SES Chicago ended on 7th December with Day 4 marked by every session being very informative.
Meet The Crawlers
Meet The Crawlers session was moderated by Chris Serman. Not being a usual Meet The Crawlers session it was in a Q&A form. The questions were answered by Amit Kumar, Engineering Manager, Yahoo! Inc.; Ramez Naam, Group Program Manager, MSN Search; Vivek Pathak, Infrastructure Product Manager, Ask.com; and Evan Roseman, Software Engineer, Google, Inc. They were posed with number of questions ranging from the working of crawler on your website, if standard sitemaps protocol will be supported by Ask.com?, if links generated by PHP get a different treatment?, and more such questions.
Crawler does not follow any pattern or any specific order on your website. Yahoo! adds anything to their crawlers that is useful to your users. According to MSN page size should be small and it is better to make links simple and all links are looked by spiders and not any specific one. Sitemaps are being tested by Ask.com on some chosen sites and based on the success they might support sitemaps protocol in future. For misspellings MSN, Yahoo!, Google and Ask.com all were of same opinion that for search engines it is not a good thing. For users it is probably fine but search engines hire spell checkers.
Big Ideas For Small Sites & Small Budgets
For making big in the SEM world you do not have to spend big bucks or be a big size company. The speakers in this session Jennifer Laycock, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Guide; John Carcutt, Search Marketer, MoreVisibility; and Matt McGee, SEO Manager, Marchex says that you require strong ideas, skills and give your customer what they want for making a mark.
Small companies need to change their view about search engine marketing. Search engines look at your pages in a very humane way and do not have any magic formula. Small company have the advantage of making fast changes without encountering the red tape and have greater flexibility. The golden rule for organic search is to know the requirement of your customers and create your campaign centered around their needs. As a small business if you are doing SEO yourself than it requires more time than money. Those who want to be SEO they can gain industry knowledge through reading books like 'SEO Book by Aaron Wall', 'Small Business Guide to Search Engine Marketing by Jennifer Laycock', or attending seminars like SEO Research Labs – Dan Thies, High Rankings Seminars – Jill Whalen, Search Engine College – Kalena Jordan. It is also very important to be a part of community through Social Media Optimization and be a part of sites like Reddit, Wikipedia, Digg, etc. A very easy way of creating a community is through creating a blog.
Search Engine Q&A On Links
The knowledge of audience about links was greatly enhanced in the Search Engine Q&A On Links. The session was moderated by Chris Sherman, and the speakers being Tim Converse, Engineering Manager, Yahoo! Inc.; Vivek Pathak, Infrastructure Product Manager, Ask.com; Adam Lasnik, Search Evangelist, Google; and Eytan Seidman of Windows Live. People came to know about the impact of internal links on your rankings, which URLs to use absolute or relative.
Internal links affect your rankings so they should be descriptive and be meaningful. If the links are of use to your users and they will be important for Google as well. Relative and absolute URLs both are fine as long as they are valid. But Google gave more weight age to absolute links as they act as a safer option in the event of site being scrapped by splogs.
Organic Listings Forum
The moderator for the Organic Listings Forum session was Detlev Johnson, VP, Director of Consulting, Position Technologies while the speakers being David Naylor, SEO, Bronco; Mike Grehan, International Search Marketing Consultant; Bruce Clay, President, Bruce Clay, Inc.; and Todd Friesen, Director of Search Engine Optimization, Range Online Media. The session was a total Q&A session. Links and content hold equal importance in getting good ranks for your website. People came to know that is content more important or links.If there is good content on your website than it will definitely make room for quality links which in return give good ranks to the site.
People think that cloaking is not good but on the contrary cloaking at many times turns to be useful and and most of it is good cloaking as it makes content of site more accessible. Open Directory Project or ODP have lost its earlier importance. Instead creatively working offline can bring more links. For getting ranks quickly for a new site it is very important for getting links from trusted sources and from authoritative sites. The chance of the site getting quickly notice are increased if there are no friendliness links while most of the speakers were of opinion that sandbox never existed. For preserving the visibility and PageRank of an age old site if you are changing the domain then there should be a 404 page that has a Meta index tag with a 'no index' in the new domain. Also inform Google about the changes as they are concerned about the site and don't want it to get lost.