18 Pubcon Takeaways from the Experts

If you missed Pubcon earlier this month then I feel bad for you son. You got 99 problems but finding out what happened there isn’t one. That’s because 9 experts agreed to share their top two insights from Pubcon! That’s right, one epic post with all the best of Pubcon material. If you want more you can also checkout the Pubcon 2014 Collaborative Notes where the top experts participated in taking notes from nearly every session.

Sean Dolan@_seandolan 

Session: Creative Techniques for Selling Your Services and Retaining Your Clients

Speaker: jabezlebret (@jabezlebret)

  • Takeaway 1: Write a book on a niche market, and send it to your friends and clients asking them to purchase. After only a few sales, you can become a top seller in a small category. When you have “Amazon’s #1 Best-Selling Law Practice Marketing Book” on the front of the book you hand to your current and prospective clients, they have something physical to hold onto. It goes a long way in building your credibility. See Jabez’s book here.
  • Takeaway 2: Mouseflow.com. Jabez mentioned Mouse Flow in his presentation. I checked it out the day I returned from Pubcon, and I’ve been blown away by this tool. I’ve used heat map tools in the past, but wasn’t aware of a simple solution for viewing mouse movements of my site visitors. This tool is my most exciting takeaway, as I’ve already implemented it on a client site and can’t wait to show them the data we now have on live shopping behavior for their ecommerce site.


Jesse Semchuck@jessesem

Having been to many other marketing conferences, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Pubcon. I’d heard great things, but that doesn’t always translate into tactical takeaways. I was pleasantly surprised by the high level of expertise and overall tone of the conference.

Link building from here on out can be classified into two distinct buckets.

  • Repeatable processes. These are the tried and true tactics we’ve been using for years. The broken link building, resource links, and outreach. While these are still very important, the value of these types of links could continue to degrade unless placed on highly relevant sites. Relevancy becomes even more important as Google continues to roll out Penguin algorithm updates aimed at targeting organizations that value quantity over quality.
  • Big ideas. These big ideas need to be something that appeals to the influencers, the linkerati that exist in your space. For example, Caterpillar (the bulldozer company) created a video where they played Jenga in an arena with two huge excavators. Now, does this video help them sell more excavators immediately? No, my guess is the viewer of this video won’t be clicking an Add to Cart button for a shiny new bulldozer. But what it does do is build links through press syndication and social shares in a boring industry where it could be tough to acquire them otherwise. These backlinks can help build a website’s domain authority and allow them to rank for the valuable head terms they can monetize. Stephan Spencer’s presentation with more big idea examples can be found here (PDF).

We are just now at the early stages of ad personalization. Google is collecting every piece of data it can about our lives online and offline. From Android and Google iOS apps, Chrome, and now Google Fiber they are just now beginning to get a clear picture of who we are and the types of products and services we’re interested in. It might sound a bit intrusive but I’m excited at the concept of a service that can anticipate my needs and help streamline my life. Google has proven they’re experts in data collection, and they’re just getting started. I can only hope this will lead to Google knowing which Netflix show I want to catch up on while driving me to work in one of their self-driving cars. Of course, not without displaying an ad for my favorite coffee shop.


Erin Sagin@erinsagin

  • Optimize Your Cancellation Page (David Vogelpohl, Creative Techniques for Selling Your Services and Retaining Your Clients): Given that I come from a Customer Success background, this point really hit home for me.  When clients cancel, most companies just let them walk away.  Instead, this is the perfect point to reengage them!  At best, you are able to address their problems and keep them on board.  If you’re not able to retain them, at least you can glean some valuable data to improve other customers’ experiences.  It’s a total win-win. David’s recommendation was to revamp your cancel page to include video tutorials on common problems, lower priced packages or subscription variations and a live agent chat.  This is especially poignant because it can be applied to nearly every industry.
  • Identify and Focus on Buyer Personas and Audience Personas (Michael King, How to target Visitors Using Personas): During his presentation, Mike highlighted the distinction between audience persona (people looking to consume content for education or entertainment) and buyer persona (people looking to consume content, but only as a means to make a transaction) and he encouraged SEOs to keep BOTH in mind as they develop content.  This is critical because oftentimes these personas overlap or users transition between the two types.  I feel as though we are often so focused on that buyer persona that we neglect to cater to the audience persona.  This was a good reminder to keep both in mind.

Alma Smith@Alma_Smith

  • The changing role of SEO – The role of SEO is more about collaboration, training and managing relationships. With semantic search, not provided keywords, and other updates the focus has shifted away from SEO as a silo function. SEO practitioners should now be spending their time training other departments on SEO best practices, collaborating on content strategies, and managing SEO related projects.
  • This ain’t about you! – Several times throughout the sessions and particularly during keynotes it was brought up that marketing is really all about serving customers. This seems like a no-brainer, but in the world of online marketing where we spend so much time working with numbers, it’s easy to forget that there are real people behind those numbers. Focusing on providing what customers want rather than what we want them to do can make the difference in success or failure. Or in the immortal words of Dr. Phil: This ain’t about you! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpBxGJzmbfE

Larry Kim@LarryKim

  • The social events were the best part of the conference. great to meet so many search marketing friends and catch up.
  • Facebook Atlas / Facebook Audience Network is a big deal. The New concept of people based marketing (targeting people) is a big shift.

Greg Young@PPCJedi

  • In testing/improving search ads and landing pages, making small changes will only get you small results.  Changing the wording slightly or adding punctuation isn’t going to make your ads magically awesome.  Write a completely new ad that triggers an emotional response, if you want to see big CTR jumps.  The same applies to landing pages.  Changing button colors, images, fonts… those will get you trivial results.  Come up with a completely new offer to test and triple your conversion rates!  -From @LarryKim’s The Top 10 PPC Hacks of All Time
  • Marketing Conferences are an awesome way to network.  Just do it.  You’ll gain valuable insights from the speakers at the conference, but don’t let the learning end there.  Make connections, follow them on social media, and stay engaged.  So  many great discussions in the PPC industry take place daily on twitter (#PPCchat) You can build great relationships with peers in your industry by promoting their work online, then share your own work with them as well.  Your network will lift you up naturally, as you lift others.

Garrett McGregor@McGregor212

  • We (PPC Managers) are the assists that make things better. -Katie Lawler While third party software is important and useful we must not forget that we are the difference makers.Our time must be spent on improving accounts and not over loading ourselves with too many automated tools…etc. I’m not saying tools are bad but we should only take on what we can handle.
  • Rely more on Facebook’s Resources. Similar to Google, Facebook has tools/resources that can help improve account management and management skills. These educational categories range from; Product Guides, Case Studies, Measurement & Research and Resources/ tools. Each category can be applicable to every account and can help stay up to date on best practices and optimization. Facebook-studio.com is a tool I want to get more familiar with.

Katy Tonkin@KatyTonkin

  • Network your face off. Pubcon networking happens at night, on the town, in bars, casinos and the lot. You have to be ready for that and my best advice is line up your networking in advance. Figure out who’s going where, have a list of who you want to meet, wear comfortable shoes, and get after it.
  • The US Search Awards are where the best and the brightest are at for one night. The most talented folks in the industry in are in one room for almost 4 hours and there is ample opportunity to go up and introduce yourself. Buy a ticket – it’s worth it! ​And it’s just darn good karma to support the recognition of some of the industry’s leaders and up-and-comings.
Luke Alley@LukeAlley
  • Remarketing Lists for Search Ads – these are the HOTTEST thing in search right now. Remember when shopping results went to a paid model and you got incredibly cheap clicks and lots of sales? That’s RLSAs right now. Even though these were rolled out last year less than 10% of accounts have them implemented. For your RLSA campaigns, make sure you have higher bids than other keywords, choose more broad terms, and have copy tailored to the already-visited-your-site audience.
  • Try New Remarketing Strategies – do you ever think you’ve tried nearly every PPC strategy out there? I did, but was humble by Sean Dolan (one of our very own contributors) in his remarketing session. One idea was using “parameters” in your URLs to create remarketing lists depending on where they came from. This way you can target different audiences although they are all going to the same landing page. You can also turn on or off your list based on the time for the next service (haircut, oil change, pest control service, etc.) and time it when they are looking for the next round of service.
Were you there? Do you have some other tips? Share them in the comments!

Clarifying Cutts: What He REALLY Meant

It’s been almost two months since PubCon in Las Vegas, and I’m still simmering from the Cutts keynote. While many in the industry tend to idolize him, even the most white-hat and pure among us has reason to take what he says with a grain of salt.

In the two months since his talk, of which you can find video here, there are a lot of things that I feel need clarification.

So, I submit to you: Clarifying Cutts: What He REALLY Meant

Content Farms

Long story short: Cutts said Google noticed people didn’t like content farms. People used Chrome extensions to block these farms. Google noticed parodies of content farms that appeared around the web mocking the thin, uninformative articles which were designed to manipulate the algorithm.

So Google cracked down on these sites. Hard.

Well, sort of.

wikiHow still exists. And it still appears as the first result for far too many queries.

That’s a sucky content farm if there ever was one.

Why has it not received the same fate as its content-farm peers? It still ranks highly because Google owns it, and Google is not about to demote their own product.

This is despite the fact that wikiHow consistently appears as the worst result for almost any query for which it appears. wikiHow articles exhibit a startling lack of detail and on occasion, lack any familiarity with the subject they are supposed to cover. This makes wikiHow the most annoying source of information on the web. (Although you could probably count wikiPedia and wikiHow’s close cousin eHow on that list as well).

My question is this: If I start making parody articles of wikiHow pages, will Google remove them from my SERPs? If that is what it takes, I will do it.

(Speaking of Google removing things in response to public outcry, how many of these https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTq8TrA3hb4 videos will it take before Google realizes a lot of people don’t like being forced to use Google +. Warning: Some totally justified but strong language in this video.)

This is what I heard from Cutts: If users do not like content farms, then Google does not like them either. However, if the content farm belongs to Google, then they do not care what the user thinks.

Apparently Google thinks if they shove their product down our throats long enough, we’ll have to swallow it. *cough* Google Plus *cough*

If Google wants web masters to respond to the “higher standard,” if would be encouraging if Google played by their own rules.

Playing by the rules doesn’t just apply to content farms. It applies to another point Matt Cutts mentioned:

Ads above the fold

I absolutely applaud not rewarding sites who put ads above the fold. It is a terrible user experience. If I have to scroll or click past ads to get to my desired content, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll leave your site. (Side note: How do so many big sites get away with making you click past a full-page advertisement before allowing you to go through to the main article? It’s probably because they are big sites, huh? I hate it.)

Ads above the fold are old news, but the mention at PubCon held particular resonance as banner ads for branded queries began testing in Google search that same weekend.

I’m pretty sure if people are searching for a branded term like “Southwest” there’s a pretty good chance they are going to click on the first organic search result, which is the homepage.

This is because people are too lazy to type in an entire address, so they let Google type it in for them. They don’t want a banner ad. They just want to go to the site and be done with it. You know people are likely going to click on the first organic result, so why show them a giant ad for the brand?

Because people might click on it and give Google money.

While an article on VentureBeat makes a great case for these ads, I think the main point here is to drive more money to Google so they can build giant floating cities.

Cutts claimed Google wants to provide the world with information as an “answer engine.” Why then does Google take up the majority of SERPs with ads? Products are not, by definition, “information.” Ads are the exact opposite of “strings, not things.”

If Google said they wanted to be the next Amazon, I would let this pass. Since they claim they want to be a source of knowledge and information for people, I find the present ratio of products vs. information unacceptable. I would not accept on a client site the amount of ads Google allows on their SERPs. Once again, I submit that Google should adhere to their own quality guidelines.

I know Google gets a lot of revenue from ads. I get it. They couldn’t make cool stuff without that revenue. But the problem is they are making some really shoddy shit. Which brings me to

The Google Neural Network

Google allegedly spends this ad revenue on computers that work on semantics (or floating cities, whatever).  They take words and through a beautiful application of science as art these computers form semantic associations.

As a theorist, this tickles me. These computers practice Saussurian semantics. They establish “signs”. The “sign” is the summation of an association of a signifier with the signified.

image c/o marxist.org
image c/o marxist.org

Here is an example: The word “Moscow” means both the word “Moscow” but also a signified concept–the capital city of Russia, its most recognizable buildings, etc.

I’m in love with what Google attempts to do with signs. They try to understand all the possible signifieds associated with the signifier. They also attempt to improve the quality of their “signs”–an endeavor I totally support.

My question is this: If Google can spend so much money on computers making word associations, would it kill them to hire a linguist? Someone who understands synonyms, maybe?

Some of the so called “synonyms” that appear in search just aren’t. When I search for the band by the name of BOY (a query with inherent issues), I shouldn’t get results with “son” in the meta description and nowhere on the page. A wedding dress is almost always formal. A formal dress is not always a wedding dress. Yet Google frequently equates the two in SERPs.

Sometimes they get it really, really wrong. I wanted to test Google’s semantic abilities so, because I was listening to Infected Mushroom at the time, I searched for “how to mix sick beats”. The results went from bad to worse.



Wellness Mama is a site I have visited before. (Yes, Google has started showing you sites you’ve visited before, even if they aren’t 100% relevant to the query. That’s another post for another day).  The words “beat” “mix” and “sick” all appear on the page. Besides appearing in the post, they don’t actually belong together. Like, at all. The implied “how do you make” also appears on the page, but Google ignores what comes directly after the phrase which is “kombucha” and takes you to a completely different page on the site.
In Google’s quest to avoid rewarding sites for having exact keyword phrases in a site, they still aren’t quite there with searcher intent.

