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In-House SEO: An Interview With Gordon Magee of Drs. Foster and Smith

You may be asking yourself, who in the world are Drs. Foster and Smith (DFS)? Well, that may be unless you are a pet owner. You see, Drs. Foster and Smith currently ranks #115 on the Internet Retailer 500. That list includes names like Amazon, Staples, Apple, Netflix and about 495 others who top the online commerce world. If there is anything you need for your pet, it’s likely you can find it on the site.

DFS has reported in the past total revenues between online and catalog sales of $250M annually with $155M of that coming online. As part of our desire to bring you information about the world of search from many perspectives, I was afforded the pleasure of interviewing Gordon Magee who heads up the online efforts for this very large and successful site.

What’s Working for SEO in 2011: A Review from London SMX

Gareth Davies of GSINC Ltd covered SMX London last week and filed this report.

With the latest Google Panda update, and the issues some webmasters have faced as a result of the update, attendees at this year’s SMX LONDON were looking for answers to what’s working for SEO in 2011.

The panel consisted of Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Christine Churchill and Max Thomas.

SMX London panel

SEO Has Evolved:

First up was Mikkel deMib Svendsen. Mikkel began by reminding attendees that when it comes to SEO, things are very different in 2011 to what has gone before.

In the 1990’s SEO was relatively easy…simple algorithms meant that SEO was mainly about on-page factors and search engines had very few (if any) people dedicated to fighting Spam. Today the search engine algorithms are very complex, and there are huge teams dedicated to fighting Spam.

Google Opens Inside Search Blog

If you follow Google’s series of blogs on the wide variety of areas that the company plays in there has always been one conspicuous absence. Among the LatLong, Mobile, AdWords blogs there has never been an actual Search blog. That is until this week with its new blog called Inside Search.

The first post from the blog reminds readers that it’s not like there has never been any posts about search. It’s just that there has never been a blog about search.

In the past we’ve published information about search on the Official Google Blog (more than 400 posts about search and more than 50 weekly wrap-ups), and webmaster-oriented posts on theWebmaster Central Blog (more than 300 posts). We also operate a help center for search and another for webmasters. That’s not to mention the search help forums which have more than 50,000 discussions, and the webmaster central help forums with more than 90,000. Combine this with YouTube channels and search conferences, and it’s safe to say we talk a lot about search.

Are You Ready for Knowledge Engine Optimization?

In what some may see as a matter of semantics, Google has made a shift in how they name positions internally with the word search being replaced by the term knowledge. When I first read this I wanted to dismiss it but on second thought that would be pretty hard to do since Google makes almost all its money from search.

So why this shift in terminology from the search engine giant? It could be that the Larry Page era is truly about taking Google beyond the current confines of being just a search company. They have been trying this for a while with various product introductions and little if any true success especially in the area of social. Maybe the shift in titles is about a sea change in the organization to not think search first?

Why Social Finally Works With Search

SEOmozMarketing Pilgrim’s SEO Channel is sponsored by SEOmoz, the leading provider of SEO tools and resources. Take a 30-day free trial, and see why over 10,000 marketers currently use SEOmoz PRO

"Why would I want to see what my Facebook friends "liked" or "shared" in my Google results?"

"Who cares whether my website has fewer +1s than the next guy if I have better content?"

"Tweets shouldn’t pass PageRank – what the heck does a Tweet tell me about whether a result answers my query?" 

Disruptive Demand Media Fights Disruptive Third Party Claims

If you ever read any corporately generated content from content farm poster child, Demand Media, it won’t take long before you see the word disruptive. Here is the first sentence from content.demandmedia.com

Demand Media is a disruptive online media company. We’re doing things differently. And while we respect media’s heritage deeply, we respect its evolutionary potential even more.

Well, it looks like Demand’s world is being disrupted as well from the recent Google Panda update. In a post from this past weekend, Larry Fitzgibbon, Demand’s EVP of Media and Operations, was more or less forced to respond to some third party ‘data’ (from the company Sistrix who is making a name for its relatively unknown self by producing these Demand Media ‘insights’) that claimed that the recent Panda update in its many iterations really hurt the content farm machine and was rather disruptive to Demand’s bread and butter which is Google traffic.

Is a Little Shine Coming Off the In-House SEO Model?

The recent 2011 annual report from SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) and Econsultancy gives some data that can make one wonder a bit. The survey is of mostly North American companies and agencies in the search game.

The question I have is about the use (or dare I say popularity) of the in-house SEO model. In-house SEO’s are just that: staffers on a company payroll that have the job of search engine optimization for an organization’s particular needs. SEO agencies ran the show for the start of the SEO era but as more and more people became skilled in the SEO arts more companies decided to bring that function in house. The chart below, however, shows the cycle might be possibly changing again.