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2012 MozCon – Day Two Wrap Up

Day two of the 2012 SEOmoz MozCon was another successful day packed with tons of link juicy digital marketing information. Yesterday we saw a wide range of topics and today was no different. From dancing robots to serious Excel API tips to persona modeling and design; it was fast, furious and fun.

You can go to the MozCon-live site to download the full presentations for all the speakers from both today and yesterday. If you missed it, go read our Mozcon day one wrap up and be sure to check back again tomorrow for the final recap of day three of the 2012 SEOmoz MozCon.

Richard Baxter, SEOgadget, Link Analytics through API

Yesterday Annie Cushing gave us a whole host of “badass Excel tips” that we can all use to streamline and beautify our data. Today Richard Baxter showed us how we can save valuable time every time we have to check links or stats on Open Site Explorer. Using the SEOgadget API you can almost instantly import OSE data into Excel (or Google Docs) and then organize it in whatever way is most meaningful to you. He’s put a lot of time and brain power into it and he’s come up with many, many formulas that he’s letting us all have for free. Richard realizes that the possibilities are only limited by his and our imaginations and so he has the idea that with the information freely available we can work together to make really cool things happen. We think he’s right. You can find the details of how to streamline your data gathering work at his site,

Cyrus Shepard, Above The Fold, High ROI Content Strategies for SEO

Cyrus is an evangelist for doing SEO that works. Rather than relying on outdated and dying link building techniques, he works hard to get us all to look to the future and adopt SEO and link building practices that revolve around real and high quality content. That way no matter what changes happen within Google and Bing, we can rest easy that our sites are safe and delivering solid content that lasts.

Here are some of his main points:

  1. The future is coming. We need to be ready for change
  2. Popular link building techniques only last about a year because when black hat SEOs start to over do it Google takes it away.
  3. We need to pursue what Google and Bing are doing in the future, not what they are doing now
  4. Google+ is not a social network, it is a knowledge network. It is connected to everything Google.
  5. Google doesn’t need anchor text anymore to rate links. You need to optimize the content to which the link is pointing.
  6. Being an SEO is more unclear today because things are always changing and it is a constant learning process. We need to get more sophisticated as the search engines get more sophisticated.

Ian Lurie, Portent Interactive, How To Earn Links Without Doing Anything

The first thing Ian did in his talk was make clear that you can not and will not earn links without doing anything; the title of his presentation was a sarcastic jab at SEOs that are still trying to find the easy way out. Like Cyrus, Ian drove home the point that link building is not a business strategy and that we need to focus on marketing methods that involve genuinely valuable content and things that impact the real-world:

  1. Marketable Content is the result of great marketing
  2. It’s not link building…it’s audience building
  3. Start thinking about the content: Content = Audience = Authority = Growth
  4. Say what matters. Promote your content. Get likes/links, not for your brand, but for your content.

Greg Boser, BlueGrass, Redefining Business Models in a Post-Penguin World

Keeping with the conference theme of looking forward and shedding old methods that just don’t work anymore, Greg Boser shared his long-earned knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. Greg has developed his insight from years of being in the trenches trying to make things happen and it shows. His are the kinds of ideas that make one want to slap oneself on the forehead and yell “duh!” because it’s all so simple that it should have been seen before:

  1. Penguin isn’t about spam, it’s about correcting your behavior. It was a big “STOP DOING THAT” from Google.
  2. Implement better top-down transparency. The whole team gets to know what is going on with the project, not just the small piece they are working on.
  3. Implement open ideation. Everyone can give ideas. If the janitor has a great idea, we want to hear it.
  4. Learn to say no to abusive “dangling carrot” clients
  5. One client, one budget. We spend it where it makes sense. No SEO budget, no PPC budget.

Rhea Drysdale, Outspoken Media, Online Reputation Management

Rhea delivered the kind of raw, unflinching talk that only the daughter of a fire chief can deliver. After explaining that her love of saving reputations is a genetic need she inherited from hero father one has no choice but listen to what she has to say and hope that she’s there to come to the rescue if there’s ever a need. Rhea did a beautiful job of outlining how reputation management can not only save a company, but even make that company stronger than ever before:

  1. Playing dead is not a long term strategy for reputation management
  2. When a big brand disaster happens, it takes about 3 years to fully recover
  3. We don’t have insurance for brands and brands are a very fragile thing. What are you doing today to protect it?
  4. PR jobs are increasing due to the rise of social networking
  5. A company needs: Trust, Conflict (feedback, even when it’s bad), Commitment, Accountability, Results

Marty Weintraub, aimClear, Persona Modeling Unhinged: The Zen of “Whole” Customer

To say that Marty Weintraub is a character is an understatement of the highest magnitude. He was without a doubt the most entertaining speaker of the day, and probably the conference. What at first seemed like a reenactment of a scene from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” gradually morphed into the kind of genius that is so far beyond what anybody else is thinking that it’s hard to understand. To try to wrap your mind around what Marty was saying you really have to read through his blog and absorb as much as you can. He really is thinking above the pack and is worth listening to.

For more of Marty’s brilliance take a look at the AimClear blog.

Peter Meyers, SEOmoz, A Secret Algo Project Launch

There is no doubt to anyone who follows Peter Meyers’ posts on that he is very skeptical of the business practices of Google. Peter has put a lot of effort into developing tools and his own algorithms to keep a close eye on what Google is up to and how their changes affect the digital landscape. We at Blast obviously have great respect and love for Google, but Google is an extremely powerful force and it’s good that people like Peter and SEOmoz put their energies into keeping watch and making sure the giant keeps things on the up and up:

  1. On a normal day 80% of SERPs change every 24 hours (Based on 1,000 SERPs over 2 months)
  2. Many major Google algorithm changes go unnoticed or unnamed
  3. Google controls 60% of the access to the internet. It is shaping our culture by what it filters
  4. Don’t just rely on Google for your marketing
  5. Dr Pete’s quote of the day: “I would like the algorithm to wake up at night in a cold sweat wondering if Dr Pete is gonna catch me”

Jenny Lam, Jackson Fish Marketing, The D Word: Leading the Way to Great Design

Jenny Lam gave a great talk that allowed for an easy breath amidst all the brain-heavy talks of the day. Jenny made it clear right up front that she knows nothing about SEO, but that her passion and life is design. She did a wonderful job of educating the room on the power of design and the ways we can cultivate it to help SEO do an even better job:

  1. #1 factor in site credibility is Design; the look and feel
  2. Good designers are hard to find
  3. When looking for new designers, be true in describing your culture and environment

She also talked about things to look for when hiring a quality designer:

  • Formal design training
  • Talks about the user
  • No ‘delicate flower’ syndrome
  • Portfolio itself is designed well
  • Have they created and shipped something

AJ Kohn, Blind Five Year Old, Google+ SEO and Authorship

Cyrus Shepard said in his talk that Google+ isn’t a social network, it’s a search network. AJ agrees and showed how big of an impact it can have on the SEO of your site. He gave several tips for how to leverage the growing social/search network so that all its different elements can be brought together, along with the SERP, to unleash it’s full power and glory:

  1. If you care about search, you have to care about Google+
  2. Link to all your other social media profile accounts on your Google+ profile page. Google will bring in all your social properties for SERP results
  3. Words matter on you profile pages. Use the words that you are targeting.
  4. To get more people to your Google+ pages create exclusive content for it and tell your followers about it on Twitter and Facebook

UPDATE: Check out our next MozCon recap:

Mozcon Day 3 Wrap Up – Including talks from Martin MacDonald, Aleyda Solis, Mike Pantoliano, Jessica Bowman, Joanna Lord, Rand Fishkin, and Tom Critchlow

David McCormick
About the Author

David is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Blast Analytics & Marketing. David spends his days immersed in the world of SEO, link building and digital marketing and loves when his mind gets blown by a new way of seeing something.

David McCormick has written on the Blast Digital Customer Experience and Analytics Blog.

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