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.
Stay tuned! Live updates will begin momentarily.
SEO is Dead. Long live SEO!
SEO is dead... No it's not... Yes it is! It's been an ongoing debate for quite some time now. So what's the truth? Does SEO still give you the necessary oomph to rocket you up the search engine charts like it used to? Or, is SEO a "just in case" best practice routine these days? Can anyone prove it does work; can anyone prove it doesn't?
We have a panel of experts for you to agree with - or disagree with. It's a totally open discussion and it's led by the most important person in the room: You! We need your real world experience, opinions and feedback.
This is the perfect primer leading directly into the infamous black hat/white hat unconferenced session.
Dana Todd, Vice President of Performance Innovation, Performics
Fionn Downhill, VP of Strategy, SyCara Inc.
Todd Friesen, Director of SEO, Performics
Mark Jackson, SEW Expert & President/CEO, VIZION Interactive
David Naylor, SEO, Bronco
3:47:30 PM Ben Pfeiffer: The session is starting, Dana Todd thanks the audience for staying around till the last session.
3:48:13 PM Ben Pfeiffer: This session is going to be a Q&A type session. Audience participation is encouraged.
3:49:01 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dana says that the reality there is a degradation of resources that are going to search. Facebook is eating away the web.
3:49:09 PM Ben Pfeiffer: So why is that?
3:49:16 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Is social media eating SEO?
3:50:18 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave says no social media is not eating SEO.
3:50:35 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Fionn says that the sad news is social media is eating SEO budget
3:51:16 PM Ben Pfeiffer: To reduce SEO budget is foolish. You can make a million dollars on SEO traffic or you can find out what everyone is doing in starbucks. That's crap.
3:51:29 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Social media needs a need budget. Or take it away from PPC budget!!
3:52:22 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Todd says social media is all the rage. He says at Performics they are signing bigger and more expensive campaigns more and more.
3:52:40 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dana ask whether social is only for branding?
3:52:59 PM Ben Pfeiffer: What is social good for.. an audience member says awareness.
3:53:08 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Who is spending more on social?
3:53:36 PM Ben Pfeiffer: An audience member says they are spending more on social... he is in the map business.
3:55:09 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave asks who uses Google maps in the audience? A lot raise their hands. The audience member then says he deals in physical real maps, not online maps.
3:55:42 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Even though he is spending more on social, his revenue didn't raise.
3:57:07 PM Ben Pfeiffer: The panelists explain that the search engines are using social as a signal the quality of your brand. Domain relevance is dropping off.
3:57:44 PM Ben Pfeiffer: The reaosn we are spending money on social is to send a signal to the search engines that are company is valuable.
3:58:05 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Mark says social is making us better marketers.
3:58:20 PM Ben Pfeiffer: SEO is becoming hardwork.
3:58:32 PM Ben Pfeiffer: The lines between social and SEO is blurring.
4:00:03 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave gives the example of Mahalo getting burned to the ground. An SEO would have stopped the spam. Mahalo was all social crap.
4:01:18 PM Ben Pfeiffer: An audience member says that SEO doesn't matter anymore. Because if your doing a website and writing good content and doing what they are supposed to be doing. But it doesn't matter any more, you can't rank. What is the new edge?
4:01:38 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Panelists say you hire a good SEO.
4:03:12 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave gives a story about a company with a lot of traffic, big Twitter following. Social didn't save them. Their duplicate news content killed them.
4:03:32 PM Ben Pfeiffer: They needed a good SEO. Twitter didn't save them from Panda.
4:04:55 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave Naylor's website is bronco.co.uk
4:05:50 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Fionn breaks in and talks about a client of her. She has told them for the longest time there is poor engagement, bounce rate is too high.
4:06:05 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Her client got wiped out in Panda 2.3
4:06:29 PM Ben Pfeiffer: They finally gave in and fixed all the dup content.
4:06:48 PM Ben Pfeiffer: She says if you got hit with Panda, you problem should be common knowledge.
4:07:02 PM Ben Pfeiffer: The client even got a 20% lift in traffic.
4:07:57 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Fionn says that internal linking is something they don't do very well, and something that is involved with Panda.
