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The perfect argument

This may be of some interest.

Every political structure, every organization, every relationship has at least one.

The topic, that once you bring it up, must be addressed. An argument so existential that it cannot be left alone. An argument that gets to the crux of the matter, one that’s so fraught everything else pales in comparison.

I can’t even type an example from today’s world here, because if I do, the entire point of the post will be taken over by waves of urgent outrage.

Which is my point.

The purpose of the perfect argument is to make sure we don’t actually get anything done. The perfect argument is perfect because it never ends, because it is a trap for our focus and our energy. And the best reason to bring it up is that it permits someone to veto the forward motion that was about to happen somewhere else.

Perhaps the response is, “you’re right, that’s urgent, let’s discuss it after we fix the problem we’re currently working on.” Or maybe, “we need a forum to make real headway on the topic you want to discuss, but this isn’t it.”

 

[PS Today, we’re launching sign-ups for The Real Skills Conference. It’s a worldwide video conference that you can do from your desktop. In less than three hours, you’ll have a chance to connect with others on a similar journey. You’ll discover new co-conspirators, learn new approaches and find the confidence to do the work that’s in front of you. It happens on January 17th, hope to see you there.]

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Why fitness trackers may not give you all the ‘credit’ you hoped for

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Why fitness trackers may not give you all the ‘credit’ you hoped for

January is a time when many people make resolutions – and then break themAlmost 60% of Americans will resolve to exercise more, but fewer than 10% will stick with their resolution. A key to keeping resolutions is ensuring they are measurable, and a simple way to track activity is through a wearable smartwatch or fitness tracker. Indeed, almost one in five adults has used a fitness tracker.

Wearable fitness trackers can also help improve medical care by providing insights into physical activity, heart rate, location and sleep patterns. My research team uses wearable fitness tracker data with smart home sensors to help older adults live safely and independently. We also study wearable fitness tracker data along with electronic medical records and genomic data to investigate the causes of gestational diabetes. Many other researchers utilize wearable fitness trackers to better understand how lifestyles can impact health. Read more…

More about Wearables, Fitness Tracker, Tech, and Consumer Tech

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How to Optimize Your Online Marketing Plan: A 4-Step Process

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Want to be sure your next marketing plan is optimized for the future? Looking for a framework to follow? In this article, you’ll discover a four-step process to audit and adjust your next marketing plan. #1: Evaluate Your Branding and Online Footprint to Ensure Consistency First, you need to address brand health. Does your brand […]

The post How to Optimize Your Online Marketing Plan: A 4-Step Process appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Intro to Python – Whiteboard Friday

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Posted by BritneyMuller

Python is a programming language that can help you uncover incredible SEO insights and save you time by automating time-consuming tasks. But for those who haven’t explored this side of search, it can be intimidating. In this episode of Whiteboard Friday, Britney Muller and a true python expert named Pumpkin offer an intro into a helpful tool that’s worth your time to learn.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we’re talking all about introduction to Python, which is why I have a special co-host here. She is a ball python herself, total expert. Her name is Pumpkin, and she’s the best. 

What is Python?

So what is Python? This has been in the industry a lot lately. There’s a lot of commotion that you should know how to use it or know how to talk about it. Python is an open source, object-oriented programming language that was created in 1991.

Simpler to use than R

Some fun facts about Python is it’s often compared to R, but it’s arguably more simple to use. The syntax just oftentimes feels more simple and common-sense, like when you’re new to programming. 

Big companies use it

Huge companies use it. NASA, Google, tons of companies out there use it because it’s widely supported.

It’s open source

It is open source. So pretty cool. While we’re going through this Whiteboard Friday, I would love it if we would do a little Python programming today. So I’m just going to ask that you also visit this in another tab, python.org/downloads. Download the version for your computer and we’ll get back to that. 

Why does Python matter?

So why should you care? 

Automates time-consuming tasks

Python is incredibly powerful because it helps you automate time-consuming tasks. It can do these things at scale so that you can free up your time to work on higher-level thinking, to work on more strategy. It’s really, really exciting where these things are going. 

Log file analysis

Some examples of that are things like log file analysis. Imagine if you could just set up an automated system with Python to alert you any time one of your primary pages wasn’t being crawled as frequently as it typically is. You can do all sorts of things. Let’s say Google crawls your robots.txt and it throws out a server error, which many of you know causes huge problems. It can alert you. You can set up scripts like that to do really comprehensive tasks. 

Internal link analysis

Some other examples, internal link analysis, it can do a really great job of that. 

Discover keyword opportunities

It can help you discover keyword opportunities by looking at bulk keyword data and identifying some really important indicators. 

Image optimization

It’s really great for things like image optimization. It can auto tag and alt text images. It can do really powerful things there. 

Scrape websites

It can also scrape the websites that you’re working with to do really high volume tasks. 

Google Search Console data analysis

It can also pull Google Search Console data and do analysis on those types of things.

I do have a list of all of the individuals within SEO who are currently doing really, really powerful things with Python. I highly suggest you check out some of Hamlet Batista’s recent scripts where he’s using Python to do all sorts of really cool SEO tasks. 

How do you run Python?

What does this even look like? So you’ve hopefully downloaded Python as a programming language on your computer. But now you need to run it somewhere. Where does that live? 

Set up a virtual environment using Terminal

So first you should be setting up a virtual environment. But for the purpose of these examples, I’m just going to ask that you pull up your terminal application.

It looks like this. You could also be running Python within something like Jupyter Notebook or Google Colab. But just pull up your terminal and let’s check and make sure that you’ve downloaded Python properly. 

Check to make sure you’ve downloaded Python properly

So the first thing that you do is you open up the terminal and just type in “python –version.” You should see a readout of the version that you downloaded for your computer. That’s awesome. 

Activate Python and perform basic tasks

So now we’re just going to activate Python and do some really basic tasks. So just type in “python” and hit Enter. You should hopefully see these three arrow things within your terminal. From here, you can do something like print (“Hello, World!”). So you enter it exactly like you see it here, hit Enter, and it will say “Hello, World!” which is pretty cool.



You can also do fun things like just basic math. You can add two numbers together using something like this. So these are individual lines. After you complete the print (sum), you’ll see the readout of the sum of those two numbers. You can randomly generate numbers. I realize these aren’t direct SEO applications, but these are the silly things that give you confidence to run programs like what Hamlet talks about.

Have fun — try creating a random number generator

So I highly suggest you just have fun, create a little random number generator, which is really cool. Mine is pulling random numbers from 0 to 100. You can do 0 to 10 or whatever you’d like. A fun fact, after you hit Enter and you see that random number, if you want to continue, using your up arrow will pull up the last command within your terminal.

It even goes back to these other ones. So that’s a really quick way to rerun something like a random number generator. You can just crank out a bunch of them if you want for some reason. 

Automating different tasks

This is where you can start to get into really cool scripts as well for pulling URLs using Requests HTML. Then you can pull unique information from web pages.

You can pull at bulk tens of thousands of title tags within a URL list. You can pull things like H1s, canonicals, all sorts of things, and this makes it incredibly easy to do it at scale. One of my favorite ways to pull things from URLs is using xpath within Python.

This is a lot easier than it looks. So this might be an xpath for some websites, but websites are marked up differently. So when you’re trying to pull something from a particular site, you can right-click into Chrome Developer Tools. Within Chrome Developer Tools, you can right-click what it is that you’re trying to scrape with Python.

You just select “Copy xpath,” and it will give you the exact xpath for that website, which is kind of a fun trick if you’re getting into some of this stuff. 

Libraries

What are libraries? How do we make this stuff more and more powerful? Python is really strong on its own, but what makes it even stronger are these libraries or packages which are add-ons that do incredible things.

This is just a small percentage of libraries that can do things like data collection, cleaning, visualization, processing, and deployment. One of my favorite ways to get some of the more popular packages is just to download Anaconda, because it comes with all of these commonly used, most popular packages.

So it’s kind of a nice way to get all of it in one spot or at least most of them. 

Learn more

So you’ve kind of dipped your toes and you kind of understand what Python is and what people are using it for. Where can you learn more? How can you start? Well, Codecademy has a really great Python course, as well as Google, Kaggle, and even the Python.org website have some really great resources that you can check out.

This is a list of individuals I really admire in the SEO space, who are doing incredible work with Python and have all inspired me in different ways. So definitely keep an eye on what they are up to:

But yeah, Pumpkin and I have really enjoyed this, and we hope you did too. So thank you so much for joining us for this special edition of Whiteboard Friday. We will see you soon. Bye, guys.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Do High DA Backlinks From Blog Comments Help Rankings?

This may be of some interest.

If you have ever left a comment on NeilPatel.com, you’ll notice that there is no URL field.

Why?

Well, a few years ago, blog commenting exploded. I was literally getting thousands of spam comments a day from people just leaving a comment for the purpose of link building instead of providing value to the community.

Sure, there are spam plugins like Akismet, but it doesn’t catch everything.

Now, most blog comments contain the nofollow attribute in which they tell Google not to follow the link or drive any “SEO value” to that URL.

But still, people still leave blog comments for the purpose of link building.

So, over the past 7 months, I’ve been running an interesting experiment to answer the age-old question…

Do backlinks from blog comments actually help rankings?

Experiment rules

First off, for this experiment, we used “domain score,” which is similar to domain authority.

If you want to know your domain score, the backlinks report in Ubersuggest will tell you what it is.

With this experiment, I sent out an email to a part of my list looking for participants and had 794 websites apply.

From there, I set the following criteria:

  1. English-only sites – It’s easier to rank on many of Google’s international search engines even without building links. I removed non-English speaking sites as I didn’t want to skew the results.
  2. Low-authority sites – I removed any website with a domain score greater than 20 and any site with more than 20 backlinks. The reason being is when a site has a lot of authority, they tend to rank easily for new keywords, even if they don’t build any new links.
  3. No subdomains – I didn’t want a WordPress.com site, a Blogspot site, or even a Tumblr site. Again, this would skew the results so I removed them.

After eliminating the sites that didn’t meet the above criteria, I was left with 314 sites.

Of those 314 sites, many dropped off because they didn’t complete the required work on their part (which was to write a blog post), so I was left with 183 sites at the end that participated.

How the experiment worked

Similar to my previous link building experiment and my on-page SEO experiment,  I had these websites write a 1,800 to 2,000-word blog post on whatever subject that was relevant to their site.

The websites had 2 weeks to publish their content and then after 30 days, I looked up their URL in Ubersuggest to see how many keywords each URL ranked for in the top 100 spots, top 50, spots, and top 10 spots.

As I have mentioned in the past, Ubersuggest has a big database of keywords. We are currently tracking 1,459,103,429 keywords.

Now, most of these keywords are barely searched but a decent amount of them get hundreds, if not thousands, of searches per month. A much smaller percentage of keywords generate hundreds of thousands or even millions of searches per month.

In other words, the majority of the keywords people are searching for are long-tail phrases.

We then spent a month building links and then waited another 3 months to see what happened to each site’s rankings.

But here’s the thing: We didn’t build the same type of links to all sites. Instead, we broke the 183 sites into 4 groups (roughly 46 sites per group).

Here were the groups:

  1. Control – we didn’t build any links to these sites, we just wanted to see what happened to their rankings over time with no focus on link building.
  2. Nofollow high domain score blog comment links – with this group, we built 10 links through blog comments. The links pointed to the newly written post and they were from blogs that had a domain score of 50 or higher and they all contained a nofollow attribute.
  3. Dofollow high domain score blog comment links – with this group, we built 5 links through blog comments. The links pointed to the new post and were dofollow from blogs with a domain score of 40 or higher. (I reduced the domain score criteria for this category and the link quantity as we struggled to find a large number of high authority blogs that pass link juice in the comment section.)
  4. Dofollow low domain score blog comment links – with this group, we built 10 links through blog comments. Each link pointed back to the article and it was from a blog that contains a domain score of at least 20 but no higher than 39. (I was able to build more links here as there are many more low domain score blogs than high domain score ones.)

Keep in mind with the link building for groups 2, 3 and 4,
there was no specific anchor text agenda. Because the links were built through
blog comments, it was too hard to control the anchor text as we didn’t want to
be spammy.

And each comment left on the blog contained at least 75
words as we wanted to ensure that each comment provided value and the core
purpose wasn’t just link building.

Alright, so let’s dive into the results.

Control group

Do you really need links to rank on Google? Well, the chart below says a lot…

As you can see over time, you will naturally grow your search rankings even if you don’t build any links.

Of course, if your content is amazing and you do on-page SEO, you’ll rank higher, but still not growing your link count doesn’t mean you will rank for anything out there… instead, you will still rank for long-tail terms that aren’t too competitive.

Nofollow high domain score blog comment links

Now the results from this group were interesting…

As you can see, the sites in this group had better results than the control group even though the links were nofollowed.

Keep in mind, though, that it could be many variables that caused this, such as the content quality may have been better.

Overall, the sites did perform better than the control group but not by a substantial amount.

Dofollow high domain score blog comment links

Google is sophisticated, they are able to know if a link is from user-generated content (such as blog comments), so I assumed even though the links where dofollow they still wouldn’t have much (if any) impact.

But, shockingly, sites in this group had the largest gains.

As you can see from the chart above, links from high authority sites, even if it is through user-generated content, help with rankings. They just have to be dofollow.

Dofollow low domain score blog comment links

With this last group, we were able to build more dofollow links because we focused on sites with lower authority.

And as you can see from the chart above, it did help with rankings more than building nofollow links but it didn’t help nearly as much as getting links from blogs with higher domain scores.

We built 10 links instead of 5, but the quantity didn’t help
as much as having high domain score links. This group increased their rankings
by 337% versus 828% that group 3 experienced even though they had half the
links.

Again, we still saw gains, just not as large as the previous group.

Conclusion

Who would have thought that building links through blog
comments still helps?

Now, if you are going to use this tactic, you’ll want to focus on blogs that have dofollow comments.

If you aren’t sure how to find them, you can perform a Google search for the following:

  • “title=”CommentLuv Enabled”” KEYPHRASE – this will showcase blogs that have CommentLuv enabled which means they pass link juice.
  • “dofollow blogs” – you find a lot of blog articles listing out blogs that have dofollow links. Some of them look like this but you will have to double-check each site as many are nofollow even though bloggers claim they are dofollow.
  • Followlist – this is a directory of blogs that have dofollow links.

When building links, focus on higher domain scores as it has a bigger impact on rankings.

In addition to that, you’ll only want to leave a comment if you can provide value. Don’t stress the anchor text, focus on the quality of your comment as you don’t want to be a spammer.

Posting spammy links will just cause your comment to be
removed.

Lastly, don’t just leave a valuable comment for the sake of generating a link. Make sure it is on relevant blogs as well. And if that means the blog doesn’t have as high of a domain score that’s fine because the data above shows that even low domain score links still help (just not as much).

So, have you thought about leaving more comments on other blogs? It’s a great way to get your brand out there, generate referral traffic, and boost your rankings.

The post Do High DA Backlinks From Blog Comments Help Rankings? appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Minimalism to the extreme: Olympic athletes will sleep on cardboard beds

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The beds in Tokyo’s Athletes Village will be made of recyclable cardboard, which is good for the environment. But what about athletes’ backs?

If there’s one thing an athlete needs before competing for a medal at the Olympic Games, it’s a good night’s rest. This year, competitors catching some shut-eye at the Athletes Village complex during the Tokyo 2020 Games will be participating in a first: cardboard beds.

Read Full Story

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Instagram Brand Collab Manager and Pinterest Trends Tool

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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore the latest way Instagram is connecting brands with influencers on the platform and upcoming Instagram Stories features […]

The post Instagram Brand Collab Manager and Pinterest Trends Tool appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

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Our 10 Top Social Media Marketing Posts of 2019

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Top Social Media Marketing Posts of 2019 Image

Top Social Media Marketing Posts of 2019 Image

Throughout 2019 social media marketing has continued to be a source of opportunity, change, and contention in the marketing world. We’ve done our best to keep on top of many industry changes as they happen, while also offering helpful insight and research-based strategy.

We’re quite fortunate to a great group of social media marketing professionals contributing to the TopRank Marketing blog, including our CEO Lee Odden, Joshua Nite, Caitlin Burgess, Anne Leuman, and Nick Nelson, among others.

To help our blog community grow its social media marketing knowledge, we’re thrilled to offer this list of our 10 most popular social media posts of 2019.

Our Most Popular Social Media Marketing Posts in 2019:

1. Over 50 Top Social Media Marketing Blogs — Lee Odden

Social Media Marketing Blogs
The most popular social media marketing post of 2019 is by our CEO Lee Odden, with the latest version of our all-new BIGLIST, featuring over 50 social media marketing blogs to help marketers find great sources of marketing advice. From trends and strategies to tactics and analytics, the group of blogs curated in Lee’s post explore social media and marketing, including at least a few blogs that are hopefully new to you. Are you following them all? Check out all of Lee’s 2,600+ posts here, and follow him on Twitter.

2. LinkedIn’s List of 24 B2B Marketers You Need to Know — Lane R. Ellis

LinkedIn’s 24 B2B Marketers You Need to Know

LinkedIn* published a list of top B2B marketers, and in our second-most popular social media marketing post of the year I dug in and took a look at this group of leading industry professionals, including Ann Handley, Jay Baer, Jason Miller, and our own CEO Lee, among many more. The TopRank Marketing team was privileged to work with the LinkedIn team to identify, engage, and gather fresh insights from these bright marketing minds. Check out all of my posts here, and follow me on Twitter.

3. Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers — Nick Nelson

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers
The third most popular social media marketing post of 2019 on our blog comes from Senior Content Strategist Nick Nelson, who shared how to use five under-the-radar LinkedIn marketing features, including:

• Robust & Simplified Audience Targeting
• Revamped Analytics
• Content Suggestions
• Site Re-Targeting
• Lead Gen Forms

Nick’s excellent post highlights some of the most useful yet overlooked features for driving results on LinkedIn. Check out all of Nick’s posts here, and follow him on Twitter.

4. 80+ New Social Media Marketing Statistics for B2B Marketers — Lane R. Ellis

80+ new SMM statistics to trick out your B2B marketing colorful maze image.

Offering up over 80 social media marketing statistics relevant to B2B marketers and featuring insight from Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Pew Research Center, SME, and other, this post by me was our fourth most popular search marketing piece of the year.

[bctt tweet=”“It’s clear that B2B social media marketing is strong and growing stronger, and it’s also apparent that direction and guidance in where to focus your B2B social efforts is needed now more than ever.” @LaneREllis” username=”toprank”]

5. Why Twitter Lists Are Still a Great Tool for B2B Marketers — Lane R. Ellis

Segments of citrus fruit image.
Our fifth most popular social post of 2019 is a look I took at why Twitter lists are still a great tool for B2B marketers, exploring how they offer many engagement, nurturing, and trust-building benefits that smart B2B marketers can’t afford to pass up.

[bctt tweet=”“When it comes to Twitter lists your own creativity and ingenuity are the only boundaries.” @LaneREllis” username=”toprank”]

6. Our Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2018 — Lane R. Ellis

Hot air balloon over field of yellow flowers image.

Our sixth most popular social media marketing post of 2019 was a look at the previous year’s top articles about the subject, each offering helpful insight and research-based strategy.

7. 5 Top B2B Brands Maximizing LinkedIn Engagement — Lane R. Ellis

Group of businesspeople image.

Showing how five top B2B brands are maximizing their LinkedIn engagement by using showcase pages, expanded group communication and more, in our seventh post popular social media post of 2019 I took a close look at how B2B companies are connecting with audiences through LinkedIn.

8. Where Do Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn Stand With B2B Video? — Nick Nelson

Social Media Video Trends for B2B
Nick earned a second entry on our most popular social media marketing list with his look at where Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn stand when it comes to B2B video.

[bctt tweet=”“Modern B2B marketers understand that the key to an effective digital content strategy is meeting customers where they’re at, and giving them what they want.” @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”]

9. B2B Social Media Shakeup: 4 Developments That Have Caught Our Eye — Caitlin Burgess

B2B Social Media Shakeup

Our Senior Content Marketing Manager Caitlin Burgess earned the number nine spot on our top social media marketing posts of the year list, examining a selection of the biggest changes to arrive on the social scene during the year. Following scandal, criticism, and calls for increased privacy and relevancy, Caitlin looked at how social platforms are working harder to recapture their original allure as safe communities and conversation destinations. Check out all of Caitlin’s posts here, and follow her on Twitter.

10. 5 Top B2B Brands Delivering Exemplary Twitter Engagement — Lane R. Ellis

Four happy businesspeople jumping above cityscape.

The final entry on our list of the top social media marketing posts of the years is one I wrote that details how five top B2B brands are making the most of Twitter to increase engagement. With examples implemented creatively by Adobe*, Deloitte, Dun & Bradstreet, GE, and Intel, this article looks at the wide variety of successful methods leading B2B brands are using for building a solid and sustainable Twitter brand strategy.

We can’t thank Lee, Nick, and Caitlin enough for writing and sharing these top ten social media marketing posts of 2019 — congratulations to you all on making the list!

Thanks TopRank Marketing Writers & Readers

We published dozens of articles this year specifically about social media marketing, and plan to bring you even more in 2020, so keep posted for a fresh new year of the latest helpful research and insight.

Please let us know which social media marketing topics and ideas you’d like to see us focus on for 2020 — we’d love to hear your suggestions. Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments section below.

Many thanks to each of you who read our blog regularly, and to all of you who comment on and share our posts on the TopRank Marketing social media channels at Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

The post Our 10 Top Social Media Marketing Posts of 2019 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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