TopLine's MozCon 2015 review: That's a wrap!

Now that the dust has settled – and Heather, Hannah and Luke have returned to TopLine HQ – we’ve had time to reflect on our first trip to the States as Mozzers. Here are a few of our key takeaways….

1.   SERPin’ USA

SERPs were naturally a hot button topic. In particular, Google has taken more and more ‘above the fold’ real estate for its own pay-per-click ads, local listings, and featured snippets than ever before – and it certainly doesn’t help that Google’s process for automating some of this content isn’t always perfect.


Image credit: Pete Myers


Getting within the first few organic results was already a scramble; now it’s an all-out melee. The conventional wisdom – “Don’t create pages for engines, create pages for people” – is totally refuted by Rand Fishkin, the Suzerain of SEO himself. We are, in his words, in a “two algorithm world”: the first being Google’s (duhhhh) and the second being ‘the subset of humanity that interacts with your content.’ Essentially, it’s not an either/or thing: you need to create pages for engines AND people; if you fail at one, you’ll surely fail at the other.

Another topic that came up was Mobilegeddon. When it became known that Google intended to change its algorithm to favour mobile-friendly sites, SEOs everywhere treated it like Y2K. Happily, it turned out pretty much like Y2K did: nothing much happened and life carried on as normal. There was a little bit of panic on April 22, and then everyone went about their business.

Better still, Google got what it wanted: because of the panic it whipped up, over 80% of sites in the mobile SERPs are mobile-friendly. The threat of an SEO apocalypse actually helped to prevent one. Are the Google team evil? Are they geniuses? Evil geniuses? Whatever they are, it worked.

2.   Content, content, content

Look, we’re a B2B content marketing agency, and we’re pretty good at it, if we do say so ourselves (we do – happily, our clients feel the same way!). We didn’t need to go to MozCon to find out that content is a big deal. Still, it’s good to hear that we’re doing the right things – and how we can improve even further.

MozCon 2015: I wanna hold your rand

Rand Fishkin explained in some detail the strategy that works for him – something he calls “10X content.” This isn’t to say you produce 10x the amount of content (it could probably use a better name – hey, even impossibly attractive SEO geniuses get it wrong sometimes), but that your content should be 10x better than the best result that can be found in a Google search for your keyword phrase. It sounds daunting…and it kind of is. But the Major-General of Metadata was kind enough to outline a few ways marketers could go about this.

Of course, it wasn’t all Fishkin, all the time. For example, Matthew Brown gave an excellent talk on conducting proper content audits, a topic you can find out more about in his Guide to the Insane World of Content.

3.   Turn and face the…book

Facebook is everywhere. It’s like the wind, or Café Nero. Just accept it. But is it any good from a marketing B2B perspective? That was rhetorical. It is. In fact, in some verticals, social traffic is slowly creeping up on organic search in terms of total referral volume – and Facebook drives 90% of all social referrals. And it’s even taking on Google when it comes to search engines. In fact in 2012 Facebook got over 1 billion search queries, second only to Google itself.

Despite this, because of its reputation as the place where folk publish typographically imperfect rants against the European Union/Sepp Blatter/moths/whatever, it’s a criminally underutilised source of potential reviewers, influencers, and publications.

Beyond 2015, getting on board with Facebook and using it to its full potential will be essential to your success.

4.   Luke Budka: You can’t take him anywhere (or Heather Baker for that matter…)!

MozCon 2015: The terrible trioWe’ll keep this brief but it turns out that while the idea of a “Golden Roger” may be hilarious on these shores, it has an entirely more innocuous meaning in the US.

And let’s not forget TopLine founder Heather Baker educating fellow Mozzers as to how to properly reserve a table….

Anyway, these incidents aside, the main thing we took away from MozCon was this: we know a hell of a lot more than we thought we did (note to clients: we know everything, naturally). We’re pretty pleased about that, given that we were surrounded by the very best in the business.

So see you in 2016, Rand and the gang! (We promise to leave Luke behind next time).

Not EVERY London SEO agency gets to rub shoulders with the field's leading lights. But then, we're not just an SEO agency: we're a London B2B PR agency, a content marketing agency, and much, much more. Speak to one of our specialists today to bask in reflected glory.