All the good SEO conferences are either in USA or cost lots of money or both. So most of my conference research comes vicariously from reading blogs and pretty much any other source I can find.
Whenever I read opinions of what Google is doing, I like to bring it back to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines (http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769). In their Quality section, the first, and I think probably the most important, is “Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.”
One of the recent posts I read was a set of published notes from a recent PubCon (PubCon Vegas 2011). The post was PubCon: Latest SEO Topics & Trends with Greg Boser.
The 3 points made to the participants in this presentation were:
- Site Quality vs. Page Quality — Google is no longer “page” focused and is now focused on domains
- Human Engagement Signals [ie: think Social interaction*]
- Backlink Diversity — Brute Force is Dead!
There is nothing here that contradicts the Google guidelines. In fact, I think, they are very much in the spirit of the guidelines and are definitely worth paying attention to.
Of course, if you have been working to the guidelines, the only possible surprise might be the inclusion of “Human Engagement Signals”. Or perhaps that’s not the surprise it may appear. How will this engagement be assessed?
One of the probable signals will be links from the Social Media streams (Facebook, Twitter and Google’s own channel Google Plus). The challenge for Google is to follow the links from the streams back to the website and the assessment of the “theme” and intent of the interaction. We’ll leave the hard stuff to Google. Our job is to ensure there are signals and at least a few breadcrumbs on the trail to help Google along the path.
For many this will be all too challenging. Find a trusted advisor (hint: think MidBoh] and talk through the ideas and options available. It’s your business and you have to be comfortable with the strategies you implement or are implemented on your behalf.