’t started bidding, and then you can refine your sort of estimate over time as you see search visitors visit the pages that are ranking, as you potentially buy those ads, and those kinds of things.

You can get more sophisticated around this. I think a 10 point scale is just fine. You could also use a one, two, or three there, that’s also fine.

Requirements or Options

Then I don’t exactly know what to call this column. I can’t remember the person who’ve showed me theirs that had it in there. I think they called it Optional Data or Additional SERPs Data, but I’m going to call it Requirements or Options. Requirements because this is essentially saying, “Hey, if I want to rank in these search results, am I seeing that the top two or three are all video? Oh, they’re all video. They’re all coming from YouTube. If I want to be in there, I’ve got to be video.”

Or something like, “Hey, I’m seeing that most of the top results have been produced or updated in the last six months. Google appears to be biasing to very fresh information here.” So, for example, if I were searching for “university scholarships Cambridge 2015,” well, guess what? Google probably wants to bias to show results that have been either from the official page on Cambridge’s website or articles from this year about getting into that university and the scholarships that are available or offered. I saw those in two of these search results, both the college and university scholarships had a significant number of the SERPs where a fresh bump appeared to be required. You can see that a lot because the date will be shown ahead of the description, and the date will be very fresh, sometime in the last six months or a year.

Prioritization

Then finally I can build my prioritization. So based on all the data I had here, I essentially said, “Hey, you know what? These are not 1 and 2. This is actually 1A and 1B, because these are the same concepts. I’m going to build a single page to target both of those keyword phrases.” I think that makes good sense. Someone who is looking for college scholarships, university scholarships, same intent.

I am giving it a slight prioritization, 1A versus 1B, and the reason I do this is because I always have one keyword phrase that I’m leaning on a little more heavily. Because Google isn’t perfect around this, the search results will be a little different. I want to bias to one versus the other. In this case, my title tag, since I more targeting university over college, I might say something like college and university scholarships so that university and scholarships are nicely together, near the front of the title, that kind of thing. Then 1B, 2, 3.

This is kind of the way that modern SEOs are building a more sophisticated process with better data, more inclusive data that helps them select the right kinds of keywords and prioritize to the right ones. I’m sure you guys have built some awesome stuff. The Moz community is filled with very advanced marketers, probably plenty of you who’ve done even more than this.

I look forward to hearing from you in the comments. I would love to chat more about this topic, and we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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It’s Time to Treat Content as Part of the User Experience

Posted by wrttnwrd

Forget content marketing, SEO content, and whatever else as you know them. We need to fundamentally change our approach to content.
It’s not an add-on or a separate thing. It’s an inseparable part of the user experience. Let’s act that way.

Content: the silent epidemic

Your site’s infested.

Most organizations treat content like some kind of horrific disease. They try to shove it as far away as possible from the “real” web site, like a bad case of body lice.

Where do they put it? The blog, of course:

content-its-not-just-for-blogs.png

Don’t worry, this isn’t another put-the-blog-on-the-site-dammit rant. Hopefully, you already understand that
blog.site.com isn’t as good as site.com/blog.

They also incorrectly define “content.” Content isn’t “stuff we write to rank higher” or “infographics” or “longform articles.”

Content is anything that communicates a message to the audience.
Anything.

Product descriptions? Content.

The company story? Content.

Images? Content.

That video of your company picnic that someone posted to your site three years ago and shows everyone dressed as Muppets? Content.

If it says something, shows something, or otherwise communicates, it’s content.

Change your approach

We all need to change our entire approach to content. Treat it as part of the user experience, instead of a nasty skin disease:

  1. Integrate content that can enhance the user experience
  2. Optimize what you already have

Integrate content that can enhance the user experience

Interlink and integrate related information. That includes connecting promotional to informational and showing related visuals and text on promotional pages.

“Promotional” means product descriptions or anything else that “sells” an idea or makes a call to action to the visitor.

Companies are terrified of this. They believe it’ll send customers away. But it doesn’t happen.

I have never seen revenue drop because of interlinking or other integration. I
have seen it generate long-term customer relationships, increase referrals and increase near-term conversions.

Link to the blog

If nothing else,
link to relevant blog posts. People intent on making a purchase aren’t going to click away never to return. Check out how Surly Bikes does it:

moz_content_4.jpg

(By the way, that bike’s a steal at $ 2,700, if anyone’s trying to figure out what to get me for Hanukkah this year.)

Linking to a relevant post allows really interested visitors to drill down an additional layer of detail. They can get impressions, learn why one product might be better for them than another, and maybe even (gasp) realize that the folks behind the product are just like them.

Embed related social content

Urban Outfitters does so much right. They have an amazing 
Instagram account:

But, for some reason, they don’t link to it from product pages.

It’s OK. I’m not cool enough for their stuff anyway. But why hide all those attractive people using their products? That’ll encourage all sorts of purchasers.

Also, link to related social content right from your product pages. Ideally, you want to embed examples right in the page. At the very least, link prominently to the relevant account (but seriously, embed the examples).

Here’s another example. I’m definitely a Democrat, but I have to offer a tip to the other side of the aisle here: If you have someone with decent YouTube videos, include ‘em. Representative DeSantis has an entire YouTube channel. Why not show a few videos here?

moz_content_9.jpg

If you want to see someone do it right, have a look at
top10.com. They’re pulling Instagram images straight into their hotel information.

You can do this with any social platform that lets you: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, etc. So what’s stopping you?

Optimize what you already have

Your site is already stuffed with content.

You might deny it. But it’s true.

So why not optimize what you’ve got?

Write decent descriptions

Whatever you’re selling/promoting, write a decent description. That includes category pages. I’m not sure what to say about the following top-of-category page “description,” so I’ll go with hysterical, bitter laughter:

moz_content_12.png

By the way, for those who think this kind of content is a great SEO tactic, this site’s on page 2 for “jeans.”

I’m not thrilled with this one, as it’s buried at the bottom of the category page and a little keyword stuffed, but compared to the previous, it’s a shining light in the darkness:

moz_content_13.png

That site ranks #3 for “jeans.”

Even if you care only about rankings, better descriptions are a better strategy.

At this time, the #1 site for “jeans” has a description buried at the bottom of their category page that’s so awful I cried. I’ll dig into that another time, but I doubt that travesty is helping them much, and more importantly, it sure doesn’t make me want to buy anything.

Don’t be ashamed

Your content is not a zit. Show it proudly. I like the way Juicy Couture does it. I can actually read the product description:

moz_content_10.jpg

This, on the other hand, makes me think I need bifocals.

moz_content_11.png

That’s actual size, by the way.

Follow the same rules of typography you would anywhere else. Make sure your type is high-contrast and readable. Put it somewhere that I’ll actually see it. At the very least, don’t hide it, for heaven’s sake.

Guide me when I’m lost

Please don’t redirect me to a category page without any explanation. I’m not bashing a pinata.

Blindfolding me, spinning me around 8 times and then sending me on my way is not entertaining. It’s annoying as hell.

If I search for a product you no longer sell, and click the description:

moz_content_5.png

  1. Show me the product page with a “Sorry, this product is no longer available. But you might like…” and send me along
  2. Or show me a note explaining what just happened

Urban Outfitters does it right:

moz_content_7.jpg

Nice!

You might be thinking, “Hey, that’s not content!”

Yeah, it is. When content disappears, send me to stuff you’ve got. Content UX 101.

Oh, and that technology thing…

One last step: You need to enable all of this through technology. You have to be able to do all the stuff I listed above. That requires the right tools.

This is the source of teeth-grinding frustration for many content folks. If you can’t edit the site, you can’t do any of this stuff, right? Weellll yes and no. Here are things I’ve tried, and the result:

  1. Screaming. Generally a turn-off. Never gets the desired result.
  2. Demanding. See screaming.
  3. Asking, with a justification. Ask for the features you need, explaining why and how they might help. If you can, show competitors who are doing the same thing. This can take…. a….. long……. time. But it works.
  4. Getting small wins. Can’t add a new page? Edit a product description. Can’t add a new chunk of content to a product page? Add a little bit to the existing description, or edit it as desired. This one works pretty well, but keep asking for the other features, or you’ll never make progress.
  5. Move off the site. You can set up a separate blog, social media account, whatever. I usually punch myself in the spleen right about then, but this can get results, especially for a big brand. Record the results and use that to advocate for more. Best if used in tandem with #3. Runs directly counter to half this article, but what’re you gonna do?

I’m sorry I don’t have an easier solution here. Just remember you’re not the only person asking the IT team for stuff, or telling your boss you’re being prevented from doing a good job, and proceed accordingly.

If you are the boss or IT team, and you’re reading this, please: Don’t sacrifice content or shove it off the site. Listen to your marketers. They want to succeed. “Helped triple revenue” looks a lot better on a resume than “Proposed worthless ideas.” So they’ve got significant incentive.

OK, but is this legit?

I have to admit, I don’t have data on all of this. Know what? Not all marketing is data-driven. But look at some real-life examples of user experience optimization through content:

In the “real world,” the
environment is the content:

  • Starbucks doesn’t just operate a bunch of walk-in, walk-out coffee shops. They provide music, comfy chairs and nice people. An experience. Not a transaction.
  • New car dealers have completely transformed from big lots with cheesy pitches to mini-museums.
  • Airlines attempt to sell an experience. Some do it better than others. And it’s not about money. “Low fare” airlines like Southwest have been particularly successful.

Online, features and… well, content are the content.

  • Amazon feels like a purely transactional site at first. But in-depth reviews, editors’ comments, lists of recently-viewed items and other gadgetry transform the site.
  • Woot.com lives and breathes cool content. It’s their brand, and it’s an intimate part of the user experience.
  • And check out Surly, as I said above.

These brands all do pretty well, yes? Good content UX sure doesn’t hurt.

Another example: We worked with a major fashion brand. We got them thinking about the content user experience. They integrated, and optimized their product descriptions. Our technical recommendations had to wait for release cycles. It didn’t matter. They immediately hit number one for the most competitive phrases in their industry. Coincidence?
I think not. So, even if rankings are your only goal, content UX is a powerful tool.

Get to work

Practice user experience optimization through content. By “optimization,” I don’t mean “stuffing in keywords until readers want to puke.” I mean “optimal combination of promotional and informational content.”

Content optimization drives interest, engagement and yes, rankings. It also takes visitors from transactional to loyal.

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Facebook Hashtags: Why It’s Too Early to Declare Failure

Simply Measured released findings of a Facebook study that mentioned the adoption rate of hashtags by Top 100 brands was strong, but that hashtags weren’t yet bringing additional engagement. Dramatic reactions on the web ensued.
Search Engine Watch – Latest

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It’s Search Marketing, not Search Listing, *&^&$%^!

Posted by Yoast

I gave a talk this week at SEO Day in Cologne, Germany, about optimizing for clicks, not just rankings. The premise of my talk was: SEOs tend to think their job is done when they’ve got their top 3 / top 5 listing, when in fact you’re only half way when you’ve reached that.

For those interested, you can see my slides here:


It annoys me that we talk about rich snippets this much, and 90% of the implementations of rich snippets are reviews and ratings, and most of them are, excusez le mot, shit, at best. You’ve probably seen your own share of listings where there are 5 or 6 ratings in a search result, all 4 or 5 stars and all nonsense.

There’s more to rich snippets! There’s more to “standing out” in the SERPs. This is why I built my Video SEO plugin: Video is a really cool way to stand out in the search results. That’s why I love rel=author: it allows you to choose your own picture, to stand out in the search results. And even then, when we get to choose the picture, we forget to market. I use a light blue background for my author image. It stands out. Why do hardly any other people do that?

As I was telling people during that presentation, as you can see in the slides above, SEO and PPC combined form a trade that is called SEM: Search Engine Marketing. No, SEM is not just PPC. That M, for Marketing, is the bit that loads of SEOs seem to forget. I admit, I too like reading about Google patents all day long, I can even enjoy the occasional bit of correlation / ranking research and I can fully geek out on running my own tests and tools too. But that’s only part of what an SEO needs to do.

The most successful SEO campaigns I’ve seen in the last years were campaigns that were properly combined with television advertising and other forms of marketing. But you don’t even have to go that far.

What SEOs should learn from PPC people

A lot of “old-school” SEOs, myself included, speak about PPC with some disdain, calling it “checkbook SEO” and “anyone can do that”. When I do so, I do so in jest, and I know that most of my friends who say stuff like that mean it that way too. But we’re probably not helping our industry when we do that, because the one thing that PPC guys and girls do best, is the one thing that most SEO’s suck at the most: optimization for clicks.

No AdWords campaign will survive if it doesn’t have a decent CTR. SEO campaigns with a ridiculous CTR did survive over the last few years, but it’s getting harder. Some of the research we’ve seen recently is showing that Google is using CTR as a ranking factor in organic search too, which makes sense. They’re measuring bounces back to search result pages too, which makes sense as well.

So talk to your PPC guy or girl and go over your titles and descriptions with them, heck, try some AdWords copy in those meta descriptions. It sometimes works wonders!

Conversion Rate Optimization starts in the SERPs

On conferences, you’ll see tracks about SEO and tracks about Analytics. You’ll see tracks about Conversion Rate Optimization. But you’ll never see a track about SEO and Conversion Rate Optimization at the same time. But that exactly is what we should be studying. How does the title I use for the search results affect not only my ranking, but also my conversion and bounce rate.

Am I making good on the promise I’m making in the SERPs with my title and description, on the page that people land on? That is the question you should be answering when you got that ranking. And when the answer isn’t a very clear “YES!”, you’ve got more work to do, even though you’ve achieved that ranking.

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The next Penguin update is on its way, and it’s going to be big

Author (displayed on the page): 

Penguin

A recent post by State of Search talked about some comments made by Matt Cutts at a recent conference, SES In San Francisco. It seems that he mentioned that there is a big Penguin update on the way …

When asked specifically about the latest Penguin update his response was: “We are constantly improving. And for those who think the important updates are done now, think again.”

He also said: “You don’t want the next Penguin update, the engineers have been working hard.”

This all sounds pretty ominous, especially for anyone that’s been hit by the previous update. One thing that SEOs have been wondering is when will the next Penguin update hit. Interestingly when SERoundtable published these comments Matt took the trouble to comment on the article.

In his comment he says that at SES he was “giving context on the fact that lots of people were asking me when the next Penguin update would happen, as if they expected Penguin updates to happen on a monthly basis and as if Penguin would only involve data refreshes.

Note the bolded part, he is essentially saying that it is unrealistic to expect the next update to only include data refreshes. He goes on to say that:

“… the engineers are incorporating new signals and iterating to improve the algorithm.”

This is building a pretty strong case for the next update having a pretty big impact. Something that Matt clarifies in saying:

“… expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals and as a result will have more noticeable impact.”

So what are these signals likely to be? Well Penguin is a link based update, so it’s most likely to be link based signals. Well, back at SES Matt said that:

“… sites that have social sharing, natural sharing – instead of buying links – are generally not going to be hit. By next year, we hope marketers/webmasters get that and natural link building becomes the norm.”

So we know the update is going to hit in 2012. Personally I would have thought sooner rather than later, as he also mentioned that “the engineers have been working hard” rather than the engineers are working really hard.

Ultimately Matt’s advice on how to avoid getting hit has always been pretty straightforward. Build something unique that adds value. Matt focuses on this point several times and it’s clearly what Google are looking for.

I think it’s worth mentioning as well that this isn’t ‘unique content’ as in a combination of words that hasn’t been used elsewhere. This means truly unique. It’s about having information that just isn’t available anywhere else.

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