They might could hire someone who actually knows about language and how it works to help them refine the intent of the ENTIRE “string.” Being fluent in your native tongue does not count as knowing about your own language.

Which brings me to

Conversational Search

Conversational search is the idea that you can ask Google a question like “How tall is Big Ben” and then ask a subsequent question about Big Ben using a pronoun like “How tall is it?” (By the way, Google claims Big Ben is 316′, which is a huge a** bell if you ask me.) In theory, Google would be able to tell the “it” refers to the Big Ben mentioned in the previous question.

So Google uses your previous search history to, hopefully, give you a more targeted answer. (Incidentally, being able to identify the antecedents of pronouns is Google’s first step towards person-hood and self-actualization. It’s only a matter of time.)

Remember the previous discussion of signs? This is just an extension of that. And the cool part? Conversational search doesn’t just apply to pronouns.

One time, I searched for “is honey gluten-free” (Don’t laugh. The store labeled the honey as “gluten-free,” and it confused me). Approximately 30 minutes later I searched “diabetes symptoms” because I had just found out Tom Hanks had diabetes.

This was the result:


conversational search


So, no pronouns used. Just Google assuming they know WHY I was searching for something. Too bad for them they don’t have access to my incredibly non-sequitur brain because, for me, the searches were unrelated.

It’ll be interesting to see how this rolls out in the future. That is all.

Finally I come to

Press Release Links

During the Q&A, someone asked if they had to edit old press releases with anchor text links in them. Cutts claimed there was no need to go back and edit them.

That’s bullshit.

And I have the manual penalty messages to prove it.

That’s right. Google TOLD us a press release containing links from FOUR years ago violated the guidelines.

Why would the Google web spam team send such a message when Cutts said companies do not need to alter past press releases?

Because the above press release contained the three strikes of linking: too many links, with too much exact-match anchor text, on a FREE press release site.

That last strike is the worst. The client had posted the same press release on a few other sites, so why did the web spam team single out this one? It was a free site and a content dump for press releases.

How do I know the fact it was a free site made this link in particular bad? Because this press release existed on several other reputable sites where it was not removed, and the site has since had its manual penalty revoked.

Upon removing the PRs from the free–and not very reputable–sites, Google did not mention them again in subsequent messages which contained similar examples.

So the claim you do not have to remove or alter past press releases is only half true.

If you have press releases containing anchor-text links on FREE press release sites, you’d better remove that shit post haste. Think you don’t have press releases on free press release sites? Think again. Many of these sites have scraped content from paid sites like PRWeb. This was the case for our client. The site even acknowledged they had taken the content from PRWeb at the bottom of the post. Check your back links and make sure this isn’t the case for you.

If you do find one of your press releases on one of these sites, do everything you can to remove it. If you are able to remove it, great. If the site does not remove the offending links, document your efforts. If (when, more likely) the manual penalty comes, you will be prepared with documentation to show Google.

So there you have it, the things from Cutt’s presentation I believe needed clarification and/or additional insight. Have you encountered anything in your time since the Cutts speech that contradicts what he told us? Thoughts about the above? Let me know.


Best of PubCon for PR Pros

This was my first year at PubCon (an internet marketing and social media conference), though several of our team are regular speakers. Matt Siltala is a bit of a PubCon celeb (he’s famous for his beard and seo/social street cred). Here’s the team in Vegas.

Avalaunch Media executive team

I went to most of the PR-related sessions, most of which were exceptional from both a PR and an SEO/social perspective. Here are my best tips from the top sessions for PR pros.

1. Easily buy SEO and do PR without Breaking the Rules.

PR is content: links, likes, pluses, traffic, media, and blogger mentions. Marty Weintraub showed us how he copies the direct link to a Google+ post.  It’s in a dropdown menu:

Google Plus direct link
How to find the direct link to a Google+ post.

Here’s a direct link for a report from our yeti on how to do social media right: https://plus.google.com/115671137696411026556/posts/JrGQt9vc6gw

After you have the direct link, tweet about it using the Google+ link. Next promote the tweet for the hashtag #pubcon (Marty notes on this one he links directly to a blog post). He also posts on his personal Facebook page where he has many friends/followers and pays to boost the post so more of them see it. On his brand page he uses the power editor and creates many versions of the ad to show in the newsfeed. He targets his trade/industry people, in this case to places like Search Engine Journal, Pubcon and SMX. He creates another version of his ad for PR – places like Mashable, producers, show hosts, and local ad agencies. In addition, you can buy LinkedIn ads, Bing ads, and even run Google AdWords to the post.

