Best of SMX Advanced 2010

SMX Advanced was fantastic! Here’s the best of the best:

Best Lessons:

  • Matt Cutts:
    • To the best of my knowledge Bounce Rate is not used in WebRankings
    • Google tries to break up words in a domain name, even when there are no hyphens.
  • Regarding MayDayupdate:
    • Matt Cutts: MayDay is largely Google knocking out pages that don’t pass a quality threshold. In addition to banning spam, they’re also kicking out low quality pages.
    • Vanessa Fox, Rae Hoffman, Greg Boser, and Stephan Spencer all later argued that the key to MayDay is that link value isn’t trickling as far within a site. So sites that have pages that are too many links from an external link are dropping out. Greg and Todd Friesen say you can be 2 clicks away from an external link. No further.
  • Microsoft: 65% of commercial mobile searches result in a purchase within an hour [Really? I'm skeptical]

Best Anecdotes:

  • Yusuf Mehdi‘s 8-year-old daughter wrote a list of all her friends using Bing, and all her friends using that other search engine. Yusuf showed the list, has a copy framed at work. His daughter says to him “Daddy. We have a lot of work to do.”
  • Danny Sullivan bought the @mattcutts Twitter account as part of a joke. Danny Tweeted from it as a FakeMattCutts. Then he gave it to Matt.
  • Arnie Kuenn discussing personal pleas for links. Wanted a link from a pirate site. Asked in pirate. Was turned down. Wrote a thanks anyway note in pirate, promising rum if they changed their mind. They changed their mind. No rum was exchanged. Or so Arnie says (Matt, there may be a rum for links black market, check it out).

Best Lines:

  • Danny Sullivan:
    • So an important SEO tip? Be Wikipedia.
    • I know you can’t speak for Yahoo!, Sasi (bing rep), but Matt (Cutts), you can.
    • Matt Cutts is a senior engineer at Google. Which is all you need to know about him.
  • John LeBaron [Using an example of how to kill a vampire]: So whenever we have something this important, we turn to Craigslist. “Insecure High School loner seeking vampire who sparkles.” (hat tip: @RyanJones)
  • Branko Rihtman: Announces that Ethanol (commonly found in beer) is the secret ingredient of SEO, and if you buy him a beer he’ll help you with SEO.

Best Exchange:

  • Rand Fishkin‘s data shows that Bing is getting more Googly. Matt points out that Rand’s data set only considers the search head. Implied and unsaid: Google’s key strength has always been the long tail, which is why Google’s significance to many content sites is way beyond their (impressive) total market
  • Danny: Do you still get that boost if you buy AdSense? Matt: Aargh!!

Scariest Suggestion:

  • Dennis Yu:  You can get so specific with Facebook ad targeting that you can essentially target individuals. Really freak them out.

Best Shameless Plug:

  • John Shehata: Calls on people to follow him on Twitter while discussing Twitter ranking factors

Best Releases

  • Google launches Caffeine during Matt’s keynote
  • Bing launches Social during Yusuf Mehdi’s keynote

Best Session

  • The You&A with Matt Cutts is always amazing. They’re hysterical together, and informative.
  • Honorable mention to Bing’s Yusuf Mehdi. Such a change from Microsoft’s keynote last year. I hope this guy sticks around and does the conference circuit, joining Matt.
  • The SEO Vets session was great, as always. The most interesting thing this time was that they basically agreed on everything. Usually it seems like a bunch of black hats teasing Vanessa, but here even @oilman (Todd Friesen) was talking about focusing on the user. Perhaps the Wild West days of SEO are behind us and the world the white hats always claimed we lived in is finally here?

Best Speakers:

  • Marty Weintraub, Jordan LeBaron, Rand Fishkin, Christine Churchill, Danny Sullivan, Bill Parkes, Dennis Yu, Addie Conner, Branko Rihtman, Stew Langille, John Shehata, Chris Silver Smith, Chris Bennett, Arnie Kuenn, Debra Mastaler, Roger Montti, Tony Adam, Brent Csutoras, Rachel Pasqua, Michael Behrens

Best Tweets:

  • @AlanBleiweiss: bathroom check water on hand check cigarette smoked half way check doc open check – I have this liveblogging down to a science!
  • @spryd: Link building isn’t emailing a bunch of web masters asking for links. Look for key partnerships. It takes time & a lot of work @oilman #smx [Followed by ...]
  • @elliottng: @oilman Dear @oilman, I really like your Site…my Link would look good on it. Please. That is all. #smx

Also in this series:

What did I miss?

Contact me via Twitter @GilR or by commenting on this post if:

  • You have a great moment that I missed.
  • You’re mentioned here, and would like me to turn your mention into a link. Just let me know the URL.
  • If you’re recognized here and would like an Award Widget.

Thanks for your help.