We had the opportunity to attend and pose a live question during a Google Hangout on Air hosted by Robert O'Haver with guest speaker Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz, 20-year Internet veteran also known for co-authoring Art of SEO and co-founding Inbound.org.
View the Hangout on Youtube
Since Rand was answering questions live on air, I was able to post two questions for him, which he answered during the Hangout:
Rand's question to our first question, what does he think about guest blogging, was sending us to his blog on the matter: Why Guest Posting & Blogging is a Slippery Slope. He posted this early in the week when checking on the G+ questions:
Rand's blog on guest blogging is well-worth a read if you are looking for in-depth thoughts, including answers to certain fallacies and assumptions about the matter.
His answer to our second question, what does Rand think in general of web content trends for 2014, was live on air. We've transcribed it:
Rand: So Julia wants to know, I and many others I know and work with would love to know what Rand thinks in general of web content trends in 2014. So I'll answer the second one, since we talked about the first one.
So web content trends: the way I see things going is essentially we have sort of what I call two big trends going on.
One is a massive increase in the number of marketers who are interested in and performing content marketing; and because of that, you have much, much more competition than you've ever had before. That increased competition is causing a second trend, which is what I call consumer or content fatigue.
People who use social media to find content, find things on Reddit, get stuff emailed to them by friends, use Facebook, are getting overwhelmed; the amount of content that they are receiving, or you know being able to access, is just exponentially larger than it was a couple of years ago.
And so, what these two trends together combine to do is they make it such that a content marketer today and for the future is going to have to do two things in my opinion. Number one, focus on quality over quantity. Right? You can't just say to do content marketing, I'm going to put out a blog post every night. I don't think that's what true, great content marketing will entail. I think it'll be: I have something truly valuable to share, I have a great way to present it, I have really put in the effort, I will put something out there that is far beyond the quality of what anyone else has done.
The second piece of that is not just great quality, but uniqueness of presentation. So, being the exception to the rule is going to be more and more and more important. That means the standard, long scroll-y infographic that everyone has seen a hundred thousand times, it has a little chart for a little thing, that might not be so great anymore. The silly little, fun little YouTube video might not work as well as it used to. The standard blog post with just some blocks of text might not work so well. But, we're seeing the rise of things like Svbtle as a blogging platform because it's very unique and it really is the exception to the rule in terms of things like presentation. We're seeing a lot more visual assets do particularly well; high quality, interactive elements and quizzes and these types of things. The NY Times had a great language-based quiz that tried to identify where you were from based on how you answered particular questions. So, you know, there's opportunity.
Presenter: Robert O'Haver I think, you also mentioned it, but the importance of not just puking up what someone else has written, but be unique with it, and stay relevant.
Rand: Yeah, absolutely.
Thank you, Rand, for such a great and informative answer to our question!