Pubcon South Keynote – Dan Boberg and Tim Mayer

pubcon keynote
pubcon keynote

This is a live blog so there will be mistakes and typos.  Sorry ahead of time.

Speaker 1.  Dan Boberg.

Speaker 2.  Tim Mayer.

SE – search engines.

Beyond social media and twitter, what is the future of search?

The ability to look at intent.  What does the consumer want?  How can we deliver this?  We can now change the way ads are delivered based on the conversations going on with social to match your ads to it.  They can combine together.

Facebook and Bing vs. Google and Twitter.  It is interesting that the two partnered that way and Bing got the monopoly over the facebook content string and Google allows Twitter to let Twitter monetize the search streams.  The speaker believes that Google may be getting real time conversation and tweet data in exchange for allowing twitter to monetize their search results.  The info in Twitter could be helping Google to learn what people are actually look at and deliver better results.

There are some interesting articles about search in the news.  In the social content market, what do you see happening with content farms and will social look like an actual content farm?

Speaker 1.  The search engines are not as well connected with the community as they should be.  There are going to be problems and issues.  The algorithms are going to continue to change, but what google is going to try and do is evaluate if your content is unique and substantial.  If so then you may not look like a content farm.  It is about getting your content out and multiple touch points.  (This guy is basically giving the audience fluff that is boring.)

Speaker 2.  What they are trying to do is trying to figure out what a query actually means and where can they find that unique information.  One thing you may want to think about is where does this content not exist yet, and then try to create this content.  The reality is that nothing has changed.  The only thing different is that you now have huge companies with giant sites producing tons of content but it is all about where is the good content and how can the engine find it.  The systems will have to find a way to find the best content.  Again, sort of fluff copy and he pitched his company again.  He also feels that article sites will need to find a way to get higher quality articles and pages.  Again, sort of fluff.

What do you think about Bing copying Google.

Speaker 2.  Bing had a monolithic approach.  If we don’t have results for something then we’ll see if Google has results for it.  When you type in a query, what percentage of queries don’t have results.  It becomes a metric for the search engines and so they look to see if other sites have results so lets share it with our customers.  Then they deliver those results because they want to provide the best possible experience.

Speaker 1.  If you compare the difference in results then you’ll see that the signal and results from Bing and Google you’ll see that there are a ton of differences.  Statistically the signal of Google results is not significant.

How do search engines feel about the SEO community?

Speaker 1.  It’s about apathy.  Everyone has to focus on their own job.  He avoided the question and danced around it.  He did say that the search engines are to slow to respond to the community.

Speaker 2.  I liked to reach out to people at shows and see how they think people will game it.  He liked to find out about how people like or didn’t like the reactions to algorithms changed.  Search Engines would have committees and everyone would try to push something forward for user experience and for the SEO community but one engine would never want to move forward.  Other things that the SE’s would come together on would be site maps and other universally needed SEO tools.

Are big companies treated differently than small in the search engines (SEs).

speaker 1.  If you are a big company and you have a sales rep, the sales rep can talk to some of the engineers which can help to influence the algorithms and a large companies can succeed.  The other issue is what happens if Finance gets involved and says if we trash this large company, it could cause a very negative backlash in revenue for us as well.  Finance has a say in SERPs.

speaker 2.  Lots of users type in JCPenny.com and if they don’t show up in Google then they go to Bing and they loose the end user.  It is different if you have a site like your-site-keyword-stuffed-url.com then no one is going to remember it because there were no expectations which is why the hyphened url is considered spam instead of dealing with a brand.  there is a expectation of the end user to see brands and the search engines have to show them.  Large companies will have a Google SEO Rep. that can help to influence the results if they feel they are ranking to low.

What is your favorite “OOPs” story?

Speaker 1.  I was listed as Dan Globerg by accident and got some good traction out of it. Including more social insights into SERPs results was something we tried to launch with Yahoo, unfortunately it was ahead of our time.  It is what we did with Yahoo 360.  Because it was to early we had to pull it back.

Speaker 2.  The blacklist of the top 50 or 100 SEO spammers and one of the engineers accidentally left this database of the top 100 SEO spammers and it became public.  Brett posted this to webmaster world and the big oops was who was on the list that should be and who wasn’t on the list that should be on the list.  It was a list of their sites and their strategies and who they were.

To be honest I felt this keynote was a lot of fluff and not enough meat.  I loved some of the examples they gave but it wasn’t like holy crap I am leaving thinking.  I wish they shared more and stopped giving fluff answers.  They say bad data or good data but don’t give examples of how you can take bad data and make it good.  I wish they would use their “20 years of experience each” to actually dissect an article and show how to make it bad or good. The one thing I did think was interesting was that Tim did say that large companies will/may have an SEO rep in the engines who can go to the engineers and have their sites upped because they think they are being shown to low.  This is also in part to the finance department and other things.   (Personal note, you have to remember that the search engines are a for profit so this should be expected somewhat.  At the same time they are also a user experience company and the big brands could meet their users needs.  Interesting thought though that it is out there is that large companies can possibly have an internal SEO Rep. at a search engine which will influence the SERPs.)

The keynote was ok but there was nothing to learn except for fluff that we all know.  Yesterdays was much much better.

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