SMX Advanced: Better Ways

Filed in Conferences/Educ. by Matt McGee on June 5, 2007 3 Comments

(I think this was originally called Better Ways to Do Boring Stuff….)

Danny says he isn’t sure if this is going to work. The speaking pitches came in and were pretty boring, except Christine Churchill’s. There are NO PRESENTATIONS, it’s all Q&A.

AB = Alex Bennert, Beyond Ink
GB = Greg Boser, WebGuerrilla
JB = Jim Boykin, We Build Pages
CC = Christine Churchill, KeyRelevance
TF = Todd Friesen, Range Online Media
CO = Cameron Olthuis, Pronet Advertising
AW = Aaron Wall,

Q – bigger clients are hesitant to get into social media – any recommendations for getting them into that?

CO – very common; bigger companies are slow to get into it; have to do a lot of education and focus on reputation management.
AW – if the company won’t do it, maybe reach out to any fans/evangelists to get them involved;
AB – one client wasn’t allowed to do a blog, so we had the client sponsor an existing blog — led to a nice “halo effect” for our client

Q – how do you scale linkbait? how do you get massive amounts of links without too much work?

AW – use “related searches/related links” that you see at bottom of Google and target sites that way;
TF – we have a lot of interns – we use them for directory submissions; we do a lot of link buying; we do widget building for clients — have an embedded keyword link in the widget;
JB – no pain, no gain; we do it by hand, using email – offer them something of value; the days of pressing a button for linkbuilding are over

Q – is there a way to logging in to social network sites very quickly?

TF – Roboform can speed things up

Q – are there any accurate keyword tools?

TF – MSFT’s new keyword tool in the labs ( is incredible, a fantastic tool
CC – Wordtracker gets data from meta search engines; might start using ISP data; they throw out odd-looking queries, and their numbers are much lower; Keyword Discovery recently changed their data sources; the default is now user data from a toolbar; I don’t care about numbers, I care about the relative position of one search term for another
GB – with Keyword Discovery, the relationship of the words always seems to pan out accurately
CC – a PPC campaign can also give keyword counts, but there are so many variables (how good are your ads?) that your mileage may vary

Q – best way to use social media buttons? there are so many to choose from

CO – I don’t like using them at all; sometimes you don’t want to encourage people to Digg your site; too many poor submissions hurts your site

Q – social media sites often lead to links from irrelevant sites; how do you explain the value of that to a client?

CO – there may be some irrelevant links, but they won’t hurt you; most should be on-topic
AW – there are a lot of polluted (off-topic) links across the web
GB – linkbait and social media are great for building links for overall trust, but not necessarily for anchor text and ranking on a certain phrase; still need to get focused, targeted links

Q – how many targeted links can you get in a month without getting in trouble?

AW – it’s all relative to your site and the industry you’re in — how many links is normal?
GB – who’s the dominant site in this space? how many links do they have built over what period of time — we target out clients to match that rate;
JB – it’s not a sheer numbers game; it’s a quality game, as well;
TF – important to fit into your space;

Q – about working with designers on building SE0-friendly sites

Danny – search engine crawlers are the 3rd browser; if you design for Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc. — you should also design for spiders; 85% of people use Explorer, but 100% use a search engine

Q – how important is page freshness?

AW – other pages might be more prominent on the competing sites; be careful about how you give out your site’s link equity; if a search shows news results, it might indicate a hot topic, and newer content might be boosted

Q – any tips for retailers to optimize Google Base submissions?

not much advice from the panel; not much interest from a marketing perspective

Q – do you have a favorite tool you use for any SEO work?

TF – SearchStatus Firefox extension & Web Developer toolbar
CO – shameless plug for
JB – shameless plug for our Top 10 tool
TF – Aaron’s “SEO for Firefox” extension; also, Xenu Link Sleuth
GB – Web Bug
Danny – Groowe toolbar lets you use all the toolbars at once in your browser

Comments (3)

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  1. Free SEO Tools That I Regularly Use | SEO/PPC | July 5, 2007
  1. jameszol says:

    Hey Matt,

    Thanks for these great bullet point style posts covering SMX Advanced! It’s nice to have the major points in a quick read format like this.

    You probably didn’t need my help but I had a few seconds to find these so here are the links to the tools in the last question (except for the shameless plugs…):

    SearchStatus Firefox extension

    Web Developer Toolbar

    Aaron’s “SEO for Firefox” extension

    Xenu’s Link Sleuth

    Wikipedia entry on Web Bugs…I know…Wikipedia…there are some good resources for Web Bugs at the bottom though!

    Groowe toolbar

    I already have most of them. I just downloaded SearchStatus and Groowe’s toolbar. I’m excited to use them! I’ll check them out tomorrow!

  2. Matt McGee says:

    Some folks don’t care for my bullet-point recaps of conference sessions, so I really appreciate your feedback. I enjoy reading the story-style recaps that other folks write, but when I need to refer back to these recaps later (which I do!), I find the bullet points make it much easier to find exactly what I was looking for.

    (I also don’t type quickly enough to catch everything, so it’s best that I focus on the main bullet points and fill-in more details where I can.)

    Thx for those links, too. 🙂

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