Learn from the Herd

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Learn from the Herd SearchLove Boston 2014 Matthew Brown – @MatthewJBrown

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Prologue: I’m proud to be a part of the SEO herd Forgive me for any trash talk!

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Credit: Dvidshub How we see ourselves

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Credit: Dvidshub Closer to the truth?

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Information Cascades An information (or informational) cascade occurs when people observe the actions of others and then make the same choice that the others have made, independently of their own private information signals. [wikipedia]

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Exhibit A: PageRank Sculpting!

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Information cascades = Jackpot for Google

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It’s just SEOs, Matt, and penalties

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Don’t believe the hype

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SEO “truth”: Brand will save us!

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Reality: You can still get hit, and for good

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UK Brands are the latest victims - http://bit.ly/1gRRJI5

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SEO “truth”: On-page is dead Are we seeing decreasing importance of on-page factors?

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Or maybe it’s just moved on from strings

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SEO “truth”: Authorship is dead

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Reality: I want my ‘SEO Guide’ ranking!

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What about my beautiful metrics?

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SEO “truth”: Using markup is suicide

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Reality: Google don’t need ya This is just a straight-up scrape of allmenus.com

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It’s even happening to your friends ? SEO “truth”: Google’s real estate grabs are always bad

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SEO “truth”: Any SERP visibility is good

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Reality: Don’t forget about searcher intent!

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SEO “truths” are why I yell (and drink)

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But I’ve got 26,000 customers to serve What have I done?

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What the heck are SEOs up to? Credit: Jouni Seppanen

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Industry Survey Data

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Industry trends: SEO not dead, big push to Content

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Content! Less focus on links

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Adoption of Content marketing tools Google is the top three for content marketing tools?

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We hear: Content performance is hard to measure “We use GWT, Excel, Screaming Frog and hack it all together in one big spreadsheet.”

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Not provided: Scattering the herd

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Moz usage data* *obviously, correlation != causation

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Rankings: Consistent, but no huge growth Consistent rankings usage since Not Provided. Why?

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“Rankings will be dead within one year” “I still report rankings, but as a composite metric. Not individual rankings.” “Rankings are part of my reporting, but near the back now” We hear: Rankings are less important

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We hear: SERP visibility is hard to measure #3 organic ranking. How much traffic is that worth?

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OSE usage has risen 50% in the last two years Just Discovered Links has big growth within OSE

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Fresh Web Explorer & Followerwonk growing FWE usage is up 40% and Followerwonk 17% in the last 12 months

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Hypothesis: The herd is just starting to break away from ‘Old Testament’ SEO

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Who’s leading us? (my SEO Academy Award)

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SEO of the Year* *award has no cash value

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BILL ‘m-effin’ SEBALD! (@BillSebald)

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For testing old assumptions - http://bit.ly/MemcTW

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And hacking future SERPs- http://bit.ly/1cgMoaE He’s IN!

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Keep hacking!

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Hack together your SEO experiments: http://bit.ly/1bdY7ZH Test these on your own sites!

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Hack your visibility - Google ved parameter: http://bit.ly/1jLKqVr http://bit.ly/1cs4Wll

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Hack your competition - Nerdy Data: http://nerdydata.com/

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Hack your competitor’s strategy - Rival IQ: https://www.rivaliq.com/

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My prediction for our future? PAIN.

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Start thinking about your “Future SERPs”

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Plan a ‘non-HTML’ SEO strategy KG cards for Google Glass - http://bit.ly/1lsjG9V

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Early adoption: Your only option New tech like JSON-LD for data markup - http://bit.ly/1k52cmx JSON-LD lets you send schema.org markup using JSON instead of HTML

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If you haven’t started, you’re late Common crawl stats for Nov 2013 - http://bit.ly/1k7Nprm 585 million URLs have structured data now, up almost 50% from last year. Schema.org is half of the total.

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Get Freebase dialed in: YESTERDAY

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Roll your own Knowledge Graph - http://bit.ly/1fGAjgM

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It’s all about Google+ Google is rolling in identity layers for everything

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The best part: We’re in the driver’s seat!

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Thanks for letting me rant!