Tag Archive | "Their"

Google Assistant sometimes uses AccuWeather when their weather service fails

When Google’s first party responses are not available, Google may ask if you want to use a third-party service.

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3 Content Marketing Myths and Their Reality-Based Solutions

We all know that creating content can be hard work. One of our goals at Copyblogger is to help you make sure you’re putting your work into the right things, so you get results and not just a fistful of disappointment. This week, we looked at three myths and mistakes that can hold writers back
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7 Ways for Thoughtful Writers to Wow Their Editors, Clients, and Bosses

It’s common for non-writers to have trouble understanding how writing for a living actually works. They imagine bespectacled introverts pounding away at their keyboards, detached from social settings and business transactions. How is a reclusive life compatible with a sustainable job? Writing is solitary work, but professional writers know publishing is a collaborative process. And
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European press agencies push for licensing fees for their content from Google, Facebook

It remains to be seen whether European legislators and regulators will pick up the cause, but there’s a possibility that they will.

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Copywriting: Listen to customers so you can speak their language

Words are subtle indicators to tell a potential customer “we understand you specifically” and “this offer is meant for people like you.” To truly speak our customers’ language, we must listen to them because our customers may be very different from us.
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7 Ways to Coach Writing Clients on Finding Their Remarkable Voices

Cover your ears for a second. My wife can sing. I can’t. There, I admitted it. But, we do have one thing in common — we both think we can. Only one of us is right (ahem). In the world of business, we all put out a tune. A vibe. A voice. Customers flock to
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The 3 Easiest Link Building Tactics Any Website Can Use to Acquire Their First 50 Links – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Without a solid base of links, your site won’t be competitive in the SERPs — even if you do everything else right. But building your first few links can be difficult and discouraging, especially for new websites. Never fear — Rand is here to share three relatively quick, easy, and tool-free (read: actually free) methods to build that solid base and earn yourself links.

Link Building Tactics to Acquire Your 50 First Links

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 we’re going to chat about how to get those first few links that every website needs to be able to compete. Many folks I know when you get started with link building, it can seem daunting and overwhelming.

So let me walk you through what is essentially a half a day of work, maybe three or four hours of work to try these three tactics that will almost certainly get your business or your organization the first handful, let’s say 50 links that you need to start being able to compete. Content can you take you a long way. Keywords can take you a long way. Engagement and interaction can take you a long way. But you’ve got to have a base of links. So let’s get started here.

#1. Your brand name, domain name, and founder’s/execs names

The first one is basically looking for links that come from your own name, your brand name, your domain name potentially, and the names of the founders or people who run your company.

Step One: Search Google for the names in quotes.

So if it was me and Moz, you’d be searching for “Rand Fishkin” or “Moz.com” in quotes, not the domain name in the URL field. But in the Google search bar, I’d be searching for “Moz.com” in quotes or “Moz + SEO.” Moz also has other meanings, including the singer Morrissey, which makes for confusing types of things. If you have that, you’ll need to use your brand name plus some sort of signifier or identifier. It’s very rare that Morrissey gets mentioned along with search engine optimization. It’s very often that Moz gets mentioned along with SEO, and so I can combine those to search for it. So any of these searches will result in a big list of tons of Google results.

Step Two: Manually check the top let’s say 50 to 100 results to confirm that…

  1. They link to the right place, and if they don’t, if there are mentions of Rand Fishkin that don’t link to Moz, we should fix that. We’re going to contact those people.
  2. If you can control the anchor text and where the link location points, you can update it. For example, I can go to my LinkedIn. My LinkedIn has a link to Moz. I could update that if I were at a different company or if Moz’s domain name changed, for example when it did change from SEOmoz to just Moz.
  3. If it’s missing or wrong, I find the right people, I email them, and I fix it. As a result, I should have something like this. Every single mention in Google has a link on the page to my website. I can get that from brand name, from domain name, and from founders and executives. That’s a lot of great links.

#2. Sites that list your competition

So this is essentially saying we’re going to…

Step One: Identify your top 5 or 10 most visible on the web competitors.

This is a process that you can go through on your own to identify, well, these are the 5 or 10 that we see on the web very frequently for searches that we wish we competed for, or we see them mentioned in the press a ton, whatever it is.

Step Two: Search Google not for each one individually, but rather for combinations, usually two, three, or four of them all together.

