Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
SEO for 2015:
How Search Has Changed & How
Marketers’ Tactics Must ...
This Presentation Is Online Here:
bit.ly/seocode2014
A brief look at how SEO has
evolved over the past five years.
What Changed?
Searchers (and engines) are
demanding more from results than
ever before
#1
Page Speed Expectations
Via http://www.relentlesstechnology.com/insights/page-speed.html
Design & UX Expectations
Via The Rise of Customer Expectations Around User Experience
Content Quality Expectations
Via http://www.searchmetrics.com/en/knowledge-base/ranking-factors/
Employing User &
Usage Data
Leaning More Heavily on Human Quality
Raters
Via http://www.thesempost.com/google-rewrites-quality-rating-guide-seos-need-...
Past SEO Success May Not Be Indicative of the Future
The move from keyword matching
to topic association
#2
1998-2008 Keyword Matching
2009-2012 Keyword Matching
2013+ Keyword Matching
2013+ Keyword Matching
2013+ Keyword Matching
2013+ Keyword Matching
Google’s Upgraded Their Understanding
Have We Upgraded Our Content?
Domain-level keyword connections
are on the rise
#3
Google’s Algorithm Used to Be Very Page-Level Biased
This page has the most
relevance and links.
This one has the 2nd most.
In the Past Few Years, They’ve Become
More Inclusive of Domain-Level Signals
We’ve seen a lot of searchers
around this typ...
Don’t Have a Domain-Level Content Strategy?
You May Lose to Less SEO-Sophisticated,
More Brand-Focused Competitors
Google’s crackdown on spam is
basically a crackdown on ranking
without a brand
#4
Manipulating Google? You’d Better Be a Brand.
Via http://marketingland.com/10-big-brands-that-were-penalized-by-google-696...
Ranking Well,
But Not a Brand?
Google’s Gonna
Reclassify Those
Tactics.
Via http://www.seobook.com/learn-seo/infographics/...
Critical SEO data still flows for the
1%, but is unavailable to the 99%
#5
~10% of Referral Data Still Available
Via www.notprovidedcount.com/
AdWords’
[Exact Match]
No Longer
Exact
Via
http://adwords.blogspot.com/2014/08/close
-variant-matching-for-all-exact.html
Via http://moz.com/blog/keyword-research-and-targeting-without-exact-match-whiteboard-friday
But If You’re a Big Advertiser, that Keyword
Data Still Flows Through Your Reports
GA Sampling is Pervasive Unless You Pay…
Via https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2601061?hl=en
This Inequity Might Feel Familiar
Over time, behaviors of brands, searchers, & algorithms
have combined to create somethin...
Processes and practices to change
in the year ahead to stay a step
ahead
Tactics
Research &
Targeting
Keyword
Classic Keyword Process
BrainstormCollect Input
Generate an
Ideation List
Use KW Research
Tools to Expand
Group Keywords b...
What’s Broken?
BrainstormCollect Input
Generate an
Ideation List
Use KW Research
Tools to Expand
Group Keywords by Targeti...
Use KW Research
Tools to Expand
Instead of This:
Do This:
1) Search the web, news, images,
YouTube, & Buzzsumo using your ...
Group Keywords by
Targeting & Ranking
Ability
Instead of This:
Do This:
1) Group keywords by overlap in
searcher intent
2)...
Produce List of
Pages to Create
Based on KWs
Instead of This:
Do This:
1) Produce a list of searcher intents
w/ 1-5 KWs ea...
Don’t KW Cannibalize;
Consolidate if Need Be
Instead of This:
Do This:
1) If you have multiple pages already
targeting the...
A simplistic example
to help illustrate:
Keyword Brainstorm List
Evil Mustache Wax
Mustache Products for Baddies
Evil-Doer...
People are clearly curious
about what signals
mustaches send! A perfect
topic for my content.
Johnny Depp & Lyft…
Potentia...
Google clearly has search volume and
data for terms like this, but they won’t
show them in Adwords 
Using the data I received from my searches,
however, gives me some new opportunities
(w/ very light competition)
Group keywords by intent, not matching
Villainous Mustaches
Bad Mustache
Evil Mustache
Villain Mustache
Monster Mustache
C...
Make Pages
that Focus
on Intent
Content that engages
people AND fits with
topic modeling algos
Build Up Your Site’s
Association with a
Topic
(or set of topics)
Beardbrand’s constant presence
across the web (in social,...
