Measuring Link Index Freshness

Disclosure: I work for Moz. One of the hardest metrics to compare link indexes on is their percentage of “live links”. At first, it seems like a simple endeavor – just download the backlinks and check if they are live. It turns out that the process is far more complicated for a number of reasons. Redirect chains may not include the target domain in the URL, and there is no way to know which outlink begins the redirect chain without following every outlink on that linking page. Links aren’t always links – does the index count form action as a link? iframe? embed src? Linking sites might be temporarily down (do you count that as a missing link or ignore it). How do you know if it is temporary or permanent? Different indexes have...

Keyword Volume Relational Accuracy

First, quick disclosure: I am Russ Jones, Principal Search Scientist at Moz and I work directly on the model that predicts search volume. It is impossible to know the exact search volume for a keyword in Google. The methodologies available to us (Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Traffic Estimator, and Google Trends) are all problematic in one way or another. But this doesn’t mean we are hopelessly lost regarding our predictions of search volume. One thing we can analyze is the relationship between keywords rather than their exact volume. For example, Google Trends doesn’t provide us the exact search numbers, but it does provide us a comparison of keywords. Theoretically, the relationship between 2 keywords in Google Trends (lets say 3:1 because keyword...

Low Keyword Difficulty Despite Rankbrain

The data side of Search Engine Optimization has become far more confusing and, at the same time, interesting over the last few years thanks in no small part to RankBrain. Let me go ahead and say that anyone interested in learning anything shouldn’t continue reading the rest of this blog post. It is actually part of an experiment which I am currently running and I would appreciate if you wouldn’t just leave the page immediately though. Who knows if big-brother Google is watching and will spoil the experiment because everyone abandoned the article quickly. I also don’t intend to spend much time in this post opining about what I think RankBrain is how it works. Instead, I want to bring up one of the big wrenches that RankBrain throws into a popular...

Democracy Undone

It is time any honest participant in American democracy step back and ask ourselves some serious questions about our political process. I don’t care if you are Republican or Democrat, White or Black or other, just that you are an American and care about honest representation. We need to ask ourselves whether our elected officials represent our nation in any meaningful way and whether that is more important to us than our own political allegiances. I’ll go ahead and get it out there – I am a liberal. Always have been. I am also an upper-middle class white male evangelical Christian southerner, so I wouldn’t describe myself as exactly cut off from the realities of differing political opinions. However, I think there is one thing we should...

Trump’s 3rd Debate Answers Below 6th Grade Level

A simple analysis of the Full Transcript of the 3rd and final debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton yields some stark differences between the quality of their speech. Donald Trump’s averaged a 4.52 on the Flesch Kincaid Grade Level, which approximates how difficult a piece of text is to read relative to student grade levels. Across the board, Hillary’s reading level of difficulty was higher than Trump’s – from complex sentences to multi-syllabic words. Even Wallace, who had shorter questions, scored higher than Trump. Trump Number of characters (without spaces) 26,740.00 Number of words 6,442.00 Number of sentences 721.00 Average number of characters per word 4.15 Average number of syllables per word 1.41 Average number of words...