99 Things About SEO I’ve learned from Rand Fishkin

A few weeks ago the CEO of Moz, Sarah Bird, announced that Moz’ founder Rand Fishkin would step away from operations at Moz and take on the role of a moz associate.

For me, this statement reminded me of my first touch point with what was going to be one of the main pillars of my online agency and what lead to create ecomtuning. (skip the italic part and save 20 seconds)

In 2003, I spent the summer in New York and was looking for a small job as a busboy to support my trip. After being told by a Mexican restaurant’s chef in their basement that with my language and computer skills I might want to better check out Craigslist one more time, I followed his advice and came across the three characters that would have quite an impact on my career and my clients’ results: SEO (please understand that SEO was still in the early stages Austria back then).

A few days later while exploring that “new” area of online marketing I came across Rand Fishkin and Moz, and have been following his advice on different websites ever since.

In fact, I’ve learned so much from @randfish that I would like to give something back to the community, as a special tribute to that renown ‘SEO guru’.

Here’s the 99 things I have learned from Rand Fishkin.



#s 1-10

  1. Giving Value through Content

source: https://blog.bufferapp.com/rand-fishkin

About a year ago, he also shares his unique ways of creating a Rand-like content.  Rand gave us tips to create a Rand-like content. On another episode of his Whiteboard Friday, he showed how to provide value through content. All the criteria, when put together, is about the searcher. It is never about the people putting out the content. Unique value is a term that Rand uses, to sum up, all the 5 criteria for writing a content.

  1.  Link Outreach, the Fishkin Way.

source: https://moz.com/blog/earn-links-directly

On his latest post, Rand provided 5 tactics one can follow to earn links without begging. He said that, at times, it is demoralizing if you do an outreach and have no success at all. How do we avoid it? Follow his 5 tactics and you will find yourself not begging for a link to your site.

  1. Not sweating over Keyword Research

source: https://moz.com/blog/can-seos-stop-worrying-keywords-focus-topics-whiteboard-friday

Many people, sweat over this subject. It is sometimes confusing on where to put your energy, will it be on the keyword or looking for a topic?  Rand shows us how to combine the two. He explained that by combining these two, we can come up with something smart.

  1. Whiteboard Friday

source: https://moz.com/blog/category/whiteboard-friday

This is the weekly video series that Rand started 10 years ago. The set up is simple. He will stand in front of a camera with the whiteboard at the back. Over the years, the only change is they are now using a very high-quality camera and microphone. The concept is still the same, Rand providing solid advice with data to back it up.


source: https://moz.com/blog/what-we-believe-why-seomozs-tagfee-tenets

It is not about SEO. TAGFEE stands for  Transparency, Authenticity,  Generosity, Fun, Empathy, and Exception. It is Moz’s  company core values. It has been their tagline since 2009. Rand and other Mozzers believed in it and practiced it by heart.

  1. Clever way to Earn Links through Directly Asking

source: https://moz.com/blog/earn-links-directly

Earning “meaningful” links can be very difficult. It requires a reasonable amount of human resources and sometimes even monetary. What if there was a way to gain relevant backlinks by just plainly asking website owners to place a link on their website. Although you might think that this is a bold move, but sometimes it works best to be straightforward.

The name of the game when asking for links is the value that you provide to a webmaster. You can begin by asking questions like what can I do for this website, what do I provide that this website will find useful, and more.

  1. The Power of Canonical Tags

source: https://moz.com/blog/rel-canonical

As massive amount of content are being developed in your website, there will come a time that there will be duplication. The best solution for this issue is to use Canonical Tags or canonical urls. There are multiple ways on how to do this. You can use the rel=canonical tag, 301 redirect, local hashes, or Google Search Console URL Parameter Tool.

Rand also has some specifics advice on how “not” to do your redirection. Blocking and deindexation of urls are on top of his list.

  1. Why you should care about Internal Links

source: https://moz.com/blog/should-seos-care-about-internal-links-whiteboard-friday

If you consider Backlinks (external links) as one of the most important SEO elements, why not do the same for internal links? We all know that internal links are often related to Call-to-action buttons and product page link placement. Rand emphasizes that you should consider internal links as much as external links.

Always look at optimizations link anchor-text, link relevance, location on the page, and target page. You should also consider your main landing pages to be the top target pages for your internal links.

  1. Maximize your Blog through well-thought topics

source: https://moz.com/blog/blog-post-ideas-whiteboard-friday

Blogs are made to be an extension of the main site. We create blog posts to present new concepts and topics about the products or services we provide. But there is more to blogs.

In creating blog posts, the topics should be aimed at providing value to your readers. The scenario to which readers will read your content and find what they need. Well-thought topics are often related to questions, lists, and current events. Always consider your blogs as an additional marketing channel for your business.

  1. How to rank for Image Search

source: https://moz.com/blog/seo-photos-visuals-graphics-whiteboard-friday

Based on this Whiteboard Friday post, Rand emphasized the importance of Image Search Optimization and how to rank better on this search result. He also said when to attack this type of SEO to make all your efforts worth it. If Search Engine Results Page (SERP) suggests an image list for your main keywords, then ranking for Images is the way to go.

Image optimizations includes image filename, alt-text, image caption, embed image on different websites (backlinks), page url, and page title.


#s 11-20

  1. New Website Launch? Here is an SEO Checklist

source: https://moz.com/blog/launching-new-website-seo-checklist-whiteboard-friday

As part of Rand’s passion to provide website owners the right information about digital marketing, he came up with a set of SEO requirements when launching a website. From Keyword research to actual website setup, this checklist will be a valuable guide to any webmaster.

  1. Top Pages of Competitors – Learn from them

source: https://moz.com/blog/use-competitor-top-pages-data-bolster-seo-efforts-whiteboard-friday

Here is another great insight about your competitors. Top pages from your competitors will lead you to better understand the SEO that they implement and how they did it. It will also provide the information you need to beat them on the Search results.

Here are the following data you need from your competitors:

  • Top pages by total traffic
  • Top Pages by links
  • Top Pages by number of Ranking Keywords
  • Top Pages by Social Media Shares
  • Top Pages by estimated Search Traffic
  1. Everyday Five Minutes for SEO

source: https://moz.com/blog/minimum-viable-seo-whiteboard-friday

If you have five minutes for SEO everyday, how would you spend it? Rand has an interesting list of things that you can do with it. You can do content marketing through your social media accounts or do a quick keyword assessment and planning. This blog post will teach you how to manage your time efficiently and still get the SEO results you want.

Every little effort when compounded everyday will go a long way even for SEO campaigns.

  1. Hyperlocal SEO Keywords Research

source: https://moz.com/blog/3-tactics-for-hyperlocal-keywords-whiteboard-friday

We all heard of the hype in Local SEO. The positive effects that this type of SEO brings to any business is not negligible. Targeting Local traffic is sometimes more important than the generic visitors a website receives. What better way to start this campaign than through Hyperlocal SEO Keyword research and Analysis?

Using location based keywords (Los Angeles, California, etc) plus the main keywords will be a good list to begin with for your keywords to target.

  1. Choosing the best SEO Company

source: https://moz.com/blog/how-to-choose-seo-company-whiteboard-friday

There are a lot of SEO companies and agencies that aim to provide the best possible SEO services to their clients. But how to choose the best SEO company is the question to be answered. Rand lists the don’ts and do’s when it comes to looking for the best SEO company.

Do not rely on Google search and some of companies here might be jacking up something illegal to get to the top. You can try to ask for advice through your business friends or better yet hire an in-house SEO team to get the job done your way.

  1. Efficiency on Link Building Efforts

source: https://moz.com/blog/how-to-prioritize-your-link-building-efforts-opportunities-whiteboard-friday

When it comes to Link Building, time and effort are probably the two top resources you will need to manage any campaign to work. Rand, in this article, talks about how to engage yourself or your employees on how to properly distribute work on link building to make it efficient.

He also stressed the value of patience when it comes to doing any link building campaign

  1. Content Marketing through Community Participation

source: https://moz.com/blog/comment-marketing-how-to-earn-benefits-from-community-participation-whiteboard-friday

If you are looking to increase brand awareness through Content Marketing, then community participation is what you need to target. Promotion through an event or social media gathering will help get the news out about your product or service.

You will have to be creative in planning out what events to participate and how to participate. Always keep in mind that you are doing this for the community and product promotion is secondary.

  1. SEO Audit for New Websites

source: https://moz.com/blog/seo-audit-startup-whiteboard-friday

In doing a fresh SEO Audit for a new website, a checklist is needed to get all the SEO elements in check before digging in deeper on other digital marketing campaigns.

Here are the SEO elements to look for when doing an initial Website Audit:

  • Crawling, Indexing and Website Structure
  • Keyword research and targeting
  • Excellent and Accessible Content
  • Keyword Use and On-page Optimizations
  • Alternative formats and engines
  • Backlink Profiling
  • Conversion Optimizations

19. SEO Strategy for 2017

source: https://moz.com/blog/craft-remarkable-seo-strategy-2017-whiteboard-friday

2017 is a challenging year for SEO with the impending update on the Mobile-first Index and other search engine algorithm updates that might come. It will all boil down to research and preparation. This year, Moz’s SEO strategy is centered on how to properly do an SEO audit and implement the action items based on that research. He also stressed the importance of going local, optimizing for mobile users, and having a sound social media strategy.

  1. Page Markup for SEO

source: https://moz.com/blog/which-page-markup-tags-still-matter-for-seo-whiteboard-friday

With the current adoption of Schema Markups by Google, what is the faith of our beloved page markups when it comes to SEO? Header tags are probably the one that was hit hard. Although some would still think that headers are still viable. Schema Markups are more potent in terms of providing SEO value.

It’s a good way to keep any website alive when it comes to SEO. Adapting to change is always the way to go if you want to stay on top or be at par with your competitors.

#s 21-30

  1. SEO Content Strategy Tips

source: https://moz.com/blog/the-ten-types-of-content-that-work-best-for-seo-whiteboard-friday

Rand has put together a very specific list of content strategies you can use. From using long-form content to maximizing multimedia elements, conventional textual content will still work. But pairing it with other useful and relevant web content like videos and images will improve its overall user value.

In addition, he also stressed the importance of formatting and the proper placement of keywords. Always think about giving value to your readers and the best audio-visual experience that comes along with it.

  1. How to beat your Competitors through your Content

source: https://moz.com/blog/beat-your-competitors-rankings-comprehensive-content-whiteboard-friday

Competitor content analysis are often related to the length, quality, and link profile of individual pages. This blog by Rand digs deeper on the detail on the page content you need to beat your competitors.

Page content elements such as Query-based content targeting should be number 1 on your list of content optimization. In addition, he also said that using unique content that your competitors do not have and will not have will always pay dividends. Example of this type of unique content are proprietary data, business-related metrics, unique images and videos.

  1. How to build the best eCommerce Product Page

source: https://moz.com/blog/how-to-craft-the-best-damn-ecommerce-page-on-the-web-whiteboard-friday

eCommerce product pages is where almost all the conversions happen. This is why much focused is given to this page type. He stressed the importance of UX when it comes to designing the page for the user. Always think about what the user will do when he gets to the product page.

He also noted that content should be the center of all efforts to get the best eCommerce page. What content does a user need on product pages (product description, review, rating, shipping, price, etc..)?

  1. Improve Conversions through Facebook Funnels

source: https://moz.com/blog/facebook-funnel-that-converts-whiteboard-friday

Facebook is a good source of targeted referral traffic. Often will you find common interests in the product or services that you offer. Now, how to get about improving conversions through your Facebook audience. Rand created this tutorial on how to analyze your Facebook audience and turn it into useful insights to improve product conversions.

Important information like age groups, related page likes, and news feeds will help you to know more about what your Facebook users love.

  1. Is it possible to optimize for Rankbrain?

source: https://moz.com/blog/optimizing-for-rankbrain-whiteboard-friday

Rankbrain is the end-all of Google’s effort to automate Search Engine Results. It has all the known Search Engine algorithm developed by the company. The question is do we have to bother ourselves understanding how it works? The answer is Yes.

Knowing how to optimize for it will surely increase our chances of being number one on the list. Rand has put a list of concepts you can consider to understand and how to optimize for Rank Brain.

  1. Answer Box: How to Optimize for this Google Feature?

source: https://moz.com/blog/how-to-appear-in-googles-answer-boxes-whiteboard-friday

Known as Rank 0, this search feature is a coveted position for all website owners doing SEO campaign. You would want to be featured as the best answer to a search query and the answer box provides that and more.

The best way to optimize for this search feature is through the value of your content and its formatting. Always present relevant answers to query-based keywords through a paragraph, a list, or a table. These 3 types of formats are also the current formats used by Google to present Answer Boxes. For content, it needs to be direct, specific, and unique to be an effective answer to the query.

  1. The Myths in Link Building

source: https://moz.com/blog/weird-crazy-myths-about-link-building-in-seo-you-should-probably-ignore-whiteboard-friday

When we talk about Link Building, we know that it is no longer about the quantity but more about the quality of the links that we acquire. This article talks about some crazy link building myths that we should ignore when doing a link building campaign.

Here is the list:

  • Do not pursue links from Low Domain Authority Websites
  • Never acquire Directory links
  • Do not get links too fast
  • Keep Anchor text distribution even
  • Never ask for a link directly

28. Why pursue Local Listings (for all website)

source: https://moz.com/blog/why-every-website-should-invest-local-links-citations-whiteboard-friday

On this blog post, he stressed the importance of using Local or directory listings for any business or eCommerce website. Even if you are not targeting a local audience, it would be best to have your listings in place. This will put you in a better position from map listings, anchor text distribution , improve brand search, and relevant backlink acquisition.

Consider only listings that are important and relevant. Do not overdo this campaign as it can have negative effects like being penalized for bad links.

  1. When and how to listen to Google Public Statements about SEO

source: https://moz.com/blog/when-and-how-to-listen-to-googles-public-statements-about-seo-whiteboard-friday

We are but slaves to Search Engines and we react to what they present us. Google has made many public statements that brought webmasters relief or pain. In this article, Rand stressed on how to properly react to Google announcements about SEO.

The main points he said are Prepare through Optimization, Read useful SEO blogs about announcements, be calm in any eventuality.

  1. SEO or Conversion? How should Landing Pages be made

source: https://moz.com/blog/landing-page-seo-conversion-or-both-whiteboard-friday

When creating landing pages, the dilemma is always centered on whether we are doing this for either SEO or Conversion. Rand has put together a great article that talks about the relevance of doing it for both as much as possible.

There might be confusion that comes along when doing landing pages for both targets. Finding the common ground that is beneficial for both campaigns will always be beneficial for the business.

#s 31-40

  1. How to choose the right domain?

source: https://moz.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-domain-name-whiteboard-friday

One of the most critical SEO elements is the Domain. Some high ranking websites feed on the concept that they have the best domain for their business website. To begin your digital marketing campaign in the right direction, choosing the right and best domain should be one of the first things to consider.

Here are important domain concepts you should consider:

  • It should be “brandable”
  • It should be Pronounceable
  • Make it short
  • Prefer to use .com
  • Avoid Trademark Issues
  • Make it Intuitive
  • Use Broad Keywords
  • Modify if needed

32. Search Evolution: Voice Search

source: https://moz.com/blog/voice-conversational-search-change-seo-tactics-strategy

Voice Search is an emerging SEO space today. With more devices adapting to this new technology, marketers should be able to compete using this traffic source. Typical optimizations include query-based keywords. In addition, content optimization should also be centered on the location of the business whenever applicable.

Research data for this type of search is not that comprehensive but still there are optimization available that we can do.

  1. UX vs SEO: Managing and Making it work for both

source: https://moz.com/blog/ux-vs-seo-whiteboard-friday

User experience and SEO often clash when it comes to concepts for web design. UX embraces the concept of consolidation while SEO would love segmentation on web pages. In the world where UX and SEO should coexist, the common ground for these teams to work is the company goals.

Cooperation among teams will lead to a more cohesive web design that will both serve the purpose of UX and SEO.

  1. Long-tail Keywords: When and how to optimized for it

source: https://moz.com/blog/long-tail-seo-target-low-volume-keywords-whiteboard-friday

Long-tail keywords (containing 3 or more keywords) are notoriously low in search volume. On the other hand, this type of keywords are mostly targeted in a certain manner. It can be a location based query or a highly specific keyword based on product or services.

Optimization for this type of keywords should include the PPC. As they only register a small amount of search volume, cost will be at a minimal. Other optimizations include Q&A type of content, entices a discussion and pair long-tail with generic or branded search terms.

  1. Bloggers SEO

source: https://moz.com/blog/seo-for-bloggers-whiteboard-friday

Blogging is essential for almost any kind of website. Optimizing blogs for SEO is more than just the content. Based on this article, Rand focused on planning and proper use of a timeline. Keeping your blog relevant to the current events will lead to a better traffic generation. Planning will give a clear view of the blogs to publish and when to publish it. It will also lead to better management of resources such as writers and media providers.

He also stress the need to know company goals and align it with the blog content to publish.

  1. Customer Research: the path to success

source: https://moz.com/blog/research-path-customer-purchase-whiteboard-friday

Knowing what your customer needs will lead you to better package your product or services. As a marketer, you will need to weed out the buyers from the readers. The buyer’s usual action are limited and direct. Most buyers visit a product page and  purchase from there or set it aside on a cart.

Out of the research done for your customer, you can generate a content plan to maximize conversion.

  1. SEO for Apps: What is the fuzz about it?

source: https://moz.com/blog/app-search-whiteboard-friday

Mobile Applications are growing in numbers that it now require SEO. Rand has a list of optimization you can do for your mobile applications. SEO for mobile apps is a different beast compared to conventional search results. Google Store and Apple Store provide different methods on how to optimize for both App Store.

One of the most important things to improve with regard to SEO for mobile applications is probably the review and comments for the blog. As this is a service, having a good review is the end all to improve rankings in the App Store and the generic Search Engine Results page.

  1. Steps to an Effective Keyword List

source: https://moz.com/blog/discovering-prioritizing-best-keywords-whiteboard-friday

Choosing the right keywords to target for your business is a recurrent tasks that you need to tweak frequently. Having an effective keyword list will lead to better and consistent growth for the business. In this tutorial, Rand specified the steps to follow in creating the best keyword list.

Here are steps to follow in creating your Keyword List:

Step 1: Use multiple sources to get keyword suggestions

Step 2: Select keywords that match multiple types of search intent

Step 3: Collect keyword metrics and sort/filter/prioritize them based on goals

Step 4: Determine keyword targeting & new content creation needs & priorities.

  1. SEO Concepts you should avoid

source: https://moz.com/blog/8-old-school-seo-practices-not-effective-whiteboard-friday

If you are new to SEO, here is a good article for concepts NOT to follow. With all the techniques available and promoted by so-called SEO Experts. There are things that don’t work anymore.

Here is the list from Rand:

  • Keywords before clicks
  • Heavy use of anchor text on internal links.
  • Pages for every keyword variant
  • Low Value Directories, paid links, etc
  • Multiple microsites, separate domains, or separate domains with the same audience or topic target.
  • Exact and partial keyword match domain names in general.
  • Using CPC or Adwords’ “Competition” to determine the difficulty of ranking in organic or non-paid results
  • Unfocused, non-strategic “linkbait”
  1. Maximizing Branded Search Terms

source: https://moz.com/blog/influence-branded-searches-search-volumes-whiteboard-friday

Branded terms are often associated with the Company Name (ex. Moz SEO tools). Optimizing your website to target branded keywords relates to multiple positive effects. A very good example is that it rubs-off some ranking to the generic keywords. In addition, ranking branded search terms is fairly easy. You will have all referral traffic pointing to your website based on the branded terms.

In the article you will read about the positive effects when pursuing branding search terms.



  1. How Google Handles CSS and “Hidden Text”

source: https://moz.com/blog/google-css-javascript-hidden-text

With the recent update of Google Guidelines, Hidden text is a big no-no for any website to implement. Hiding text in the background with the intent to increase ranking through textual content will be subject to a penalty.

There are multiple ways on how to implement a long content in a UX-friendly webpage. You can choose to implement a page break with “read more” button. By doing this the page will not be that long and still you can implement a long-form content.

  1. Why and Why not attend Marketing Conferences

source: https://moz.com/blog/marketing-conferences

Marketing Conferences that are centered on digital marketing are close to becoming a norm in the industry. It is almost a must that people in the organization get to attend this type of get together. There are downside into bringing a team to these conferences. Cost is the number one factor to consider when choosing to attend conferences. Lost Productivity is also another reason for CEOs not participating in these events.

Positive attributes for attending would include new knowledge and skills acquired, connections and relationships earned, and employee empowerment. At the end of the day, you will have to weigh the pros and cons on attending marketing conferences.

  1. Dropping in Rankings? Learn how to properly react

source: https://moz.com/blog/ranking-fluctuations

Never panic. That is the mantra to follow when you are in the midst of a decline in rankings and traffic. If you panic, this will lead to the actions that might aggravate the problem. In any SEO issue, thorough analysis is needed to get to the root of the problem and act accordingly.

Common reasons from rankings and traffic to drop are the following:

  • Algorithm Penalty
  • Guideline Penalty
  • Search Volume Drop
  • Fluctuations
  • Better Competitor SEO
  1. Do the On-page SEO the Right Way

source: https://moz.com/blog/time-to-stop-doing-onpage-seo-like-its-2012

SEO Evolution is an ever changing landscape and adaptation is a must or your website becomes obsolete. In this time of algorithm improvement and user-centric adaptation, On-page SEO has changed from the common ways that we know. The main concept being discussed in this blog post is the proper use of keywords that envelopes user intent, related keywords, branded and generic search terms.

  1. Backlinks that you own: Positive and negative

source: https://moz.com/blog/backlinks-maximize-benefits-avoid-problems-whiteboard-friday

When you have websites to manage, it would be very tempting to add links pointing to your personal website. It’s the easiest way to gain links that is both manageable and reliable. But is it safe to go after these type of links? There are ways on how to make this work but be wary of the negative effects like penalties.

One of the best ways to make this work is to pursue a guest post on your client website. Never choose to have a site-wide link on client websites. In a recent update, widget links also post a threat to your website as this has been noted as an illegal act by Google.

  1. Why track keyword Rankings? SEO Perspective

source: https://moz.com/blog/should-seos-track-report-keyword-rankings-whiteboard-friday

In the current setting, keyword rankings are thought to be irrelevant because of the existence of machine learning, local SEO, and personalization. Most marketers are still using this as the main metric when reporting SEO Success.

To have the proper keyword tracking for your website, here are the steps to follow:

  • List down priority Landing Pages
  • Choose the right keyword per landing page
  • Track ranking keywords per landing page
  1. Wrong page ranking for a Keyword?

source: https://moz.com/blog/wrong-page-ranks-for-keywords-whiteboard-friday

SEO efforts are always centered on trying to rank the right keywords for the right landing pages. But what if the scenario of ranking for the wrong page happens? This blog has the guidelines to properly migrate the ranking of the keyword to the right page.

Here are the things you can do to remedy this issue:

  • Know what works for the ranking page
  • Implement a better SEO Plan on the target page
  • Internal Links pointing to the target page
  • Degrade the non-relevant page
  1. Internal and External Links: Dangers and Rewards

source: https://moz.com/blog/linking-internally-externally-from-your-site-whiteboard-friday

Internal links through website you own can be a good source of good links. But just like any other abuse, when you choose this as the sole source or backlinks it will all be tracked down to your money site. It would be a best practice to diversify the external and internal links you need to pursue.

Dangers will always be a bigger threat as recovery will often take time to do.

  1. SEO for Small Business: How to convince them

source: https://moz.com/blog/make-seo-case-small-businesses-whiteboard-friday

Small business are always operating on a limited budget. It is often with great reluctance that they will invest in a time-consuming and resource allocated tasks. Convincing them to acquire SEO Services will include presenting a clear report that presents a Return of Investment data. Also present a clear SEO plan that they can understand the concept of Keyword Data, Competitor analysis, and more.

You can also use this as your own successful client acquisition blueprint.

  1. Know what the audience is doing

source: https://moz.com/blog/discovering-which-sites-your-target-audience-visits-whiteboard-friday

User behavior can be difficult to track and analyze without the proper tools. But what if there was a way to get to know your audience even before targeting them. In this blog, you will learn what your audience will be and their behavior.

