Pose questions to our panel of experts about free "organic" listing issues, plus participate in this session that allows the audience to share tips, tools, and techniques. There's no set agenda, so this is an ideal session to discuss any major recent changes with organic listings.
It's the next to last session of four days at SES and it's a forum session with no set agenda, so this is a bit incomplete. My apologies in advance.
Singular vs. plural search phrases. How do they treat them different? Verma talks about search engines doing query rewriting. Buggia – sometimes will combine word into what they think is root word, sometimes they keep them separate. D'Souza also said that it shouldn't matter. Where it might be different is how much weight each term gets – should a stem get more weight? That's where you might get some variation, but not as vast as questioner found.
Variability of results among the engines. Missed explanation as to differences here. Each engine does have a different type of audience, they have different types of behaviors when they search.
Think about ranking about which types of pages to show for what pages. Indexing is what pages to index, but without any context. Try to figure out which pages are going to answers questions.
Question about searches / pages from different countries. Vanessa said it was good to set targeting for country in Webmaster Tools. There will be filtering in SERPs.
D'Souza Mentioned duplicating filtering at indexing level.
Grehan said ideal would be to have servers/host in country of target.
Buggia said top level domain is biggest clue. Having directory structure for each language does help
Vanessa: use meta language tag.
Title/keyword phrase combinations. Example of four words phrase, any subset of this would have a match, as would stems. Stuffing title tag less important than quality of content on site.
Displaying results on search engines. SERPs not showing meta descrptions. Meta descriptions are good to create a snippet when they can't easily find the text in the page (but have a lot of inlinks that talk about it).
Inbound links. Asks about page rank toolbar. Grehan says it's green fairy dust. D'Souza says it's not integers, much finer granularity.
Buggia all sites use page rank-type thing as initial base value, but so many more things go into ranking. Think of a search engine as a reputation engine.
Top five things you would focus on? You've got to be kidding if you're going to get a straight answer out of this panel for that.
Content. Audience. Have a specific audience and people who want your content. Internal linking Do a site: search in Google using phrase in question, then adjust linking structure. Look at how other sites are doing this, make sure you also look natural in what you're doing with incoming anchor text links, etc.
Grehan asked what panel thought about PR sculpting. Look at your problems, start fixing those first. Make sure you understand value to the business of things like page rank sculpting – how do you know that's what you should work on, vs. other things that would be better to work on.
Gerhan asked how important is an H tag. Diff't pieces of text on the page are rated differently. Other more important things though about content. Rainy day thing you may want to take care of, but again other stuff should fix at.
Be sure to use webmaster tools for each engine. You can get info from engines about problems they have, crawling info, and give them clues about what is going on.
Provided by Keri.