Takeaways and Tidbits from Searchfest 2011

Yesterday I attended the fantastic SEMpdx Searchfest conference, which I’ve made sure to attend at least the last 4 years in a row, maybe 5. I always attend this event because some of the best in the industry show up from all over the country to share the latest trends in Search Engine Management and Marketing. Each year I feel like there’s at least one major takeaway that I can apply immediately for my clients. Here are some notes from this year that I found interesting from attending the ‘advanced search track’:

– Google personalization is always on now, signed in or not. That means that the search results shown for given terms are specific to you based on your location, persona, and browsing history, and search results will vary for everyone. In fact one presenter noted that 6 of 10 results displayed are personalized!

– Twitter plays an alarmingly large role in the ranking of pages now. A couple of presenters noted that links that were tweeted and retweeted, especially by highly valued Tweeters, got significant ranking boosts.

– Page load times were also noted to be a part of the ranking algorithm now as well.

– A few presenters talked about the growing importance of mobile web, but I have to be honest, I’ve been hearing this same story for the last 6 years and I’m still not convinced. Especially with stats like by 2013 there will be 5.8B mobile users, but only 30% will have smartphones…

– Google is always updating their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) and now that they allocate so much related content at the top (like images, news, local, etc…) there are new sitemaps that they’ll accept that will help you appear in these areas; most notably image, video, and news sitemaps.

– “Content farms”, or sites that exist purely to create web content to rank well in SERPs, are now being penalized by Google. Being a content authority is becoming more important than just well written, keyword laden articles. One way to see how Google views your authority is to filter results by reading level.

– An often overlooked detail is how your result looks in the SERPs, meaning you may have a high ranking, but if no one is clicking on it because the presentation falls short, who cares? Make sure to have a quality snippet shown, that uses all 3 lines, and has strong anchor text.

dc

On The Job: 1974 De Tomaso Pantera Lusso

pantera-wet-leaves

I’m going to start a new series of blog posts featuring the wonderful cars I’m privileged to work with. Tonight the 1974 De Tomaso Pantera Lusso!

This car has been refurbished by Joseph Potter Restorations and is now available at Sports Car Shop in Eugene, Oregon. I was fortunate to be asked to take photographs of this car and rushed to find a break in the Pacific Northwest rain. Interested parties are advised to bid for this car Friday afternoon at the Barrett-Jackson auction this January, Lot #944.

In my brief time behind the wheel of this car, I can honestly report that this car is fantastic! Joe and his team have done a great job making this car one of the best of it’s peers. The motor has gobs of torque and a long first gear that actually make in town driving a pretty easy affair. Tickling the gas in 2nd gear shoots the car forward with authority.

The high points of this short experience would be best summarized as follows:

  • Light, unassisted steering. Being mid-engined, there is very little weight over the front end. The steering is a real delight with so much feedback being communicated to the driver.
  • The exhaust note is pure sex. No shit. I’ll make sure to get some video the next time I’m nearby.
  • That long first gear really makes this 70’s supercar pretty easy to handle in town.
  • Those beautiful Chromodoara rims are really at home on this car. They really give this car fantastic presence.
  • And finally, Joe has secured a great spot in the Barrett-Jackson auction this January. I’m so excited to have even the smallest of connection to this great car in such a prestigeous auction!

Many thanks to Joe and Bob for the opportunity to get up close and personal with such a great example!

dc

2nd Annual Brighton Classic Car Rally November 1st

I just sent this out to a handful of car clubs in the Scottsdale area and I’m going to repost here for additional distribution:

Good morning!

I am writing to inform you of the 2nd Annual Brighton Classic Car Rally, which will take place Sunday, November 1st in Scottsdale. All classic cars are invited and entry is only $45; $20 of which is donated to Sojourner Center of Phoenix, Arizona

The event will feature a timed run, or a fun run for those who don’t wish to compete. We’ll be covering the event live on our Facebook and Twitter pages with first hand driver reports, pictures, and video. Afterwards drivers and guests are invited to enjoy live music, food and drinks. The event will be concluded with an awards ceremony.

This year we have 50 entries available, and about 19 entries remain. We are extending the registration deadline and hope your readers can help us fill this event. I would also appreciate any contacts you may suggest for further distribution.

* Official Flyer: http://brightonmotorsports.com/rally/Brighton%20Rally%20Flyer%202.2.pdf
* Official Entry Form: http://brightonmotorsports.com/rally/Brighton%20Classic%20Car%20Rally%20Event%20Application.pdf
* Last Year’s Gallery: http://www.brightonmotorsports.com/rally/2008_gallery/index.html

Thank you,

Dan Crouch on behalf of Brighton Motorsports, Scottsdale, Arizona

dan@motoringblogs.com

Please feel free to copy and paste the above if you have a place that will accept it!

This event is going to be well covered on these pages as I’m attending as the new Web Services and Social Media Manager for Brighton Motorsports. This event kicks off their season and I’m really excited to be able to attend, participate, and share this experience with all the classic car enthusiasts. I’ll be live blogging here and on the Brighton Motorsports Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube accounts. How awesome is that?!

Stay tuned, and if you know of anyone in the Phoenix area that might be interested, please forward along!

dc