Brent Payne (@brentdpayne) works for the Tribune Company, and makes sure that SEO is an important of the business communciations and content process at the paper. Brent gave the ConvergeSouth keynote on Friday Oct 1st.
History of Search: infoseek, metacrawler, Lycos, Excite, AltaVista, HotBot, Ask Jeeves. 10 years ago Google just being born. Yahoo! was big. Today we are down to four: Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Ask. Big merger coming in 2012 with Yahoo! and Bing.
Google: Trying to response to the search competition. Pulling in one boxes, music and more. Will do partnerships, example of instead of seeing LA Times will see results from who ever Google chooses to link to.
Why Care About SEO?: Lots of people do a lot of searches. Lots of opportunities to acquire customers.
Why Listent To Brent?: He started off as a spammer. Realized he did not have to beg people to buy products, when Amazon.com bought stuff from him, and he starting ranking highly.
Tribune Story: Since Jan 2007, tripped search traffic.
Traffic & Google: Over 50% of traffic should come from search. Trick of SEO is that you have to be on the first page of Google, or the other search engines. Expectations have changed. If you are not on the 1st page you are missing on 70% of the opportunity. 40% of people believe that you are the authority on a topic, if you show up on the first page of Google.
White & Black Hats: White hat, commnicating with search engines, making sure you are working to help users. Following best practices and guidelines provided by the search engines. Black hat, working against the search engines. In 2003 updated Google, and made it difficult to do black hat today. Will mention a few things on the fringe.
How People Search: When you go on the web, people are searching the copy that’s on the web. Google finds your copy, and copies it. Google Webmaster tools can help content get found. Helps you get discovered, but then your job to make sure you can get ranked. Then index the content, for Google that’s about page ranking. Used acedemic references as inspiration for the model for Google, where linking and authority are very important.