4:08:23 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Someone in the audience asks what social media cues are the most important these days?
4:08:51 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave says Twitter is awesome. Good retweets are gold. If you get them from important accounts.
4:09:09 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He says if you get enough retweets, Google drop the nofollow and count the link.
4:09:15 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Facebook is still difficult.
4:09:51 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave says what to look for is look for the social indicators in your industry. Use Knowem.com
4:11:04 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave says no one buys anything on Reddit. Stumbleupon is the same.
4:12:39 PM Ben Pfeiffer: An audience member asks if using Quora is good? Any success there?
4:13:17 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Todd says Quora is just another example how social is just bs.
4:13:47 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He explains he hasn't checked in to Foursquare in 6 months, but people are still adding him as a friend there. WTF?
4:15:16 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dana asks how to defend your budget from a measurement standpoint? How do I value this? I see rankings, but how do I value that?
4:15:42 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Mark says you need to look at all your internal costs. Use SEMRush.com to get an idea on the value of your traffic.
4:16:04 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Sales obviously is a good indicator. He says though, there is never going to be a perfect measurement.
4:17:03 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Everything that an SEO touches these days, its hard to track it all.
4:17:36 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Fionn says its important to start the campaign with whats measureable and why SEO is important in the first place.
4:18:48 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Marks says years ago the way you measured SEO was with ranking reports.
4:20:19 PM Ben Pfeiffer: An audience member says she is curious about long tail keyword phrases... is their a critical mass on the number of pages you can add where the benefit drops off.
4:20:43 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Mark says that as long as the content is good, resourceful, you can add as many as you want.
4:20:57 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave says you need to avoid the Mahalo example.
4:21:20 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Mark says there are exceptions.
4:22:18 PM Ben Pfeiffer: But not always.. Mark says he is convinced there are hand edits in the serps. Google will not admit this.
4:23:10 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave says that site is on borrowed time. It will get caught.
4:23:33 PM Ben Pfeiffer: An audience member asks about blogs.. Mark says bloggers need to be super transparent.
4:25:12 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dana asks what is the decay rate of SEO?
4:25:30 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Can you set it and forget it?
4:25:43 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Todd says it will decay, it is definitely ongoing.
4:26:00 PM Ben Pfeiffer: If you not #1 in the serps. Then your not done.
4:26:54 PM Ben Pfeiffer: SEO is more than title tags.
4:27:11 PM Ben Pfeiffer: If you get hacked, do you call your social media guy to fix that. Noooo......!
4:27:27 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Audience question.. what is your best practices?
4:28:07 PM Ben Pfeiffer: It then goes to pharma sites... LOL
4:30:15 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Audience member question.. How about the new Google site speed servers?
4:30:23 PM Ben Pfeiffer: DO NOT give Google your DNS!
4:31:06 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dana says one theory is that Google will use the DNS to gain information to serve ads.
4:31:19 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave says try CloudFlare.com for fast site speed.
4:31:49 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Dave says you don't want Google to see your upstream traffic and the sources of all your traffic.
4:32:55 PM Ben Pfeiffer: He gives an example where Google came to a client and admitted they knew where all your traffic came from for a site. Crazy theories here.
4:34:21 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Fionn talks about another example, where a network of website where all of their websites but 17, got burned overnight. Google knew about all their websites, except those 17 that survived! Crazy.. Google paranoia!!!!!!
4:34:27 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Google is evil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4:34:57 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Google has ruined Panda. They used to be cute, now everyone hates them.
4:37:39 PM Ben Pfeiffer: They are talking about the different types of SEO's.
4:39:58 PM Ben Pfeiffer: An audience member asks Panda and it hitting in Germany. He asks do you think Panda will happen every several months?
4:40:08 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Mark says Panda is a manual update.
4:41:08 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Fionn says the updates run about every 6 weeks. Dave says to get out of Panda, you got to go through a Panda update.
4:41:21 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Question: paid links from audience?
4:42:28 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Mark says that the guy that turned in JC Penney for paid links. Had a website that bought paid links! Dirty.
4:42:58 PM Ben Pfeiffer: Session over. Great and Fun session!