Posted by FeliciaCrawford

We’ve got another year under our belts, and that means it’s time to continue an annual blog tradition. Yes, that’s right, folks — the Moz Blog Best of 2015 is hot off the presses! (This makes me wish we had real presses. We don’t. I think there’s a 3D printer somewhere around here, though…)

We’re going to highlight just what hit it off with you fantastic little blog readers, you. We’ll slice and dice the top posts of the year a few different ways, take a peek at what dominated YouMoz, check out which comments drove the collective convo, and highlight the community members that contributed the most-liked and most-often-liked commentary.

(Spoiler alert: You went absolutely nuts for Rand this year. He holds a lot of top ten real estate, across multiple categories. Maybe I should get his autograph or something…)

Buckle in and get comfortable, friends, ‘cause we’re about to take a wild ride with this data.

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 number of comment thumbs up
  8. Top commenters by top number of average thumbs/comment

1. Top posts by 1Metric score

You may have heard mention of this mysterious 1Metric score in the past. It’s a proprietary metric we developed a few years ago to measure content marketing success. We use this score regularly to check up on how our content’s doing.

The theme encompassing this year’s highest-scoring posts seems to be centered around sparking discussions, debate, and new ways of thinking about quotidian tasks. That, in and of itself, is immensely exciting to me — it’s the essence of what makes our community so flippin’ vibrant and innovative.

Here’s the full rundown for your reading pleasure:

 

 

1. The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 3.0 by Cyrus Shepard, May 18th

 

Introducing the new and improved Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet. Download info on SEO best practices for online marketers and developers. Updated for 2015.

 

2. Why I Stopped Selling SEO Services and You Should, Too by Ryan Stewart, October 7th

 

It’s no longer just about optimizing your website for Google. It’s about optimizing your presence across the web. SEO has tentacles that extend well beyond your website, so it’s important that you begin to think of search holistically, taking into account all of the areas that can be optimized.

 

3. Why Effective, Modern SEO Requires Technical, Creative, and Strategic Thinking – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, August 7th

 

While SEO is a different field than it once was, technical chops are still required to do things really well. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand pushes back against the idea that those skills are no longer necessary.

 

4. Why Good Unique Content Needs to Die – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, May 22nd

 

If we’re talking about creating “good, unique content” and are hoping for it to rank in competitive SERPs, we’re not setting the right bar. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand shows us what we should be going for instead.

 

5. How to Write for the Web—a New Approach for Increased Engagement – Whiteboard Friday by Dan Petrovic, October 30th

 

16%. That’s the percentage of people who read everything you write word-for-word. That number hasn’t changed in two decades, which tells us that we’ve never really learned how to write for the web. In this Whiteboard Friday, Dan Petrovic illustrates a new approach to writing for the web to increase reader engagement, and offers some tools and tips to help along the way.

 

6. Stop Ghost Spam in Google Analytics with One Filter by Carlos Escalera, August 2nd

 

Don’t be distracted by web spam. A simple, easy-to-use filter could remove the majority of your worries surrounding spam.

 

7. Why We Can’t Do Keyword Research Like It’s 2010 – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, June 12th

 

From selection to the actual research, keywords simply aren’t the same beast they were five years ago. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand shows you how to do keyword research in 2015, ensuring you don’t harm your site with obsolete tactics.

 

8. Google Keyword Planner’s Dirty Secrets by Russ Jones, December 1st

 

Google Keyword Planner has some pretty scary skeletons in its closet! Learn about all the dirty secrets that should make you think twice about relying on Google’s volume estimates.

 

9. The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics by Kristi Hines, June 24th

 

If you don’t know what Google Analytics is, haven’t installed it on your website, or have installed it but never look at your data, then this post is for you.

 

10. Announcing the 2015 Search Engine Ranking Factors Study by Cyrus Shepard, August 11th

 

We’re excited to announce the results of Moz’s famous Ranking Factors study. The study helps to identify which attributes of webpages and sites have the strongest association with higher rankings in Google. Ready to dive in?

 

2. Top posts by unique visits

Unique visits are a big deal. This metric throws around more weight than any other, because it indicates how we’re driving traffic to the rest of the site. Check out what brought the most new eyes to the blog this year, and compare it to the top posts by number of thumbs below.

 

1. 15 SEO Best Practices for Structuring URLs by Rand Fishkin, February 24th

 

It’s been a long time since we covered one of the most fundamental building blocks of SEO — the structure of domain names and URLs — and it’s high time to revisit.

 

 

2. How to Stop Spam Bots from Ruining Your Analytics Referral Data by Jared Gardner, March 18th

 

Don’t give spam bots a free ride on your website. Create an inhospitable environment for the invasive pests in a few simple steps.

 

3. Technical Site Audit Checklist: 2015 Edition by Geoff Kenyon, January 19th

 

Back in 2011, Geoff wrote a a technical site audit checklist, and while it was thorough, there have been a lot of additions to what is encompassed in a site audit. He’s gone through and updated that old checklist for 2015.

 

4. The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 3.0 – Moz by Cyrus Shepard, May 18th

 

Introducing the new and improved Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet. Download info on SEO best practices for online marketers and developers. Updated for 2015.

 

5. 9 Things You Need to Know About Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update by Cindy Krum, April 6th

 

Cindy Krum and her colleague Emily Grossman wanted to cut through the noise and bring online marketers a clearer picture of what’s in store when it comes to Mobilegeddon. In this post, you’ll find answers to nine key questions about the update.

 

 

6. Subdomains vs. Subfolders, Rel Canonical vs. 301, and How to Structure Links for SEO – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, February 6th

 

Subfolders or subdomains? 301 redirect or rel canonical? What about optimal link structures for SEO? Some of the basic questions are the ones that crop up the most frequently, and in this Whiteboard Friday, Rand tackles those three.

 

7. The Alleged $7.5 Billion Fraud in Online Advertising by Samuel Scott, June 22nd

 

Online advertising is often based around the idea of an “impression,” but few of us actually know what that means. We assume it means some sort of interaction with a human being, but as it turns out, we’re quite wrong. We dive into some staggering statistics with Samuel Scott.

 

8. How to do Keyword Research in 90 Minutes by Jeremy Gottlieb, January 28th

 

Using a hypothetical client, Jeremy Gottlieb shows you just how much keyword research you can get done in 90 minutes (and walks you step-by-step through how to do it).

 

9. Spam Score: Moz’s New Metric to Measure Penalization Risk by Rand Fishkin, March 30th

 

Moz’s Spam Score metric helps quantify the relative risk of penalization/banning by search engines using a series of correlated flags. This post helps explain where you can find Spam Score, how to use it, and the R&D behind its development.

 

10. Why Good Unique Content Needs to Die – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, May 22nd

 

If we’re talking about creating “good, unique content” and are hoping for it to rank in competitive SERPs, we’re not setting the right bar. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand shows us what we should be going for instead.

 

3. Top YouMoz posts by unique visits

YouMoz is a wondrous, magical place where our insightful community members may submit their own ideas for blog posts. When they go live, they can even be promoted to the main blog to share with an even bigger audience. The majority of the posts below may have gotten bumped from YouMoz up to that big blog in the sky, but it’s a testament to how well they did.

 

1. How to Stop Spam Bots from Ruining Your Analytics Referral Data by Jared Gardner, March 18th

 

Don’t give spam bots a free ride on your website. Create an inhospitable environment for the invasive pests in a few simple steps.

 

2. How Hashtags Work on Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, and Flickr by Ann Smarty, February 15th

 

Hashtags, which make it easier to find, share, and curate content on social platforms, can be an invaluable tool in your marketing arsenal.

 

3. Why I Stopped Selling SEO Services and You Should, Too by Ryan Stewart, October 7th

 

It’s no longer just about optimizing your website for Google. It’s about optimizing your presence across the web. SEO has tentacles that extend well beyond your website, so it’s important that you begin to think of search holistically, taking into account all of the areas that can be optimized.

 

4. Stop Ghost Spam in Google Analytics with One Filter by Carlos Escalera, August 2nd

 

Don’t be distracted by web spam. A simple, easy-to-use filter could remove the majority of your worries surrounding spam.

 

5. 9 Simple Tips For Making An About Us Page That Works For Your Brand by Ben Austin, March 15th

 

Your brand’s About Us page is prime real estate for prospects looking to do business with the company. Reward visitors for their efforts by showcasing an engaging, insightful page.

 

6. 14 Ways to Find Any Email Address in 10 Minutes or Less by Freddie Chatt, March 26th

 

Content promotion and amplification are the lifeblood of content marketing, and it all starts with outreach. Don’t allow the lack of an email address to hold back your outreach efforts.

 

7. Everything You Need To Know About Sponsored Content by Chad Pollitt, January 20th

 

Has your business considered sponsored content? Research says it can be a worthwhile addition to your business’s marketing efforts.

 

8. A Beginner’s Guide to Google Search Console by Angela Petteys, September 1st

 

If the name “Google Webmaster Tools” rings a bell for you, you might already have an idea of what Google Search Console is. This post shows you how to successfully set up Search Console for your site.

 

9. Case Study: How I Turned Autocomplete Ideas into Traffic & Ranking Results with Only 5 Hours of Effort by Jamie Press, July 14th

 

Don’t sleep on Google Autocomplete for helping you uncover some low-hanging-fruit content ideas.

 

10. Become Intelligent: Use Google Analytics Intelligence Alerts to your Advantage by Martijn Scheijbeler, February 25th

 

Use Google Analytics Intelligence Alerts to help you more effectively recognize changes to your website’s performance.

 

4. Top posts by number of thumbs up

Just take a moment and think about where we’d be without thumbs. No rocket science, no masterpieces of human creativity, no spaces between the words in our sentences, and definitely no raw indication of just what you folks liked in 2015 on the Moz blog! Thank goodness for thumbs. Here are the top posts by thumbs up, as indicated by anyone with a favorable opinion and a community account.

 

1. 15 SEO Best Practices for Structuring URLs by Rand Fishkin, February 24th

 

It’s been a long time since we covered one of the most fundamental building blocks of SEO — the structure of domain names and URLs — and it’s high time to revisit.

 

2. Why I Stopped Selling SEO Services and You Should, Too by Ryan Stewart, October 7th

 

It’s no longer just about optimizing your website for Google. It’s about optimizing your presence across the web. SEO has tentacles that extend well beyond your website, so it’s important that you begin to think of search holistically, taking into account all of the areas that can be optimized.

 

3. Technical Site Audit Checklist: 2015 Edition by Geoff Kenyon, January 19th

 

Back in 2011, Geoff wrote a a technical site audit checklist, and while it was thorough, there have been a lot of additions to what is encompassed in a site audit. He’s gone through and updated that old checklist for 2015.

 

4. 10 SEO Myths that Friggin’ Tick Me Off by Cyrus Shepard, March 9th

 

Most non-SEO folk you talk to are generally very nice people. Then, though, there’s the non-SEO “expert” (loosely defined as someone who has a cousin in marketing). Well-intentioned but misinformed, they believe SEO is urban legend, no better than a Ponzi scheme. In this post are a few of the worst offenders.

 

5. Spam Score: Moz’s New Metric to Measure Penalization Risk by Rand Fishkin, March 30th

 

Moz’s Spam Score metric helps quantify the relative risk of penalization/banning by search engines using a series of correlated flags. This post helps explain where you can find Spam Score, how to use it, and the R&D behind its development.

 

6. 10 Predictions for the Marketing World in 2015 by Rand Fishkin, January 6th

 

The beginning of the year marks the traditional time for blogger prognosticating, and Rand’s created a tradition of predicting the big trends in SEO and web marketing over the last decade.

 

7. Subdomains vs. Subfolders, Rel Canonical vs. 301, and How to Structure Links for SEO – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, February 6th

 

Subfolders or subdomains? 301 redirect or rel canonical? What about optimal link structures for SEO? Some of the basic questions are the ones that crop up the most frequently, and in this Whiteboard Friday, Rand tackles those three.

 

8. A Universal SEO Strategy Audit in 5 Steps – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, January 30th

 

Starting your SEO strategy with questions only works if you’re asking the right questions. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand covers the five that’ll lead you in the wrong direction, and the five steps you should be taking instead.

 

9. How to Provide Unique Value in Your Content – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, January 9th

 

Marketers of all stripes are hearing more about providing unique content and value to their audiences, and how that’s what Google wants to show searchers. Unique content is straightforward enough, but what exactly does everyone mean by “unique value?” What does that actually look like? In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand illustrates the answer.

 

10. How Hashtags Work on Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, and Flickr by Ann Smarty, February 15th

 

Hashtags, which make it easier to find, share and curate content on social platforms, can be an invaluable tool in your marketing arsenal.

 

5. Top posts by number of comments

It’s always thought-provoking to see the differences between top posts by thumbs and top posts by comments; they don’t always overlap. Maybe these had a shade of controversy to them, maybe a particularly interesting discussion ensued, maybe a group of rebels broke community guidelines, got off topic, and posted the lyrics to their favorite Neil Diamond songs (I wish). Regardless of the reason, these posts generated the most conversation in 2015 — read through to find out why, and maybe add your own here and there!

 

1. How to Stop Spam Bots from Ruining Your Analytics Referral Data by Jared Gardner, March 18th

 

Don’t give spam bots a free ride on your website. Create an inhospitable environment for the invasive pests in a few simple steps.

 

2. Why I Stopped Selling SEO Services and You Should, Too by Ryan Stewart, October 7th

 

It’s no longer just about optimizing your website for Google. It’s about optimizing your presence across the web. SEO has tentacles that extend well beyond your website, so it’s important that you begin to think of search holistically, taking into account all of the areas that can be optimized.

 

3. Local Search Expert Quiz: How Much Do You Know about Local SEO? by Cyrus Shepard, January 13th

 

Last year, Moz introduced the SEO Expert Quiz, which to date over 40,000 people have attempted to conquer. We’re proud to announce the Local Search Expert Quiz. Written by local search expert Miriam Ellis herself, the quiz contains 40 questions to completely challenge your knowledge of Local SEO.

 

4. Subdomains vs. Subfolders, Rel Canonical vs. 301, and How to Structure Links for SEO – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, February 6th

 

Subfolders or subdomains? 301 redirect or rel canonical? What about optimal link structures for SEO? Some of the basic questions are the ones that crop up the most frequently, and in this Whiteboard Friday, Rand tackles those three.

 

5. Spam Score: Moz’s New Metric to Measure Penalization Risk by Rand Fishkin, March 30th

 

Moz’s Spam Score metric helps quantify the relative risk of penalization/banning by search engines using a series of correlated flags. This post helps explain where you can find Spam Score, how to use it, and the R&D behind its development.

 

6. Stop Ghost Spam in Google Analytics with One Filter by Carlos Escalera, August 2nd

 

Don’t be distracted by web spam. A simple, easy to use filter could remove the majority of your worries surrounding spam.

 

7. 10 SEO Myths that Friggin’ Tick Me Off by Cyrus Shepard, March 9th

 

Most non-SEO folk you talk to are generally very nice people. Then, though, there’s the non-SEO “expert” (loosely defined as someone who has a cousin in marketing). Well-intentioned but misinformed, they believe SEO is urban legend, no better than a Ponzi scheme. In this post are a few of the worst offenders.

 

8. How Hashtags Work on Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, and Flickr by Ann Smarty, February 15th

 

Hashtags, which make it easier to find, share and curate content on social platforms, can be an invaluable tool in your marketing arsenal.

 

9. 9 Simple Tips For Making An About Us Page That Works For Your Brand by Ben Austin, March 15th

 

Your brand’s About Us page is prime real estate for prospects looking to do business with the company. Reward visitors for their efforts by showcasing an engaging, insightful page.

 

10. Technical Site Audit Checklist: 2015 Edition by Geoff Kenyon, January 19th

 

Back in 2011, Geoff wrote a a technical site audit checklist, and while it was thorough, there have been a lot of additions to what is encompassed in a site audit. He’s gone through and updated that old checklist for 2015.

 

6. Top community comments by thumbs up

These comments were good. If these comments were ancient Roman gladiators, they would definitely be spared. We’ve got a healthy mix of advice, humor, TAGFEE, and pure humanity in this year’s batch — reading these, I know I couldn’t be prouder to be involved with this community. Here are 2015’s top comments by number of thumbs up.

Bonus points: See if you can divine the identity of our enigmatic “mystery guest”…

1. Gianluca Fiorelli | June 12th

 

Commented on Why We Can’t Do Keyword Research Like It’s 2010 – Whiteboard Friday

 

 

2. Rand Fishkin | January 6th

 

Commented on 10 Predictions for the Marketing World in 2015

 

 

3. Rand Fishkin | October 7th

 

Commented on Why I Stopped Selling SEO Services and You Should, Too

 

 

4. Phil Nottingham | July 21st

 

Commented on Moz Local Officially Launches in the UK

 

 

5. Rand Fishkin | April 22nd

 

Commented on 7 Days After Mobilegeddon: How Far Did the Sky Fall?

 

 

6. mystery_guest | January 6th

 

Commented on 10 Predictions for the Marketing World in 2015

 

 

 

7. Rand Fishkin | August 7th

 

Commented on Why Effective, Modern SEO Requires Technical, Creative, and Strategic Thinking – Whiteboard Friday

 

 

8. Erica McGillivray | August 20th

 

Commented on Is Online Marketing Gender-Diverse?

 

 

9. Sarah Bird | August 20th

 

Commented on Is Online Marketing Gender-Diverse?

 

 

 

10. Samuel Scott | May 29th

 

Commented on Is Brand a Google Ranking Factor? – Whiteboard Friday

 

7. Top commenters by total number of comment thumbs up

Writing thoughtful, discerning commentary is more valuable than just contributing to the discussion at hand and supporting the betterment of the online marketing industry as a whole. Heck, the best comments earn thumbs up, and writing the best comments time and time again will net you some serious MozPoint cheddar. I present to you today the one percenters of the Moz blog commenters from 2015.

 

 

1. Samuel Scott, username SamuelScott

 

MozPoints: 3324 | Rank: 25

 

 

 

2. Peter Nikolow, username Mobilio

 

MozPoints: 1330 | Rank: 81

 

 

 

3. Umar Khan, username UmarKhan

 

MozPoints: 1671 | Rank: 64

 
 

4. Marie Haynes, username Marie Haynes

 

MozPoints: 5739 | Rank: 6

 
 

5. Matt Antonino, username MattAntonino

 

MozPoints: 3623 | Rank: 21

 
 

6. EGOL, username EGOL

 

MozPoints: 19,316 | Rank: 1

 
 

7. Nick Stamoulis, username Brick-Marketing

 

MozPoints: 1087 | Rank: 104

 
 

8. Bill Slawski, username billslawski

 

MozPoints: 1117 | Rank: 102

 

 

 

9. Eric Enge, username EricEnge

 

MozPoints: 2099 | Rank: 44

 
 

10. Kelsey Libert, username KelseyLibert

 

MozPoints: 1140 | Rank: 98

 

 

 

8. Top commenters by average number of thumbs/comment, 20 comment minimum

Here’s another way to showcase some of our most consistently prolific commenters whose words strike a chord with the community. These are the folks with the highest average number of thumbs up per comment, who have contributed at least 20 total comments over 2015. To all our commenters and silent, lurking readers thumbs-up-ing everything, we thank you for sharing your wisdom, your wit, and your critiques all — you make this blog a good place to be.

 

1. Peter Nikolow, username Mobilio

 

Total comments: 131 | Total thumbs: 489

 

 

2. Martin Pezet, username mpezet

 

Total comments: 20 | Total thumbs: 73

 

 

3. Samuel Scott, username SamuelScott

 

Total comments: 272 | Total thumbs: 965

 

 

4. Brady Callahan, username BradyDCallahan

 

Total comments: 26 | Total thumbs: 88

 

 

5. Igal Stolpner, username Igalst

 

Total comments: 22 | Total thumbs: 73

 

 

6. Bill Slawski, username billslawski

 

Total comments: 42 | Total thumbs: 136

 

 

7. Angular Marketing, username Angular

 

Total comments: 30 | Total thumbs: 92

 

 

8. Marie Haynes, username MarieHaynes

 

Total comments: 102 | Total thumbs: 286

 

 

9. Mark Traphagen, username MarkTraphagen

 

Total comments: 40 | Total thumbs: 101

 

 

10. Matt Antonino, username MattAntonino

 

Total comments: 76 | Total thumbs: 191

 

This is a salute to you — the hard-working, generously-contributing, tirelessly thoughtful Moz blog community. Where would we ever be without you? Our heartfelt thanks for all you do and say. Here’s to a 2016 that’s even better!

 
 

Allow me to give a huge shout out to Trevor, Tori, and Cyrus, without whose help we would all be lost — especially me, when compiling all these numbers. Thanks for everything!

 
 
 

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