SMX Advanced is officially underway in Seattle, and the first session was: The Periodic Table Of SEO: 2012 Edition. SMX's official description for the session is as follows:
We introduced the Periodic Table Of SEO last year at SMX Advanced. Since then, new elements have been discovered, such as a penalty for pages top-heavy with ads or boosts for being in Google+. Meanwhile, Google warns that an “over-optimization” penalty may be coming.
Here's the speaker list:
Moderator: Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land (@dannysullivan)
Q&A Moderator: Jonathon Colman, Internet Marketing Manager, REI (@jcolman)
Jeff MacGurn, VP of SEO, Covario (@yerrbo)
Mark Munroe, Senior Director, SEO, Reply (@markemunroe)
Kristine Schachinger, Founder/Consultant, SitesWithoutWalls.com (@schachin)
Chris Silver Smith, President, Argent Media (@si1very)
Here's what attendees are saying about the session on Twitter (we'll update as the tweets pour in, so feel free to keep refreshing). It will be almost like being there:
I have never seen Danny so dressed up! Doesn't he know he's in Seattle?
So much Matt Cutts humor. He is keynoting at the event this evening, by the way.
Over 100+ factors can be assessed in quality scores (though not all will be triggered)
Someone in the front row has not muted his or her very annoying computer or phone. Please mute!
Brands rule, always have and always will
Users spend 80% of their time looking at info above the page fold.
Good thing Google is adding its Browser Size tool to Google Analytics, where you can see what content is actually above the fold on your pages.
SEO may be getting supplanted by User-Centered Design and Usability. We need to do what's good for users not rankings
Microformats are a factor. Users click results with snippets more. And understand what they're clicking more -
If you don't use rich snippets. The online world will turn into a Ben Affleck movie with an Aerosmith ballad.
Filtering Google's search results using left nav filters instantly excludes sites that don't have semantic markup / rich snippets
Do-Follow, exact keyword anchor text links are seeing lowest correlation to strong rankings. High benefits to non-match
If Google offers a search filter and your site does NOT use rich snippet/microformats you will not be in the result
Even Danny's taking the time to chime in on Twitter:
Links are the four letter word of the SEO industry even though it has five letters
Social Signals Test: G+ most, Facebook like least, twitter over time, Pinterest strong overall.
Using only social signals, a new page with no other links or onsite optimization grew to position 12 quickly.
Pinterest strong overall. No wonder Bing's Duane Forrester recommends it so highly as a Penguin recovery tip.
Testing what social signals help with Google surprise,
Great analysis of the social explosion of the anti-SOPA "Operation Blackout" by
Interesting - Over 10k peices of content collected from social platforms on the SOPA blackout. Less then 15% became popular.
68% of content that goes viral on reddit is just an image hosted on imgur
Almost 70% of what goes viral on reddit is an image.
I'd add that the majority of those images are hosting on Imgur (which hit 2 billion page views per month recently). Read here about how Imgur can drive big traffic to product pages (and they don't even have iPhone and Android apps yet. They're coming this fall.)
Need to find this Canadian guy who is responsible for 2% of all viral content
Most content consumed at work hrs. Serious in am. Humorous in pm
Google giving answers right in the results. more knowledge graph can mean less clicks. Be fantastic to get clicked!
It just occurred to me to check the session's hashtag on Google+. Not a lot happening there. Not a good sign for Google+ engagement, when the updates aren't rolling in from an SEO conference.
Google+ Engagement" />
Google has thresholds for their "quality" metrics. You don't know where you are, and you could plummet at any time.
Google Analytics likely not directly used as a quality indicator
Bounce rates probably aren't factored either. Doesn't mean they aren't important for UX
"If your website sucks, get SUX" (Search UX) "-
SUX is the new SEO!
Overall bounce rate may not be important. But Google sure knows when users immediately go back to Google from your site
Apparently we are more advanced monkeys
"Google has perfect knowledge of how your site performs in the SERPs. You have none" -
"Everything starts with a question on the SERPs" -
Engagement tools help if they're a response to the search query. Use relevant engagement tools that are specific to search queries
Optimize for search experience. Are users finding on your site what they are searching for in Google? Via
optimizing for UX not Company Goals? Problem is you get to be too info based, and not sales based. Balance
If you aren't integrating user-testing and surveys into your strategy, you are missing out on major opportunities
Site sucks in Google? Maybe SUX issue: bad search user experience, searchers don't find answer bounce back to results
To Google are users' search needs being met? If yes..good If no..check your goals
Are we really talking correlation v causation? Must we have this at every SEO conference?
correlation is not causation, sounds like
SEO changes but what users want does not
When Penguin hit, a lot of people were looking for Penguin-problems that were actually caused by Panda related issues
Trying to understand the Correlative, Causal, Causation argument in
"Put 10 SEOs in a room and they'll all have a different opinion"
Fantastic panel on new ranking factors &indicates Google is, or likely is using. Lots of stuff to implement.
If you want more of a liveblogged account of the session, Barry Schwartz has one at Search Engine Roundtable.