Monday, September 19, 2011

SMX East 2011 – Part 1

SMX East 2011 conducted from the 13th of Sept. to 15th of Sept. in New York had the agenda focusing on the following categorized topics Day-wise:

Day 1– 13th Sept. 2011
Day 2 – 14th Sept. 2011
Day 3– 15th Sept. 2011
SMX Boot Camp Social And Vertical Search SEO
The Big Picture The Big Picture Analytics & Conversions
Enterprise & In-House Technical SEO SoLoMo
Best Of SMX Advanced Paid Search Paid Search
Sponsors And Partners Sponsors & Partners and Site Clinics  Site Clinics

The complete agenda can be viewed on

My main area of interest was organic search  hence I attended  the sessions focused on SEO.

An SEO conference is a platform for multiple sessions and it is very difficult to make a choice of what to attend but the main highlights and takeaways of what sessions I attended are as follows: 

Day 1 – 13th Sept. 2011 

The Big Picture Track - The Great Correlation vs. Causation Debate
Presented by:
· Eric Enge, Stone Temple Consulting
· Micah Fisher-Kirshner, Become, Inc
· Mitul Gandhi, seoClarity
· Kristine Schachinger,
· Tony Wright, WrightIMC

  • Correlation is: A mutual relation between two or more things where one has a measurable effect on the other. 
  • Causation is: A relationship in which one action or event is the direct consequence of another. 
  • In every Causal relationship there is a Correlative One, but there is not a causal effect in every correlative one 
  • We sometimes perceive something to have an effect but it may not have an effect as that can be a misperception. 
  • The only way to eliminate false positives are is to measure test everything over a period of time with a wide array of data. 
  • Almost everything in SEO is correlative not causative. 
  • In causal relationships, you can directly measure that A does CAUSE B 
  • In correlative relationships, you can only measure the STRENGTH of the effect of A on B 
  • Correlations are a place to start not an end. Have a sanity check and and question its sensibility before coming to conclusions. 
  • Before testing be sure of what is the return on your investment to collect and test this data? 
  • Make sure that you are considering all important variables in time and do not rely only on snapshots in a short time span. 
  • Be sure you have enough data and factors to run a linear regression 
  • SEO is on a time line on a linear position. A single trend is not a pattern or a causal relationship. 

The Big Picture Track 
Panda-Proofing Your Content
Presented By:

· Justin Briggs, Distilled
· Horst Joepen, Searchmetrics
· Heather Lloyd-Martin, SuccessWorks Search Marketing
· Chris Silver Smith, KeyRelevance

  • Only 12% of websites in Google index were affected by Panda update – Matt Cutts 
  • We are content marketers if we have a blog or a site. 
  • “Panda isn’t simply an algorithm update. It’s a platform for new ways to understand the web and understand user experience.” (Vanessa Fox) 
  • “It’s not a new algorithm – it’s a new factor.” (Danny Sullivan) 
  • “It is easier to reliably detect social spam than link spam.” (Stefan Weitz and Maile Ohye) 
  • Combination of automated metrics and human factors; 
  • It’s a method for modelling webpages and websites which have certain usage profile combinations, scoring those combos, then using the scores to rank pages. (Chris Silver Smith) 
  • When you produce cheap content then it is not meeting any goal 
  • Create Quality content – Search Engines do not pay your bills your customers do. 
  • Stop asking what Google wants. Find out what your users want. 
  • Evaluate your content assets 
  • Plan the Repurpose of content 
  • Develop an  editorial calendar 
  • Watchdog the quality 
  • Leverage it when properly planned and evaluate 
  • Get everyone on the same page about SEO content. This could be a quick discussion - or an in-house training. Consider what works best for your team 

Enterprise & In House Track 
In-House SEO Operations: How Things Get Done 
Presented By:

· Laura Callow, intuit
· Simon Heseltine, AOL Inc.
· Erika Mamber, Demand Media
· Ulli Muenker , Bloomberg

  • Use SEO as one of the fundamental building blocks in everything you do on your website. 
  • Ensure SEO is a part of the DNA of your organization. 
  • Build buzz and cultivate mindshare. 
  • Tailor the buzz for the relevant audience and add your spin 
  • Make it actionable 
  • Be seen, be heard, be involved 
  • Educate, Elaborate, Excite, Empower, Evangelize 
  • Share the SEO why behind the what, because understanding builds a sense of ownership 
  • If opportunity cost > available resources + cost of vendors Then hire vendors Else don’t hire vendors 
  • Ensure your team works according to an accountable system for delivery. Boil up to meet company / business objectives and vision 

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