Archives for August 2007

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: 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.

TopRank on TV – SES Coverage on NBC11

nbc11.jpg

Local NBC affiliate NBC11 covering Silicon Valley stopped by the Search Engine Strategies conference yesterday. I happened to be at the right place at the right time and news reporter Scott Budman asked if I would do a quick interview.

Lee Odden on NBC11

My pal Loren Baker from Search Engine Journal was nearby during the interview so I gave him my camera and he took a few shots:

Lee Odden

It went pretty quickly and I didn’t think a lot of it afterwards until several people mentioned to me that they say me on TV during the evening news. I haven’t found an online version of the clip, but did get one forwarded to me that I could download but not share. 🙁

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: Web Analytics & Measuring Success

Analytics is a big part of a website’s success, However, even though analytics software is getting better and cheaper, website owners still don’t really know what to do with it.

Matt Bailey with Site Logic is an excellent speaker on this topic. He talks about how analytics is more than just hits, it’s about segmenting and tracking and learning how your visitors are using the site. Tracking things like page views, top 10 entry pages, keywords and hits are just scraping the surface. There is so much more that should be happening. What are the KPIs? Analytics numbers are just numbers with no action and figuring out what they mean is the key to success.

Session: Podcast & Audio Search Optimization SES 2007

Search engines love text and people love engaging content. This message was made clear during the SES session on Podcast & Audio Search Optimization where Daron Babin of Webmaster Radio, Amanda Watlington of Searching for Profit and Rick Klau of Google presented on the opportunities of search marketing with audio.

Audio search has come a long way and still, we’ve barely tapped into the full potential for audio content.
But why should we podcast? Watlington tells us that the value of audio content lies in its ability to create and foster an emotional connection with the audience. It is yet another opportunity to engage users while adding a human context to the message.

The concerns broached by the audience included the question of whether or not podcast and audio optimization made sense those in B2B marketing.

SES Keynote: Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone

Tuesday’s SES’s keynote was with Jim Lanzone of Ask. He talked briefly about the past, present and future of Ask.com.

SES 07 Keynote with Ask

Jim stated that they’ve seen great growth since launching Ask 3D. They feel that they are the fastest growing in their category. Ask is not as concerned with beating the others at market share, they are more concerned with getting satisfying results back to the searchers. After launching ask 3D they are finding that about 50% of their users are not clicking on the web results but rather on of the other offerings on the page. Jim also pointed out that they are trying to get as much information above the fold as possible. To do this theyare putting content where other search sites are putting ads.

Session: Link Building Basics

Day Two coverage of the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose:  The Popular Kids Have Good Content 

Tuesday morning was the morning to learn about link building. As a linking specialist at TopRank, I knew I would learn a lot, and review what I already know, in this session by listening to Mike Grehan and Christine Churchill.

The topics we focused on this morning were ways to increase a website’s ranking, such as link requests, paid links and reputable links from authority sites.

However, the absolute basic thing you must remember before linking is that you need to have something to offer the readers. Mike Grehan asked us “Why should your site rank high?”

SES San Jose 2007 Day One Wrap Up

TopRank crew
If you see these smiling faces at SES, be sure to say hello!

Here is a summary of the coverage by the TopRank blogging team for day one of Search Engine Strategies, San Jose 2007:

Session: What is a Brand Vehicle? Integrated Marketing Together Forever

Integrated Marketing

Gone are the days of the whole family, ages 6 up to 50, sitting around in the evening watching the same television show, focusing in on the same characters and – consequentially – the same advertising messages. What a typical family evening looks like these days is the elementary age child playing hand-held video games, the teenager finishing homework online, and the parents reading the evening paper. And all of this is going on while each individual person is sitting in front of their own television set watching whichever show or video they want.

Session: Ads in A Quality Score World

Danny Sullivan & His Panel

In 1981 when legendary Minneapolis agency Fallon first opened their doors, a full page ad was run in the Star Tribune, Minneapolis’ primary daily, alerting the local business denizens that a new ad agency was promising to help them outsmart the competition, rather than outspend them. The concept of quality score as it relates to PPC ads always reminds me of this anecdote from the traditional ad world.

Quality score, as covered by Danny Sullivan and his esteemed panel at the session “Ads In A Quality Score World” is the bold idea that an ad’s success should be dependent on whether it produces content relevant to that which it promotes. In other words, a firm should not have to outspend its competition to be successful if it’s simply bright enough to ensure their ad speaks directly to its target’s expectations.

SES Video Tim Mayer of Yahoo Interview

Tim Mayer Yahoo

Going through proper channels, I was able to coordinate a short video interview with Tim Mayer of Yahoo. I’m a bit of a Yahoo fan and it was great being able to chat with Tim for a few minutes before we recorded on the various questions other speakers suggested.

In this video, Tim answers a few questions including:

  • What’s in store for Yahoo’s version of Universal search?
  • From Mike Grehan: “Why does my spam work so much better in Yahoo than it does in Google?”
  • From Stephan Spencer: “If another Yahoo web property was found to have violated Yahoo’s guidelines, what would you do?” ie, “What if you caught another Yahoo web site spamming, would you ban them?”