154 Awesome Pubcon 2011 Takeaways, Tips & Tweets | White.net

154 Awesome Pubcon 2011 Takeaways, Tips & Tweets

By Kelly Barrass / November 11, 2011

Having been out at Pubcon in Las Vegas this week, I’ve been going a bit tweet-crazy with my coverage of this. This is the first Pubcon I’ve attended and I found it extremely valuable, coming back with so many great tips and takeaways that I thought it would only be fair to share this with our readers!

Image credit: Guy Levine

So here’s my twitter coverage of Pubcon 2011:

General SEO Trends
1) #7 ranking for a long-tail term can get as much traffic as #2 for head-of-tail! Due to CTR behaviour @ArnieK
2) 42% of people click #1 result for head-tail terms – 25% 1st result for long-tail, but much more traffic spread across rest of SERPs
3) Wow! Sites get a higher CTR being in the #7 position for a long-tail keyword than a #2 position for a head term.
4) +1 annotated URLs receive 20% higher CTR – @robgarner
5) Google’s in big trouble right now according to @leolaporte – next big thing isn’t search!
6) Via @leolaporte – A single engaged viewer is worth at least 10 loosely engaged viewer. (Unless they’re a stalker!)
7) Build targeted niche audience in order to maximise advertiser revenue, instead of short-term trick tactics @leolaporte

On-site Optimisation
8) Provide consistent geo signals in titles, URL, breadcrumbs, content. etc. via @AlanBleiweiss
9) Worst #SEO thing to do: pick obvious phrases & rank below the 7pack 🙁 -@GregBoser
10) Slightly black-hat tip from @graywolf his “friend” forges updated blog publish date to increase SERP CTRs
11) Exact match title tags used to work better, now natural language titles performing much better @uberjill

Technical SEO
12) Robots exclusion preferred option for blocking indexing – saves Google load because they don’t need to visit page @gregboser
13) Great free tool for creating micro formats from @RavenTools http://t.co/waMQWXi0
14) Research shows that a penalized domain with 301 redirects to a new domain will pass the penalty to the new domain
15) There’s an exponential decline in PageRank passed as the number of 301 redirects increase.
16) If you haven’t played with http://codecademy.com then your missing out… Try it!
17) Don’t 301 redirect throwaway blog content – SE’s are getting smarter. Update content to make more commercial instead @graywolf
18) A special webmaster video for : How does Google determine page speed? http://t.co/f2a1T6Zy

SEO Strategy
19) Client focuses; don’t be afraid to go rogue, proof-of-concept is key, embrace open graph & individual employee identities @GregBoser
20) Key agency focuses; learn to say no, autonomous solutions & new products/services to solve common problems @GregBoser
21) Clients convinced they need more links to get rankings – quite often they need less. Tidying profile having big impact @GregBoser
22) Ask your client; do you think you deserve to rank in top 3 for priority keyword? If not, why not? @bruceclay
23) “Get your SEO included in the specification team” via @ashnallawalla
24) Great tip by @sspencer – if you see indented listing, add num=9 to URL – if 2nd listing removed, true position = 10
25) Ambiguity is a problem for SEO – Google need behavioural targeting to find personalised user intent behind query @bruceclay
26) “if you as a parent can say to a child go to a site & learn from it, then you have a quality site” Amit Singhal, Google
27) 2012 predictions: personalisation to determine rankings, local PPC & evolution of more integrated internet marketing @bruceclay
28) Web is only place where the small businesses can move faster than big guys – eg Zappos were small & achieved huge success @mattcutts

Google Webmaster Tools/Algorithm
29) Google suggested searches can be quite different from Geo to Geo, pay attention & find opportunities -@GregBoser
30) “link: http://t.co/zfAOUcUg inurl:twitter” query shows that Google are indexing Twitter links! @sspencer
31) #pubcon poll: Would you rather get more search queries in GMT (40%) or more history (60%) @mattcutts
32) Make sure you subscribe to Google Webmaster blog, Inside Search & Webmaster Video channel @mattcutts
33) Signup for GWT, setup email alerts, setup “fat pings” when publishing, use http://t.co/PmmNZKbT @mattcutts
34) Google looking to provide more communication updates – eg GWT alert on out-of-date WordPress @mattcutts
35) Got a page topped with ads? google’s evaluating algo changes to penalize these says @mattcutts
36) Google currently looking into figuring out what content is above the fold as part of algorithm @mattcutts
37) Google giving communication big push in 2011 – more feedback via GWT over reconsideration requests etc @mattcutts
38) SEO=Coaching – only constant in search is change, you don’t want to go where SEs are – go where they’re going to be! @mattcutts

Google Panda
39) There’s no quick fix to panda – quite often you need to change business model & accept you’ll never get back to peak @GregBoser
40) Pre-panda strategy; bigger the net, the more fish you catch. Post-panda; can’t get away with overloading index @GregBoser
41) Weak UGC – e.g. spun articles & 1000’s of pages of crap content is affecting overall domain performance in Google @gregboser
42) Panda update = Google far more concerned with overall site quality vs page quality @gregboser
43) Google rates content on how helpful it is to users – bounce rate/usage data very important post-panda @sspencer
44) Low quality content is typically; aggregated, paraphrased, generic, duplicated – lacks; expertise, research, citations @beussery
45) G panda update biased by quality of links. @bruceclay has seen + impact follow link pruning to reduce low quality

Social Search
46) If video is part of your strategy – make sure you use keywords when you speak! = getting found via transcript search @bruceclay
47) Correlation is important, Google don’t tell us the answers. Facebook shares currently top human engagement factor @GregBoser
48) Wikipedia & YouTube nofollow external links, but not internal links. So get content hosted on there ranking instead @sspencer
49) “the name of the writer can be used to influence the ranking of web search results” v important quote from Google about authors
50) Video & image search is much better on Bing than Google @GregBoser
51) Important social authority tip: meet people in real life! Make connection between on&offline to improve likelihood of sharing
52) What does google look for in social authority? Number of replies/comments, automation vs manual, relevancy & association with groups
53) According to keynote SEO may be dead in 6 months, so let’s talk about social! @johnwellis

Google SSL
54) Number of users with SSL is single-digit percentage in aggregate. Tech sites will be higher due to type of users @mattcutts
55) Main argument by @mattcutts was it’s what users want, total SSL no is <10% & you can get keyword data from GWT for top 1000 kws
56) 96% of website’s get full keyword query data from 1,000 term limit in GWT @mattcutts
57) PPC gets data, organic doesn’t. Advertisers get the data b/c they can’t do negative KWs and make useful.
58) Google unlikely to back down on SSL, users are happy with it because of privacy issues @mattcutts
59) 96% of sites get ALL keyword data from GWT (1000 KWs) – getting around SSL not provided GA report @mattcutts

60) “Track what matters. Compare year over year. Not month over month. Consider trends/seasonality” @RobSnell
61) To have rankings in GA will take a ton of resources but Google is looking into having something like that in the future @mattcutts

Local Search
62) Anyone else starting to see Google suggest results influenced by local? See example from Vegas: http://t.co/hqopvPbm

Content Creation/Linkbait
63) You can write a resourceful, 800-word post and link out to 40 different sites – well worth it if it garners a ton of links
64) 1) find related content with great links 2) write killer content about topic 3) write to those who already link to topic @jimboykin
65) View top content ordered by links for competitors in OpenSiteExplorer to find content ideas @ArnieK
66) Great tip for content ideas! Use Google discussions in more search options to find simiar keywords people are talking about @ArnieK
67) Attract links; videos, interviews, ebooks, infographics, contests, solid blog posts all get great backlinks @ArnieK
68) Content marketing tactics: blog, hosted videos, infographics, whitepapers, twitter feed, glossary, lists @lorenbaker
69) Brute force doesn’t work anymore – content marketing marketing makes it a link magnet! @lorenbaker
70) Don’t cut corners and go cheap on content creation. It’s your brand. It’ll be out there a long time. via @arniek
71) If there are no recognized awards in your industry, create one. Make yourself #6 or something @JoannaLord

Link Building  
72) If your link velocity/anchor text profile doesn’t match other/older sites in your industry you prob got it unnaturally
73) Find great blogs in your niche using http://t.co/komEvJNp & forums: http://t.co/jczhz3CU @chriswinfield
74) Dixon just announced a new redesign of @MajesticSEO – coming very soon!
75) Nice tip! Check referral visits in analytics are from cached pages. If not link to it using “as seen on” widget @rjonesx
76) Consider paid infographic placement – very difficult for Google to detect @rjonesx
77) Every natural link has a reason – most common; fact citation, content attribution & interest links @rjonesx
78) Forum communities are approx 5x larger than the blogosphere – they predate the web! -@crowdgather
79) Relationship link building; offer testimonials, sponsor events, send samples, speak at conferences, run good cause site @dixon_jones
80) Widgets having great impact for link building to retail sites – eg shoe size finder, random outfit builder @aaronshear
81) E-commerce link building via affiliate programs – use naked link cookie method to get backlink credit @aaronshear
82) Add on to someone else’s list post with a list of your own, then ping the author to get a link to your list.
83) Great case study for IT jobs infographic by @lorenbaker – not just about direct coverage, also promote sites which embed @lorenbaker
84) Build seasonality content – what worked last year, which will work again this year? Content has a long life @lorenbaker
85) Link building went off track up until last year: exact match links, Google PageRank was a marketplace, unnatural links @lorenbaker
86) Use PPC display placements & adPlanner to find link targets – great tip by @bgtheory
87) It’s much easier to be natural than to fake natural ~@mattcutts
88) @mattcutts on press releases: you’re going up to someone & asking them to write about you…
89) linkresearchtools.com is being recommend by Stephan Spencer as GREAT. Live Demo now
90) “site:http://t.co/fmuNNjRd inurl:.pdf” – shows that Google is indexing & values links from PDFs @sspencer
91) Mine ~ queries to find synonyms/related searches. Bolded keywords are commonly anchor text used in backlinks @gregboser
92) Focus on brand based anchor text – no exact match in 1st 6 months, use synonyms & related searches, branded partial match @gregboser
93) Human engagement is new PageRank – @gregboser highlights Google’s purchase of PostRank in need to monitor social attention
94) Total indexed pages vs. total organic landing pages. And look at total indexed pages to deep links. Good points.
95) Social media is not the new links – links are still the precursor to rankings – @joehall

Competitor Analysis
96) Never try to replicate anyone’s backlink profile. competitive intel is about finding out what metrics to compete on.” @jane_copland
97) ID what domains they own. site:http://t.co/PPXe6FLm “competitors name” -@streko
98) Competitor analysis can be deceptive. A site which has 10k links may be ranking because of 1 editorial link, not volume @mattcutts

Keyword Research
99) Ninja takeaway from day 1 – http://t.co/VdrGvn6N – Uber awesome KW research tool!
100) Great tip – own head KW & then run ranking report to optimise around top phrase matches & converting terms @wilreynolds
101)Google WT keyword info uses avg pos & only 1000 KWs – not ideal but still worth using @wilreynolds
102) Research on getting KW data to stop bitching about SSL http://t.co/YjN3wUb3 by @wilreynolds
103) Kw tools: Compete.com, SEMrush, Raven KW Insights, ConcentrateMe, Wordstream, OpenSiteExplorer anchor text report
104) http://t.co/njlqtl28 recommended for instant-style keyword research from Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon etc @sspencer

Social Media
105) YouTube will eventually become a CDN @bruceclay
106) Twitter ROI long value: avg lifetime value eg: cust bought $50 & buys 20x in their life & tweets drives new custs
107) YouTube tips; include channel link on site, keep videos short, brand your channel, be active commenter @chriswinfield
108) Facebook tips; make page visible, tag other brands in posts, get fans talking to improve Edgerank score @chriswinfield
109) http://t.co/p24kQimS monitor keywords, http://t.co/ns6vBoDI find lists & curate private lists to watch competitors @chriswinfield
110) Figure out social strategy, then go all in! Maintain a blog, create great content, use Twitter for an hour a day etc @chriswinfield
111) Social tip: find out where your customers are – ask them what sites they use? @chriswinfield
112) Be social, meet colleagues & look for influencers (add a few contacts per week), meet in real life! @chriswinfield
113) No magic bullet in social media – keep it simple & get fundamentals right @chriswinfield
114) 98% of Facebook fans view content through their Newsfeed. Focus on great content not fancy tabs on your page
115) Optimized video is 53 times more likely to show up on page 1 of Google than a standard HTML page.
116) Slideshare = obscenely powerful for search+social @KristaNeher
117) Upload video transcripts in different languages = instant subtitles! -@sspencer
118) Make your own machine transcriptions. You can override the default transcription with your own. It’s searchable too!
119) Use http://t.co/LtfTRb9Z to track search rankings & engagement metrics in YouTube @sspencer
120) Social goals: you’re not trying to make sales – capture attention, build links/social signals & create searchable brand @graywolf
121) Social push: tweets have lifespan of 3-5 hours, stagger retweets, ask friends, real trusted account > 1,000 zombie accounts @graywolf
122) Blogging still best platform to push content & attract links – sacrifice keywords for viral content @graywolf
123) Be entertaining, make people laugh/think/cry or be an informational resource = social attention & links @graywolf
124) Google is looking at as much social data as possible! 5,000 new links & no social media coverage = unnatural sign @graywolf
125) Social signals in search: author highlighting, establish social authority, Facebook & Google+ profile optimisation
126) Google+ optimisation tips: link to other social profiles, stay fresh, use & optimise every field, use your name multiple times
127) Quick show of hands highlights everyone uses Facebook daily – no-one uses Google+ daily @johnwellis

Conversion Optimisation
128) If people are in a buy cycle & merchant offers 1-click buy process, tablets have a higher conversion rate. @Szetela
129) Humanise your content – people buy from people; write with unique voice, demonstrate expertise & leverage knowledge @robsnell
130) The site needs to say: 1.) We are experts 2.) This is what you should buy 3.) please buy it from us! -@robsnell
131) Google Ace recommended by @bgtheory to test conversion rates from SEO campaigns: http://t.co/nLwouUV8
132) Here’s your diamond in the rough when scouring Revenue Analysis: LOW vol. / HIGH Revenue
133) Use GA filters to show clients $. Calculate conversion rates & revenue pm http://t.co/Of6irvjp @wilreynolds
134) Use orange 4 CTA buttons. Green blends in. Red says Stop. @bgtheory: Red works 4 a DUI atty, user is in penalty mind
135) Do not use submit button on your website!!! Use Get This Offer, or Start Your Order, or Continue, or Proceed via
136) Conversion tool options: eye-tracking, mouse-tracking (CrazyEgg/ClickTale), software algorithm (AttentionWizard) @tim_ash
137) Avoid triggering visual motion online – rotating banners e.g. http://t.co/rkmvsfpu distracts attention from static content @tim_ash
138) Never prefill fields. Our eye is trained to find empty spaces. @bgtheory
139) The more questions you ask, the more qualified the lead but the fewer leads you’ll get – @bgtheory
140) Some form questions should never be required – eg how did you find us? That’s what analytics is for! @bg_theory
141) Brand strengthening for conversions: mission statements, testimonials, awards, customers, logos, badges, press mentions
142) Essential to understand the weight of these secondary conversions – how likely is someone who subscribes to pay you $?
143) Secondary conversion examples: email capture, subscribers, social votes, membership, downloads/views, comments/engagement, feedback
144) Basic landing page optimisation tips: be specific, clean & concise, call-to-action, branded/certified/trusted @JoannaLord
145) Site search is 2nd biggest place to find the easy money after checkout

Paid Search
146) Good argument for running both SEO & PPC for same term; PPC landing pages can be better optimised for conversions @bgtheory
147) Retargeting is teaching new habits. People put things in a cart, then leave. Remarketing ads almost always offer disco …
148) PPC tip to build remarketing audience – use tracking code on Facebook fan page, email marketing newsletters & industry sites for $!
149) PPC bidding strategy tip for B2C – use higher budget at start & end of month. Conversion rates often higher around payday!
150) Big potential PPC win. Analyse conversion rates & bidding strategies for day-of-week & time-of-day stats
151) Think about customer mindset for bidding timings – e.g. search volume for “baby nappies” correlates with most popular nap times for babies
152) PPC demographic & interest targeting may be available for search as well as display soon – predicted by @dszetela
153) PPC remarketing tips – mix up banner creatives, use frequency capping, separate campaigns, build audience
154) Google now uses searchers proximity as a ranking factor for paid search business listings

Some of these are retweets as well, there’s too many to organise but thanks to Ruth Burr, Merry Morud, Tony Verre, Berian Reed and Dave Reynolds amongst many others.

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