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Black_Knight last won the day on April 7 2017

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  1. I also went through those slides in some depth. Always some juicy data to make the brain start ticking into hyperdrive. I noted one of the same, but rather noted the reverse aspect of what was stated: So, if I read that rightly, 26% of all facebook ad clicks result in, or correspond with, a sale within 30 days. 26% is pretty darn massive. I'd take that as a conversion rate on any medium. Now, of course, the data may be skewed by poor use of retargeting where, in fact, the sale was made before the ad was even shown, but even so. 26% is impressive for any channel.
  2. Black_Knight

    Happy 18Th Birthday Cre8Asiteforums

    Happy Birthday, Cre8asite!
  3. Yeah, quite a lot of people found the community became rather exclusive and cult-like. If you didn't entirely buy in to the kool aid you were made pretty unwelcome. Which of course, robbed them of honest and fair criticism, and made them the poorer for it. Zealotry is the word that springs to mind. As for what is happening in the industry, well, in all truth, the fallout from the shifts into semantic search, personalised search, etc is still rippling out. You know there are firms out there that take years to actually notice that the crap they're trying to sell doesn't work anymore. A huge proportion of SEOs have never really adapted to the fact that link spamming doesn't work today the way it did back in 2005. It can still move the needle enough, for a time, that some have persisted with that one single trick, but they are dying a death. Others have simply not kept up with other changes. And SEO isn't exactly a field renowned for staying the same for long. While the core best practices have changed very little, let's face it, most of those companies never did anything with core best practices, only quick tricks. Just as some chased the 'green pixie dust' of Toolbar PageRank for years after it was known to be ridiculous, many of those have simply replaced that old first-hand pixie-dust with the new third-party pixie-dust of tools, and chase Domain Authority as if it were a real thing. You know how it is - SEO is always changing, yet the more it changes, the more it stays the same. Mostly goldfish sailing around and around in their little bowl, with an attention span just shorter than each lap of the loop.
  4. There's certainly some truth to that, but, the flipside is that web technologies are still evolving so quickly that the big boys are doing rolling redesigns and upgrades almost constantly, and that certainly keeps a few in-house or external technical SEOs very busy. Technical SEO hasn't gotten any less technical, and if anything, every day something else to consider is added to the list. Of course, if you merely want a site to be basically accessible to search engines, that's a whole different thing to 'optimized', and here yes, a bit of technical for accessibility will suffice. Of course, what you and I and all people worthy of the title of SEO already knew years ago is that the final battle is, was, and always will be for the eyes and minds of the visitors, and most especially, the customers. The perfect aim of SEO was to only have to appear in the search results for tough terms the first time for each customer, and that after that, that person's search term next time would be for the brand. We've certainly been saying that here at Cre8asite since we opened in 2002, and Kim will tell you I was saying it a few years earlier in other places. A couple of years back I was saying that one of the most important metrics most companies (and agencies) are not watching is the brand search, and making sure to increase it YoY. Many of the most successful sites I've worked on have over 80% of their traffic arrive from brand words, from direct traffic (bookmarks), or from typing the domain into search. Many find that when it comes to actual sales, that can go up to about 90% from brand and direct. Those are good, healthy signs. But 'loyalty' is rather a misnomer. If we were all inherently 'loyal' customers, then none of us would be buying online for ease, range or low-prices, we'd all still be loyally using the stores locally we used before. Familiarity and trust are the real key words, rather than loyalty. Human laziness can also help.
  5. This discussion has rather become on of sweeping generalisations through trying too hard to cover everything wrong with anything one can give the hashtag #seotools to. The thing of UI in tools is a valid topic, and has absolutely not one single thing to do with the issues at Moz, nor the usefulness or otherwise of automated data-collection and delivery. Trying to mix three fascinating but entirely separate discussions into one just creates a garbled mess. UI is, like almost everything that involves the tastes and preferences of its users, highly subjective. A UI that is perfect for older users with poor eyesight and a set of tastes formed in the 70s almost invariably is rejected by users who are young and outright looking for something that doesn't look, to them, like one of those telephones with ridiculously gigantic buttons for people with myopia, arthritis, and shaky hands all at once. Things that my kids rave about often leave me absolutely scratching my head as to how they can possibly even tolerate it, and vice versa. Great UI experts are a lot like great market researchers of other types - they are trained simply in how to observe and devise tests, and then they monitor people of the correct demographic perform those tests, and conduct interviews. Their truest skill is in the way they eliminate all of their own tastes, biases, and preconceptions from the data. It is a rare skill indeed. Tools covers a lot of ground. Wordpress is largely a 'tool' for easily managing content as it is created. It is an exceptionally popular and widespread tool. In turn, wordpress extensions are largely additional tools to tweak the engine in (sometimes) useful ways, and add all sorts of additional functionality to the 'output' (or input) of the Wordpress tool. Google Analytics is a tool, and might be even more widely adopted than Wordpress. Of those so far, only analytics is fitting the description of outputting data for a report. In the specifics of third-party SEO tools, not all only spit out data that is akin to analytics. There are tools that can scrape the content from other sites, at scale, and with a high degree of configurable accuracy. Those scrapers are not always for nefarious or questionable uses - they can be used to take a huge old static site and populate a new database-driven dynamic version, for instance. They can be used in real-time to perform comparisons of specific information from sites that don't provide easy APIs for their data. Moz, meanwhile is a story about finance. A story of a company that took $30m in investment (over multiple rounds) and has currently spent almost all of it, and is running at a loss. The 'official statement' about a pivot, about "doubling down on search" is merely a rather poor attempt to put positive spin on the fact that they have investors breathing hard down their necks, and have to cut 28% of their workforce in one fell swoop just to have any chance to survive. Moz never, ever stopped focusing on SEO. It added some social media tools only at a time when many misguided SEOs were posting article after article about how social signals were ranking factors. Many of those misguided SEOs posted those articles on Moz. The only other tool not entirely and obviously SEO based was their content tool ... um ... because we all know that Content Marketing has nothing to do with SEO ... Yeah, right. My greatest disappointment with Moz was always that it failed to ever deliver on the rebrand - it never did broaden its horizons beyond pretty basic SEO metrics and viewpoints into the broader marketing and usability factors its members so desperately needed. Only a few factions of the community managed this broadened conversation, via articles. Choices over direction or breadth of cover are not what has caused the issue. Its simply one of taking investment, which is supposed to be giving back a tenfold ($300million) or better return to its investors right about, um, now, on the old 5 year exit strategy investors love, and instead of that is running at a loss, with almost all of the investment spent and gone.
  6. Magazine publishing is it's own biggest enemy. So many of the publishers are rooted in the past, and firmly tied to goals and metrics that no longer apply today. The foremost of these is the continued attachment to the size of readership, the volume of distribution. The fact is that no publication ever, in the history of the world, has the 'readers' that Google do. The most successful magazines ever, I mean the truly iconic things like 'Time' or 'National Geographic', have readership numbers in their prime that frankly would seem pathetic to today's digital, global properties. Even to think, momentarily, about having enough traffic/readers to sell ad-space is something that should tell you to get out of the business entirely. It isn't about the volume, the numbers. Not anymore, and not for the past 17 years (when the dot-com bubble burst for exactly the same reason). Because the Internet is as close as humanly imaginable to providing infinite ad-space. There is always another page, more digital ink available. The true metric today is meaning. I don't care a jot about how many people visit your page, skim past the ads, barely read the main article, and are gone. What matters is how precisely I can target a particular demographic or interest, a particular mindset or intent. What matters is how much influence an ad in any given publication will have on those who see it. That ties directly to how and why bloggers and vloggers are cashing in, while magazine publishers are sinking with barely a trace. Magazine and print publishers are having the wrong conversations, and sometimes even