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Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
How to Survive
Google’s Trojan Horsing of the Web
What Has Google
Been Up To?
Breaking Into Job Listings
Breaking Into Reservations
Breaking Into CulturalContent
Disintermediating Lists
Penalizing vs. IgnoringSpam
Facing their1st RealThreatinYears
Losing theirFirstBigCase vs.theEU
Facing Potential
Regulation ofResults
inCanada
Paying Professors toHaveTheirBack
But Google is Still the
Unquestionable Behemoth
WhereDoPeople Search?
BreakdownofSearcheson
MajorWebProperties(October
2016)
BreakdownofSearcheson
MajorWebProperties
(May2017)
GoogleCore
Oct2016 May2017
GoogleImages
Yahoo
Bing
GoogleMaps
Amazon
Facebook
Gained/Lost
58.9%
27.7%
2.6%
2.3%
2.2%
1.9%
...
GoogleCore
Oct2016 May2017
GoogleImages
Yahoo
Bing
GoogleMaps
Amazon
Facebook
Gained/Lost
58.9%
27.7%
2.6%
2.3%
2.2%
1.9%
...
GoogleCore
Oct2016 May2017
GoogleImages
Yahoo
Bing
GoogleMaps
Amazon
Facebook
Gained/Lost
58.9%
27.7%
2.6%
2.3%
2.2%
1.9%
...
GoogleCore
Oct2016 May2017
GoogleImages
Yahoo
Bing
GoogleMaps
Amazon
Facebook
Gained/Lost
58.9%
27.7%
2.6%
2.3%
2.2%
1.9%
...
Google’s Growth
So far, 2017 is trending ~10-15% higher than 2016, not
including voice or Apple devices
TotalSearchers vs.Active Searchers
UnitedStates
Canada
UnitedKingdom
AverageSearches/Month %ofSearchersw/10+
Searches/Mont...
Google CTRBreakdown
Relatively flat excluding seasonality = SEO not being
cannibalized by Google’s own results
What are the Web’s Top
Traffic Referrers?
Google.com
Oct2016 May2017
Facebook.com
Reddit.com
YouTube.com
Imgur.com
Bing.com
Wikipedia.org
Gained/Lost
59.2%
6.5%
5.4...
Google.com
Oct2016 May2017
Facebook.com
Reddit.com
YouTube.com
Imgur.com
Bing.com
Wikipedia.org
Gained/Lost
59.2%
6.5%
5.4...
Google.com
Oct2016 May2017
Facebook.com
Reddit.com
YouTube.com
Imgur.com
Bing.com
Wikipedia.org
Gained/Lost
59.2%
6.5%
5.4...
Top 10 11-100 101-1K 1K-10K 10K+
Google 22.2% 14.9% 18.0% 18.7% 26.2%
Facebook 42.7% 17.7% 15.3% 12.9% 11.3%
Yahoo 39.2% 1...
Top 10 11-100 101-1K 1K-10K 10K+
Google 22.2% 14.9% 18.0% 18.7% 26.2%
Facebook 42.7% 17.7% 15.3% 12.9% 11.3%
Yahoo 39.2% 1...
Top 10 11-100 101-1K 1K-10K 10K+
Google 22.2% 14.9% 18.0% 18.7% 26.2%
Facebook 42.7% 17.7% 15.3% 12.9% 11.3%
Yahoo 39.2% 1...
Top 10 11-100 101-1K 1K-10K 10K+
Google 22.2% 14.9% 18.0% 18.7% 26.2%
Facebook 42.7% 17.7% 15.3% 12.9% 11.3%
Yahoo 39.2% 1...
Web Marketers Live in
Google’s World…
And That’s Becoming
More Dangerous
ThisisCelebrity NetWorth’sStory…
Via TheOutline
DICK MOVE!
Here’s Google
Trojan Horsing…
Local Events
Eventbrite and Meetup… Huh.
Via TheVerge
Job Listings
Via Techcrunch
Something tells me this will not go
well for them…
Weather
Sports
Seems like a fair deal…
The Model’s Pretty
Consistent
Google: “Doagreatjob
answering the searcher’s query
&we’llrankyou high*”
*Unlesswehaveourownresults;then
wegettobefirst.
