SMX Live: Google Survivor Tips

Sep 13, 2011 - 9:02 am 1 by
Filed Under SMX East 2011

Live Blogging Coverage SMXBelow is live coverage of the Google Survivor Tips 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: 8:03:56 am
Mark Munroe, Senior Director, SEO, Everyday Health (@markemunroe) is first up
Barry Schwartz: 8:05:02 am

February 24th Panda hit.

Panda is the mod significant update change since PageRank and link reputation.

Whether you were hit by it or not, you might be in the future.
Barry Schwartz: 8:06:04 am
Types of sites that got hit were content explosion sites, thin content, heavy content aggregation and so on. but some sites that were quality were hit.
Barry Schwartz: 8:06:09 am
Pre-Panda Google
Barry Schwartz: 8:06:55 am
So he is talking about Pre - Panda stuff, like stuff that did well and the past SEO strategies that worked...
Barry Schwartz: 8:07:42 am
Post Panda -
Barry Schwartz: 8:08:04 am
SERP positions are now being modified based on new rep factors based on the quality assessment of the site as a WHOLE
Barry Schwartz: 8:08:22 am
HE believes a lot of it has to user interaction with the SERPS, such as hitting the back button
Barry Schwartz: 8:08:28 am
What does Google know?
Barry Schwartz: 8:08:43 am
Google knows more about the SERP user experience then we do. And he said that bothers him a bit.
Barry Schwartz: 8:08:54 am
What do we know about SERP experience? We do not know that much
Barry Schwartz: 8:09:11 am
We know conversions, bounce rates, 2 page visits, 3 page visits, etc. But that is all we know.
Barry Schwartz: 8:10:54 am
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Barry Schwartz: 8:11:03 am
What is Google interested in? You need to think like a Google PM. Google cares about their customers and their pages. So think about that. Google is collecting metrics on their web site. So to recover from Panda, improve the SERP experience.
Barry Schwartz: 8:11:41 am
Google is looking at signals that indicate a positionve or negative SERP experience, such as G-Bounces, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 8:11:48 am
Does it matter if it is behavioral?
Barry Schwartz: 8:12:44 am
If it is behavioral, it is based on data collection, so it takes time to collect data to make a change in the SERPs. Ifyou are hit, if you make changes, it might take a long time to recover because it is data driven and Google needs revised data which takes time, especially if they traffic is coming to your site.
Barry Schwartz: 8:13:18 am
Google loves big brands... All brands are not great. It is not about PageRank. It is about people trusting brands more.
Barry Schwartz: 8:13:42 am
SEOs vs User Experience Engineers... In the past, there was a lot of conflict between the two groups. But now they better be on the same page.
Barry Schwartz: 8:13:44 am
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Barry Schwartz: 8:13:52 am
Recovery tips:
Barry Schwartz: 8:14:03 am
Define and implement reports
Barry Schwartz: 8:14:06 am
Analytics the imapct
Barry Schwartz: 8:14:19 am
Beward of and give close scruitty to the type of content and techniques
Barry Schwartz: 8:14:30 am
Integrate search user experience
Barry Schwartz: 8:14:50 am
Start with knowing the user, it starts with the SERPs
Barry Schwartz: 8:15:08 am
IT then moves to your landing pages and the transition from the SERP to there.
Barry Schwartz: 8:15:38 am
Survey your visitors from the SERPs, know your users. Maybe use surveys like polldaddy.
Barry Schwartz: 8:15:51 am
Survey the users that come from Google and not the others to work on Panda.
Barry Schwartz: 8:16:06 am
Ask people who come from Google whatthey want...
Barry Schwartz: 8:16:49 am
Use keywords from your analytics packages that represent your traffic.
Barry Schwartz: 8:16:57 am
Do usability testing starting from the SERP.
Barry Schwartz: 8:17:14 am
Create scenarios that test the key questions people have when they come to your site.
Barry Schwartz: 8:17:21 am
FYI, he is going really really fast...
Barry Schwartz: 8:17:32 am
Look for bad keywords, either fix them or remove them.
