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E-Marketing Performance Blog

PubCon '06: SEO & Big Search

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

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