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The New Moz Local Is Here! Can’t-Miss Highlights & How to Get Started

Posted by MiriamEllis

Last month we announced that the new Moz Local would be arriving soon. We’re so excited — it’s here! If you’re a current Moz Local customer, you may have already been exploring the new and improved platform this week! If not, signing up now will get you access to all the new goodies we have in store for you.

With any major change to a tool you use, it can take a bit for you to adjust. That’s why I wanted to write up a quick look at some of the highlights of the product, and from there encourage you to dig into our additional resources.

What are some key features to dig into?

Full location data management

More than 90% of purchases happen in physical stores. The first object of local SEO is ensuring that people searching online for what you offer:

  1. Encounter your business
  2. Access accurate information they can trust about it
  3. See the signals they’re looking for to choose you for a transaction

Moz Local meets this reality with active and continuous synching of location data so that you can grow your authority, visibility, and the public trust by managing your standard business information across partnered data aggregators, apps, sites, and databases. This is software centered around real-time location data and profile management, providing updates as quickly as partners can support them. And, with your authorized connection to Google and Facebook, updates you make to your business data on these two powerhouse platforms are immediate. Moz Local helps you master the online consumer encounter.

And, because business data changes over time, ongoing management of your online assets is essential. 80% of customers lose trust in a brand when its local business listings mislead them with incorrect information like wrong names, phone numbers, or hours of operation. No brand can afford to lose this trust! Moz Local’s data cleansing service delivers ongoing accuracy and proper formatting for successful submission to the platforms that matter most.

Finally, Moz Local supports the distribution of rich data beyond the basics. Give customers compelling reasons to choose your business over others by uploading photos, videos descriptions, social links, and more. Full control over these elements can greatly enhance customer encounters and improve conversions.

Automated duplicate deletion

Duplicate listings of a business location can turn profile management into a tangle, mislead consumers, dilute ranking strength, and sometimes even violate platform guidelines. But historically, detection and resolution of duplicates has been cumbersome and all but impossible to scale when handled manually.

One of the most exciting improvements you’ll experience with the new Moz Local is that duplicate workflows are now automated! Our next-level algorithmic technology will identify, confirm and permanently delete your duplicate listings in a fully automated fashion that requires no interaction or involvement on your part. This is a major development that will save local brands and agencies an amazing amount of time.

Deep Google and Facebook reporting & management

Logging in and out of multiple dashboards can be such a hassle, but with Moz Local, you’ll have insights about all of your locations and clients in a single space. Moz Local is now hooked up with Facebook management (hooray!) and we’ve deepened our Google My Business integration.

We’ll capture Facebook insights data for impressions and clicks for your location’s published Facebook content. And you’ll find it convenient that we surface impressions data for both Google Maps and Search. This means you’ll have easy access click data for the familiar attributes: clicks-for-directions, clicks-to-website and clicks-to-call, plus tracking of direct, indirect, and branded queries. Whether you’re dealing with just one listing or 100,000 of them, all the data will be at your fingertips.

One new feature I’m especially keen to share is the alerts you’ll receive every time a new photo is uploaded to your Google listing by a third party. Image spam is real, and awareness of public uploads of imagery that violates guidelines is part and parcel of reputation management.

Local dashboard

Our goal is to make your local SEO work as simple as possible, and very often, the at-a-glance summary in the new Moz Local dashboard will tell you all you need to know for routine check-ups. The default view of all the locations you manage can, of course, be easily filtered and segmented to look at specific clients or locations. Almost effortlessly, you’ll get a very quick overview of data like:

    • Average Profile Completeness
    • Locations requiring attention
    • Total listings in sync (sync is the new term for what we previously referred to as “published”)
    • Listings being updated
    • Listings requiring sync
    • Duplicate Reporting
    • Facebook Insights data
    • Google My Business Insights data

Profile suggestion engine

Who has time for guesswork when you’re trying to make the most of your online assets? Our powerful new profile suggestion engine tells you exactly what you what data you need to prove to reach maximum profile completeness.

Quickly drill down to a specific location. From there, Moz Local surfaces multiple fields (like long description, photos, opening hours, fax numbers, etc.) along with suggestions based on other verifiable online sources to improve consistency across the data publisher and partner network. Again, this is a big time-saver, especially if your agency has multiple clients or your enterprise has multiple locations to manage.

Email alerts, notifications, activity feed

Choose how you’d like to stay up-to-date on the status of your listings.

  • Every Moz Local dashboard contains an activity feed that continuously streams the latest information, updates, and alerts for all of your listings
  • Opt-in for email alerts if that’s your preferred method of notification. Digest emails are configurable to be sent on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis
  • Optional upgrade for email alerts for new reviews. If you upgrade, you’ll receive these notification daily, ensuring you aren’t missing complaints, praise and conversion opportunities

Review management

Google has revealed that about one-third of people looking for local business information are actually trying to find local business reviews. From the viewpoint of consumers, your online reviews are your brand’s reputation. Our own large-scale marketing survey found that 90% of respondents agree that reviews impact local rankings, but that 60% of participants lack a comprehensive review management strategy. The result is that platforms like Google have become mediums of unheard customer voices, neglected leads, and reputation damage.

The good news is that Moz Local customers have the option to upgrade their subscriptions to turn this unsustainable scenario completely around. Be alerted to incoming reviews on multiple platforms and respond to them quickly. See right away if a problem is emerging at one of your locations, necessitating in-store intervention, or if you’ve been hit with a review spam attack. And go far beyond this with insight into other types of customer sentiment, like photo uploads and Google Q&A.

The truth is, that in 2019 and in the foreseeable future, no business in a competitive market can afford to neglect public sentiment management, because it has become central to customer service. Every brand is in the business of customer service, but awareness, responsiveness, accountability, and action require strategy and the right tools. Let Moz Local help you take control of your priceless reputation.

Social posting

Manage the interactive aspects of your local business profiles with this optional upgrade. Share news, special offers, and questions & answers with customers on social platforms and in directories. This includes:

  • Engaging with customers on social media to share. News posts can be shared on Facebook and eligible directories. Offers can be posted in eligible directories. Questions & Answers can be posted to your Google Business Profile.
  • Publishing Posts instantly or scheduling them for a future date. And here’s something you’ll be excited to hear: you can submit the same post for multiple locations at once, create and save templates for posts, and edit/delete posts from the publishing dashboard!

In competitive local markets, transitioning from passive observation of online assets to interactive engagement with the public can set your brand apart.

What should my next steps in the new Moz Local be?

  1. Ensure that your location data and your profile are complete and accurate within the new Moz Local. Be sure to add in as much data as you can in the Basic Data, Rich Data, and Photos & Videos sections to reach high profile completeness. Doing so will ensure that your locations’ listings throughout the local search ecosystem are as informative as possible for potential customers. Moz Local acts as a “source of truth” for your location data and overwrites data on third party platforms like Google and Facebook, so be sure the data you’ve provided us is accurate before moving on to step two.
  2. Gain immediate insights into your local search presence by connecting your Google My Business and Facebook profiles. Once connected, these will begin to pull in tons of data, from impressions, to clicks, to queries.
  3. Once your profile is complete and Google My Business and Facebook profiles are connected, it’s time to sync your data to ensure that what you’ve provided to Moz Local is shared out to our network. Simply click the Sync button in the top right to push your information to our partners.

Where can I find more information?

I’m glad you’ve asked! Our resource center will be a great place to start. There, a user guide and video tutorial can show you the ropes, and you can also get registered for our upcoming webinar on June 25th at 10:00am PST:

Save my spot

The Help Hub has also been given a complete refresh with the new Moz Local. There you will find ample resources, FAQs, and descriptions of each area of the tool to dig into.

For any questions that you can’t find answers to, you can always reach out to our wonderful Help Team.

Download your free copy of the Moz Local User’s Manual

In the spirit of making things as delightfully simple for every customer, we’ve published a guide to smooth sailing in unfamiliar waters. In this short and sweet Moz Local User Manual, you’ll find:

  • A full visual key to the dashboard and all its functions
  • Instructions for adding locations
  • Instructions for editing locations
  • Instructions for cancelling locations
  • Instructions for managing reviews and social engagement
  • And other actionable info!

Who is the Moz Local User Manual for?

Anyone on your team who touches your Moz Local account should have a copy of this guide. It will level everyone up and cut down on team leads having to answer the same questions over and over again about basic tasks. Where appropriate, agencies may also want to send a copy over to clients who need clarity about why you’re using Moz Local as an integral part of local search marketing campaigns. We’ve written the manual in non-technical language, with step-by-step instructions any reader can follow.

Download the free guide

What’s next from Moz?

Expect a number of exciting new updates to continue rolling out — both in the new Moz Local tool as well as in other areas of our platform. As I mentioned before, it’s our serious plan to devote everything we’ve got into putting the power of local SEO into your hands. Keep an eye out for more to come from Moz to support your local search marketing.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Moz Blog

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A Slice of MozCon Magic: The 2018 Video Bundle is HERE!

Posted by HayleyBowyer

Your tweets haven’t gone unnoticed — we know the MozCon #FOMO is very real. Many of you would be there in a second if it weren’t for busy schedules and pesky back-to-back meetings. So, while you’re hard at work, we’re here to make one thing easy: providing you with the insights you need whenever you need them.

Yes, that’s right — the MozCon 2018 Video Bundle is here and we can’t wait share it with you!

Ready to dive in? Feel free to skip straight to the fun part!

Buy the MozCon 2018 Video Bundle

Did you attend MozCon 2018? You’re in luck! The full video bundle is included with your ticket price. Check your inbox for an email with a link to exclusive video access. Can’t find it? Email us — we’re happy to help!

If you weren’t able to make it, MozCon 2018 was awesome, to say the least. I’m not just saying that because I want to see you at MozCon 2019, but because, in just three short days, I witnessed magic happen.

No, not the kind you find at Disneyland (even though I firmly believe MozCon is Disneyland for marketers… but that’s another story), but the kind you find when you bring hundreds of people together from different walks of life, each with their own special talents, and watch them create one of the most thought-provoking, engaging, and inclusive communities I’ve ever seen. They fostered a wealth of knowledge and resources that left everyone with plenty of new ideas and answers to marketing’s most challenging questions. That, coupled with the impressive speaker line up and innovative topics, made 2018 one of the best MozCons to date. I am honored to have been a part of it.

Even our attendees thought so:

99.1% of attendees said they were either satisfied, very satisfied, or extremely satisfied with the conference overall.

And when it came to the topics, 77.8% said the topics were just the right amount of advanced — there was plenty to learn, but we weren’t too overwhelmed.

Here’s what Lily Ray, SEO Director at Path Interactive, had to say about MozCon 2018:

I’ve made MozCon an annual ritual. I leave each year feeling invigorated with new ideas, new skills, and a refreshed approach to client strategies. The information I’ve learned at MozCon has improved my abilities as an SEO and has led to better results for my clients.

I hope you experience a slice of MozCon magic with the MozCon 2018 Video Bundle. With it, you’ll gain access to 12 hours of content full of actionable tactics you can instantly put to work for you and your team. The sessions are sure to help energize your online marketing strategy.

What you’ll get:

For just $ 299, you can enjoy the full MozCon experience from the comfort of your home or office. The bundle includes:

  • 26 full-length videos from some of the brightest minds in digital marketing
  • Instant downloads and streaming to your computer, tablet, or mobile device
  • Downloadable slide decks for presentations

Buy the MozCon 2018 Video Bundle

Not convinced yet? Watch a session now… for free!

To help you decide whether the video bundle is right for you, we’re sharing one of our highest-rated sessions with you for free! In this session, Moz’s own marketing scientist and SEO extraordinaire Dr. Pete Meyers discusses mapping keywords to searcher intent and capitalizing on the promise of ranking to drive results that attract clicks and customers. Enjoy!

Ranking is a Promise: Can You Deliver? with Dr. Pete Meyers

Finally, a BIG thank you to the team who made MozCon and this video bundle possible. We love sharing all this knowledge and couldn’t do it without the support of our vendors, partners, and the entire MozCon team.

And to the community, we wish you happy learning and hope to see you at MozCon 2019!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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Google Marketing Live: Here come fully automated ads & campaigns for Local, Shopping & more

Google announces machine learning-loaded initiatives at its annual advertiser event.

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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Moz’s Link Data Used to Suck… But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Earlier this week we launched our brand-new link building tool, and we’re happy to say that Link Explorer addresses and improves upon a lot of the big problems that have plagued our legacy link tool, Open Site Explorer. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand transparently lists out many of the biggest complaints we’ve heard about OSE over the years and explains the vast improvements Link Explorer provides, from DA scores updated daily to historic link data to a huge index of almost five trillion URLs.

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week I’m very excited to say that Moz’s Open Site Explorer product, which had a lot of challenges with it, is finally being retired, and we have a new product, Link Explorer, that’s taking its place. So let me walk you through why and how Moz’s link data for the last few years has really kind of sucked. There’s no two ways about it.

If you heard me here on Whiteboard Friday, if you watched me at conferences, if you saw me blogging, you’d probably see me saying, “Hey, I personally use Ahrefs, or I use Majestic for my link research.” Moz has a lot of other good tools. The crawler is excellent. Moz Pro is good. But Open Site Explorer was really lagging, and today, that’s not the case. Let me walk you through this.

The big complaints about OSE/Mozscape

1. The index was just too small

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

Mozscape was probably about a fifth to a tenth the size of its competitors. While it got a lot of the quality good links of the web, it just didn’t get enough. As SEOs, we need to know all of the links, the good ones and the bad ones.

2. The data was just too old

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

So, in Mozscape, a link that you built on November 1st, you got a link added to a website, you’re very proud of yourself. That’s excellent. You should expect that a link tool should pick that up within maybe a couple weeks, maybe three weeks at the outside. Google is probably picking it up within just a few days, sometimes hours.

Yet, when Mozscape would crawl that, it would often be a month or more later, and by the time Mozscape processed its index, it could be another 40 days after that, meaning that you could see a 60- to 80-day delay, sometimes even longer, between when your link was built and when Mozscape actually found it. That sucks.

3. PA/DA scores took forever to update

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

PA/DA scores, likewise, took forever to update because of this link problem. So the index would say, oh, your DA is over here. You’re at 25, and now maybe you’re at 30. But in reality, you’re probably far ahead of that, because you’ve been building a lot of links that Mozscape just hasn’t picked up yet. So this is this lagging indicator. Sometimes there would be links that it just didn’t even know about. So PA and DA just wouldn’t be as accurate or precise as you’d want them to be.

4. Some scores were really confusing and out of date

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

MozRank and MozTrust relied on essentially the original Google PageRank paper from 1997, which there’s no way that’s what’s being used today. Google certainly uses some view of link equity that’s passed between links that is similar to PageRank, and I think they probably internally call that PageRank, but it looks nothing like what MozRank was called.

Likewise, MozTrust, way out of date, from a paper in I think 2002 or 2003. Much more advancements in search have happened since then.

Spam score was also out of date. It used a system that was correlated with what spam looked like three, four years ago, so much more up to date than these two, but really not nearly as sophisticated as what Google is doing today. So we needed to toss those out and find their replacements as well.

5. There was no way to see links gained and lost over time

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

Mozscape had no way to see gained and lost links over time, and folks thought, “Gosh, these other tools in the SEO space give me this ability to show me links that their index has discovered or links they’ve seen that we’ve lost. I really want that.”

6. DA didn’t correlate as well as it should have

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

So over time, DA became a less and less indicative measure of how well you were performing in Google’s rankings. That needed to change as well. The new DA, by the way, much, much better on this front.

7. Bulk metrics checking and link reporting was too hard and manual

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

So folks would say, “Hey, I have this giant spreadsheet with all my link data. I want to upload that. I want you guys to crawl it. I want to go fetch all your metrics. I want to get DA scores for these hundreds or thousands of websites that I’ve got. How do I do that?” We didn’t provide a good way for you to do that either unless you were willing to write code and loop in our API.

8. People wanted distribution of their links by DA

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

They wanted distributions of their links by domain authority. Show me where my links come from, yes, but also what sorts of buckets of DA do I have versus my competition? That was also missing.

So, let me show you what the new Link Explorer has.

Moz's new Link Explorer

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Wow, look at that magical board change, and it only took a fraction of a second. Amazing.

What Link Explorer has done, as compared to the old Open Site Explorer, is pretty exciting. I’m actually very proud of the team. If you know me, you know I am a picky SOB. I usually don’t even like most of the stuff that we put out here, but oh my god, this is quite an incredible product.

1. Link Explorer has a GIANT index

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

So I mentioned index size was a big problem. Link Explorer has got a giant index. Frankly, it’s about 20 times larger than what Open Site Explorer had and, as you can see, very, very competitive with the other services out there. Majestic Fresh says they have about a trillion URLs from their I think it’s the last 60 days. Ahrefs, about 3 trillion. Majestic’s historic, which goes all time, has about 7 trillion, and Moz, just in the last 90 days, which I think is our index — maybe it’s a little shorter than that, 60 days — 4.7 trillion, so almost 5 trillion URLs. Just really, really big. It covers a huge swath of the web, which is great.

2. All data updates every 24 hours

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

So, unlike the old index, it is very fresh. Every time it finds a new link, it updates PA scores and DA scores. The whole interface can show you all the links that it found just yesterday every morning.

3. DA and PA are tracked daily for every site

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

You don’t have to track them yourself. You don’t have to put them into your campaigns. Every time you go and visit a domain, you will see this graph showing you domain authority over time, which has been awesome.

For my new company, I’ve been tracking all the links that come in to SparkToro, and I can see my DA rising. It’s really exciting. I put out a good blog post, I get a bunch of links, and my DA goes up the next day. How cool is that?

4. Old scores are gone, and new scores are polished and high quality

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

So we got rid of MozRank and MozTrust, which were very old metrics and, frankly, very few people were using them, and most folks who were using them didn’t really know how to use them. PA basically takes care of both of them. It includes the weight of links that come to you and the trustworthiness. So that makes more sense as a metric.

Spam score is now on a 0 to 100% risk model instead of the old 0 to 17 flags and the flags correlate to some percentage. So 0 to 100 risk model. Spam score is basically just a machine learning built model against sites that Google penalized or banned.

So we took a huge amount of domains. We ran their names through Google. If they couldn’t rank for their own name, we said they were penalized. If we did a site: the domain.com and Google had de-indexed them, we said they were banned. Then we built this risk model. So in the 90% that means 90% of sites that had these qualities were penalized or banned. 2% means only 2% did. If you have a 30% spam score, that’s not too bad. If you have a 75% spam score, it’s getting a little sketchy.

5. Discovered and lost links are available for every site, every day

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

So again, for this new startup that I’m doing, I’ve been watching as I get new links and I see where they come from, and then sometimes I’ll reach out on Twitter and say thank you to those folks who are linking to my blog posts and stuff. But it’s very, very cool to see links that I gain and links that I lose every single day. This is a feature that Ahrefs and Majestic have had for a long time, and frankly Moz was behind on this. So I’m very glad that we have it now.

6. DA is back as a high-quality leading indicator of ranking ability

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

So, a note that is important: everyone’s DA has changed. Your DA has changed. My DA has changed. Moz’s DA changed. Google’s DA changed. I think it went from a 98 to a 97. My advice is take a look at yourself versus all your competitors that you’re trying to rank against and use that to benchmark yourself. The old DA was an old model on old data on an old, tiny index. The new one is based on this 4.7 trillion size index. It is much bigger. It is much fresher. It is much more accurate. You can see that in the correlations.

7. Building link lists, tracking links that you want to acquire, and bulk metrics checking is now easy

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

Building link lists, tracking links that you want to acquire, and bulk metrics checking, which we never had before and, in fact, not a lot of the other tools have this link tracking ability, is now available through possibly my favorite feature in the tool called Link Tracking Lists. If you’ve used Keyword Explorer and you’ve set up your keywords to watch those over time and to build a keyword research set, very, very similar. If you have links you want to acquire, you add them to this list. If you have links that you want to check on, you add them to this list. It will give you all the metrics, and it will tell you: Does this link to your website that you can associate with a list, or does it not? Or does it link to some page on the domain, but maybe not exactly the page that you want? It will tell that too. Pretty cool.

8. Link distribution by DA

Moz's Link Data Used to Suck... But Not Anymore! The New Link Explorer is Here - Whiteboard Friday

Finally, we do now have link distribution by DA. You can find that right on the Overview page at the bottom.

Look, I’m not saying Link Explorer is the absolute perfect, best product out there, but it’s really, really damn good. I’m incredibly proud of the team. I’m very proud to have this product out there.

If you’d like, I’ll be writing some more about how we went about building this product and a bunch of agency folks that we spent time with to develop this, and I would like to thank all of them of course. A huge thank you to the Moz team.

I hope you’ll do me a favor. Check out Link Explorer. I think, very frankly, this team has earned 30 seconds of your time to go check it out.

Try out Link Explorer!

All right. Thanks, everyone. We’ll see you again for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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It’s here! ‘Enterprise SEO Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide’ is all new for 2018.

MarTech Today’s “Enterprise SEO Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” has been updated for 2018. Compiled from the latest research, this 55-page report is your source for the latest trends, opportunities and challenges facing the market for SEO software tools as seen by industry leaders,…

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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Help Us Improve: The 2017 Moz Blog Reader Survey Is Here

Posted by Trevor-Klein

It’s been a couple of years since we last asked you all about what you enjoy most (and least) about the Moz Blog, and to say our company and our industry had changed in those couple of years would be an enormous understatement.

We saw SERPs continue to add new features and far more featured snippets, as well as shifting massively toward HTTPS results.

Here at Moz, we launched Keyword Explorer, rebuilt our Site Crawl, and made a strategic shift to refocus on our core strength of SEO. We added features to Moz Local, too, emphasizing the importance of local SEO to all businesses with a physical presence.

You get the idea.

With so much having changed, we wanted to be sure we’re still living up to the high standards we set for this blog, and that we’re still providing as valuable an experience as we can for you all. That’s where you come in today.

If you’ve got time, please consider going through the survey below, which asks about who you are, what challenges you face, and what you’d like to see more of on the Moz Blog.

We’ll publish the results along with our takeaways in a few weeks, and will use them to guide our work going forward. From all of us at Moz, thanks in advance for your time!

(If the embedded survey isn’t showing up properly below, click here to take it in a new tab.)

powered by Typeform

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It’s Here: The Finalized MozCon 2017 Agenda

Posted by ronell-smith

That sound you hear is the coming together of MozCon 2017.

[You can hear that, right? It's not just me.]

With less than two months to go, most of the nuts and bolts of the event have been fastened together to create what looks to be one of the strongest MozCons in history. Yeah, that’s saying a lot, but once you’ve perused the speakers’ lineup, we’re sure you’ll agree.

MozCon has a rich tradition of bringing together the best and brightest minds in digital marketing, creating a place for individuals across the globe to learn from top-notch speakers, network, share ideas, and learn about the tools, services, and tactics they can put to use in their work and their business.

As a bonus, attendees also get to enjoy lots of snacks, coffee and lots and lots of bacon.

Also, this year we’ll offer pre-MozCon SEO workshops on Sunday, July 16. Keep reading for more info.

You will, however, need a ticket to attend the event, so you might want to take care of that sooner rather later, since it always sells out:

Buy my MozCon 2017 ticket!

Now for the meaty details you’ve been waiting for.

The MozCon 2017 Agenda



Rand Fishkin

Welcome to MozCon 2017

Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz

Rand Fishkin is the founder and former CEO of Moz, co-author of a pair of books on SEO, and co-founder of Inbound.org. Rand’s an un-save-able addict of all things content, search, and social on the web.

How to Get Big Links

Lisa Myers, Verve Search

Everyone wants links and coverage from sites such as New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the BBC, but very few achieve it. This is how we cracked it. Over and over.

Lisa is the founder and CEO of award-winning SEO agency Verve Search and founder of Womeninsearch.net. Feminist, mother of two, and modern-day shield maiden.


Data-Driven Design

Oli Gardner, Unbounce

Data-Driven Design (3D) is an actionable, evidence-based framework for creating websites & landing pages that will increase your leads, sales, and customers. In this session you’ll learn how to use the latest industry conversion data to inform copywriting and design decisions that impact conversions. Additionally, I’ll share a new methodology for prioritizing your marketing optimization that will show you which pages are awesome (leave them alone), which pages aren’t (massive ROI potential here), and help you develop a common language that your teams of marketers, designers, and copywriters can use to work better together to collectively increase your conversion rates.

Oli, founder of Unbounce, is on a mission to rid the world of marketing mediocrity by using data-informed copywriting, design, interaction, and psychology to create a more delightful experience for marketers and customers alike.

AM Break

How to Write Customer-Driven Copy That Converts

Joel Klettke, Business Casual Copywriting & Case Study Buddy

If you want to write copy that converts, you need to get into your customers’ heads. But how do you do that? How do you know which pain points you need to address, features customers care about, or benefits your audience needs to hear? Marketers are sick and tired of hearing “it depends.” I’ll give the audience a practical framework for writing customer-driven copy that any business can apply.

Joel is a freelance conversion copywriter and strategist for Business Casual Copywriting. He also owns and runs Case Study Buddy, a done-for-you case studies service.

What We Learned From Reddit & How It Can Help Your Brand Take Content Marketing to the Next Level

Daniel Russell, Go Fish Digital

It almost seems too good to be true — online forums where people automatically segment themselves into different markets and demographics and then vote on what content they like best. These forums, including Reddit, are treasure troves of content ideas. I’ll share actionable insights from three case studies that demonstrate how your marketing can benefit from content on Reddit.

Daniel is a director at Go Fish Digital whose work has hit the front page of Reddit, earned the #1 spot on YouTube, and been featured in Entrepreneur, Inc., The Washington Post, WSJ, and Fast Company.

How to Build an SEO-Intent-Based Framework for Any Business

Kathryn Cunningham, Adept Marketing

Everyone knows intent behind the search matters. In e-commerce, intent is somewhat easy to see. B2B, or better yet healthcare, isn’t quite as easy. Matching persona intent to keywords requires a bit more thought. I will cover how to find intent modifiers during keyword research, how to organize those modifiers into the search funnel, and how to quickly find unique universal results at different levels of the search funnel to utilize.

Kathryn is an SEO consultant for Adept Marketing, although to many of her office mates she is known as the Excel nerd.


Size Doesn’t Matter: Great Content by Teams of One

Ian Lurie, Portent, Inc.

Feel the energy surge through your veins as you gain content creation powers THE LIKES OF WHICH YOU HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED… Or, just learn a process for creating great content when it’s just you and your little teeny team. Because size doesn’t matter.

Ian Lurie is founder, CEO, and nerdiest marketing nerd at Portent, a digital marketing agency he started in the Cretaceous era, aka 1995. Ian’s meandering career includes marketing copywriting, expert dungeon master, bike messenger-ing, and office temp worker.


The Tie That Binds: Why Email is Key to Maximizing Marketing ROI

Justine Jordan, Litmus

If nailing the omnichannel experience (whatever that means!) is key to getting more traffic and converting more leads, what happens if we have our channel priorities out of order? Justine will show you how email — far from being an old-school afterthought — is core to hitting marketing goals, building lifetime value, and making customers happy.

Justine is obsessed with helping marketers create, test, and send better email. Named 2015 Email Marketer Thought Leader of the Year, she is strangely passionate about email marketing, hates being called a spammer, and still gets nervous when pressing send.

PM Break

Marketing in a Conversational World: How to Get Discovered, Delight Your Customers and Earn the Conversion

Purna Virji, Microsoft

Capturing and keeping attention is one of the hardest parts of our job today. Fact: It’s just going to get harder with the advent of new technology and conversational interfaces. In the brave new world we’re stepping into, the key questions are: How do we get discovered? How can we delight our audiences? And how can we grow revenue for our clients? Come to this session to learn how to make your marketing and advertising efforts something people are going to want to consume.

Named by PPC Hero as the #1 most influential PPC expert in the world, Purna specializes in SEM, SEO, and future search trends. She is a popular global keynote speaker and columnist, an avid traveler, aspiring top chef, and amateur knitter.

Thinking Smaller: Optimizing for the New Wave of Social Video Platforms

Phil Nottingham, Wistia

SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope… the list goes on. All social networks are now video platforms, but it’s hard to know where to invest. In this session, Phil will be giving you all the tips and tricks for what to make, how to get your content in front of the right audiences, and how get the most value from the investment you’re making in social video.

Phil Nottingham is a strategist who believes in the power of creative video content to improve the way companies speak to their customers, and regularly speaks around the world about video strategy, SEO, and technical marketing.

Monday Night #MozCrawl

The Monday night pub crawl is back.

For the uninitiated, “pub crawl” is not meant to convey what you do after a night of drinking.

Rather, during the MozCon pub crawl, attendees visit some of the best bars in Seattle.

(Each stop is sponsored by a trusted partner; You’ll need to bring your MozCon badge for free drinks and light appetizers. You’ll also need your US ID or passport.)

More deets to follow.




I’d Rather Be Thanked Than Ranked

Wil Reynolds, Seer Interactive

Ego and assumptions led me to chose the wrong keywords for my own site — yeah, me, Wil Reynolds, Mr. RCS. How did I spend three years optimizing my site and building links to finally crack the top three for six critical keywords, only to find out that I wasted all that time? However, in spite of targeting the wrong words, Seer grew the business. In this presentation, I’ll show you the mistakes I made and share with you to approaches that can help you to build content that gets you thanked.

A former teacher with a knack for advising, he’s been helping Fortune 500 companies develop SEO strategies since 1999. Today, Seer is home to over 100 employees across Philadelphia and San Diego.


09:50–10:35 am
Reverse-Engineer Google’s Research to Serve Up the Best, Most Relevant Content for Your Audience

Rob Bucci, STAT Search Analytics

The SERP is the front-end to Google’s multi-billion dollar consumer research machine. They know what searchers want. In this data-heavy talk, Rob will teach you how to uncover what Google already knows about what web searchers are looking for. Using this knowledge, you can deliver the right content to the right searchers at the right time, every time.

Rob loves the challenge of staying ahead of the changes Google makes to their SERPs. When not working, you can usually find him hiking up a mountain, falling down a ski slope, or splashing around in the ocean.

AM Break

MozCon Ignite Preview

More Than SEO: 3 Ways To Prove UX Matters Too

Matthew Edgar, Elementive

Great SEO is increasingly dependent on having a website with a great user experience. To make your user experience great requires carefully tracking what people do so that you always know where to improve. But what do you track? In this 15-minute talk, I’ll cover three effective and advanced ways to use event tracking in Google Analytics to understand a website’s user

Matthew is a web analytics and technical marketing consultant at Elementive.

A Site Migration: Redirects, Resources, & Reflection

Jayna Grassel, Dick’s Sporting Goods

Site. Migration. No two words elicit more fear, joy, or excitement to a digital marketer. When the idea was shared three years ago, the company was excited. They dreamed of new features and efficiency. But as SEOs, we knew better. We knew there would be midnight strategy sessions with IT. More UAT environments than we could track. Deadlines, requirements, and compromises forged through hallway chats. …The result was a stable transition with minimal dips in traffic. What we didn’t know, however, was the amount of cross-functional coordination that was required to pull it off.

Jayna is the SEO manager at Dick’s Sporting Goods and is the unofficial world’s second-fastest crocheter.

The 8 Paid Promotion Tactics That Will Get You To Quit Organic Traffic

Kane Jamison, Content Harmony

Digital marketers are ignoring huge opportunities to promote their content through paid channels, and I want to give them the tools to get started. How many brands out there are spending $ 500+ on a blog post, then moving on to the next one before that post has been seen by 500 people, or even 50? For some reason, everyone thinks about Outbrain and native ads when we talk about paid content distribution, but the real opportunity is in highly targeted paid social.

Kane is the founder of Content Harmony, a content marketing agency based here in Seattle. The Content Harmony team specializes in full funnel content marketing and content promotion.




How to Be a Happy Marketer: Survive the Content Crisis and Drive Results by Mastering Your Customer’s Transformational Journey

Tara-Nicholle Nelson, Transformational Consumer Insights

Branded content is way up, but customer engagement with that content is plummeting. This whole scene makes it hard to get up in the morning, as a marketer. But there’s a new path beyond the epidemic of disengagement and, at the end of it, your brand and your content become regular stops along your customer’s everyday journey.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is the CEO of Transformational Consumer Insights, the former VP of Marketing for MyFitnessPal, and author of the Transformational Consumer.


Up and to the Right: Growing Traffic, Conversions, & Revenue

Matthew Barby, HubSpot

So many of the case studies that document how a company has grown from 0 to X forget to mention that solutions that they found are applicable to their specific scenario and won’t work for everyone. This falls into the dangerous category of bad advice for generic problems. Instead of building up a list of other companies’ tactics, marketers need to understand how to diagnose and solve problems across their entire funnel. Illustrated with real-world examples, I’ll be talking you through the process that I take to come up with ideas that none of my competitors are thinking of.

Matt, who heads up user acquisition at HubSpot, is an award-winning blogger, startup advisor, and a lecturer.


How to Operationalize Growth for Maximum Revenue

Joanna Lord, ClassPass

Joanna will walk through tactical ways to organize your team, build system foundations, and create processes that fuel growth across the company. You’ll hear how to coordinate with product, engineering, CX, and sales to ensure you’re maximizing your opportunity to acquire, retain, and monetize your customers.

Joanna is the CMO of ClassPass, the world’s leading fitness membership. Prior to that she was VP of Marketing at Porch and CMO of BigDoor. She is a global keynote and digital evangelist. Joanna is a recognized thought leader in digital marketing and a startup mentor.

PM Break

Analytics to Drive Optimization & Personalization

Krista Seiden, Google

Getting the most out of your optimization efforts means understanding the data you’re collecting, from analytics implementation, to report setup, to analysis techniques. In this session, Krista walks you through several tips for using analytics data to empower your optimization efforts, and then takes it further to show you how to up-level your efforts to take advantage of personalization from mass scale all the way down to individual user actions.

Krista Seiden is the Analytics Advocate for Google, advocating for all things data, web, mobile, optimization, and more. Keynote speaker, practitioner, writer on Analytics and Optimization, and passionate supporter of #WomenInAnalytics.


Facing the Future: 5 Simple Tactics for 5 Scary Changes

Dr. Pete Meyers, Moz

We’ve seen big changes to SEO recently, from an explosion in SERP features to RankBrain to voice search. These fundamental changes to organic search marketing can be daunting, and it’s hard to know where to get started. Dr. Pete will walk you through five big changes and five tactics for coping with those changes today.

Dr. Peter J. Meyers (aka “Dr. Pete”) is Marketing Scientist for Seattle-based Moz, where he works with the marketing and data science teams on product research and data-driven content.

MozCon Ignite

Join us for an evening of networking and passion-talks. Laugh, cheer, and be inspired as your peers share their 5-minute talks about their hobbies, passion projects, and life lessons.

Be sure to bring your MozCon badge.



The Truth About Mobile-First Indexing

Cindy Krum, MobileMoxie, LLC

Mobile-first design has been a best practice for a while, and Google is finally about to support it with mobile-first indexing. But mobile-first design and mobile-first indexing are not the same thing. Mobile-first indexing is about cross-device accessibility of information, to help integrate digital assistants and web-enabled devices that don’t even have browsers to achieve Google’s larger goals. Learn how mobile-first indexing will give digital marketers their first real swing at influencing Google’s new AI (Artificial Intelligence) landscape. Marketers who embrace an accurate understanding of mobile-first indexing could see a huge first-mover advantage, similar to the early days of the web, and we all need to be prepared.

Cindy, the CEO and Founder of MobileMoxie, LLC, is the author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are. She brings fresh and creative ideas to her clients, and regularly speaks at US and international digital marketing events.


Powerful Brands Have Communities

Tara Reed, Apps Without Code

You are laser-focused on user growth. Meanwhile, you’re neglecting a gold mine of existing customers who desperately want to be part of your brand’s community. Tara Reed shares how to use communities, gamification, and membership content to grow your revenue.

Tara Reed is a tech entrepreneur & marketer. After running marketing initiatives at Google, Foursquare, & Microsoft, Tara branched out to launch her own apps & startups. Today, Tara helps people implement cutting-edge marketing into their businesses.

AM Break


From Anchor to Asset: How Agencies Can Wisely Create Data-Driven Content

Heather Physioc, VML

Creative agencies are complicated and messy, often embracing chaos instead of process, and focusing exclusively on one-time campaign creative instead of continuous web content creation. Campaign creative can be costly, and not sustainable for most large brands. How can creative shops produce data-driven streams of high-quality content for the web that stays true to its creative roots — but faster, cheaper, and continuously? I’ll show you how.

Heather is director of Organic Search at global digital ad agency VML, which performs search engine optimization services for multinational brands like Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Electrolux/Frigidaire, Bridgestone, EXPRESS, and Wendy’s.

5 Secrets: How to Execute Lean SEO to Increase Qualified Leads

Britney Muller, Moz

I invite you to steal some of the ideas I’ve gleaned from managing SEO for the behemoth bad-ass Moz.com. Learn what it takes to move the needle on qualified leads, execute quick wins, and keep your head above water. I’ll go over my biggest Moz.com successes, failures, tests, and lessons.

Britney is a Minnesota native who moved to Colorado to fulfill a dream of being a snowboard bum! After 50+ days on the mountain her first season, she got stir-crazy and taught herself how to program, then found her way into SEO while writing for a local realtor.


SEO Experimentation for Big-Time Results

Stephanie Chang, Etsy

One of the biggest business hurdles any brand faces is how to prioritize and validate SEO recommendations. This presentation describes an SEO experimentation framework you can use to effectively test how changes made to your pages affect SEO performance.

Stephanie currently leads the Global Acquisition & Retention Marketing teams at Etsy. Previously, she was a Senior Consultant at Distilled.

Winning Value Propositions for Crawlers and Consumers

Dawn Anderson, Move It Marketing/Manchester Metropolitan University

In an evolving mobile-first web, we can utilize preempting solutions to create winning value propositions, which are designed to attract and satisfy search engine crawlers and keep consumers happy. I’ll outline a strategy and share tactics that help ensure increased organic reach, in addition to highlighting smart ways to view data, intent, consumer choice theory, and crawl optimization.

Dawn Anderson is an International and Technical SEO Consultant, Director of Move It Marketing, and a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.

PM Break

rand-fishkin-150x150-32915.jpgInside the Googling Mind: An SEO’s Guide to Winning Clicks, Hearts, & Rankings in the Years Ahead

Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz, doer of SEO, feminist

Searcher behavior, intent, and satisfaction are on the verge of overtaking classic SEO inputs (keywords, links, on-page, etc). In this presentation, Rand will examine the shift that behavioral signals have caused, and list the step-by-step process to build a strategy that can thrive long-term in Google’s new reality.

Rand Fishkin is the founder and former CEO of Moz, co-author of a pair of books on SEO, and co-founder of Inbound.org. Rand’s an un-save-able addict of all things content, search, and social on the web.

MozCon Bash

Join us at Garage Billiards for an evening of networking, billiards, bowling, and karaoke with MozCon friends new and old. Don’t forget to bring your MozCon badge and US ID or passport.

Additional Pre-MozCon Sunday Workshops

SEO Intensive

Offered as 75-minute sessions, the five workshops will be taught by Mozzers Rand Fishkin, Britney Muller, Brian Childs, Russ Jones, and Dr. Pete. Topics include The 10 Jobs of SEO-focused Content, Keyword Targeting for RankBrain and Beyond, and Risk-Averse Link Building at Scale, among others.

These workshops are separate from MozCon; you’ll need a ticket to attend them.

Amped up for a talk or ten? Curious about new methods? Excited to learn? Get your ticket before they sell out:

Snag my ticket to MozCon 2017!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Moz Blog

Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Ready to Sell Your Products or Services? We’re Here to Help

copyblogger weekly

Hey there — welcome back to the Copyblogger Weekly!

So, I’ve been known to lean a bit toward the “kumbaya” side of content marketing. (“Kumbaya” meaning, “Let’s all join hands and sing songs about our feelings!”)

But I have bills to pay, just like you do. Selling is an integral and important part of business. And content marketing is as much about marketing as it is about connection.

This week, we’ve got some content to help you unapologetically, effectively — maybe even joyfully — sell some stuff.

On Tuesday, I was tickled to see Beth Hayden riffing on a presentation I did at our live event in 2015, cracking open the three essential elements your landing pages need to make more sales.

Yesterday, we revisited a classic Brian Clark post on how to motivate audiences to buy. He has some fascinating insights into what we really mean when we say we “sell from emotion,” and about the emotional states that prompt us to act.

And The Showrunner podcast this week dives into how to use empathy (very kumbaya) as a map for creating the products and services your audience will love (very pragmatic). Which is really what we’re all about.

Digital Commerce Academy closes to new students on Friday

Quick reminder that Digital Commerce Academy (DCA) is going to close to new students on Friday, October 28 so we can put all of our focus into developing some killer new courses for our members.

Don’t worry, DCA will be back … but not until 2017, and with a substantially higher price.

If you’re into the mix of ethical connection and pragmatic business solutions, DCA is a great resource for you.

We’ll be adding the videos from our recent live Digital Commerce Summit, as well as a live workshop I taught with Brian Clark that walks you through how to plan, execute, and market a digital course.

The annual price for DCA will be rising quite a bit, to reflect the quantity and quality of new content we’re adding. But you can get all the great new stuff and today’s pricing if you jump in now. Get all the details here:


Hope you enjoy this week’s content, and I’ll catch you next week!

— Sonia Simone

Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital

Catch up on this week’s content

The 7-part formula for winning contentMaster These 7 Essential Elements for Winning Content [Infographic]

by Pamela Wilson

Step-by-step for landing pages that convertBuild Landing Pages that Convert with These 3 Smart Steps

by Beth Hayden

What makes people purchase?How to Motivate People to Buy

by Brian Clark

The One Thing That Can Make or Break Your Creative BusinessThe One Thing That Can Make or Break Your Creative Business

by Brian Gardner & Lauren Mancke

Empathy Maps: A Podcaster's GuideEmpathy Maps: A Podcaster’s Guide

by Jerod Morris & Jon Nastor

How to Create Impact That Endures (Instead of Ending Up in a Landfill)How to Create Impact That Endures (Instead of Ending Up in a Landfill)

by Brian Clark & Jerod Morris

Announcing: An Intriguing New Tool for Collaborative ContentAnnouncing: An Intriguing New Tool for Collaborative Content

by Sonia Simone

How Bestselling Sci-fi Thriller Author Blake Crouch Writes: Part OneHow Bestselling Sci-fi Thriller Author Blake Crouch Writes: Part One

by Kelton Reid

Understanding the Brain Science Behind Effective Persuasion, with Roger DooleyUnderstanding the Brain Science Behind Effective Persuasion, with Roger Dooley

by Brian Clark

Cool-Headed Advice for Keeping It Together Just Before Your Book LaunchCool-Headed Advice for Keeping It Together Just Before Your Book Launch

by Pamela Wilson & Jeff Goins


Behind the Scenes with Matthew Berry

with Matthew Barry and Pamela Wilson

Friday, October 28

What can you do when you have a nice-looking site that’s not converting as well as you want? And will content marketing really work to promote a thoroughly offline business like a fly fishing lodge in Idaho? Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from someone who’s on the front lines, using content marketing to promote a strictly offline business.

Join Authority to attend this session

The post Ready to Sell Your Products or Services? We’re Here to Help appeared first on Copyblogger.


Posted in Latest NewsComments Off

Wake Up, SEOs – the NEW New Google is Here

Posted by gfiorelli1

In 2011 I wrote a post here on Moz. The title was “Wake Up SEOs, the New Google is Here.”

In that post I presented some concepts that, in my personal opinion, we SEOs needed to pay attention to in order to follow the evolution of Google.

Sure, I also presented a theory which ultimately proved incorrect; I was much too confident about things like rel=”author”, rel=”publisher”, and the potential decline of the Link Graph influence.

However, the premises of that theory were substantially correct, and they remain correct five years later:

  1. Technical SEO is foundational to the SEO practice;
  2. The user is king, which means that Google will focus more and more on delivering the best user search experience — hence, SEO must evolve from “Search Engine Optimization” into “Search Experience Optimization”;
  3. That web performance optimization (SiteSpeed), 10X content, and semantics would have played a big role in SEO.

Many things have changed in our industry in the past 5 years. The time has come to pause, take a few minutes, and assess what Google is and where it’s headed.

I’ll explain how I “study” Google and what I strongly believe we, the SEOs, should pay attention to if we want not only to survive, but to anticipate Google’s end game, readying ourselves for the future.

Obviously, consider that, while I believe it’s backed up by data, facts, and proof, this is my opinion. As such, I kindly ask you not to take what I write for granted, but rather as an incentive for your own investigations and experiments.

Exploring the expanded universe of Google

Credit: Robson Ribeiro

SEO is a kingdom of uncertainty.

