<< by on April 14th, 2010
The next panel on Wednesday covered search engine optimization (SEO) and the new algorithm concerns for 2010. Speakers on the panel included Bill Hartzer, Gillian Muessig of SEOmoz, Kurt Moer of Customer Magnetism and Ian Lurie of Portent Interactive.
I really enjoyed Ian’s presentation — he had great tips on how businesses can get some visibility on trending topics.
Bill Hartzer was up first and started with old SEO vs. new SEO with social media and all of the elements involved in today’s SEO environment. Bill said that there’s a new “social media SEO” in 2010. It involves:
- creating site content
- on-page optimization
- links from authoritative directories
- write articles
- put unique articles on industry authority sites
- contextual links are key
- create link bait on your own site
- use social media to “get noticed”
- success in social media = getting noticed in search
Bill said to be sure to master your on-page SEO first. This is fundamental. He mentioned the tool OptiSpider to check things like your title tags on your site and other good on-page information. HE also mentioned the key off-page factors, including:
- get your site trusted (TrustRank)
- get human-edited directory listings
- analyze your competitor links
- on-topic links are key
- focus on links from many unique domains
- create off-site content and link back to your site
- deep links are key — don’t just link to your homepage
- get links to your links
- get a few links each day
Bill mentioned that in 2010, he didn’t think you should use only the exact keyword as the anchor text, but rather a more descriptive anchor text that contains the keyword. Example for keyword “search engine marketing”, link containing: Bill Hartzer, a Search Engine Marketing expert from Texas”. You need context before and after a link, so links within sentences will likely be more valuable.
Bill also mentioned combining SEO with social media. Twitter retweets and mentions of your URL are seen as links to your site. Proof that social media links from Twitter help SEO is in the “Top Links” being reported on Google.
His keys to successful social media:
- participate on a regular basis
- vote and comment often
- add friends, tweet often
- put your site in your profile
- social media has niches
- submit to appropriate niche sites
- use social media to “get noticed”
- use social media to help get contextual links
- use social media to get market share of links
Ideally, you want to get the market share of links, such as news in your industry. So the keys to SEO in 2010 are:
- make sure your on-site SEO is done
- create new link bait content on your site on a regular basis (like blog posts)
- participate in social media
Next up was Gillian Muessig of SEOmoz. Gillian focused on keywords. Her tips:
- target your top converting keywords plus your brand
- stop treating all traffic as if they were all the same person with the same interest at the same time
Kurt Noer was up next. He mentioned that Google sees one trillion pages on the Internet. He shared the Google AdWords keyword tool with the audience and some suggestions on how to select keywords — not to be too specific or too broad.
One way that he measures competitiveness of a term is using the allintitle: operator in Google, followed by the keyword term. This gives you an idea of how many sites might actively be competing to optimize for that term.
Last up was Ian Lurie of Portent Interactive. Ian discussed the QDF algorithm (query deserves freshness). Ian gave the example of how he wrote a blog post last weekend that started to get lots of traffic. Why was it getting so much traffic? Because of QDF. Within the first few minutes of posting, his blog ranked in the top 10 for “Tiger Woods Masters Celebration”.
The QDF says that a query that gets lots of queries in a short time, Google will find new articles as they are published and rank them better for immediate trending topics. QDF will, however, understand the semantics around a term and will prevent spamming. For instance, “our bicycles are just like Tiger Woods” will likely not rank for “Tiger Woods”.
Key to using the QDF is to watch trending content. You’ll see trends start to take shape in news sites and social media first. He mentioned some tools like tweetmeme.com, twitscoop.com, and his own tool, hightweets.com (shows most used hashtags and fastest accelerating hashes).
If you know what you want to observe for trends, you can go to Twitter search and subscribe to that RSS feed to see trending topics. Ian said that by the time things hit Google Trends, however, it’s typically too late. It’s showing trending queries after the search. However, Google Insights for Search sometimes shows some predictive data, so that can also be helpful.
The next step is that you have to write about that trending topic. Write multiple pieces of content in a short time and link them to each other. Ian said that Google Feedburner is key because they appear to get pinged faster. Ping-o-matic also quickly pings other sites to let them know your blog is updated. Also be sure to have an RSS feed set up PRIOR to producing the content.
Finally, Ian said that you have about 12-24 hours to take advantage of trending topics. QDF will also likely drive more new inbound links once you achieve that high ranking. So win-win!