In previous years I've ran posts that cover the best in internet marketing.. but due to the overwhelming amount of content that's been produced in the past 12 months, I'm cutting it down to just SEO this year. Plus, the majority of my readers (you guys and gals) are going to be more focused on the SEO content than anything else anyway.
The winners of each month will get this beautiful badge emailed to them - So if you've been included make sure to check your email, or contact me on Twitter!
This entire post took me well over 20 hours to make, so please make sure to drop a share and help further spread the absolute knowledge bombs that are inside this year's featured posts and guides.
If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning the 2017 edition, then get contributing to the community.
Increasing Traffic With Technical SEO by Nick Eubanks
Nick's detailed case study on how he took a site to over a million visits a month using a technical SEO audit and work is one of the best case studies this year.
A lot of what Nick talks about may not apply to beginners or smaller sites, but for those looking to scale and grow.. It's a god send.
Growing From 0 - 12k/Mo Organics Using Content Mapping by Benji Hyam
Benji explains how he took a brand new start-up's website to over 12k organics a month using a clever auto-suggest technique and content mapping accordingly.
He also explains how he funneled the traffic with the targeted pieces of content he created.
Debunking The Myth Of Long Form Content by Brian Lang
Brian's compact post (likely due to him proving his point) wasn't picked up by many.. Probably due to most marketers thinking "great content" = long content.
However I appreciated his data-driven post on showing that creating huge pieces of content doesn't always lead to huge amounts of traffic.
4 Pieces of Link Bait that Generated INSANE Backlinks by Jason McMillen
Jason covers several fascinating pieces of content that have attracted hundreds, if not thousands of links.
He covers mostly larger corporations, but mixes it up with a smaller organization as well. David McSweeney (The Ahrefs Editor) also chimed in with several additions that made the post even better.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) for SEOs by Kurt Phillip
Kurt's guides is one of the very few posts on the internet that gives a step-by-step, hyper actionable guide to CRO for beginner to intermediate SEOs & marketers.
He covers case studies, tools, setup and methodology with minimum fluff.
Next Generation PBNs by Matt Diggity
Matt's principal of making your PBNs into (essentially) micro-money sites isn't exactly new.. but the detail he goes into, mixed with additional data on benefits, disadvantages and testing of PBNs is what makes the post.
Matt not only showcases data on his testing of different platforms and setups for PBNs, but also shows actual results using his methodology of "TDNs" - Traffic Delivery Networks.
201 Actionable SEO Tips by Brian Dean
Brian must of spent a LOT of time creating this post.. I'm pretty sure it is the biggest post I have ever seen in SEO.
Brian lists hundreds of tactics and techniques from every corner of SEO, from OnPage to Video to Links.. He's got tips on everything.
A Data Driven Guide To Anchor Text by David McSweeney
One of the very few pieces out there that give an "honest" view point on anchor text optimization and ratios by looking at sites ranking on the first and second page.
David elaborates in a beginner friendly way on exactly what anchor text is, different types, forms and then finishes it all off with conclusions based on his analysis of 16,000 different keywords and the correlating anchor ratios for those pages - Including indiviual explanations on competitive terms, local terms and so on.
PINs: The Future of Link Building by Glen Allsopp (ViperChill)
Glen's most popular post, EVER.
A in the dark secret that appears to be white hat beyond belief, before you go looking into it.. In detail, like serious detail.
Glen explains the concept behind running a link "group" like never seen before.. and shows real life examples of some BIG players doing this exact strategy for huge financial reward.
Improving Rankings By Dropping Half A Million Visits by Roy Hinkis
Rather short post but made for some extremely interesting reading.
SimilarWeb have over a hundred million pages, and by purposefully deindexing specific pages that generated low quality traffic.. They managed to drastically increase their rankings for quality terms.
The Noob Friendly Guide To Link Building by David McSweeney
David's released some insane pieces of content since becoming the blog editor of Ahrefs - Really stepping up their game and likely contributing to Ahrefs huge rise this year.
This post is (in my opinion) his best work of this year, going into extreme detail around how to specifically carry out certain link building tactics.
He's also added insights from SEOs that have become experts in specific link building tactics, which is the icing on the cake for this post.
Amazon Affiliate Niche Site Case Study by Rohit Palit
Rohit's honesty and attention to detail made this likely THE best post currently out there for building and ranking an Amazon site.
He literally covers EVERYTHING - Including vastly under covered topics like CRO, scaling and niche research.
SEO - Moving The Dial by Berian Reed
This presentation by Berian at BrightonSEO is a must read for anyone with a larger content based site.
He used technical content audits, content purges, 301s and various other techniques to grow traffic and better rankings.
Penguin 4.0: All Changes & Details by Jennifer Slegg
Jennifer did an INCREDIBLE job of documenting (and explaining) every aspect of the new Penguin 4.0 algorithm in extreme detail.
The only post I saw of this length, depth and research on the latest installation of Penguin.
Penguin 4.0 Recovery Case Studies by Marie Haynes
Marie has become the leading expert in penalties, and her very timely and well put together post on sites that recovered from Penguin 4.0 just added to this.
Marie shows several examples of sites that recovered massively from Penguin, why they were previously hit and what was done to recover them.
The Technical SEO Renaissance by Mike King
Mike's hyper-detailed post on not only the history of technical SEO.. but also the specifics of proper technical SEO. People seem to be lacking in knowledge, and essentially constituting OnPage as Technical SEO.. Which is wrong.
Mike's HUGE post explains different techniques, how they're best used and how to carry them out.
Rethinking Long Tail Keywords by David McSweeney
As I said above, David's had a fantastic year for producing content.
This post is the exact same, with his own take on acquiring huge amounts of traffic using a mixture of long form content, topical SEO and competitor/keyword analysis.
His data driven approach to this post showcases my thoughts on topical SEO.. Though I didn't completely agree with him - As I expressed in the comments of his post.
Take Action, You Create Your Own Luck by James Dooley
Though this post isn't specifically around SEO, it's been one of the biggest helps to those trying to earn a decent living off SEO this year - James's take as an already successful businessman coming into SEO proves hugely valuable when it comes to life lessons.
Niche Site: $690,000 in 2 Years Case Study by Vincent D'Eletto
Rarely do I see people go into extreme detail in the affiliate arena, for FREE.
Vincent completely smashed this post out of the ball park with extreme detail on exactly how he went from picking his niche all the way to valuing and then selling the site.
An Analysis of One Million Pages Ranking On Page #1 by Matthew Barby
Matt flexes his data with a HUGE post analyzing one million pages that rank on the first page.
Breaking down explanations on his findings related to backlinks, anchor text, titles, SSL and more.
2016 Important SEO Patents From Google by Bill Slawski
Bill's coverage of patents is the best there is.
This post is his round-up of every patent Google have gotten their hands on specifically for the search engine - Makes for some very interesting future proof/conspiracy theory reading.
My Best Posts of 2016
2016 has been by best year for blogging, EVER. This blog has managed to garner over 300,000 pageviews and an incredible growth in fan base.
It's mostly down to the content I've been hammering out this year, so without further ado.. Here's my favourite posts I've released in 2016:
- My Link Building Guide - The biggest guide I have EVER created, spanning over 17,000 words.. This beheamoth is in my opinion (and several hundred others that have shared it across the internet) best free guide on link building these is.. Purely because I worked so damn hard to make sure it was.
- Why Your Affiliate Site Isn't Ranking - This post is by far the biggest post I got personal replies back from people saying they either needed a reminder or purely were doing things wrong.. Helping literally, hundreds of people.
- My Black Hat World Case Study - Holding the #2 positions for all BHW related brand terms for over 6 months was pretty brilliant for me.. Getting over 1,000 visits/month from a site that has a seething passion for me felt pretty good.
- How To Do Free Local SEO - The amount of freelancers and agencies that make pennies on the dollar due to investing so much into low budget clients was driving me nuts. I decided to run a test, and successfully documented exactly how I ranked a fairly competitive local site for totally free.
- Topical SEO Introduction - A post that got to #1 on Inbound, GrowthHackers and /r/SEO.. This one was a favourite around the white hat community.. Which tends to be rather difficult for me to get any recognition in what so ever.
Who To Follow In 2017
Everyone I've mentioned in this post is more than worthy of getting a follow, but there are a few honorary mentions that have earned my recognition to keep a close eye on going into 2017:
- Matt Diggity - Matt's had a stellar year, and has been producing some of the best affiliate and money hat SEO content out there. He's also been at the center of the Chiang Mai SEO scene, which has grown immensely over the past 12 months to well over 200 SEOs.
- Marie Haynes - A lot of you won't of heard of Marie before, but if you've ever been slapped with a penalty, seen drops from new algo updates or simply don't know enough about either of the two.. She's the gal to go to, in my opinion: The best penalty expert in the world right now.
- Daryl Rosser - Daryl, aka LionZeal has been a menace to the client SEO space. His quick client acquisition tactics, scientific & data driven ranking strategies and down right sexy designs are the reasons I've been following him for several years now.
- Ryan Stewart - Though he recently stopped blogging, his YouTube channel has been seriously taking off.. His scientific experiments, honesty and humble beginnings have taken his agency to 6 figures in a matter of months.
Thanks For Reading & A Happy New Year
I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you a TON of reading to do over the holiday period.
I wish you all the best from me and my team for the new year, let's make it absolutely killer for SEO, once again...
If I'd missed any posts that you think deserve an honorable mention, then drop a comment below, and if you'd like to get the most recent updates of my latest content in 2017, then join my email list:
See you in 2017!
- Charles Floate