Having a chance to digest everything that happened on day-1 of MozCon 2012 my mind was pretty much blown. So many changes were brought to my attention, rubbing elbows with influencers in the industry and learning. Looking over the agenda for day-2, I was ready to dive in head first and learn more about link analytics, Google+, online reputation management, and maximizing content strategy efforts. I’ve tried to keep this post a bit more top-level as I realized the first post was a touch lengthy. On to the synopsis – enjoy.
Link Analytics Through API – Richard Baxter @richardbaxter from SEOGadget
Richard aimed to go after something we online marketers deal with every day – data, in particular links and what we can do with that data. The problem with data is that we’re always waiting for it. Then we have to convert it. Spending valuable time converting data then takes away from the time that we actually need for analyzing it. Which, is actually the fun geeky part of what we get to do anyways.
Richard uncovered some pretty impressive methods of utilizing APIs for parsing certain pieces of data, using an Excel spreadsheet to hone in on the exact data you want. In essence, they built Open Site Explorer inside Excel – pretty geeky and cool at the same time.
High ROI Content Strategies for SEO – Cyrus Shepard @cyrusshepard from PlaceFull.com
Let me preface this in a similar fashion Cyrus did – the bulk of this talk was centered around “the future” and perhaps the future of content as it relates to SEO. The biggest sticking point to me that Cyrus made was the statement that “SEO is not dead… things are changing and perhaps you’re just not brave enough to see what’s next.”
“Remember that Google & Bing are 1-2 years ahead of the rest of us…”
Items that are vanishing within SEO (or have vanished)
- Link Networks
- Article Marketing
- Press Releases
Many of the items we use to look at heavily such as title tags, infographics and anchor text are all changing. Our original best practices within the industry have gone by the wayside and we must adapt.
Items that you should consider
- Google & Infographics (adjust your approach)
- Press Releases – remember 99% of them earn no editorial link (waste of time?)
- Anchor Text – no longer can we use what we “want” to. Focus is on generic Click Here for action.
How to Earn Links without Doing Anything – Ian Lurie @portentint from Portent
Ian boiled his entire presentation down into what I gathered as this.
- Stop Trying So Hard – linkbuilding
- Link Building has FAILED
- Link building as a long-term strategy is a loser strategy
It’s Not Link Building… it’s an outcome or result from Building an Audience (stop link building and start building an audience) and say what matters to me now.
Redefining Business Models in a Post-Penguin World – Greg Boser @GregBoser from BlueGlass Interactive
Greg brought his real-world examples and experiences into the presentation with an in-depth discussion on why what use to work does not work, how his company was penalized for that and how they made changes on the agency-side to overcome. While much of this focuses on general business ideals, I thought it was a nice break from the constant online marketing and SEO talks.
Top issues Greg’s company ran into and what they did to overcome them
- Silos of Internal Structures – these Do Not Work. Trying to build integrated marketing strategies from a vertical silo structure doesn’t work.
- Tear down the silos and ditch the channel-specific silos in favor of structure based client lifecycle – one team, works on all components.
- Don’t have a search team or PPC team… create a “strategy team”.
- Ditch channel-specific budgets. No internal fighting over budgets, let it be fluid. Stop the internal fighting on this.
- Implement a greater level of top-down transparency.
- Entire team knows more about the engagement much earlier in the process this way.
- Implement open Ideation
- Group company things. Doesn’t mean you “own” the process, but if you have an idea, share it.
Online Reputation Management – Rhea Drysdale @Rhea from Outspoken Media
I applaud Rhea for what she and her team have created at Outspoken and the changes they are making inside their company to be come more known as “consultants” and less as “vendors”. A difficult task by any company.
Reputation management is something I have not given a lot of thought toward when it comes to me personally or BlackTruck, mostly this has been client facing. This is changing, we must implement some of these best practices so as Rhea puts it, you are prepared for when bad things happen. The biggest takeaway is this. Consider Online Reputation Management “brand insurance”. It is put in place to protect us (the brand) and you must ask yourself what are you doing today to better protect your brand?
Persona Modeling Unhinged: The Zen of “Whole” Customer – Marty Weintraub @aimclear
Marty is a trip and brilliant individual, but honestly this one was tough to grasp. The main focus of this was on PPC and re-targeting of ads, which sometimes gets a bad reputation. Marty brings into light persona modeling to assist you in your re-targeting efforts. Using data and tools from sources such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. you are able to look at psychographic data and determine the best strategy for re-targeting. Blew over many people’s heads, therefore, not a lot of info to share on this topic just yet.
A Secret Algo Project Launch – Pete Meyers @dr_pete from SEOmoz
Dr. Pete rocked. Another one of those down-to-earth, very smart and talented individuals. Kudos for SEOmoz for snagging Dr. Pete for this project. What Dr. Pete dives into was an algorithm project that tracked a series of keywords over a set period of time in an effort to better gauge when minor and major changes happen within the Google algo. That’s putting it in simple terms.
“As bad as you think it is w/ Google… it’s 100-times worse”
The end result of Dr. Pete’s secret project is MozCast.com – call this the daily weather report for Google. When there are higher temps, the bigger the change. This tool shows a 5-day history and 30-day history and will be updated on a daily basis. Follow along on Twitter @mozcast for daily weather tweets.
The D Word: Leading the Way to Great Design – Jenny Lam @helveticagirl from Jackson Fish Market
Jenny’s presentation was beautiful, it probably helps that she’s a designer. However, it was a strong reminder of how much design has an impact on what we, in the online marketing world, often forget. Great design can be a valuable asset to great marketing concepts, and great marketing concepts can be a valuable asset to great design.
6-tips for Hiring a Designer
- Look for some formal design training
- Listen, do they talks about the user, brand & technology? (an advocate for all three)
- Watch for the ‘delicate flower’ syndrome – they should have an opinion and be prepared for conflict.
- Look for a portfolio that is actually designed well.
- Shipped product – has the designer gone through a product design cycle, could even be crap work, but do they have empathy for the project?
- Have a senior designer review the work – non-designers end up reviewing the quality of work… but you really should have some of your “senior” designers look at the actual work as they can tell within minutes if it is executed well. *Jenny recommends building a relationship with someone that can be your design advisor.
Google+ SEO & Authorship – AJ Kohn @ajkohn from Blind Five Year Old
AJ did a great job at setting the record straight for those skeptical about Google+. Horrible name for a product, he admits, but Google+ is not a ghost town and it is here to stay. Watch for much more content to come out of this presentation, many a frantic note taker was present.
AJ brought up a good point: People are comparing Google+ as a social network, but it’s really about search.
What about Authorship? I know, skipped ahead, but I believe there is enough information to share in its own post soon regarding Google+.
Authorship is increasing more and more, especially with the increased weight that personalized search has had over the past year – we are going to see this more. Some of the following items you might have noticed already and have wondered what they mean.
- I see faces within my searches – that’s the authorship program we have seen crop up in the past year.
- Two objectives to remember that Google mentioned early on about this.
- Highlighting of Authors and Rank within Search
- Highlighting Authors – this can provide huge gains in your click through rate.
- Authorship Snippet – fairly stable now and it results in the following:
- Title – goes directly to the page/post mentioned.
- By – goes to a list of content by that author.
- Author/Profile – goes directly to that user G+ profile.
Were you at MozCon – did I miss anything from Day-2? If so post up a comment and share. If you want more info on any of the topics, please do let me know how I can help.