Corporate Meda Site SEO Management

This panel is also called “big fucking site management”.
Andrew Gerhart Primedia Automotive:
The first speaker is talking about a site he just took over and the website evaluation they did on it.
it was a strong established site, a market leading authority, lots of incoming links, exisiting content, fresh content and they had previously done some SEO training. The site was built on a modified open source CMS system that output flat html files, the code was a mess, the majority of the content was not opimized, and it was input manually. The site’s structure was not optimized and it linked out to partners for specific content and the forum was no SE friendly. There was room for content expansion, minimal changes would create big improvements. It did not yet rank for its main target keywords, but it has an existing brand awareness that could be leveraged for links and new traffic could be monetized immediately. Time, resources, and politics were all limitations on the project. It was also built on a multiplatform system that could not easily be integrated. They set out a list of goals including training, optimizing existing content, restructring the site and optimizing the code as well as building new content and links to target keywords.
SEO was labeled as a priority and contacts were established through out the site. A policy was made that all new content had to be optimized and reviewed by the SEO team. A baseline was established and new content was monitored. Basic SEO training was undertaken including documenting best practices and training sessions for everyone that would touch new content.
They went through all the internal content to optimize it. All new and exisitng URLs were documented and new URLs were 301d. The existing site code was optimized, including the homepage for the main target keywords. Internal linking structure and sitemap were optimized.
The new content was where the biggest gains were seen. New pages were built outside of the CMS and links out where replaced with insite content. They also relaunched the forums and blogs in new SE friendly systgems.
Links were obtained, internally and externally to correctly target keywords. The brand was utilized to gain new links, and thier network was leveraged. They saw 70% increases in traffic and eventually were able to completly redesign and relaunch the CMS.

Robert Carilli Shop.com:
Their mission is to create and deliver the most compelling shopping experiences for their customers. They started out as catalogcity.com and become shop.com in 2004. The main driver for their growth has been search engine marketing (he says the domain has helped too). They have tens of millions of web pages. They have british and japanese sites as well as more in the works.
Team Organization:

  • Keyword review
  • Account Management
  • SEO technology
  • SEO Marketing
  • Analytics

keyword review
They review tens of thousands of keywords per week, they have millions in their database and they use technology to manage that list and it is constantly under review as well as trying to identify new keywords. He uses “small child” as an example where advertisers are bidding on “small child for sale” he says anyone with millions of keywords should be reviewing thier lists to prevent this sort of stuff.
Account Management
This is focused on their PPC efforts, updating bids and keyword campaigns. They work closely with partners and generate reports and do analysis on their campaigns.
Keyword Landscape
they have to plan for seasonality, changes in the bid marketm stay up to date on the nuances of the search engines, anticipate current events, manage trademark issuess, and track ROI on the keyword level. He uses the Steve Irwin death as an example of user intent changes, they got a lot of people searching for videos, not to buy products.
SEO
Bot SEO, datafeed SEO and Marketing.
Bot SEO is traffic that is driven via SE crawling and indexing of their pages. They are constantly reviewing to make sure they’re applying SEO best practices.
Datafeed SEO is based on product driven sites.
Marketing SEO revolves around link building and link baiting, which leads into content development and enhancement. This also includes SMO, press releases, reputation management and monitoring, and, again, regular reporting and management. They also work closely with creative and marketing teams.

Chris Boggs Avenue A/Razorfish:
They’re working with SERoundtable.com and SEMPO.
He starts with an example “insert printing”. He does a yahoo site explorer search for the top result and it only has a few incoming and none are great. He has a theory that its due to the internal linking power, structure and anchor text. They use CSS sidebar links. He says internal linking can be very powerful. He’s basing the rest of the presentation on a large site he can’t name, its a fortune 500, with tens of thousands of “sites” in subfolders. He says the site has problems with “too many chefs”. He says if you’re user friendly, you’re search engine friendly. Directory folder structure is often a problem, meaning often loosing continutity in URLs. He says it is worth taking the time to rewrite the URLs or rework the CMS to use clean URLs. He often finds client-side redirects including javascript and meta-refresh. There were multiple webmasters using different techniques which lead to alot of content not being indexed, he also says session ids can be a problem.
He goes on to discuss best practices for internal linking. A big problem is javascript navigational links. He suggests using CSS links that mimic the javascript rollover effects. And he recommends doing good categorization and breadcrumbs and using good link anchor text. he says there is very little that can be done in creating an automated system that can optmize internal linking like a human being can. He says to focus on relevance. He says “link popularity” can be decieving and that often with a huge site you need to increase deeplinking. He says building internal links is like a business relationship, you have to approach this in a manner where you are entering into a business relationship with another company. Its all the same SEO, just on a much larger basis.

Aaron Shear Shopping.com>:
He doesn’t have a full presentation. He’s asking about sites with 500+ hits a day and how SE’s can handle load balancing systems. Specifically thousands of URLs pointing to the same content. This was the biggest nightmare he walked into when he came to shopping.com. He says that response time is also important. Now he’s talking about focusing on the long tail. He says that shopping.com is a search site which provides some challenges when trying to optimize for other search engines. He says the most effective approach that he uses in a large company is selling SEO as a needle mover for the company and giving engineer’s the credit.

Todd Friesen
If you’re sitting on a large site, you have a lot of power inside the site, you just have to unlock the content and leverage internal linking, especially with the long tail terms. You very often don’t have to go outside of the site.

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