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Day 2 – Mega Session During SMX Advance, Seatle : SEO Vets Take All Comers

Jun 08, 2009   |   Web Design and Promotion
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Mega Session During SMX Advance

Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land

Greg Boser, President and CEO, 3 Dog Media
Bruce Clay,
President, Bruce Clay, Inc.
Vanessa Fox, Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land
Todd Friesen, President, Oilman SEO
Rae Hoffman, Owner, Sugarrae Internet Consulting
Stephan Spencer, President & CEO, Netconcepts
Brett Tabke, CEO,

No power points presentations were found here! The Mega Session: SEO Vets Take All Comers was an opportunity to get raw answers from industry veterans on challenging SEO issues.

SMX Seattle 2009

Here’s the complete Q&A:

Q: What are your thoughts on .EDU links?
A: They are awesome links. Student online newspapers or alumni news letters on the web are good sources. .EDU sites are sill trusted links because they are less likely to be ‘spammy’.

Q: What should sites do that has been using NoFollow links for sculpting purposes?
A: DON’T DO ANYTHING!!! Disallow pages that are less important. Comments on blog posts can be put on an iframe.

Q: What do you think about Brand leveraging SEO and SEM?
A: Sites with a strong brand will have better search results. If you are not a big brand, benefit from good SEO and SEM. Brands have a lot of authority and history behind domains. Small companies should compete with brand by using long tail keywords. As a brand, you can’t think that your name will carry you on. Big brands have an opportunity to beat out the little guys but must stay on top of the game.

Q: What calculated matrix should I look for in long tail keywords?
A: Look for repeat visitors, bounce rates, and where it is breaking down. Review the types of query and do referral based testing. The long tail phrase may be landing on a category page, which can be disappointing for customers.

Q: Is XML site maps good or bad?
A: They are not going to help you for ranking but will help with discovery. They do a fine job of letting search engines know the comprehensive pages of your website. If you don’t have discovery, the crawlers get lost. XML gives you more control and crawl efficiency. It will not hurt your website.

There are two types of Google Webmaster Errors.

  1. Crawl Error: Sitemap area
  2. Redirect error.

Q: My company is rebranding. What’s the best way to transfer my archived blog posts? On a sub domain or a brand new domain?
A: Global Redirect OR import your content to the new site but that will be tedious. Go to analytics and look at the pages that are driving traffic. If it can’t be done with a simple global redirect. If you have to do page by page, select only the pages that drove top traffic. Resubmit the old sitemap.

Q: Any updates on sub domain vs. subdirectory?
A: Use sub domain for reputation management and PR. Use Subdirectory to control your brand name. For big sites, do folders.

Q: Is the key to search engine success still content?
A: SEO is three pillar – Content, Link and Architecture. Brands has very huge problems because they have great content but crappy architectures. Great content will help get good links and good architecture will help in faster crawlability.

Q: What do you think about keyword density?
A: There are lots of other important things to do.

Q: What is the most important SEO factor?
A: Back link building, title tags, anchor text on inbound links, and quality content.

Q: What’s a good resource to find good architecture samples?
A: Google SEO Guide

Q: What do you do when your competitor has a huge amount of paid links and ranking higher than you?
A: Report to Google but they will most likely get caught eventually.

Q: I’m ranking high on UK but not in US. Why is this?
A: Go to Google Webmaster tools and set the geo location to US.

Q: SEO tactics for the year? What’s new and exciting?
A: -The Local Box.

  • New search opportunities – instant real time search (
  • Real time search is a new ballgame
  • Search analytics
  • New forms of content that are now able to be indexed (Videos, mp3, etc.)

It was great to see industry leaders at their most natural state and having fun with the audience. While sarcasm and humor was in the air, they made some very informative points that we can all walk away with.

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