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Jan Koch

5 SEO Lessons From Rand Fishkin and Alex Moss at the WP Summit

Jan Koch
5 SEO Lessons From Rand Fishkin and Alex Moss at the WP Summit

The WP Summit brings together 28 world-leading experts on WordPress and fields related to online marketing.

The speaker line-up includes Jason Cohen (founder of WP Engine), Rand Fishkin (founder of Moz), Oli Gardner (co-founder of Unbounce), Dan Norris (founder of WP Curve) and many more.

The interviews air for free from March 15 - 26, and two of those interviews are our focus today, as they are on SEO.

Alex Moss, Director at FireCask, gives a talk on March 21 about SEO strategies that are proven to work in 2015.

Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz.com, gives the closing keynote for the summit on March 25, on inbound marketing.

Below you’ll find 5 quotes from these two interviews, giving a first insight on the topics Alex and Rand discuss.

Lesson 1: Leverage Existing Content of Influencers (by Rand Fishkin)

Seek out people you admire and leverage content that performed well for them by putting together a resource combining contents from multiple influencers in your field. Cite them in your blog posts and then reach out to them.

If you curate their contents in an appealing way and just share it with the world, asking for feedback, you can spark engaging discussions with this strategy. And what do those result in? Social shares and natural backlinks.

"I think another good way to get engagement is to specifically seek out people. If there’s people in your field that you admire, I think it’s totally fine to reach out to them and let them know you love what they’re doing […] And I think it’s also totally fine to use some of their contents on your blog and cite that back to them." - Rand Fishkin

Lesson 2: Black Hat Still Works in Certain Niches (by Alex Moss)

I played around with article spinning in early 2013, growing my 3-months old blog to 350 visitors per day. Some black hats still seem to generate traffic with article spinning and similar techniques.

As Alex stated, these techniques actually do still work nowadays, but only in the short term. He named industries like the gaming niche or payday loans as examples where black hat techniques are used quite often and work for a certain amount of time.

Sooner or later, Google will recognize these techniques and will penalize the websites who leverage them. So when hiring an SEO agency, people definitely need to make sure the agency respects their online brand.

"Everyone talks about how black hat [SEO] is a bad thing to do, spamming and all of these spinnings of contents, links and so on. And in short, it does work. But not in the long term." - Alex Moss

Lesson 3: Build Addiction and Familiarity (by Rand Fishkin)

If you publish monthly, you can’t skip a month. If you publish daily, you can skip a day every five, six or seven days - but don’t disappear for a week.

Your audience is used to receiving your content and they expect you to deliver. You will lose visitors if you miss their expectations; you’ll lose shares, backlinks and ultimately traffic.

"The only thing I would urge you is: be consistent. If you’re publishing every month, publish every month. Don’t take a month off, you really cannot. […] People are used to you, they have that expectation. You want to build that kind of addiction, expectation, and familiarity with your audience." - Rand Fishkin

Lesson 4: Working Naturally Leads to Quality SEO

Too many people obsess over ranking for specific keywords, because that’s what SEO was all about over the last few years. Obviously you want to target relevant words in your content, but don’t overdo it.

Plugins like Yoast make it easy to get the right keyword density, and with Google now analyzing synonyms for certain keywords, contents should be structured naturally.

They rank over time and the more long-tail keywords are naturally mentioned in the post, the more traffic a post can generate over time.

"Oddly enough, the more you ignore SEO and work naturally, the more you work towards SEO." - Alex Moss

Lesson 5: Make the Internet a Better Place

The underlying note of generating content that attracts backlinks and shares is that it’s helpful and kind in nature. So many people focus on what content can do for them instead of focusing on what their audience gets out of it.

Promotions like "Dear Webmaster, I see you write about XYZ. I also wrote a post on that topic. Please link to me, it will help me" have never worked. In order to build natural backlinks and get social shares, your content needs to deliver value to your readers.

"I made the Internet a better place because I wasn’t a d*ck or a troll." - Rand Fishkin


If you want to get all 28 expert interviews while they’re free, make sure to sign up for The WP Summit.

Are you attending the summit? Let us know what you find most useful in the comments.

Jan Koch is the host of The WP Summit, a web designer, developer and business coach. He works with entrepreneurs to help them leverage WordPress to the fullest. His most recent post for the SEMrush blog is entitled 5 SEO Lessons From Rand Fishkin and Alex Moss at the WP Summit.

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