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The Best of Perficient Digital 2016

Time to throw away the old calendars, and time once again to review the most popular content from Perficient Digital Authors in 2016. I’ve grouped the content into several categories; click each one to jump to that section. Thanks for all your reading, sharing, and support this year. We can’t wait for you to see the exciting studies, videos, and much more we’ve got planned for 2017!

Top 10 Most Shared Blog Posts of 2016

Share data according to Buzzsumo.
1 The Machine Learning Revolution: How It Works and Its Impact on SEO by Eric Enge on Moz – 4400 shares
Machine learning is already a very big deal. It’s here, and it’s in use in far more businesses than you might suspect. A few months back, I decided to take a deep dive into this topic to learn more about it. In today’s post, I’ll dive into a certain amount of technical detail about how it works, but I also plan to discuss its practical impact on SEO and digital marketing. Read more >>
2 The Two-Part SEO Ranking Model: Let’s Make SEO Simple by Eric Enge on Moz – 4000 shares
So many people I talk to are looking for a silver bullet. They want to hear that they should only change their heading tags on the second Tuesday of every month, except during leap years, when they should do it on the first Tuesday, except in February when they should change it on the third Monday. These distractions end up taking away from the focus on the two things that matter most: building great content (and a great content experience) and promoting it well. Today’s post is going to lay out a basic approach that most companies can use to simplify their thinking about SEO, and keep their focus on the highest priorities. Read more >>
3 The Power of Anchor Influencers by Eric Enge on Search Engine Land – 3100 shares
We all recognize that influencer relationships play a key role in any business or career plan. Finding and developing the right relationships helps you accelerate the progress towards your goals. It’s also important to understand that some influencer relationships will be more important to you than others. I call these people “Anchor Influencers.” What fuels these is a stronger sense of connection, stronger alignment in your view of the market, and perhaps even some level of personal connection. Choose these relationships wisely, as they are a key component of your overall marketing plan. Read more >>
4 Are Links Still a Powerful Ranking Factor? by Eric Enge on Perficient Digital – 3000 shares
In today’s post, I’m going to share new data on links as a ranking factor. This report will demonstrate links still matter in rankings. I plan to share data that shows that all that talk of a decline in the importance of links as a ranking factor is grossly exaggerated. Read more >>
Test Your Knowledge of SEO by Eric Enge on Search Engine Land – 2800 shares
So you think you know on-page SEO? Let’s go ahead and put that to the test. Click “Start” to take an SEO Quiz that will evaluate your understanding of a number of different aspects of SEO. Read more >>
Competitive Threats to Google and What They Mean to You by Eric Enge – 2600 shares
Google is the big dog in traditional search, but it would be wrong to think that is the end of the story, as Google faces competition on many different fronts. In today’s post, I review Google’s “other competitors” to illustrate how this shapes Google’s view of the world and how this view impacts your digital marketing strategy. Read more >>
7 Battleground Mobile: Why (and How) to Prepare for the Future by Eric Enge 2600 shares
The world of mobile continues to explode. Major players like Google, Facebook, and Apple are investing massively in efforts to establish themselves as the dominant player in the new markets that are emerging as a result. These companies are betting in a big way on continuing changes in mobile usage and in user expectations for mobile devices, and that means you should be, too. It means you need to have a mobile-first mentality. Read more >>
8 Earning the Link: How to Pitch and Partner with the 5 Publisher Personas by Matt Vazquez on Moz – 2500 shares
After placing roughly 150 pieces of content on a wide range of sites, I’ve learned that it’s crucial to identify someone’s perspective to effectively communicate with them. There are so many myths and misconceptions about links and how Google treats links — you never know what perspective you’ll be dealing with. This piece will help you quickly identify the perspective at hand, personify it, and from there, help you strategically communicate to give you the best chance of attaining that well-earned attribution link. Read more >>
Sustainable Competitive Advantages in Digital Marketing by Eric Enge on Search Engine Land – 2500 shares
It’s amazing how often I have conversations with people that focus solely on how they can invest $1 and get back $3 or more in a month or less. Sounds great, of course, but the problem is that every single one of your competitors is likely chasing that same $3, so finding these opportunities and successfully executing them is far more difficult than it seems. Read more >>
10 Reach and Influence: Your First Marketing Priority by Eric Enge on Moz – 2000 shares
When you first start out with content marketing, you often have a very basic challenge: you have to build an audience for your content. Even if you’re a large brand with lots of people who are passionate about you, they’re not yet conditioned to see you as a publisher of valuable content. In other words, either way, you’ve got work to do. In today’s post, I’m going to outline why you should focus on reach and influence, and how to do it so that your content marketing efforts can deliver the maximum ROI. Read more >>

Top 10 Most Viewed Blog Posts

Posts on this site, as measured by Google Analytics page views in 2016.
 Does Social Media Affect SEO? Matt Cutts Answers by Mark Traphagen. – 22,585 views
(Major update in 2016 to this 2014 post) How far along is Google from using social media signals as ranking factors? Can Google use engagement and follower metrics from Twitter and Facebook to evaluate the authority of an individual? To me, the answers to those questions were the buried headlines in a Google Webmaster Help video by Matt Cutts. Even though Matt is currently on an extended hiatus from his job as head of Google’s web spam team, I believe what he had to say in this video remains the case today. Read more >>
2 Are Links Still a Powerful Ranking Factor? by Eric Enge – 18,728 views
In today’s post, I’m going to share new data on links as a ranking factor. This report will demonstrate links still matter in rankings. I plan to share data that shows that all that talk of a decline in the importance of links as a ranking factor is grossly exaggerated. Read more >>
3 New Google Plus View Counts: Important Metric or Vanity of Vanities? by Mark Traphagen – 12,488 views
On March 31, 2014, Google+ added a new visible metric to profiles and pages: view counts. View counts now appear on the cover images of pages and profiles, next to the follower count (if the person or page has made that count visible). Read more >>
4 The Definitive Guide to Google’s Rich Answers by Eric Enge – 8,249 views
Back in February of this year, we published a study showing how often Google responds to search queries with rich answers. So we decided to take a fresh look and see how much Google has expanded their use of these types of enhanced search results. (A “rich answer” is any attempt by Google to answer the searcher’s query in search results in a way not requiring a click through to a website.) Read more >>
Google’s Gary Illyes on Penguin: When Is It Coming and What Will It Do? by Mark Traphagen – 7,828 views
In this post I want to focus on Gary’s answers to our questions about the Penguin update, not only going over Gary’s responses but also adding some additional commentary and insights. (NOTE: In late September 2016, after the publication of this post, Penguin 4.0 was rolled out.) Read more >>
6 RankBrain: A Study to Measure Its Impact by Eric Enge – 6,662 views
Google made a big splash in October 2015 when they announced the existence of a new ranking algorithm that they call RankBrain. The news broke in this article in Bloomberg. Google made some very limited comments about what it is, and has had little to say since then. For that reason, we set out to do a study to see what impact RankBrain has really had, and to try and learn more about how it works. Note that we can’t prove that all of what we found was a result of RankBrain, but believe that at least some of the changes documented below are. Read more >>
7 Google SEO Certification: Why Doesn’t It Exist? by Mark Traphagen – 6,236 views
Google has an official certification program for AdWords managers, but not for SEOs. Why not? Read more >>
8 Does Facebook Activity Affect SEO? by Eric Enge – 5,067 views
In today’s post we are going to review the data we (Perficient Digital) have assembled on the potential for Facebook activity to impact Google rankings. This is a follow up to the prior study we did to evaluate if Google uses Google+ Shares as a ranking factor.  Read more >>
9 How Are People Using Facebook? by Eric Enge – 5,062 views
In this survey we polled 325 users to learn about the ways they are using Facebook. We don’t pretend that this represents the entire population, and it certainly does not represent the largest user profiles on Facebook or any business pages. This is intended as a sampling of 325 randomly sampled users to see how much awareness they had of some specific aspects of Facebook. Read more >>
10 SEO Experts: 12 Signs They Are Not the Experts They Claim to Be by Mark Traphagen – 3,578 views
The good news about SEO is that anyone with basic intelligence and the motivation to learn can eventually, over time, become an SEO expert. SEO is a potentially lucrative and rewarding profession that does not require a particular college degree. It can be learned on-the-job and from available resources. The bad news about SEO is that anyone with an internet connection can say they are an SEO expert, whether they are or they aren’t.  So how can you tell legitimate SEO experts from the fakes and wannabes?  Read more >>

Top 5 Most Viewed Videos

The most-viewed videos this year from our YouTube channel.
1 Here’s Why Turns 50: Eric’s and Mark’s Best Tips – 7,363 views

2. Virtual Keynote 2: Gary Illyes and Eric Enge – Going Deep with SEO Tags – 4,363 views

3 Virtual Keynote 1 with Gary Illyes and Eric Enge – 4,085 views

4 Google Now vs Siri vs Cortana – 3,995 views (over its lifetime, this video now has over 164,000 views!)

5 Are Links Still a Powerful Ranking Factor? – 3,728 views

BONUS! Our Top 5 Most Viewed Here’s Why Videos

Here are links to the five most-viewed videos from our Here’s Why series:

  1. Here’s Why CTR Is Not a Direct Ranking Factor – 3,337 views
  2. Here’s Why Anchor Content Is Key to Content Marketing Success – 3.295 views
  3. Here’s Why You Should Think Mobile First – 3,267 views
  4. Here’s Why Content Quantity Should Not Be Your Marketing Priority – 3,003 views
  5. Here’s Why the Two-Part Ranking Model Simplifies SEO – 2,951 views

Top 5 Most Viewed Slide Decks

Ranked by views in 2016 on
1 Rich Answers in Search – My Presentation at SMX West by Eric Enge – 14,202 views (80,000+ lifetime)

2 Social Media Is a Waste of Time (Unless…) by Mark Traphagen – 9,536 views (27,400 lifetime)

3 Backlink Tools: How Good Are They at Link Discovery? by Eric Enge – 5203 views (10,600 lifetime)

4 What Changed in SEO in 2015? by Eric Enge – 2,962 views (9,000 lifetime)

5 Google Indexing Fewer Tweets (Study) by Eric Enge – 2909 views

Thoughts on “The Best of Perficient Digital 2016”

  1. That’s great collection mark.
    You have well arranged all of your hardwork done by you in 2016. This is a golden post. Will bookmark this post.
    Let’s see how the seo world will change in 2017.
    Happy new year in advance! 🙂

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Mark Traphagen

Mark Traphagen was our Content Strategy Director for Perficient Digital until February of 2019. He has been named one of the most influential content and social media authors in numerous industry listings.

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