MozBar Revived! How We Rebuilt MozBar to be More Robust Than Ever—Plus a Brand-New Feature
Posted by Roxana_Nelson
2016 was quite a year for MozBar…
I’m so pleased to announce that we’ve completely rebuilt the foundation for MozBar, making it more robust and reliable, and we’ve launched a new MozBar Premium feature: On-Page Content Suggestions!
But before we get into the fun, new feature stuff, I want to be completely transparent about some of the challenges we faced early last year:
So what the heck exactly happened in the first half of 2016?
We had a roadmap of features that we wanted to release in 2016, but soon realized MozBar hadn’t been built to support the growth we had planned for it going forward. We wanted to continue to innovate but it just wasn’t scalable.
For the longest time, all MozBar projects were shipped by a small, self-contained team consisting of a product manager (yours truly), a designer, and our contract developer. In May, our rockstar contract developer left to pursue his own projects. We had big dreams for MozBar but now found ourselves without a developer, without a process, and with big scalability issues on the horizon.
In the midst of all this, we found a major vulnerability to our API via MozBar. It was putting too much pressure on our servers and negatively affecting data for our users. To address this, we urgently needed to add in security layers, such as requiring a login and a CAPTCHA. This ended up being a really complicated process. As we attempted to roll out fixes, one new fix seemed to inevitably break something else. It was no fault of anyone person, just a symptom of the mounting technical debt we had accrued. Avid MozBar users quickly noticed the problems we were having. It was making their jobs harder — the antithesis of what MozBar was created for. We could not let this go on.
We knew what we needed to do.
We created a dedicated MozBar team to work all-hands-on-deck to rebuild MozBar from the ground up to make it fast, reliable, and ready to launch a new feature by the end of the year. And I’m happy to say, we did it! We made stabilizing MozBar our number-one priority and were able to build a new backend service that would resolve the data issues that plagued MozBar throughout all of summer 2016. This brand-new foundation would also give us a solid ground to launch innovative new features in a smart, sustainable way. After we stabilized MozBar, our first order of business was to revamp the Page Optimization feature of MozBar Premium (exclusive to Moz Pro customers) and add On-Page Content Suggestions!
How can On-Page Content Suggestions help you?
Content Suggestions helps you easily find ideas for the page you are optimizing to help build your topical authority. These suggestions are topics that are influencing the SERP for the keyword you’re optimizing for. Use these content suggestions to beef up any thin content on your page and become the expert on your topic. As a bonus, you can even use content suggestions as a keyword list to help round out keywords you’re already researching.
How does it work? We take the top results for the keyword you’re optimizing for, extract the most popular topics, then order them by frequency. Sound familiar? This feature also lives in Moz Pro.
The benefit of having this feature in MozBar as well is that you now have the flexibility to analyze any page and keyword combination, not just ones you are tracking in your campaigns. And it’s super easy to use! Just enter a keyword you would like to optimize a page for, hit enter, and all of your page optimization factors and on-page content suggestions are surfaced in one view:
Be sure to check out an upcoming MozBar tutorial post from Brian, Moz’s very own product trainer, and sign up for the first-ever MozBar webinar he’ll be hosting next week. Also keep an eye out for Rand’s deep-dive post on how to get the biggest bang for your buck with On-Page Content Suggestions. You will not want to miss these.
I am so incredibly proud of the MozBar team and all of the contributions they’ve made to the toolbar in the past year. We know we still have room to improve and grow; believe me, there’s a long list of things to do. There’s also a long list of exciting new features that we have planned for you, too!
And most importantly, we are so appreciative of all of you who’ve stuck with us, have been vocal about issues as they pop up, and worked directly with us to troubleshoot issues that you’ve encountered. If it weren’t for your feedback, support, and patience, we’d be in the dark, so thank you.
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