Dana Todd, Vice President of Performance Innovation, Performics
Bruce Clay, President, Bruce Clay, Inc.
Thom Craver, Web and Database Specialist, Saunders College (RIT)
Sam Michelson, Chief Executive Officer, Founder, Five Blocks
Regardless of what you think about Panda, it made site owners think more about content.
SEO has changed because what used to be about ranking is now about traffic. Local results have changed the game. Local results are now 35% of results and will be up to 70% in the next year. The rate of change within SEO has increased greatly.
SEO has become more complicated and one person can’t do it all anymore. If you can put the team together to do great in SEO, this is a great time for you.
Biggest new thing in search is Siri. Siri changes the way verticals and other sites have to tag and present their data. Search intent is the big thing now. Voice search on Android was just an interface for Google, but Siri is playing a different game.
As an industry SEO is not dead, but it definitely has morphed because now you have to understand and incorporate all aspects. Personalized search means that you are no longer optimizing keywords or results, but you’re optimizing for specific large groups or communities that behave in a specific way. Marketing and IT still don’t understand personas, but they have to learn to be valid in search.
Over the last few years, tactical SEO no longer works. Google has made SEO much more responsible because it has made the experience better for the consumer. Google has made the user experience more important. We have to become real marketers. Old SEO is dead because it has eliminated most of the tricks. SMEs have become much more important to agencies.
Google likes SEOs because they have the voice to cause sites to be improved. By forcing the quality of the sites to be better, Google is forcing site quality to improve.
The problem with what Google is doing with personalized results is that they base it on your history, which is only relevant until your preferences change.
Traffic is down for searching. People find stuff differently now because they have other sources for information. People use social to determine what they want to search before they start searching. The research aspect of search has migrated to social, but search to conversion is not going away. The starting point has changed.
Most important things for good SEO now are education and tools. Since search is constantly changing, you have to continually educate yourself to keep up with the changes. The cheaper you want it – the cheaper you get it. Be open to change.
Microformats are changing the game. Schema.org microformats describe what the information actually is. Search engines try to resolve ambiguity by searching for signals about what the user is searching and the information that has been provided by the site.
Multi-site and domain discussion. Do you just clean up the data and do good IA on one site or create verticals?
- redirects increase page rank to the redirect site, sometimes
- performance helps ranking – people can move from page 3 to page 1 by improving server speed
- vary everything – if you’re building vertical or supporting sites, put them in different places, use different technology and make everything as random as real life.