Rob Ousbey's Posts



Keyword Analysis in a world of 100% ‘Not Provided’

The percentage of organic search traffic that is being reported as ‘not provided’ is increasing for every website. Driven by changes to browser defaults as well as Google’s campaigns to get users logged in, most sites have lost this keyword data for considerably more than 10% of search visitors, and for more than 60% in some cases. (You can read Mike Pantoliano’s analysis on the Distilled blog.) Within 12-18 months, I wouldn’t be surprised to see most sites with 90% of their Google traffic being ‘Not provided’ and it could be 100% for some. Indeed, Google could turn all this data off overnight, at anytime, if they wanted to.

Some people have suggested extrapolating data to fill in the blanks—but this simply doesn’t work for now, and won’t even be an option when there is no data.

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Your First 100 Twitter Followers

Today, I wanted to write a bit about Twitter, in a post that I’ve been meaning to write for a long time. I regularly speak to clients, business contacts and people at our conferences who want to use Twitter more, or who have struggled with getting past the initial stages of using the site.

If you are an experienced Twitter user, then hopefully you’ll still be able to share this post with friends or clients who are just starting out in building their brand or their own profile on the site.

Getting Started

There are plenty of guides and blog posts that cover the basics of signing up for Twitter account and advice about how to use the site in general.

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Find (Almost) Anybody’s Email Address

With great power, comes great responsibility. I’m entrusting this tool to you with the understanding that Distilled readers will use it sensibly.

When doing outreach and linkbuilding, it’s often more effective to be able to send someone an email directly, rather than trying to use a contact form. Instead of hunting through a website to find someone’s email address, this process will speed things up and help you find the address you’re looking for.

(This video contains text, menus and spreadsheet cells worth seeing. I recommend you watch it full screen, and in the highest quality that your internet connection will allow.)

The important things you’ll need for running through this process:

  • A Gmail account, if you don’t have one already

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Social Signals: This Changes Everything

Before every Distilled conference, we hold a dinner for all the speakers and some ‘VIP’ conference attendees. During the dinner at 2011’s Searchlove New York, someone asked the question “What do you think will be the biggest change to search ranking factors over the next couple of years?”

It’s a great question, and I didn’t hesitate to give an answer: the integration of social signals will be more impactful than we could have anticipated.

Back in the Day

When Google launched (around 15 years ago) it was clearly streets-ahead of other search engines at the time. Whereas other people trusted the content of a page to determine topic-relevancy, Google used the links between pages to assess the relative ‘authority’ of pages and sites.

For the intervening few years, this was the way things were; building links to a site helped it rank.

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Google Updates, 19th April 2012

Over the last week, Google has been testing what appear to be some significant algorithm changes, which have cause significant changes in ranking for a variety of sites.

There are some facts and opinion below, but first I want to make sure you have some tangible actions.

Check to see if you’re affected, and by how much. Do a quick search on Google for your brand name, domain name and for any high-volume head terms. If you find that you are not ranking on the first page for your brand name, or if other terms have significantly slipped in rankings, then it’s a likely sign that you’re suffering. Looking at your analytics will give you more insight into how your total organic traffic is looking. This will also help you find out when your site first suffered. Don’t panic, and don’t make any sudden movements. It might feel like the sky is falling around you right now - particularly if your traffic for a particularly valuable term has just slumped to zero - but an immediate response isn’t likely to be helpful.

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