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Cyrus Shepard
Works at Moz
Attended University of Southern California
Lives in Seattle, WA
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Cyrus Shepard

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Mmmm....
 
Deciphering Query Intent: Google's Answer Boxes Continue to Expand

Here's a result I saw "in the wild" today for the query "top seo experts," which returned an answer box result that dominates the page.

Since Hummingbird, Answer Box results are frequently appearing for questions. What's interesting to me is that while the query doesn't contain a modifier that would suggest it's a question e.g. who, how, what, etc., it's Google getting much better at deciphering intent. 

#answerboxresults   #googleanswerboxes  
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Adi R
 
If you look at the Searches related to "top seo experts" you can see the following searches:
"top seo services"
"best search engine optimization companies"
"seo company rankings"
"top rated seo companies"
"top seo companies 2011"
"best seo agency"
I believe Google has enough hints about the intent from those alone.
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Cyrus Shepard

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New Post: The Web Developer's SEO Cheat Sheet 3.0
https://moz.com/blog/seo-cheat-sheet

We've updated one of the most popular resources we've ever published. Designed for beginners and advanced SEOs alike, information covered includes:

• Important HTML Elements
• HTTP Status Codes
• Canonicalization
• URL Best Practices
• Webmaster Tools
• Robot Control Syntax
• Important User Agents
• Sitemap Syntax
• Pagination
• Social Metadata
• Rich Snippets
• Structured Data
• Targeting Multiple Languages
• Mobile Web Development

Full download here: https://moz.com/blog/seo-cheat-sheet

#SEO #webdevelopment  
Introducing the new and improved Web Developer's SEO Cheat Sheet. Download info on SEO best practices for online marketers and developers.
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Nikhil Gabda's profile photoVivek Modi's profile photoBough Digital's profile photoHendri Syahrial's profile photo
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Next edition should be posted on 37signals with a canonical back to Moz, so developers would actually read it =) - Thanks for the work you put in to making this!
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Why SEO That Used to Work, Fails

I gave a new, never-before-given presentation today in Vancouver, BC for the #BCAMAVision  conference. http://bit.ly/whyseofails
Rand's presentation from BCAMA covering the shifts in search engines and user behavior that have caused SEO tactics of years past to fail in the modern era.
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Micah Fisher-Kirshner's profile photoMonica Chia's profile photoIstván Maczkó's profile photoSteady Demand's profile photo
 
Wow, that is a very comprehensive presentation. Great job and great graphics. I will share. #30dayvisibility
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Cyrus Shepard

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We're updating the Web Developer's SEO Cheat Sheet for 2015
What would you like to see added and/or removed?

http://moz.com/blog/the-web-developers-seo-cheat-sheet-2013-edition
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WEBWORKS Agency's profile photoRoshan Samuel Ambler's profile photoMark Hallam's profile photoJeewan Garg's profile photo
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+Nay Min
Would love to see your data! No doubt that repetitive or abusive anchor phrases can hurt you. That said, I can't imagine a world where using descriptive text in your links is not a best practice, for SEO or usability.
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Cyrus Shepard

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Read +Moz? Check out the Big, New, Beautiful Blog Launched Today
http://moz.com/blog

Yes, it's mobile-friendly. Just in time for Google's update - with 8 hours to spare!
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Dean Marsden's profile photoVane Kitrozoski's profile photoMichael Ross's profile photoPatrick Curran's profile photo
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+Cyrus Shepard the new blog looks great, as do all the recent aesthetic changes. Are you so far glad you invested in them for Google's benefit? From what Google and pretty much everyone else has been saying, I was expecting some kind of mobile SERPs apocalypse... and not without some degree of relish, since all my sites were mobile-friendly. So far, little or no impact. 

Opinions, please!
• Is this another case of Google scaring everyone into being 'nice' to Google users?

• If so, how long until boy-that-cried-'wolf' apathy kicks in among weary and disillusioned SEOs?
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Cyrus Shepard

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How Should We Define SEO?

If you Google "What is SEO?" Moz's Beginner's Guide definition appears in the answer box. There's a good argument that the definition can be improved.

What do you think is a better explanation of SEO?
 
Search engine optimization is...

Damn you +Carter Bowles for sending me down a rabbit hole first thing in the morning!

My journey started with Carter's post:
"Why +Erin Everhart's View On SEO As Marketing is Dangerous"
http://bit.ly/1NkcJZF

A thoughtful post - one whose conclusions I ultimately disagree, but don't have time to comment on right now (+Joe Hall, +Ryan Jones and +Melissa Fach might find the article of interest too).

Anyway, I lack time to comment because I wanted to point to the +Moz definition of SEO at the call-out post, which Carter points to in his article.

"SEO is the practice of improving and promoting a website to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines."

Bzzzzzzz!

I would have heartily agreed with this assessment in 2005, but it's 2015.  Of course one of the goals - in most cases still the goal of SEO remains driving traffic to a website, but in the era of distributed brand presence, mobile applications and Knowledge Graph, this is too reductionist view of what SEO is, IMHO.

I know this is "The Beginner's Guide to SEO" and an objection to my objection may be that this is a simple way of explaining SEO to the uninitiated.  But I'd argue that it's precisely because this article this gets in front of so many newbies that Moz should reflect on and rewrite this definition.  Webmasters and marketers dipping their toes for the first time in the waters of search engine optimization should be prepared for the world that is and the world that's coming, not the world that was.

FWIW here's my outline of that changed environment (I offer this link not by way of self-promotion, but 'cause - again - I've little time, but do have a couple of thousand words kicking around on the subject):
Zero Blue Links: Search After Traffic
http://www.seoskeptic.com/zero-blue-links/

The definition's a little ironic too, in that Moz's +Pete Meyers is one of the great chroniclers of those things in the SERPs that aren't 10 blue links, many of which deliver little in the way of search traffic to a website.  I invite others of the Moz clan I know - +Gianluca Fiorelli, +Matthew Brown , +Cyrus Shepard and, of course, +Rand Fishkin - to give this definition some further thought, and to offer their thoughts on same if they're so inclined.

Sorry Carter:  your post remains bookmarked, and on another occasion I'll make my argument why - if SEO ain't all about driving traffic to websites - it is a type of marketing. :)
New to SEO? Need to polish up your knowledge? The Beginner's Guide to SEO has been read over 1 million times and provides the information you need to get on the road to professional quality SEO.
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"Buying links".
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Cyrus Shepard

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The Future of Mobile SEO

You owe it to yourself to take a few minutes to browse this very excellent deck by +Cindy Krum presented at SMX Munich.
This presentation is about how advanced mobile SEO tactics for driving rankings and web traffic from Google. It talks about things you need to know for Single Page Web Apps, App SEO, Deep Linking, Google Cards and Google Now, and the future of mobile SEO for predictive search and wearables - The future is about Feeds, Schema, and getting into Universals, Google Card Results and Google Now.
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Have them in circles
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Cyrus Shepard

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This is a steal for any agency or independent SEO consultant. Nice work +Annie Cushing
 
Announcing the Annielytics [140-Page] Self-Guided Site Audit Checklist. Making site audits affordable for SMBs at $195. If you're a consultant or agency wanting to offer site audits, brand it and make it yours.
Buy the most comprehensive audit checklist and template on the Internet for $195, at less than 5% of what a site audit would cost.
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then I'd expect that the diff tween good and great would mean that Alan Bleiweiss and his own Audits would be featured next, eh! No sense dealing with good when great is out there too! :-)
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Cyrus Shepard

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Illustrated Guide to Advanced On-Page Topic Targeting for SEO
http://moz.com/blog/on-page-topic-seo

From the archives - although still fairly new. Still the best, and only, infographic I ever made.
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Thanks +Cyrus Shepard 
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Cyrus Shepard

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How big was Day #1 of Google's Mobile Friendly Update? Tiny, it turns out.
http://moz.com/blog/day-after-mobilegeddon

Great analysis by +Pete Meyers 
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Gleefully anticipating the updates about the Update. Thanks +Pete Meyers and Moz for observing SERP flux, now about Mobile search results, too. 
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Branded Breadcrumbs to replace URLs in Google mobile!

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2015/04/better-presentation-of-urls-in-search.html

Interesting development. Google provides two ways to influence how your branded breadcrumbs are displayed.

1. Define Site Name: https://developers.google.com/structured-data/site-name
2. Define Breadcrumbs: https://developers.google.com/structured-data/breadcrumbs

Does this mean more people will chose keyword-rich site names to display in search results? It doesn't appear that search terms are bolded, but a good site name could influence click through.

What do you think?
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4 comments
 
Wont make big difference. People are choosing good names for their sites from the beginning of the internet.
Smart people had registered good names in competitive industries (at the beginning, when that was possible) and later sold them for huge amounts of money.
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Duplicate Content, Old School
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Looking great as always..

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People
Have them in circles
16,708 people
Brad Winget's profile photo
Taa Dixon's profile photo
Steve Ferreiro's profile photo
accord ad value's profile photo
kuldeep singh's profile photo
Ro Interactive Tech.'s profile photo
Tom Bukacek's profile photo
Dushyant Tiwari's profile photo
Andrew Joes's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Senior Content Producer, SEO Consultant & Website Strategist at http://moz.com
Skills
SEO, Social Media, SEM, PPC, Organic Search, Online Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Content Strategy, Marketing Strategy
Employment
  • Moz
    SEO and Content, 2010 - present
    I help lead content strategy and content production around Moz. My responsibilities also include marketing our Inbound Marketing software and SEO tools. http://moz.com
  • Cyrus Shepard Inc.
    CEO, 2009 - 2013
    Personal online projects and private SEO and website strategy consulting.
  • PlaceFull
    Chief Marketing Officer, 2012 - 2012
    Responsible for Placefull's go-to-market marketing strategy. Also helped build the design and creative teams as well as guide the design of the original UI.
  • True Fabrications
    Web Manager, 2009 - 2010
    My fist SEO job. Responsible for all online marketing.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Seattle, WA
Previously
Marshalltown, Iowa - Los Angeles - Portland, OR
Story
Tagline
I write about SEO, Social Media, Web Strategy, Startups and Online Marketing
Introduction
I live in Seattle and work on the Interwebs. I work for Moz. I love tackling  tough SEO problems and helping online businesses spread their online marketing message. The web is the most democratizing force the world has ever seen, and I'm proud to be a part of it.

My wife Dawn creates infographics as the world's greatest graphic designer at shepardportfolio.com. Not only does she provide me with great logos and infographics, but she's a personal inspiration as well. Currently, she's having an awesome time setting up her watercolor art store for children on Etsy. As an SEO, I've learned that having a graphic designer as a partner is an invaluable asset. Highly recommended.
Bragging rights
Editor of the 2012 edition of the Beginners Guide to SEO. I've hitchicked over 5000 miles across the US. Played young Steve Martin in Cheaper by the Dozen. Once won a convertable on Hollywood Squares. I've done SEO consulting for some of the most interresting web properties in the world.
Education
  • University of Southern California
Cyrus Shepard's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Announcing the Web Developer's SEO Cheat Sheet 3.0
moz.com

Introducing the new and improved Web Developer's SEO Cheat Sheet. Download info on SEO best practices for online marketers and developers. U

Google Told Me I'm Pregnant: From Strings to Diagnosis
moz.com

What's Google's next step? If Craig Bradford is right, the search engine giant could become your partner in healthcare. Learn more about how

A Geek's Guide To Gaming The Algorithms
www.portent.com

I talk about all that’s wrong in marketing, tactics vs. strategy, etc. etc. We’re ignoring strategy and sound marketing. We work too hard to

Searchmetrics Ranking Factors 2014: Why Quality Content Focuses on Topic...
moz.com

Searchmetrics recently launched their yearly Ranking Factors Study that bases numbers on rank correlation and averages of top 10 SEO ranking

White Hat SEO: It F@$#ing Works
www.seomoz.org

I hate webspam. I hate what it's done to the reputation of hardworking, honest, smart web marketers who help websites earn search traffic. I

Scaling Quality Content
moz.com

We're now in a post-Panda era where Google has effectively killed the "SEO" page through a combination of FUD and algorithm improvements. Le

The Best of MozCons Past: 7 Future-Facing Videos
moz.com

Spend your afternoon (or a few afternoons) watching these incredible online marketing session videos from past MozCons, available for free f

WordPress Plugin for Google+ Interactive Posts
dejanseo.com.au

An interactive post in the Google+ stream is similar to a basic shared post but adds a call-to-action button and support for deep linking.

Moz Inbound's Story
moz.com

Moz Inbound's Story

Google Analytics | Official Website
www.google.com

Google Analytics lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.

Google Plus Hashtags: Discovering Their Hidden Secrets
www.plusyourbusiness.com

There is much more to Google+ hashtags than meets the eye.

My Software Patent Troll Veto ( BrightEdge )
andybeard.eu

Internet Marketing, Lead Acquisition, Online Business Strategy and Social Media with Original Opinion and Loads of Attitude

2014 Industry Survey
moz.com

The 2014 Industry Survey by Moz interviewed over 3000 marketers to uncover the top tactics, tools and trends in our changing online world.

Time for Guest Blogging With a Purpose
moz.com

Guest blogging isn't dead. Being a Spammy McSpammer who only guest blogs to build links is dead.

Social Media: The Free Beginner's Guide from Moz
moz.com

New to Social Media? The Free Beginner's Guide to Social Media from Moz has you covered. Learn best practices about Twitter, Facebook, Pinte

First Google Webmaster Tools Update in 2014
dejanseo.com.au

An improvement to our top search queries data was applied retroactively on 12/31/13.

Confirmed: Google Reduces Authorship Rich Snippets In Search Results
searchengineland.com

The head of search spam at Google, Matt Cutts, has confirmed with us that Google has applied a 15% reduction in the amount of rich snippets

Did Google Just Reduce Authorship Results by 15%?
cyrusshepard.com

If you’ve been following the news, you know that last October Matt Cutts announced at Pubcon to expect a 15% reduction in the amount of rich

Announcing Reviews in Google Places for Business
googleandyourbusiness.blogspot.com

People come to Google to search for information about local shops and restaurants so they can make the best plans and purchases. That's why