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Published May 20th 2014

Interview with Moz’s Rand Fishkin: Buzzsumo & Content Marketing

Last week I got in touch with Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz.com after he very kindly tweeted about BuzzSumo:

We love it when anyone tweets about BuzzSumo. But to have Rand say he was envious Moz hadn’t built it, a company we hugely respect and admire, was great.

What’s even more amazing is that Rand was more than willing to take some time out of his day to answer a few questions on BuzzSumo, content marketing and business. Enjoy!

What do you like about BuzzSumo the most?

I love the ease of use and the immediate value I get from using the product. I can search for terms/phrases and quickly identify content that’s performing well in a niche or with an audience.

Likewise, I love how visually simple and compelling Buzzsumo’s data displays. There’s no scanning around to find what you need – it’s right there, inline with the content.


How do you see SEOs and content marketers using BuzzSumo?

I believe you need a dose of creativity to properly leverage all the value inherent in BuzzSumo, and I doubt I can personally identify all the use cases! That said, here’s a few:

  • Finding content that has worked for competitors to help build a case for content investments at a company/on a team
  • Discovering other people’s content that can provide visuals/data/a source for citation for content you’re producing
  • Identifying successful content and then finding the influencers who’ve shared it (that may have helped spark that success)


Is Google winning the battle against SEOs?

They seem to have put an end to most tactics and techniques that use to work. Perhaps one of the few trends is a move towards just creating great content. Is content marketing the holy grail?

If those tactics are “SEO” then conning people into wiring money to Nigerian princes must be “email marketing.” 🙂 Seriously, I believe what we call “content marketing” today is what SEOs have always called “a key part of SEO.”

…what we call “content marketing” today is what SEOs have always called “a key part of SEO.”

SEO is about creating content people will search for, find value in, and hopefully help spread. Content marketing removes the requirement of people searching for your work, but it maintains the others (and I think smart content marketers are keenly aware of SEO and its traffic-driving potential, and work to capitalize on search-friendliness/keyword-targeting).


If you could add one feature or change to BuzzSumo, what would it be?

I wish I could subscribe to a BuzzSumo “alert” for a domain, and see a weekly roundup of all the metrics applied to the new content from that domain in my email. Then I’d want to do the same for all the content I (or another account) shares.

BuzzSumo Team: Watch this space Rand…We may be about to make your wish come true!

What’s the single most important lesson you’ve learnt along the way?

The story behind Moz’s growth is the envy of many entrepreneurs.

Yikes. I think the “most important” has changed many times along the way, as I reflect back on mistakes we’ve made and things I wish we’d done differently. Right now, that has to do with focus – concentrating on being the very best in the world at one thing rather than trying to be everything to everyone (or even just everything to SEO-focused web marketers) 🙂


Thanks again to Rand for taking the time to answer our questions. Be sure to check out Moz.com’s awesome set of SEO tools and Rand’s blog here.

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