Last week I reported on SES London for State of Search. I attended some great sessions including:
– a keynote by Dave Coplin of Microsoft, Future Forward. (I’ve heard Dave speak before, and it’s always enjoyable.)
– two brilliant talks on B2B video, one by Phil Nottingham and one by Greg Jarboe. As video is something I work with for clients, I loved the advice they gave, and found it both credible and practical.
– a basic introduction to analytics by Dave Rohter with some sound advice for beginners.
– and, close to my heart, website migrations (something I’ve had to manage through, although let me say for the record that my involvement was only in the absence of someone else to do it – I’m not claiming any technical expertise in the field, and it’s definitely not where my career aspirations lie!).
The wonderful Jackie Hole liveblogged one of the sessions I attended, where Kev Gibbons of BlueGlass and Paul Maddens gave fantastic – and sobering – presentations.
Kev’s talk was music to my PR ears: think about the reader!
Bearing in mind that SES is aimed at search professionals rather than PR people, his talk, naturally, focussed on links. He contends that Google turned turned links into commercial entities, creating some bad behaviour. Google changed the rules to correct this, so today’s metrics need a new look. The real assessment of whether a link has any value is whether it generates traffic to a site. And the assessment of the value of the page is whether people are commenting. And if they’re not, the page needs work!
Google has huge amounts of information. Chrome is now the World’s most widely used browser. It can see how many people are subscribed to the RSS feed. Google + as a verification mechanism is invaluable. Eric Scmidt has alluded to its importance in the context of identity. And Gibbons is staking that in 2013, it becomes an even more important way of establishing identity, with content from the best authors attributed ever greater value.
So in addition to normal metrics, Gibbons suggests that traffic, RSS subscribers, bounce rate, average number of links per post, number of social shares and comments as important. The recipe for success is to focus on the audience experience, on human interaction, on being topical and relevant, helping create a natural, defensible profile. As I mentioned above, as a PR person, this was music to my ears.
(You can see many of the other presentations from SES reported on State of Search, by seaching on the site with the hashtag #SESLon)