SMX Live: Panda-Proofing Your Content

Sep 13, 2011 - 1:41 pm 2 by
Filed Under SMX East 2011

Live Blogging Coverage SMXBelow is live coverage of the Panda-Proofing Your Content 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.

Finished Auto-Refresh: Off
Barry Schwartz: 12:44:17 pm
We start shortly....
Barry Schwartz: 12:45:31 pm
Here we go, Chris Sherman is the mod here.
Barry Schwartz: 12:48:33 pm
Heather Lloyd-Martin, President and CEO, SuccessWorks Search Marketing (@heatherlloyd)
is up now
Barry Schwartz: 12:48:49 pm
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 12:49:01 pm
Like it or not, we are all content marketers...
Barry Schwartz: 12:49:34 pm
Marketing people have to become more like content engineers...
Barry Schwartz: 12:51:10 pm
Creating content for search engines, as Heather puts it, was "the war cry" from her clients.
Barry Schwartz: 12:51:28 pm
Creating content for search engines was about writing content as fast as possible.
Barry Schwartz: 12:51:37 pm
This was the case before Panda.
Barry Schwartz: 12:52:00 pm
The search engines do not pay your bills, your customers do, so make sure to write your content for customers.
Barry Schwartz: 12:52:49 pm
Now, since Panda, we are going back to the fundamentals...
Barry Schwartz: 12:53:16 pm
92% say content creation is very effective as an SEO tactic but it is very hard to implement.
Barry Schwartz: 12:54:21 pm
The solution she said is create an editorial calendar that makes it easy for your to do this. Quality content lets you do this easily.
Barry Schwartz: 12:54:32 pm
Heather said, "The key is to stop asking what Google wants."
Barry Schwartz: 12:54:49 pm
Develop content around keyword research, this is back to basics...
Barry Schwartz: 12:55:29 pm
Look at the questions your customers are asking you via phone, via email, etc. Create content around those questions...
Barry Schwartz: 12:56:09 pm
It is a great place to tell stories about your products and services...
Barry Schwartz: 12:56:20 pm
Create content for your "sales funnel"
Barry Schwartz: 12:57:06 pm
Will your customers give you a case study or a video testimonial?
Barry Schwartz: 12:57:57 pm
So once you have this content you can repurpose this content across other mediums such as white papers, ebooks, blog posts, sales pages, case studies and so on...
Barry Schwartz: 12:58:19 pm
Side note: not to kiss up but Heather rocks and she is a legend at content
Barry Schwartz: 12:59:38 pm
She talks more about editorial calendars to keep track of what they do across those mediums.
Barry Schwartz: 12:59:50 pm
It becomes difficult when this is random, so a schedule is key.
Barry Schwartz: 1:00:25 pm
Side note: Personally, I do not use a calendar, I just write every day between 7am and 9am. But I do not have topics until that morning... But for most people, a calendar is the best method.
Barry Schwartz: 1:01:19 pm
Action steps: evaluate your current content assets, get everyone on the same page, develop a calendar, make sure people look at the quality, have fun with it!
Barry Schwartz: 1:03:22 pm
Next up: Horst Joepen, CEO, Searchmetrics (@HorstJoepen)
Barry Schwartz: 1:05:32 pm
Most noted penalties: BMW in 2006, 2009 with Vince, 2010 MayDay and Brand Update, 2011, JC Penney, Overstock and then Panda
Barry Schwartz: 1:05:47 pm
Personally, I hate when people call penalties updates :)
Ben Pfeiffer: 1:05:54 pm
Hey ask the panelists when it gets to Q&A what length of content is recommended these days for quality blog posts/articles? Does it matter?
Barry Schwartz: 1:06:21 pm
BEfore Panda they had analytics supported but manual quality ratings
Barry Schwartz: 1:06:33 pm
After Panda there is permanent quality assessment
Barry Schwartz: 1:07:11 pm
He shows some charts of during the Panda updates....
Barry Schwartz: 1:07:40 pm
Can you detect warning signs?
Barry Schwartz: 1:08:08 pm
click for full size
Barry Schwartz: 1:08:20 pm
If your site ranks fine now, why change - he asks...
Barry Schwartz: 1:08:29 pm
Well, you need to look for warning signs...
Barry Schwartz: 1:08:51 pm
If your competitors get hit but you do not, then you should watch out, you may be next.
Barry Schwartz: 1:09:19 pm
He shows some international rollouts of Panda and how it hurt, a microsoft property
Barry Schwartz: 1:10:36 pm
The impact of this can differ from different countries.
