Tag Archive | "Facts"

SearchCap: Google Assistant, AdWords budgets, SEO facts & pictures in search

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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SearchCap: Google booking features, SEO facts & paid search health

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google booking features, SEO facts & paid search health appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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SearchCap: Google fun facts, how to hire SEOs & SEO analysis

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google fun facts, how to hire SEOs & SEO analysis appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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The 2015 Moz Annual Report: All the Facts and Then Some

Posted by SarahBird

Longstanding insomnia sufferers, rejoice! My Moz 2015 Annual Report is here. Check out 2012, 2013, and 2014 if you’re a glutton for punishment.

So much happens in a year — fantastic and terrible things — distilling it into one blog post is my annual albatross.

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Here’s me agonizing over what to write. It’s not always good to be king.

Alright. Enough wallowing in self pity.

Here’s how I’m organizing this post so you can jump around to whatever strikes your fancy:

Part 1: tl;dr 2015 was a strengthening year!

Part 2: Two 2015 strategic shifts

Part 3: Two invisible achievements

Part 4: The tough stuff

Part 5: Inside Moz HQ

Part 6: Performance (metrics vomit)

Part 7: The Series C and looking ahead

[Part 1]

tl;dr: 2015 was a strengthening year!

2015 was a strengthening year. We grew customers, revenue, and product offerings. We also began some major tech investments that will continue to pay off in the years ahead.

With all the product launches comes increased opportunity in 2016, and also increased complexity. In the year ahead, you’ll see Moz delivering much more personalized onboarding, re-working the brand to accommodate our product families, changing up our customer acquisition flow, and investing in technologies and practices to speed up product development.

[Part 2]

Two 2015 major strategic shifts

First, instead of a one-size-fits-all product, we’re offering many crafted customer experiences.

The most visible strategic change is the move away from cramming every feature into one product; instead, we’re offering products designed to help specific kinds of customers with their particular needs. Our community and customers are diverse. The solutions we offer should be too.

We started 2015 with Moz Pro, Moz Local and our API business. We’re ending the year with two new products under out belt, Moz Content and Followerwonk. Pro will continue to evolve in 2016 to focus on professional SEOs. Moz Local just launched a major upgrade to its offering, making it the most useful way to manage your local SEO. Content marketers will love Moz Content’s new features. And social fanatics will enjoy analyzing their followers and fans with Followerwonk.

Why did we back away from all-in-one? Well. We discovered that adding more features into a product isn’t always better. Sometimes it’s just more. We heard from customers that they valued certain parts of the product that solved their problem, but weren’t interested in the others.

More simply, we built one product that many different kinds of customers could get a little benefit from. Instead, we want to build many products that customers get a lot out of. Even more simply, we won’t give each of our customers identical plates of food with lots of small bites, only 30% of which each enjoys. We’re giving everyone a big plate of their favorite food. Yum.

Second, people sometimes really want to talk to other people. And that’s good.

We’ve also relaxed our religious fervor about keeping humans out of the sales and onboarding process. We prided ourselves for years on dogmatically proclaiming that only bad products need human intervention. “The product should sell itself and be obvious to use,” we insisted.

We [I] clung to this belief in the face of overwhelming feedback from our customers that they would love to have more interaction with Mozzers.

I’m finally ready to let go of my belief that wanting to speak with a human is a failure in the system. We should give our customers what they want. Guess what? They sometimes want sales people, and personal onboarding and training.

We will not resort to barfy tactics like high pressure sales, harassment, and limit self-service. But maybe, just maybe, the world isn’t so black and white as humans=bad, computers=good.

Expect more opportunities to engage with real, live, bona-fide Mozzers as part of your product experience, should you need us.


[Part 3]

Two invisible accomplishments

Not all of our big 2015 accomplishments are transparent to customers or the community. They’re important nonetheless.

The fance-pantsiest new engineering platform

We knew that to out-innovate our competitors and make marketing easier for our customers in this dynamic environment, we needed a step-function improvement in our ability to experiment and innovate.

We were inspired by compelling new development platforms built and tested at places like Google, Hubspot, and Twitter. They simplified the software development process without compromising security or performance.

RogerOS is our new engineering platform. It’s based on the Mesos kernel with a marathon wrapper. Moz Content was built 100% on it, so the two innovations incubated and launched together last year. More Moz services are starting to move to it.

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In the spirit of generosity, we open sourced a big chunk of our work and look forward to contributing more in the future. We’ve still got a lot of work to do to make the platform more robust and we’ll continue these efforts in 2016.

The platform is poised to deliver the step function increase in innovation. Because a bigger, more complex Moz shouldn’t mean slower.

Kissing bad architecture goodbye

Technical debt is the worst. Ugh. It’s demotivating for the team and siphons cycles away from innovation. It’s hard on customers because feature delivery stalls when you’re keeping a fragile system from imploding.

Our Moz Pro product was hobbled with some serious tech debt. The team spent months trying to keep it up. Customers were disappointed and the team was tired. We needed a plan to fix it that didn’t involve a highly risky 18-month rebuild.

technical debt is too damn high.jpg

Luckily, one of our engineers had an epiphany, and a bunch of other engineers worked very hard to turn that epiphany into a workable plan that delivered feature improvements (not just parity!) while retiring painful tech debt in seven months. That’s way, way better than the dreaded 18 month slog.

We have massively transformed the backend architecture for Moz Analytics. This frees up cycles for innovation and unlocks a bunch of latent potential in the data. It feels like we were running a race in a cast and crutches, and now finally our leg is free! We’re throwing those crutches to the sideline and sprinting. Here we come!

[Part 4]

The tough stuff

Have you noticed how many year-in-review posts skip the tough stuff? I don’t want to do that. After all, a lot of this year’s tough stuff become next year’s strategic initiative.

The marketing software space is getting crowded. It’s no secret that companies need to transform their marketing to match the new ways people discover, engage, and buy.

The spigot of investor cash has been flowing fast and free into marketing tech for last couple years. We’re definitely seeing more competition in the market.

To our competitors: We Salute You!

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You keep good pressure on us to innovate and deliver a great experience for good value.

Moz is ahead in some areas and lagging in others. We’ve struggled to keep our link data reliable and we have to play catch up on the size and quality of our index. We’ve been very weak on keyword research, and will be remedying that in 2016. Our customer acquisition flow and brand is also way more complicated than it was a mere two months ago. We’ll be investing heavily in optimizing and improving this experience so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.

These challenges are non-trivial, and yet invigorating. We’ve got the best people on the planet at Moz and we’ve been making forward-thinking tech investments. It’s game on in 2016.

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[Part 5]

Inside Moz HQ

Amidst all of the shifts and changes, some things remain constant.

TAGFEE remains our aspiration and our compass. As an organization, as people, we often have great integrity with our values. We also have moments of failure.

But what makes Moz special is not the absence of flaws, or the TAGFEE page on the website; it’s the genuine commitment to those values. The pursuit is relentless.

I don’t know anyone who is perfect. The people I admire most are those that strive for excellence when they fail; they pick themselves up and keep trying. They never give up the commitment to their values. Mozzers are like that.

We’ve got 192 Mozzers now, up from last year’s number of 149.

This year, we’ve done a lot of good work on teaching Mozzers learning about productive conflict, feedback, and inclusion in tech. We’re not done, but we’ve made an earnest start.

Our gender diversity numbers are still terrible, but at least we’re headed in the right direction. Overall, we’re 40% women, up from 37% last year. We’re up to 27% in engineering. 54% of non-engineering roles are women.

A lot of the work we’re doing to make the tech industry more inclusive doesn’t benefit Moz directly, but we’re still happy to do it. For example, we partner with lots of programs to bring middle and high school girls on tours of Moz HQ and encourage them to consider careers in STEM — maybe even start their own business someday. Several Moz engineers volunteer at coding schools, like ADA Academy, mentoring and welcoming underrepresented people to tech careers. We’re also partnering with Year Up to give underserved young adults meaningful careers.

