In 2009 Fletcher Cleaves was a top high school football prospect ready for the next level, eager to do in college what he’d done in high school: rack up yards as a running back. But before Cleaves could realize his dream of playing at the next level, a texting, distracted driver plowed into the car he was driving, forever changing his life’s trajectory.
Today, Cleaves, paralyzed from the chest down as a result of the accident, serves as a tragic reminder of something as seemingly harmless as texting and driving can alter lives. It’s impossible to watch the video below and not immediately realize three important facts:
As much as we like to debate content vs. links, sometimes great content just seems to dominate. I don’t mean to say that great content doesn’t get great links, or that the purposes of creating great content is not to get links, but simply that some content on the web seems to shine through the SERPs.
Content might not be king, but it has lot of sway in Google’s kingdom.
After sifting through tons of SERP data to find million dollar answer boxes (answer box results that rank at the top for keywords driving millions of dollars in traffic), I decided to dig deep to find content just like it across the web. But I wanted to do something different, something harder. I wanted to find content that didn’t have huge Domain Authority. Sure, it is easy for the Wikipedia’s and YouTubes of this world to rank for huge keywords, but what about the little guy? Are there any pieces of content out there bringing in millions of dollars of traffic coming from domains with Domain Authority around 50 or lower? And if so, what sets this content apart from the rest? Let’s find out!
Have you ever wanted to automate pulling data from a web page—such as building a Twitter audience—and wanted a way to magically make all of the Twitter handles from the web page appear in your Google Sheet, but didn’t know how? If learning Python isn’t your cup of tea, using a few formulas in Google Sheets will allow you to easily and quickly scrape data from a URL that, were you to do so manually, could take hours.
For Windows users, Niels Bosma’s amazing SEO plug-in for Excel is an option that could also be used for this purpose, but if you analyze data on a Mac, this tutorial on formulas in Google Sheets will help make your life much easier, as the plug-in doesn’t work on Macs.
Amplifying content to the right audiences is tricky business. It’s easy to hope people will find you organically—particularly if you have really great tools to share—but most of the time, it just doesn’t work out that way. In today’s special-edition Whiteboard Friday, Rand takes an in-depth look at how marketers should be finding the right audiences for their content and tools, effectively hacking the amplification process.
At the very least, I hope they help kickstart your Birds of a Feather roundtable conversations. (Or if you have a local search addiction as debilitating as mine, perhaps even an after-party conversation over over a pint!)
My high-level takeaways
Google’s local search algorithm seems to be maturing
Overall, we’ve seen a continuation of the gradual trend towards Google rewarding quality on all fronts—from citations to links to reviews. And as more companies have implemented the table stakes of site architecture, keyword- and location-relevant title tags, and claiming their Google My Business pages, quality and authority become the differentiators in competitive markets.