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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
%
5-Word Queries 8.70%
6+ Word
Queries
12.12
%
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 Clicks on Organic Results
But 49% of clicks
go to Google
properties of one
kind or another
(Maps, YouTube,
Ads, etc)
Distribution of Clicks on Organic Results
~40% of
searches result
in no clicks at
all
For weather
queries like
this, it’s ~75%
Lots of “No-Click” Searches Happen, Too:
~25% of desktop queries come
through Chrome Instant, and many of
those that load result in no clicks (as
searchers are still
typing/refining/choosing)
Search Suggest May Be Biasing Behavior
1) youtube.com
2) wikipedia.org
3) facebook.com
4) amazon.com
5)
stackoverflow.com
6) pinterest.com
7) reddit.com
8) ebay.com
9) zillow.com
10) imdb.com
11) linkedin.com
12) yelp.com
13) xvideos.com
14) quora.com
15) tripadvisor.com
16) walmart.com
17)
answers.yahoo.com
18) pornhub.com
19) nih.nlm.ncbi.gov
20) netflix.com
Together, these
20 sites
account for
22.8% of all
Google search
traffic referrals
Top Sites Receiving Google US Traffic
Top 20 Websites 22.8%
Top 100 Websites
30.59
%
Top 1,000 Websites
45.58
%
Top 10,000 Websites
62.66
%
Distribution of Google’s Search Clicks
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 in
March, 2016
Apply different tactics
to reach audiences on
different sites
Amazon’s ranking
factors can be
found here.
Conversion rate
plays a big role.
Consider Content for Multiple Engines
Moz first puts videos up on our site, then later uploads
to YouTube to benefit from both classic SEO and video
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
from searchers
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 content to
match the *answer* Google
wanted for this search
query
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 “champagne flutes”
than “toasting flutes”,
but 12,100 and 1,900
almost certainly aren’t
the real quantities.
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 true search
volume 95% of the time.
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 (and totally free)
7 Kinds of KW Research Expansions to Try:
1) Search
Suggest
2) People Also Search
For…
3) Similar Pages Rank
For…
4) Semantically Connected
Terms
5) Topically-Related Searches
6) Questions Containing these KWs
7) AdWords (Commercial)
Tools that Have These Discovery Options:
1
)
2
)
3
)
4
)
5
)
6
)
(Free & Paid) SEMRush
(Free & Paid) KeywordTool.io
7
)
(Paid) SimilarWeb
(Free & Paid) Moz KW Explorer
(Free) Ubersuggest
(Free) Answer The Public
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 the results for
this keyword list (via
Then Determine What Verticals & SERPTypes You
Need to Optimize For
It might pay to
generate some
visual charts in
addition to a
text-only
version…
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 Facebook
G Shopping Amazon eBay Etsy
G
Play
iTunes
G
Maps
SoundcloudLibsyn
Apple Maps Bing Maps
G News
iTunes G
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 targeting the query as
the query keywords
themselves
It’s Still Wise to Use
Keywords
Matching Your Content to What SearchersAre
Seeking is Critical, Too
Trulia knows searchers want
home prices, by
neighborhood, with trend
data, zipcode filters, and a
zoomable map.
Use of related topics to indicate the content’s
relevance
Serving KWs w/ matching intent together on one page
Thorough answers/solutions to the searcher’s query
Unique value over what other sites in the SERPs
Intelligent keyword use in page title, meta
description, URL, and top few paragraphs (just as
before)
On-Page SEO in 2016 Requires
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)
Encourage
members to link
to their profiles &
favorite books;
partner w/
retailers &
authors to earn
links from their
Link nudges
during account
setup, and upon
completion of
activities on the
site. Direct
outreach to
authors/retailers.
1. Links from
members
2. Links &
mentions from
authors/retailer
s
3. Rankings for
key terms
4. Search visits
Link
Goals
Strategic
Approach
Tactical
Initiatives
KPI
Metrics
We Also Need…
Buy-In on Experimentation
Via PointBlankSEO and Allie Brown
Link tactics like an
event photo gallery
might work, but it
also might fall flat.
Link building needs
room to try and fail.
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
Investments
Slow to show ROI
Earn links while you sleep
Non-existent Spam Risk
Can Show Fast ROI
Effort In = Links Out
Can Have Spam Risk
Short-Term Hacks
Great Link Builders Focus on
Their Flywheel
Moz’s
Flywheel
KW Research +
Industry Intuition
Publish
Content
Promote via
Social Channels
Push to email
+ RSS
subscribers
Earn Links +
Amplification Grow social, email,
RSS, & WoM
channels
Grow Domain
Authority
Earn Search &
Referral Traffic
Rank for More
Competitive KWs
KW Research +
Industry Intuition
Publish
Content
Promote via
Social Channels
Push to email
+ RSS
subscribers
Earn Links +
Amplification Grow social, email,
RSS, & WoM
channels
Grow Domain
Authority
Earn Search &
Referral Traffic
Rank for More
Competitive KWs
In 2006, I was lucky
if new content led to
any links or rankings
at all
KW Research +
Industry Intuition
Publish
Content
Promote via
Social Channels
Push to email
+ RSS
subscribers
Earn Links +
Amplification Grow social, email,
RSS, & WoM
channels
Grow Domain
Authority
Earn Search &
Referral Traffic
Rank for More
Competitive KWs
But, by 2016, nearly
every post earns a
handful of links, &
some earn a lot!
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
+ RSS
subscribers
Crap… We’re not reaching
anyone who will link/amplify us

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
Investments
Hacks to
Remove
Friction
+ + +
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
Google Search
Engineer Paul
Haahr, shows
how clicks are
used to grade
performance
Via How Google Works on Slideshare
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 definitely
not happy.
Via Steve Hammer
Someday,Algorithms Built by Machines Will Outperform
those Hand-Selected by Engineers
Potential Ranking
Factors
(e.g. PageRank, TF*IDF,
Topic Modeling, QDF, Clicks,
Entity Association, etc.)
Training Data
(i.e. good search results)
Learning
Process
Best Fit
Algo
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 or
millions of them.
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 Time on Site,
Bounce Rate, Pgs/Visit,
Searcher Satisfaction
Site’s Search
Engagement
Reputation
=
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 CTR for that
position, you might get moved up.
Via Philip Petrescu on Moz
Serve Multiple Searcher Intents,
Not Just Your Own Interests
You can’t just try to sell sous
vide cooking devices to the
<1% of searchers who are
ready to buy after performing
this query.
To compete long term,
you’ll need to empathize
with and serve ALL of these
intents with your ranking
Note that NONE of these SERPs
are trying to sell equipment
directly. They’re serving the
*intent* of the widest range of
searchers.
Speed, speed, and more speed
Delivers an easy, enjoyable experience on every device
Compels visitors to engage, share, & return
Avoids features that dissuade or annoy visitors
Authoritative, comprehensive content that’s uniquely
valuable vs. what anyone else in your space provides
Make UX a Cornerstone of Your SEO:
Deliver Dramatically Better Engagement Than Your
SERP Competitors & They Will Be Hard Pressed
to Catch Up
See this list of 10X
Content for
examples and
resources on how to
create it
Massive Change…
Bring It On.
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
Bit.ly/keepup2017

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Keeping Up With SEO in 2017 & Beyond

  • 1. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com How Marketer’s Can Keep Up With Google in 2017 and Beyond
  • 3. In the last 2 Years, Google’s Made a Lot of Big Changes
  • 4. Via Google Algorithm Change History on Moz 17 Major Algorithm Updates (that we know about) from Oct 2014-Oct 2016
  • 5. Via Backchannel A Move to Machine-Learning First
  • 6. It’s like spotting a snow leopard in the wild. Via Mozcast The End of 10 Blue Links
  • 7. Via Nick Eubanks AdWords Redacting Data Like It’s the CIA
  • 8. Via Merkle PPC Growth Continues to Level Off
  • 9. Google Fights Back by Making Ads Subtler But… Where Can They Go From Here?
  • 10. Thanks to Clickstream Data, We Know More About How Searchers Interact
  • 11. 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 % 5-Word Queries 8.70% 6+ Word Queries 12.12 %
  • 12.
  • 13. The average searcher performs ~3 queries per day on their desktop/laptop Search Activity
  • 14. 1.19% of Google.com US Searches result in an ad click Distribution of Clicks on Paid Results
  • 15. ~51% of all the clicks that happen on Google.com US search results go to organic, non-Google results Distribution of Clicks on Organic Results
  • 16. But 49% of clicks go to Google properties of one kind or another (Maps, YouTube, Ads, etc) Distribution of Clicks on Organic Results
  • 17. ~40% of searches result in no clicks at all For weather queries like this, it’s ~75% Lots of “No-Click” Searches Happen, Too:
  • 18. ~25% of desktop queries come through Chrome Instant, and many of those that load result in no clicks (as searchers are still typing/refining/choosing) Search Suggest May Be Biasing Behavior
  • 19. 1) youtube.com 2) wikipedia.org 3) facebook.com 4) amazon.com 5) stackoverflow.com 6) pinterest.com 7) reddit.com 8) ebay.com 9) zillow.com 10) imdb.com 11) linkedin.com 12) yelp.com 13) xvideos.com 14) quora.com 15) tripadvisor.com 16) walmart.com 17) answers.yahoo.com 18) pornhub.com 19) nih.nlm.ncbi.gov 20) netflix.com Together, these 20 sites account for 22.8% of all Google search traffic referrals Top Sites Receiving Google US Traffic
  • 20. Top 20 Websites 22.8% Top 100 Websites 30.59 % Top 1,000 Websites 45.58 % Top 10,000 Websites 62.66 % Distribution of Google’s Search Clicks
  • 21. Massive Change… But What Does It Mean for Us?
