With a heavy travel schedule the last couple of weeks, my back is killing me. Sleeping in an economy seat in the airplane does not make it better. And with three nights in the last 2 weeks on a plane, I’m in bad shape. While being on the BlueGlass conference in Tampa, I met up with Dr Mike, AKA Chiropractic on Twitter. Mike is a Los Angeles Chiropractor and he was able to fix me up right on the spot. Great, thanks Mike!
Two days ago, I presented 3 eBay cases on SMX West in the session around Industrial Strength SEO. One of these 3 cases was based on the W0QQ legacy issue I blogged about 2 years ago. (full presentation only available for attendees of SMX West, or contact me)
If you don’t know what W0QQ is, I recommend searching for it on Google, and you might find:
Essentially, the problem was that I wanted to have the W0QQ removed out of the eBay URL’s for longer time already. However, changing the URL’s on multiple really large sites is a huge project which is difficult to pull off. As described in my post from 2 years ago, the W0QQ URL’s were used as an example of what not to do:
Last week on SMX West a Google rep presented on URL structures (can somebody get me those slides). One part of her presentation was about MAVRICK URL's
Essentially, I got my job done by making a fool out of myself on an industry conference. It took only two months after I used the story how our URL’s were being used as an example of what not to do to make the necessary changes. Sometimes it pays off to be embarrassed in front of your industry peers…
I’m crashing the Search Engine Strategies conference today for only one day. My buddy Casey is speaking tomorrow and on Thursday, which I will miss. But fortunately we can hang out at the Blue Glass party tonight, and have some dinner. Casey is the Director for Digital Marketing of the NHL players’ association.
I’m a little late today, and only will be able to attend the sessions in the afternoon, which are pretty basic. But always good to listen to the speakers and see if you can get some more ideas, ways of presenting certain data and off course the way you can speak in public.
Session review: Content
In the content session, Bazaarvoice is up. Bazaarvoice is off course the User Generated Content and review company which recently closed a partnership with Google. According to Bazaarvoice 80% of content on major commerce sites (Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, etc.) Is UGC. A good example which is presented is a company called QVC. QVC has had good results in their product reviews, through asking their users to review their products.
Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz is pointing out he has written a little over 3,000 blogposts. This has taken him over 6 years to create these posts. There are certain UGC websites who create this amount of content within 6 months. Demand Media is even creating more than 5000 pieces of content on a daily basis. This is like carpet bombing the index, and shooting with hail to make sure you will hit something.
Furthermore, Rand shows something what he calls the power of default selection. Making one selection of price point the default, its conversion rate will go up by 20%. Nice.
The guy from Bazaarvoice, Michael DeHaven is starting a sentence with: “They asked me not to share this…” So why do you share it then. Good advice though, which I won’t blog here to avoid him getting in trouble :-).
Conversations in the hallway
I always go through the total speaker list to see if there are more people I might know. And what do you think, Matthijs Gajentaan is one of the speakers. Matthijs is another Dutch guy living in Toronto, where he has started his own company, Winvolve.com. More than 10 years ago, I was an intern at Netstad in Amsterdam, where at the time Matthijs was the marketing manager for Europe. It’s always important to keep up with the people in your network. So I dropped Matthijs an email through LinkedIn, and we just met for a nice catch up in the hallway.
While we were chatting in Dutch, another Dutch guy came by, and immediately turned around and came up to us. And what do you think…We met before on SES San Jose two years ago. He lives in Alabama.
While chatting, about living abroad, the conference etc, we got back to our Dutch roots and started to complain about things around us. What really was clear is that the organization of SES is not particularly good. The food is not of high quality, warm drinks and hardly places to sit to eat your food, no power plugs in the session rooms and the wifi sucks and is spotty. For the amount you pay for a ticket, which I didn’t so I’m not complaining, it seems the service you get is minimal.
I got an invite for the BlueGlass party tonight. Good call from the team, as I just heard that searchbash has been cancelled Microsoft withdrew their sponsorship for the party. BlueGlass is making a name for itself in such short notice, but what can you expect. The company has a bunch of Internet Marketing Rockstars as founders!
Connecting During Lunch
The value in these kind of conferences lies in re-connecting with old and new friends. During lunch, I sat down with Brent D Payne, the Bald SEO. Brent and I spoke earlier this year at the SMX inhouse session in Seattle, and it is always good to catch up with Brent. This time, he brought his son with him, and clearly the little guy is going to be the next generation of techie. Brent is awes0ome, and you should follow him for good SEO tips on Twitter @BrentDPayne.
At our table we had some great people to connect with. I see these moments as most valuable of the whole conference, as you can drill down in learning's people might share with you. More important, you can build out your network, on which you can build later on.
Casey Speaking Gig
Casey is right up to speak next about Speeking Geek: How Marketers Can Work with Web Developers to Achieve Business Goals. He is such a geek himself, so won’t be any problem speaking geek LOL.
He is doing great. Funny and on the ball bringing great points home and engaging the audience in the presentation. He brings up three books you should read:
At the end he asks people to follow him on Twitter, as I’m kicking his ass in number of followers. Yeah!
Where to read more…
I created a separate section of my site here, where I share the links which I read. Here you can find some of the great live blogging posts so many companies/ SEO bloggers are putting up.
The purpose of my travel two weeks ago to Sao Paulo Brazil, was presenting on SearchLabs. I was invited to speak on SEO for large ecommerce websites. Usually, as an in-house SEO, I have not much appetite to go speaking at conferences. There is hardly any value your company can get out of the fact you might be giving away trade secrets, other than recruiting purposes or brand building. However, in this case, I was very interested.
My session was primarily focused on SEO for large websites, organizational structure and product life cycle. I touched on the new crawler insights we have since a couple of month, and finalized with some cool innovation like our redirect on special items like the Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich from years ago. As an extra added bonus, I discussed how you can use data from your site as link bait or story telling. Obviously my iPad export story I used a couple of times in other presentation is still #1 here.
On the last day of the conference, the ending session was a Q&A with a bunch of the speakers on stage. Since we had been drinking Caipirinha before in the hotel lobby, more were ordered to drink on stage. Obviously this was not expected, but the audience could appreciate it.
Luckily, we did all the interviews already before the Caipirinha’s, so we could just continue after the last session to get some drinks and Mortadella sandwich.
I had a blast on the Searchlabs conference with Vanessa, Todd, Gillian and all the other speakers and audience. Thank you Miguel & Alexandre for having me and being such good hosts. And special thanks to Mister Juliano, who has showed what Brazilian hospitality is all about!
If you would like to book me to speak on a conference, you can contact me.