Barry Schwartz: 8:18:27 am
Make sure the content is relevant to the search query
Barry Schwartz: 8:18:47 am
Make sure you have good titles and your content can fulfill the results, such as reviews without reviews
Barry Schwartz: 8:19:02 am
Beware of having content just for content's sake.
Barry Schwartz: 8:19:18 am
If you have content that does not deliver, then remove them maybe. deindex the page.
Barry Schwartz: 8:19:34 am
Other things like dynamically generated pages that return little or no content
Barry Schwartz: 8:19:49 am
PAges optimized for reviews where there are no reviews.
Barry Schwartz: 8:20:09 am
Link freely to relevant content, do not be afraid to link to good resources.
Barry Schwartz: 8:20:33 am
Do not annoy you users with too many ads
Barry Schwartz: 8:20:47 am
Be careful with new content initiatives
Barry Schwartz: 8:21:00 am
Site update and preformance is very important, speed
Barry Schwartz: 8:21:19 am
Give a good mobile experience, he said. Some sites get 15%-20% of their traffic is mobile.
Barry Schwartz: 8:22:10 am
Be careful on how you read your web analytics, make sure you fully understand what they mean.
Barry Schwartz: 8:22:47 am
Good metrics, are like 15 second bounces or more. He also likes a new product named Clicky, which captures nice bounce rate data.
Barry Schwartz: 8:23:10 am
Industries that got hit, shopping, travel, automotive, directories, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 8:23:57 am
There have been a few sub domain recoveries, google may be treating sub domains as separate domians. But those content on the subdomains may not do well, but the www may.
Barry Schwartz: 8:24:24 am
That was fast...
Barry Schwartz: 8:24:32 am
Alan Bleiweiss, Director of Search Services, Click2Rank Consulting (@AlanBleiweiss)
is next up
Barry Schwartz: 8:26:20 am
He expanded 17 sites, with 43 million pages indexed in Google, of that only 10 million of those pages are in Bing. inbound links are 1.5 million
Barry Schwartz: 8:26:28 am
Two SEO treatments:
Barry Schwartz: 8:26:52 am
Myopic SEO is the magic bullet theory and a lot of sites can get away with that for a bit. Focus on one thing...
Barry Schwartz: 8:27:11 am
Then there is sustainable SEO, focusing on user experience as seen through the eyes of the algorithms
Barry Schwartz: 8:28:11 am
Many of the sites hit by May Day a year ago were also hit by Panda.
Barry Schwartz: 8:29:49 am
Myoptic SEO is about topical cross contamination, text anoriexia, internal link poisoning, unnautral offsite pattersn, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 8:29:51 am
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Barry Schwartz: 8:30:39 am
Sustainable SEO: consistent signals on topical focus, does this confirm or confuse, does this page overwhelm the senses, and offsite diveristy of links, social, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 8:30:42 am
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Barry Schwartz: 8:30:58 am
He shows a screen shot of a confusing site...
Barry Schwartz: 8:31:24 am
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Barry Schwartz: 8:32:00 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 8:32:21 am
Here is an example of one of the many sites he points out...
Barry Schwartz: 8:33:12 am
Here is an example of a sustainable SEO and removing ads actually lead to more money from ads, not less.
Barry Schwartz: 8:33:17 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 8:33:56 am
Why would services web sites have AdSense ads on them? Don't do it.
Barry Schwartz: 8:34:18 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 8:35:01 am
Here is an interesting chart that shows links for myopic SEO
Barry Schwartz: 8:35:16 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 8:35:53 am
He then shows a ratio of link to root ratio. If you are using myopic SEO, it is likely you are getting a whole lot of links from a few sites.
Barry Schwartz: 8:36:47 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 8:37:02 am
Vs. sustaintable SEO ratios.
Barry Schwartz: 8:37:23 am
