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The State of SEO
/about-me.html
/my-first-backyard-garden.html
bit.ly/dfwsem2015
/my-second-backyard-garden.html
/vertical-gardening.html
I GO A LITTLE OVERBOARD SOMETIMES
The universal answer to every
gardening question ever:
It depends…
/vanity-license-plate.html
/my-resume.html
/FAQ.html
1. I started learning SEO in 2005, and I’m still learning.
2. I totally figured out the MSN Search & Win contest in
2006.
3. I won an award at SES 2008 for ‘Most Innovative Use of
Search Engine Optimization’.
4. Danny Sullivan follow’d me on Twitter.
5. I spoke on a panel at SMX West 2010 with the product
manager of Google Buzz.
6. At SMX East 2012, I presented a ton of evidence of
blackhat/hacking related to payday loans. 8 months
later, Google launched the ‘Payday Loan Update’ to their
search algorithm. Coincidence?!? I think not!
7. At SMX Advanced 2014, I got a hashtag trending on
Twitter (#SmallData).
UH OH. IT’S MY FIRST TIME WITH A MIC TO MYSELF
LET’S TALK MORE ABOUT ME
In order to understand who I am as an SEO, you need
to know who I learned from.
1. Todd Friesen (aka Oilman)
2. Greg Boser (aka WebGuerrilla)
3. Todd Malicoat (aka StuntDubl)
4. Dave Naylor (aka DaveN)
5. Aaron Wall
6. Bruce Clay, Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan, Matt
Cutts, Bill Hunt, Mike Grehan, Adam Audette,
Markus Tandler, Avinash Kaushik, Shoemoney &
more!
SEO was cool in 2005. Kinda seemed like this.
Kinda like we were roller-bladin’ phone phreakers.
And this was Google.
And I guess these guys were Matt Cutts.
We thought we were Zero Cool.
IN REALITY, WE WERE MORE LIKE THIS:
MY SEO HEROES ARE THE REASON WHY:
• I love to test new ideas.
• I have 1,000+ Hotmail accounts.
• I spread my sites across several servers.
• I have different Google Analytics accounts for my
sites. (And why sometimes I don’t use GA!)
• I’m into domain’ing.
• I was sitting at my computer the exact moment
Facebook launched vanity URLs.
• I have 100’s of Twitter handles.
• I have dozens of Facebook pages.
• I recently created a few dozen Ello accounts.
NONE OF THAT WORKS ANY MORE
Google installed its
one millionth server
on July 9, 2008. That’s
a lot of processing
power. It’s getting
tougher and tougher
to game their system.
Google’s 1st server 
DISTANT MEMORIES OF SEO
For the longest time, the #1 goal of SEO was free traffic – and lots
of it! It seemed like the only thing people cared about was
increasing rankings and traffic.
TODAY’S SEO KNOWS BETTER
In 2015, we know that simply driving a lot of traffic doesn’t always
achieve our goals.
In fact, I have seen several times where driving too much traffic
had negative consequences:
Fewer “Qualified Visits”
+ Increased Bounce Rate
+ Decreased Conversion Rate
+ Decreased Revenue Per Visit
= Unhappy Client
VISITS INCREASED, BUT…
REVENUE INCREASED, BUT…
REPEAT AFTER ME:
“MORE TRAFFIC DOES NOT
SOLVE MY PROBLEMS.”
RIDICULOUS HASHTAG OF THE DAY
MORE
TRAFFIC
DOES
NOT
SOLVE
MY
PROBLEMS.
#MTDNSMP
“That hashtag
is ridiculous!”
LET’S SWITCH GEARS FOR A MINUTE
“That dog is ridiculous!”
The Future of SEO.
“Reasonably.”
The SEO Timeline: Matt Cutts Edition
2000 2014
• Feb-2003: Boston
• Nov-2003: Florida
• Jan-2005: NoFollow
• Jun-2005: XML Sitemaps
• Oct-2005: Jagger
• May-2007: Personalized Search
• Feb-2009: Rel-Canonical
• Dec-2009: Real Time Search
• Jun-2010: Caffeine
• Feb-2011: Panda
• Oct-2011: Not Provided
• Apr-2012: Penguin
Before Cutts During Cutts After Cutts
<meta name=“keywords” content=“
viagra,phentermine,viagra,viagra,
blackjack,texas holdem,phenphen,
online poker,viagra,payday loans,
viagra,phentermine,viagra,viagra,
blackjack,texas holdem,phenphen,
online poker,viagra,payday loans,
viagra,phentermine,viagra,viagra,
blackjack,texas holdem,phenphen,
online poker,viagra,payday loans,
viagra,phentermine,viagra,viagra,
blackjack,texas holdem,phenphen”>
WHICH IS MOST IMPORTANT?
Knowledge of the:
• SEO Past
• SEO Present
• SEO Future
Why does everyone obsess about the Future of SEO?
WORD CLOUD: SEO PREDICTIONS FOR 2015
Top Keywords:
• brand(s)
• social
• people
• user(s)
• device(s)
• audience
• voice
• semantic
• data
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY ARTICLES?!
BECAUSE WE DEMAND IT. WE EAT IT
UP! THESE SITES ARE SIMPLY FILLING
THE SUPPLY SIDE OF THE EQUATION.
(Ironically, this is what every site
should be doing. Find out what your
visitors want – then give it to them!)
YOU CAN SEE THE DEMAND IN THE INDEX DATA
PERSONALLY, I LOVE THE FUTURE OF SEO!
1. It’s fun.
2. It sparks my
imagination.
3. It makes me wonder
where it’s all going.
4. Clients frequently ask
about the future of SEO,
so it’s good to know
about the various
predictions.
5. Sometimes, it makes
me laugh.
MAYBE EVERYTHING WON’T CHANGE OVERNIGHT
“It is a mistake to think that moving fast is the same as
actually going somewhere.” - Steve Goodier
“It feels like you're running
at an incredible rate, Harry.”
THERE’S SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT IT ALL
The majority of my clients have goals and projections they
need to hit *THIS* year. Not 3-5 years from now. Most of
our time is spent on strategies for immediate goals.
Furthermore:
“A clear trend in client-agency relationships is to terminate
those that under-perform. In 1984, the average client-
agency relationship tenure was 7.2 years. By 1997 (13 years
later), that number declined by 25% to 5.3 years. Today the
average client-agency tenure is thought to be less than three
years.” (DigiDay)
WHERE TO START?
1. Mobile
2. Local
3. #Apptimization
4. International
5. Entity Search
“Whatcha gonna
do, BROTHER?!”
IT REALLY GOES BACK TO DEFINING THE GOALS
For clients who need long-term growth 3-5 years down
the road, focus on strategies that will help achieve those
goals.
For clients who need short-term growth, focus on
strategies that are working right now.
If there are goals in both time frames, develop a strategy
that will set them up for success in both the short term
and the long term.
IT’S ABOUT TIME FOR AN AVINASH QUOTE
“Without a clearly
defined list of business
objectives you are
doomed, because if
you don't know where
you are going then any
road will take you
there.”
TIME FOR A QUICK QUALITY CHECK
“You’re doing good!”
LET’S SWITCH GEARS FOR A MINUTE…AGAIN
#BearsWithBeaks
WHAT MAKES AN SEO?
Equal Parts:
• Marketer
• Brand Enthusiast
• Business Analyst
• Data Nerd
• Problem Solver
• Sales Person
• Economist
• Technologist
• Developer/Coder
• Creative
• Writer
• Futurist
• Reader/News Junkie
• And many other skills!
“What would you say you do here?”
SEO’s GET ASKED TO DO A LOT!
1. Technical SEO
2. Local SEO
3. Mobile SEO
4. Image SEO
5. Video SEO
6. Content Strategy
7. Usability & User Experience
8. Information Architecture
9. Digital Asset Management
10. Affiliate Marketing
11. Social Media Marketing
12. Reputation Management
13. Relationship Management
14. Link Building
15. Conversion Rate Optimization
16. Blogging (Writing, Topic Generation)
17. Domain’ing
18. Wordpess, Magento, Drupal
19. Platform Optimization & Migration
20. Analytics Analysis & Implementation
“SEO’s do #ALLTHETHINGS!”
Honey, I shrunk that list.
MY SEO PRIORITIES FOR 2015
1. Basic strategies that we have to get right – right now!
• Meta Tags: Title tags & Description tags
• Basic On-Page Elements: H tags, Alt tags, image captions, etc…
• XML Sitemaps
• Store Locators & Local Information
• 3xx Redirects
2. Newer tactics that we have to get right – sooner rather than later.
• Modern/Social meta tags: OpenGraph, Twitter Cards, Pinterest Rich Pins
• Schema.org markup, especially location information
• HTTPS (Secure Search)
• SiteSpeed/PageLoad
3. Futuristic ideas that we need to research, learn & begin implementing.
• App Indexing Best Practices
• Content strategies for entity search & voice search
• Anything & everything related to mobile experience
MEAT & POTATOES
Real-World Tactics You Can Use Today & Tomorrow!
NOT PROVIDED
Advice: It’s a hurdle. Jump over it.
“I’m so over ‘Not Provided’.”
- @Rhea
BEST QUOTE OF 2014
TRY THIS: COUNT THE # OF URLS DRIVING VISITS
GA  ORGANIC CHANNEL  LANDING PAGE
TRY THIS: COUNT THE # OF URLS DRIVING VISITS
THAT NUMBER RIGHT THERE!
TRY THIS: GRAPH IT & LOOK FOR WEIRDNESS
THAT’S ODD.
TRACKING ALGO UPDATES
Advice: Look for any oddities in your daily organic visits data.
CAN YOU SPOT THE ALGO UPDATES?
TRY THIS: MEASURE 1 DAY BEFORE & AFTER
TRY THIS: MEASURE 3 DAYS BEFORE & AFTER
TRY THIS: MEASURE 7 DAYS BEFORE & AFTER
TRY THIS: MEASURE 30 DAYS BEFORE & AFTER
BONUS IDEA: DO THE SAME WITH RANKINGS DATA
RANKING REPORTS
Advice: URL-level reporting is the way to go.
TRY THIS: SEMRUSH FOR RANKINGS HISTORY
Path: SEMRush  Organic Research  Positions
NEXT: DOWNLOAD YOUR HISTORICAL DATA
NEXT: BUILD SOME PIVOT TABLES
Once you have the data, there is only one thing
left to do…
PIVOT
TABLES!
BONUS: TABLE MATCHES EXPLAINED
NEXT: GRAPH THE DATA (TRADITIONAL VIEWS)
NEXT: GRAPH THE DATA (MODERN VIEWS)
LINKBUILDING & LINKS
Advice: Don’t be dumb. Be smart. Don’t be careless. Be careful.
TRY THIS: “LINK RECLAMATION”
1. Download all the URLs that have driven traffic in the past 2 years.
• Get this data from GA, Omniture, CoreMetrics, etc…
2. Download your link profile/history from:
• Google WMT, Majestic, Moz, AHREFS, etc…
3. Merge all the URLs from 1 and 2; Filter for uniques.
4. Crawl those URLs.
5. Look for any response codes other than a 200.
• Specifically, look for 3xx, 4xx & 5xx codes.
6. Build/Update the redirects for URLs 3xx, 4xx & 5xx codes.
7. BOOM. Free Links!
CONTENT
Advice: Adapt to conversational search. Create topic hubs.
TRY THIS: TOPIC HUBS (ENTITY SEARCH)
“A good site for topical hubs
could be a microsite. We
have just to think of our site
as if it was a composition of
microsites all contextually
connected.” - @gfiorelli1
SEMANTIC SEARCH
"Semantic search is a search or a question or an action that produces meaningful
results, even when the retrieved items contain none of the query terms, or the
search involves no query text at all.“ - Tamas Doszkocs
CAN I HELP YOU?
Gotta love this SERPs template, right?
TRY THIS: MINE YOUR ONSITE SEARCH DATA
If you’re not
looking at your
website’s
onsite search
data, this owl
disapproves of
your entire SEO
campaign.
TRY THIS: MINE YOUR ONSITE SEARCH DATA
If this is your first
time to look at
your website’s
onsite search data,
brace yourselves.
ONSITE SEARCH TAKEAWAYS
1. Look at your site’s onsite search data.
2. Use that data to determine what your
customers are looking for.
3. Take all of that and build some pages
that target your customers’ needs.
REGARDING THE QUALITY OF YOUR CONTENT
You should look at
your content the
same way Uncle
Jesse looked at
Aunt Becky. You
should be singing
to your content:
“I’ll be forever
loving you.”
You should love your content as much
as Macho Man loved Miss Elizabeth.
HULK HOGAN SHOULD BE POINTING AT YOU!
CRUSHING IT: BUZZFEED
CRUSHING IT: HUFFPO
CRUSHING IT: VICE
XML SITEMAPS
Advice: Yes. These still matter. Maybe more than ever.
REMEMBER THESE THINGS?
Everyone takes it for granted that their sitemaps
are complete, accurate, and up-to-date.
DUANE’S ADVICE
“Right, because if you start showing
me 301s in here, rel=canonicals, 404
errors, all of that, I'm going to start
distrusting your sitemap and I'm just
not going to bother with it anymore.”
- @DuaneForrester (Mar. 3, 2011)
Source: http://moz.com/blog/bings-duane-forrester-on-webmaster-tools-
metrics-and-sitemap-quality-thresholds
KERRY’S XML SITEMAPS TO-DO LIST
1. Go find all of your XML sitemap file(s)
2. Make sure they are listed in your robots.txt
3. Crawl all of your sitemaps
4. Look for any URLs that are no returning a 200
status code; fix them or remove them from
the sitemap.
5. If possible, break your sitemaps into groups
by products and/or categories.
6. If you can, break them into smaller batches.
It makes it easier to diagnose problems.
Rel=Alternate Tags for Your International Sites
URL SPECIFICALLY FOR #WORLDCUP
<link rel="canonical" href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/worldcup">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="fr" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=fr">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=en">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="ar" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ar">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="ja" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ja">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="es" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=es">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=de">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="it" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=it">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="id" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=id">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="pt" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=pt">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="ko" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ko">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="tr" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=tr">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="ru" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ru">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="nl" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=nl">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="hi" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=hi">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="no" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=no">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="sv" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=sv">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="fi" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=fi">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="da" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=da">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="pl" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=pl">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="hu" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=hu">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="fa" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=fa">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="he" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=he">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="th" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=th">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="uk" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=uk">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="ca" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ca">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="el" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=el">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="eu" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=eu">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="cs" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=cs">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="gl" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=gl">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="ro" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ro">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="vi" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=vi">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="bn" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=bn">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="fil" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=fil">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="ms" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ms">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="zh-tw" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=zh-tw">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="zh-cn" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=zh-cn">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-gb" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=en-gb">
Look at all
those rel-
alternate tags
in their source
code!
If you have
international
versions of
your site, you
should think
about this.
APP INDEXING
Advice: This is a thing now.
LET’S TALK ABOUT APPS
GOOGLE IS SENDING SEARCHERS TO APPS
“Today, we’re expanding it to work
for English content worldwide. And
we’re including 24 more apps…
– Google Search Blog (Apr. 3, 2014)
BING IS DOING IT, TOO.
THE PATH FOR ORGANIC SEARCHERS IS CHANGING
INITIAL SEARCH
OR
WEBSITE
VISIT
APP
VISIT
WHEN YOUR APP GETS INDEXED…
App
Launches
You may notice a drop in organic traffic to your website as Google
and Bing begin to send more organic search to your app instead.
GETTING YOUR APP INDEXED
More on APP indexing & structured data from @JustinRBriggs:
http://www.slideshare.net/justinrbriggs/increasing-mobile-visibility-with-structured-datao
BRACE YOURSELVES
SEARCH ENGINE
#APPTIMIZATION
A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF APP KPI’s
If organic search begins to drive searchers to your app, you will need to track
their behavior in the app.
1. Users
2. Session Length
3. Session Interval
4. Time in App
5. Acquisition
6. Screen Flow
7. Retention
8. Lifetime Value
9. …and more!
Get ready for App KPI’s. It’s going to get fun.
SITE MONITORING
Advice: It’s more important now than ever.
TRY THIS: MONITOR YOUR VISITS BY DIMENSION
1. Pull your organic visits data daily.
2. Trend based on ‘Source’. (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc…)
3. Trend based on ‘Device’. (iPhone, Galaxy S5, iPad, etc…)
4. Trend based on ‘Operating System’.
5. Trend based on ‘Browser’.
6. Monitor for any sudden changes.
Benefits:
- Quickly identifying site issues.
- Quickly identifying algo updates.
PRO TIP: MONITOR YOUR TITLE TAGS IN THE SERPS
Recent AuthorityLabs study suggests Google is modifying
title tags 60% of the time.
CASE STUDY: SITE STABILITY & RANKINGS
Lesson: Google is fast to drop you out of the SERPs.
Site 1:
Server errors for 3-4 days.
CASE STUDY: SITE STABILITY & RANKINGS
Lesson: Google is fast to drop you out of the SERPs.
Site 2:
Site down for 8 weeks.
YOU SEE…WEBSITES ARE KINDA LIKE FAMILIES.
LOVELY PARENTS, BEAUTIFUL KIDS, NICE HOUSE…
BUT DON’T FORGET ABOUT THAT ONE COUSIN.
“SH!TTER
WAS FULL!”
“IT’S TIME TO CLEAN UP YOUR SH!T.” - @kerrydean
Site B
Lesson: Fix your 4xx & 5xx status codes.
STUFF I’M TIRED OF HEARING
Advice: You might be tired of it, too.
UGGHHH….
1. “Just build great content.”
2. “Google says…”
“That really
grinds my gears!”
OH, AND THIS ONE, TOO.
3. “Buying links is bad.”
“Your advice is bad, and
you should feel bad!”
SPEED ROUND
Advice: The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down.
THE BEST SEO ADVICE EVER.
CREATE A CULTURE OF TESTING.
THE BEST SEO ADVICE EVER. PERIOD.
STOP READING ABOUT SEO.
START DOING SEO.
THE BEST SEO ADVICE EVER (REGARDING PRIORITIES)
“If it don’t make dollars,
it don’t make sense.”
- Deion Sanders
#PrimeTime
THE BEST SEO ADVICE EVER (REGARDING GOOGLE)
THIS IS WHAT THEY DO. GET USED TO IT.
FIND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE CHANGES.
CONCLUSION
SOMETIMES, THIS IS SEO. #DistantFuture
SOMETIMES, THIS IS SEO. #NearFuture
SOMETIMES, THIS IS SEO. #RightNow
THIS IS ALSO SEO. #TheRecentPast
AND, SOMETIMES, THIS IS SEO.
“I suggest you gentlemen invent a way to
put a square peg in a round hole.”
“We've got to find a
way to make this...
fit into the hole for
this...
using nothing but
that.”
The good news is that SEO’s love a challenge.
Meet every challenge with this statement:
“I’m your Huckleberry.”
BONUS PRO TIP
“Always end your presentation with a
picture of a cat.” - @kerrydean
THANKS!

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  • 6. I GO A LITTLE OVERBOARD SOMETIMES
  • 7. The universal answer to every gardening question ever: It depends…
  • 10. /FAQ.html 1. I started learning SEO in 2005, and I’m still learning. 2. I totally figured out the MSN Search & Win contest in 2006. 3. I won an award at SES 2008 for ‘Most Innovative Use of Search Engine Optimization’. 4. Danny Sullivan follow’d me on Twitter. 5. I spoke on a panel at SMX West 2010 with the product manager of Google Buzz. 6. At SMX East 2012, I presented a ton of evidence of blackhat/hacking related to payday loans. 8 months later, Google launched the ‘Payday Loan Update’ to their search algorithm. Coincidence?!? I think not! 7. At SMX Advanced 2014, I got a hashtag trending on Twitter (#SmallData).
  • 11. UH OH. IT’S MY FIRST TIME WITH A MIC TO MYSELF
  • 12. LET’S TALK MORE ABOUT ME In order to understand who I am as an SEO, you need to know who I learned from. 1. Todd Friesen (aka Oilman) 2. Greg Boser (aka WebGuerrilla) 3. Todd Malicoat (aka StuntDubl) 4. Dave Naylor (aka DaveN) 5. Aaron Wall 6. Bruce Clay, Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan, Matt Cutts, Bill Hunt, Mike Grehan, Adam Audette, Markus Tandler, Avinash Kaushik, Shoemoney & more!
  • 13. SEO was cool in 2005. Kinda seemed like this.
  • 14. Kinda like we were roller-bladin’ phone phreakers.
  • 15. And this was Google.
  • 16. And I guess these guys were Matt Cutts.
  • 17. We thought we were Zero Cool.
  • 18. IN REALITY, WE WERE MORE LIKE THIS:
  • 19. MY SEO HEROES ARE THE REASON WHY: • I love to test new ideas. • I have 1,000+ Hotmail accounts. • I spread my sites across several servers. • I have different Google Analytics accounts for my sites. (And why sometimes I don’t use GA!) • I’m into domain’ing. • I was sitting at my computer the exact moment Facebook launched vanity URLs. • I have 100’s of Twitter handles. • I have dozens of Facebook pages. • I recently created a few dozen Ello accounts.
  • 20. NONE OF THAT WORKS ANY MORE Google installed its one millionth server on July 9, 2008. That’s a lot of processing power. It’s getting tougher and tougher to game their system. Google’s 1st server 
  • 21. DISTANT MEMORIES OF SEO For the longest time, the #1 goal of SEO was free traffic – and lots of it! It seemed like the only thing people cared about was increasing rankings and traffic.
  • 22. TODAY’S SEO KNOWS BETTER In 2015, we know that simply driving a lot of traffic doesn’t always achieve our goals. In fact, I have seen several times where driving too much traffic had negative consequences: Fewer “Qualified Visits” + Increased Bounce Rate + Decreased Conversion Rate + Decreased Revenue Per Visit = Unhappy Client
  • 25. REPEAT AFTER ME: “MORE TRAFFIC DOES NOT SOLVE MY PROBLEMS.”
  • 26. RIDICULOUS HASHTAG OF THE DAY MORE TRAFFIC DOES NOT SOLVE MY PROBLEMS. #MTDNSMP “That hashtag is ridiculous!”
  • 27. LET’S SWITCH GEARS FOR A MINUTE “That dog is ridiculous!”
  • 30. The SEO Timeline: Matt Cutts Edition 2000 2014 • Feb-2003: Boston • Nov-2003: Florida • Jan-2005: NoFollow • Jun-2005: XML Sitemaps • Oct-2005: Jagger • May-2007: Personalized Search • Feb-2009: Rel-Canonical • Dec-2009: Real Time Search • Jun-2010: Caffeine • Feb-2011: Panda • Oct-2011: Not Provided • Apr-2012: Penguin Before Cutts During Cutts After Cutts <meta name=“keywords” content=“ viagra,phentermine,viagra,viagra, blackjack,texas holdem,phenphen, online poker,viagra,payday loans, viagra,phentermine,viagra,viagra, blackjack,texas holdem,phenphen, online poker,viagra,payday loans, viagra,phentermine,viagra,viagra, blackjack,texas holdem,phenphen, online poker,viagra,payday loans, viagra,phentermine,viagra,viagra, blackjack,texas holdem,phenphen”>
  • 31. WHICH IS MOST IMPORTANT? Knowledge of the: • SEO Past • SEO Present • SEO Future
  • 32. Why does everyone obsess about the Future of SEO?
  • 33.
  • 34. WORD CLOUD: SEO PREDICTIONS FOR 2015 Top Keywords: • brand(s) • social • people • user(s) • device(s) • audience • voice • semantic • data
  • 35. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY ARTICLES?! BECAUSE WE DEMAND IT. WE EAT IT UP! THESE SITES ARE SIMPLY FILLING THE SUPPLY SIDE OF THE EQUATION. (Ironically, this is what every site should be doing. Find out what your visitors want – then give it to them!)
  • 36. YOU CAN SEE THE DEMAND IN THE INDEX DATA
  • 37. PERSONALLY, I LOVE THE FUTURE OF SEO! 1. It’s fun. 2. It sparks my imagination. 3. It makes me wonder where it’s all going. 4. Clients frequently ask about the future of SEO, so it’s good to know about the various predictions. 5. Sometimes, it makes me laugh.
  • 38.
  • 39. MAYBE EVERYTHING WON’T CHANGE OVERNIGHT “It is a mistake to think that moving fast is the same as actually going somewhere.” - Steve Goodier “It feels like you're running at an incredible rate, Harry.”
  • 40. THERE’S SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT IT ALL The majority of my clients have goals and projections they need to hit *THIS* year. Not 3-5 years from now. Most of our time is spent on strategies for immediate goals. Furthermore: “A clear trend in client-agency relationships is to terminate those that under-perform. In 1984, the average client- agency relationship tenure was 7.2 years. By 1997 (13 years later), that number declined by 25% to 5.3 years. Today the average client-agency tenure is thought to be less than three years.” (DigiDay)
  • 41. WHERE TO START? 1. Mobile 2. Local 3. #Apptimization 4. International 5. Entity Search “Whatcha gonna do, BROTHER?!”
  • 42. IT REALLY GOES BACK TO DEFINING THE GOALS For clients who need long-term growth 3-5 years down the road, focus on strategies that will help achieve those goals. For clients who need short-term growth, focus on strategies that are working right now. If there are goals in both time frames, develop a strategy that will set them up for success in both the short term and the long term.
  • 43. IT’S ABOUT TIME FOR AN AVINASH QUOTE “Without a clearly defined list of business objectives you are doomed, because if you don't know where you are going then any road will take you there.”
  • 44. TIME FOR A QUICK QUALITY CHECK
  • 46. LET’S SWITCH GEARS FOR A MINUTE…AGAIN #BearsWithBeaks
  • 47. WHAT MAKES AN SEO? Equal Parts: • Marketer • Brand Enthusiast • Business Analyst • Data Nerd • Problem Solver • Sales Person • Economist • Technologist • Developer/Coder • Creative • Writer • Futurist • Reader/News Junkie • And many other skills!
  • 48. “What would you say you do here?”
  • 49. SEO’s GET ASKED TO DO A LOT! 1. Technical SEO 2. Local SEO 3. Mobile SEO 4. Image SEO 5. Video SEO 6. Content Strategy 7. Usability & User Experience 8. Information Architecture 9. Digital Asset Management 10. Affiliate Marketing 11. Social Media Marketing 12. Reputation Management 13. Relationship Management 14. Link Building 15. Conversion Rate Optimization 16. Blogging (Writing, Topic Generation) 17. Domain’ing 18. Wordpess, Magento, Drupal 19. Platform Optimization & Migration 20. Analytics Analysis & Implementation “SEO’s do #ALLTHETHINGS!”
  • 50. Honey, I shrunk that list.
  • 51. MY SEO PRIORITIES FOR 2015 1. Basic strategies that we have to get right – right now! • Meta Tags: Title tags & Description tags • Basic On-Page Elements: H tags, Alt tags, image captions, etc… • XML Sitemaps • Store Locators & Local Information • 3xx Redirects 2. Newer tactics that we have to get right – sooner rather than later. • Modern/Social meta tags: OpenGraph, Twitter Cards, Pinterest Rich Pins • Schema.org markup, especially location information • HTTPS (Secure Search) • SiteSpeed/PageLoad 3. Futuristic ideas that we need to research, learn & begin implementing. • App Indexing Best Practices • Content strategies for entity search & voice search • Anything & everything related to mobile experience
  • 52. MEAT & POTATOES Real-World Tactics You Can Use Today & Tomorrow!
  • 53. NOT PROVIDED Advice: It’s a hurdle. Jump over it.
  • 54. “I’m so over ‘Not Provided’.” - @Rhea BEST QUOTE OF 2014
  • 55. TRY THIS: COUNT THE # OF URLS DRIVING VISITS GA  ORGANIC CHANNEL  LANDING PAGE
  • 56. TRY THIS: COUNT THE # OF URLS DRIVING VISITS THAT NUMBER RIGHT THERE!
  • 57. TRY THIS: GRAPH IT & LOOK FOR WEIRDNESS THAT’S ODD.
  • 58. TRACKING ALGO UPDATES Advice: Look for any oddities in your daily organic visits data.
  • 59. CAN YOU SPOT THE ALGO UPDATES?
