A Plea for Data

Hey folks, many of you who follow me on twitter (@rjonesx) may have noticed some discussions between myself and @authoritylabs a week or so ago. I have embarked on a new study that looks at the relationship between SERP features (places, ads, carousel, images, video, etc.) and organic click through rates. Using GWT CTR data, Google Keyword Traffic data, and Authority Labs SERP data, we can determine the actual organic traffic a SERP will return. Take for example two keywords – one gets 1000 visits a month, the other gets 400 visits a month. The second has no advertisers and no SERP features, the first has places and 10 ads. It is actually possible that the second one with less traffic volume actually delivers MORE organic traffic because of these SERP...

Announcing warnJS – the internet emergency broadcast system

I don’t know if you have ever huddled in an internal room with your children during a tornado warning, but it is one of the most unsettling things I have experienced in my life. While unsettling, it is equally relieving to know that you are in the best place you can be before it hits. There are many ways we become aware of impending weather emergencies – the emergency broadcast system on TV and radio, weather apps or text message services on our phones – but one media provider seems left out altogether… the Internet. It seemed silly to me that the most versatile medium mankind has ever known wouldn’t have a solution that made the dissemination of this kind of information quick, easy, and unobtrusive. So I went to work. I used my 8...

A Formal Proposition of Search Ethics

Many of you may not have known this, but the first time I ever became publicly introduced to Moz and the SEO world in large number had nothing to do with introducing a new tactic or proving my merits as an SEO, but rather my particular position on the growing debate about ethics and Search Engine Optimization. Rand Fishkin picked up on my piece entitled “Consensual SEO: Debunking the myth of Ethical SEO” in a post called Russ Jones of Virante on Search Engines & Consent. While it is still a good read, we humans tend to do this silly thing called “grow” and in time I have come to what I believe to be a more thoughtful and complete understanding of the Guidelines, ethical search marketing, and the reasons for the continued tensions...

Virante’s Software List Grows Again

I am proud to announce today the launch of AuthorRank Pro, the first and only tool that allows you to track your AuthorRank, AuthorTrust and other metrics over time. The tool also helps you find great authors for your own site and great opportunities for writing on other sites. But what I am most proud of is the growing corpus of great software owned and operated by Virante. Remove’em: We’ve removed over 1,000,000 bad backlinks from the web as the most comprehensive tool for penalty recovery online. nTopic: Statistically proven to increase organic traffic when recommended language is applied across your site. Penguin Analysis: The Machine Learned Penguin Risk Detector. Know just how vulnerable you are to the next Penguin update! AuthorRank Pro: The...

The Most Disappointing Part of My Career

I posted a question to twitter weeks ago for stories from other SEOs about what they believed to be the worst or most disappointing moments of their careers. I got no responses. In retrospect, this isn’t surprising. Much of what we consider disappointing we also consider embarrassing. In my case though, I am willing to share. nTopic I spent years and thousands of my own dollars along side huge investments from Virante working with an amazing statistician Andrew Cron on building out a content relevancy tool and API. We then did extensive research into its effectiveness and literally proved that following nTopic’s simply recommendations would increase organic search traffic from Google. We called it nTopic. It was my silver bullet. A proven technique,...

How BrokenLinkBuilding.com Uses nTopic and Contact Finding for Awesome Broken Link Building

So, hopefully you know of some of Virante’s pretty awesome APIs like nTopic for content relevancy. I wanted to show to you a novel integration of nTopic and a brand new API that you will see coming from Virante soon, our contact finder, in Garrett French’s Broken Link Building tool. What I do is go through an entire prospecting campaign from keywords to opportunities to contact information in 11 minutes and 30 seconds. It is pretty awesome to see just how powerful the tool is for scaling one of the few remaining truly white hat link building techniques. So go ahead and take a look! The contact finding API is what I am most excited about. The most recent campaign I ran found… 76.4% of prospected domains have at least 1 contact 54.5% of prospected...

Latest Research Project