SES Toronto 2010 Live Blogging: Keynote Inside Google Webmaster Central

Keynote Speaker: Maile Ohye

Maile starts by giving a brief history on her work background then segues to the infamous ‘Mayday’. She goes on to explain the main effects of ‘Mayday’ were to longtail queries. Longtail queries are going through continuous changes and are being considered the same as regular queries where Google will rank the “best” content. As Google users advance, they use more longtail queries and Google has adjusted how it treats longtail queries.

She briefly covered what Google uses when forming a snippet. Content surrounding the keyword searched & the meta description are both taken into account and served up based on the search query.

Maile then touched on personalization of search. Users are served whats relevant to them, their location, & their their friends. This being deemed ”social search”. Social search uses a social graph that overlays the conventional link graph when serving up queries. Google also suggests content based on “chat buddys” “google buzz” and to a lesser degree your friend’s of friends. At the moment its still limited due to Google’s focus on serving up ‘quality content’.

Realtime search has social component that webmaster can be better leverage with increased social contacts, follwers and fans.

Someone from the audience asked about building links too quickly. Maile sort of dodged the question by speaking more how Google views each link. The power of links are determined on a link by link basis and google can decide to decrease the amount of link power based on a multitude of factors. Sites an example of siteexplorer showing 100+ links to a page and google’s tool showing it valued only 3 of them.

Maile brings up the Google store and pops into webmaster tools too segue into a look at some of the changes. She going on to explain at length the basic functionality of webmaster tools.

I’ll list any changes made recently that might be relevant to you:

1. Search query updated less than a month ago. Lists up too 1000 queries.
2. Big push to encourage webmasters to create Video sitemaps (Google is listing more video in blended search and video sitemaps are an important factor.)

A question from the audience by a webmaster who is having trouble with scrapers who are outranking him for his own content is answered with [paraphrased]“well if he has more links pointing to his and and he’s already been deemed an authority then there isn’t much you can do”

The keynote was pretty light on info but my ears did perk when I heard about the Google link tool. If only I could get my hand on it!

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