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SEO Moz Advanced Training Seminar Notes Wrapup

SEO Moz LogoA few weeks ago I attended the SEO Moz Advanced SEO Training Seminar in Seattle, Washington. Below are my notes from a few of the talks we had, covering a wide variety of SEO topics. If you’re interested, most of our seminar should be available on DVD.

Advanced Reputation Management: Pro-active & Reactive Strategies for Control of the SERPs – Will Critchlow & Duncan Morris

  • What is reputation management?
  • Kind of search results
    • Controlled
    • Positive
    • Negative
  • Kinds of management
    • before
    • during – monitor, assess, decide, engage, review
    • after
  • Tactics
    • Sub Domains – having many strong sub domains, helps to dominate search listings
    • New Domains
    • Affiliations
    • Hosted Content – Youtube – use universal search. Profile pages also important
    • Keyword research – full names, title, nicknames, online handles,
    • Long Tail
    • Ranking for issues – ipod scratched screen, niche terms etc
  • Keep it Natural
    • Look for shared names – people with the same or similar names, same surname ranking, etc
    • SERP Replacement
    • Universal Search – youtube videos rank, is good
    • Rebrand – Change name, get married, middle initial
  • Pitfalls
    • Google wants diversity – keep all links in order, now what links to where
    • Universal search not always a good thing – it can just jump in there above your  better search listing
    • Long Tail never goes away
    • Dodgy clients – less of a problem than expected
    • Wiki-Circularity – something untrue makes it onto wikipedia, reputable journalists uses wiki as a source without checking, powerful newspaper website now has untrue story on it, wiki uses newspaper as authoritative source – now you’re screwed
  • Rapid Fire Round
    • Use own domain strength – no 301’s.
    • Don’t forget legal tactics – copyright infringement, Libel, DMCA
    • Greyer Tactics – buy links
    • Black tactics – Google URL removal tool – use if somebody’s server has down time

Opportunities & Pitfalls of Buying Links

  • Ideal Structure for buying links
    • Critical mass of links
  • Bad Reputation of paid links
    • historically, most paid links have been search spam
    • used to game the system
    • no consideration to users
    • manufactured authority – create a blog, outsource content, purchase links, create keyword specific affiliate sites, point links from main site to arbitrage sites
  • Paid Links can be effective
    • when used correctly
    • most SEO/SEM has paid link strategy
    • Focusing Link authority – domino rally
  • Evaluating Publishers
    • Verticles
    • Relevance
    • Metrics
  • Where to point links
    • top pages f funnel that convert well
    • pick category pages
  • Getting double listings in google
    • aiming links at sub pages – helps focus your existing domain authority and triggers double listing
  • Baseline Metrics
    • SERP
    • Derivative SERPs
    • Replacements of more appropriate landing page
    • Traffic tied to rank
    • value per visitor
    • organic conversion rates

Enterprise Level Link Acquition Strategies

  • Ineffective Strategies
    • directory and submission based link building
    • link requests – super bad
    • link spamming
  • Focus on overall link popularity ROI, not individual rankings
    • long tail reminder
    • low hanging fruit before going after harder ones
  • Inter-Network Linking
  • Links from partners and clients
  • Badges and Widgets
  • Building Link-Target Content
  • Licensing for Links

SEO Tactics for Vertical Search Inclusion and Rankings – Stephan Spencer

  • Optimizing for image search
    • Images on site should: Include keywords in image filename, include keywords in alt attribute, have good descriptive text, be on a page all about the keyword, subject, be opted in to googles images lab
  • Image SEO via Flickr
    • use high quality photos
    • unique title
    • Description for photo
    • Create thematic sets
    • add to flickr groups
    • Geotag photos
    • Post each pictures page over to delicious, using handy submission links
    • Add digg link
  • Optimizing for Local
    • business name in title
    • similar business name in domain
    • local address in webpage
    • phone number on page
    • proximity to city center
    • Microformats
  • Optimizing for Mobile Search
    • Google Mobile Spider – Separate from google bot, google indexing ranking separate from main.
  • Optimizing for Google News
    • top 5 news site
    • submit site for submission
    • blog/news site must be group effort – no solo bloggers
    • needs original content
    • give proper attribution
  • Optimizing for Google blog search
    • full text, not summaries – web bugs?
    • 20 or more items on blog page
    • multiple feeds
    • keyword rich item title
    • brand name in title
    • most important keyword in title of site
    • compelling site container
  • Optimizing for Video Search

Global Search Landscape & International Targeting – Will Critchlow & Duncan Morris

  • Global Search Landscape
  • Internationalization versus Localization
  • The Problem
    • Desire for relevancy vs poor indicators
    • Hard to specify where you want your search content to show up – where should it be targeted at?
  • Local indicators
    • CCTLD
    • hosting location
    • address on page
    • registration with local
    • WMC flag
    • language
    • Currency
  • Challenges
    • Content – rewriting for different locations
    • Content – remember conversions/culture
  • Solutions
    • One powerful domain – Ikea.com

SEO MOZ Site Review Checklist – What SEO moz when they look at a website for a client…

  • Search Engine Friendlyness
    • Canonicalization
    • Duplicate Content
    • URL Parameters and Dynamic URLs – Search engine and user friendly usls
    • Spiderable Content
    • Visibility in Search Engines – visible?
    • HTML Site Map
    • HTTP Response codes – 404, 301, 302, 500
    • Hosting/IP Issues
    • URLs – careful with subdomains, secure pages, TLD+geographic location
    • Title Tags
    • Meta Descriptions
    • In-Document Keyword Use
    • Content Quality and Use Issues
    • Avoiding Spam/Penalties
    • user Experience & First Time visitor Impressions
    • Site Structure
    • Home page specifics
    • User Centered Design Test
    • Web Credibility Guidelines
    • Form usability/software application accessibility
    • Navigation Consistency
    • Building Content

Advanced Solutions to Common Site Errors – Rand Fishkin

  • Robots exclusion protocol
  • Info:URL
  • Linkdomain
  • Crawl test
  • Boost Chances of Indexation
    • Flow of page rank
  • Moving to a new domain
    • prepare with webmaster tools – register new and old sites on one account before the move takes place
    • 301 redirects – pointing on an individual url level
    • Earn Press and links to the new domain
    • Check duplicate rankings in search engines
    • Using links to Canonicalize
    • Check for Cannibalization

Avoiding Being A False Positive – How Black Hat Impacts White Hat Sites – Nick Gerner

  • Evidence
    • Web Spam Taxonomy
    • Prevalence of Spam – 2002 (%7) 2004 (18%) 2008 (40%)
    • Domain Name of IP Address – detection
  • Theory
    • Standing out from the crowd – human and machine tuning
    • Implementations – Page Rank, Trust Rank, Anti Trust Rank
  • Speculation
    • Lots
    • Dot Zero Effect – most things that end in “dot zero” are not valuable content

Search Marketing Action Items from the Legal World – Sarah Bird

  • Protecting your Website
    • Terms of Use – if you have a website, you need a TOU
    • Use the DMCA and CDA – Register with US copyright office, in order to use DMCA ($80 fee)
  • Working with Clients
    • Incorporation – make sure to be incorporated, for asset protection
    • Contract Concerns – need Disclaimer of Warranties, Opportunity to Cure, Limitations of Liability, Indemnifications.
    • Enforcing Agreements – Oral agreements are technically enforceable, but not a good idea. Email agreements are being upheld in courts recently.
  • Working with Creative Content
    • Third-Party keyword triggered advertising
    • Danger of comparative advertising
  • Tightening Advertising Laws
  • Out of time

How to serve different content to search engines and users without violating the spirit of SE guidelines

  • Search engine cloaking detection methods
    • Automated – don’t actually catch that much
    • Manual – very effective
    • Goals of cloaking detection – finds sites that have manipulative intent
  • Methods of Detection
    • User Agent Detection
    • User Agent + Reverse DNS Lookup – recommended by google
    • Javascript/Flash execution – SWF Object
    • Cookie Detection
    • IP Address Tracking
    • Click Behavior
    • Requests robots.txt

Site Architecture for Enterprise, Content Heavy Domains – Rand Fishkin

  • HTML Sitemaps – limiting to 50-100 links/page, no matter site size
  • Directing Link Juice – Build egalitarian link structure, identify high and low page rank sections, create links from high juice pages to low, use nofollow to control flow – (Analytics – find pages with the best referring link traffic)
  • Category & Article pagination issues – pagination creates tidal wave of duplicate content for engines. Best practices – use snippets, use nofollow, use 301 to canonical versions

Site Architecture for Microsites – Rand Fishkin

  • For time sensitive materials for big brands – Example – GM Volt
  • Guerilla marketing campaigns – 10 reasons to date a unicorn https://mingle2.com/dating/unicorn
  • Domain name keyword targeting – good opportunity to target for keywords
  • Small sites for maximum SEO – Flow link juice, keywords in products and services, linkbait worthy content

Site Architecture for E-Commerce Sites – Stephan Spencer

  • Breadcrumb Navigation
  • Linkjuice and Flow
    • URL Testing & Iterative Optimization
  • Site Pagination
    • Excessive pagination can cause numerous pages of product listing to not be crawled.
    • Must optimize pagination structure – keep it all relevant
    • Attribute based navigation – sometimes slices of navigation are the same – must add value to user, make nav different – NoFollow price breakdown navigation because it’s useless to the user
    • Tagging – Great for deep internal linking, interlinking
  • Site Archetecture for Blogs
    • SEO Title Page plugin for blogs
    • Related posts – working top 10 posts into homepage
    • URLs – rewrite urls to contain keywords, hyphens, but not underscores. Maintain legacy URLs
    • Feed URL – using mybrand.com to rebrand your feedburner site feed into your own
    • Anchor Text

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