Simply the Best: 2016's Top Content from the Moz Blog

January 12, 2017
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Now that we’ve comfortably settled into the first two weeks of 2017, it’s time to revive an annual Moz Blog tradition: the Best of 2016 is here!

I’ve carefully collected data on all the posts, comments, and commenters you remarkable readers liked the most this past year, compiling it all into one big, beautiful blog post. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll rue the day you ever downloaded Pocket. But as we commence our journey into the insights and revelations of yesteryear, my sincere hope is that you’ll feel inspired. That you’ll learn something new, or reflect on what’s changed. That you’ll tack a new task onto your bucket list (“Become a Moz Top Commenter” is way more hip than traveling to all 7 continents, people).

Flip on some classic Tina Turner to set the mood and join me as we sift through what you decided was simply the best of 2016.

Table of Contents

  1. Top posts by 1Metric score
  2. Top posts by unique visits
  3. Top YouMoz posts by unique visits
  4. Top posts by number of thumbs up
  5. Top posts by number of comments
  6. Top community comments by thumbs up
  7. Top commenters by total thumbs up
  8. New: Category-specific RSS feeds!

1. The top 10 posts according to our 1Metric score

1Metric is our handy-dandy internal metric that measures how well a piece of content is doing. There were quite a few high scores in 2016, with a clear, strong trend toward core SEO topics. You might notice some posts making it onto a few different lists — consider those the absolute must-reads, and make sure you didn’t miss anything big!












1. 8 Old School SEO Practices That Are No Longer Effective – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, April 29th
Are you guilty of living in the past? Using methods that were once tried-and-true can be alluring, but it can also prove dangerous to your search strategy. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand spells out eight old school SEO practices that you should ditch in favor of more effective and modern alternatives.

1metric99.png

2. My Single Best SEO Tip for Improved Web Traffic by Cyrus Shepard, January 27th
“If content is king, then the user is queen, and she rules the universe.” Are you focusing too much on the content, rather than the user? In his last post as a Mozzer, Cyrus Shepard offers his single greatest SEO tip for improving your web traffic.

1metric99.png

3. On-Page SEO in 2016: The 8 Principles for Success – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, May 13th
On-page SEO is no longer a simple matter of checking things off a list. There’s more complexity to this process in 2016 than ever before, and the idea of “optimization” both includes and builds upon traditional page elements. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand explores the eight principles you’ll need for on-page SEO success going forward.

1metric98.png

4. 301 Redirects Rules Change: What You Need to Know for SEO by Cyrus Shepard, August 1st
Google blew our minds when they said 3xx redirects no longer lose PageRank. Cyrus is here to give you the low-down on what this means for SEO.

1metric97.png

5. 10 Predictions for 2016 in SEO & Web Marketing by Rand Fishkin, January 5th
Rand examines the accuracy on his predictions for 2015 and, if he does well enough, taps into his psychic ability to predict 2016. Spoiler alert: He’s pretty accurate.

1metric97.png

6. 8 Rules for Choosing a Domain Name – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, July 15th
8 rules for choosing a domain name: Make it brandable, pronounceable, short, intuitive, bias to .com, avoid names that infringe on another company, use broad keywords, and if not available, modify.

1metric96.png

7. Can SEOs Stop Worrying About Keywords and Just Focus on Topics? – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, February 5th
Should you ditch keyword targeting entirely? There’s been a lot of discussion around the idea of focusing on broad topics and concepts to satisfy searcher intent, but it’s a big step to take and could potentially hurt your rankings. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses old-school keyword targeting and new-school concept targeting, outlining a plan of action you can follow to get the best of both worlds.

1metric96.png

8. Weird, Crazy Myths About Link Building in SEO You Should Probably Ignore – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, September 9th
From where to how to when, there are a number of erroneous claims about link building floating around the SEO world. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand sets the record straight on 8 of the more common claims he’s noticed lately.

1metric96.png

9. How Long Does Link Building Take to Influence Rankings? by Kristina Kledzik, August 21st
The eternal question: How much time does it take for a link to affect rankings? Kristina Kledzik breaks out the entire process from start to finish.

1metric95.png

10. SEO for Bloggers: How to Nail the Optimization Process for Your Posts – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, June 3rd
With the right process and a dose of patience, SEO success is always within reach — even if you’re running your own blog. Optimizing your blog posts begins as early as the inception of your idea, and from then on you’ll want to consider your keyword targeting, on-page factors, your intended audience, and more. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand spells out a step-by-step process you can adopt to help increase search traffic to your blog over time.

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2. The top 10 blog posts by unique visits

Rand and his Whiteboard Fridays steal the show this year, with some fantastic cameos by our good friends Cyrus and Dr. Pete, and a promoted YouMoz post that’s worth its backlinks in gold.

One interesting thing to note: You really loved last year’s “Predictions for SEO” post. While 2016 was unpredictable on multiple levels, Rand still made the cut — be sure to check out his predictions for 2017, released just yesterday.












1. 8 Old School SEO Practices That Are No Longer Effective – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, April 29th
Are you guilty of living in the past? Using methods that were once tried-and-true can be alluring, but it can also prove dangerous to your search strategy. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand spells out eight old school SEO practices that you should ditch in favor of more effective and modern alternatives.

blogvisits1.png

2. 8 Rules for Choosing a Domain Name – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, July 15th
8 rules for choosing a domain name: Make it brandable, pronounceable, short, intuitive, bias to .com, avoid names that infringe on another company, use broad keywords, and if not available, modify.

blogvisits2.png

3. My Single Best SEO Tip for Improved Web Traffic by Cyrus Shepard, January 27th
“If content is king, then the user is queen, and she rules the universe.” Are you focusing too much on the content, rather than the user? In his last post as a Mozzer, Cyrus Shepard offers his single greatest SEO tip for improving your web traffic.

blogvisits3.png

4. On-Page SEO in 2016: The 8 Principles for Success – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, May 13th
On-page SEO is no longer a simple matter of checking things off a list. There’s more complexity to this process in 2016 than ever before, and the idea of “optimization” both includes and builds upon traditional page elements. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand explores the eight principles you’ll need for on-page SEO success going forward.

blogvisits4.png

5. Title Tag Length Guidelines: 2016 Edition by Dr. Pete, May 31st
Google is testing a wider left-column, and with it, wider display titles. We dig into the data to see how long your titles should be. TL;DR? Stick to under 60 characters.

blogvisits5.png

6. 301 Redirects Rules Change: What You Need to Know for SEO by Cyrus Shepard, August 1st
Google blew our minds when they said 3xx redirects no longer lose PageRank. Cyrus is here to give you the low-down on what this means for SEO.

blogvisits6.png

7. 10 Predictions for 2016 in SEO & Web Marketing by Rand Fishkin, January 5th
Rand examines the accuracy on his predictions for 2015 and, if he does well enough, taps into his psychic ability to predict 2016. Spoiler alert: He’s pretty accurate.

blogvisits7.png

8. How to Achieve 100/100 with the Google Page Speed Test Tool by Felix Tarcomnicu, April 3rd
The website loading speed is imperative for the overall user experience, and it’s also one of the hundreds of SEO ranking factors. The truth is that nowadays, people don’t have the patience to wait more than five seconds for a page to load. If your website is not loading fast enough, you will lose potential customers.

blogvisits8.png

9. Targeted Link Building in 2016 – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, January 29th
SEO has much of its roots in the practice of targeted link building. And while it’s no longer the only core component involved, it’s still a hugely valuable factor when it comes to rank boosting. In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand goes over why targeted link building is still relevant today and how to develop a process you can strategically follow to success.

blogvisits9.png

10. How to Create 10x Content – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, March 18th
Have you ever actually tried to create 10x content? It’s not easy, is it? Knowing how and where to start can often be the biggest obstacle you’ll face. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand talks about how good, unique content is going to die, and how you can develop your own 10x content to help it along.

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3. The top 10 YouMoz posts by unique visits

Late in 2016, we lost another old friend. And while YouMoz can’t claim to have sung the best song about an astronaut you’ll ever hear, we still loved it dearly while it was with us. Retiring our process for community contributions was a hard but ultimately necessary decision, and while we hope to have a newer, sleeker process in place someday, let’s take a moment to revisit the most popular posts from the final year of YouMoz.


1. How to Use Six Google Analytics Reports to Complete a Website Content Audit by Daniel Hochuli, February 18th
In this article, I will show you how a content audit…

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