November 2nd, 2010
Categories: Blogging, News, Opinions, SEO

Mancseo Mini Conference Roundup


Last Friday I attended the free Mancseo Mini Conference, in The Hive in Manchester. It was an afternoon of speakers & networking and – best of all – it was all free. I previewed the event last week, so now onto the speakers, and what they talked about.

Nichola Stott – The Business Of Search

Nichola Stott, before co-founding theMediaFlow, was head of Yahoo!’s Commercial Search Partnerships, and in her talk she shared insight into why search engine’s do what they do as commercial entity.

Before plunging into a maths lesson – which are covered on her slides – she shared that certain searches have no commercial value for Google, information searches (for example, see this search for fleming’s left hand rule) don’t have any sort of Google Ads. Try it yourself!

From her figures, she worked out that Google has an average earning of around ¬£22.55 per 1000 searches, which seems like a phenomenal amount, and the only way that is likely to increase is by improving the click through ratio in the search engine. To do this, you’d have to make search results:-

  • Improving matching technologies
  • Reduce search abandonment rate
  • Improve total result relevance

In short, make searches more relevant.

Google does most – if not all – of it’s testing on the page 1 results of Google, so if you are on page one for your search term, you’re ranking will be a testing bed for Google’s algorithms.

What to take away: In order to maintain rankings at the top of the search engine, make your website incredibly relevant to the search term you want to rank for.

Barry Adams – Optimising for Google News

Barry Adams shared some of his insights during his time working at the Belfast Telegraph, particularly in how to rank in Google News. Google News results are now integrated within natural search results, and you can get some nice (if slightly intermittent) rankings for PR results.

There are three ways to get into Google News:-

  • Start a News Site
  • A Paid Advertorial
  • Press Releases

Tips to Start Up A News Site

To get into Google News as a website, you need the following:-

  • Original Content
  • Multiple Authors
  • Regular Updates: this takes two forms – new stories & updating existing stories, this can be updating current blog posts & updating new ones.
  • Develop an editorial strategy & a niche – unless you want to be a generic news site. These are trickier to get into Google News.
  • Make your images non-clickable.
  • Have a Google News XML Sitemap

As you can imagine, this is a tough set of criteria to hit.

Tips to Rank in Google News

Google News’ search ranking algorithm isn’t as smart as Google’s search algorithm (with good reason, spam sites don’t get into Google News due to it’s editorial policy), so you can appear in Google News with a little bit of work. To do this, Barry shared some tips:-

  • Write a good press release – simple really!
  • Target high volume¬† keywords – again you can afford to be bold, as if they get picked up by the general news sites, then you will rank in Google Search for that keyword – do any search for a high volume keyword & you will see Google News results.
  • Pick a good accompanying image – photos of relevant people mentioned in the press release work well, clipart doesn’t!
  • Spread article far & wide with pr distribution channels, submit to news sites that accept pr & paid content – don’t worry about duplicate content.
  • Build relationships with editors – it’ll make your job easier.
  • Generate news regularly – but don’t spam.

What To Take Away: Using Google News as a channel for ranking content in your site can be done, but you need great press releases that get picked up by the major news sites. Or you can pay for advertorials.

Kelvin Newman – The Psychology of Link Building

Kelvin Newman gave a talk on how to help your link building. Thing is, websites don’t link to websites, people link to websites.

There are three factors that influence all of our link building:-

He then shared a bunch of psychology problems that had their own conclusions, these included:-

  • The Candle ProblemThis can be applied to link building in that people aren’t always cash incentivised for a link. You can get great links by being creative & thinking outside the box.
  • The Trucker & Gate ProblemThis can be applied that collaboration can work better than competiton. Working with your rivals with similar promotions, particularly with guest blogging, can still get results. If you work with your rivals, you both win.
  • Social Identity Theory - Groups of people form instantly, this can be applied to link building by creating a community around your blog. Even more than that, give a name to your readers (or in my case, you little Gospelites), in that it creates a sense of belonging amongst your readers. Loyal readers are linking readers.

What To Take Away: Read Religiously.

Neil Walker – SEO Forecasting

Neil Walker‘s talk on forecasting SEO was aimed more at individuals who had to sell SEO as part of a marketing plan. However, thanks to him having a lot of data to play with (over 166,000 keywords tracked), he has a lot of experience in forecasting results for SEO.

His presentation was hugely interesting, but hugely complicated, and he’s explained it a bajillion times better than I ever could. You should check out the SEO Forecasting the holy grail, if you ever want to work out just how effective SEO can be!

The After Party & Conclusion

Overall it was a great conference, a good afternoon away from work. I enjoyed it immensely, particularly the networking event after (bar the curry, which I felt for days after). It was good meeting Nichola, Dean & catching up with Kev and everybody else in Mancseo. In May it is Sascon – which is a 2 day SEO & Social Media conference in Manchester. I’m likely to attend, I suggest you do too.

Further Round Up

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