SMX Live: Duplication, Aggregation, Syndication, Affiliates, Scraping, and Information Architecture

Sep 14, 2011 - 10:35 am 2 by
Filed Under SMX East 2011

Live Blogging Coverage SMXBelow is live coverage of the Duplication, Aggregation, Syndication, Affiliates, Scraping, and Information Architecture panel from the SMX East 2011 conference.

Disclaimer: The coverage is brought to you in real time, using a custom live blogging tool. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments for inclusion into the live coverage. During the live event, live notes will auto-scroll with newest entries at top. After the session is complete the archive version will have the oldest entries at the top. We ask you to please excuse any typos, as these are live notes.

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Barry Schwartz: 9:37:20 am
We start in about 10 minutes...
Barry Schwartz: 9:37:42 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 9:38:06 am
Vanessa Fox is modding and speaking on this panel. Should be fun, she has a passion for URLs that make sense. :)
Barry Schwartz: 9:45:27 am
Here we go...
Barry Schwartz: 9:47:23 am
Just talking about what is coming up after this session...
Barry Schwartz: 9:49:49 am
Brian Cosgrove, VP Analytics & Engineering, TPG is first up
Barry Schwartz: 9:49:59 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 9:50:44 am
Thin content, low quality and pagerank dilution are a pretty big problem on the web today.
Barry Schwartz: 9:50:58 am
The reason this is an issue, is not technical, but a process issue.
Barry Schwartz: 9:51:08 am
Here are the issues:
Barry Schwartz: 9:51:40 am
Feeds from suppliers, such as products, real estate listing, travel listing, deals ... any data you get in feeds from your suppliers or manufacturers.
Barry Schwartz: 9:52:09 am
Too many categories, such as mens hates, brown hates, mens brown hats, cowboy hates, men brown cowboy hats, and so on... This is all an issue
Barry Schwartz: 9:52:43 am
Items are too similar: nearly identical items are better arranged as options on one page...
Barry Schwartz: 9:53:23 am
All of these three things leads to mindless content across the web...
Barry Schwartz: 9:53:54 am
Writing unique content is the cost of entry to SEO, he said.
Barry Schwartz: 9:54:09 am
Yes, it is hard. But focus on the category pages where those feeds go into first.
Barry Schwartz: 9:54:16 am
Toolset for Success:
Barry Schwartz: 9:55:24 am
SEO Strategy: take a holistic view of the landscape. do competitive analysis, spend a lot of time on forecasting, track these, paid and social stuff, all of it.
Barry Schwartz: 9:55:53 am
Embrase Keyword Mapping: (1) URLs to keywords and (2) Keywords to URLs -- two different maps
Barry Schwartz: 9:57:16 am
Then you need to do the content strategy: define the content needed to the business, should you have a blog, categories of content, quantify the content, quantity of content, the various teams involved, timelines and goals.
Barry Schwartz: 9:58:25 am
Then you need a Work Flow, define your workflow... SEO research > Deliver creative brief > Research and write article > Reviews (seo, legal editorial), > Publish
Barry Schwartz: 10:01:38 am
Then make a style guide: the brand and site values, define web site voice, list out quality guidelines, legal stuff, general seo considerations and amend it over and over again.. it is a living document.
Barry Schwartz: 10:02:03 am
Finally, have a content calendar: Make sure you have a queue, it is done at right pace and so on.
Barry Schwartz: 10:03:26 am
He shows off Newegg and Xocide and how they really make their content different from basic merchant feeds.
Barry Schwartz: 10:04:04 am
Change up the product descriptions, that is key...
Barry Schwartz: 10:04:24 am
He also shows Woot and they rock at their descriptions.
Barry Schwartz: 10:06:06 am
Brian is now done... Now I think we get a bit more technical... So hang on...
Barry Schwartz: 10:06:23 am
Next up Matt Heist, CEO, High Gear Media
Barry Schwartz: 10:06:31 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 10:07:36 am
He will talk about his personal experience about URLs and such
Barry Schwartz: 10:08:44 am
They are a publisher... various sites like Car Connection, Motor Authority, All Car Tech... etc
Barry Schwartz: 10:09:06 am
There issue was they put their unique content on too many different sites
Barry Schwartz: 10:09:22 am
They produce 1,2000 pieces of premium content a month...
Barry Schwartz: 10:09:32 am
They have 7 sites, 4 are core and 3 are blogs.
Barry Schwartz: 10:09:59 am
Original content is not a one size fits all.
Barry Schwartz: 10:10:59 am
Biggest site they have is The Car Connection, they also have their segment sites Family Car Guide, Green Car Reports, Motor Authority...
Barry Schwartz: 10:11:40 am
The founding concept was to lunch as many sites as possible, hundreds...
Barry Schwartz: 10:12:22 am
The company launched 100s of sites, they had the same content on different sites but focused on different cars.
Barry Schwartz: 10:12:41 am
They always did have original content...
Barry Schwartz: 10:12:54 am
They spend a ton on content
Barry Schwartz: 10:13:10 am
The biggest issue was that they didn't manage the distribution of content properly
Barry Schwartz: 10:13:24 am
They had a 107 sites in February 2011
Barry Schwartz: 10:13:33 am
They were competing against themselves
Barry Schwartz: 10:13:55 am
In hindsight, it was not great, but they did get great writers and it worked back then
Barry Schwartz: 10:14:19 am
Some of the sites started to stand out
Barry Schwartz: 10:14:42 am
But the bad was they had too many sites, it was not different, wasn't a great idea now.
Barry Schwartz: 10:15:10 am
The biggest issue, they were building a lot of great content but putting it on multiple sites.
Barry Schwartz: 10:15:25 am
The ugly thing was it was hit by Panda.
bryant: 10:15:48 am
barry thanks for live blogging for us stuck at home
Barry Schwartz: 10:16:02 am
Project Focus:
Barry Schwartz: 10:16:29 am
They eliminated a lot of sites, 301 redirected non core sites down to 7 sites (4 core sites)
Barry Schwartz: 10:16:49 am
They canonicalized HGM prduced duplicate content
Barry Schwartz: 10:17:05 am
Aggregated content with strong user engagement was kept but noindexed
Barry Schwartz: 10:18:33 am
From now on, the original content, each site had unique writers and focuses. So their strategy changed.
Barry Schwartz: 10:19:11 am
This was a big decision... They killed 100s of sites and it was scary. And quality content is costly. It is a tough investment.
Barry Schwartz: 10:19:34 am
There is no half way... You do this or you don't...
Barry Schwartz: 10:20:13 am
They did a redesign... and changed the core themes for the four sites...
Barry Schwartz: 10:20:38 am
Each has a big review component and a big reviews component
Barry Schwartz: 10:21:06 am
He shows before and after screen shots...
Barry Schwartz: 10:22:41 am
Summary:
Barry Schwartz: 10:23:15 am
This has been working, the search traffic trends are now going up, it is positive
Barry Schwartz: 10:26:25 am
That is all for him...
Barry Schwartz: 10:29:08 am
Vanessa Fox is summarizing a lot of this... She isn't sure if it is Panda specific but more about it coming together...
Barry Schwartz: 10:30:03 am
There is a task force in the US government to clean up their 24,000 web sites and Vanessa is working with them to clean them up.
Barry Schwartz: 10:31:23 am
She shows one of the department of education sites, the student aid web site...
Barry Schwartz: 10:32:03 am
There are 14 different government web sites on student financial aid.... because each time a policy comes out, they make a new web site.
Barry Schwartz: 10:32:16 am
She shows off some of them...
Barry Schwartz: 10:32:50 am
She Google's "what is a pell grant"
Barry Schwartz: 10:33:02 am
And gets some pretty bad results...
Barry Schwartz: 10:33:16 am
This isn't just a google problem, it is a user confusion problem.
Barry Schwartz: 10:33:40 am
Solution: Don't think about you and what you want to tell the audience, think about what your audience needs to know.
Barry Schwartz: 10:34:18 am
Come up with an info architecture that works.
Barry Schwartz: 10:34:50 am
One each way to see issues is to do a site command on google with a keyword phrase, so for example site:about.com counting calories
Barry Schwartz: 10:35:19 am
60,000 results for counting calories on just about.com!? http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aabout.com+counting+calories
Barry Schwartz: 10:35:42 am
So what do you do? Use the persona methodology to help consolidate
Barry Schwartz: 10:36:06 am
Then do page mapping to help consolidate
Barry Schwartz: 10:36:43 am
You can group many of the pages together. Cluster those pages together and see what groups, maybe you can break down 60,000 into 100 or 20 pages?
Barry Schwartz: 10:37:09 am
Then when you have the 20 pages, build out the structure to lead people to the right area.
Barry Schwartz: 10:37:26 am
She applied this method to the Department of Education
Barry Schwartz: 10:38:41 am
Side note: If you are reading live, which session would you prefer I cover at 1:30pm? Up Close With Google+ and Google +1 OR Schema.org, Rel=Author & Meta Tagging For 2012
Barry Schwartz: 10:39:29 am
Q&A time, this wasn't a really technical discussion, but it might come up in the QA
Samuli: 10:44:31 am
I suggest you to cover this: "Schema.org, Rel=Author & Meta Tagging For 2012"
Barry Schwartz: 10:45:08 am
Q&A, is going well but not much technical stuff.
Barry Schwartz: 10:45:23 am
Having syndicated site at levels of 30% or more can hurt the whole site.
Barry Schwartz: 10:46:09 am
I am going to cute out now. Next session is at 1:30pm EDT.
Just another SEO: 11:07:18 am
Schema.org, Rel=Author & Meta Tagging For 2012 for me too please
 

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