Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan took the chair as moderator for the round, where the discussion was on "Better Ways of Keyword research. Link building. Page titles. Yawn. You know the fundamentals of SEO cold. Still, no one knows everything. Been wondering if there's a better way to get something done? Put it to our panel of experts!"
This was more of a relaxed discussion with the panellists rather than a presentation. Speakers included Alex Bennert, Director of Client Services, Beyond Ink; Greg Boser, Search Engine Marketing Consultant, WebGuerrilla; Jim Boykin, CEO, We Build Pages; Christine Churchill, President, Key Relevance; Todd Friesen, Director of Search Engine Optimization, Range Online; Cameron Olthuis, Director of Marketing and Design, ACS and Aaron Wall, Author, SEO Book.
With Danny taking the lead, the session became a SEO technique clinic for "Better ways to do boring stuff'. A synopsis of which is given below.
Rep monitoring especially in larger SMO space:
- Reinforce you will be doing a lot of reputation management. Keep a close eye on it.
- Listen to people who are speaking positive about them and seek help from brand evangelists.
Scale link-bait or back links:
- Search for non-commercial related links, write about the link and spend a couple thousand on premier content then run ads for keyword permutations that would match that.
- Follow the example of SEOmoz 's Web 2.0 awards. Give out awards, if you are the leading name. These have longevity and can continue to build links. Try to look for something that has continuous link-building ability.
- Perform directory submissions buy links. Also required are media placement, relevancy and widget building.
- Maintain a matching service and offer incentives (referral fees) for links.
- Use brand evangelists – give them the content and let them do the linkbait or viral stuff for you.
Easy login for social networking groups:
- Certain scripts that you can add to the toolbar that keep you logged in
- Session manager with Firefox
For Linkbait, ways to consolidate or any research that says how much is too much:
- Prefer not to include those at all. Generally, what happens is that a lot of stories get submitted to Digg and provide more value to the Digg community, but if the Diggers see that your site is being continually submitted to Digg, they would equate your site with spam. You should add the ones that are most relevant to your userbase.
About scraping the MLS off the feed/MLS distribution in Google Base:
- Individual agents send their own stuff and then brokers send their own stuff, so probably they're taking only from brokerages and that will hopefully address the spam issue.
The most interesting part was when the panelists were asked on their favorite tool:
- Todd Friesen: Besides the company-made tools, his favorite Firefox tool is SearchStatus.
- Cameron Olthuis: a company created tool called Serph, which is a reputation management tool that checks many social media sites.
- Jim Boykin: Top Ten Analysis Toolbar, which can be found on 'we build pages'
- Danny Sullivan: Groowe–changes toolbars; firefox version has social media sites.
- Web developer toolbar.
- SEO for Firefox extension–modifies your SERPS.
- Xenu Link Sleuth — find broken links, redirects
- Sam Spade's desktop
- Of all the products/ services, Microsoft's new keyword research tool garnered the most praise.
- Maintain Press releases, directories, social media, professional organizations, etc to explain to corporate clients that they will be getting links from unrelated sites, unrelated topics etc.
- If you wrote a great page in 1996 and many people linked to it and suddenly you decided to change that content, I believe the search engines see those older links as not having as much value. Newer links, however, would have more value.