Corporate Mega Site SEO Management

Nov 14, 2006 - 6:54 pm 6 by
Filed Under PubCon 2006

Todd Friesen is modding.

Andrew Gerhart from Primedia was up first. They acquired an auto site with tons of strengths... The weaknesses of the site are that; entire site was built on a flat file CMS, code is a mess, majority of the content is not optimized, content is input manually, web site structure is not optimized, site links out to partner websites for content, and forum is on a different platform that is not SE friendly. The opportunity was that there was room for content expansion, minimal changes would product large returns, site does not currently rank for primary keywords, utilize established brand to gain rankings and links, traffic can be immediately monetized. The threats include; time, resources, political issues and pushback and multi-platform websites. Step 2 was planning, they needed to train people in SEO, optimize all the existing content, optimize the site templates and code, restructure the web sit, optimize the internal linking structure, build new content and build links. They made procedural changes which was communicated from the top, including SEO reviews, new URLs, one on one training, daily monitoring and weekly and monthly progress reports. SEO training includes; document content optimization guidelines, document seo best practices, basic seo training, review seo strategies and goals, review seo phases and current initiatives, work throughout content optimization examples and follow up with one o one meetings. SEO Phase 1: Seo team and interns optimize every page of every article, document of existing and new urls, set up 301 redirects. SEO Phase 2: optimize code of existing site, etc. SEO Phase 3: new content sections, use existing resources, replace link outs within site content, integrate links into existing CMS content, relaunch forums and launch blogs. SEO Phase 4: build links, etc. Results: 70% in search referrals.

Robert Carilli of He shows the timeline, starting off as He shows off their competitive advantage, all promo stuff for them so far. They have teams set up as; keyword review team, account management team, seo technology team, seo marketing team and analytics team. Keyword Review: keywords are the life blood of SEM, tens of millions of keywords are in the database, proprietary keyword review and classification tools, explore creative strategies for expanding the keywords and the keyword universe is constantly under review. Account Management: Daily ppc account review, regular account updates, constant creative testings, partner relationship management, regular reporting, invoice validation, international coordination and maintain subject matter expertise. Keyword landscape, plan for and react to seasonality, react to change in the bud market, stay up to date on the nuances of SEs, anticipate impact of current events, manage trademark budding practices, stay up to date on merchant changes, track ROI. BOT SEO: traffic driven via SE crawling and indexing pages, regular review and application of SEO practices, constant coordination with engineering dep. DATA FEED SEO: traffic driven via data feeds regularly sent to SEs, regular review and optimization to ensure max results, constant coordination with partners. MARKETING SEO: link building, content dev, social interaction, press release, reputation monitoring, close coordination with creative team and regular reporting and analysis. Phew, he spoke a mile a minute... hope I got everything.

Chris Boggs of Avenue A Razorfish and this blog here. Hey Chris. The little site that could, was his first slide. Type in "insert printing" in google and you will see a ton of PPC ads and the top result is from his old company, G3. He shows that that page only had 9 inlinks. Todd said it is a fluke, but Chris said he feels it is about the internal linking. He said, internal linking can be very powerful. Sample Site characteristics of a site from a fortune 500, with tens of thousands of pages. They found they had too many "Chefs" on this site. He then goes over Directory Folder Structure; avoid losing continuity in URL's. He shows some URL changes... Another big problem is client side redirects, avoid using them. META refresh does not allow spider to execute. Internal linking; a major issue is JavaScript linking, use CSS instead. Categorization and breadcrumb usage is good. Use your internal linking structure to capitalize on your landing pages. External links, relevance again is important. Current link popularity can be deceiving, a 100,000 inlinks can be worthless or pointing to the wrong place. You may have to increase your deep link ratio to internal pages. Business relationship building is like building links.

Aaron Shear from is next up, he did not have a presentation, but took the podium. He explains that highly trafficked sites that use load balancing can often run into problems with bad URL structures, with numerous URL "nodes." He said if your site performs very slowly, it normally wont do well in Google. He said focusing on the long tail is very difficult to make sure all those pages are fully indexed. If you have to click 30 clicks deep to get to a product, it is not good user experience, and Google will see that. He said, consider inserting multiple navigational paths to get to the same product or landing page. A good approach is to sell the optimization as a giant needle mover for the company, but make sure the engineers get credit for it, will make them work harder, quicker and more for your department.


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