Diagnosing Traffic Drops During a Crisis: Was It You, Google, or the Whole World?

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Posted by Dr-Pete We want to fix things and believe we're in control. When your house is filling with water, you grab a bucket. If there's a hole in your roof, the bucket might help. If your sink is overflowing, the bucket is distracting you from the real problem. If the river is overflowing, that distraction could be deadly. When traffic is falling, it's easy to panic and focus on what you can control. Traffic isn't just a nice-to-have — it puts food on the table and the roof over your head that keeps the water out. In the rush to solve the problem, though, we often don't take the time to validate the problem we're solving. Fixing the wrong problem is at best a waste of time and money, but at worst could deepen the crisis. In any crisis, and especially a global one, the first question you need to ask is: is it just me, or is it the whole world? The answer won't magically solve your problems, but it can keep you from making costly mistakes and start you on the path to a solution. Let's start with a fundamental question: (1) Did your traffic really drop? My "fundamental" question might sound like a stupid question, especially given the wide impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it's important to remember that traffic fluctuates all the time — there are weekends and seasonality and plain, old regression to the mean. What goes up must come down, and as much as we'd like it to be true, business is not perpetually up and to the right. Using Google Analytics, let's consider some ways we can validate a traffic drop. Here's four weeks of GA data (March 1-28) for a site which was seriously impacted by COVID-19: Given the known timeline of COVID-19 (the WHO declared it a pandemic on March 11), this is about as clean a picture of a traffic drop in the presence of a known cause as you're going to get. Most situations are far messier. Even here, we've got the impact of weekends and day-to-day fluctuations. One quick way to get a cleaner view is to summarize the data by week (make sure your date-range covers full weeks, or this data will be skewed). The trend is much clearer now. In a two week period, this site lost more than half of its traffic. I'm …

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The Theory Behind Ranking Factors — Whiteboard Friday

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Posted by rjonesx. Since day one of SEO, marketers have tried to determine what factors Google takes into account when ranking results on the SERPs. In this brand new Whiteboard Friday, Russ Jones discusses the theory behind those ranking factors, and gives us some improved definitions and vocabulary to use when discussing them. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hi, folks. Welcome back to another Whiteboard Friday. Today, we're going to be talking about ranking factors and the theory behind them, and hopefully get past some of these — let's say controversies — that have come up over the years, when we've really just been talking past one another. You see, ranking factors have been with us since pretty much day one of search engine optimization. We have been trying as SEOs to identify exactly what influences the …

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Using the Flowchart Method for Diagnosing Ranking Drops — Best of Whiteboard Friday

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Posted by KameronJenkins Being able to pinpoint the reason for a ranking drop is one of our most perennial and potentially frustrating tasks as SEOs, especially in 2020 . There are an unknowable number of factors that go into ranking these days, but luckily the methodology for diagnosing those fluctuations is readily at hand. In this popular Whiteboard Friday, the wonderful Kameron Jenkins shows us a structured way to diagnose ranking drops using a flowchart method and critical thinking. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hey, everyone. Welcome to this week's edition of Whiteboard Friday. My name is Kameron Jenkins. I am the new SEO Wordsmith here at Moz, and I'm so excited to be here. Before this, I worked at an agency for about six and a half years. I worked in the SEO department, and really a …

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Is Google E-A-T Actually a Ranking Factor? - Whiteboard Friday

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Posted by Cyrus-Shepard Many SEOs agree that showing expertise, authority, and trustworthiness in your site content is important to ranking well. But why is that, exactly? Is it because Google E-A-T is an actual ranking factor, or is it something else? In this episode of Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus Shepard explores whether it can be considered a true ranking factor, making your E-A-T goals SMART, and how to communicate it all to curious stakeholders. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday, coming to you from my home where I am wearing a tuxedo, wearing a tuxedo in hope that it exudes a little bit of expertise, perhaps authority, maybe even trust. Yes, today we are talking about Google E-A-T, expertise, authority, trust, specifically asking the question, "Is Google E-A-T actually a …

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Is Google E-A-T Actually a Ranking Factor? - Whiteboard Friday

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Posted by Cyrus-Shepard Many SEOs agree that showing expertise, authority, and trustworthiness in your site content is important to ranking well. But why is that, exactly? Is it because Google E-A-T is an actual ranking factor, or is it something else? In this episode of Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus Shepard explores whether it can be considered a true ranking factor, making your E-A-T goals SMART, and how to communicate it all to curious stakeholders. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday, coming to you from my home where I am wearing a tuxedo, wearing a tuxedo in hope that it exudes a little bit of expertise, perhaps authority, maybe even trust. Yes, today we are talking about Google E-A-T, expertise, authority, trust, specifically asking the question, "Is Google E-A-T actually a …

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The MozCon Virtual Video Bundle Is Here (Plus, Our 2019 Videos are FREE!)

