SES San Francisco – Searching for Successful Search Strategies

Technology Report will be featuring coverage of SES San Francisco, though we’re not sure yet if we’ll be there live or just virtually.

SES San Francisco (formerly “Search Engine Strategies”) is one of the world’s oldest and for many the top online marketing conference series.

Social media continues to shake up the search landscape as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other key large social media sites have become a key focus of online marketing campaigns.   A key focus, but not necessarily a

For more about the upcoming SES San Francisco visit the site and review the Conference Agenda Online.

Key conference keynotes:

  • Design Your Own Search Engine: Lessons from Tough Calls on Content at Google
    What would you do if you were charge of your own search engine? In an interactive panel, Google’s Patrick Thomas walks through some of the tough calls and difficult policy decisions you would need to think about as you try to organize trillions of web pages online.

    Keynote Speaker:    Patrick Thomas, Policy Specialist, Google

  • Running the Gauntlet: Driving Strategic Change in Your Business

    Jeffrey Hayzlett’s Running The Gauntlet is a rough-and-tumble guide for running and driving change through the business gauntlet. In this keynote, Hayzlett addresses what every marketing leader must face: Getting Ready, Getting Going, and Creating and Sustaining Momentum.

    Keynote Speaker:    Jeffrey W. Hayzlett, Best-selling Author, Business Change Agent & Marketing Expert, Hayzlett.com


    Creating Campaigns that Count: The Impact of Converged Media

Mike Grehan, Publisher, ClickZ & Search Engine Watch, Producer, SES Conference & Expo

Speakers:
Duane Forrester, Senior Program Manager, Bing
Daina Middleton, Global Chief Executive Officer, Performics
Adam Singer, Product Marketing Manager, Google Analytics
Conference first timers will want to note that SES San Francisco  is pretty fast and furious, a proverbial firehose of information.

Review the materials carefully before the show and pick a few topics and speakers you’ll want to hear and be sure to attend those talks.  Ask a question or introduce yourself to the speakers afterwards.    Some of the best search insights I’ve ever had were from talking to speakers at social gatherings or in the hall.

SES Parties:   As search industry has matured so have the participants, but you’ll want to keep your eyes open for party opportunities with the many exhibitors at the Conference.  Unfortunately the amazing “Google Dance”, held at the close of SES on the Google campus in Mountain View, is no longer the internet party highlight of the year.

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

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.