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Updated: 2016-10-21T20:50:45+00:00


Content Gating: When, Whether, and How to Put Your Content Behind an Email/Form Capture - Whiteboard Friday


Posted by randfishHave you ever considered gating your content to get leads? Whether you choose to have open-access content or gate it to gather information, there are benefits and drawbacks you should be aware of. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand weighs the pros and cons of each approach and shares some tips for improving your process, regardless of whichever route you go. src="" 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 TranscriptionHowdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we're going to chat about content gating. This is something that a lot of content marketers use, particularly those who are interested in generating leads, individuals that their salespeople or sales teams or outreach folks or business development folks can reach out to specifically to sell a product or start a conversation. Many content marketers and SEOs use this type of content as a lure to essentially attract someone, who then fills in form fields to give enough information so that the sales pipeline gets filled or the leads pipeline gets filled, and then the person gets the content.As opposed to the classic model that we're used to in a more open content marketing and open SEO world of, "Let me give you something and then hopefully get something in return," it's, "You give me something and I will give you this thing in return." This is a very, very popular tactic. You might be familiar with Moz and know that my general bias and Moz's general bias is against content gating. We sort of have a philosophical bias against it, with the exception of, on the Moz Local side, some enterprise stuff, that that marketing team may be doing, may in the future include some gating. But generally, at Moz, we're sort of against it.However, I don't want to be too biased. I recognize that it does have benefits, and I want to explain some of those benefits and drawbacks so that you can make your own choices of how to do it. Then we're going to rock through some recommendations, some tactical tips that I've got for you around how you can improve how you do it, no matter whether you are doing open content or full content gating. Benefits of gating content The two. This is the gated idea. So you get this free report on the state of artificial intelligence in 2016. But first, before you get that report, you fill in all these fields: name, email, role, company website, Twitter, LinkedIn, what is your budget for AI in 2017 and you fill in a number. I'm not kidding here. Many of these reports require these and many other fields to be filled in. I have filled in personally several that are intense in order to get a report back. So it's even worked on me at times.The opposite of that, of course, would be the report is completely available. You get to the webpage, and it's just here's the state of AI, the different sections, and you get your graphs and your charts, and all your data is right in there. Fantastic, completely free access. You've had to give nothing, just visit the website. The benefits of gating are you actually get: More information about who specifically accessed the report. Granted, some of this information could be faked. There are people who work around that by verifying and validating at least the email address or those kinds of things. Those who expend the energy to invest in the report may view the data or the report itself as more valuable, more useful, more trustworthy, to carry generally greater value. This is sort of an element of human psychology, where we value things that we've had to work harder to get. Sales outreach to the folks who did access it may be much easier and much more effective because you obviously have a lot of information about those[...]

Why Didn't You Recover from Penguin?


Posted by Dr-PeteAfter almost a two-year wait, the latest Penguin update rolled out in late September and into early October. This roll-out is unusual in many ways, and it only now seems to be settling down. In the past couple of weeks, we've seen many reports of recoveries from previous Penguin demotions, but this post is about those who were left behind. What if you didn't recover from Penguin? I'm going to work my way from unlikely, borderline conspiracy theories to difficult truths. Theories #1 and #2 might make you feel better, but, unfortunately, the truth is more likely in #4 or #5. 1. There is no PenguinThen you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. Ok, this is the closest I'll get to full-on conspiracy theory. What if this new Penguin is a ruse, and Google did nothing or rolled out something else? We can't know anything 100% without peering into the source code, but I'm 99% confident this isn't the case. Interpreting Google often means reading between the lines, but I don't know of any recent confirmed announcement that ended up being patently false. Google representatives are confirming details about the new Penguin both publicly and privately, and algorithm flux matches the general timeline. Perhaps more importantly, we're seeing many anecdotal reports of Penguin recoveries, such as: Given the severity of Penguin demotions and the known and infrequent update timelines, these reports are unlikely to be coincidences. Some of these reports are also coming from reliable sources, like Marie Haynes (above) and Glenn Gabe (below), who closely track sites hit by Penguin. 2. Penguin is still rolling outThis Penguin update has been unusual in many ways. It's probably best not to even call it "Penguin 4.0" (yes, I realize I keep calling it that). The new, "real-time" Penguin is not simply an update to Penguins 1–3. It replaces them and works very differently. Because real-time Penguin is so different, the roll-out was broken up into a couple of phases. I believe that the new code went live in roughly the timeline of Google's announcement date of September 23rd. It might have happened a day or two before that, but probably not weeks before. This new code, though, was the kinder, gentler Penguin, which devalues bad links. For this new code to fully take effect, the entire link graph had to be refreshed, and this takes time, especially for deeper links. So, the impact of the initial roll-out may have taken a few days to fully kick in. In terms of algorithm flux, the brunt of the initial release hit MozCast around September 27th. Now that the new Penguin is real-time, we'll be feeling its impact continuously, although that impact will be unnoticeable for the vast majority of sites on the vast majority of days. In addition, Google has rolled back previous Penguin demotions. This happened after the new code launched, but we don't have an exact timeline. This process also took days, possibly a week or more. We saw additional algorithm spikes around October 2nd and 6th, although the entire period showed sustained flux. On October 7th, Gary Illyes from Google said that the Penguin roll-out was in the "final stage" (presumably, the removal of demotions) and would take a "few more days". As of this writing, it's been five more days. My best guess is that 95%+ of previous Penguin demotions have been removed at this point. There's a chance you're in the lucky 5% remaining, but I wouldn't hold my breath. 3. You didn't cut nearly deep enoughDuring the few previous Penguin updates, it was assumed that sites didn't recover because they simply hadn't cut deep enough. In other words, site owners and SEOs had tried to surgically remove or disavow a limited number of bad links, but those links were either not the suspect links or were just the tip of the iceberg. I think it's true that many people were probably trying to keep as many links as possible, and were hesitant to make the deep cuts Penguin required. However, this entire argument is misleading and possibly self-destructive,[...]

3 New Upgrades Make the Web's Best Keyword Research Tool Even Better


Posted by randfishIf you know me, you know I'm hyper-critical of the software, data, and products Moz releases. My usual response to someone asking about our tools vs. others used to be to give a rundown of the things I like about the competition and why they're great, then look down at ground, shuffle my feet in embarrassment, and say "and Moz also has a good tool for that."But Keyword Explorer (and the progress Moz Pro & Local have made this year) brings out a different behavior in me. I'm still a little embarrassed to admit it, but admit it I must. KW Explorer is the best keyword research tool in the market, period*.But we are never satisfied, so today, it's getting even better with the addition of some killer new functionality.#1: Rank checking inside KW Explorer listsFirst on the list is the ability to easily see whether a given domain (or URL) already ranks on page 1 for any of the keywords on a list. Just enter a domain or page, hit "check rankings," and the Rank column will fill in with your data.Why is this crucial?Because many of us who do keyword research need to know whether to add a list of keywords to our "already visible/getting traffic" set, or to the "in need of content creation or optimization" set. This feature makes it simple to build up a multi-hundred keyword list for targeting, and quickly include or exclude the keywords for which we're already ranking page 1 (or above/below any given position). This column now appears in the CSV export, too, so you can mash up and filter the data however you'd like.Quick aside: If you have a keyword list with expired SERPs (after 14 days, KW Explorer assumes that Google's results may have changed substantially enough to invalidate the prior Difficulty & Opportunity scores), you'll get this experience when checking rankings. Just refresh the keywords on the list to fetch the latest SERPs and you'll be good to go.But, of course, there's also the need to get more ranking data — the ranking positions beyond page 1, tracking over time, comparison to competitors, etc. And that's why, we've also added...#2: Send keywords directly from a list to Pro Campaigns for rank trackingUndoubtedly, our most-requested feature of the summer was the ability to import a list (or selected keywords from a list) over to a campaign to track. The previous export/import system worked, but it was an unnecessary hassle. Today, you can simply use the "I want to" menu, choose "Add XYZ to Campaign," and then select which campaign you want (or create a new one).The keywords will auto-magically copy themselves into your campaign, using whatever default settings you've got for rank tracking (US-English, is most common, but you can rank track in any country or language).Why is this crucial?Because once you know the keywords you're targeting, you need to know how you're performing over time, how your competition's doing on those terms/phrases, and how the rankings are changing to include or exclude various SERP features (yup, as of August, we also track all the SERP features in Pro Campaigns).The challenge, of course, is that you've got to know which keywords are worth targeting in the first place, and how relatively important they are, which is why we've worked like mad to deliver...#3: Better, more accurate keyword volume and coverage than ever (that's way, way frickin' better than whatever Google AdWords is doing with their "low spending" accounts)Russ Jones and the Keyword Explorer team have been going full-force on a new, more powerful solution to replacing Google AdWords's weird, imprecise, always-30-days-or-more-behind keyword data with better information. We started working with clickstream data (searches and click patterns gathered from browser extensions, anonymized, and sold to us by various folks) early this year; Russ wrote a detailed account of the process here.But now our volume numbers are even better, with the addition of dramatically more data via a partnership with the awesome crew at Jumpshot. Their clicks[...]