Now that I have had a great night sleep, I am back at it again and ready for Day two at SES Chicago.
After getting lost a couple of times and going to the wrong ballroom in the Hilton, I finally found the International Ballroom where Seth Godin would be speaking. I was highly excited to hear Seth Godin speak about his infamous “Meatball Sundae” book.
Seth’s presentation was great. He was a very captivating speaker, which was definitely a plus, seeing as he was first up today. He explained in very laymen’s terms what exactly a meatball sundae is, which is great because I had no idea. To put it briefly, a meatball sundae is the combination of old and new marketing efforts that lead to nothing. So the meatballs are the old tactics and the whipped cream, nuts and cherries are the new tactics. A good example Seth gave was Wal-Mart trying to break into the whole social networking rim and how they were unsuccessful because Wal-Mart isn’t associated with social networking. I’m sure social networking isn’t the first thing to come to mind when we think of Wal-Mart. So basically, Wal-Mart, being something old tried to tie in something new –like social networking—which just didn’t work for them. He stressed that knowing the key drivers of the new marketing can help you understand what works and abandon efforts and legacies that might be holding you back.
After Seth’s great keynote presentation, I sat in on an Organic Forum, which was moderated by Danny Sullivan. In this open forum, the audience was able to ask the panel any question about organic search. It was pretty cool.
I also was able to sit in on session about SEOing big websites and frustrations that we can run into. There were people sitting on the panel from both the company and the agency side. Both sides unanimously agreed that the biggest frustration was cooperation with I.T. implementing changes needed. One piece of advice Amanda Evans, a panelist, gave was to prioritize action items and fixes you give to clients and I.T. teams. She said use “baby steps” so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming to those who have to make these changes.
Perhaps the best session I sat in on today was the Sitemaps forum. This was another one that was moderated by Danny Sullivan. He’s been my favorite moderator thus far because he actually will get in on the discussion rather than just moderate and he is quite insightful. There was a Google person on the panel, which really helped because this forum was basically about Google sitemaps and what benefit they provide. All in all, the panelists kept stressing that there are no guarantees with submitting a Google sitemap, which lead the audience to throw a lot of questions out as to why should we even create these. The panelists came back with answers like they found that you get faster “indexation” when submitting a Google sitemap. Another good thing that stood out was that Google sitemaps are good for newly architectured websites that have renamed pages and utilized 301 redirects. This way, you can get your new redirected pages indexed faster. I had never thought about that point, so I found that tid-bit of information helpful. And the Google panelist along with some of the other Google employees in the audience agreed that this is a good practice and it is totally legal. No penalization threat for this at all.
So again, as you can see, the day, although long, went very well. I received a lot of great information. Two days of SES down and two more to go. I wonder what I’ll learn next?