However, one constant never changes: almost every SEO dreams of being a Jedi at least once in her life.

I, too, fantasize about using the Force… Gianlu Ka Fiore Lli, Master Jedi.

Honestly, though, I think I’m more like Mon Mothma.

Like her, I am a strategist by nature. I love to investigate, to see connections where nobody else seems to see them, and to dig deeper into finding answers to complex questions, then design plans based on my investigations.

This way of being means that, when I look at the mysterious wormhole that is Google, I examine many sources:

  1. The official Google blogs;
  2. The “Office Hours” hangouts;
  3. The sometimes contradictory declarations Googlers make on social media (when they don’t share an infinite loop of GIFs);
  4. The Google Patents and the ones filed by people now working for Google;
  5. The news (and stories) about the companies Google acquires;
  6. The biographies of the people Google employs in key areas;
  7. The “Google Fandom” (aka what we write about it);
  8. Rumors and propaganda.

Now, when examining all these sources, it’s easy to create amazing conspiranoiac (conspiracy + paranoia) theories. And I confess: I helped create, believed, and defended some of them, such as AuthorRank.

In my opinion, though, this methodology for finding answers about Google is the best one for understanding the future of our beloved industry of search.

If we don’t dig into the “Expanded Universe of Google,” what we have is a timeline composed only by updates (Panda 1.N, Penguin 1.N, Pigeon…), which is totally useless in the long term:

Click to open a bigger version in a new tab

Instead, if we create a timeline with all the events related to Google Search (which we can discover simply by being well-informed), we begin to see where Google’s heading:

Click to open a bigger version in a new tab

The timeline above confirms what Google itself openly declared:

“Machine Learning is a core, transformative way by which we’re rethinking how we’re doing everything.”
– (Sundar Pichai)

Google is becoming a “Machine Learning-First Company,” as defined by Steven Levy in this post.

Machine learning is becoming so essential in the evolution of Google and search, perhaps we should go beyond listening only to official Google spokespeople like Gary Illyes or John Mueller (nothing personal, just to be clear… for instance, read this enlightening interview of Gary Illyes by Woj Kwasi). Maybe we should start paying more attention to what people like Christine Robson, Greg Corrado, Jeff Dean, and the staff of Google Brain write and say.

The second timeline tells us that starting in 2013 Google started investing money, intellectual efforts, and energy on a sustained scale in:

  • Machine learning;
  • Semantics;
  • Context understanding;
  • User behavior (or “Signals/Semiotics,” as I like to call it).

2013: The year when everything changed

Google rolled out Hummingbird only three years ago, but it’s not just a saying: that feels like decades ago.

Let’s quickly rehash: what’s Hummingbird?

Hummingbird is the Google algorithm as a whole. It’s composed of four phases:

  1. Crawling, which collects information on the web;
  2. Parsing, which identifies the type of information collected, sorts it, and forwards it to a suitable recipient;
  3. Indexing, which identifies and associates resources in relation to a word and/or a phrase;
  4. Search, which…
    • Understands the queries of the users;
    • Retrieves information related to the queries;
    • Filters and clusters the information retrieved;
    • Ranks the resources; and
    • Paints the search result page and so answers the queries.

This last phase, Search, is where we can find the “200+ ranking factors” (RankBrain included) and filters like Panda or anti-spam algorithms like Penguin.

Remember that there are as many search phases as vertical indices exist (documents, images, news, video, apps, books, maps…).

We SEOs tend to fixate almost exclusively on the Search phase, forgetting that Hummingbird is more than that.

This approach to Google is myopic and does not withstand a very simple logical square exercise.

  1. If Google is able to correctly crawl a website (Crawling);
  2. to understand its meaning (Parsing and Indexing);
  3. and, finally, if the site itself responds positively to the many ranking factors (Search);
  4. then that website will be able to earn the organic visibility it aims to reach.

If even one of the three elements of the logical square is missing, organic visibility is missing; think about non-optimized AngularJS websites, and you’ll understand the logic.

The website on the left in a non-JS enabled browser. On the right, JS enabled reveals all of the content. Credit: Builtvisible.com

How can we be SEO Jedi if we only see one facet of the Force?

Parsing and indexing: often forgotten

Over the past 18 months, we’ve a sort of technical SEO Renaissance, as defined by Mike King in this fundamental deck and despite attempts to classify technical SEOs as makeup artists.

On the contrary, we’re still struggling to fully understand the importance of the Parsing and Indexing phases.

Of course, we can justify that by claiming that parsing is the most complex of the four phases. Google agrees, as it openly declared when announcing SintaxNet.

Announcing SintaxNext.gif

However, if we don’t optimize for parsing, then we’re not going to fully benefit from organic search, especially in the months and years to come.

How to optimize for parsing and indexing

As a premise to parsing and indexing optimization, we must remember an oft-forgotten aspect of search, which Hummingbird highlighted and enhanced: entity search.

If you remember what Amit Singhal said when he announced Hummingbird, he declared that it had “something of Knowledge Graph.”

That part was — and I’m simplifying here for clarity’s sake — entity search, which is based over two kinds of entities:

  1. Named entities are what the Knowledge Graph is about, such as persons, landmarks, brands, historic movements, and abstract concepts like “love” or “desire”;
  2. Search entities are “things” related to the act of searching. Google uses them to determine the answer for a query, especially in a personalized context. They include:
    • Query;
    • Documents and domain answering to the query;
    • Search session;
    • Anchor text of links (internal and external);
    • Time when the query is executed;
    • Advertisements responding to a query.

Why does entity search matter?

It matters because entity search is the reason Google better understands the personal and almost unique context of a query.

Moreover, thanks to entity search, Google better understands the meaning of the documents it parses. This means it’s able to index them better and, finally, to achieve its main purpose: serving the best answers to the users’ queries.

This is why semantics is important: semantic search is optimizing for meaning.

Credit: Starwars.com

It’s not a ranking factor, it’s not needed to improve crawling, but it is fundamental for Parsing and Indexing, the big forgotten-by-SEOs algorithm phases.

Semantics and SEO

First of all, we must consider that there are different kinds of semantics and that, sometimes, people tend to get them confused.

  1. Logical semantics, which is about the relations between concepts/linguistic elements (e.g.: reference, presupposition, implication, et al)
  2. Lexical semantics, which is about the meaning of words and their relation.

Logical semantics

Structured data is the big guy right now in logical semantics, and Google (both directly and indirectly) is investing a lot in it.

A couple of months ago, when the mainstream marketing gurusphere was discussing the 50 shades of the new Instagram logo or the average SEO was (justifiably) shaking his fists against the green “ads” button in the SERPs, Google released the new version of Schema.org.

This new version, as Aaron Bradley finely commented here, improves the ability to disambiguate between entities and/or better explain their meaning.

For instance, now:

At the same time, we shouldn’t forget to always use the most important property of all: “SameAs”, one of few properties that’s present in every Schema.org type.

Finally, as Mike Arnesen recently explained quite well here on the Moz blog, take advantage of the semantic HTML attributes ItemRef and ItemID.

How do we implement Schema.org in 2016?

It is clear that Google is pushing JSON-LD as the preferred method for implementing Schema.org

The best way to implement JSON-LD Schema.org is to use the Knowledge Graph Search API, which uses the standard Schema.org types and is compliant with JSON-LD specifications.

As an alternative, you can use the recently rolled out JSON-LD Schema Generator for SEO tool by Hall Analysis.

To solve a common complaint about JSON-LD (its volume and how it may affect the performance of a site), we can:

  1. Use Tag Manager in order to fire Schema.org when needed;
  2. Use PreRender in order to let the browser begin uploading the pages your users may visit after the one they’re currently on, anticipating the upload of the JSON-LD elements of those pages.

The importance Google gives to Schema.org and structured data is confirmed by the new and radically improved version of the Structured Data Testing Tool, which is now more actionable for identifying mistakes and test solutions thanks to its JSON-LD (again!) and Schema.org contextual autocomplete suggestions.

Semantics is more than structured data #FTW!

One mistake I foresee is thinking that semantic search is only about structured data.

It’s the same kind of mistake people do in international SEO, when reducing it to hreflang alone.

The reality is that semantics is present from the very foundations of a website, found in:

  1. Its code, specifically HTML;
  2. Its architecture.


Click to open a bigger version in a new tab

Since its beginnings, HTML included semantic markup (e.g.: title, H1, H2…).

Its latest version, HTML5, added new semantic elements, the purpose of which is to semantically organize the structure of a web document and, as W3C says, to allow “data to be shared and reused across applications, enterprises, and communities.”

A clear example of how Google is using the semantic elements of HTML are its Featured Snippets or answer boxes.

As declared by Google itself (“We do not use structured data for creating Featured Snippets”) and explained well by Dr. Pete, Richard Baxter, and very recently Simon Penson, the documents that tend to be used for answer boxes usually display these three factors:

  1. They already rank on the first page for the query pulling out the answer box;
  2. They positively answer using basic on-page factors;
  3. They have a clean — or almost clean — HTML code

The conclusion, then, is that semantic search starts in the code and that we should pay more attention to those “boring,” time-consuming, not-a-priority W3C error reports.


The semiotician in me (I studied semiotics and the philosophy of language in university with the likes of Umberto Eco) cannot help but not consider information architecture itself as semantics.

Let me explain.

Open http://www.starwars.com/ in a tab of your browser to follow along below

Everything starts with the right ontology

Ontology is a set of concepts and categories in a subject area (or domain) that shows their properties and the relations between them.

If we take the Starwars.com site as example, we can see in the main menu the concepts in the Star Wars subject area:

  1. News/Blog;
  2. Video;
  3. Events;
  4. Films;
  5. TV Shows;
  6. Games/Apps;
  7. Community;
  8. Databank (the Star Wars Encyclopedia).
Ontology leads to taxonomy (because everything can be classified)

If we look at Starwars.com, we see how every concept included in the Star Wars domain has its own taxonomy.

For instance, the Databank presents several categories, like:

  1. Characters;
  2. Creatures;
  3. Locations;
  4. Vehicles;
  5. Et cetera, et cetera.
Ontology and taxonomy, then, lead to context

If we think of Tatooine, we tend to think about the planet where Luke Skywalker lived his youth.

However, if we visit a website about deep space exploration, Tatooine would be one of the many exoplanets that astronomers have discovered in the past few years.

As you can see, ontology (Star Wars vs celestial bodies) and taxonomies (Star Wars planets vs exoplanets) determine context and help disambiguate between similar entities.

Ontology, taxonomy, and context lead to meaning

The better we define the ontology of our website, structure its taxonomy, and offer better context to its elements, the better we explain the meaning of our website — both to our users and to Google.

Starwars.com, again, is very good at doing this.

For instance, if we examine how it structures a page like the one on TIE fighters, we see that every possible kind of content is used to help explain what a TIE fighter is:

  1. Generic description (text);
  2. Appearances of the TIE fighter in the Star Wars movies (internal links with optimized anchor text);
  3. Affiliations (internal links with optimized anchor text);
  4. Dimensions (text);
  5. Videos;
  6. Photo gallery;
  7. Soundboard (famous quotes by characters. In this case, it would be the classic “zzzzeeewww” sound many of us used as the ring tone on our old Nokias :D );
  8. Quotes (text);
  9. History (a substantial article with text, images, and links to other documents);
  10. Related topics (image plus internal links).

In the case of characters like Darth Vader, the information can be even richer.

The effectiveness of the information architecture of the Star Wars website (plus its authority) is such that its Databank is one of the very few non-Wikidata/Wikipedia sources that Google is using as a Knowledge Graph source.

Click to enlarge

What tool can we use to semantically optimize the structure of a website?

There are, in fact, several tools we can use to semantically optimize the information architecture of a website.

Knowledge Graph Search API

The first one is the Knowledge Graph Search API, because in using it we can get a ranked list of the entities that match given criteria.

This can help us better define the subjects related to a domain (ontology) and can offer ideas about how to structure a website or any kind of web document.


A second tool we can use is RelFinder, which is one of the very few free tools for entity research.

As you can see in the screencast below, RelFinder is based on Wikipedia. Its use is quite simple:

  1. Choose your main entity (eg: Star Wars);
  2. Choose the entity you want to see connections with (eg: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope);
  3. Click “Find Relations.”

RelFinder will detect entities related to both (e.g.: George Lucas or Marcia Lucas), their disambiguating properties (e.g.: George Lucas as director, producer, and writer) and factual ones (e.g.: lightsabers as an entity related to Star Wars and first seen in Episode IV).

RelFinder is very useful if we must do entity research on a small scale, such as when preparing a content piece or a small website.

However, if we need to do entity research on a bigger scale, it’s much better to rely on the following tools:

AlchemyAPI and other tools

AlchemyAPI, which was acquired by IBM last year, uses machine and deep learning in order to do natural language processing, semantic text analysis, and computer vision.

AlchemyAPI, which offers a 30-day trial API Key, is based on the Watson technology; it allows us to extract a huge amount of information from text, with concepts, entities, keywords, and taxonomy offered by default.

Resources about AlchemyAPI

Others tools that allow us to do entity extraction and semantic analysis on a big scale are:

Lexical semantics

As said before, lexical semantics is that branch of semantics that studies the meaning of words and their relations.

In the context of semantic search, this area is usually defined as keyword and topical research.

Here on Moz you can find several Whiteboard Friday videos on this topic:

How do we conduct semantically focused keyword and topical research?

Despite its recent update, Keyword Planner still can be useful for performing semantically focused keyword and topical research.

In fact, that update could even be deemed as a logical choice, from a semantic search point of view.

Terms like “PPC” and “pay-per-click” are synonyms, and even though each one surely has a different search volume, it’s evident how Google presents two very similar SERPs if we search for one or the other, especially if our search history already exhibits a pattern of searches related to SEM.

Yet this dimming of keyword data is less helpful for SEOs in that it makes for harder forecasting and prioritization of which keywords to target. This is especially true when we search for head terms, because it exacerbates a problem that Keyword Planner had: combining stemmed keywords that — albeit having “our keyword” as a base — have nothing in common because they mean completely different things and target very different topics.

However (and this is a pro tip), there is a way to discover the most useful keyword, even when they all have the same search volume: how much advertisers bids for it. Trust the market ;-) .

(If you want to learn more about the recent changes to Keyword Planner, go read this post by Bill Slawski.)

Keyword Planner for semantic search

Let’s say we want to create a site about Star Wars lightsabers (yes, I am a Star Wars geek).

What we could do is this:

  1. Open Keyword Planner / Find new Keywords and get (AH!) search volume data;
  2. Describe our product or service (“News” in the snapshot above);
  3. Use the Wikipedia page about lightsabers as a landing page (if your site were Spanish, the Wikipedia should be the Spanish one);
  4. Indicate our product category (Movies & Films above);
  5. Define the target and eventually indicate negative keywords;
  6. Click on “Get Ideas.”

Google will offer us these Ad Groups as results:

Click to open a bigger version in a new tab

The Ad Groups are a collection of semantically related keywords. They’re very useful for:

  1. Individuating topics;
  2. Creating a dictionary of keywords that can be given to writers for text, which will be both natural and semantically consistent.

Remember, then, that Keyword Planner allows us to do other kinds of analysis too, such as breaking down how the discovered keywords/Ad Groups are used by device or by location. This information is useful for understanding the context of our audience.

If you have one or a few entities for which you want to discover topics and grouped keywords, working directly in Keyword Planner and exporting everything to Google Sheets or an Excel file can be enough.

However, when you have tens or hundreds of entities to analyze, it’s much better to use the Adwords API or a tool like SEO Powersuite, which allows you to do keyword research following the method I described above.

Google Suggest, Related Searches, and Moz Keyword Explorer

Alongside with using Keyword Planner, we can use Google Suggest and Related Searches. Not for simply individuating topics that people search and then writing an instant blog post or a landing page about them, but for reaffirming and perfecting our site’s architecture.

Continuing with the example of a site or section specializing in lightsabers, if we look at Google Suggest we can see how “lightsaber replica” is one of the suggestions.

Moreover, amongst the Related Searches for “lightsaber,” we see “lightsaber replica” again, which is a clear signal of its relevance to “lightsaber.”

Finally, we can click on and discover “lightsaber replica”-related searches, thus creating what I define as the “search landscape” about a topic.

The model above is not scalable if we have many entities to analyze. In that case, a tool like Moz Keyword Explorer can be helpful thanks to the options it offers, as you can see in the snapshot below:

Click to open a bigger version in a new tab

Other keywords and topical research sources

Recently, Powerreviews.com presented survey results that state how Internet users tend to prefer Amazon over Google for searching information about a product (38% vs 35%).

So, why not use Amazon for doing keyword and topical research, especially if we are doing it for ecommerce websites or for the MOFU and BOFU phases of our customers’ journey?

We can use the Amazon Suggest:

Or we can use a free tool like the Amazon Keyword Tool by SISTRIX.

The Suggest function, though, is present in (almost) every website that has a search box (your own site, even, if you have it well-implemented!).

This means that if we’re searching for more mainstream and top-of-the-funnel topics, we can use the suggestions of social networks like Pinterest (i.e.: explore the voluptous universe of the “lightsaber cakes” and related topics):

Pinterest, then, is a real topical research goldmine thanks to its tagging system:

Pinterest Lightsaber Tags


Once we’ve defined the architecture, the topics, and prepared our keyword dictionaries, we can finally work on the on-page facet of our work.

The details of on-page SEO are another post for another time, so I’ll simply recommend you read this evergreen post by Cyrus Shepard.

The best way to grade the semantic search optimization of a written textis to use TF-IDF analysis, offered by sites like OnPage.org (which offers also a clear guide about the advantages and disadvantages of TF-IDF analyisis).

Remember that TF-IDF can also be used for doing competitive semantic search analysis and to discover the keyword dictionaries used by our competitors.

User behavior / Semiotics and context

In the beginning of this post, we saw how Google is heavily investing in better understanding the meaning of the documents it crawls, so to better answer the queries users perform.

Semantics (and semantic search) is only one of the pillars on which Google is basing this tremendous effort.

The other pillar consists of understanding user search behaviors and the context of the users performing a search.

User search behavior

Recently, Larry Kim shared two posts based on experiments he did, demonstrating his theory about how RankBrain is about factors like CTR and dwell time.

While these posts are super actionable, present interesting information with original data, and confirm other tests conducted in the past, these so-called user signals (CTR and dwell time) may not be directly related to RankBrain but, instead, to user search behaviors and personalized search.

Be aware, however, that my statement here above should be taken as a personal theory, because Google itself doesn’t really know how RankBrain works.

AJ Kohn, Danny Sullivan, and David Harry wrote additional interesting posts about RankBrain, if you want to dig into it (for the record, I wrote about it too here on Moz).

Even if RankBrain may be included in the semantic search landscape due to its use of Word2Vec technology, I find it better to concentrate on how Google may use user search behaviors to better understand the relevance of the parsed and indexed documents.

Click-through rate

Since Rand Fishkin presented his theory — backed up with tests — that Google may use CTR as a ranking factor more than two years ago, a lot has been written about the importance of click-through rate.

Common sense suggests that if people click more often on one search snippet than another that perhaps ranks in a higher position, then Google should take that users’ signal into consideration, and eventually lift the ranking of the page that consistently receives higher CTR.

Common sense, though, is not so easy to apply when it comes to search engines, and repeatedly Googlers have declared that they do not use CTR as a ranking factor (see here and here).

And although Google has long since developed a click fraud detection system for Adwords, it’s still not clear if it would be able to scale it for organic search.

On the other hand — let me be a little bit conspiranoiac — if CTR is not important at all, then why Google has changed the pixels of the title tag and meta description? Just for “better design?”

But as Eric Enge wrote in this post, one of the few things we know is that Google filed a patent (Modifying search result ranking based on a temporal element of user feedback, May 2015) about CTR. It’s surely using CTR in testing environments to better calculate the value and grade of other rankings factors and — this is more speculative — it may give a stronger importance to click-through rate in those subsets of keywords that clearly express a QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) need.

What’s less discussed is the importance CTR has in personalized search, as we know that Google tends to paint a custom SERP for each of us depending on both our search history and our personal click-through rate history. They’re key in helping Google determine which SERPs will be the most useful for us.

For instance:

  1. If we search something for the first time, and
  2. for that search we have no search history (or not enough to trigger personalized results), and
  3. the search presents ambiguous entities (i.e.: “Amber“),
  4. then it’s only thanks to our personal CTR/search history that Google will determine which search results related to a given entity to show or not (amber the stone or Amber Rose or Amber Alerts…).

Finally, even if Google does not use CTR as a ranking factor, this doesn’t mean it’s not an important metric and signal for SEOs. We have years of experience and hundreds of tests proving how important is to optimize our search snippets (and now Rich Cards) with the appropriate use of structured data in order to earn more organic traffic, even if we rank worst than our competitors.

Watch time

Having good CTR metrics is totally useless if the pages our visitors land on don’t fulfill the expectation the search snippet created.

This is similar to the difference between a clickbait and a persuasive headline. The first will probably cause a click back to the search results page and the second, instead, will trap and engage the visitors.

The ability of a site to retain its users is what we usually call dwell time, but that Google defines as watch time in this patent: Watch Time-Based Ranking (March 2013).

This patent is usually cited in relation to video because the patent itself uses video as content example, but Google doesn’t restrict its definition to videos alone:

In general, “watch time” refers to the total time that a user spends watching a video. However, watch times can also be calculated for and used to rank other types of content based on an amount of time a user spends watching the content.

Watch time is indeed a more useful user signal than CTR for understanding the quality of a web document and its content.

Are you skeptical and don’t trust me? Trust Facebook, then, because it also uses watch time in its news feed algorithm:

We’re learning that the time people choose to spend reading or watching content they clicked on from News Feed is an important signal that the story was interesting to them.

We are adding another factor to News Feed ranking so that we will now predict how long you spend looking at an article in the Facebook mobile browser or an Instant Article after you have clicked through from News Feed. This update to ranking will take into account how likely you are to click on an article and then spend time reading it. We will not be counting loading time towards this — we will be taking into account time spent reading and watching once the content has fully loaded. We will also be looking at the time spent within a threshold so as not to accidentally treat longer articles preferentially.

With this change, we can better understand which articles might be interesting to you based on how long you and others read them, so you’ll be more likely to see stories you’re interested in reading.

Context and the importance of personalized search

I usually joke and say that the biggest mistake a gang of bank robbers could do is bring along their smartphones. It’d be quite easy to do PreCrime investigations simply by checking their activity board, which includes their location history on Google Maps.

A conference day in Adelaide.

In order to fulfill its mission of offering the best answers to its users, Google must not only understand the web documents it crawls so to index them properly, and not only improve its own ranking factors (taking into consideration the signals users give during their search sessions), but it also needs to understand the context in which users performs a search.

Here’s what Google knows about us:

It’s because of this compelling need to understand our context that Google hired the entire Behav.io team back in 2013.

Behav.io, if you don’t know already, was a company that developed an alpha test software based on its open source framework Funf (still alive), the purpose of which was to record and analyze the data that smartphones keep track of: location, speed, nearby devices and networks, phone activity, noise levels, et al.

All this information is required in order to better understand the implicit aspects of a query, especially if done from a smartphone and/or via voice search, and to better process what Tom Anthony and Will Critchlow define as compound queries.

However, personalized search is also determined by (again) entity search, specifically by search entities.

The relation between search entities creates a “probability score,” which may determine if a web document is shown in a determined SERP or not.

For instance, let’s say that someone performs a search about a topic (e.g.: Wookies) for which she never clicked on a search snippet of our site, but on another that had content about that same topic (e.g.: Wookieepedia) and which linked to the page about it on our site (e.g.: “How to distinguish one wookiee from another?”).

Those links — specifically their anchor texts — would help our site and page to earn a higher probability score than a competitor site that isn’t linked to by those sites present in the user’s search history.

This means that our page will have a better probability of appearing in that user’s personalized SERP than our competitors’.

You’re probably asking: what’s the actionable point of this patent?

Link building/earning is not dead at all, because it’s relevant not only to the Link Graph, but also to entity search. In other words, link building is semantic search, too.

The importance of branding and offline marketing for SEO

One of classic complaints SEOs have about Google is how it favors brands.

The real question, though, should be this: “Why aren’t you working to become a brand?”

Be aware! I am not talking about “vision,” “mission,” and “values” here — I’m talking about plain and simple semantics.

All throughout this post I spoke of entities (named and search ones), cited Word2Vec (vectors are “vast amounts of written language embedded into mathematical entities”), talked about lexical semantics, meaning, ontology, personalized search, and implied topics like co-occurrences and knowledge base.

Branding has a lot to do with all of these things.

I’ll try to explain it with a very personal example.

Last May in Valencia I debuted as conference organizer with The Inbounder.

One of the problems I faced when promoting the event was that “inbounder,” which I thought was a cool name for an event targeting inbound marketers, is also a basketball term.

The problem was obvious: how do I make Google understand that The Inbounder was not about basketball, but digital marketing?

The strategy we followed from the very beginning was to work on the branding of the event (I explain more about The Inbounder story here on Inbound.org).

We did this:

  • We created small local events, so as to
    • develop presence in local newspapers online and offline, a tactic that also obliged marketers to search on Google about the event using branded keywords (e.g.: “The Inbounder conference,” “The Inbounder Inbound Marketing Conference,” etc…), and
    • click on our search results snippets, hence activating personalized search
  • We worked with influencers (the speakers themselves) to trigger branded searches and direct traffic (remember: Chrome stores every URL we visit);
  • We did outreach and published guest posts about the event on sites visited by our audience (and recorded in its search history).

As a result, right now The Inbounder occupies all the first page of Google for its brand name and, more importantly in semantics terms, Google presents The Inbounder events as suggested and related searches. It associates it with all the searches I could ever want:

Another example is Trivago and its global TV advertising campaigns:

Trivago was very smart in constantly showing “Trivago” and “hotel” in the same phrase, even making their motto “Hotel? Trivago.”

This is a simple psychological trick for creating word associations.

As a result, people searched on Google for “hotel Trivago” (or “Trivago hotel”), especially just after the ads were broadcasted:

One of the results is that now, Google suggests “hotel Trivago” when we start typing “hotel” and, as in the case of The Inbounder, it presents “hotel Trivago” as a related search:

Wake up SEOs, the new new Google is here

Yes, it is. And it’s all about better understanding web documents and queries in order to provide the best answers to its users (and make money in the meantime).

To achieve this objective, ideally becoming the long-desired “Star Trek computer,” Google is investing money, people, and efforts into machine/deep learning, neural networks, semantics, search behavior, context analysis, and personalized search.

Remember, SEO is no longer just about “200 ranking factors.” SEO is about making our websites become the sources Google cannot help but use for answering queries.

This is exactly why semantic search is of utmost importance and not just something worth the attention of a few geeks passionate about linguistics, computer science, and patents.

Work on parsing and indexing optimization now, seriously implement semantic search in your SEO strategy, take advantage of the opportunities personalized search offers you, and always put users at the center of everything you do.

In doing so you’ll build a solid foundation for your success in the years to come, both via classic search and with Google Assistant/Now.

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