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SEO Meetup Last Night Was Not Impressive

11 Mar
2010

I was eager to be there and listen to what these guys had to say about SEO trends. Too bad I didn’t bring my digital recorder. I only thought about it as soon as I sat down in the bright red chair, which I keep sliding in. I was not impressed with the time management. I was very surprised and disappointed with the information they provided and the answers they gave.

I think you’d be as shocked as I was to hear the answers.

My biggest upset is with this:

Question: In respects to social media websites, such as Twitter, how does a business professional, like myself, implement and entertain the concept of obtaining clients for my business?

Answer: I don’t know. I really don’t know because there is no answer to that. In fact, Twitter is still trying to figure that out themselves. I know someone who has a list of 100,000 followers and gets absolutely nothing out of it.

Now… these are social media experts, alright? Experts on social media… shouldn’t they know how to make money from it? If not, why be an expert in it?

The REAL answer to that question is COMMUNICATION!

Yes, there are such factors such as what type of business industry, product, service and so on, but the NUMBER 1 way to getting business out of sites like Twitter is COMMUNICATION.

You have to post updates. You have to initiate conversations. You have to maintain connections. You have to follow up. This can be VERY time consuming. But that’s what it will take to get clients off of these sites.

It works. No doubt about it.

However, there are automated services to initiate conversations. There are automated services that automatically responds and talk to individuals. There are automated services that automatically add and remove followers (and non-followers, respectively).

Finally… just outsource the damn thing! It’s not hard. It will save you time and money.

Most of all, Twitter already figured out how to make money. They have their own PPC program where you can send out ads to folks who mention a specific keyword term… oh, but Twitter still doesn’t know how to make money yet. Sure.

SEO Trends

Yes, they did mention that Google indexes Twitter updates. That’s news from like October, 2009 or something. I can’t remember for sure.

However, why didn’t they mention that Google is also indexing Facebook pages? Wouldn’t that be something important the audience should know?

How ’bout the idea of Google “PR” no longer being called PR?

Question: I remember the good ol’ days… like last month… when I do a search for “web design dallas texas”, I would get a local map results, but now they’re gone. Why is that?

Answer: Just like many of the beta programs Google comes out with, they sometime stay beta for years and never really get released. With this in particular case, Google has determined that certain keywords require maps and some don’t. I.E. someone searching for a dentist would want to know exactly where it is, but one who searches for a design firm might not care for a map.

Actually, the answer to the question was pretty dead on. The reason I bring this up though is that, I think everyone there missed the importance of this answer. The person who answered probably doesn’t even realize it.

To an SEO, this is huge. It should be ringing the fire alarm and gun shots are going off to indicate that this is CRITICAL information. I’ll keep this to myself unless I get enough inquiries about it.

Website Feedback

One person there got some feedback from the panel on how to improve his website. Most of the advice was pretty sound, but still lacking in terms of importance.

  1. You need a 301 – check.
    – Yes, a 301 redirect will definitely be helpful for his site since his site loads individually with and without “www”.
  2. You need better titles – check.
    – Yes, a more descriptive title (max of 63 characters) will help with ranking better.
  3. You need to use alt tags – check.
    – Yes, having alt tags in your images will help generate traffic via the image search engines and get the images indexed.
  4. You should use less codes – check.
    – Yes, search engines like Google do consider a codes to content ratio. It’s just part of their quality score and will considered when ranking your site for specific search terms.
  5. You should have a site tracker – check.
    – Yes, you should have a way to track your visitors and see what they are doing. However, they should not be scaring the guy as if it’s the end of the world. He DOES still have his weblog, which provides much similar data, but in raw format. As much as I like Google Analytics, it is still only about 75% accurate in picking up data.

These are good stuff, but here’s what’s missing (and no, I won’t cover everything, but these are important):

  1. Don’t worry about the meta keywords.
    – Google doesn’t use them! Yet they’re still telling this person to concentrate on that. Here’s proof.
  2. Include meta descriptions.
    – Oh, yeah! This is ultra important in your search results. Well, important to the user, that is. Description meta tags are NOT included in Google’s score to determine how well you rank. However, what you describe is important to the user and determine whether they want to look or not.
  3. I’m not going to say it.
    – I was trying to help the guy out, but he blew me off when I told him about the description meta tag. He’s missing out on an instant 5-figure income just by implementing this simple concept. It’s sad, but it’s not my problem. Let’s put it this way – ranking better and higher is the LEAST of his concerns.

