The SES conference, which was held March 21 -March 25, 2011 at the Hilton Hotel in New York City, was very beneficial if you wanted to learn about the latest search engine optimization best practices for getting your web site ranked number one within the major search engines. I checked into my hotel (The Gramercy Park Hotel at 2 Lexington Avenue) which was really nice, but about 2.5 miles away from the event. This event was well attended with over 70+ breakout sessions with topics including SEO tactics, developing great website content, leveraging social media, increasing website page rank, and many more.
The event started out on a great note with Keynote Speaker Duncan Watts, who covered behavioral research while attending New South Wales and Cornell Universities. Duncan’s studies were based on the question . . . “Who talks to whom, about what, through which channel, and with what effect?” During his presentation he talked about The Milgram Experiment and The Six Degrees of Separation and why these studies should be considered when designing website.
At the end of the Keynote Presentation we broke into groups attending the desired sessions. The presenters selected for this conference were very knowledgeable and leaders and their industry. It was a great pleasure to be around them learning from their years of experience. I, unfortunately could not attend every event but I would like to say that I really enjoyed listening to every speaker with special honors to Bruce Clay, Thom Carver, Heather Lutza, Marty Weintraub, and Ducan Watts. Just about every room was at full capacity and for many of the sessions, those who didn’t arrive early enough, had to stand around the perimeter of the room.
There appeared to be common themes among many of the classes. It is obvious that Google is rewarding high visibility to web sites that include genuine content, proper grammar, and that are considered experts in their industries providing “How -To” solutions to their readers.
High Page Rank and inbound links are also preferred by major search engines. There seems to be a full court press by Google to promote the use of YouTube and other social media avenues like Facebook and Twitter. Attending this event has provided me vital information on why business owners should be engaging social media as an avenue of marketing their products and services.
The Panda (Farmer) update and new interface enhancements by Google were mentioned throughout the event as well. Google has also made it easier for people trying to provide search engine optimization by releasing new tools like Localized Search, and Universal Search.
There were many interesting statistics, observations, and predictions made throughout the event. One statistic included the Panda update negatively and how it affected the ranking of 11.8% of the websites published on Google. Also mentioned was that at the end of 2010, Google reported they were serving up over 800 Exabytes of data to the internet; and it was also predicted that by Q3 of 2011, the usage of smart cell phones will overtake standard cell phones.
Another interstting statstic that a top TV channel currently reports an average of 400,000 daily subscribers which is dwarfed by the 2 Billion daily viewers as published in 2010. Additionally, it is estimated that as of Q1 of 2011 there are over 100 million subscribers on Linkedin and 0ver 500 million on Facebook. Although Bing and Yahoo merged, Google still handles over 60% of all the internet searches withYahoo in second with 18.3%.
It was also estimated for Q1 of 2011, that occupying the first place position on Google resulted in a 42% click through ratio as opposed to position number two whichresulted in a 12% click through ratio, and the the 10th place position on yielded a 3% click through ratio. Occupying a top position in social media website like Youtube and search engines like Google allowed Orabrush to sell over 1 million brushes in 2010.
In addition to all these incredible training session, there was plenty of time for networking and enjoying the sites of New York City. The first day of the event ended with a cocktail party at the Hilton Hotel Bridges Bar. The second night started out with the Infamous SES Black & White Hat party which then transferred to a local bar on 46th Street. I am sorry but we promised not to share any details, so you’ll just have to attend next year’s event.
There were also many unofficial parties throughout NYC if you could handle it. Attending these events is highly recommended just make sure you bring enough business cards. If you missed the Black & White Hat Event, then you missed the unveiling of the new website which hosts the latest web development news, tips, and tools. The SearchEngineWatch website was presented by Jonathan Allan and crew illustrating how the new platform will make it easier for web developers to find what they need. It was hats off to these guys as everyone raised their glasses in honor of this website.
My last day ended with an exclusive session with Bruce Clay, which is where I received the greatest value of the whole event. During this 8 hour session, Bruce shared many of his personal tools and research with our group. It was well worth the investment if you are serious about search engine optimization.
Included below are resources I found interesting and that I hope helps with your SEO efforts.
- Google releases “Near Me Now” service for cell phone users. Now you can find out information about places. See http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/01/finding-places-near-me-now-is-easier.html
- Google Goggles has been released for IPhones and Androids. A user can take a picture of an object and Google will return search results. See http://www.google.com/mobile/goggles/#text
- Google released a new feature called “click-to-call” – which is a new service for cell phone users see http://www.google.com/help/faq_clicktocall.html This will help track sales.
- Check out http://www.aimclearblog.com for current SEO / SEM info
- YouTube which is owned by Google, has the ability to crawl uploaded video content and convert the spoken words in the videos to searchable text.
- Using the Facebook’s Open graph protocol on webpages to create a link to Facebook. – The Open Graph Protocol enables you to integrate your Web pages into the social graph. It is currently designed for Web pages representing profiles of real-world things — things like movies, sports teams, celebrities, and restaurants. Including Open Graph tags on your Web page, makes your page equivalent to a Facebook Page. This means when a user clicks a Like button on your page, a connection is made between your page and the user. Your page will appear in the “Likes and Interests” section of the user’s profile, and you have the ability to publish updates to the user. Your page will show up in same places that Facebook pages show up around the site (e.g. search), and you can target ads to people who like your content. The structured data you provide via the Open Graph Protocol defines how your page will be represented on Facebook.
Don’t worry if you’ve missed this event. There is a couple more scheduled so check out the Search Engine Strategies website at http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/.