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Hmm – not sure on the advice here but they are suggesting Lang avoid full URLs to make server handling more efficient, and avoid putting unrelated content at the site (use a different domain) to be more competitive in that specific niche. ie Generalizing can be helpful in some cases but make it harder to rank for very competitive terms.
s-l-o-w is a problem.
Greg: Narrow title tags to be more focused. Focus on a small number of key phrases or words you want to rank well for rather than several.
Dave: Does not like the navigation on home page – thinks it is weak and will possible get site downranked. Title tags suck all the way through. Cross linking is important. Cannot be excessive, but can be used e.g. to link blog and websites advantageously.
Debby and Greg: Tables are bad. Use CSS. Separate content from layout. Greg – improve titles. Debby – make title tags *backwards* from the breadcrumbs – ie from most specific to the generic. [e.g. diamond studded shock collars, dog collars, dogs]
Blog advice: One of the most powerful tools you have. Check templates. Avoid the template sponsor links at footers? Edit the post URL to exclude date.
Ranking well for Asthma products but no good conversions. Greg – avoid images for important terms – use words or layer image on top of text which is “awesome” according to Dave and Greg. Caveat – be careful overdoing this.
default.asp as home page – avoid multiple home pages.
Question to audience – how many companies use blogs with the site? (very few raise hands). Greg and Dave: Get a blog! Google ranks blogs over product pages.
JustAnswer.com keep bots out of the https. site:JustAnswer.com
Greg – use subdomains but keep in mind search engines are sensitive to host name spam.
This is an excellent presentation but I haven’t had enough coffee to take good notes, and unlike some of the other conferences I’ve covered like CES and MIX there isn’t much traffic to the conference posts anyway. Anxious to check other blogs covering this to see if they had much of a traffic spike, which one would really expect from search related news.
I’m lazy so only posting the summary from SES:
Local & More
Special Kelsey Group Presentation: Local 2.0: The Evolution of Local Search
What percentage of online searches are local? If you consider searches that end up having some influence on local buying activity, the opportunity is put into perspective. But there are still large gaps between the point of search and the point of purchase. How are online mapping, shopping engines, and directories starting to fill these gaps with user-generated content, video, or inventory data that funnel searchers towards local businesses? And how can marketers utilize these tools to get local searchers to pick up the phone, schedule appointments, or show up at their stores?
I’ve heard of these auctions but never attended on before. The idea is to have a live event that is also online, so anybody who has registered can participate from anywhere.
I’ve got hundreds of names aquired over the years so it’ll be interesting to see how much these names fetch here at auction.
Monte, Moniker’s top guy, is introducing the event now.
Hey, I just won a $200 credit for having signed up online. (didn’t use it – few name I’d want in this batch)
Reverselinesofcredirt.co and earlybirdiscounts.com just sold for 200 each…
Wow, shoppingservices.com just fetched 30,000 from room bidding.
They closed ctr.com , not going to allow bigs under 50k . Realestatedirect.com closed at 100k! Seems very, very high to me.
Ad.com: Wow, this just went for $350,000 after an online bid for 300k.
Update – this did NOT sell and I’m not understanding what happened. The process is frantic and I think designed more to get people in the frenzy of bidding than anything.
I’m wondering how you regulate the ease with which you could boost prices with fake bids (I do NOT think they are doing that since the credibility hit would ruin them forever, but it’s odd seeing bids come in from the internet, invisible).
OK, so the auction went way over time, then to add an insult to the deal when I got to the Vivid party thrown by Moniker and Webmaster Radio at 9pm the place was way too loud to talk, the “open bar” was not open, the plentiful food was not there, and there was some VIP thing going for … the special people?
Not impressed at all.
The crowd is starting to pour in now from the big SES car giveaway. I think they gave away three of them, but I was no eligible as a “press” person. Just one more huge sacrifice I have to make for the good of journalism, the internet, and global warming.
Andy has started out with a very generic a presentation, now noting that they no longer take English speaking clients. Europe was easier because so few there were doing SEO. [note to self – get the Mandarin lessons going ASAP]
Greg Boser – excellent point about importance of experimenting with different tools and techniques – you can’t necessarily know which may have positive impacts.
Dave – good points about worrying more about where things are going than your daily pagerank numbers which is only updating every 3 months anyway.
[Interesting. All these guys appear to be a lot less focused on the old style things people tend to worry about like keyword density and pagerank. I think the business leaders are moving strongly to PPC even as social media is making organic optimizing a whole new ballgame. Where are all the social networking / blogging / media optimization strategies?]
OK, not much SEO here, but the Twittering was really interesting. It would be great to integrate messaging into the session so people in and out of audience could ask questions – sort of a hybrid virtual / real space / real time environment…
SEO Rehab & Intervention
It’s 2009 and rehab is en vogue from Beverly Hills to Talladega. This session will include 12 steps to finding harmony in a search-dominated world. Confessions from leading experts include how to get off PageRank, vanity news alerts, inbound link and keyword density analysis, and 301’s.
