Stephan Spencer with Netconcepts kicked off the session by providing an overview of the fundamentals of blog optimization. Overall, optimizing blogs requires the same SEO fundamentals as it would for standard CMS-based Web sites. The minor differences include the need and ability to optimize a variety of page elements individually or en masse, including URLs and/or titles for blog categories, pages and posts. He also emphasized the need for optimized anchor text for links. Also create an abstract associated with the permalink/post, as they are ideal for RSS syndication. Lastly, Spencer suggested creating sticky “evergreen” posts at the top of the blog, as well as the author profile pages, both loaded with keyword-rich content and links.
Rick Klau with FeedBurner provided high level and detailed recommendations on optimizing feeds. He reminded us how feeds have evolved over the past few years…from blogs & RSS to video blogs, podcasts, applications (Yahoo! Pipes), e-retailers, publications and Web services. FeedBurner’s TotalStats allows tracking by feed/source to help measure the readership. Klau reminded us to correctly configure auto-discovery for blogs/posts to simplify the subscription process and accelerate deliverability of feeds for spiders and subscribers. He also suggested automating the “ping” feature to remind feeds & spiders of new posts. Similarly to the video optimization session yesterday, Klau suggested embedding descriptive and relevant keywords for all “show notes” including title and description.
Sally Falkow with Expansion Plus shared her long-time “shielding cream” case study do demonstrate the power of content syndication for improving organic search visibility. Greg Jarboe with SEO-PR provided a newer case study for StubHub.com. His study illustrated the power of a comprehensive blog strategy (15 topic-based blogs peripheral to the ticket marketplace). From a content perspective, 15 underpaid writers packaged unique data from StubHub.com to provide the readers with interesting news (top 10 concert tickets, price ranges by artist, etc.). Combining fundamental SEO and online PR strategies with advanced blogging techniques resulted in tons of visibility in the form of top rankings, inbound links and general buzz. In the process, he reminded us of the influence a blogroll has on it’s credibility in search results. eBay’s purchase of StubHub.com didn’t benefited Greg as much as he would have liked, but I’m sure it will come back to him long term.