SEO Then & Now – Liveblogging SES Toronto

by Helen M. Overland June 10th, 2010 

OK, it's the first session of SES Toronto 2010! We'll be liveblogging most of the sessions, so without further adieu, here we go!

SEO Then & Now: What's the Same? What's New?

Moderated by the always upbeat Jim Hedger, Search Marketing Consultant

First up:
Judith Lewis, Head of Search, Project Metal

It used to be much easier to spam, using hidden text, doorway pages
You used to be able to use DMOZ, buy a Yahoo listing, used AddMe.com to add pages to search engines
But the fundamentals remain the same:
-Uniqueness
-Content
-Focus

Guidelines from 2000:

-Title Tag & URL – that's all you used to get, but this is the core fundamentals
-Keyword Selection
-META Tags
-Page Content
-Links

In 2010:
-Canonicalization & cross-domain
-Duplicate content penalties
0Social Media mentions (citations)
-Spidering CSS (probably to catch more cloakers)

-Social Citations are going to be more important going forward

Next up: Erika D. Brown, EVP Corporate Strategy, Digital Media Practice, Frost & Sullivan

You used to have to optimize your pages, but now you have to optimize EVERYTHING – all of your digital assets

By optimizing more of your content, you can take up more real estate on the 1st page on the site

You can establish your credibility more quickly and get more leads

SERPs have multiple pieces, so what is a good ranking now?

It's critical to have the keywords in your title tag in the same order in your meta-description and meta-keywords tag

It's important to name your folders with your keywords as folders get heavy weight so you can appear in the ranks more than once

Optimize your press releases, because it's excellent for link building, which still matters.

It's important to optimize digital assets like Word Docs, PDF, Excel PPTs, etc

It only takes a few minutes:
-Edit your doc's properties to include relevant keywords and a description.
-Give your document a relevant file name

You should sign up for Google Local, your title has to be the official business name. The reviews really matter

-Add keywords in your description
-You really should be the first one to write a review. You can only submit one review per gmail account. Don't spam it, but if you get your friends to write reviews, make sure they do it on different days.

Microsites are good and can be just one page. The more microsites the better. The more microsites you have, the more you can appear multiple times in the SERP
-They must be different from your main site and must have different META's copy and design

-Charge more money by creating microsites

Now showing a SERP with a client site who has multiple sites all ranking

Video SEO
-upload the same video to different sites on the same day
-on YouTube: put your keywords in the title
-change the privacy to "public"
-SEO'ing Video: same title: different titles, diferent descriptions, uploaded on different days

(Wow is this presentation going quickly…)

You should SEO your podcasts by putting keywords in title, description and the RSS description
-then submit to iTunes

Last but most definitely not least:
Anne F. Kennedy, SES Advisory Board, International Search Strategist, Beyond Ink USA

In 1999, Google used to be 5 servers in Larry Page's apartment
The fundamentals haven't changed of Google, or good marketing

What has changed is good Analytics

Analytics:
1999: Rankings, hits and clicks
-Web Position Gold, Webalyzer, WebTrends, Urchin
2010: ROI and User Behaviour
-Google Analtyics, Yahoo Web Analytics, Omniture, Coremetrics, Lyris, Visibility Score, Hubspot, Joblr

Alternate Query Input
YouTube views have outnumbered Google queries in the US since August 2009 (Wow!)

You can now rank #1 in Google without a website – using a video.

Mobile is particularly important
-Mobile penetration is much more important outside of North America
-If you don't have a good mobile site, you need to think about that
-Read: Mobile Marketing by Cindy Krum

The iPad
-there are already competitors to the iPad
-Sold nearly 2M units already
-iPad viewers watch 3x as much vdeo as web users
-If video is in a website, why can't you embed video in a book?

Apps
-Apps are an important way to reach your market

Search Outmoded
Stefan Weitz, Director of Bing:
-Objects, not text and links
-Spatial Search
-Semantic web puts context with text, like Siri
-Augmented reality

Looking at Bings "apps for maps"
-objects become part of the search

What SEO is now
-New devices make web access more portable, ubiquitous
-the time is coming when we will be always connected
-You need to figure out how to get into the Alternate Query Search sites
The App Store is a Search Engine
-Augmented Reality allows you to layer information over your data

It's all about data; plentiful data

You're going to be able to display localized, personalized data wherever you are

Questions

Question: for Erika: How important is Slideshare?
Erika: The more content you put out there, the better. Use the word "powerpoint" in your ppt files, use "Word" in your word files

Question: How sustainable are microsites?
Erika: Please clarify
Question: Are they worth spending the time on updating them?
Lewis: If I own all 10 results, I own all the results, and you're only going to click on me. If it's all different results, you don't know it's all me. I'm still making the money. I don't want just want one bite of the cherry, I want everything, and paid ads, and video.
Erika: You want to appear multiple times

Question: What do you mean by "social citation"?
Lewis: A citation is a "mention", without a link

Question: Would you create these microsites for a company that has reputation questions?
Erika: Excellent for reputation management
Anne: We're not talking about spamming, we're talking about Surround Sound Marketing

Question: Citations, what value do nofollow links
Lewis: I get value out of nofollow links. People get too involved in measuring the value of the links. A nofollow link is still a citation

Question: Folders & properly naming folders. Our CMS autonames our folders with numbers. What kind of disadvantage is this?
Anne: There's only 1 CMS that is really SEO-friendly. If you can't do that, you're sunk.
Erika: Why don't you focus on optimizing your digital assets
Lewis: There's a technical solution to that

Question: Pros & Cons of having a new subdomain in a microsite:
Erika: Go heavily on the keywords in the domain or subdomain name
Lewis: There's some evidence that you get a tiny fraction of authority from the main domain from the subdomain
Erika: You can't just code your homepage

Question (from Jim): Is there such a thing as spam any more?
Yes.

Question: If you build out a good site, you'll get conversions. We are no longer giving value to lower quality sites. Are you better off launching a full site?
Erika: A microsite can be more than one page, then you can be an SEO Rockstar.
Lewis: The web has been polluted since 1995.

Helen Overland

Vice President at Search Engine People, helping clients with Conversion Optimization, Analytics, and On-Page SEO. Online Marketer since June 2000, Internet geek since 1994. Follow me on twitter at @semlady to see what I'm reading now.

http://focusedmarketer.com/

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