Everyone makes mistakes, it happens. But when Google gets it wrong, Digital Marketers who are beholden to their every whim and wish will jump on the opportunity to rub their hands together with a bit of glee. Schadenfreude, my friends, schadenfreude. It’s refreshing when they’re the ones scratching their heads or scrabbling to fix things.

Last week, it was announced that all of the data in Google Search Console, for pretty much the entirety of April, was wrong. It turns out there was an indexing bug which caused a data outage for most of the month. Although the situation was rectified on April 26, the data for that period is totally gone, never to be retrieved, never to be seen again.

Needless to say, this is going to make for some tricky reporting for SEOs, and is sure to have messed with some campaigns running through the month of April. If you are one of those people currently dealing with the backlash from Google’s mistake, we feel for you and send you good vibes and beer tokens*.

While we don’t have an answer to this particular f*ck up, it got us thinking about all the other times Google have made themselves look a little foolish this year (so far). So let’s indulge in some of that schadenfreude-like catharsis, shall we? It’s Friday and we deserve to let off some steam.

*Beer tokens aren’t actually real but we think you definitely deserve a beer, so that counts right?

March 2019 update or rollback?

In March 2019, Google supposedly rolled out another update. It was the usual scenario: SEOs started noticing some fluctuations, Google announced the update and the expected mild panic and avid analytics-watching ensued. But was this actually an update or was it something slightly different?

Barry Schwartz and Search Engine Land put out a call to SEOs to find out their experiences of this update. Barry and SEL are the first to admit that their data may be somewhat biased, but that doesn’t change the fact that the results are resoundingly inconclusive. There’s no trend, no average, nothing concrete that can be taken from their findings. Even in the murky world of digital marketing, that’s unusual for the wake of a Google update.

Others out there have come to the conclusion that we didn’t see an update in March, so much as a rollback. Brett Tabke thinks Google were simply undoing some of the work they’ve done in the past. What makes him think that? The people who seemed to have done the best out of this release from Google, are the very same people who suffered the worst at the hands of previous updates. Not everyone is convinced either way on this one, but it does seem odd that there’s no clear result from this update.

Whether Google released a crappy update, or undid the work of previous updates, this has got to be a booboo in everyone’s book.

Local SEO survey

Towards the end of April, Google compounded their ‘Oops no data in Search Console’ fandango, by missing the mark with Local SEO specialists and SMBs alike. They put out a 40-question survey, trying to ascertain whether SMBs would be willing to pay a monthly fee of $30 for certain Google My Business features.

While it’s a good sign that Google are actually asking their audience what they want before they introduce a new service, the GMB survey hasn’t quite hit the right spot. Specialists in the field seem to be wondering who the hell wrote this survey (because they certainly don’t understand Local SEO and SMBs), and who it’s trying to please.

Sure, Google have got to do something to cash in on subscription fever, but they also need to get the fundamentals right first. If they can’t provide decent GMB support, how do they hope to provide all the other newfangled features the survey hints at?

We admire the ambition that this survey shows, but the execution has left something to be desired. Just another hiccup for Google to chalk up to experience this year.

OR are these all excuses to sell SEO?

What about a view from the other side, before we finish this all off?

There are those who believe that the furore that often surrounds Google updates are actually just opportunities for SEOs to push their services a little harder. If Google changes the game, then clients will need more SEO advice, and in-house SEOs will need more training and information. So is it really that much of a stretch to believe Barry Schwartz’s theory that kicking up a fuss about Google updates is all part of an SEOs agenda?

Patrick Reinhart is of a similar mindset. He believes that SEOs shouldn’t be panicking every time Google makes an update, because these algorithm changes are always intended to improve the quality of the search results delivered to users. If you’ve been knocked by an update, Patrick argues it’s because your website quality wasn’t good enough. He even goes as far as saying that naming Google updates makes us fear them more. So by his logic, Google haven’t messed anything up or even got anything right because it doesn’t matter as long as your website is sound.

While some SEOs might be opportunistically making the most of Google updates to get more clients, it’s a little bit too simplistic to claim that quality trumps all else. Google is a business at the end of the day, and they are out to line their own pockets as well as improving search results. So their updates might be about quality, but they are most certainly about profit, and the two can’t always line up perfectly.

TL;DR? Google has had a rough start to 2019

What with the imperceptible impact of the March update, the loss of Search Console data in April, and the misguided and poorly executed GMB survey, it’s fair to say 2019 hasn’t been the easiest year for Google so far.

For us in the industry, it’s pretty reassuring to see that even the great behemoth Google can mess up sometimes. But even more importantly than that, this is a reminder that nothing in our line of work is a given. We’ve got to be constantly vigilant, constantly out-thinking Google, and constantly keeping our eyes on the horizon. That’s the fun part, right?

By Lizzie McCauley, UnGagged

Upcoming Conference: UnGagged Los Angeles 2019

By Becky Simms, CEO at Reflect Digital

Gamification in marketing has been around for a long time, but I genuinely believe there are few brands that have really nailed the execution. In this article, I will share with you some of the top mistakes made and how to improve your future plans.

1. Too sales focused

Many brands integrate gamification with the view that it is a sales tool so therefore try to integrate the product too much or force the user to buy following completion of the game. A game is about creating a shared experience between customer/potential customer and brand. There is a strong likelihood of sales further down the line, but this must not be the driver. Our research found that consumers were 60% more likely to buy from a brand if they played a game they enjoyed with that brand.

So to dive into this point a little deeper, it is totally fine to have some product placement in your game, if it makes sense to do so, or to ensure your brand shines through. But the major no-no is to make it all about your brand and lose sight of the genuine shared experience you were trying to create. I was with a drinks manufacturer recently and they wanted to make the game all about their products and to fully integrate it with the shop. This is so obvious to the user and loses the authenticity of what a game should be all about.

I have also seen brands where the game is short and sweet and then you suddenly have a voucher code to buy immediately but without any data capture. So this then is driving for the immediate sale, which for an expensive item is not likely, and missed the opportunity for future marketing as no data was passed on.

In the perfect world, your game should have a little branding or product subtly included but there should be no sales focus other than potentially a free prize from your brand.

2. A complete lack of focused outcomes

In total contrast to point one, I have seen it many times before where a brand launches a game with literally no benefit to the brand. Gamification has so many potential benefits without being too sales-y that it is key you ensure you have a plan to deliver some valuable return. I recently met a high street fashion brand and asked them about a game on their website, no one in the marketing team knew about it, it pre-dated them, but the game was totally useless from a brand perspective.

So what do I mean? From a game, your brand should be able to achieve some of the following:

  • Data – by having a reason for example to either save progress or to win a prize
  • Engagement – this could be on site or over social channels, creating buzz about your brand and having a reason to talk to your audience without a sales message.
  • PR – if it is good enough then the websites your target demographic follow will want to talk about it!
  • Links – for an SEO strategy we all know how important genuine links are, this is a great way to get websites to link to you naturally.
  • Social media following – this can help increase your following, especially if users can ask for clues but need to follow you first.
  • Customer insight – we are getting really techy here, but a game might allow you to bucket your users off into new targeting sets based on their behaviour.

All of these are possible alongside offering a fun and engaging experience for the user, it is just a case of planning your game properly. We often advise starting at the end point of what you want to achieve and then work back from there. Find out more about gamification marketing.

Becky spoke about “Gamification: The link builder’s call of duty” at UnGagged London 2019.
Keep an eye out for her next speaking slot at UnGagged London in 2020!

By Viola Eva, SEO Consultant, Flow SEO

On-page SEO is often perceived as the ugly duckling of SEO.

It’s the process of optimizing ranking factors directly on your website. Those beautiful and powerful sisters (backlinks) are often stealing on-page SEO’s spotlight, which is perceived as a repetitive, boring, must-do task. However, more recently, on-page SEO is rising in popularity with underground SEOs of all hat colors.

How come optimizing page titles and H1 is suddenly exciting again?

In this article, we’ll cover the difference between normal on-page SEO and the correlational SEO of today. In fact, 2019 is the right time to show your content some love with next level on-page SEO.

Viola Eva correlational SEO

On-page SEO: The good ol’ days

Within minutes, most SEO crawlers (think Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, ahrefs, etc.) deliver meaningful insights on the status of the optimization of your website.

Today, most of them have appealing interfaces, and they’ll tell you where your on-page SEO is deficient. Common metrics include:

  • Missing, duplicate or page titles that are too long
  • Missing, duplicate or meta descriptions that are too long
  • Missing or duplicate H1s
  • … many more

You export the list of recommendations and pass it on to your team.

If you’re a respectable SEO, you’ve done keyword mapping before and have matched your target pages with a target keyword and supporting keyword variations. Now, your team is updating the deficient ranking signals. This is still SEO best practice, because as much as on-page SEO is boring, it works. There is hardly any SEO who would argue on the power of page title, URL and H1. Adding your target keyword always works.

If you are not optimizing those factors, you are simply missing out on powerful SEO opportunities.

In the good old days, you would also go in and sprinkle your main keyword across the content. Some people believed in keyword density (percentage of keyword in total text) and adjusted accordingly. If you push your website through the crawler again, green boxes appear. Everyone is happy.

Correlational SEO in 2019

Most crawlers will review a hard-coded set of ranking factors. The creators basically choose which factors should be included and no matter which target page you are crawling, you will receive the same list of ranking factors to review. Whilst our SEO experience tells us that headlines are an important ranking factor, we don’t know exactly how they should be optimized for our specific target page in order to outperform the top-ranking pages.

The recommendations of most crawlers do not factor in competition and their status of optimization. This is where correlational SEO hits the stage. Modern tools for correlational SEO (CORA, Page Optimizer Pro, SurferSEO, Clearscope) allow you to compare your target page against high-ranking competitors. The insights from these tools are not based on a simple traffic light system (done/ not done) but on a relative comparison to those pages that are successfully ranking on page 1.

You will learn to update the keyword count in the body of the text because that is what the websites on page 1 are doing. The ranking factor “search terms in body tag” correlates with their position on page 1. Suddenly, you are optimizing not just any ranking factor, but those that are statistically relevant to appearing on page 1.

This is why on-page SEO is suddenly sexy again — because it is easy to implement, but it can give you a real competitive advantage. With this mindset shift, you will learn how to use your target keyword, keyword variations and context keywords (LSI) based on the performance of the top websites. You will learn how to optimize to be competitive.

In terms of implementation, there is not a big difference towards the checklists of regular crawlers, but it is a huge mindset shift in terms of building strategies. We now make 100-percent data-driven decisions and pick those on-page factors from those which are proven to move the needle.

Time to rise and shine, on-page SEO!


Correlational SEO


Viola spoke about the “The Holy Trinity – SEO Science, Correlational SEO and Algorithmic Content Analysis” at UnGagged London 2019.
Keep an eye out for her next speaking slot at UnGagged in 2020!

What if you knew the exact key elements your content needs to have in order to rank in Google’s top results? What if I told you that there is a framework that allows anyone willing to invest in content to have high ranking pages in matters of weeks?

Do you know how the content of your website actually impacts your Google rankings?

Content marketing, among other SEO strategies, is really a hot topic these days for any industry. But I bet you already knew that. What we think you might not know is the exact correlation between SEO and content.

And this is because if you torture data long enough, it will confess. And yes, content does influence rankings but here’s why and how.

At an informal level, we always knew that content strategies have a lot to do with rankings and quality content creation improves your rankings. Google itself admitted it and they even created an update dedicated to this issue and the importance of relevant content.

When you actually see real numbers that show to what extent content influences rankings, it’s totally different. And if you’re wondering what numbers am I talking about, check the graph below.

Content Performance Score vs Top 20 Google Positions

After compiling and analyzing all the ranking content for the top positions in Google, for around 40,000 keywords, it seems to be a very strong correlation between content performance and rankings. The higher the content performance, the higher the rankings.

The key within this affirmation is “content performance”. By now you might be wondering: What is this content performance score? How is it measured? And if it does impact rankings, how can it be improved? Keep on reading and you’ll get your answers.

An innovative way to measure how well optimized any piece of content is

As we at cognitiveSEO like to be problem solvers, we tried and failed, then tried some more, and worked a lot until we found a way to measure how well optimized a piece of content is. And this is how The Content Performance Metric was born.

The metric shows you how well a page is optimized from a content point of view, on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the better optimized the content is. And not only this: the same metric gives you info on the reasons why a piece of content is performing well or not.

Content Performance

The Content Performance metric is an indicator entirely developed by the cognitiveSEO team, everything from soup to nuts. A lot of Google reverse engineering was involved in this, combining algorithms and concepts such as semantic search, LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing), TF*IDF or topical authority, just to mention a few.

You can easily get the content performance score for every piece of content you might be interested in; but along with it you get even more: the exact keywords that one should use in their content to improve that score.

As I know you are curious what’s happening under the hood in the content optimization tool, I am going to share with you a bit from the Content Assistant’s internal “kitchen”:

  • We start by analyzing the top rankings results from Google, having the content as a focus point.
  • After this, we apply some really advanced algorithms in order to identify the semantics, topics, and keywords used on those pages. We do not take in consideration HTML tags influence (h1/h2, etc.). We only look at how well written and relevant the content is, trying to identify the exact factors that boosted those pieces of content on the top of the rankings.
  • Based on an in-depth analysis, we give a content performance score for each piece of ranking content, highlighting the focus keywords used by that piece of content.

A framework for an Exponential SEO Growth

Seeing the high correlation between the content performance score and the rankings, wouldn’t it be great if there was a framework that helped you to calculate and improve your content performance score?

Well, here comes the good news: there is such a framework and there is even a tool that can help you out with this. We call it the Keyword Tool & Content Assistant (or simply put the cognitiveSEO Content Optimization Tool)

But, when it comes to the framework you will have to attend my UnGagged session to find out everything!

Can hardly wait to see you in London in April!

Razvan Gavrilas

Founder of cognitiveSEO and Brandmentions, with 20+ years of SEO and digital marketing experience. Razvan is always happy to share and win knowledge within conferences and meetings.

Find out more about Razvan’s framework in his session at UnGagged London, 2 April 2019: Building an SEO Exponential Growth model by Closing Your Content Gaps

Depending on which side you fight for, SEO or PPC, it’s understandable to be protective of what you love.

But there are some benefits to gingerly coming out from hide-and-secrecy in pursuit of the greater good…whether that be for your brand, or a client.

The Battle of the SERP is no longer a one-channel race. Hedge your bets, share your data, GO!


Whatever tools and methodology you use to assess the quality of your links or source new ones, there are learnings to be had from Google Ads data.

By heading to the Display tab > Where Ads Showed tab you will find a list of placement domains upon which remarketing and prospecting ads were displayed. While this list can be as long as your arm, utilise filtering options to source the ‘best domains’ depending on your objectives.

Display tab > Where Ads Showed for placement domains

Want to increase traffic? Sort by high clicks or filter by above average CTR. Ad CTR can be a good indicator of two things; an engaging ad, and targeting the right audience. Display CTRs can be pretty low compared to Paid and Organic search, so as SEOs, don’t be perturbed if prospecting display campaign CTRs aren’t over 0.5% or remarketing campaigns over 1% for the data you’re analysing. These are by no means averages, as other factors such as client media spend, size of audience, bid price and industry averages can also affect CTR.

Rather focus on better sales and revenue? Filter by ‘at least 1 conversion’ or ‘at least £0.01 conv. Value’ to find the most valuable potential domains for your next outreach activity.

Now you’ve got your list of domains, run them through any internal checkers you have to quality control the sites are relevant to your audience, look suitable based on your/client goals, and have decent domain authority if that is important to you.


Moving swiftly onto the world of qualified optimised content – is there such a thing? Well aside from SEO Review Tools, Search Console, Moz and other tools, here’s another for the mix; Google Ads’ Quality Score.

Quality Score is used by Google to keep advertisers and PPC practitioners in check and ensure campaigns are running at best-practice. The benefit of this is cheaper traffic, so it’s an essential as part of life as a PPCer (before Google moves the goal posts again!). The Score itself is made up of 3 parts; expected CTR, ad relevance and landing page experience – the latter of which we deem most important in the great SEO/PPC crossover.

Google Ads data should be used to find keywords with a ‘Below Average’ landing page experience – and these should be prioritised depending on search volume. The quickest wins come from improving landing pages with high-volume queries, and you can also use Ads data to find new landing page keywords too (because who keyword stuffs anymore anyway). Google is getting smarter at understanding variants – such as jumpers and sweaters being a similar item of clothing despite search volumes differing by country – and this exercise is great for giving Google a helping hand and your landing page appearing more relevant for close-match search terms.

If you’re broaching your PPC agency/in-house team for this information, a great place to start is asking them if they run any Dynamic Search Ad (DSA) campaigns. Once regarded as the lazy way to launch PPC, they’ve found their niche for not only improving customer loyalty, but also the expanding reach of the most tightly-optimised Google Ads account. If you haven’t launched a DSA campaign yet, a small budget gains you a lot of valuable data; it’s great for understanding what Google thinks your page is relevant for. Think of it like Search Console but for PPC – and a great way to learn upcoming keywords that may have slipped through the cracks when optimising the first time round.

Source new keywords using Dynamic Search Ad campaigns, and update your landing page with any high impression/click search queries if you’ve got an awareness/traffic objective, or high conversion/conv. Value queries if you’re working to sales or revenue objectives.


Lastly, it’s time to utilise unspoken ‘is it a ranking factor, is it not?’ data from Google Ads to improve organic CTR.

First stop, Google Search Console. Get your benchmark CTR and Position; last three months if your client is seasonal, otherwise the last 12 months’ data is just as good. It’s best to export this data, and plot your keywords to understand where your high-potentials are; these take the form of queries with a high Position but low CTR (compared to your 3-month and 12-month averages).

Example benchmark CTR and position in Google Search Console

If you’re running Ads campaigns already, you can see which ad group the query is assigned to in Ads, then check out the ad CTR results. If the ad CTR is looking strong compared to your organic CTR (and the keyword is low risk but high opportunity), test swapping out your current meta description for the ad copy with the highest CTR. This ‘donkeys to unicorns’ methodology was first coined by Larry Kim in 2016, but stands the test of time in the 2019 landscape. (Source: Moz.com)

And there we have it, three ways to improve SEO practices using PPC data – now go have fun testing them in the wild!

Hannah Zora Strong

Head of Paid Marketing at Silverbean, a Newcastle-based digital marketing agency specialising in driving sales performance across PPC, Social, Affiliates, Organic Search and Conversion Rate Optimisation.

Dig even deeper into SEO and PPC at Hannah’s UnGagged session, SEO <3 PPC on 2 April.

Do you think you’ve heard all the industry has to say about content marketing? Are you under the impression that there’s really not that much to talk about on the subject? You could be forgiven for thinking either of those things, but you’d be wrong. That’s why we’re taking the UnGagged approach to content marketing, and showing you just how much more there is to this stalwart of the biz.

This April, in etc Venues County Hall, UnGagged is going to be shaking up the steady world of content marketing. After all, there’s more to content than the odd blog post, and nobody knows that better than our speakers. So what can you expect from our content marketing gurus in just two weeks’ time?

Securing steady growth

Working out the financial benefits of content can be tricky enough – how do we know that any one blog post or video was actually instrumental in converting a customer? But more so than this, it’s even tougher to demonstrate the longevity of content. Once a piece of content is live, will it keep making an impact on customers and their decisions?

Well, with the help of Wojtek Mazur, you can optimise your existing content, so that you can continue to secure steady growth from all of it. Repurposing and making the most of content you already have is one of the pillars of a great content strategy, and Wojtek has all the best advice on how to put this into place and boost your traffic while you’re at it.

Wojtek is the co-founder of Elephate, an award-winning agency based in Poland. His role at the company is Head of Content Marketing, so you know that he’s going to be sharing some hidden gems from his own experience in the field.

Don’t miss Wojtek’s session, at 1pm on 1 April.

Content hones technical

Since the digital marketing industry burst onto the scene, content and technical have been at loggerheads. There seems to be a constant competition between the two – which is more important? What can you simply not live without?

While we at UnGagged believe that both have their place and are just as important as each other, Aiden Carroll has a slightly different perspective. This April, he’s going to be arguing that all the technical toys in the world are useless without good content. At UnGagged London 2019, Aiden is going to show you how to use content to sharpen up your technical SEO endeavours. In the face of amazing technological developments to come, Aiden is a proponent of making sure your website is worth the whizzy tech bits first. Aiden will walk you through a content strategy that works, and showcase the best persuasion techniques you can employ.

Aiden has been on the marketing scene for a while now, working with brands such as Aston Martin, Coca Cola, and The Red Cross. He’s the founder of Google We Are Squared and a co-founder of The Coloring In Department. What he doesn’t know about digital marketing, isn’t worth knowing.

Check out Aiden’s keynote session at 9am on 1 April.

Closing your content gaps

Any website audit and competitor analysis worth its salt will show you where you have content gaps. Having them all laid out in a pretty spreadsheet is great, but what are you supposed to do about them all?

Allow Razvan Gavrillas to answer that question. He has a foolproof framework that will allow you to build your growth by closing those content gaps. This isn’t just a one-time win, this is ongoing rank improvement to boost your traffic. This model can easily be scaled up, so you can stay ahead of the competition.

Razvan is one of our brand engagement speakers. He is the founder of cognitiveSEO and BrandMentions, two SEO tools to help improve your digital marketing efforts. He has over 20 years of experience in the field, so you know he’s going to be passing on some invaluable insights and tips.

