Session: Link Baiting – Viral Search Marketing

Link Baiting & Viral Search Success

Day 3 at SES San Jose found me assigned to cover the session “Link Baiting & Viral Search Success.”

Those who’ve read my previous posts should find it as no surprise that my level of excitement for this session superseded any residual aches and pains left over from last night’s “decadence based in relevance” superbash Google Dance.

(Personal Note: None of the stories you’ve heard regarding the TopRank team at this event are accurate. Except the one about how we met up with AC/DC’s tour bus afterwords and partied with them all night – that one’s true**)

This session, moderated by SES co-chair Chris Sherman included on its panel:

  • Chris Boggs, Search Strategist, Avenue A
  • Jennifer Laycock, Editor-In-Chief, Search Engine Guide

Session: SEO QA on Links

SEO Q&A on Links

In this session on Day 3 of SES San Jose 2007, there were no presentations. The floor was open to all questions anyone had on links and link building and how they affect PageRank and their importance in organic SEO. There were many questions asked, and even more great answers from the panel consisting of Mike Grehan (“My name is Mike Grehan, and I do links.”), Debra O’Neil-Mastaler (Link Building Chick), Jim Boykin and Greg Boser (“The White Hat Link Builder”), with Danny Sullivan moderating. Below, I thought I’d highlight the some of the questions and answers I thought were most interesting.

1. Are there any implications or problems with run-of-site links?

SES Video: Steven Marder Eurekster Swicki

In our continuing coverage of the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose, we’re shooting periodic video interviews both in the speaker ready room and a few on the exhibit floor.

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In this interview Steven Marder of Eurekster talks about how their Swicki product works both for online publishers to attract and monetize traffic as well as serve as a useful web site marketing tool for SEO efforts.

Session: So You Want To Be A Search Marketer?

So You Want To Be A Search Marketer

Raise your hands if you want to be a Search Marketer! This session I attended on Day 3 of SES San Jose 2007 taught us how to better educate those who want to start in the SEM business, and how the rest of us already in it should continue learning.

First, Pradeep Chodra, co-founder of OMLogic, spoke on the highlights of working in SEM. Some of those highlights include an exciting and adventurous industry, flexibility of where and when you work because the internet is portable and global, the fact that you don’t need a professional degree to be good at SEM and that the salaries can turn out to be very attractive if you work hard and know what you’re doing as a search marketer.

SES Keynote: Marissa Mayer of Google

Day three of Search Engine Strategies San Jose started off with Danny Sullivans’ last keynote presentation where he talked to Marissa Mayer of Google, who was giving her first keynote. Overall they talked about universal search, touch on video, personalized search, iGoogle and the iPhone.

Wednesday Keynote with Marissa Mayer

Marissa sated that they felt users were happy with the new universal search. A lot of work had to go into chainging the algorithm to incorporate the additional sources but they were happy. She did say that they had a long way to go yet and other sources, such as scholar, may be added in the future. Google’s goal with universal search is to be more like an encyclopedia with as much relevant information right at your finger tips.

Google Dance 2007 Photos

Google Dance

Google did it again last night with a cast of thousands partying their way from 7-11:30 pm at the Googleplex. The rock ‘n roll theme with tattoo inspired artwork set the stage for another festive post conference event. There was dancing and buffets both inside and out, chess, pool, karyoke, meet the engineers and many, many kegs of beer/bottles of wine. Nothing ran out this time except the very cool looking T-Shirts.

TopRank Blogging Team

Always looking to shake things up, the TopRank blogging team convinced Google security to cough up a volleyball and promptly started a game in Google’s sandy volleyball court.

Line for Google Dance
Waiting in line for the bus to Google Land.

Bussing it to the Google Dance
Driving into the sunset, literally.

Welcome to the Google Dance!
Pretty Googlers welcoming SEOs with clapping and cheering. Riiiiight.

SES Video: Andy Atkins Kruger WebCertain

Search engine optimization in English provides substantial challenges for most companies, but what about SEO in 20 different languages? When you drill down into it, there’s a lot “lost in translation” when most companies perform content optimization in different languages.

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In this video interview from the Exhibit Hall at Search Engine Strategies in San Jose, my long time friend Andy Atkins Kruger of UK-based WebCertain takes a few moments to answer questions about multilingual SEO as well as some of the common challenges that come about when optimizing content not only in other languages but also dealing with corporate speak in those languages.

Session: The SEO Reputation Problem

The SEO Reputation Problem

A common problem throughout time is the proclivity for the dregs of our society to capitalize on any new product or type of business in a dishonest, or flat out crooked, fashion.

Before attending “The SEO Reputation Problem” to cap off Day 3 at SES, I was blissfully unaware of the level of this problem in our industry.

The session, moderated by Exact Target’s VP of Agency & Search Marketing Jeffrey Rohrs included on its panel:

  • Shari Thurow, Founder & SEO, Omni Marketing Interactive
  • Kristopher B. Jones, President & CEO, Pepperjam
  • Jennifer Laycock, Editor-In-Chief, Search Engine Guide
  • Jonathan Hochman, Founder & President, JE Hochman & Associates
  • Kathleen Fealy, KF Multimedia

Thurow & her panel had two things in common:

Session: Are Paid Links Evil?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Are Paid Links Evil? Optimus Prime versus Megatron.

As I attended “Are Paid Links Evil?” as my last session of Day 2 at SES San Jose 2007, I was glad to see that everyone there was still in high spirits after the long day of learning, blogging, networking and preparing for the Google Dance. However, I didn’t expect to see a battle of the Autobots against the Decepticons.

Are Paid  Links Evil?

First off in this battle of the galaxies was the ever-famous Matt Cutts, Software Engineer Guru at Google, stating clearly and concisely that paid links that pass Google PageRank are in clear violation of the Google webmaster guidelines. And as we all know, we do NOT want to be in violation of these. Any violation of these commandments could result in being bounced out of the Google index, which could severely impact your website traffic in a very negative way.

Session: Creating Compelling Ads

Creating Compelling Ads

A trap I fell into early in my career as an SEM specialist was to ensure clients we would do our best to drive all the traffic we could to their site. Looking back, I’m glad I learned the obvious error of this statement before becoming involved in a client’s burgeoning PPC campaign.

The session “Creating Compelling Ads”, moderated by Allan Dick of Vintage Tub & Bath had at its core the powerfully obvious notion (in hindsight) that driving all traffic to your site is not only a fool’s mission, but in the realm of PPC, a costly mistake.

Generating qualified traffic for a campaign shaped the presentations provided by the esteemed panel of:

  • Mona Elesseily from Page Zero Media
  • Brad Geddes of LocalLaunch.com

Session: Putting Search Into the Marketing Mix

Putting Search Into The Marketing Mix

Day two of SES San Jose found me fighting for an outlet as I prepared to impart details to you on the session “Putting Search Into the Marketing Mix”.

The session, moderated by Free Agent Consultant Sara Holoubek included on its panel:

  • Misty Locke, President & co-Founder, Range Online Media
  • Curtis Dueck, Senior Account Manager, Epiar Inc.
  • Bill Mungovan, Director of Search, Carat Fusion
  • Bill Hunt, CEO, Global Strategies International

The session described how search marketing is absolutely vital to any marketing campaign, right from the outset. As part of my duties with TopRank’s sister firm Misukanis & Odden, I hone my focus on, as our tag suggests on Marketing For Results. One of the surest way to help guarantee results, right from the offset, is to clearly define your client’s objective.

Session: Writing for Search Engines

Writing for Search Engines

“Writing for Search Engines” is a long standing session by Heather Lloyd-Martin and Jill Whalen. It’s a great session covering the basics of SEO friendly copywriting and a good primer for those new to SEO.

Search Engines are constantly improving their ability to sniff out the spam and de-value irrelevant links such as those from link farms. They are making the same kinds of improvements to the indexing, categorization and sorting of web pages in the search results.
In order to make it easier for search engines to do their job, it’s important to incorporate the keywords for which you wish to be found in your site content, title tags and meta descriptions. Now when people search for those keywords, there’s a greater likelihood that search engines will rank the web site higher than a competitor site who doesn’t have relevant keywords in the content and links of their site.