Archive for May, 2012

Web Directory Submission Danger: Analysis of 2,678 Directories Shows 20% Penalized/Banned by Google

Posted by Kurtis

Hi, my name's Kurtis and I'm relatively new here at Moz. My official title is "Captain of Special Projects," which means I spend a lot of time browsing strange parts of the web, assembling metrics and inputting data in Google Docs/Excel. If you walk past my desk in the Mozplex, be warned, investigating webspam is on my task list, hence you may come away slightly traumatized by what you see. I ward off the demons by taking care of two cats and fondly remembering my days as a semi-professional scoundrel in Minnesota.

Let's move on to my first public project, which came about after Google deindexed several directories a few weeks ago. This event left us wondering if there was a rhyme to their reason. So we decided to do some intensive data collection of our own and try to figure out what was really going on.

Research All the Directories

We gathered a total of 2,678 directories from lists like Directory Maximizer, Val Web Design,, and SEOmoz's own directory list (just the web directories were used), the search for clues began. Out of the 2,678 directories, only 200 were banned – not too shabby. However, there … Read the rest

May 31, 2012  Tags: , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Links and Outings and Guidelines. Oh My!

With all this discussion about paid links and outing SEOs, I don’t jump on the outcry bandwagon. I try to anticipate Google’s next move. I want to focus on future-proofing our campaigns and these are great times to reconsider what Google is going to do next.

In 2005, Matt Cutts wrote about how Google considered paid links to be “outside” their guidelines. He specified “selling links muddies the quality of link-based reputation and makes it harder for many search engines (not just Google) to return relevant results.” Cutts goes on to explain that buying “links purely for visitor click traffic” is best done with the nofollow command in the rel attribute.

Meme from

Fine. So paid links are okay but only when the rel=nofollow attribute is present. That’s pretty clear. But what about legitimate paid links from the past where you can’t add the new nofollow command? What about changes to how non-paid links are viewed? Are you getting penalized because of previous efforts? According to Google, yes!

As an aside: a paid link is unacceptable but a sponsored link isn’t. I understand the difference, but it’s a fine line at best.

The Cloak of Invisibility

My greater concern is … Read the rest

May 31, 2012  Tags: , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

May Mozscape Index Update:164 Billion URLs

Posted by randfish

It's that time once again! Mozscape's latest index update is live as of today (and new data is in OSE, the mozBar and PRO by tomorrow). This new index is our largest yet, at 164 Billion URLs, however that comes with a few caveats. The major one is that we've got a smaller-than-normal number of domains in this index, so you may see link counts rising, while unique linking root domains shrink. I asked the team why this happened, and our data scientist, Matt, provided a great explanation:

We schedule URLs to be crawled based on their PA+external mozRank to crawl the highest quality pages. Since most high PA pages are on a few large sites this naturally biases to crawling fewer domains. To enforce some domain diversity the V2 crawlers introduced a set of domain mozRank limits that limit the crawl depth on each domain. However, this doesn't guarantee a diverse index when the crawl schedule is full (as we had for Index 52).

In this case, many lower quality domains with low PA/DA are cut from the schedule and out of the index. This is the same problem we ran into when Read the rest

May 30, 2012  Tags: , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Oops, I Ruined the Facebook IPO!

Posted by

Oops i ruined the facebook IPO

Last week’s Facebook IPO may go down in financial infamy as being the biggest and most high profile IPO flop of the century – and this Internet Marketer's content marketing efforts may have inadvertently triggered the epic Facebook IPO meltdown. Sounds ridiculous and completely preposterous, right? Read to the end of the story and decide for yourself!

Our Big Idea

Earlier this month, my colleagues at WordStream and I were planning our monthly content marketing effort. Like most other companies, we do a lot of content marketing on our blog, but we also make a point to publish at least one high-level story that might appeal to people who aren’t expert search marketers. The goals of these efforts are to raise the general public awareness of our company, and also drive valuable editorial links to our site.

This month, with all the intense media focus on the Facebook IPO, our big idea was … Read the rest

May 29, 2012  Tags: , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Is SEO the Answer for Start-up Marketing?

Posted by Benjamin Estes

Lately I’ve seen that a tight relationship between SEO and startups has been something of a foregone conclusion within the SEO industry: “Of course startups should be engaged in SEO!” Perhaps, and perhaps not. In fact, some start-up communities have taken up a stance in direct opposition to this, stigmatizing SEO as manipulative. Personally I’m just a humble consultant who has never started a company of his own, so I think it would be presumptuous of me to arbitrarily declare SEO a high priority for any start-up in any field.

If doing SEO isn’t a foregone conclusion, then, it bears further discussion as a marketing strategy. I want to approach this topic from a different angle. In any successful startup there will be someone with good business sense, someone who can look at the evidence in front of them and make their own decision about what is best for their company. So let me put some premises on the table about what SEO offers the start-up and why start-ups are uniquely positioned to leverage their position for SEO.

What SEO Offers

(Measurable) Audience Embiggening

The end goal of SEO is to increase the number … Read the rest

May 28, 2012  Tags: , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

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