And just like that, MozCon Virtual 2021 has come to an end. Over the past three days, we’ve seen incredibly insightful presentations on everything from content marketing, to machine learning, to new and exciting SEO tips and tricks. A big thank you to all our speakers, emcees, attendees, and volunteers in front of and behind the camera. It wouldn’t be MozCon without you!
Check out our recaps from day one and day two, and if you missed day three, read on for top-level takeaways! But to get the most out of this year’s MozCon content, make sure to access the video bundle when it goes on sale Friday, and stay tuned for details on MozCon 2022 —
Tom Capper — The Fast & The Spurious: Core Web Vitals & SEO
“What if I told you that Core Web Vitals, and this update, are a bluff?”
Tom sure did kick off day three by blowing our minds with his opening line — the update everyone has been obsessing over for the last year isn’t actually all it’s cracked up to be?
Well, sort of.
It turns out we can’t afford to call Google’s bluff, but we can “sort of cheat”. Tom went on to lay out the flaws of Core Web Vitals, which all add up to the fact that they actually encourage terrible optimizations.
Core Web Vitals are all the rage, but do they live up to the hype?
– SEO is like the prisoner's dilemma – Prioritize high traffic pages & page speed – Metrics can be gamed – Drop, delay unstable elements or move below fold – Rethink hero images#mozconpic.twitter.com/hgqeUZzKTP
As it turns out, Google has been contradicting themselves when talking about CWV because they can’t actually roll out updates that undermine the quality of their services — they’re relying on us, the SEOs, to act as the prisoners in their big dilemma of rankings.
On Google’s “There appears to be some confusion”: “Well, yes, you will notice some confusion if you directly contradict yourself.” @THCapper#MozCon
<So do Core Web Vitals actually matter? Should we care? Yes and no. Page speed continues to be something we need to worry about, but with CWV, the average increase in ranking for sites that don’t already rank won’t be very much at all.
Tom advised SEOs to take advantage of Google Discover, which is actually a massive, untapped traffic opportunity as it’s more responsive to speed than organic search.
"For most sites I see that are taking Google Discover even remotely seriously, they are getting more traffic from Discover than from organic search." – @THCapper dropping shocking stats. #MozConpic.twitter.com/kJSPDKCTTn
We won’t dig into the how for all of this here, so definitely check out his presentation in the video bundle!
Luke Carthy — The Ultimate How-To for Faceted Navigation SEO in E-Commerce
After an introduction that got the whole chat laughing (“Hi, I’m Morgan Freeman. Welcome to the afterlife.”), Luke Carthy showed us how he generated a 25% increase in organic traffic using faceted navigation.
Wait, what’s faceted navigation? You’ve definitely run into it if you’ve ever shopped online. Think about the stores that allow you to filter and sort your search. Behind that search is a faceted nav, defining, filtering, and sorting URLs on a website.
If it’s so common, what’s wrong with it? As Luke explains, faceted navs generate hundreds of long, parameterized, filtered URLs. It’s messy, it’s bloated, and bots can’t easily crawl them.