For example, if I were making a new whiteboard pen company, I would look for the existing ones, like Pilot and Expo and Quartet and PandaBoard. I might search for Pilot and PandaBoard first. Then I might search for Pilot and Expo. Then I might search for PandaBoard and Quartet and all these various combinations of these different ones.

Step Three: Visit any sites in the SERPs that list multiple competitors in any sort of format (a directory structure, comparisons, a list, etc.)

Then in each of those cases, I would submit or I would try and contact or get in touch with whoever runs that list and say, “Hey, my company, my organization also belongs on here because, like these other ones you’ve listed, we do the same thing.” So if it’s here’s whiteboard pen brands, Expo, PandaBoard, Quartet, and your site, which should now link to YourSite.com.

This is a little more challenging. You won’t have as high a hit rate as you will with your own brand names. But again, great way to expand your link portfolio. You can usually almost always get 20 or 30 different sites that are listing people in your field and get on those lists.

#3. Sites that list people/orgs in your field, your geography, with your attributes.

This is sites that list people or organizations in a particular field, a particular region, with particular attributes, or some combination of those three. So they’re saying here are European-based whiteboard pen manufacturers or European-based manufacturers who were founded by women.

So you can say, “Aha, that’s a unique attribute, that’s a geography, and that’s my field. I’m in manufacturing. I make whiteboard pens. Our cofounder was a woman, and we are in Europe. So therefore we count in all three of those. We should be on that list.” You’re looking for lists like these, which might not list your competitors, but are high-quality opportunities to get good links.

Step One:

  1. List your organization’s areas of operation. So that would be like we are in technology, or we’re in manufacturing or software or services, or we’re a utility, or we’re finance tech, or whatever we are. You can start from macro and go down to micro at each of those levels.
  2. List your geography in the same format from macro to micro. You want to go as broad as continent, for example Europe, down to country, region, county, city, even neighborhood. There are websites that list, “Oh, well, these are startups that are based in Ballard, Seattle, Washington in the United States in North America.” So you go, “Okay, I can fit in there.”
  3. List your unique attributes. Were you founded by someone whose attributes are different than normal? Moz, obviously my cofounder was my mom, Gillian. So Moz is a cofounded-by-a-woman company. Are you eco-friendly? Maybe you buy carbon credits to offset, or maybe you have a very eco-friendly energy policy. Or you have committed to donating to charity, like Salesforce has. Or you have an all-remote team. Or maybe you’re very GLBTQIA-friendly. Or you have a very generous family leave policy. Whatever interesting attributes there are about you, you can list those and then you can combine them.

Step Two: Search Google for lists of businesses or websites or organizations that have some of these attributes in your region or with your focus.

For example, Washington state venture-backed companies. Moz is a venture-backed company, so I could potentially get on that list. Or the EU-based manufacturing companies started by women, and I could get on that list with my whiteboard pen company based there. You can find lots and lots of these if you sort of take from your list, start searching Google and discover those results. You’ll use the same process you did here.

You know what the great thing about all three of these is? No tools required. You don’t have to pay for a single tool. You don’t have to worry about Domain Authority. You don’t have to worry about any sort of link qualification process or paying for something expensive. You can do this manually by yourself with Google as your only tool, and that will get you some of those first early links.

If you’ve got additional suggestions, please leave them down in the comments. I look forward to chatting with you there. We’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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How Small Digital Publishers Can Grow Their Network and Save Time

Posted by lydiagilbertson

Being a small or startup publishing company is hard. The digital advertising industry is broken. Larger companies like Vox and Buzzfeed are some of the only online publications that can hope to monetize their content effectively. Smaller niche publications often have an even harder time attracting return visitors or getting people outside of their current active users to see their content at all. Already at a disadvantage, most small publications are also understaffed and underfunded. These publications can use content marketing and search marketing concepts within their online distribution strategy to better reach their audiences and to compete with bigger publications.

Platforms as distributors

Somehow, platforms have long been both the saviors and the destroyers of the digital publishing industry. Regardless, they’ve become a necessary evil for the content distribution strategy of almost all online publishing companies. There’s no real harm in trying out different ways to reach your audience, but don’t waste your time on a platform that isn’t growing your audience or enhancing its engagement. The usual contenders being Facebook and Twitter, there are a few more platforms that can be easily utilized towards helping you to reach your audience.

1. AMP

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) project is a complex attempt by Google to make pages load faster on mobile devices, keep users on their platform, and to better engage with the publishing community. Many larger sites report a lot of success using AMP. Smaller publishers may be wary of trying out AMP on their sites, out of fear that it will further overwork their staff or that it requires an intense amount of web development knowledge. However, Google AMP is fairly simple to implement (more on how further down the page) if you’re using WordPress or another common content management system.

Companies using WordPress will have an especially easy time adding AMP to the list of ways they distribute their content. Both WordPress and Yoast have plugins available to put (and manage) your content into the AMP format. Medium is also in the process of allowing its users an easy way to designate AMP content. Here are a few things to keep in mind before publishing your content via AMP:

  1. Make sure it’s in article format. AMP is meant for blog posts and news articles, so don’t try to publish products or landing pages using Google AMP.
  2. Be conscious of the audience you’re publishing for when using AMP. Articles that appear in the Google AMP carousel in the SERP are usually topical and considered “news.”
  3. If your site is struggling with speed issues, AMP could be a part (but not all) of the solution, as it will help your articles load more quickly on mobile devices.
  4. If your site doesn’t use WordPress, implementing AMP might be a little bit harder than just downloading a plugin for your CMS. Find more out about that process here.
  5. Analytics tracking should be included in your overall traffic and segmented to show how much traffic comes from AMP. Find out more about AMP and Google Analytics here.

2. Medium

Medium is another platform that can help more users to see your content and stay on the page long enough to read it. Like any platform, hosting your entire site on Medium comes with the risk of giving your content to another entity rather than your own website. This is a concern because hosting all of your content somewhere like Medium means it could make changes to the platform that you may not like, or in severe situations shut down entirely (and take your content with it). It also has limited capabilities with on-page ads. However, there are some larger publishers that have been adopting Medium as their main source of content distribution. There are several benefits to doing this:

  1. Medium has a built-in audience of millions of engaged readers.
  2. Most of the content on Medium is high quality.
  3. Migrating your entire site to the Medium platform is actually relatively easy for both WordPress and non-WordPress sites. Be sure to keep in mind that hosting all of your content on a platform can be risky.

Another way to utilize Medium’s built-in audience is to republish your content onto the platform. Medium allows for its users to write content on their platform and then canonicalize to their own website (that’s not on Medium). This allows small publishers to pick which content goes on Medium (much like a social media platform) in order to make sure it’s targeted to Medium’s user-base.

3. Google News

Google News is a section of the search engine results page that focuses entirely on timely news content. In order for many websites to be featured in this specialized SERP, they have to go through the application process and get accepted into the Google News program. After acceptance, the site has to follow and keep a specific set of meta tags up-to-date, only posting timely content designated for the platform. Find out more about how to get accepted into Google News here.

Utilize content marketing tools

Outside of monetization, the number-one hurdle that most small publishing companies face is being understaffed and overworked. One way to remedy this is using tools that help diminish the workload involved in managing content-heavy sites. Here are a list of tools that can help small publishers cut down on their tasks:

1. CoSchedule

CoSchedule is editorial calendar software that minimizes time spent keeping track of all of the posts you want/need to do on any given day. It’s designed for both small and enterprise companies, but is better suited for smaller ones due to its all-in-one approach. CoSchedule allows you to plan your posts in advance and set a time for when to post them on social media platforms, all in a single tool.

2. BuzzSumo

Ideating different pieces of content for your site takes a significant amount of time. Utilizing a tool like BuzzSumo could help you to come up with a ton of different article concepts based on what’s trending on different social media platforms.

3. Canva

Having a small team usually means that your graphic designer is extremely busy (or nonexistent). Making quick graphics and supplementary images for your posts can totally be done utilizing Canva, without bogging down your graphics team with more work than it can handle (plus, there’s a free version).

Focus on your niche

Find your niche and build your audience. Obviously, this is easier said than done. But, it’s extremely important as a small publisher to be filling a void or taking a different perspective in the already overflowing content funnel of the Internet. Find your unique voice and the people that want to hear it. Sticking to your publication’s brand or niche will in turn build you a specialized audience. This allows prospective advertisers to better target and then convert using your content.

Don’t always focus on quantity, but quality

Similar to the last point, in addition to not overstretching your genre, don’t overstretch your posting frequency. Rather than posting more times per day just to meet an imaginary quota, it’s better to create fewer posts of higher quality. Moz did a publishing experiment that illustrates the complexity of publishing frequency and content quality. Pay more attention to what your users want rather than what you assume Google does.


Being a small publishing company is hard. Most small publications find themselves understaffed and overworked trying to catch up with much larger companies.The best way to try to compete with larger publishing companies is to keep your focus small and to use external applications. They’ll help you save time and make creating easier. Utilize all of the platforms that work for your audience — not just all of the platforms available.

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 has officially killed off their link command

Google tells webmasters and SEOs to stop using the link command, that it is officially dead and not functioning properly.

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Content Marketers Share Their Secrets


Here’s the final excerpt from my new book, ‘Master Content Marketing.’ Read the other excerpts here and here.

‘Master Content Marketing’ is now available for pre-order wherever books are sold. When you order today and register for the free bonus materials, you’ll get an invite to my exclusive readers-only webinar, Scary Good Content Marketing Tips Direct from ‘Master Content Marketing.’ Place your pre-order now!

Back in early 2010, I didn’t consider myself a writer at all.

But I knew good writing when I read it. Masterful writers inspired me and made me want to improve my skills.

Today, I’m lucky to count many of the people I read over the years as colleagues and friends. Before I wrapped up writing my new book, Master Content Marketing, I reached out to them to see if they’d share some words of wisdom with you.

They responded with tips, techniques, and encouragement. Here’s a selection of their answers.

“What do you do to stay excited about your topic of choice after all these years? How do you keep yourself inspired?”

One issue content marketers struggle with is how to keep their interest high even though they’re writing about the same topic for months and years. Here’s how master content marketers handle this challenge:

For Darren Rowse, it’s about the people he serves:

“The thing that continually inspires me to create content for my blog and podcast is regularly meeting my readers both in person and online. Talking with a reader about the dreams that they have and the challenges that they face gives me both ideas for content but also renewed passion for my topic.”

Bernadette Jiwa just has to imagine her readers:

“What excites me is the people on the other side of this computer screen I’m reading from as I type. People I have never met, from all over the world, in places I may never visit who are searching for something. And I have the opportunity to help them with nothing other than 101 keys and an internet connection. Thinking about how the world used to be and that one person I might be able to reach is what keeps inspiring me to keep going.”

Chris Ducker’s interactions with his audience fuel his content ideas:

“I stay excited about my topic of choice — and just inspired, in general — by hanging out with my audience and my community as much as I possibly can. I’m a big believer that if you listen to your audience and pay attention to what they are saying, your job as a content creator and a content marketer becomes even easier over the long haul.”

For John Jantsch, empowering others with his content gives his work meaning:

“Most of what I write about comes from doing and helping others do, so what keeps it exciting for me is working with clients and training consultants to work with clients.”

Joanna Wiebe gets inspired by what she finds in her inbox:

“I thrive on emails from people who are new to copywriting. All of their questions remind me that the stuff I may take for granted or think the whole world knows is actually pretty mysterious to a significant portion of the planet’s seven billion people.”

Demian Farnworth thrives on the novelty of new topics:

“The challenge of tackling a new subject, uncorking difficult problems, tackling new technology — that’s how I stay excited: I conquer and move on.”

Jay Baer knows that our ever-changing marketing environment will provide an endless stream of content inspiration:

“The great thing about creating content about marketing and customer service is that disruption never ends. There’s always a new trend, a new best practice, a new case study. There is no end to the lessons and the learning.”

For Joanna Penn, choosing a topic area that was broad enough to hold her interest for the long haul has made a difference:

“I made the mistake of making [my first two blogs] hyper-focused on one niche, where I soon became bored. But by opening up the focus of my blog to basically include anything on creativity — although it is specifically book and writing related for now at least — I was able to give myself unlimited scope.”

Sean D’Souza excavates his topics to find new inspiration:

“I dig deep into the subject matter. I won’t stay at the topic level. For example, I’ll start with a topic like ‘headlines,” but at a sub-topic level, I’ll examine how to dig through your testimonials for great headlines. You have to be like a geologist, always digging.”

And Kelly Exeter thrives on continuing her education:

“I read everything I can get my hands on in my area of interest. As long as I’m learning new things, I’m excited about what I am writing about (because I’m sharing what I’m learning) … and that excitement comes through in my writing. The day I feel I have nothing left to learn, or I’m not interested in learning more, that’s the day I know it’s time to move on.”

“What weird tip can you share that you use to create effective content?”

After you’ve created content for a while, you may develop your own set of habits that work well for you. Here are the unique habits and methods my colleagues have developed that make content creation easier.

Darren Rowse says it’s easier to tap into emotions if he writes with a soundtrack that inspires him:

“Sometimes when I write I find a playlist of aspirational, orchestral movie soundtracks on Spotify and I pump it up loud to get me in the mood to write.

This music has been composed with the intent of making moviegoers feel something. It engages the emotions, and I find that it puts me in a place that makes it easier to write from the heart.”

Kelly Exeter says taking pen to paper helps her sort through her ideas:

“Write your first drafts longhand.”

Sean D’Souza believes giving your brain time to rest makes you a better writer:

“Sleep. I sleep more than ever before. To create efficiency, I don’t work harder — I sleep. I’ll nap during the day, take weekends off. I’m on full charge when I work, or I don’t work.”

Joanna Wiebe finds that this specific writing technique makes her content stronger:

“Leave gaps. Readers and viewers need to have some questions left unanswered. If your whole argument is tied up neatly in a bow or if you hit on every single way to do X in your listicle, then what are they going to comment about?”

John Jantsch reads broadly to find concepts he can apply to his own content:

“​I read articles or even books that are totally unrelated to my field, looking specifically for crossover ideas I can apply.”

Courtney Seiter takes inspiration from children’s inherent curiosity:

“Be like a toddler: Ask ‘why?’ Again and again and again.”

Chris Ducker shared a weird tip he uses to make recording video much easier. First off, he keeps it simple: he records video using his phone camera. And to avoid sounding scripted, he does this:

“I use sticky notes, and I usually have no more than three bullet points that I want to go over in a two-minute video. I just stick the sticky notes to the phone where I’m recording so that I’m not distracted by looking at myself on that reverse camera. I hit record, sit in front of it, and boom, two minutes later I’m done.”

“If you could go back in time and grab your newbie content creator self by the shoulders, what crucial piece of advice would you pass along?”

Everyone starts somewhere, and my colleagues all remember their early days as content creators. If you’re just starting out creating content, they have some advice for you in their answers to this question.

Joanna Penn urges you to take heart. Content marketing won’t give you instant results, but over time you’ll see the payoff:

“Everything takes time, so have patience. It’s true that you will overestimate what you can achieve in a year, but in a few years’ time, you will look back, and your life will have changed in unimaginable ways!”

Darren Rowse says practice makes perfect:

“Create something every day. The more you do it, the better you get.”

Kelly Exeter recommends getting comfortable with expressing yourself:

“Stop trying to write like other people and just write like yourself!”

Jay Baer is a big believer in video content:

“Get better at video, faster.”

Courtney Seiter says to be courageous:

“Be brave. Make yourself uncomfortable. The scariest stories to publish are the ones that will connect most with people and make you love writing all over again.”

Jeff Goins urges you to cultivate your voice:

“Voice matters more than your topic. It’s not just what you say. It’s how you say it. Don’t just pick a topic; find a worldview, a unique way of sharing your message. Say something worth disagreeing with.”

Sean D’Souza realizes that success doesn’t unfold in a straight line:

“People think that you go from good to great. Instead, you go from good to hopeless and then back to good before becoming great.”

John Jantsch says it’s not about you — it’s about your reader:

​“Make the reader the hero of your story and stop obsessing over how cute and witty your writing is (ouch, that was a bit cathartic!).”

Chris Ducker shares how you can avoid duplicating efforts by thinking about how you’ll repurpose your content from the very beginning:

“If I could go back in time and give my newbie content creator self a bit of advice it would be to repurpose, repurpose, and repurpose. Back when I first started creating content, boy oh boy, was I wasting time. Now almost every piece of content that I create is repurposed in some way, shape, or form.”

Karyn Greenstreet says just get started (despite your fear) and let momentum carry you the rest of the way:

Just write. The consistent habit of writing is crucial. Waiting for ‘inspiration’ will kill you.”

And finally, Joanne Wiebe says … relax! And have fun:

“Don’t take yourself too seriously! For the first years of my blogging life, I counted comments and shares on every post, which sucked all the joy out of writing for a living.

Have fun! Don’t count! Don’t compare! Let yourself screw up, and then do it all over again. Even if it chases away people who said they loved you!”

I think “don’t take it too seriously” is a great way to end this article.

Mastering content marketing can be one of the most creatively fulfilling things you’ll ever do. Don’t forget to have fun!

Remember, pre-order Master Content Marketing at your favorite bookseller to attend the exclusive webinar, Scary Good Content Marketing Tips Direct from Master Content Marketing.

Wise owl art by the amazing D.J. Billings.

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