Notes from PubCon 2008 (Thursday)

by Paul Wilson


Yet another great day at PubCon. Unfortunately, I was up until 4am watching some great shows on Hulu. Has anyone noticed that there seems to be better viewing content on the web these days than on regular network television? It seems that it is hard to go bed at a decent hour this week—I just don’t have my beautiful wife here to motivate me to go to bed early =). Boy do I miss her!

Okay, I am done with my sentimentalism. I do have to apologize in advance about this post. I know that if I sit down and reformat Thursday’s PubCon notes that you will never get this post. So, here are my raw notes in all their imperfections. If you have any questions of clarification let me know.

PubCon Day 3: Duplicate Content, Link Buying, Link Building, Link Bait, Search Engine Smackdown
10:15 – Getting Rid of Duplicate Content Issues Once and For All

Ben D’Angelo – Google (has been with Google for 3 years)

  • Duplicate content within your website – Multiple URLs pointing to the same page, similar pages
  • Different language same content is not a problem
  • The guiding pricinple behind the duplicate rule is wanting to have one url behind one piece of content. If you are searching you don’t want multiple results with the same content.
  • Duplicate content filter saves Google resources by not crawling unnecessary information.
  • The most common duplicant content is having two urls, one url with www and one without.
  • Printable versions of pages are seen as duplicate content
  • If you want to have control over your duplicant content what can you do?
  • For exact dupes:301
  • Google webmaster tools can do the same thing
  • For near duplicates: noindex/robots.txt
  • Different languages are not considered duplicate content.
  • URL parameters: Put data which does not affect the substance of a a page in a cookie.
  • Generally, duplicate content is seen with Google as just a filter: it will not destroy your website (this isn’t a penalty)
  • Another important aspect of spotting duplicate content is finding pages with the same title tag and meta tags. When you go to google and do a search and see the phrase: “click here to similar results.” This happens when you have the same title and meta tags
  • Don’t worry about scrapers or proxies too much; they generally don’t affect your rankings
  • If you are concerned, file a DMCA request (
  • Avoid duplicate URLS/sites
  • Generate unique, compelling content for users
  • Don’t be overly concerned with duplicate content
  • Let us know about any issues at the google webmaster help forum.

Priyank Garg – Yahoo (has a sore throat)

  • Less likely to extract links from known duplicate pages
  • Less likely to crawl duplicate websites
  • Do not like mixing and matching content to avoid duplicate content
  • Dynamic URL rewriting in site explorer
  • Better ranking due to reduced link juice fragmentation (if you have links on duplicate content the link juice will be redirected to the one page of original content, thus helping your ranking – moderater asked)
  • 301 is not the most efficient use robot.txt. Two crawls happen when you use a 301 redirect.
  • Some sites have had 20 million pages of duplicate content cleaned with a single rule
  • Checkout:

Derrick Wheeler – (does in house SEO for Microsoft)

  • Famous for the CIRTA phrase (Crawl, Index, Rank, Traffic, Action).
  • Duplicate content is a major problem for Microsoft
  • How do I take control of my own duplicate content and not just expect the search engines to take care of your content
  • [not sure what he was talking about concerning parameters in your url “Link to URLs with parameters always in the same order”]
  • Don’t assume engines cannot follow javscript
  • Get a regular crawl report of your website
  • Anytime you have see “compare” or “sort” in your url be prepared for duplicant content spider trap.
  • Anytime you see “email a friend” think duplicate

11:30am – Linkfluence : How To Buy Links With Maximum Juice and Minimum Risk
John Lessnau – Founder of LinkAdage

  • A lot of paranoid people out there due to Google lowering the page rank
  • What is a safe page paid link – A link should be in relevant text.
  • Footer or sidebar links are in dangerous areas.
  • It’s very hard for people to say that you paid for a link found in text.
  • You want to be the only paid link on the entire page and if possible on the site.
  • If you get sites that sells tons of links you make it more risky for you.
  • Have lots of variation of your anchored text
  • Link should be on inside pages
  • Link should be a long term
  • Do link buying in moderation – don’t go crazy
  • Home pages are the most powerful links, but inside pages are safer.
  • Another advantage of buying inside page links is that they are generally cheaper.
  • Newer sites should only buy 50 to 100 links when starting out.
  • What’s a powerful link? Hosted websites that have good rankings. Hosted web site that have lots of natural links. Hosted website that are not a link seller
  • Search google for various keywords phrases you want to rank for.
  • Look through the results for websites and web pages where your link would fit
  • Verify that the potiential link partner is not a major link seller or buyer
  • Contact the webmaster (best if you can call them) and make a fair offer for your link.
  • Your links should pass a manual review of anyone looking to report their competitors for personal gain
  • After the buy you should monitor your links to make sure they stay up and the host sites stay clean
  • Use your rankings as a spring board to gaining natural links
  • Keep making your site better
  • No when to quit buying links. Don’t just keep buying and buying because that just puts a targer on your head.

Rand Fishkin – CEO of SEOMoz

  • By sponsoring locate events you can get some backlinks
  • Give to nonprofits to get links. Locate sponsorship page/links
  • Nice thing abut giving nonprofits is that it is a corporate write-off
  • Buy content but try just buying one page on a blog
  • Use blogger product reviews to get links
  • Use content partnership
  • John McCain’s campaign paid to create a blogging network to push out their message
  • Media sites that link out tend to get more links in.
  • The google link command has been broken for years
  • Personally recommends Magestic SEO
  • Visit to download the presentation

Aaron Wall – Founder of

  • There are several alternatives to buying links.
  • Syndicate content – write a guest article
  • Barter – give stuff away
  • Offer discounts on your products (big in educations)
  • Buy competing websites
  • Public relations and follow up (you want to keep pushing the idea for more links)
  • Encouraging Organic Links
  • Cumulative advantage means people vote differently when they think others are doing the samething as they are
  • make your site look popular
  • have a regular editoral voice
  • encourage community participation
  • Show social proof
  • have a beautiful designed site
  • Show signs of credibility
  • Yahoo Directory is still a credible source to get a paid link
  • Pick the best category to be on
  • Up until a month ago Google recommend Yahoo Direction
  • The directory Purge of 2007
  • Direct Quote: “the parts of the web which are active beat out the parts of the web that are inactive.
  • Use Adwords Ads for Linkbait
  • Buy adwords for a wide basket of related keywords
  • Awards – the more creative and interactive you make the award the better

1:30pm – Real-World Low-Risk, High-Reward Link Building Strategies
Eric Enge – President of Stone Temple Consulting
Eric just spoke mainly about social media, and didn’t really share anything new to the discussion. I did find it interesting that the Digg Demographic is 13-28 year old males.

Rebecca Kelley – Search Marketing Consultant for SEOMoz

  • Find Brand Mentions, ask for a link
  • Indentify broken inbound links
  • Take advantage of broken links to your competitors
  • Findout who’s linking to your competitors
  • Take advantage of confirmation emails – encourage people to link to you if they like you.
  • Embed links in widgets, badges, banners
  • Create some link bait
  • Gave a personal plug for her boyfriend
  • Yahoo Hubfinder

Greg Hartnett – President of

  • Directories are not paid links.
  • Good Directories have a history, contain great resources, have populated categories, are designed for the user, dd lots of sites – not just paid submits
  • Is it a labor of love? Does it feel good to you?
  • Can I list my website multiple times? Yes, it’s called deep linking.
  • Directory and search engines need our sites to have good content.
  • Is the Yahoo directory still worth it? Yes, has an aged, trusted domain.
  • Primary hub of internet mapping
  • Is the ODP Corrupt? No, Could have corrupt dmoz editors, but a few don’t represent the whole.
  • Which of the directories are considered the most trustworthy? Yahoo, DMOZ, BestoftheWeb,, Librarians Internet Index
  • Where can I submit my blog? Yahoo, Dmoz, BOTW, Blog directory
  • Search Engine Journal has a great post on blog directories

Roger Montti – Founder and Owner of MartiniBuster

  • .edu’s may not be a magic bullet
  • Just about any black hat technique can be turned into a white hat technique
  • Blog widgets (gave an example of a golf ball widget that had a nofollow on it)
  • Form spam – If you are an expert in your area. You can go to the form and give your opinion with your link in your signature. Form moderators love you.
  • Counters
  • Calculators
  • WordPress Themes
  • Google is getting 1 million spam reports a day
  • Tricking google days are behind us

2:50pm – Community Hacking – 96 Baiting Strategies You Can Employ
Bill Hartzer – Search Engine Optimization Manager for Vizion Interactive

  • Target group in sectors and by topic
  • Tell them what they want to hear
  • Point out problems with the industry
  • Gave an example of large companies paying for the term “keyword” because they copied straight from their excel sheet their keywords, and at the top was of the sheet was the word “keyword”

Jane Copeland – Search Marketing Consultant for SEOMoz
Blogged through her presentation

Todd Malicoat – Independent Marketing Consultant for Meta4creations
Mainly focused on how to utilize digg. Need to get the linkbait hooks slide when it comes out.

Ian Ring – Moderator at
Gave a in depth presentation on a new idea of his called genetic algorithms. Really didn’t understand what he was trying to convey to us. Checkout to see what he is talking about.

4:10pm – Super Session : Search Engines and Webmasters – aka: The Search Engine Smackdown

Nathan Buggia – Live Search Webmaster Central, Lead Program Manager for Microsoft

  • Working to deliver the best search results
  • tells you why you have been penalized
  • they have a three day window requirement to address your complaint or question

Sean Suchter – VP of Yahoo! Search Technology Engineering

  • Trying to get beyond the 10 blue links
  • Had fun adding the music player into the search results (plays full clips)
  • Working hard on SearchMonkey and Boss
  • Examples of Boss:,,,

Matt Cutts – Software Engineer of Google

  • Fun tools: Google Suggest, 2001 search index, ability to track the flu
  • Google trends for websites (looks a lot like alexa)
  • Using OSR to find text in images
  • Google has become better at crawling flash, but keep in mind that iPhones doesn’t handle flash
  • Google has become more proficient in handle keyword gibberish
  • “14 lines of Java Script” helps with 404.
  • Google doesn’t hate SEO. Yesterday, they published a 30 page guide for SEO.
  • Hacking is going to become more common in 2009
  • Blackhat moves towards being outright illegal

Direct Quote: “In 2009 you might consider yourself more than just an SEO expert.”

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts