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13 Tips to Create Great Content That Ranks



Over the past few years, we’ve grown the Ahrefs blog from ~5,000 to ~317,000 monthly search visits.

Ahrefs blog traffic, via Google Search Console

How did we do it?

Essentially, we’ve found a content creation method that blends good SEO fundamentals with sound copywriting principles. So not only does our content rank high on Google, but it also encourages our readers to read, link to, share and, later on, purchase our product. 

Of course, we cannot solely attribute the traffic growth to our process. But we think it’s a part of the explanation. 

In this post, I’ll share the SEO copywriting tips we’ve implemented in our content writing process.

But first, let’s define exactly what SEO copywriting is.

SEO copywriting is the process of writing content for search engines and users. It’s where you craft content to rank on Google that searchers want to read, link to, and share. 

After all, content that gets tons of traffic from Google but never gets read is useless. The same goes for content that is incredibly compelling but never gets any traffic. 

Now that we’ve understood what SEO copywriting is, let’s get into the actionable tips that you can implement. 

At 388,000 monthly searches in the U.S., the term “basketball shoes” looks like a good keyword to write a blog post about—if you own a basketball blog.

Search volume for the keyword, "basketball shoes"

But you’d be mistaken. 

If we look at the SERPs for “basketball shoes,” we’ll see the results are mostly e-commerce category pages from online retailers:

SERP for "basketball shoes"

Google understands that searchers are in buying mode, not learning mode. So it ranks category pages over blog posts. 

And this is the first tip: create the right kind of content for the keyword you’re targeting. Fail to do that, and ranking will be an uphill battle. 

In the SEO world, this concept is known as search intent, i.e., the why behind a search query. To analyze search intent, we can simply look at the top-ranking pages to figure out the three Cs of search intent. 

Content type

What type of content is Google mostly ranking? Typically, the types are blog posts, product pages, category pages, landing pages, or videos. 

For example, the search results for “wireless headphones” are all e-commerce category pages. And for “best wireless headphones,” they’re mostly blog posts.

SERP for "wireless headphones"
SERP for “wireless headphones.”
SERP for "best wireless headphones"
SERP for “best wireless headphones.”

Content format

Content format applies mostly to informational content. Example formats include how-tos, listicles, news articles, opinion pieces, and reviews.

For example, when you Google “date ideas,” you’ll see that they’re all lists:

SERP for "date ideas"

Content angle

This is the main selling point of the content. Typically, you’ll be able to see a dominant angle on the SERPs. 

For example, the top results for “how to make egg fried rice” want the process to be easy:

SERP for "how to make egg fried rice"

Recommended reading: What Is Search Intent? A Complete Guide for Beginners 

2. Cover the topic in full

Google wants to rank the most relevant, useful result on the first page. So your post should show that it deserves a place there.

How do you do this?

By covering all the things searchers want to know and expect to see.

Search intent is one aspect of this process. But analyzing the three Cs only gives you a high-level overview of the intent. To better understand what your content should cover, you need to dig deeper by further analyzing relevant top-ranking pages, i.e., pages that are similar to what you’re going to create. 

For example, if you’re creating a listicle about the best wireless headphones, then you shouldn’t take reference from e-commerce category pages or landing pages. 

With that said, let’s look at how to fully cover a topic. 

Look for common subheadings

Subheadings offer quick insights into what searchers are looking for, especially if there are the same or similar ones across the top-ranking pages.

For example, if you look at the top results for “best wireless earbuds,” you’ll see that—as expected—they all mention Apple’s AirPods Pro.

Mention of AirPods Pro
Mention of AirPods Pro
Mention of AirPods Pro

That probably means the AirPods should be on your shortlist for consideration. Other products that should be on your shortlist include these:

  • Sony WF-1000XM4
  • Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
  • One of the Jabra Elites (3, 75t, 85t)

A quick way to view all the subheadings in a post is to install Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar and use the free content report:

Content report, via Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar

Of course, if you disagree vehemently with any of the picks in the top-ranking pages, don’t include them. Treat this as inspiration—you should, at the very least, check out and test these products and see if they’re worthy of inclusion. 

Look for subtopics among keyword rankings

A page doesn’t just rank for the main keyword; it also ranks for other keywords that fall under the main topic (i.e., subtopics).

If we can find out what these subtopics are, we can also cover them on our page. Here’s how to find them:

  1. Paste a few top-ranking URLs for your main topic into Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool
  2. Leave the bottom section blank
  3. Hit Show keywords
  4. Set the Intersection filter to 3 and 4 targets
Content Gap analysis, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

We can see that these pages also rank for subtopics like these:

  • Best wireless earbuds for android
  • Best earbuds for iphone
  • Best earbuds for phone calls
  • Most comfortable earbuds
  • Wireless earbuds with longest battery life

These are good subtopics to cover for the article you’re creating. 

Look at People Also Ask boxes

If you search for something in Google, you’ll see a SERP feature known as a People Also Ask (PAA) box:

People Also Ask box for "best wireless earbuds"

These questions offer insights into other things searchers may want to know. For example, you may want to consider adding a section in your article about why it is/isn’t worth it to buy true wireless earbuds. 

You can use tools like AlsoAsked to pull all the PAA questions related to the keyword you’re targeting:

Results from AlsoAsked

Look at the pages manually

Finally, nothing beats simply analyzing each page manually. Click the top-ranking pages on the SERPs and go through each one by one. You’ll learn a lot that way. 

3. Add “link triggers”

Google says links are one of its top three ranking factors. Our own study of 1 billion pages also found a strong, positive correlation between the number of websites linking to a page and how much search traffic it gets from Google:

Chart showing correlation between search traffic and referring domains

So you’ll want your content to be able to earn links. We can do this by understanding why people are linking to the pages you wish to beat—and then apply those insights to your post.

We call these “link triggers.”

Let’s take the keyword “seo copywriting” as an example. If we look at the SERPs for the topic, we see competing pages with tons of backlinks:

SERP overview for "seo copywriting"

But why are so many people linking to these pages anyway?

To find out, let’s take one of these URLs, paste it into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, and check the Anchors report. This shows the most common words people use when linking to the page.

Here, we can see that lots of people are linking to this post because of two concepts it introduces: “bucket brigades” and the “APP method.”

Anchors report for Backlinko's SEO copywriting post, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

The goal isn’t to simply copy-paste these ideas into your post. It’s to analyze why. So in this example, Brian is the first person to introduce these copywriting ideas to the SEO niche. 

Therefore, to apply this insight to our own post, we’ll have to share unique tips of our own too. (Which is what we’ve done!) If you see that people are linking to a page because of a unique statistic, then you may want to consider running a study or doing a survey.

4. Make reading easy with the ASMR formula

Reading is a transaction. Your readers are basically trading their time for your words. If there’s any point where they feel like the content is too burdensome to read, they’ll hit the “back” button.

So make sure your content is designed and written in a way that’s comfortable for reading. Do this by following the ASMR formula:

  • Annotations – Adding notes, sidenotes, and other elements like blockquotes and call-out boxes helps break up the monotony of the post.
  • Short sentences and paragraphs – Long sentences are hard to follow. Find instances where you used transitional words like “and,” “because,” and “that.” Break them up into shorter statements.
  • Multimedia like videos, images, and GIFs – Including these can help illustrate your points without having to add extra words.
  • Read your copy out loud – Doing so lets you pinpoint areas where your content doesn’t flow smoothly.

5. Speak your audience’s language

The main goal of copywriting is to persuade. But nothing can be more unpersuasive than reading something that’s obviously written by someone who’s an “outsider.” 

For example, dancers dislike the term “breakdance” and “breakdancers.” It’s even classified as an insult in the community. The proper term is “breaking” or “b-boying”/“b-girling.” 

If you’re not using those terms, it’ll be apparent to the reader you’re not in tune with the niche—which will turn them off.

Most people think copywriting is about writing, but nothing can be further from the truth. The core of the copywriting process is deep research. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the jargon, terms, pains, problems, desires, and wants of your audience, then you’ll have to find out. Browse the communities where your target audience hangs out.  These can be places like:

  • Facebook groups
  • Reddit
  • Slack communities
  • Quora
  • Blogs
  • Forums

For example, if I were to start a b-boying blog, I’d head over to r/bboy. With just a couple of minutes of scrolling, I’d learn new terms like invert, cypher, power moves, air tracks, windmills, and more. 

Post on r/bboy

6. Write like how you talk

There’s something about business that makes people all stiff, uptight, and overly formal. People may overlook it at an event, but they won’t overlook it in your copy. 

After all, nothing screams “stop reading now” more than a piece of content written like an academic report filled with meaningless jargon. 

Don’t make this mistake. Good web copy is casual. It’s like you conversing with a friend—except that your “friend” is a reader on the internet. 

If you’re worried that your copy sounds too business-like, you can paste it into Hemingway: 

Hemingway App

It’ll keep your content simple, clear, and casual. 

7. Give your content a unique spin

It’s important to match search intent. It’s also important to cover the topic in full—at least as much as possible. But don’t mistake this as a call to create copycat content. 

You still have to give your content a unique spin. 

Why? A few reasons:

  1. If your content is like everyone else’s, then the reader has no reason to read yours over the others. They can easily choose another and be done with it.
  2. We’ve established that links are important. But people usually link because of something unique and original. If your article is the same as others, then there’s no reason to link to it. 
  3. If your content doesn’t stand out on the SERPs, the searcher has no reason to click it either. 

You get the point. 

SEO copywriting is a balance between giving searchers what they want and saying something unique and original. This can be in the form of a unique angle, unique tips that only you know, unique resources like checklists and templates, or something from your personal experience. 

That’s what we tried to do in this post. We’ve given both tips based on our experience and tips not seen anywhere else (e.g., ASMR formula, link triggers).

How do you create something unique? Here are a few tips:

  1. Actually experience something – There’s no substitute for personal experience. If you want to write about intermittent fasting, actually fast then write about it. See our post about email outreach
  2. Talk to experts – Sometimes, it’s impossible to actually do or experience something. But someone else probably has. Talk to them and get their advice and perspective. We did that with our post on Google penalties.
  3. Analyze data Do research and study something—get actual numbers behind popular claims in your niche. Check out our Google Search Console study.
  4. Crowdsource – Get the opinions of multiple experts, like what we did with our post on SEO managers
  5. Consider the opposite – Is the opposite side always false? What if it was true? Think about it and, if possible, find evidence to justify your position. 

8. Use the “inverted pyramid” method

Most pages seem to bury important information.

For example, take a look at this list of the best non-stick pans:

Introduction in a post about best non-stick pans

There are 241 words of “nice to know” background information before the post gets to what everyone came for: the answer to the question.

Compare that to Wirecutter’s post about the same thing:

Wirecutter's introduction in its post on the best non-stick pans

This time, the answer is right there in the first paragraph.

For the impatient reader, this is perfect. They get what they want right away. For the rest who prefer context or more details, there’s plenty more to read.

This format is known as the inverted pyramid. It’s a journalism technique where you give people the essential information before the non-essential.

Introduction in Tim Ferriss' post

From an SEO perspective, giving readers the information they’re looking for without them having to work for it may help to reduce pogo-sticking—bouncing back and forth between pages on the SERPs—and improve dwell time.

Applying this idea is simple. In your introduction, answer the main question you’re targeting. For example, our post on what SERPs are goes directly into the definition of a SERP:

Ahrefs blog post on "what are SERPs"

Then in the rest of the article, you can fill in the details while also answering related questions.

9. Use a table of contents

Consciously or not, the reader is always checking if your content fulfills what they’re looking for.  If it says it has the answer to their question, then they’ll keep an eye out to see if it’s true. If it’s not, they’ll leave. 

This is why you should add a table of contents.

Example of a table of contents

This allows your readers to immediately understand if your post is likely to answer the question they have. If it does, they can easily navigate to that section.

Once they’ve started reading, they may be sucked into your copy and start reading the rest naturally.

An additional benefit of a table of contents is that it creates sitelinks on the page, which Google sometimes shows on the SERPs:

An example of sitelinks

This can potentially lead to more clicks.

A quality introduction keeps the reader sliding down your page’s “slippery slope,” whereas a poor intro sends them back to the SERPs. 

If you want a simple way to write a kick-ass intro, consider using the Problem-Agitate-Solve (PAS) formula. 

The PAS formula

Here’s what it looks like in the wild:

An example of the PAS formula in action

At this point, you may have a question. We now have both the inverted pyramid and the PAS formula as potential intros. Which one should you use? 

The answer lies in the topic you’re targeting. 

If there’s a direct answer—“What are SERPs?” — then use the inverted pyramid. If the topic is targeting a problem or pain point—“How to build links”—then you can consider using the PAS formula. 

11. Don’t sleep on title tags

Your title tag is the headline of your article. It determines whether your content gets clicked on the SERPs. Don’t neglect them. 

A good exercise to practice is to write out at least 10 different variations of your title tag before deciding on one. That’s what the best writers do: For an extreme example, bestselling author James Clear even went the extra mile and brainstormed 400 titles for his book:

You don’t have to do 400—around 10 will do. Beyond that, here are three tips to improve your title tags:

  1. Use “power words” – Power words like “remarkable,” “captivating,” and “noteworthy” are words that trigger a positive or negative emotional response. Sprinkling one or two of these into your title tags can make them more compelling, e.g., 7 Benefits of Running -> 7 Life-changing Benefits of Running.
  2. Add parentheses – Parentheses strengthen your title tag by adding “icing on the cake.” Here’s an example: 7 Benefits of Running (Backed by Science)
  3. Include the year in your title – Some queries want fresh results. For example, if you’re targeting a keyword like “best wireless earbuds,” searchers will want to see results that are updated this year. To communicate freshness, add the current year in your title. 

Recommended reading: How to Craft the Perfect SEO Title Tag (Our 4-Step Process)

12. Add “open loops”

Why did the scene cut away? Is Oh Ill-nam dead? What happened?” you think to yourself, sobbing. The next thing you know, it’s 5 a.m. and you’ve just binge-watched the entire “Squid Game” series. 

For years now, TV producers and script writers have used a method to get you hooked on their shows. This technique is known as “open loops.”

Essentially, they’ll set up a plot element in an earlier episode to make you curious. Then they’ll intentionally not resolve it until some episodes later. 

This leaves you wanting. You’ll crave the sweet release—the closure to the loop. You’ll wait desperately for the new episodes, and you’ll watch them immediately when they’re released. 

This technique isn’t just limited to TV shows. You can apply it to your own content too. Here’s an example: In Tim Ferriss’ post on how to cut weight, he says he’s done it multiple times:

Introduction in Tim Ferriss' post

But he doesn’t go into the “how to” right away. Instead, he segues into a story:

Introduction in Tim Ferriss' post

You have to keep reading to find out. Eventually, he resolves it:

Introduction in Tim Ferriss' post

Remember: You must always close the loop. Otherwise, this destroys the trust your readers place in you.

13. Establish proof and credibility

Scott Adams, most famous for his work “Dilbert,” writes in “Win Bigly”:

Persuasion is strongest when the messenger is credible.

People want to learn how to b-boy from a Red Bull BC One finalist. They want to learn how to finish obstacle courses from a Toughest Mudder competitor. And they want to learn how to lift from an actual Strength & Conditioning coach. 

One way to ensure your copy persuades, inspires trust, or gets someone to engage is to establish proof that you know what you’re saying. That you’re an authority and an expert. Because when you’re trustworthy and reputable, people will give credence to your words and believe what you say. 

There’s an SEO benefit too, specifically for E-A-T. E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. It’s what Google’s human quality raters use to assess the quality of search results. While it’s not a direct ranking factor, improving E-A-T is important for many queries. 

What does that mean for your content? It means whenever possible, make sure to show the reader your authority, expertise, and credibility. (Notice what I did in the beginning?) It can be these:

  • Proof of accomplishments
  • Certifications
  • Awards
  • Social proof

And more.

Final thoughts

SEO isn’t only about ranking on Google. It’s also about getting your readers to read, share, and link to you. 

That’s why copywriting is important. Nobody is going to read a garbage piece of content—no matter how high it ranks.

Got any questions? Holla at me on Twitter.

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Google Updating Cryptocurrency Advertising Policy For 2024




Google Updating Cryptocurrency Advertising Policy For 2024

Google published an announcement of upcoming changes to their cryptocurrency advertising policies and advises advertisers to make themselves aware of the changes and prepare to be in compliance with the new requirements.

The upcoming updates are to Google’s Cryptocurrencies and related products policy for the advertisement of Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts. The changes are set to take effect on January 29th, 2024.

Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts are financial products that enable investors to trade shares in trusts holding substantial amounts of digital currency. These trusts provide investors with equity in cryptocurrencies without having direct ownership. They are also an option for creating a more diversified portfolio.

The policy updates by Google that are coming in 2024 aim to describe the scope and requirements for the advertisement of Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts. Advertisers targeting the United States will be able to promote these products and services as long as they abide by specific policies outlined in the updated requirements and that they also obtain certification from Google.

The updated policy changes are not limited to the United States. They will apply globally to all accounts advertising Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts.

Google’s announcement also reminded advertisers of their obligation for compliance to local laws in the areas where the ads are targeted.

Google’s approach for violations of the new policy will be to first give a warning before imposing an account suspension.

Advertisers that fail to comply with the updated policy will receive a warning at least seven days before a potential account suspension. This time period provides advertisers with an opportunity to fix non-compliance issues and to get back into compliance with the revised guidelines.

Advertisers are encouraged to refer to Google’s documentation on “About restricted financial products certification.”

The deadline for the change in policy is January 29th, 2024. Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts advertisers will need to pay close attention to the updated policies in order to ensure compliance.

Read Google’s announcement:

Updates to Cryptocurrencies and related products policy (December 2023)

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SEO Trends You Can’t Ignore In 2024



SEO Trends You Can’t Ignore In 2024

Most SEO trends fade quickly. But some of them stick and deserve your attention.

Let’s explore what those are and how to take advantage of them.

If you give ChatGPT a title and ask it to write a blog post, it will—in seconds.

This is super impressive, but there are a couple of issues:

  • Everyone else using ChatGPT is creating the same content. It’s the same for users of other GPT-powered AI writing tools, too—which is basically all of them.
  • The content is extremely dull. Sure, you can ask ChatGPT to “make it more entertaining,” but it usually overcompensates and hands back a cringe version of the same boring content.

In the words of Gael Breton:

How to take advantage of this SEO trend

Don’t use AI to write entire articles. They’ll be boring as heck. Instead, use it as a creative sparring partner to help you write better content and automate monotonous tasks.

For example, you can ask ChatGPT To write an outline from a working title and a list of keywords (which you can pull from Ahrefs)—and it does a pretty decent job.


Create an outline for a post entitled “[working title]” based on these keywords: [list]


ChatGPT's outline for a blog post. Pretty good!ChatGPT's outline for a blog post. Pretty good!

When you’ve written your draft, you can ask to polish it in seconds by asking ChatGPT to proofread it.

ChatGPT proofreading my content and making it betterChatGPT proofreading my content and making it better

Then you can automate the boring stuff, like creating more enticing title tags…

ChatGPT writing enticing title tagsChatGPT writing enticing title tags

… and writing a meta description:

ChatGPT writing a meta descriptionChatGPT writing a meta description

If you notice a few months down the line that your content ranks well but hasn’t won the featured snippet, ChatGPT can help with that, too.

For example, Ahrefs tells us we rank in position 3 for “affiliate marketing” but don’t own the snippet.

Ahrefs showing featured snippets that we don't own, despite ranking in the top 3Ahrefs showing featured snippets that we don't own, despite ranking in the top 3

If we check Google, the snippet is a definition. Asking ChatGPT to simplify our definition may solve this problem.

ChatGPT rewriting a definition and making it betterChatGPT rewriting a definition and making it better

In short, there are a near-infinite number of ways to use ChatGPT (and other AI writing tools) to create better content. And all of them buck the trend of asking it to write boring, boilerplate articles from scratch.

Programmatic SEO refers to the creation of keyword-targeted pages in an automatic (or near automatic) way.

Nomadlist’s location pages are a perfect example:

Example of a page from NomadListExample of a page from NomadList

Each page focuses on a specific city and shares the same core information—internet speeds, cost, temperature, etc. All of this information is pulled programmatically from a database and the site gets an estimated 46k monthly search visits in total.

Estimated monthly search traffic to NomadListEstimated monthly search traffic to NomadList

Programmatic SEO is nothing new. It’s been around forever. It’s just the hot thing right now because AI tools like ChatGPT make it easier and more accessible than ever before.

The problem? As John Mueller pointed out on Twitter X, much of it is spam:

How to take advantage of this SEO trend

Don’t use programmatic SEO to publish insane amounts of spam that’ll probably get hit in the next Google update. Use it to scale valuable content that will stand the test of time.

For example, Wise’s currency conversion pages currently get an estimated 31.7M monthly search visits:

Estimated monthly search traffic to Wise's currently conversion pages (insane!)Estimated monthly search traffic to Wise's currently conversion pages (insane!)

This is because the content is actually useful. Each page features an interactive tool showing the live exchange rate for any amount…

The interactive currently conversion tool on Wise's pagesThe interactive currently conversion tool on Wise's pages

… the exchange rate over time…

The exchange rate over time graph on Wise's pagesThe exchange rate over time graph on Wise's pages

… a handy email notification option when the exchange rates exceed a certain amount…

The email notification option on Wise's pagesThe email notification option on Wise's pages

… handy conversion charts for popular amounts…

The handy conversion charts on Wise's pagesThe handy conversion charts on Wise's pages

… and a comparison of the cheapest ways to send money abroad in your chosen currency:

The useful comparison table on Wise's pagesThe useful comparison table on Wise's pages

It doesn’t matter that all of these pages use the same template. The data is exactly what you want to see when you search [currency 1] to [currency 2].

That’s probably why Wise ranks in the top 10 for over 66,000 of these keywords:

Wise's keyword rankings for currency conversion pagesWise's keyword rankings for currency conversion pages

Looking to take advantage of programmatic content in 2024 like Wise? Check out the guide below.

People love ChatGPT because it answers questions fast and succinctly, so it’s no surprise that generative AI is already making its way into search.

For example, if you ask Bing for a definition or how to do something basic, AI will generate an answer on the fly right there in the search results.

Bing's search results for "definition of mental health"Bing's search results for "definition of mental health"
Bing's search results for "how to add drop down list in google sheets"Bing's search results for "how to add drop down list in google sheets"

In other words, thanks to AI, users no longer have to click on a search result for answers to simple questions. It’s like featured snippets on steroids.

This might not be a huge deal right now, but when Google’s version of this (Search Generative Experience) comes out of beta, many websites will see clicks fall off a cliff.

How to take advantage of this SEO trend

Don’t invest too much in topics that generative AI can easily answer. You’ll only lose clicks like crazy to AI in the long run. Instead, start prioritizing topics that AI will struggle to answer.

How do you know which topics it will struggle to answer? Try asking ChatGPT. If it gives a good and concise answer, it’s clearly an easy question.

For example, there are hundreds of searches for how to calculate a percentage in Google Sheets every month in the US:

Estimated monthly search volume for "google sheets percentage formula" via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerEstimated monthly search volume for "google sheets percentage formula" via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

If you ask ChatGPT for the solution, it gives you a perfect answer in about fifty words.

ChatGPT's answer to the Google Sheets percentage calculation formulaChatGPT's answer to the Google Sheets percentage calculation formula

This is the perfect example of a topic where generative AI will remove the need to click on a search result for many.

That’s probably not going to be the case for a topic like this:

Example of a topic that AI shouldn't impact too muchExample of a topic that AI shouldn't impact too much

Sure. Generative AI might be able to tell you how to create a template—but it can’t make one for you. And even if it can in the future, it will never be a personal finance expert with experience. You’ll always have to click on a search result for a template created by that person.

These are the kinds of topics to prioritize in 2024 and beyond.


None of this means you should stop targeting “simple” topics altogether. You’ll always be able to get some traffic from them. My point is not to be obsessed with ranking for keywords whose days are numbered. Prioritize topics with long-term value instead.

Bonus: 3 SEO trends to ignore in 2024

Not all SEO trends move the needle. Here are just a few of those trends and why you should ignore them.

People are using voice search more than ever

In 2014, Google revealed that 41% of Americans use voice search daily. According to research by UpCity, that number was up to 50% as of 2022. I haven’t seen any data for 2023 yet, but I’d imagine it’s above 50%.

Why you should ignore this SEO trend

75% of voice search results come from a page ranking in the top 3, and 40.7% come from a featured snippet. If you’re already optimizing for those things, there’s not much more you can do.

People are using visual search for shopping more than ever

In 2022, Insider Intelligence reported that 22% of US adults have shopped with visual search (Google Lens, Bing Visual Search, etc.). That number is up from just 15% in 2021.

Why you should ignore this SEO trend

Much like voice search, there’s no real way to optimize for visual search. Sure, it helps to have good quality product images, optimized filenames and alt text, and product schema markup on your pages—but you should be doing this stuff anyway as it’s been a best practice since forever.

People are using Bing more than ever before

Bing’s Yusuf Mehdi announced in March 2023 that the search engine had surpassed 100M daily active users for the first time ever. This came just one month after the launch of AI-powered Bing.

Why you should ignore this SEO trend

Bing might be more popular than ever, but its market share still only stands at around ~3% according to estimates by Statcounter. Google’s market share stands at roughly 92%, so that’s the one you should be optimizing for.

Plus, it’s often the case that if you rank in Google, you also rank in Bing—so it really doesn’t deserve any focus.

Final thoughts

Keeping your finger on the pulse and taking advantage of trends makes sense, but don’t let them distract you from the boring stuff that’s always worked: find what people are searching for > create content about it > build backlinks > repeat.

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter X.

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Mozilla VPN Security Risks Discovered




Mozilla VPN Security Risks Discovered

Mozilla published the results of a recent third-party security audit of its VPN services as part of it’s commitment to user privacy and security. The survey revealed security issues which were presented to Mozilla to be addressed with fixes to ensure user privacy and security.

Many search marketers use VPNs during the course of their business especially when using a Wi-Fi connection in order to protect sensitive data, so the  trustworthiness of a VNP is essential.

Mozilla VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN), is a service that hides (encrypts) a user’s Internet traffic so that no third party (like an ISP) can snoop and see what sites a user is visiting.

VPNs also add a layer of security from malicious activities such as session hijacking which can give an attacker full access to the websites a user is visiting.

There is a high expectation from users that the VPN will protect their privacy when they are browsing on the Internet.

Mozilla thus employs the services of a third party to conduct a security audit to make sure their VPN is thoroughly locked down.

Security Risks Discovered

The audit revealed vulnerabilities of medium or higher severity, ranging from Denial of Service (DoS). risks to keychain access leaks (related to encryption) and the lack of access controls.

Cure53, the third party security firm, discovered and addressed several risks. Among the issues were potential VPN leaks to the vulnerability of a rogue extension that disabled the VPN.

The scope of the audit encompassed the following products:

  • Mozilla VPN Qt6 App for macOS
  • Mozilla VPN Qt6 App for Linux
  • Mozilla VPN Qt6 App for Windows
  • Mozilla VPN Qt6 App for iOS
  • Mozilla VPN Qt6 App for Androi

These are the risks identified by the security audit:

  • FVP-03-003: DoS via serialized intent
  • FVP-03-008: Keychain access level leaks WG private key to iCloud
  • VP-03-010: VPN leak via captive portal detection
  • FVP-03-011: Lack of local TCP server access controls
  • FVP-03-012: Rogue extension can disable VPN using mozillavpnnp (High)

The rogue extension issue was rated as high severity. Each risk was subsequently addressed by Mozilla.

Mozilla presented the results of the security audit as part of their commitment to transparency and to maintain the trust and security of their users. Conducting a third party security audit is a best practice for a VPN provider that helps assure that the VPN is trustworthy and reliable.

Read Mozilla’s announcement:
Mozilla VPN Security Audit 2023

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Meilun

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