You can catch Razvan’s session at 3.30 on 2 April.

Of course, content marketing isn’t the only subject we’ll be covering at UnGagged London 2019. To see all the amazing things we have in store for you this April, take a look at our speaker line-up and check out our agenda. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be an event you won’t want to miss.

By Lizzie McCauley, UnGagged

Ah Reddit.. Creator of Internet Culture and Slayer of Marketer Souls.. Bearer of Traffic, Exposure, and Links.. How can I understand thee?!?

Reddit has long perplexed marketers and in many cases flat our scared companies to a point they won’t even touch the social platform, but more often than not, the reason for everyone’s wariness of Reddit is simply not understanding what makes the community tick.

That said, having been on Reddit for over a decade, let me share with you some of the core elements you need to understand, to have better success on Reddit.

Why Should I Care About Reddit?

Fair question and I think it is a great place to start. Let’s take a look at a graphic we made a few years ago, which has been updated with the most recent information Reddit has shared with us.

Reddit - Brent Csutoras


Note that with Reddit’s 330+ million monthly unique visits, about 82% of the audience is English speaking, with about 62% being from the United States, and about 8% from the United Kingdom.

This is also an audience that you do not have to distract from connecting with friends and family, but who are on Reddit to learn, engage, and debate.

Reddit is a Platform, Not a Community

Granted there is an overall Reddit community, but Reddit is a platform that allows anyone to create and manage their own Subreddit. This is an important distinction as it will impact how you engage and interact with the site and it’s many various users.

  • If you find a Subreddit about a topic of interest, but don’t like the focus or way it is run…
  • If you have a topic of interest and no Subreddit exists…
  • If you are a company or personality that needs its own Subreddit…

Then you have the ability to create and run your own Subreddit, with your own rules and many other powers bestowed to Moderators.

Subreddits Have Their Own Rules

Reddit as a platform has a number of basic rules (called Reddiquette), like hacking other accounts, uploading viruses, or breaking the law, but what really matters on Reddit is understanding and abiding by each Subreddit’s individual rules, which are sometimes extremely specific and unique.


Brent Csutoras - Reddit Basics

For instance, in one of my favorite subreddits, /r/Futurology, there is a rule that says “comments must be on topic, contribute to the discussion and be of sufficient length.” So if you were to post something like ‘great article’ as a comment, it would be considered against the rules.

Content submitted to /r/TodayILearned, must be at least 2 months old and the popular subreddit showcasing /r/CatsStandingUp requires that every submission have a title with only the word ‘Cat.’ and nothing more.

Although some of the rules seem odd, in order to participate and submit content to the subreddit, you have to follow the rules or risk being banned completely.

Also it is important to note that actual Reddit employees (Admins) will not typically get involved or override a subreddits right to make and enforce its own rules.

The Difference Between Admins and Moderators

Admins are Reddit employees and Moderators either created a subreddit or have been added to help run one. In some cases, Admins are also Moderators, but they keep their roles quite separated.

Moderators have power within any subreddit they moderate and Admins have power over everyone, but as I mentioned earlier, they try to let subreddit moderators manage their subreddits as they see fit and stay out of it for the most part.

Be Anonymous

The founders, the Admins, the Moderators, and the vast majority of the users, all remain anonymous on Reddit, using pseudonyms instead of their real names.

Unless you are making an Official Brand Account, where you specifically want everyone to know who you are, it is better to be anonymous and create a pseudonym.

This Algorithm is Logarithmic!

I am not sure the number of voting based algorithms also use Logarithmic logic, but Reddit’s definitely does.


Reddit Algorithm

If you are not familiar with logarithms, let me explain in relation to Reddit’s algorithm like this:

The first 10 votes are equal in value to the next 100 votes, which are equal in value to the next 1000 votes, which are equal in value to the next 10,000 votes, etc.

So basically your first 10 votes are crucial, the next 100 are super important, and the next 1,000 are important.

That said, avoid the temptation to try to game those first 10 votes, as they tend to be pretty good at detecting gaming patterns and quick to ban people attempting to manipulate their algorithm.

Shhhh… Silent Bans and Moderation

On many social media sites, violating the rules (intentionally or not) in a way that gets you banned or suspended, will be accompanied by a notification or a message the next time you try to access your account.

That is not the case on Reddit, where if you are banned or if your submission is being held for Moderation, you have no obvious way to know it. This is the art of ‘silent banning’ or ‘ghost banning’ where you can log in, submit content, vote, and even comment, but no one other than you can see any of it.

Luckily, there is at least one solid way to determine if your account has been banned or if your recent submission has been put into a moderation queue.

Reddit Error

For a banned account check, simply visit your profile and copy your profile’s URL. Then log out and visit the URL again while logged out. If you see your account, then you are fine, but if you see a the below 404 page, then you have been silent banned.

For a potentially moderated submission, again log out of your account and then visit the /new/ section for the subreddit you just submitted to. If you see your new submission there, then it is not in moderation, but if it all of a sudden disappears, then it was moderated and you will have to reach out to the Moderators to ask them to release it.

Feed Me Reddit!

One last thing that you don’t necessarily need to know, but is interesting and useful, is that you can make any section of the site you are on into an RSS feed.For instance, if you wanted to get all the content that reaches the #1 spot in the subreddit /r/Futurology, then you would simply grab the Futurology / Top URL and add ‘/.json’ and turn it into a working feed. https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/top/.json

Reddit RSS

Or let’s say you wanted to be notified whenever a submission included a keyphrase, like the mention of ‘ungagged’. https://www.reddit.com/search.json?q=ungagged.


Brent Csutoras
Digital Marketing Consultant – Brent Csutoras, LLC and Managing Partner at Search Engine Journal, one of the top Digital Marketing publications online.

Go beyond the basics, check out Brent’s UnGagged London Session (April 1-3): Leveraging Reddit: The Social Media Superpower Everyone is Scared Of


If you’re reading this blog post, you might have already seen some pretty big claims about UnGagged. While we’re not above tooting our own horn, our attendees and speakers usually back that up with their own high praise. It usually looks like:

“UnGagged is the only conference that tells it like it is”

“The speakers at UnGagged can be so much more open than at other conferences”

“UnGagged is the best!”

But if you’ve never attended one of our conferences, all of these comments might leave you scratching your head. Aren’t all conferences supposed to be this “open”?

What’s all the fuss about?

We remove the gag

UnGagged is different for one main reason: our speakers can say whatever they like. That’s why it’s called UnGagged – we’ve removed the gag that other conferences usually put in place.

You might think speakers can be candid at any digital marketing conference, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Often conferences will have their own agendas and certain subject areas that are off-limits. So speakers end up discussing the safe things, things that are a little more old-hat or a little less exciting than they’d like.

But that’s not all. Pretty much all conferences are live-tweeted, live-blogged and even streamed around the world. It makes sense – why not make the most of the exposure and free marketing opportunities, right? Well, sure there’s that side of things, but all of this sharing means that every idea and every piece of advice gets plastered online, in public, for anyone and everyone to see. That’s how tactics get saturated. So, invariably, speakers won’t share as much. They’ll only hint at ideas or they’ll brush over the finer details, for fear that every other SEO or digital marketer will jump on the bandwagon before the day is through.

Not at UnGagged. We don’t allow any filming, tweeting or sharing of our sessions. Sometimes speakers will allow photography (sometimes), but more often than not our conference is completely locked down. That means the speakers are free to share as much detail as they like. They talk about real campaigns with real data and real results. If you want to know this stuff, you’ve got to get a ticket. And then keep all of that goodness to yourself – you paid for your ticket, the information is your ROI.

As if this privacy wasn’t enough, UnGagged is also small. We purposefully keep our attendance numbers low. Why? Because it’s all well and good preventing any sharing of content, but if there are 1000 people in the room, speakers still aren’t going to share their juiciest tips. We keep our numbers to 300 at the very most, so our speakers are comfortable dishing the dirt, safe in the knowledge that the few people in the room won’t be enough to ruin the fun for everyone.

Intimate and friendly

If you’ve ever been to a free conference, you will have experienced the bone crushing difficulty of simply moving from one session to another or desperately trying to find a cup of coffee. When you’re one of 10,000, things can get pretty uncomfortable and very impersonal. UnGagged is the opposite of that.

With our attendance cap, you’re one of an elite group at UnGagged. That means you can mill from room to room in comfort, and always find a beverage or snack, on us. Oh did we mention, we provide meals and drinks throughout the conference? Yeah, that’s a nice perk. But more than that, our smaller conference means you have better access to the speakers. If you have a question after a session, you can stroll on up and ask. If something occurs to you later that day, find them at the evening drinks and talk it over.

Our speakers are all so passionate about what they do, and they love talking about it (surprise, surprise – that’s why they’ve made a career out of it). So make the most of all the networking opportunities we provide you with and chat to them. You won’t be elbowing thousands of people out of the way just to get near them and you won’t even have to pay out to buy them a coffee – we’ve laid it all out for you.

No corporate BS

At UnGagged, we don’t have a hidden agenda or anything to push. We aren’t owned by a company that’s trying to get new clients or push a certain tool. We are all about sharing knowledge and connecting clever people. All we want from our attendees, is that they leave our conference with fresh ideas, or a new perspective, or a renewed excitement for their job. UnGagged is about enabling the best in the industry to share their ideas with other people who live for digital marketing.

So as you can see, UnGagged really is the only conference worth coming to. Check out our speaker line-up, take a look at the agenda, or buy your ticket now and we’ll see you in April.


In a word, no. Schema markup is not the new SEO, but you’ve got to admit, that clickbait headline grabbed your attention! Schema markup has been lauded as the solution to a lot of the issues we face in SEO. That’s definitely an oversimplification, because the debate around how useful schema can be for SEO, is much more convoluted. However, it certainly can’t harm your SEO efforts, especially if it’s tied in with another essential component: user experience.

Wait, what’s all the fuss about schema markup and SEO?

Ok, before we get onto user experience (UX), let’s briefly cover this.

There’s a lot of discussion around whether schema markup can improve your rankings. Some people argue that schema markup gives you a better chance of nabbing the featured snippet. The fight for that position is raging hard at the moment. There’s a fear that voice search will take over, and the competition for the featured snippet is still pretty open. Less than one third of Google search results currently feature one, so it is an achievable goal for a lot of keywords.

While a lot of people in the industry are banging the schema markup drum, there’s nothing concrete to suggest that it’s a definitive solution to all of your SEO problems. Sorry, guys. It seems like everyone and his dog has been claiming schema is the answer. While it is probably very useful, it’s not a magic wand you can simply wave over your site. Wouldn’t that be nice, though?

Ok, so what does schema markup have to do with user experience?

The point of schema markup is to be transparent. When you’re marking up your site with schema, you are naming and defining as many elements as possible. This makes it easier for algorithms to understand, which is where the belief that schema is great for SEO has come from.

That’s all well and good, but if the actual experience of navigating through your site doesn’t match up to the SERPs, you’re going to have issues. UX makes your site easier for humans to understand. This in turn, can reduce your bounce rate, increase your dwell time and perhaps improve conversion rates. All of that good stuff is essential for SEO.

Accurately describing your content gives your user a heads up on what’s happening. Off the back of that, a good UX delivers what was promised. Search engines are told what every element is, and each element will behave as it should. A title will be displayed as and where it should be, so will an image, or a video, or literally anything on your site. Every little bit will be indexed and categorised correctly. That means the information within is better structured, making it more easily found by humans. By taking the time to label your site carefully, and nailing your UX, you’re providing sign posts for your users, to help them find their way more easily.

So instead of focusing on ranking from the off, think of schema and UX as two halves of a whole that make your users’ lives easier. The quicker they can find what they need, the happier they’ll be. I don’t have to tell you that happy customers are return customers, which builds loyalty to your brand. We’re talking increased traffic, and increased engagement, and by dint of all that, better rankings. It all comes together so beautifully. What more could you ask for?

What else do I need to know about schema markup?

Schema lends itself to certain niches more than others, but if you have any data at all, there will be an associated itemscope, itemtype and itemprop, which are the building blocks of schema markup. That means, pretty much anyone can use schema to improve their UX. Take a look at the full list of schema categories to find out more.

In fact, on the schema website it says: “Schema vocabulary can be used with many different encodings, including RDFa, Microdata and JSON-LD. These vocabularies cover entities, relationships between entities and actions, and can easily be extended through a well-documented extension model.” Hooray! Schema for everyone!

Schema markup was founded by individuals from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex, and developments are all made in a community process, shared on GitHub. Seriously, it’s for anyone and everyone so there’s no excuse not to be using it.

There’s evidence to show that search engine results with schema markup result in higher CTR, more conversions and the aforementioned voice benefits if you can nab the featured snippet. Combine that with your improved UX and super happy customers, and you’re onto a winner. Schema markup might not be the cure-all we wish it could be, but it certainly has a part to play in your SEO efforts.