worse, steering the right conversations into entirely the wrong direction. You cannot sell the 'reach' of your publication against the reach of something like AdWords. You will even struggle to sell it against the precise targeting of advertising on Adwords or Facebook, etc. But at least you have some chance. But what you can exploit is the very anonymity and facelessness of online advertising. You can sell the depth of commitment and passion of any size of audience that have subscribed to a print magazine. So, the way to market print magazines is to go deep instead of broad. Go for depth of passion, and connection with a dedicated, identifiable audience, and most of all, demonstrate that depth. In short, it's the age-old issue of quality over quantity. Print is now the speciality, the boutique, exclusive, high-end product in advertising space (if understood and played correctly). Be the high-end, low-volume product.
  7. Your assumptions are incorrect, and made you miss the great big fat clear answer. The answer is that you can't. There is nothing you can do to make them take the next step, anymore than you can take an ape and 'coach it' into evolving into a human. All you can do is find the ones that are already evolving and help make that transition easier. Not only can you not make up their minds for them, decide for them how to run their business, or what to believe. You don't even have the right to try. Heck, even wanting to try is morally and ethically questionable in the way it assumes your beliefs are more right than theirs. There really are successful companies that are run in ways we don't teach. Ways that we question, and that go against our teachings. There are multi-millionaires whose entire business is on Amazon, sourcing manufacture in China and shipping it across to the US market solely on Amazon.com. Not just one or two of such, but hundreds of them. The same is true on eBay, and the same is true on many other 'captive audience' properties. If, (and that is a big and important 'if'), a company knows how to work and leverage a particular platform or niche, then that is almost exactly the same deal as knowing how to work and leverage SEO. If you miss that, or worse, dismiss it, then of course they will not listen. Facebook is a tough ecosystem to work successfully - but so is search. They have no guarantees that they can make Facebook alone work for their business, but we all know what we say about guarantees in SEO, so that too is really no different. Ultimately, you do not have the right to tell other businesses what to do or how to do it. All you can do as an advisor and consultant is find those who want your opinion, and provide it with as little bias as is possible. Once that opinion is given and paid for, it is theirs, to accept or dismiss as they wish.
  8. I see. You are in it for the joy of dealing with folks who believe the internet begins and ends with Facebook, and you are independently wealthy with no need to have an income. Tough love was always my way, Kim. Whatever the goals, however noble, to help others you must first be in a position to help them, and not be needing help yourself. Want to really help small business? Great, do some big business and donate some of the profits from that into hours spent working pro-bono for small deserving cases. You've been in this for enough years to know that the smaller the client, the bigger the pain in the ah... neck ... they will be. Many are small because they lack the vision, drive, and commitment to grow. Not all, for sure, but many. Others are small because they are failing - part of the 95% of small business startups that fail, and again, there's often not that much you can do to change this alone. Even if they have the right product, and the right time, they may have the wrong location, the wrong market, or the wrong environment generally. I absolutely love to help small businesses, but you already know the really important caveat. I love to help small businesses to help themselves. I do that, across these decades now, by sharing free advice and help, by always being ready to have an honest discussion, and by giving them as much as I can for free. Because it is free, I don't have to put expectations on it. What I don't do is try to make it my business to drag resistant and misguided small businesses into a better path than they will ever choose, follow, or stick to. My clients are companies that already want to do well, are committed to it, and have the resources for it (including hiring me to prove it). Mostly they are the medium to large clients, even if they were small only a year ago. I select clients that can already grow and thrive, even without my help, but where my help can make the process faster, smoother, more efficient. To choose otherwise you have to either (a) be a glutton for punishment and disappointment, or (b) be one of those companies who takes the money and does the work and doesn't care whether the client lives or dies so long as they pay their bills on time.
  9. Black_Knight

    The 3Rd Google Q&a Session

    To a very real extent, Glyn, I've somewhat viewed all of the Google Q&As as walking a very tight line between huge potential, and the huge potential for disappointment. I have massively enjoyed each of them, but one can't miss what a delicate 'skating on ice' was the first one. I felt that each session since that first had gotten more comfortable, more open in dialogue, and I can't help feeling that this change threatens that progress, as any would. Yet, as I said above, sometimes more focus is purely a good thing, and doesn't have to mean blinkers to the peripherals. I do like the idea of making these more practical and useful for more people, even if I will miss the option to mention the more abstract and theoretical side of things like AI. Ultimately, how the next session will turn out is, like all prior sessions, largely about how carefully we can craft and frame questions so that Googlers can answer them. The topic is one of our choosing, and I think is a great starting point. There are still so many issues (and myths) around duplicate content, around how PageRank is passed through redirects, etc. that I think filling an hour with useful and interesting discussion should be easy. I think of it as a conversation, where one party has said that something about the conversation has made them uncomfortable, and now we are all attempting to keep the conversation going, and useful, taking that into account. Working around things has always been a core skill of SEO, whether those things are technical or psychological.
  10. I know precisely where the disagreement lies: Right there. You see, if it is merely about a machine understanding what is there, plain and unvarnished, without careful positioning, flattering light, and all the marketing aspects, then that isn't SEO at all, but mere accessibility with a bit of search engine friendliness. SEO isn't all just about SE. The O is vital. The goal of any good SEO isn't for the engine to merely see what is there. It is for it to see it at its best angle, in its best light, staged for maximum (optimal) appeal. It is about knowing the psychology of your market better than your competitors and using that to understand the search intent, the multi-touch buying process, and how the mindset of each searcher can be persuaded, or at least, given the best possible impression to their specifics. Yes, it is gaming. All marketing is gaming. And yes, all SEOs should always perform full risk assessments.
  11. Finally, a question with one, single, always true answer! Where is the focus of good SEO? Customers.
  12. Black_Knight

    The 3Rd Google Q&a Session

    Things got complicated for a while, thus the original planned Q&A for May got (in order) cancelled, restructured, and rescheduled. http://webpromo.expert/google-qa-duplicate-content/ The attention that the third Q&A session got (well over 20,000 views, and many citations and references) mean that these also drew more attention within Google itself. The 'ask anything' format is, from Google's perspective, the hardest to approve and prepare for. With foreknowledge of what will be asked, they can ask around internally, and work out exactly how much they can say, and agree a 'company line'. I think that also at the higher levels of the company, they start to apply the same rationalisation to these appearances as to any other use of staff time: i.e. what benefit will it bring, by how much, and to how many. That all means that 'Google' as a company really wanted the next Q&A to be more practically useful to more webmasters. Most of you have known me long enough to know I rather shake my head at that. To me, it is far more honest and genuine to be able to ask a question and be told "I'm sorry but we can't really give any detail on that" than to limit what is even asked. I'm fine with being given an honest and genuine 'no comment' answer. I'm not fine at all with ending up with something that masquerades as an open question session but railroads the questions that can be asked and doesn't disclose that railroading. Thus the cancellation, restructuring, and general delays in negotiating a solution that can be acceptable to all parties. We are focusing on a single particular area which is practical and helpful to many (suiting Google's needs), yet is also one that SEOs themselves still struggle with, and which myths remain about (e.g. The duplicate content penalty). Naturally, the topic will have to touch on the practicalities of such things as redirects, canonicals, and whether redirects done for, say, HTTPS might still suffer a damping factor. We'll of course be looking at both technical duplicate content (where multiple URL variants reach a single piece of content, such as when tracking URLs are used) and at near-duplicate content, such as where one article is republished to several sites, or 'boiler plate' content is used on many pages. Hopefully, this format, while narrower in scope, will prove more useful for all parties. Focus is not the same thing as blinkers. If it starts to feel in any way that this is less about focus, and more about narrowing the playing field, this might be the last one I do.
  13. Black_Knight

    The 3Rd Google Q&a Session

    Just a 'heads-up' that the 4th session is now arranged - http://webpromo.expert/google-qa-may/- and we finally have my wish and a female panelist in Jenn Slegg. I think this is about as large as the panel can realistically get to have depth on topics.
  14. I'd recommend taking a look at Screentime ( http://screentime.parsnip.io/) ScrollDepth ( http://scrolldepth.parsnip.io/ ) and Riveted ( http://riveted.parsnip.io/ ) along with https://medium.com/google-analytics/hacking-google-analytics-24762924fbf8#.ka576aoel (assuming you are determined to use Gooogle Analytics, even though it requires this much customisation to actually be useful )