Show archive of December 2008

    1. Search 2008: The Past and Future of the SEM Industry

      December 31, 2008

      To wrap up 2008, Bruce, Susan and Virginia look back at the big stories of the year. The recession of the past year forced out jobs and shifted marketing budgets. Yahoo almost merged with Microsoft but ended up struggling solo. Google released a mobile platform, Android, as well as a mobile AdWords program for the iPhone and Android devices. Social media also reached a new level of popularity this year and the search was on for a way to monetize social networks.

      Barry Schwartz, editor of Search Engine Roundtable, news editor of Search Engine Land and CEO of RustyBrick, is today’s guest on the show. He talks to Virginia about the developments of 2008, including his favorite conferences, the ongoing black hat/white hat debate, link buying and engagement. Barry has reported on the search industry for more than five years and stands as an expert in the history and developments of search.

      Bruce, Susan and Virginia finish off the show with Bruce’s industry predictions for 2009. During his PubCon interview with Mike McDonald of WebProNews, Bruce explained his theory of how personal, behavioral and intent-based search will cause a devaluation of rankings as an SEO metric. In his follow-up interview with WPN’s Abby Johnson during SES Chicago, Bruce stood behind his earlier statements and explained how the right tools can help in the changing search landscape.

    2. Matt Cutts: 2008 and the Future of Search

      December 17, 2008

      This week’s episode of SEM Synergy features an extended interview with Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam Team. As a major spokesperson for Google within the SEO community, Matt often speaks at conference panels and is interviewed by industry publications throughout the year. As the New Year approaches, Virginia sits down with Matt to get a picture of search in 2009. They cover increasingly important algorithm factors, Web 2.0 technologies that Google is working toward indexing, how purchased links are handled, spam concerns, the dropping value of rankings, and upcoming online trends.

      Bruce and Susan are very interested in Matt’s comments on spam, prompting Bruce to dedicate a show segment to spam in early January. Another standout is Matt’s interest in mobile search, with AdWords Mobile Ads, the Google iPhone application and voice search capability, and Google’s open mobile platform Android pointing to how necessary it is that SEOs embrace mobile search optimization.

    3. New and Improved SEO Tools

      December 10, 2008

      Search Engine Strategies Chicago is going on this week and Bruce Clay is there to speak on the SEO Tools panel. Tools are an important part of any search marketers arsenal, so today’s show focuses on tools that can help gather data and get tasks done with maximum efficiency. Bruce, Susan and Virginia start off the show by looking at the evolving attitude toward tools and how they can help.

      Then, Bruce Clay, Inc.’s IT Manager Aaron Landerkin joins the show to talk about the newest features and additions to the SEOToolSet. The SEMToolbar is set for release in early 2009. It features keyword stats and keyword demographics, how many pages of the site are indexed in Google, Yahoo and MSN and the number of inbound links. For subscribers to the SEOToolSet, the SEMToolbar can act as a gateway to the SEOToolSet while allowing you to see helpful information as you’re surfing the Web.

      A helpful feature that will be available on both the SEMToolbar and the new version of the SEOToolSet is proxy searching. This will allow you to view localized search results for cities and countries across the world. The SEMToolbar and SEOToolSet can both be viewed in twenty languages. A new interface, a new back-end structure, increased data storage and enhanced speed are all part of the new SEOToolSet, which will be available at the beginning of the year.

    4. Engagement Objects Enhance Site Content

      December 3, 2008

      At PubCon last month, Bruce was interviewed by Mike McDonald of WebProNews. The topics Bruce talked about covered the importance of personalization, the devaluation of ranking as the prime metric for SEO, and the role of engagement objects on rankings going forward. There were a lot of people talking about Bruce’s comments, so Bruce, Susan and Virginia address the interview subjects on the show.

      Then Virginia talks to Matt Inman, a Web designer and marketer who specializes in creating engaging Web content. Matt gives listeners a window into his work process for developing ideas, illustrations and quizzes. He says that quizzes are the most requested form of content that clients ask him for. He also explains how he gets his projects buzz on social media platforms like Twitter and Digg, as well as his strategy of giving designs away for free.

      Susan, Michael, Maryann and Virginia then talk about engagement objects and how they play into people’s desire to see visual and interactive content. Images in search results have been found to draw more attention, and having images, videos and other non-text content on a site will improve the chances of showing up in blended search. Also, videos, games and widgets, which give users something to do on your site, may attract users to come back. Content is king, and content is more than just text.