I recently gave a talk at MozCon 2019, titled “Human -> Machine -> Human: Understanding Human-Readable Quality Signals and Their Machine-Readable Equivalents.” Here are the slides, with added notes so you can follow along![Read more…] about Ruth’s MozCon 2019 Talk: Get the Slides
SEO can be something of a “black box.” It’s certainly much more widely accepted as a marketing practice than it was when I was first starting out, but even though more business owners understand that SEO is something they need to be doing, they still may not understand what, exactly, SEO entails.
In some ways, this is a good thing for us as SEOs – we’re in possession of an in-demand skill set that not a lot of people possess. Can anybody say “job security”? But in other ways, SEO’s esoteric nature makes it easy for unscrupulous SEO providers to hide the fact that they’re not providing real value. In a world where business owners understand that they need SEO, but may not have much (or any) idea of what good SEO entails or what results they should be getting, there’s a lot of room for advantage to be taken.
To add to that, there are a number of “black hat” SEO techniques that still work disturbingly well even today. These tactics can gain success for a business, but also run the risk that the website will be penalized by Google if it detects the use of those tactics. Since black hat tactics aren’t illegal, just risky, there’s really nothing stopping SEO practitioners from using them, often without their clients’ awareness or a full understanding of the risks involved. Nothing, that is, except the individual practitioners’ sense of ethics and integrity.
Long-term success in SEO is predicated on staying abreast of the latest developments in our ever-changing industry. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has meant that the SEO world is prone to using buzzwords and hopping on the latest trends and topics. One topic that’s been receiving a lot of buzz recently is E-A-T, so we thought we’d create a handy primer to get you caught up quickly.
What is E-A-T?
Simply put, E-A-T is an acronym for the three factors that Google looks at to try to determine whether or not content on a website, as well as the website itself, is offering legit content: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust. We’ll dive into each of these and what they mean, but first, some background.[Read more…] about What is E-A-T and Why Does it Matter for SEO?
Great SEO requires focus. A highly technical SEO project is best done in chunks of several hours at a time: you need time to get deep into the data, look for patterns, and chase down the roots of any problems you see. A more creative or content-focused SEO project is also going to benefit from a focused effort; you need time to explore possibilities, do your research, plan, and create.
Focus is a core part of how we do what we do at UpBuild, and we’ve gone to great lengths to structure our company in ways that help us defend and use that focus. [Read more…] about Values Spotlight: Focus
For the second installment of our series on UpBuild’s company values, let’s talk about Betterment. From our Values page:
“‘Will this make someone’s day better?’ We use this question to make decisions on a daily basis. Will this strategy or recommendation I’m working make a client’s day better? Will getting this website to show up well in Google make a searcher’s day better? Will testing this CTA placement make a website user’s day better? Will giving a team member feedback in this way make their day better? If the answer is no, we have to ask if there’s a better way. Sometimes there’s not, but usually, there is.”
Making the World a Better Place
When you’re a marketer who’s also an idealist, it can be easy to feel disheartened by the very idea of marketing sometimes. After all, the cynical side of us says, isn’t marketing just figuring out how to manipulate people into buying something?
The other side of that coin, though, is that marketing can just as easily be about helping people find the things that they want and need, in ways that feel easy, pleasant, and even delightful. I’ve long said that one of the best things about search engine marketing is that unlike some more broadcast-focused mediums, SEO is all about helping people find things they’re already looking for – it’s selling people things they already want. [Read more…] about Values Spotlight: Betterment