Wil was took the stage to some sort of Google theme song… too bad I didn’t Shazam it (is Shazam a verb? Now it is). He immediately brought up Panda, and how much he loves it because
crap stopped showing up in results.
When you think of a mentor, someone you admire, words that describe their journey to where they are now typically are not
easy, shortcut, painless, effortless.People fall in love with what’s easy, but we need to fall in love with what’s hard (#twss).
Shortcuts aren’t sustainable. Wil gave examples of some devious ways to get backlinks from .edu sites (exploiting trouble ticket systems or Wikis) but then gave examples on the proper way to get .edu backlinks (find clubs to sponsor, create a scholarship).
Wil then talked about The Power of One-Touch. People (myself included) often say one person, or one session made the entire trip to Affiliate Summit worth it. It took Wil 6 years to go from talking to 18 people to 4,000. What are you doing to turn 10 into 10,000? What value are you adding?
Whatever shortcuts you’re taking, Google will eventually figure it out. They’ll also eventually figure out social metrics. We’re already seeing social signals appear in search results (so-and-so shared this) and author meta data being added to the SERPs (see Rel Author Markup for Thesis or Rel Author Plugin for Thesis).
Wil talked more about structured data, a topic which simply fascinates me. Not because it’s fascinating, but because it’s so easy to do, but so few people take advantage of it. He went on by saying that for structured data to appear in Google’s SERPs, you need to be a trusted source. But what makes you a trusted source? It goes back to Social. Why are people following you, or why are they unfollowing you?
Wil then talked about a couple of tools to help you build your social trust:
- Export.ly exports your Twitter’s profile data into an Excel sheet. How you can find those with a URL in their profile, but don’t link to you (use SEOmoz). Interview these people, and they’ll naturally back to the interview on your site.
- Rowfeeder will tell you who’s RTing you; again take this data and put into SEOmoz to find who’s not linking to you.
If you’re a blogger, and your blog is a few years old, you probably have broken links in it. Use this WordPress plugin to find broken links, which will alert you when a link dies. Then re-build the resource, use a backlink checker to find others linking to the old source, and tell them where your new resource is.
When Wil talks, he gives specific information that you can use RIGHT NOW to improve your SEO efforts. If you’re going to Affiliate Summit, don’t miss Wil’s talks. Here’s the full keynote: