Best of SphinnCon 2011

5 minutes after the scheduled start time I looked out into the crowd and saw about 20 people and thought “Oh great.” But when I looked up twenty minutes later it was Standing Room Only. I’m told 450 people attended. Nice. Lunch was great, wireless was up and down, crowd was good, speakers were very good.SphinnCon

Here’s the best of the best:

Funniest lines:

  • Sam Michelson:
    • Biggest difference between Reputation Management and SEO? We charge more money. [Then clarifies, Rep Mgmt is usually more concerned with controlling the entire top 10, and the Google Suggest.]
    • Your reputation is priceless. Well, we put a price on it.
  • Branko Rihtman: Chris Sherman said his flight was canceled because of snow. I don’t know what he’s talking about. There’s no snow here.
  • Kaspar Szymanski:
    • I’m pleasantly surprised to see how many of u r here, despite warning b4 not 2 listen to search engine reps
    • [Replying to Barry’s question “Do you have any questions for the audience?]: Yeah. Which of you are buying links?
  • Ofer Dascalu: I don’t buy links. I buy text-based advertising. [Several of his slides had links crossed out and replaced with “text-based advertising.” BUT .. his central point was that if you buy links as you would buy text-based advertising you will get valuable clicks and make it hard for Google to identify and penalize your behavior]

Best stats:

  • Eli Feldblum:
    • Images get 91% CTR for personalities / fashion, only 8% for products /commerce. But high bounce rate.
    • Video viewers are 20% more likely to make an online purchase.
    • Google Instant caused an increase in CTR on results 7-10, since more people were scrolling.
  • Uri Breitman: 20% of search queries are new every day¬†(hat tip @ilenerosenblum)

Best lessons:

  • Kaspar Szymanski:
    • Biggest myth that needs debunking? That having a big AdWords campaign can help your SEO. It can’t.
    • New sites get a cool-off period before they get evaluated and start ranking on Google — hat tip: @neyne (Branko Rihtman)
    • Repeatedly insisted that that paid links do not get a site penalized. Claims it’s just that Google will devalue those links, but won’t actually penalize for it. [Previously all the speakers on the Link Building panels said to only buy links for sites where you’re willing to risk major Google penalties].
  • Eli Feldblum: Adding images & videos to your site and your sitemaps can significantly increase ranking and CTRs
  • Oren Shatz: Take advantage of rich snippets on people profiles, recipes, breadcrumbs, and more

Best stories:

  • Sam Michelson: A client’s meeting was canceled when the other party Googled the client’s name and saw bad things in the Google Suggest.

Best session title:

  • Shira Abel: Some people may simply not like you (Although I think you’re lovely). [Good case study on getting excellent results replying to a hater’s post]

Best Tweets:

  • @CogniBeat1: tweeting excessively can be seen as good for SEO – finally, a hobby that turns into a job!!

Did you catch something great that I missed? Did I mention you and not link to you? Leave a comment here or Tweet to @GilR.

Also in this series: