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Monday, June 28th, 2010

5 Search Marketing Tips From SMX


My Search Marketing Expert friend Dan Rosenbaum was kind enough to let me share a summary of the SMX conference he attended recently.

Here are 5 Search Marketing Tips he learned from the conference:

1. Don’t bother creating separate site to appeal to Bing and Google.

Back in the Bad Old Days, it was considered a good idea to code your website in such a way that it would appeal to the half-dozen or so search engines — each of which wanted to see something different.

Now that Google gets the majority of searches, people don’t do that so much anymore. But with the rise of Bing, there was some concern that Bing might be focusing on different signals than Google.

Rand Fishkin, of SEOMoz, showed some experimental data that implies that although Bing and Google are probably weighting their results somewhat differently, the differences are not enough to warrant any particular effort to change the way you’re producing your site.

2. Post a Video Sitemap. Really.

If you have much video on your site, Google was very clear on this point: create, post and maintain an XML video sitemap in addition to your standard XML sitemap. This is, frankly, in Google’s own self interest, as the launch of Google TV nears.

But if Google is telling you that it will be indexing video sitemaps aggressively, why wouldn’t you make the minimal effort to post one?

3. Relevant content is more important than ever.

In late April, Google made some significant changes to its algorithm in what it’s calling its “May Day” update. Perhaps the major change is a greater emphasis on content relevance, especially in the “long tail.”

Put simply: if you want to rank for “frigidare bar drawer refrigerator”, it will not be enough to use some overly SEO-ed boilerplate or even a manufacturer-supplied product description.

Relevant, helpful, original content will rise to the top faster than before.

Or so they say.

4. Content farms and paid links are in great peril.

As part of May Day, Google reps went our of their way to say that links from mass content generators like Demand Media — or any form of paid links — will have their relevance reduced to near zero. (I’ve heard anecdotal evidence about paid links.).

If you’re relying on either one as a source of backlinks or content, expect your rankings to drop severely, if they haven’t already.

5. Expect more “real-time” results in SERP pages.

You may have heard about Google’s “caffeine” update. Caffeine is more an change in the speed that the index is updated than it is a change in the way relevance is calculated.

Where 10 years ago, Google updated its index every few months (yes, really!), the Caffeine update now puts changes into the index as soon as the crawlers detect them — which can be quite fast indeed.

The change has been being rolled out over the past year; it is now active in all data centers in all regions globally. It’s one way that Google can now include tweets in its SERPs.

There was more, of course: a ton of information presented about interesting social media tools, advanced techniques in SEO-friendly site architecture (of special interest to e-commerce sites), real-time search (and the importance of fresh content), and link-building.

If you’d like to discuss any of this, or any other search or content issues you may be facing, please don’t hesitate to work the keyboard or your phone.

If you’d like to find out more about Search Marketing Expert Dan, go check out

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