SEO year in review 2019: Zero-click searches, BERT, local spam and more

SEO year in review 2019: Zero-click searches, BERT, local spam and more

Search was a roller coaster of ups and downs in 2019: Structured data-powered rich results helped to push zero-click searches to an all-time high. Regulatory scrutiny heated up as numerous antitrust investigations of Google were announced domestically and abroad. BERT brought enhanced natural language understanding to search engines. Bing turned 10 — it’s been more disruptive than it gets credit for. We said goodbye to Google+, the company’s biggest (and doomed) push into social media. And, after 21 years, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down and appointed Google CEO Sundar Pichai to lead Alphabet. From algorithm updates to emerging trends, here we look back at the big […]

Pro Tip: A look back at some helpful tips from our SEO community in 2019

Pro Tip: A look back at some helpful tips from our SEO community in 2019

Our community is dedicated to helping fellow SEOs so we wanted to look back at a few insights shared this past year that were particularly popular with readers. 1. Google doesn’t hate your website “The personal animosity complaint is as frequent as it is irrational,” explains ex-Googler Kaspar Szymanski. “Google has never demonstrated a dislike of a website and it would make little sense to operate a global business based on personal enmity. The claim that a site does not rank because of a Google feud is easily refuted with an SEO audit that will likely uncover all the technical, content, on- and off-page shortcomings. There are Google penalties, euphemistically […]

They’re the Best Around: The Top 25 Moz Blog Posts of 2019

They’re the Best Around: The Top 25 Moz Blog Posts of 2019

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again. It’s hard to believe we’ve already gone another turn around the ol’ sun. But I’ve consulted my analytics data and made my SQL queries, and I’m here today to present to you the list of the top Moz Blog posts of 2019! For a little perspective, we published 207 blog posts, averaging out to about 4 per week. Out of those 207, the twenty-five I’m sharing with you below were the most-read pieces of the year. If you’re strapped for time (and who isn’t in our industry?), survey says these are the articles that aren’t to be missed. And bonus — a good […]

How to Write SEO Proposals That Prove Your Value & Eliminate Client Concerns via @brentcsutoras

How to Write SEO Proposals That Prove Your Value & Eliminate Client Concerns via @brentcsutoras

Unlike paid search, organic search lacks the tools to form trustworthy predictions about SEO outcomes. This is why potential clients sometimes get indecisive even when presented with an SEO proposal. On December 18, I moderated a sponsored Search Engine Journal webinar presented by Alen Todorov of SEOmonitor. Todorov shared tips on how SEO agencies can write better proposals that prove value and eliminate client concerns. Here’s a recap of the webinar presentation. Creating SEO proposals is no easy feat. Coming up with a pitch for a client involves a ton of resources from almost every department. This is why you need to make sure you’re writing good SEO proposals. A […]

404 vs. Soft 404 Errors: What’s the Difference & How to Fix Both via @benjarriola

404 vs. Soft 404 Errors: What’s the Difference & How to Fix Both via @benjarriola

Every page that loads in a web browser has a response code included in the HTTP headers, which may or may not be visible on the web page itself. There are many different response codes a server gives to communicate the loading-status of the page; one of the most well-known codes is the 404-response code. Generally, any code within 400 to 499 indicates that the page didn’t load. The 404-response code is the only one that carries a specific meaning – that the page is actually gone and probably isn’t coming back anytime soon. What’s a Soft 404 Error? A soft 404 error isn’t an official response code sent to a […]

An SEO Guide to HTTP Status Codes via @BrianHarnish

An SEO Guide to HTTP Status Codes via @BrianHarnish

One of the most important assessments in any SEO audit is determining what hypertext transfer protocol status codes (or HTTP Status Codes) exist on a website. These codes can become complex, often turning into a hard puzzle that must be solved before other tasks can be completed. For instance, if you put up a page that all of a sudden disappears with a 404 not found status code, you would check server logs for errors and assess what exactly happened to that page. If you are working on an audit, other status codes can be a mystery, and further digging may be required. These codes are segmented into different types: […]

The 2019 search engine patents you need to know about

The 2019 search engine patents you need to know about

Bill Slawski, director of SEO research for Go Fish Digital, has published his list of the top 10 search engine patents to know from 2019. The list of patents touches on various sectors of search, including Google News, local search knowledge graphs and more, and gives us a peek at the technology that Google is, or may one day be, using to generate search results. Knowledge-based patents. The majority of the list pertains to what Slawski categorizes as knowledge-based patents. One interesting example is a patent on user-specific knowledge graphs to support queries and predictions. Last year, Google said that “there is very little search personalization” happening within its search […]

Amazon makes it easier for agencies to advertise on their clients’ behalf

Amazon makes it easier for agencies to advertise on their clients’ behalf

Amazon has changed the registration process for agencies and marketers running sponsored ads campaigns for Amazon vendors. What’s changed? Agencies no longer have to submit vendor codes when registering nor wait for approval from Amazon to set up new advertising accounts. Now, agencies simply need the approval of the authorized Vendor Central account holder (their client) to register a new advertising account. How to register a new account. If you don’t have an account yet, and you’re going to be advertising on behalf of an Amazon vendor, click “Register” and then choose “I represent a vendor.” After you fill in the account details, Amazon will either send you an email […]

3 Qualities of the Best SEO Information via @martinibuster

3 Qualities of the Best SEO Information via @martinibuster

In search marketing there are many different ideas of how Google ranks sites. Who do you believe? Nobody can say they 100% know Google’s algorithm. But we can know 100% that some explanations of how Google ranks sites are more trustworthy than others. Different Levels of Knowledge Some ideas are more true than others. What makes one idea more trustworthy is the evidence. However, not all evidence is trustworthy. There are two poor and untrustworthy sources of evidence: 1. Anecdotal evidence 2. Correlation based evidence Anecdotal SEO Evidence Anecdotal refers to ideas that are based on the personal experience of one or more people, but without actual research and testing […]