I left the Web 2.0 UI workshop and jumped into the last hour of the SEO/SEM workshop. I probably should have been in the SEO/SEM the entire time instead. I figured I knew much of what I needed to know about the SEO/SEM space, but the guys up there (from Range Online Media and Web Guerilla) seemed to have some good tips and good experience.
The most interesting thing they had to say (in that last hour I saw them) was that most sites/companies are far too afraid of pissing off the search engines and so they follow the web master guidelines too closely. They said that we should just push the limits; specifically we should just cloak. Yeah, just get over it and serve specific pages to bots (as identified by user agents). They go so far as to serve specific pages to bots as identified by IP address. Interesting. I’m ready to give it a shot…
Update: Here are some other tips that come from my notes:
- Best/Worst kept secret: Yahoo Search Submit Pro. Use it. It’s gray tactics that you can actually use, and it works!
- A lot of the on-page tactics are ones you’ve all heard before:
- Title tags
- Meta tags
- H1 tags
- Get rid of query strings
- Get quality links
- And finally, check out the SEO presentation. Definitely some interesting stuff.
This is interesting, and matches with my anecdotal findings. Whenever I’m promoting a client site, I’ll look at the top competitors. They’re ALWAYS sites that game the engines, shamelessly. And despite the threats of “Google will start penalizing that behavior any day now” I’ve seen them stay up there. I’ve been tracking some for over a year. Well, fine, penalize my site then– after I’ve had a year to build traffic.