Biden Is Way Out In Front. Second Place Is Anyone’s Guess.

Last week, when he launched his presidential campaign, I made the case for why Joe Biden is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. This week, with the release of several new polls, that case has become clearer.

Four national polls released on Tuesday all showed Biden’s support significantly higher than it was in previous editions of the same surveys. CNN’s poll found Biden at 39 percent — up 11 points from 28 percent in their previous poll in March — and well ahead of Bernie Sanders, who was at 15 percent. Quinnipiac University had Biden at a similar 38 percent, but with Elizabeth Warren nominally in second place at 12 percent of the vote, compared with 11 percent for Sanders and 10 percent for Pete Buttigieg.


Biden leading FiveThirtyEight's endorsement tracker


Morning Consult also released its weekly tracking poll, and it showed Biden at 36 percent, up from 30 percent last week — an impressive result, especially considering that about half the poll was conducted before Biden officially launched his campaign. In interviews conducted after Biden’s announcement, he was polling closer to 39 percent. A HarrisX poll for ScottRasmussen.com found the smallest bounce, with Biden at 33 percent, up from 29 percent in its poll last month.1 The Morning Consult and HarrisX polls still had Sanders fairly clearly in second place.

New national polls show Biden clearly in front

Democratic primary polls released on April 30, 2019

CNN HarrisX Morning Consult Quinnipiac
Candidate Latest Change Latest Change Latest Change Latest Change
Biden 39% +11 33% +4 36% +6 38% +9
Sanders 15 -4 16 -2 22 -2 11 -8
Warren 8 +1 6 +1 9 +2 12 +8
Buttigieg 7 +6 5 +2 8 -1 10 +6
Harris 5 -7 5 -1 7 -1 8 0
O’Rourke 6 -7 5 -1 5 -1 5 -7
Booker 2 0 3 -1 3 -1 2 0
Klobuchar 2 -1 1 -1 2 0 1 -1
Castro 1 +1 1 0 1 0 1 0
Yang 1 N/A 0 -1 2 0 1 +1
Gabbard 2 +2 1 +1 1 0 0 0
Gravel N/A 1 N/A N/A N/A
Gillibrand 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
Hickenlooper 0 0 2 +2 1 0 0 -1
Delaney 0 0 1 0 1 +1 0 0
Inslee 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 +1
Williamson 1 N/A 0 -1 N/A 0 0
Swalwell 1 N/A 1 N/A N/A 0 N/A
Ryan 0 N/A 0 N/A 1 0 0 N/A
Moulton 0 N/A 1 N/A 0 N/A 0 N/A
Messam 0 N/A 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A

Source: polls

On average between the four national polls, Biden has gained 8 percentage points. Where did he take that support from? It came from all over the place. Sanders is down 4 points, on average, as is Beto O’Rourke. Kamala Harris is down 2 points; Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar are each down 1 point.

But some other Democrats have also gained ground. Warren is up 3 points, on average, in the new national polls. So is Buttigieg, although that’s a little misleading since the previous HarrisX, Quinnipiac and CNN polls were conducted before his surge had really kicked in. In the poll that offers the most recent basis for comparison, Morning Consult, Buttigieg is actually down 1 point from last week’s edition.

Biden’s support is driven by older Democrats and by nonwhite Democrats — two groups that aren’t always well-represented on social media or in other forums that sometimes dictate the conventional wisdom about the candidates. Biden had 50 percent of nonwhite voters in the CNN poll, well ahead of Sanders’s 14 percent. In Morning Consult’s poll, Biden polled at 43 percent among black Democrats, compared to Sanders’s 20 percent. Biden had 46 percent support from Democrats age 50-64 in CNN’s poll and 50 percent support from those 65 and older.

In addition to the various national polls, Suffolk University also released a poll of New Hampshire on Tuesday, and it can’t leave any of the Democratic contenders feeling especially satisfied. Biden was in first place at 20 percent, with Sanders and Buttigeg tied for second at 12 percent and Warren in fourth place at 8 percent. Suffolk has not previously polled New Hampshire this cycle, but compared with other recent polls of the state, this is clearly a poor result for Sanders, while it’s roughly in line with the previous polling for the other candidates.

The latest New Hamphire poll shows weakness for Sanders

Recent New Hampshire Democratic primary polls as of April 30, 2019

Latest Poll Earlier Polls in April
Candidate Suffolk UNH Saint Anselm Coll.
Biden 20% 18% 23%
Sanders 12 30 16
Buttigieg 12 15 11
Warren 8 5 9
Harris 6 4 7
O’Rourke 3 3 6
Booker 3 3 4
Klobuchar 1 2 2
Yang 1 2
Gabbard 1 1 1
Ryan 0 2
Gillibrand 0 1 1
Delaney 1 0 1
Messam 0 1
Swalwell 0 1
Hickenlooper 0 0 1
Castro 0 0
Bullock 0
Williamson 0 0
Inslee 0 0 0
Bennet 0
de Blasio 0
Moulton 0
Gravel 0

Source: POLLS

What should we make of all of this? I have roughly four conclusions:

Biden’s bounce will probably fade. Biden’s not the only candidate to have seen his numbers improve following his announcement; Sanders and Harris did too, and so, to a lesser extent, did O’Rourke. All of those candidates have since seen their numbers revert to their previous position, however. Sanders has fallen back to the low 20s in his better polls and the low-to-mid teens in his worse ones, and Harris and O’Rourke are now back to polling in the mid-to-high single digits.

And it’s not clear that much has changed in terms of voters’ underlying attitudes toward the candidates. Biden’s favorability ratings are strong in the Morning Consult poll, but they’re also largely unchanged from earlier editions of the poll, which suggests that some of his new support is fairly soft and consists of people who are suddenly hearing his name a lot more often in the news, and who might switch candidates again once the news cycle moves on.

Nonetheless, the bounce is sorta important. At least in the medium term — basically, from now through the Iowa caucuses — Biden is more likely to lose support than to gain it. Other candidates will become better known, and they will tend to take support from candidates such as Biden and Sanders who already have essentially universal name recognition. Biden is doing very well among black voters for now, but Harris and Booker might have something to say about that later in race. Biden benefits a lot from perceptions that he’s electable, but that could also fade over time as voters grow more comfortable with the rest of the field.

But it’s precisely for that reason that starting from a higher perch is important. If you’re polling at around 28 percent — where Biden was before his announcement — you don’t have much margin for error, given that it usually takes support in at least the low-to-mid 20s to win Iowa and New Hampshire. If you’re at 37 percent, however, you can lose 5 or 10 points and still hold up in the early states against a candidate making a late surge.

In addition, Biden’s bounce comes near an empirical inflection point of when early polling leads tend to hold up and when they don’t. Well-known candidates polling in the mid-30s in the early going2 are about even money to win the nomination, historically. Well-known candidates polling in the mid-to-high 20s have roughly a 1 in 4 shot, conversely.

In some ways, the bounce exposes the weakness of the other candidates — especially Sanders — as much as Biden’s strength. Although previous bounces, such as Harris’s, have faded, that doesn’t necessarily mean the candidates who were hurt by those bounces have regained ground. Instead, it has sometimes opened up an opportunity for yet another candidate to surge instead.

What that means is that it’s time to take stock of the three candidates who have clearly fallen from their peak (so far) in the polls — Sanders, Harris and O’Rourke. You might think that on the basis of his current polling, Sanders remains in a better spot than the other two. However, he’s also much more of a national brand name. And as I wrote last week — and as you can see from the chart — polling at 20 percent is not all that strong a position for a candidate with near-universal name recognition. Sanders, however, polled at just 16 percent in the average of the four national polls released on Tuesday. And he was at only 12 percent in New Hampshire, which should be one of his strongest states. Sanders can win — he’ll raise a lot of money, he came from way far back last time, and he’d likely benefit from scenarios where the field remains divided. But given his name recognition, those polling numbers put him right at the divide between someone whose campaign is going well and someone whose campaign is going poorly.

Harris and O’Rourke are not as widely known as Sanders, and they still have reasonably good favorability ratings and plenty of cash on hand, which suggest that they have upward potential if and when the media’s attention turns to them again. But it’s become harder to make the case that they’re on the lead lap with Biden, especially for O’Rourke, who is competing against a field that’s overstatured with white male candidates and whose polling has fallen further than Harris’s.

Buttigieg doesn’t have any reason to be unhappy; given his low name recognition, polling in the mid-to-high single digits — sometimes higher than that, especially in polls of Iowa and New Hampshire — is a pretty decent position. But if you were expecting a further immediate surge into the teens or beyond — and I sort of was — it isn’t as clear now whether that’s coming. Instead, Buttigieg will need to work to expand his support beyond his initial coalition of highly educated white voters and survive media coverage that’s both less plentiful and more skeptical than it was initially.

But Warren is in an intriguing position. Warren’s the candidate who we thought might have the least overlap with Biden and therefore would be least hurt by his entry into the race — and the polling seems to bear that out. Although both candidates are broadly within the Democratic mainstream, she’s toward the left half and he’s toward the moderate half. She’s a woman and he’s a man, obviously. His case rests heavily on electability and big, abstract, meat-and-potatoes themes; she appeals to voters on the basis of her highly detailed policy proposals. Her base is college-educated whites; his is non-college-educated white voters and black voters. Biden and Warren have directly clashed over issues such as bankruptcy laws.

In short, Biden and Warren make pretty good foils for one another, probably better foils than Biden and Sanders make, as both are old white men who aren’t especially well-liked by party activists. A showdown between Biden and Buttigieg, or Biden and O’Rourke, could also leave big segments of the party unhappy, including parts of the left and many women and nonwhite voters.3

So in the scenario where the nomination comes down to a battle between Biden and one other Democrat — not the only way the race could unfold, but one plausible path — Warren could turn out to be that Democrat. Together, they capture most of the major Democratic constituencies. I’m less convinced that you could have a Biden-versus-Sanders showdown. I think a lot of voters, and certain parts of the Democratic establishment, would go shopping for a third candidate in that eventuality.

But Warren could also become a major player in the race in other ways. Independently of Biden’s entry to the race, she seems to be gaining ground from the candidates who are fading, including gathering some of Sanders’s support on the left, some of O’Rourke’s college-educated whites, and perhaps some of Harris’s support among women.

With that in mind, it’s time for one more rendition of my not-to-be-taken-too-seriously presidential tiers. I’d already had Biden as the front-runner — note that doesn’t mean I think he has a better-than-50-percent chance to win (I don’t), just that I think he’s more likely to win than anyone else. But we probably need to create an additional half-step between Biden and everyone else. That means I’m demoting Harris, Sanders and Buttigieg from tier 1b (which we’ll leave empty for the moment) into tier 1c. However, I’m moving Warren up to tier 1c from tier 2. Harris, Sanders, Buttigieg and Warren can all make interesting arguments for why they’re the next-best-positioned candidate after Biden, and I really have no idea whose argument is best, so it makes sense to group them together.

Nate’s not-to-be-taken-too-seriously presidential tiers

For the Democratic nomination, as revised on April 30, 2019

Tier Sub-tier Candidates
1 a Biden
b [this row intentionally left blank]
c Harris ↓, Sanders ↓, Buttigieg ↓, Warren ↑
2 a O’Rourke
b Booker, Klobuchar, Abrams*
3 a Yang, Castro, Gillibrand, Inslee
b Hickenlooper, Bennet*, Ryan, Bullock*, Gabbard ↑

* Candidate is not yet officially running but is reasonably likely to do so.

Beyond that, O’Rourke, Klobuchar and Booker probably belong in the next tier down. But the safest conclusion right now is that this is a race with one frontrunner — Biden, who has both some clear weaknesses and some overlooked strengths — and no clear No. 2.


From ABC News:
Joe Biden on his 2020 run and Barack Obama


Check out all the polls we’ve been collecting ahead of the 2020 elections.

PJ Tucker Does More For The Rockets By Doing Less. A Lot Less.

Creative shot makers and flashy passers are the easiest players to appreciate as fans. Less obvious are the role players who contribute to winning even when they don’t have the ball — and few such role players have had a bigger impact than Houston’s PJ Tucker.

There isn’t a formal definition for what constitutes a role player, but role players do have some defining characteristics. For instance, think of the relationship between a player’s minutes per game and his usage rate, which is the share of a team’s plays used by a player while he is on the court. Star players — your LeBron Jameses and Steph Currys of the league — log heavy minutes and have high usage rates. Role players may also log heavy minutes but tend to be comparatively less involved on offense.

Below is a scatter chart that shows the relationship between usage rate and minutes played per game. The relationship is flat for players who see fewer than 20 minutes per game, but there is a strong, positive relationship among starter- and rotation-level players. After all, if you weren’t producing on the offensive end, you wouldn’t be worth playing for long stretches of time. Unless you’re Tucker.

No one in the NBA this season logged more minutes while doing less on offense. Tucker is the first player since Shane Battier in 2008-09 to post a usage rate of less than 10 percent while also playing at least 30 minutes a game. In Game 1 of the Rockets’ series against Golden State, the Rockets were +9 in net points with Tucker on the court even though he scored no points and took only four shots while logging 39 minutes — the same time spent on the floor as James Harden.

Tucker ranks near the bottom in passes made per game and touches per game, and on average he had the ball in his hand for the shortest amount of time per possession of anyone who played at least 30 minutes per game this season. On offense, Tucker’s role is to stand in the corner and wait for a teammate to pass him the ball so that he can shoot an open three, which is the point of Houston’s spread-out, isolation-heavy offense.

So why can Tucker stay on the court for as long he does without doing much on offense? Two reasons.

First, Harden had the highest usage rate in the NBA during the regular season, and Harden and Tucker are on the court together more than any other two-man combination for the Rockets.3 Since usage rate is a zero-sum game among the five players on the floor, any increase in Tucker’s usage would come at the expense of Harden’s.

Second, Tucker’s defense is vital to the Rockets. While he might not be widely known as an elite defensive stopper, he has the profile of one. Five of the seven players he guarded most often during the regular season were Paul George, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Nobody matches up with those guys that often unless he’s built for it.

Only nine players since the 1977-78 season have played at least 30 minutes a game while using less than 10 percent of their teams’ plays. The list is a who’s who of the best defensive specialists in NBA history, including Dennis Rodman, Ben Wallace, Mark Eaton, Bruce Bowen and the aforementioned Battier. Most of those guys went on to win defensive player of the year, earn All-NBA honors or play a critical role on a championship team. Meanwhile, Tucker has never made so much as an All-Defensive team.

