HighlyStructured.com is a blog website run by Mike D'Agostino about search engine positioning, online marketing, php/MySQL, tae kwon do, and various other topics.

Search Engine Strategies Conference - New York 2006 - Preview

February 24, 2006

As I get ready to attend my first Search Engine Strategies Conference next week at the New York Hilton in New York City, I'd like to list out some of the classes and talks I plan on sitting in on. I will be attending the Tuesday, February 28 agenda and will be sitting in on 4 sessions.

The first session I've chosen is "Pundits on Search". As described on the SESC website, this session will feature top names in the search engine optimization industry and include Matt Cutts and Jeremy Zawondy, from Google and Yahoo! respectively. In particular I look forward to hearing from Matt Cutts, whose blog is a quite popular read. Most people in the industry pay attention to what he has to say (he's a lead engineer at Google!) and I'm hoping to hear some inside advice on new techniques for staying "optimized" on Google. I doubt he will be giving away any major secrets but some sort of guidance would be nice.

The second session I will be attending is "Search Algorithm Research". I'm mostly excited to here from Rank Fishkin who runs SEOMoz.org. I subscribe to their RSS feed and I think I've read every post they've had since I started subscribing. I think Rand puts in a ton of time on their blog along with running a professional business. I'm hoping he and the other moderators will discuss some of the new algorithm patents that have been submitted by Google, Yahoo!, and MSN and some insight on to how to properly optimize a site to conform to these algorithms.

After that is lunch and something they call "Birds of Feather" tables. I think the object here is to set up tables that all relate to one part of search engine optimization and online marketing so that people can network with others that work in the same general marketing niche.

The third major session I'll be sitting in on is "Blog and Feed Search SEO". Obviously I'm very interested as I run this blog, but I'm hoping a major area of focus will be on RSS feeds. According to the SESC website, the main topic will be on specialized blog and RSS feed search engines and how they gather content. I think RSS feeds and syndicated content will have a very major impact on "search" in general once Microsoft office 12 and Internet Explorer 7 are released as they have RSS readers built in.

The final session I will be attending is "Advanced Search Term Research Tools". While I don't necessarily recognize any of the speakers for this session, the description makes it sound compelling. Beyond basic keyword research when generating content for a certain topic, I think a good understanding of how to spot major industry trends within your content-niche is paramount. I recently saw a post on (can't remember which blog) about how to choose articles to write about for your blog. The author said he looks at his server stats to find the most popular keyword referrals and then writes articles based on those terms. I'm hoping similar topics will be discussed to help find ways to spot keyword variations, or keyword "topics" that wil become relevant in the near future, so that articles and content can be written to target those terms.

All in all I'm pretty excited to attend. I had some difficult choices to make as there are 5 different topics offered during each session time and obviously I could only attend one. There was one about duplicate content which Matt Cutts from Google was sitting in on that sounded interesting but how many times can I listen to him?!

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