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June 20, 2007

Search Engine Strategies Toronto 2007 - Day 2 Highlights

The Search Engine Strategies Toronto conference was held in Toronto, Canada on June 12-13, 2007 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. As always, it was a tightly-run event that was jam-packed with valuable information.

Here are some of the highlights from sessions I attended on Day 2:

Session: Seth Godin Keynote Presentation

  • "Search didn't become a business until the yellow pages." - Seth Godin
  • In the battle between SEO tricksters and search engines, "the search engines are really winning" because they are becoming much better at determining relevance.
  • "Search engine advertising is a classic example of permission marketing."

Session: Perfecting Paid Listings

  • "The interaction [with search engine ads] is very quick." - Gord Hotchkiss, Enquiro Search Solutions
  • Effective search engine ads provide "a bridge of relevance" to the user. - Jonathan Mendez, OTTO Digital
  • Brands matter: using a brand name as a keyword (e.g., "Sears") will have no influence on traffic, but will increase the conversion rate and significantly increase the revenue per visitor.
  • Perfecting your search engine ads is important; doing so can have a 36% increase in overall lift.
  • "Get the site right, then try to grow [by doing paid search]" - Andrew Goodman, Page Zero Media, on the importance of making sure your Website will convert well before you begin advertising it
  • "You can buy a lot of 15 cent click in Toronto and Montreal." - Andrew Goodman on what a "bargain" search engine advertising still is in Canada
  • Even national advertisers should consider regional targeting and campaign differentiation because searchers in different parts of Canada behave differently.
  • "If Canadian advertisers don't step up, US advertisers and affiliates will come in and take [search engine advertising in Canada] over." - Gord Hotchkiss
  • "You really want your brand in the ad, including the display URL." - Bill Tighe, Google Canada, on the importance of leveraging your brand

Session: Linking Campaigns and Beyond: Getting Authoritative Online "Mentions"

  • A link "is a vote." - Mike Grehan, Searchvisible
  • "It's absolutely NOT about more [links] is better." - Eric Ward on the importance of soliciting links from relevant, niche topic sites
  • "I ignore [Google's] Page Rank; I use the internal algorithm in my head." - Eric Ward on how he focuses on the content and the user when he's researching sites to solicit links from
  • "The people who are getting the most link love are the in the news biz." - Greg Jarboe, SEO-PR, on the power of links from mainstream news sites like CNN and The New York Times
  • Soliciting links is "not a begging process, [it's] a PR process." - Greg Jarboe

Visit www.searchenginestrategies.com for more information about this and future conferences.

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