How Do You Set Smart SEO Goals for Your Team/Agency/Project? – Whiteboard Friday

Are you sure that your current SEO goals are the best fit for your organization? It’s incredibly important that they tie into both your company goals and your marketing goals, as well as provide specific, measurable metrics you can work to improve. In this edition of Whiteboard Friday, Rand outlines how to set the right SEO goals for your team and shares two examples of how different businesses might go about doing just that. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about SEO goals, how to set smart ones, how to measure your progress against them, how to amplify those goals to the rest of your organization so that people really buy in to SEO. This is a big challenge. So […]

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The MozCon 2018 Final Agenda

MozCon 2018 is just around the corner — just over six weeks away — and we’re excited to share the final agenda with you today. There are some familiar faces, and some who’ll be on the MozCon stage for the first time, with topics ranging from the evolution of searcher intent to the increasing importance of local SEO, and from navigating bureaucracy for buy-in to cutting the noise out of your reporting. We’re also thrilled to announce this year’s winning pitches for our six MozCon Community Speaker slots! If you’re not familiar, each year we hold several shorter speaking slots, asking you all to submit your best pitches for what you’d like to teach everyone at MozCon. The winners — all members of the Moz Community — are invited to the conference alongside all our other speakers, and are always some of the most impressive folks on the stage. Check […]

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Backlink Blindspots: The State of Robots.txt

Here at Moz we have committed to making Link Explorer as similar to Google as possible, specifically in the way we crawl the web. I have discussed in previous articles some metrics we use to ascertain that performance, but today I wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about the impact of robots.txt and crawling the web. Most of you are familiar with robots.txt as the method by which webmasters can direct Google and other bots to visit only certain pages on the site. Webmasters can be selective, allowing certain bots to visit some pages while denying other bots access to the same. This presents a problem for companies like Moz, Majestic, and Ahrefs: we try to crawl the web like Google, but certain websites deny access to our bots while allowing that access to Googlebot. So, why exactly does this matter? Why does it matter? As […]

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What Google’s GDPR Compliance Efforts Mean for Your Data: Two Urgent Actions

It should be quite obvious for anyone that knows me that I’m not a lawyer, and therefore that what follows is not legal advice. For anyone who doesn’t know me: I’m not a lawyer, I’m certainly not your lawyer, and what follows is definitely not legal advice. With that out of the way, I wanted to give you some bits of information that might feed into your GDPR planning, as they come up more from the marketing side than the pure legal interpretation of your obligations and responsibilities under this new legislation. While most legal departments will be considering the direct impacts of the GDPR on their own operations, many might miss the impacts that other companies’ (namely, in this case, Google’s) compliance actions have on your data. But I might be getting a bit ahead of myself: it’s quite possible that not all of you know what the GDPR […]

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GDPR: What it Means for Google Analytics & Online Marketing

If you’ve been on the Internet at all in the past few months, you’ve probably seen plenty of notices about privacy policy updates from one service or another. As a marketer, a few of those notices have most likely come from Google. With the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) set to go into effect on May 25th, 2018, many Internet services have been scrambling to get in compliance with the new standards — and Google is no exception. Given the nature of the services Google provides to marketers, GDPR absolutely made some significant changes in how they conduct business. And, in turn, some marketers may have to take steps to make sure their use of Google Analytics is allowable under the new rules. But a lot of marketers aren’t entirely sure what exactly GDPR is, what it means for their jobs, and what they need to do to follow the […]

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Let’s Make Money: 4 Tactics for Agencies Looking to Succeed – Whiteboard Friday

We spend a lot of time discussing SEO tactics, but in a constantly changing industry, one thing that deserves more attention are the tactics agencies should employ in order to see success. From confidently raising your prices to knowing when to say no, Moz’s own Russ Jones covers four essential success tactics that’ll ultimately increase your bottom line in today’s edition of Whiteboard Friday. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans. I am Russ Jones, and I can’t tell you how excited I am for my first Whiteboard Friday. I am Principal Search Scientist here at Moz. But before coming to Moz, for the 10 years prior to that, I was the Chief Technology Officer of a small SEO agency back in North Carolina. So I have a strong passion for agencies and […]

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Time to Act: Review Responses Just Evolved from “Extra” to “Expected”

I’ve advocated the use of Google’s owner response review feature since it first rolled out in 2010. This vital vehicle defends brand reputation and revenue, offering companies a means of transforming dissatisfied consumers into satisfied ones, supporting retention so that less has to be spent on new customer acquisition. I consider review responses to be a core customer service responsibility. Yet, eight years into the existence of this feature, marketing forums are still filled with entry-level questions like: Should I respond to reviews? Should I respond to positive reviews? How should I respond to negative reviews? Over the years, I’ve seen different local SEO consultants reply in differing degrees to these common threads, but as of May 11, 2018, both agencies and brands woke to a new day: the day on which Google announced it would be emailing notifications like this to consumers when a business responds […]

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How to Write Meta Descriptions in a Constantly Changing World (AKA Google Giveth, Google Taketh Away)

Summary: As of mid-May 2018, Google has reverted back to shorter display snippets. Our data suggests these changes are widespread and that most meta descriptions are being cut off in the previous range of about 155–160 characters. Back in December, Google made a significant shift in how they displayed search snippets, with our research showing many snippets over 300 characters. Over the weekend, they seem to have rolled back that change (Danny Sullivan partially confirmed this on Twitter on May 14). Besides the obvious question — What are the new limits? — it may leave you wondering how to cope when the rules keep changing. None of us have a crystal ball, but I’m going to attempt to answer both questions based on what we know today. Lies, dirty lies, and statistics… I pulled all available search snippets from the MozCast 10K (page-1 Google results for 10,000 keywords), since […]

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A Machine Learning Guide for Average Humans

Machine learning (ML) has grown consistently in worldwide prevalence. Its implications have stretched from small, seemingly inconsequential victories to groundbreaking discoveries. The SEO community is no exception. An understanding and intuition of machine learning can support our understanding of the challenges and solutions Google’s engineers are facing, while also opening our minds to ML’s broader implications. The advantages of gaining an general understanding of machine learning include: Gaining empathy for engineers, who are ultimately trying to establish the best results for users Understanding what problems machines are solving for, their current capabilities and scientists’ goals Understanding the competitive ecosystem and how companies are using machine learning to drive results Preparing oneself for for what many industry leaders call a major shift in our society (Andrew Ng refers to AI as a “new electricity”) Understanding basic concepts that often appear within research (it’s helped me with understanding […]

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Monitoring Featured Snippets – Whiteboard Friday

We’ve covered finding featured snippet opportunities. We’ve covered the process of targeting featured snippets you want to win. Now it’s time for the third and final piece of the puzzle: how to monitor and measure the effectiveness of all your efforts thus far. In this episode of Whiteboard Friday, Britney shares three pro tips on how to make sure your featured snippet strategy is working. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we are going over part three of our three-part series all about featured snippets. So part one was about how to discover those featured snippet opportunities, part two was about how to target those, and this final one is how to properly monitor and measure the effectiveness of your targeting. So we’ll jump […]

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6 Hacks to Improve Your Facebook Ad Conversions

The trick, with Facebook ads, is to make sure that you’re targeting the right kind of audience with the right kind of offers. May 9, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Facebook sees over 1.4 billion active users a day, with Mark Zuckerberg himself reporting that users spend approximately 50 minutes a day scrolling through Facebook’s suite of apps (Facebook, Messenger and Instagram). That’s a lot of people. Related: Not Getting Results With Your Facebook Ads? Here is Everything You Are Doing Wrong. However, just because people are online and might see your business page doesn’t mean that many people are converting and generating sales for your company. In fact, in order to tap into this enormous audience base, you have to market to them in a way that makes them want to convert. One great way to do this is to create optimized […]

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What the ‘Sixers School of Management’ Teaches Us About Strategy Execution 101

‘Trust the process!’ To envision a winning strategy, you need a Sam Hinkie. To execute effectively, you need a Brett Brown. May 8, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Trust the process! For years, this stadium-shaking chant has been filling Philly’s Wells Fargo Arena as the Philadelphia 76ers (“Sixers,” for short) have evolved from an epically atrocious band of losers to championship contenders. How was this possible? We hometown fans have taken a keen interest in this question, even as the NBA playoffs continue. Related: What the NBA Playoffs Can Teach You About Client Acquisition We think the team’s resurgence should interest our fellow entrepreneurs, too. If you want a lesson in how to execute a strategy, look no further than the contrast between the numbers-oriented Sam Hinkie, the Sixers’ former general manager, and the team’s current people-person coach, Brett Brown. Hinkie had what management gurus call […]

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How to Discover and Monitor Bad Backlinks

Identifying bad backlinks has become easier over the past few years with better tool sets, bigger link indexes, and increased knowledge, but for many in our industry it’s still crudely implemented. While the ideal scenario would be to have a professional poring over your link profile and combing each link one-by-one for concerns, for many webmasters that’s just too expensive (and, frankly, overkill). I’m going to walk through a simple methodology using Link Explorer and Excel (although you could do this with Google Sheets just as easily) to combine together the power of Moz Link Explorer, Keyword Explorer Lists, and finally Link Lists to do a comprehensive link audit. The basics There are several components involved in determining whether a link is “bad” and should potentially be removed. Ultimately, we want to be able to measure the riskiness of the link (how likely is Google to flag the link as […]

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How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing [Updated May 1, 2018]

Updated May 1, 2018 An important first step in any local SEO strategy is to claim and verify your local business’ Google My Business (GMB) listing. Getting on Google My Business can increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general. Qualifying local businesses can claim this free listing on Google and include information about their company, like their address, phone number, business hours, and types of payments accepted. Additionally, over the past several months, Google has added some great features to Google My Business that companies should take advantage of that enhances your Google My Business listing and helps to grab viewers’ attention — and can increase how you rank in local search results. If you haven’t claimed and verified your Google My Business Listing yet, that’s the first step. To get started, visit https://www.google.com/business. Many local businesses just […]

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OSE vs the New Link Explorer – Whiteboard Friday

Earlier this week we launched our brand-new link building tool, and we’re happy to say that Link Explorer addresses and improves upon a lot of the big problems that have plagued our legacy link tool, Open Site Explorer. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand transparently lists out many of the biggest complaints we’ve heard about OSE over the years and explains the vast improvements Link Explorer provides, from DA scores updated daily to historic link data to a huge index of almost five trillion URLs. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week I’m very excited to say that Moz’s Open Site Explorer product, which had a lot of challenges with it, is finally being retired, and we have a new product, Link Explorer, that’s […]

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Efficient Link Reclamation: How to Speed Up & Scale Your Efforts

Link reclamation: Tools, tools everywhere Every link builder, over time, starts to narrow down their favorite tactics and techniques. Link reclamation is pretty much my numero-uno. In my experience, it’s one of the best ROI activities we can use for gaining links particularly to the homepage, simply because the hard work — the “mention” (in whatever form that is) — is already there. That mention could be of your brand, an influencer who works there, or a tagline from a piece of content you’ve produced, whether it’s an image asset, video, etc. That’s the hard part. But with it done, and after a little hunting and vetting the right mentions, you’re just left with the outreach. Aside from the effort-to-return ratio, there are various other benefits to link reclamation: It’s something you can start right away without assets It’s a low risk/low investment form of link building Nearly all brands […]

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Big, Fast, and Strong: Setting the Standard for Backlink Index Comparisons

It’s all wrong It always was. Most of us knew it. But with limited resources, we just couldn’t really compare the quality, size, and speed of link indexes very well. Frankly, most backlink index comparisons would barely pass for a high school science fair project, much less a rigorous peer review. My most earnest attempt at determining the quality of a link index was back in 2015, before I joined Moz as Principal Search Scientist. But I knew at the time that I was missing a huge key to any study of this sort that hopes to call itself scientific, authoritative or, frankly, true: a random, uniform sample of the web. But let me start with a quick request. Please take the time to read this through. If you can’t today, schedule some time later. Your businesses depend on the data you bring in, and this article will allow you […]

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What Does Your Link Profile Look Like? Find Out with Link Explorer

More link data. Fresher link data. Faster link data. Today, I’m delighted to share that after eons of hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and love, Moz is taking a major step forward on our commitment to provide the best SEO tools money can buy. We’ve rebuilt our link technology from the ground up and the data is now broadly available throughout Moz tools. It’s bigger, fresher, and much, much faster than our legacy link tech. And we’re just getting started! The best way to quickly understand the potential power of our revolutionary new link tech is to play with the beta of our Link Explorer. Introducing Link Explorer, the newest addition to the Moz toolset! We’ve heard your frustrations with Open Site Explorer and we know that you want more from Moz and your link building tools. OSE has done more than put in its time. Groundbreaking when it launched […]

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Content for Answers: The Inverted Pyramid – Whiteboard Friday

If you’ve been searching for a quick hack to write content for featured snippets, this isn’t the article for you. But if you’re looking for lasting results and a smart tactic to increase your chances of winning a snippet, you’re definitely in the right place. Borrowed from journalism, the inverted pyramid method of writing can help you craft intentional, compelling, rich content that will help you rank for multiple queries and win more than one snippet at a time. Learn how in this Whiteboard Friday starring the one and only Dr. Pete! Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hey, Moz fans, Dr. Pete here. I’m the Marketing Scientist at Moz and visiting you from not-so-sunny Chicago in the Seattle office. We’ve talked a lot in the last couple years in my blog posts and such […]

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Win a Ticket + Lodging to MozCon 2018!

Have you been wanting to come to MozCon but just can’t swing the budget? Want to take a selfie with Roger, meet like-minded friends at our afterparties, and learn from leading industry experts? I’m thrilled to announce that you can do it all by winning a free ticket to join us at MozCon this July! Those front-row seats look awfully cushy. I’m one of the behind-the-scenes house elves who helps make MozCon happen, and I’m here to tell you everything you need to know about entering to win! To enter, just submit a unique piece of content telling us why we should send you to MozCon by Sunday May 6th at 5pm PDT. Make sure your entry is both original and creative — the Moz staff will review all submissions and vote on the winner! If you’re chosen, we’ll pick up the tab for your registration and accommodations at the […]

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