Rand's Blog

Rand's Blog

Marketing, entrepreneurship, and the ongoing study of how influence spreads (with the occasional interlude on travel, pasta, TV -- the important stuff) from founder Rand Fishkin.

I Wrote a Weird Kind of Business Book

For the last two years, I’ve been working on a book about what it’s like to build a tech startup and how Silicon Valley’s startup culture biases founders and companies to make a lot of poor decisions. That book, Lost and Founder, comes out in 14 days… I’m the usual mix of excitement and nervousness,…

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New Jumpshot 2018 Data: Where Searches Happen on the Web (Google, Amazon, Facebook, & Beyond)

Over the last few years, I’ve been incredibly frustrated with inaccurate, unrepresentative data sources about how traffic flows on the web and where web searches take place. Some of these are well-intentioned mistakes (e.g.), while others feel like they’ve got a specific motivation. But one source that’s been consistently excellent is Jumpshot, a collector and…

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Contrarian Take: Don’t Start Your Content Marketing with “What Do My Customers Want?”

If you’re in the business of content marketing, I know you’ve seen advice like this: “Start with your customer personas.” “Create content that will resonate with your customers.” “Great content is content that your customers actually want to consume.” It sounds compelling. But in my experience, it’s wrong. Or at least, incomplete. Why?…

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Why Elon Musk’s “People as Vectors” Analogy Resonates

In his keynote at INBOUND last year, Dharmesh Shah (Hubspot’s cofounder) shared a personal story of meeting Elon Musk and their short but powerful conversation about aligning people on a team as you would vectors in an equation. Unlike many folks in the startup world, I’m not a die-hard Musk fan. I appreciate his creativity…

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Is SEO Opportunity Growing or Shrinking?

It’s our existential question as SEO professionals — is SEO still growing? Or have Google’s actions reduced the opportunity potential? I see this phrased in all sorts of ways: Are there more searches on Google this year than last year? Is Google taking more of the search traffic for themselves? Do more or fewer clicks…

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