Nice set of panelists aboard with Detlev with the job of ensuring these guys do not go out of line. Those on the panel include Mike Grehan, Bruce Clay, Todd Friesen and David Naylor. Good luck Detlev. :)
Q: Can you explain what pagerank really means, how it is measured, should you look at the toolbar? A: Mike first snored and then he said it is a great marketing tool. PageRank is keyword independent. Now we have too many pages, mostly dynamically created, mostly not linked, on a global basis, pagerank counts as poooo. Detlev said PageRank is first three-month old data, so it misses the time stamp. Also the PR meter measures not what the secret sauce of the keyword rankings (basically what Mike said about keyword independent). Those are two reasons you should not care too much about it. Mike said PR is the most complex matrix. The place where PR comes in, is when its a tie break. Todd said if you must have the toolbar installed, and if you have a 0 or gray bar, and your traffic dropped off then you need to worry. David said you can have a PR1 rank above a PR6. Bruce adds to David's statement.
Q: If you are based in the UK and you have a .com site that you want to rank well in the US. Does it help to host in the US. A: Mike said .com sites in US does better ranking in US Google. David agrees, and especially MSN Search. Host in the US if your market place is in the US.
Q: What about registration location for rankings? A: David said that doesn't really become an issue. Just be careful as to the DNS settings of that registrar (many registrars can host your DNS).
Q: Language also that important? A: Yes, you need to make sure to use American English to rank well in the US.
Q: Domain names... A: David said he feels all but the .com, .net, .co.uk. .org etc. will be worth a lot less (i.e. .info). So get a .com.
Q: Completely brand new site, starting from the beginning. What can you do to get them into the organic rankings? A: Mike said at the end of the day, you do not launch a Web site, your in a business, you need to check the competitors. You need to compete, its not as simple as putting up a Web site. You need to do all the marketing. Detlev talks about original content and people wanting to link to it. Mike adds that now that search engines have end user data, they can use that data. The final test is the end user, how often they come to your pages. (My two cents, did you look at your Google Search History page, they know your site sites, top click throughs, etc. - hmmmmmm). Bruce said when all the sites are spamming in an industry, that becomes natural for those keywords. Todd said if you are willing to target "debt consolidation" then don't do it for a client, join an affiliate program - you can make a lot more money.
Q: Can you list other SEO myths A: Mike told Yahoo, don't tell me your algorithm, just tell me what not do it. I don't want to waste my time with meta tags. Tell us what not to do, but not specifically what to do. They all discuss that different things work for different keywords. David said that when they get a new client, they take top 30 ranking sites and build a map on those sites. Then they clone those top 30 sites and add a bit more. Detlev steps in to hold David back and said some companies got in trouble for copying other site's clients. So Dave rolls his eyes. :) Then Detlev goes ahead and gets into white hat talk. Stop checking your rankings each day. Look at revenue and not rankings. Mike said with personalization coming on board, the whole notion of being number one for a keyword or phrase will disappear. Bruce said they look at something completely different. You look at the behavior of the searcher, coffee drinker searching on java versus programmer coding java. (hmm what about a programmer who drinks coffee, kidding). You need to use words that relate to the style of the keywords around the words.
Q: How do the engines get the snippets for your SERPs? A: Todd said every engine does it differently. Some mix it around. Some use your keywords, some use meta tags, some use dmoz / yahoo, and some mix all three. Detlev gives the Heather Llyod Martin tip, see other sessions, because it doesn't work every time. The search engines look for matching keywords on the page and try to use the snippet around the first usage of your keyword.
Q: Is it worth doing mod_rewrites to make your URLs SE Friendly? A: David said "hell yea".
Q: Google is being to suck, do you agree? A: Everyone on the panel said, yes! David added, as soon as the stock price began to drop, the results dropped. Mike said the problem Google always had was a huge user base, but a small subscriber base, unlike Yahoo or MSN. David explains about big daddy update and how structural it is. Because of how Google is handling 301s today is the reason why the Google index stinks. Ok, this is too funny, Mike and David are threatening each other about the Sandbox. Dave has a banana and Mike has a wooden stick. The rest I will leave to your imagination.
Dave said that Ask has a problem that it is not as scalable as Google. Dave said he as a single person can make Ask incredibly slow.
SES NYC Tag: sesny2006