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Cyrus Shepard
Works at Moz
Attended University of Southern California
Lives in Seattle, WA
16,616 followers|5,175,811 views


Cyrus Shepard

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Illustrated Guide to Advanced On-Page Topic Targeting for SEO

From the archives - although still fairly new. Still the best, and only, infographic I ever made.
Victor Lupan's profile photoCaio Cesar's profile photoeZdia's profile photoVictor Hugo's profile photo
Awesome +Cyrus Shepard truly informative! Thanks a million!
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How big was Day #1 of Google's Mobile Friendly Update? Tiny, it turns out.

Great analysis by +Pete Meyers 
Pedro Silva's profile photoRachel Howe's profile photoJeremy Schooley's profile photoKamal Khanzada's profile photo
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!

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

1. Define Site Name:
2. Define 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?
Monika Donkina's profile photoscott jarrett's profile photoGuy Shalem's profile photoDidier J. MARY's profile photo
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
joji jean's profile photoNishanth Stephen's profile photoMark Traphagen's profile photoTR C's profile photo
Looking great as always..

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New Post: 10 SEO Myths that Figgin' Tick Me Off

In no friggin' particular order:
1. SEO is a scam
2. Google will figure it out
3. We did SEO once
4. Link building is dead (again)
5. I want to rank #1 for "magic keyword"
6. Google hates SEO
7. SEO is dead, because Google Answers
8. SEO is all tricks
9. PageRank
10. Social activity doesn't affect SEO

What SEO myth do you hate?
Full post here:
Lars Nutzenberger's profile photoKathleen Henzel's profile photoPatrycja Wojak's profile photoMarkelle Harden's profile photo
Great article about some common #SEO myths, our favorite myth on the list is - #Google will figure it out. This particular myth sets the foundation for nearly all the other myths listed, particularly the common "SEO Is Dead" nonsense that is doing the usual rounds around the web. Google will figure it out? Really? We'd challenge any Webmaster who would benefit from organic #searchengine traffic to their site to do nothing, optimize nothing, because hey, SEO is a scam or if not, it's now dead. #Ranking high in #SERPS does not happen by chance, most sites in pole position i.e. first page of #search engine results pages have and do use #searchengineoptimization to get their sites there and they will continue to do so to keep those top rankings. Sites that don't use any form of SEO or #searchenginemarketing are not likely to rank well in SERPS as general rule. Sites that have used SEO and have stopped because SEO is now said by some to be dead, are likely to find their rankings drop in SERPS correlating with the absence of any SEO. Optimization means to make something/anything optimal, in this context, optimal with search engine algorithms and spiders/crawlers.
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Cyrus Shepard

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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.
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.
1 comment on original post
Dave Cain's profile photoMicah Fisher-Kirshner's profile photoMonica Chia's profile photoIstván Maczkó's profile photo
Wow, that is a very comprehensive presentation. Great job and great graphics. I will share. #30dayvisibility
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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?
Pedro Hinds's profile photoWEBWORKS Agency's profile photoRoshan Samuel Ambler's profile photoMark Hallam's profile photo
+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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Read +Moz? Check out the Big, New, Beautiful Blog Launched Today

Yes, it's mobile-friendly. Just in time for Google's update - with 8 hours to spare!
Dean Marsden's profile photoVane Kitrozoski's profile photoMichael Ross's profile photoPatrick Curran's profile photo
+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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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"

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."


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

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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Phil Nottingham's profile photoVane Kitrozoski's profile photoKeith Cash's profile photoEmanuele Vaccari's profile photo
"Buying links".
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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.
Mat Fidge's profile photoLewis Peters's profile photo
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Link Builders Rejoice! New Social & Contact Data in Open Site Explorer

Just launched: Now find contact information for domains in Open Site Explorer. This means, when we have the data available, we'll surface:
• Email accounts that match the domain name
• Twitter account
• Facebook
• Google+

Please note, this is a beta release and we're looking for feedback. Moz engineers are right now working to improve this data as we speak. In the meantime, enjoy!

#seo #linkbuilding
We've just launched social accounts and contact data inside Open Site Explorer (initially in two sections), to help with link prospecting, analysis, and outreach. Discover more about how to use the feature and where to find it.
hardeep singh's profile photoMark Traphagen's profile photoMarko Desic's profile photo
one question
what is the  main concept of seo
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I write emails to Rand, he makes them public for the greater good.
Percent of Mobile Usage of

+Cyrus Shepard kindly responded to an email I sent on a thread about our web traffic. I thought it would be interesting to share more broadly. We're planning to roll out responsive design in the next few months, but I'm actually hoping we do it after April 21st so we can see whether and what the hit looks like from Google on the parts of our site that aren't yet responsive (i.e. most of it).
23 comments on original post
Rand Fishkin's profile photoMark Traphagen's profile photoBen Carew's profile photoDavid Iwanow's profile photo
Guys please share the post-responsive numbers too so we can compare (and come to wildly unrealistic conclusions).
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Senior Content Producer, SEO Consultant & Website Strategist at
SEO, Social Media, SEM, PPC, Organic Search, Online Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Content Strategy, Marketing Strategy
  • 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.
  • 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.
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Seattle, WA
Marshalltown, Iowa - Los Angeles - Portland, OR
I write about SEO, Social Media, Web Strategy, Startups and Online Marketing
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 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.
  • University of Southern California
Cyrus Shepard's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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