IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2017 Foresees a Transformation of the Global Energy System

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its World Energy Outlook 2017 in November, providing global energy market projections through 2040.[i] The outlook assumes that governments will stick to the pledges they made on energy, including India and China’s pledges to move away from fossil fuels and the United States’ to reduce its demand for oil through fuel economy improvements for cars and trucks. Despite the pledges, IEA predicts that global energy demand will increase by 30 percent by 2040, which is equivalent to adding another China and India to today’s global energy demand.[ii] It predicts that the global economy will grow at an annual average rate of 3.4 percent and that population will expand from 7.4 billion today to more than 9 billion in 2040.

The largest contribution to demand growth—almost 30 percent—comes from India, whose share of global energy use increases to 11 percent by 2040, but below its 18 percent share in the expected global population. Southeast Asia’s energy demand is expected to grow at twice the pace of China, resulting in Asia accounting for two-thirds of global energy growth. The Middle East, Africa and Latin America account for the other one-third.

Source: IEA

The IEA sees four major shifts in the global energy system: the rapid deployment and falling costs of clean energy technologies, the growing electrification of energy, the shift to a more services-oriented economy and a cleaner energy mix in China and the resilience of shale gas and tight oil in the United States.

U.S. Tight Oil and Shale Gas

IEA believes that the United States will provide 80 percent of the increase in global oil production in the next ten years, producing 30 percent more than Russia, due to U.S. shale oil production increasing by 8 million barrels a day between 2010 and 2025. That increase “would match the highest sustained period of oil output growth by a single country in the history of oil markets,” rivaling the massive increase by Saudi Arabia between 1966 and 1981. According to the IEA, “A remarkable ability to unlock new resources cost-effectively pushes combined United States oil and gas output to a level 50 percent higher than any other country has ever managed.” The oil price collapse in 2016 left many oil producers unprofitable and provided for a wave of innovation that has improved U.S. shale producers’ productivity and efficiency.[iii]

As a result, the IEA believes that by the late 2020s, the United States will export more oil than it imports. The United States will still import heavy crude oil to support its refineries while exporting light oil.

By 2025, increases in U.S. gas and oil production will turn the country into a net exporter of fossil fuels for the first time since 1948. Hydraulic fracturing technology has made the United States the undisputed leader of oil and gas production worldwide, [iv] transforming the United States from an energy importer into a major player in global markets capable of producing 30 million barrels of oil and gas equivalency per day by 2025, up from 24 million barrels per day today.

IEA also predicts that the United States will become the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas by the mid-2020s,[v] surpassing Qatar, and helping to supply a natural gas demand increase of 45 percent by 2040. The United States is expected to become a net natural gas exporter this year.

IEA’s predictions are derived in part from its calculation of recoverable reserves in the United States, which IEA increased by about 30 percent to 105 billion barrels.[vi]

Coal

Since 2000, world coal-fired power generating capacity has grown by nearly 900 gigawatts, but IEA expects net additions from today to 2040 to be half that amount—400 gigawatts—with many of these plants currently under construction. In India, IEA expects the share of coal in the power mix to drop from three-quarters in 2016 to less than half in 2040. In the absence of large-scale carbon capture and storage, IEA forecasts global coal consumption to be flat.

Renewable Energy

IEA expects renewable sources of energy to meet 40 percent of the increase in primary demand and provide 40 percent of total power generation in 2040, capturing two-thirds of global investment in power plants.

 

IEA assumes that policies continue to support renewable electricity worldwide, increasingly through competitive auctions rather than feed-in tariffs, and the transformation of the power sector is amplified by millions of households, communities and businesses investing directly in distributed solar photovoltaics (PV). China and India are expected to rapidly deploy solar PV, helping to make solar energy the largest source of low-carbon capacity by 2040.

In the European Union (EU), renewable energy accounts for 80 percent of new capacity additions. Wind power in the EU will become the leading source of electricity soon after 2030, due to strong growth of onshore and offshore wind.

According to IEA, growth in renewable energy is not confined to the power sector. IEA expects that the direct use of renewables to provide heat and mobility worldwide will double. In Brazil, IEA sees the share of direct and indirect renewable use in final energy consumption increasing from 39 percent today to 45 percent in 2040, compared with a worldwide increase from 9 percent today to 16 percent in 2040.

China

China’s demand growth slowed markedly from an average of 8 percent annually from 2000 to 2012 to less than 2 percent per year since 2012. IEA expects it to slow to an average of 1 percent per year to 2040 in part due to energy efficiency regulation. By 2040, however, per-capita energy consumption in China is expected to exceed that of the European Union. Without new efficiency measures, China’s end-use consumption in 2040 would be 40 percent higher.

In the IEA projections, China overtakes the United States as the largest oil consumer around 2030 and its net imports reach 13 million barrels per day in 2040. IEA sees the main driving force behind global oil growth, however, shifting to India post 2025 due to stringent fuel-efficiency measures for cars and trucks and a shift in car purchases to electric vehicles in China. China accounts for over 40 percent of global investment in electric vehicles, and has 25 percent of its market electric by 2040.

Installed capacity by technology in China in the NPS. Source: IEA 

IEA sees China accounting for a quarter of the projected increase in global gas demand with projected imports of 280 billion cubic meters in 2040, which is second only to those of the European Union.

In electricity markets, IEA expects one-third of the world’s new wind power and solar PV to be constructed in China and China continues to lead a gradual increase in nuclear energy, overtaking the United States by 2030 to become the largest producer of nuclear-based electricity.

Though still a major consumer of coal, China’s coal use peaked in 2013 and IEA expects it to decrease by almost 15 percent by 2040.

IEA expects China’s carbon dioxide emissions to plateau by 2030 at a level slightly higher than today and then to start to decline. IEA believes China’s carbon dioxide emissions peaked in 2013.

Conclusion

IEA sees the world’s energy system in transformation: China takes a back seat to India in energy growth, the United States becomes a major oil and gas producer and exporter and renewable energy continues to make major in-roads into energy markets driven by government policies.


