Subscribe: SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog
Preview: SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog

Moz Blog

Moz provides inbound marketing analytics software. They also foster the most vibrant online marketing community and create free resources for learning inbound marketing.

Updated: 2017-01-22T04:59:40+00:00


What Links Can You Get That Comply with Google's Guidelines? - Whiteboard Friday


Posted by MarieHaynesIf you've ever been the victim of a Google penalty, you know how painful it can be to identify the problem and recover from the hit. Even if you've been penalty-free thus far, the threat of getting penalized is a source of worry. But how can you avoid it, when it seems like unnatural links lurk around every corner?In today's Whiteboard Friday, we're overjoyed to have Google penalty and unnatural link expert Marie Haynes share how to earn links that do comply with Google's guidelines, that will keep your site out of trouble, and that can make a real impact. src="" title="Wistia video player" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" class="wistia_embed" name="wistia_embed" allowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" webkitallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" width="100%" height="100%">Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video TranscriptionHey everybody. My name's Marie Haynes, and today we're going to talk all about links. If you know anything about me, you know that I've done a lot of work with unnatural links. I've done a lot of work helping people with Penguin problems and unnatural link penalties. But today we're going to talk about natural links. I'm going to give you some tips about the types of links that you can get that comply with Google's guidelines. These links are sometimes much harder to get than unnatural links, but they're the type of link that Google expects to see and they're the type of link that can really help improve your rankings.I. Ask Number one is to ask people. Now some people might say, "Wait, that's not a natural link because I actually had to ask somebody to get it." But if somebody is willing to vouch for your website, to link to your website, and you're not giving them anything as an incentive in return, then that actually is a good link. So you can ask family members and friends and even better is employees. You can say, "Hey, if you have a blog, could you mention that you work for us and link to us?" Now, if they have to hide the link somewhere to make it actually happen, then that may not be the best link. But if they legitimately are happy to mention you and link to your company, then that's a good natural link that Google will appreciate. II. Directories People are probably freaking out saying, "Directories are not natural links. They're self-made links." I'm not talking about and other types of spammy directories where anybody in the world could create a link. I'm talking about directories that have a barrier to entry, a directory that you would expect that your business would be listed there, and a directory perhaps that people are actually using. A good place to get listed in these directories where you expect to see businesses is Moz Local. Moz Local can really help with the types of directories that you would expect to see your site listed in. There are sometimes also, though, niche directories that perhaps you have to do a little bit of searching for. For example, let's say that you're a wedding photographer. You might want to be listed in a local city directory that tells people where to find musicians for their wedding and venues for the wedding and also wedding photographers. That can be a really good link, and it's the type of link that would bring you traffic as well, which is another indicator of a good link. A good way to find these opportunities is to search for your competitors' phone number. You can do a search for the phone number minus their site, and that should give you a list of directories that Google actually thinks are good examples of links to your site. You can approach those directories and see if you can get a link to your site. III. Industry connections Most businesses have connections with suppliers, with vendors, with clients, and with partners. These are places where you would expect to see that your business is listed. If you can get listed on these types of lists, then[...]

MozCon Local 2017's Full Agenda


Posted by George-FreitagThis is it. The full agenda for MozCon Local 2017 and LocalU Advanced Workshop on February 27-28. If you're a brand with a ton of locations or an agency with local clients, you're going to want to come to MozCon Local 2017. We've got an amazing line-up of speakers from some of the top brains in Local Search to help you put together the perfect local marketing strategy and get the most out of local search.Come visit us in Seattle and learn about local search, SEO, citations, reviews, enterprise-level strategy, and so much more. Interact directly with speakers both during Q&A sessions and mingle with other marketers at the after-party. Buy your MozCon Local 2017 ticket! Day One: LocalU Advanced Workshop Time Title Presenter 8:00 - 8:30 Registration, Snacks, and Coffee 8:30 - 9:10 Keynote: 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey Results Darren Shaw, Whitespark 9:10 - 9:40 Link Brainstorming Panel Mary Bowling, Mike Ramsey, Darren Shaw, Lauren Polinsky, Paula Keller French 9:40 - 10:20 Lessons Learned Over The 8 Years Running My Agency Mike Ramsey, Nifty Marketing 10:20 - 10:35 Break 10:35 - 10:55 On Page Optimization for Local Search - What You May Be Missing Mary Bowling, Ignitor Digital 10:55 - 11:25 Reviews, The Ultimate Assist Mike Blumenthal & Aaron Weiche, Get Five Stars 11:25 - 11:55 Beyond Keyword Research: Optimize Content for Relevancy with Proof Terms Paula Keller French, Search Influence 12:05 - 1:00 Birds of a Feather Lunch 1:00 - 1:30 Mobile First Tactics for Local Cindy Krum, Mobile Moxie 1:30 - 2:00 Breakout Session 1: Operational Processes of Local Search: Business Issues - Panel and Q&A Mary Bowling, Mike Ramsey, Darren Shaw, Lauren Polinsky, Paula Keller French Breakout Session 2: Google My Business Problem Solving Willys DeVoll, Google & Mike Blumenthal, Get Five Stars Breakout Session 3: KPIs That Really Matter for Local Businesses Ed Reese, Sixth Man Marketing Breakout Session 4: Powerful Customer Content - Reviews, Testimonials, Case Studies Aaron Weiche, Get Five Stars 2:00 - 2:30 Breakout Session 1: Operational Processes of Local Search: Tools We Use - Panel and Q&A Mary Bowling, Mike Ramsey, Darren Shaw, Lauren Polinsky, Paula Keller French Breakout Session 2: Google My Business Problem Solving Willys DeVoll, Google & Mike Blumenthal, Get Five Stars Breakout Session 3: KPIs That Really Matter for Local Businesses Ed Reese, Sixth Man Marketing Breakout Session 4: Powerful Customer Content - Reviews, Testimonials, Case Studies Aaron Weiche, Get Five Stars 2:30 - 3:00 Breakout Session 1: Operational Processes of Local Search: Ask Us Anything - Panel and Q&A Mary Bowling, Mike Ramsey, Darren Shaw, Lauren Polinsky, Paula Keller French Breakout Session 2: Google My Business Problem Solving Willys DeVoll, Google & Mike Blumenthal, Get Five Stars Breakout Session 3: KPIs That Really Matter for Local Businesses Ed Reese, Sixth Man Marketing Breakout Session 4: Powerful Customer Content - Reviews, Testimonials, Case Studies Aaron Weiche, Get Five Stars 3:00 - 3:15 Break 3:15 - 4:30 Competitive Analysis and Creating a Marketing Plan Multiple Speakers 4:30 - 5:00 What We're Watching Q&A Multiple Speakers 5:0[...]

Simply the Best: 2016's Top Content from the Moz Blog


Posted by FeliciaCrawfordNow that we've comfortably settled into the first two weeks of 2017, it's time to revive an annual Moz Blog tradition: the Best of 2016 is here! I've carefully collected data on all the posts, comments, and commenters you remarkable readers liked the most this past year, compiling it all into one big, beautiful blog post. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll rue the day you ever downloaded Pocket. But as we commence our journey into the insights and revelations of yesteryear, my sincere hope is that you'll feel inspired. That you'll learn something new, or reflect on what's changed. That you'll tack a new task onto your bucket list ("Become a Moz Top Commenter" is way more hip than traveling to all 7 continents, people). Flip on some classic Tina Turner to set the mood and join me as we sift through what you decided was simply the best of 2016. Table of Contents Top posts by 1Metric score Top posts by unique visits Top YouMoz posts by unique visits Top posts by number of thumbs up Top posts by number of comments Top community comments by thumbs up Top commenters by total thumbs up New: Category-specific RSS feeds! 1. The top 10 posts according to our 1Metric score1Metric is our handy-dandy internal metric that measures how well a piece of content is doing. There were quite a few high scores in 2016, with a clear, strong trend toward core SEO topics. You might notice some posts making it onto a few different lists — consider those the absolute must-reads, and make sure you didn't miss anything big! 1. 8 Old School SEO Practices That Are No Longer Effective - Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, April 29th Are you guilty of living in the past? Using methods that were once tried-and-true can be alluring, but it can also prove dangerous to your search strategy. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand spells out eight old school SEO practices that you should ditch in favor of more effective and modern alternatives. 2. My Single Best SEO Tip for Improved Web Traffic by Cyrus Shepard, January 27th"If content is king, then the user is queen, and she rules the universe." Are you focusing too much on the content, rather than the user? In his last post as a Mozzer, Cyrus Shepard offers his single greatest SEO tip for improving your web traffic. 3. On-Page SEO in 2016: The 8 Principles for Success - Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, May 13thOn-page SEO is no longer a simple matter of checking things off a list. There's more complexity to this process in 2016 than ever before, and the idea of "optimization" both includes and builds upon traditional page elements. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand explores the eight principles you'll need for on-page SEO success going forward. 4. 301 Redirects Rules Change: What You Need to Know for SEO by Cyrus Shepard, August 1stGoogle blew our minds when they said 3xx redirects no longer lose PageRank. Cyrus is here to give you the low-down on what this means for SEO. 5. 10 Predictions for 2016 in SEO & Web Marketing by Rand Fishkin, January 5thRand examines the accuracy on his predictions for 2015 and, if he does well enough, taps into his psychic ability to predict 2016. Spoiler alert: He's pretty accurate. 6. 8 Rules for Choosing a Domain Name - Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, July 15th8 rules for choosing a domain name: Make it brandable, pronounceable, short, intuitive, bias to .com, avoid names that infringe on another company, use broad keywords, and if not available, modify. 7. Can SEOs Stop Worrying About Keywords and Just Focus on Topics? - Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, February 5thShould you ditch keyword targeting entirely? There's been a lot of discussion around the idea of focusing on broad topics and concepts to satisfy searcher intent, but it's a big step to take and could potentially hurt your rankings. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses old-school keyword targeting and new-school [...]

8 Predictions for SEO in 2017


Posted by randfishIt's that time again, friends... That time where I grade my 2016 predictions to see whether I've got the clout and foresight to get another shot in 2017. This year is gonna be really close, as I was more aggressive last year than in prior ones, so let's see where we end up, and what I've got to say for the next 12 months. As always, my predictions will be graded on the following scale: Nailed It (+2) – When a prediction is right on the money and the primary criteria are fulfilled Partially Accurate (+1) – Predictions that are in the area, but are somewhat different than reality Not Completely Wrong (-1) – Those that landed near the truth, but couldn't be called "correct" in any real sense Way Off (-2) – Guesses which didn't come close If I'm at breakeven or above, you can have more trust for what I'll posit for the year ahead. If not... Doom! Well, OK, maybe not doom. But at least shame and embarrassment and what I hope are lots of hilarious tweets at my expense. Grading Rand's 2016 Predictions #1: Data will reveal Google organic results to have <70% CTR +2 – I won big with this one, though it was one of my more conservative projects. According to our clickstream data gathered in the summer, approximately 40% of Google searches do not garner any clicks at all. Granted, some of those are probably Google autocompleting a query before the searcher has finished typing, but given the threshold of 70%, I've got plenty of room to spare. #2: Mobile will barely cut in to desktop's usage and its growth rate in developed countries will slow +1 – I'm giving myself a conservative point here because while Google's mobile growth has appeared to have slightly more of a plateauing impact (data via SimilarWeb Pro, which shows Google on desktop at ~51% in 2015, down to ~49% in 2016, with mobile the reverse) on desktop search volume in the US, I have been unable to find data on the growth of mobile/desktop in developing countries. If someone has a source to help me better refine this prediction, please leave it in the comments. BTW — I'll grant that SimilarWeb's data on Google usage probably isn't perfect, but they have enough of a sample set that the shift in mix from desktop to mobile is likely statistically significant and thus, the trend's probably accurate. #3: Twitter will figure out how to grow again -1 – While Twitter did indeed grow monthly active users in 2016 (from 305mm to 317mm) compared to 2015 (when they only grew from 302–305mm), that was a very low bar. Growth is growth, but I don't think Twitter has truly "figured out" how to grow yet. Maybe they'll take a page from Hunter Walk or Anil Dash. #4: Social content engines will become a force -1 – This is a tough one... SimilarWeb shows Pocket down in the overall app rankings but up as a referring source, and up on the mobile & desktop web with more engaged users on the platform. Meanwhile, Nuzzel has grown ~30% on the web (again, according to SimilarWeb). Instapaper and Feedly seem to be doing well, but not exceptionally so. I think these apps are a force in the influencer world, but their success breaking into the mainstream seems, as yet, limited. #5: Yext will IPO, prompting even more interest in the world of local listings -2 – I'm shocked I missed this one. I think Yext is probably still a likely IPO candidate in the next 12 months, but credit to them for staying private longer and building up for what I'm guessing will be a strong public offering. #6: The death of normal distributions will hit both publishing and search results hard +2 – Tragically, we did indeed see more consolidation, the loss of more news sources and networks, and the continued domination of Google's search results by the few over the many. I showed off our clickstream data on this in my MozCon intro: #7: The rise of adblocking is going to trigger attempts at legislation and incite more sites to restrict adblocking users -1 – One out of two isn't bad, but since my pr[...]