Legally Speaking – Legal Stuff for SEMs – SMX West

A session on the legal aspects of search and domains was an interesting addition to this years’ agenda. Moderated by Sarah Bird and featuring a selection of legal experts, a range of topics relating to search and affiliate marketing were placed under scrutiny.

Travis Crabtree – Looper Reed & McGraw, P.C

First up was Travis Crabtree. Travis outlined the 2 key criteria that must exist for a case to exist in respect to ‘misuse of Trademarks’. Those two things were either a use in commerce must occur, or that there must be consumer confusion. However differences did exist between California courts and those of New York.

ECommerce Search Marketing Tactics

The session on search marketing tactics served up a strong panel of speakers. As a result a range of interesting ideas were addressed from common sense optimization tips, to leveraging shopping feeds . . . and even Twitter.

Ethan Griffin – Groove Commerce

First up Ethan’s shared some ECommerce optimization tips with the audience, which included some of the following:

  • Use the H1 tag
  • Use unique product descriptions (don’t just copy and paste supplier info into the web pages)
  • Pay attention to internal linking issues
  • Don’t bury folders/directories so that pages appear too deep in the site
  • Have the most important content at the top

In respect to SEO activities and links Ethan recommended that webmasters still submit to directories, consider creating separate blogs to drive traffic, use social media and leverage online PR.

A Summary of Danny Sullivan’s SMX Keynote

The conference kicked off bright and early at the Santa Clara Exhibition Center on Tuesday morning. Even for a Brit abroad the location was easy to find. Unlike some venues where parking is either impossible or hugely expensive at Santa Clara Exhibition Center it was a breeze and even free of charge! Next a great selection of food was served up for breakfast and by the time the first keynote of the conference was given by Danny Sullivan everyone was raring to go.

Search Landscape & market share

Danny showed the packed crowd the average share of searches based on a range of data he had gathered from Comscore, netcompete and others. The data that was primarily focused on the US market showed Google had moved from 60% to a 70% market share. Yahoo’ share had dropped a few points from the 20% range and Microsoft Live were around the 10% mark.

SMX London – Blow Your Mind Link Building Techniques

After a great London SEO event the night before at the Freemasons Arms, it was somewhat surprising to see such a packed room first thing in the morning. Rob Kerry from Ayima who organised the previous evening’s social event was up bright and breezy moderating this first session of the day. After a light-hearted introduction from Rob, the first person up to present was Lyndon Antcliff.

Lyndon Antcliff – www.cornwallseo.com

Lyndon talked the audience through a particularly well-known viral news story he worked on this year. The case study was a ‘13 year old credit card fraud story’. He dissected the story for the audience to help folks understand what makes a piece of content viral and then highlighted the importance of using ‘psychological hooks’.

SMX London – Empowering Search Marketers – Cool tools from Microsoft

The first London SMX in 2007 was a great conference– so the 2008 event held in the New Connaught rooms in Russell Square had a fair bit to live up to. However in spite of a recession there was a good crowd in attendance and the conference attracted many attendees people from all over Europe.

To kick off the event Chris Sherman reminded us that we there were a lot of positive changes happening in the current search space. Search engines themselves were finally opening up – particularly so MSN & Yahoo.

So Chris suggested we were now witnessing an end of the ‘us v them’ mentality that had long seemed to exist between the search engines and online marketers.

SMX London – SEO & Social Media Marketing

The social media sessions at SMX last year were a packed affair and this year was no exception with the subject proving equally in demand.

Jane Copland – SEOMoz

Jane told attendees that relevant link bait is not just a good idea these days but a necessity. However with the link bait explosion there were some winners and losers and this year there was noticeably a more serious tone in the air…

She cited a case study where a web based widget was originally created and used on a dating website. The widget had a link contained inside back to the source website whenever it was placed on a website.

SMX London – Keyword Research Tools & Techniques

Christine Churchill – KeyRelevence.com

Following on quite usefully from the information we had been given about the Microsoft keyword research plug-in, Christine Churchill looked at a big question ‘Why do keyword research?’

She suggested that there were a number of reasons why keyword research is so vital:

1. It is fundamental in Search Marketing
2. It can correct bad keyword choices
3. It is market research
4. Keyword research can help increase conversion rates
5. Research can also help find more niche keywords

From here Christine highlighted the main stages of keyword research process of

1. Brainstorming & discovery stage
2. Keyword expansion
3. Keyword evaluation

Keyword Research process

The brainstorming stage means a wide net can be cast and the process can be inspired by a range of activities including: