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Live Blogging T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East, New York

I think that’s an attractive title… we’ll see how it goes with the wifi. Note to conference organizers everywhere — wifi makes for more and better dealmaking! If we can get online from breakfast, in seminars, etc. we do more and better deals! (I tether from my cell if necesary, but then I need a cell signal!)

So this post iwll be updated as we go.. sitting now in Search Session listening to Jamie MacMillan…

Regarding businesses getting into paid search, Jamie says:

“What’s your strategy for managing your channel?”

Right on. What do you want to accomplish with your lead when it arrives? If you don’t know, and if you only look at return on ad spend, you’re not being efficient.

Update: Wow.. Jamie listed my blog as a recommended resource. Awesome… single malts for Jamie tonight.

Closing Jamie thoughts… on PPC and cost of ranking… “it’s getting more difficult to rank, and this train is not going to stop“. How true.

Next up, Senior SEO Manager of iCrossing, Richard Chavez, with “Spamming the Globe through Search” .. oops… it’s really Spanning the Globe.. my bad. It sure looked like “spamming” on the big screen, though.

“What Search Engines Consider”… this is looking like a standard “What is SEO” talk… clean site to allow crawling… duplicate content is a “very serious issue” with search engines, with “extreme ramifications”… touched on trust, and the positive effect of domain names on top level rankings.

Chavez says keywords is A#1 way to understand online consumer…

Compares “keyword consumer decision process” to the sales funnel process.. general interest, research…converson, racking broad keywords, to specific general phrases, with long tail stuff at the conversion. Looks like he’s combining everything into SEO… calling it search. Microsites vs. subdomains vs. subfolders.. Chavez says

Micro sites: traffic capture, users early in decision process and those out of the decision process (sounds like info sites)
Cons: may not get associatd with primary brand by Search Engines, shorter domain history so less history/relevance, typ. less content, “typ. does not attract inbound link growth to acieve authority”, or so says Chavez. Says authority sites have “hundreds upon thousands of pages supporting keyword content”.

Subdomains: Chavez says “considered part of the primary domain” so you leverage historical trust…also notes that as a weakness, subdomain treated as part of a sub-folder, there is a limit of 2 times to get ranked so subdomain counts as 1 for example. Not sure how much I agree with this topic….

Best Strategies for Multiple Domains: Capture traffic (e.g. misspellings), product related terms, Notes Google Chrome… address bar is search box, will se more typo traffic captured. “Maintain traffic from older domains”.. Chavez says hol don to bought/acquired old domains… notes “tremendous value”.

Chavez says 301 your typos to your main domain… what say you, Johnon.com SEO readers… is this “best practice”? Remember we’re talking typos here. I have some differnt opinions there… Chavez also says avoid mirrors/using DNS to duplicate/mirror sites. Notes desire to present additional value with additional domains, not just another of the same on a second domain.

Mutiple Domains for a Brand: Create unique experiences on unique domains, Chavez says start acquiring good quality links right away… directories are great way to start.

Now we see the iCrossing “proprietary keyword analysis tool”… okay so he’s a vendor. He’s showing a “position analysis report” using his tool… I’m sure the audience is now thinking ” I need a rank reporting tool”. I am reminded of Rand Fishkin’s talkat Domain Roundtable… “not that I’m selling you on my tools, but I want to use them in the talk” or something like that.

Final speaker of search session is Vaibhav Arya, CTO of Skenzo.Final speaker of search session is Vaibhav Arya, CTO of Skenzo. Arya says: Traffic is King. He says domains need content, and a “few snippets of content thrown in don’t really count” He also says that “sort of becomes suspect” and “could be construed as Black Hat SEO” and “could result in black listing your domains”. Huh. Really? Says typical domainer has 5-6,000 domains, and says putting a little ocntent on all domains will “definitely be identified some time in the future”, and he again referenced the Back Hat SEO idea. Seems to be selling idea that parking a domain that had a history… so called “expired domains”.. “you don’t get dropped off the index right away”… “there are ways you can retain the search engine rankings for these domains”. Says “withough development you can’t create search engine ranked pages”…

Ok I get it now. He’s making the case fo checking your parking system, to make sure your parking company is not using irames, redirects, etc. which can eliminate any rior historical search traffic. Again he says “possibly flagged as suspect” w/r to scraped content.

Arya says “the domain name is one of themost important factors for ranking in a search engine” …. I disagree there, but I agree this audience loves to hear that. Repeats it again… as a very large competitive advantage. I disagree… it’s a complex subject worthy of discussion, not broad stroke statements.
Says “keyword density” leads to you becoming “suspect” again… and “don’t do SEO without SEM”… so far what Arya is describing is WAY labor intensive for domainers. He suggests every page be “hand crafted” for example.

Okay now he lost me completely… he’s saying use PPC to buy traffic and use multivariate testing to optimize, and then take the optimize page and use it for organic SEO campaign. To my readership, when’s the last time you made a PPC optimized landing page that was also optimal for organic SEO?

Now to Q&A with the Audience:

On competing with large database-driven info sites… Chaves says “content is king” and suggests more wins. Ayres adds you need to develop the domain and then can beat content aggrators (again noting “eventually it gets identified” suggesting aggrageted content eventually gets penalized. Sorry I don’t buy that… Jamie adds that it depends on your competition and he says “get a good SEO person on board sooner rather than later”. Again, Jamie is correct.

Session ended ….

Loren Stocker… now this guy’s cool. Pipefitter, mechanical engineer… now saying “your work will define your life” and is talking about searching ourselvs inside to “find first the dream of our lives” and then “build the life of our dreams around that”. Calls it “Option Shock” .. how to pick what to do. Big Dreams are seductive and fun… he bought BigDreams.com for $12k and did nothing with it.

Stocker says we bought domains because “we were seduced by their potential”. He got that right, eh?

“Work on what you love, leverage the rest for more love, more life”
“what we do on this day matters. What we do in this life time matters”
Says he doesn’t sell domains because “these are my dreams.. they are worth so much”
“Life is like electric current.. “by holding our dreams we build potential” of dreams, but we need to “lower our resistance” to “let those dreams flow into our lives”. Look hrough your portfolio, “find a path” to work on thos ereams, and let the rest go.

he flips an old asian adage on it’s head. It was “Fnd the work that you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”. For domainers, he says “Gather the domains you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”

Check out DomTrader.org for trading domains… find the ones you love. He’s into wine, tickets, community-based stuff.

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5 Responses to “Live Blogging T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East, New York”

  1. TheMadHat Says:

    “the domain name is one of the most important factors for ranking in a search engine”

    I also disagree, but you are at a domain conference. How many times have you heard something along the lines of “additional TLD’s won’t affect .com”. Domainers have a little fixation on making sure the rest of the world believes generic domains are the most valuable asset on earth.

    Not that they don’t have a lot of value, but they throw out blanket statements like that too much in my opinion.

    Not sure i’m following the subdomain statements.

    Typos I generally redirect, but in some cases a typo will signal a different type of user/customer, so targeting that specific type instead of a redirect in that case.

  2. john andrews Says:

    @Aaron yeah I know. But this is a deal making conference, and the discussion is often “You can develop on my premium domain, and we split 50/50“. Now we need to negotitate that down to a realistic level (what, 5% or less in many cases???) and that is too much work so deals don’t get done. These kinds of misinformed statements cause domainers to hold out (and miss opportunities).

    Exact match domains are great when there is NO COMPETITON, and they are great when there is SERIOUS COMPETITION. Anywhere in between, the vaue ad from exact match is not so significant except as it pertains to exit strategy and other business factors. Business people know value, and we need to recognize that or if we have better ideas, PROVE them not speculate about them.

  3. adam Says:

    great seeing you at TRAFFIC John. . . . noticed DomTrader.org that you referenced is an enom ppc lander . . . typo ?

  4. john andrews Says:

    Hi Adam. That is from my notes, and I see that Ron Jackson also noted the same. However, Ron links to Loren Stocker’s blog instead of DomTrader.org, and that blog says Loren just bought DomTrader.org at auction in July. So… looks like it’s not up yet. The link is bigdreams.com/domaintrader/

  5. Anonymous Says:

    great seeing you at TRAFFIC John. . . . noticed DomTrader.org that you referenced is an enom ppc lander . . . typo ?

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