[i] International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2017, November 2017, http://www.iea.org/weo2017/

[ii] BBC, US leads world in oil and gas production, IEA says, November 14, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41988095

[iii] CNN Money, America’s oil and gas output could soar 25% by 2025, November 14, 2017, http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/14/news/economy/us-oil-gas-shale-iea/index.html

[iv] Reuters, U.S. to account for most world oil output growth over 10 years: IEA, November 16, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-iea-birol/u-s-to-account-for-most-world-oil-output-growth-over-10-years-iea-idUSKBN1DG1XP?il=0

[v] CNN Money, America’s oil and gas output could soar 25% by 2025, November 14, 2017, http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/14/news/economy/us-oil-gas-shale-iea/index.html

[vi] USA Today, Analysis: Why Saudi Arabia should fear U.S. oil dominance, November 18, 2017, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/energy/2017/11/18/analysis-why-saudi-arabia-should-fear-u-s-oil-dominance/868990001/

The post IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2017 Foresees a Transformation of the Global Energy System appeared first on IER.

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IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2017 Foresees a Transformation of the Global Energy System

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its World Energy Outlook 2017 in November, providing global energy market projections through 2040.[i] The outlook assumes that governments will stick to the pledges they made on energy, including India and China’s pledges to move away from fossil fuels and the United States’ to reduce its demand for oil through fuel economy improvements for cars and trucks. Despite the pledges, IEA predicts that global energy demand will increase by 30 percent by 2040, which is equivalent to adding another China and India to today’s global energy demand.[ii] It predicts that the global economy will grow at an annual average rate of 3.4 percent and that population will expand from 7.4 billion today to more than 9 billion in 2040.

The largest contribution to demand growth—almost 30 percent—comes from India, whose share of global energy use increases to 11 percent by 2040, but below its 18 percent share in the expected global population. Southeast Asia’s energy demand is expected to grow at twice the pace of China, resulting in Asia accounting for two-thirds of global energy growth. The Middle East, Africa and Latin America account for the other one-third.

Source: IEA

The IEA sees four major shifts in the global energy system: the rapid deployment and falling costs of clean energy technologies, the growing electrification of energy, the shift to a more services-oriented economy and a cleaner energy mix in China and the resilience of shale gas and tight oil in the United States.

U.S. Tight Oil and Shale Gas

IEA believes that the United States will provide 80 percent of the increase in global oil production in the next ten years, producing 30 percent more than Russia, due to U.S. shale oil production increasing by 8 million barrels a day between 2010 and 2025. That increase “would match the highest sustained period of oil output growth by a single country in the history of oil markets,” rivaling the massive increase by Saudi Arabia between 1966 and 1981. According to the IEA, “A remarkable ability to unlock new resources cost-effectively pushes combined United States oil and gas output to a level 50 percent higher than any other country has ever managed.” The oil price collapse in 2016 left many oil producers unprofitable and provided for a wave of innovation that has improved U.S. shale producers’ productivity and efficiency.[iii]

As a result, the IEA believes that by the late 2020s, the United States will export more oil than it imports. The United States will still import heavy crude oil to support its refineries while exporting light oil.

By 2025, increases in U.S. gas and oil production will turn the country into a net exporter of fossil fuels for the first time since 1948. Hydraulic fracturing technology has made the United States the undisputed leader of oil and gas production worldwide, [iv] transforming the United States from an energy importer into a major player in global markets capable of producing 30 million barrels of oil and gas equivalency per day by 2025, up from 24 million barrels per day today.

IEA also predicts that the United States will become the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas by the mid-2020s,[v] surpassing Qatar, and helping to supply a natural gas demand increase of 45 percent by 2040. The United States is expected to become a net natural gas exporter this year.

IEA’s predictions are derived in part from its calculation of recoverable reserves in the United States, which IEA increased by about 30 percent to 105 billion barrels.[vi]

Coal

Since 2000, world coal-fired power generating capacity has grown by nearly 900 gigawatts, but IEA expects net additions from today to 2040 to be half that amount—400 gigawatts—with many of these plants currently under construction. In India, IEA expects the share of coal in the power mix to drop from three-quarters in 2016 to less than half in 2040. In the absence of large-scale carbon capture and storage, IEA forecasts global coal consumption to be flat.

Renewable Energy

IEA expects renewable sources of energy to meet 40 percent of the increase in primary demand and provide 40 percent of total power generation in 2040, capturing two-thirds of global investment in power plants.

 

IEA assumes that policies continue to support renewable electricity worldwide, increasingly through competitive auctions rather than feed-in tariffs, and the transformation of the power sector is amplified by millions of households, communities and businesses investing directly in distributed solar photovoltaics (PV). China and India are expected to rapidly deploy solar PV, helping to make solar energy the largest source of low-carbon capacity by 2040.

In the European Union (EU), renewable energy accounts for 80 percent of new capacity additions. Wind power in the EU will become the leading source of electricity soon after 2030, due to strong growth of onshore and offshore wind.

According to IEA, growth in renewable energy is not confined to the power sector. IEA expects that the direct use of renewables to provide heat and mobility worldwide will double. In Brazil, IEA sees the share of direct and indirect renewable use in final energy consumption increasing from 39 percent today to 45 percent in 2040, compared with a worldwide increase from 9 percent today to 16 percent in 2040.

China

China’s demand growth slowed markedly from an average of 8 percent annually from 2000 to 2012 to less than 2 percent per year since 2012. IEA expects it to slow to an average of 1 percent per year to 2040 in part due to energy efficiency regulation. By 2040, however, per-capita energy consumption in China is expected to exceed that of the European Union. Without new efficiency measures, China’s end-use consumption in 2040 would be 40 percent higher.

In the IEA projections, China overtakes the United States as the largest oil consumer around 2030 and its net imports reach 13 million barrels per day in 2040. IEA sees the main driving force behind global oil growth, however, shifting to India post 2025 due to stringent fuel-efficiency measures for cars and trucks and a shift in car purchases to electric vehicles in China. China accounts for over 40 percent of global investment in electric vehicles, and has 25 percent of its market electric by 2040.

Installed capacity by technology in China in the NPS. Source: IEA 

IEA sees China accounting for a quarter of the projected increase in global gas demand with projected imports of 280 billion cubic meters in 2040, which is second only to those of the European Union.

In electricity markets, IEA expects one-third of the world’s new wind power and solar PV to be constructed in China and China continues to lead a gradual increase in nuclear energy, overtaking the United States by 2030 to become the largest producer of nuclear-based electricity.

Though still a major consumer of coal, China’s coal use peaked in 2013 and IEA expects it to decrease by almost 15 percent by 2040.

IEA expects China’s carbon dioxide emissions to plateau by 2030 at a level slightly higher than today and then to start to decline. IEA believes China’s carbon dioxide emissions peaked in 2013.

Conclusion

IEA sees the world’s energy system in transformation: China takes a back seat to India in energy growth, the United States becomes a major oil and gas producer and exporter and renewable energy continues to make major in-roads into energy markets driven by government policies.


[i] International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2017, November 2017, http://www.iea.org/weo2017/

[ii] BBC, US leads world in oil and gas production, IEA says, November 14, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41988095

[iii] CNN Money, America’s oil and gas output could soar 25% by 2025, November 14, 2017, http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/14/news/economy/us-oil-gas-shale-iea/index.html

[iv] Reuters, U.S. to account for most world oil output growth over 10 years: IEA, November 16, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-iea-birol/u-s-to-account-for-most-world-oil-output-growth-over-10-years-iea-idUSKBN1DG1XP?il=0

[v] CNN Money, America’s oil and gas output could soar 25% by 2025, November 14, 2017, http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/14/news/economy/us-oil-gas-shale-iea/index.html

[vi] USA Today, Analysis: Why Saudi Arabia should fear U.S. oil dominance, November 18, 2017, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/energy/2017/11/18/analysis-why-saudi-arabia-should-fear-u-s-oil-dominance/868990001/

The post IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2017 Foresees a Transformation of the Global Energy System appeared first on IER.

Don’t Be Fooled by Data: 4 Data Analysis Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them

Posted by Tom.Capper

Digital marketing is a proudly data-driven field. Yet, as SEOs especially, we often have such incomplete or questionable data to work with, that we end up jumping to the wrong conclusions in our attempts to substantiate our arguments or quantify our issues and opportunities.

In this post, I’m going to outline 4 data analysis pitfalls that are endemic in our industry, and how to avoid them.

1. Jumping to conclusions

Earlier this year, I conducted a ranking factor study around brand awareness, and I posted this caveat:

“…the fact that Domain Authority (or branded search volume, or anything else) is positively correlated with rankings could indicate that any or all of the following is likely:

  • Links cause sites to rank well
  • Ranking well causes sites to get links
  • Some third factor (e.g. reputation or age of site) causes sites to get both links and rankings”
    ~ Me

However, I want to go into this in a bit more depth and give you a framework for analyzing these yourself, because it still comes up a lot. Take, for example, this recent study by Stone Temple, which you may have seen in the Moz Top 10 or Rand’s tweets, or this excellent article discussing SEMRush’s recent direct traffic findings. To be absolutely clear, I’m not criticizing either of the studies, but I do want to draw attention to how we might interpret them.

Firstly, we do tend to suffer a little confirmation bias — we’re all too eager to call out the cliché “correlation vs. causation” distinction when we see successful sites that are keyword-stuffed, but all too approving when we see studies doing the same with something we think is or was effective, like links.

Secondly, we fail to critically analyze the potential mechanisms. The options aren’t just causation or coincidence.

Before you jump to a conclusion based on a correlation, you’re obliged to consider various possibilities:

  • Complete coincidence
  • Reverse causation
  • Joint causation
  • Linearity
  • Broad applicability

If those don’t make any sense, then that’s fair enough — they’re jargon. Let’s go through an example:

Before I warn you not to eat cheese because you may die in your bedsheets, I’m obliged to check that it isn’t any of the following:

  • Complete coincidence – Is it possible that so many datasets were compared, that some were bound to be similar? Why, that’s exactly what Tyler Vigen did! Yes, this is possible.
  • Reverse causation – Is it possible that we have this the wrong way around? For example, perhaps your relatives, in mourning for your bedsheet-related death, eat cheese in large quantities to comfort themselves? This seems pretty unlikely, so let’s give it a pass. No, this is very unlikely.
  • Joint causation – Is it possible that some third factor is behind both of these? Maybe increasing affluence makes you healthier (so you don’t die of things like malnutrition), and also causes you to eat more cheese? This seems very plausible. Yes, this is possible.
  • Linearity – Are we comparing two linear trends? A linear trend is a steady rate of growth or decline. Any two statistics which are both roughly linear over time will be very well correlated. In the graph above, both our statistics are trending linearly upwards. If the graph was drawn with different scales, they might look completely unrelated, like this, but because they both have a steady rate, they’d still be very well correlated. Yes, this looks likely.
  • Broad applicability – Is it possible that this relationship only exists in certain niche scenarios, or, at least, not in my niche scenario? Perhaps, for example, cheese does this to some people, and that’s been enough to create this correlation, because there are so few bedsheet-tangling fatalities otherwise? Yes, this seems possible.

So we have 4 “Yes” answers and one “No” answer from those 5 checks.

If your example doesn’t get 5 “No” answers from those 5 checks, it’s a fail, and you don’t get to say that the study has established either a ranking factor or a fatal side effect of cheese consumption.

A similar process should apply to case studies, which are another form of correlation — the correlation between you making a change, and something good (or bad!) happening. For example, ask:

  • Have I ruled out other factors (e.g. external demand, seasonality, competitors making mistakes)?
  • Did I increase traffic by doing the thing I tried to do, or did I accidentally improve some other factor at the same time?
  • Did this work because of the unique circumstance of the particular client/project?

This is particularly challenging for SEOs, because we rarely have data of this quality, but I’d suggest an additional pair of questions to help you navigate this minefield:

  • If I were Google, would I do this?
  • If I were Google, could I do this?

Direct traffic as a ranking factor passes the “could” test, but only barely — Google could use data from Chrome, Android, or ISPs, but it’d be sketchy. It doesn’t really pass the “would” test, though — it’d be far easier for Google to use branded search traffic, which would answer the same questions you might try to answer by comparing direct traffic levels (e.g. how popular is this website?).

2. Missing the context

If I told you that my traffic was up 20% week on week today, what would you say? Congratulations?

What if it was up 20% this time last year?

What if I told you it had been up 20% year on year, up until recently?

It’s funny how a little context can completely change this. This is another problem with case studies and their evil inverted twin, traffic drop analyses.

If we really want to understand whether to be surprised at something, positively or negatively, we need to compare it to our expectations, and then figure out what deviation from our expectations is “normal.” If this is starting to sound like statistics, that’s because it is statistics — indeed, I wrote about a statistical approach to measuring change way back in 2015.

If you want to be lazy, though, a good rule of thumb is to zoom out, and add in those previous years. And if someone shows you data that is suspiciously zoomed in, you might want to take it with a pinch of salt.

3. Trusting our tools

Would you make a multi-million dollar business decision based on a number that your competitor could manipulate at will? Well, chances are you do, and the number can be found in Google Analytics. I’ve covered this extensively in other places, but there are some major problems with most analytics platforms around:

  • How easy they are to manipulate externally
  • How arbitrarily they group hits into sessions
  • How vulnerable they are to ad blockers
  • How they perform under sampling, and how obvious they make this

For example, did you know that the Google Analytics API v3 can heavily sample data whilst telling you that the data is unsampled, above a certain amount of traffic (~500,000 within date range)? Neither did I, until we ran into it whilst building Distilled ODN.

Similar problems exist with many “Search Analytics” tools. My colleague Sam Nemzer has written a bunch about this — did you know that most rank tracking platforms report completely different rankings? Or how about the fact that the keywords grouped by Google (and thus tools like SEMRush and STAT, too) are not equivalent, and don’t necessarily have the volumes quoted?

It’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of tools that we use, so that we can at least know when they’re directionally accurate (as in, their insights guide you in the right direction), even if not perfectly accurate. All I can really recommend here is that skilling up in SEO (or any other digital channel) necessarily means understanding the mechanics behind your measurement platforms — which is why all new starts at Distilled end up learning how to do analytics audits.

One of the most common solutions to the root problem is combining multiple data sources, but…

4. Combining data sources

There are numerous platforms out there that will “defeat (not provided)” by bringing together data from two or more of:

  • Analytics
  • Search Console
  • AdWords
  • Rank tracking

The problems here are that, firstly, these platforms do not have equivalent definitions, and secondly, ironically, (not provided) tends to break them.

Let’s deal with definitions first, with an example — let’s look at a landing page with a channel:

  • In Search Console, these are reported as clicks, and can be vulnerable to heavy, invisible sampling when multiple dimensions (e.g. keyword and page) or filters are combined.
  • In Google Analytics, these are reported using last non-direct click, meaning that your organic traffic includes a bunch of direct sessions, time-outs that resumed mid-session, etc. That’s without getting into dark traffic, ad blockers, etc.
  • In AdWords, most reporting uses last AdWords click, and conversions may be defined differently. In addition, keyword volumes are bundled, as referenced above.
  • Rank tracking is location specific, and inconsistent, as referenced above.

Fine, though — it may not be precise, but you can at least get to some directionally useful data given these limitations. However, about that “(not provided)”…

Most of your landing pages get traffic from more than one keyword. It’s very likely that some of these keywords convert better than others, particularly if they are branded, meaning that even the most thorough click-through rate model isn’t going to help you. So how do you know which keywords are valuable?

The best answer is to generalize from AdWords data for those keywords, but it’s very unlikely that you have analytics data for all those combinations of keyword and landing page. Essentially, the tools that report on this make the very bold assumption that a given page converts identically for all keywords. Some are more transparent about this than others.

Again, this isn’t to say that those tools aren’t valuable — they just need to be understood carefully. The only way you could reliably fill in these blanks created by “not provided” would be to spend a ton on paid search to get decent volume, conversion rate, and bounce rate estimates for all your keywords, and even then, you’ve not fixed the inconsistent definitions issues.

Bonus peeve: Average rank

I still see this way too often. Three questions:

  1. Do you care more about losing rankings for ten very low volume queries (10 searches a month or less) than for one high volume query (millions plus)? If the answer isn’t “yes, I absolutely care more about the ten low-volume queries”, then this metric isn’t for you, and you should consider a visibility metric based on click through rate estimates.
  2. When you start ranking at 100 for a keyword you didn’t rank for before, does this make you unhappy? If the answer isn’t “yes, I hate ranking for new keywords,” then this metric isn’t for you — because that will lower your average rank. You could of course treat all non-ranking keywords as position 100, as some tools allow, but is a drop of 2 average rank positions really the best way to express that 1/50 of your landing pages have been de-indexed? Again, use a visibility metric, please.
  3. Do you like comparing your performance with your competitors? If the answer isn’t “no, of course not,” then this metric isn’t for you — your competitors may have more or fewer branded keywords or long-tail rankings, and these will skew the comparison. Again, use a visibility metric.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you’ve found this useful. To summarize the main takeaways:

  • Critically analyse correlations & case studies by seeing if you can explain them as coincidences, as reverse causation, as joint causation, through reference to a third mutually relevant factor, or through niche applicability.
  • Don’t look at changes in traffic without looking at the context — what would you have forecasted for this period, and with what margin of error?
  • Remember that the tools we use have limitations, and do your research on how that impacts the numbers they show. “How has this number been produced?” is an important component in “What does this number mean?”
  • If you end up combining data from multiple tools, remember to work out the relationship between them — treat this information as directional rather than precise.

Let me know what data analysis fallacies bug you, in the comments below.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

from Raymond Castleberry Blog http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com/2017/12/dont-be-fooled-by-data-4-data-analysis.html
via http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com

Nature for Nature’s Sake

This article originally appeared at RealClearEnergy.

Last week, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources debated Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s proposal to establish a competitive energy resource leasing and development program within a sliver of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) known as the 1002 area. In simple terms, the committee deliberated over the question should we drill.

Rather than asking, “Should we drill?” I submit that we ought to reframe the question and instead ask, “Why is a federal government ban on productive economic activity the status quo?”

My answer is that this prohibitive norm exists because our public discourse has been permeated by the idea that nonhuman life on earth has intrinsic value and that we as human beings have no moral right to affect it for our benefit.

Through this ecocentric lens, any human activity that impacts the nonhuman world is a transgression. And because, to date, it has remained beyond the reach of sustained and transformative human development, Alaska’s ANWR region is an environmental holy grail.

The problem with this view is not that it glorifies nature, as we all appreciate the beauty of the natural world, but that it regards nature as a superior end to human activity, development and flourishing.

I call this perspective nature for nature’s sake.

The advocates of nature for nature’s sake are not to be swayed by appeals to the benefits energy exploration will bring to Americans and energy-starved people around the globe. For them what matters is that the nonhuman world remains beyond our reach. Kristen Miller of the Alaska Wilderness League exemplifies the nature for nature’s sake perspective. “Some places in our nation are simply too special, too sacred to drill,” Miller wrote. “And the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of them. This exhausted debate needs to end, once and for all.”

Miller’s premise—that humanity is a blot on the perfection that is nature—is widely shared, if unacknowledged, and colors our entire debate on the development of energy resources and the development of human civilization more broadly.

With ANWR under consideration, Congress has an opportunity to address the nature for nature’s sake perspective and shift the paradigm from one in which human activity qua human activity is suspect to one in which claimants of environmental degradation bear the burden of proof.

The fact of the matter is that human flourishing requires that we transform the natural world to meet our needs. The outcome of this transformation is longer, healthier, happier lives for all who are left free to benefit from it.

The development of our natural endowment of energy resources is a forerunner of modern civilization. ANWR’s 1002 area, which was designated as a prospective site for exploration when ANWR was established in 1980, is a logical starting point for a campaign to challenge the nature for nature’s sake view.

ANWR is in the uppermost remote corner of northeast Alaska, making it inaccessible to virtually all Americans. It hosts only around a thousand visitors per year, despite being about the size of the state of South Carolina, and is home to a permanent population of only a few hundred in the coastal village of Kaktovik.

Notably, Kaktovik residents have offered longstanding support for development. In testimony submitted to the Senate at a hearing earlier this month, tribal administrator Matthew Rexford offered pointed criticism of the effort to prevent resource development: “We do not approve of efforts to turn our homeland into one giant national park, which literally guarantees us a fate with no economy, no jobs, reduced subsistence and no hope for the future of our people.”

Given this context, what other than a nature for nature’s sake argument explains the prima facie objections by groups like the Alaska Wilderness League to energy development?

ANWR’s 1002 area contains an estimated 7.6 billion barrels of oil according to the U.S. Geological Survey—a sum equal to 20 percent of global annual demand. Perhaps more pivotal than the fruits of drilling in ANWR, however, is the mindset shift we are now positioned to affect.

After decades of a default to ecocentrism, the time is right to reject the nature for nature’s sake view in favor of a default position of anthropocentrism—a central focus on human wellbeing.

The post Nature for Nature’s Sake appeared first on IER.

from Raymond Castleberry Blog http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com/2017/12/nature-for-natures-sake.html
via http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com

Nature for Nature’s Sake

This article originally appeared at RealClearEnergy.

Last week, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources debated Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s proposal to establish a competitive energy resource leasing and development program within a sliver of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) known as the 1002 area. In simple terms, the committee deliberated over the question should we drill.

Rather than asking, “Should we drill?” I submit that we ought to reframe the question and instead ask, “Why is a federal government ban on productive economic activity the status quo?”

My answer is that this prohibitive norm exists because our public discourse has been permeated by the idea that nonhuman life on earth has intrinsic value and that we as human beings have no moral right to affect it for our benefit.

Through this ecocentric lens, any human activity that impacts the nonhuman world is a transgression. And because, to date, it has remained beyond the reach of sustained and transformative human development, Alaska’s ANWR region is an environmental holy grail.

The problem with this view is not that it glorifies nature, as we all appreciate the beauty of the natural world, but that it regards nature as a superior end to human activity, development and flourishing.

I call this perspective nature for nature’s sake.

The advocates of nature for nature’s sake are not to be swayed by appeals to the benefits energy exploration will bring to Americans and energy-starved people around the globe. For them what matters is that the nonhuman world remains beyond our reach. Kristen Miller of the Alaska Wilderness League exemplifies the nature for nature’s sake perspective. “Some places in our nation are simply too special, too sacred to drill,” Miller wrote. “And the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of them. This exhausted debate needs to end, once and for all.”

Miller’s premise—that humanity is a blot on the perfection that is nature—is widely shared, if unacknowledged, and colors our entire debate on the development of energy resources and the development of human civilization more broadly.

With ANWR under consideration, Congress has an opportunity to address the nature for nature’s sake perspective and shift the paradigm from one in which human activity qua human activity is suspect to one in which claimants of environmental degradation bear the burden of proof.

The fact of the matter is that human flourishing requires that we transform the natural world to meet our needs. The outcome of this transformation is longer, healthier, happier lives for all who are left free to benefit from it.

The development of our natural endowment of energy resources is a forerunner of modern civilization. ANWR’s 1002 area, which was designated as a prospective site for exploration when ANWR was established in 1980, is a logical starting point for a campaign to challenge the nature for nature’s sake view.

ANWR is in the uppermost remote corner of northeast Alaska, making it inaccessible to virtually all Americans. It hosts only around a thousand visitors per year, despite being about the size of the state of South Carolina, and is home to a permanent population of only a few hundred in the coastal village of Kaktovik.

Notably, Kaktovik residents have offered longstanding support for development. In testimony submitted to the Senate at a hearing earlier this month, tribal administrator Matthew Rexford offered pointed criticism of the effort to prevent resource development: “We do not approve of efforts to turn our homeland into one giant national park, which literally guarantees us a fate with no economy, no jobs, reduced subsistence and no hope for the future of our people.”

Given this context, what other than a nature for nature’s sake argument explains the prima facie objections by groups like the Alaska Wilderness League to energy development?

ANWR’s 1002 area contains an estimated 7.6 billion barrels of oil according to the U.S. Geological Survey—a sum equal to 20 percent of global annual demand. Perhaps more pivotal than the fruits of drilling in ANWR, however, is the mindset shift we are now positioned to affect.

After decades of a default to ecocentrism, the time is right to reject the nature for nature’s sake view in favor of a default position of anthropocentrism—a central focus on human wellbeing.

The post Nature for Nature’s Sake appeared first on IER.

Nature for Nature’s Sake

This article originally appeared at RealClearEnergy.

Last week, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources debated Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s proposal to establish a competitive energy resource leasing and development program within a sliver of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) known as the 1002 area. In simple terms, the committee deliberated over the question should we drill.

Rather than asking, “Should we drill?” I submit that we ought to reframe the question and instead ask, “Why is a federal government ban on productive economic activity the status quo?”

My answer is that this prohibitive norm exists because our public discourse has been permeated by the idea that nonhuman life on earth has intrinsic value and that we as human beings have no moral right to affect it for our benefit.

Through this ecocentric lens, any human activity that impacts the nonhuman world is a transgression. And because, to date, it has remained beyond the reach of sustained and transformative human development, Alaska’s ANWR region is an environmental holy grail.

The problem with this view is not that it glorifies nature, as we all appreciate the beauty of the natural world, but that it regards nature as a superior end to human activity, development and flourishing.

I call this perspective nature for nature’s sake.

The advocates of nature for nature’s sake are not to be swayed by appeals to the benefits energy exploration will bring to Americans and energy-starved people around the globe. For them what matters is that the nonhuman world remains beyond our reach. Kristen Miller of the Alaska Wilderness League exemplifies the nature for nature’s sake perspective. “Some places in our nation are simply too special, too sacred to drill,” Miller wrote. “And the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of them. This exhausted debate needs to end, once and for all.”

Miller’s premise—that humanity is a blot on the perfection that is nature—is widely shared, if unacknowledged, and colors our entire debate on the development of energy resources and the development of human civilization more broadly.

With ANWR under consideration, Congress has an opportunity to address the nature for nature’s sake perspective and shift the paradigm from one in which human activity qua human activity is suspect to one in which claimants of environmental degradation bear the burden of proof.

The fact of the matter is that human flourishing requires that we transform the natural world to meet our needs. The outcome of this transformation is longer, healthier, happier lives for all who are left free to benefit from it.

The development of our natural endowment of energy resources is a forerunner of modern civilization. ANWR’s 1002 area, which was designated as a prospective site for exploration when ANWR was established in 1980, is a logical starting point for a campaign to challenge the nature for nature’s sake view.

ANWR is in the uppermost remote corner of northeast Alaska, making it inaccessible to virtually all Americans. It hosts only around a thousand visitors per year, despite being about the size of the state of South Carolina, and is home to a permanent population of only a few hundred in the coastal village of Kaktovik.

Notably, Kaktovik residents have offered longstanding support for development. In testimony submitted to the Senate at a hearing earlier this month, tribal administrator Matthew Rexford offered pointed criticism of the effort to prevent resource development: “We do not approve of efforts to turn our homeland into one giant national park, which literally guarantees us a fate with no economy, no jobs, reduced subsistence and no hope for the future of our people.”

Given this context, what other than a nature for nature’s sake argument explains the prima facie objections by groups like the Alaska Wilderness League to energy development?

ANWR’s 1002 area contains an estimated 7.6 billion barrels of oil according to the U.S. Geological Survey—a sum equal to 20 percent of global annual demand. Perhaps more pivotal than the fruits of drilling in ANWR, however, is the mindset shift we are now positioned to affect.

After decades of a default to ecocentrism, the time is right to reject the nature for nature’s sake view in favor of a default position of anthropocentrism—a central focus on human wellbeing.

The post Nature for Nature’s Sake appeared first on IER.

Our Readership: Results of the 2017 Moz Blog Reader Survey

Posted by Trevor-Klein

This blog is for all of you. In a notoriously opaque and confusing industry that’s prone to frequent changes, we see immense benefit in helping all of you stay on top of the game. To that end, every couple of years we ask for a report card of sorts, hoping not only to get a sense for how your jobs have changed, but also to get a sense for how we can improve.

About a month ago, we asked you all to take a reader survey, and nearly 600 of you generously gave your time. The results, summarized in this post, were immensely helpful, and were a reminder of how lucky we are to have such a thoughtful community of readers.

I’ve offered as much data as I can, and when possible, I’ve also trended responses against the same questions from our 2015 and 2013 surveys, so you can get a sense for how things have changed. There’s a lot here, so buckle up. =)


Who our readers are

To put all of this great feedback into context, it helps to know a bit about who the people in our audience actually are. Sure, we can glean a bit of information from our site analytics, and can make some educated guesses, but neither of those can answer the questions we’re most curious about. What’s your day-to-day work like, and how much SEO does it really involve? Would you consider yourself more of an SEO beginner, or more of an SEO wizard? And, most importantly, what challenges are you facing in your work these days? The answers give us a fuller understanding of where the rest of your feedback comes from.

What is your job title?

Readers of the Moz Blog have a multitude of backgrounds, from CEOs of agencies to in-the-weeds SEOs of all skill levels. One of the most common themes we see, though, is a skew toward the more general marketing industry. I know that word clouds have their faults, but it’s still a relatively interesting way to gauge how often things appear in a list like this, so here’s what we’ve got this year:

Of note, similar to our results in 2015, the word “marketing” is the most common result, followed by the word “SEO” and the word “manager.”

Here’s a look at the top 20 terms used in this year’s results, along with the percentage of responses containing each term. You’ll also see those same percentages from the 2015 and 2013 surveys to give you an idea of what’s changed — the darker the bar, the more recent the survey:

The thing that surprises me the most about this list is how little it’s changed in the four-plus years since we first asked the question (a theme you’ll see recur in the rest of these results). In fact, the top 20 terms this year are nearly identical to the top 20 terms four years ago, with only a few things sliding up or down a few spots.

What percentage of your day-to-day work involves SEO?

We hear a lot about people wearing multiple hats for their companies. One person who took this survey noted that even at a 9,000-person company, they were the only one who worked on SEO, and it was only about 80% of their job. That idea is backed up by this data, which shows an incredibly broad range of responses. More than 10% of respondents barely touch SEO, and not even 14% say they’re full-time:

One interesting thing to note is the sharp decline in the number of people who say that SEO isn’t a part of their day-to-day at all. That shift is likely a result of our shift back toward SEO, away from related areas like social media and content marketing. I think we had attracted a significant number of community managers and content specialists who didn’t work in SEO, and we’re now seeing the pendulum swing the other direction.

On a scale of 1-5, how advanced would you say your SEO knowledge is?

The similarity between this year’s graph for this question and those from 2015 and 2013 is simply astonishing:

There’s been a slight drop in folks who say they’re at an expert level, and a slight increase in folks who have some background, but are relative beginners. But only slight. The interesting thing is, our blog traffic has increased significantly over these four years, so the newer members of our audience bear a striking resemblance to those of you who’ve been around for quite some time. In a sense, that’s reassuring — it paints a clear picture for us as we continue refining our content.

Do you work in-house, or at an agency/consultancy?

Here’s another window into just how little our audience has changed in the last couple of years:

A slight majority of our readers still work in-house for their own companies, and about a third still work on SEO for their company’s clients.

Interestingly, though, respondents who work for clients deal with many of the same issues as those who work in-house — especially in trying to convey the value of their work in SEO. They’re just trying to send that message to external clients instead of internal stakeholders. More details on that come from our next question:

What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your work today?

I’m consistently amazed by the time and thought that so many of you put into answering this question, and rest assured, your feedback will be presented to several teams around Moz, both on the marketing and the product sides. For this question, I organized each and every response into recurring themes, tallying each time those themes were mentioned. Here are all the themes that were mentioned 10 or more times:

Challenge # of mentions
My clients / colleagues / bosses don’t understand the value of SEO 59
The industry and tactics are constantly changing; algo updates 45
Time constraints 44
Link building 35
My clients / colleagues / bosses don’t understand how SEO works 29
Content (strategy / creation / marketing) 25
Resource constraints 23
It’s difficult to prove ROI 18
Budget constraints 17
It’s a difficult industry in which to learn tools and techniques 16
I regularly need to educate my colleagues / employees 16
It’s difficult to prioritize my work 16
My clients either don’t have or won’t offer sufficient budget / effort 15
Effective reporting 15
Bureaucracy, red tape, other company problems 11
It’s difficult to compete with other companies 11
I’m required to wear multiple hats 11

More than anything else, it’s patently obvious that one of the greatest difficulties faced by any SEO is explaining it to other people in a way that demonstrates its value while setting appropriate expectations for results. Whether it’s your clients, your boss, or your peers that you’re trying to convince, it isn’t an easy case to make, especially when it’s so difficult to show what kind of return a company can see from an investment in SEO.

We also saw tons of frustrated responses about how the industry is constantly changing, and it takes too much of your already-constrained time just to stay on top of those changes.

In terms of tactics, link building easily tops the list of challenges. That makes sense, as it’s the piece of SEO that relies most heavily on the cooperation of other human beings (and humans are often tricky beings to figure out). =)

Content marketing — both the creation/copywriting side as well as the strategy side — is still a challenge for many folks in the industry, though fewer people mentioned it this year as mentioned it in 2015, so I think we’re all starting to get used to how those skills overlap with the more traditional aspects of SEO.


How our readers read

With all that context in mind, we started to dig into your preferences in terms of formats, frequency, and subject matter on the blog.

How often do you read posts on the Moz Blog?

This is the one set of responses that caused a bit of concern. We’ve seen a steady decrease in the number of people who say they read every day, a slight decrease in the number of people who say they read multiple times each week, and a dramatic increase in the number of people who say they read once a week.

The 2015 decrease came after an expansion in the scope of subjects we covered on the blog — as we branched away from just SEO, we published more posts about social media, email, and other aspects of digital marketing. We knew that not all of those subjects were relevant for everyone, so we expected a dip in frequency of readership.

This year, though, we’ve attempted to refocus on SEO, and might have expected a bit of a rebound. That didn’t happen:

There are two other factors at play, here. For one thing, we no longer publish a post every single weekday. After our publishing volume experiment in 2015, we realized it was safe (even beneficial) to emphasize quality over quantity, so if we don’t feel like a post turned out the way we hoped, we don’t publish it until we’ve had a chance to improve it. That means we’re down to about four posts per week. We’ve also made a concerted effort to publish more posts about local SEO, as that’s relevant to our software and an increasingly important part of the work of folks in our industry.

It could also be a question of time — we’ve already covered how little time everyone in our industry has, and with that problem continuing, there may just be less time to read blog posts.

If anyone has any additional insight into why they read less often than they once did, please let us know in the comments below!

On which types of devices do you prefer to read blog posts?

We were surprised by the responses to this answer in 2013, and they’ve only gotten more extreme:

Nearly everyone prefers to read blog posts on a full computer. Only about 15% of folks add their phones into the equation, and the number of people in all the other buckets is extremely small. In 2013, our blog didn’t have a responsive design, and was quite difficult to read on mobile devices. We thought that might have had something to do with people’s responses — maybe they were just used to reading our blog on larger screens. The trend in 2015 and this year, though, proves that’s not the case. People just prefer reading posts on their computers, plain and simple.

Which other site(s), if any, do you regularly visit for information or education on SEO?

This was a new question for this year. We have our own favorite sites, of course, but we had no idea how the majority of folks would respond to this question. As it turns out, there was quite a broad range of responses listing sites that take very different approaches:

Site # responses
Search Engine Land 184
Search Engine Journal 89
Search Engine Roundtable 74
SEMrush 51
Ahrefs 50
Search Engine Watch 41
Quick Sprout / Neil Patel 35
HubSpot 33
Backlinko 31
Google Blogs 29
The SEM Post 21
Kissmetrics 17
Yoast 16
Distilled 13
SEO by the Sea 13

I suppose it’s no surprise that the most prolific sites sit at the top. They’ve always got something new, even if the stories don’t often go into much depth. We’ve tended to steer our own posts toward longer-form, in-depth pieces, and I think it’s safe to say (based on these responses and some to questions below) that it’d be beneficial for us to include some shorter stories, too. In other words, depth shouldn’t necessarily be a requisite for a post to be published on the Moz Blog. We may start experimenting with a more “short and sweet” approach to some posts.


What our readers think of the blog

Here’s where we get into more specific feedback about the Moz Blog, including whether it’s relevant, how easy it is for you to consume, and more.

What percentage of the posts on the Moz Blog would you say are relevant to you and your work?

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results here, as SEO is a broad enough industry (and we’ve got a broad enough audience) that there’s simply no way we’re going to hit the sweet spot for everyone with every post. But those numbers toward the bottom of the chart are low enough that I feel confident we’re doing pretty well in terms of topic relevance.

Do you feel the Moz Blog posts are generally too basic, too advanced, or about right?

Responses to this question have made me smile every time I see them. This is clearly one thing we’re getting about as right as we could expect to. We’re even seeing a slight balancing of the “too basic” and “too advanced” columns over time, which is great:

We also asked the people who told us that posts were “too basic” or “too advanced” to what extent they felt that way, using a scale from 1-5 (1 being “just a little bit too basic/advanced” and 5 being “way too basic/advanced.” The responses tell us that the people who feel posts are too advanced feel more strongly about that opinion than the people who feel posts are too basic:

This makes some sense, I think. If you’re just starting out in SEO, which many of our readers are, some of the posts on this blog are likely to go straight over your head. That could be frustrating. If you’re an SEO expert, though, you probably aren’t frustrated by posts you see as too basic for you — you just skip past them and move on with your day.

This does make me think, though, that we might benefit from offering a dedicated section of the site for folks who are just starting out — more than just the Beginner’s Guide. That’s actually something that was specifically requested by one respondent this year.

In general, what do you think about the length of Moz Blog posts?

While it definitely seems like we’re doing pretty well in this regard, I’d also say we’ve got some room to tighten things up a bit, especially in light of the lack of time so many of you mentioned:

There were quite a few comments specifically asking for “short and sweet” posts from time to time — offering up useful tips or news in a format that didn’t expound on details because it didn’t have to. I think sprinkling some of those types of posts in with the longer-form posts we have so often would be beneficial.

Do you ever comment on Moz Blog posts?

This was another new question this year. Despite so many sites are removing comment sections from their blogs, we’ve always believed in their value. Sometimes the discussions we see in comments end up being the most helpful part of the posts, and we value our community too much to keep that from happening. So, we were happy to see a full quarter of respondents have participated in comments:

We also asked for a bit of info about why you either do or don’t comment on posts. The top reasons why you do were pretty predictable — to ask a clarifying question related to the post, or to offer up your own perspective on the topic at hand. The #3 reason was interesting — 18 people mentioned that they like to comment in order to thank the author for their hard work. This is a great sentiment, and as someone who’s published several posts on this blog, I can say for a fact that it does feel pretty great. At the same time, those comments are really only written for one person — the author — and are a bit problematic from our perspective, because they add noise around the more substantial conversations, which are what we like to see most.

I think the solution is going to lie in a new UI element that allows readers to note their appreciation to the authors without leaving one of the oft-maligned “Great post!” comments. There’s got to be a happy medium there, and I think it’s worth our finding it.

The reasons people gave for not commenting were even more interesting. A bunch of people mentioned the need to log in (sorry, folks — if we didn’t require that, we’d spend half our day removing spam!). The most common response, though, involved a lack of confidence. Whether it was worded along the lines of “I’m an introvert” or along the lines of “I just don’t have a lot of expertise,” there were quite a few people who worried about how their comments would be received.

I want to take this chance to encourage those of you who feel that way to take the step, and ask questions about points you find confusing. At the very least, I can guarantee you aren’t the only ones, and others like you will appreciate your initiative. One of the best ways to develop your expertise is to get comfortable asking questions. We all work in a really confusing industry, and the Moz Blog is all about providing a place to help each other out.

What, if anything, would you like to see different about the Moz Blog?

As usual, the responses to this question were chock full of great suggestions, and again, we so appreciate the amount of time you all spent providing really thoughtful feedback.

One pattern I saw was requests for more empirical data — hard evidence that things should be done a certain way, whether through case studies or other formats. Another pattern was requests for step-by-step walkthroughs. That makes a lot of sense for an industry of folks who are strapped for time: Make things as clear-cut as possible, and where we can, offer a linear path you can walk down instead of asking you to holistically understand the subject matter, then figure that out on your own. (That’s actually something we’re hoping to do with our entire Learning Center: Make it easier to figure out where to start, and where to continue after that, instead of putting everything into buckets and asking you all to figure it out.)

Whiteboard Friday remains a perennial favorite, and we were surprised to see more requests for more posts about our own tools than we had requests for fewer posts about our own tools. (We’ve been wary of that in the past, as we wanted to make sure we never crossed from “helpful” into “salesy,” something we’ll still focus on even if we do add another tool-based post here and there.)

We expected a bit of feedback about the format of the emails — we’re absolutely working on that! — but didn’t expect to see so many folks requesting that we bring back YouMoz. That’s something that’s been on the backs of our minds, and while it may not take the same form it did before, we do plan on finding new ways to encourage the community to contribute content, and hope to have something up and running early in 2018.

Request #responses
More case studies 26
More Whiteboard Friday (or other videos) 25
More long-form step-by-step training/guides 18
Clearer steps to follow in posts; how-tos 11
Bring back UGC / YouMoz 9
More from Rand 9
Improve formatting of the emails 9
Higher-level, less-technical posts 8
More authors 7
More news (algorithm updates, e.g.) 7
Shorter posts, “quick wins” 7
Quizzes, polls, or other engagement opportunities 6
Broader range of topics (engagement, CRO, etc.) 6
More about Moz tools 5
More data-driven, less opinion-based 5

What our readers want to see

This section is a bit more future-facing, where some of what we asked before had to do with how things have been in the past.

Which of the following topics would you like to learn more about?

There were very, very few surprises in this list. Lots of interest in on-page SEO and link building, as well as other core tactical areas of SEO. Content, branding, and social media all took dips — that makes sense, given the fact that we don’t usually post about those things anymore, and we’ve no doubt lost some audience members who were more interested in them as a result. Interestingly, mobile took a sizable dip, too. I’d be really curious to know what people think about why that is. My best guess is that with the mobile-first indexing from Google and with responsive designs having become so commonplace, there isn’t as much of a need as there once was to think of mobile much differently than there was a couple of years ago. Also of note: When we did this survey in 2015, Google had recently rolled out its “Mobile-Friendly Update,” not-so-affectionately referred to by many in the industry as Mobilegeddon. So… it was on our minds. =)

Which of the following types of posts would you most like to see on the Moz Blog?

This is a great echo and validation of what we took away from the more general question about what you’d like to see different about the Blog: More tactical posts and step-by-step walkthroughs. Posts that cut to the chase and offer a clear direction forward, as opposed to some of the types at the bottom of this list, which offer more opinions and cerebral explorations:


What happens next?

Now we go to work. =)

We’ll spend some time fully digesting this info, and coming up with new goals for 2018 aimed at making improvements inspired by your feedback. We’ll keep you all apprised as we start moving forward.

If you have any additional insight that strikes you in taking a look at these results, please do share it in the comments below — we’d love to have those discussions.

For now, we’ve got some initial takeaways that we’re already planning to take action on.

Primary takeaways

There are some relatively obvious things we can take away from these results that we’re already working on:

  • People in all businesses are finding it quite difficult to communicate the value of SEO to their clients, bosses, and colleagues. That’s something we can help with, and we’ll be developing materials in the near future to try and alleviate some of that particular frustration.
  • There’s a real desire for more succinct, actionable, step-by-step walkthroughs on the Blog. We can pretty easily explore formats for posts that are off our “beaten path,” and will attempt to make things easier to consume through improvements to both the content itself and its delivery. I think there’s some room for more “short and sweet” mixed in with our longer norm.
  • The bulk of our audience does more than just SEO, despite a full 25% of them having it in their job titles, and the challenges you mentioned include a bunch of areas that are related to, but outside the traditional world of SEO. Since you all are clearly working on those sorts of things, we should work to highlight and facilitate the relationship between the SEO work and the non-SEO marketing work you do.
  • In looking through some of the other sites you all visit for information on SEO, and knowing the kinds of posts they typically publish, it’s clear we’ve got an opportunity to publish more news. We’ve always dreamed of being more of a one-stop shop for SEO content, and that’s good validation that we may want to head down that path.

Again, thank you all so much for the time and effort you spent filling out this survey. Hopefully you’ll notice some changes in the near (and not-so-near) future that make it clear we’re really listening.

If you’ve got anything to add to these results — insights, further explanations, questions for clarification, rebuttals of points, etc. — please leave them in the comments below. We’re looking forward to continuing the conversation. =)

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from Raymond Castleberry Blog http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com/2017/12/our-readership-results-of-2017-moz-blog.html
via http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com