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Rand Fishkin
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I Should Have Read Google's Mobile Update FAQ More Closely

#2 is really helpful in understanding the changes.
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Special mobile pages are often inferior to the "proper" site.
They may have less content or they may be less functional.
I want to do more than just look at pretty pictures. Just because I increasingly aces the Web from my phone and tablet does not mean that I have lost my ability to read.
Some mobile sites seem to be blocking my ability to zoom too.
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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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No, not crash and burn but given what Google was saying about this, there was an expectation that it'd have some impact. 
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Millions of Fake Social Accounts, Liking, Clicking, & Sharing

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121551/bot-bubble-click-farms-have-inflated-social-media-currency - fascinating, in-depth piece covering the state of bot farms and how they operate with near impunity. Weirdly, the risks seem much lower than even the early days of search spam... Think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al will need to step it up very soon.
Click farms are changing what it means to have social media influence.
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Sounds like it's time for the major social networks to start services to verify any and all personal accounts, not just those of celebrities. Then they could charge more to advertisers for clicks or follows from those verified accounts. The article shows why using a phone number to verify accounts is useless, so the trick would be coming up with a) some way to verify huge numbers of real people at scale and b) incentivizing those people to want to be verified.
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Totally agree with Wil - domain names are often a giveaway into an organization's marketing savvy and marketing chops.
 
Funny how just by looking at a domain name (without clicking on a website) I can guess with decent accuracy if they'll look like a brand who has invested in their website or if its someone who cares too much about SEO.  This was my most recent example of sites someone sent over for me to look at.

https://www.breakthrough.com/
http://www.talkspace.com/
http://www.online-therapy.com/
https://virtualtherapyconnect.com/

The giveaways?  
#1 - They had to pay a lot for that domain, its a domain you can build a brand off of. (not liking the footer links)
#2 - Another good domain, likely not available, have to pay for something like that, and probably pay pretty well, as teh two words could work in a TON of industries.
#3 - hyphen in the URL, has both of the target keywords in the domain. I hate hypen domains for anyone building a brand.
#4 - 3 word domain name, hard to build a brand when people can't remeber your name.

Most BRANDS would rather have a domain that works in many mediums, not just for search engines, meanign they are likely investing in more of those channels.

When I clicked on the sites, I got exactly what I thought I would.

I'm not saying one business is better than another, but people who typically go for hyphen domains and super long phrases are often times putting SEO before brand, and long term I don't like that play. 

Now lets consider the industry...advice into your personal life, your site and domain, and all must be SHARP, or I dunno if I'm trusting the service.  It would be an outlier to the sites of brands I typically visit, I can't think of any site I visit daily or regularly that is 3-4 words long or has a hypen in it.
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+Iresh Dilan memorable ;)
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We should probably all just read +Mark Traphagen's takedown and skip the Forbes piece entirely. 
 
A Truly Awful Google+ Hatchet Job on Forbes Exposed

As some of you know, I've made it my policy for some time now not to waste time responding to the "Google+ is dead" articles that sprout up from time to time like weeds on a spring lawn. 

But the recent rash have been so bad, so poorly researched and argued, that I had to end my silence.

My next +Marketing Land column (which should publish next week, I think) deals with the main arguments in recent articles by +Larry Kim and +Travis Wright.

But in this post I'm commenting on a new Forbes post by Steve Denning titled "Five Reasons Why Google+ Died." In a response today +Mike Elgan dealt very well with a number of Denning's reasons, including a very bad misunderstanding of a quote by Elgan that Denning doesn't even correctly attribute. You can read Elgan's post at http://goo.gl/FH6DJ5.

I want to address a statistic quoted in the introduction of Denning's article. He quotes +Scott Galloway as stating that Google+ had a "97% decline in engagement rate, year over year." (The actual figure is 98%, as you'll see later, but that's the most inconsequential of Denning's errors.)

That's a pretty stunning claim. I wanted to see the actual study, where its data came from and its methodology. No context was given around the number.

In response to my comment on the Forbes article asking for that information, Denning referred me to a previous article of his, which linked to another article. That article had an embedded video of a talk by Galloway, in which he states the 98% drop in engagement as evidence that Google+ has failed, showing for a few seconds a bar chart with that stat.

But still no link to or citation of, in the article or video, whatever study this data came from. 

It took me almost an hour to track down the original study from which the "98% drop in engagement" comes, but eventually I found it.

It's at https://www.l2inc.com/research/social-platforms-2014. Turns out that L2 is Scott Galloway's own research company. 

The full report is for "members only." I entered my email address to get the download of the non-members version. It turns out to be only an excerpt, and does not contain the methodology or any details on how the data was obtained.

As far as I can discern, L2 looked at the social profiles of about 300 brands. So first off, this is only a study of brand profiles on social media.The study does not look at regular users at all. Which means to use it as a source to proclaim overall engagement is fallacious. 

When I dig down further in the excerpt, I saw that there was a lot more to the story.

Yes, of the 300 some brands they surveyed, Facebook is killing it. But if you look at the rest of the story, Google+ is doing at least as well as, and sometimes better than., the other secondary social networks. 

The ballyhooed "98% drop in engagement rate" (engagements per follower) occurred, according to the study, from July 2013 to July 2014. While that drop is  the worst among the networks surveyed, all of the networks had drops including Facebook, which dropped 13%. 

If you look at the other stats, you get a broader story. 

In the time period studied (again, July 2013 to July 2014), the surveyed brands increased followers on Google+ by 41% (compared to an increase for Facebook of 38%). Moreover, the absolute number of followers for Google+ was the highest of any network (960K, compared to FB's 781K).

Also, brand engagement per post went up 67% on Google+, while only 26% on Facebook. 

So you see, you can prove whatever you want, it just depends on which stat you choose.

And in this case, those numbers only apply to a very small sample of brand pages, not to all users of the networks, as the Forbes writer assumed.

These days I always want to add to these posts that I come neither to praise Google+ nor to bury it (sorry, Shakespeare!). I'm not going after this as a G+ fanboy, but simply because I hate misinformation.
Google needs to rethink its mission statement and delight its customers
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</read +Forbes​​>
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Moz March Financials from Our CFO

I know +Sarah Bird is writing about our 2014 performance soon on the blog, but I figured I'd do a little sharing around how 2015 is going as well. tl;dr - Moz is growing a little more quickly than 2014, but still not at the rate we think we're capable of. Need to keep improving our products, fixing our billing systems, and working on pro-active customer outreach and support.
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+Daniel Tan Got moved to next week - I think Thursday, but yes, it's coming soon.
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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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Great deck to read thru, Rand. 
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Can You Get SEO Value from Search Results w/ Answer Boxes?

Yes - at least sometimes - and it's the topic of my latest Whiteboard Friday: http://bit.ly/AnswerBoxSEO
Answer boxes and knowledge graph results can seem like they're taking over the SERPs, and in today's Whiteboard Friday, Rand explains how you can still get SEO value from those pages.
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Moz's Financials & Subscription Details Made Transparent in Our 2014 Year-in-Review

http://moz.com/blog/2014-annual-report

Big thanks to +Sarah Bird for putting together this annual report. You can look back and see how we did in 2014, a very tough year for the company, but one in which we managed to turn around a negative growth rate in Q1 and come out with some hope that 2015 can be a solid year.
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Thanks for the inside look. Nice to see Moz is doing great. 
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We did go mobile-friendly with the blog, but still have plenty of other pages on the site that aren't mobile-friendly, so we should be able to test and report on the impact of the changes from Google over the week ahead.
 
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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Thanks +Rand Fishkin. We had a similar experience with TrustedChoice.com. Prioritizing the pages and templates within our site to convert to mobile was a challenge.
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Google's Changes Have Created More SEO Value for Those w/ Loyal Audiences

New WB Friday: http://bit.ly/LoyaltyBeforeSEO

This week, I'm talking about 5 changes Google's made over the last few years that have resulted in a powerful bias in the organic results toward those sites and brands that have built up loyal audiences. Also included - some marketing tactics that can help build loyalty.
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Thanks for all the great tips, Rand. While knowing your audience should always be top of your list. With the new Google changes  it's absolutely essential.
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 Great data. The small, but passionate group of profiles who are active on Google+ is likely around 3.5mm. I'm honored to be here with so many of y'all :-)
 
The Hard Numbers for Google Plus Activity

JUST PUBLISHED: +Eric Enge's massive study of over half a million Google+ profiles

Click here >> http://stonet.co/GPlusRealNumbers

Learn how much public posting actually occurs on Google+ from real data on real Google+ profiles.

Please share this important study!

Read at http://stonet.co/GPlusRealNumbers

#plusonly  
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I personally Love G+ and post both publicly and privately. I find less noise, less here's what I'm eating right now and more of the stuff that I actually enjoy. 
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