News from Episode 302

By Site Strategics
February 19, 2019

Dr. Maria Haynes on EDGE of the Web PodcastHow can you keep up with the latest digital marketing news? EDGE hosts Erin Sparks (Site Strategics CEO) and Tom Brodbeck (Site Strategics Digital Media Director) start off each episode of the EDGE of the Web podcast with the latest trending news. In Episode 302, special guest Marie Haynes of Marie Haynes Consulting joined in the commentary and analysis of the latest digital marketing news from the EDGE:

Moz Announces Major Overhaul of its Domain Authority Tool

According to Russ Jones on Moz, the company’s Domain Authority tool that measures domain strength relative to ranking is being majorly revamped. The new version (launching March 5) is better at understanding sites which don’t rank for any keywords at all than it has in the past. It also replaces its previous complex linear model with a neural network for a more nuanced model that can detect link manipulation. Additions to its ranking factor include a proprietary Spam Score and complex distributions of links based on quality and traffic. At its heart is the new Moz Link Explorer, a leading link index with more than 35 trillion links. The new “…Domain Authority will deliver a better, more trustworthy metric than ever before. We can remove spam, improve correlations, and, most importantly, update Domain Authority relative to all the changes that Google makes.”

  • Erin Sparks: When Google came out with more and more updates to its algorithm like the Penguin update and people had to really start paying more attention to the quality of their links, tools like Domain Authority from Moz became very important.
  • Marie Haynes: It’s important to keep in mind that the metric is always relative to other sites in your niche. If your Domain Authority score (on a 100-point scale, with a higher score being better) goes down, it doesn’t necessarily you mean you did something wrong. What’s more likely is that one or more of your competitors did something new and effective. What the Moz tool does is try to estimate what your page rank will be based on your SEO. But page rank has expanded dramatically, so no tool is going to be totally accurate for trying to predict that. Domain Authority is just one tool among many, so you don’t want to use it exclusively, but it can be useful. The problem is when you assume a link must be good because it’s from a site with high Domain Authority – but that can be manufactured, such as through a PBN (private blog network). I do use Domain Authority in some of my assessments, but I view it as one tool to complement other tools.
  • Tom Brodbeck: Yes, there are lots of similar tools to Domain Authority. Ahrefs has one, Majestic has one, SEMrush has one, as does CognitiveSEO and so on. It’s just that the Moz tool has become the most widely-adopted one for what it does.

LinkedIn Will Debut a New Live Broadcast Feature Called LinkedIn Live

On TechCruch, Ingrid Lunden reports that LinkedIn’s 600 million users are increasingly making use of video content on the platform, which is why LinkedIn will debut a new live broadcast feature called LinkedIn Live. The beta version of the feature launches in the US this week and will allow users to broadcast real-time video to select groups, or to the LinkedIn world at large. Microsoft, which bought LinkedIn in 2016, will provide encoding for the feature through its Azure Media Services.

  • Erin Sparks: Everyone is using video these days, so this isn’t an unexpected development. But the use of video content on LinkedIn is already so pervasive it feels cluttered. Isn’t this just going to clutter things up even more?
  • Tom Brodbeck: Yes, I’m tired of watching people’s selfie videos walking down the street sharing insights, but hopefully the cream will rise to the top to give us quality content.
  • Marie Haynes: For me, Facebook is more my personal channel, so it might be nice to have a more professionally-oriented venue for live video. My company is not a massive LinkedIn user at this point, but this may be worth the effort.

Google Highlights How Publishers Ignore Media Search

Executive Editor Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable notes that Google says there is massive untapped potential in both image search and video search. Google’s John Mueller said image search is going to be a hot topic in 2019, with significant changes to Google’s image search feature. And Google’s Gary Illyes recently mentioned that both image search and video search are too often overlooked by publishers, webmasters and SEO experts, which is why Google is applying more engineers and outreach to both.

  • Tom Brodbeck: I guess the question is here is whether or not these statements are signalling a significant update to the algorithm.
  • Marie Haynes: It feels like Google is really trying to get us to pay more attention to images and video. When we do site reviews, we look at what’s on your site that gives it value to users relative to your competitors, and video can make a massive difference in that regard, as an unique, original images instead of the same stock images. And Google is getting better at determining which pages provide more value, and paying closer attention to original images and videos is a way to do that.
  • Erin Sparks: And people often forget some of the basics related to images in terms of image naming conventions, alt-image tags and other ways to inform Google what your images are and why they add value.

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