Even though the casual fan might not recognize Tucker for his defensive prowess, his peers do. Earlier this year, DeMar DeRozan praised Tucker’s defensive intensity. “PJ is one of the most intense individual defenders on the defensive end,” he told The Athletic. “I don’t think he gets enough credit for it.”

The good news for Tucker is that he has the chance to raise his profile during the Rockets’ second-round matchup against the Warriors. The bad news is that he has to prove his mettle by trying to guard Durant.

During the regular season, Tucker matched up with Durant on 111 possessions and held him to shooting 48 percent from the field, a tick below Durant’s 52 percent season average. Durant scored 35 points during the Warriors’ Game 1 victory on Sunday, though only 13 of those points were scored while Tucker was guarding him. In reality, the only person that can stop Durant is Durant. But as long as Tucker doesn’t allow him to shoot over 60 percent from the field like he did when he was guarded by Patrick Beverley during the Warriors’ first-round series, the Rockets will have a chance to pull off the upset.

Check out our latest NBA predictions.

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Vlad Jr. Is Here. It’s About Time.

Widely considered the best prospect in baseball, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. — the son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero — is expected to make his debut for the Blue Jays on Friday in Toronto against Oakland. The event will, at least for the moment, end talk of the Blue Jays suppressing his service time and turn attention to the arrival of one of the most precocious hitting talents of this century. An oblique strain this spring slowed his major league debut, but it was likely to be delayed anyway, given the way MLB clubs have been controlling players’ service time.1 Even after last season, when Guerrero Jr. became the first player to hit .400 or better at the Double-A or Triple-A level in more than a decade, the Blue Jays claimed this spring that he wasn’t ready for the major leagues.

Guerrero’s .367/.424./.700 slash line in eight games this season in Triple-A seemed to give the Blue Jays a change of a heart, along with the fact that they control his bat through the 2025 season.2 Now healthy and in the majors, the 20-year-old has superstar potential with an offensive profile that Baseball America claims is in the “mold of Manny Ramirez,” and the magazine says “it’s not out of the question that Guerrero could develop into an 80 hitter with 80 power.” An “80” scouting grade is rare, residing at the top of the 20-to-80 scouting scale.

It’s not hyperbole to suggest that Guerrero Jr. is an incredibly rare talent. Since 2010, no teenager — and few players of any age, for that matter — did what he did in the upper levels of the minor leagues last season. The slugger had one of the highest marks ever in weighted runs created plus (wRC+) — a metric that measures offensive efficiency and accounts for a league’s run-scoring environment and ballparks.

In 61 games at Double-A New Hampshire last season, at age 19, Guerrero posted a 203 wRC+. Since 2010, Guerrero Jr. is one of only six minor leaguers with at least 200 plate appearances to reach a 200 wRC+ in the upper minor leagues, and he was the only player to do so as a teenager. Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton posted a 204 mark in Double-A in 2010 as a 20-year-old, and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant posted a 220 mark at age 22 in 2014 in Double-A.

What’s also remarkable about Guerrero as a hitter is how much his minor-league track record resembles his father’s.

Like father, like son

Career minor league batting statistics before their major league debuts for Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and his son, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Games played At-bat Batting Average On-base percentage Slugging percentage OPS
Guerrero Sr. 285 1,055 .343 .404 .581 .985
Guerrero Jr. 288 1,075 .331 .413 .531 .944

Source: The Baseball CUBE

Even their swings are similar.

We wrote earlier this spring that the sons of majors leaguers have an advantage over the general population in reaching the major leagues. While some of that advantage is tied to genetic gifts and financial means, mimicking elite athletic movement patterns from a young age is also thought to be crucial.

The debut earlier this year of Fernando Tatis Jr. — son of former major leaguer Fernando Tatis — set a record for the number of sons to debut in a decade (45), according to Baseball-Reference.com data analyzed by FiveThirtyEight. Guerrero Jr. makes it 46, and his former Triple-A teammates Cavan Biggio (son of Craig) and Bo Bichette (son of Dante) could soon increase the number.

While Guerrero hits like his dad, he isn’t built like his dad. Vlad Sr. debuted as a lanky and athletic wunderkind, while his son’s weight is already a concern: He was measured this spring at 6-foot-1 and 250 pounds. Perhaps that will push Guerrero Jr. off of third base, but wherever he plays, the expectation is that he’ll hit for years to come.

Check out our latest MLB predictions.

Which Picks Did NFL Mock Drafts Get Most Wrong?

With the first round of the NFL draft complete, it appears that the wisdom of the crowds wasn’t particularly wise. The first three picks went relatively as expected, but the draft went off script with the Oakland Raiders’ pick at No. 4 overall: defensive end Clelin Ferrell of Clemson — a player who mock drafters believed would go somewhere in the middle of the first round. The Raiders’ pick was the first of many that defied expectations and left amateur GMs scratching their heads.

In the case of the New York Giants, some fans were banging their heads against the wall and collapsing in tears. New York, which passed on many quarterbacks a year ago to take running back Saquon Barkley, took Duke QB Daniel Jones at No. 6. Jones averaged a 20.4 pick in mock drafts taken in the last 30 days before the draft but came off the board an eyebrow-raising 14.4 picks earlier. The Giants seemed to be trying to get ahead of a quarterback run that didn’t exist: Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins lasted until Washington took him at No. 15 (6.2 picks later than expected), and no subsequent QBs were taken on Thursday night.

But the New York football Giants, armed with three picks in the first round alone, weren’t finished reaching. Using the 17th overall pick they acquired when they dealt Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns, the Giants selected DT Dexter Lawrence of Clemson, 10.5 picks earlier than expected. The Giants were able to capture some surplus value with their third and final pick of the first round, however: Georgia CB Deandre Baker lasted 3.2 picks longer than expected and should help fill the void in the Giants secondary that was left when Eli Apple was traded to New Orleans last October for picks in the fourth and seventh rounds.

The NFL draft has been full of surprises

The first round of the 2019 NFL draft by each player’s pick and his average draft position (ADP) in mock drafts since March 26, 2019

team player Position pick ADP diff
Arizona Kyler Murray QB 1 1.8 -0.8
San Francisco Nick Bosa DE 2 2.1 -0.1
N.Y. Jets Quinnen Williams DT 3 3.7 -0.7
Oakland Clelin Ferrell DE 4 19.0 -15.0
Tampa Bay Devin White LB 5 7.0 -2.0
N.Y. Giants Daniel Jones QB 6 20.4 -14.4
Jacksonville Josh Allen LB 7 3.7 +3.3
Detroit TJ Hockenson TE 8 13.0 -5.0
Buffalo Ed Oliver DT 9 9.3 -0.3
Pittsburgh Devin Bush LB 10 15.5 -5.5
Cincinnati Jonah Williams OT 11 13.3 -2.3
Green Bay Rashan Gary DE 12 11.2 +0.8
Miami Christian Wilkins DT 13 19.0 -6.0
Atlanta Chris Lindstrom G 14 29.3 -15.3
Washington Dwayne Haskins QB 15 8.8 +6.2
Carolina Brian Burns LB 16 16.0 +0.0
N.Y. Giants Dexter Lawrence DT 17 27.5 -10.5
Minnesota Garrett Bradbury C 18 25.7 -7.7
Tennessee Jeffery Simmons DT 19 29.5 -10.5
Denver Noah Fant TE 20 22.9 -2.9
Green Bay Darnell Savage S 21 54.7 -33.7
Philadelphia Andre Dillard OT 22 17.6 +4.4
Houston Tytus Howard OT 23 60.7 -37.7
Oakland Josh Jacobs RB 24 27.2 -3.2
Baltimore Marquise Brown WR 25 25.4 -0.4
Washington Montez Sweat DE 26 10.6 +15.4
Oakland Johnathan Abram S 27 33.6 -6.6
L.A. Chargers Jerry Tillery DT 28 31.6 -3.6
Seattle L.J. Collier DE 29 62.9 -33.9
N.Y. Giants Deandre Baker CB 30 26.8 +3.2
Atlanta Kaleb McGary OT 31 43.3 -12.3
New England N’Keal Harry WR 32 29.3 +2.7

Sources: NFL, Ben Robinson

The selections of Lawrence and Ferrell were part of a larger trend: NFL GMs appear to have been particularly enamored with Clemson players. Three Tiger defensive standouts from the national championship team were selected in the first round, and they went 10.5 slots earlier on average than mock drafts predicted.

A dominant theme of the night, as expected, was NFL teams trying to find the next star pass rusher. But it was a pass rusher who had the biggest slide down the board among the first-round selections. Washington appears to have gotten a substantial value when it selected Mississippi State DE Montez Sweat 26th overall. In a draft class stacked with edge rushing talent, Sweat came off the board 15.4 picks later than expected.3

When we look at all 32 first-round picks, the correlation between what mock drafters expected and what actually occurred was about the same in 2019 as it was in 2018. In 2019, the average draft position in mock drafts explained 48 percent of variance, down slightly from 49 percent of variance explained in 2018. This year’s first round skewed toward reaches, with six teams trading up on draft day to get their guys. Overall, players came off the board six picks earlier than expected; last year, that difference was five spots.

As a result, Day 2 of the draft should be one in which savvy teams can find more value than they may have initially anticipated. That could even drive more pick swapping, as teams look to swoop in and grab coveted players like mock draft darling D.K. Metcalf on the cheap.


From ABC News:
Biggest picks from the 1st round of NFL Draft

Auto Posting Across Social Media Platforms – IFTTT – Buffer.com

I hate missing out just as much as anyone else.  Its why Ultimate SEO has accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Flickr, Youtube, Blogger, Instagram, SnapChat and more.  But the only thing worse than not being on a platform is to not appear active on that platform. If someone’s first impression of you or your company is your activity on a forgotten profile it is more damaging than not having been there to begin with.

IFTTT And Buffer

Thats where IFTTT has stepped in and been able to save time while helping to get a message out consistently.  From WordPress IFTTT automatically shares and posts each update to a slew of other sites and until recently its been the most effective means for auto updating social media.  Now that Google+ has ended and with the loss of Gmail applets on IFTTT it may be a good time to look again at social media auto posting techniques.  Recently it appears LinkedIn may have discontinued its connection to IFTTT as well, which is a shame and hurts both LinkedIn and IFTTT.

buffer.com

buffer.com

In researching IFTTT applets Buffer.com came to light.  Its mostly a paid version of what IFTTT did for free but it also includes a free options which allows integration with 3 social media platforms.  In the use case of Ultimate SEO that meant connecting to LinkedIn.  The other two positions going to Facebook and Twitter as those are the powerhouse social media platforms.

Automated Cross Posting In Social Media

My ultimate goal is to fully automate this process and I haven’t yet seen that in Buffer.com but further testing may reveal that an action from IFTTT completes this chain.  Its not enough to be able to post an individual article from one site to all, we need something that checks all sites and then auto publishes what isnt published on others to those sites.

You might think of this daisy chain of social media as if it were a PBN.  It’s a network of separate sites but all you.

I’ll keep you updated on this case study.  At present though IFTTT still appears to be the best auto posting option for social media.  It can start from a sites RSS feed or an integrated service like WordPress then post to a central site such as Blogger which has a lot of versatility due to the number of connections available.

Connectors Applets Or Recipes

Some connections utilized for Ultimate SEO include:

(The WordPress to X recipes are available but I’d recommend making these connections through Blogger where possible for consistency)

Blogger applets

Blogger applets

  • WordPress to Blogger
  • WordPress to Photostream
  • WordPress to Tumblr
  • WordPress to Facebook
  • WordPress to Twitter
  • Blogger to Buffer – this recipe enables the auto posting into LinkedIn
  • Blogger to Flickr
  • Blogger to Pinterest
  • Blogger to Bitly
  • Blogger to Diigo
  • Blogger to Instapaper
  • Blogger to Reddit
  • Blogger to Pocket
  • Blogger to Trello
  • Blogger to Dropbox
  • Blogger to OneNote

It may appear that I love Blogger but its important to have a centralized distribution point.  Consider how easy it would be to accidentally create an auto updating loop if you didn’t have a defined start.  I accidentally created one of these months ago and it was annoying first discovering it and second reviewing where in the chain I was picking up the update I was trying to put down.  So blogger serves in that regard as a check point on redundancy.  I also prefer a secondary site from WordPress.  If after publishing something on WordPress you realized the permalink is too long or something just didn’t look right, you at least have another spot to stop that mistake from going out to everything else.

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Guest Posts Submitted To Ultimate SEO sites

Link Building: Submitted Guest Posts

To submit your own guest post visit our submission page.  Approved Guest Posts also appear among the site’s regular articles.

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Link Building: Guest Posts to UltimateSEO.org

Guest Posts or User Submitted Posts are content written by another author not working for the site in which the content is being displayed on.  UltimateSEO has a very easy guest post system and its free.  Content submitted to our site may be syndicated on as many as 300 other sites that we maintain or are affiliated with.  That can potential deliver you hundreds of backlinks from multiple domains.  We offer this feature free of charge at this time, but may charge in the future.  Why is it free when other sites charge?  Its because we want good content and diverse opinions.  So please ensure your post is original, timely, accurate and fresh.

Guest Posting is a win win scenario for us and you and your site.  You can write an original article and we’ll post it if it is about SEO or SEM in general.  Specific niche SEO topics are also welcome.  Writers can include backlinks of relevant in their posts.  We’d like to recommend no more than one link per 250 words.  If there is an issue we’ll let you know.  We also ask the your post include an image or an image per 500 words.  So .in a 2000 word SEO post we’d like to see no more than 8 links and we would like to see about 4 images.

Submit For Review

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Speed: Page Load – Technical SEO Out Ranks Most In Mobile

A Case Study of SEO Metrics And Rank

Here is a recently added FAQ to the Ultimate SEO FAQ section.

Let me show you how important it is….desktop vs mobile search results

desktop vs mobile search results

Why is realtor.com not higher than zumper.com in the mobile search on the right?  Consider these metrics

Realtor.com = Domain Score: 55 Trust Score 58 Alexa Rank 763 Registered 1996 Ads 3,900 Backlinks 57,000,000 Traffic Rank 108

Zumper.com = Domain Score: 37 Trust Score 44 Alexa Rank 17,000 Registered 2004 Ads 0 Backlinks 1,700,000 Traffic Rank 2830

In every metric realtor.com wins, so why is it below Zumper.com on the mobile search?

Site Speed Test on GTMetrix

Realtor.com Fails Speed

site speed

site speed

Zumper.com Passes Speed

page load

page load

So in this example we clearly see a more popular site beaten by a less established site and the single only factor the smaller site did better was speed.  And we cant discount this as … well its only important in mobile.  In case you missed it…

60% of searches are mobile

60% of searches are mobile

Now when we consider the facts above lets also dispel people’s over fascination for keywords and text optimization and position of frequency of words, the content length …. on-site SEO, the SEO of the 1990s as I call it… both sites present the same content to the desktop and mobile versions they just differ wildly in the speed.  What are some of the reasons?  Realtor.com decided to present 16 rows of 3 images of homes to visitors while Zumper shows 4 rows of 1 image …. and then additional rows load as you scroll down.  Lazy Load and 1 image vs 3.  Thats how they keep their requests to about a third of the realtor.com page.

What Are Requests?

I’d suggest you think of requests as if they are shots from a gun at your head.  You need to avoid them!  Less shots is a lot better…

Requests are literally requests of the server before the page can load.  If I make a page with one image on it that is one request.  Lets say I decide to replace that image with a slider with 5 slides, now I have 5 requests … the same page area but that cool feature increases the trips required of a computer to quadruple!  Lets say now I add social media icons to the page … Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and an email icon …. small and just up in the right corner.  That social media addition just added 5 more requests.  Think about all the things on your page, they don’t all come together in one big Amazon package with a smile…. they are shipped to the computer individually.  Now I have one page with 1 request and another with 10 and the initial difference isn’t much…that slider only displays one image at a time.

Latency And Requests

Servers don’t respond instantly…they take a little while to think and retrieve the requested resource and then it has to travel the distance from the server to your computer…may be at the speed of light, but light still takes time.  This time is called latency.  50 milliseconds is a good latency.

If both servers in the FAQ had a 50 ms latency.  We can assume that the

Realtor.com server will take 50 ms x 301 requests = 15050 ms or 15 seconds

Zumper.com server will take 50 ms x 134 requests = 6700 ms or 6 seconds  

I hope this explains why you want to limit requests, and prioritize speed as much as you focus on keywords.

Ways To Decrease Requests

Do you need separate images?  On ultimateseo.org I wanted to show my COMPTia certifications.  I have 4 icons … I combined them to make one image.   Thats 1/4 the requests but no change in user experience other than a quicker site.

technical certifications

technical certifications

Lazy Load

Lazy Load also helps speed up the initial page load time.  If “below the fold” you have a lot of images on a page … the page needs those images still to finish the load unless you institute lazy load which essentially tells the computer to load an image only when it is coming into view.  This makes sense likely if you have 300 images on the page and plenty of them are scrolled far down….but all in all I’m on the fence on Lazy Load.  I ran speed tests on the homepage of this site with Lazy Load on …. 3 tests results 2.3 seconds, 1.9 seconds and 1.9 seconds.  I turned off lazy load, and reran the test and got 2.3 seconds, 1.9 seconds and 1.7 seconds.  So technically the site loaded faster with Lazy Load off….keep in mind it take a bit of thinking for the server to implement it. This helps speed up a site drastically if there are a ton of images spread vertically…but not much in a normal page.  What are the full implications on SEO when a site is crawled?

Its suggested by “Ask Yoast” that Lazy Load is fine for SEO and the images are rendered as Google scrolls down the page and indexes the content.

Hits: 4

http://ultimateseo.org/tech-seo-mobile-speed/

We Analyzed 40 Years Of Primary Polls. Even Early On, They’re Fairly Predictive.

Over the past few weeks, FiveThirtyEight has explored who led in early primary polls of presidential cycles from 1972 to 2016 and who went on to win the nomination. And what we’ve seen is that national surveys conducted in the year before a presidential primary are relatively good indicators of which candidates will advance to the general election, especially when polling averages are adjusted to reflect how well known each candidate was. Now, in the third and final part of our series, we are going to analyze 40-plus years of polls to better understand their predictive power.

There are a number of ways to tackle this question, but one relatively easy way to see how predictive early polls are is to compare a candidate’s polling average1 to their eventual share of the national primary vote. And we found that as a candidate’s polling average increased, their vote share in the primaries also tended to increase. In the chart below, for the calendar year before the primaries began, we averaged each candidate’s polls in the first half of the year (January through June) and in the second half of the year (July through December), and then plotted those two averages against the share of votes each person won in the next year’s primaries, for every competitive nomination process from 1972 to 2016. The correlation is pretty strong for both halves of the year,2 though polls from the second half of the year matched the outcomes a little better, which is not surprising — after all, those polls were conducted closer to the start of primary season.

But it’s easier to see trends if we group some candidates together rather than looking at them all individually, so let’s sort candidates into six big buckets based on their polling average. That clearly shows us that candidates with higher polling averages were also more likely to win higher shares of the primary vote and, therefore, the nomination. Those polling at 35 percent or higher rarely lost the nomination, regardless of whether they attained those heights in the first or second half of the year. They also, on average, won more than half the national primary vote. But those polling below 20 percent in either the first half or second half of the year had at best a 1-in-10 chance of clinching the nomination, and they rarely won a sizable chunk of the popular vote.

High polling averages foreshadowed lots of primary votes

Candidates’ share of the national primary vote by average polling level in the first half of the year before the presidential primaries and polling average in the second half of that year, 1972-2016

First half Second half
Poll Avg. Share who became nominee Avg. Primary Vote share Share who became nominee Avg. Primary Vote share
35%+ 75% 57% 83% 57%
20%-35% 36 27 25 25
10%-20% 9 8 9 12
5%-10% 3 7 10 10
2%-5% 5 5 0 4
Under 2% 1 2 1 1

We included everyone we had polling data for, no matter how likely or unlikely they were to run. If a candidate didn’t run or dropped out before voting began, they were counted as winning zero percent of the primary vote.

Sources: POLLS, CQ Roll call, DAVE LEIP’s atlas of u.s. presidential elections

We can also take these polling averages and estimate the probability of a candidate winning a party’s nomination using a logistic regression. And as you can see, candidates polling above 20 percent — whether it’s in the first half of the year (the orange line) or the second half (purple line) — have a higher probability of winning the nomination. In fact, the results for the first and second half of the year are nearly identical — in the second half of the year, candidates with the same polling average had a slightly lower win probability, but we’re talking about a maximum difference of less than 4 percentage points.3 There are certainly more sophisticated ways one could look at this data, but even these simple methods can show that polls conducted this far out in the primary season still have a reasonable amount of predictive power.

We can go a step further and improve our analysis by accounting for a candidate’s level of name recognition.4 In previous installments of this series, we rated candidates’ fame on a five-tier scale,5 and this time we’re using those previous rankings to split up our polling data into two roughly equal groups — candidates with high name recognition6 and those with low name recognition.7 This gives us a broader understanding of whether being well known influenced a candidate’s chances of winning the nomination. (We also limited this part of our analysis to just the first half of the year to see what role name recognition played very early in the cycle.)

And as you can see, well-known candidates who polled in the double digits tended to win a higher share of the primary vote. But candidates who had high name recognition while only polling in the single digits were generally in trouble. Of the 84 highly recognized candidates who polled below 10 percent in surveys from the first half of the year before the primaries, only President Trump went on to win his party’s nomination. And Trump was an unusual case — Republicans started out with strongly negative views of him but quickly changed their tune even though they were already familiar with him. Meanwhile, candidates with lower name recognition in the first half of the year only occasionally advanced to the general election, and in each case, it was on the Democratic side — George McGovern in 1972, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Michael Dukakis in 1988 and Bill Clinton in 1992.

Name recognition makes a big difference

Candidates’ share of the national primary vote by average polling level in the first half of the year before the presidential primaries and whether they had high or low name recognition, 1972-2016

High name recognition Low name recognition
Poll Avg. Share who became nominee Avg. Primary Vote share Share who became nominee Avg. Primary Vote share
35%+ 75% 57%
20%-35% 36 27
10%-20% 9 8
5%-10% 0 4 14% 19%
2%-5% 5 3 5 6
Under 2% 0 0 2 2

We included everyone we had polling data for, no matter how likely or unlikely they were to run. If a candidate didn’t run or dropped out before voting began, they were counted as winning zero percent of the primary vote.

Sources: POLLS, CQ Roll call, DAVE LEIP’s atlas of u.s. presidential elections

In fact, we can use a logistic regression to estimate a high- and low-name-recognition candidate’s chance of winning the nomination based on their polling average (much like we did above, but last time we didn’t sort candidates into categories based on name recognition). And as you can see in the chart below, a low-name-recognition candidate didn’t stand much of a chance of winning unless they were able to climb past 10 percent in the polls in the first half of the year before the primaries. If they were able to hit that mark, then their odds of winning were slightly less than 1 in 4, which put them ahead of a high-name-recognition candidate polling at the same level.

Intuitively, this makes sense — relatively few unknown candidates could poll as high as 10 percent this far out in the election cycle. But for those who could get that much support even though only a small share of people knew about them, their polling numbers signaled a great deal of potential. Take Dukakis in the 1988 cycle: His polling average was about 8 percent in the first half of 1987, and we estimated that his average name recognition was somewhere around 20 percent. Not a bad polling average when you consider that most respondents didn’t know who he was.

In other words, a candidate’s adjusted polling average — polling average divided by name recognition, which we delved into at length in the first two parts of this series — is a decent proxy for teasing out the strength of a candidate, especially early in the election cycle. By accounting for how well known a candidate is, we can get a better read on the field in front of us, including here in the 2020 election cycle. As primary season draws nearer, we’ll be keeping an eye on any candidates with low name recognition who still manage to win a significant chunk of support in the polls.