My Top 10 Ah-hah! Moments at SMX Advanced 2010

By July 5, 2010The D-Blog

Recently, the Confluence Digital team descended on the SMX Advanced conference right here in our own turf in Seattle. Here’s my top 10 list of things that I learned while attending the SEO track, in no particular order.

  1. Bing is becoming a consideration in the search engine market, especially with the Yahoo merger.
  2. Penalties do not usually come from a single infraction, but from an accumulation of issues. Think “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
  3. Several speakers, including Matt Cutts, pushed video sitemaps, especially with the new Google TV vertical that will be coming out later this fall. Google will be giving more weight to video sitemaps in the future.
  4. One of my favorite tools for understanding back-links, Yahoo Site Explorer, is likely to stay around under the Bing banner. (yay!)
  5. Real-time search results have ranking factors similar to Web pages. Factors include:
    • Quality of followers
    • Freshness
    • Frequency of tweets
    • Frequency of retweets
  6. Today readers are social-media savvy. Write website content that will appeal to sharing and to Facebook and Twitter users. Make the content easy to share with Sharing options right on the page, but you don’t need to add all the options. Just pick the five that are appropriate to your audience and use those.
  7. The latest Google infrastructure update, called Caffeine, is a backend update. Instead of crawling the Web and then updating the Google index later, indexing occurs immediately after every document crawl. This creates an index that is more up-to-date and more responsive to world events. Caffeine also improved JavaScript processing.
  8. The so-called May Day update, on the other hand, is an algorithm update. If you notice a drop in the number of pages getting search referrals (long-tail traffic), you could be impacted. To recover, strive to add high-quality inbound links to those pages and make sure it is linked to a relevant strong page on your site.
  9. To help your images get indexed by Image Search, add them to your sitemap. Up to 1,000 images per page can be added to your sitemap.xml. Image information can include:
    • Image URL
    • Image caption
    • Geographic location of the image
    • Image title
    • Link to the image license
  10. Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz did a point-by-point comparison of ranking factors in Bing and Google, which is also recapped on their blog. The study concluded that these two search engines have very similar ranking criteria. The big difference, of course, is Bing’s much smaller search volume.

All-in-all, SMX Advanced was an awesome event. Many thanks to the organizers who worked so hard to make it all happen.

Margery Spears

Author Margery Spears

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