Our charity match program continues to be one of my most proud parts of Moz. Last year we donated over $ 110k to charities that Mozzers are passionate about. We match every Mozzer donation 150%.

Our paid, PAID vacation program continues to be a high point for all Mozzers.

Last year, Moz spent over $ 400k on airfare, hotels, tours, food, boats, and life-changing, memory-making experiences for Mozzers.

That’s money well spent on lives well lived.

Lastly, we reached a milestone so wonderful, I’m having a hard time expressing how it makes me feel. Two Mozzers, who didn’t know each other when they started working here, fell in love and are getting married. We made a whole family!!!

[Part 6]

Performance (metrics vomit!)

2015 was a strong improvement over 2014 revenue growth rate. We finished the year at about ~$ 38 million in revenue. That’s a growth rate of 21.6%, compared to the 5.7% the year prior.

Moz Pro still drives the majority of revenue, and Moz Local has demonstrated impressive growth.

Product gross profit margin fared well this year at 76%. That’s basically holding steady from last year. If you throw non-product in there, overall gross profit margin is 73%.

Total Cost of Revenue (COR) went up a little bit from last year. Most of the cost driven by increases in the amounts we pay to our data aggregator partners for Moz Local. We expect this to grow even more in 2016 as Local becomes a bigger share of our product mix.

Total operating expenses came to $ 36.4 million dollars in 2015 (excluding CORs). The basic shape of that spend has remained pretty constant. The vast, vast majority of our company spend is people. No major shifts in spending trends from 2014 to 2015 other than increased 3rd Party Data.

As planned, our EBITDA loss increased from last year to -$ 3.1 million.

Cash burn was slightly above our 10% of revenue plan, but we were pretty darn close at 11%.

Adam shared a detailed reflection of changes and upgrades to Moz Pro in 2015. I encourage you to check it out. Those changes are attracting a slightly different customer. The number of new Moz Pro customers we’re acquiring is much lower than in previous years, but our average revenue per user is increasing. We’re also keeping customers longer. Obviously, we’d love to add tons of new Pro customers *and* increase Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). We’ll be putting energy into that in 2016.

Moz Local locations more than doubled in 2015. And we’re very excited to see how customers are enjoying the big Moz Local Insights release we released this week. It’s only been 24 hours, but initial response is very good.

Organic traffic grew in 2015 by 16.7%. We hit just shy of 16 million organic visits.

You can read a bunch about the community we host here on Moz.com from this post.

Our external communities continued to grow. We did, however, decide to stop investing in the LinkedIn group in 2015 in favor of Instagram.

[Part 7]

The Series C and looking ahead

I wrote last week about closing our Series C. (BTW, did you notice the public markets for SaaS companies nose-dived soon after? Phew! If you’re reading this, we love you Foundry!)

We made big investments and placed some big bets in 2015. It’s so exciting to see them start to bear fruit. In the next 12 months, you should see (1) more feature releases, (2) more personal interaction with the Moz team when buying and using our products, and (3) increased clarity on our brand and customer acquisition flows.

Thanks for sharing your feedback, sticking with us, and rooting for us. We’ll keep trying to make great stuff that helps you do your job better, and bring a smile to your day!

Okay. And that’s a wrap on your 2015 Annual Report. Peace out.

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You Can’t Copyright Facts

The Facts of Life

When Google introduced the knowledge graph one of their underlying messages behind it was “you can’t copyright facts.”

Facts are like domain names or links or pictures or anything else in terms of being a layer of information which can be highly valued or devalued through commoditization.

When you search for love quotes, Google pulls one into their site & then provides another “try again” link.

Since quotes mostly come from third parties they are not owned by BrainyQuotes and other similar sites. But here is the thing, if those other sites which pay to organize and verify such collections have their economics sufficiently undermined then they go away & then Google isn’t able to pull them into the search results either.

The same is true with song lyrics. If you are one of the few sites paying to license the lyrics & then Google puts lyrics above the search results, then the economics which justified the investment in licensing might not back out & you will likely go bankrupt. That bankruptcy wouldn’t be the result of being a spammer trying to work an angle, but rather because you had a higher cost structure from trying to do things the right way.

Never trust a corporation to do a librarian’s job.

What’s Behind Door Number One?

Google has also done the above quote-like “action item” types of onebox listings in other areas like software downloads

Where there are multiple versions of the software available, Google is arbitrarily selecting the download page, even though a software publisher might have a parallel SAAS option or other complex funnels based on a person’s location or status as a student or such.

Mix in Google allowing advertisers to advertise bundled adware, and it becomes quite easy for Google to gum up the sales process and undermine existing brand equity by sending users to the wrong location. Here’s a blog post from Malwarebytes referencing

  • their software being advertised on their brand term in Google via AdWords ads, engaging in trademark infringement and bundled with adware.
  • numerous user complaints they received about the bundleware
  • required legal actions they took to take the bundler offline

Brands are forced to buy their own brand equity before, during & after the purchase, or Google partners with parasites to monetize the brand equity:

The company used this cash to build more business, spending more than $ 1 million through at least seven separate advertising accounts with Google.

The ads themselves said things like “McAfee Support – Call +1-855-[redacted US phone number]” and pointed to domains like mcafee-support.pccare247.com.

One PCCare247 ad account with Google produced 71.7 million impressions; another generated 12.4 million more. According to records obtained by the FTC, these combined campaigns generated 1.5 million clicks

Since Google requires Chrome extensions be installed from their own website it makes it hard (for anyone other than Google) to monetize them, which in turn makes it appealing for people to sell the ad-ons to malware bundlers. Android apps in the Google Play store are yet another “open” malware ecosystem.

FACT: This Isn’t About Facts

Google started the knowledge graph & onebox listings on some utterly banal topics which were easy for a computer to get right, though their ambitions vastly exceed the starting point. The starting point was done where it was because it was low-risk and easy.

When Google’s evolving search technology was recently covered on Medium by Steven Levy he shared that today the Knowledge Graph appears on roughly 25% of search queries and that…

Google is also trying to figure out how to deliver more complex results — to go beyond quick facts and deliver more subjective, fuzzier associations. “People aren’t interested in just facts,” she says. “They are interested in subjective things like whether or not the television shows are well-written. Things that could really help take the Knowledge Graph to the next level.”

Even as the people who routinely shill for Google parrot the “you can’t copyright facts” mantra, Google is telling you they have every intent of expanding far beyond it. “I see search as the interface to all computing,” says Singhal.

Even if You Have Copyright…

What makes the “you can’t copyright facts” line so particularly disingenuous was Google’s support of piracy when they purchased YouTube:

cofounder Jawed Karim favored “lax” copyright policy to make YouTube “huge” and hence “an excellent acquisition target.” YouTube at one point added a “report copyrighted content” button to let users report infringements, but removed the button when it realized how many users were reporting unauthorized videos. Meanwhile, YouTube managers intentionally retained infringing videos they knew were on the site, remarking “we should KEEP …. comedy clips (Conan, Leno, etc.) [and] music videos” despite having licenses for none of these. (In an email rebuke, cofounder Steve Chen admonished: “Jawed, please stop putting stolen videos on the site. We’re going to have a tough time defending the fact that we’re not liable for the copyrighted material on the site because we didn’t put it up when one of the co-founders is blatantly stealing content from other sites and trying to get everyone to see it.”)

To some, the separation of branding makes YouTube distinct and separate from Google search, but that wasn’t so much the case when many sites lost their video thumbnails and YouTube saw larger thumbnails on many of their listings in Google. In the above Steven Levy article he wrote: “one of the highest ranked general categories was a desire to know “how to” perform certain tasks. So Google made it easier to surface how-to videos from YouTube and other sources, featuring them more prominently in search.”

Altruism vs Disruption for the Sake of it

Whenever Google implements a new feature they can choose to not monetize it so as to claim they are benevolent and doing it for users without commercial interest. But that same unmonetized & for users claim was also used with their shopping search vertical until one day it went paid. Google claimed paid inclusion was evil right up until the day it claimed paid inclusion was a necessity to improve user experience.

There was literally no transition period.

Many of the “informational” knowledge block listings contain affiliate links pointing into Google Play or other sites. Those affiliate ads were only labeled as advertisements after the FTC complained about inconsistent ad labeling in search results.

Health is Wealth

Google recently went big on the knowledge graph by jumping head first into the health vertical:

starting in the next few days, when you ask Google about common health conditions, you’ll start getting relevant medical facts right up front from the Knowledge Graph. We’ll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is—whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages it affects, and more. For some conditions you’ll also see high-quality illustrations from licensed medical illustrators. Once you get this basic info from Google, you should find it easier to do more research on other sites around the web, or know what questions to ask your doctor.

Google’s links to the Mayo Clinic in their knowledge graph are, once again, a light gray font.

In case you didn’t find enough background in Google’s announcement article, Greg Sterling shared more of Google’s views here. A couple notable quotes from Greg…

Cynics might say that Google is moving into yet another vertical content area and usurping third-party publishers. I don’t believe this is the case. Google isn’t going to be monetizing these queries; it appears to be genuinely motivated by a desire to show higher-quality health information and educate users accordingly.

  • Google doesn’t need to directly monetize it to impact the economics of the industry. If they shift a greater share of clicks through AdWords then that will increase competition and ad prices in that category while lowering investment in SEO.
  • If this is done out of benevolence, it will appear *above* the AdWords ads on the search results — unlike almost every type of onebox or knowledge graph result Google offers.
  • If it is fair for him to label everyone who disagrees with his thesis as a cynic then it is of course fair for those “cynics” to label Greg Sterling as a shill.

Google told me that it hopes this initiative will help motivate the improvement of health content across the internet.

By defunding and displacing something they don’t improve its quality. Rather they force the associated entities to cut their costs to try to make the numbers work.

If their traffic drops and they don’t do more with less, then…

  • their margins will fall
  • growth slows (or they may even shrink)
  • their stock price will tank
  • management will get fired & replaced and/or they will get took private by private equity investors and/or they will need to do some “bet the company” moves to find growth elsewhere (and hope Google doesn’t enter that parallel area anytime soon)

When the numbers don’t work, publishers need to cut back or cut corners.

Things get monetized directly, monetized indirectly, or they disappear.

Some of the more hated aspects of online publishing (headline bait, idiotic correlations out of context, pagination, slideshows, popups, fly in ad units, auto play videos, full page ad wraps, huge ads eating most the above the fold real estate, integration of terrible native ad units promoting junk offers with shocking headline bait, content scraping answer farms, blending unvetted user generated content with house editorial, partnering with content farms to create subdomains on trusted blue chip sites, using Narrative Science or Automated Insights to auto-generate content, etc.) are not done because online publishers want to be jackasses, but because it is hard to make the numbers work in a competitive environment.

Publishers who were facing an “oh crap” moment when seeing print Dollars turn into digital dimes are having round number 2 when they see those digital dimes turn into mobile pennies:

At The New York Times, for instance, more than half its digital audience comes from mobile, yet just 10% of its digital-ad revenue is attributed to these devices.

If we lose some diversity in news it isn’t great, though it isn’t the end of the world. But what makes health such an important area is it is literally a matter of life & death.

Its importance & the amount of money flowing through the market ensures there is heavy investment in misinforming the general population. The corruption is so bad some people (who should know better) instead fault science.

… and, only those who hate free speech, democracy & the country could possibly have anything negative to say about it. :D

Not to worry though. Any user trust built through the health knowledge graph can be monetized through a variety of other fantastic benevolent offers.

Once again, Google puts the user first.


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Just the Facts: Why You Should Attend Authority Rainmaker

In 2014, we produced a different kind of online marketing conference. This year, we’re doing it again … except bigger, better, and smarter.

Here’s the bare minimum you need to know to dig deeper. No hype, just the facts.


Authority Rainmaker: Copyblogger’s live training event that provides an integrated online marketing strategy combined with the best ways to implement it. Plus great parties and networking.


May 13-15, 2015.


Daniel Pink, Sally Hogshead, Henry Rollins, Danny Sullivan, Ann Handley, Chris Brogan, Bernadette Jiwa, Michael King, Joanna Lord, Joe Pulizzi, Sonia Simone, Jerod Morris, Sean D’Souza, Scott Brinker, Pamela Wilson, Brian Clark (hey, that’s me!) … plus a few more we’ll be announcing soon.


The stunning Ellie Caulkins Opera House in sunny Denver, Colorado.


It’s not an event where you suffer overwhelm from fascinating facts, figures, and tactics. Then get back home … and realize you have no comprehensive roadmap to implement otherwise valuable tips.

Rather, it’s a carefully designed educational experience that presents a complete and effective online marketing strategy. This approach provides you with exactly what you need to take your business to the next level.


Click here for all the details and to register before we go to full price.

About the author

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, host of Rainmaker.FM, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on Twitter.

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Facts about Solar Energy and Solar Power Plants


The earth receives more than enough energy from the sun in an hour to supply the world’s energy requirement for the whole year.

Unfortunately, only a tiny portion of it is harnessed and the world still relies on power plants that burn fossil fuels. The good thing, though, is that there is a constant increase in demand for solar energy; and over the years of continuous development, solar panels are much cheaper today.

During peak hours, the maximum power density that the sun can give is about 1kW per square meter. In other words, one square meter of solar panel can produce as much as 100 GWh (gigawatt hours) of electricity in one year. That is enough to power 50,000 houses.

If a solar power plant is build on 1% of the total land area of the Sahara desert, it will satisfy the world’s energy requirement.

The efficiency of solar panels depends on several factors such as pollution, clouds, temperature and atmospheric humidity.

Solar power plants are very similar to other conventional power plants – with one significant difference: The majority of power plants draw their power from fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas.

When power plants burn fossil fuels, they produce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Solar power plants or solar thermal power plants (or Concentrating Solar Power plants) utilize the power of the sun’s rays to generate electricity.

The process could not be any simpler. The solar panels receive heat from the sun, which will be reflected to the receiver. The receiver converts into steam the concentrated solar energy. The steam is stored on tanks which will be used to turn the turbines and generate electricity.

The whole process does not involve any burning of any fossil fuels. Thus, solar power plants do not contribute to global warming.

The increase in the use of solar energy will bring down the demand for oil.

Today, there are more than 10,000 households with solar energy systems and the number is constantly increasing. If the demand for solar energy as well as other forms of alternative energy, the demand for oil will drop and the cost fuel will likely to follow.

Residential solar energy system can turn your electric meter backwards. Given that you are connected on a power-grid, the excess energy that your solar energy system produces will go to the electric lines to be used by other homes. As a result, any excess energy you give will be reflected on your bills. Your electric supplier will even pay for the electricity you supplied.

Residential solar energy system can save you money.

While the initial cash out for installing solar energy system at home is big, the device will pay for itself in the long run. Not only you will save money on solar energy system, you also help the environment by not contributing to carbon emissions.

Solar energy systems are reliable and can last for a very long time.

PV cells are last from 25 to 40 years. Many manufacturers of solar panels give 25 years product warranty. This is the assurance that solar panels are very dependable.

In addition, solar panels require little or no maintenance and the can be installed on most places where there is sunlight throughout the year.

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