Is Direct Traffic a Ranking Factor?

Yesterday, SEMrush released an updated version of their June 2017 ranking factors report, again placing Direct Traffic right at the top of the list – stating that its the most important ranking factor for Google. You can (and should) download it here.   For those that may not be familiar with SEMrush, they provide an excellent online set of tools for both SEO market analysis

Most SEO Studies are Basically Pointless

For some years now, the industry has had an unspoken problem with most SEO studies published. Sure, they pretty much always reveal the same factors (as long as the data is interpreted correctly), you need Content, Links and structure. Pretty much in that order. There are two main categories, those backed with proprietary index data (like these by SEMrush or SearchMetrics), or those accumulated from

Scraping Google to Build Massive Datasets

Scraping Google for keyword rankings is a tricky business, they don’t want you to do it, and have gone as far as calling applications that do it “Black Hat”. Let’s not forget, they’ve also said which ones they perceive to be accurate, so lets ignore the Black Hat bit and build our own! (sorry Google). It would be interesting to hear other people’s opinions on

Sorry: Negative SEO Does Exist

UPDATE: Please check the end of this post for some final notes, following communications with Google. Rand Fishkin published a post yesterday saying: “webmasters are forced to police their own links through webmaster tools, and be in constant fear of negative SEO“ (I’m paraphrasing, the full post is here). Rand goes on to call on webmasters help to prove or disprove the theories: 1) Negative

Speed up WordPress: Peadig Framework

If you’ve visited the blog before you will probably notice a few key differences today. It looks pretty similar to the old design, and while its still a work in progress I feel the whole site is quite a bit cleaner than before.  The main difference that you will probably pick up on though is the sheer speed compared to the old version! I launched

We can’t stop Spam, we CAN save Polar Bears

I am bothered by comment spam as much as the next person, but in the pursuit of science (honest) I  also like playing about with the latest spamming tools. They all work roughly the same way, some better than others, but its all pretty standard… The recipe is simple, you spin some comments, submit them to thousands (even millions) of sites in the hope that