Well, that’s all for tonight. There’s just too much to talk about. Have a good one and I hope to provide more useful information for you in the future.

As an extra bonus tip for you, since you’re reading, if you’re concerned about keyword density. Don’t. Keyword density absolutely does not matter. What’s important is the flow and ease of reading your content. Concentrate on connecting with your users rather than the search engines. Search engines like to play hard-to-get, so just ignore them.

Sincerely,
Kevin Lam

P.S. I almost forgot. The guys there kept  saying “content is king”. No it’s not and even if it is, backlinks is queen. And we all know the queen controls the king (look at the game Chess!).

Just because you wrote it, it doesn’t mean you’ll instantly and magically have visitors. It REALLY depends on the level of competition, how many people are writing about it, how many people are searching for terms related to it, how well your site is ranked, when your page/post was indexed, how many backlinks it has and so on.

Point is, the content must have relevance to the search queries and the page/post should have good backlinks to ensure getting visitors. Yes, there are times I’d write about something and I’d immediately get traffic. That is not always the case though.

Kevin Lam
author

Kevin Lam is a self-taught internet marketer, web developer and traffic conversion expert that started since he was 17 in 2000. Even throughout his 5 years in the Navy, Kevin continued to hone his skills. Kevin now owns multiple digital companies including a Strategic, Digital Marketing Firm, a Sales Funnel Concierge Service, General Support Company and other digital products.

12 Comments

  1. Kevin Lam | March 11, 2010 at 1:06 am

    I know, I get very critical of things. It was a good meetup if you simply didn’t know much about SEO at all. However, I expect a lot of folks to know the basic SEO information being pointed out here since a lot of them are SEO professionals.

    So for them to go over very basic info and even providing inadequate answers, I simply wasn’t impressed. The social media part really baffled me for sure.

    There really was more to point out, but then I’d just be anal. Pardon my English. It is my second language ;-).

  2. Russ Riedle | March 11, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Kevin,

    It was a pleasure speaking with you and Diana last night.

    I agree with your assessment of the meet up. Most of the information provided could have been given by someone relatively new to SEO. I really didn’t think there was any ‘meat’ to the meeting.

    Regarding the question about Google not showing local maps when searching for certain terms, mainly technology related ones – it will show a map if you put certain words in the query. For instance your example of ‘web design dallas’ won’t return a map but if you put in ‘web design in dallas’, or web design near dallas, or ‘web design around dallas’ it will return a map.

    There was a discussion in the Google Maps Help forum regarding this and one of the Google employees named Joel H gave the following answer:

    “Hi Folks –

    Earlier thread, Brian (BB- baseonballs) noted that this may be related to a known issue regarding the display of local search results on google.com. After further investigation, they are slightly different, and I’ll explain our intent.

    Today, we’re intentionally showing less local results for web design / SEO queries. For example, [web design sacramento] doesn’t display local listings today. We believe this is an accurate representation of user intent. In some cases, we do show local listings, however (as NSNA/php-er noted) [web design in bellingham]. I’m sure some of you feel we should be displaying local results for queries like [Web Design Vancouver]. I understand that concern, but based on our understanding of our users, we feel this is the right decision for now.

    I’ll give the usual disclaimer that we’re constantly working on improving the user experience and results will vary over time. So, this could change in the future, but I wanted to be explicit about what we’re doing today.”

    It would seem as if Google is thinking they know more about what we’re searching for than we do!

    We’ll have to wait and see how it goes.

  3. Mark Johnson | March 11, 2010 at 1:42 am

    Hey Kevin,

    Now I don’t feel so bad about missing this meeting… I don’t have time for this type of thing… too busy with other things… too busy because with what I started learning from you last summer, my business keeps improving every month, and I am learning more and more about SEO from the guys like you who really have your act together and don’t mind sharing what you know…

    So let them bury themselves with these panels of people who don;t have a clue, I know has a clue, and another one next week and so on and so and and….

    Mark

  4. Kevin Lam | March 11, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Hi Russ,

    Well, I’m surprised you agreed after your positive feedback, but glad to see that you agree.

    Thanks for the extra tidbit about the local maps situation. I actually like the change. I fully support it.

    Great examples, but “web design dallas” does not result in a local map. It appears if it not a specific industry like dentists, doctors, stores, groceries, restaurants, etc we’d need additional terms such as “in”, “around”, “near”, etc.

  5. Kevin Lam | March 11, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Thanks, Mark. And no, you didn’t miss much of anything. It was all very basic stuff. There really wasn’t much “SEO trends” being discussed. There gibberish on unrelated things.

    Russ may have said they were respectful of the time, but no, they were not. They were shooting into the wind with a bunch of BS and answering questions without answering them. I mean, the panel wasn’t finished until 8:40PM… it was supposed to start at 7PM but it was like 7:30 before they finally got started or something.

    I didn’t stick around for networking although I wanted to. It was just too late. I’m sure I’ll still go to the meetups, but it will really depend on who these speakers are.

    See you later.

  6. Steve Lorenzo SEOVirtuoso | March 11, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Hi Kevin… guys…

    I was wondering if you encountered such a strange behavior, too…

    I am using two different computers, one at home, another in the office, both usually running Firefox for a browser.

    On my home computer, no matter how I’m trying to figure out the settings on my Google account, when I search for something I cannot see the Wonder Wheel anymore; while in my office, logged into Google with the same user, I still do…

    Now, it may seem to be stupid, as the option is shown by Big G on THEIR page, but I even tried to see it in different browsers, he, he… (silly, huh?)

    Anyway, the only difference seems to be, obviously, the IP…

    So, I’d like to know if you have any idea about this behaviour?

    Thanks a bunch!

    Steve Lorenzo SEOVirtuoso
    Helping YOU To Get Found!

  7. Kevin Lam | March 11, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Hi Steve,

    No, I haven’t seen or heard of such thing until you. It’s working just fine for me. I don’t think it has anything to do with your IP.

    Question, have you tried clearing your cookies/cache and doing a search again?

    Try that and let me know.

    Kevin

  8. Steve Lorenzo SEOVirtuoso | March 11, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Yes, Kevin…

    That did the trick, indeed…

    I was trying to let it as a last resort, as I usually don’t erase cookies and browsing history often…but this time it was needed.
    Thanks a lot for ‘encouraging’ me, LOL

    Sometimes I am acting so silly, he, he…

    Steve Lorenzo SEOVirtuoso
    Helping YOU To Get Found!

  9. Russ Riedle | March 11, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Hi Kevin,

    My positive feedback was from the standpoint of a beginner and as a first time visitor to the meetup. I was sitting next to a gentleman who said he was just getting started with SEO and after the meeting stated that he was happy with the information. From a beginner’s standpoint I think enough information was given out to give them something to move forward with. However, I can understand how those with your experience can see it as not very informative. I’m not as knowledgeable about SEO as you but I thought the information was pretty basic and stated that in my feedback.

    Based on your experience I think you would have been better suited to sit on the panel than a few of those who were chosen.

    As for them respecting the time I do stand corrected. I had forgotten they didn’t get started until almost 7:30. I was alluding more to the fact of them getting done by 9:00pm. Thanks for the correction.

    Is this how these meetups typically go or is there usually more worthwhile information given out? It’s about a 70 mile round trip for me to go and I want to make sure it’s worth my time.

    Thanks again,

    Russ

  10. Kevin Lam | March 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Hey, Steve. Glad to have helped.

    Russ, I understand, buddy. And as I’ve said, it was good if the audience were all newbies, but from my understanding of the group, most people there who have been around a bit knew most of what they were saying.

    And yes, I would have been better suited on the panel, but it’s all good. I spoke in January and shared some good info. Maybe I’ll speak again another time on other things that will be more helpful.

    I don’t think they’re always like this… I only went to one that was good and that was with Giovoni Gallucci on social media marketing. He gave some good ‘meat and potato’ stuff that would help a lot. That’s a long drive. You might be better off just asking me questions in the forum ;-).

    Take it easy.

  11. Ruth Shultz | March 11, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I appreciate your review Kevin! Why indeed would a person with no answers call himself and expert? You are right when you say it is all about communication. Bravo!

  12. Kevin Lam | March 12, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Thanks, Ruth. I appreciate your appreciation!

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