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Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
How Marketer’s Can Keep Up With
Google in 2017 and Beyond
Slides online at
bit.ly/keepup2017
In the last 2 Years, Google’s
Made a Lot of Big Changes
Via Google Algorithm Change History on Moz
17 Major Algorithm Updates (that we know about)
from Oct 2014-Oct 2016
Via Backchannel
A Move to Machine-Learning First
It’s like spotting a
snow leopard in the
wild.
Via Mozcast
The End of 10 Blue Links
Via Nick Eubanks
AdWords Redacting Data Like It’s the CIA
Via Merkle
PPC Growth Continues to Level Off
Google Fights Back by Making Ads Subtler
But… Where Can They Go From Here?
Thanks to Clickstream Data, We Know
More About How Searchers Interact
Keyword Length of Search Queries
1-Word Queries
21.71
%
2-Word Queries
23.98
%
3-Word Queries
19.60
%
4-Word Queries
13.89...
The average searcher performs ~3
queries per day on their
desktop/laptop
Search Activity
1.19% of
Google.com
US Searches
result in an ad
click
Distribution of Clicks on Paid Results
~51% of all the
clicks that happen on
Google.com US
search results go to
organic, non-Google
results
Distribution of Click...
But 49% of clicks
go to Google
properties of one
kind or another
(Maps, YouTube,
Ads, etc)
Distribution of Clicks on Organ...
~40% of
searches result
in no clicks at
all
For weather
queries like
this, it’s ~75%
Lots of “No-Click” Searches Happen, T...
~25% of desktop queries come
through Chrome Instant, and many of
those that load result in no clicks (as
searchers are sti...
1) youtube.com
2) wikipedia.org
3) facebook.com
4) amazon.com
5)
stackoverflow.com
6) pinterest.com
7) reddit.com
8) ebay....
Top 20 Websites 22.8%
Top 100 Websites
30.59
%
Top 1,000 Websites
45.58
%
Top 10,000 Websites
62.66
%
Distribution of Goog...
Massive Change…
But What Does
It Mean for Us?
The Big 5: What Marketers Must Do
Differently in the Years Ahead
Diversify Traffic to Keep
Earning Visits from
Google
#5
Google Knows Where Traffic Flows
on the Web (mobile and desktop)
Together we see all…
We know all…
There is no escape…
Google knows
where visit paths
begin…
Where
they go
next…
And where
they end
up.
If Google Knows Your Site Gets 80%+ of Your Traffic
from Them, They May Take a Closer Look at Why
Via Vinny La Barbera
Via SimilarWeb
via Reuters Institute
US Daily Video Views
(Note: Facebook counts views @ 3s, YouTube @ 30 s)
Via Cohlab
YouTube is the World’s 2nd Largest Search Engine
Via DuckDuckGo
And DuckDuckGo Continues its Rapid Growth
Via Search Engine Land
Amazon vs. Web Search
Don’t Ignore Search Channels Just
Because They’re Not Google
See Where Your Competition Gets Their Traffic:
Via SimilarWeb Pro
These are the sites
that sent traffic to
WarbyParker.com...
Apply different tactics
to reach audiences on
different sites
Amazon’s ranking
factors can be
found here.
Conversion rate
...
Consider Content for Multiple Engines
Moz first puts videos up on our site, then later uploads
to YouTube to benefit from ...
Evolve Our Keyword
Targeting to Match Google’s
Sophistication#4
Google’s minimized
the desktop search
experience to make
it more closely align
with the mobile
experience.
And they’re putting
more and more
“answers” atop the
results to remove
the need to click a
3rd-party site for
information
We expected
answers like these
would siphon away
traffic from our
site… In reality, we
got more!
But some answers really
do remove traffic
(estimates of 50%+
traffic loss to web
results after SERP
Consider Click-Through-Rate When
Choosing Keywords
The organic results on
this page probably get
only ~60% of the clicks
f...
Consider Click-Through-Rate When
Choosing Keywords
But, the organic results
here are likely getting
100% of the clicks
You can make these estimates yourself when evaluating
keywords for SEO effort:
Or you can use a tool like Keyword Explorer to get the
CTR Opportunity scores
100% CTR
Opportunity
60% CTR
Opportunity
It’s Possible to Use SEO to Get Into Featured Snippets
(and earn big CTR boosts)
They beat out Wikipedia by
phrasing the c...
More on How to Become theAnswer:
Via Dr. Pete (and more Dr. Pete)
The Classic Source of Volume Data is GoogleAdWords,
and there’s a Lot of Weirdness There
These numbers actually
represent ranges, even
though they show as
estimated averages
Russ Jones showed how Google’s
volume ranges work in his post
about Keyword Planner’s Dirty
Secrets.
Google Trends (which we’ve
found to be generally more
accurate) tells a different
story?!
AdWords is Now Conflating Volume of Related Keywords in
Frustrating Ways
Via Bill Slawski on Go Fish Digital
Keyword Suggestions inAdWords Hide a Lot of Useful,
High-Volume Queries
Really Keyword
Planner?
Really?!
It sure looks like
Google knows about
some closely related
keywords that have
search volume!
Don’t Use Google’s Volume Numbers asAbsolutes,
Only as Relative Comparisons
There are probably
more people searching
for “...
Google Trends is Good for Volume Comparison
“Champagne flutes” is
likely ~5-10X the
volume of “toasting
flutes”
KW Explorer Uses Clickstream Data and Volume Ranges
that May Give GreaterAccuracy
In our tests, these ranges
contained the...
Want the Best DataAbout Volume, Conversions,
and Trends?
You’ll need to buy the
keywords and measure
directly in AdWords.
Don’t Rely Exclusively on KW Planner for Keyword
Suggestions/Ideas
Search Suggest and
Related Searches are smart
additions...
7 Kinds of KW Research Expansions to Try:
1) Search
Suggest
2) People Also Search
For…
3) Similar Pages Rank
For…
4) Seman...
Tools that Have These Discovery Options:
1
)
2
)
3
)
4
)
5
)
6
)
(Free & Paid) SEMRush
(Free & Paid) KeywordTool.io
7
)
(P...
Use Searcher Intent & SERP
Features to Break Through
Google’s Changing Results#3
18 Unique Types of SERPs that
Show Up in 0.5%+ of Google’s
Results
One of my favorites: the “disaster type”
In our data, only ~3%
of results are the
“classic ten blue links”
kind
SERPs like
these are
far more
common
These types of
results can
dramatically
reduce organic
CTR (in this
case, Moz
estimates only
~24% organic
CTR)
Infuriatingly, Google’s
restricted who can
appear in certain types
of listings (e.g. video is
now YouTube or Vimeo
And on mobile, even
more kinds of searches
are limited to particular
networks (Google Play &
iPhone App Store).
Analyze Which Types of SERPsAppear Most in the
Keywords You CareAbout
These show me how
many of each SERP type
appears in ...
Then Determine What Verticals & SERPTypes You
Need to Optimize For
It might pay to
generate some
visual charts in
addition...
If certain searches are impossible to target…
Aim to Influence Search
Suggest
More on Whiteboard Friday
Be On the Right Platform For Your SERPs:
Videos:
E-Commerce:
Podcasts:
Local Businesses:
News:
Apps:
YouTube Vimeo Faceboo...
Google’s Become Masterful at
Understanding a Searcher’s Intent
Keyword Matching is No Longer a Competitive
Advantage
Via Backlinko
On-Page SEO is No Longer
Satisfied by Raw Keyword Use
Either
These keywords are nearly
as important to use on a
page targe...
It’s Still Wise to Use
Keywords
Matching Your Content to What SearchersAre
Seeking is Critical, Too
Trulia knows searchers want
home prices, by
neighborho...
Use of related topics to indicate the content’s
relevance
Serving KWs w/ matching intent together on one page
Thorough ans...
