SEO for Web 2.0 session – SMX London Day 2 recap

Nathan Buggia, Live Search Webmaster Central, Lead Program Manager, Microsoft
Tom Critchlow, Head of Search Marketing, Distilled
Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Creative Director,
Dave Naylor, Owner, Bronco

A fantastic session covering some of the issues faced in doing SEO in a Web 2.0 environment. In particular, Tom from Distilled offers up some cracking tips using real examples of great SEO implementation on Web 2.0 sites.

Nathan opened with a case study on Arbor snowboards. I’m a lib:tech fan so interesting case study!
He used Google trends to compare brand search to “snowboards” to demonstrate the potential gap in business by not optimising for “snowboards”. The title tag on the Arbor site uses the term “Arbor”

He went on to highlight some of the issues associated with “rich media” sites:

He said, as a search engine “we cannot understand rich media”
– The search engine can’t read the page content

– Only one url for many pages

– Customers can’t link directly to content on your site

Techniques to deal with these issues:

Create simple landing pages
– All html / css
– Login control
– Add links to all your content

Create compelling content for your audience:
– Content is king
– Everyone should have a blog (in a subfolder)
– Best sales content about your products (include UGC)
– Viral, social media (how to’s, backgrounds, boarding guides)
– Instrument to track performance

Refactor functionality and content:
– Refactor the app to only add functionality to the specific rich portions of the page design rather than all one app
– Use plain html for links to internal pages

Create a down level experience
– Use JS noscipt to deliver text only vs. rich content
– Use an XML sitemap to indicate authoritative urls

Asp .net tips (with iis)
– Soft 404s with CE pages

(I couldn’t get any more of these tips so watch his blog for the presentaion)

Tom Critchlow – Distilled

Why does web 2.0 pose a challenge ti traditional SEO thinking?

Tom started by talking largely about UGC, why web 2.0 sites are different and how you can improve the optimisation overall. The typical problems he identified include badly worded title tages, poor information architecture, not many internal links. Less control over how link juice is passed to most important pages.

Leveraging UGC for fun and profit
Search queries are UGC too – this was a great tip using Scribd as an example.

Search queries are useful data! Both internal and external queries. Look at search queries instigated by the user on the site or look at external referrers. “Latest searches leading to this document” – see an example below:

Identify opportunities (identify “hot” pages)
Use internal metrics to find opportunities, for example: – star ratings, thumbs up, thumbs down, page popularity.

Advice on architecture

Use data to drive internal linking – use links to pages that are:

Most listened
Top selling
Highest rated
Most viewed
Hot right now

Your popular pages are easiest to get ranking!

Last FM case study

The more plays a track gets, the more links internally it gets. Tom plugged “Fragile State” the band!
Internal links are generated by the number of “listened to” counts. The Jonny Cash page now ranks no 4 for “jonny cash”. A great example of how internal popularity data can drive internal links and ultimate KW rankings in search engines.

Dave Naylor

Case study:

“The badges of dishonour”

Dave gives an example of Matt Inman’s badges and showed a screenshot from Alexa data showing they got no traffic for 6 months becuase of their ban. Ouch!

Sumolounge is now a PR 0 homepage because they sent their products to known bloggers who promoted the product. The problem was caused when SUMOlounge blogged about the fact this “practice was good for SEO”.

In summary:

– Keep control of your website (UGC)
– Look at your site like a spider would
– “short term fixes over long term risk”
– Because your web 2.0 doesn’t make you bullet proof.
– WordPress themes – footer links cause huge problems. Don’t do it!
– Guestbooks on your site if ignored could fill up with Spam and get you banned. Keep an eye on them!

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4 thoughts on “SEO for Web 2.0 session – SMX London Day 2 recap

  1. Lodewijk says:

    Hi Richard,

    Nice post, some stuff is amazing.. Like the Arbor Snowboard.

    But can you give some extra feedback on the WordPress footer links?
    Since most bloggers use them etc..


  2. Tom says:

    Thanks for the write-up Richard and glad you enjoyed the session. Was great hanging out for a couple of days!

  3. Dan says:

    I missed this presentation so thanks for posting it Richard. I can’t find any links to presentations on the SMX website as promised in the brochure / delegates.

    Tom – I was the guy who asked a question about mobile SEO. We’ve got an offer coming up very soon, but I’d like to see that blog post you mentioned.

  4. Ben McKay says:

    Thanks for filling me in – couldn’t make it, so really good to get a break-down.


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