I Trust You, Rand Fishkin

Trusting people on social media can be a tricky thing. In face-to-face conversations, it’s much easier to gauge a person’s trustworthiness than when they’re hiding behind a computer screen. Although I tend to trust too easily in life, it takes a special type of person to earn my trust on social media.

Rand Fishkin

If you were to poll everyone at the Internet marketing company I work for and ask them who they trust most on social media, they would be unanimous with their answer – Rand Fishkin. Rand is the founder of Moz, a Seattle-based company that sells inbound marketing and marketing analytics software subscriptions. And on top of that, he follows Steve Rayson’s proposed social media trust formula to a tee.

With that in mind, it’s time to evaluate his trustworthiness.

Social Media Trust Formula

A is for Authority – In the Internet marketing world, Moz is king when it comes to SEO. Being that we always want to stay on our toes when it comes to Google, Rand is the perfect person to follow on social media. Every Friday, he puts out a short, educational video on his website called “Whiteboard Friday” that touches on a new SEO topic. In it, he provides tips and best practices. His videos are funny, laid back and usually no more than 10-12 minutes long. In case you missed something he said in the video, but don’t have time to rewatch it, you can read the transcript right below the actual video. He also frequently blogs about current SEO issues on his website.

On his Facebook and Twitter, Rand is just as knowledgeable, often providing his fans and followers with the latest in SEO and Google. He currently has 10,779 likes on his Facebook business page and 226,000 followers on Twitter, so it seems that others have taken notice of his vast knowledge in the Internet marketing arena.

H is for Helpfulness – No matter how busy he seems to be, Rand always finds the time to be helpful. In addition to putting out a new “Whiteboard Friday” video each week to educate his followers, I’ve also seen him write back to people in the comments section of his site, respond to comments left on his Facebook posts and reply to his followers tweets. Up until January of last year, he was the CEO of Moz. How many CEOs have you seen that actually take the time to respond to user comments on their blog posts? I’d venture to say not many. While Rand could simply just say something along the lines of “Thank you for commenting,” he, instead, writes a detailed response that shows that he actually read the person’s comment. Additionally, Rand isn’t just partial to Moz.com. On his social media channels, you’ll see him promote information from all types of sites. As long as he finds a piece of information useful, he’ll share it, no matter where it originated.

I is for Intimacy – Rand doesn’t pretend to be perfect, which makes me respect him even more. Earlier this month, he wrote a blog post that really stood out to me called, “On Being Wrong and Not Knowing the Answer.” In it, Rand is not only intimate with his fans but also honest and sincere (genuine), which are two of the characteristics I believe a trustworthy person should possess.

“Not having answers is natural. Not having a certain type of experience or enough of that experience to make a smart-than-average guess is going to happen, even if you’re the most coveted, respected expert in your field. It’s what you DO when you don’t have that answer that separates the high-integrity experts from the rest of the pack.”

Just because Rand is an SEO guru, doesn’t mean he knows all or that he doesn’t need to seek advice from other trustworthy people. It’s nice to see someone be so intimate with his fans. If only other high-level executives could learn from Rand’s humility.

SP is for Self Promotion – Rand likes to share his experiences with others who could learn from them or might even be able to relate to them, but one thing he doesn’t like to do is make things all about him. In his most recent blog post, “The False Narratives We Tell Ourselves,” he explains that he’s not “sharing this for sympathy.” He’s sharing it because he thinks ” we all carry these false narratives with us.” In other words, if Rand feels that someone will be able to benefit from him sharing something about himself, he will. Otherwise, he’s very humble and low key.

From what I’ve come to know of Rand ever since my company encouraged that I follow him on Twitter, I’d say that his No. 1 priority is teaching people, be it through his blog, his Twitter or his Facebook. To Rand, gaining his followers’ trust validates what he’s doing.


Hello, everyone, and hello, 2015!

Hello! My name is Lynette Zilio, and I’m in my fourth semester of the University of Florida’s social media master’s program. I’m so happy to be in class with some familiar (and some new) faces! For those of you who might not know me, I’d like to take this time to tell you a little bit about myself.

Although I currently live in Orlando, I was born and raised in Miami. In 2007, I moved to Gainesville to attend UF. (Go Gators!) There, I majored in journalism and minored in Spanish. Throughout my time at UF, I was able to intern for The Miami Herald and The Denver Post as well as contribute to The Independent Florida Alligator and INsite, an entertainment magazine. I was also fortunate enough to be able to spend a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain, which really helped me dive deeper into the Spanish culture.

After I graduated from UF in 2011, I accepted a position as a sales and marketing assistant for a wholesale designer handbag company. In this role, I served as the liaison between the company’s independent sales representatives and its more than 1,000 specialty store accounts. I also ensured all department store orders were correct, attended trade shows, updated the website with new products and product descriptions, and created and managed the company’s social media profiles.

A year-and-a-half later, I accepted a position as the junior SEO specialist for a Miami-based cloud-computing company and Google Partner. In this role, I learned about keyword research, on-page optimization and what makes Google tick. I was also in charge of creating and managing the company’s various social media profiles as well as writing weekly blog entries for the company’s site.

Last June, after almost five years of being in a long-distance relationship, I decided to make the move to Orlando to be in the same city as my boyfriend. Since then, I’ve been working as a link builder for an Internet-marketing company called Launch That. Although the company manages several different websites, my job is to increase the visibility of asbestos.com in Google by utilizing white-hat SEO tactics to obtain authoritative and relevant backlinks. I also write monthly blog posts for the site and help with some of the company’s social media efforts.

My boyfriend Chris and I at the Launch That Christmas Party!

My boyfriend Chris and I at the Launch That Christmas Party!

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, trying new restaurants and dancing.

Being that I was self-taught before entering this master’s program, I don’t quite know all of the ‘fine print’ of social media. With the help of this course, I’d like to be able to learn more about how to properly handle social media issues in the workplace, what the terms and conditions of each platform really mean, how to best moderate user comments and how to determine the validity of content shared via social media. Once I learn more about social media ethics, I know that I will feel more confident in my role as an Internet marketer.

MMC5427 Week 2 Assignment: H&M and SEO Keywords

H&M reaches sales goals without the help of SEO keywords.

H&M SEO Keywords Ad Campaign

I chose H&M as my multinational company.  The Swedish-based retailer, officially known as Hennes & Mauritz AB, is known for selling affordable clothing for women, men and children in 2,500 stores across 44 markets and online. Many of you have also probably seen the company’s minimalistic yet eye-catching advertising campaigns in shopping malls, on billboards or even in metro stations.

I thought it would be interesting to choose H&M for this assignment because the company only started selling its clothes online to U.S. customers last August. Before that, Americans had to visit one of its retail stores to get their hands on these affordable pieces. I was interested in seeing how H&M’s SEO stacked up against that of other multinational companies that have been using online shopping for much longer.

I predicted that H&M would be on the first page of Google for the following keywords, but I was only partly right.

  1. Discount clothing– Page 1, result #2 out of about 2,270,000,000 results.
  2. Discount clothing stores- Page 2, result #3 out of about 126,000,000 results.
  3. Discount men’s clothing- Beyond five pages.
  4. Discount women’s clothing- Beyond five pages, but H&M is mentioned at the bottom in the “searches related to” section. It’s interesting to note that Forever 21, one of H&M’s biggest competitors, takes the #2 spot for this keyword.
  5. Affordable men’s clothing- Beyond five pages, but H&M is mentioned at the bottom in the “searches related to” section.
  6. Affordable women’s clothing- Beyond five pages, but H&M is mentioned at the bottom in the “searches related to” section.
  7. Clothes on sale- Page 1, result #2 out of about  271,000,000 results. It was beat out only by Forever 21.
  8. Men’s clothes- Page 1, result #4 out of about 176,000,000 results.
  9. Women’s clothes- Page 1, result #4 out of about 177,000,000 results.
  10. Children’s clothes- Page 1, result #4 out of about 69,400,000 results.

H&M Coding Review

The coding for the company’s homepage does not contain any meta keywords, nor does it contain the words discount, affordableclothing or clothes. The word store, not stores, appears only in the form of “store locator” and “in- store”. Men’s and women’s clothes are referred to as “men’s fashion” and “women’s fashion”, which is why H&M did not rank high for the “men’s clothes” and “women clothes” keywords. The keyword children’s clothing was nowhere to be found. It’s interesting to note that, according to H&M’s coding, the most popular keyword on my list was sale. It was found a total of 62 times, but was not written as clothes on sale.


Based on these findings, I have come to a few conclusions. While SEO is an extremely important part of building a brand’s online presence, H&M realizes that people who are searching for its clothing, shoes and accessories online aren’t typing in keywords such as discount clothing; rather, they’re typing in hm.com and probably have been doing so even before it began selling to U.S. customers online. Once a brand establishes itself as the go-to brand for a particular category, in this case for affordable fashionable clothing, a lack of SEO for certain keywords can’t really take away from its success. In fact, immediately following the opening of its online store in the U.S., the company actually reported massive Q3 profit increase.

Overall, the company is still doing remarkably well for six out of the 10 keywords I selected. Perhaps its due to its presence on Google+, which has been the topic of many marketing case studies. Each day, the company connects with more than 940,000 people through photos, videos and exclusive content that reinforces its brand as a fashion lifestyle.