Rand Fishkin’s statements about SEO are as bold as his fashion choices. Google+ is useless; 6.4 percent of Google search results contain Twitter data, so marketers should tweet; and machine learning and user engagement are Google’s future.
The faux-hawked, handlebar-mustachioed “Wizard of Moz at Moz” — AKA, founder and former CEO of Seattle-based SEO software provider — sported a red-fish-on-pink-background button-down shirt that paid homage to his surname as he addressed hundreds of content marketers attending his Content Marketing World 2016 session. Fishkin’s “The Absolute Most Up-to-Date Presentation on What the Heck Is Going on With Search Engines” session drew laughter, applause and awkward post-pun silences on Sept. 8 at the conference in Cleveland.
Still, the crowd mobbed Fishkin post-session to ask him SEO-related questions or to pose for photos, as fans fished for “cool” sunglasses to don for the indoor snaps.
— ((HeatherFletcher))) (@HeatherReporter) September 8, 2016
What content marketers seemed to appreciate most was just how granular Fishkin’s advice got — especially after the session.
For instance, Fishkin advised marketers to:
Think About Searcher Intent
Sure, keywords still matter. But Google is paying attention to user intent, too, and so should marketers, Fishkin says.
In his more entertaining examples, Fishkin points out that Google knows searches for “books about Jews living in Alaska” should return results for “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union”; queries about a “famous circle of big rocks” are meant to find “Stonehenge”; and the “big underground wheel for science in Switzerland” is the “Large Hadron Collider.”
This is where machine learning and user engagement are coming together, Fishkin says. Some of the more routine searches illustrate that, he says.
Google’s Not the Only Game In Town
Much the same way Fishkin says Google is now paying a lot more attention to tweets than it is to Google+, Google is reluctantly ceding its dominance in other areas. So specifically regarding Google+, Fishkin says, “You can ignore it.”
Twitter helps with real-time results and Fishkin says 6.4 percent of Google results now have tweet data in them, because engagement and recency mean Google searchers find the data useful.
This is part of how Google keeps its 85 percent share of search traffic in the U.S., he says.
However, Google is still clinging to the belief that its YouTube results are the main video results that matter to searchers, Fishkin says. That, despite Facebook being “on a tear,” he says, nearly catching up to YouTube in Q4 2015. (Fishkin notes that Facebook counts videos as being viewed at three seconds, while YouTube waits for 30 seconds.)
When talking about the slide below, Fishkin mentioned that for video, Google only shows YouTube and Vimeo results — with YouTube dominating.
Speaking of social media, content marketing and searcher intent, Fishkin talks about how SEO can get the content found. In a separate session that day, Brian Carter — marketing consultant, speaker and author — talked about if marketers want content shared, they should do this. User intent is different in various channels, he says during his “Facebook Advertising Lead Generation and Content That Sells” session. For instance, Facebook users are there to have fun — and they’ll share quizzes. LinkedIn users are at work and want whitepapers, he says.
Bonus Fishkin Knowledge
Take low-ranking pages off of your site if you don't want them to pull down your high-ranking pages' results. (In other words, they're tied. So if you get rid of the low-ranking ones, your high-ranking pages can reach higher on SERPs.)
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Want to learn more about content marketing? At the Content Marketing Master Class — a one-day class touring the country and coming to six cities from November to December 2016 — you’ll have a chance to learn from and interact with many of today’s top content strategists who have had a hand in shaping the industry into what it is today.
The Content Marketing Master Class will send you home with the strategy and know-how you need to create exceptional content that will engage your audience and grow your business. Click here to learn more and sign up!