Shows related to Ethics

August 25, 2010

International SEO and Online Communities with Ben Huh

No one ever said SEO was a one-size-fits-all solution. One way this is true is in international markets, where accepted tactics, user behavior, and search engine technologies and features make each region a different challenge. Today on the show, Bruce, Susan and Virginia account for the differences of SEO methodology across the world. SEOs in any region must understand the unique demands of the search space, and craft personas appropriate to their audience. International search engines have specific quality guidelines, and also, different thresholds for what may be considered spam. However, the quality guidelines in the U.S. and the white hat SEO best practices that follow them are the safest and most long-term solution to SEO, no matter where the site or business resides.

Ben Huh understands the needs of individual communities as the founder of the Cheezburger Network. He talks to Virginia about building communities that people love. Community participation can be facilitated by making it easy to join in the conversation or generate content. He also explains that every community is different and that moderators aren’t there so much to police the community as keep it the way the users like it. He then shares what he sees as the foundational element of a successful startup, and that’s passion.

Returning to the discussion of international SEO issues, Virginia and Daerick Gross are joined by Bruce Clay Australia’s Kate Gamble and Bruce Clay Italy’s Alessandro Agostini. While today spam and quality guidelines may vary across regions, all search engines seek to provide quality results. Avoidance of gray or black hat tactics will keep a site in the best position for long-term rankings. It’s also an SEO’s responsibility to be aware of all available features and tools at their disposal. And while competition has long been considered a question of location, when search results are dominated by domains from another region, competition is who ranks, not who is physically nearby.

• Posted in Ethics, International SEO
January 14, 2009

The Spam Evolution and What Not to Do

Spam has come a long way since the early days of the Internet. Bruce argues that it’s even become more malicious along the way. Initially Web users may have accidentally created Web spam, such as cloaking and keyword stuffing, without knowing the potential harm spam can cause. However, as the Web has developed, search engines have since become clearer on what constitutes spam. As a result, users creating spam are more likely to know they are doing so, and yet continue to do it on purpose. Susan, Bruce and Virginia start off the show by taking a look at the changing face and definition of spam, as well as current efforts to police and control Web spam.

Bruce Clay, Inc. Senior Analyst Scott Polk then talks to Virginia about how spam affects the social media space and link building efforts. Michael Gray brought up the scenario of Google implementing a “report social media spam” form, and Lisa Barone asked if social media links would be devalued as a ranking factor because of the ease in which they can be abused. Scott agrees that spammers and search engines are involved in a never-ending cycle in which spammers take advantage of a loophole while search engines try to close it.

Wrapping up the show, Susan, Maryann and Virginia describe spammy techniques to avoid on your site. However, it’s important to keep in mind the intent behind the use of such techniques, as a noble intent behind a sometimes spammy tactic can leave a different footprint than the same tactic used with malicious intent. Cloaking a page, for instance, in order to clean up a spider-unfriendly URL is acceptable, whereas cloaking to hide something from a search engine is not.

• Posted in Ethics
December 17, 2008

Matt Cutts: 2008 and the Future of Search

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.

October 8, 2008

SMX East 2008

SMX East is going on this week in New York City, attracting many talented and experienced search and social marketers to the Big Apple. Read the blog this week for liveblog coverage of the sessions.

Cindy Krum, Director of New Media Strategies, Blue Moon Works, talks to Virginia about how to optimize for mobile search. Eric Lander, Associate Editor at Search Engine Journal and Organic Search Manager at ADP/BZ Results, looks at enhanced listings. Then Kate Morris, SEM,, sits down with Virginia at the WebmasterRadio.FM Search Bash to talk about white hat secrets and contractual issues in SEM campaigns.

August 13, 2008

On the Way to SES San Jose

With Bruce heading out to SES San Jose next week, he and Robert take a look at the subject of the panel on which Bruce will be speaking. Black Hat, White Hat: Playing Dirty with SEO covers a much-discussed topic in the SEO industry – one that has increasingly found the limelight following the Give It Up session at SMX Advanced in June. Bruce explains that black hat tactics may be a fine method of experimentation for SEOs’ personal domains, however, search engine-approved methodology is often a more sustainable business model.

Then Bruce talks to Kevin Ryan, the VP and global content director of Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch. Kevin speaks to his goals and direction for the show, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month. With constantly updated session topics and a growing number of attendees, SES continues to offer strong opportunities for education and networking in the highly-competitive industry.

Susan and Virginia close out the show with a look at the sessions and events they will be sure not to miss. From the keynotes to the parties, there are more than enough activities to keep all attendees busy for the four-day long conference. Certainly, you’ll find blogger Lisa Barone, Susan and Virginia at the Google Dance and Search Bash come night fall!

June 11, 2008

Is Advanced SEO Black Hat?

After the debate-inspiring conference that was SMX Advanced, our hosts take on one of the most popular topics concerning the show. The issue of whether or not SMX Advanced has moved to the “dark side” — spurred by black/gray tactics discussed, most notably, at the link building and Give It Up sessions — has generated heated debate across the Web, including on the Bruce Clay blog.

Jeremiah Andrick, Program Manager of Live Search Webmaster Center, speaks with Virginia from the SMX show room floor. Jeremiah talks about the Robots Exclusion Protocol, the Microsoft 404 Toolkit, what webmasters can find in Live Search Webmaster Center, as well as why he likes attending industry conferences.

Then the hosts sit down to discuss the benefits of publishing a corporate blog. From enhanced internal communication to improved customer service and media relations, the upsides to a blog are great. However, blogs require resources and support to work, which can only occur when the whole company understands what can be gained.

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