With SES firmly behind me, and now that I feel caught up on my sleep – I can finally put together this wrap-up post.
- SEO Through Blogs & Feeds: Excellent session that featured Rick Klau (used to work @ Feedburner, now @ Google) and Greg Jarboe (SEO-PR). All the panelists gave great advice for optimizing blogs & using feeds for search engines, and even got into ideas on how to market your blog.
- Link Baiting & Viral Search Success: We’re always looking for ways to attract good, quality links to our client’s sites and this session offered up a number of ways to ‘bait’ links and take advantage of the viral nature of the Web. Key takeaway from the ‘link bait’ portion of the session – your strategy needs to get attention from people who link, not necessarily your target audience. For example, you may be targeting links for an orthodontist site – but orthodontists aren’t out there linking to other sites all the time. So, you need to attract the ‘linkerati’ by appealing to their sensibilities – which may mean you develop a piece that ends up having very little to do with your business.
- CSS, AJAX & Web 2.0: Sometimes us search marketers need to deal with this technical stuff. Key lessons, CSS – good, unless you use it to deceive. AJAX – may be good for visitors, not good for search engines. Web 2.0 – meaning, user generated content & interactive web apps. Great for search if applied properly, horrendous if your user generated content isn’t visible to search engines.
Wednesday Night: Went to dinner with what ended up being about 25 people… dealing with that check was kind of a nightmare. Why is this always so hard for restaurants to deal with? Anyway, we followed up dinner with a trip to the WebmasterRadio.fm party – which is always fun. However, I couldn’t stay long to enjoy the go-go dancers and open bar because I had to speak first thing on Thursday morning.
- Content is King: This was my session. I won’t tell you how great it was, but I was very glad to have Jennifer Laycock of SearchEngineGuide.com moderating our session… We’re trying to convince her to speak at SearchFest 08. My fellow presenters gave some context for the session, and I wowed the crowd with my case studies that illustrate content developed for end-users AND search engines. Even though it was the first session on the last morning, and we were competing with Rand Fishkin and the Social Media Optimization session (always draws a crowd), we managed to pull a full room. Some great questions at the end about how to monetize content.
- User Generated Content & Search: I find this topic interesting for a couple of reasons. 1. people tend to equate UGC with Web 2.0 – but really, the Web has always had UGC with forums, message boards, product reviews, etc. I am glad that this type of content has received prominence again as Web 2.0 has improved the apps & ability to interact with sites. 2. UGC is a fantastic way to keep your site & pages fresh and populated with new keyword-loaded content all the time. Search engines love this. The session itself covered some of what not to do, some tips for making sure your UGC is compatible with search engines, and most importantly – that negative reviews/content isn’t necessarily something for site owners to be afraid of (80% of all reviews are positive).
All in all – I had a great time at this SES, and for whatever reason – I found it much more educational than the NYC version in the spring – though, I like hanging out in NYC much better than San Jose. San Jose SES truly feels like you’re at ground-zero for search marketing, and the level attendance is mind-boggling. I should also mention that they FINALLY stepped it up with the lunches this year, and even managed to put together a ‘hot lunch’ on Tuesday. THANK YOU! Perhaps the best part of SES is the networking though, and the time that I can dedicate to meeting new people, and hanging out with those I already know. I’ll definitely be back.
Some related links: