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Search Guru Danny Sullivan Talks Google

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Are You Addicted to Google? Go ahead, admit it. You’re an addict, too. This morning at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in Chicago, Danny Sullivan gave a Keynote speech titled “Google Anonymous” — the joke is many people seem to be addicted to Google. Danny is considered one of the most prominent search engine marketing experts in the world. He offered a step-by-step process to help people overcome this “addiction.”

Please visit our sister site WebProWorld to read more about what’s happening at this conference. I’ll be updating live throughout the three day conference, so stay tuned for more information!

Some highlights from Danny’s Keynote:

1 – Honesty. If your ranking has been hurt due to the Florida Update, ask yourself the following questions: Were you really the best? Should you have ranked highest? Do other search engines treat you better for free? (Before you answer, check out our business search engine Jayde.com)

2 – Faith. Have faith in yourself. You CAN survive the Florida Update – you just need some new methods.

3 – Surrender. It’s now time to consider starting to pay. Do organic AND paid advertisements. Consider advertising with Google. If you’re spending money Google, you’ll have more weight. You can’t necessarily change your site’s rank, but you will at least have more direct contact with Google. Your complaints will mean a little more due to your investment.

4 – Soul Searching. Will your traffic last? Don’t rely on Google for all your traffic.

5 – Affiliates. Can you continue to expect affiliate content for free?

Danny Sullivan

6 – Integrity. Make this vow: “I will offer the best possible research for searchers regardless of whether or not it results directly in sales.” Realize the importance of content. This is bascially an ecco of what Danny told me in our brief discussion last night. Your content should be what people will read for more than ten seconds. It will educate your visitors about making decisions on your site. Content is not to be underestimated.

7 – Acceptance. Search results have changed in past and they will continue to change in the future. You cannot depend on free search results as your primary way to find leads.

8 – Maintenence. Still continue to maintain your organic listings. Don’t drop them completely.

9 – Humility. Don’t worry about being humble with Google.

10 – Forgiveness. Forgive Google for the Florida change. They didn’t mean to do it. Really! ;)

Some of Danny’s other advise on search engine marketing included…

File Spam Reports. There’s a button on Google where you can file spam reports. Use it.

File Bad Search Reports. If the results for any given search term are ‘bad’ write Google and tell them why — but be sure you’re writing from the perspective of a searcher, not a business owner!

Follow Up Any Channel Available to You. If you file any reports with Google, do follow ups. Do you participate in a forum, for example? ;) That’s a great place to talk about it!

Where’s Google Going? Danny also talked briefly about the future. Google is currently repsonsible for 76% of results on internet. His prediction for the search engine landscape in January, 2004 is that Google will drop to 51% and Yahoo! will be responsible for up to 43% of all search results, with AskJeeves having 2% and other search engines controlling 4%. The reason for this? Danny believes Yahoo! might be partnering with MSN sometime in the near future…

What do you think this would mean for the search engine industry? Click to discuss with experts and peers.

The Invisible Tabs Theory. Then Danny went on to talk about what he calls his ‘invisible tabs theory,’ which is similar to one of Dan Thies’ search structure theories. Not visible to users, the invisible tabs would just be something search engines would use for organization based on search terms. Each tab would have its own individual database. News, Frequently Asked Questions, blogs, software, shopping (Froogle), and images are just a few examples. He believes this is the direction things will go in and that more tabs are on the way. He also believes search engines will become more confident in what you’re searching for. For example, you can search for a picture of DNA on AskJeeves and it will show you a picture in the search results, whereas Google doesn’t do that. YET.

Take a look at the bigger picture. The invisible tabs theory means you’ll need to stop thinking about just being IN the search engines and start thinking about where you want to be within them. What tab would your site belong in? News? Froogle? Images on Google? What terms should you optimize for? How are search engines organizing the data and content? Figure out your specific ideal section. Understand various tabs and multiple sections and try to get in the section that’s right for you.

I hope you found this information to be helpful! Again, I’ll be updating live throughout the conference at WebProWorld so please check in often!

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Garrett French is the editor of iEntry’s eBusiness channel. You can talk to him directly at WebProWorld, the eBusiness Community Forum.

Search Guru Danny Sullivan Talks Google
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