Thursday, February 20th, 2020

The Best of 2012: Top Posts and People of the Year


Posted by Ashley Tate

Now that 2012 has come to a close, it's time to take a look back at the posts and community members that made the biggest impacts on the Moz blog throughout the year!

This year offered unlimited awesomeness to highlight, but we had to pick and choose. The list includes top posts based on unique pageviews, thumbs up, total number of comments, and linking root domains. We also highlight the community members who left top comments (by thumbs up) and those who left the highest amount of comments throughout the year. 

If there are any posts you didn't get a chance to read (or any epic posts you can't wait to re-read), my advice is to grab your favorite mug, fill it with a tasty treat, and curl up in your favorite cozy place to catch up on the best of the Moz blog in 2012. I'm excited to hear your thoughts on your favorite posts, why you think they did so well, and what you'd like to see more of in 2013!

A quick-reference list of the Top Posts of 2012: 

Unique pageviews
Thumbs up
Total number of comments
Linking root domains

And one for the community members who Mozzed our socks off: 

Top comments (by thumbs up)
Top users (by total comments)

Data disclaimer: This data was gathered within the last 24 hours, so the numbers may change slightly (if so, my apologies). A huge thank you goes to Casey Henry, who helped me gather and compile a fair amount of the data used. All of the data used is current and reliable to the best of my knowledge, but keep in mind that I'm no data scientist like our wonderful Matt Peters. :)  

Before we dive into the posts, let's look at this year's top ten post topics:

  1. Link Building
  2. Content & Blogging
  3. Social Media
  4. Search Engine Trends
  5. On-Page / Site Optimization
  6. Analytics
  7. Technical SEO Issues
  8. Whiteboard Friday
  9. Intermediate & Advanced SEO
  10. Search Industry

Top posts of 2012 by unique pageviews 

Traffic surge, anyone? Our 2012 unique pageviews were off the charts! Although Rand's updated post from 2007 claims the number one spot by a large margin, nine other amazing posts aren't far behind. One note about the YouMoz posts in this category: the pageviews are counted after the posts were promoted to the main blog. Here are the top ten most viewed posts of the year:


1. 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic (Updated 2012)
January 17th, 2012 – Posted by randfish
As content marketing continues to thrive, driving traffic to your blog has never been more important. Rand expands on his epic 2007 (yep, you read that right) post on blogging and offers updated tactics that work for bloggers of all shapes and sizes.


2. SEO Pricing: 600+ Agencies Share Costs of Services & Pricing Models
January 3rd, 2012 - Posted by randfish
Ever wonder what pricing models other agencies are following? This post highlights the findings of our 2011 survey asking consultants and agencies of all demographics to contribute their pricing models and cost structures, along with a snazzy, shareable infographic.


3. 12 Things That Will Kill Your Blog Post Every Time
March 5th, 2012 - Posted by neilpatel
There's nothing worse than setting up a blog that's susceptible to injury. Neil Patel shares his tips for running a happy, healthy blog that will give you years of love and affection.

Eugen Oprea

4. 11 Google Analytics Tricks to Use for Your Website
March 1st, 2012 - Posted by Eugen Oprea 
 This awesome post started out in YouMoz and was quickly promoted to the main blog after winning the hearts of our community members. GA tricks for all! 


5. 6 Changes Every SEO Should Make BEFORE the Over-Optimization Penalty Hits – Whiteboard Friday
April 19th, 2012 - Posted by randfish
After Google announced their decision to penalize websites engaging in over-optimization practices, Rand's Whiteboard Friday on the topic shared tips to help site owners avoid the penalties. Needless to say, it was considered one of our "2012 lifesaver" posts. This doozy ranked highly in all top post categories, so in order to showcase more awesome content, I've listed it in this first category only.


6. Are You Setting Up WordPress For SEO Success?
May 7th, 2012 - Posted by evolvingSEO
Talk about clearing up WordPress confusion! Dan Shure hits it out of the park with his tips on setting up WordPress like an SEO pro.


7. The New SEO Process (Quit Being Kanye)
February 20th, 2012 - Posted by iPullRank
In true Mike King fashion, SEO and rap wizardry join forces to paint a picture of the future in an eloquent, tactic-heavy way.


8. The Noob Guide to Link Building
May 8th, 2012 - Posted by iPullRank
As a companion piece to the Noob Guide to Online Marketing, this post deconstructs each step of the link building process for fledgling SEOs.

Steve Webb

9. How to Perform the World's Greatest SEO Audit
June 6th, 2012 - Posted by Steve Webb
 Another top post started out in YouMoz (woo hoo!) and won the community over, pushing the post into Moz blog history. Steve Webb walks us through the steps of an insanely thorough SEO audit process.

Slingshot SEO

10. Google Analytics Certification and How to Pass the GAIQ Test
February 24th, 2012 - Posted by Slingshot SEO
 YouMoz, you're making me blush! Studying for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification test has never been more fun than with these tips to help you pass with flying colors (and cats).

Top posts of 2012 by thumbs up

Last year, we had 41 posts with over 100 thumbs up. This year, 71 posts meet the mark! Surprisingly, only four of these top posts coincide with the top ten trafficked posts of 2012. Are our top trafficked post numbers reflecting new users who don't have accounts in order to thumb-up posts, or is something else to blame? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Now, check out this year's top ten posts by thumbs up: 


1. The New SEO Process (Quit Being Kanye)
February 20th, 2012 – Posted by iPullRank
The King does it again – this post is a must-read!


2. 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic (Updated 2012)
January 17th, 2012 – Posted by randfish
Coming in hot on this list, too? w00t w00t!


3. Moz's $18 Million Venture Financing: Our Story, Metrics and Future
May 1st, 2012 – Posted by randfish
One of our most exciting announcements of 2012 was delivered in the form of this epically-wonderful post by Rand. It still makes me happy dance when I read it :)


4. How Google Makes Liars Out of the Good Guys in SEO
February 28th, 2012 – Posted by wilreynolds
Before the explosion of #RCS, Wil Reynolds spent some time evangelizing for the good guys in SEO whose choices still seem to go unrewarded by Google.


5. The Death of Link Building and the Rebirth of Link Earning – Whiteboard Friday
October 19th, 2012 – Posted by randfish
As algo updates are released, site owners are finding ways to adapt. In this Whiteboard Friday post, Rand discusses the egress of old link building practices and the ingress of link earning strategies, with much of our community standing by his side.


6. Prediction: Anchor Text is Weakening…And May Be Replaced by Co-Occurrence – Whiteboard Friday
November 16th, 2012 - Posted by randfish
Due to the increase in co-occurence of terms and links in search queries, in text content, and in links, Rand's Whiteboard Friday on the topic had the Moz community a-buzz!


7. SEO Pricing: 600+ Agencies Share Costs of Services & Pricing Models
January 3rd, 2012 - Posted by randfish
Hooray for pricing data collected from respondents around the world!


8. The New On-Page Optimization – Whiteboard Friday
March 29th, 2012 - Posted by JoannaLord
In her very first Whiteboard Friday, Joanna Lord discusses advanced techniques for optimizing your landing page to help serve the evolution of web marketers.

Steve Webb

9. How to Perform the World's Greatest SEO Audit
June 6th, 2012 - Posted by Steve Webb
 The Moz community has spoken, and this audit post wins!


10. Getting On-Page SEO Right in 2012 and Beyond – Whiteboard Friday
October 12th, 2012 - Posted by randfish
And the crowd went wild! But really, people loved this post and came in masses to learn about how to optimize their on-page strategy in a world of ever-changing algorithms.

Top posts of 2012 by total number of comments

The Moz community wowed us again this year with an impressive amount of comments on the blog. As an editor, I'm continuously blown away by how many in-depth, thoughtful comments our posts get on a daily basis. Giving SEO community members a platform to voice their opinions is something we live for at the Mozplex, and you fine folks sure are taking advantage of it – huzzah! Here are the posts that drove the largest discussions in 2012: 

Steve Webb

1. How to Perform the World's Greatest SEO Audit
June 6th, 2012 – Posted by Steve Webb
 It's starting to feel a bit like deja vu. :)


2. Prediction: Anchor Text is Weakening…And May Be Replaced by Co-Occurrence – Whiteboard Friday
November 16th, 2012 – Posted by randfish
Catchy title, valuable information. This one's a must-read before 2013!


3. Comment Marketing as an Inbound Tactic – Whiteboard Friday
May 31st, 2012 – Posted by randfish
Rand really swept the floor this year with stunning Whiteboard Fridays. This awesome post outlines white-hat comment marketing techniques that will help you build strong relationships with users from all corners of the web. 

Dr. Pete

4. Google's EMD Algo Update – Early Data
September 29th, 2012 – Posted by Dr. Pete
Our resident algo watchdog is at it again. Dr. Pete reports on early findings in the EMD algo update to help prepare users for what's to come.

Carson Ward

5. 17 Types of Link Spam to Avoid
May 15th, 2012 – Posted by Carson Ward
We all know how bad link spam tastes. Carson Ward cautions against link building strategies that will make your business look like it comes straight from the can, rather than from being prepared from scratch.


6. Moz's $18 Million Venture Financing: Our Story, Metrics and Future
May 1st, 2012 - Posted by randfish
Moz gets a big chance to share the TAGFEE love, with some great new partners to help celebrate!


7. The Death of Link Building and the Rebirth of Link Earning – Whiteboard Friday
October 19th, 2012 - Posted by randfish
The hot topic of new and old link building strategies stirred a reaction from the Moz community, and everyone got a chance to speak in the comments.

Eppie Vojt

8. How Garbage Ranks in the SERPs: a Case Study
March 15th, 2012 - Posted by Eppie Vojt
 When this post was published to YouMoz, we knew it would be a winner. Eppie Vojt shows us how "garbage" sites may still rank ahead of your own site, despite the love and care that went into creating it.


9. Negative SEO: Myths, Realities, and Precautions – Whiteboard Friday
April 26th, 2012 - Posted by randfish
Knowledge is power, and this edition of Whiteboard Friday highlights negative SEO practices to prevent you from being the subject of malicious intent. Think of it as your protection course on SEO black magic.

Carson Ward

10. Guest Blogging – Enough is Enough
August 27th, 2012 - Posted by Carson Ward
Although guest blogging is a big part of content strategy, it's an incomplete strategy on its own. Learn why there's more to life than guest blogging through this epic post!

Top posts of 2012 by linking root domains

In the true spirit of SEO, we must look at this year's posts with the highest number of backlinks. To do so, we pulled the number of linking root domains rather than the total number of backlinks to tally up the winners (note that this data was taken before the latest Mozscape index). Last year's 2011 roundup featured an impressive 12 posts with over 100 linking root domains, and this year we've got even bigger news: five posts had over 200 linking root domains. 200 LINKING ROOT DOMAINS?! Holy canoli, Batman! I guess SEO is still alive and kicking :)  


1. 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic (Updated 2012)
January 17th, 2012 - Posted by randfish
Clenching a second number one spot in our top ten list, this post is clearly a must-read.

Ross Hudgens

2. How Recovered From The Penguin Update
May 28th, 2012 - Posted by Ross Hudgens
This post was a 2012 fan-favorite. Ross Hudgens walks us through a case study of Penguin proportions and shows us how one site bounced back from the penalties.


3. SEO Pricing: 600+ Agencies Share Costs of Services & Pricing Models
January 3rd, 2012 - Posted by randfish
Data FTW, again!

Tom Anthony

4. How Authorship (and Google+) Will Change Linkbuilding
April 15th, 2012 - Posted by Tom Anthony
No wonder Link Building was the most popular post topic of 2012. Tom Anthony predicts how Google+ and Authorship will change the link building landscape for good.

Dr. Pete

5. Penguins, Pandas, and Panic at the Zoo
May 2nd, 2012 - Posted by Dr. Pete
A gaggle of Google updates later, our brave algo hunter Dr. Pete lays out next steps for what you should (and should not) do to prevent penalties from hitting your site.

Cyrus Shepard

6. How Google+ Uses SEO to Steal Search from Facebook and Twitter
January 4th, 2012 - Posted by Cyrus Shepard
Google+ is the newest kid on the playground of social media channels, but it's beginning to steal the thunder from the veterans.


7. Why Every Marketer Now Needs a Google+ Strategy
January 16th, 2012 - Posted by randfish
Speaking of G+ gaining traction quicker than a ThunderCat, this post highlights why every marketer needs a G+ strategy implemented into their marketing game plan.


8. The New SEO Process (Quit Being Kanye)
February 20th, 2012  - Posted by iPullRank
Kanye's got nothin' on King.


9. The Noob Guide to Link Building
May 8th, 2012 - Posted by iPullRank
Link building 101. Enough said.

Carson Ward

10. Unnatural Link Warnings and Blog Networks
March 26th, 2012 - Posted by Carson Ward
Spam, spam, and more spam. Carson Ward walks us through identifying spammy blog networks, and fixing and recovering from unnatural link penalties.

Top comments of 2012 by thumbs up

​Our community members aren't just commenting on our daily blog posts; they're supporting each others' opinions, as well. Group hug! Here are the comments (some serious and some not-so-much) that got the most love from other community members this year: 

Kris Roadruck

1. Kris Roadruck | October 19th, 2012
The Death of Link Building and the Rebirth of Link Earning – Whiteboard Friday

Dan Deceuster

2. Dan Deceuster | February 17th, 2012
The Last Linkbuilding Strategy Your Business Will Ever Need

Sajeet Nair

3. Sajeet Nair | March 5th, 2012
12 Things That Will Kill Your Blog Post Every Time

Matthew C. Egan

4. Matthew C. Egan | September 25th, 2012
How Many SEO Consultants Actually Know What They're Talking About?


5. wrttnwrd | March 13th, 2012
The Brand of SEO and the Trend of Inbound Marketing

Kane Jamison

6. Kane Jamison | May 7th, 2012
Are You Setting Up WordPress For SEO Success?

Sajeet Nair

7. Sajeet Nair | February 14th, 2012
Be Careful Using AdWords for Keyword Research

Kane Jamison

8. Kane Jamison | June 11th, 201
The Bigfoot Update (AKA Dr. Pete Goes Crazy)

Asif Dilshad

9. Asif Dilshad | March 8th, 2012
Visualizing the Marketing Funnel – Whiteboard Friday


10. SEOTakeaways | January 6th, 2012
All About Anchor Text – Whiteboard Friday

Top users of 2012 by total comments 

​It's time for the movers and shakers who went above and beyond in their comment discussions this year. Who was the most active in 2012, you ask? If you're around the blog often, the faces below will look familiar. If not, give them a holler and connect! Here are our top ten (associates and staff removed) commenters of the year: 


1. moosahemani
mozPoints: 2193 | Rank: 14


2. James Norquay – Australian SEO
mozPoints: 2688 | Rank: 11


3. SEODinosaur
mozPoints: 1012 | Rank: 56


4. Brian Reynolds
mozPoints: 215 | Rank: 394


5. GrowTraffic
mozPoints: 350 | Rank: 205


6. Jeff Downer
mozPoints: 234 | Rank: 345


7. Asif Dilshad
mozPoints: 302 | Rank: 243


8. David O'Donnell
mozPoints: 847 | Rank: 69


9. algogmbh_petra
mozPoints: 1466 | Rank: 31


10. Jonathon Colman
mozPoints: 776 | Rank: 79

And there you have it, folks! Hopefully this post was as fun for you to read as it was for me to put together. I'm so thankful to be part of such a wonderful community, and after looking back at the amazingness that was last year, I can't wait for what the new year has to offer.

What was your favorite post of 2012? Is there anything you'd like to see more of in 2013? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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