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Diving Into the Future of Digital Marketing: The MozCon 2024 Day One Recap


In his inaugural MozCon talk, Garrett Sussman explored the untapped influence of searcher bias in SEO. Following up on his Moz Blog post on the psychology behind search, Garrett dove deeper into the psyche of searchers. From leading queries like “Is coffee good for you”? to the self-guided nuances of conversational search, he examined how biases shape our interactions with search engines.

Garrett mentioned that the searches we make and the results we choose based on our audience form the basis of our whole purpose with SEO. But what does Google care about? Relevance, authority and experience — as confirmed by the recent Google leak. And what does our audience care about? Being right, positive associations, familiar brands, not thinking too hard, social proof, and expert perspectives.

One of the biggest influences in search behavior is confirmation bias, which is the tendency to favor information that confirms one’s existing beliefs or hypotheses. Put simply, if we search “Does recycling benefit the environment” versus “Recycling doesn’t benefit the environment?’ — we’ll receive different results for both searches based on our confirmation bias. Other biases Garrett mentioned include position bias, familiarity bias, authority bias, and the halo effect.



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