Webmasterworld conference day 1

This is my fourth Webmasterworld conference and the second one (for me) in Las Vegas. I went to Orlando 2004 and New Orleans 2005. The 2007 event feels as though it was almost yesterday, so here I am once again. Note: I will update this post with more details and images when I get home. (If someone has a better photograph of me, please send it to me)
Photographs at Flickr.


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Brett Tabke opened proceedings and made the observation that only one third of the sessions could be described as pure SEO. The rest covered affiliate marketing, PPC, social media, and so on.

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Shawn Rorick from Cirque du Soleil delivered the keynote address, which covered the changing nature of the Internet, particularly how the Internet was better exploited by Barack Obama than John McCain. He introduced a new phrase, “Halo Media”, which means that users decide when/how/where they will consume media.

Top-Shelf Organic SEO

  • Bruce Clay, Bill Hunt, Ash Nallawalla, Jill Whalen
  • moderator: Mark Jackson

Bill Hunt from Global Strategies International spoke about Keyword Relevance via Prominence. Keywords should be placed in prominent parts of each page, such as the Title, Heading and so on.

After making pages relevant, you need quality backlinks from equally relevant sites and the anchor text needs to be keyword-rich.

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Ash Nallawalla from Sensis focussed on Content, using the experience of the Yellow PagesĀ® (Australia) site as an example. As with all advertising-based sites, Sensis needs people to look at advertiser content, namely their Yellow Pages listings. A business profile page has relatively little content compared to a regular website, so getting it to rank is not easy. Adding text to each advertiser’s page can’t be accomplished quickly.

Ash outlined several content-based strategies that deliver value to the reader and they can choose to proceed to the listings or not. One trial that has worked well is a home improvement magazine that gets over 700 visits a day, just six weeks since its launch.

Here is a link to a longer account of this session at BruceClay.com.

Search Engine Roundtable coverage of this session.

PPC Engine Vendor Panel

  • Patrizio Spagnoletto, Frederick Vallaeys, Dustin Kwan, Doug Stotland
  • moderator: Brad Geddes

Understanding The Complex Social Marketing Playing Field

  • Cameron Olthuis, Neil Patel, Michael Gray, Rand Fishkin
  • moderator: Joe Laratro

Effective Affiliate Strategies

  • Jim Banks, David Rivero, Elisabeth Archambault, Dixon Jones
  • moderator: Aaron Shear

Game On : Rocking Your Video Startup

  • Robin Liss, Brett Tabke, Michael McDonald
  • moderator: Stephen Baker

Interactive Site Reviews: Focus on Organic

  • Seth Wilde, Carolyn Shelby, Vanessa Fox, Jiyan Wei
  • moderator: Jim Banks

Being an Effective SEO Within Your Organization

  • Jessica L Bowman, Scott Polk, Aaron Shear, Tony Adam, Alex Schultz
  • moderator: Lou Ragg

Tony Adam from Yahoo spoke about the practical aspects of being an in-house SEO. He gave practical tips such as:

  • Knowing who are the stakeholders in your company.
  • Getting to know your colleagues, their personality types and who can help your agenda.
  • Knowing what projects are under way and whether you can add SEO value to them.

Ideally, the SEO should be plugged into the company’s strategy map and have several opportunities to contribute. SEO training should be arranged for the entire organisation – obviously tailored to the audience. SEO knowledge can also be imparted through the internal communication channels.

Most important, show your passion for SEO and get colleagues enthused!

Navigating The Complex World of PPC Engines

  • Christine Churchill, Microsoft Representative, Andrew Beckman
  • moderator: Melanie Mitchell

The main takeaway for me from Alexander Barbara was that social media sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Hugg, Twitter, etc is that their traffic quality varies and they do not convert as well as targeted traffic would. If your business appeals to this audience then it might suit you.

Earning Big Bucks With Social Media Traffic

  • Vanessa Fox, Michael Gray, Alexander Barbara
  • moderator: Rand Fishkin

Balancing Income Channels Between Affiliates and Ads

  • Jim Banks, Jon Kelly, Adam Jewell
  • moderator: Joe Laratro

Video Search Engine Optimisation

  • Mark Robertson, Edward Kim, Gregory Markel, Grant Crowell
  • moderator: Robin Liss

Interactive Site Reviews: Open Call

  • Kate Morris, Wil Reynolds, Craig Paddock, Guillaume Bouchard
  • moderator: Gord Hotchkiss

Universal and Personal Search – This Changes Everything

  • Brian Combs, Greg Boser, Amanda Watlington
  • moderator: Jake Baillie

Keyword Research, Selection and Optimisation

  • Ken Jurina, Larry Mersman, Wil Reynolds, Stoney deGeyter
  • moderator: Christine Churchill

Social Media : The Big Sexy Buzz

  • Guillaume Bouchard, Kent Schoen, Brian Carter, Warren Whitlock
  • moderator: Roger B. Dooley

Affiliate Based PPC Issues and Options

  • Adam Jewell, David Naffziger
  • moderator: Jon Kelly

Video Engines – New Kids Rocking The Web

  • Cuong Do, Chase Norlin, Henry Hall, Stephen Baker
  • moderator: Brett Tabke

Interactive Site Reviews: Focus on Video

  • Grant Crowell, Gregory Markel, Michael McDonald, Mark Robertson
  • moderator: Chris Winfield

Organic Keyword Research and Selection

  • Eric Papczun, Seth Wilde, Craig Paddock, Carolyn Shelby
  • moderator: Mark Jackson

Landing Page Optimisation

  • Brad Geddes, Lily Chiu, Kate Morris
  • moderator: Christine Churchill

Is Social Media & Search a Love Story or a War Story?

  • David Wallace, Chris Winfield, Liana Evans, Bill Hartzer
  • moderator: Lawrence Coburn

Your Relationship With The Affiliate Manager

  • Bob Rains, Shawn Collins, Brook Schaaf, Beth Kirsch
  • moderator: Lisa Riolo

Video and Multimedia Advertising – Show Me The Money!

  • Mort Greenberg, Angela Lauria, Bob Bahramipour
  • moderator: Joseph Morin

Interactive Site Reviews: Focus on Affiliates

  • Adam Jewell, David Rivero, Elisabeth Archambault
  • moderator: Jill Whalen

Discover Techniques Used by Enterprise-Level SEOs/SEMs

  • Marshall D. Simmonds, Bill Hunt, Ash Nallawalla, Scott Polk
  • moderator: Joe Laratro

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Ash Nallawalla from Sensis gave an insight into the corporate SEO’s challenges. Essentially, things happen at a slower pace as corporations become larger.

  • The website can have millions of pages, so keyword selection is limited to a handful of key terms
  • There is greater emphasis on site architecture and strategy
  • Changes can be slow to implement and costly
  • Many stakeholders have to be consulted
  • As a bonus, it is easier to get unsolicited links
  • Web platforms are chosen for many reasons, but seldom SEO.
  • Web design and site architecture practices might not have taken SEO into account.
  • The web pages might not contain a lot of text.
  • Others might not link if you require them to link only in certain ways.
  • Duplicate content can occur when multinational companies copy the same pages from the parent site, or when content is licensed from a third-party specialist provider.

Ash then presented a case study of the Australian Yellow Pages website where IT resources were limited owing to other competing projects and how good SEO value was extracted. Sometimes the corporate SEO must make do.

Coverage of this session by Search Engine Roundtable.

Large Scale Bid Management

  • Chris Zaharias, Jon Kelly, Kevin Lee
  • moderator: Ken Jurina

Tag, You’re It! How To Leverage Your Visitors

  • Dan Zarrella, Brian Breslin, Geoff Livingston
  • moderator: Todd Malicoat

Working With Affiliate Networks

  • Karen White, Jamie Birch, Durk Price
  • moderator: Chuck Hamrick

Real World VodCasting and Vlogging

  • Vanessa Zamora, Brett Tabke
  • moderator: Brett Tabke

Interactive Site Reviews: Focus on SEO Design and Usability

  • Ted Ulle, Jill Sampey, Amanda Watlington, Eric Papczun
  • moderator: Jessica L Bowman

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. SEO consultant.

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