When you get to these advanced tracks you’re bound to get information or advice that is debatable. A lot of the information presented here was great information, but there were a few points where I would disagree with the relevance or importance of the tactics presented. Just be sure to take everything with a grain of salt, and it all comes back to your own personal testing.
Aaron Wall, SEO Book.com
We often have a self-centered view of the web. Engines rank what is based on the end user, not on what we believe should be “best” (your own site, of course). No such thing as a perfect algorithm. SEO techniques evolve as algorithms evolve.
Drop in ranking is rarely ever a penalty and ranking in one does not necessarily mean your site deserves rank well in all.
Yahoo: Usually quite a literal algorithm with heavy focus using editors to improve search. Believes Yahoo might have a slight bias toward commercial sites.
MSN: Has a hard time determining link quality. Puts a lot of emphasis on on-page factors.
Google: First in viewing search as a non-commodity. Heavily biased results on information resources. Google is better than other engines at determining true link quality. Places a lot of trust on the core domain. Put new content on old domain and you’ll get good rankings.
Google is more advanced at looking for linguistically related patterns. Focus less on core keywords and more on linguistically related phrases you have a better chance at ranking for core terms.
Ask: Focuses on topical communities.
Dave Davies, Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning
Key content should appear higher up on the page. Text above the fold takes prominence. Code to content ratio is a factor. Should use tableless design if possible.
Sometimes it’s better to have lower rankings on Google at the expense of top rankings on MSN or Yahoo. Check your referrer logs to see what’s producing the most traffic. Know which engines drive the most traffic (and conversions) for certain keywords. Understand how visitors navigate through your site to check conversions from the search engines.
Enormous benefits to adding and adjusting content. Increases spidering, creates a feel of “authority”, and allows for new pages to be spidered more quickly if you link to them.
Michael Murray, Fathom SEO
Make slow, subtle changes to the site to avoid drastic changes. Be willing to optimize multiple pages to get good rankings on multiple engines.
MSN is easy, Yahoo is more fickle, Google is easy… just takes a long time.
Go for broad when you can, it will bring traffic and some conversions. Do a lot of testing with the tough keywords. Don’t be greedy (trying to target too many keywords per page).
Get beyond the top 30 mentality. See where you rank into the 100’s so you can track improvements. Use web analytics and monitor sales data. Chart performance.
Use keywords in the title tag, but don’t stuff. If you must use business name in title, put it at the end. Don’t spend too much time on meta description. Write it once and leave it.
Keep old backups of pages in order to undo some changes that were no good.
Do all changes in a staggered approach.