Search queries and website data will be a rich source of information on the kind of website audience you have. Releasing a survey will also be a good and direct data collection of user behavior.


#s 51-60

  1. How to make them agree on you Landing Pages

source: https://moz.com/blog/overcoming-objections-landing-pages-whiteboard-friday

Differences within the team can often lead to stalling and sometimes the downfall of the company itself. In the SEO world, landing page UX suggestions can have a direct opposition from UX, Marketing, and other teams. Now how to find the middle ground and make it all work. Rand has this blog that offers the solution to make it all work. The process includes collecting information from the different participating teams, talking to them individually and as team, landing page development with split testing.

Presenting relative data will also ease the issues on choosing the best landing page.

  1. SEO, PPC, Social: How to make them all work

source: https://moz.com/blog/creating-right-marketing-mix-whiteboard-friday

SEO is often an overarching department that might be called to participate in other teams such as the PPC and Social Media teams. Clashes of ideas occur more often when teams participate. But the idea of getting these teams together is to have a more holistic team approach to your digital marketing campaigns.

As a head marketer or CEO, it is your role to get these people to work together with the available resources. Management is key to the success of each team and the group as a whole.

  1. What do Attendees want in Marketing Conferences

source: https://moz.com/rand/what-do-attendees-want-from-marketing-conferences/

In any Marketing Conference, value is always the return that attendees want. But the question is what is this value that they want? This blog post presents relative metrics that resulted from the different responses of attendees of Marketing Conferences.

On top of the list is about the values the speakers deliver to the attendees. It should always be actionable and relevant. The least they look for is the vendors or sponsors of the conference.

  1. Use Influencers for Link Building

source: https://moz.com/blog/influencer-targeted-content

Influencers are great sources of high level links. They often have a great following in terms of the people you want to target. What better way to create a content for link building than centering it on the influencers and their passions? It will be both easy to market and present value to influencer.

Always remember to create a meaningful relationship first before targeting it for link building.

  1. Why no one pays attention to your Marketing

source: https://moz.com/blog/why-no-one-pays-attention-to-your-marketing-whiteboard-friday

There is that moment in any Digital marketing campaign that everything seems not to work. It might be a case of brand fatigue. In this blog article, your will learn how to deal with brand fatigue and how to make it all work.

  1. Why Effective SEO Requires a LOT of work

source: https://moz.com/blog/modern-seo-requires-technical-creative-and-strategic-thinking-whiteboard-friday

In the modern age of SEO, a good website content will not cut it. You will need to have a collective effort from your technical, creative, and strategic teams. SEO of today will need to be savvy in providing the best possible suggestions on having an excellent website through the following:

  • Website Content
  • Website Structure
  • Coding Principles
  • Mobile Adaptation
  1. Why Viral content affect Organic Results Long-term

source: https://moz.com/blog/linkbait-bump-viral-content-lifts-organic-traffic-whiteboard-friday

Do you have viral content producing traffic spikes for your website? If yes, then you are in a safe place for a much longer term. Based on this article, most websites that have viral content are often subject to a much better organic traffic performance. This is due to the buzz created by the viral content.

The content will often yield relevant links and bookmarking that might help it have better rankings on the SERPS.

  1. Crawler Control: Effective Indexation and Rankings

source: https://moz.com/blog/controlling-search-engine-crawlers-for-better-indexation-and-rankings-whiteboard-friday

Default crawlers often visit a website page more than it supposed to be. In this blog, you will learn how to manipulate these “bots” to crawl the pages that you want and when you want. By doing this, you will have better indexation and overall rankings on your top pages.

Basic knowledge of Google Search Console tools and robots.txt file will aid in doing the optimization presented on this blog.

  1. Content Marketing for a non-existent Market


How to improve Brand Search? This is the question answered on this blog. What better way to have a reliable market share than to have your own branded traffic? It will often begin with your audience. Knowing what they need will lead you to better brand your products and services.

  1. Proper Search Volume Estimation

source: https://moz.com/blog/estimate-total-volume-value-of-keywords-in-niche-whiteboard-friday

When looking at potential keywords to target, simply looking at the traffic data will not cut it. As marketers, will need to deepen our analysis of other related keywords to have a more collective approach of the keywords to target. The notion of having multiple keywords targeting than just 1 or 2 main keywords will broaden the reach of the page we are going to optimize.

#s 61-70

  1. Is Brand a Google Ranking Factor?

source: https://moz.com/blog/is-brand-a-google-ranking-factor-whiteboard-friday

With almost 200 ranking signals tracked by Google, can we say that Branding is a Google Ranking factor. In this blog by Rand, he states that when it comes to correlation in traffic and high rankings for branded keywords the trend seems to be relative. Although this might be a signal to say that it’s a ranking signal, it is clear that brand does not influence any search ranking for generic terms. On the other hand, it is always helpful to have a sound SEO strategy to target branded search terms as this will lead to better product marketing and easier promotion of the business.

  1. Why Good Unique Content Needs to Die?

source: https://moz.com/blog/why-good-unique-content-needs-to-die-whiteboard-friday

In the age where Content is King, “Good” and “Unique” content needs to die. We are no longer in the times where content is only meant to be a fit to Search Engines. Every content that we make should be with the essence of helping our readers get what they need. This concept works for all types of websites may it be for business or personal.

Good and Unique is no longer enough. Content needs to be excellent, unique, and helpful to your readers.

  1. Have Multiple sites? Learn what to do with them

source: https://moz.com/blog/rebrand-or-redirect-my-site-consolidate-multiple-sites-whiteboard-friday

This has been a long forgotten and still to be forgotten SEO practice. Choosing to create “microsites” to get almost all of the search space in your field. Google has always stressed that when we create a website, it should be with the intent of providing value to our customers or users. This tactic is seen as a direct manipulation of the SERPs and not adding true value to its results. Multiple sites need to be properly used as either a content resource for the main page. In this way you will be adding user valuable content that they might need. No direct link out to your money site as this will often result in a penalty.

  1. Google Evolution Leads to Loyal Audiences

source: https://moz.com/blog/how-google-s-evolution-is-forcing-marketers-to-invest-in-loyal-audiences-whiteboard-friday-32200

Customer acquisition has become more and more difficult and expensive. As your business space becomes more competitive, generating leads through paid ads will be expensive. In terms of SEO, it will be more difficult to stay on top or rank well for your keyword list. What Google suggests is that you keep your already acquired customers happy and keep them coming back. This form of loyalty tells Google that you website is trustworthy and reliable.

To implement this feature, you will need to provide your customers with the best shopping experience through any media. This will both increase visibility and productivity of the website overall.

  1. SERP analysis through Instant Answers and Knowledge Boxes

source: https://moz.com/blog/seo-value-knowledge-graph-answer-boxes-whiteboard-friday

Search engine results page (SERP) is a great source of information about your SEO performance and that of your competitors. In addition, Instant answers and Knowledge boxes on SERPs whether it is yours or that of your competitors, you will be able to analyze on the content that works and learn more about the page that ranks for it.

Knowing how this optimization works will lead you to  implement a plan that you can follow for the other opportunities in your business space. Having a sound plan will always beat any competitor.

  1. In a ClickBait World: Headline Writing and Title Optimization

source: https://moz.com/blog/headline-writing-title-tag-seo-clickbait-world-whiteboard-friday

Page title is your “Face” on the SERP. The more interesting the title is, the higher its chances of being clicked at. Ranking 1-3 often has the same level of Click-through-rate and it all boils down to the Page title of the page. How to make an eye-catching page title?

Make sure that the page title is relevant to user-intent. Add clickable terms like “the best”, “Affordable”. Query-based approach also works if it fits the user-intent of the page.

  1. Importance  of On-Topics Links

source: https://moz.com/blog/are-on-topic-links-important-whiteboard-friday

As an important Linkbuilding strategy, creating links through an excellent content will yield positive effects both to your search rankings and branding. On-topics links are backlinks that come from the same field as the website its link on. Questions revolve around the importance of pursuing this type of link. On this blog by Rand, he emphasizes the diversification of links even for on-topics links. It would also be beneficial to get off-topic links as well.

Doing this will increase the both search rankings and brand reach.

  1. Automation and AI: What it means for SEO

source: https://moz.com/blog/deep-learning-machine-learning-future-of-seo-whiteboard-friday

With the current trend of technology moving to Automation and AI, is SEO really in Danger? In this blog, it would be irrelevant for now to think about this. Although marketers usually work around data, automation and AI seems to far fetched for now as data analysis is complex and would require human intervention.

The RankBrain is a step closer at proving AI to the SERP. Yet, SEO seems to more relevant as business owners and webmasters aims to understand how this AI works and how to make it work to their advantage.

  1. Mobile Web vs Mobile Apps : Where to Invest

source: https://moz.com/blog/mobile-web-mobile-apps-invest-marketing-whiteboard-friday

If you are looking to implement the Mobile Arm of your business, you will be given a choice: Mobile Web or Mobile Apps. In this article, Rand says it’s a case to case basis. Businesses often react to trends like Mobile users that they invest in things that are not really relevant to their business. As marketers, we need to evaluate client’s whether they need to implement a mobile version of their website or create a mobile application. If a website requires frequent transaction like carting (eCommerce), creating a mobile version of the website and a mobile app is the way to go. It will provide users with the ease of use that is critical to product sales.

  1. How to Prioritize SEO Tasks

source: https://moz.com/blog/prioritize-seo-tasks-invest-high-value-work-items

Prioritizing SEO Tasks is all about “Big Ticket” items that need to be done quickly. If you manage a team or has an in-house marketing team, getting things done can sometimes be an issue. But as a manager, you will be able to delegate tasks and work on the important things if you have a great SEO Plan. The SEO plan is rooted from the Website Audit done. The action items you identified during the audit should be itemized, prioritized, and delegated to team members.

It is also a good practice to know the skills of team members. This will aid you in properly assigning tasks to them.


#s 71-80

  1. Google rewards re-publishing

source: https://moz.com/blog/why-google-rewards-re-publishing-whiteboard-friday

Republishing content is good based on Google Standards but there is catch. You should only consider content that users find useful before. You can collect this data through your top landing pages. They stress freshness of content. This is where republishing come in. Choosing to update and provide new information about the page will position you better from your competitors. Relevance is the name of the game. Even if you are at the top of SERP but when your content becomes irrelevant, it will lead to a downgrade in rankings for sure.

  1. Remarketing: Why is it important for visitors

source: https://moz.com/blog/remarketing-to-people-that-have-already-visited-your-website-whiteboard-friday

Engaging customers that have done transaction through your website is another source of traffic and revenue. Remarketing this type of visitors will lead to better conversions for their second transaction. You can engage them through the paid ads you offer or through contact emails you have collected. Make sure to properly do your remarketing and always build relationships along the way.

  1. Why Social Media for Link Building Alone won’t work

source: https://moz.com/blog/social-media-as-your-primary-link-building-tactic-probably-wont-work-whiteboard-friday

Social Media is a good source of traffic but when it comes to link building, it just won’t work on its own. Using this resource for link building should be paired with conventional link building techniques (content marketing, guest post, etc.). It will lead to more efficient use of social media channels and boost link building campaigns as a whole.

  1. Content Marketing and Duplication Issues

source: https://moz.com/blog/guest-blogging-content-licensing-without-duplicate-content-issues-whiteboard-friday

Content marketing is a known digital marketing strategy that yields brand awareness, product promotion, backlinks, and more. It is all about creating an excellent website content that you can share or publish to other websites. The issue brought upon in the article is Duplication. How do you avoid such issue from occurring.

Most websites that republish your content often adds a clause of ownership pointing to your website. It works like a canonical URL. This tells Google that you are the owner of the content and it was just quoted or republished by another webmaster.

  1. Subdomain vs Subfolders

source: https://moz.com/blog/subdomains-vs-subfolders-rel-canonical-vs-301-how-to-structure-links-optimally-for-seo-whiteboard-friday

With the concept of what works best: Subdomain or Subfolders,when implemented, is an excellent URL structure. In this article, Rand talks about the relevance and instances of using this type of website structure. Subdomains are treated almost like a separate website while subfolders are attached to the main domain.

He also leaned on just sticking to the subfolders when implementing your URL structure. It will be easier to execute and link juice passing is more potent through this method.

  1. Rel=canonical vs 301 Redirect

source: https://moz.com/blog/subdomains-vs-subfolders-rel-canonical-vs-301-how-to-structure-links-optimally-for-seo-whiteboard-friday

These are the common ways on how to remove or limit content duplication within and outside the website. The question is when and how to use them. Canonical URLs are often used to direct crawler bots to the correct URL if multiple versions of the same page exists. This is common in eCommerce websites where products are sold in multiple categories. 301 redirect is used if a page registers a 404 (not found) error. By doing this, you will be able to transfer and form of value that the page used to have to the new targeted landing page. 301 redirects can also be used to address duplicate pages that you no longer need.

  1. How to provide unique content

source: https://moz.com/blog/how-to-provide-unique-value-in-your-content-whiteboard-friday

With thousand of pages being published everyday, is there a way to truly create a “unique” content? In the blog, Rand talks about how to create unique content out of your business or website. Here is the list you can work on for unique content:

  • Proprietary Content
  • Data Analysis-Based Content
  • Personal Blogs
  • Success Stories of Clients
  • Organic Product Reviews
  1. Penalty Recovery: Is Disavowing enough?

source: https://moz.com/blog/can-you-disavow-out-of-penguin-whiteboard-friday

Bad link building practices often lead to a Search Engine penalty. Google often reminds webmaster to be wary of the links they create and how they acquire them. If hit with a Penguin Penalty (Bad links), is it enough to just disavow all the bad links acquired? The answer is a resounding NO. Rand emphasized to pair disavow links with the creation of “good” links for the website. By doing this, recovery will be faster and Google will be able to see that you’re doing something to make things right.

With the new algorithm update, links are now evaluated in runtime and they are also disavowing links in runtime. But still Manual and Algorithmic penalties are being given for websites will bad link profiles.

  1. Important ranking factors that SEOs Ignore

source: https://moz.com/blog/the-massive-ranking-factor-too-many-seos-are-ignoring-whiteboard-friday

We all know that content and links are the two most important ranking factors to consider. But to truly get to the top of your competitors we are missing on another ranking factor: engagements. Users behave in websites in different ways and the data collected can say whether the website is good. Click-through-rate (CTR) and Bounce rate are the metrics seen to be relative with user engagement. Improving this number will surely improve your search ranking as well.

  1. Being realistic in the SEO World

source: https://moz.com/blog/avoid-unrealistic-seo-expectations-whiteboard-friday

CEOs or clients often set unrealistic goals for their SEO campaigns and they wonder why it’s failing them. As marketers and SEO professionals, we should be able to convince them that SEO does not work this way anymore. Common issues that make SEO goals unrealistic include the following:

  1. Keyword Rankings
  2. Time Constraints
  3. Revenue Constraints
  4. Budget Constraints

Creating an excellent report that presents the return of investment data will help any marketer convince the higher ups of setting up goals that are both attainable and realistic.


#s 81-90

  1. Misconceptions about Content Marketing

source: https://moz.com/blog/the-greatest-misconception-in-content-marketing-whiteboard-friday

There are a lot of misinformation about what Content Marketing can do for any business. The biggest misinformation is probably the cost incurred by content marketing. Investing in a business improvement department is never a bad idea. It is all about the tolerance a client may have on investing in content marketing. As the marketer, it is your role to get the right message to the client.

  1. The best ways to FAIL at Marketing

source: https://moz.com/blog/the-best-way-to-suck-at-marketing-whiteboard-friday

In this blog by Rand, you will learn the different ways on how marketing fails a business. It all starts with the expectations and goal setting. If at the start you and your client agree on a goal that is both unattainable and unrealistic, then all efforts on marketing will not be enough or is bound to fail. Always consider the goals to be set before pursuing any marketing campaign.

  1. Website Clean up for Better rankings

source: https://moz.com/blog/clean-site-cruft-before-it-causes-ranking-problems-whiteboard-friday

There are scenarios when you feel you have done all the optimizations possible and still do not rank well on the SERP. This might be a case of a “dirty” website. Dirty means that your content might not be fit for the user intent you are targeting, URL structure is broken, bad link profile, or a slow website.

Each issue requires a unique set of optimization and it should be done through clear planning and prioritization. These issues are the things that might be holding your website from getting better positions on the SERPs.

  1. Don’t be beaten: How to cope with Depression?

source: https://moz.com/rand/long-ugly-year-depression-thats-finally-fading/

As he steps down to being the Face of Moz, Rand has had to deal with a lot of personal problems. One is Depression. On this blog post, he narrated how he got in this state and how he has recovered somehow.

This story tells us that no one is safe from this disorder, even for the rich and successful people.


source: http://seocustomer.com/how-to-use-the-seo-pyramid-strategy/

This is a concept created by Rand. This is how he visualize the SEO pyramid starting at the bottom:

  • Website Built
  • Keyword
  • Link Building
  • Social

By following this steps, you can create an SEO program that search engines will reward.

  1. Best method for mobile SEO

source: https://moz.com/blog/popups-seo-whiteboard-friday

Google said that more than 50 percent of searches are coming from mobile device. According to Rand, searchers use their mobile for navigation and if they are looking for information. Transactions through mobile is still low compared to desktops and laptops.

Here are Rand’s tips on how to do Mobile SEO:

  • Make a list of pages receiving traffic from search engines by mobile device
  • Promote your App
  • Improve the performance of your mobile pages including download speed, ads limitation and overlays
  • Limited choices. Navigation limitation, CTA limitation or sharing.
  1. Multi Domain Strategy

source: https://moz.com/blog/ranking-multiple-domains-to-own-more-serp-real-estate-whiteboard-friday

Will this work?  Rand gives us 4 questions to answer if ranking more than one site is for you.

  • Do I want to lead many results for a keyword?
  • Do you have the capability to get equity and authority signals to rank both domains?
  • When to use your own domain, buy and existing site that ranks or do barnacle SEO?
  • Will this cost you time and money enough to expand your primary site?

After weighing in, keep in mind that your rankings alone will not give you earnings. This strategy might have work on some folks, if you will try this, make sure to do it with total care.

  1. Solution to Pogo Stick Problem

source: https://moz.com/blog/solving-the-pogo-stick-problem-whiteboard-friday

After finding your site on top of SERP, you have to make sure that it stays there. But what if people click on your site and the back button? That’s not a good thing and Rand has a solution for your Pogo Stick Problem:

  • Find out what is inside the searchers’ mind
  • Web Design + User experience
  •  Load speed and device support

These will help you widen your understanding on how to satisfy the searchers.

  1. Guide to Guest Posting

source: https://moz.com/blog/guest-posting-blogging-slippery-slope-whiteboard-friday

Are we done with Guest Blog Posting? A few years back, Rand made a prediction that Google will enforce an act on guest posting. Guest posting is great only if done right. Rand gives us 3 faulty theory when it comes to guest posting.

  • More links are always better.
  • Less editorial restriction is better.
  • The link matters more than other factors.

Guest Posting is a way for you to get your best content published on another high ranking site to attract readers back to your site. If you don’t want to be penalized by Google, avoid these things.

  1. CRO Vs. SEO

source: http://www.conversion-rate-experts.com/cro-and-seo-transcript/

Does CRO misuse SEO or the other way around? Rand defines how to balance the two. In this article, he said that there is no battle between the two. Rand also said that these two can be perfectly aligned. Even if the alignment is  sketchy, there is still a way for CRO and SEO to work well together.


#s 91-99

  1. Equal Playing field between Small players and big players in SEO

source: https://moz.com/blog/small-businesses-websites-compete-big-players-seo-whiteboard-friday

It seems impossible to contend with big websites in the SERPS but there are perks to running smaller sites. Rand provides the small players with 5 ways to compete with big players:

  • Make use of long-tail keywords, comparison keywords, and editorial keywords.
  • Narrow down your niche and be a brand authority.
  • Go after indirect content
  • Give more value with content
  • Invest on 1-on-1 relationships.

Make use of your smaller size and focus on SEO opportunities that you might forget.

  1. Role of Queries, Clicks and Long versus short clicks on your Rankings

source: https://moz.com/blog/impact-of-queries-and-clicks-on-googles-rankings-whiteboard-friday

In this episode of WBF, Rand provided us with 3 keys that most probably affect your site rankings. These are:

  • Queries
  • Clicks and Click Through Rate
  • Long Vs. Short Clicks

Rand also sent out a couple of tweets that is part of the experimentation to show proof that these 3 affects your rankings.

  1. Building Relationship through Links

source: https://moz.com/blog/targeted-link-building-in-2016

Rand taught us the relevance of link building and how to develop a strategy you can follow. For a long time, targeted link building is equivalent to SEO. This is how SEO is done from start to finish. But Rand showed us the process for link acquisition. These are the steps:

  • Reach out to relevant communities
  • Build a link acquisition spreadsheet
  • Execute, learn, and iterate

Use these to improve your existing process of link acquisition.

  1. Manual Keyword Search

source: https://www.slideshare.net/randfish/keepng-up-wth-seo-n-2017-beyond/50-AdWords_is_Now_Conflating_Volume

On his Inbound 2016 Keynote, Rand tackled on how we can keep up with SEO in the future. He mentioned that Moz found out that results from Adwords keyword tool are inaccurate. He also mentioned that the new Adwords only show monthly search results in range, which makes it inaccurate. His suggestion is to use other keyword tools like Moz, KeywordTool.io, SEMRush, SimilarWeb, Answer the Public etc.

Rand also said to try manually searching for keywords by:

  • Search Suggestions
  • People also search for
  • Similar Pages Rank for
  • Connected Terms
  • Related Searches
  • Questions containing keywords
  • AdWords Suggestions
  1. Use other non-search avenue

source: https://xen.com.au/key-takeaways-rand-fishkins-inbound-2016-keynote/

In one of his keynotes, Rand discussed other search channels. He said that it pays to be on the right platform for your SERPs. He cited some channels and these are:

  • Videos- YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook
  • E-commerce- G Shopping, Amazon, eBay and Etsy
  • Podcasts- iTunes, Libsyn, G Play, Soundcloud
  • Local Business- G Maps, Apple Maps, and Bing Maps
  • News- G News
  • Apps -iTunes and G Play
  1. How to drive traffic to real estate websites?

source: https://www.inman.com/2017/01/31/4-essential-strategies-for-driving-high-value-web-traffic-in-2017/

Rand on his talk at Inman Connect gave tips on driving web traffic in the Real Estate World. Listed below are the 4 SEO strategies for real estate websites you can follow:

  • The “Content Flywheel” Strategy
  • The “Pay to Play” Strategy
  • The “Maps + Local Rankings” Strategy
  • Niche Expertise Strategy
  1. Revelation of Searcher’s Actions

source: https://moz.com/blog/state-of-searcher-behavior-revealed

In this post, Rand listed searcher behavior through  23 Search Statistics. It is every Marketer’s frustration not to have data from search engines about users’ behavior. Google sometimes provide information such as number of queries, videos uploaded but the numbers are not accurate. This list will help you where to focus your marketing efforts and investments.

  1. Key Metrics for SEO

source: https://arketi.com/thinking/newsletter-on-btob-marketing/search-marketing-measurements-that-matter

In this interview, Rand explained the importance of measurement in search marketing. He said that these are the most important SEO metrics for search marketing:

  • Organic Search Traffic
  • Distribution of pages that received the search traffic
  • Rankings

For Rand, among the three, Organic Search traffic is one measurement that he would choose. Because for him, it still goes down to value and that’s what you get from the traffic you drive.

  1. How to stand out in Google?

source: https://www.inc.com/candice-galek/how-to-rank-in-google-according-to-seo-guru-rand-fishkin.html


I’m sure Rand Fishkin will continue to enlighten us in one or the other way with great marketing and SEO insights in the next months and years – for now, let me express a big Thank you for his contribution to OUR (SEO) world!!

Gert Mellak
Twitter: @ecomgert
e-mail: [email protected]

  • 08/20/2017

About the Author

Gert Mellak is the founder of EcomTuning.com and an expert in search engine optimization and ecommerce. He helps ecommerce businesses to get more organic buyers that convert.


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