SMX Advanced 2013 in Seattle – Day 1 Recap

Greetings from Seattle where I am taking a break from the mind-blowing sessions at the 2013 edition of SMX Advanced. Even though the venue has had some serious Internet connectivity issues during the day, I’m taking the time to write this from my hotel room after attending 3 high quality sessions during Day 1 of the conference.

While my main interest at the conference is Advanced SEO tactics from the experts, there were some other sessions that caught my eye during day 1, particularly the “What’s Hot with Paid Social” session this afternoon. ┬áHere are the sessions that I attended today:

  • The Periodic Table of SEO 2013 Edition
  • Authorship: The Deep Dive
  • What’s Hot with Paid Social

What follows is a quick recap of new things I learned during each session. While I wish to be more exhaustive, I need to finish this up so I can see Matt Cutts speak!

The Periodic Table of SEO 2013 Edition

I have been a big fan of the original Periodic Table of SEO since it was first released in 2011. In fact, it presently sits on the cubicle walls of approximately 50% of the staff at Three Deep Marketing. I liked it so much that I even modeled the Periodic Table of Google Analytics that I published earlier this year after the concept.

The group at Search Engine Land has given the periodic table an update for 2013 and this session talks about what changed over the past two years and what is important now. Highlights of the session include:
  • Technical SEO is still very important (Jenny Halasz)

    • Make sure important content is crawlable and that you aren’t wasting your crawl budget on pages that don’t matter
    • You have 3 seconds to get a users attention, so make sure your page loads fast!
    • URL length is not that big of a deal according to @jennyhalasz
    • Google has 30 trillion documents in their index
  • SPAM and Penalties
    • A German Lead Generation site that was hit by Penguin cleaned up their act and traffic skyrocketed!
    • So many Documents in the index = Google needs to constantly keep up = Matt Cutts will always be in demand!
  • Social Media is becoming very important to SEO
    • Google indexes far more Facebook pages now than they did years ago
    • Eric Enge isolated the impact of Google+ and Facebook on search results and found that both result in pages getting indexed faster. Similar results to my study on the topic
    • Something that seems as trivial as the Google +1 button JavaScript can cause your site to be indexed and invalidate a study on the subject

Authorship: The Deep Dive

I was particularly excited to see this session because I had pitched to be a part of the panel, but was not accepted. I wanted to see who the “competition” was and see what I can learn about the topic (I use that term in admiration, because these presenters were very deserving of being selected!). I was blown away by the information presented by everyone. It was well worth attending and I will be referring to these sessions over and over in the future. The great voice of Google Authorship, Mark Traphagen was just one of many great presenters in this session
Mark Traphagen Talks Google Authorship

Mark Traphagen Talks Google Authorship

I learned so much during this session that it’s difficult to include it all here, but key takeaways are:

  • Mitul Gandhi
    • Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to write down Mitul’s stats, but he had a wealth of information about who is using authorship based on analyzing SERPs for 300k keywords
    • Technology bloggers are the earliest adopters of authorship
    • E-Commerce has been slow to embrace authorship, most likely due to the nature of product pages. They will need to adjust to content marketing to take advantage and differentiate. Video can be a good use here
  • Mark Traphagen (view his slides here)
    • Google+ pages can out rank websites, even when the G+ page is linking to content on a website
    • Google+ pages have a high Google PageRank because profiles are inter-linked to each other and pass authority very easily between entities
    • You can check the PageRank of your website by going to
  • Janet Driscoll Miller
    • Sometimes Authorship is assigned to documents without linking to a persons Google+ profile
    • Authorship can be assigned to PDFs, Word Docs and even Powerpoints
    • Authorship can be associated to someone with a byline in the article or even the words “by John Doe” in the article
  • John Carcutt
    • Authorship is not easy to get in place with a huge website of tens of thousands of authors
    • Need to educate on the value first, then make it part of the process
    • Also important that you set a policy on who owns the content and authorship in the event that an author moves on and away from the website
What's Hot with Paid Social Track

What’s Hot with Paid Social Track

What’s Hot With Paid Social

I sat in on this session because the title was very engaging. The content was interesting, but not quite as advanced as I would have hoped.

The basic premise? You can use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to target users on social media. That part many of us know, but we were looking for specific examples. Some nuggets of information gleaned from this session:

  • Use paid social to reach more people instead of relying only on organic means
  • Make sure you understand the strategy of who you are trying to reach first and then choose the medium to reach them after that
  • Remarketing on Facebook can lower cost per click and bring efficiency over campaigns
  • Get as close to being featured in the Facebook news stream as possible. The engagement on these ads is 1000x higher than sidebars and other ad units

I hope to look over these slide decks several times in the future to fully understand everything that was talked about. Might just be the after lunch lull in the day, but I was hoping for more “a-ha” moments from the panel.

Next Up: Matt Cutts

Next on the agenda, I will be attending Matt Cutts Q&A session. It will be my first time seeing Matt live and I can’t wait to hear what he has to say!

And here’s a bonus picture of Mount Rainier above the clouds on our descent into Seattle from Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Mount Rainier Above Clouds

Mount Rainier Above Clouds

About the Author

Jeff Sauer is an independent Digital Marketing Consultant, Speaker and Teacher based out of a suitcase somewhere in the world. Formerly of Minneapolis, MN and San Francisco, CA.