Feb 28 2012

A Hitchhiker’s Guide To Surviving SEO Changes | SMX West

Published by at 3:30 pm under SEO

My notes from the SMX session: These notes are not edited – raw … notes
A Hitchhiker’s Guide To Surviving SEO Changes
(#smx #14B)

Moderator: Elisabeth Osmeloski, Managing Editor, Search Engine Land (@elisabethos)

Kerry Dean, Chief Traffic Officer, PMG (Performance Media Group) (@kerrydean)
Michael Martinez, Owner, SEO Theory (@seo_theory)
Mark Munroe, Senior Director, SEO, Reply!, Inc (@markemunroe)
Marshall Simmonds, Founder and CEO, Define Media Group, Inc.

Surviving SEO Changes Presentation at SMX West 2012

Surviving SEO Changes Presentation at SMX West 2012

Disclaimer these are my unedited notes from SMX West 2012 Conference in San Jose, CA.

 Mark Munroe is first from reply.com

How to protect yourself from algorithm changes.

Panda goal was to:

  • closing link farms
  • link begging, buying and bartering
  • low quality content

SEO’s need to control the experience starting on the SERP

  • Your information needs to be relevant to the page and above the fold of the page
  • Freshness
  • quality content
  • site performance
  • Lots of pages with long tail search
  • Blended search – integrated relevant content from additional indices

Panda works at a site level not at a page level

Kerry Dean, PMG @kerrydean

Surviving SEO changes, make sure your site has the following

  • Tagging
  • Navigation: Top Nav and Breadcrumbs, Footer, Sidebar and contextual
  • IA: Make your products easy to find
  • Crawling:
  • Sitemaps keep them updated

Google Analytics is free, add Statcounter for free this is another one

  • Google Analytics use the filters
  • Track everything

Fresh content:

  • Editorial calendars – media and PR stuff
  • Be unique do your best – be unique with your product descriptions. Add descriptions to your categories
  • Dust off your blog and post a lot

Every visitor is telling you something about your site by what they do on your site. – From GA

  • If you have a blog set up REL-Author – very important
  • AuthorRank / AgentRank – know what these are
  • Start getting added into circles this will add traffic to your site. Friends search results will show up.
  • Have social sharing buttons, test where they work best for you they have potential to drive traffic to your site. These things  are also effecting rankings by popularity.
  • Mobile ecommerce. Can people buy your products on the phone.
  • Responsive web design – great for mobile, you don’t have to build a separate site
  • Really good content is important
  • Don’t be stupid about paid links
  • Social Media – Use all the social media sites got on them and be active. Have someone manage it.
  • Monitor referral traffic- What referral domains are giving you a return and act there.
  • Use Google + – Google is telling us to do this.

Marshall Simmonds –

Googles  freshness update came out in 2011

  • Now search results is showing timeliness. Google wants to see timely updates. Blog and blog more often and find a unique angle. When did you update last?
    +1 is important too.
  • Do an SEO audit of sites, find things that are wrong.. No index content that is not performing. Syndicating content and are you doing it right. Syndication strategy. Page speed is important
  • Site maps need to be done. Your one way to communicate with Google. This will increase traffic from implementing a site map.
  • Video – YouTube is the one way in. 84% of video listings are from YouTube. Learn how to optimize them for the search engines.
  • Google stand out tag – Gnews Standout Tag.
    Goes in the head tag. Syntax <linkrel=”stamdout …
  • Rel=Author puts your face on the listing in the SERPS
  • Webmaster tools – look at internal links pages in the report
  • On Open Site Explorer, check what your top pages are.


Overall do you think Panda algo has improved search results – everyone on the panel said yes.
The review category really got trashed.
Michael Martinez: Panda recoveries, very few people have recovered from Panda
You can find a lot of data how people have recovered from Panda – search from them.
Mark Munroe: Some have recovered through a re-design
Moderator: Thinks that is a common answer is with a re-design

Johah in the audience: You have to move poorly performing content. The rest of the site starts to get healthier. Look at engagement tag under user behavior on GA (Google Analytics)

Should we constantly chase the algorithm?
Michael Martinez: Guest blogger sites will start to get downloaded. You need to trust the knowledge.
Go down Google’s list of what makes a good or bad site after the Panda update.
Google has changed their guidelines quite a bit lately and you should follow the webmaster guidelines staying on top of these changes.

Pulling out low level pages –
Pull out pages that have no traffic. No index No follow the pages. Ask yourself are these pages adding value?

Tweet from @CatOrosco:
Play to the guidelines, don’t chase the algorithm. Stay up to date, test, be strategic, remove poor quality #smx #14B. Good reminders



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