  • 22. The Big 5: What Marketers Must Do Differently in the Years Ahead
  • 23. Diversify Traffic to Keep Earning Visits from Google #5
  • 24. Google Knows Where Traffic Flows on the Web (mobile and desktop) Together we see all… We know all… There is no escape…
  • 25. Google knows where visit paths begin… Where they go next… And where they end up.
  • 26. If Google Knows Your Site Gets 80%+ of Your Traffic from Them, They May Take a Closer Look at Why Via Vinny La Barbera
  • 28. via Reuters Institute US Daily Video Views (Note: Facebook counts views @ 3s, YouTube @ 30 s)
  • 29. Via Cohlab YouTube is the World’s 2nd Largest Search Engine
  • 30. Via DuckDuckGo And DuckDuckGo Continues its Rapid Growth
  • 31. Via Search Engine Land Amazon vs. Web Search
  • 32. Don’t Ignore Search Channels Just Because They’re Not Google
  • 33. See Where Your Competition Gets Their Traffic: Via SimilarWeb Pro These are the sites that sent traffic to WarbyParker.com in March, 2016
  • 34. Apply different tactics to reach audiences on different sites Amazon’s ranking factors can be found here. Conversion rate plays a big role.
  • 35. Consider Content for Multiple Engines Moz first puts videos up on our site, then later uploads to YouTube to benefit from both classic SEO and video
  • 36. Evolve Our Keyword Targeting to Match Google’s Sophistication#4
  • 37.
  • 38. Google’s minimized the desktop search experience to make it more closely align with the mobile experience.
  • 39. And they’re putting more and more “answers” atop the results to remove the need to click a 3rd-party site for information
  • 40. We expected answers like these would siphon away traffic from our site… In reality, we got more!
  • 41. But some answers really do remove traffic (estimates of 50%+ traffic loss to web results after SERP
  • 42. Consider Click-Through-Rate When Choosing Keywords The organic results on this page probably get only ~60% of the clicks from searchers
  • 43. Consider Click-Through-Rate When Choosing Keywords But, the organic results here are likely getting 100% of the clicks
  • 44. You can make these estimates yourself when evaluating keywords for SEO effort:
  • 45. Or you can use a tool like Keyword Explorer to get the CTR Opportunity scores 100% CTR Opportunity 60% CTR Opportunity
  • 46. It’s Possible to Use SEO to Get Into Featured Snippets (and earn big CTR boosts) They beat out Wikipedia by phrasing the content to match the *answer* Google wanted for this search query
  • 47. More on How to Become theAnswer: Via Dr. Pete (and more Dr. Pete)
  • 48. The Classic Source of Volume Data is GoogleAdWords, and there’s a Lot of Weirdness There
  • 49. These numbers actually represent ranges, even though they show as estimated averages
  • 50. Russ Jones showed how Google’s volume ranges work in his post about Keyword Planner’s Dirty Secrets.
  • 51. Google Trends (which we’ve found to be generally more accurate) tells a different story?!
  • 52. AdWords is Now Conflating Volume of Related Keywords in Frustrating Ways Via Bill Slawski on Go Fish Digital
  • 53. Keyword Suggestions inAdWords Hide a Lot of Useful, High-Volume Queries Really Keyword Planner? Really?!
  • 54. It sure looks like Google knows about some closely related keywords that have search volume!
  • 55. Don’t Use Google’s Volume Numbers asAbsolutes, Only as Relative Comparisons There are probably more people searching for “champagne flutes” than “toasting flutes”, but 12,100 and 1,900 almost certainly aren’t the real quantities.
  • 56. Google Trends is Good for Volume Comparison “Champagne flutes” is likely ~5-10X the volume of “toasting flutes”
  • 57. KW Explorer Uses Clickstream Data and Volume Ranges that May Give GreaterAccuracy In our tests, these ranges contained the true search volume 95% of the time.
  • 58. Want the Best DataAbout Volume, Conversions, and Trends? You’ll need to buy the keywords and measure directly in AdWords.
  • 59. Don’t Rely Exclusively on KW Planner for Keyword Suggestions/Ideas Search Suggest and Related Searches are smart additions (and totally free)
  • 60. 7 Kinds of KW Research Expansions to Try: 1) Search Suggest 2) People Also Search For… 3) Similar Pages Rank For… 4) Semantically Connected Terms 5) Topically-Related Searches 6) Questions Containing these KWs 7) AdWords (Commercial)
  • 61. Tools that Have These Discovery Options: 1 ) 2 ) 3 ) 4 ) 5 ) 6 ) (Free & Paid) SEMRush (Free & Paid) KeywordTool.io 7 ) (Paid) SimilarWeb (Free & Paid) Moz KW Explorer (Free) Ubersuggest (Free) Answer The Public
  • 62. Use Searcher Intent & SERP Features to Break Through Google’s Changing Results#3
  • 63. 18 Unique Types of SERPs that Show Up in 0.5%+ of Google’s Results One of my favorites: the “disaster type”
  • 64. In our data, only ~3% of results are the “classic ten blue links” kind
  • 66. These types of results can dramatically reduce organic CTR (in this case, Moz estimates only ~24% organic CTR)
  • 67. Infuriatingly, Google’s restricted who can appear in certain types of listings (e.g. video is now YouTube or Vimeo
  • 68. And on mobile, even more kinds of searches are limited to particular networks (Google Play & iPhone App Store).
  • 69. Analyze Which Types of SERPsAppear Most in the Keywords You CareAbout These show me how many of each SERP type appears in the results for this keyword list (via
  • 70. Then Determine What Verticals & SERPTypes You Need to Optimize For It might pay to generate some visual charts in addition to a text-only version…
  • 71. If certain searches are impossible to target…
  • 72. Aim to Influence Search Suggest More on Whiteboard Friday
  • 73. Be On the Right Platform For Your SERPs: Videos: E-Commerce: Podcasts: Local Businesses: News: Apps: YouTube Vimeo Facebook G Shopping Amazon eBay Etsy G Play iTunes G Maps SoundcloudLibsyn Apple Maps Bing Maps G News iTunes G
  • 74. Google’s Become Masterful at Understanding a Searcher’s Intent
  • 75.
  • 76.
  • 77. Keyword Matching is No Longer a Competitive Advantage Via Backlinko
  • 78. On-Page SEO is No Longer Satisfied by Raw Keyword Use Either These keywords are nearly as important to use on a page targeting the query as the query keywords themselves
  • 79. It’s Still Wise to Use Keywords
  • 80. Matching Your Content to What SearchersAre Seeking is Critical, Too Trulia knows searchers want home prices, by neighborhood, with trend data, zipcode filters, and a zoomable map.
  • 81. Use of related topics to indicate the content’s relevance Serving KWs w/ matching intent together on one page Thorough answers/solutions to the searcher’s query Unique value over what other sites in the SERPs Intelligent keyword use in page title, meta description, URL, and top few paragraphs (just as before) On-Page SEO in 2016 Requires
  • 82. More in this Whiteboard Friday Video
  • 83. Create a Link Strategy That Scales with Decreasing Friction #2
  • 84. Every Link Builder Needs a Strategic Roadmap: Link Goals Strategic Approach Tactical Initiatives KPIs/ Metrics
  • 85. An Example: Bookserf, An Istanbul Based Book-Sharing Community
  • 86. Bookserf’s Long-Term Link Strategy Rank in search for book names (especially in Turkey & other operating regions) Encourage members to link to their profiles & favorite books; partner w/ retailers & authors to earn links from their Link nudges during account setup, and upon completion of activities on the site. Direct outreach to authors/retailers. 1. Links from members 2. Links & mentions from authors/retailer s 3. Rankings for key terms 4. Search visits Link Goals Strategic Approach Tactical Initiatives KPI Metrics
  • 87. We Also Need… Buy-In on Experimentation Via PointBlankSEO and Allie Brown Link tactics like an event photo gallery might work, but it also might fall flat. Link building needs room to try and fail.
  • 88. The Right Expectations Regarding Time-to-ROI Via WB
  • 89. A Balance Between Long-Term Investments & Short-Term Hacks High upfront costs Pay (in time/$$) as you go Long-Term Investments Slow to show ROI Earn links while you sleep Non-existent Spam Risk Can Show Fast ROI Effort In = Links Out Can Have Spam Risk Short-Term Hacks
  • 90. Great Link Builders Focus on Their Flywheel
  • 91. Moz’s Flywheel KW Research + Industry Intuition Publish Content Promote via Social Channels Push to email + RSS subscribers Earn Links + Amplification Grow social, email, RSS, & WoM channels Grow Domain Authority Earn Search & Referral Traffic Rank for More Competitive KWs
  • 92. KW Research + Industry Intuition Publish Content Promote via Social Channels Push to email + RSS subscribers Earn Links + Amplification Grow social, email, RSS, & WoM channels Grow Domain Authority Earn Search & Referral Traffic Rank for More Competitive KWs In 2006, I was lucky if new content led to any links or rankings at all
  • 93. KW Research + Industry Intuition Publish Content Promote via Social Channels Push to email + RSS subscribers Earn Links + Amplification Grow social, email, RSS, & WoM channels Grow Domain Authority Earn Search & Referral Traffic Rank for More Competitive KWs But, by 2016, nearly every post earns a handful of links, & some earn a lot!
  • 94. Moz is a Business Built on Content
  • 95. Dollar Shave Club was Built on a Press & Media Flywheel Via NYTimes
  • 96. Dribbble was Built on a UGC/Community Flywheel
  • 97. But… Almost Every Flywheel Finds a Point (or Points) of Friction Publish Content Promote via Social Channels Push to email + RSS subscribers Crap… We’re not reaching anyone who will link/amplify us 
  • 98. Link Building Growth Hacks Can Accelerate a Flywheel
  • 99. Hacks aren’t necessarily evil, spammy, or without value. They can be highly useful when applied to a sound link strategy.
  • 100. The Formula for Link Building that Will Work in Google for Years to Come: Strategic Roadmap Scalable Flywheel Long-Term Investments Hacks to Remove Friction + + +
  • 101. Searcher Engagement May Be the New Silver Bullet in Rankings#1
  • 102. RankBrain is Only the Most Obvious of Google’s ML- Based Ranking Elements Via Gianluca Fiorelli on Moz
  • 103. Rankbrain helps Google know that results like these are relevant to searches like this
  • 104. And that all of these queries probably share intent and should bring back similar kinds of
  • 105. Google Uses User, Usage, & Engagement Data to Determine How to Rank Content I hate bullet points, but this slide from Google Search Engineer Paul Haahr, shows how clicks are used to grade performance Via How Google Works on Slideshare
  • 106. This is a good SERP – searchers rarely bounce, rarely short-click, and rarely need to enter other queries or go to page 2.
  • 107. This is a bad SERP – searchers bounce often, click other results, rarely long-click, and try other queries. They’re definitely not happy.
  • 109. Someday,Algorithms Built by Machines Will Outperform those Hand-Selected by Engineers Potential Ranking Factors (e.g. PageRank, TF*IDF, Topic Modeling, QDF, Clicks, Entity Association, etc.) Training Data (i.e. good search results) Learning Process Best Fit Algo
  • 110. Google Leverages Machine Learning Despite Not Knowing for Sure What It Uses: Via SERoundtable
  • 111. We may soon hear that algorithmic elements are no longer applied universally. Rather than one algorithm, we get thousands or millions of them.
  • 112. Google’s PublicAbout Their Commitment to ML Techniques… Won’t Be Long Now. Via BackChannel
  • 113. Focus on Signal:Noise Ratio – Don’t Let Bad Pages Drag Down a Good Site Quantity of Pages Earning SERP Visits Relative Time on Site, Bounce Rate, Pgs/Visit, Searcher Satisfaction Site’s Search Engagement Reputation =
  • 114. These don’t look so good; probably worth investigating.
  • 115. Find Ways to Beat Your Competition’s & YourAverage Ranking Position’s CTR If you rank #3, but have a higher- than-average CTR for that position, you might get moved up. Via Philip Petrescu on Moz
  • 116. Serve Multiple Searcher Intents, Not Just Your Own Interests You can’t just try to sell sous vide cooking devices to the <1% of searchers who are ready to buy after performing this query. To compete long term, you’ll need to empathize with and serve ALL of these intents with your ranking
  • 117. Note that NONE of these SERPs are trying to sell equipment directly. They’re serving the *intent* of the widest range of searchers.
  • 118. Speed, speed, and more speed Delivers an easy, enjoyable experience on every device Compels visitors to engage, share, & return Avoids features that dissuade or annoy visitors Authoritative, comprehensive content that’s uniquely valuable vs. what anyone else in your space provides Make UX a Cornerstone of Your SEO:
  • 119. Deliver Dramatically Better Engagement Than Your SERP Competitors & They Will Be Hard Pressed to Catch Up See this list of 10X Content for examples and resources on how to create it
  • 121. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com Bit.ly/keepup2017