Posted 19 April 2012

ionSearch – Advanced Search Marketing Conference – Part 1

ionSearch – Advanced Search Marketing Conference – Part 1

It may have been pouring with rain in Leeds on Wednesday, but it didn’t stop search marketers from the UK and further afield descending on The Carriageworks for a full day of insight, discussion and debate.

Those who were local to the conference, or stayed in Leeds overnight, could take advantage of a free breakfast, but others such as myself had to take a 7:36am train from Manchester Piccadilly to arrive in time for the main event!

Once I’d collected my delegate pass and guide, I was ready to settle down for the first session of the morning in the expert panel suite: SEO Content Strategies.

The panel was manned by representatives from Home James, Cornwall SEO and Razorfish. The main points brought to our attention were:

  • Don’t push out content for contents sake; do it for a reason
  • Build a content calendar, initially top level and then split it down to niches
  • Find out what your user actually wants; research your audience before you create content
  • Creative content can be effective for hitting people further down the conversion path
  • “The way to get links on merit is to understand how people work.” – Lyndon Antcliff
  • People tweet quickly after seeing something that affects them, making twitter a good way to find potential link relationships
  • People are more likely to share and link to those in their community (i.e. SEO)
  • “As an industry we have over engineered links and content. Natural traction is what search engines are looking for.” – Dave Harling
  • Put the time into relationship building and you’ll find the distribution process a lot easier

After this session, I headed to the main auditorium for Tom Anthony’s session on How Authorship and Google+ Will Affect Linkbuilding. Here’s what he had to say:

  • Links are still a massive part of the algorithm but social signals are increasing
  • When looking at link profiles, Google can suffer false positives. Therefore they are unable to get rid of all spammy networks
  • However they are happy to sacrifice a few innocent white hats in order to serve better results in general
  • In February, Google turned off a link based signal they’d used for several years
  • Google started to send out Webmaster Tools emails to get SEOs; this is a signal that there will be further rollouts in line with the above (i.e. “link panda”)
  • People should think about getting links from authors, not just a website
  • Need to think about “who are we getting links from not where we are getting them from”
  • Author Crawler tool on SEOmoz can show who is linking to you; use the “contributes to” field to see where else they write, potentially on a site that is more authoritative.

After a short break of tea, coffee and plenty of double chocolate chip muffins, Tim Grice took the stage for his session, Link-Building in Competitive Industries. The main takeaways from this session included:

  • Reduce the percentage of anchor text links if you have over-optimised on particular phrases; actively change your link profile ASAP
  • Paid link profiles can look unnatural; those who buy links can have particular profiles that stand out from their competitors
  • Vary anchor text across all keyword and mix in brand variations for good measure
  • Use searchmetrics for finding the most shared content
  • On tweets: “we don’t believe they act the same way as links, but are catalysts.”
  • Infographics are often over used but if they are done right they can be good for results; make sure to research your audience first though
  • Fresh content is more efficient over time for increasing presence in SERPs; text links from blog rolls may work initially but seem to drop away fairly quickly too
  • “Links have to be justified in order to look natural”

In summary: remove unnatural links, address anchor text balance, focus on being link worthy, great sites generate shares as well as links, processes to focus on quality and natural signals

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

* Mandatory field