12 Common Hreflang Mistakes and How to Prevent Them
Hreflang mistakes have serious negative implications on a brand’s international targeting and placement within search results. Adding to the challenge is the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every implementation is unique to the enterprise.
How to explore a SERP feature strategy with STAT
Posted by TheMozTeamYour organic result game is on point, but you’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about SERP features and are curious if they can help grow your site’s visibility — how do you find out? Our SERP Features dashboard will be your one-stop shop for everything feature-related.
If it’s the features in your space that you’re after, you’ll have ’em. The number of keywords producing each feature? You’ll have that, too. The share of voice they’re driving and how much you’re owning? Of course, and more.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can use the dashboard to suss out a SERP feature strategy that’s right for your site.
1. Establish viable sites and segments
For context, let’s say that we’re working for a large supermarket chain with locations across the globe. Once in the dashboard, we’ll immediately look to the Overview module, which will give us a strong indication of whether a SERP feature strategy is viable for any of our keyword segments. We may just find that organic is the road best travelled.
Clicking through our segments, we stumble across one that’s driving a huge amount of share of voice — an estimated 309.8 million views, which is actually up by 33.4 million over the 30-day average.
At this point, regardless of what the deal is with SERP features, we know that we’re looking at a powerful set of keywords. But, because we’re on a mission, we need to know how much of that share of voice is compliments of SERP features.
Since the green section of the chart represents organic share of voice and the grey represents SERP feature share of voice, right away we can see that features are creating a huge amount of visibility. Surprisingly, even more than regular ol’ organic results.
By hovering over each segment of the chart, we can see their exact breakdowns. SERP features are driving a whopping 188.2 million eyeballs, up by 18 million over the 30-day average, while organic results are driving only 121.6 million, having also gained share of voice along the way.
We’re confident that a SERP feature strategy is worth exploring for this segment.
2. Get a lay of the SERP feature landscape
Next, we want to know what the SERP features appearing in our space are, and whether they make sense for us to tackle.
As a supermarket chain, not only do we sell fresh eats from our brick-and-mortar stores, but our site also has a regularly updated blog...
Your Quick Guide to Page Speed Success
There is nothing worse than launching your shiny new website only to find that conversion rate is low, bounce rate is high, and the time it takes for site pages to load is too long for your users to take action.
The New Moz Local Is on Its Way!
Posted by MiriamEllisExciting secrets can be so hard to keep. Finally, all of us at Moz have the green light to share with all of you a first glimpse of something we’ve been working on for months behind the scenes. Big inhale, big exhale...
Announcing: the new and improved Moz Local, to be rolled out beginning June 12!
Why is Moz updating the Moz Local platform?
Local search has evolved from caterpillar to butterfly in the seven years since we launched Moz Local. I think we’ve spent the time well, intensively studying both Google’s trajectory and the feedback of enterprise, marketing agency, and SMB customers.
Your generosity in telling us what you need as marketers has inspired us to action. Over the coming months, you’ll be seeing what Moz has learned reflected in a series of rollouts. Stage by stage, you’ll see that we’re planning to give our software the wings it needs to help you fully navigate the dynamic local search landscape and, in turn, grow your business.
We hope you’ll keep gathering together with us to watch Moz Local take full flight — changes will only become more robust as we move forward.
What can I expect from this upgrade?
Beginning June 12th, Moz Local customers will experience a fresh look and feel in the Moz Local interface, plus these added capabilities:
New distribution partners to ensure your data is shared on the platforms that matter most in the evolving local search ecosystemListing status and real-time updates to know the precise status of your location data Automated detection and permanent duplicate closure, taking the manual work out of the process and saving you significant timeIntegrations with Google and Facebook to gain deeper insights, reporting, and management for your location’s profilesAn even better data clean-up process to ensure valid data is formatted properly for distributionA new activity feed to alert you to any changes to your location’s listingsA suggestion engine to provide recommendations to increase accuracy, completeness, and consistency of your location data
Additional features available include:
Managing reviews of your locations to keep your finger on the pulse of what customers are sayingSocial posting to engage with consumers and alert them to news, offers, and other updatesStore locator and landing pages to share location data easily with both customers and search engines (available for Moz Local...
How Often Does Google Update Its Algorithm?
Posted by Dr-PeteIn 2018, Google reported an incredible 3,234 improvements to search. That's more than 8 times the number of updates they reported in 2009 — less than a decade ago — and an average of almost 9 per day. How have algorithm updates evolved over the past decade, and how can we possibly keep tabs on all of them? Should we even try?
To kick this off, here's a list of every confirmed count we have (sources at end of post):
2018 – 3,234 "improvements"2017 – 2,453 "changes"2016 – 1,653 "improvements"2013 – 890 "improvements"2012 – 665 "launches"2011 – 538 "launches"2010 – 516 "changes"2009 – 350–400 "changes"
Unfortunately, we don't have confirmed data for 2014-2015 (if you know differently, please let me know in the comments).
A brief history of update counts
Our first peek into this data came in spring of 2010, when Google's Matt Cutts revealed that "on average, [Google] tends to roll out 350–400 things per year." It wasn't an exact number, but given that SEOs at the time (and to this day) were tracking at most dozens of algorithm changes, the idea of roughly one change per day was eye-opening.
In fall of 2011, Eric Schmidt was called to testify before Congress, and revealed our first precise update count and an even more shocking scope of testing and changes:
"To give you a sense of the scale of the changes that Google considers, in 2010 we conducted 13,311 precision evaluations to see whether proposed algorithm changes improved the quality of its search results, 8,157 side-by-side experiments where it presented two sets of search results to a panel of human testers and had the evaluators rank which set of results was better, and 2,800 click evaluations to see how a small sample of real-life Google users responded to the change. Ultimately, the process resulted in 516 changes that were determined to be useful to users based on the data and, therefore, were made to Google's algorithm."
Later, Google would reveal similar data in an online feature called "How Search Works." Unfortunately, some of the earlier years are only available via the Internet Archive, but here's a screenshot from 2012:
Note that Google uses "launches" and "improvements" somewhat interchangeably. This diagram provided a fascinating peek into Google's process, and also revealed a startling jump from 13,...
SEO & Progressive Web Apps: Looking to the Future
In this article, I’ll be taking a fresh look at PWAs. As well as exploring implications for both SEO and usability, I’ll be showcasing some modern frameworks and build tools which you may not have heard of, and suggesting ways in which we need to adapt if we’re to put ourselves at the technological forefront of the web.
1. Recap: PWAs, SPAs, and service workers
Progressive Web Apps are essentially websites which provide a user experience akin to that of a native app. Features like push notifications enable easy re-engagement with your audience, while users can add their favorite sites to their home screen without the complication of app stores. PWAs can continue to function offline or on low-quality networks, and they allow a top-level, full-screen experience on mobile devices which is closer to that offered by native iOS and Android apps.
Best of all, PWAs do this while retaining - and even enhancing - the fundamentally open and accessible nature of the web. As suggested by the name they are progressive and responsive, designed to function for every user regardless of their choice of browser or device. They can also be kept up-to-date automatically and — as we shall see — are discoverable and linkable like traditional websites. Finally...
Visualizing Speed Metrics to Improve SEO, UX, & Revenue - Whiteboard Friday
Posted by sam.marsdenWe know how important page speed is to Google, but why is that, exactly? With increasing benefits to SEO, UX, and customer loyalty that inevitably translates to revenue, there are more reasons than ever to both focus on site speed and become adept at communicating its value to devs and stakeholders. In today's Whiteboard Friday, Sam Marsden takes us point-by-point through how Google understands speed metrics, the best ways to access and visualize that data, and why it all matters.
Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!
Hi, Moz fans, and welcome to another Whiteboard Friday. My name is Sam Marsden, and I work as an SEO at web crawling platform DeepCrawl. Today we're going to be talking about how Google understands speed and also how we can visualize some of the performance metrics that they provide to benefit things like SEO, to improve user experience, and to ultimately generate more revenue from your site.
Google & speed
Let's start by taking a look at how Google actually understands speed. We all know that a faster site generally results in a better user experience. But Google hasn't actually directly been incorporating that into their algorithms until recently. It wasn't until the mobile speed update, back in July, that Google really started looking at speed. Now it's likely only a secondary ranking signal now, because relevance is always going to be much more important than how quickly the page actually loads.
But the interesting thing with this update was that Google has actually confirmed some of the details about how they understand speed. We know that it's a mix of lab and field data. They're bringing in lab data from Lighthouse, from the Chrome dev tools and mixing that with data from anonymized Chrome users. So this is available in the Chrome User Experience Report, otherwise known as CrUX.
Now this is a publicly available database, and it includes five different metrics. You've got first paint, which is when anything loads on the page. You've then got first contentful paint, which is when some text or an image loads. Then you've DOM content loaded, which is, as the name suggests, once the DOM is loaded. You've also got onload, which is when any additional scripts have loaded. That's kind of like the full page load. The fifth and...
Best Practices for Creating SEO-Friendly Title Tags
Along with relevant on-page content, your title tag is the most important element of your on-page SEO. Learn how to keep your title tags trim and topical.
Although meta tags do not hold the same sway over SEO that they once did, the title tag remains one of the most important factors in communicating to search engines just what your page is about. Your title tag is the headline to your on-page content’s feature story.
So how do you craft a title tag that draws traffic and competes for enviable keyword rankings?
Get to the Point
Don’t just get to the point quickly; get there immediately. Sure, visitors will not see a page’s title tag while they are visiting your site, but the title tag will still show in search results as the blue link that points to your landing page.
You have precious little real estate to work with. To make things even more complicated, you are not limited by word count but by pixels.
Any text that exceeds this limitation will be replaced by an ellipsis and searchers will not be able to see the content. It is unlikely that anything beyond this point will influence Google heavily, but there will still be situations were a well-crafted tag will slightly exceed Google’s pixel constraints. When this happens, just be sure that the visible text makes sense to the viewer and that the ellipsis does not disrupt the tag too much. In certain situations, the ellipsis could even be seen as a click-through encouragement.
Don’t Force Your Branding
Your site should not have any difficulty ranking for its own brand. Including your brand name or URL in the title will, more often than not, simply be a waste of pixel space. However, if you create your own products and your brand has significant search volume on its own, it may be worth including so that you clearly distinguish your own online store from other vendors that may be selling your products.
Prioritize Your Keywords
Choose a primary keyword phrase for the beginning of your title tag. You will likely be able to work in more than one, but do not get caught in keyword-obsessive mentality. Just remember:
These are likely not the only keywords that you will rank for.
These may not even be your most profitable keywords.
You have plenty of space to work with other keywords in your description tag and on-page text.
Your goal should be to communicate the relevance of your page, not just to...
An SEO’s Guide to Writing Structured Data (JSON-LD)
Posted by briangormanhThe Schema.org vocabulary is the ultimate collab.
Thanks to a mutual handshake between Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex, we have a library of fields we can use to highlight and more aptly define the information on web pages. By utilizing structured data, we provide search engines with more confidence (i.e. a better understanding of page content), as Alexis Sanders explains in this wonderful podcast. Doing so can have a number of positive effects, including eye-catching SERP displays and improved rankings.
If you’re an SEO, how confident are you in auditing or creating structured data markup using the Schema.org vocabulary? If you just shifted in your seat uncomfortably, then this is the guide for you. In it, I aim to demystify some of the syntax of JSON-LD as well as share useful tips on creating structured data for web pages.
Understanding the syntax of JSON-LD
While there’s a couple of different ways you can mark up on-page content, this guide will focus on the format Google prefers; JSON-LD. Additionally, we won’t get into all of its complexities, but rather, those instances most commonly encountered by and useful to SEOs.
The first thing you’ll notice after the opening <script> tag is an open curly brace. And, just before the closing </script> tag, a closed curly brace.
All of our structured data will live inside these two curly braces. As we build out our markup, we’re likely to see additional curly braces, and that’s where indentation really helps keep things from getting too confusing!
The next thing you’ll notice is quotation marks. Every time we call a Schema type, or a property, or fill in a field, we’ll wrap the information in quotation marks.
Next up are colons (no giggling). Basically, every time we call a type or a property, we then need to use a colon to continue entering information. It’s a field separator.
Commas are used to set the expectation that another value (i.e. more information) is coming.
Notice that after the informational field for the “logo” property is filled, there is no comma. That is because there is no additional information to be stated.
When we’ve called a property that includes two or more entries, we can use an open bracket and a closed bracket as an enclosure.
See how we’ve included Go Fish Digital’s Facebook and Twitter...