Barry Schwartz: 1:10:56 pm vs, there was no change in Germany but a 39% change in France
Barry Schwartz: 1:12:20 pm
JCPenney had their penalty and they had a huge drop and then 4 weeks later they were released and then JCPenney was nailed by Panda 2.1
Barry Schwartz: 1:12:41 pm
But now JCPenney is at a better level now, since recent Panda updates.
Barry Schwartz: 1:14:22 pm
He shows how penalties hurt various car sites like and didnt hurt others. Analysis the peer groups...
Barry Schwartz: 1:14:39 pm
ehow didn't get hit in the first round but got nailed later.
Barry Schwartz: 1:15:08 pm
Warning Signs: Reasons for penalties will be built into Panda and algo improvements and indicates what will hit you later.
Barry Schwartz: 1:15:43 pm
What to look for? who got hit, why did they get hit, compare backlinks, compare content and structure, adsense, affiliate loads, social network activities, and compare user experience.
Barry Schwartz: 1:17:08 pm
SEO 2.0 winners, sites with original content, brands and google (price comparison, shopping, video, etc.)
Barry Schwartz: 1:18:02 pm
When it happens adjust your SEO strategy, focus on long tail, short term compensate with PPC or universal search (videos, etc) and distribute content on subdomains and worst case do a relaunch
Barry Schwartz: 1:18:45 pm
Internationally, they had a benefit of a time gap between the US and international roll out...
Barry Schwartz: 1:19:03 pm
Key takeaways: SEO 2.0, peer group monitoring, learn from others and don't stand back.
Barry Schwartz: 1:19:28 pm
Next up is Chris Silver Smith, Director of Optimization Strategies, KeyRelevance
Barry Schwartz: 1:22:09 pm
Panda is not just an algo update, it is a platform for new ways to understand the web and user experience. quoting vanessa fox
Barry Schwartz: 1:22:25 pm
Danny Sullivan said it's not a new algo, its a new factor.
Barry Schwartz: 1:23:04 pm
He said it is a combo of automated metrics and human factors and then scoring those factors.
Barry Schwartz: 1:23:38 pm
In 2006 he said SEO may be eclipsed by user centered design
Barry Schwartz: 1:27:11 pm
There was a leaked Google spam recognition guide for quality evaluators
Barry Schwartz: 1:27:40 pm
Thin affiliate doorway pages is in that guide
Barry Schwartz: 1:28:01 pm
There are those affiliate who provide value add, so not all affiliates are equal.
Barry Schwartz: 1:28:22 pm
Google is still hiring temps to do this manual work.
Barry Schwartz: 1:29:58 pm
Google uses combo of factors for quality evaluations, some are machine detectable... such as clicks on SERPs, bounce rates, time on a site, linking, and social media shares, votes, mentions, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 1:30:42 pm
They also have human evaluators and then they use an algo to mix it up.
Barry Schwartz: 1:31:37 pm
So it takes a while to compute this and that is why there are nice gaps between Panda updates, he said.
Barry Schwartz: 1:32:03 pm
They cannot scale human factors across all pages, so they may combine it with their trustrank algo
Barry Schwartz: 1:32:58 pm
Tips: remove/noindex pages with low qualoty content
Barry Schwartz: 1:34:00 pm
Site command to search error pages, and such
Barry Schwartz: 1:34:55 pm
Tips: Include relevant images, videos, maps, links, charts
Barry Schwartz: 1:35:05 pm
Do strong social media campaigns with your PR campaigns
Barry Schwartz: 1:36:13 pm
UX testing, clean up spam out of comments and forums, don't force users to click to secondary pages, use rel=author, dont have spelling or grammer issues, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 1:37:19 pm
Remove excessive ads, become an authority, publish a book and avoid over optimization
Barry Schwartz: 1:37:48 pm
That is all from Chris
Barry Schwartz: 1:37:59 pm
Some Q&A Time...
Barry Schwartz: 1:38:32 pm
Someone asked when will be stop calling it Panda.
Barry Schwartz: 1:39:52 pm
Submitted your Question Ben
Barry Schwartz: 1:40:57 pm
Q about site wide vs page by page re Panda...
Barry Schwartz: 1:41:14 pm
Chris said, he thinks Panda can be applied to page by page... (I am not too sure)
Barry Schwartz: 1:41:35 pm
He said sometimes certain pages will remain ranking if a site was hit by Panda.
Barry Schwartz: 1:47:26 pm
Okay, I got to run. Meeting... Stay tuned for more coverage. May or may not do more today.

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