We've got another year under our belts, and that means it's time to continue . Yes, that's right, folks — the Moz Blog Best of 2015 is hot off the presses! (This makes me wish we had real presses. We don't. I think there's a 3D printer somewhere around here, though...)

We’re going to highlight just what hit it off with you fantastic little blog readers, you. We'll slice and dice the top posts of the year a few different ways, take a peek at what dominated YouMoz, check out which comments drove the collective convo, and highlight the community members that contributed the most-liked and most-often-liked commentary.

(Spoiler alert: You went absolutely nuts for Rand this year. He holds a lot of top ten real estate, across multiple categories. Maybe I should get his autograph or something...)

Buckle in and get comfortable, friends, ‘cause we’re about to take a wild ride with this data.

Table of contents

1. Top posts by 1Metric score

You may have heard mention of this mysterious in the past. It's a proprietary metric we developed a few years ago to measure content marketing success. We use this score regularly to check up on how our content’s doing.

The theme encompassing this year's highest-scoring posts seems to be centered around sparking discussions, debate, and new ways of thinking about quotidian tasks. That, in and of itself, is immensely exciting to me — it's the essence of what makes our community so flippin' vibrant and innovative.

Here’s the full rundown for your reading pleasure:

1. by , May 18th
Introducing the new and improved Web Developer's SEO Cheat Sheet. Download info on SEO best practices for online marketers and developers. Updated for 2015.

2. by , October 7th
It's no longer just about optimizing your website for Google. It's about optimizing your presence across the web. SEO has tentacles that extend well beyond your website, so it's important that you begin to think of search holistically, taking into account all of the areas that can be optimized.

3. by , August 7th
While SEO is a different field than it once was, technical chops are still required to do things really well. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand pushes back against the idea that those skills are no longer necessary.

4. by , May 22nd
If we're talking about creating "good, unique content" and are hoping for it to rank in competitive SERPs, we're not setting the right bar. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand shows us what we should be going for instead.

5. by , October 30th
16%. That's the percentage of people who read everything you write word-for-word. That number hasn't changed in two decades, which tells us that we've never really learned how to write for the web. In this Whiteboard Friday, Dan Petrovic illustrates a new approach to writing for the web to increase reader engagement, and offers some tools and tips to help along the way.

6. by , August 2nd
Don't be distracted by web spam. A simple, easy-to-use filter could remove the majority of your worries surrounding spam.

7. by , June 12th
From selection to the actual research, keywords simply aren't the same beast they were five years ago. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand shows you how to do keyword research in 2015, ensuring you don't harm your site with obsolete tactics.

8. by , December 1st
Google Keyword Planner has some pretty scary skeletons in its closet! Learn about all the dirty secrets that should make you think twice about relying on Google's volume estimates.

9. by , June 24th
If you don't know what Google Analytics is, haven't installed it on your website, or have installed it but never look at your data, then this post is for you.

10. by , August 11th
We're excited to announce the results of Moz's famous Ranking Factors study. The study helps to identify which attributes of webpages and sites have the strongest association with higher rankings in Google. Ready to dive in?

2. Top posts by unique visits

Unique visits are a big deal. This metric throws around more weight than any other, because it indicates how we’re driving traffic to the rest of the site. Check out what brought the most new eyes to the blog this year, and compare it to the .

1. by , February 24th
It's been a long time since we covered one of the most fundamental building blocks of SEO — the structure of domain names and URLs — and it's high time to revisit.

2. by , March 18th
Don't give spam bots a free ride on your website. Create an inhospitable environment for the invasive pests in a few simple steps.

3. by , January 19th
Back in 2011, Geoff wrote a a technical site audit checklist, and while it was thorough, there have been a lot of additions to what is encompassed in a site audit. He's gone through and updated that old checklist for 2015.

4. by , May 18th
Introducing the new and improved Web Developer's SEO Cheat Sheet. Download info on SEO best practices for online marketers and developers. Updated for 2015.

5. by , April 6th
Cindy Krum and her colleague Emily Grossman wanted to cut through the noise and bring online marketers a clearer picture of what's in store when it comes to Mobilegeddon. In this post, you'll find answers to nine key questions about the update.

6. by , February 6th
Subfolders or subdomains? 301 redirect or rel canonical? What about optimal link structures for SEO? Some of the basic questions are the ones that crop up the most frequently, and in this Whiteboard Friday, Rand tackles those three.

7. by , June 22nd
Online advertising is often based around the idea of an "impression," but few of us actually know what that means. We assume it means some sort of interaction with a human being, but as it turns out, we're quite wrong. We dive into some staggering statistics with Samuel Scott.

8. by , January 28th
Using a hypothetical client, Jeremy Gottlieb shows you just how much keyword research you can get done in 90 minutes (and walks you step-by-step through how to do it).

9. by , March 30th
Moz's Spam Score metric helps quantify the relative risk of penalization/banning by search engines using a series of correlated flags. This post helps explain where you can find Spam Score, how to use it, and the R&D behind its development.

10. by , May 22nd
If we're talking about creating "good, unique content" and are hoping for it to rank in competitive SERPs, we're not setting the right bar. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand shows us what we should be going for instead.

3. Top YouMoz posts by unique visits

YouMoz is a wondrous, magical place where our insightful community members may submit their own ideas for blog posts. When they go live, they can even be promoted to the main blog to share with an even bigger audience. The majority of the posts below may have gotten bumped from YouMoz up to that big blog in the sky, but it’s a testament to how well they did.

1. by , March 18th
Don't give spam bots a free ride on your website. Create an inhospitable environment for the invasive pests in a few simple steps.

2. by , February 15th
Hashtags, which make it easier to find, share, and curate content on social platforms, can be an invaluable tool in your marketing arsenal.

3. by , October 7th
It's no longer just about optimizing your website for Google. It's about optimizing your presence across the web. SEO has tentacles that extend well beyond your website, so it's important that you begin to think of search holistically, taking into account all of the areas that can be optimized.

4. by , August 2nd
Don't be distracted by web spam. A simple, easy-to-use filter could remove the majority of your worries surrounding spam.

5. by , March 15th
Your brand's About Us page is prime real estate for prospects looking to do business with the company. Reward visitors for their efforts by showcasing an engaging, insightful page.

6. by , March 26th
Content promotion and amplification are the lifeblood of content marketing, and it all starts with outreach. Don't allow the lack of an email address to hold back your outreach efforts.

7. by , January 20th
Has your business considered sponsored content? Research says it can be a worthwhile addition to your business's marketing efforts.

8. by , September 1st
If the name "Google Webmaster Tools" rings a bell for you, you might already have an idea of what Google Search Console is. This post shows you how to successfully set up Search Console for your site.

9. by , July 14th
Don't sleep on Google Autocomplete for helping you uncover some low-hanging-fruit content ideas.

10. by , February 25th
Use Google Analytics Intelligence Alerts to help you more effectively recognize changes to your website's performance.

4. Top posts by number of thumbs up

Just take a moment and think about where we’d be without thumbs. No rocket science, no masterpieces of human creativity, no spaces between the words in our sentences, and definitely no raw indication of just what you folks liked in 2015 on the Moz blog! Thank goodness for thumbs. Here are the top posts by thumbs up, as indicated by anyone with a favorable opinion and a community account.

1. by , February 24th
It's been a long time since we covered one of the most fundamental building blocks of SEO — the structure of domain names and URLs — and it's high time to revisit.

2. by , October 7th
It's no longer just about optimizing your website for Google. It's about optimizing your presence across the web. SEO has tentacles that extend well beyond your website, so it's important that you begin to think of search holistically, taking into account all of the areas that can be optimized.

3. by , January 19th
Back in 2011, Geoff wrote a a technical site audit checklist, and while it was thorough, there have been a lot of additions to what is encompassed in a site audit. He's gone through and updated that old checklist for 2015.

4. by , March 9th
Most non-SEO folk you talk to are generally very nice people. Then, though, there's the non-SEO "expert" (loosely defined as someone who has a cousin in marketing). Well-intentioned but misinformed, they believe SEO is urban legend, no better than a Ponzi scheme. In this post are a few of the worst offenders.

5. by , March 30th
Moz's Spam Score metric helps quantify the relative risk of penalization/banning by search engines using a series of correlated flags. This post helps explain where you can find Spam Score, how to use it, and the R&D behind its development.

6. by , January 6th
The beginning of the year marks the traditional time for blogger prognosticating, and Rand's created a tradition of predicting the big trends in SEO and web marketing over the last decade.

7. by , February 6th
Subfolders or subdomains? 301 redirect or rel canonical? What about optimal link structures for SEO? Some of the basic questions are the ones that crop up the most frequently, and in this Whiteboard Friday, Rand tackles those three.

8. by , January 30th
Starting your SEO strategy with questions only works if you're asking the right questions. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand covers the five that'll lead you in the wrong direction, and the five steps you should be taking instead.

9. by , January 9th
Marketers of all stripes are hearing more about providing unique content and value to their audiences, and how that's what Google wants to show searchers. Unique content is straightforward enough, but what exactly does everyone mean by "unique value?" What does that actually look like? In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand illustrates the answer.

10. by , February 15th
Hashtags, which make it easier to find, share and curate content on social platforms, can be an invaluable tool in your marketing arsenal.

5. Top posts by number of comments

It's always thought-provoking to see the differences between top posts by thumbs and top posts by comments; they don't always overlap. Maybe these had a shade of controversy to them, maybe a particularly interesting discussion ensued, maybe a group of rebels broke community guidelines, got off topic, and posted the lyrics to their favorite Neil Diamond songs (I wish). Regardless of the reason, these posts generated the most conversation in 2015 — read through to find out why, and maybe add your own here and there!

1. by , March 18th
Don't give spam bots a free ride on your website. Create an inhospitable environment for the invasive pests in a few simple steps.

2. by , October 7th
It's no longer just about optimizing your website for Google. It's about optimizing your presence across the web. SEO has tentacles that extend well beyond your website, so it's important that you begin to think of search holistically, taking into account all of the areas that can be optimized.

3. by , January 13th
Last year, Moz introduced the SEO Expert Quiz, which to date over 40,000 people have attempted to conquer. We're proud to announce the Local Search Expert Quiz. Written by local search expert Miriam Ellis herself, the quiz contains 40 questions to completely challenge your knowledge of Local SEO.

4. by , February 6th
Subfolders or subdomains? 301 redirect or rel canonical? What about optimal link structures for SEO? Some of the basic questions are the ones that crop up the most frequently, and in this Whiteboard Friday, Rand tackles those three.

5. by , March 30th
Moz's Spam Score metric helps quantify the relative risk of penalization/banning by search engines using a series of correlated flags. This post helps explain where you can find Spam Score, how to use it, and the R&D behind its development.

6. by , August 2nd
Don't be distracted by web spam. A simple, easy to use filter could remove the majority of your worries surrounding spam.

7. by , March 9th
Most non-SEO folk you talk to are generally very nice people. Then, though, there's the non-SEO "expert" (loosely defined as someone who has a cousin in marketing). Well-intentioned but misinformed, they believe SEO is urban legend, no better than a Ponzi scheme. In this post are a few of the worst offenders.

8. by , February 15th
Hashtags, which make it easier to find, share and curate content on social platforms, can be an invaluable tool in your marketing arsenal.

9. by , March 15th
Your brand's About Us page is prime real estate for prospects looking to do business with the company. Reward visitors for their efforts by showcasing an engaging, insightful page.

10. by , January 19th
Back in 2011, Geoff wrote a a technical site audit checklist, and while it was thorough, there have been a lot of additions to what is encompassed in a site audit. He's gone through and updated that old checklist for 2015.

6. Top community comments by thumbs up

These comments were good. If these comments were ancient Roman gladiators, they would definitely be spared. We've got a healthy mix of advice, humor, TAGFEE, and pure humanity in this year's batch — reading these, I know I couldn't be prouder to be involved with this community. Here are 2015’s top comments by number of thumbs up.

Bonus points: See if you can divine the identity of our enigmatic "mystery guest"...

1. | June 12th
Commented on


2. | January 6th
Commented on


3. | October 7th
Commented on


4. | July 21st
Commented on


5. | April 22nd
Commented on


6. | January 6th
Commented on


7. | August 7th
Commented on


8. | August 20th
Commented on


9. | August 20th
Commented on


10. | May 29th
Commented on

7. Top commenters by total number of comment thumbs up

Writing thoughtful, discerning commentary is more valuable than just contributing to the discussion at hand and supporting the betterment of the online marketing industry as a whole. Heck, the best comments earn thumbs up, and writing the best comments time and time again will net you some serious MozPoint cheddar. I present to you today the one percenters of the Moz blog commenters from 2015.


1. , username SamuelScott
MozPoints: 3324 | Rank: 25


2. , username Mobilio
MozPoints: 1330 | Rank: 81


3. , username UmarKhan
MozPoints: 1671 | Rank: 64

4. , username Marie Haynes
MozPoints: 5739 | Rank: 6

5. , username MattAntonino
MozPoints: 3623 | Rank: 21

6. , username EGOL
MozPoints: 19,316 | Rank: 1

7. , username Brick-Marketing
MozPoints: 1087 | Rank: 104

8. , username billslawski
MozPoints: 1117 | Rank: 102


9. , username EricEnge
MozPoints: 2099 | Rank: 44

10. , username KelseyLibert
MozPoints: 1140 | Rank: 98


8. Top commenters by average number of thumbs/comment, 20 comment minimum

Here's another way to showcase some of our most consistently prolific commenters whose words strike a chord with the community. These are the folks with the highest average number of thumbs up per comment, who have contributed at least 20 total comments over 2015. To all our commenters and silent, lurking readers thumbs-up-ing everything, we thank you for sharing your wisdom, your wit, and your critiques all — you make this blog a good place to be.


1. , username Mobilio
Total comments: 131 | Total thumbs: 489


2. , username mpezet
Total comments: 20 | Total thumbs: 73


3. , username SamuelScott
Total comments: 272 | Total thumbs: 965


4. , username BradyDCallahan
Total comments: 26 | Total thumbs: 88


5. , username Igalst
Total comments: 22 | Total thumbs: 73


6. , username billslawski
Total comments: 42 | Total thumbs: 136


7. , username Angular
Total comments: 30 | Total thumbs: 92


8. , username MarieHaynes
Total comments: 102 | Total thumbs: 286


9. , username MarkTraphagen
Total comments: 40 | Total thumbs: 101


10. , username MattAntonino
Total comments: 76 | Total thumbs: 191

This is a salute to you — the hard-working, generously-contributing, tirelessly thoughtful Moz blog community. Where would we ever be without you? Our heartfelt thanks for all you do and say. Here's to a 2016 that's even better!

Allow me to give a huge shout out to , , and , without whose help we would all be lost — especially me, when compiling all these numbers. Thanks for everything!