While there may not be a direct correlation between Google+ interactions, there is a correlation. If you share and someone engages, then their connections see your content. Then your content rises when that person and their friends do related Google searches.

2. Press Outreach Secrets

Rob Woods along with moderator Warren Whitlock talked about creating press and Rob introduced me to a few new PR tools that I can’t wait to try.

  • Do a keyword search in Google News to find who is writing on the topic you want to cover. In Google News there is a link next to the author’s name and that takes you to their Google+ page. Some people put their email address on their “About” page or there is an icon to email them directly without knowing their email address (some have this disabled). If that fails you can tag them. Scraperr will scrape the top 500 results from any search term. From there you can pay someone on oDesk or Mechanical Turk to find contact info for the articles written that fit what you’re trying to pitch. Or you can do research to find contact information yourself.


  • Subscribe to Muckrack to build a list of journalists on Twitter related to your topic.
  • Search Followerwonk profiles for journalists from publications or blogs you want to do outreach to. For example you could search “tech reporter” or “sports reporter” or even search the URL field for the publication itself, such as “mashable.com, techcrunch.com, etc. You can export the results to a csv file. You can even download a file of only your followers and see if there are people from blogs or news organizations who follow you that you could reach out to.
  • Search abyznewslinks.com to find the newspapers and TV stations for every city, state and many countries in the world. Or find the 15 most popular news websites here.
  • Check out Pitchbox to do research and keep track of your outreach efforts and results.

 3. Pinterest Marketing – How to Leverage the Fastest Growing Social Network

You know you truly love a subject when you’ve studied it for hours and still want to learn all you can about it. That’s how I am about Pinterest marketing. John Rampton shared a simple Pinterest marketing plan.

  • Spend 30 mins. on http://postris.com to see what is trending and to get ideas for your business niche. Breaking news, seasonal or pins for the holidays do well.
  • Go to the “popular” category on Pinterest and comment on the top 30 or so pins in your niche. I’d add that you could repin or like their pins.
  • Use auto-follow tool ninjapinner to auto follow back people who follow you.
  • Plan out your pins with ideas you had.
  • Use Viral Tag to schedule out your pins.

Vince Blackham shared some great case studies of pins that killed it on Pinterest. Check out his slides here. In the Q&A Vince gave advice to a vacation rental company that applies to other businesses too:  “don’t promote yourself, promote the experiences”. So for this company based in Park City, Utah, I picture boards with the best places to eat, the festivals, the farmer’s markets, the events, places to stay (with their properties), skiing, and outdoor activities in Park City, Utah.

For additional Pinterest marketing tips see my slides from Bend WebCAM: 10 Tips for Marketing on Pinterest.

Not only were these sessions incredibly helpful for those of us in public relations or blogger outreach, it was also a pleasure to reconnect with or meet the presenters. Thank you to all who shared their expertise at PubCon. I was inspired to fine tune my pitching and introduced to new ideas and tools to use.

If you were at PubCon, did I miss any great PR insights? Please let me know in the comments.

Avalaunch Media hits VEGAS!!!

From October 15 – 18 the entire Avalaunch Media crew is headed to Pubcon Las Vegas 2012 where thousands of leaders in social media, digital marketing, SEO, and online advertising will gather to share insight and network.

The team is stoked to debut the new Avalaunch Media brand and to introduce “Eddy”, the new company mascot.  We’ll have a booth with all sorts of great stuff so if you’re attending, please make sure to stop by.

In addition, two launchers, Dave Mink and Matt Siltala will speaking alongside the other world class digital marketing experts:

Dave will be speaking on Social Media, Press Relations, & Brand Management.

David Mink Speaking at Pubcon
David Mink Speaking at Pubcon


Matt Siltala Speaking at Pubcon
Matt Siltala Speaking at Pubcon


Matt will be speaking on Competitive Intelligence – Social Media Tools and Tactics (he actually talks about it on video here), Interactive Site Reviews : Focus on Organic and moderating a session on Proactive Link Campaign Tactics.

Please let us know if you’re planning on attending and our team would love to arrange a meeting.

Viva Las Vegas!!!