More in this Whiteboard Friday Video
Create a Link Strategy That
Scales with Decreasing
Friction
#2
Every Link Builder Needs a Strategic
Roadmap:
Link
Goals
Strategic
Approach
Tactical
Initiatives
KPIs/
Metrics
An Example:
Bookserf, An Istanbul Based Book-Sharing Community
Bookserf’s Long-Term Link Strategy
Rank in
search for
book names
(especially in
Turkey &
other
operating
regions)
Encourag...
We Also Need…
Buy-In on Experimentation
Via PointBlankSEO and Allie Brown
Link tactics like an
event photo gallery
might w...
The Right Expectations Regarding
Time-to-ROI
Via WB
A Balance Between Long-Term
Investments & Short-Term Hacks
High upfront costs
Pay (in time/$$) as you
go
Long-Term
Investm...
Great Link Builders Focus on
Their Flywheel
Moz’s
Flywheel
KW Research +
Industry Intuition
Publish
Content
Promote via
Social Channels
Push to email
+ RSS
subscriber...
KW Research +
Industry Intuition
Publish
Content
Promote via
Social Channels
Push to email
+ RSS
subscribers
Earn Links +
...
KW Research +
Industry Intuition
Publish
Content
Promote via
Social Channels
Push to email
+ RSS
subscribers
Earn Links +
...
Moz is a Business Built on Content
Dollar Shave Club
was Built on a Press
& Media Flywheel
Via NYTimes
Dribbble was Built on a UGC/Community
Flywheel
But… Almost Every Flywheel Finds
a Point (or Points) of Friction
Publish
Content
Promote via
Social Channels
Push to email...
Link Building Growth Hacks Can
Accelerate a Flywheel
Hacks aren’t necessarily evil,
spammy, or without value.
They can be highly useful when
applied to a sound link strategy.
The Formula for Link Building that Will
Work in Google for Years to Come:
Strategic
Roadmap
Scalable
Flywheel
Long-Term
In...
Searcher Engagement May
Be the New Silver Bullet in
Rankings#1
RankBrain is Only the Most
Obvious of Google’s ML-
Based Ranking Elements
Via Gianluca Fiorelli on Moz
Rankbrain helps
Google know that
results like these
are relevant to
searches like this
And that all of these
queries probably share
intent and should bring
back similar kinds of
Google Uses User, Usage, & Engagement
Data to Determine How to Rank Content
I hate bullet
points, but
this slide from
Goog...
This is a good SERP –
searchers rarely bounce, rarely
short-click, and rarely need to
enter other queries or go to
page 2.
This is a bad SERP –
searchers bounce often,
click other results, rarely
long-click, and try other
queries. They’re defini...
Via Steve Hammer
Someday,Algorithms Built by Machines Will Outperform
those Hand-Selected by Engineers
Potential Ranking
Factors
(e.g. Page...
Google Leverages Machine Learning Despite Not
Knowing for Sure What It Uses:
Via SERoundtable
We may soon
hear that
algorithmic
elements are no
longer applied
universally.
Rather than one
algorithm, we get
thousands ...
Google’s PublicAbout
Their Commitment to ML
Techniques… Won’t Be
Long Now.
Via BackChannel
Focus on Signal:Noise Ratio – Don’t Let Bad Pages
Drag Down a Good Site
Quantity of Pages
Earning SERP Visits
Relative Tim...
These don’t look so good;
probably worth investigating.
Find Ways to Beat Your Competition’s &
YourAverage Ranking Position’s CTR
If you rank #3, but have a higher-
than-average ...
Serve Multiple Searcher Intents,
Not Just Your Own Interests
You can’t just try to sell sous
vide cooking devices to the
<...
Note that NONE of these SERPs
are trying to sell equipment
directly. They’re serving the
*intent* of the widest range of
s...
Speed, speed, and more speed
Delivers an easy, enjoyable experience on every device
Compels visitors to engage, share, & r...
Deliver Dramatically Better Engagement Than Your
SERP Competitors & They Will Be Hard Pressed
to Catch Up
See this list of...
Massive Change…
Bring It On.
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
Bit.ly/keepup2017
Dollar Shave Club was Built
Dollar Shave Club was Built
Dollar Shave Club was Built
Dollar Shave Club was Built
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Dollar Shave Club
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Via NYTimes

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