Google: “Structure data likethis&we’llmake your listings
morevisible!”
Via Google
Google: “These results arebest forourusers. (They fellfor
itagain!)”
NBC has, BTW, put the proper
video markup on their pa...
Site Operators Face a
Prisoner’s Dilemma
Give GoogleYour Content…
…andrisk Google using your data tobuildafeature that
killsyour traffic
Or,Holdback your uniquevalue…
…Andrisk a
competitor benefiting
fromGoogle’s
opportunities instead
Fear Isn’t the Only Thing
Stopping Publishers
Some Queries Deserve More thana
SimpleAnswer (evenifthat’swhatsearcherswant)
e.g. Climatechange searches
Via Quartz
e.g. Politically-charged content
e.g. Dangerously incomplete answers
e.g. Misleading “instantsolutions”
I do have some feedback; this
sucks! It’s incomplete, wrong, &
frustratingly reductive.
This is what a mortgage
calculator should do:
What’s the Solution?
The 5-Part Path:
AnSEOstrategythatsegmentssearcherintent
Contentstrategythatprioritizescomplextasks
Businessgoalsthatsynch...
Measured by:Traffic Driven
Examples inAction:
HowsomesitesavoidthedangerousdancewithGoogle’sdevilish
proposition
Index.co
Segmenting Searcher Intent
Redfin
Prioritizing ComplexTasks
Eater
DiversifyingTrafficSources
Shutterstock
SynchingBusinessGoalsw/SEO+Content
TheMuse
IncorporatingGoogle’sFutureInYourPlans
10 Tactical Tips to
Thrive in Google’s World
#1:Prioritize buckets ofKWs w/complex task completion
requirements
These are easy to answer.
Google could do it with a
sni...
#1:Prioritize buckets ofKWs w/complex task completion
requirements
But underwater zombies?
That’s a query that demands
mor...
#2:Serve“instantanswer”contentwhilesimultaneously
enticingtheclick
“and heck…” what? I must
know!
#3:InvestincontentGoogleeithercan’tshowin
SERPsorthatbuildsyourbrandwhentheydo
Even if Google launches their own Lyft
comp...
Interactive content is deviously hard to steal in a SERP, & immensely valuable to those who are
seeking to solve this prob...
#4:Makeyourinternalsearch+navasgoodorbetterthan
Google’spath
This should scare the $#%^
out of Eater
Memeorandum offers a
navigational UX that Google
can’t truly compete against
By serving conscious & unconscious needs, Etsy
provides a UX that Google can’t compete with
#5:Drivevisitors toowned,subscription channels
For as long as Google offers ways to
drive traffic to your site (vs. host
c...
No matter what channel you use to broadcast or distribute, make sure the traffic always goes
back to a domain & UX you own...
#6:LeverageRLSAtooutrankGoogle
forthesearcherswhomattermost
#7:Bias search suggest inyour favor through linguistic
branding
Hat tip to Gianluca Fiorelli
for spotting this campaign &
its influence on search
suggest + related
#8:Use influencer marketing tobecome the brand
searchers recognize
Mainstream Foodies
Fancy-Pants
Types
Sous Vide Aficionados Paleo Foodies
Relevant
Locavores
#9:Innovate attheproblem-level vs.the solution-level (b/c
Googledoesthereverse)
Google solves this query at the
solution l...
Youwantahigh%ofvisitorstocomeaway
fromyourexperiencethinking:
Why wouldIever Google ___________
when___________ solves thi...
Dribbble solves it at the
problem level
Before your audience needs a solution,
they have a problem.
BeatGoogle tothepunch.
Bethere forthe problem’sdiscovery.
SolutionLevel ProblemLevel
SolutionLevel ProblemLevel
#10: IfGoogle’s already inyourspace, findwhattheyfailto
deliver &double-down
Fine for a quick
answer, but lacks
depth…
What are all those deeper, next questions folks have AFTER they search for weather?
Wunderground knows, and nails ‘em.
Measured by:Traffic Driven
Don’t Just Fight Off the
Dragon…
Measured by:Traffic Driven
Make it bring you to the skies.
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
You Got This!
How to Survive Google's Trojan Horsing of the Web
How to Survive Google's Trojan Horsing of the Web
How to Survive Google's Trojan Horsing of the Web
How to Survive Google's Trojan Horsing of the Web
How to Survive Google's Trojan Horsing of the Web
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How to Survive Google's Trojan Horsing of the Web

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Rand's presentation from Mozcon 2017 on how Google enters and often crowds out competitors in vertical search spaces (and how marketers can fight back against this threat).

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How to Survive Google's Trojan Horsing of the Web

  1. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com How to Survive Google’s Trojan Horsing of the Web
  2. What Has Google Been Up To?
  3. Breaking Into Job Listings
  4. Breaking Into Reservations
  5. Breaking Into CulturalContent
  6. Disintermediating Lists
  7. Penalizing vs. IgnoringSpam
  8. Facing their1st RealThreatinYears
  9. Losing theirFirstBigCase vs.theEU
  10. Facing Potential Regulation ofResults inCanada
  11. Paying Professors toHaveTheirBack
  12. But Google is Still the Unquestionable Behemoth
  13. WhereDoPeople Search?
  14. BreakdownofSearcheson MajorWebProperties(October 2016)
  15. BreakdownofSearcheson MajorWebProperties (May2017)
  16. GoogleCore Oct2016 May2017 GoogleImages Yahoo Bing GoogleMaps Amazon Facebook Gained/Lost 58.9% 27.7% 2.6% 2.3% 2.2% 1.9% 0.7% YouTube 3.8% 64.8% 21.8% 2.4% 2.4% 1.2% 2.3% 1.5% 3.6% +5.9 -5.9 -0.2 +0.1 -1.0 +0.4 +0.8 -0.2
  17. GoogleCore Oct2016 May2017 GoogleImages Yahoo Bing GoogleMaps Amazon Facebook Gained/Lost 58.9% 27.7% 2.6% 2.3% 2.2% 1.9% 0.7% YouTube 3.8% 64.8% 21.8% 2.4% 2.4% 1.2% 2.3% 1.5% 3.6% +5.9 -5.9 -0.2 +0.1 -1.0 +0.4 +0.8 -0.2 We think this is Halloween
  18. GoogleCore Oct2016 May2017 GoogleImages Yahoo Bing GoogleMaps Amazon Facebook Gained/Lost 58.9% 27.7% 2.6% 2.3% 2.2% 1.9% 0.7% YouTube 3.8% 64.8% 21.8% 2.4% 2.4% 1.2% 2.3% 1.5% 3.6% +5.9 -5.9 -0.2 +0.1 -1.0 +0.4 +0.8 -0.2This is compensated for by a rise in web search clicks to local results
  19. GoogleCore Oct2016 May2017 GoogleImages Yahoo Bing GoogleMaps Amazon Facebook Gained/Lost 58.9% 27.7% 2.6% 2.3% 2.2% 1.9% 0.7% YouTube 3.8% 64.8% 21.8% 2.4% 2.4% 1.2% 2.3% 1.5% 3.6% +5.9 -5.9 -0.2 +0.1 -1.0 +0.4 +0.8 -0.2 I’m keeping an eye on these two
  20. Google’s Growth So far, 2017 is trending ~10-15% higher than 2016, not including voice or Apple devices
  21. TotalSearchers vs.Active Searchers UnitedStates Canada UnitedKingdom AverageSearches/Month %ofSearchersw/10+ Searches/Month 103-119 120-139 120-135 ~39% ~40% ~41%
