Steven Jacobs’ Blog and Recent Articles

  • TIL: Amazon Is Considering Paid Search on Echo and Alexa


    According to Business Insider, Amazon is preparing to expand its platform and better position itself for the increasing trends in voice search.

    As Voice is likely to be the next big thing, Amazon sold nine times more Echo devices during the holidays this year as opposed to last year. Online spending coming from clicks on paid search ads increased 45% year-over-year (YoY) in the 2016 holiday shopping season, according to data from Adlucent, a digital marketing agency.

    Source: Business Insider

  • TIL: One Of The Most Effectives Way To Pay Off Debt


    If you can afford the minimum payment this month for your credit card debt, make the same payment next month. Do not default to the new minimum payment.

    • a $5,000 balance on a credit card
    • with a 20% interest rate, then
    • paying JUST the minimum (let’s say 3% of the balance, which is $150 for the first payment),
    • it would take 183 months (that’s 14 YEARS) to pay off the card, and you’d pay $5,601.51 in interest alone.

    This is because the Minimum Payment goes downs as the Balance goes down. THIS IS WHAT THE BANKS ARE HOPING YOU WILL DO!!

    So after making the first payment of $150, your next minimum payment is $148, then $146 in Month 3, etc.

    BUT, if you just keep a constant payment of $150, you’ll pay off the card in 48 months and spend $2,164 in interest.

    This will shave over 11 years off the time it takes to repay the card, and save you $3,437.51 in interest.

    Paying even a small amount over the minimum payment each month goes a long way.

    More examples:

    Paying $175/month ($25 extra) cuts your payments down to 39 months and saves you $3,914.51 in interest.

    Paying $200/month ($50 extra) cuts your payments down to 32 months and saves you $4,226.51 in interest.

    I know you hear this time and again here in PF, but paying the Minimum Payments is a Lifetime Debt Sentence.

    And paying extra each month gives you an emotional “win” that will help you keep moving forward.

    Source: Reddit

  • Google

    Title Tag Lengths in 2016 Are 17% Longer Than 2015

    At a past job interview, one of the questions that they asked me was “how long is the title tag length for this year?” I won’t lie, the question bothered me. I knew the answer, but at the same time the question didn’t define my skill as a SEO specialist nor did it reflect my qualities. In response, I said that the standard definition you hear would be 55 characters. Instead it really depends on the character width and em size. By the time I was done explaining the title tag length, the interviewer was lost as I went into a more technical answer than she had expected to hear. Was I right? Absolutely. Did I give an elaborate answer on a simple question, because I was annoyed with the question? Most definitely.

    For 2016, Google has been testing a major change to the width of the left-hand column for organic search results. Google is testing a 17% increase in pixel containers from 512 pixels to 600 total pixels.

    2016 title Length

    Source: MOZ

    While you might be thinking that with 17% more space in 2016 for title tags there is room for 9 extra characters in the title tag. This would be true, except for character widths ’em’ as previously mentioned. A lower case ‘i’ will take a lot less space on a search result than a capital ‘W.’ So while it may seem the 9 extra characters will fit in search results, make sure to carefully watch the characters you’re adding for your search results in 2016.

    My recommendation for 2016 is to keep your title tags under 60 characters and you’ll be fine.

  • T-Shaped Web Marketer

    What Is A T-Shaped Web Marketer?

    The “T-Shaped” web marketer is known as an employee that has a broad knowledge of a lot of related topics, but is an expert and has a deep knowledge in a few specific fields. This model is essential to great marketing teams due to the diverseness on the individual.

    While the “Jack-of-all-Trades” model once seemed to have a negative connotation, the T-Shaped marketer carries qualities that help overlap in any company without redundancy. The overlapping knowledge in fact yields creativity and inspires within a company.

    MOZ created the T-Shaped Web Marketer guide which shows a wide breadth of basic knowledge across many overlapping disciplines, with a deep knowledge in a few fields as the image represents below:

    T-Shaped Web Marketer

    Other reading materials on the T-Shaped Web Marketer: Distilled, MOZ, Search Engine Watch.

  • 50 SEO Experts On Twitter

    50 SEO Experts You Should Be Following on Twitter

    Are you looking to get your website ranked #1 on Google? Join the club. When you’re looking for SEO news, where do you tend to turn to these days? Many of you will turn to blogs, communities, your own research and Twitter.

    With so much information out there from respected resources telling you that ‘SEO is dead,’ I thought it’d be wise to share with you 50 of my favorite SEO experts in the industry.

    To begin with, solid Search Engine Optimization experts have a proven track record in the ever-changing world of search. As search engines constantly change their algorithm, it’s important that these SEOs know the difference between Google’s Panda, Penguin, AI, etc… These individuals not only ‘talk the talk,’ but also ‘walk the walk,’ so to speak.

    1. Bruce Clay – @BruceClayInc
    2. Kristopher B. Jones – @krisjonescom
    3. Marcus Tober – @marcustober
    4. Andy Beard – @AndyBeard
    5. Joost De Valk – @yoast
    6. Danny Sullivan – @dannysullivan
    7. Brent Csutoras – @brentcsutoras
    8. Duane Forrester – @DuaneForrester
    9. Brian Dean – @Backlinko
    10. Rank Fishkin – @randfish
    11. Barry Schwartz – @RustyBrick
    12. Jon Cooper – @PointBlankSEO
    13. Bill Slawski – @bill_slawski
    14. Julie Joyce – @JulieJoyce
    15. Mark Traphagen – @marktraphagen
    16. DEJAN – @dejanseo
    17. Phil Rozek – @philrozek
    18. Aleyda Solis – @aleyda
    19. Jordan Kasteler – @JordanKasteler
    20. Joanna Lord – @JoannaLord
    21. Loren Baker – @lorenbaker
    22. Mitchell Stoker – @mitchellstoker
    23. Zac Johnson – @ZacJohnson
    24. Simon Kloostra – @SimonKloostra
    25. Sean Si – @SEO_Hacker
    26. AJ Ghergich – @SEO
    27. Ann Smarty – @seosmarty
    28. Eric Siu – @ericosiu
    29. Lisa Barone – @LisaBarone
    30. Ash Buckles – @ashbuckles
    31. Chris Winfield – @chriswinfield
    32. David Harry – @SEOdojo
    33. Derek Edmond – @DerekEdmond
    34. Eric Enge – @stonetemple
    35. Ian Lurie – @portentint
    36. Matt McGee – @mattmcgee
    37. Lee Odden – @leeodden
    38. Paul May – @paulmay
    39. Tess Neale – @tessneale
    40. Dan Shure – @dan_shure
    41. Ross Hudgens – @RossHudgens
    42. Stacey MacNaught – @staceycav
    43. Geoff Kenyon – @geoffkenyon
    44. Brian Clark – @brianclark
    45. Dharmesh Shah – @dharmesh
    46. Larry Kim – @larrykim
    47. Will Critchlow – @willcritchlow
    48. Jason Acidre – @kaiserthesage
    49. Shane Barker – @shane_barker
    50. Steven Jacobs – @StevenJacobs_

    Do you see any prominent SEOs that I may have left out in the 50 Top SEO Experts to Follow on Twitter list? Please let me know in the comments section below.

    Related: 50 Conversion Rate Experts You Should Be Following on Twitter