Posted by morgan.mcmurrayHere we are again — that time of year filled with wrap-ups and lookbacks and “best of” compilations. 2020 was a year like no other, and that’s certainly reflected in the topics covered by the blogs in the list below.
We published 170 blog posts this year (including Whiteboard Friday episodes) — not too shabby for a year rife with personal and professional challenges! We’re looking forward to what 2021 has in store, but in case you missed anything, we’ve compiled the top 25 most-read pieces from the last 12 months*. You’ll find several Whiteboard Friday episodes (past and present), local SEO tips, and advice for empathetic marketing, along with the optimistic SEO predictions for 2020 and beyond — made in pre-COVID times.
So without further ado, here are the best Moz Blog posts of 2020. Enjoy!
*The top 25 Moz Blog posts listed below were published between January 1 - December 22, 2020, and are in order by unique pageviews generated during that timeframe.
1. What Readers Want During COVID-19: Content Ideas for Every Niche
Author: Amanda Milligan | Published: March 31, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 49,889
Amanda tested a variety of keywords to see which ones exhibited a trend during the initial COVID-19 outbreak, and might warrant some attention from content marketers. Here's what she found.
2. Pay Attention to These SEO Trends in 2020 and Beyond
Author: Suganthan Mohanadasan | Published: February 4, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 45,553
In the past several years, we've already seen a sea of change in how we think and execute on SEO, but the future holds even more change — and more opportunity. Explore a rundown of key SEO topics to keep an eye on in the future.
3. Are H1 Tags Necessary for Ranking? [SEO Experiment]
Author: Cyrus Shepard | Published: February 25, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 35,414
In earlier days of search marketing, SEOs often heard the same two best practices repeated so many times it became implanted in our brains: Wrap the title of your page in H1 tags and use only one H1 tag per page. Despite assertions from one of Google's most trusted authorities that sites "can do perfectly fine with no H1 tags or with five H1 tags", many SEOs didn't believe it. So of course, we decided to test it scientifically.
4. Google My Business: FAQ for Multiple Businesses at the Same Address
Author: Miriam Ellis | Published: February 17, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 31,883
How should I get listed in Google My Business if I’ve got multiple businesses at the same address? How many listings am I eligible for if I’m running more than one business at my location? Get answers to your top questions in this comprehensive FAQ.
5. Google's January 2020 Core Update: Has the Dust Settled?
Author: Dr. Peter J. Meyers | Published: January 27, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 31,800
The January 2020 Core Update peaked from January 13-15. We dig into the numbers, including winners and losers.
6. Google's May 2020 Core Update: Winners, Winnerers, Winlosers, and Why It's All Probably Crap
Author: Dr. Peter J. Meyers | Published: May 14, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 24,159
The May 2020 Core Update was the second-hottest update since the August 2018 "Medic" Update. Dr. Pete takes a hard look at the numbers, including why measuring winners and losers has turned out to be a tricky business.
7. Core Web Vitals: The Next Official Google Ranking Factor
Author: Cyrus Shepard | Published: July 17, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 21,281
There's a new ranking factor in town: Core Web Vitals. Expected in 2021, this Google-announced algorithm change has a few details you should be aware of.
8. SEO for 2020
Author: Britney Muller | Published: January 31, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 20,783
SEO Scientist Britney Muller offers a seventeen-point checklist of things you ought to keep in mind for executing on modern, effective SEO. You'll encounter both old favorites (optimizing title tags, anyone?) and cutting-edge ideas to power your search strategy into the future.
9. 4 Google My Business Fields That Impact Ranking (and 3 That Don't)
Author: Joy Hawkins | Published: October 23, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 20,330
Joy and her team at Sterling Sky have come to the conclusion that there are only four things inside the Google My Business dashboard that a business owner or a marketing agency can edit that will have a direct influence on where they rank in the local results on Google.
10. Crawled — Currently Not Indexed: A Coverage Status Guide
Author: Christopher Long | Published: March 9, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 18,354
Within Google's Index Coverage report, there are many different statuses that provide webmasters with information about how Google is handling their site content. While many of the statuses provide some context around Google’s crawling and indexation decisions, one remains unclear: “Crawled — currently not indexed”. This post will help you identify some of the most common reasons this mysterious status might be affecting your website, and how to address them.
11. How to Get Backlinks in 2020 [Series]
Author: Britney Muller | Published: June 26, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 15,523
A little creativity and smart tactics can uncover high-quality link building opportunities. This week, Britney Muller kicks off a new Whiteboard Friday series on modern link building.
12. Position Zero Is Dead; Long Live Position Zero
Author: Dr. Peter J. Meyers | Published: February 5, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 14,825
On January 22, 2020, Google started removing Featured Snippet URLs from organic listings. We take a deep dive into the before and after of this change, including its implications for rank-tracking.
13. 2020 Local SEO Success: How to Feed, Fight, and Flip Google
Author: Miriam Ellis | Published: January 6, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 13,969
Feed Google the right information, fight spam, and flip it into an opportunity: these are the top three ways to chase local SEO success.
14. Which of My Competitor's Keywords Should (& Shouldn't) I Target?
Author: Rand Fishkin | Published: February 21, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 13,638
Which of your competitor's keywords are worth targeting, and which can be ignored? Learn how to tell the difference in this fan favorite Whiteboard Friday.
15. 10 Basic SEO Tips to Index + Rank New Content Faster
Author: Cyrus Shepard | Published: October 16, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 13,381
When you publish new content, you want users to find it ranking in search results as fast as possible. Fortunately, there are a number of tips and tricks in the SEO toolbox to help you accomplish this goal.
16. 7 SEO Processes That Get Easier with Increased PageRank/Domain Authority
Author: Cyrus Shepard | Published: February 7, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 12,883
What factors are affected as you improve PageRank or Domain Authority, and how? Cyrus details seven SEO processes that are made easier by a strong investment in link building and growing your authority.
17. Marketing in Times of Uncertainty
Author: Rand Fishkin | Published: April 3, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 12,861
Our work as marketers has transformed drastically in 2020. Our good friend Rand talks about a topic that's been on the forefront of our minds lately: how to do our jobs empathetically and effectively through one of the most difficult trials in modern memory.
18. A Beginner’s Guide to Ranking in Google Maps
Author: Alex Ratynski | Published: March 16, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 12,836
The majority of your potential customers still use Google to find local businesses near them. In fact, 80% of searches with “local intent” result in a conversion. This begs the question: “What’s the best way to catch the attention of local searchers on Google?” The answer: through Google Maps marketing.
19. The Rules of Link Building
Author: Britney Muller | Published: February 28, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 12,532
Are you building links the right way? Or are you still subscribing to outdated practices? Britney Muller clarifies which link building tactics still matter and which are a waste of time (or downright harmful) in one of our very favorite classic episodes of Whiteboard Friday.
20. How We Ranked a Single Page for 2.6K Keywords Driving 30K Monthly Searches [Case Study]
Author: Kristin Tynski | Published: May 4, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 12,359
In rare cases, SEOs create content that generates results so far beyond what was anticipated that a single project can greatly move the needle. Kristin walks through one such instance for her team's client, ADT.
21. Understanding & Fulfilling Search Intent
Author: Britney Muller | Published: June 12, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 12,262
Understanding what your target audience is searching and why is more important than ever. Britney Muller shares everything you need to begin understanding and fulfilling search intent, plus a free Google Sheets checklist download to help you analyze the SERPs you care about most.
22. Title Tags SEO: When to Include Your Brand and/or Boilerplate
Author: Cyrus Shepard | Published: August 31, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 11,850
If your websites are like most, they include a fair amount of extra "stuff" in the title tags: things like your brand name or repeating boilerplate text that appears across multiple pages. But should you include these elements in your titles automatically?
23. How to Query the Google Search Console API
Author: Brian Gorman | Published: March 18, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 11,095
If you’ve been an SEO for even a short time, you’re likely familiar with Google Search Console (GSC). It’s a valuable tool for getting information about your website and its performance in organic search. That said, it does have its limitations. In this post, you’ll learn how to get better-connected data out of Google Search Console and increase the size of your exports by 400%.
24. How to Choose Google My Business Categories (With Cool Tools!)
Author: Miriam Ellis | Published: September 9, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 10,873
Your choice of your primary and secondary categories contributes a lot to Google’s understanding and handling of your business. With so much riding on proper categorization, let’s empower you to research your options like a pro today!
25. A Must-Have Keyword Research Process for Winning SEO
Author: Cyrus Shepard | Published: May 8, 2020 | Unique Pageviews: 10,745
Smart keyword research forms the basis of all successful SEO. Cyrus Shepard shares the basics of a winning keyword research process that you can learn and master in a short amount of time. Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!