2015 was very much a rebuilding year for Moz Pro. We entered last year with some core infrastructure problems, and so worked heavily on less visible projects to make our SEO software faster, more reliable, and more polished. Still, on top of everything, we were able to add a host of new features and make some major design improvements.
The great news for 2016? A lot of that core infrastructure work is done or near completion. With this foundation in place, we’re going to seriously level up key sections of Moz Pro, like rank tracking, keyword research, site audits, and crawls. Expect to see some of these improvements as soon as next week!
If you’re a Moz Pro customer, or just interested in where we’ve been and where we’re going with our SEO product (hint, hint, we offer a free trial if you’re curious), give this post a read. I’ll cover the following:
- Key updates from 2015
- Moz Pro’s renewed focus on SEO
- Some improvements in store for 2016
Key updates from 2015
Link data and analysis
This new metric helps SEOs identify spammy links for the purposes of assessing risky link profiles, performing link cleanup, and evaluating link targets. To learn all about Spam Score and how to apply it, check out Rand’s excellent Whiteboard Friday on the topic.
Link building opportunities
Finding high-value link targets is challenging work, so we added some powerful new features to Open Site Explorer early in 2015 to surface those hard-to-find opportunities that are most relevant for your site. You’ll find three views in the Link Opportunities section of OSE.
- Reclaim Links: Find pages with link equity that are broken or blocked
- Unlinked Mentions: Find fresh content that mentions your site or brand, but doesn’t link back to you
- Link Intersect: Find links that related or competitive sites have, but that you don’t
We now surface unlinked mentions in your campaigns, too!
The Mozscape index
I won’t sugarcoat it: it was a rough year for our link index. We ran into some infrastructure issues that led to delays, outages, and inconsistencies. The good news? We’ve added reinforcements to the team and the infrastructure to keep our core index running smoothly. We are dedicated to improving our index quality, stability, and consistency in 2016.
From mobile rankings to search visibility to a complete UX refresh, we made some significant updates to campaign rankings data in 2015.
Last year, Google made it no secret they would take mobile seriously. They added mobile friendliness to their ranking factors, so we added it to our rank tracking. You can now track mobile rankings for Google, compare them to desktop rankings, and see which pages Google considers mobile-friendly.
We also added an extra engine to all campaigns allowing you to collect mobile rankings for every keyword you already track! Effectively, we added 25% more rankings collections to your account for free!
Along with mobile, we added a new way to understand your rankings—our new Search Visibility Score. You can easily see how visible your ranking pages are across all of the keywords you track. Tying this together with mobile rankings lets you see if your site’s mobile device compatibility may be affecting how you rank.
Last, but certainly not least, we completed a lot of the work to support Local Rankings in January of 2015. This robust addition offers the capability to not only track your rankings nationally, but also see how Google rankings appear in specific areas within a country. If location matters for your business, this feature can really help you understand and measure your local SEO visibility.
In 2015 we completely revamped our on-page optimization section of Moz Analytics, offering more accurate scores, updated advice, real-world usage examples, and a more elegant and intuitive design.
Precise scores & better advice
We eliminated letter grades from Page Optimization reports in favor of numerical scores. Scores of 0–100 are more precise than letter grades, and are more universally understood. We also updated relative weighting of page optimization criteria and incorporated updated advice from top SEOs to provide clear, relevant, practical optimization suggestions.
We also made some big improvements to the on-page optimization workflow, adding a brand new page for you to track, monitor, and report on just the pages that you are actively optimizing. We’ve also improved our optimization suggestions, and put them into a separate Discover tab.
Other notable improvements
We released our first version of Multiseat this past summer, which allows you to create extra logins and share access to your Moz Pro account with your team or clients. This was our most requested feature ever, and a feature we were keen to build for a long time. Multiseat turned out to be a surprisingly complex project, and required a coordinated effort across a bunch of teams to build out the infrastructure and make this feature a reality.
Improvements to campaign insights
Campaign insights highlight meaningful changes, help you quickly identify issues, and uncover opportunities to improve a site you’re actively optimizing. On top of significant performance improvements, we added new insights, a cleaner, more readable style, and even the ability to export insights to Trello.
New Pro homepage
This simplified page makes it easier to find and access the tools and services included with your Pro subscription.
Lots and lots of other updates and fixes
If you are interested in all of the details, we added a What’s New page with a more detailed chronology of updates, both big and small.
Moz Pro focus for 2016
2016 is the year that Moz Pro refocuses completely on SEO. We’ve diverted our focus in the past, adding peripherally relevant features to Moz Pro, only to find that customers didn’t value them and that we’d spread ourselves too thin.
As a company, Moz has honed its strategy, breaking into smaller teams that can each maniacally focus on the primary needs of their customers. This means that our very driven and talented Moz Pro product and engineering teams will get to focus their time, energy, and ingenuity in these areas:
- Rank Tracking
- Keyword research
- Site audits and optimization
- Link analysis and acquisition
- Great workflow to tie these together
As always, we will strive to provide the best data and metrics possible to help you evaluate, understand, and improve your search engine presence.
A sneak peek at some upcoming releases and improvements
I’m excited to share some of what we have in store for 2016! Our talented engineers, product managers, and SEO experts, along with some exceptionally helpful customers, have collaborated to dream up some big things for the coming year. Expect powerful new data sets, more intuitive workflows, and big improvements to core parts of the Pro subscription. Here’s a preview some of the big things coming your way in the next few months.
This audacious effort has been some time in the making, and a significant passion project for Rand. We’re really looking to make this keyword research tool stand out in the market, so while we already have a working version, we’re still vetting it with our beta testers and adding the final touches so that it can be as powerful and easy to use as possible.
Rand shared a sneak peek at the tool a short while back:
Making progress every day on our new Keyword Explorer. Should be beta testing soon & launching in Q1. pic.twitter.com/sRJNImCoCf
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) January 8, 2016
Rankings history, advanced filtering, and snappier data
At its face, unlimited rankings history doesn’t sound that groundbreaking. That’s because it isn’t. It’s a feature we’ve wanted to offer for some time, but couldn’t due to the limitations of our application’s architecture. Those limitations are history. We’ve invested in a completely redesigned, highly scalable infrastructure that allows us to unleash the entire history of your data, and make it viewable, manipulable, filterable, exportable, and much faster to load.
This will also allow us to build in some more powerful features in the near future, making rankings much more usable if you track a lot of keywords. We are officially launching this update next week, but the engineering team was a little impatient — and so we quietly launched these improvements today. If you’re already a Moz Pro customer, go to your campaign rankings page to see these updates right now!
Along with keyword research, topical analysis and optimization has become an important focus for SEOs. Moz’s Data Science team has built out a great service to analyze and extract topics from any page on the Web. We will soon offer this service in Moz Analytics campaigns to help you discover topically-related keywords based on competitors in the SERP. Adding these keywords to your pages can help search engines identify your pages’ topic and intent, and help you rank for a broader set of queries.
Site crawl and auditing
This update is still in the very early stages, but expect to see some big improvements in site crawl performance and features in the first half of this year.
Bigger, more frequent, and more reliable link index updates
This is a significant priority for this year. We’ve already made some important progress, but there’s still much to do.
And much more
We plan to really beef things up this year. Some features are still in the planning phase, and some are just raw ideas at this point. We will be sharing updates frequently.
In conclusion: Thank you!
Moz is nothing without all of you, our amazing customers and community. Thank you for continuing to engage, be critical, send praise, divulge your best tactics, share lessons from defeats, help strangers, and make new friends. Thank you for being transparent, authentic, generous, fun, empathetic, and exceptional. We will always strive to do the same.
PS: Please keep letting us know what you need
One more thing before I sign off — please, continue to share your feature requests and frustrations with us so we can improve Moz Pro and build the things you need most.