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Barry Schwartz: 8:38:16 am
Sustainable SEO leads to doing a good job on other search engines, beyond Google.
Barry Schwartz: 8:38:29 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 8:38:35 am
Bing Tricks:
Barry Schwartz: 8:38:53 am
Bing has a hard time finding content on their own so submit a sitemap file to bing webmaster tools
Barry Schwartz: 8:39:03 am
It always leads to a bump in traffic, he says.
Barry Schwartz: 8:39:15 am
But bing likes the diversity of anchor text, even more than Google does.
Barry Schwartz: 8:40:12 am
Bing is very big into social, so pay attention to that.
Barry Schwartz: 8:41:00 am
Here is how the anchor spread differs with Bing.
Barry Schwartz: 8:41:08 am
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 8:41:44 am
Sustainable SEO cares about the future, trends, don't get caught up in what is going on now but consider user experience and how it is changing. If you can understand that, it will help you.
Barry Schwartz: 8:42:33 am
SEO 2012
Barry Schwartz: 8:42:37 am
Barry Schwartz: 8:42:52 am
More diversity of deep information: events, products, locations, people profiles.
Barry Schwartz: 8:43:00 am
This is going to be a ranking factor in 2012.
Barry Schwartz: 8:43:17 am
So be willing to take the next six months to learn it and get on board with it.
Barry Schwartz: 8:43:38 am
Micah Fisher-Kirshner, Senior SEO Manager, Become, Inc
is next up
Barry Schwartz: 8:45:15 am
Their traffic dropped 20+% one day!
Barry Schwartz: 8:46:31 am
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Barry Schwartz: 8:47:29 am
He talks about each one, he is up to Q3, he reads all the rumors. he reads the forums and blog.s
Barry Schwartz: 8:48:09 am
Keep an event log on what was recently launched but you also need to bug the engineers who launched stuff, because not everything was documented and they may know.
Barry Schwartz: 8:48:47 am
Just because you found one issue, it doesn't mean you found THE issue.
Barry Schwartz: 8:49:11 am
So now you look at what areas are being affected, so you segment, drill as deep as you can by keywords, pages, domains, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 8:50:26 am
Then you look to see if did something brake?
Barry Schwartz: 8:50:39 am
You can sometimes take white hat stuff and make it black hat by accident.
Barry Schwartz: 8:52:03 am
Who is really talking, skip the broken track records, read the important people, even if it is a single sentence
Barry Schwartz: 8:52:41 am
Read comments, jerks, long and short comments. etc.
Barry Schwartz: 8:55:00 am
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Barry Schwartz: 8:56:11 am
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Barry Schwartz: 8:56:26 am
Then you look to see which theories fit and which do not...
Barry Schwartz: 8:56:54 am
Two sites isn't enough data, throw in more sites, and then you might get on the right track.
Barry Schwartz: 8:57:51 am
What can you do to recover? Build for the user, but it is still for the search engine. Learn to love stats. SEOGadget did a good job translating Googles Qs.
Barry Schwartz: 8:59:14 am
You need to test these things, A/B testing, sub domains, categories, page types, etc. But how do you test site wide focus things?
Barry Schwartz: 8:59:23 am
He didn't answer the question....
Barry Schwartz: 9:00:22 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:00:24 am
Alan said do not deindex pages that are causing you problems. Instead, make use of that content,, make it better.
Barry Schwartz: 9:01:20 am
Q&A time...
Barry Schwartz: 9:05:56 am
People are asking about quick fixes: Some suggesting, redesigns, site speed, maybe using sub domains, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 9:07:09 am
This session is over in about 10 minutes. Next session I am covering is "The Great Correlation vs. Causation Debate" at 10:45am EDT.
Barry Schwartz: 9:10:22 am
Heading to next room now. Looking forward to next session and I hope you guys learned something from this one. Did my best with this coverage.

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