To insure that we got the most out of PubCon, our fearless leader assigned sessions to each team member. My first session was SEO & Big Search, moderated by Jake Baillie.
This was an interesting session in that it was primarily an opportunity for some of the primary search properties to discuss their own in-house SEO campaigns. This is what each had to say:
AOL: Represented by Melanie Mitchell, Director of SEO/SEM. Melanie gave a detailed account of AOL’s SEO initiatives. She described their approach to SEO as focusing on 3 key areas:
- Indexing – Insuring crawlability and page focus.
- Ranking – Achieving prominent rankings for targeted search phrases.
- Metrics – Defining clear and measurable objectives and acquiring tools for measuring progress.
Yahoo: Represented by Dave Roth, Director of Search Engine Marketing. Dave presented a wealth of information including Yahoo’s internal SEO score card that they use to track their campaigns. The scorecard includes evaluations such as:
- Inherent referral value
- Size of opportunity presented
- Month over month and year over year growth
- Trademark search phrase referrals
- Non-trademark search phrase referrals
- Keyword visibility scores (a proprietary Yahoo! metric)
Google: Represented by Adam Lasnik, Google Search Evangelist. Adam has a fascinating job at Google; he is tasked with bridging the gap between Google and webmasters. Adam gave no indication that Google has a formal SEO initiative for their own sites, he did however offer a great deal of advice for webmasters and search optimizers. Here is a rundown:
- Websites should consider the “SNACCC” acronym:
Speed – throughput (delivery)/latency(time between action and result)
N avigability – Where am I, how did I get here?
A ccessibility – Resonable URL’s / Useful alt text
C larity – Underlined links / Links on one line
C omfort – Easy to read / no jumpy pages / easy copy text / black / no italcs / include height and width tags for all images.
Consistency – uniform error msgs / alerts / info
- Use a tree-like site structure or web-like structures
- Have simple pages
- Focus on quality text
- Keep the user happy