SES San Francisco Conference Agenda

Here’s a clickable summary of the SES San Francisco Online Marketing Conference coming up next week at the Moscone Center.  

We’ll be reporting live from the conference.   Links take you to the SES website here:  http://sesconference.com

 Day 1 Agenda – Tuesday, August 14 – Moscone Center

7:00-6:30pm Registration
7:30-9:00am Morning Coffee
9:00-10:00am Conference Welcome and Opening Keynote
Business Optimization in a Digital Age
Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist, Google
10:00-11:00am Grand Opening of the Expo Hall
10:00-6:30pm Expo Hall
Track 1 Track 2 Track 3 Track 4 Track 5 Track 6
Marin Software BloomReach Learn with Google
10:30-11:30am Information Architecture for the Modern Website Spy vs Spy: Competitive Analysis Social Media Optimization that Won’t Break the Bank Big Data: What Marketers Need to Know Kick Start
The Foundations of Search Engine Marketing
Keynote: Search and Beyond with Google AdWords and DoubleClick
11:30-11:45am Session Interval
11:45-12:45pm Keyword Modeling Analysis Page One Power
No BS Link Building for E-Commerce Sites
Mobile Marketing Tactics Beyond Keywords! Extreme PPC Targeting Kick Start
Introduction to Analytics
Winning the Moments that Matter with Local, Social and Mobile AdWords Search Strategies
12:45-2:00pm Networking Lunch in the Expo Hall
2:00-3:00pm SEO & Website Migrations: How to Have a Smooth Transition Insider Tips to Ad Optimization Social Media, Meet ROI: The Secrets to Social Commerce Quantcast
Performance Targeting through Real Time Bidding and Display: The Complement to Search
Kick Start
Getting Started with SEO
DoubleClick Search: The Power of Platform for the Next Step in Search Marketing Management
3:00-3:30pm Afternoon Break in the Expo Hall
3:30-4:30pm Internet Marketing Ninjas
Pandas, Penguins, Authors, & Links
Optimizing Landing Pages for Conversion and Revenue Local Myth Busters – Local Optimization Facts Proven or Debunked Web Analytics Deep Dive Kick Start
A Beginner’s Guide to Paid Search
Richer Tools for Targeting: Search + Display
4:30-5:30pm Meet the Experts: Roundtable Forum
5:30-6:30pm Networking Cocktail Reception in the Expo Hall
9:00pm-late WebmasterRadio.FM's SearchBash
WebmasterRadio.FM’s SearchBash

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Day 2 Agenda – Wednesday, August 15 – Moscone Center

8:00-6:00pm Registration
8:00-8:45am Morning Coffee
8:45-9:00am Morning Briefing with Mike Grehan
10:00-3:00pm Expo Hall
Track 1 Track 2 Track 3 Track 4 Track 5 Track 6
9:00-10:00am Key Metrics for SEO & Social How to Win with Google & Bing Big Data & Social: Mining Social Media Data to Add Value Optimize B2B Content across the Sales Cycle Effective Paid Search Tactics SES Talkback

 What is it? 

10:00-10:30am Morning Coffee Break in the Expo Hall
10:30-11:30am SEO Tools of the Trade Channel Surfing: Measuring Profit & ROI Across Channels Activating the Social-Search Dynamic The Do’s and Don’ts in Executing an Effective Retargeting / Remarketing Strategy Building Your Brand with Paid and Earned SES Talkback
Understanding the Mobile Customer Journey
11:30-12:30pm Meet the Experts: Roundtable Forum
12:30-1:30pm Networking Lunch in the Expo Hall
1:30-2:30pm Enterprise Link Building Bing
New Features Lab
Generate More Pinterest: Getting the Most from the New Kid on the Social Block Optimizing Conversion from Strategy to Execution – The Three Keys to Success Semantic Search: SCHEMAs and CMS: Increase Engagement and Freshen Your Content SES Talkback
How to Take Your Blog to the Next Level
2:30-2:45pm Session Interval
2:45-3:45pm SEO 2012: What Still Works? Paid Search Analytics & Multi-Touch Attribution Analysis Social Media Marketing: Killer Facebook Ads Better SEM in a Cross-Channel World The Convergence of Search, Social, & Content Marketing SES Talkback
Search, Social, and Mobile in Asia
3:45-4:00pm Afternoon Break
4:00-5:00pm Bionic Search Marketing: Fusing People & Technology Actionable Statistics to Advance your PPC The B2B Data Challenge: Value & Attribution Global SEM: Turn Right at Reykjavik – How to Reach Europe’s Biggest Markets Duplicate Content & Multiple Site Issues SES Talkback
SEO 2013 – the Future of Search
5:15-6:30pm SES Eliminator Quiz & Networking Event
6:00-9:00pm Good Beer for a Good Cause
Register: http://mediacause.eventbrite.com/

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Day 3 Agenda – Thursday, August 16 – Moscone Center

8:30-3:30pm Registration
8:30-9:30am Morning Coffee
9:30-10:30am Morning Keynote Panel
Integrated Marketing: What Does That Really Mean?
10:30-10:45am Session Interval
Track 1 Track 2 Track 3 Track 4 Track 5
10:45-11:45am SEO Diagnostics for the Skilled Search Mechanic Latinosphere: Marketing to Latinos in the Age of Digital Local & Social: Maximizing Visibility App Analytics: Proving the Value of Your App The New Inbox: The Intersection of Email, Mobile, & Social Marketing
11:45-1:00pm Networking Lunch
1:00-2:00pm Building a Massive Customer Base through Content Driven SEO Effective PPC Auditing Get Inside Your Customer’s Head: Research. Insight. Discovery. Global SEM: Hidden Dragons—Mastering Search in Tempting Asian Markets How to Drive 51% Engagement Through Email Marketing
2:00-2:15pm Session Interval
2:15-3:15pm Successful In-House SEO PPC Beyond Search: New Ad Formats, Display, & Social Keys to Success with B2B Video Data That Persuades: How to Prove Your Point Getting the Content Right: Constructing Effective Messaging Over Email
3:15pm End of Conference

SES San Francisco. Live Reporting Starts August 12

Technology Report will be live blogging SES San Francisco, one of the world’s oldest and arguably the top online marketing conference*.   Most of that coverage will be here at Technology Report but I will also have posts at JoeDuck and our Retire USA Retirement Blog when the topics may be of interest to seniors and retired folks.

Technology Report was actually started with my California Technnology buddy John Ghysels to cover SES plus other conference events in Silicon Valley like the Mashup Camp and Startup Camps  (I miss those!)  but I have not been to SES for several years and I’m looking forward to reporting from there this year and giving extra  attention to the topic of Search Engine Optimization or ‘SEO’, something always near and dear to me as somebody who supervises so many websites.

Social media has shaken things up quite a bit both online and in the SEO field.   In my view Google has become much more conservative ranking websites.  Google now assumes very correctly that most new websites are spam or very low quality sites, and therefore Google looks for “big signals” to allow new sites to rank well for valuable terms.   This adds yet another burden to new websites that deserve to rank well, especially those that seek valuable niche markets.

For more about the upcoming SES Conference visit their website, review the SES Conference Agenda Online, or go directly to the following conference highlights here (these link directly to the SES Official Site):

INTEGRATED MARKETING

SES Conference first timers will want to note that this conference is fast and furious, and you can’t possible take in everything over the course of three days.    I’d recommend you review the materials carefully before the show and pick a few topics and speakers you’ll want to hear and be sure to get to those talks.  Ask a question or introduce yourself to the speakers afterwards.    (tip – you’ll certainly want to have Google’s Avinash Kaushik on that list).

SES Parties:   Sadly, the incredible  “Google Dance” is no longer a feature of the SES conference but you’ll want to keep your eyes open for party opportunities with the many exhibitors at the Conference.    The burst of the dot com bubble meant downsizing of both internet companies and their parties, the best of which was the amazing “Google Dance” held at the close of SES on the Google campus in Mountain View.

* There are basically three major online strategy conferences and the history of these events is quite fun and interesting.  They are SES, SMX, and PubCon.

Yahoo / Bing Search Alliance Update

Below is a quick summary of the most recent update from Yahoo regarding the Bing (Microsoft Search) / Yahoo advertising alliance, an attempt by both companies to stem the tide of Google’s search dominance.   Yahoo’s history of bad search decisions makes me a bit worried that they may try to compromise Bing’s (pretty good) search quality in favor of paid listings, further eroding the credibility gap between Google and Yahoo/Bing search.