  22. Google CTRBreakdown Relatively flat excluding seasonality = SEO not being cannibalized by Google’s own results
  23. What are the Web’s Top Traffic Referrers?
  24. Google.com Oct2016 May2017 Facebook.com Reddit.com YouTube.com Imgur.com Bing.com Wikipedia.org Gained/Lost 59.2% 6.5% 5.4% 4.5% 2.2% 2.2% 1.4% Yahoo.com 6.0% 62.6% 5.9% 4.1% 4.7% 1.5% 2.1% 1.4% 5.0% +3.4% -0.6% -1.3% +0.2% -0.6% -0.1% +0% -1.0% Amazon.com 1.3% 1.4% +0.1%
  25. Google.com Oct2016 May2017 Facebook.com Reddit.com YouTube.com Imgur.com Bing.com Wikipedia.org Gained/Lost 59.2% 6.5% 5.4% 4.5% 2.2% 2.2% 1.4% Yahoo.com 6.0% 62.6% 5.9% 4.1% 4.7% 1.5% 2.1% 1.4% 5.0% +3.4% -0.6% -1.3% +0.2% -0.6% -0.1% +0% -1.0% Amazon.com 1.3% 1.4% +0.1% This is when Reddit stopped using Imgur for all its image hosting
  26. Google.com Oct2016 May2017 Facebook.com Reddit.com YouTube.com Imgur.com Bing.com Wikipedia.org Gained/Lost 59.2% 6.5% 5.4% 4.5% 2.2% 2.2% 1.4% Yahoo.com 6.0% 62.6% 5.9% 4.1% 4.7% 1.5% 2.1% 1.4% 5.0% +3.4% -0.6% -1.3% +0.2% -0.6% -0.1% +0% -1.0% Amazon.com 1.3% 1.4% +0.1% In 7 months, Google gained more share than all but the top 5 even have 
  27. Top 10 11-100 101-1K 1K-10K 10K+ Google 22.2% 14.9% 18.0% 18.7% 26.2% Facebook 42.7% 17.7% 15.3% 12.9% 11.3% Yahoo 39.2% 15.8% 15.6% 14.0% 15.4% Reddit 75.2% 11.0% 7.2% 4.4% 2.2% Youtube 80.1% 7.2% 5.4% 4.1% 3.2% NotAllReferrers SendTrafficEqually (databelowfromMay2017)
  28. Top 10 11-100 101-1K 1K-10K 10K+ Google 22.2% 14.9% 18.0% 18.7% 26.2% Facebook 42.7% 17.7% 15.3% 12.9% 11.3% Yahoo 39.2% 15.8% 15.6% 14.0% 15.4% Reddit 75.2% 11.0% 7.2% 4.4% 2.2% Youtube 80.1% 7.2% 5.4% 4.1% 3.2% NotAllReferrers SendTrafficEqually (databelowfromMay2017) Google distributes traffic pretty evenly
  29. Top 10 11-100 101-1K 1K-10K 10K+ Google 22.2% 14.9% 18.0% 18.7% 26.2% Facebook 42.7% 17.7% 15.3% 12.9% 11.3% Yahoo 39.2% 15.8% 15.6% 14.0% 15.4% Reddit 75.2% 11.0% 7.2% 4.4% 2.2% Youtube 80.1% 7.2% 5.4% 4.1% 3.2% NotAllReferrers SendTrafficEqually (databelowfromMay2017) Facebook is strongly biased to the top
  30. Top 10 11-100 101-1K 1K-10K 10K+ Google 22.2% 14.9% 18.0% 18.7% 26.2% Facebook 42.7% 17.7% 15.3% 12.9% 11.3% Yahoo 39.2% 15.8% 15.6% 14.0% 15.4% Reddit 75.2% 11.0% 7.2% 4.4% 2.2% Youtube 80.1% 7.2% 5.4% 4.1% 3.2% NotAllReferrers SendTrafficEqually (databelowfromMay2017) Reddit & YouTube even more so
  31. Web Marketers Live in Google’s World…
  32. And That’s Becoming More Dangerous
  33. ThisisCelebrity NetWorth’sStory…
  34. Via TheOutline
  35. DICK MOVE!
  36. Here’s Google Trojan Horsing…
  37. Local Events Eventbrite and Meetup… Huh. Via TheVerge
  38. Job Listings Via Techcrunch Something tells me this will not go well for them…
  39. Weather
  40. Sports Seems like a fair deal…
  41. The Model’s Pretty Consistent
  42. Google: “Doagreatjob answering the searcher’s query &we’llrankyou high*” *Unlesswehaveourownresults;then wegettobefirst.
  43. Google: “Structure data likethis&we’llmake your listings morevisible!” Via Google
  44. Google: “These results arebest forourusers. (They fellfor itagain!)” NBC has, BTW, put the proper video markup on their pages.
