Notes from Day One of #SMX East 2009

6 Oct


37 pages. That’s how pages of notes I took today at SMX East. Given they were small pages, but nevertheless that’s still la lot of notes – but, also a reflection upon the vast amount of knowledge that you learn at SMX. Don’t fool yourself, you better be ready to learn, A LOT, at SMX because the learning is something that never stops at SMX.

I learned about the rel=canonical tag from the search engines, local vs. organic SEO, and all about Maps. How local search and maps are evolving. And finally, I had the pleasure of sitting in a keynote by Ben Huh.


Here a few of the highlights of things that stood out to me today:


Mobile Search Ads –

  • Always send Mobile PPC ads to Mobile sites or Mobile Landing Pages.
  • Geo-target with your Mobile PPC ads
  • But, you don’t need a mobile site as you can send mobile ads to: Google Maps, Apple Appstore, Android Marketplace or YouTube.
  • The Mobile Relevance Formula has a lower relevance on Quality Score and a higher relevance on Click Through Rate
  • Click To Call Converts 10x more than Clicks
  • Test if users prefer a limited mobile or a full site



Duplicate Content Issues: The Search Engine Edition –

  • The biggest news here was that during the Q&A session Google announced that the rel=canonical tag will work across different domains
  • This means that by year’s end Yahoo and bing will use the canonical tag and Google will be ahead once again by accepting the tag across domains



Ranking Tactics for Local Search –

For a local search Connoisseur like me that was probably the most insightful panel of the day.

  • The most intriguing thing to me was the discussion of the difference between Organic and Local SEO. Without getting into this: Yes, there are major differences here
  • One thing to keep in mind is that services such as Localeze, Axiom, and infoUSA feed the search engines and feed secondary search directories. These secondary directories in turn passively feed Google.
  • There are differences across the three major search engines 



Maps, Maps, Maps! –

This was nice run-through of the three maps (Google, bing, Yahoo!) by the representatives of the actual search engines

  • Yahoo demoed their new features (very impressive!)
  • Yahoo uses localeze, USAlocal,etc to pull in data
  • bing showed off their advancements as well. The “1-click” directions stood out the most as the pre-populate directions from North, South, West, and East
  • Google reminded the audience to not keyword stuff the listings (e.g. Categories, etc.)
  • The importance of Reviews were driven home by Steve Espinosa from Cherrp: a minimum of 4 reviews are required to be in Google’s top 3



Keynote by Ben Huh, the CEO of ICANHASCHEEZBURGER network –

This keynote really made the day and was stuffed full of great quotes and insights. Among these were:

  • “To succeed you must turn other people’s dreams into reality”
  • ” It is Human Nature to admire complexity but to reward simplicity”
  • Don’t waste your time developing things created by others: spend 10% on off-the-shelf and 90% on your core
  • This means use products others have developed, such as: YouTube to host videos, JS-Kit for reviews, Google Docs, and Word press for blogging

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