Building Earning
Link
We Sometimes Have Blinders On
In Link Building Mode…
Instead of This:
Must. Get. Followed Link
with Anchor Text.
Do This.
Build. Relationship.
Social Media Can Build Relationships
Comments Can Build Relationships
A Friendly Email Builds a Relationship
Even when the email is simply
through a form, a note of
thanks/compliment goes a lo...
Advertising is a Relationship
The goal isn’t links. The goal is to grow the quantity of
interactions to the point where the relationship is real.
Links ...
Pro Tip #1: These are terrible targets:
Sites #1-10 get all
the attention, and
likely experience
online interaction
fatigu...
These are ideal targets:
Sites #12+ are far more
likely to be flattered
by/interested in online
interactions, and have far...
Likewise, these are probably terrible targets:
Folks with heavy Twitter followings often
get bombarded with offers
While these are likely excellent targets:
A high social authority means
lots of RTs per tweet, but
probably not nearly as ...
Pro Tip #2: Need a warm intro? GoConspire
I can find anyone at a
given company and/or
any specific person and
how we’re co...
Pro Tip #3: Correlation Exists Between
Advertisers on Small-Medium Sites & Links
There’s a strong
probability that at some...
Pro Tip #4: Brand Mentions Near Keywords
May Have Link-Like Effects
This page isn’t even a great
match, but Google’s
assoc...
Creation
Content
Content Marketing May Be Creating
False Expectations & Bad Practices
Me. Must.
Get. Viral.
Hit.
Me. Must.
Publish.
Every. Day.
Me. Must.
Write. Good.
Unique.
Content.
Me. Must.
Make.
Content.
Convert.
Why. Me. No.
Get.
Results.?
Criteria for Modern Content Investments:
One-of-a-Kind–appearsnowhereelseontheweb
Relevant–containscontentenginescaninterp...
Pro Tip #1:
Imitate What
Works!
e.g. Buzzsumo can tell you the
content that’s performed best for any
given keyword, timeframe, platform,
author, or website
Pro Tip #2: In General: Text < Visuals <
Interactive
This planner from DefensiveDriving.com made Reddit’s homepage , in pa...
Pro Tip #3: Even great content benefits from paid amplification
Check out Quicksprout’s Guide to Content Syndication Netwo...
Invest
Choosing Where To
Measurability is
Often Inversely
Correlated w/
Opportunity
More: Manufacturing Serendipity & WB Friday on Serendipitous Marketing
Serendipity is Powerful Because It’s Hard to
Track,...
Only by increasing the vectors of exposure
to potentially powerful events can you
scale ROI
Overinvest in your unique strengths.
Blogging
Video
Photography
Presentations
In-Person
Relationship
Building
Twitter
Face...
SEO is
getting
harder
But, that high barrier to entry means
greater opportunity for those who
succeed.
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com
bit.ly/seocode2014
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SEO in 2015: How Search Has Changed & How Marketers' Tactics Must Shift

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Rand Fishkin's presentation on some of the big changes from the search engines and how SEO and marketing tactics must respond to keep up.

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SEO in 2015: How Search Has Changed & How Marketers' Tactics Must Shift

  1. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com SEO for 2015: How Search Has Changed & How Marketers’ Tactics Must Shift
  2. This Presentation Is Online Here: bit.ly/seocode2014
  3. A brief look at how SEO has evolved over the past five years. What Changed?
  4. Searchers (and engines) are demanding more from results than ever before #1
  5. Page Speed Expectations Via http://www.relentlesstechnology.com/insights/page-speed.html
  6. Design & UX Expectations Via The Rise of Customer Expectations Around User Experience
  7. Content Quality Expectations Via http://www.searchmetrics.com/en/knowledge-base/ranking-factors/
  8. Employing User & Usage Data
  9. Leaning More Heavily on Human Quality Raters Via http://www.thesempost.com/google-rewrites-quality-rating-guide-seos-need-know/
  10. Past SEO Success May Not Be Indicative of the Future
  11. The move from keyword matching to topic association #2
  12. 1998-2008 Keyword Matching
  13. 2009-2012 Keyword Matching
  14. 2013+ Keyword Matching
  15. 2013+ Keyword Matching
  16. 2013+ Keyword Matching
  17. 2013+ Keyword Matching
  18. Google’s Upgraded Their Understanding Have We Upgraded Our Content?
  19. Domain-level keyword connections are on the rise #3
  20. Google’s Algorithm Used to Be Very Page-Level Biased This page has the most relevance and links. This one has the 2nd most.
  21. In the Past Few Years, They’ve Become More Inclusive of Domain-Level Signals We’ve seen a lot of searchers around this type of topic get positive results from this site. Let’s see if we can find a relevant result from it.
  22. Don’t Have a Domain-Level Content Strategy? You May Lose to Less SEO-Sophisticated, More Brand-Focused Competitors
  23. Google’s crackdown on spam is basically a crackdown on ranking without a brand #4
  24. Manipulating Google? You’d Better Be a Brand. Via http://marketingland.com/10-big-brands-that-were-penalized-by-google-69646
  25. Ranking Well, But Not a Brand? Google’s Gonna Reclassify Those Tactics. Via http://www.seobook.com/learn-seo/infographics/brand-branding-brands.php
  26. Critical SEO data still flows for the 1%, but is unavailable to the 99% #5
  27. ~10% of Referral Data Still Available Via www.notprovidedcount.com/
  28. AdWords’ [Exact Match] No Longer Exact Via http://adwords.blogspot.com/2014/08/close -variant-matching-for-all-exact.html
  29. Via http://moz.com/blog/keyword-research-and-targeting-without-exact-match-whiteboard-friday
  30. But If You’re a Big Advertiser, that Keyword Data Still Flows Through Your Reports
  31. GA Sampling is Pervasive Unless You Pay… Via https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2601061?hl=en
  32. This Inequity Might Feel Familiar Over time, behaviors of brands, searchers, & algorithms have combined to create something similar in SEO
  33. Processes and practices to change in the year ahead to stay a step ahead Tactics
  34. Research & Targeting Keyword
  35. Classic Keyword Process BrainstormCollect Input Generate an Ideation List Use KW Research Tools to Expand Group Keywords by Targeting & Ranking Ability Produce List of Pages to Create Based on KWs Don’t KW Cannibalize – Consolidate if Need Be
  36. What’s Broken? BrainstormCollect Input Generate an Ideation List Use KW Research Tools to Expand Group Keywords by Targeting & Ranking Ability Produce List of Pages to Create Based on KWs Don’t KW Cannibalize – Consolidate if Need Be
  37. Use KW Research Tools to Expand Instead of This: Do This: 1) Search the web, news, images, YouTube, & Buzzsumo using your list 2) Collect the concepts, topics, intents, related searches, & popular content you find 3) Aggregate into a new keyword list for refinement via volume estimate/expansion tools
  38. Group Keywords by Targeting & Ranking Ability Instead of This: Do This: 1) Group keywords by overlap in searcher intent 2) Break into buckets of 1-5+ terms/phrases that all serve those same intents. Worry less about precise KW match targeting in the title/URL/headline.
  39. Produce List of Pages to Create Based on KWs Instead of This: Do This: 1) Produce a list of searcher intents w/ 1-5 KWs each. 2) Create pages to target each intent, and plan ongoing content efforts w/ more competitive & temporally demanding KWs
  40. Don’t KW Cannibalize; Consolidate if Need Be Instead of This: Do This: 1) If you have multiple pages already targeting the same KW intent(s), consider consolidation (especially if they don’t rank well). 2) Anticipate creating fresh content that may repeatedly target the same KWs based on temporal changes, new intents, & the goal of connecting your domain w/ those terms in the engine.
  41. A simplistic example to help illustrate: Keyword Brainstorm List Evil Mustache Wax Mustache Products for Baddies Evil-Doers Facial Grooming Bad Guy Moustaches Criminal Mustaches Villainous Men’s Grooming “Infamous!” “Sinister!” I’m already getting expansion terms from searching
  42. People are clearly curious about what signals mustaches send! A perfect topic for my content. Johnny Depp & Lyft… Potential partners in moustachio’d crime?
  43. Google clearly has search volume and data for terms like this, but they won’t show them in Adwords 
  44. Using the data I received from my searches, however, gives me some new opportunities (w/ very light competition)
  45. Group keywords by intent, not matching Villainous Mustaches Bad Mustache Evil Mustache Villain Mustache Monster Mustache Criminal Mustaches Vile Mustaches Styles Evil Mustache Styles Sinister Mustache Products Unsavory, Moustachio’d Characters Sacrilegious Mustaches Loathesome Mustache Wax Detestable Stache Products Vampiric Mustache Grooming Goods Famous Villain Mustaches Movie Badguy Mustaches Searchers looking for any of these keyword phrases likely have the same, shared intent/goal
  46. Make Pages that Focus on Intent Content that engages people AND fits with topic modeling algos
  47. Build Up Your Site’s Association with a Topic (or set of topics) Beardbrand’s constant presence across the web (in social, video, news, blogs, etc) means Google associates mustache product searches with their site.
  48. Building Earning Link
  49. We Sometimes Have Blinders On In Link Building Mode…
  50. Instead of This: Must. Get. Followed Link with Anchor Text.
  51. Do This. Build. Relationship.
  52. Social Media Can Build Relationships
  53. Comments Can Build Relationships
  54. A Friendly Email Builds a Relationship Even when the email is simply through a form, a note of thanks/compliment goes a long way.
  55. Advertising is a Relationship
  56. The goal isn’t links. The goal is to grow the quantity of interactions to the point where the relationship is real. Links are just a great side effect of the relationships (BTW - that’s exactly the type of link Google wants to count)
  57. Pro Tip #1: These are terrible targets: Sites #1-10 get all the attention, and likely experience online interaction fatigue very fast
  58. These are ideal targets: Sites #12+ are far more likely to be flattered by/interested in online interactions, and have far fewer pre-existing, web- based relationships
  59. Likewise, these are probably terrible targets: Folks with heavy Twitter followings often get bombarded with offers
  60. While these are likely excellent targets: A high social authority means lots of RTs per tweet, but probably not nearly as much attention as the vanity metric owners
  61. Pro Tip #2: Need a warm intro? GoConspire I can find anyone at a given company and/or any specific person and how we’re connected. Whoa.
  62. Pro Tip #3: Correlation Exists Between Advertisers on Small-Medium Sites & Links There’s a strong probability that at some point, the blogger/site owner will editorially link to these folks, simply because they’re top of mind.
  63. Pro Tip #4: Brand Mentions Near Keywords May Have Link-Like Effects This page isn’t even a great match, but Google’s associations of MarthaStewart.com w/ terms like “house” and “home organization” and “checklist” likely play into the ranking
  64. Creation Content
  65. Content Marketing May Be Creating False Expectations & Bad Practices
  66. Me. Must. Get. Viral. Hit.
  67. Me. Must. Publish. Every. Day.
  68. Me. Must. Write. Good. Unique. Content.
  69. Me. Must. Make. Content. Convert.
  70. Why. Me. No. Get. Results.?
  71. Criteria for Modern Content Investments: One-of-a-Kind–appearsnowhereelseontheweb Relevant–containscontentenginescaninterpretason-topic Helpful–resolvesthesearcher’squeryinauseful,efficientmanner Uniquely Valuable–providesinformationthat’sunavailable elsewhere Great UX–iseasy&pleasurabletoconsumeonanydevice Likely to Spread– convincinglyanswersthequestion: “Whowillamplifythiscontentandwhy?”
  72. Pro Tip #1: Imitate What Works!
  73. e.g. Buzzsumo can tell you the content that’s performed best for any given keyword, timeframe, platform, author, or website
  74. Pro Tip #2: In General: Text < Visuals < Interactive This planner from DefensiveDriving.com made Reddit’s homepage , in part thanks to interactivity
  75. Pro Tip #3: Even great content benefits from paid amplification Check out Quicksprout’s Guide to Content Syndication Networks
  76. Invest Choosing Where To
  77. Measurability is Often Inversely Correlated w/ Opportunity
  78. More: Manufacturing Serendipity & WB Friday on Serendipitous Marketing Serendipity is Powerful Because It’s Hard to Track, and Almost Never Competitive Attend a conference in Portland Meet a woman through a mutual friend who invites you to participate in a webinar Webinar attendee is impressed, invites you to speak at an event in San Jose San Jose event leads to $1mm in new business How do you attribute/measure the value of going to conferences in Portland?
  79. Only by increasing the vectors of exposure to potentially powerful events can you scale ROI
  80. Overinvest in your unique strengths. Blogging Video Photography Presentations In-Person Relationship Building Twitter Facebook Instagram Research Illustration Illustration Offline Advertising Display Ads Social Ads Google+ Podcasts Whitepapers Email Networking LinkedIn Pinterest SEO PPC Interviews
  81. SEO is getting harder
  82. But, that high barrier to entry means greater opportunity for those who succeed.
  83. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | rand@moz.com bit.ly/seocode2014

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