  • 60. TRY THIS: MEASURE 1 DAY BEFORE & AFTER
  • 61. TRY THIS: MEASURE 3 DAYS BEFORE & AFTER
  • 62. TRY THIS: MEASURE 7 DAYS BEFORE & AFTER
  • 63. TRY THIS: MEASURE 30 DAYS BEFORE & AFTER
  • 64. BONUS IDEA: DO THE SAME WITH RANKINGS DATA
  • 65. RANKING REPORTS Advice: URL-level reporting is the way to go.
  • 66. TRY THIS: SEMRUSH FOR RANKINGS HISTORY Path: SEMRush  Organic Research  Positions
  • 67. NEXT: DOWNLOAD YOUR HISTORICAL DATA
  • 68. NEXT: BUILD SOME PIVOT TABLES Once you have the data, there is only one thing left to do… PIVOT TABLES!
  • 69. BONUS: TABLE MATCHES EXPLAINED
  • 70. NEXT: GRAPH THE DATA (TRADITIONAL VIEWS)
  • 71. NEXT: GRAPH THE DATA (MODERN VIEWS)
  • 72. LINKBUILDING & LINKS Advice: Don’t be dumb. Be smart. Don’t be careless. Be careful.
  • 73. TRY THIS: “LINK RECLAMATION” 1. Download all the URLs that have driven traffic in the past 2 years. • Get this data from GA, Omniture, CoreMetrics, etc… 2. Download your link profile/history from: • Google WMT, Majestic, Moz, AHREFS, etc… 3. Merge all the URLs from 1 and 2; Filter for uniques. 4. Crawl those URLs. 5. Look for any response codes other than a 200. • Specifically, look for 3xx, 4xx & 5xx codes. 6. Build/Update the redirects for URLs 3xx, 4xx & 5xx codes. 7. BOOM. Free Links!
  • 74.
  • 75. CONTENT Advice: Adapt to conversational search. Create topic hubs.
  • 76. TRY THIS: TOPIC HUBS (ENTITY SEARCH) “A good site for topical hubs could be a microsite. We have just to think of our site as if it was a composition of microsites all contextually connected.” - @gfiorelli1
  • 77. SEMANTIC SEARCH "Semantic search is a search or a question or an action that produces meaningful results, even when the retrieved items contain none of the query terms, or the search involves no query text at all.“ - Tamas Doszkocs
  • 78. CAN I HELP YOU? Gotta love this SERPs template, right?
  • 79. TRY THIS: MINE YOUR ONSITE SEARCH DATA If you’re not looking at your website’s onsite search data, this owl disapproves of your entire SEO campaign.
  • 80. TRY THIS: MINE YOUR ONSITE SEARCH DATA If this is your first time to look at your website’s onsite search data, brace yourselves.
  • 81. ONSITE SEARCH TAKEAWAYS 1. Look at your site’s onsite search data. 2. Use that data to determine what your customers are looking for. 3. Take all of that and build some pages that target your customers’ needs.
  • 82. REGARDING THE QUALITY OF YOUR CONTENT You should look at your content the same way Uncle Jesse looked at Aunt Becky. You should be singing to your content: “I’ll be forever loving you.”
  • 83. You should love your content as much as Macho Man loved Miss Elizabeth.
  • 84. HULK HOGAN SHOULD BE POINTING AT YOU!
  • 88. XML SITEMAPS Advice: Yes. These still matter. Maybe more than ever.
  • 89. REMEMBER THESE THINGS? Everyone takes it for granted that their sitemaps are complete, accurate, and up-to-date.
  • 90. DUANE’S ADVICE “Right, because if you start showing me 301s in here, rel=canonicals, 404 errors, all of that, I'm going to start distrusting your sitemap and I'm just not going to bother with it anymore.” - @DuaneForrester (Mar. 3, 2011) Source: http://moz.com/blog/bings-duane-forrester-on-webmaster-tools- metrics-and-sitemap-quality-thresholds
  • 91. KERRY’S XML SITEMAPS TO-DO LIST 1. Go find all of your XML sitemap file(s) 2. Make sure they are listed in your robots.txt 3. Crawl all of your sitemaps 4. Look for any URLs that are no returning a 200 status code; fix them or remove them from the sitemap. 5. If possible, break your sitemaps into groups by products and/or categories. 6. If you can, break them into smaller batches. It makes it easier to diagnose problems.
  • 92. Rel=Alternate Tags for Your International Sites
  • 93. URL SPECIFICALLY FOR #WORLDCUP
  • 94. <link rel="canonical" href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/worldcup"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="fr" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=fr"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=en"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="ar" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ar"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="ja" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ja"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="es" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=es"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=de"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="it" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=it"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="id" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=id"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="pt" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=pt"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="ko" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ko"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="tr" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=tr"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="ru" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ru"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="nl" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=nl"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="hi" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=hi"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="no" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=no"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="sv" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=sv"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="fi" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=fi"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="da" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=da"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="pl" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=pl"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="hu" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=hu"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="fa" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=fa"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="he" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=he"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="th" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=th"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="uk" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=uk"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="ca" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ca"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="el" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=el"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="eu" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=eu"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="cs" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=cs"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="gl" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=gl"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="ro" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ro"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="vi" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=vi"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="bn" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=bn"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="fil" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=fil"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="ms" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=ms"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="zh-tw" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=zh-tw"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="zh-cn" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=zh-cn"> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-gb" href="https://twitter.com/search?hashtag=worldcup&amp;lang=en-gb"> Look at all those rel- alternate tags in their source code! If you have international versions of your site, you should think about this.
  • 95. APP INDEXING Advice: This is a thing now.
  • 97. GOOGLE IS SENDING SEARCHERS TO APPS “Today, we’re expanding it to work for English content worldwide. And we’re including 24 more apps… – Google Search Blog (Apr. 3, 2014)
  • 98. BING IS DOING IT, TOO.
  • 99. THE PATH FOR ORGANIC SEARCHERS IS CHANGING INITIAL SEARCH OR WEBSITE VISIT APP VISIT
  • 100. WHEN YOUR APP GETS INDEXED… App Launches You may notice a drop in organic traffic to your website as Google and Bing begin to send more organic search to your app instead.
  • 101. GETTING YOUR APP INDEXED More on APP indexing & structured data from @JustinRBriggs: http://www.slideshare.net/justinrbriggs/increasing-mobile-visibility-with-structured-datao
  • 103. A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF APP KPI’s If organic search begins to drive searchers to your app, you will need to track their behavior in the app. 1. Users 2. Session Length 3. Session Interval 4. Time in App 5. Acquisition 6. Screen Flow 7. Retention 8. Lifetime Value 9. …and more! Get ready for App KPI’s. It’s going to get fun.
  • 104. SITE MONITORING Advice: It’s more important now than ever.
  • 105. TRY THIS: MONITOR YOUR VISITS BY DIMENSION 1. Pull your organic visits data daily. 2. Trend based on ‘Source’. (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc…) 3. Trend based on ‘Device’. (iPhone, Galaxy S5, iPad, etc…) 4. Trend based on ‘Operating System’. 5. Trend based on ‘Browser’. 6. Monitor for any sudden changes. Benefits: - Quickly identifying site issues. - Quickly identifying algo updates.
  • 106. PRO TIP: MONITOR YOUR TITLE TAGS IN THE SERPS Recent AuthorityLabs study suggests Google is modifying title tags 60% of the time.
  • 107. CASE STUDY: SITE STABILITY & RANKINGS Lesson: Google is fast to drop you out of the SERPs. Site 1: Server errors for 3-4 days.
  • 108. CASE STUDY: SITE STABILITY & RANKINGS Lesson: Google is fast to drop you out of the SERPs. Site 2: Site down for 8 weeks.
  • 109. YOU SEE…WEBSITES ARE KINDA LIKE FAMILIES.
  • 110. LOVELY PARENTS, BEAUTIFUL KIDS, NICE HOUSE…
  • 111. BUT DON’T FORGET ABOUT THAT ONE COUSIN. “SH!TTER WAS FULL!”
  • 112. “IT’S TIME TO CLEAN UP YOUR SH!T.” - @kerrydean Site B Lesson: Fix your 4xx & 5xx status codes.
  • 113. STUFF I’M TIRED OF HEARING Advice: You might be tired of it, too.
  • 114. UGGHHH…. 1. “Just build great content.” 2. “Google says…” “That really grinds my gears!”
  • 115. OH, AND THIS ONE, TOO. 3. “Buying links is bad.” “Your advice is bad, and you should feel bad!”
  • 116. SPEED ROUND Advice: The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down.
  • 117. THE BEST SEO ADVICE EVER. CREATE A CULTURE OF TESTING.
  • 118. THE BEST SEO ADVICE EVER. PERIOD. STOP READING ABOUT SEO. START DOING SEO.
  • 119. THE BEST SEO ADVICE EVER (REGARDING PRIORITIES) “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.” - Deion Sanders #PrimeTime
  • 120. THE BEST SEO ADVICE EVER (REGARDING GOOGLE) THIS IS WHAT THEY DO. GET USED TO IT. FIND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE CHANGES.
  • 122. SOMETIMES, THIS IS SEO. #DistantFuture
  • 123. SOMETIMES, THIS IS SEO. #NearFuture
  • 124. SOMETIMES, THIS IS SEO. #RightNow
  • 125. THIS IS ALSO SEO. #TheRecentPast
  • 126. AND, SOMETIMES, THIS IS SEO. “I suggest you gentlemen invent a way to put a square peg in a round hole.”
  • 127.
  • 128. “We've got to find a way to make this... fit into the hole for this... using nothing but that.”
  • 129. The good news is that SEO’s love a challenge.
  • 130. Meet every challenge with this statement:
  • 132. BONUS PRO TIP “Always end your presentation with a picture of a cat.” - @kerrydean