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Posted by cheryldraper This year's MozCon was unlike any other. In the midst of a global pandemic, we pivoted from planning our traditional 1,600-plus in-person shindig to an online conference that ended up bigger and more well-attended than anything we'd done before. MozCon Virtual was a delightful journey into the unknown. Just a few of the practical lessons we learned: How to collect, assemble, and ship high-quality at-home filming kits to our speakers How to reimagine online networking (they weren't held over delicious entrees at lunch, but our Birds of a Feather virtual sessions were a big hit!) How to get the most out of an online conference while also caring for your needs and being aware of Zoom fatigue And while it may have felt a little different this year, with 21 industry experts covering topics all the way from easy-to-implement machine learning to effective content promotion to crafting …

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A Simple Keyword Research Process for Winning SEO - Whiteboard Friday

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Posted by Cyrus-Shepard Smart keyword research forms the basis of all successful SEO. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus Shepard shares the basics of a winning keyword research process that you can learn and master in a short amount of time. Bonus: Be sure not to miss Cyrus's upcoming webinar, Build a Winning Keyword Strategy: Start-to-Finish on May 21, 2020 at 10am PST: Save my spot You'll walk through his keyword research process start-to-finish with real keywords, topics, and websites to create a complete keyword research strategy. It's a great follow-up to this Whiteboard Friday! Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to a very special edition of Whiteboard Friday talking about keyword research today. Now keyword research, you know how important it is, and it forms the basis of all successful SEO. People who are good …

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The SEO Elevator Pitch - Best of Whiteboard Friday

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Posted by KameronJenkins This week, we're revisiting an important topic for SEOs everywhere: how to show your value . In the wake of everything that's happened recently with COVID-19, being able to describe your worth to potential clients or stakeholders is an integral skill. In this favorite episode of Whiteboard Friday, Kameron Jenkins shares how to effectively and succinctly build an SEO elevator pitch that highlights the value you bring to a business and three warnings on what not to do. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hey guys, welcome to this week's edition of Whiteboard Friday. My name is Kameron Jenkins. Today we're going to be talking about creating an SEO elevator pitch, what is it, why we need one, and what kind of prompted this whole idea for an SEO elevator pitch. So essentially, I was on …

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Content Authority: Potential Measures of Authoritative Content - Whiteboard Friday

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Posted by rjonesx. When it boils down to it, every idea in SEO can be understood as a set of measurements we use to rank one page over another. And that means that when it comes to measuring a concept like the authoritativeness of your content, there are almost certainly factors that you can analyze and tweak to improve it. But if Google were to use a measure of content authority, what might go into it? Against what yardstick should SEOs be measuring their content's E-A-T? In this episode of Whiteboard Friday, Russ Jones walks us through a thought experiment as to what exactly might constitute a "content authority" score and how you can begin to understand your content's expertise like Google.   Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hey, folks, this is Russ Jones here with another …

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Reporting on Ranking Changes with STAT’s Google Data Studio Connectors

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Posted by ipfister Since Moz released the new Google Data Studio Connectors for STAT , you might be wondering how to best implement them for your reporting strategy. My colleagues at Path Interactive and I absolutely love how granular you can get with your reports in STAT, and finally having the ability to cleanly and effectively pull those reports into Data Studio (the tool we use for our own reporting) is a godsend. While the Historical Keyword Rankings connector reports on rank over time , it may not be as obvious how to report on rank change over time . In this post, I'll give you step-by-step guidance on how to report on rank change — as well as a couple other filtering and reporting tips — while using the connectors within Google Data Studio. If you aren't a STAT user yet but you want to know how it might …

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10 Basic SEO Tips to Index + Rank New Content Faster — Best of Whiteboard Friday

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Posted by Cyrus-Shepard When you publish new content, you want users to find it ranking in search results as fast as possible . Fortunately, there are a number of tips and tricks in the SEO toolbox to help you accomplish this goal. Sit back, turn up your volume, and let Cyrus Shepard show you exactly how in this popular and informative episode of Whiteboard Friday. [Note: #3 isn't covered in the video, but we've included in the post below. Enjoy!] Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I'm Cyrus Shepard, back in front of the whiteboard. So excited to be here today. We're talking about ten tips to index and rank new content faster. You publish some new content on your blog, on your website, and you sit around and …

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