SES London – Day 2
Today I am going to make my post a bit shorter as it’s been a long (and rewarding) day at SES London.
The day kicked off with the keynote conversation with Matt Cutts, in
which he talked about spam in a very general way, about how the Google
dance is over and the Everflux is the go, and touched on personalised
search and the imminent end of monolithic results as we know them.
Convenor Chris Sherman asked what Matt’s favourite Google tools are,
and it seems like Google Browsersync for Firefox, Yahoo!s Site Explorer, MSN’s image search,
Ask’s Smart Answers, and Google’s Webmaster console (which is coming out of beta) are pushing his buttons right now.
Predictions about where Google is going highlighted two main concepts,
the personalisation/location of search, and, the fact that Google is
trying to organise the world’s data – so make sure all your media is
optimised because sooner or later it’ll be crawlable.
Which leads nicely into the main theme of the sessions I attended
today. The big focus for natural search was social search, which of
course involves not just blogs but also alternative media; video and
podcasting. The main consensus is that it is early days for these
media, but it is going to be big. David Ives of TV Eyes reckons 123 million people in the USA will view video online once a month in 2007.
Many likened the video and podcast search landscape to that of web
search circa 1998 – lots of engines, each with different optimisation
criteria, and spending a long time sorting out your meta data. Amanda
Watlington of Searching for Profit
was particularly incisive and visionary in her take on the growing
phenomena of video, podcast and blog SEO, and provided clear lists of
best practice which revolve around…generating keylists, naming your
files, and submitting to all the engines. Time consuming but worth it
if you want your content to be picked up and linked to. For podcasting
learn about ID3 tags and how they work as they are parsable.
Another nascent area is news search. According to Greg Jarboe of SEO PR
PR agencies are still working out how to leverage the power of online
distribution. The principles of SEO are not completely transferable to
PR, but search is critical to getting your news out there, and there is
far less competition among news pages than webpages, and PR can no
longer ignore the search engines as a means of getting the message out
there. Savvy agencies are using social spaces like My Space, and are creating releases specifically for the blogosphere.
Lastly the highlight of today was meeting Matt Cutts who made me feel
better about the repercussions of personalised search, and refused to
reveal how many Google account holders there are. Suffice to say, and I
quote, "there are more than you think." Thanks Matt!