This is one of the SES San Jose 2008 sessions that I covered for AimClear Blog.
Learn the 12-step process for finding harmony in your SEO lifestyle.
Andy Atkins-Krüger is Managing Director for Web Certain Europe Ltd, a multilingual search engine marketing company.
Dave Naylor is a search engine optimization consultant for Bronco
Greg Boser is the president and founder of WebGuerrilla, LLC, a marketing firm that provides SEO services to interactive agencies, PR agencies, and design firms serving Fortune 1000 clients.
Y’ever go to open mike night at a jazz club where a bunch of folks who might have never played together before can get on stage and jam. This session was the Search Engine Equivalent of open mike night and while the session might not have offered the structure that people in the audience might have been looking for, the panelists rolled out some outstanding riffs which was really a treat to watch. Though some level of silliness was definitely present, so too was an incredible amount of wisdom and smarts.
I attempted to quote these people as accurately as possible:.) Also, please realize that the context throughout the session was very jovial and lighthearted.
Kevin Ryan is the moderator…starts talking about cannabis (hard to explain the context). In the old days, “Black Hat” was “Best Practices” (he’s joking…I think). Kevin asks the panel about their addictions…nobody admits to them.
Kevin asks Michael about Twitter addiction.
Michael suggests it’s other people’s problems, not his.
What’s the point Michael, Kevin asks?
Michael responds that he likes cake…why can’t he talk about it?
What does Twitter do, Kevin asks?
Michael responds that he Twitters because he’s bored and he thinks people are interested.
Then, Greg says that Vanessa Fox got him into Twitter and now he’s hooked. Can’t get work done with Twitter.
Andy then has a mini-presentation about the topic with the point being that SEO people can lose all perspective about things.
Kevin…how does delay in conversation affect business?
Andy…counting Michael’s tweets is his problem (joking).
Greg: Addicted to getting banned from Google (joking)…banned when performing normal SEO activities (not so funny).
Dave N.: Getting everyone on the trained banned from Google for his solo activities (joking, I think).
Andy: SEO 12 step program.
1) Take care choosing your KPI’s…don’t rely on rankings.
2) Setting realistic objectives.
3) Employ people who know what they’re doing.
4) Build your website for SEO from the bottom up.
5) Only work on projects which deserve to rank.
6) Only work on projects where there is a market.
7) Be different—ideally unique—in the marketplace. Example: Gave up English language projects which differentiated them and brought them plenty of new clients…therefore, business became easier.
8) Get good training…can change your career / business.
9) Understand the mechanics.
10) Don’t try to be an expert in every SEO technique…focus on your strengths.
Greg: Need to maintain expertise across the board. His addiction is working in every space on the web.
11) Be patient.
12) Enjoy your addiction.
Kevin: Plugs my interview with him (obligatory link drop)! Thank you Kevin! Rhetorically asks if SEO becoming more corporate?
Greg: New, different projects keep him enthused.
Michael: SEO is great for the ADD personality. He will tell corporate types when something sucks. Got to push the edge when you are experimenting. Failure is part of the experimentation process.
Dave then does a mini-presentation:
How does addiction get out of hand?
Use to waste lots of time checking stuff…now uses the same time to predict what will happen.
Page rank doesn’t make you any more money…why waste time checking it all the time? Check it like a professional…check your whole market area and your only problem is when you go down and everyone in your industry has gone up.
Tools just feed your addiction.
Keyword density…you should know what the industry keyword density is and stay close to it.
Rankings: Make sure the keyword combinations you are obsessed about are the ones actually bringing in the money.
Do you know which rankings generate revenue? Trends are way more important to know.
Backlinks checking—crunches information on his terabyte hard disk. Focus on what matters.
Michael: Use cultural differences to your advantage.
Q & A insights:
Greg: How much time is being wasted in the social space doing stupid stuff? Is there a benefit down the road in doing the stupid things? Facebook applications are really stupid. Twitter has value in a broadcast medium….therefore; the silly conversations do have long-term value. Many folks haven’t figured that out yet.
Andy: Social media is very fragmented and consolidation won’t happen quickly.
Mike…should grab your name on each new social media service.
Mike: Easy to use and easy to understand is key for a new social media service.
Greg: What’s the revenue model for the Twitter?
Chris Winfield (chimes in from the audience): Twitter will be based on sending payments via text (he thinks).
Greg: Google didn’t have a revenue model but had a great product…therefore, that’s what caused him to learn to work with it.
Andy: Important to take advice from people that you trust.
Dave: Don’t need to test everything because others you trust a testing for you and competitors will share this type of information in our industry.
Andy: Looking for search to get better integrated with social media.
Dave: Cloud computing is hot (Microsoft Mesh). Mike agrees. So does Greg.
Greg: Not a real SEO unless you’ve been torched…you have to push the envelope which allows you to learn how to do things white hat.
Todd Mintz is the Director of Internet Marketing & Information Systems for S.R. Clarke Inc., a Real Estate Development and Residential / Commercial Construction Executive Search / Recruiting Firm headquartered in Fairfax, VA with offices nationwide.
Todd Mintz knows PPC…knows Social Media…knows SEO…knows Blogging…knows Domaining…and knows them all real well. He runs growth marketing for <a href="https://www.position2.com"Position2)and is also a Director & Founding Member of SEMpdx: Portland, Oregon’s Search Engine Marketing Association, and he can be found here on Twitter and Facebook.