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August 17, 2009

Search Engine Strategies - San Jose 2009 Wrap up

By Simon Heseltine

Shari Thurow Marty Weintraub Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2009 wrapped up last Thursday, and I was in attendance for the last 2 of the 3 days of the conference.  Originally I'd thought about live blogging the sessions I attended, but instead I decided that I'd just do a wrap up post and fill it chock full of tidbits from a selection of sessions.

In the Duplicate content and multiple site issues session:

Shari Thurow (Omni Marketing Interactive)

  •     When indexing, spiders will strip common elements (masthead, navigation, footer) to determine how close the content is from one page to another
  •     Make sure to use the page with the greatest conversion rate as the canonical form

Marty Weintraub (AimClear)

  •     Redirect unnecessary HTTPS pages to HTTP

Sasi Parthasarathy (Bing)    

  •     Bing likes clean URLs (the less parameters the better)
  •     The canonical tag is not being used correctly by 50% of webmasters
  •     Don't use canonical tags across domains (it won't work)

Ivan Davtchev (Yahoo!)        

  •     About 1/3 of all pages crawled by slurp (Yahoo's crawler) are duplicates


Charlene Li (Altimeter Group)

  •     Prepare to tap into the Chain of Intent, targeting based on prior searches
  •     Focus on relationships not technologies
  •     User intent becomes clearer with geographic, time and social context
  •     People must be at center of your search strategy, not keywords
  •     In a few years social networks will be like air"

Image Search Session

Todd Schwartz (Bing)

  •     There are 60 million users of image search
  •     Image search is 2nd only to web search
  •     Bing is concentrating on integrating images into 4 key areas - Shopping, Travel, Health and Entertainment
  •     Results with images are "a key driver of delight"

Li Evans (Serengeti Communications)    

  •     Yahoo loves Flickr (do an image search, the majority of results will be from Flickr)
  •     Lots of retail opportunity - people do image search looking for products
  •     Make sure to brand your Flickr account
  •     Remember to give viewers a way to your site, put URLs in the description of the image

R J Pittman (Google)

  •     300 million digital photos taken every day
  •     in 2006 360 million image searches per month, now hundreds of millions per day
  •     Google is implementing facial recognition and object recognition technology
  •     Add your images to your XML sitemaps


Melanie Mitchell (Digitas)

  •     You cannot succeed in in-house SEO unless your organization is aligned behind winning in search
  •     6 step in-house process
  1.         Create your core search team
  2.         Set priorities, goals and incentives
  3.         Training / Certification programs
  4.         Set internal standards
  5.         Provide Tools
  6.         Measure and track

Laura Lippay (Yahoo!)

  •     Build an SEO Research Document
  •         Competitor insights
  •         Linking insights
  •         Partnerships & ad sales planning
  •         Social media status
  •         Specific priorities for SEO ROI
  •     Sample Yahoo document can be found at: bit.ly/18PqqX

Site Review Clinic

Matt Cutts (Google)

  •  Let the PageRank flow around your site. Don't bother with nofollow on internal links

As usual the show was very well run, very well attended, and was a great opportunity to meet and network with old and new friends.  Were there some sessions that weren't as good?  I don't know that I'd say that, but there were one or two speakers that either didn't appear to have put the effort in that they should have done.  That's where the evaluation forms come in, and I know that the SES staff pore over those to ensure that they improve each and every time.

Stewart Queely Mike Grehan

There is some bad news - this was the last Search Engine Strategies in San Jose, however the good news is that it's being replaced by Search Engine Strategies San Francisco, which means a new venue and more direct flights next year!


The move to San Fran next year should be good... though may still have to do a run to San Jose to eat at Original Joe's - but do know a bunch of good spots in the Mission District thanks to Todd and Lauren

Hello There, I did not quite understand the phrase "Don't use canonical tags across domains" would it be possible to have some information posted on this subject? Mark...

Hi Mark,
Basically they were saying that if you have a canonical tag in place the URL in that tag should be on the same domain, you can't have a canonical tag for foo.com on a page on bar.com.

However, at SMX New York a couple of weeks ago Google announced that by the end of the year they will indeed support cross domain canonical tags.

Hope that answers it for you

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