Ironically Google search is probably more vulnerable than ever to the advent of a new, great search engine  thanks to Google’s current tendency to   1.  Elevate old and well SEOd (Search Optimized) websites above newer, better ones   2. Avoid proper policing big players like Ebay / Amazon who often appear high in paid and sometimes even organic rankings despite no/thin content about the query.  3. Maintain unreasonably high per click charges on many terms, effectively favoring the big money / big box  advertisers over small businesses.   4.  Not use enough social media feedback to help rank sites (they use some and I’d guess are slowly integrating this, but nobody has made the breakthrough that will come from clever “crowdsourcing” about websites.        5. THROUGH 10.      LACK OF TRANSPARENCY!       Google remains very opaque when it comes to website rankings, and Yahoo in their infinite lack of cleverness 3 years back missed a golden opportunity to come to the rescue of advertisers, webmasters, and most importantly users by creating a more level field with a lot more information about how rankings work combined with public identification of site owners, webmasters, and spammers/ abusers.    Creating this type of transparency would solve many of the problems that currently plague the search game, most importantly the problems that come from webmasters trying to please Google rather than create new, innovative sites.    Best single example is the fiasco of Google’s insistence on “Nofollow” links, which have seriously distorted the entire search landscape to favor cleverly optimized / costly sites over new mom and pop operations.

You see this often  in the travel space where large, thin sites outrank rich, local sites that are newer and don’t have the link base of the older sites.     With Google as pretty much the only search in town, new links will flow mostly as a function of  the rank of the website, so we have a circular system where the “rich get richer”.     [for the record this aspect of the algorith benefits me in the case of some of my very old websites, so this is not a “sour grapes” rant as much as a critique of the approach].

However I’m not holding my breath on Bing Yahoo taking up much of Google’s market share.    As we’ve noted before Google remains an excellent tool, and it took hold of people’s search consciousness at the time they were developing their online habits, so even a superior search would have trouble hurting Google’s dominance, and to Google’s credit I think they continue to approach things more from a quality side than a revenue one.

From Yahoo:

Assuming our testing continues to yield high quality results, we anticipate that our organic search results will be powered by Bing beginning in the August/September [2010] timeframe.

This appears to be a good sign that they will not compromise organic quality in favor of elevating paid listings, a move that would probably lead to significant loss of their current (low) market share.

From Yahoo:

Compare your organic search rankings on Yahoo! Search and Bing for the keywords that drive your business, to help determine any potential impact to your traffic and sales.


Decide if you’d like to modify your paid search campaigns to compensate for any changes in organic referrals that you anticipate
Review the Bing webmaster tools and optimize your website for the Bing crawler, as Bing results will be displayed for approximately 30%* of overall search query market share after this change

This on the other hand seems a little more alarming, suggesting that people may want to pony up to maintain their ranks after the Bing transition.      Over the coming weeks there will be a lot of Bing quality testing by other SEO centric websites and we’ll try to summarize that in a later post.      We’ll also be blogging the upcoming SES San Francisco (Formerly SES San Jose) search conference – the most influential search gathering  in the world, and have more on the Bing Yahoo changes.

———–  Full Text of Yahoo’s Note ———-

Dear Advertiser,

As we continue to work closely with Microsoft to implement our search alliance, we wanted to provide you with an update on our progress, as well as call out some important, upcoming milestones to help ensure you are prepared for the changes to come.

Transition with Quality
Our goal remains providing a quality transition experience for advertisers in the U.S. and Canada in 2010, while protecting the holiday season. We’ve continued to make good progress against this goal, and we regularly evaluate our progress. However, please remember that, as we continue to go through our series of checkpoints, if we conclude that it would improve the overall experience, we may choose to defer the transition to 2011.

Organic Search Transition
To date, we’ve focused most of our communications to you on the paid search transition to adCenter. However, another key aspect of the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance is the transition of Yahoo! organic search results (those found on the main body of the page). Assuming our testing continues to yield high quality results, we anticipate that our organic search results will be powered by Bing beginning in the August/September timeframe.

If organic search results are an important source of referrals to your website, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for this change:

Compare your organic search rankings on Yahoo! Search and Bing for the keywords that drive your business, to help determine any potential impact to your traffic and sales
Decide if you’d like to modify your paid search campaigns to compensate for any changes in organic referrals that you anticipate
Review the Bing webmaster tools and optimize your website for the Bing crawler, as Bing results will be displayed for approximately 30%* of overall search query market share after this change

For more specifics on the organic search transition, please refer to the Self-service Advertiser FAQs on the Yahoo! Transition Center.

Organic and Paid Search Testing
To help us deliver on our goal of transition with quality, we are conducting the necessary tests to ensure that all of the many complex, logistical pieces are in place. While there’s nothing you need to do to prepare for testing, please keep in mind the following:

Though much of our testing is already happening offline, this month we’ll also test the delivery of organic and paid search results provided by Microsoft on live Yahoo! traffic
Testing volumes will fluctuate during this period, with paid search volume in particular kept low enough to help minimize any potential impact to your account

Editorial Guidelines
Yahoo! and Microsoft have created joint editorial guidelines that will begin taking effect for both Yahoo! and Microsoft paid search advertisers in early August. We encourage you to review these now, so that you understand any potential impact to your ads or keywords. Notable changes include new guidelines for gambling and contests, and disallowed content. For a detailed overview of the editorial policy changes that will soon take effect, please read the New Editorial Guidelines article.

We are committed to making this transition as seamless and beneficial for you as possible. We appreciate your business, and look forward to bringing you the benefits of the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance.

Sincerely,
Your Partners at Yahoo!

Disclaimer:   Joe has Yahoo Stock.   Not that he’s happy about that fact.  Nope, not happy at all.

Google Social Circle

Google labs is testing a very interesting new feature within the Google search results which lists and ranks content from people that have connections to your own social networks, websites, blogs, etc.   It’s called Google Social Circle and I think this approach has a lot of potential.

Google labs writes:

We’ve taken steps to improve the relevance of our search results with personalization, but today’s launch takes that one step further. With Social Search, Google finds relevant public content from your friends and contacts and highlights it for you at the bottom of your search results. When I do a simple query for [new york], Google Social Search includes my friend’s blog on the results page …

Filtering the massive oceans of content is what Google has been doing so effectively for some time, but the social media explosion has created a new kind of relevance Google’s basic ranking system has not been taking into account.    The content of trusted friends and associates is often going to be more relevant to us than that of, say, internet marketeers in a foreign country.     If, for example, my pal has travelled to Morrocco I’m going to trust his stuff – and probably be more interested in it – than information from strangers.    Google Social Circle will incorporate that relevance into the search results, and I think by doing this they may succeed where Facebook and Twitter have pretty dramatically failed.    Facebook’s search system and layout – in my experience – makes it very hard to search for information.  It can even be difficult to find a person you know, let alone find content they have created that is relevant to your search.    Twitter lists are something of a step in the right direction of targeting for relevant information, but Twitter search is severely lacking and I don’t even know if they they are particularly interested in providing the kind of contextual content mapping Google is testing with Social Circle.

Another interesting – some would say sinister – aspect of this approach by Google is to create internet environments filled with “trusted online information sources” that have been endorsed by different networks of friends.    Clever use of the data flowing in will allow Google to better screen sites based on human input, which is much harder to spoof than manipulations commonly done as part of aggressive “Search Engine Optimization” tactics.

The Social Circle reminds me of an advanced version of “del.icio.us”, a tagging and bookmarking service aquired (and largely abandoned?) by Yahoo a few years ago.  Delicious allowed users to tag and label sites and content, creating link lists of things relevant to them and giving them the ability to share these links with others.    By automating that process and using their brilliant search algorithm to slice and dice individual information, Google has pushed us one step closer to the holy grail of search – a system that shows us exactly what we want/need to see even if we cannot clearly state exactly what we want or need.

Top Technology Stories of 2008

Update:  Don’t miss our upcoming CES 2011 live coverage here at Technology Report

Techmeme is a favorite of many in technology for pulling together technology stories and the conversations that often swirl around them.  Unlike a simple “ranking” system, TechMeme surfaces the top stories and then links out to blogs and sites that are discussing those “hot topics”.     Thus a quick review of TechMeme can give you a very fast orientation to the stories that are making their rounds in the blogs.    That does not always correspond to stories that actually *matter* to real folks, but it’s a great start.

TechMeme’s new story editor Megan has a list here of the top 10 for 2008.   Number one was the Microsoft – Yahoo aquisition saga, number two was Apple quitting MacWorld, and number three was Google Chrome.


Disclosure: Long on YHOO

Twitter and SEO

Interesting.   My Chico the Wonder Dog SEO experiment is yielding some unexpected results.    A tweet about this is now higher in the ranks than the original blog post page.

Chico the Wonder Dog has been trading places with another Chico the Wonder Dog.   That post is much older and may have more incoming links since that guy seems to spend more time posting about his dog than I do, though based on my quick analysis of this and a few other cases I think it indicates that Google looks carefully at the rate of link growth, and if it slows they tend to put back the “old, tried and true” page in favor of the newcomer. This makes sense from an anti-spam perspective although in Chicos particular case it probably does not yield the top dog.

However, the Twitter reference rising to high seems really surprising because Twitter posts are generally small and insignificant (as it is here).  I’m surprised Google ranks these at all, let alone makes them competitive with meaty postings.  Perhaps Google has elevated “social media” in some algorithmic fashion though my guess is this is a defect that will be corrected – ie Twitter is structured in a way that links to these posts from many Twitter people and this is messing up the Algo’s handing of this insignificant material.    If I’m searching for “Tesla Coil”, let along pretty much anything of any relevance, I hardly want a bunch of Twitter posts!