A Quick Look Into My Pubcon Vegas 2012 Presentations and Panels

I don’t know about the rest of the Internet marketing and search community, but I am super excited for Pubcon Vegas 2012!  It is crazy how it is just around the corner too – check your calendars Oct 15th isn’t that far away.  I will be presenting on a couple panels and moderating one this year.  It is not too late to get in on some good rates BUT ACT QUICKLY – I have a code here that can still save you 20% when registering at Pubcon.com – just use code rc-5312420

I would like to thank Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures for taking the time to get this interview all set up and taken care of.  Hope you enjoy as we talk a little bit about the upcoming show and what I will be presenting on.

Transcription (edited):

Arnie Kuenn: Hello everyone. I’m Arnie Kuenn, President of Vertical Measures; a search, social, and content marketing agency in Phoenix, Arizona. Today, I’d like to introduce to you, Mat Siltala, founding, can you believe I messed that up? I’ve known you for how many years? But we’re going keep going. Anyway, he’s the founding…

Mat Siltala: That’s all right.

Arnie Kuenn: I saw “founding launcher” in the little script here and it threw me. So he’s the founding launcher of Avalaunch Media. So, Mat, as I’ve just mentioned, I’ve known you for many, many years, and you’ve rebranded your company and you didn’t consult me, so what’s up with that?

Mat Siltala: Yeah, sorry. I shouldn’t have thrown you off with that whole founding launcher, but everything that we do is launches… We launch businesses, we launch campaigns, we launch pay per click, everything and anything that you can think of. When we’re talking to people, we say, “Yeah, let us launch that for you.” And it just makes sense, since I am a founding partner, it just makes sense to be the founding launcher. And we ran with it; it was pretty fun.

Arnie Kuenn: Yep. That’s super. By the way, I love the branding on your shirt there. That’s beautiful.

Mat Siltala: Oh, you mean this? I had no idea we were doing this today.

Arnie Kuenn: Right. All right. So we’re here to talk about PubCon. And you’re doing a session this year, this Thursday in October, and it’s called, “Competitive Intelligence, Social Media Tools and Tactics.” So why don’t you take a few minutes and tell our viewers what you plan to cover during that session, so they gain an idea why they should attend.

Mat Siltala: Well, as you know, there are so many different tools to choose from. “Should I automate? Should I not automate? Which tool should I use? Should I pay? Should I just do the free one? How often?” There are so many questions that people ask regarding just the tools themselves. Now, you can use a lot of these tools for competitive analysis. You can see who the competition is following, what they’re doing, where they’re getting the most engagement. It’s a great tool to be able to find direct people that the competition might be using. In our case, we do a lot of infographics and a lot of pushing a constant out there, through different decent size networks.

It’s pretty interesting, some of the information that’s readily available through people that they’re following and they’re engaging with. You can gather some of that data and friend them, and put them to work for you, so to speak. So there’s a lot of data to be gathered from these tools, and I just want to go over the stuff that works the best and what maybe you should avoid. And I’m sure the other panelists, they’re going to be talking about a lot of this stuff too, but it’s mostly just letting them know what to use, what to stay away from, what works, what doesn’t, and stuff like that.

Arnie Kuenn: Yep. Do you have a specific tool that might be in your favorite? The first one that might come to mind that you could mention?

Mat Siltala: Well, you’ll have to tune into the presentation for that one. How’s that for a fuser?

Arnie Kuenn: That’s a hook. All right. And then, I also know you’re going to moderate a campaign of “Corrective Link Campaign Tactics,” and of course, link building is pretty near and dear to me, but, I know it’s pretty early, right now, that we’re doing this interview before the session, but do you have any ideas of what the panelists might be talking about from that perspective?

Mat Siltala: Well, because it’s a proactive one… Just because of the structure and the world that we live in now with link building, I’m guessing a lot of the conversation might lean to some of the past updates and there’s even a lot of buzz going around. All those letters that were just sent out, I think some of the updates are taking place today. So I think a lot of the questions and a lot of the stuff that’s going to be talked about is simply: I don’t know whether it’s going to be cleanup, or how to go about it or how to do better, how to etc. There’s kind of a mess that a lot of people are in, and they want to know what’s working. “Should I stay away from this? Should I stay away from that? What should I do? What can I go back and do? Should I even waste time with anything?” And I think we’re going to really… At least, my hope is we’re going to cover a lot of the stuff that is going to be beneficial to what they should be doing from here on out.

Arnie Kuenn: This is not part of what I planned to talk about, but maybe if we can just take 30 seconds…Have you been doing much link cleanup for your clients? I know it’s been a pretty hot topic here for the last month or two, and I’m sure it’ll be that way at PubCon as well.

Mat Siltala: Well, I mean, if you’ve been working with clients for many, many years, I’m sure there might be. Here’s the thing too. You never know until you really dig in and start seeing what kind of stuff has been done in the past by clients, even before you got them. And so, what is it? Seven, Eight years ago when directory submission were killing it for people, they probably submitted thousands of them. And so now, I mean, it’s almost impossible. Maybe, some of them, you can go back.

This is the thing that I’m doing. I’m going in and I’m looking at the webmaster tools areas, checking and seeing if there are any notifications first of all, and then I’m just using the data that they provide. I found certain cases where there was one website that showed that it was pumping out ten thousand links, just from one website to one of our clients. It was a WordPress site and so it made me start to investigate. Did it get hacked? How on earth could this one site be pumping out ten thousand links? Just something wasn’t adding up.

And so, it’s easy to just go and do a little bit of investigating and stuff like that. Get rid of links and then do a resubmit request. But it’s just stuff like that. We do go through and just make sure that there isn’t any of those “uh-ohs.” There’s probably so many links that you’re just not going to be able to get rid of, but I think if you go through and you clean up as much as you can, and then you document it and you include that with your re-inclusion request, they’re going to take that into account.

The situation with us and the ten thousands links, whether it was site-wides or categories or getting spammed and the site getting bloated, I still have no idea what happened there. I’m still trying to figure that out. But, you know what? You can get that link removed and see if it shows up anywhere else, and it’s all you can do. You know what I mean?

Arnie Kuenn: Right.

Mat Siltala: But it takes a little bit of investigating. So I mean, yeah, there is that going on.

Arnie Kuenn: Yeah. We’ve been doing a lot of back link audits for our current clients, and new clients. Whether they are or haven’t got that email notice from Google, and pretty much we’re doing similar stuff. We’re focusing a lot on looking for site-wides that might be a problem and over anchor text optimization.

Mat Siltala: Now, that’s the killer.

Arnie Kuenn: Yeah.

Mat Siltala: And it’s so annoying too, because it’s been said forever, “Don’t do the click here links. Use good anchor text. Use good anchor text. Use good anchor text.” Now it’s, “Don’t use good anchor text. Don’t use… ” Anyway, it’s the game that we play, and it’s the world we live in, I guess, right?

Arnie Kuenn: Exactly. Well, I better wrap this up. And for everybody who is watching, Mat’s a great presenter of PubCon and PubCon is a great event. He’s been going for years; I’ve been going for years. I encourage you all to attend. It’s in Las Vegas, the second week of October, I believe it is. I think it’s the 16th or the 18th, but just go to PubCon.com and you’ll find it. And we’ll see you in there, Mat.

Mat Siltala: Looking forward to it. Thanks for having me.

Arnie Kuenn: Thanks for your time.

Mat Siltala: Buh-bye.


About Arnie Kuenn:
Arnie Kuenn is the president of Vertical Measures, a search, social & content marketing company helping their clients get more traffic, more leads, and more business. Arnie has held executive positions in the world of new technologies and marketing for more than 20 years. He is a frequent speaker and author of content marketing book Accelerate! Moving Your Business Forward Through the Convergence of Search, Social & Content Marketing available on Amazon. You can find Arnie on Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn

About PubCon:
Pubcon is the premier search and social media conference and expo and will be taking place in Las Vegas from October 16th -18th, 2012. Pubcon Las Vegas 2012, supported by the industry’s leading businesses, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors involved in social media, Internet marketing, search engines, and online advertising, will offer a week-long look at the future of technology presented by many of the world’s top speakers. Check out conference updates on Twitter (@PubCon).

Pubcon Hawaii 2012 Slide Deck on Blended SERPs

Had a blast in Hawaii during Pubcon Paradise 2012. Here is my slide deck for those that may have not found it already on SlideDeck. This presentation explored the blended world of social coming into play in the SERPs. With sites like G+, Facebook and Twitter filling up the SERPs you need to make sure your business is on it, or get left behind. Also added a pretty sweet SERP case study in which Brian LaFrance of Authority Labs helped me with. The case study shows how 1 in 3 results of the top 2560 keywords on SpyFu are actual Facebook or Twitter (or both) URLs. In other words, your business can no longer avoid these social networks (and you can no longer avoid them as an SEO). I had a blast in Hawaii and hope to do it again next year! Enjoy the slide deck!

Pubcon Hawaii 2012 Pictures

Here are a few pictures taken during Pubcon Paradise. I will eventually upload the whole batch to Flickr and Google + but for now enjyoy these!

Michael Dorausch speaking at Pubcon

Andy Beal speaking at Pubcon Paradise Hawaii 2012
Andy Beal giving Aloha at Pubcon Hawaii
Thomas Ballantyne speaking at Pubcon
Thomas Ballantyne
Brett Tabke Pubcon Paradise 2012
Brett Tabke Pubcon Paradise 2012
Laura Lippay Pubcon Paradise
Laura Lippay Pubcon Paradise
Arnie Kuenn speaking at Pubcon Hawaii 2012
Arnie Kuenn Pubcon 2012
Brian McDowell speaking at Pubcon Hawaii
Brian McDowell Pubcon Hawaii 2012
Brent Payne
Brent Payne Pubcon Paradise 2012
Tony Wright Pubcon Paradise Hawaii 2012
Tony Wright Pubcon Hawaii 2012
Scott Cowley at Pubcon Hawaii
Scott Cowley at Pubcon Hawaii 2012 w/ all his ZAGG Gear
Dave Rohrer chilling at Pubcon Hawaii
Dave Rohrer kicking back at Pubcon Hawaii
Michael Dorausch Pubcon
Michael Dorausch speaking at Pubcon Hawaii 2012
Kate Morris speaking at a Pubcon Hawaii Session
Kate Morris speaking at a Pubcon Hawaii Session
Pubcon Hawaii 2012
Pubcon Hawaii 2012
Christine Churchill Pubcon
Christine Churchill Pubcon Hawaii 2012 Speaker
Michael Bonfils Pubcon
Michael Bonfils Pubcon
Dream Systems Media at Pubcon Hawaii 2012 Tee Shirt
Dream Systems Media at Pubcon Hawaii 2012 Tee Shirt
Matt Siltala and Greg Lindblom
Matt Siltala and Greg Lindblom at Pubcon Hawaii
Mark Barrera Pubcon
Mark Barrera Pubcon
Matt Siltala Pubcon Hawaii 2012
Matt Siltala moderating Pubcon session
Pubcon Hawaii 2012
Pubcon Hawaii 2012
Pubcon Hawaii 2012
Dave Zuls Pubcon Hawaii 2012
Michael Gray Pubcon Hawaii 2012 Speaker
Michael Gray giving me "the mean look"

Pubcon Hawaii 2012

Tony Wright and Wife
Tony Wright and Wife
Michael Dorausch Pubcon Hawaii 2012
Michael Dorausch looking fly at Pubcon Hawaii

DSM looking forward to Pubcon Hawaii


Pubcon Hawaii Dream Systems Media Shirts
Pubcon Hawaii Dream Systems Media Shirts

Pubcon Hawaii 2012 is just around the corner, and I am looking forward to attending, speaking and modering. Pubcon is, and always has been one of my favorite conferences throughout the year.  The entire Dream Systems Media crew will be on the Island enjoying the conference and networking.

We have already been passing around DSM Pubcon Hawaii Tee’s … so if you were lucky enough to get one :-) we’d love to have you post pictures of them here (just comment with where I can find them and I will get them added).  I am going to have extras at the conference, so just find me and let me know you want one!   I am really looking forward to seeing all my old industry buds, and meeting and making new ones.

What I will be speaking/moderating:

  • Convergence of Social Media and Search Speakers; Rebecca Murtagh,  Matt Siltala,  Sarah Carling (and Carolyn Shelby will be the moderator for this session)  – I am lucky to be on this panel with 3 lovely ladies and industry pros.  For this session I will be taking a deep look at social signals & factors, and thanks to the fellas at Authority Labs, (for helping me with) a pretty extensive case study on the subject.  There will be some amazing data for everyone to enjoy and digest!  I can’t wait to share it!
  • Link Building & Link Baiting for TourismSpeakers; Mark BarreraMichael Bonfils with myself moderating the panel.  Link building can be done organically and strategically. This session covers the latest tactics used by top link builders to increase the popularity of a website with quality and relevant inbound links. Check out the latest tools and easy backlinks that count.

See Matt Siltala Speak At Pubcon
Please let me know if you are gonna be at the conference, or come up to me and say hi while there.  Hawaii is going to be EPIC & I am so looking forward to it!

Legal Issues of Domain Names and Trademarks – Pubcon Vegas 2011

Privacy Law Developments – Las Vegas PubCon 2011 – My powerpoint aims to provide a synopsis on some of the most recent and relevant privacy law developments affecting Internet business and marketing — from security breach notification statute amendments to the SEC’s Guidance on cyber security and disclosure.

Competitive Intelligence Presentation – Pubcon Vegas 2011

Here is my presentation from Pubcon Vegas 2011 on Competitive Intelligence. This was a great panel and I am hoping everybody learned a ton! Enjoy!

Pubcon Vegas 2011 Competitive Intelligence session write-ups: