An Interview with Content Astronaut at Moz – Cyrus Shepard

The much awaited day comes in my life when I got a chance to take an interview of SEO Celebrity. He is one of the most epic person and none other than Mr. Cyrus shepard. I think you people don’t need much introduction for this great personality but I can’t stop my hand to write on his greatness. He is a senior content astronaut at Moz. He likes to solve tough SEO problems and helps online businesses to spread online marketing messages and He just believes to create epicness.

Instantaneously, I just come to the interview section, Here we go. 🙂

1. You have completed your B.A in Film/Video Production. So, who is your inspiration and to whom you look as your role model (you’r mine :)). And how is your journey from just a Waiter to Content Astronaut?

My role model when I first entered SEO was Rand Fishkin, of course. I was thrilled when I learned SEOmoz (now Moz) was located in Seattle where I lived. Before I joined the company I actually went to an early SEO meetup at a local bar the company was hosting. I was so nervous and I didn’t know anybody so I walked into the bar, headed to the restroom, then left as quickly as I came without talking to a soul.
I’ve spoken about my journey in more depth here.

2. Can you just tell me about your recently done SEO research and how did you conduct that research?

We constantly perform experiments, both on Moz and part of the IMEC Lab, headed by Rand Fishkin. Lately, as part of IMEC we’ve been testing if we can influence ranking by influencing click-through rate.
Every two years Moz runs the SEO Ranking Factors study, which is a two part study that surveys the opinions of over 100 SEO experts and runs correlation calculations across over 10,000 keyword searches. We learn a lot from these studies, but there’s still so much we don’t know.

3. In one of the Hub-spot video, it has been stated that one should spend half of the time to write a title that you have took to write a post. What do you think on this? And it would be great if we have more special tips about copy-writing and so on 🙂

Only half?

I have been know to spend up to 2 hours writing a headline. We try to test different titles through social media and surveys. A good headline can get up to 20-50% more clicks than a bad headline (okay, I made those numbers up, but I’m pretty sure they are spot-on accurate) More clicks lead to more links. A great headline frames the story and tells you why you are about to read is important.

My favorite post that I wrote on SEO copywriting is 10 Dead SEO Copywriting Tips for Improved Link Building.

4. Our marketing industry is becoming tough day by day and Google has narrowed their ranking system. In such a scenario, What is your SEO super power?

When all SEO powers fade, all we have to rely on is our SEO facial hair.

5. Here in India, there are lot of rumors going around about SEO especially regarding Google that is hammering with its two animals (panda and penguin)? How do you see the future of SEO?

With Panda and Penguin, Google has made great strides dealing with webspam. We may see more of this as they try to clean out the corners they haven’t been able to reach (the churn and burn sites).

To be honest, I think we are entering a time of relative stability in SEO. We’ll likely see an increase in authorship and authority signals, but I almost expect things to be “boring” for the foreseeable future.

6. And last, Could i have a picture of your work space? 🙂


Thanks you so much sir for spending time for me from your busy schedule. I hope readers will find this interview helpful. 🙂

Ketan Parmar

Ketan Parmar

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