  45. Site Operators Face a Prisoner’s Dilemma
  46. Give GoogleYour Content…
  47. …andrisk Google using your data tobuildafeature that killsyour traffic
  48. Or,Holdback your uniquevalue…
  49. …Andrisk a competitor benefiting fromGoogle’s opportunities instead
  50. Fear Isn’t the Only Thing Stopping Publishers
  51. Some Queries Deserve More thana SimpleAnswer (evenifthat’swhatsearcherswant)
  52. e.g. Climatechange searches Via Quartz
  53. e.g. Politically-charged content
  54. e.g. Dangerously incomplete answers
  55. e.g. Misleading “instantsolutions” I do have some feedback; this sucks! It’s incomplete, wrong, & frustratingly reductive.
  56. This is what a mortgage calculator should do:
  57. What’s the Solution?
  58. The 5-Part Path: AnSEOstrategythatsegmentssearcherintent Contentstrategythatprioritizescomplextasks Businessgoalsthatsynchw/yourSEO+content Atrafficstrategythatdiversifiessources IncorporationofGoogle’sfutureintoyourplans 1 2 3 4 5
  59. Measured by:Traffic Driven Examples inAction: HowsomesitesavoidthedangerousdancewithGoogle’sdevilish proposition
  60. Index.co
  61. Segmenting Searcher Intent
  62. Redfin
  63. Prioritizing ComplexTasks
  64. Eater
  65. DiversifyingTrafficSources
  66. Shutterstock
  67. SynchingBusinessGoalsw/SEO+Content
  68. TheMuse
  69. IncorporatingGoogle’sFutureInYourPlans
  70. 10 Tactical Tips to Thrive in Google’s World
  71. #1:Prioritize buckets ofKWs w/complex task completion requirements These are easy to answer. Google could do it with a snippet or a voice answer.
  72. #1:Prioritize buckets ofKWs w/complex task completion requirements But underwater zombies? That’s a query that demands more attention.
  73. #2:Serve“instantanswer”contentwhilesimultaneously enticingtheclick “and heck…” what? I must know!
  74. #3:InvestincontentGoogleeithercan’tshowin SERPsorthatbuildsyourbrandwhentheydo Even if Google launches their own Lyft competitor, being included here builds Lyft’s brands & customers in the meantime.
  75. Interactive content is deviously hard to steal in a SERP, & immensely valuable to those who are seeking to solve this problem. Via LetsCrunchIt
  76. #4:Makeyourinternalsearch+navasgoodorbetterthan Google’spath
  77. This should scare the $#%^ out of Eater
  78. Memeorandum offers a navigational UX that Google can’t truly compete against
  79. By serving conscious & unconscious needs, Etsy provides a UX that Google can’t compete with
  80. #5:Drivevisitors toowned,subscription channels For as long as Google offers ways to drive traffic to your site (vs. host content with them), we’ll take it!
  81. No matter what channel you use to broadcast or distribute, make sure the traffic always goes back to a domain & UX you own+control
  82. #6:LeverageRLSAtooutrankGoogle forthesearcherswhomattermost
  83. #7:Bias search suggest inyour favor through linguistic branding
  84. Hat tip to Gianluca Fiorelli for spotting this campaign & its influence on search suggest + related
  85. #8:Use influencer marketing tobecome the brand searchers recognize
  86. Mainstream Foodies Fancy-Pants Types Sous Vide Aficionados Paleo Foodies Relevant Locavores
  87. #9:Innovate attheproblem-level vs.the solution-level (b/c Googledoesthereverse) Google solves this query at the solution level
  88. Youwantahigh%ofvisitorstocomeaway fromyourexperiencethinking: Why wouldIever Google ___________ when___________ solves thisproblem socompletely and elegantly? search query your site
  89. Dribbble solves it at the problem level
  90. Before your audience needs a solution, they have a problem. BeatGoogle tothepunch. Bethere forthe problem’sdiscovery.
  91. SolutionLevel ProblemLevel
  92. SolutionLevel ProblemLevel
  93. #10: IfGoogle’s already inyourspace, findwhattheyfailto deliver &double-down Fine for a quick answer, but lacks depth…
  94. What are all those deeper, next questions folks have AFTER they search for weather? Wunderground knows, and nails ‘em.
  95. Measured by:Traffic Driven Don’t Just Fight Off the Dragon…
  96. Measured by:Traffic Driven Make it bring you to the skies.
  97. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com You Got This!

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