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.

13 Quotes of Note From SMX London

SMX hit London this week and Marketing Pilgrim writer Gareth Davies was on hand to capture 13 of the most notable quotes by this year’s speakers. So here they are.

1. Why does page speed matter?

“Because Google has announced – let’s make the web faster”

Richard Baxter – Seo Gadget

2. Twitter advertising

“Promoted Tweets with no targeting cost…$80,000 a day!”

Martin Macdonald – OMD Group

3. Bing

“Bing sucks at broad matching. Don’t expect Bing to recognise broadly matched synonyms like Google”

Daniel Ruby – Chitika

4. FaceBook

“Facebook exists to keep people on Facebook…they only give lip service to Bing”

Daniel Ruby – Chitika

5. Bing/ Yahoo traffic

35 Killer Tips from London SES 2011

SES GraphicThis year London SES was held at the Queen Elizabeth conference centre in Westminster. The London show attracted attendees from all over the UK, Europe and Asia making SES a hub for both European and international SEOs. The 2011 event showcased some excellent speakers who covered a range of topics from link building to conversions.

Here are our 35 top tips from the London show.

1. Content Marketing:

Lee Odden at London SES

“You need to understand what your customers want. What do they want to consume? What do they want to learn from or share?”
Lee Odden – www.toprankblog.com

“Rich content can open doors for influencing customers and clients, it can draw in business, attract talent and save costs on recruitment. It can also make money from marketing partners”
Lee Odden

Google Price Index–Real Time Data for Online Pricing

Utilizing their vast collection of shopping data, Google is developing an alternative means of tracking inflation known as the Google Price Index (GPI). The effort is being headed by Google’s chief economist Hal Varian, and has the grand goal of providing more timely price index data.

The well known Consumer Price Index (CPI) provides a monthly measure of inflation based on pricing data gathered by hand from brick-and-mortar retailers along with other sources. The CPI data is published monthly and can be delayed by several weeks. Google’s method of utilizing online sources of pricing data offers a more real time reflection of pricing indexes.

SMX London – Converting Paid Traffic & Search Engine Stats

Analysing and Converting Paid Traffic

paid-traffic-andy

Andy Atkins-Krüger – WebCertain

In his session Andy looked at the range of ways both a PPC and organic SEO a campaign could be broken down to measure how effective each stage was performing. Aspects such as number of visits, pages views, dwell time and bounce rate were all seen as important elements to measure.

Andy also suggested that rather than take the traditional approach of looking to only improve the final stage of the shopping funnel (i.e. optimising the buy page) improving who gets onto the website in the first instance was equally important.

So to recap, whilst people typically look to the shopping cart for initial conversion improvement—Andy advocated starting at the other end of the chain and at keywords.

Yahoo Overhauls Image Search Preview Pages

By Peter Young

With Google announcing a number of changes recently the noise from the other search engines,  or lack of it, has been noticeable. It is therefore good to hear Yahoo announce a range of improvements to its image search preview pages, with the hope that these should make the pages easier to use.

The changes to the image search preview pages are immediately obvious on entry, with the now familiar (sleeker in Yahoo’s words) navigation interface which includes:

  • Search box with the now familiar search assistance
  • More image search results within the preview facility, which allows greater browsing between results
  • Suggestions based on queries from other users making similar searches

New Results pages

The Old Results pages

Google Rolls Out Longer Snippets and New Search Refinements

by Peter Young

In a move that will surprise few within the industry Google have announced two new features within the Google search results, first an expanded list of related searches and second the rollout of extended snippets—both of which could affect search behaviour quite significantly.

Firstly, Google have announced the deployment of a ‘new technology’ that better understands concepts and relationships associated with a query. This technology will allow Google to offer a greater number of related searches to users via the search results (found at the bottom/top of certain searches).

For example, if you search for [principles of physics], our algorithms understand that “angular momentum,” “special relativity,” “big bang” and “quantum mechanic” are related terms that could help you find what you need. Here’s an example (click on the images in the post to view them larger):