The intro talk by Tom Cuthbert is listing click fraud numbers that, at over 16% for overall and over 25% for content PPC, are dramatically higher than the few percent normally cited by Google. I’m anxious to hear Shuman’s take on this. Excellent slides…. will try to link them up later.
Erin Sheedy-Owen from Yahoo on catching fraudulent clicks. “We err on the side of the advertiser”. You’ll see these in your logs but won’t be charged for them.
Outright fraud vs Low converting vs unwanted clicks. 12-15% of the clicks are filtered and advertiser not charged. Large recent rise in bot fraud. (this was also noted by Cuthbert).
Yahoo goal is to respond to click fraud reports from advertisers within 10 days. Erin’s making the case that advertiser feedback is very important.
Waiting for Internet Advertising Bureau guidelines.
Deborah from Outrider, a Search Marketing agency managing 1.3 billion in search advertising. [wow – wouldn’t this be approaching 10% of the market if it is annual? – I’m skeptical of this number’s relevance – maybe this is over a long period of time, though still….an impressive data set].
Client opinions vary from huge concern to little.
ClickForensics is their click fraud application. Interesting – she just mentioned parked domains as a click fraud issue. Traffic from a highly relevant parked domain name would probably be good.
Matt Greitzer from Razorfish: They manage 300 million per year in paid clicks.
Virtuous cycle of quality clicks [hmmm — IMHO the optimal revenue model for Google and Yahoo is probably not optimal for advertisers.
I don’t think folks understand this well yet and for agencies overbids are money in the bank too, but standards are coming too slowly because search profits will go down as standards go up. That said, I have a lot of faith in the next speaker’s sincerity ]
Shuman Ghosemajumder from Google:
Google’s Proactive approach: Filters – automated. Invalid click reports available to check these out. Less than 10% filtered this way.
Offline analyis – leads to credits to account. Click quality adjustments. Statistical anamolies.
Finally, reactive approach involves investigation and report. Very, very tiny. <.02% handled this way.
[yikes – so why were Cuthbert’s numbers so much higher?]
Smart pricing: Google gets same ROI by adjusting cost per click according to conversion metrics – ie lower performing publishers command less PPC. [But how do they measure the conversions?]
Google Placement reports and other performanc metrics allow you to track your own campaigns with great precision.
Google competes on basis of ROI, so their incentive is to keep it high and kill fraud.
Lee Siegel is about to speak here at SES San Jose. He’s the author of “Against the Machine” and a senior editor at The New Republic, and a noted critic of the new media, primarily because he feels anonymity is a threat to intelligent, enlightened conversation.
Although I’m sympathetic to Lee’s points about how abusive the online world can be, and how foolish it is to consider as sacred the hate speech and the junk banter that passes as conversation, he’s missing two key features of the new conversational media that effectively sweep away much of the significance of his legitimate concerns.
First, the high tolerance for abusive and threatening language has become something of a new standard, especially for younger commenters. I don’t like it either, but for many writers this does not reflect the type of threat it would under other circumstances. It is not appropriate to apply old interpretations of this language to the modern usage.
Second is that focusing on the defects of blogging and new media distracts us from the profound and positive changes in communication – changes that represent the early stages of truly democratic and massively participatory conversations.
I don’t think Siegel is so much *wrong* as he is making fairly insignificant points about the new media. I’d certainly agree that there is a danger whenever people are stifled. For me the outrageous online treatment of Kathy Sierra, a noted blogger,is the exception that proves the rule. These cases are very few, and in a broad sense are eclipsed by the thousands of new voices coming online *every day*.
So, is there value in paying attention to these problems? Sure. Should this drive our understanding and appreciation of the most profound transformation in human communication history?
SES San Jose is reporting record attendance at this year’s conference. I’m hoping to track down the numbers which are not listed in the press release, and here at day 1 there don’t seem to be as many folks as last year. However I think the format changes may have changed the traffic flow such that we’ll see the big numbers tomorrow and Wednesday.
SES offers free admission to exhibits for those who pre-register. This does not give people access to session content but it’s still an OK introduction to the big show, and perhaps most importantly gets you a ticket to the Google Dance, which many see as the highlight of the year in search and internet marketing.
Here at SES San Jose the conference has just begun. Rather than starting with a morning keynote they have plunged into the sessions and will have the keynote talk at the end of the day.
I’m in the first of two foreign search overview sessions – this one for the Asian and South America markets.
I’ll link this up to presentation notes and other blogs later….
China: Tom Harrington. Baidu as the big fish, far larger than Google in China.
Japan: Motoko Hunt just gave a summary of the Japanese search market
Ms. Morga of Consorte, a company that helps market to hispanics in USA and other countries.
Greg over at Search Engine Watch (which is SES’s blog and forum), has a tidy summary of sessions at the conference here. Although he’s tagged sessions with ‘advanced’ or novice content in my experience at conferences like SES you never really know if the content is “advanced” or not. Generally I find the speaker is more important than the topic, and top SEO folks like Dave Naylor, Aaron Wall, Greg Boser, and several others – regardless of the session and preferably at the bar – are going to give you better insights into search algorithm mechanics than official company representatives are allowed to do.