Highlights & Lowlights from SES Toronto 2009 – Day 1

NVI managed to live-blog every single SES session today – here are the highlights, lowlights, and links to all of our live coverage!


Session: SEO then and now

  • Page content is even more important now because Search Engines can interpret surfers actions and behaviour more than before – your content has to engage the user, it will become an SEO metric eventually.
  • Sergey Brin attended the second SES conference ever and announced that he was about to unveil the Google search engine, which would be unspammable. Har.

SessionTwitter ins and outs

  • Twitter search is like an old search engine where you just have to keyword stuff to rank.
  • So far there are lots of mashups of twitter, but not a single one is profitable.
  • Amazing use of twitter: Freshbooks was following one of their users on twitter, and noticed she had been stood up by her boyfriend – Freshbooks tweeted that they would never abandon her (cheese!), and the next day they sent her flowers (genius!)

Session: Relevancy Indicators Search Engineers are Watching for Today

  • New ‘search engine’ Twitter search needs to quickly improve their search algo and filter spam – they could define relevancy at the account level like: number of tweets divided by number of RTing followers

Session: International SEO

Two approaches to domain structure:

  • Country specific (TLD = market)
  • Head office structure (yoursite.com/uk/ etc)

The country specific TLD usually fairs better in results (be sure not to duplicate your content across domains!) – Apparently nobody really talked about my issues with international SEO.

Session: Optimizing for Video Search

  • Over 45% of discovered videos get discovered via youtube. SE’s and social networks fill out the rest.

Session: Universal Search

  • Three quarters of users are dissatisfied with search results, while 50% don’t find what they’re looking for on their first try.

Lowlights – Things that made us Groan or Sigh:

Session: Copywriting boot camp

Question: so is there any limit to the number of keywords I should be targeting on a page?
Horrid answer: My rule of thumb is 3 keywords per page – 6 keywords per press release – answer these six questions: who, what, when, where, why, how. There you go, six keywords.
Our interpretation: I think maybe the panelist may be confusing ‘keywords’, with you know, regular ‘words’.

SessionUniversal search

  • Did you know that search engines now index and return multi-media files in their search results? Yeah we did too. The whole session was a low-light.

Session: Landing page clinic

This session reviewed audience member’s PPC ads and landing pages – but the panellists never mentioned what may have already been GOOD about the ads and LPs, they only highlighted what was being done poorly. A better balance between learning from good and bad could have been struck.

Session: Beyond Linkbait

Apparently going BEYOND linkbait is trying to be funny. Wrong guys, that is just plain old linkbait, nothing beyond. NVI happily hires pro and semi-pro comedians regularly in our social marketing department. There should be a lot to talk about when discussing what it means to go beyond linkbait, but it was not covered here.

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