January 14

The Weekly Briefing: The Good, the Bad, and the Awesome

SEO/SEM Account Manager Michelle Conway gave us some tips on enhancing search engagement …
The key to maximum search engagement is a coordinated search strategy. According to Search Engine Land columnist Thomas Stern, your paid and organic search strategies have work together to increase your visibility, page authority, and, ultimately, your site conversions. SEO obviously helps with your organic traffic, but a well-optimized ad will give your website real estate on page one – regardless of what your site’s actual SERP is. Research shows that “the presence of ads reduces the click-through rate of the first organic result by around 30 percent.” That gives you great opportunity to get some clicks that might have gone to your competitors. Stern goes on to describe how to successfully create a symbiotic organic and paid search strategy through identifying gaps in your industry, diligent keyword research, properly maintain your content, and amplify that content’s visibility to reach as many relevant audiences as possible.


SEO Copywriter Jared Townsend alerted the team of a recent black hat SEO campaign …
CDN leader Akamai released a new threat advisory regarding a black hat SEO campaign that’s using SQL Injection to create links to a website dedicated to stories about cheating called storyofcheating[dot]com. Basically, the security vulnerabilities were identified in an application’s structured query language (SQL) and “as long as the targeted application didn’t validate user-supplied input, it could be used to promote the aforementioned website.” The website currently holds the top ranking position for the keyword “cheat story,” and as of today, Google has not yet thrown down the gauntlet for these actions, but it’s only a matter of time. The links are coming from domains that have absolutely nothing to do with cheating (sites that have verified the Injection have topics ranging from foosball to political marketing). In the meantime, you can avoid an uninvited link by making sure your CMS platform is updated and secure, including any applications, themes, or plugins you might be utilizing.


Content Marketing Strategist Angela Sanders shared Rand Fishkin’s philosophy behind “10X” content …
Digital marketers are constantly challenged with the task of creating new, unique, relevant, informative, fill-in-your-own-descriptor-here content. Fishkin’s idea of 10x content is simple: it is literally ten times better than anything you would find in a search result. In order for your content to be in contention for “10X” status, it must:

  • Provide a uniquely positive user experience
  • Load quickly
  • Contain content that is “some substantive combination” of trustworthiness, high-quality, usefulness, and interest

Other criteria are highlighted in Rand Fishkin’s shared 10X Content document, but he does admit that none of these qualities are required – they are just the pillars of how he thinks of 10X content (a term coined by Fishkin himself). Still wondering what earns such a title? Check out the current collection of 10X content. Prepare to be amazed!