Best of SMX Advanced 2011

Thanx to great Tweets, blog posts, and the incomparable Lisa Barone’s SMX coverage, here’s the Best of SMX Advanced 2011:Best of SMX Advanced

Panda

  • Matt Cutts:
    • There’s a change coming related to scrapers outranking people for their own content that will be released soon.
    • Panda is a site-based signal that will affect you based on where we think you sit on the spectrum. If we think your site is really, really good, you can still rank.
  • Mark Munroe:
    • It was a site-wide hit. There’s no correlation to page and content, almost everything is pushed down with normal fluctuations.
    • Panda is an admission by Google that they can’t identify the quality of an individual piece of content. If they could, they would and you would not have site-wide panda hits. [This fits with Eric Schmidt’s comment that “brands are the solution.” Google has always been about valuing a page according to the network that page is in. IMO Panda includes a logical next step of judging a page not by quality of the pages that link to it, but by the quality of the other pages in that subdomain].
    • Some tips to minimize the number of people that bounce back to Google and choose a different site from the same search:
      • Check which keywords get people to each page, and make sure you’re answering the needs of that searcher
      • Link out to relevant content.
      • Don’t overdo the annoying ads
  • @mattgratt: Prior to Panda, content was spam or not. After Panda, content was in shades of grey. (hat tip: Danny Sullivan)

Link-building ideas:

  • Ross Hudgens: [For sites trying to rank well in a specific physical location]
    • Court local influencers by inviting them to your office for a personal tour
    • Take a group out for lunch or coffee to discuss issues which effect them
    • Host a philanthropic event and contact regional bloggers to help you promote it
  • Conrad Saam: Help journalists break stories about your industry or your company:
    • Create stories from your own data, like Trip Advisor does with their annual “Dirtiest Hotels.”
    • Write the story for the journalist.
    • Giving a journalist an exclusive, giving him or her full and exclusive access to you.
  • Eric Enge:
    • Gave SEO training seminar to government webmasters, got lots of links from USA.gov (and they paid costs and speaking fee)
    • Contacted Boston.com and Washington Post, asserted that they had authority (sometimes they did, sometimes they didn’t) and got links or article placements.

Best Exchange:

  • Danny Sullivan: What tweaks are you making [to Panda]?
  • Matt Cutts: It’s in my head
  • Danny: Well, then let’s hope nothing happens to you before you get back to Google

Best Tweet:

  • @beebow (Lauren Litwinka): Q: most effective tactic for getting more reviews? A: ask for them. unless you suck. -@w2scott #smx

Conference Controversy:

  • Does Google use Facebook shares? Rand Fishkin implies yes. Matt Cutts says no. Danny Sullivan says Rand only said there’s correlation, not causation. Rand says no, Matt may not realize this, but Google is definitely directly or indirectly reading Facebook’s OpenGraph. See their Twitter streams (@randfish, @dannysullivan) for more details.

Final Takeaways:

  • [For conference speakers] Bribe Lisa Barone with chocolate for better coverage (thank you Alan Bleiweiss)
  • I wish I were there. Thank you speakers, Tweeters, and Lisa Barone for the great content. Lisa, I owe you a chocolate.

What did I miss? Let me know!

Also in this series: