Best of SMX Advanced London 2011

SMX London was great. Here’s the best of the best.

Best Lines & Lessons

  • David Burgess: [For Extreme Makeover SEO Edition had to get a site from unranked to page 1 in 3 months]: I was told if I couldn’t get the site ranking #1 I’d be sacked. So this is his first and last conference presentation.
  • Stephen Pavlovich: We’re not trying to win awards, we’re trying to drive conversions
  • John Mueller: Google may crawl internal site search with relevant keywords to find content which isn’t indexed (hat tip: Kevin Gibbons)
  • Kelvin Newman: Think about what survey or poll results would people write about and go for it. (hat tip: @DavidCarralon)
  • Christine Churchill:
    • Broad match used to be great, but Google kept expanding it and now it’s too broad. Modified broad match is you can put plusses in front of the words. +apple +pie your ad will only show up if it has both words with plusses in front of it.
    • Pay attention to what shows up in Google Instant and Google Suggests when people are typing their search queries.
  • Craig Danuloff: In paid search, the amount you pay for a click isn’t directly based on your bid. Your ranking is affected by it, but your payment is determined by the ad behind you and your quality score.
  • Max Thomas: Last link building tip: Have Fun! Great content rocks.
  • Michael Wyszomierski (from Google): [Regarding reconsideration requests] In most cases there is no penalty, it’s some other issue. That’s why we’re sending those messages now [saying there’s no penalty].
  • [Answering: What do you do when a company says “we know we have this problem on our site but we don’t have the resources to fix it?]
    • Mikkel deMib Svendsen: It’s like a grocery store saying “we know we have bad food that’s old and rotten but we don’t have the time to throw it out.” Sorry. Building a website takes a lot of time.
    • Craig McDonald: The only thing I’ve seen that works is to bring in a 3rd party SEO expert, sometimes they’ll be able to convince where you can’t.
  • [Multiple speakers:] More and more sites are getting hacked. Protect your sites! If you’re using WordPress make sure you’re always on the latest version.
  • Patrick Altoft [on link building]: Going viral is great. But most people are better off focusing on who they need and giving things that are useful to them.

Best (actually, Worst) Mistakes

  • Mikkel deMib Svendsen:
    • Site hosted by RackSpace, suddenly dropped out of search. RackSpace decided that the engines were taking up too much bandwidth so they blocked them all.
    • An engineer redirected all users who didn’t support javascript to a page saying “please install JavaScript.”
  • Richard Baxter: Client wondered why they weren’t ranking in Bing. Turns out they’d been blocking the MSNBot for years because it was once overly aggressive.
  • Jonathan Hochman: robots.txt file on testing server was blocking spiders. Accidentally moved that file over to the live servers, thus blocking their live site. [Find some other solution to keep spiders off your testing servers. Nothing that could accidentally move over].

Best Stats

  • Greg Sterling: Google site links increase CTRs by 3X
  • Daniel Ruby: #1 result on Google appears on Bing page 1 67% of time. Page 1 Google results show on Bing’s first page 43% time (hat tip: @wordtracker)
  • David Burgess: 50% improvement using the charity’s email address versus a generic email for link building (hat tip: @keyrelevance)

Best Tweets

  • maxormark: Another “missing” speaker. “A broken ankle” Didn’t know SEO was so dangerous

Best Coverage

Got more? Help me out by Tweeting me at @GilR with more nominations (and corrections). Thanx!

Other coverage from SMX London:

For more in the series, see: