February 4

The Weekly Briefing: The New Ruler of the Universe and Political Search Mad Libs

Account Manager Chip Fox and Content Marketing Strategist Angela Sanders shared a tip that ex-Mozzer Cyrus Shepard called his “single best SEO tip for improved traffic”…
Shepard’s Moz swan song is compelling, capable of being summarized in one simple – and awesome – statement: “If content is king, then the user is queen, and she rules the universe.” SEOs are faced with an interesting conundrum – the result of Google algorithms consistently changing in regards to what they will see as best practices for SEO. The idea that “Content is king” has been permanently seared into every digital marketer’s brain, but the even more important idea that “the user is queen” typically doesn’t follow suit.

Results from a recent survey of the top 150 search marketers showed that while most traditional SEO features were expected to either retain or decrease in influence, user-based features were expected to increase.

user seo uxo

So how do we practice what Shepard preaches? We combine our search engine optimization efforts with user experience optimization (UXO). Traffic is great, but as the importance of user experience grows and develops, we turn to Engagement metrics to decide the effectiveness of our digital marketing efforts. Shepard delivers a great place – “SEO homework” – to start closing the gap between the traffic you thought you were optimizing for and the traffic you are actually getting. Figure out why people are visiting your page AND finding what they are looking for. Yes, it’s a timely process, but as Cyrus Shepard says, “The results can be rewarding.”


Senior SEO Specialist Josh Volk shared that Google is looking for some Trusted Testers for upcoming SMB products …
We’ve noticed some beta versions and other UX upgrades making headlines for Google’s GMB/AdWords products like the Home Services Ad or the prime real estate of Google Featured Snippets. Google is now accepting applications to be part of its “group of business Trusted Testers.” It’s preferred that your business already has an existing Google My Business account and/or AdWords/AdWords Express account – but it isn’t a requirement. The necessary requirements to be a Trusted Tester include having less than 100 employees, willingness to sign a confidentiality agreement, and the responsibility of providing constructive feedback to the products’ creators. Want to take part? Apply here.


SEO Copywriter Hannah Scherrer questioned the “non-partisan” nature of Google’s autocomplete in the UK…

The recent 2016 Iowa Caucus is now behind us, but we still have politics on our minds. While we like to think of SEO as a politically neutral field, SEOs in the UK have discovered some questionable autocomplete queries in the United Kingdom regarding their most popular political parties. As it turns out, the same queries in the United States display the same results. **Note: These searches were performed “incognito.”

For the Libdems and Scottish National Party, the autocomplete field looks like this:

libdems are

snp are
While searches for Tories or the Conservative Party show up like this:

tories are

the tory party is

These two samplings alone give some indication as to what UK SEOs – as well as the entire Google search audience – are seeing. What could be even more detrimental is that anyone searching Google with these queries are seeing these answers. Google has stated in the past that the autocomplete predictions are “generated by an algorithm without any human involvement. [It’s] based on a number of objective factors including how often others have searched for a word.” While the United States doesn’t have such an extreme political preference, it is curious to see what shows up for our presidential election.

presidential campaign 2016

While the autocomplete predictions can turn into a fun game, it’s difficult to not let your imagination run wild with how these results are ranking at the top of all queries.