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Rand Fishkin, Moz: How Can a Marketer Keep Up with Google's Insane Pace of Change?


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Keynote: Rand Fishkin, Moz
How Can a Marketer Keep Up with Google's Insane Pace of Change?

Google claims to make hundreds of algorithmic changes every year. New results types are overwhelming many search terms. Keyword referral data might be completely gone soon. Dozens of unique software vendors offer tools in the SEO field. What’s a time-challenged, email-overloaded, trying to work-life balance marketer to do?

There may not be a one-size-fits-all-solution, but, in this presentation, Rand will present processes we can all follow to differentiate the unimportant from what really matters, and focus on building valuable, long-term traffic for our companies and/or clients.

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Rand Fishkin, Moz: How Can a Marketer Keep Up with Google's Insane Pace of Change?

  1. 1. Keeping Up with Google’s Insane Pace of Change Rand Fishkin, CEO, Moz @randfish |
  2. 2. No Need to Take Notes:
  3. 3. The Challenge
  4. 4. 500+ Algorithmic Changes Each Year In 2012 alone, Google says they had 665 “launches” of new search-changing features
  5. 5. Innumerable Fluctuations in Search Results On average, each month 8.5 of the top 10 will change ranking position. And every day, 78% of search results have some ranking change.
  6. 6. 85+ Unique Types of SERPs
  7. 7. See dozens more unique SERPs in Dr. Pete’s Mozcon Presentation Beyond 10 Links on Slideshare (from Moz’s Dr. Peter Meyers)
  8. 8. Thousands of Entities are Competing to Sell You an SEO Solution Please never buy any of these. You’ll have only yourself to blame for the horrific results.
  9. 9. An Entity that Once Was Trustworthy, But (Probably) No Longer Is It’s not that Google’s SEO advice is wrong. It’s just very carefully phrased such that they provide remarkably little actionable advice.
  10. 10. Why Bother Keeping Up?
  11. 11. The Opportunity vs. Execution Gap
  12. 12. In SEO, the Rich Get Richer Top search ranking positions don’t just drive traffic… They also earn clicks, sales, shares, branding, and links that make it even harder to outrank them over time.
  13. 13. If You Used Manipulative Tactics or Outsourced, There’s High Risk Anchor text heavy link building was once a staple of SEO; now it’s a liability. Two rec’d posts: Identifying Link Penalties in 2012 and Guide to Penalty Removal
  14. 14. As a Marketer, Keeping Up is as Important as Doing the Work
  15. 15. What Do We Absolutely HAVE to Know?
  16. 16. Major Algorithmic Updates This free resource from Moz shows every major, “named” update over the last 13 years
  17. 17. e.g. Panda Panda appears to use user satisfaction/happiness inputs to remove sites searchers don’t like from the SERPs.
  18. 18. e.g. Penguin Factors like exact-match anchor text, low quality link sources, and sitewide links are often seen in sites penalized by Penguin Excellent analysis of factors correlated with sites hit by Penguin
  19. 19. e.g. Hummingbird? Hummingbird promoted results that are less about perfect keyword targeting and more about matching the query’s intent.
  20. 20. Major Click-Biasing Changes Via Eye Tracking SERPs from Dr. Pete
  21. 21. e.g. Banners on Brand Queries
  22. 22. e.g. Knowledge Graph
  23. 23. e.g. Rel=Author Markup These show up because the writers have used Google+’s rel=author integration.
  24. 24. e.g. Google+ Based Personalization This only ranks because I follow Cyrus on Google+
  25. 25. Major User Behavior Changes Pew gives some nice, big picture data in their 2012 search engine use report
  26. 26. e.g. Mobile Search Behavior “What  are  mobile  searchers  looking  for?  Both  mobile   phone  and  tablet  searchers  find  accuracy  of  informa;on   to  be  more  important  than  depth  of  content,  according  to   the  researchers.       Tablet  searchers,  however,  are  placing  more  importance   on  depth  of  content  over  ;me,  while  mobile  phone   searchers  are  placing  less  importance  on  this  measure.”   Via and
  27. 27. e.g. Load Speed Expectations Via Google’s Site Speed Overview 2012
  28. 28. e.g. CTR Curve Changes Some of the SERPs CTR studies compared by Geoff Kenyon
  29. 29. Changes to Your Competitive Landscape Via my Moz Analytics account
  30. 30. What Google’s History Can Tell Us
  31. 31. Google of the Past Focused on Limited Inputs I’m embarrassed to say that this is from a post I wrote in 2009! This pie chart, however, is much more representative of SEO from ~1997-2007.
  32. 32. Google of the Future Will (try to) Consider Everything! For more detail, check out this visual guide to on-page optimization and the 2013 search ranking factors
  33. 33. Google of the Past Had 10 Blue Links Basic results like this comprise less than 20% of Google’s SERPs today.
  34. 34. Google of the Future is Visually Complex
  35. 35. SEO of the Past Was a Small Subset of Mostly Technical Tasks
  36. 36. SEO of the Future Encompasses a Huge Number of Responsibilities
  37. 37. SEO of the Past Was Tactical Sadly, there’s still a lot of this in the SEO field.
  38. 38. SEO of the Future is Strategic We are slowly, as an industry, moving in this direction. Being an early adopter is a powerful thing J
  39. 39. 3 Strategic & 3 Tactical Tips for Great SEO in 2013
  40. 40. Strategic #1: Make Sure Your Marketing & Product Tell a Cohesive Narrative. Far too many of us in the marketing world do “transactional SEO.” We don’t think about why we’re making content or getting rankings or earning traffic, and thus waste a ton of effort. Google’s Avinash Kaushik wrote an excellent post detailing the “See. Think Do.” Model.
  41. 41. Strategic #1: Make Sure Your Marketing & Product Tell a Cohesive Narrative. Does the story you tell here… match the way you market, sell, and deliver results here?
  42. 42. Strategic #2: Determine Where SEO Really Fits in Your Branding, Education, Conversion, & Retention Efforts? What kinds of content & rankings will bring the right people to these places at the right time?
  43. 43. Strategic #3: Don’t Build a Team of SEOs. Build a Team of Great Marketers with Strong SEO Skills. More details here:
  44. 44. Tactical #1: Worry About Earning the Click & Satisfying the Visitor As Much Or More than Ranking Higher If the snippet doesn’t excite searchers and the page doesn’t deliver, all the links & keyword targeting in the world won’t save you.
  45. 45. Tactical #2: Better Content > More Content.
  46. 46. Tactical #3: Correlation might be more interesting than causation. If you can discover what features your higherperforming competition has (in search, social, or content), you’re likely on to something big. More details here: and full ranking factors here:
  47. 47. Tactical #3: Correlation might be more interesting than causation. E.g. I don’t care if Google says they don’t use +1s in the algo. I care because content that gets +1s also seems to get whatever stuff is needed to rank better. More details here: and full ranking factors here:
  48. 48. 5 Entirely Free, Recommended Resources
  49. 49. Search Engine Land’s Top News
  50. 50. Homepage
  51. 51. Search Engine Roundtable
  52. 52. The Moz Top 10 Email
  53. 53. Mozcast: Google Algo Weather Report
  54. 54. Keeping Up with Google’s Insane Pace of Change Rand Fishkin, CEO, Moz @randfish |